Tuesday, 9 June 2009
A Summer Day Out
Just back from a day out at the newly renamed ‘Aegon Classic’ WTA event at the Priory Club in Edgbaston, Birmingham. I’ve been for the past few years, it’s a friendly and informal tournament well worth the £15.00 ticket.
I left home this morning with low expectations – a dismal weather forecast and the worst order of play line-up I’ve had at Edgbaston – tomorrow’s a much stronger day. But managed to get (nearly) a full day’s tennis – rain stopped play around 5.00pm, and I saw a couple of decent games.
I placed four modest bets before I set out to give a little extra interest , backing Sania Mirza, Melinda Czink, Alla Kudryatseva and Maria-Elena Camerin. Two wins, two suspended whilst ahead. I also backed Steve Darcis and Nicholas Kiefer elsewhere (both won), so the tickets and the Pizza Hut tea on the way home were both paid for.
Started the day watching Sania Mirza play Tatiana Poutchek on the show court. Poor fayre, Poutchek is having a car crash of a season and had the expression of a loser throughout the contest. Mirza missed most of last season with injury and looked below her best, struggling with her serve and often tentative. I saw a little of Anne Keothavong in the following match, and I would be surprised if she doesn’t beat Mirza tomorrow ( check my ‘Camille Pin’ post before parting with any cash on my tips ).
I then spent a little time watching the outer courts. Random thoughts :–
· Carly Gullickson is a stone heavier than a professional full-time athlete should be,
· Melinda Czink looks a good player,
· Petra Cetkovska made very hard work of beating the barely-moderate Stephanie Foretz,
· Yulia Fedossova was beaten in 3 sets, but she certainly gives the ball a whack.
Finished the day watching Alla Kudryatseva play the British number 9, world-ranked 365 Naomi Broady. The Brit is 19 years of age, 6’2”, and was playing her first WTA tour match. And she gave Kudryatseva a fright, taking the first set, leading 5-3 in the second, and then 3-1 in the third. Sadly, the nerves took hold at the vital moments, and I’d expect the Russian to win from 5-7, 7-6, 5-4 when the match resumes tomorrow. Broady may be worth monitoring, she has a huge serve which could give some higher-ranked ladies a few problems.
I caught a glimpse of Miss Sharapova on the practice courts. She should win the tournament again – it’s a weaker line-up than in previous years, and I can only see Schiavone or Tanasugarn giving her a contest on her way to the final.
And the Pepperoni Feast was dead good.