|Evening match on Stadium Court|
Some of my readers are aware that I have been following Donaldson's career for a long time since he was a 16 year old playing juniors in South America. I have watched him countless times on the streams, but this was my first time witnessing his match in person. Even though it was not the outcome I had hoped for, it was an entertaining battle filled with some great shot-making and theatrical moments.
I arrived at Stadium Court during the middle of the first set after watching James Ward take the 1st set tiebreak over Hyeon Chung on the Grandstand (it was a high quality set by the way). After taking a seat in the first row, I spotted Thanasi Kokkinakis and Bjorn Fratangelo in the upper deck taking in this match with interest.
|Thanasi Kokkinakis and Bjorn Fratangelo|
|Jared Donaldson has a habit of looking up at his camp|
|Jared Donaldson getting foot treatment|
|Sam Groth saving MPs with huge serves|
|Sam Groth serving bombs|
Donaldson and Groth were animated throughout the match. They had no problems showcasing their frustrations. The 6'2" American often berated himself with words like "awful" and "terrible". His opponent also muttered negative phrases at himself. It was the first time I heard him use profanity (to be fair, I don't watch him as much). Balls were batted out of the stadium several times by both competitors and code violations were appropriately given.
Later, Sam Groth gave a post match interview. The microphone malfunctioned so he went up to grab the chair's mic. It was one of the hilarious moments of the night.
Rough ending for Donaldson, but he competed well and has a bright future ahead of him. My favorite Jared moment was when he sent the ball flying to the moon after Groth got the minibreak in the 3rd set tiebreak (right before MP). Afterwards, he gave a sort of embarrassing smile. The crowd chuckled because he rarely smiles.
|Rough night for Jared Donaldson after being a set and break up|
|Jared Donaldson returning serve|
|Sam Groth survived Jared Donaldson|
I noticed that when Jared's toss was slightly angled, the serve was more accurate. When it was slightly vertical, his first serves missed by a lot.
Earlier, while waiting to get into Stadium Court, saw 19 year old Deiton Baughman working on his forehand (weaker side). He lost to Martin Klizan in the 2nd round of qualifying in 3 sets.
|Work on that FH, Slim|
Some pictures from the Hyeon Chung and James Ward Match.
|Hyeon Chung cleaning his eyeglasses during changeover|
|James Ward during changeover|