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Monday, November 30, 2015

Jayci Goldsmith is interested in..

Was browsing Winter Nat. application list and found a familiar name; Jayci Goldsmith, who so impressed me with her huge game at the National!

Ranked similar to Cali Jankowski, a bit lower at #44 now. Like Cali, will be a sleeper hit(but did she jump a class or what? Dunno);

Apparently she's considering lots of schools haha.

Alabama   
Florida   
Georgia   
LSU   
Oklahoma   
Pepperdine   
TCU   
Texas   
UCLA   
USC

Very looking forward to see her play again, if I go there.

2015 Winter National linkS

http://tennislink.usta.com/Tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=153926#&&s=1A9


Tucson site(if I go there birding lol)

You never know about recruiting

Mayo Hibi.
Allie Kiick
Samantha Crawford
Jennifer Brady
Gabby Andrews
Caro Lampl

Recruiting is a complicated biz. You never know what'll happen until it is finalized lol.

Considering making this blog public again

So, my 'subscription project' has utterly failed. Lol. Mostly the same donors keep donating(very few). Which means, most think my blog worthwhile to browse, but not worth actually donating to cover my travel expenses lol. Sad.

Today consulted an opinion from a major 'stakeholder'(in donating terms lol), and I do think I might eventurally make this blog public again. 

If only for that, I might just keep in private, even though I also get asked from college coaches and tennis parents.

But I do receive various inputs from the players themselves, and inexplicably they(and especially coaches) find my gossipy journal-like blog..eh..nice haha.  So I'm utterly in red, incurring expenses for traveling and such, but am willing to be a fool to make this blog public and allow 'freeloaders' to browse my site lol. 

But of course, unlike ITA, I value all inputs from all 'stake'(whatever stake it is)holders lol. So, if you have any objections, like I don't want to relinquish exclusive accesibility and such haha, feel free to let me know.  If there's no objections, I might make this blog public again before this year's over. 
Started from March, so couldn't last a year! God I'm so weak.

2015 USTA Irvine Last Day (pics added)

I find it inexplicable; there were NO matches being held, maybe 1, at HCP around 11am yet consolation matches STILL had to be played at DSLP; hence I missed interesting matches such as Pick vs Car and G14 Dbls MD final.  Only could watch the latter 2nd of G18 sgls Consolation final Cali vs Ivana.

And, Krista's father was there at HCP, probably rooting for Sydney.  You-know-who too, the 'legend'. No dog was accompanying him this time.  Grant Chen of UCLA too was spotted.

HCP is too...tidy. Not 'dirty' enough lol, for birds. There were some birds around the pond, such as Canada Geese, American Coots, Ruddy Duck, etc. Gulls were probably Ring-billed.

Maybe they didn't play Pick vs Car, no results at the tennislink page. The reason I didn't go back for this match(if it was going to be held), was that I might attend Winter National again;

CS Ivana Corley d. (9) Darya Possokhova 6-2; 7-5

So I couldn't watch these two CS matches to the conclusion; because MD finals were scheduled to play an hour later.
Ivana really impressed me in this tournament. A legitimate win, against a very talented player. Just does everything well.
She's class of 2018 TRN ranked #46, and lists New Mexico and TCU as high interest.

CS Cali Jankowski d. Brandy Walker 6-3; 6-2

Brandy was senior? TRN ranked #211, but has a very good game. Think I saw her for the first time, and she could produce huge pace on her drives. Net approaches and volleys weren't bad either. Thought it might be tough for Cali to win; that's a quality win, methinks. Brandy did commit some errors, and Cali again showed surprising consistency haha.

F Sara Choy d. (9) Sydney Van Alphen 7-6(7-0); 6-3

I was for some time skeptical of Sydney's ability. As I said before, also skipping G16 unlike elite players like Cici. But she showed that she does have a game for even a Blue Chip level(she's currently 5 star according to TRN, the highest ranked player at #20). Harassing Sara this much is no mean feat, at all. Thought it was quite a high level actually, both moving and hitting so well. 

Eventually Sara won the drive contest(as I said, the best driver in this tournament); not only that, just does everything well. Volleys, passing, etc..she's currently #17 according to TRN; will definitely rise up the rankings. I'm not sure Stanford has spot availiable for this class, but as a Palo Alto native lol,
she can definitely be considered for a candidate(but of course there's perennial #1 and pro material, Claire Liu lol). But I do see that this class is also quite talented; players ranked ahead of her, are all excellent players.

Later there was a discussion about Sara's ethnicity, whether if she was Korean haha. I thought she was Chinese, since Koreans spell Choi not Choy, but dunno lol.

CF Cali Jankowski d. Ivana Corley 6-2; 6-2

I thought the reverse result was possible since Ivana was playing very well. What a surprise. Arrived late and Cali was already leading in the middle of the 2nd.

Yeah Cali basically outhit Ivana; that's just damn impressive!  I mean, painting sidelines and attacking dtls are no problem for her, at all. Definitely one of the premier hitters of her class, no doubt about it.

And as I said, added consistency to her game; served very solidly; even defended well, employing slices effectively and such. Has variety as well, employing drop shots.
 As I said, definitely a Blue Chip material.

Girls' 18 Doubles
F (8) Corley/Pick d. (5) Anzo/Bridges 8-4

Last match, so it was very quiet.  It isn't really an upset because the winner played stellar doubles all tournament long. Absolutely deserves the win.  Anzo especially did well, but C/P passed very well on both wings, and they were just superb in overall net plays and such. I knew Pick was good but Corley was such a revelation for me this tournament; she's also a damn excellent doubles player.

Anyway, is Taylor's coach really Nicola Slater? Or maybe an FSU alumna or something. Maybe should've boldly approached and interrogated her haha.

Nota bene; 3 of 4 finalists are from the Southwest; Arizona and New Mexico!

PL (7) Choy/Nguyen d. (6) Ferrari/PITTS Wo (inj)

G14

F (3) Sedona Gallagher d. (2) Britt Pursell 7-5; 6-4

Hmm, I actually enjoyed the PL match more lol. Britt's usual consistency kinda deserted her, maybe that was her bane; but she had her share of winners, was quite aggressive in fact.
I thought taller Sedona might have trouble rallying, but she surprisingly moved well enough to ensure long rallies.

Consolation:
PL-S (8) Skyler Grishuk d. (5) Amanda Chan Wo (inj)
PL-S (9) Olivia McIntosh-Adams d. (1) Mae Fmar Canete Wo (inj)

PL-F (8) Skyler Grishuk d. (9) Olivia McIntosh-Adams 9-7; 7-6(7-3)

Think I missed this, maybe this finished earlier, hence they played dbls final early; but what is that score...?

PL (4) Amy Huang d. (9) Camille Kiss 6-3; 6-1

Really enjoyed this match. I said I thought Kiss was the better hitter than Sedona yesterday(just could watch a bit of the 1st set); so was actually looking forward to this, since Amy was a damn good hitter as well yesterday against Britt. 

