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Friday, February 24, 2017

2017 ITF RSF 6th day

As I said, final day for me.

Spotted a Scaly-breasted Munia at the San Dieguito Lagoon(didn't bother driving to La Jolla, got sick of morning traffic, and didn't want to increase my gas expense. Too bad since La Jolla is a de rigeur for the area birding. Oh well, maybe next time..), and that clinches it! Now one more than Orange County lol, 165 species! Saw 91 species during this tournament.
But hopefully I can spot that Rusty Blackbird at Centennial Regional Park, and Greater Roadrunner and Mountain Bluebird as well, at Upper Newport Bay Mute Interpretive Center area tomorrow.

Bid Sophie Chang safe travel back! Should've also mentioned that 'Umbrella incident' at EB lol. Thinking of making a nickname for her, regarding that Umbrella..'Belle de Jour' maybe?! (1968 movie featuring Catherine Deneuve)

Again score from Meelis

(1)Kayla Day (USA) d. (5)Mayo Hibi (JPN) 26 63 75

Mayo played so well yet basically handed the match over with..


Way better than Hantu in every department, maybe that killer one-shot isn't as good as Hantu, but knifing fh, serve, service return, defense, net approach timing, serve and volley, the ability to win the sustained rally..superb.

But dunno why she approached the net that often, it's a brave decision against a good passer like Day. All the more curious because she actually won quite a lot of long rallies against Day(ending in Day's errors).

I mean her approach timing wasn't bad, actually. But the execution itself? Quite suspect. Success rate...dunno, 35%?  Got passed tons by Day, or botched some. Especially botched some attempts at crucial moments.

Not only volley, later in the 3rd, drive, overhead, drive volley..just made error after error, it was painful to watch.

The more proactive player lost, bad for the game.
And, serve and volleyers both lost, Hibi and Sanchez.

(Q)Katherine Sebov (CAN) d. (Q)Maria Sanchez (USA) 67(5) 61 64

Maria moved well from the start, so the points were quite long. Maybe Maria had a bit more winners, mostly from that backhand drive, but similar overall.
Didn't approach the net too often like Mayo, but the success rate wasn't too high either, got passed some. Unstable serve didn't help either.
Both expressed dissatisfaction against the line calls.
Couldn't really watch much of the 3rd set because by then the doubles matches started.

(SE)Caroline Dolehide (USA) d. (4)Sofia Kenin (USA) 26 64 76(4)

Impressed with Caro. She's actually quite patient. Serve and drive, top notch. And really moves well for her size, that was a revelation for me lol. So like Kalinina, could return lots of Sofia's lethal drives painting the sidelines. Slice, on par with Sofia.

So at first Sofia was only having advantage on longer points(which ended in Caro's errors). But crucially, her serve was working. In the end, did not really lose the serve battle; so I was actually quite impressed with her serving. As I said she's not a bad server at all, but today's performance was impressive; made very few DFs, like one?

And, her drop shot. Persistently tried, and probably was effective in the end, considering Caro's size. Just fantastic execution, the ball starting to drop 'before' the net lol. Almost impossible to reach.

Respected Caro's firepower, so later on generally stayed way behind the baseline, whether receiving serve or driving.

She really doesn't falter much on rallies; just ultra solid, that's saying something, having to react against such strong hitters like Kalinina and Dolehide. As I said, she can absolutely handle pace.

One of the shots of the day was her usual 'insouciant' painting the sideline. Caro just cranked up the pace, the drive pace was murderous; what did Sofia do, she just put back, quite gentlely, painting the sideline. Induced Caro's FE. Caro did return lots of those, but also committed FEs trying to reach those. Some of Caro's weak returns Sofia finished with good net approaches(She really just does everything well, even net plays).

As I said, her ability to create width is second to none. She's not a type of player who will benefit from playing college, because she loves to PAINT the sidelines(she also could paint the baseline a lot, Caro returned those well).
But considering college's 'conservative' atmosphere, she'll likely become 'traumatized' by; 'play safe!' 'more spin!' 'when in doubt, call it out!'  Lol.

How about Dolehide; what can she learn from college, actually. She's already so good. She'll probably have to play lesser college players, whereas she'll have to battle equals or better players at pro circuit. Totally different. It'll be fortunate if she doesn't lose the aggressive instinct which is crucial for survival in the pros.  Well, Ena is uber-aggressive so maybe UCLA could be a good choice. Laissez-faire in the case of Caro? Just touching point construction and tactic? We'll see.

If we are to believe Martin Blackman(Colette's interview at TRN), USTA would 'advise' Caro to attend UCLA, no? But Bellis and Day already turned pro. Sanford is considering pro.  For now the evidence doesn't match Mr. Blackman's comment.

 Bianca Andreescu (CAN) d. (8)Michelle Larcher de Brito (POR) 62 61

A was just too good. MLDB had her share of winners for sure, but A was just too powerful. Surprisingly easy win..


Day/Dolehide (USA/USA) d. Kenin/Stefani (USA/BRA) 64 46 11-9

K/S had match point. Kenin returned Dolehide's serve, but returned weakly(or was it the next drive return); got poached by Day. Then they lost the next 2 points to lose the match.

Stefani dazzled at net as usual, defensively(that was 2nd sp, returning Dolehide's consecutive net attacks and finishing in a volley winner) and offensively, but her service return was dire haha. Could not return Day and Dolehide's serve at all, She even mishit their serve like 3 times lol(couldn't even touch it).  She actually did return well at TB though.

But that was not the only error from Stefani. Maybe tried to poach too aggressively like KK; so got passed by Dolehide who was patient enough to recognize Stefani's overeager poaching.

Again Dolehide's incredible defensive movement helped, and although she wasn't exactly winning the net duel against Stefani lol, eventually served well enough. Their serve is just too good, definitely helped in pinch.

Kalinina/Scholl (UKR/USA) d. (Q)Gordon/Hibi (USA/JPN) 63 75

I thought Kalinina's superior drive ability against Gordon would decide the match, but actually Scholl was the clincher. Not only did she play well at net, she actually passed quite well.
Hibi was hit and miss, brilliant net plays mixed with botched attempts. Gordon's drives as usual was attacked countless times lol(direction problem maybe, carelessly sending into the 'danger zone', middle of the court), but she actually could hold her own decently against Kalinina.
Kalinina also has decent touch.

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