Saturday, April 25, 2009

No Reston Open

Oh, also came to a decision not to play the Reston Open and play for my DC team again. I already paid for that ass whooping.

I'll concentrate more on the NTRP tournaments that happen later on.

WTL, match #1

Things I learned today while captaining my first DC match:
*leaving early is good
*always check with the opposing team for defaults before handing your line-up in at the desk
*don't play like a 2.5!!!

So, today started off really great. Needless to say, after 3 13 and 1/2 hour workdays, I was pretty exhausted last night and went to bed at 10:30pm. I woke up feeling pretty good nice and early. I puttered around a bit, then got ready for the match. My plan was to go out and hit against a wall before heading to the site.

However, when I got to the car, I noticed that the tennis balls my co-captain had given me were all hard court balls, and none of the were clay court balls (we were scheduled on the clay today). I wasn't sure if this was going to be a problem or not, but since it was so early, I decided to run to Sports Authority, pick up some clay court balls, then head to the site and warm up on the wall there.

And that ended up being a good plan for several reason. First, I also got to pick up a new tank to be embroidered with my indoor team's name. I got a bra, too, but I'm not going to have that embroidered. And, it gave me a large head start on match time so that the 45 minutes I spent in traffic on the f*cking bridge didn't actually make me late, just not insanely early.

And, what a surprise to walk into the bubble to go to the ladies room, and as I walk out I thought I heard someone say 'Hey Topaz'. I looked back for a moment, but I wasn't sure I heard correctly. I went back in later to put on my ankle brace and sure enough, fellow TTWMACer Zapvor was manning the desk!!! Sorry about blowing you off the first time Zappy!

Ok, this is where things get tricky. We were about 10 minutes to match time, and 2 women were stuck on the bridge. They were supposed to be on #2 and #3 dubs. So, just in case they didn't make it in time, I did a last minute switch so I would have a full court at #2, and if we had to default, it would be on #3. Then I handed in the line-up. Then I checked with the opposing captain to give her the court assignments (as we were home team), and found out that they were defaulting #2 singles.

I begged, I pleaded, but there was no way to get that line-up back and put my #2 singles in for #3 dubs. Damm*t!!!

It ended up being ok, though, as everyone made it just in the nick of time, and the running they did to get there from their cars made for a nice warmup.

Now, my partner and I, who I LOVE playing with, were on court #1 doubles. We had a tight, tight first set, came back from 1-4 down to win it 7-5. We were both playing very tight, but I was doing okay. I had a rough time serving, as my toss was right in the sun, but no doubles. And eventually, the sun moved, and I was ok.


The second set was quite possibly the worst set of tennis that I have EVER played in my life. I am NOT exaggerating here. I think I should have at least tried playing lefthanded. We were down 0-5, with me serving, when somehow I managed to hit a few winners. We were locked in a tight game at 1-5 when we ran out of time. We lost on games.

I almost want to laugh, because seriously...I was playing *that bad*. Horrible. Part of me is thinking 'well, at least you got that out of your system', but there is a tiny part that is really, really worried.

It is all in my head, too. I'm well aware that I'm a basketcase. I'm working on it. But it was so scary to suddenly just not have *anything* working. I'm so embarrassed, and I feel I need to buy my partner a car in order to make up for my horrible playing. She was tight, too, but she didn't go away for a whole set like I did. UGH!

I have to give a big shout out to Alice, though...for calling and helping me put my head on straight! Alice, it means more than you! You rock!

So, the good news is that #1 dubs was the only court we lost, and all my other players had a really easy time of it. Ok, next time, I'm on court #3!!!!!!!!

Fed Cup: USA vs. Czech Republic

The US is in action today, led by Betthanie Mattek-Sands. The rest of the squad includes doubles specialist Liezel Huber, with youngsters Melanie Oudin (the heroine of the first round tie earlier this year) and Alexa Glatch.

They are facing the Czech Republic: Iveta Benesova, Petr Kvitova, Lucie Safarova, and their own doubles specialist in Kveta Peschke.

They are playing on indoor hard courts, which is good for the US gals, but was more likely chosed to highlight the hard hitting of the Czech squad. The Czech squad also features three lefties in Benesova, Kvitova and Safarova.

I think this has the potential to have some really great matches. The Czechs have more experienced players by far, but I wouldn't count out the US gals. Should be fun to watch.

First singles tie is underway with Mattek-Sands vs. Kvitova (kTour vs. kTour!). Then Glatch will be making her debut against Benesova.

Tomorrows singles are scheduled as Kvitova vs. Glatch and Mattek-Sands vs. Benesova with the doubles featuring Benesova/Peschke vs. Huber/Mattek-Sands. Depending on today's results, though, I think this has the potential to change a lot.

Mattek-Sands looks like she's in great I've ever seen her.


The other tie is Russia vs. Italy, and Italy is already up 1-0 when Pennetta pretty easily beat Anna Chakvetadze 4 and 0. Wonder if Tarpischev will regret not putting current women's #1 Dinara Safina on the squad?


More details at FedCup