Probably Amy was the better server; and moved a bit better; but Kiss just impressed me so much with her driving ability lol.  I was strongly reminded of Kylie McKenzie(2 years ago? Played the same spot, PL match against Anzo. Liu def. Peus in the final methinks); not as effortless, but her drives are really potent. Not only that, she can use angles very well.  Shots on the run aren't bad. Has variety as well, slicing and drop shotting competently(once said sorry after benefitting from the net cord; slice or drop shot rolled over the net lol).  Not afraid to attack the lines either.
Just became one of my favorite players!  Class of 2020, 8th grader, TRN ranked #35. I expect good things from her :)

CF (9) Christine Inah Canete d. (9) India Houghton 6-3; 6-0

Was this the last match played at DSLP, at crt 3 or something.  Have no idea, since no info was available on-site today at DSLP.  Maybe I shouldn't have watched this and hurried back to HCP to watch G14 dbls final, but I thought one of the players would play it later lol.  Christine was too good, but India was a competent hitter(lefty).

Girls' 14 Doubles
F (5) Hayer/McIntosh-Adams d. (3) Chan/Raiszadeh 8-5

I'm really sorry that I missed this.

PL (1) Gallagher/Pursell d. (7) Duncan/Grishuk 8-1

D/G weren't bad, really; especially Duncan(the black one) was very good.

Now I need to recuperate lol. But have to bird Castaic Lagoon before that LeConte Sparrow moves away! Aaah, the joy? of birding..!   I think I spotted a Red-necked Grebe at Pond B of San Joaquin today.  And let's hope I can make it to the Winter National again. 6 hrs..can I survive the 'rigor'(and the cold!)?


 Red-necked Grebe. Note the long yellow bill
 Green-winged Teal
 Cinnamon Teal
 Black-necked Stilt on the lower right, American Avocets, and a Blue-winged Teal in the middle

Another holiday theme-pic; dunno if the car was a tennis parent's lol. At HCP

Sunday, November 29, 2015

2015 USTA Irvine 3rd day pics

So only had 10 minutes to bird San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary lol, but made the most of it; but I don't think I spotted a Red necked Grebe, here's pics.







And the promised surprise;

As in birding, it pays for you to look once more; Apparently I forgot to check the front, or they added it later lol.



What a nose; I dub thee 'Rudolph'!  The 'mythical' reindeer? Haha.

2015 USTA IRVINE 3RD DAY

PL-S (3) Carson Branstine d. (2) Samantha Martinelli 6-4; 6-3

Unexpected boon!  Difference? Serve. Today better servers all won methinks. Other than that, not that much difference; both boasts excellent hitting, and don't lack variety either. Naturally enjoyed Car's tantrums too haha.   It's good Car's still competing.

PL-S (9) Melissa Pick d. Hannah Zhao Wo (ink)

CQ (9) Darya Possokhova d. (9) Katya Tabachnik 6-4; 6-1

Darya's mom(who wore that Dance Open jumper again!) didn't watch so me either haha. Had to watch other matches though.

CQ Ivana Corley d. Jovana Kuljanin 6-3; 6-4

Jovana wasn't bad at all, really.

CQ Cali Jankowski d. (9) Ann Selim 6-0; 6-3

Watched the 2nd set. Another scalp against a competent player. Cali had to play well to finish it, because Ann won't give away free points; again, Cali's defense and solid serving were decisive methinks. Better hitter than Ann, that's saying a lot, since Ann really harassed Zoe Katz at Summer Circuit last year.

R3 (9) Katya Tabachnik d. Alyssa Grijalva 6-1; 6-4

Couldn't really watch much but Katya's condition seemed better today. Def. a quality win against a dangerous opponent.

R3 (9) Darya Possokhova d. Julia Deming 6-3; 6-4
R3 Jovana Kuljanin d. Jessica Anzo Wo (ink)

R3 Ivana Corley d. (9) Emily Maxfield 6-1; 6-1

Ivana really impressed me today, all matches. It was a legitimate win, shocking as it seems. She just does everything well.

R3 Brandy Walker d. Kristina Evloeva 3-0Ret (ink)

R3(9) Ann Selim d. REGINA PITTS 7-5; 6-3

This match was pretty long.

R3 Cali Jankowski d. (5) Jenna Friedel 6-3; 6-2

Lol Cali already more talented than Jenna. Granted I didn't think Jenna was really a Blue Chip material(although she's a very solid player with nice variety. Harvard did well to recruit her), but anyway Cali will ascend to Blue Chip status in no time.  Just the better player. But not only driving, which painted sidelines at will, but consistency as well.  Her serve. Her defense. Solid serving, and her bh slice was really effective as a defensive measure. Improving, I see :)

Q (8) Annette Goulak d. (2) Samantha Martinelli 5-7; 6-2; 6-3

Sam was the better hitter so what did Annette do, attempted variety such as drop shots and slices, worked perfectly I guess. That's quite a win for Annette; in fact Annette did pretty well this year, the first half or something. Both had a very good year. Sam said she'll play Winter Nat, moi, not sure lol. That's why I'm attending this tournament.

Q Sara Choy d. (3) Carson Branstine 6-2; 6-0

Shocking. What was Sara's class? She lives in Palo Alto!!!! We already have a Stanford recruit, ladies and gentlemen!  The best hitter, no doubt. Little Giant. Even served well for her size, Car couldn't return some.  And dictated play with razor sharp drives. Quite a revelation, for me, since I haven't really watched her play,(maybe just glimpsed here and there) just knew her name, that's all.

(9) Sydney Van Alphen d. Hannah Zhao 7-6(6); 7-6(1) Q

Another Little Giant. Lesser talented hitter won. Hannah was the better hitter, but Sydney's defense made it happen; Hannah began to commit errors after long rallies. Sydney's weapon is her hustle. And she's nothing if not aggressive; that trait especially proved beneficial against Taylor later.

 (9) Taylor Bridges d. (9) Melissa Pick 6-1; 6-4

Melissa really has improved; hits SO well!  Just that Taylor was a tad bigger hitter, and server maybe. This was not an easy match for Taylor, at all.

 SF Sara Choy d. (8) Annette Goulak 6-2; 6-1

SF (9) Sydney Van Alphen d. (9) Taylor Bridges 5-7; 6-1; 6-4

Couldn't really watch the 1st. Again Sydney's hustle made it happen. Taylor's serve broke down from time to time. And, Sydney served WELL.  Moreover, took the initiative, hitting aggressively; it worked. Not sure about the winner count, Sydney's probably bit more? Maybe Taylor was a bit too passive? Maybe worked before this match, but no mas.

 Q (6) Ferrari/PITTS d. (2) Possokhova/Tabachnik 8-3

Ferrari's defense was insane today lol.  Of course she's well known for her dbls prowess, but defeating the talented No Cal team(they had separate uniforms yesterday and today haha) is a huge feat. Darya's condition didn't seem too good.

 (8) Corley/Pick d. (3) Friedel/Goulak 8-2

I said C/P's defense was insane. Another shocking upset. Annette's volley condition didn't seem too good, but C/P were perfect. Especially Ivana was a revelation, sometimes Melissa didn't have to do much lol. Serve, defense, passing shots, volleys, what can't she do, Ivana, eh? Lol.

(7) Choy/Nguyen d. Sullivan/Yasunaga 8-3

Just had a glimpse. Sullivan sliced pretty well.

Q (5) Anzo/Bridges d. Rudin/Saltzen 9-7

R/S were really good lol, another revelation! Haven't really seen them before, so mucho impressed. Sharp volleys and drives were enough to ensure an ultra tight match. Made some errors, but quite  high level I'd say.  Anzo played well, passing and all.  And, is NICOLA SLATER Taylor's coach????? She sure looked like her????

