Altenkirchen Final 2018

Title pic: Karolina Muchova | Bredeney ’16

Karolina Muchova’s tennis talent has made me heed her career for quite a time now. But who is this Harriet Dart?! Amazingly on a roll she was this year in Altenkirchen, beating Barritza and Amanmuradova in the quali and then Piter, Zaja and Minella in the main draw. Zanevska, Muchova’s opponent in the semifinal, retired very early and so the Czech will have her batteries charged well in today’s final which I am looking forward to watching, even with the in sunny situations unfavorably overexposed camera pictures.

Amazing comeback for the Brit in the first set from 1:4 to 5:4. Long service game Muchova to 5:5. 5:6. Dart smashing the racket thrice, almost running down a ball girl returning to her seat. Muchova, always calm and decent, never allowing herself any airs and graces, serving for the set. But it’s tiebreak. And the London girl gets it by 7-6(5). By her immature behavior she has me root though 100% for Muchova for the rest of the match.

Poor image quality. It would’ve been such an easy thing to simply adjust the aperture a little bit. Mr. Mihai, the tournament director, is such a perfectionist. Guess I’ll have to write him an email about that…

Dart breaks to 1-0 in the second in a quite swift game.
2-0. Long third game. Advantage Dart. Deuce #3. Adv Dart. 3-0. 4-0. Service Muchova to love. 4-1. Long game. 5-1. 5-2. 6-2. Well, ok. She’s young and will learn the human part as well later on, hopefully.

Daria@Dubai

How nice it was, when these new talents like Muguruza, Svitolina, Ostapenko etc joined the scene a few years ago. One of my favorites from the beginning was Daria Kasatkina. So talented, so fresh, so full of energy. Radwanska in two, Konta in three, Vesnina in two, Muguruza in three, not bad! Now she has the chance to win the Dubai title and I’m very much with her. Svitolina with her sort of easy two-set win against Kerber will be probably a bit fresher, but let’s see.

Will have to follow it by the live scores. DAZN, the broadcaster who has the monopoly for Germany, offers only German commentaries, and if you are used to the quality of the english ones it’s simply impossible to bear that abysmal standard (at least for me). Despite Graf and Becker Germany still is no tennis nation and these captains of the microphone (all men) think they have to be more entertainers than commentators creating at least 50% of the thrill with their words and voices. They talk as if one never has watched a tennis match before and in their comments they come up with such a bunch of often unnecessary details, always talking during the rallies, that it’s completely impossible to follow the momentum of the match itself. There is one guy, who should imho be banned completely. I’m wise enough not to mention the name. No comment at all would be an alternative, unfortunately also not available at DAZN. Muting entirely, which would be the only thing to do, is no fun at all. What a pity, that good old TennisTV.com doesn’t do WTA any more.

Well, ok. Daria fought, but obviously was too tired today. 4-6. 0-6. She’ll get some trophies in the near future. Fingers crossed.

Lena Rueffer – Altenkirchen

Altenkirchen – Wild card Lena Rueffer takes on #2 seeded Valentini Grammatikopoulou. A nailbiter tiebreak has just ended 7-6(14) for the German and it’s fun to watch. Lena with the better nerves. Since I always was busy shooting in the past during her matches I’m not 100% sure, but my feeling is, that her overall play and especially her serve has improved a lot since last year. A very strong, very calm, very proud, very decent, very nice and sometimes very angry person she is. If she should stick to her plans to study medicine after her tennis career I would give myself into her hands as a patient in complete trust. But let’s wish her a long and enjoyable tennis time first!

3:0 in the second, I’m amused! And she wins in style with an ace 7-6(14) 6-2. Congrats!

