Qualies commenced today ... Brandon drew Arman and came out the victor, moving on to an Argentinian grinder. After being down 4-1 in the first set, he went on to win 6-4 6-4. Bijan went down in a tough 3 set match against a tough Chilean. Great match to watch, a real crowd pleaser. Daphne, after playing the best 5 games of her career, which entailed on average 10 ball rallies every single point. She became a little frustrated as she kept dominating but missed crucial opportunities. Watch out for Daphne's results in weeks to come!
A huge step for Brandon as it was his first time to qualify for an ITF event and he handled the pressure really well. After trying circumstances with his opponent being coached from the sidelines.. who then also stopped for injury time. His opponent also tried to intimidate Brandon by smashing balls just past him in anger, but Brandon was able to stay cool, kept his mind on the job and execute his game to perfection. The Argentinian had no idea what was coming next, whether it would be a serve volley, massive forehand winner or a delicate dropshot. He has really been able to settle down in the last few days and is starting to understand and utilise the surface to his advantage as well.
Vanessa is playing tomorrow, Stephanie is direct acceptance into main draw and will be playing on Monday with Brandon, and hopefully Vanessa as well.
The match experience already gained by all is very evident in their playing. The Aussies are slowly getting more accustomed to the clay courts and are proving tougher and tougher competitors with every passing match. We are digging in our heels a little bit more each time.
Chinese for dinner tonight and then a 7am start. The troops are in for another double session tomorrow, and they are loving it.