And where's Laura Gordon and Taylor Dent, didn't I say I wanted to pose some questions haha. Nowhere to be seen, ASU, CU, UTAH, UCSB coaches as well.  Tech, GU, KU coaches still came, and later UCI too.

 SF (8) Corley/Pick d. (6) Ferrari/PITTS 8-2

The level was SO high!  I remember Katz/Manasse winning this tournament, but believe me, they were on par with them in defensive ability!   Their net defense was just insane lol. Had to applaud a couple of times, and congratulated the winners later.  They all canplay dbls #1 college, mark my words!

SF (5) Anzo/Bridges d. (7) Choy/Nguyen 8-0

Too hungry, had to leave.  Anzo waited a LONG time to play dbls today! Her father didn't wear that KU jacket today.

 Girls' 14 Singles

Had time so visited HCP.  Brewer's blackbirds were abundant, methinks.

And, was that Michaela Gordon's father/coach????!!!!  Is he coaching Aidan Mayo or what. Granted Michaela's younger sis played..

A staff was pretty helpful regarding match info, but the general setup was the worst compared to DSLP and WHS(WHS was the best, so accessible in big print, even court numbers as well). I couldn't get the info regarding Kiss vs Gallagher court, so just gave up lol.

SF (2) Britt Pursell d. (4) Amy Huang 6-4; 6-4

Did I see Amy for the first time? Impressive. Flat hitting and all, doesn't lack variety either. Britt did well to secure the win. She's ultra solid, her variety is her weapon, and serves well too methinks.

SF (3) Sedona Gallagher d. (9) Camille Kiss 3-6; 6-2; 6-2

Now, I dunno who is who lol. But the shorter(compared to the opponent) one seemed to be the better player, so is she Gallagher(maybe I saw both before at EB or something, not sure though). She moved well, and had no problem nailing dtls, no fear on that shot. The taller one moved fairly well for her size, served decently, and could attack sharply. So it was a fairly tight contest when I had to leave to return to DSLP(to watch further G18 matches).

Now I have a surprise pic; will post it later, because now am typing this at Best Buy lol.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Birding / 2015 USTA Irvine Day2 pic of the day

I tried to take a pic of a accipiter/buteo that perched on the lights pole at the court, but when I hurried back with a camera it was nowhere to be seen, ugh.  Turkey Vulture and American Crow were spotted, but was frankly too tired to take notice of the surroundings.  Tragically San Joaquin Sanctuary opens late, at 8am, ugh.  So probably will bird eh, Upper Newport Beach or Bolsa Chica or Hungtington Central Park..no time so there nearest will suffice I guess, UNB. Nelson's Sparrow and Eurasian Wigeon were spotted there recently, good; target species.

Nah, forget it. High tide is 10:43am anyway, so unless it get flushed very hard to spot a skulking NESP. Just Heritage Park I guess

Heritage Park--Irvine (ORA Co.), Orange County, California, US Map )
Date and Effort
Tue Nov 25, 2014 4:00 PM
Protocol:
Traveling
Party Size:
1
Duration:
20 minute(s)
Distance:
0.25 mile(s)
Observers:
Jeff Bray
Comments:
N/A
Species
26 species total
62
Canada Goose
9
American Wigeon
20
Mallard
4
Ruddy Duck
2
Eared Grebe
1
Double-crested Cormorant
1
Snowy Egret
1
Black-crowned Night-Heron
140
American Coot
2
Ring-billed Gull
1
Mourning Dove
2
Anna's Hummingbird
1
Allen's Hummingbird
1
Nuttall's Woodpecker
1
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)
2
Black Phoebe
2
Cassin's Kingbird
40
American Crow
2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
3
Western Bluebird
5
American Pipit
11
Cedar Waxwing
1
Orange-crowned Warbler
45
Yellow-rumped Warbler
15
House Finch
2
Lesser Goldfinch
Actually one can enter San Joaquin early according to ebird entries. Going there then, RED NECKED GREBE reported at pond B.

Oh Tech coach was also there, diligently watched matches. And newbies KU and Gonzaga coaches stayed till the end! Megan Falcon! Fondly remember her play at 2009 NCAA and 2010? USONP final rounds at Stanford. Played California ITF too later. Should ask her how Nevada is doing...haha.

And Anzo's dad was again wearing that Kansas jumper!

Anyway, the promised pic.

Happy Holidays!

Dbls should NOT be shortened

So tired, want to write about various topics but just this.

So top players in pro avoid dbls; all the more reason that dbls should NOT be shortened, since they don't play it anyway lol(to conserve energies or something, whatever).  You want to shorten format for better scheduling in slams, abolish that monstrous better-of-5 sets in men's singles. Utter waste of time. I heard many tank some sets when especially leading lol.

Why should doubles play no-ad for example?  And 3rd set match TB? Why should it be any different than singles? And the recent monstrous decisions by ITA and NCAA(pressured by ITA and USTA); systematically dismantling doubles. Shame.

2015 USTA Irvine day 2 G18

I was anticipating a good day birding; lots of rare birds especially at West LA; Burrowing Owl, Loon, Mergansers, LeConte Sparrow(but nowadays too windy at Castaic Lagoon; hope it stays till the next week), Vermilion Flycatcher, Summer Tanager..American Redstart is wintering nearby home.

Then realized...Irvine lol. So belatedly hurried there. The sacrifices I make! Lol.

Scribbled a bit but can't bother, since I'm still tired from lack of sleep. Now at Best Buy using Mac lol, will plunge into 24 fitness jacuzzi right after finishing this.
Familiar faces! ASU, Colorado, Utah, UCI, UCSB coaches...and NU!!!!!  Was that Laura Gordon? In fact NU assistant coach came last June or something as well. I guess they are definitely recruiting Californians(As I said they have 3 spots to fill for the class of 2017).
Wait a minute I just checked their roster and former asst. coach resigned? Only Laura Gordon there??!!!!  I should ask her about it tomorrow lol. And Nida Hamilton as Volunteer coach.
Website says she joined last month, after coaching Embree. So who's coaching Embree now? I've seen her at WAATC, but dunno about her recently. Maybe I should ask 'coach' Gordon about Embree too lol.

Also Cal Poly, UC Davis..

Said hello to Katie Chang's father.

And there was a nice holiday decoration on a car..I didn't even know who's it was, just clicked away; and checked the license plate...Carlsbad!!! You know who!! Haha, will load the pic later ;)

R2 Alyssa Grijalva d. Sophie Bendetti 6-4Ret (ink)

I'm not surprised by the score after watching Sophie play doubles; a new find for me today.

R2 Carina Burdick d. Katherine Nguyen 3-6; 6-0; 1-0(3)
R2 Julia Deming d. Tatum Burger 6-3; 6-2
R2 Emilee Duong d. Amber Del Rosario 6-1; 6-0
R2 Seriana Saltzen d. Katrina De Guzman 6-7(4); 6-1; 1-0(8)
R2 Jovana Kuljanin d. Lise Swain 6-4; 6-2

R2 Ivana Corley d. Elena Van Linge 6-0; 6-1

Elena sat down later near me, she seemed a bit down(was it her though); now I know the reason why haha. Not a good day for her. Too bad I couldn't watch her play dbls much.

