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Thursday, February 23, 2017

2017 ITF RSF Day 5

Tomorrow will be the last day here for me. Plan to bird La Jolla Cove, hope I can spot at least Wandering Tattler, and some spectacular bird like Jaeger, Booby or Frigatebird!

Shots of the day;

Kenin's slice
Sebov's in and out drive
MLDB's solid serve
Stefani's awesomeness lol

Second Round

(1)Kayla Day (USA) d. Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) 76(3) 61

Pro players have obligation to provide high level play for us fans. It was good while it lasted, but evidently Dani is on the cusp of retirement. Just horrible performance, spewing errors after rallies. Even made a basic drive volley error when she opened up the court.
Variety, hit and miss. Drop shot was at times effective, but approaches got passed from time to time.

Evidently Day's defense is on a whole different level, say compared to Stefani(who's actually one of the best defenders in Div. I). While Stefani couldn't sustain the rally and spewed the ball wide after some exchanges, Day could prolong the rally, long enough for Dani to break down. And her drives were good enough.

And serve, of course. As I said, her biggest weapon.

I guess we were just fortunate to watchi Dani at all here.

(5)Mayo Hibi (JPN) d. Chloe Paquet (FRA) 62 75

Paquet rallied, serving well and attacking, but overall Mayo was just a bit more solid. It's always a joy to watch Mayo play, with her sharp fh and excellent variety.

(Q)Maria Sanchez (USA) d. (wc)Alexandra Sanford (USA) 36 62 64

Maria was dire at first, but managed to recover. Movement was sluggish, had trouble reacting to Alex's drive pace(which was enormous), net approach timing was suspect, serve was unstable...but all got better later on.

Began to backpedal well, could prolong the rally, attacked when the opportunity presented(as I said her bh was the best in college)..eventually was just a bit more solid. Also served solidly later on.

Alex certainly can produce enormous pace, but methinks lacked patience. Netted a lot. Probably Maria's experience prevailed.

(Q)Katherine Sebov (CAN) d. Renata Zarazua (MEX) 64 61

Kat played smartly, with great execution. Was prepared for prolonged rallies, so was patient, and moved Z effectively around. Especially her in and out shots were pure gold. 1st serve wasn't bad either.  Z throws the racquet into the air when frustrated, way tamer than others who tend to throw the racquet haha(Paguet for instance!).

(SE)Caroline Dolehide (USA) d. Danielle Rose Collins (USA) 75 63

Errors cost Dani the match, which includes DFs.
Caro probably produced a bit higher pace on her drives, but Dani could construct points nicely, using angles effectively. Probably scored a bit more winners than Caro, methinks. And she really is a decent mover, hence could also prolong the rallies(Caro netted the ball quite a lot).
Variety wasn't bad either, actually pretty good, making quite a lot of approach volley winners.
But. At crucial points, made errors, some at net(netting a drive volley, netting a drop shot at net), and some drive errors when she had open looks.
Also, serve. At first she was serving quite well, even acing some, and finishing strong at gamepoints. It was Caro at first who was serving unstablely. But later on, especially in the 2nd, Dani began to falter, committing quite a lot of DFs.
And, just could not effectively, consistently return Caro's serve, many returning long. So eventually Caro won the serve duel, and that was probably the decider.  Also sliced a lot, not ineffective methinks.

(4)Sofia Kenin (USA) d. (Q)Anhelina Kalinina (UKR) 63 16 63

Great match. AK really is a heck of a hitter. Beautiful, even.  From that great form, could produce monstrous pace. Probably scored like twice the winners than Sofia.
Also, could move really well. Could actually return tons of Sofia's canny shots painting the sidelines, that was mucho impressive as well(anybody saying Sofia is a pusher doesn't know tennis lol; Sofia's uncanny ability to produce width with seemingly little effort is such a joy to watch). Dare I predict good things from her in the future.

You really have to hand it to Sofia. Withstood AK's relentless barrage, an herculean feat. Especially her bh slices; it was absolute gold. Against AK's bullet drives(especially bh), no less. Many others would've botched the slice attempt trying to handle the pace; Sofia, no problema. Could slice quick enough, and the slice itself was top notch quality, sailing low and deep, not giving AK easy looks to finish.  Many should envy Sofia's skill-set, like her slice and drop shot.

So in the end, it was AK who crumbled, even her bh. Also, serve. I've noticed AK's unstable serve in her previous matches, and it was probably her bane; Sofia was probably a bit more solid in that department.

(8)Michelle Larcher de Brito (POR) d. (JE)Claire Liu (USA) 64 75

Liu played well, actually. Could rally with MLDB, no small feat. Difference from Hantu Day match; MLDB was in-form, Dani wasn't.
My first 'MLDB experience' was at 2009? Carson WTA; she was DFing like crazy then lol.
No mas. Solid serving! Hence there were very few breaks in this match, which were all Liu's methinks. At crucial moments MLDB attacked Liu's serve well.

Liu didn't have much opportunity to approach the net as her wont, because MLDB didn't let her lol, being her usual relentless self, pinning Liu at the baseline. And, passed well on some of Liu's approaches.

Bianca Andreescu (CAN) d. (Q)Chanelle Van Nguyen (USA) 64 62

Forgot to mention this but hitting while backpedalling seems second nature to Bianca lol, in her 1st match.
VN tried, not bad actually, but eventually, Bianca was probably just a bit better. More powerful, and managed to pierce VN's oustanding defense, no mean feat.

Gordon/Hibi def. Ianchuk/Marand(Meelis haven't updated the doubles results yet)

Michaela's weak returns got pounced countless times lol. Her volleys, hit and miss. And Mayo tried too much to cover the net, resulting in her errors.
But still, in the end, Mayo's net presence definitely was crucial to the win, and Michaela managed to defend the baseline just enough to ensure the win. Again passed quite well at crucial moments, and managed to win some rallies.
They were probably just a bit more solid from the baseline; I/M committed drive errors especially Ianchuk.

Kenin/Stefani def. Cristian/Von Deichmann

Luisa won the ace battle against KVD, dominating the net, flying like a bee lol. CVD definitely underperformed, but you have to hand it to Luisa, who was superb at net, whether offensively or defensively. Also served really well today, another crucial factor.
Kenin was as usual, rock solid. Even could return some difficult balls with great racquet manipulation.

Day/Dolehide def. Chang/Kobelt

Was actually real impressed with C/K. Sophie was equally good at net and at the baseline, and Kobelt had excellent touch at net. She actually held her service games.
That said, they also committed some errors, and just could not break Day and Dolehide(they broke very few, once or twice methinks).

Kalinina/Scholl def. Wacnik/Zarazua

W could produce monstrous pace on her drives, and Z was quite good at net. Scholl really shined in this match, showing great touch and reflex at net. AK's drive were also quite effective.

9:23pm, done!

After tomorrow, next match I'm covering will be at UCLA, against Pepperdine on Sunday. Hope it doesn't rain, nowadays it rains a lot at the LA area in the weekends lol.

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