‘CANADA DAY’ ON SUNDAY AT USTA TENNIS CLASSIC OF TROY
By Rick Limpert
TROY, Ala., (Oct 13, 2012) – On a fall Saturday in Alabama, most of the state is in college football mode as both Alabama and Auburn take to the field for huge football games. But tennis fans in Alabama made a statement on Saturday as well, as a good crowd turned out at the Lundsford Tennis Complex on the campus of Troy University for a pair of semifinals in singles and the doubles championship match.
Tennis fans were treated to a day where veterans of the WTA Tour battled it out on a balmy, breezy day in central Alabama.
Even though Sharon Fichman and Michelle Larcher De Brito had never played each other, they were familiar with each other’s games and were prepared for a long and difficult match.
Your last photo of the tournament, MLDB Fans.
On this day, it was a story about unforced errors. Larcher De Brito committed double the unforced errors of Fichman during the match and you could tell both players really wanted it.
Moonballer Fichman (Photo: Rick Limpert)
Fichman ended up taking the match 6-3, 6-4, but she had to hold off a Larcher De Brito rally to earn the win.
“I was trying to mix it up with some higher balls, some flatter balls and make her keep moving her feet,” offered up Fichman, who is currently ranked No. 198 in the world.
Sharon Fichman, Troy 2012 (Photo: Rick Limpert)
Fichman also noticed Larcher De Brito’s energy level drop at the end of the first set and she sensed that was her opportunity.
“I saw she was getting a little frustrated and that was a good sign for me.”
After Fichman put Canada up 1-0 on the board, Stephanie Dubois took the court representing The True North against tournament number two seed Edina Gallovits-Hall of Romania.
Stephanie Dubois, Troy 2012 (Photo: Rick Limpert)
A close first set went the way of Dubois 6-4, but the second set had a little of everything. Some great shot-making, injury timeouts and an abundance of very long games.
Gallovits-Hall, sensing that she needed to make some changes, became more aggressive to match the shot-making of Dubois.
That kept her in the final set until 5-5 when Dubois raised her game yet another level to close it out 6-4, 7-5.
Dubois rejoiced silently knowing that a match with a fellow Canadian, and one that hasn’t beaten her as of yet is on the docket for tomorrow.
It will be a battle of Canadians on Sunday in Troy, Alabama and I expect to see some “Maple Leafs” flapping in the wind.
In the doubles final, Angelina Gabueva and Arina Rodionova of Russia defeated the Canadian pair of Fichman and Marie-Eve Pelletier 6-4, 6-4.
2012 Doubles Champs Gabueva and Rodionova (Photo: Rick Limpert)