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Old Feb 10th, 2014, 01:10 AM   #679
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Re: Goddess in training: Despina Papamichail

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillFromRichmond View Post
Ranking of 358 is close to her all time best of 351 late in 2011 before the disaster of 2012. Any idea of what happened or was it just poor play?
I don't know to be honest. I've seen her wear tape and stuff but she never had any serious injury where she missed a significant amount of time on tour so it couldn't have been injury. I think she just lost her confidence maybe. If I had to guess a lot of it would have to do with Fed Cup in 2012. Greece was in Group I but Daniilidou, Gerasimou, and Georgatou all skipped which meant Despina, who had never played singles (or any live match) at Fed Cup before was to lead the team to try and stay in the top category. Unfortunately Greece wasn't going to beat Hungary or Sweden so they needed to beat Bosnia and Despina had set points in the first set against Tinjic and could not convert.

Then Greece played the relegation playoff against Luxembourg and Stefanou was up 4-0 in the first set and then got injured and lost so Despina had to win her singles against Anne Kremer (former top 20) and she won 7-5 in the third and then in the doubles they were down 5-1 in the third set and saved 2 MPs that game and slowly came back and saved 5-6 MPs in total and then in the third set tiebreak they saved more match points and then had one of their own and couldn't convert and ended up losing it 10-8. Long story short, that could've hurt Despina a lot since she fought so hard for nothing.

My theory is that it was either that Fed Cup that hurt her to end 2012 outside the top 700, or the Greek economic crisis. I have no idea what her family's situation is like, but maybe they are struggling and relying on Despina to pay their bills? Who knows, they could even be rich but maybe the financial situation added a lot of pressure on her? Once again, I could be completely wrong but I'm just assuming its either Fed Cup or the economy.

Sorry I wrote so much but it was a good question to ask, as I don't know the real answer
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