Manacor

Title pic: Katharina Gerlach with coach Jasmin Woehr/Bredeney ’16

ITF Pro Circuit – $15,000 Manacor (Mallorca)

11/02/18 (SF/F)

Looking forward to a sunny sunday. May the better Gerlach win*…

*Twice, please!
Am I partisan? Well…

The last two tourneys (part of her trip to all but sunny Florida) were of bad luck for the German who had to suffer first quali round losses twice in a row against tricky local heroine Amanda Rodgers in Orlando and Wesley Chapel (both to the same result: 2-6 4-6). These were the second and third event after she had to pause due to an injury she had suffered in a match in Castellon/Spain against her yesterday’s opponent. On the first tournament of that row in Daytona Beach she made it through to main draw #2.
So she can be content with her Manacor results so far. Of course she wants to get further now. But let’s hope that she is able to just enjoy the tennis. Everything else will come along with it. Or it won’t. But if you have managed to enjoy the playing, you’ve already won anyway, no matter, what happens next. Everybody knows it, but one cannot repeat that tiny little wisdom often enough. Following the career of this young gun for over two years now it’s really fun to see her developing not just technically, but mentally as well. She’s become such a fighter by now, at still very young age (in eight days she’ll turn twenty).

1.Set
15*:0. 30:0. 30:15. 30:30 df (double fault). 40:30. 40:40. 40:AD. 0*-1. The Spaniard with good length and angles and precise and effective shots.
2nd. 0:15*. 2nd. 15:15. 30:15. 30:30. 40:30. 2nd. 40:40. 40:AD. 0-2*.
0*:15. 0:30. 2nd. 15:30. 2nd. 15:40. 2nd. 30:40. 0*-3.
15:0*. 30:0. 40:0. 1-3*.
0*:15. 0:30. 15:30. 15:40. 1*-4.
15:0*. 30:0. 30:15. 30:30 df. 30:40. 40:40. AD:40. 40:40. 2nd. 40:AD. 1-5*.
15*:0. 15:15. 15:15. 30:15. 40:15. 2*-5.
2nd. 15:0*. 15:15. 15:30. 15:40. 2-6*.
Pretty high quality in the game of the Spaniard. If she continues like this, she even has every chance to win this title. But let’s see, what happens in the…

2.Set
0*:15 df. 0:30. 0:40. 0*-1 sg (swift game).
2nd. 0:15*. 15:15 df. 2nd. 15:30. 2nd. 15:40. 30:40. 40:40. 40:AD. 0-2*.
15*:0. 15:15. 30:15. 30:30. 30:40. 0*-3.
15:0*. 15:15. 15:30. 15:40. 30:40 df. 40:40. AD:40. 1-3*.
0*:15. 15:15. 15:30 df. 30:30. 30:40. 1*-4.
0:15*. 0:30. 2nd. 0:40. 1-5*.
15*:0. 15:15. 15:30. 30:30. 40:30. 40:40. 40:AD. 40:40. 2nd. 40:AD. 1*-6.

Katharina GERLACH (GER) [2] 2-6 1-6 Marina BASSOLS RIBERA (ESP)

A rally symptomizing the match…

Not much Katharina G. could do here. No shame at all to lose against such a flabbergasting performance. Power, precision, good game plan and shot decisions, better adaptation to the windy conditions. Guess I’ll have to watch the final…

No big deal, ‘Katha’! Up to the next…

Epilogue: And Bassols Ribera wins the first set by 6-1 against #1 seeded Marta Paigina. Unfortunately the stream broke down again and they didn’t manage to fix it for some thirty minutes by now. Which is poor! So I give in and start doing other things, which is fun, too. Blessing in disguise: How upset I would’ve been in face of such dilettantism, if my heroine would’ve reached the final. So, ¡muchas gracias!, Katha.
P.S.: At one last try the stream worked again. The second set was tighter, but also deservedly won 6-4 by eighteen year old Bassols Ribera (#576). Probably a name to bear in mind for the years to come.

10/02/18 (QF)

Starting at 2 pm?

14:15 – Yep. Broken to 2:3. Hard fought sixth game, dunno how many break points for Gerlach. When do they switch on the camera again??? … What? Interrupted again? Carrrrramba!!!

15:10 Camera is working on another court. It’s getting warmer and stormy out there…
Match resuming at 2-3 AD:40*.

40:40*. 40:AD 2-4*.
15*:0. 2nd. 30:0 ace. 30:15. 2nd. 30:30. 30:40. 40:40 lr (‘long rally’). 2nd. AD:40. 3*-4.
15:0*. 15:15 lr. 30:15. 30:30. 30:40 lr. 3-5*.
2nd. 0*:15. 15:15. 30:15. 30:30 lr. 40:30. 40:40. 40:AD. 3*-6.

