Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Wrong Place, Wrong Time

I think the first round losses of Stosur and Schiavone show one thing - the fact that the WTA is really anyone's game at the moment. One day, you might be playing in the final. The next, you're losing in the first round. It's open and it's unpredictable and it's hard to know what's going on.

That said, Serena Williams is looking fierce and I defy anyone to beat her, no matter what I predicted.

But let's go back to Sam Stosur. She looked all at sea on the grass and Kaia Kanepi trod all over her at the end. Kanepi played an awesome match and this was a tough, tough first round draw for Sam, mark my words - Kanepi was ranked #18, like, last year. But Stosur did not really acquit herself well at all.

Stosur does well on clay because of the Nadal-esque she can get on her groundies, particularly the serve. The new string she's started using has only helped her. But I think she fell into the same trap that Roger did last night and was kind of trying to play clay court tennis on a grass court. She's one of the best doubles players of the last decade. She's very comfortable at the net and can hit a sweet, sweet volley. She had some good success at the net in this match, but did not come in anywhere near enough. A few serve and volleys or even chip and charges might have been a good idea. She did try it a couple of times but not enough.

Kanepi played good tactics - going into the backhand in particular. In Roland Garros Sam danced round a lot of these to hit the forehand, but here she didn't have the time, what with the nature of the surface. And also her forehand was misfiring a bit, so not the best idea anyway.

In short, this is a bit disappointing from Sam but not really surprising. She's never been that comfortable a) at Wimbledon and b) under scrutiny, and here she was both.

Someone who is comfortable in both these places is Serena Williams, and she looked positively lethal today. Larcher de Brito pulled it together a bit in the second set but it was too much, too late. It looks like I was a little quick to write off Serena. I, for one, am hoping for a similarly awesome performance from MaSha and a big, big R16 clash...

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