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View Full Version : Lena's mental toughness


JC Federer
Sep 29th, 2005, 05:01 PM
This is an area I'm a bit unsure about. She's got a great record in three setters, and she has won some epic third set tie breakers at the Open against class opponents... and all three rubbers she played at Fed Cup would have been tough matches to play. So that would indicate to me that she is a tough player mentally.

What puzzles me though is... how do you explain those major chokes to Myskina? Especially Wimbledon and FO. Even last year in Moscow, she was leading 5-3 in the first set, and then never won another game. Is this an abberation, a problem she has only when playing Nastya? Myskina was having a terrible year so I thought she would have been easy pickings for anyone.

She has made a number of big finals (Olympics, Tier 1's, Fed Cups, Grand Slams) but lost them. Not a good record in finals. Some of them can be attributed to inexperience, but I would argue that the two GS finals she should have won. She beat much tougher opponents in getting to the finals than her finalist opponent. And she definately broke down against Myskina in Paris. Myskina wasn't even playing that well, but she handled the nerves slightly better than Elena did. And I also think she could have played the Kremlin final a bit better than getting bageled in the second set.

If she makes another GS final, will it be another defeat? And what is the deal with her playing Myskina? The Wimbledon match was painful. :mad: I guess the only consolation is knowing that she wouldn't have won Wimbledon anyway, even if she got past that match, but she really needs to turn this series around against Myskina.

Fearful Jesuit
Sep 29th, 2005, 05:19 PM
I don't know what to say, but this:
do you remember US Open 2004 SF?
do you remember how the crow whispered while she hit that lovely second serve of hers?
well, she overcame to that, and won the match...tell me about mental weakness...
don't forget: the opponent also plays :)

JC Federer
Sep 29th, 2005, 05:42 PM
I know... she seems tough, but erratic. What I'm wondering is... those chokes to Myskina an exception? She's gotten through some very tough matches which require guts, only to lose easily in a final. There has to be some explanation for that.

I wanna point out that Lindsay match at USO. That was probably the biggest win of her career. She was down match point, and came up with a very GUTSY and risky forehand that caught the line, for a winner. To go for a shot like that on match point, knowing that if you miss you're history, takes a big heart. Chokers get tight and hesitate on their shots and miss, or don't dare go for winners, but hit the ball toward the center of the court and wait for their opponents to miss a ball, but she didn't falter. After that shot she then followed that up with a superb drop shot, another high risk shot, which if she missed would have put her down match point again, on serve. But she got through that and won, beating the #1 player. That sounds like mental toughness.

But when you contrast it with the Myskina match at Wimbledon... Myskina was playing poorly, 6-1 3-0, double break. I just can't see how you can lose from there. Is it something that only happens when she plays Myskina? The commentators were mystified by what they saw, and once she dropped that tiebreak, the commentators were saying how you've gotta favor Myskina to win it now. I almost cried. :sad: But sadly, I couldn't disagree with them.

miffedmax
Sep 29th, 2005, 05:44 PM
Really, I think Lena's mental toughness is mostly a result of the FO Final. Prior to that, I think she was thought of more as a choker and a head case (remember when "Demented" was the disparaging nickname of choice among the haters?)

Her mental toughness is an ongoing thing. I've also noticed once she's beaten a highly ranked player since RG '04, she's managed to come back and do it again.

The serve problems are all still psychological, so her mental toughness thing is still a work in progress. But that's part of why I like her. She had a huge weakness in her game (similar to one in my game) and she's managed to overcome it in so many ways, and continues to make progress (unlike me).

Paco
Sep 30th, 2005, 10:21 AM
Really, I think Lena's mental toughness is mostly a result of the FO Final. Prior to that, I think she was thought of more as a choker and a head case (remember when "Demented" was the disparaging nickname of choice among the haters?)

Her mental toughness is an ongoing thing. I've also noticed once she's beaten a highly ranked player since RG '04, she's managed to come back and do it again.

The serve problems are all still psychological, so her mental toughness thing is still a work in progress. But that's part of why I like her. She had a huge weakness in her game (similar to one in my game) and she's managed to overcome it in so many ways, and continues to make progress (unlike me).
I have the same problem ;)

shady
Oct 1st, 2005, 03:28 AM
concerning her mental toughness, I think that she needs a little work but she's definately getting there. Her courage is already there though(and there's plenty of it!)