Re: ...HardCourt II
Completely agree with all of you guys that the Hopman Cup would be a much better way for Sam to start the year. Not so much for the friendly atmosphere - they're hardly hostile to Sam in Brisbane - as for the matches, which is what she needs most at the start of the year, especially this time around. As much as they love Sam in Brisbane, I think they would fully understand if she pulled out in future given her track record there.
Sydney draw doesn't look too bad. I thought more of the top players were entered there, but either I was wrong or a bunch pulled out. Still plenty who can give Sam trouble if she keeps spraying errors around like she did in Brisbane, but if she can keep the ball in play there's nobody she can't beat.
My gut feeling is that she'll play a lot better this time around, but I'm not counting on anything. Anyway she has no points at stake, so the main thing is to get her game in shape in time for the AO.