This wasn’t such an exciting day as yesterday. There was only one match I wanted to be sure to see, and a lot of players I wanted to get a look at. So I just went from match to match and got little peeks at a lot of players. I did see Kim’s match from beginning to end, unfortunately, that entailed me seeing more of the Irvin/Granville match than I wanted.
[gossip] The word around the tennis site was that Safin broke several rackets while practicing yesterday. And got into a big argument with his practice partner about a line call. I’m pretty sure it was Kutnitsyn he was practicing with yesterday because I saw Kutnitsyn today in a match. I just saw about three games.
Crap. I left my draw sheet in the car. Be right back.
First, it was kids day and they had classes from several different elementary schools in the area. On Stadium 3, they had a special program for them with contests and prizes. Serra-Zanetti (sp?) and Hrbaty were out there with the kids. They were both really good with the kids. One of the things they did was to have Hrbaty and Serra Zanetti play each other. When asked who would win, the man or the woman, the kids voted with their voices that the woman would win. That made both of the players laugh. So they played a point, and then they had two kids come out and hold hands with each player while they hit. Then two more, and so on until each of them had four kids hanging on in a line hand in hand as they moved around the court. It was pretty funny. And the girls did win!!
So then I went around and just sampled matches. Courts 4 through 6 are all in a line so I could stay for a few games on each and move on to the next pretty easily. So, I started out with Peya and Jeanpierre. I saw somebody dressed in Adidas with a girly ponytail watching. It took a few minutes to realize that it was Mayer.
Peya was having his way pretty much and it wasn’t too exciting, so after the first two games I moved on to Court 5. (still don’t know how that match came out.) Then Lisnard and Kuntisyn. Also not exciting, but I see that Lisnard got the best of Kuntisyn. Then on to Zib and Karanusic. Karanusic is a big guy and is quite emotional. In just the one game I saw him serving he threw his racket twice and was very upset. Of course, he was broken in that game, so he had reason to be upset, but still, it appears he is going for the racket throwing championship. He threw it hard, and got a significant bounce as well. I was surprised to later see that it took Zib three sets to defeat him.
I floated around the practice courts then and got to see
Malisse practicing. He is so cute! And I love to watch his feet as he plays. They are so graceful and light. He was practicing with several players and they were all taking turns. Rainer was on Malisse’s side of the net and Dent and somebody else were on the other side. Rainer looked great as always. He is so very fit. He was playing without his shirt… as always.
. Malisse had his shirt on.
Mercifully so did Dent.
There were some players standing around the end where Malisse and Rainer were. Mayer was one of them. I was thinking maybe he would think I was stalking him, but I wanted to see Malisse and Ranier so I stayed. While I was there, two little Hispanic kids who were there with their class asked Mayer for an autograph. He said, “I’m practicing.” Which they didn’t’ really understand, so he repeated it. “Not now, I’m practicing.” The kids turned away with hurt and confused looks. I took them aside and told them that the best time to get an autograph was after a player had finished practicing and was leaving the practice court. Anyway, Mayer wasn’t practicing and it wouldn’t have killed him to have given the boys an autograph. For sure, they didn’t know who he was, but they were just little kids and maybe they would have been thrilled to get an autograph from him and become tennis fans instead of just feeling rebuffed and like complete outsiders. They were SO sweet. After I talked to them, they said. “Oh. Ok. Thank you.” I thought they had really nice manners.
Well, one of the players I really wanted to see was Jo Wilfred Tsongas. While I was waiting for his match to start I watched the first three games of Clement’s match against a young Frenchman, Vasselin. Or Roger-Vasselin. Not sure which. Anyway, Clement was having a really difficult time while I was there. He couldn’t do anything right and could not keep a ball in the court. 0-3 when I left. I was glad to later see he pulled out the win.
Then on to see Jo Wilfred. I’d heard a lot about the guy and I was anxious to see him. Sure enough it was the guy I’d seen on the practice courts who I thought was Jo Wilfred. He is VERY big for a tennis player. He looks more like a linebacker. He is tall and heavy. I’m not fond of that build for tennis because I think a heavy body can’t hold up to the pounding. But, I was glad to see that Tsongas is light on his feet. However, he did not impress me at all. He quickly fell way behind and didn’t show me much at all. He was playing Dancevic… which now I know I have been mispronouncing… and even against a player of that lowly rank Tsongas had nothing at all.
Then to Stadium Court to see Gio Lapentti. I watched Kendrick win the first set and then went to my car to grab a sandwich. Later I learned Kendrick fell completely apart after losing the second set. People who watched thought it was pathetic. Although not as pathetic as they thought Dokic was in her loss.
So then I caught the last of Arthurs match against the oddly named Argentine. But I was really waiting for Kirilenko to start. I watched Kirilenk demolish her opponent for as long as I could take it. Actually Krelenko wasn’t playing so great. Perebynis simply couldn’t keep the ball in the court most of the time. It was painful. It looked as if Irvin and Granville were winding up things in the Stadium so I left to go over there to see Kim.
Woe is me. Irvin took it into a third set.
Perhaps I haven’t ever mentioned that I can’t stand either Irvin or her loony mother. But anyway, I can’t and I try to avoid her at all costs. So I left once again and went out to see Bobby Reynolds. I liked him quite a bit. He’s small, fast, scrappy, and has a good serve. He might become a solid journeyman player if he can take the life.
Finally Kim started her match. Nicole Pratt is a fighter, but she was no match for Kim. I sort of watched the match in some sort of heat/dehydration induced coma. Kim was hitting the ball great, but I can’t give you details about the match. Kim did have TWO really EMBARASSING misses on overheads. BAM right into the net. On the first one she looked mortified. The second one she took in stride. She did get broken once, I think, which was really unforgivable. Pratt was obsessed because the service lines man/woman was making her calls a bit late. She made good calls but they were a tad delayed. This drove Pratt WILD. She complained about it over and over. When she and Kim shook hands, Nicole was chatting away like mad to Kim, and I’ll bet she was saying, “ I can’t believe how late that woman was with her calls. Wasn’t it driving you crazy? What is wrong with her?”
Anyway, to me, Kim looked about the same physically. My seat mate thinks he sees the difference in her backhand, but all I can tell you is that she was hitting it GREAT. Her mom was there. Some guy with a shaved head was sitting behind her mom. Mom was talking ot some grey hair, Actually talking up a storm to him... I guess Kimmy gets her motormouthing honestly.
Also another couple was there with them. A woman with an auburn bob and and some man.
So anyway… I stayed around a bit for Jackson. She had on a nice outfit. And it was her that the coach I noticed was coaching. She’s quite a muscular girl, but not very big. She didn’t seem to have a game that will take her places, but maybe she will develop. Barna is about 2 inches wide and could pass for a runway model with her long legs, great hair, and darling figure if it weren’t for her dreadful posture.
And then I went home. It was about 6 when I left. There were still some matches going on, but nothing I wanted to see.