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Thursday, February 25, 2016

2016 ITF RSF day 5

Last try at Stonebridge trail at San Elijo, but again couldn't spot that Sage Thrasher. Wanted to see it up close and personal, but no luck. Instead California Thrashers proudly perched atop the bushes and sang lol. Still saw lots of birds, more than 30:
New finds there were Bushtits, Common Yellowthroat, Nuttall's Woodpecker, Tree Swallow, White Ibis, and Lincoln's Sparrow. Again watched Sora for about a minute.

 Was already late(birded 'late' starting from 6:36am!), and when I saw the length of the coast trail at San Dieguito westward, I gave up lol. It was already 9am, so it was pretty warm by then. So just birded around the area, still spotted like 15 species. I think I saw a Rail with a Snowy Egret, but too far, so not sure.  Did obtain a trail map at the kiosk there, so now I know how to approach the river mouth more easily. Should bird there tomorrow, along with the beach to spot that herd of Snowy Plovers.

Great Blue Herons were as usual nesting at the big Euc at the clubhouse.
At 12:53 pm, methinks I saw a American Kestrel soaring!
At 1:30, a Red-tailed Hawk was being mobbed by a crow!
And at 3:37 pm, toward the east from crt 3, sky high, were 5 Red-tailed Hawks soaring! Never seen that many in one place! Wonder what induced them to congregate.

===
 Surprise guest was Mr. Law! Nice to see him again. He inquired about Luisa(Stefani)!

Today's fashionistas:

Lao's headband,
and Cici's father's shockingly different shirt: he didn't wear the usual gray checkered one, instead wore a white one, I was shocked! What happened to that gray shirt lol.

Again copied the score from TF

Second Round
 (1)Shuai Zhang (CHN) d. (Q)Claire Liu (USA) 61 62

Liu was so good: even defended very well. The score doesn't do her justice. Plenty of intense long rallies. Her usual sharp attacks worked against Z as well. Z really had to step up to win those points.

Indy de Vroome (NED) d. Kristie Ahn (USA) 62 16 60

Ahn really is a good player: the ranking doesn't lie. Climbed up pretty quickly, after graduating. Just that Indy was in good condition, albeit the 2nd set, in which she was netting her fhs tons. Overall Indy was just too powerful. She once made a drop shot winner at the start of the match.

 Chloe Paquet (FRA) d. (3)Mandy Minella (LUX) 64 46 61

Chloe was really good: hit and moved well. First 3 matches, pretty much everybody served well(KK, are you reading this lol). After the match they kissed each other at the net, nice to see.

(5)Julia Boserup (USA) d. (wc)Hanna Chang (USA) 36 63 76(5)

Didn't really watch, but what a surprise. Is this a Peter Lucassen effect'? Julia was the bigger hitter but not by that much: C generally could rally with her, and was herself quite aggressive as well. She always had power, reigning in those unnecessary errors was the problem.

 Vania King (USA) d. (7)Alla Kudryavtseva (RUS) 46 62 63

King's net play was unstable at first, volleys weren't working very well, or she chose to approach at the wrong moments. But Alla's form went down from the 2nd, and methinks K was just a bit more solid. Attacked well, too.

Catherine Bellis (USA) d. (Q)Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN) 62 63

Both aren't that strong servers but methinks Cici attacked those better. And W DFed at gp later in the 2nd set. Cici even made a crucial drop shot later in the match.
Again, Cici's defense was so good, W just couldn't outhit her. And W in turn had trouble handling Cici's aggression.

Wonder why W approached the net that often: because she couldn't gain initiative in drive rallies? The result wasn't too good: had trouble reacting to Cici's sharp and high-speed drives.

 Asia Muhammad (USA) d. (JE)Sofia Kenin (USA) 36 63 63

Too bad I missed the latter 3rd, but Kenin still does play IW PQ, so..
Tight all the way. Kenin was more solid but she had trouble against Asia's aggression, serve and drives.
It's probably the first time I haven't seen Kenin's father by the way: I do think I glimpsed him a couple of days ago, but not sure lol.

(wc)Raveena Kingsley (USA) d. (LL)Francoise Abanda (CAN) 64 64

Quite tight, but K was just a bit better. Pretty HQ match methinks, K's bhs were lethal: A did well to return those.

 (1)Muhammad/Townsend (USA/USA) d.  De Vroome/Sanchez-Quintanar (NED/ESP)

So impressed with CSQ's touch!! D doing well(and she did well, too: those monstrous serves and drives!) was not enough: CSQ had to play well too, and boy she did! Some of her defensive shots were positively orgasmic lol: such great reflex and skill! When her form went down in the 2nd, that led to A/T surging ahead. Such a HQ match. This much played simultaneously with the below match and the gap in level was..lol.

 Bellis/Cako (USA/USA) d. Christian/Lao (USA/USA)

The quality was..not very good. Probably the least HQ match of the 4 matches.

I couldn't stifle my laughter, no offense, but couldn't help it. By God what happened to KK's serve, I've never seen anyone struggle so hard. KK is a weak server but this was just too much:  Serves couldn't even touch the net. Oh man...so later she resorted to serving underhand, and that was better lol.
AND the match was tight, so you can imagine the quality. Maybe KK's 'monstrous' serve affected everybody haha. I mean these are all good dbls players, KK was college doubles queen, Lao and Cako just won Surprise 25k together, and Bellis won Midland doubles: or was that all Neel :p

Lao's passing shot attempts against B/C's net rushes were not good: sailed long(I remember Embree's net rushes working well against her at WAATC sgls semi). KK's high bh volleys were unstable at times. Another funny moment was when KK's volley rolled back to her lol(so won that point).

As usual KK/Lao defended overheads generally well. But dunno why they chose to drive against Cici: better to avoid her altogether, make her irrelevant, to make her impatient. But of course easier said than done. The result was Cici passing well, either piercing the middle or making a sharp angled drive winners. Lao netted bh volleys at the last moment, trying to return Cici's high paced drives.
Lao once made a bh volley while jumping, a pretty difficult shot methinks.

(3)Pegula/Zhao (USA/CAN) d. Burgic Bucko/Wong (BIH/USA)

Thankfully this match wasn't moved, so could watch a lot of this last match. B again showed her fabulous defense and passing shots: along with W's usual finesse at net, could make the match competitive.

Hibi/Min (JPN/USA) d.  (2)Kuwata/Okuno (JPN/JPN)

Pretty tight all match. K/O's defense was really good, and they poached well. So H/M had to play well to win this: H's poaching and M's driving.

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