R2 Gillian Parker d. Alexa Meyer 6-3; 6-4

R2 Amy Gaal d. Katie Chang 6-2; 6-0

Eh I thought Katie was leading? The bigger hitter but she was making errors as well.  She doesn't seem to have too good hand-eye coordination, same as before.

R2 Brandy Walker d. Mackenzie Worsnop 3-2Ret (ink)

R2 Julia Lilien d. (9) Stephanie Nguyen 7-6(4); 6-4

No wonder, though I dunno Nguyen. Julia is an another find by me today.

R2 (4) Camille Favero d. Elvena Gevargiz 4-6; 6-2; 1-0(9)

This match was long; points were long. In itself says about Elvena's ability. I did praise her game very early(a couple of years ago?). She wants to go to Stanford? No chance, but she also has high interest in SJSU and SCU, both teams will be lucky to have her.  Camille's serve doesn't seem too powerful, that was one thing I noticed.

R2 (9) Ann Selim d. shuchen lin 6-7(3); 6-2; 1-0(4)

lin must be good, to harass Ann so much.

R2 Cassie McKenzie d. Katreina Corpuz Wo (ink)

R2 Cali Jankowski d. Daniela Ramras 6-2; 6-1

Ramras was in fact a good player, the score doesn't do her justice. Definitely could attack.

R2 Natalia Munoz d. Jaylee Yasunaga 6-2; 6-3

So drove to WHS to watch the main reason why I ditched birding today; to watch the marquee match Darya vs Car lol.

16 (2) Samantha Martinelli d. (9) Emily Maxfield 6-1; 6-3

Wow the score was this one-sided? I was actually pretty impressed with Emily(she seemed pretty glum before the match, wonder why lol).  She hits more powerful now, and doesn't lack variety either. Coach Iandolo, who was present, must be proud!  Just that Sam was too good. Wonder which team'll be lucky to have her?

16 (8) Annette Goulak d. Jessica Anzo 3-6; 6-2; 6-1

Very high quality. Pity I couldn't watch this and the above match much, had to return to watch other 16 matches at DSLP.  Both hit and moved so well.  Annette was earlier seen with...guess who..Alexis Pereira!! Sometimes I do wonder if she attends TCU haha. Naturally said hi to both.  Annette was wearing a USA cap!  Anzo's TRN ranking is too low, 50, wonder why.

16 (3) Carson Branstine d. (9) Darya Possokhova 6-1; 6-2

The score doesn't do Darya justice, but she did make many errors. That said, it was a delight to watch both compete!  Excellent hitting and variety. Car even moves well for her size, reaching drop shots and such. Managed to improvise and return tricky deep shots dropping at her feet as well. As usual showed tantrum later on haha.   The familiar guy was with her mom, which Academy was that, Advantage? Oh Taylor Dent by the way appeared at DSLP earlier!!! Did he engineer Raveena's move to LSU?  Should I 'tackle' him and ask about it lol.

Drop shots were employed by many, with good effect today. Well done girls!

16 Sara Choy d. (9) Katya Tabachnik 6-2; 6-2

Sara too good. Hit and passed so well. Katya's volley condition was bad; netted tons, when it's her major arsenal.  But all the credit to Sara, just the better player today.

16 (9) Sydney Van Alphen d. (5) Jenna Friedel 6-4; 6-1

Sydney was as usual trying all her might against an older opponent; yet managed to outlast Jenna. Haven't seen Jenna much so it was good to see this match.  I wasn't too impressed with Jenna's game before. She is a solid player, good hitter with variety, but..committed errors after long rallies.  Well Sydney did beat Kulikov recently at a final, but is that a big deal right now(assuming that Angela regains her former level. But in fact even before her injury I thought her similar in ability to Friedel. Not better than Valdes). Sydney passed well

16 Hannah Zhao d. REGINA PITTS 6-3; 6-3

Couldn't watch this what with other matches being played.

16 (9) Melissa Pick d. (7) Constance Branstine 6-1; 3-0Ret (ink)

I missed this, ugh.  Already finished when I arrived. That's quite a shocking score though. Melissa was quite bright today, wearing Wisconsin cap and all.

16 (9) Taylor Bridges d. Kristina Evloeva 7-6(4); 6-4

Both girls were so lazy, I subtlely signaled them to change the score haha, but they couldn't bother!
Joke aside, Kristina is another player I discovered..did I see her before? I wonder...Taylor was playing a bit loose, and Kristina didn't just let it go lol, attacked at will. Taylor was just the better server, maybe that was the decider. Her uniform, same as usual, always, haha.

Wow Evloeva is class of 2019??!!  Ranking slipped recently, TRN's, but was 36th in the nation in 2012, no wonder. Oh she's coached by Dent?

3Q Alyssa Grijalva d. Carina Burdick 6-3; 6-4
3Q Julia Deming d. Emilee Duong 6-2; 6-3

3Q Jovana Kuljanin d. Seriana Saltzen 3-6; 6-4; 1-0(5)

Was this the match I watched(the sole match at that time)? Both hit quite well? The blond girl had quite a firepower, but her opponent was no slacker.

3Q Ivana Corley d. Gillian Parker 6-1; 6-0
3Q Brandy Walker d. Amy Gaal 6-1; 6-4

3Q (4) Camille Favero d. Julia Lilien 6-2; 6-4

So impressed with Julia. Did I see her before? Lefty, very solid form, and excellent hitting; harassed Camille to no end. Volley execution was a bit suspect, but judged by the frequency and some nice ones, she's obviously comfortable doing it. Can attack the sidelines at will. Class of 2018, TRN ranked 43. Now she's on my radar lol.

3Q (9) Ann Selim d. Cassie McKenzie 6-1; 6-3

3Q Cali Jankowski d. Natalia Munoz 0-6; 6-0; 1-0(3)

Played at WHS so missed it, but what a score haha. But Munoz was pretty good in doubles later, so maybe no surprise.


32 Deming/lin d. Del Rosario/Lee 8-3

32 (6) Ferrari/PITTS d. Gevargiz/Van Linge 8-6

G/L were at first winning, no small feat against the Ferrari team. When I arrived the match was already quite advanced, to my chagrin. Pretty even, couldn't watch the later moments, too bad.

32 Evloeva/Willson d. Maxfield/McKenzie 8-2

What?  Couldn't see this much, but thought this was a sure win for M/M...well E did impressed me in singles..

32 Corpuz/Duong d. Grijalva/Papikian 8-4

32 (8) Corley/Pick d. De Guzman/Ramras 8-2

Just glimpsed, C/P too good.

32 Jankowski/Van Alphen d. Bendetti/Munoz 9-8(4)

So impressed with B/M.  Especially Bendetti, the blond girl with gray shirt.  She has great touch. Excellent volleys. Think she could even play #1 dbls in college.  That was not an easy win, at all. If not for Cali's piercing drives...VA lobbed well too.

32 (7) Choy/Nguyen d. Wan/Zhao Wd (ini)
32 Sullivan/Yasunaga d. Swain/Waisfeld Wd (ink)

32 Burdick/Gordon d. Kaffen/Kaffen 8-3

Eh? Though it was the other way around, but granted dunno all. Just that Gordon is Michaela's younger sister? Lol.

