Hey Changeover friends!
So, as many of you know, I am in Charleston right now. I am here covering the tournament and tweeting for 10sWorld.com, but the plan is to post stuff here too. Some may call it the reject stuff, but I prefer to think of it as the “hidden gems” of the Family Circle Cup. And really, what is The Changeover if not the home of hidden gems that others consider rejects?
Anyway, things right now are a bit of a complete mess. I didn’t pack any of the right clothes, my computer charger broke on the trip down here, my phone seems to refuse to charge at all even though nothing is technically broken, and I forgot sunscreen and more importantly LIP BALM. But despite the fact that my personal life is in shambles and I only have 10 minutes to write this blog before my computer dies, I’m having a blast.
There are a lot of “firsts” happening right now. This is my first tournament of 2013, my first WTA-only tournament, and my first time ever in Charleston. I get emotional every time I walk up to a tournament, I am so excited to get to talk one-on-one with some of the WTA players and experience my first All Access Hour, and I might never leave Charleston because it is just so amazing. So basically what I’m saying is, the good by far outweighs the bad.
Today was a brief day for a tennis tournament. I got in last night and got a good night of sleep–likely my only one for the week–and headed with Steph to the tournament around 10:00 a.m. After we spent about an hour tracking down parking and media credentials, we finally landed in the media center that was filled with the nicest and most wonderful people I have ever met in my entire life. When I have more battery life, I’ll tell you more about them.
(OHMYGOD nine minutes I need to hurry.) The first qualies match I watched was between Larcher de Brito and Pegula, and for the few game I watched (nearly the full first set) was great. Both were hitting the ball well, moving extremely well, and were focused. There was a great crowd and everyone was engaged. Also, Larcher de Brito was not loud AT ALL. The only sound she made was the occasional soft whistle after her strokes, but it was barely audible. I thought she had control of the match, but was surprised to see that Pegula ended up taking it.
Most of my day was spent watching Vania King play Karolina Pliskova in a really fun match. Vania King is just such a smart and assertive tennis player when she’s on her game, and boy was she on her game today. Karolina did not play poorly (her forehand is pretty impressive in person), but Vania was in control of nearly every point. Everything was fabulous: Her service placement, movement, lobs, volleys, and OMG backhands, backhands, backhands. Did I mention backhands? I’d like to say it again. Backhands. She demolished Pliskova 6-4, 6-2.
Afterwards, I talked with her for about 20 minutes, and she could not have been nicer or more open about her recent struggles, her relationship with the game, and her current mindset. I can’t wait to share all that with you, hopefully tomorrow.
That was pretty much it–I told you it was short! Afterwards, we headed out to a bar in downtown Charleston where we ended up sitting a few feet from Sofia Vergara, so we’re certainly doing something right! I’ll write more about this as the week goes on, but mostly I’m impressed with the friendliness, the foods, and the amazing crowds in Charleston. I have never seen so many people at a qualies day, EVER.
Okay, just enough time to post a few crappy camera-phone pics:
Okay seriously I have to run right now, not even time enough to edit this. More later though. Oh, and let me know if there are players you want me to interview or matches you want me to watch. I can’t be everywhere at once, but I will try!