Originally Posted by joshum
there are always a couple of matches that leave big marks on a player's career, which they will serve as huge boosters and ones that she can draw on to pull through difficult times. i think personally :
1. 2011 miami win after which she nearly retired
2. 2012 AO win
3. 2012 USO final
4. 2013 AO win
5. 2013 doha win
i also think some of her defeats to serena in melbourne had far much impact on her. she could always play serena for one set and a half, neck to neck, it's really only this year that she has grown into patience + aggression that earned her those wins. the cincy win though, it is one of a kind. it's a come-from-behind win, which she has never done it before.
as much as i like vika, if a 100% top form serena vs vika, the edge is always with serena. but now, vika knows she will always have a chance cos nobody can hang on 2-3 hours of 100% best play. and that kind of high level play endurance, vika has come out on top in mastering it.
its like how she found out that hanging with Li until she goes away and in the mean while keeping her form to press continuosly. Unless until they are physically/athletically very strong, Serena or Li cannot play 100% throughout a three set match as they are above 30 now. It takes a toll on their body to maintain it. Also Vika does not give easy points and plays fantastic herself, it becomes more difficult for them. She found this truth quickly with Li Na as Li is not an athlete like Serena. With Serena she is slowly realizing it, keeping a full throttle in the third set is very important to beat Serena. She learnt that lesson from last year's final.