Originally Posted by stromatolite
You may well be right. Remember that Sam lost quite badly to Serena in Toronto, and was thrashed by Maria in Cincinnatti, but was able to turn it around in style in her very next matches against them. And like her Cincy loss against Maria, Sam played an atrocious match against Vika in Istanbul (which is not to take anything away from Vika, who as you said was in great form, but she didn't really have to do much to beat Sam that day), so there's a lot of room for improvement. Good observation about Sam tailoring her game to her opponent. This has been one of the most impressive features of her play lately: she has gone into matches with a specific game plan, and more often than not has executed it well. I think Dave deserves a lot of credit for that, I think he does most of the research, and he has come up with some pretty bold and imaginative plans (like peppering Petra with kick serves, the area in which most "experts" were expecting Sam to get hammered).
She didn't complain about it herself, but I think Sam got fucked over in the scheduling for that Vika match. I think she needed more time to prepare - I don't mean from a fitness perspective (obviously!), but mentally. (Same with Osaka having to play 2 matches on the same day.) As you say her play was appalling against Vika. I expect much, much better in their next match.