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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

2017 IW 3/8 recap

Just damn too tired right now, even after using the spa. I'll give an hour before hitting the pillow.

A guy yesterday night when I was waiting for the light, close at my car, said something to me, but I wasn't wearing an hearing aid so just mumbled and got on my way lol.

Thousand Palms again, and only started 10 minutes earlier today lol. I mean I did wake early at 5:15 but had to have a hearty breakfest at McDonald's, since I'm only having snacks at the venue itself. I could skip it like I did on the day I birded Salton Sea all day on Sunday, but I do think roaming the vast IWTG in the heat all day is more..strenuous lol.
Anyway the same, only difference was spotting a singing Bewick's Wren. A woman hiker asked me about the Great Horned Owl at McCallum and told her I couldn't find it either. It is reported, like last year, but just can't find it. California Fan Palm is such an effective hiding place.
Human footprints were all over the trails, on the marsh area on the boardwalk, and on the outer trail as well. Is Tarzan here or what.
The sign at McCallum made a critical error; it mentioned Northern Shrike, which doesn't live here. Loggerhead Shrike is the correct species.

I should just bird Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monuments Visitor Center to spot that Black-throated Sparrow, but dunno when it does open(Thousand Palms you can park at other area and enter the preserve). Just checked and it's 8am.

International Woman's day? But it felt more like a Clapping day lol. First started with Danka Kovinic's side, man that was loud! 

Then Vesnina or Makarova's mom? She began? to clap loudly sitting on the steps into the stadium later in the 2nd set(in fact that's exactly the same spot where Sabine Lisicki was shooed away by the security..was that last year? This time she sat there with 'impunity' lol, so surely that would be an improvement for the tournament this year!).

Watching the most prominent recent ISC graduate Belinda Bencic at stadium 2, reminisced about her side clapping loudly during that match against Brooke Austin at court 3 at Carson haha.

Errani's side was quite loud as well.

Watching Murray and Wawrinka having a practice match; that's surely a nice service for the fans, especially for poor peasants like us who can't 'afford' the stadium 1 ticket lol. I remember Rafa's fan shouting 'thank you Rafa' for playing doubles at stadium 3(which I heartily concurred, was that 2010).  The ultimate professional is Michael Jordan, who said he plays every match his very best not to disappoint young fans who paid a lot to watch him play. His 'Flu game' is justly famous. 
Related to that is the notorious 'Tanking'. Maybe that's one of the reasons why tennis is 'dying'.  I do think top players are receiving too much money. How about halving those and distributing it to lower ITF events. Top players earn too much money so might not have the motivation to improve their game lol.

What's Andrey Rublev's ranking. Fellow junior player of the year Bellis is ranked way higher. Which means that current WTA generation is rather crap. The Williams still dominating and all that.

Was watching Pliskova vs Garcia practice match at PC8, when my eye riveted on a player at PC6; RARA AVIS, Venus Williams!  Spotting her here is like, in birding terms, spotting a White Wagtail at Orange County lol. Mega rarity, thus a major event! LONG legs. Her bh takeback was kinda weird.

Stefan Kozlov, Bag check time! Spotted him at the lawn, filming it. He seemed rather grumpy, haha. Hope he plays at outer stadium, I need to root for him in person(since I don't go to stadium 1, and this year's ticket explicitly mentions the fact on the ticket).

Shot of the day; probably 3 players'. Maria Sanchez's insane half volleys, Martina Hingis' 'The Shot(you know my you tube video, filming in her comeback match at WTA Carlsbad)', Belinda Bencic's similar bh dtl.

Best match, probably Doi vs Kontaveit? Errani vs Minella was also quite intense. Oh of course Kalashnikova/Sanchez vs Makarova/Vesnina.

Golf cart 4 seemed to have an engine problem; staffs were trying to fix it(during Stosur/Zhang vs Irigoyen/MML).

'I like it raw'. What, Lauren, haha. Fortunately caught her practice match with Kasatkina. Later also by chance stumbled upon Radwanska vs Muguruza. Also watched a bit of Tsurenko vs Svitolina.


