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View Full Version : Sam Stosur v Petra Kvitova WTA semifinal, a tactical discussion


laurie
Oct 28th, 2011, 09:34 PM
This is an interesting matchup tomorrow, I'm not aware of these two girls having played each other before or their head to head, but I'm intrigued because there will be a lot of tactics going on, more than normal I think.

For Stosur to win this match? I think she will need to get that kick serve up higher than ever to trouble Kvitova. Petra loves to take the ball on top of the bounce and crush it back, so Stosur will have to mix up her serve and serve to different areas on the court, especially on the 2nd serve, or she could be in real trouble.

Stosur will also have to flatten out the forehand a bit, I feel the topspin might play into Kvitova's hands, as she's taller and should be able to handle the higher bounces. Stosur will also have to be brave and come to the net, to keep Kvitova off the net too often.

For Kvitova to win this match? Petra must mix up her serve more, Stosur's backhand is not the best but she loves to run around the backhand and hit forehand returns (as Serena found out!!). The way to stop Stosur doing that is to hit the swinging serves into the body which will jam Stosur, and serving to Stosur's forehand, making her stretch. Luckily for Kvitova, she can do both serves with aplomb.

Stosur is not the best mover, so Kvitova must keep the pressure up in the usual way by hitting into the corners and attacking the net, this should be a successful tactic as Stosur doesn't hit great passing shots in general.

So this match is not only a battle of wills but a battle of tactics, which player will employ their preferred tactics better to win the match. I'm really looking forward to it, how do you see it going?

Sammo
Oct 28th, 2011, 09:34 PM
How well does Kvitova attack slices?

laurie
Oct 28th, 2011, 09:41 PM
Interesting question. Best tactic is to play the slice game with Stosur until Petra gets a short ball. Mauresmo was often successful against Clijsters because Clijsters wouldn't slice the ball back, she would keep hitting up over the ball, then Mauresmo would hit topspin and Clijsters was off her rythm completely. Petra doesn't want that but she doesn't mind slicing, but not too often. So another interesting tactical battle to look forward to.

Apoleb
Oct 28th, 2011, 09:46 PM
The only way I can see Sam troubling Kvitty is with the slices. But her slices are not that good to start with.

Otherwise, this should be a straightforward story. Sam's kick serve goes into Kvitova's super mighty forehand return. Kvitova's serve is a nightmare on Stosur's backhand. Stosur can't deal with the flat, low skidding canon balls coming her way, on either wing.

I will be really surprised if this was anything but an easy 2 sets win. Could be one of the easiest matches of Kvitova so far.

pov
Oct 28th, 2011, 09:47 PM
H2H

2008 FRENCH OPEN . Kvitova 6-2 6-1
2011 AUSTRALIAN OPEN . Kvitova 7-6(5) 6-3

I'd expect Kvitova to take this in straights but I thought that about Serena Williams in the USO final.

Yoncé
Oct 28th, 2011, 09:49 PM
Petra leads H2H 2-0 last match at AO this year. Petra won 7-6 6-3.

Molok
Oct 28th, 2011, 09:52 PM
Your tactic tips for Sam seems to be workable
Your tactic tips for Petra seems to be typical Petra's game

on that point I would predict Petra's game can't suit Sam on it basis and she will win in 2

Mr.Sharapova
Oct 28th, 2011, 09:53 PM
Stosur has been going against the odds so many times this year :hysteric:, beating Serena in a SLAM FINAL , yeah you heard it right, and Maria in YEC. If she beats Kvitova I just hope that she goes on and wins the whole thing and not lose to that arrogant girl called Azarenka :facepalm:.

bobito
Oct 28th, 2011, 10:03 PM
For Kvitova to win this match? Petra must mix up her serve more, Stosur's backhand is not the best but she loves to run around the backhand and hit forehand returns (as Serena found out!!). The way to stop Stosur doing that is to hit the swinging serves into the body which will jam Stosur, and serving to Stosur's forehand, making her stretch. Luckily for Kvitova, she can do both serves with aplomb.

You have more chance of seeing Elvis Presley land a UFO onto the back of the Loch Ness Monster than you have of seeing Stosur run round her backhand to hit a forehand return to a Kvitova slice serve out wide. Ain't gonna happen, even if she knows it's coming. She could never get anywhere close to position to hit a forehand return to that serve.

Patrick345
Oct 28th, 2011, 10:16 PM
1.Kvitova hasn´t played a physical big server and hitter in weeks and has been lackadaisical in return games. She has had lapses of concentration against Zvonareva, Radwanska and Jankovic, she won´t be able to correct, if Stosur serves well.

2. What clearly works against Stosur with her own serve is the leftie stance. Eespecially on the ADV serve wide, which Stosur absolutely loves and Kvitova as a lefty can take it with the forehand. Kvitova also loves that stick in crosscourt backhand return from the deuce court.

