Well, it makes sense to put the defending champion in the opening match of day 1 on the main court, not to mention that this scheduling is much better for me than if she was playing for example, 4th match of the day - so fine by me
I just hope it turns into a competitive one, regardless of the end result. Petra is certainly talented enough to make Sam's life a living hell, but we can't really expect too much at this point, all things considered. Eventhough Sam's 2012 US Open series has been less than impressive thus far, she still defeated Makarova with a loss of just 4 games and took Venus into the third in Cinci. Her good runs this year came on clay (with the exception of Doha) i.e. in Charleston, Madrid and RG. Other than that, she wasn't very impressive and even managed to lose to players like Flipkens (eventhough it was in a grasscourt tune-up, still counts). Of course, grass is her worst surface, followed by slower hardcourts, and Petra should look there for some answers. Players who don't deliver on grass are usually those who have a problem with low bounce, so that might hold the key to some of Petra's chances tomorrow. Also, given the fact that Sam is at home on clay, Petra should be careful with how much she'll use the Almighty Slice, as I don't think that would be very effective. The same goes for drop shots, as Sam has excellent net skills and good speed on court. Basically it'll be a clash of two very similar styles of play, so it should be entertaining.
The only things I see as real advantages of Petra tomorrow are:
- less pressure
- the ability to outsmart the opponent
- the fact that Sam is a choker par exellence (although choking away R1 of a major in which you're defending the title would be incredible even by her standards).
I'll be keeping my fingers crossed