I gotta say, all it takes is for the players to walk onto centre court to make me remember just how much I love tennis. It really is one of my favourite things in the whole wide world. Tennis is awesome.
So, what to report from the first day? It was swell, nothing too intense but some good clean tennis action to kick off the event. Newsreader by night, charismatic tennis MC by day Simon Dallow was very pleased to announce that this was one of the few places where you could experience the future today, as we were all at the 2008 ASB Classic even though it was still 2007. Brilliant.
In the first match of the tournament 6th seed Tamira Paszek took on 18 year old Belgian Yanina Wickmayer. I had never heard of Wickmayer but she made an impression. She was wearing this really neat rainbow outfit, like the kind Marion Bartoli used to wear, as well as colourful earrings and clips in her hair. Looked good. She played with gusto and looked to be a better player than her 170 or so ranking would suggest (I believe she made the main draw through a feed up tournament). But after she lost the first set in a close tiebreak Wickmayer left the court and swapped the rainbow ensemble for a rather plain outfit. Paszek promptly took control and won the match 76 61. Still, I like Yanina Wickmayer and she’s become one of my low ranked players to watch. Everybody’s got some. Paszek looked good too. She’s quite busty isn’t she? It’s remarkable is all, you don’t see many small teenage tennis players in the top 50 with such weapons of mass distraction. Good on her.
Other seeds Katarina Srebotnik and Anabel Medina Garrigues both won their opening rounds. Poor Anastasia Rodionova retired due to eye problems, but Doctor Srebotnik still looked strong in a 60 30 win, she’ll be tough to beat. After being the bad guy in beating a popular and game Nicole Pratt 76 63, Medina Garrigues won over the crowd by saying that she simply had to party on New Year’s Eve, she is Spanish after all. No early night for her.
And the tall Lindsay Davenport took fellow American Laura Granville to school in a straightforward 62 63 win. After the match Davenport said she was happy with the victory but thought there were things she could have done better. I’d agree with that, but she still looks like she could beat anybody. She’ll have Medina Garrigues in the second round, that will be a good one.
I haven’t seen the order of play for tomorrow yet but I imagine that Vera Zvonareva, Maria Kirilenko, Eleni Daniilidou and the Kiwi girls will all be playing on centre court. There’s an evening session as well so that’s always fun. Okay, enough blogging, it’s New Year’s Eve! Party time! See you next year.
Photo op. I’d love to put a picture of Yanina Wickmayer in her rainbow clothes here, so I’ll come back later and stick one up if I can find it.
UPDATE! I had a hunt around but couldn’t find any photos of Yanina Wickmayer in her rainbow outfit from Monday. Maybe the photographers were only pointing their cameras at Tamira Paszek. But all is not lost. Here are pictures of Wickmayer and Marion Bartoli wearing rainbow outfits. Thank you yaninawickmayer.com, and thank you anonymous for pointing this out in the comments. The Bartoli pictures are from a few years ago. Now Yanina was wearing that neat rainbow visor on Monday, and I think she was sporting that sleeveless top too, though it could have been the short sleeve version that Bartoli has got on in the middle picture. That skirt is definitely the skirt Wickmayer had on. Yay.