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Old May 7th, 2014, 03:53 PM   #4006
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Re: Simona Halep Cheering thread - volume 2

Has anyone mentioned the perspective that, while Halep took the match by winning 70 points to the Spaniard's 57, Halep actually won the first 10 points of the match? So really, the initial shock of being-there overcome, the Spaniard played her even. Halep did not look comfortable returning the Spaniard's moonballs. Didn't seem to have her rhythm after the third game. So many times Halep tried to end points early, she missed: the winners/ue ratio is not quite accurate, because it wouldn't take into account the number of weak Spanish serves Halep tripped taking out to the trash. Halep was down 3-4 in the first set, when in her service game, she lost the first point looking very tentative trying not to slide on that ankle, but then the Spaniard dumped a ros into the net, and Halep stablized her serve and controlled the game, as well as the next at love. She served out the first set, but it's lucky that injury is to the right ankle, because it didn't effect her serve, and she was testing it the whole game (it may be making her forehand a little tentative). The second set's long first game, a crucial one Halep won on a df, will make no one's end-of-year highlight reel. Up a break in the second, Halep hit one of the worst drop shots I've ever seen a pro hit; she practically conducted an orchestral accompaniment with her racquet (there was an even worse one at 2-1). But then she hit two wide spin serves that were unhittable, and won the game. Set two was nid; the story, again, was of Halep going for too much on the Spaniard's serves once she was up a break.

What should we take from this match? Halep, much fitter than her opponent, was tentative on that forehand slide, because of the right ankle. So her movement is impaired. She served with confidence, but in the ground game she danced close with this particular hitting partner who, suffice to say, is no Maria Kirilenko. I think Halep had a lovely practice session, played within herself, and is tough to beat under even such impaired condition.
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