Its a bit late, written just after Amanda's third round AO win, but I think this article really captures, Amanda's Spirit
Blonde On Blonde
by Michael winkler (i7 sport online)
WHEN Polonius said, "To thine own self be true", odds are that he didn't have Amanda Coetzer in mind. But he could have had.
The little South African would no doubt love to have a killer serve, a don't-argue forehand, or any of the other weapons that allow a player to win cheap points. Instead, long points are her metier. She has to try to win through greater fitness, superior court speed, and sheer dogged bloody-mindedness. She has to just hang in and hang in, outlasting her more richly talented opponents. In other words, she has to be true to who she is.
Against Barbara Schett in the third round today, the diminutive backcourt girl got the job done, winning three and three. Coetzer started brightly and was soon 3-0 up. However, in the fifth game she damaged her left ankle. An injury timeout saw pain-killing spray and strapping applied. As her movement became more ginger, Schett made sure she kept the ball in play and reaped her reward by breaking back. But Coetzer is nothing if not a tough competitor, and after breaking the Austrian again in the eighth game she served out the set.
In the second set Schett was broken again first up, and Coetzer had another break point to go 3-0 up. Schett held firm, though held serve, too, and broke back for 2-2. In the seventh game Schett nearly served the most improbable ace of the whole tournament. The ball ballooned off her racquet frame, steepled high into the air, somehow dropped into the service box, but as Coetzer waited to hit it back, it spun viciously at right angles and she only just managed to dive and spoon it back. Schett burst out laughing, but wasn't feeling so merry when she lost the game. Coetzer seized on that crucial break and served it out, triumphing 6-3, 6-3.
Schett is an interesting case. She was ranked as high as seventh in the world two years ago, but she has now eased to be just outside the top 20. Her record at the Australian Open is very consistent: she has made the fourth round four times and the third round twice in her seven visits, but has never been past the fourth round. This is her ninth year on the tour, but she has only played one grand slam quarter-final. It is as if she has accepted her position in the pecking order.
She beats the players below her, falls to the ones above her, and preserves the status quo. Along the way she has carved out a very handy doubles career with a wide variety of partners. She hits the ball well, and when she comes forward she volleys with authority, but her physical conditioning is nowhere near that Coetzer's. Of course, into her third decade, the South African's dedication to fitness shames almost every other woman on the WTA Tour.
For Coetzer, Martina Hingis awaits in the next round. Coetzer will go in as a total underdog. But she will give 100 per cent, play to her strengths, and if Hingis can be beaten on the day, she will beat her. That's her way: small package, good thing.