Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Dinara's Doldrums

I'm a little late, I know, but I felt I needed to wade into the whole Dinara Safina losing to Aravane Rezai really early in Toronto incident.

Sure, it's another symptom of MaratHeadCaseitis. But I also think it might be a good thing.

Dinara's been melting down a lot, yeah? But she's been getting deep in tournaments, yeah? Finals in Roland Garros, semis in Wimbledon, finals in Cincinatti - she's getting to the pointy ends of tournaments, she's just not holding up the trophy. But this time, the meltdown has come pretty early on - which seems to be a sign that things are getting worse...

...before, I think, they get better.

Rather than just storming around and going 'why am I such a chicken?' in big matches, the fact that she's lost one of the little matches she normally storms through - remember how she only lost five games in the first four rounds of Paris? - will prompt her, I think, to take a good long look at her game, and, in particular, her serve. The serve is really what's letting her down - she served seventeen double faults against Rezai. It's that crazy high ball toss of hers - it's got to go.

I don't know if we can expect too much to change between now and the US Open - but I'd really like to see this match send a message to Dinara. When she comes back after the Christmas break, I hope and I think we'll see real evidence that she's worked on that serve, because she is so good that that really shouldn't be a liability. She's talented enough to do anything she puts her mind to - I really want to see evidence of a lesson learned.

Today's Results

Western and Southern Financial Group Masters (Cincinatti)

Roger Federer def. David Ferrer, 3-6 6-3 6-4
Andy Murray def. Radek Stepanek, 6-4 6-1
Novak Djokovic def. Jeremy Chardy, 7-5 6-3
Lleyton Hewitt def. Sam Querrey, 6-1 2-6 6-3

Rogers Cup (Toronto)

Alisa Kleybanova def. Aravane Rezai, 6-3 6-4
Agnieszka Radwanska def. Kateryna Bondarenko, 7-5 6-3
Samantha Stosur def. Virginie Razzano, 6-3 6-1
Elena Dementieva def. Shahar Peeer, 6-1 1-6 6-4
Lucie Safarova def. Jie Zheng, 7-6 (7-3) 6-4
Serena Williams def. Alona Bondarenko, 6-1 6-4

1 comment:

TopSpin said...

You know, I actually quite like Dinara's service action, but like you find the service toss to be at the root of all sorts of problems.

Hopefully the early loss will send both her and Zeljko a message.

I like what he's done with with her, but even the best of relationships can suffer from getting stale.