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Old Nov 9th, 2011, 03:26 PM   #46
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Re: Sammy's 2011 Party and Off-Season Thread

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I agree. Smashing anyone at any time is great for me, too. But I'm in for USO-like drama, too! What can I say...



I'm Greek and blonde and I usually have a pony tail. Just seeing me should be enough!
Perfect!!!!
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Old Nov 9th, 2011, 03:29 PM   #47
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Re: Sammy's 2011 Party and Off-Season Thread

I'm sorry I am late to the party - I got sick, had Uni and other commitments, and couldn't find the best shirt - jeans combination to wear. But then I remembered I was attending a Samantha Jane Stosur party, and just threw on a nice white shirt and simple jeans.


1) What was Sam's best win of the year?

It's hard to go past the final of the US Open. She was incredible, and now she has a Grand Slam title, which no-one can take away from her.

But I actually think her win against Zvonareva in Stuttgart really started turning things around for her, and again, her win against Zvonareva on a grass court with the wind blowing was awesome too.

2) What was Sam's worst loss of the year

I actually half-expected Sam to lose to Czink - so I would have to say Dulko at the French.

3) What fictional character does Sam remind you of?

I actually cannot think of one character that Sam reminds me of completely; rather, she has aspects of different characters. (I just think Sam is really unique, so that's why I'm having a hard time.)

If I had to say who reminds me of Sam the most, it would have to be Jackie from "Nurse Jackie". I don't know why though, maybe the no nonsense attitude, and the tough façade, (with Sam, that façade is literal; the muscles! ) but underneath, they are really nice.

4) If you had to describe Sam's year in the form of a song, which song would it be?



(Okay, I have to explain this. I see this song as her asking them - the people expecting her to fall, or not live up to hype, or some Australian's saying she'll never win a grand slam - what they want from her. And the first part of the chorus comes true - she worked it out. )

(Well, it sounds good to me - but it is 2 am Sydney time. )

5) What was Sam's most under-rated win of the year?

I think her win over Schiavone in Rome was pretty significant. I know they met a couple of times after the French Open, but Sam absolutely dominated her conqueror on the surface she was beaten on and in Schiavone's hometown.

It was pretty impressive, for me.

6) Which of Sam's losses were you most impressed with?

Her losses against Kvitova were right up there, particularly at the YEC.

7) What part of Sam's game has improved most throughout the year?

Her movement and, by*****, her defence. It really won her the US Open this year.

8) What would you like to see Sam work on in the future?

Her ability to turn defence into attack - often, when she is forced to defend, she cannot get herself into an attacking position again. I think if she improves that (and her backhand too) she has a wonderful shot at making top 3, or even #1.

9) What's the one match you wish Sam had won, that she didn't?

Against Goerges in Stuttgart - I think she would have won the title had she got through that match.

10) What do you predict in 2012 for Sam (ranking, tournmanets, H2Hs with particular players etc.)?

I think she has a chance, as I said before, of getting a higher ranking, and snagging a few more GS titles. But the thing I really see her doing is winning more regular WTA tournaments - if she keeps her form up, she should have a couple more titles next year than this year.

(But... you know... if she only wins one title next year, and it's a GS... I'll be happy with that again. )


(ETA: The bleeped out word is pr0xy. That's strange, would anyone know why this is censored?)
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Old Nov 9th, 2011, 03:35 PM   #48
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Re: Sammy's 2011 Party and Off-Season Thread

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Originally Posted by SilverPersian View Post
Yeah the second paragraph is exactly right. I guess most people have a certain number of favourite players that they're obsessed with, but probably struggle to come up with a "dislike" list off the cuff. Sammy's just a name that's more likely to come to mind since getting into the top ten.

Some of the bitter Serena fan are just hilarious though.

Guurrrl, you are so fierce; I can't, I just can't

etc.

Or:

"Gurrrlll, you better run from Renochka, 'cause she's after and gonna snatch some wigs at the AO! "






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Yes, for Sam's matches against Vera and Na we can probably take the day off. I'm pretty sure I heard Vera calling her racquet a hater and unattractive inside that day. And Na's self-destruction whever she plays Sam is so violent in its way that Sam doesn't need to add anything to it.

