Re: Sammy's 2011 Party and Off-Season Thread
I think it'll help against Maria and Petra - I have confidence that Sam usually plays her matches tailored to the player, not a generic play. She just needs more time for Azarenka, it looks like. (Plus, Azarenka was playing some very good tennis at this YEC, so she shouldn't be too displeased in the result.)
I think it would just be a wonderful study into how complex the mind is, and how it is trained/behaves differently to stimuli.
You may well be right. Remember that Sam lost quite badly to Serena in Toronto, and was thrashed by Maria in Cincinnatti, but was able to turn it around in style in her very next matches against them. And like her Cincy loss against Maria, Sam played an atrocious match against Vika in Istanbul (which is not to take anything away from Vika, who as you said was in great form, but she didn't really have to do much to beat Sam that day), so there's a lot of room for improvement. Good observation about Sam tailoring her game to her opponent. This has been one of the most impressive features of her play lately: she has gone into matches with a specific game plan, and more often than not has executed it well. I think Dave deserves a lot of credit for that, I think he does most of the research, and he has come up with some pretty bold and imaginative plans (like peppering Petra with kick serves, the area in which most "experts" were expecting Sam to get hammered).