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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

2017 ITF NPB 3/14

The surrounding seemed familiar..then I remembered; WTT!! Was it there I watched Hingis(after Bouchard or Pliskova, haven't been to it though).

The fog was EXTREME. LA Basin has been 'Londonized' lol, incessant rain and now fog! So Huntington Central Park was a dud, not that I had much time to bird in the first place. Umpire told me it was the same yesterday, and it even invaded once more in the afternoon lol. Not today though, thankfully.

The venue was actually quite nice; especially liked that it was OPEN, like Mesa(Gene Autry). So could watch on the baseline side. Biszantz does have a verandah but the weather(temperature), can't beat Irvine(Claremont is just damn too hot! It being inland I suppose). Quite cool.

Suspiciously 'Canadian-looking' girl spotted, only from the back; it indeed was her! Later was with Riley and Ryan, listening to Lauren. Later saw her pass by with her knee iced(practiced?). I think I saw 'the Peruvian' too, not sure though lol.

Kylie McKenzie indeed is turning pro. So from the class of 2017, already 3 and COUNTING. I feel sorry for Mr. Blackman, why did he make such a hasty comment;

From TRN
Part of our being successful is to look for ways to widen the pathway for players who can be come elite players, top 100, top 50, top 20"

Maybe except for Dolehide every top player will turn pro lol.

Too tired so won't really consult the notes, maybe will add some later.

Coach Martin of UCLA came by later. A guy wearing a UVA cap was watching..was it Wu vs Goel(not UVA coaches, I think I would recognize their faces lol)?

2nd Round
Salma EWING (USA) [1] 6-2 6-2 Sonia TARTAKOVSKY (USA)
  Jolene COETZEE (TPE) 6-2 Retired Carmen CORLEY (USA)
Jessie Jiaxin GONG (CAN) [10] 1-6 6-2 6-3 Margaret OWENSBY (USA)
Kelly CHEN (USA) 6-1 6-1 Camila ORDONEZ (USA)

Katie VOLYNETS (USA) [4] 6-2 6-2 Julia DEMING (USA)

Good match. Julia's defense and variety was good enough, so plenty of long rallies.

Mei Xu WU (CHN) [16] 6-1 6-0 Aanya GOEL (USA)

Skyler Marie Grace GRISHUK (USA) [9] 6-2 7-5 Elvina KALIEVA (USA)

Marquee match so concentrated on this for a long time.
Impressed with both. Haven't seen Kalieva at all, and Grishuk only once or twice.
K was the taller one and had really nice fh form. Could generate quite a pace. Maybe a higher ceiling? Movement wasn't bad either.

Skyler seems already like a finished product lol. Can't find a blatant weakness. Really moves well, returns properly, has variety, and definitely can attack, sharply. Saw some nice point construction(Tennis IQ). Mentally more composed than Elvina as well(Elvina dropped the racquet rather often!).

Both being young points were long, and they could also rally all day. Seem to have good fundamentals, both. Really think it was a high quality match, glad I came by if only to watch this.

Cali JANKOWSKI (USA) 6-3 6-1 Georgia DRUMMY (IRL) [7]

Drummy wasn't bad at all. As tall as Cali, and could generate quite a pace. So both seemed to be exchanging winners. The one-sided score just means that Cali is too good now. She really is an elite hitter, no doubt about it.

Peyton STEARNS (USA) [5] 6-0 6-7(4) 6-4 Danielle WILLSON (USA)

When I arrived Peyton already won the 1st set lol. Went to 3rd, means the points were short, and it was indeed so. Both good hitters, so an understandable score. Some of Peyton's drives were..quite impressive, but I've already mentioned her exceptional hitting ability.  She seems to push on her bh side though, so got punished by Dani haha. Drop shot too, too high so got pounced.

Shakhnoza KHATAMOVA (UZB) 6-1 6-7(4) 6-2 Amy HUANG (USA)
Jennifer GADALOV (USA) 6-1 6-1 Jaedan BROWN (USA)

Charlotte OWENSBY (USA) 7-6(6) 6-1 Britt PURSELL (USA)

Couldn't really watch much but Britt was committing errors in the 2nd. O not only hits well, fh slice also seems good.