I'd actually like to know what's going through Vera and Na's heads when they play Sam, and is it a bit like what Sam thinks when she plays Maria, Victoria, and Petra?
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Old Nov 9th, 2011, 03:42 PM   #49
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Re: Sammy's 2011 Party and Off-Season Thread

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I'd actually like to know what's going through Vera and Na's heads when they play Sam, and is it a bit like what Sam thinks when she plays Maria, Victoria, and Petra?
I think it's very similar. It's partly a real problem due to the way their games match up, and partly a deep-seated lack of confidence in their own ability to do anything at all to really hurt Sam. This is precisely Sam's problem against her nemeses. Beating Maria and taking a set off Petra in Istanbul might help change that in the future, but she kind of spoiled it a bit by losing so badly to Vika.
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Old Nov 9th, 2011, 03:52 PM   #50
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Re: Sammy's 2011 Party and Off-Season Thread

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7) What part of Sam's game has improved most throughout the year?

Her movement and, by*****, her defence. It really won her the US Open this year.



(ETA: The bleeped out word is pr0xy. That's strange, would anyone know why this is censored?)
No idea why that would be bleeped out. I assumed you meant it as a deleted expletive, as in "...by golly, her defense"
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Old Nov 9th, 2011, 04:04 PM   #51
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Re: Sammy's 2011 Party and Off-Season Thread

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I think it's very similar. It's partly a real problem due to the way their games match up, and partly a deep-seated lack of confidence in their own ability to do anything at all to really hurt Sam. This is precisely Sam's problem against her nemeses. Beating Maria and taking a set off Petra in Istanbul might help change that in the future, but she kind of spoiled it a bit by losing so badly to Vika.
I think it'll help against Maria and Petra - I have confidence that Sam usually plays her matches tailored to the player, not a generic play. She just needs more time for Azarenka, it looks like. (Plus, Azarenka was playing some very good tennis at this YEC, so she shouldn't be too displeased in the result.)

I think it would just be a wonderful study into how complex the mind is, and how it is trained/behaves differently to stimuli.


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No idea why that would be bleeped out. I assumed you meant it as a deleted expletive, as in "...by golly, her defense"

Maybe I should have left it an enigma - so people could draw their own conclusions as you did.
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Old Nov 9th, 2011, 04:06 PM   #52
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Re: Sammy's 2011 Party and Off-Season Thread

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3) What fictional character does Sam remind you of?

I actually cannot think of one character that Sam reminds me of completely; rather, she has aspects of different characters. (I just think Sam is really unique, so that's why I'm having a hard time.)

If I had to say who reminds me of Sam the most, it would have to be Jackie from "Nurse Jackie". I don't know why though, maybe the no nonsense attitude, and the tough façade, (with Sam, that façade is literal; the muscles! ) but underneath, they are really nice.
Hmmmm. Nurse Jackie is probably one of my favourite shows - love her. But do you really think she's nice underneath?! She has fucked over everyone - her husband, her lover, her best friend. She's put her kids at risk having drugs stashed around the house, she's put patients at risk by treating them while doped up. Makes for great TV, but I don't think she's nice underneath - I think she's a cast iron bitch!

Strange about the censoring you mentioned - I probably swear worse than anyone on here and I don't think I've ever been censored...
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Old Nov 9th, 2011, 04:19 PM   #53
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Re: Sammy's 2011 Party and Off-Season Thread

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I think it'll help against Maria and Petra - I have confidence that Sam usually plays her matches tailored to the player, not a generic play. She just needs more time for Azarenka, it looks like. (Plus, Azarenka was playing some very good tennis at this YEC, so she shouldn't be too displeased in the result.)

I think it would just be a wonderful study into how complex the mind is, and how it is trained/behaves differently to stimuli.
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).
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Old Nov 9th, 2011, 04:45 PM   #54
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Re: Sammy's 2011 Party and Off-Season Thread

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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.
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Old Nov 10th, 2011, 02:11 AM   #55
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Re: Sammy's 2011 Party and Off-Season Thread

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Hmmmm. Nurse Jackie is probably one of my favourite shows - love her. But do you really think she's nice underneath?! She has fucked over everyone - her husband, her lover, her best friend. She's put her kids at risk having drugs stashed around the house, she's put patients at risk by treating them while doped up. Makes for great TV, but I don't think she's nice underneath - I think she's a cast iron bitch!

Strange about the censoring you mentioned - I probably swear worse than anyone on here and I don't think I've ever been censored...
It's odd, and I cannot find anything on the Internet about it; maybe it's a TF codename for something sinister.

But on Jackie - I still would call her nice underneath. (But maybe kind is a better word...)

I think she is an intrinsically nice person, who just has a lot of things going on that compound her addictions and dysfunctional tendencies. She has morals - she treats patients who deserve her care with the utmost respect, and really guides them.

But yes, she does have her fair share of problems; her dysfunctions, no matter how compounded by her life, is not excusable. Also, it would not make as good a T.V show in many ways if she didn't have these problems, as you say.

I don't think she is a cast iron bitch, but she isn't as "really nice" as I first said.


