Therapy it is then.
I just noticed that while most of us were licking our wounds, a few had the presence of mind to give some thoughts about what the loss means for Sam.
Dave Taylor -- I have something to say to you.
Fix those motherfucking double faults right fucking now. I don't care if you have to hire every motherfucking serving coach on the fucking planet, just fix that fucking shit. At least 3 times in today's match, a double fault changed the whole outcome of the game and finally cost Sam the match.
I can accept occasional groundstrokes errors. I can even deal with the fucking 2-handed BH. But please, Dave, for the love of god, figure out what is going on with that fucking first serve, and FIX THAT FUCKING SHIT. Dammit. Sam's game begins with that fucking serve. When it falls apart, her whole game falls apart. Please, man, fix it.
That is all.
Yeah, the DFs were painful for sure, but today at least I think that was entirely due to nerves. By the end of the match I had the feeling that Sam’s arms and legs had pretty much turned to jelly. Not sure a serving coach can help her with that. But in general you’re right: for somebody who serves with as much topspin as Sam does, she hits way too many DFs.
Losing like this do happen. It’s part of the game.
But she will remember it while serving for the match for a couple of matches.
I’m not sad because I had no expectation Re: the AO. Today is just waste.
I think this is a fair assessment. I would have liked her to win another match or two for sure, but basically had zero expectation at the start of the tournament, so from that point of view I’m not too disappointed. But not clinching the win when she had the opportunity is certainly a waste, because every match won can give her some confidence and rhythm for the continuation of the season.
Sorry, Bert. I have to disagree. It wasn't a waste. She played at both extremes - good and bad. She had some great dominance moments that I hope she can call upon in the future when she needs to regain confidence. And she had some horrible moments when lack of focus came at a high price. To play such GOAT tennis in the 2nd set and first part of the 3rd set, she was able to experience the awesome, confident feelings. That's not wasted energy at all. In a sick way, I think today was a bonus. I just hope that all of us, including Sam, can put it behind us and move forward with the positive things.
Anyway, I wonder if I can find a liquor store open at 1:30am.
I agree with this as well. Even though in a lot of ways a straight sets loss would have been easier to stomach, there was value in her having played the third set, because up till 5-2 that was easily the best set of tennis she’s played all season so far. So she can leave Australia knowing that she still has it in her to play at that level.
In a way this is true - last year there were several tight 3 set losses where she played well in the second set and then totally tighten up at the start of the third set - at least she played well at the start of the third set in both the Sydney and today's match. But this losing first set and then losing the third set is getting sadly predictable
She just has to start turning the table on one or two of these matches - hopefully sooner rather than later.
At least she got one win out of the Aussie summer. It would have sucked real bad if her losing streak that started in the Moscow final continued into Doha/Dubai.
Yes, I’m a bit concerned about this pattern continuing on, I was hoping she could leave it behind her this year. There is some weird psychology at work here: she always seems to choke at the very moment she recovers her game after a period of playing badly. It doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense: you would expect her to gain confidence at such moments and play even better.
Oh, sorry Sinclair. By waste, I was Re: Sam serving twice for the match: she wasted the opportunity.
Hope you do not read me (too) badly… I totally agree she played really well during a long period of the match, the second set and half of the third one.
We know a little bit Sam, and that scenario has already happened. As an example, the Errani match at RG last year: obviously.
The key problem lies when she is serving for the match.
I think her mental state at that moment is that not only she thinks she is going to win the match, but even further, that’s she thinks she deserves it, mainly because she has done (the difficult part of) the job. That thought is really vicious, because while being true, it does freeze her momentum, until death happen.
She needs to change her way to handle it, or it will happen again. Today is not a semi-final and Sam was not expected to run deep at the AO, so it might ease a little bit the disappointment in a few days.
But the core thing is to change the mental approach of closing such matches while clearly leading the set and serving for the match. She can do it if she works on it, as she had recovered from her surgery within only a few weeks.
What do you think?
I suspect that it happens for the simple reason that it’s happened before, so every time the situation arises she suffers an involuntary déjà vu feeling (oh shit, every time this happens I choke), which becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. I think a large part of her playing badly in Australia and at Wimbledon come down to the same thing. She can banish it from her mind for a while, but before long she starts to think: I always bomb out here, and once that thought gets into her brain it grows and grows until she can’t control it anymore.
I don’t think it’s impossible for her to break these chains, but at her stage in her career it might be tough. A really deep run at the AO and/or Wimbledon, and/or a few good wins after losing the first set might allow her to draw on positive memories in future matches. Atm, it’s a self-perpetuating cycle