2.Set
0:15*. 0:30. 15:30. 15:40. 0-1*.
15*:0. 30:0 lr. 30:15. 40:15. 1*-1.
0:15*. 0:30 lr. 0:40. 1-2*.
15*-0. 15:15. 15:30 lr. 15:40. 30:40. 1*-3.
0:15*. Hail delay. (Lots of conundrums in Mallorca at the WTA event last year as well. My riddle of today: Being able to show a doubles match, why do they feel it unnecessary to stream a singles quarterfinal taking place at the same time, especially with a Spanish player involved??? On the days before it was very well possible to show several concurrent matches. Second one: Why is it possible to start playing again very soon at other events, after an at best medium shower of not more than 5 min (which I could see, because they left the camera open at the doubles court) and why do they have to wait here for almost 45 min? In the beginning they gave the clay two hours to dry up, which is pretty long as well compared to other events. The tournament director seems to be a deeply relaxed person… …or did they skimp on the quality of the courts? Of course all these nasty questions are typically German. pero – ¡por favor!)
Players warming up again.
15:15*. 30:15. 30:30. 40:30. 2-3*.
0*:15. 0:30. 15:30. 30:30. 2nd. 30:40. 40:40 lr. 40:AD. 40:40. AD:40. 3*-3.
15:0*. 2nd. 30:0. 2nd. 30:15. 2nd. 40:15. 40:30 lr. 4-3*.
0*:15. 15:15. 30:15. 40:15. 5*-3.
15:0*. 30:0. 2nd. 40:0. 6-3*.
I’m amused!

3.Set
0*-1. (no live scores)
15:0*. 30:0. 40:0 40:15. 40:30 lr. 40:40. AD:40 lr. 40:40. AD:40 lr. 40:40 lr. AD:40. 1-1*.
15*:0. 30:0. 40:0. 40:15 lr. 40:30 lr. 40:40 lr. 2nd. AD:40. 2*-1.
15:0*. 15:15. 30:15. 40:15. 3-1*.
15*:0. 30:0. 30:15. 40:15. 4*-1.
2nd. 15:0*. 2nd. 30:0. 2nd. 40:0 5-1*.
2nd 15*:0. 30:0. 30:15.40:15. 6*-1.

Katharina GERLACH (GER) [2] 3-6 6-3 6-1 Rosa VICENS MAS (ESP)
Match time: 2h 26min

09/02/18 (QF)

Katharina GERLACH (GER) [2] 2-2 x-x Rosa VICENS MAS (ESP)

Rain delay, postponed. The one who wins that match resuming tomorrow at 9am will have to play semis right afterwards. As I hope the German to win both matches I wish her that her rest in between will be a veritably suitable one.



08/02/18 (R16)

Katharina GERLACH (GER) [2] 6-1 7-6(4) Lucia CORTEZ LLORCA (ESP)
Set point (27 shots).

07/02/18 (R32)

Katharina GERLACH (GER) [2] 6-1 6-0 Tatiana PIERI (ITA)
Nice backhand down the line!

Australian Open 2018 – Melbourne Diary

USTA National Campus

Impressing aerial view of USTA National Campus in Lake Nona, Orlando, where some of the players frequently mentioned and depicted here will be hitting the ball next week.

P.S.: But Melbourne Park of course is impressing as well…

33

After last sunday first I was a bit unhappy about ‘only’ 33 visits. But then I realized, how content I can be. 33 visits on a bad day, it definitely could be worse. Thanks to everybody who takes the time to come visiting me here, sporadically or (almost) day by day. It’s a good thing to keep ‘in touch’ like this…

Daily Five

Not sure which photos I had already posted here before I started with the new Flickr page. So please forgive me, if there are some repetitions as I want to document the whole stuff there and therefore decided that all which is not available there will be dealt with as ‘new’. Also I have to admit, that I got a bit lazy editing in the recent past (after having reached 900 files or so). Many events and nice pics are not covered until now and so probably it’s time to get to work again soon…