Re: Mirjana's 2014 Summer Campaign
As I walked towards the practice courts I looked up and saw the brand new configuration of courts 4, 5 and 6. Stadium type seating has been set up behind and in front of each of these courts so that one can view the matches on all of these courts at the same time. In addition, a walkway has been added under the seating which allows one to watch play on each practice court if you look to your right as you walk to courts 4-6.
I entered court 4 and sat on the far left in the back row. The stadium type seating isn't open for qualifying, just a few rows of seats on two sides of the court. A guy who turned out to be Pera's coach sat just to the left of me. Miki's husband and coach (brother?) sat on the opposite side.
I won't go through all the pt by pt details. I thought she was done when she failed to convert the 7 bps early in the third set and then was broken on Pera's first chance in the next game. I will say that Pera played well on most of those break points. She hit some big serves and just didn't make any errors on those bps. I felt Miki played most of these pts. too conservatively. In the game where Miki failed to break from 0=40 game at I believe 2-1. Miki couldn't get the ball to Pera's backhand and hit some relatively weak shots right to Pera's strike zone on the forehand.
Pera's best shot is undoubtedly the forehand. She can hit it very hard and hit many winners off that side. But, it has to be in her strike zone. She doesn't hit it well on the run. Her backhand is decent but whenever Miki made her move a lot to hit it it was pretty ineffective. Pera had a surprisingly good first serve, especially down the T on the ad side. She hit just about all her aces to that spot.
For her part, Miki's serve was pretty good. Her first serve looked to have good pace and she came up with some big serves on big pts. Her serve out wide to Pera's backhand on the deuce side worked very well. This is the serve she hurt Bartoli with so much at Wimbledon a few years ago. She didn't go for broke all the time. She did her best work off the ground with the cross court forehand to the Pera backhand. I noticed viewing the comments in the livematch that you guys were lamenting Miki's second serve return stats. It was not apparent to me courtside, that her second serve return Percentage was very low. She missed a few second serve returns but got a vast majority in play. She didn't usually go for the outright winner on second serve return.
The theme of this match was power v. power. There was no junk played by either player. Pera tried to hit with Miki and she won her share of rallies. There were a lot of winners and a lot of errors from both players. Pera hits hard. Her forehand may have actually had more pace than Miki's at times. But, like I said before, the ball has to be just so for Pera to be really effective on the FH. Miki had more variety on her groundstrokes
A guy sitting next to me thought it was the best match he had seen all day men or women and was surprised when I told him Pera is ranked in the 300's. The consensus of those around me was that Pera played well above her ranking.
One other note: One guy made a couple of nice comments about Miki's game to his young son. He said, "that's how you should go for your second serve" - Miki hit some clutch second serves on important pts. He also remarked how well Miki redirected Pera's body serves that were curving into Miki's body, by stepping back and timing the incoming serve.
It was a great match and am glad she won to fight another day at the U.S. Open.
Last edited by SERVivor; Aug 20th, 2014 at 06:09 PM.