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post #7321 of 8481 (permalink) Old Oct 13th, 2012, 03:04 PM
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Re: ...HardCourt

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Dead.

Kind of glad I wasn't glued to my computer screen for this one. Sssaaammmmmyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy. I'm now going to have to go and harakiri myself like I promised
Please don't hara kiri yourself, SP!!

I agree with you - I'm very glad I couldn't follow this match. It would have put me in a pissy mood all day. I purposely didn't want to get my hopes up about this match, mostly because I know that it's the end of the year, all the top players are fatigued, and all the lower ranked players are going for broke. This is a hard loss...the Asian swing hasn't been very nice to her this year.

Like Bertrand said, for whatever reason, Sam is not the typical player - especially not this year. Losing matches that she should win and playing some of her best tennis against players like Maria and Azarenka....I've come to expect the unexpected.

Regardless, I support her 100% and want to see her healthy and well-prepared for 2013. If she plays in Moscow, I hope she can use it as a learning experience instead of just aiming for the title.
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post #7322 of 8481 (permalink) Old Oct 13th, 2012, 03:05 PM
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Re: ...HardCourt

I wish I could get some of your Zen mindset Bertrand, I really feel the pain when a loss like this happens. If I was only a fan because I like the way she plays I could probably take a bit more distance, and just accept that she is, as you say, not a standard linear player.

But I've grown to like her so much as a person as well, and somehow it just feels unfair that she doesn't have more successes to celebrate, while other players who are (IMO) not as likable string together title after title after title. Stupid logic I know, influenced by watching too many sentimental Hollywood movies where everything always turns out right in the end. But I can't help it
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post #7323 of 8481 (permalink) Old Oct 13th, 2012, 03:14 PM
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Re: ...HardCourt

^Yeah - Sam works so hard and seems so nice - its so unfair Maybe nice girls do finish last - she deserves a lot more success in her life that's for sure. But if she ends her career with another slam or two and not the Osaka title this year its not going to matter much eh? . The USO title came when we least expected it so we may well be surprised again in the future or (maybe next week).

Again, this article sums it out perfectly:

With Sam Stosur, expect the unexpected
ANALYSIS, US OPEN, WTA | COMMENTS

Sam Stosur had never won a set off Victoria Azarenka, but pushed her to a third-set breaker in the U.S. Open quarterfinals. (Reuters)


Sam Stosur is a drama queen. Yeah, you heard me right.

Don’t let that Aussie “aw shucks” demeanor fool you, or the placid body language hidden by her signature Oakleys as she goes about her business in a workmanlike manner around the court. She does not “Pojd” like Petra Kvitova, roar like Serena Williams, or throw in full-body fistpumps like Ana Ivanovic. She does not slam her racket a la Victoria Azarenka or negatively stalk the court like Agnieszka Radwanska or Angelique Kerber. Yes, Stosur may be the most even-keeled woman on the WTA Tour.

Stosur has earned the distinction of being a virtually title-less champion. For a woman who has won a Slam, made another Slam final, and two Slam semifinals, the 27-year-old has a mere three titles to her name. Yet when you look at what Stosur has been able to do over the course of her 13-year career, she has proven herself to be the queen of the unexpected. Matches she is expected to win, she loses. Look no further than her first-round exit at this year’s Australian Open to Sorana Cirstea. Write that off to unfair pressure at her home Slam? Fine. How about her French Open loss to Francesca Schiavone in the 2010 final or her loss to Sara Errani in the French Open semifinal this year? Stosur has never worn the “heavy favorite” label well and as a woman who generally lives her life and goes about her career outside of the limelight, I suspect those Oakley sunglasses have hidden more deer-in-the-headlight looks than she’d like to share.

But for all that Stosur hasn’t done in her career, it’s impossible to ignore what she has done, things that very few women have ever been able to do. When the pressure is off, when Stosur has been able to come as a heavy underdog, she has played some of her best tennis to dethrone the greats.


She’s the last woman to beat Justine Henin on clay — a surface upon which the four-time French Open champion was virtually unbeatable — doing so by coming back from a set down to beat her at Roland Garros in 2010. She’s the only woman to beat Serena in a Slam final other than Venus since 2004. As a heavy underdog to Serena last year in the U.S. Open final, Stosur stepped up to play the match of her career, refusing to wilt before the woman who was undefeated last summer or to the chaos that surrounded her after Serena started calling people “Ugly on the inside.”