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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).

I always thought that was the way to go with Petra - from what I saw in the match and at the AO this year, whenever Sam got a forehand, no matter how short or shanked it was, it gave Petra some trouble. The topspin might explain why she consistently struggled for timing against Sam's kick and FH.

Another ploy she did pretty well that will be good against Petra in the future is defending and to keep getting the ball back. Petra relies upon her winners and serve most of all - if you take that away from her, she can get very streaky. But Sam also cannot fall into the trap of purely defending; her attack would be crucial to throwing Petra off at key times. (Set point in the first set at YEC comes to mind.)


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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.

She did get the short-end of the stick with her scheduling, that wasn't fair on Sam.

And that is an interesting argument I hadn't thought of before; I always thought Sam would be one of the best at backing up really quickly - but as her intensity and mentality still isn't as consistently world class as Marion's (Osaka) and Victoria's (YEC) that might have gone against her.
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Old Nov 10th, 2011, 07:31 AM   #56
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Re: Sammy's 2011 Party and Off-Season Thread

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But Sam also cannot fall into the trap of purely defending; her attack would be crucial to throwing Petra off at key times. (Set point in the first set at YEC comes to mind.)

She did get the short-end of the stick with her scheduling, that wasn't fair on Sam.

And that is an interesting argument I hadn't thought of before; I always thought Sam would be one of the best at backing up really quickly - but as her intensity and mentality still isn't as consistently world class as Marion's (Osaka) and Victoria's (YEC) that might have gone against her.
I think you've put your finger on the two points Sam needs to work on most. Her improved defense (by golly) is the crucial improvement that won her the USO, but at times she defends longer than is necessary and allows her opponent to get back into the match. I don't think there's any quick fix for this, it's about learning to read the flow of the match and of individual points better and to pick her moment to attack. She's getting better at this I think, but there is definitely a lot of room for improvement.

As for the scheduling, I think this is something Sam needs to learn to deal with better, it's all part of the game. It obviously doesn't always cause her problems, for example she bounced back from a grueling SF in NY to play one of the matches of her life less than a day later. But against Vika in Istanbul and Marion in Osaka it was like she had forgotten how to play, it was painful to watch. TBH I don't know what the real problem is, and why it sometimes gives her so much trouble and sometimes none at all. The obvious theory is that against players whose playing style gives her trouble on the surface they are playing on Sam needs a level of focus that she just can't muster after playing a tough match less than a day earlier. Even though Sam probably expected Serena to play better than she did, I think these days she feels basically comfortable with Serena's playing style so she could play instinctively. Against Vika, or Marion on fast, low-bouncing surfaces, she can't do that and needs to concentrate all the time, and she needs to be fresh to do that. But I also think there could be a physical aspect to the problem as well. Against Vika, it really looked as though her muscles weren't working properly. Her movement looked jerky, her shots looked stiff and mechanical, it looked for all the world like she was physically not capable of playing better than she was. Against Dulko at RG it was exactly the same. I don't want to compare myself with Sam (or even with a halfway decent club player), but I have days like that, when my game is just not there. The bottom line is that Sam needs to figure out what the problem is and find out a way of either eliminating it or at least minimizing its effects. In the first half of this year all it took was one bad day at the office to knock her out of most tournaments in the early rounds.
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Old Nov 10th, 2011, 01:22 PM   #57
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Re: Sammy's 2011 Party and Off-Season Thread

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As for the scheduling, I think this is something Sam needs to learn to deal with better, it's all part of the game. It obviously doesn't always cause her problems, for example she bounced back from a grueling SF in NY to play one of the matches of her life less than a day later. But against Vika in Istanbul and Marion in Osaka it was like she had forgotten how to play, it was painful to watch. TBH I don't know what the real problem is, and why it sometimes gives her so much trouble and sometimes none at all. The obvious theory is that against players whose playing style gives her trouble on the surface they are playing on Sam needs a level of focus that she just can't muster after playing a tough match less than a day earlier. Even though Sam probably expected Serena to play better than she did, I think these days she feels basically comfortable with Serena's playing style so she could play instinctively. Against Vika, or Marion on fast, low-bouncing surfaces, she can't do that and needs to concentrate all the time, and she needs to be fresh to do that. But I also think there could be a physical aspect to the problem as well. Against Vika, it really looked as though her muscles weren't working properly. Her movement looked jerky, her shots looked stiff and mechanical, it looked for all the world like she was physically not capable of playing better than she was. Against Dulko at RG it was exactly the same. I don't want to compare myself with Sam (or even with a halfway decent club player), but I have days like that, when my game is just not there. The bottom line is that Sam needs to figure out what the problem is and find out a way of either eliminating it or at least minimizing its effects. In the first half of this year all it took was one bad day at the office to knock her out of most tournaments in the early rounds.
Yes you're right, she certainly needs to learn to deal. It's the short turnaround when she has to play opponents she has difficulty with - i.e. Vika, Bartoli. It's as if she needs a supreme effort to focus for those matches, and if she can't get the focus the physical issues follow. Perhaps there even was a physical issue as you say, and that compounded the inability to focus. Negative feedback loop!!

