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post #130 of (permalink) Old Jan 19th, 2013, 10:23 PM
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Re: Australian Open Draws and Results [2013]

The New “Giuseppina Benedetti”

Every athlete has that “thing” you think about when you hear their name. When you think of Chris Evert you think of her steely glare. When you hear Martina Hingis you think of her cruel smile. When you hear Larissa Ferrer you think of her serious business-like demeanor, even when hoisting a trophy. Jane Wong’s name brings to mind her graciousness; Elise Mesane evokes her sharp, witty tongue; and mention of Giuseppina Benedetti instantly causes the image of her slumped over crying.

Unfortunately for the brunette bombshell Italian, her career has been marred in disappointment. After a year or two of adjusting to the “big leagues”, Benedetti began winning. At first on clay---quickly causing the media to label her a clay-court specialist. But, then she started winning on the hardcourts, too, maybe even more often than she did on the dirt. Still in her late teens at this time, Benedetti’s ranking rose and the expectations on her paralleled. But time and time again Giusa, as she is affectionately known, cracked when the spotlights were on.

As is wont to do when talking about the FWTT, the most popular women’s tennis tour, analysts and fans alike branded Benedetti a choker. The Italian superstar’s protests fell on deaf ears, and it seemed even she couldn’t convince herself that she didn’t possess the dreaded “choke” gene. As the pressure mounted, Giusa’s life began falling down in flame. There were widely accepted rumors of everything from anorexia, to abuse, to even syphilis. Giuseppina’s game dropped and her ranking quickly followed.

It has been hard not to sympathize with the Rome resident. Her came hadn’t fallen apart for a lack of trying---she has switched styles, gone to a psychiatrist, slimmed down, then bulked back up---but nothing worked. 2012 brought her best year in the big events, making the semifinals of Roland Garros, her first and only Grandslam semifinal thus far. But an excruciatingly close loss to Martine Kartinacova left Benedetti once again in tears on the court, as did a heartbreaking loss in the semifinals of the Federation Cup, the second consecutive year that Benedetti captained a team to a 3-2 semifinal loss.

Known for being pretty friendly and polite around the locker rooms, Benedetti has hired a new coach to her team that says that must stop. The Italian has been close friends with several girls on the tour, attending recently retired superstar Nthama Mbangu’s engagement party, often eating dinner with Luna-Willow Bartoli, shopping with Sylvie Baily, Regla Torres, Lindsay Raymond and Coco Dupree. She even stayed around to be in Fleri Hingisafrilla’s box when she captured her first grandslam title last year at the Australian Open. However former FWTT superstar Angelica de la Courtiere, Benedetti’s new assistant coach, has emphasized that she must turn into “part bitch” in order to bring home the big one. “Angelica has told me I am not ruthless enough. She said that you can’t beat someone you like”, stated Benedetti, who has allegedly moved in with de la Courtiere, adding lesbianism to the growing list of rumors about her.

Early this season we saw first hand a taste of the “unfriendly” side of Giuseppina. Playing at the Hopman Cup, Giusa was one of 4 FWTT female singles winners on the first day of competition. Tour veteran and worldwide superstar Ruflina Taliamanosoko sent a congratulations while being interviewed to the other 3 players that had won, but had left Benedetti out. The Italian felt like it was an intentional slight and fired back, calling Ruflina out and stating that she was an “old bitch”. While Taliamanosoko apologized, citing it as an innocent mistake, Benedetti did not, standing firm to her statement and adding in that “she [Ruflina] gets let off the hook for her bitchiness sometimes. Congratulating everyone except for one person is just the type of thing I’d expect from her”.

Benedetti is scheduled to open up her 2013 grandslam play against Susan Day, a 6-0 6-1 winner in the first round. While Day looked extremely tough in her opening match, Giuseppina insists her new attitude won’t allow her to be intimidated by anyone...After taking on the tour’s most popular player, we are starting to believe her.
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