When you think she’ll zig, Stosur zags. So when she returned to Flushing Meadows last week to begin the defense of her U.S. Open title, it was hard to know what to expect. She has never defended a title in her career (albeit a misleading stat considering she’d only won two before the U.S. Open last year) and she was cruelly given a tough draw, where she could have met either Kim Clijsters or Li Na before the quarterfinals. Neither match materialized thanks to British teen Laura Robson, who Stosur took care of to set up a quarterfinal matchup against No. 1 Victoria Azarenka, a woman she had never taken a set from in six matches.

When you talk about ownage, Azarenka had Stosur’s pink slip in a titanium safe. Azarenka, one of the best returners in the women’s game, had an incredible ability to neutralize Stosur’s serve and she successfully created angles from neutral balls in the middle of the court, getting Stosur on the run. Their matches had not even been close. Stosur had not won more than five games in any of their matches since 2008. It was an odd matchup problem that manifested itself mentally. Stosur never had a Serena problem — she’s beaten her three times in her career — but seemed to pack it in before she even took the court against Azarenka.

“I guess going into a match like that where you’ve never beaten a player before, you’ve got to just play well and really get everything out of yourself that you can,” Stosur said after the match.

Today, as Azarenka pocketed the first set easily, racing out to a 3-0 lead before taking the set 6-1, this was shaping up to be the same old script. The world No. 1 was breaking the Aussie’s powerful serve at will and Stosur looked helpless in the face of such relentless hitting. It was looking to be a very disappointing effort for the defending champ, but one that the stats told you was coming.

But Stosur didn’t go quietly, and that was as much the story of this match as it was Azarenka’s mental fortitude in avoiding the upset. When Azarenka let up her focus for just a blink, Stosur pounced, breaking to 4-3 in the second set and serving it out.

Serving from behind in the third set, the Aussie rebounded from two straight breaks to break back and successfully serving to stay in the match twice to force a decisive tiebreak. Through it all, her focus never wavered. Not known for either her backhand or defense — in fact they’re both major weaknesses — Stosur chased down balls from sideline to sideline and stood tall when Azarenka fired shot after shot to her backhand in an attempt to draw the error.

In the end it was Azarenka’s uncanny ability to neutralize Stosur’s serve out wide that made the difference. It’s not just that she can get the ball back, but she gets it back deep, often times right at Stosur’s feet, earning a weak reply with which she can take control of the point. After falling behind 0-4 in the tiebreak, Stosur fought back — again with some amazing defense — to knot it up at 5-5 on her serve. While much will be made of the perfect drop shot Azarenka hit to win the next point, my jaw dropped at the forehand return she hit to set it all up.

Stretched wide by a Stosur kick, Azarenka yanked it back right at Stosur’s feet. That was gutsy, No. 1 Slam champion winning stuff. It earned her a match point, which she immediately converted to make her first U.S. Open semifinal. In a match that was turned on the smallest of margins, Azarenka was forced to be brave, to take her chances, and to execute. The defending champion, grilled before the tournament about whether she thought her title run last year was “a fluke,” made Azarenka earn her win, silencing the hallway whispers that her name never belonged on that trophy in the first place.

“Of course there’s always going to be disappointment when you lose, you know, quarter of the US Open,” Stosur said. “But I have to say I’m really pleased with the way I played. I thought it was a really, really good match, and there was, what, a point or two in it.”

“I’m really happy with the way I played out there, and I gave it everything I had.”
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post #7324 of 8481 (permalink) Old Oct 13th, 2012, 04:00 PM
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Re: ...HardCourt

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Originally Posted by stromatolite View Post
^It's listed as Rukort in both years. Of course it's possible they could vary how the coatings are laid down or something. I can also recall a lot of people commenting on its slowness last year. If it's slow again that would help Sam a lot more than Marion, and would improve her prospects against Lucie and Nadia I think.

