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Saturday, March 25, 2017

2017 ITF ISC 3/25 recap

So I was waiting to get a haircut(more like a shave to prepare for the desert heat! One of the reasons I left early, also to avoid the horrendous traffic; still had to endure it, ugh), and picked up the only magazine, Vogue. 'Encountered' Sharapova interview, but didn't have time to fully read it.

Forgot to mention this but a few days ago, at the parking lot at the venue, saw a bumper sticker on a car saying 'Hilary in jail 2017' or something. Typical NRA member and such lol(Arizona plate!). But it's probably more likely that that fraud Trump will face jail..haha.

I bought a Westbrook jersey/t shirt at Ross! Was looking for a OKC cap, but it'll do. :)
Just checked Colette's Twitter and BJK was there??! Apparently my hawk-eye has its limits lol.

Birded the venue leisurely for a little more than an hour, starting from the parking lot, through Dominguez Nature Preserve just south of court 8, and back to the lot(there's a dirt trail surrounding the perimeter, leading to Avalon Blvd). An adult male Mallard was resting on the asphalt lol, literally a 'sitting duck', wonder what was the matter with him! And there was a suitable habitat for Wilson's Snipe, a marshy area inside the Preserve; only could spot another male Mallard though. Aside from a Northern Flicker and a Black Phoebe, same birds I encountered at the tennis courts. Plenty of Yellow-rumped Warblers at the Willows on the north side along Avalon. Oh spotted a Barn Swallow over the parking lot, that was a good one :)

Scores by juki from TF(faster than ITF)

SF
(1)Taylor Johnson (USA) d. (11)Hurricane Tyra Black (USA) 75 63

Was concentrating on the below match, but it wasn't an easy win. B had no problem rallying and used her variety to good effect, moving SJ around.
But SJ served well, and powered through. One impressive moment was her holding her service game by making a very difficult bh dtl shot on the stretch; B put the ball in a very difficult position, almost painting the sideline, and SJ managed to reach it and return; not much pace but the direction was a killer, dtl, eliciting B's error.

(2)Carson Branstine (CAN) d. (9)Elysia Bolton (USA) 67(2) 76(2) 61

Both are my favorite players and honestly thought this match was more interesting, and it proved to be.
Elysia served well, hell of a placement. So could have a tight match in the first place; and her defense! Rallies were generally long, if you can believe it. Absorbed pace well by jumping back a little, and moved Car around, very efficiently. Also attacked quite sharply. So it was a tight match, just with the driving battle.

By then I was wondering when will Elysia initiate drop shotting(which Lauren Stein used to good effect during both tournaments, NPB and ISC); sure enough, as if she read my mind lol, she finally did it, at her lead? 4-3 on Car's serve. Resulted in a perfect winner. But overall didn't use it much, probably considering Car's good movement and anticipation(can be a sitting duck, drop shot, if performed poorly of course).

One problem for Elysia was, she couldn't hit a fh dtl. Even when the court was open, she elected to hit c/c where Car was standing lol. And, later on, leaked errors. You could probably say that she lost by committing errors. Not by getting overpowered. Elysia was that good! Once even applauded Car's ace! Winner count was probably similar.

But methinks Car contributed to Elysia committing errors; because she 'unleashed' her secret weapon, PUSHING! Haha. She does have that tendency, trusting her good movement and anticipation. Worked perfectly on that National 3/4PL singles match against Anisimova, and it worked today as well!

'Dared' Elysia to hit through her, and Elysia eventually, couldn't.
From the 2nd set TB, had enough of this match lol, and doubles just started, so concentrated on that 'shorter' doubles match! Not sure Caty was playing EB, and Arango surely won't, so thought they deserved my full attention :)

When I glimpsed from time to time Elysia was committing errors but was also punishing Car's lack of attention by blazing winners lol.

You know what I was thinking while watching this match; 'USC is fucked' *repeat* lol. Elysia deserves full praise for making this match ultra competitive; she really could've won this match, no mistake!  Also enjoyed Car's endless tantrums, haha.

And to think that Peyton with Salma defeated Elysia/Nicole doubles. Elysia is the reigning EB G18 doubles champ FYI(with Lommer). I'm really not hyping Peyton! Haha.

Ellie naturally? watched this match. In fact the Addidas trio watched this match together, Ellie, Caty and Natasha! Nicole too methinks.

===

DOUBLES

Semifinal

juki didn't post it, ITF did;

Carson BRANSTINE (CAN) / Ellie DOUGLAS (USA) [1] 6-2 6-1 Hurricane Tyra BLACK (USA) / Imani GRAHAM (USA) [7]

Did not want to wait long(Boys matches were yet to end), and as I said was dreading the traffic, so just headed home. Thought B/D wound win anyway.

Emiliana ARANGO (COL) / Elizabeth MANDLIK (USA) [5] 6-4 4-6 [10-7] Caty MCNALLY (USA) / Natasha SUBHASH (USA) [2]

Shockingly Caty also performed the 'leg-thru'..!! Haha.
Heck of a match, was looking forward to this one and they didn't disappoint! Should I award the Player of the Day again to Elli? :) Since M/S couldn't stop her efficient poaching eventually. Nah, once is enough, Elysia deserves this one today :)

Elli's poaching is possible in the first place because of A's low and fast-paced drives. Really a heck of a hitter. Same class as Elli, class of 2019, and currently ranked #21 in the world(career high 14). So was the 3rd seed in singles after SJ and Car. Already turned pro I believe.

Seeing Caty and Natasha struggling against A's drives, actually thought Peyton did decently yesterday. Of course both Caty and Peyton were the youngest players yesterday and today on both doubles matches.

So, thought Natasha needed to step up, and she did in some aspect; poached and returned poaching attempts quite well. Caty of course poached efficiently as usual. They like Salma/Peyton yesterday, elected to approach the net, and it wasn't a bad tactic imo.

But Natasha just could not return A's serve..haha. Netted tons.
On the other hand, Elli was broken like 4 times in a row. Did DF some, but it was more M/N's fine plays. Serve of course could be better though, couldn't win easy points, although she's not a bad server per se.

It was really hard for M/N since they just could not win the drive battle in the first place. Elli also drove so well, flat. A like yesterday committed more errors, Elli was the more solid one. Anyway their drives, and their combined poaching, were just so good. A also defended very well at net.

M/N did not help themselves by making some errors. And A/M also just passed so well. M/N did too, so overall it was a tight contest.

Elli once showed her feeling by tossing the racquet demurely after making an error..haha. Again, verra composed!

Now should I visit there again to watch the Finals, or should I watch QFR singles at IW. I'm leaning towards Carson again, despite the horrendous traffic on the way back, but we'll see? :)

Oh I think Colette is using Canon EOS Rebel! With an additional lens or something. Envied her of course, I could take much better bird pics with that..haha.

Tennis Mecca Midwest was prominent today what with Elysia, Caty, Colette and Ken(Thomas, Radiotennis)!  
Well So. Cal does have the Enfant Terribles, Car and SJ.  Was looking forward to that fateful match between them friends, and they made it. Should be one heck of a match, with plenty of blazing winners!

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