R1 : Emily Whitlock (Wal) 3-1 Liu Tsz-Ling (Hkg) 12-10, 13-15, 11-8, 11-7 (48m)
Well, the score tells the story on this one. Both girls were dominant in patches in the opener, very clean game, virtually no errors from either, Emily finally closing on her third game ball 12/10.
The second was soooo weird, with TszLing up 9/2 to lose the next 7 points, 9/9. The Hong Kong girl got first blood 10/9, then the Welsh had three chances but couldn’t finish, and it’s finally TszLing 15/13 on her second game ball…
The next two, not much between the players the whole game, up to 7/7 in game 3, and 6/6 in game 4, TszLing finding the tin a few times to give Emily a bit of a lead… 11/8, 11/7.
Emily : “It’s semi-dead [on court], it’s okay to begin with and then five rallies in you can feel the weight of the ball.
“It’s fine, but you’re not quite sure when it’s going to happen. It’s a bit bright in a weird way as well. I thought we volleyed quite well today, both of us, there were some where she stepped across and hunted it, and I think it was a case of just swinging, you have to volley anyway and you don’t want to be passive.
“I was a bit annoyed that the ref didn’t give me a let when she hit me before I hit the ball [in the second game], I thought that was a bit harsh. But I thought if I could battle my way through that from being 9-2 down, it sets the tone and she knows that I’m never going to go away. I had to hustle.
“Normally on the glass if I’m not totally on it I get a bit nervous. I feel like I did the right things, there were a few where I didn’t want to play a certain shot and had to adapt. The first thing was not to get injured in the warm-up because that happened in Chicago where I hurt my back.
“I felt like I was moving quite well when I saw it, so I’ll get a good stretch in. I think I’ve got a harsh turnaround now because I’m not in the evening session tomorrow… I’ve got a three-hour earlier start. If I was training at home I’d have to start at 10am anyway, so I’ll recover, eat some food and get a good sleep.
“At least I’ve got a match on here and won because I hadn’t done, so that’s a tick.”
Tsz Ling : In the second game, I was 9/2 up and suddenly, I couldn’t find the way to win. So I kept telling myself the work I’ve done to prepare this match, and just went back to basics. Don’t mind the points, although she keeps chasing the points, what matters is who will win the game. So I kept encouraging myself and eventually won the game 15/13…
I would have liked avoid the forehand volley as she is so good there… But I’m playing her again in the British, so I’ll try to learn from this match…