Now watch her lose to Cornet
Some info on the court in Moscow:

RuKortHard is a hard acrylic surface classified as ITF CATEGORY 2 Medium-slow and assigned for indoor and outdoor tennis courts and tournaments.

It is a sports surfacing system consisting of acril emulsion and fine silica sand fillers and is produced by diluting the paste material with water and applying multiple layers to the subbase.

MOSCOW is played on an indoor medium/slow paced, RuKort hard court at the Olympic stadium. Regular Eurosport commentator Simon Reed described the 'Olympic' centre court last year, "There is not a bigger indoor stadium in Europe, you can only see a small part of it in the pictures you can see, but the atmosphere is very flat here. I have never seen a slower indoor court before." Maria Kirilenko said of the 'Olympic' court, "It is not quick, the ball jumps high and it gives me time to think." Alisa Kleybanova said: "All results in Moscow depend on how well you manage to adapt to the difficult conditions of the 'Olympic' stadium. There is very strong light, tall ceilings, strong air conditioning. I can not name a single other tournament in the world, where you play in such uncomfortable conditions." Andrey Golubev spoke of the conditions following his win over Maximo Gonzalez last year: "The match was not easy. It was the opening match but the conditions are not good for me. Heavy balls, slow court. Kleybanova complained about the lighting which is very bright, but I was able to leave it to the background and concentrate on the game, think about how to win points." Tecnifibre X-One will be the balls used.

Some quotes from players:

Voskoaboeva: "The surface is slow..."
Schiavone: "The surface is slow enough so that I can mix my game up."
Vesnina: "New surface this year in Moscow. Hmmm, a bit slower than it was before..."
Radwanska: "It seems too slow for an indoor court."

So here's hoping Sam feels better about her game in Moscow

Last edited by annetcl; Oct 13th, 2012 at 04:07 PM.
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post #7325 of 8481 (permalink) Old Oct 13th, 2012, 04:23 PM
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Re: ...HardCourt

Thanks Annetcl. These two posts have cheered me up a lot!
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post #7326 of 8481 (permalink) Old Oct 13th, 2012, 07:12 PM
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Re: ...HardCourt

Yep Moscow courts sound promising for Sams game.

sam stosur. maria sharapova. jarmila gajdosova
dellacqua.kvitova.tomljanovic.safarova.
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post #7327 of 8481 (permalink) Old Oct 13th, 2012, 09:41 PM
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Re: ...HardCourt

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Originally Posted by stromatolite View Post
I wish I could get some of your Zen mindset Bertrand, I really feel the pain when a loss like this happens. If I was only a fan because I like the way she plays I could probably take a bit more distance, and just accept that she is, as you say, not a standard linear player.

But I've grown to like her so much as a person as well, and somehow it just feels unfair that she doesn't have more successes to celebrate, while other players who are (IMO) not as likable string together title after title after title. Stupid logic I know, influenced by watching too many sentimental Hollywood movies where everything always turns out right in the end. But I can't help it
For you stromatolite, here is a visualization of the Zen Garden.
Of course, it is a Japanese one.
B.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg ZENGARDEN_SAM.jpg (85.7 KB, 19 views)

Last edited by bertisonline; Oct 13th, 2012 at 10:10 PM.
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post #7328 of 8481 (permalink) Old Oct 14th, 2012, 12:23 AM
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Re: ...HardCourt

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My Zen post:
I have learned over the past two and an half years to accept that kind of losses from Sam, not as a fatality, but as her normal course. It took me some time to understand it; I have been really affected by some loses, and I discovered that I have felt pain for wrong reasons. Some of the consequence of Sam not being a typical player is not to be considered as a metaphor, but as a reality, which can translate to what we have experienced today.
The match today is disappointing for all the right reasons I have read here ó so many good posts ó but thatís the standard possibility for Sam. So Iím not that surprised today, I donít feel pain, I only regret the result. And in that vein, if she is (ultimately) going to the YEC, I maintain she can win all of her matches. Thatís totally her, and, in a way, I have learnt to love it.
B.

PS: I imagine people in GM support linear players, and that kind of explanation is out of reach ó or acceptance. I do not blame them, but thatís why I avoid all GM experience. My Zen Garden.

Great post Bertrand!

