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Qualifying Day at the Rogers Cup 2009, Part II

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At the main practice courts, I didn’t immediately recognize the player on the near court, but it just took one vocalisation on one point and I knew it was Viktoria Azarenka. She finished up shortly thereafter, and my wife and daughter got their hats signed on her way out.

Viktoria Azarenka

Back at the grandstand, Sania Mirza was playing Canadian wild-card entry tournament winner Marie-Eve Pelletier. When we arrived there, I was shocked to see Pelletier had won the first set 6-2. We watched Mirza win the second set. It wasn’t entertaining at all. In marked contrast to the Kirilenko match, it was mostly mindless ball-bashing, with few rallies of any length. Mirza was getting really irritated at the linespeople and chair umpire for their calls and non-overrules. In fairness, the linespeople really were atrocious—it would be nice if some of them didn’t get through qualifying, either.

Sania Mirza

Marie-Eve Pelletier

We returned to the main stadium, where Canadian Sharon Fichman was playing Ayumi Morita. We arrived in time to see Fichman win the first-set tie-breaker, and then watched a stultifying second set. The play was most long, but boring rallies (no one coming to net), far more errors than winners and no aces at all. The first eight games of the set were all breaks. After three straight holds, Morita broke to win the set. By this point, the time of the match was 2:01(!). The players were given a ten-minute heat break, and we fled for more entertaining tennis.

Back at the “feature” practice court, we saw Anna Chakvetadze hitting with Fran Schiavone. They were just finishing up their hour, as Aggie Radwanska and Agnes Szavay were doing some stretching to warm up, just outside the court. When the Aggies hit the court, their rallying was beautiful to watch. They started out hitting from half-court, but within a minute or two had moved back to full court. Sure, they were hitting the ball pretty much back to each other, but the long rallies of hard-hit balls were amazing to watch.

Anna Chakvetadze

Aggie R. Stretching outside the court, and on court

The amply-endowed and well-displayed Agnes Szavay. Dry, you really ought to check her out in New York. They’re She’s quite impressive.

As we were on our way out, we met a guy from our tennis club, who’s volunteering at the tournament all week. He’s a driver. He told us that on Friday evening, the drivers had gotten an “all hands on deck” call to the airport. Apparently, a flight from Cincinnati had just come in carrying a load of players—Ivanovic, Kutnetsova and others. They used to vans to transport Kuznetsova’s bags and entourage downtown, but he ended up driving Sveta herself in his van. He said she was VERY nice, chatting with him about Toronto, and inquiring about some player with the Blue Jays.

Sveta on court, practising with Carla Suarez Navarro

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  1. GVGirl's Avatar
    Martini, thanks for these updates! What other days will you be attending?
  2. aedra1119's Avatar
    Thanks, Martini! Great pictures! I especially love the one of Vika.
  3. patrick's Avatar
    Thanks for the updates. The Aggies do battle today!
  4. Martini4me's Avatar
    GVGirl, we have super-excellent seats for Friday afternoon. The weather forecast for tomorrow is not good (thunder-showers, 15 mm of rain), so they may be playing round of 16 and quarters on Friday. Of course, they're forecasting thundershowers Friday also, but only 1 mm of rainfall, so might not be more than brief interruptions.
  5. jjnow's Avatar
    Sveta actually looks fitter in a halter than she does in a regular top.