3. On the return games obviously the same problem, especially on the ADV side again. Kvitova loves the lefty serve wide and can attack Stosur´s weaker backhand side. Although I feel Kvitova has struggled to go to the middle lately on serve, giving Stosur a chance to readjust her position and maybe go around her backhand.

4. Kvitova isn´t scared to go to the net and she can rush Stosur´s backhand with her crosscourt forehand.

5. On paper it doesn´t look good for Stosur. She´ll need to show extreme confidence to have the backhand working, mix the serve well, be very aggressive. Maybe even try some serve and volley, chip and charge of her own, and see how Kvitova reacts to being rushed. Maybe she can throw Kvitova off that way.

martinafan
Oct 28th, 2011, 10:20 PM
yeah a tall, leftie big hitter is not a good match up for stosur at all. Can return the kick serve easily, and can serve slice out wide exposing stosurs backhand.

As much as I love Sam and am hopeful, I fully expect a quick 2-set win for Petra :(

dsanders06
Oct 28th, 2011, 10:53 PM
For Stosur to win, she's simply going to have to hope Petra comes out and plays a shocker and makes a boatload of errors - because if Petra is landing her shots in court, they're simply too heavy and pacey for Stosur to have time to set up for her forehand - and even if she does crack the rare monster topspin forehand, Kvitova's tall enough to handle the spin, a la Maria. Honestly it'll probably be an annihilation.

pov
Oct 28th, 2011, 11:15 PM
For Stosur to win, she's simply going to have to hope Petra comes out and plays a shocker and makes a boatload of errors - because if Petra is landing her shots in court, they're simply too heavy and pacey for Stosur to have time to set up for her forehand - and even if she does crack the rare monster topspin forehand, Kvitova's tall enough to handle the spin, a la Maria. Honestly it'll probably be an annihilation.


I disagree with the shot assessment - Kvitova's shots are no heavier than those of Serena Williams. Her advantages in the match, as most in this thread have noted, are the leftie serve and enough height to negate some of the effect of Stosur's kick-serve.

dsanders06
Oct 28th, 2011, 11:17 PM
I disagree with the shot assessment - Kvitova's shots are no heavier than those of Serena Williams. Her advantages in the match, as most in this thread have noted, are the leftie serve and enough height to negate some of the effect of Stosur's kick-serve.

Kvitova's shots are much heavier, faster and flatter than the current Serena's :shrug: She's long since adapted her game and started hitting most groundstrokes at ~70% pace.

TheDream
Oct 28th, 2011, 11:23 PM
Kvitova's shots are much heavier, faster and flatter than the current Serena's :shrug: She's long since adapted her game and started hitting most groundstrokes at ~70% pace.

You don't watch Kvitova much. Her shots arent as heavy in outdoor conditions besides grass.

pov
Oct 28th, 2011, 11:27 PM
Kvitova's shots are much heavier, faster and flatter than the current Serena's :shrug:
I disagree. :shrug: Any stats available on this? BTW heavier = (faster & flatter).

dsanders06
Oct 28th, 2011, 11:30 PM
You don't watch Kvitova much. Her shots arent as heavy in outdoor conditions besides grass.

Um, yes they are :lol: Just because she doesn't land as many shots in court on certain surfaces, that doesn't mean they're less fast/heavy when they do go in :lol: LOL at outdoor "conditions" anyway - the only real difference between traditional indoor hardcourts and outdoor hardcourts is that indoor courts traditionally play much quicker, which doesn't even apply to the Rebound Ace that Istanbul uses.

vixter
Oct 28th, 2011, 11:36 PM
dsanders06 is right. As a close follower and admirer of Serena, I surely think that right now Petra's shots are now flatter and faster. Kvitova is going for it all the time, more like a bombardment, while Serena mix it up a lot more. So at least in average I think Petras game is faster.

Kvitova vs Stosur 6-2 7-5

hingisGOAT
Oct 28th, 2011, 11:53 PM
pet peave of mine: "heavy", in tennis terms, refers to weight of shot from TOPSPIN. A flat ball, by definition, is not a "heavy" ball! It's okay though, Mary Carillo used to say Davenport hits a "heavy" shot 20 times in a match... even the commentators don't get it right... annoyed the shit out of me.

Caesar1844
Oct 29th, 2011, 12:03 AM
I predict we will all salivate over what should be an interesting and competitive tactical matchup between two of the most exciting players at the tournament.

Then one of them will come out and mug it up to hand the other the match on a platter.

iPatty
Oct 29th, 2011, 01:37 AM
pet peave of mine: "heavy", in tennis terms, refers to weight of shot from TOPSPIN. A flat ball, by definition, is not a "heavy" ball! It's okay though, Mary Carillo used to say Davenport hits a "heavy" shot 20 times in a match... even the commentators don't get it right... annoyed the shit out of me.