16 (2) Possokhova/Tabachnik d. Deming/lin 8-4
16 (6) Ferrari/PITTS d. Evloeva/Willson 8-3
16 (3) Friedel/Goulak d. Corpuz/Duong 8-5

Couldn't watch all 3 matches, but the result was never in doubt, so concentrated on the following match;

16 (8) Corley/Pick d. Jankowski/Van Alphen 8-4

Good match. C/P's defense carried the day methinks. VA's drives just couldn't pierce their defense. They rarely held methinks, and C/P's persistent net approaches probably paid off. But again impressed with Cali's game; she can produce just monstrous pace on her fh; not many could hit better than her, maybe. And doesn't lack variety either, slice, lob..does everything well.  Movement could be better but she's tall, and still young, so..VA's volleys weren't working today, made errors a lot.  Still the match was tighter than the score suggests.

16 Sullivan/Yasunaga d. (4) Chang/Moustafa Wd (ini)

16 (5) Anzo/Bridges d. Burdick/Gordon 8-3

Just glimpsed a bit. Taylor's condition didn't seem too good, was pirouetting after making errors haha. She deleted her school interest at TRN?

2015 WTA Carlsbad Fri.

Couldn't sleep a wink the night before, so was struggling all day. Joked to a volunteer that my mission that day was a survival lol, but not far from the truth.
Amelia Herring materialized again lol. And was that Gibbs' mom? Nice to see her again.

GIBBS def. MARIA

That was some performance from Gibbsy. I've never seen her play this well lol. Could send deep and sharp balls just standing, and was practically flawless; dictated plays so easily.
So M had to unleash her slices from the get-go, but Gibbs was too good, won the 1st set. But it wasn't easy because Maria had weapons; yeah she may not be the biggest hitter, but her variety is a weapon. Moreover, her serves and overheads were damn good(she's one of the most reliable servers in this tournament, actually).

Then left, so dunno what happened in the 2nd set.  3rd set was a bit of a letdown, Maria sending the balls long. Similar to Cici, both lost due to errors.

WICKY def. BELLIS

Cici is so good...so good! Was aggressive throughout the match, scored more winners than Wicky. W came up to the net frequently, using her size as an advantage I guess; hit and miss, because Cici passed pretty well.

What made me so impressed was again, Cici's defense; Some of Wicky's attacks were lethal; so low with pace. Cici managed to return those, and not only that, returned low, not sacrificing pace. Terrific racquet manipulation, concentration and speed. She really is pro-level. Give her 2 years when she becomes even more powerful. We have a future WTA star here. So naturally, she shouldn't go to Stanford haha.

So how did she lost, as I said, her errors; she rarely make drive errors in juniors, but at this level, not too easy I guess.  She didn't serve bad at all, actually; made more 1sts. The match before she bounced different times, wonder if it was a tactic. Anyway, still her serve was at times vulnerable, and Wicky attacked those to good effect. And Wicky herself was a more reliable server. Cici couldn't return some, maybe due to size difference, dunno.

SAKKARI def. CRAWFORD

Didn't watch later, just the 1st set because this was played at at stadium 1.  Sam's drives is surely one of the most powerful out there; and hits it so effortlessly, with awesome angle. But netted serve returns a lot, and maybe inevitably, sacrifices consistency. Always hits low with so much pace, so..
S really did well to return those monstrous drives(that's pro level I guess), and scored her fair share of winners by moving Sam around.  And managed to hold serve, no small feat.

BRADY def. MELNIKOVA

Couldn't see much, this was supposed to play at centre court yet moved to stadium 1, inexplicable decision.  Probably serve was the decider. Jen's drives were more than match for M(and both have variety), and she was better server.   Couldn't watch the 2nd set because I had to watch the dbms final; Gibbs and her coach later came by to watch this.

DBLS FINAL

CE/ROYG def. K/MARIA

K/M were overwhelming at first. Maria was one of the best net players in the tournament, and K wasn't bad either. Dunno how the winners won the 2nd, but they played solidly. Left at the last moment of the 2nd set, utterly exhausted. I was determined to beat the traffic back home lol, partly succeeded.

That's it, that was my last day.


Thursday, November 26, 2015

Marquee matches tomorrow

Of course all matches tomorrow at Carlsbad are marquees. Dbls is a final.

But there's one more lol, at another location: Irvine!

Bridges vs Jankowski should be real interesting. Think Cali can definitely trouble Taylor. Both are very good hitters, so winners galore maybe? :)

2015 WTA Carlsbad Day 5

I think I saw a Loon at the Batiquitos Lagoon in the morning!  The main entrance, Nature Center one at Gabbiano Lane. I actually wanted to spot a Summer Tanager which was spotted 2 weeks ago, so asked a staff there but he didn't know. So per his suggestion left a note lol, I wonder if anybody will respond.

Anyway the Loon was just too far(in fact the river is too far from the trail, you really need a scope to study those ducks. And my scope boasts....low power lol), couldn't really make it out except the white neck. Did take a pic, but since my camera is just a regular Canon one(not those expensive thousand dollar ones which lots of veteran birders carry), even though zoomed, can't really tell. 

But after the match again birded the area a bit(Thanks to those 2 matches going to late 3rd, finished like 4pm!!), and 2 birders told me they just spotted a Pacific Loon, so maybe that's it. Still not sure though.

I also think I spotted a Redhead.

At the venue, Georgetown and USC(arolina) t-shirt and cap? were spotted lol. One fan was wearing a Stanford cap. Another woman fan was wearing a USC white jumper(what am I doing..lol).

Kelly Shaffer and Cat Harrison came to root for Jen so said hi. After the matches all collegians congregated and chatted with each other, Jen and Kristie included.

Nicoles spotted, one Nicole for sure, the lesser one lol, Gibbs I think she watched Jen vs Kostova in the beginning but not sure.

Cici seemed taller than Gallovits? She and Kat both watched the 1st centre court match, Ahn vs Wicky.

Results from WTA website

Second round

Jennifer Brady (USA) d Elitsa Kostova (BUL) | 7 - 5 | 3 - 6 | 6 - 4 | SAP Match Stats

Both Kostova and Wicky were relentlessly moving the younger players around. Elitsa's bh was really good. Jen really did well to prolong the rallies; her variety is also proven, so it helped methinks. And of course, her drives are potent enough. Couldn't really watch the 3rd set, since I had to watch Cici vs Kat; just glimpsed match point lol. I think both Elitsa and Kristie DFed at 1st set points, not sure though.

Oh an elderly woman volunteer expressed interest in birds, and asked me about a black/white duck; stupid me, took me awhile to realize the perfect candidate; Bufflehead!  Nice chatting with her :)

Marina Melnikova (RUS) d [3] Bojana Jovanovski (SRB) | 7 - 5 | 4 - 6 | 6 - 4 | SAP Match Stats

Would you believe it the match at first was almost devoid of spectators; again I blame the scheduling(most were watching Cici vs Kat match)! Lol. There were very few, for example me, Kristie and her(and Marina's) coach, and..not many.

I said I was much impressed with Marina lol. Battle of the equals, no kidding. Quite a high level methinks, the pace was just astounding.   Boj just hit so flat and cleanly, and perched a bit inside the baseline while receiving Marina's 1st serves. 2nd, perched way inside lol.  It worked methinks, making return winners and such. Marina had to slice her bh so many times; Boj's drive pace was that high.
But Marina's drives were so good, so could have a tight match in the first place. And she attempted variety a lot, including drop shots; I'd say those were pretty effective. 
Boj still might've won if her serve was good; didn't make lots of 1sts, and some got attacked by Marina. As I said Marina's also such a good mover(Boj too, in fact), so could prolong the rallies. MP was that one, high paced rallies ensued and she defended very well, resulting in Boj netting her bh.
Oh Sakkari watched this with her coach(or mom)? Think she was applauding Marina's fine plays? Rule was nothing to her, she freely went in and out of the venue during in-play haha.

Catherine Bellis (USA) d Katerina Stewart (USA) | 6 - 2 | 5 - 7 | 6 - 4 | SAP Match Stats

Kat was throwing football with her dad before the match. And Marcus was at first proudly displaying his bald head, but soon put his usual hat again. Only he should be allowed to stand during the matches(he's recording, so)!

Only watched the 1st and 3rd set. Cici's defense shined again. Kat lost many long rallies; her shots tended to go wide. She's such a good defender, so the points were generally long; Cici was patient enough, and her defense was good enough to deflect Kat's sharp attacks, to win those long points(Once returned Kat's wicked low slice with her slice; resulted in a net cord winner lol).
Her serve wasn't bad, either; made more 1st serves than the last match methinks, and especially had nice placements, methinks. Kat had trouble reacting to some of those serves.  Cici was of course dictating the points with her controlled aggression, but Kat had her share of winners as well; painted the sidelines.

Then left to watch Melnikova vs Jovanovski(really these two marquee matches being played simultaneously is a crime! Lol) at Stadium 1. When I returned it was 3rd set 1-1 or something. It was damn chilly so Cici was wearing a black long sleeve shirt now.
And was hitting very aggressively, almost hitting with abandon. Supreme confidence?  It worked methinks, since Cici can also keep the ball in play. And used the court pretty effectively, made lots of dtls, and especially her high bhs were pretty difficult to execute, but did it flawlessly. I think Kat sent high balls to her bh side, but Cici had no problem handling those.  Joined the glorious roster of racquet throwers as well, once spectacularly throwing the racquet haha.

And drop shots; no kidding lol. At least attempted twice when I watched, and in both instances worked perfectly!  She also did come up to the net, but Kat generally passed well methinks. And Kat's serves were good enough to ensure a tight match(Cici couldn't return lots of those, but Kat is known for her good serving). 
At the last game, Cici again came up to the net and tried to make a high bh behind-the-back shot(is this the precise term) against Kat's lob, but netted it haha. Finished strong, serving well(she did DF a few times, but I'm not sure Kat attacked her serve aggressively. As I said rather struggled to return some of Cici's serves. In fact it was Cici who was aggressively returning Kat's serve. One could say that Cici was more proactive).
I thought they might hug each other after the match, since they're friends, but did not lol.

[1] [WC] Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) d Kristie Ahn (USA) | 7 - 5 | 6 - 3 |

1st centre court match.
Points were long; lots of deuce points, what an effort by Kristie. Could hang with Yanina, no problema. Her drives were good enough; at this level, methinks offense is the best defense. Since she's such a good driver, could have a tight match. Again variety wasn't bad either, nice bh slice, etc. Once made a perfect drop shot sliding, after reaching Wicky's drop shot lol. But her serve was a bit unstable, so got attacked. And eventually Yanina was just too good a player. She served well too, methinks.  Funnily? she took a bathroom break after the 1st set, not Kristie. 

Later Kristie and her coach were watching Melnikova vs Boj match so said hello, complimented on her performance.   As a tantrum connoisseur lol, imo Kristie is more of a whiner haha. And she likes to kick the ball in frustration!

Semifinals

[1] O Kalashnikova / T Maria (GEO/GER) d [4] J Glushko / R Peterson (ISR/SWE) | 7 - 6 (3) | 6 - 3 |

It was so cold today, that ballgirls wore black tights. Glad I wore an extra clothe today.
Think it was a very high level. Maria's net instinct and reflex is superb; just poached so well. Glushko wasn't bad either.  I don't think G/P played that bad; the pace and placement were just fabulous. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

2015 WTA Carlsbad day 4

I want to share the Good News; Finally found that elusive Northern Waterthrush!
This time arrived even earlier lol about 7:05am, but it took 2 hrs for it to finaly show up.
But there were some portents;

Like yesterday, a darkish bird quickly disappeared through the foliage to the left; it was just a glimpse so couldn't really say.

Then decided to take a break lol, and again walked the dirtpath clockwise.  A little further on, about the middle distance between the entrance and the boardwalk, found a thrush; it was a chance encounter, since I was initially just scanning through the thick foliage. It popped up, and vocalized in a steady tone. After a few bounce it crossed the dirtpath and disappeared into the foliage to the left(roadside).  It had a white belly, and streaks on it. Still was not sure if it was NOWA(especially because of he vocalization; seemed different from NOWA's).

And finally, at 9:04am, it appeared deep inside the gully. Maybe rain yesterday night was fortuitous, because it partially flooded the otherwise dry gully; NOWA likes to forage on the wateredge.
I had a clean view for about 6 minutes; it hopped on the rock, and frequently sifted the leaves with its bill while foraging. And of course, its quintessential tail bobbing; unmistakable. I even recorded a video and uploaded on youtube. Photos, at my birding blog.

Just so windy and chilly today. Funny thing is, I didn't feel cold while birding because I was wearing a parka. I made a mistake changing into hood-t heading to the venue; practically shivered throughout the day(I dearly wanted to just sit on the toilet; it had a heater working behind the toilet seat, it was so warm!), so couldn't stand it anymore and went back to my car to fetch my parka again lol. Little did I know that the last dbls match was simultaneously being played at crt 1(supposed to play after Sakkari vs Sadikovic at the centre court)

Zoe and Yannick were with..members of the USC men's team? Not sure. But what was that look Zoe haha.

Although the balls frequently go out of bound from the center court lol, I love the 'informality' of this tournament! You can practically bump into the players, as I mentioned in the case of me almost colliding with Gibbsy lol. And let's not forget, good birding location as well!

Volunteers at the center court were standing outside, a bit tough for those elderly personnel; can't they just sit at the entrance like IW? Or do they have to stand because the seats are scarce.

MARIA def. ABANDA

Watched this first, then came way back later in the 2nd(because I haven't seen Melnikova play sgls before). A's fh is really good; so potent with pace. Maybe that was the reason but when I returned in the 2nd set, Maria was slicing all the way, like Gibbs did against Hardebeck at that infamous G18 National semifinal. And did it so well lol, even made a lob winner with it.  Just sliced everything back, such a technician. Then mixed it up with strong hitting, playing effectively.  Maria also serves well, definitely one of the reasons for her win.

MELNIKOVA def. FICHMAN

It was so windy that a pad? that ballboys/girls used to kneel on the sides of the net blew away lol. Boys/girls at the centre court had the luxury to use a cushion! Good for them.

Impressed with M. Hit so well but I was especially impressed with her stance; she doesn't move her upper body while hitting; and could even change grip before hitting, that means her racquet head speed is good enough. Such a massive hitting and could paint the baselines, that elicited Sharon's protest later in the 2nd, she thought it was out.  Her serve could be better though, got attacked by Sharon sometimes(Actually it was the match was a bit of a breakfest).  Didn't lack variety, actually actively sought to use it, hit and miss. Moved very well, reached Sharon's drop shots and such.
Sharon gave her all, came up to the net to good effect, drove fiercely, but ultimately Marina was just too good. Massive backhand and all. Passed well on that wing, too.