Nikki REDELIJK (USA) 7-5 6-4 Jordan HARRIS (USA) [8]

Last match to finish. It was only the 2nd set??! Lasted way over 2 hours methinks, luckily could watch the last portion. Jordan hits flat, and can inject pace effortlessly. But too many errors. Nikki was definitely the more solid one. Fila girl(was she already last year).

Lauren STEIN (USA) [12] 6-1 6-0 Alexandra NIELSEN (CAN)

At first watched this but couldn't tell who was who, sorry Lauren lol. Soon left to watch other matches.

Charlotte CHAVATIPON (GUM) [13] 3-6 6-4 6-2 Jenna DE FALCO (USA)

Could watch later, 3rd set. C looks and hits like Caro Xie(what is she doing nowadays). Older than Jenna methinks? She's playing well recently according to TRN. So C could dictate rather effortlessly, but Jenna held on, returning well, hence the long match I guess.

Imani GRAHAM (USA) [2] 6-3 6-4 Rena LIN (USA)

Too bad couldn't watch this. Graham must be pretty good. Actually this was one of my marquee matches but just could not quite find the time to watch this lol. Instead I saw G in doubles, so..

2nd Round
Salma EWING (USA) / Peyton STEARNS (USA) [1] 6-2 6-4 Charlotte OWENSBY (USA) / Margaret OWENSBY (USA)

The sisters weren't really bad. But the #1 seed too good. I've mentioned Peyton's doubles prowess last year at..was it National or EB. She even defends well at net.

Jennifer GADALOV (USA) / Jessi MULJAT (USA) 6-2 6-3 Tara MALIK (USA) / Hikaru SATO (JPN) [7]

Jen stop toying with your hair. Haha. Nice to see her again. Same, terrific reflex and hence good defense. Jessi volleyed well methinks, but overall match, a tad too many errors from both sides. Break-fest methinks. Jen could send the ball quite sharply, volleying.

Imani GRAHAM (USA) / Lauren STEIN (USA) [3] 6-2 4-6 [13-11] Marcella CRUZ (USA) / Nikki REDELIJK (USA)

One of the marquee matches naturally and it didn't disappoint.
I did not know that Lauren was so good at net. Terrific actually. Very good defense at net(some of those were worthy of the Play of the Day). And her bh is now also very good, on par with her fh. Getting better..!
G also volleyed well so you would've thought they would cruise to the win, but G's serve return was crap haha. Couldn't return well at all(finally made 2 at TB, one a nice slice return). And, both Cruz and Nikki served well, and both also poached well.

In the end G/S were a tad more solid(G's drives lacked pace but the course was good enough that it didn't allow easy poaching), and Lauren's aggression paid off(those drives..!). Hereby I announce Lauren as the Player of the Day. Congrats!

Rose DICKSON (USA) / Camila ORDONEZ (USA) 7-5 4-6 [10-5] Halla ALAJEELY (IRQ) / Courtney SWIFT (USA)

Too bad couldn't watch Swift.

Emilee DUONG (USA) / Rena LIN (USA) 6-1 6-3 Lindsay HUNG (USA) / Cali JANKOWSKI (USA)

When I saw Rena was making errors and Cali's drives were causing all sorts of trouble(Duong once couldn't even return it, swinging too late. Cali's drive motion is fast). Hung also wasn't bad. Then why was it finished so soon haha.

Carmen CORLEY (USA) / Ivana CORLEY (USA) 6-2 6-3 Jordan HARRIS (USA) / Alyssa MAYO (USA) [4]

Couldn't watch much, too bad. Who's going to Oklahoma though, Carmen or Ivana. Not sure I saw Mayo before, seemed good enough.

Georgia DRUMMY (IRL) / Mei Xu WU (CHN) [6] 6-1 6-1 Katherine H T NGUYEN (USA) / Danielle WILLSON (USA)

D/W were just a bit better.

Skyler Marie Grace GRISHUK (USA) / Katie VOLYNETS (USA) [2] 6-3 6-1 Renata GABUZYAN (CAN) / Yasmin MANSOURI (CAN)

The losers were quite good actually. Shorter player had nice variety, and the taller player hit quite well, hanging with Katie.

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