Not necessarily. I get where you're coming from but when I think of heavy I think of a shot that knocks you back and is very difficult to attack. Not necessarily loaded with topspin. For instance Cornet hits with a lot of topspin but her ball is extremely ineffective (the opposite of heavy, really). :lol:

SilverPersian
Oct 29th, 2011, 02:00 AM
I predict we will all salivate over what should be an interesting and competitive tactical matchup between two of the most exciting players at the tournament.

Then one of them will come out and mug it up to hand the other the match on a platter.

:lol:

Yeah. I agree with what most other people have said. The main thing Sam can do is to try and defend well, mix it up with her slice/top spin/flat groundstrokes, and then hope the variety will frustrate Petrerror into coming out.

It could be a bad experience for her if Petra is playing as well as she can, though :(

dsanders06
Oct 29th, 2011, 02:03 AM
Not necessarily. I get where you're coming from but when I think of heavy I think of a shot that knocks you back and is very difficult to attack. Not necessarily loaded with topspin. For instance Cornet hits with a lot of topspin but her ball is extremely ineffective (the opposite of heavy, really). :lol:

Yup. It's kind of hard to explain, and I don't know if "heaviness" or "weight of shot" are the right technical terms, but I know from playing that you can hit super-flat while still making it heavy. And in the pro's, there's definitely graduations in weight of shot even when looking at the flat hitters - for instance, players like Kvitova, Sharapova, Venus etc. really do hit heavy groundstrokes even though they're flat (kind of because they're using raw body strength and muscling the ball), whereas players like Radwanska and Hantuchova also have very flat groundstrokes but have far inferior weight of shot (the difference isn't congruent with the difference in pace of shot either), so it's easier for her opponents to control and kind of lift the ball back into play even when they're out of position. And conversely, there's players who use more spin like Wozniacki and Cornet who are nonetheless producing lighter shots than some flat hitters like Kvitova.

tennisforadults
Oct 29th, 2011, 02:33 AM
Sam needs to mix up her game with more slices, net approaches and keep her errors down, especially off her backhand. Their last match at the Aussie this year has more significance than the French one in 2008 (when Sam was coming back from illness) and it was a close straight-sets loss. So anything can happen.

stromatolite
Oct 29th, 2011, 06:55 AM
The thing that probably tips this match slightly in Petra's favour is her being a lefty. Not that Sam is that bad against lefties in general, but one that hits the ball as hard as Petra can be a problem for her. That said, lately Sam's backhand has been nowhere near the liability it used to be, and has even been quite a weapon for her in a lot of matches. So she won't need to run around it too much to be able to put pressure on Petra, she can do that with a drive or slice backhand as well. From Petra's perpective, the biggest challenge will be to adjust after playing three defensive players to facing someone who can match her for power. Not that Sam will overpower her in general, but in contrast to Petra's last three opponents, Sam can vary the pace of her attack more and is more capable of switching quickly from defense to offense. I think it could be an intriguing match.

bobito
Oct 29th, 2011, 11:48 AM
The thing that probably tips this match slightly in Petra's favour is her being a lefty. Not that Sam is that bad against lefties in general, but one that hits the ball as hard as Petra can be a problem for her. That said, lately Sam's backhand has been nowhere near the liability it used to be, and has even been quite a weapon for her in a lot of matches. So she won't need to run around it too much to be able to put pressure on Petra, she can do that with a drive or slice backhand as well. From Petra's perpective, the biggest challenge will be to adjust after playing three defensive players to facing someone who can match her for power. Not that Sam will overpower her in general, but in contrast to Petra's last three opponents, Sam can vary the pace of her attack more and is more capable of switching quickly from defense to offense. I think it could be an intriguing match.

She's 0-2 against Kvitova, 1-3 against Safarova and only 1-1 against Makarova. Against players like Benesova or Bammer she does better but tall lefties have a good record against her.

stromatolite
Oct 29th, 2011, 11:54 AM
She's 0-2 against Kvitova, 1-3 against Safarova and only 1-1 against Makarova. Against players like Benesova or Bammer she does better but tall lefties have a good record against her.

Point taken, I could have left that qualification out then ;) Whatever her record against lefties in general, Petra being a lefty does present a problem for her. That said, she wasn't completely destroyed by her in Melbourne, and has shored up her backhand and her defensive game a bit since then, so she has the potential to at least be competitive against her I think. But to be honest you never really know which Sam is going to turn up on court.:help:

bobito
Oct 29th, 2011, 12:00 PM
Her backhand may be improved but I doubt it will stand up to Petra's lefty serve or her cross court forehand for that matter. On paper, this is a terrible match-up for Sam. Her only real hope is that Petra plays poorly.

laurie
Oct 29th, 2011, 05:21 PM
Well what a good match it turned out to be, all of the things that were discussed here happened in the match. In the end, Kvitova's extra power and touch, and will to win made the difference. Stosur played very well and fought hard in typical Aussie fashion.

Thanks for everyone's interesting replies :hatoff: