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Friday, February 26, 2016

2015 ITF RSF Day 6

Last day for me.

Today birded even later, bit after 7. Cardiff State beach, and glad I did! Notable species were a Black Turnstone busily eating seaweed,




and just a bit south of it, 30 Snowy Plovers!!


SO cute!!! Never seen them so many, and they were just sitting on a high-tide line, not budging much even after being disturbed by passersby. Sat a bit apart from each other.

Sanderlings are easily spotted(those busybodies moving quickly to and fro on the exposed mudflats between the tides at the sandy beach), but still, a pic;



Then, San Dieguito Lagoon area, river mouth then the west part(Jimmy Durante/San Dieguito crossroads. A boardwalk goes east, and it connects with the coast trail all the way to McDonald's and beyond). Most ducks were at the bridge, but didn't go that far, since I was already late.

Usual shorebirds, including a female(brown breastband) Belted Kingfisher and some Grebes(Horned Grebe methinks)



A Great Blue Heron(the bird that are nesting at the Euc at the clubhouse) improbably perched on a high pole;



As a bonus, spotted an Osprey nest! High up on a pole(think they specifically made it for the Osprey to use).  Presumed female was nesting(heard a weird sound, never heard it before. Was it from the female, not sure), and later a presumed male flew and perched atop a small beam just above the nest! Grand.  :)






Great Blue Heron was carrying twigs to the nest at the clubhouse about 4:10. Earlier RTHA was again seen soaring, at least 2, and later a hawk(dunno which) was getting mobbed by two ravens.

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Amanda Fink came again and watched a bit. I chatted with Urbina and Ahn a bit about that NCAA final and Stanford recruits. That British player is supposedly really good.

Wonder why Amelia Herring was absent. She always attends these SD area matches, fellow Card's ones.

Cici's father 'upped the ante': this time wore a blue shirt! Was flabbergasted lol. I nickname him ' the Buddha': so...'demure', almost immobile! Unlike lots of parents who express emotions haha. To think of it he even looks a bit like a Buddha...!

MVP wore a Yosemite t shirt! Fellow nature lover, aren't I glad lol.

Quarterfinal

(1)Shuai Zhang (CHN) d. Indy de Vroome (NED) 62 63

Very intense match. Indy gave her all. Including drop shot: the last game or so was an absolute blockbuster. Her firepower could definitely trouble Z, but Z's drives were also sharp as hell. Could paint the sidelines at will. Indy generally served well but at crucial moments committed some costly DFs.
Zhang has had a rather tough draw, but is beating all of'em. Indy at times was making winner after winner in the middle of the 2nd set, but she weathered it out, attacking sharply to put Indy on the defensive.

Naturally? Indy's doubles partner CSQ rooted for her and Urbina was with her as well. Later even Ahn joined and clapped on Indy's fine plays..!

(5)Julia Boserup (USA) d. Chloe Paquet (FRA) 62 64

Didn't think there was that much difference. Julia maybe served a bit better, maybe hit a bit stronger. Chloe was pretty upset with the calls, but competed hard.

 Vania King (USA) d. Catherine Bellis (USA) 63 64

I know Cici's secret: why her defense is so good.

Backstep.  High level opponents can paint the baseline with high-pace drives. Many will just stand there and try to return: no dice.
Cici smartly takes a couple of backsteps in time: hence can return properly.

But what if you can't perceive opponents' depth of shot timely in the first place? And even if you know, what if your body can't follow. Athleticism, hand-eye coordination. Cici has it all. If that's not talent, dunno what is.

Conclusion? Step is everything, don't you think.

There you have it, my crack-pot theory lol.

Cici in turn can hit so deep:which troubled Wozniak much yesterday.

She's now even a decent server. Wins many easy points off it.

Then how did King win: by attacking. Especially her dtls were lethal. Could generally handle Cici's pace, and served well, too. Cici again showed great touch at times, for example drop shot, but eventually her fh went awry: first short then long.
At 3-3 or something in the 2nd, Cici nailed a sharp drive that opened up the court; fh dtl, then it's a winner.
Cici instead chose to send the ball c/c to where King already was; think King nailed a dtl winner or something.  Didn't Cici see that the court was open on her side, or, can even a talented player like Cici be afraid to hit a dtl. Maybe she just chose to hit in that direction, dunno.

King took her sweet time serving lol.
No bathroom break for Cici. Even if she loses the 1st, she just carries on.

Asia Muhammad (USA) d. (wc)Raveena Kingsley (USA) 46 64 64

Thought Raveena was a bit better, but Asia's aggression paid off methinks. Her serve worked throughout the match, and she was very aggressive, either driving sharply or approaching the net.  Raveena later in the 3rd rather imploded methinks, making UEs.
Thanks to Raveena losing this match, Asia had to rest for a while before playing doubles; hence my coming home late as well lol(also endured a hellish traffic even after 9, due to a traffic accident).

 Semifinal
(1)Muhammad/Townsend (USA/USA) d. Bellis/Cako (USA/USA) 61 63

Cici wore a red skirt. With a white shirt. That ugly Stanford color haha.
So two mega-talents met, but doubles is decidedly TT's realm lol. Just too good. Lightning poaches, monstrous overheads, soft touch..different level.
Cako made tons of errors(just like KK yesterday: had KK made a bit more poaches the outcome could've been different: yeah even considering that mega-handicap, her serve lol), but just that the opponents were too good. Cici's sharp drives were good enough though.

(3)Pegula/Zhao (USA/CAN) d. Hibi/Min (JPN/USA) 61 36 14-12

Forgot to add this but P hitting at the opponent at net was very effective yesterday. She today even applauded the opponent's fine play once. Hibi like Higuchi, is serving faster now. Before she took ages to serve haha.

Quite a high level. H/M's net plays were good enough to trouble P/Z. Tiebreaker was an absolute riot! Most spectators watched this, not Kingsley vs Muhammad singles match. Don't think it was just the location either.

People genuinely enjoy doubles! They even hollered between points, were totally absorbed in the match. Everybody was smiling and enjoying, Mayo's mom included!

AND ITA tries to kill this fun game(whereas in singles players get batshit crazy lol. Well some would like dramas and tantrums!). Not 'logical', at all.
I've said IW doubles matches are always jam-packed. Will be no difference this time.

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