GIBBS def. ROYG

Was Amelia Herring there??! A fixture of San Diego! She even played Q sgls once at WTA Carlsbad a few years ago :) 

Gibbs in best condition; even served very well, acing now and then. R was probably the bigger hitter, but G moved and returned well. R just could not sustain it in the long rallies; rarely won those long points. Once threw the racquet in frustration.

Gibbsy wearing that bandana suits her; suits her fiery personality haha(let's remember that John Wooden quote!). Didn't have much chance to show it though, since she was winning lol.

Gibbs may not be the biggest hitter, but moves and returns so well, and her ability to create width is impressive methinks. Maybe R scored more drive winners, but G's relentless probing forced lots of errors from R as well.

CRAWFORD def. BROADY

Bellis and Stewart watched this match.
Points were rather short, and winners galore; maybe because they're not the best movers due to their size lol.  C at first was making errors, and probably targetted B's one hand bh even serving; but B's bh held pretty well.  Not sure it was a meltdown by B, but B did protest some later.  B served well throughout the match; C couldn't really return those. Maybe some blip from her serving was her bane? Can't say.

Actually didn't really watch the 2nd set(was mainly focused on the other match Gibbs Royg). Don't think B said sorry after benefitting from the net cord.
C's hitting into the court was effective, but was a tad inconsistent. Had some trouble handling deep balls landing at her feet. But was aggressive to the end, and it bore fruit I guess.

SAKKARI def. SADIKOVIC

Match of the day, for sure. Did I see Maria for the first time? Looks like Gibbs. Pronounced forehead and all haha. But was very stoic, unlike fiery Gibbs; at first thought she was a less crazy version of Gibbs lol. But she finally showed her true colors(joke) in the 3rd, throwing rackets and all haha.

Anyway she moves and hit well. Probably a bit more solid, so Amra wasn't winning the rallies much(although Amra's drives are potent). So what did Amra do; came up to the net, drop shotted, etc. Worked perfectly. Maria's not a bad passer but Amra's persistence paid off methink; even served well, so could finally win the 2nd set. There were some really fine points here and there.
Maybe Amra made some errors in the 3rd, but it was a heck of a match.

The guy who wore a Brazil football jersey I mentioned? I was going back to watch the dbls match when I encountered him...roller skating...!!!! Maybe to his car or his home, dunno, but what an ingenious way of transportation..kudos to him lol.

CE/ROYG def. BROADY/GIBBS

This made up for the 'lost' time of 2 centre court matches which went to 3rd lol, so I could bird the Batiquitos Lagoon a bit.  Because it was already 2-0 in the 2nd when I came back(as I said it was being played at stadium 1, not center court), and the losers didn't win a single game after that, ugh. Why did I even bother return to the venue lol. 

Hmm, can't really say, I don't think the losers played that bad. One thing I noticed, the winners' defense was very good; frequently made good defensive lobs to good effect, and also attacked very effectively.  At this level, they all defend pretty well; that's why KK could not dominate the net so easily, yesterday.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

2015 WTA Carlsbad day 3

Think I finally spotted a NOWA at San Elijo lookout; it was quite chilly in the morning.  But just had a glimpse, when the same birder yesterday with an expensive camera took a nice pic. He showed me saying it's not good, but it looked good enough to me lol(he was there already when I arrived at 7:19 am; he's US Naval Academy alumni, judging from the car license plate cover!). Confirmed the direction the bird made, so I'm sure it's the one, but chagrined that I didn't have a proper look. 

Later the same elderly couple from yesterday arrived later so had a brief chat; I see that we all saw the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher at nearby Mira Costa college, that's good. 

After they all left, think I found a Marsh Wren; color was grayish but it was rather small for Bewick's, very secretive, and tall wasn't big like Bewick's either, quite short. No vocalization though.

I'm now going on pure spite; going to stake out tomorrow again until I confirm a proper look; buffy eyebrow and streaked throat and breast. The day after as well, why not, if I still can't find it tomorrow morning :sobbing:  I spent 2 hrs at the site today, mostly stationary, shivering in the cold! Egad..
Batiquitos I can bird after if the match finishes early, so San Elijo has priority in the morning.

Rather nice birding at the venue today; didn't really explore the southern pond like yesterday, but still spotted Mallards, Pied-billed Grebes, California Towhee, Black Phoebe, Hummingbird(Anna's?), White-crowned Sparrows, Turkey Vulture, American Crows, Red-tailed Hawk, Cooper's Hawk..tons of bird activities, couldn't spot much due to...matches lol.

Today confirmed the presense of 'coach' Abdala of USD lol(too bad I missed Fink though?), and Lucassen was with a dark haired player watching stadium 1 match(was this Zoe match)? Was the player Sakkari? Not sure..is he coaching one of the players.

UCLA/CU fan was doing linesman duty as usual, forgot to say hello to him. KK's parents were there so said hello of course. Forgot to mention Zoe's father yesterday, Zoe's both parents were present on her match today.

Glimpsed a practicing player's fh form; Cici of course, don't even have to see her face to confirm lol. This tournament I don't really watch practices though(that's really for IW); as usual, am concentrating on the matches itself.

Spotted Edina Gallovits(was she chatting with Cici's dad?), so naturally..Cici appeared soon later lol.

A guy wearing a Brazil football jersey is present throught the tournament, so far. Wearing it every day. I left it at my home lol, but anyway since I'm a 'born-again'? birder, I now just wear bird-themed t shirts haha.

And Mr. Law came! So naturally chatted gaily later, I won't reveal the tiltillating tidbits that we shared..haha. Too bad today was the only day he was attending.

Small recommendation for a better tournament; put a towel or some cushion for the ballboys/girls who have to crouch at the either ends of the net, for their comfort. They're slaving for the players lol, so why not.

Did I mention that San Diego Aviators (WTT) logo is printed on the chair umpire seat? Where's Taylor Fritz lol, didn't he play for it, or did he play for the other team(didn't attend a single WTT match this season).

Rather scribbled a lot but I'm just damn tired, don't care at this point lol. Remember I do 'intensive' birding in the morning!

KOSTOVA def. VICKERY

This started first so watched a bit, then came back later in the 2nd methinks, watched a bit again. K was hitting well, giving V lots of trouble. Even volleyed well. Still it was pretty tight, V managed to hold, then K's serve game was becoming long. Later when I returned, V was making errors.

WICKMAYER def. BOSERUP

W complained about the court at the back(south side baseline), it seemed to be wet or something, so they wiped it out.

Julia's offense is up there. Definitely can attack. Even attacked served quite decently, sometimes hitting strongly outright, or sometimes making deft returns.

I think her defense is what hampers her though. If she wants to attain the next level. Anticipation or footwork could be better, methinks. And did make some errors as well, for example stretched on her bh side, netted some bh dtls. I thought if her defense wasn't good enough, offense was the way to go, but couldn't maintain the level in the end I guess.

Anyway her offense was good enough to trouble Wicky a lot. But Julia also sometimes struggled to match Wicky's pace. Good match.  Even a grasshopper was attracted to it lol, eliciting my and a volunteer's laughter haha.  In fact, a certain crow seems unusually attracted to the centre court tennis; it always perches on the tree nearby lol.

