Re: Ajla Tomljanovic thread!
So congrats are in order one more time, a great job indeed by the whole team! It was really a match to remember for so many reasons, mostly of course for the win, but to say it was a strange match would be an understatement.
I agree with the assessment that it was a low quality match overal, and the entertainment value wasn't very high. First we had Ajla not taking her chances and not being ready to risk anything, which gave wings to her opponent who started going for it to take what Ajla was hesitant to take. The end result of the first set, a complete domination by Zhang, was hardly a surprise.
Than it seems Ajla finally figured that she has nothing to lose and that she'll go out empty handed if she doesn't change something. There was no other way out than to start going for your shots and taking risks, and of course playing more asertively, which very soon payed off. Zhang seemed to be taken by surprise and didn't react well to Ajla's increasing agressiveness out there, which was really great to see. And then Dr. Jekyll turns into Mr. Hyde again and Ajla's game falls off the radar, victim of her own mind, for about a millionth time in her life. Choke after choke, as if Ajla's brain went into a really bad loop and before you know it they were almost on level terms. Thanfully, Ajla woke up and shook off the fear at just the right time to close out the set after several nerve shattering games.
Third set was an improvement in terms of quality of tennis showed, each player clinging by her serve, Ajla trying to mix it up in order to get the break, which se did after a long 7th game. Afterwards there really wasn't much left to see, as Zhang pretty much fell apart. The wind also picked up a bit towards, but unlike on Friday it didn't bother Ajla much. It was nice to see how easily she closed out the match, and even better to see how thrilled she was to do it.
Overall a somewhat awkward match to follow, with no sound during streaming (unlike on Friday when sound was on and off) and with commercials on auto-pilot, even if it means in the middle of the point. Quality of the picture was pretty much the best it's been all week, and you could (relatively) easily follow the result by reading the scoreboard - which was virtually impossible on Friday, possibly because of humidity. Ajla won eventhough she didn't exactly play the match of her life, was frustrated all too often and I wonder if she should consult the sports psychologist to adress fear and frustration management. In my opinion that would be a good move, cause she oftentimes loses focus during a longer point and I think it has to do with getting frustrated about not finishing the point earlier, which inevetably leads to unforced errors. But I'll leave that to the team, hopefully they'll do something about it.
All things considered, this was a wonderful week for Ajla, a well deserved jump in the rankings is coming up and hopefully a seeding place in the qualies of one of the upcoming slams also, as it would be a reward of sorts for all the improvement she made this season. Really looking forward to her next appearances. It's great to have you back Ajla!