Re: Sammy's 2011 Party and Off-Season Thread
The thing that makes me think it might be something physical was that it happened in her match against Dulko at RG as well. There was no short turnaround there, she'd had 2 full days to recover (as if that was necessary) from thrashing Halep in the 2nd round. Dulko also shouldn't have been a difficult opponent for her. Although she'd dropped her first set against her in Madrid, she took the next two sets 2 and 2, so seemed to have worked out how to play her. She just played absolutely horrible tennis in Paris. It was very much like her Istanbul match against Vika, I had the impression she had almost lost control of her basic motor functions, especially on her forehand. I only can't come up with a common thread connecting those two matches. Maybe there is none, and she just got up on the wrong side of the bed both days. If that's the case maybe the only thing she can do is come up with an emergency plan for getting through matches when her game is not on. Of course she's never going to beat a quality opponent like Vika playing like that, but I can't help feeling that if she'd cut down her UE count against Dulko that might have been enough to get her across the line.
True about the Dulko match. I remember watching a stream of that match at the time and just saying "Nooooooooooooooooo! Nooooooooooooooo! Aaaarrrgggghhhhhhhh!" I was supposed to be working at the time, so was probably putting in as shoddy a day at work as Sam did that day. I kept thinking she would pull it out though, because there were flashes of decent play. I guess I didn't really single out that match because I put it down to her general poor form at the beginning of this year. Maybe a mistake considering she had found some form in Rome and Stuttgart. (Speaking of which - that's another loss that pisses me off because I just think Goerges is a decent player who is way overrated. Sam should not lose to her on indoor clay for God sake.)
But there's no doubt she throws in these appalling matches from time to time. Maybe it's as simple as gender-based physiological reasons. God knows JJ broadcasts when that's the case. There's no question that it has a physiological effect, even if you are on meds that reduce everything to maybe 4 times or so a year - which I assume most female elite athletes are.
It's later than you think...