I don't hype young players. That much. Really. But if I was hyping someone, it would be CiCi #Bellis. MORE ||


https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/07/sports/tennis/cici-bellis-bnp-paribas-open.html?_r=0

All those hypes for nothing. Didn't she practice with Schiavone to prepare for Flipper.
To be fair, I did 'hype' her too whenever I watched her play. I do think she's one of the most talented youngsters(especially American) in recent years. 'The Chosen One'.  Too bad I couldn't even watch her practice match here. I did glimpse her practicing at stadium 5 early in the morning. Maybe I'll get lucky and get to watch her practice match at least in the next couple of days(Friday Mar. 10 is my last day here).

As I said didn't really bother watching stadium 1 matches, and frankly was too busy watching other matches in person at the 'outer rim'. Only Gibbs match, watched a couple of games at the start of the 2nd set in the shaded tent area at stadium 2, when there was a lull.

Only watched the last game or so of the 1st set between Cirstea and Niculescu. Sorana was attacking pretty well then.

Too bad missed Larsson vs Giorgi. There were many doubles matches going on at the same time, so just couldn't take the time to head to stadium 2 then.

First watched the first 3 games of King/Shvedova vs Babos/'Karaoke' Pavs. B/P played well then.

'Reformed? brat'. Unmistakable power. Very strong on both wings, fh was quite formidable. Danka really held her own well. And she served well, compared to Brat. I guess it was a pretty good quality match overall, aside from Brat's serve haha. She mostly complained to her mom?, nothing special.

Got to watch Stosur doubles this time lol. Last few years, just couldn't get in. EVERY doubles matches were chock full. I was fortunate to use my 'intimate' knowledge of the 'terrain' to sneak in to get an unlimited view lol. As I said again and again, doubles is THE FAN FAVORITE. AND ITA is killing this. You can imagine my utter dismay.

Anyway that's Irigoyen, lefty, not bad. MML, pretty good, but Stosur was too good.

Only managed to watch the last game or so of Jurak/Rodionova vs Hlavackova/Peng. Rodio's racquet throw was probably the highlight!

Watched a lot of LAV/Liang vs Garcia/Pliskova so skipped the very last part to watch Davis vs Kasatkina practice match. Caro's net play left something to be desired..haha. Karo seemed to be carrying the team, but Caro did play better later on(hence won the 2nd set). Not sure I saw Liang before, very good.

So what was I doing during the 3rd set of Flipper vs Bellis(Bellis evidently did not pay attention to Corswandt's rant!

Corswandt
Why would someone replace awesome, patrician-sounding names like "Catherine Cartan" by a lapdog name like "CiCi"?

In recent interview she said she prefers Cici);

too busy raving about Maria Sanchez's insane volleys!
Started to watch from the mid-2nd set and Maria's net game was truly top level. Those insane half volleys; and she wasn't returning some puff balls. Choice poaching as well. Best bh in college, good enough. The last true #1 player for USC, made us Trojan fans proud. Both served well, so managed to catch up. And as I said? Vesnina/Makarova's mom began to clap hard.
But such aggressive approaches and half volley attempts are inherently risky, and could not always win those points. Still, that was just an impressive performance by Maria. I said she's becoming a doubles specialist, but didn't know she could be this good lol. Glad I came by to watch.

Watched a lot of Atawo/Xu vs Chan/Hingis. Martina sharp as usual, and was quite impressed with Chan.

Chirico vs Schiavone, managed to watch a bit of the start of 2nd. There was a time Louisa was getting overwhelmed by Krista(at ITF RM, she won that match though); has come far. Condition seemed pretty good, could attack the corners at will.

Bencic vs Pirru, watched from the later 2nd, Belinda's condition seemed very good. As I said bh dtls, and in and out shots, just everything seemed clicking. Controlled lots of points with her aggression.
Now I was watching it and somebody sneaked up beside me. I didn't turn my head to see who it was, was just absorbed in the match. But soon she went to down to the lower level and...she suspiciously looked like...you know who lol.

As I said Kontaveit vs Doi seemed a high level match, both matching aggression with aggression. K continuously moves, thus can also return well, not only attacking well. Watched most of the 1st set.

Last match to watch, Errani vs Minella. Mandy was quite aggressive, and she really could've won. But not quite potent enough to ensure the win, and I guess E's variety was too good. And Mandy herself committed errors while attacking. Quite a competitive match.

Phew, already close to 12am. I guess I'll have to bird lightly tomorrow at Santa Rosa...



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