I would love to join you and stromatolite in your Zen garden. Every week it feels like I learn that Sammy is always going to be unpredictable and have unexpected downturns, and that I shouldn't get ahead of myself thinking about draws and how she might progress to the end of them. Unfortunately, I forget this lesson at the beginning of the next tournament and go right back to the linear model

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Please don't hara kiri yourself, SP!!

Regardless, I support her 100% and want to see her healthy and well-prepared for 2013. If she plays in Moscow, I hope she can use it as a learning experience instead of just aiming for the title.
It's ok - I tried but I was too disappointed to work out how to procure a Samurai sword

I have a not so great feeling about Moscow. I think the matches are happening in such quick succession that she hasn't really had an opportunity to mentally "settle" in the last month. I'd almost prefer her to take the week off and not worry too much about the rest of the year at this point.

Although thanks Annetcl for all your Nancy-Drew-esque research about the Moscow courts. If she stays positive and can adjust to the surface quickly, it looks like it could suit her game well ...

Samantha Stosur


Jarmila Wolfe|Svetlana Kuznetsova|Vera Zvonareva|Francesca Schiavone|Sloane Stephens
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post #7329 of 8481 (permalink) Old Oct 14th, 2012, 05:43 AM
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Re: ...HardCourt

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For you stromatolite, here is a visualization of the Zen Garden.
Of course, it is a Japanese one.
B.


This makes me feel a lot better as well!

Thanks Bertrand
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post #7330 of 8481 (permalink) Old Oct 16th, 2012, 02:47 AM
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Re: ...HardCourt

More GM rumours saying Serena might be pulling out of Istanbul

Samantha Stosur


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post #7331 of 8481 (permalink) Old Oct 16th, 2012, 02:49 AM
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Re: ...HardCourt

^ first Sam needs to make sure shes ALT 1

MANDY MINELLA. PRISCILLA HON

CASEY DELLACQUA. JARMILA WOLFE. SAMANTHA STOSUR
QIANG WANG. SHILIN XU. AYUMI MORITA. NAO HIBINO
LESIA TSURENKO. ALIZ… LIM. NAOMI OSAKA. JULIA G÷RGES.
OLIVIA TJANDRAMULIA. NAIKTHA BAINS. KIMBERLY BIRRELL.
KAROLINA PLISKOVA. KIMIKO DATE-KRUMM. DESTANEE AIAVA
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post #7332 of 8481 (permalink) Old Oct 16th, 2012, 03:10 AM
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Re: ...HardCourt

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^ first Sam needs to make sure shes ALT 1


It would actually be a fitting end to the year if someone did withdraw from the YECs, only for Marion to snatch the first alternate spot out from under Sammy at the last opportunity

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post #7333 of 8481 (permalink) Old Oct 16th, 2012, 10:17 AM
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Re: ...HardCourt

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I have a not so great feeling about Moscow. I think the matches are happening in such quick succession that she hasn't really had an opportunity to mentally "settle" in the last month. I'd almost prefer her to take the week off and not worry too much about the rest of the year at this point.

Although thanks Annetcl for all your Nancy-Drew-esque research about the Moscow courts. If she stays positive and can adjust to the surface quickly, it looks like it could suit her game well ...
^This. As much as I want to see Sam play more matches, I'd prefer that she take the week off as well.

As for YEC, I find myself caring less and less about it each day. Alternate or not, Serena playing or not, will she/won't she get in, etc....it's all too much for me to speculate. I'm hoping for the best for Sam - whether or not she gets into the YEC.
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post #7334 of 8481 (permalink) Old Oct 16th, 2012, 10:48 AM
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Re: ...HardCourt

^I feel much the same way, it pains me a little to see Sam reduced to playing because she needs the points. That said, it would piss me off no end if Serena pulled out andMarion got to play rather than Sam. Sam has been far more impressive than Marion this year IMO.
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post #7335 of 8481 (permalink) Old Oct 16th, 2012, 11:27 PM
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Re: ...HardCourt

Sam and Cornet will play Thursday. Alize has a 2-1 advantage over Sam, and one of those victories was in 2009 when Sam was in the top 15. She seems to have the kind of game that troubles Sammy, for whatever reason ...

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