Rowan here, after quarterfinals day at the ASB Classic. Leni update first, she and her thighs and her groundstrokes continued their good form and beat Shahar Peer in straight sets. There were protesters outside with signs and megaphones and things, but everybody ignored them and Peer received great support from the crowd on centre court. The protest had nothing to do with Peer at all, they just used her presence as an opportunity to push for a boycott of Israel and get some news coverage. It was pretty big news, Shahar even got her picture on the front page of today’s paper. Fortunately she said in her post-match press conference that the protest hadn’t ruined her visit and she will be happy to come back to Auckland next year, yay for her.
Foxy Aravane Rezai took care of surprise quarterfinalist Edina Gallovits from Romania who I admit I had never heard of. Rezai was unseeded last year and reached the final, and she’s unseeded this year (she must have done sweet nothing for the rest of 2008 to not be ranked higher than she is, 97 at the mo) and seems determined to do it again. Gallovits couldn’t do much against Rezai’s Fernando Gonzalez-like power game today, but she did make an impression with her lack of respect for New Zealand line judges. She had quite an attitude on her, shouting at one point after her first serve was called out for the hundredth time: “Oh my God, you people are so blind! It was on the frickin’ line!”
After all my hype Ayumi Morita got annihilated by Anne Keothavong today, getting bageled before retiring with a taped up leg. So I am a little embarrassed. She was really good yesterday, I swear. But Keothavong is pretty cool too. She has a Twitter account, that’s hip.