Julie Halard-Decugis's note-book
11 February 2006 - Rédaction Open Gaz de France
Every day, Julie Halard-Decugis gives her opinion on the 14th Open Gaz de France. Today, she talks about the semi-finals before discussing the Pierce-Mauresmo final. (Picture: DR)
Pierce - Schnyder
As a spectator, I have to say I've been a little dispappointed with Schnyder, who had played really well so far. I hadn't imagined the match could go that way, with Patty immediately acting quite nonchalant and irritated by the crowd's reaction. She had trouble handling that specific type of pressure and she obviously was not in a good day today, since Mary was not playing incredibly well either. But she managed to take charge, playing her own game, and most unforced errors and winners were hers. The irregular pace of the match prevented Patty from making the right adjustment. Mary's strength these days is her serve, as well as her ability to improve her game during a match. That was the case today, when she started moving her legs, and then her arm, faster in the second game so she could be free to play the way she wanted.
Golovin - Mauresmo
I think Amélie gave a lot against Safina so she was a little tired today. It showed in the first set, when she was ahead 5-0 but was still not playing 100%. She was not moving fast enough, gave away a few points and could not really count on her serve. Golovin noticed that and became more aggressive as she was gaining confidence. She hit high-quality returns and managed to make Amélie move a lot. And most of all, except for a couple of games early in the third round, she played extremely consistently. She deserves compliments for that. But yesterday, Golovin won her match after saving a match point and when that happens, you often lose the next match after missing a match point.
But to Amélie's credit, she's the type of athlete who fights really hard even when she's not playing too well.
The Pierce - Mauresmo final
I have the feeling Mary will be much less tired. Today, Amelie was exhausted at the end of her match, you could tell it from her face. The way she recovers will be capital. Also, if she doesn't serve better, she won't make it. But if she has enough energy to go to the net, then I'll be expecting a tough match. On the other hand, if both players are at the top, Amélie should win, as she has more alternative solutions in her game. The key factor will be whether or not Amélie can stop moving back when she's threatened.