Was it this match or Cici vs Glushko match, a chair umpire(WTA) came down to pick up a bug or something, I was surprised that she 'deigned' to! Now what is her name..? Sorta middle eastern or indian looking?

Oh Wicky wins the 'ball bouncing contest'; she bounced the ball only 2 times before serving! She didn't say sorry benefitting from 2 net cords, at least from my view.

MARIA def. MOSSMER

Finally they did get Nicole's last name right lol, before it was Mossmerr. Naturally couldn't see much, just a bit of the start and then the last moment. Maria at first was ball-bashing, not a good tactic(tempting for higher-level players of course, to blast the lesser players off), went awry.

Nicole really seems smart.  Returned ok, dunno if she targetted Maria's one hand backhand but rallied decently. And came up to the net, good choice and instinct. I think she served pretty well. Once even did a nice jumping bh too. 2nd set was 6-4, what an effort.  Overall I think Maria still served well at crucial moments, both in the 1st and in the 2nd when I watched.

Boj was watching this methinks, and was that coach Angel Lopez? Whoever he was, he was sitting right next to Nicole's mom in the 1st.

Later high-fived Nicole, and then almost collided with another Nicole (Gibbs) who was sneaking up behind me haha. Actually they were chatting the day? before; I guess the Nicoles should stick together!

ABANDA def. SCANDALIS

Just watched a bit of the 1st, but this match had to compete with other matches(BELLIS vs GLUSHKO, ROYG vs CE.  I haven't seen Royg and Ce at all, for example. Like birding, I guess. I didn't come this far to watch common species. That's why I'm staking out every morning to spot that NOWA lol, which is primarily an Eastern or Northern species, and hence a rare one in the Southwest. Tennis, likewise), too bad.  Points were generally long, then A began to protest on the ruling or something, so left.  Zoe's defensive fh lacks depth say compared to Gibbs, methink. Gibbs also returns rather high when in pinch(almost pushing or moonballing), but she sends it a bit deeper, is my impression. 
When I hurried back later, it was already finished. Later Zoe was watching BROADY/GIBBS vs GONCALVES/MARAND match with Yannick so said hi to both.

BELLIS def. GLUSHKO

Came to watch from G 3-1 lead in the 1st methinks, then left after the 1st set, then returned again some time later.

At first Cici wasn't making any 1st serves. And G was hitting very aggressively, low and flat.

But as I say again and again, Cici's defense is superb; her small steps, excellent. So could return all those potent shots by G, even making fh slices, then of course instantly changing to offense by sharp bhs. She's not necessarily a ball basher. Just hits cleanly, and fast; good enough. And makes very few mistakes; like Sofia Kenin.  Strong on both wings, in and out shots were good too.

So G began to lose composure; later began to send the balls long. And Cici even began to make 1st serves from the 2nd lol.

While trailing 2-3 in the 2nd G got broken, and that was that, left my seat. Once Cici gets the lead she's 'loathe' to relinquish it(the so-called killing instinct), so..

Still was watching a bit later standing, facing the sun(ugh); didn't watch till the end though.

Anyway a tall girl came up and stood right next to me; at first thought she looked like Ashley Lahey lol, but seemed different and taller; I think it was Kalashnikova, not sure though.

Soon the Canadian duo came up, then Gibbsy joined 'the fray' and chatted with Dabrowski. It was becoming too crowded haha so left to watch other matches(but was there? I think I just birded the pond area behind stadium 1 lol. Sometime later a player came by to sit behind me, I think it was Glushko, not sure, anyway she was with her coach so I left to give them privacy).

ROYG def. CE

Saw both for the 1st time, so couldn't miss this one. Little did I know that they would team up to face the 2nd seed dbls Canadian duo lol.
Royg was the bigger hitter, hit quite flat and aggressively. Ce was probably a quintessential claycourter, looping a lot, showed variety, returned well..but R was just too powerful.

SAKKARI def. BERGER

So this is Berger. Quite tall, and frankly I was rather impressed with her. Moved decently for her size, so could return lots of S's shots. Could hit well, too, and seems to have variety as well. Was making lots of 1st serves, unlike Cici haha.
I still think those WCs weren't really deserved, because of course this is a WTA event, but all 3 juniors generally performed pretty well methinks, considering everything.
S once said sorry after benefitting from the net cord.  Just could watch a couple of games, then had to leave to watch other doubles matches.

MARIA/KALASHNIKOVA def. KOSTOVA/MELNIKOVA

Could watch a bit, it was pretty high level methinks. Watched K and Melnikova for the first time? Melnikova hit quite well. I think M/K's defense was very good.

BROADY/GIBBS def. GONCALVES/MARAND

Gibbsy was crap in the 1st haha. Couldn't return Sanaz's serve, and made some errors. She did lob well though. G/M were impressive; came to the net and volleyed quite aggressively. Sanaz as usual served well and tried to pass on Broady's side. I didn't expect Sanaz to do this well; kudos to her, and she sure does make UNC proud I guess! Couldn't watch later though because 3 doubles matches began to be played simultaneously, ugh. Had to watch KK/SABS match, then the postponed DABROWSKI/FICHMAN vs CE/ROYG.   Anyway as expected Broady played well methinks. In fact that's quite a win against the higher seed. Well I did say that they could go far, so..

CE/ROYG def. DABROWSKI/FICHMAN

Managed to watch from the early 2nd to the end.
Nice match, D/F defended quite well. Royg hit strongly and I think they generally were more solid in the end, made less errors. Lots of very nice points, elicited applauds from the audience, including moi. Oh by the way Sharon was everywhere haha. She once stood quite near me watching stadium 1 match. And she surpassed herself today by bouncing the ball before serving...I counted 18 times once! Haha.


GLUSHKO/PETERSON def. KK/SABS

I think the Bergers sat right in front of me; one was wearing a LMU cap? Is B going to that school.

Anyway, KK's volleys were good enough, and Sabs hit well too. But there were some limitations.

KK's serve of course. Reverted to DF mode. Sabs generally served well but she made some too.

They generally lobbed well, but Sabs in turn had trouble tracking the opponents' lobs(maybe height problem? Or didn't get fast enough). And their bh slices(including service return) were getting picked apart later on, got blatantly attacked. G/P poached well to clinch the 1st set, and although they made lots of errors including overheads, began to play more solidly later on. Watched practically the whole 1st set, then left at 2-1 or 3-1 in the 2nd to watch other doubles matches.

AHN def. JAKUPOVIC

Good match. J was a very good hitter, especially her bh was lethal; once even made a very nice jumping bh.  Kristie was making tantrums, but she maintained (or even upped) her aggression, and I think it paid off. Almost outhit J at the later stages.  Thought it was a pretty high level, both just hit so well(did Melnikova watch this?).
Not sure there's a big gap between Gibbs and Ahn, Ahn as I repeatedly say is such a talented hitter(doesn't lack variety either). Probably the drive quality itself, Ahn's I think is even better(Gibbs is better in other ways, methinks). Her injury in her 1st year at Stanford really hamped her development, but the talent is still there methinks. After all, Ahn and Gibbs both played WTA Carson while in juniors(so Stanford snagging both was just not fair, at all lol, as I repeatedly say)..