I only saw the 2nd set of her match against Elena D., but I have to say that tactically, it was a horrible performance from Anna.
First of all, the cramping. Anna's game is nice and everything, and if she can keep it up through three sets, she will probably win.
But she can't. How many times has she lost now because she ran out of gas? I have seen something like this at least once before, last year against Zvonareva indoors. Anna was leading 5-1 in the 3rd but lost, mainly because she almost collapsed as she couldn't even breathe anymore due to exhaustion.
So obviously this style of play is NOT successful, and she has to change something to shorten the points and reduce the work she has to do.
Which leads to the 2nd point. Anna must have realised in the 2nd set that she was getting tired. You could even see that she was breathing heavily again. The right moment to change your tactics a bit.
So WHY OH WHY did she still remain BEHIND the baseline when returning Elena's serve, even the 2nd ??? Those serves were slower than ever today, the first had the 'speed' the second usually has, and the second was below 60 km/h at times.
But Elena could afford putting these eggs over net because Anna was doing NOTHING with them. She didn't move forward, she let them drop low and then put the return directly towards Elena who didn't have to move at all to reach them.
This was really stupid, in two ways:
- Anna wasted the chance to shorten the points. Instead she was guaranteed more long rallies.
- Anna didn't put any pressure on Elena and her serve. It's one of the oldest tricks in tennis: If your opponent is prone to double-faulting, move into the court when he's serving and make him even more nervous. Obviously Anna doesn't know this.
Had she done it, I'm sure Elena had taken a few more risks on her serve and double-faulted more often.
I'm sorry that Anna was in so much pain at the end of the match. But she deserved to lose though because she played a silly match.
And she has to reconsider her style when she can't play a whole match this way.