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But on Jackie - I still would call her nice underneath. (But maybe kind is a better word...)

I think she is an intrinsically nice person, who just has a lot of things going on that compound her addictions and dysfunctional tendencies. She has morals - she treats patients who deserve her care with the utmost respect, and really guides them.

But yes, she does have her fair share of problems; her dysfunctions, no matter how compounded by her life, is not excusable. Also, it would not make as good a T.V show in many ways if she didn't have these problems, as you say.

I don't think she is a cast iron bitch, but she isn't as "really nice" as I first said.
Well she certainly has a sense of moral superiority - she believes she is ALWAYS right when it comes to nursing. However, her morality appears to be that the ends justify the means - i.e. she gets to do whatever the hell she wants as long as she perceives the outcome as being just. So I'd have to say she's complicated, rather that nice, kind or a cast iron bitch!
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Old Nov 10th, 2011, 02:45 PM   #58
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Re: Sammy's 2011 Party and Off-Season Thread

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Originally Posted by Siderophyre View Post
Yes you're right, she certainly needs to learn to deal. It's the short turnaround when she has to play opponents she has difficulty with - i.e. Vika, Bartoli. It's as if she needs a supreme effort to focus for those matches, and if she can't get the focus the physical issues follow. Perhaps there even was a physical issue as you say, and that compounded the inability to focus. Negative feedback loop!!
The thing that makes me think it might be something physical was that it happened in her match against Dulko at RG as well. There was no short turnaround there, she'd had 2 full days to recover (as if that was necessary) from thrashing Halep in the 2nd round. Dulko also shouldn't have been a difficult opponent for her. Although she'd dropped her first set against her in Madrid, she took the next two sets 2 and 2, so seemed to have worked out how to play her. She just played absolutely horrible tennis in Paris. It was very much like her Istanbul match against Vika, I had the impression she had almost lost control of her basic motor functions, especially on her forehand. I only can't come up with a common thread connecting those two matches. Maybe there is none, and she just got up on the wrong side of the bed both days. If that's the case maybe the only thing she can do is come up with an emergency plan for getting through matches when her game is not on. Of course she's never going to beat a quality opponent like Vika playing like that, but I can't help feeling that if she'd cut down her UE count against Dulko that might have been enough to get her across the line.
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Old Nov 10th, 2011, 05:00 PM   #59
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Re: Sammy's 2011 Party and Off-Season Thread

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Originally Posted by stromatolite View Post
The thing that makes me think it might be something physical was that it happened in her match against Dulko at RG as well. There was no short turnaround there, she'd had 2 full days to recover (as if that was necessary) from thrashing Halep in the 2nd round. Dulko also shouldn't have been a difficult opponent for her. Although she'd dropped her first set against her in Madrid, she took the next two sets 2 and 2, so seemed to have worked out how to play her. She just played absolutely horrible tennis in Paris. It was very much like her Istanbul match against Vika, I had the impression she had almost lost control of her basic motor functions, especially on her forehand. I only can't come up with a common thread connecting those two matches. Maybe there is none, and she just got up on the wrong side of the bed both days. If that's the case maybe the only thing she can do is come up with an emergency plan for getting through matches when her game is not on. Of course she's never going to beat a quality opponent like Vika playing like that, but I can't help feeling that if she'd cut down her UE count against Dulko that might have been enough to get her across the line.
True about the Dulko match. I remember watching a stream of that match at the time and just saying "Nooooooooooooooooo! Nooooooooooooooo! Aaaarrrgggghhhhhhhh!" I was supposed to be working at the time, so was probably putting in as shoddy a day at work as Sam did that day. I kept thinking she would pull it out though, because there were flashes of decent play. I guess I didn't really single out that match because I put it down to her general poor form at the beginning of this year. Maybe a mistake considering she had found some form in Rome and Stuttgart. (Speaking of which - that's another loss that pisses me off because I just think Goerges is a decent player who is way overrated. Sam should not lose to her on indoor clay for God sake.)

But there's no doubt she throws in these appalling matches from time to time. Maybe it's as simple as gender-based physiological reasons. God knows JJ broadcasts when that's the case. There's no question that it has a physiological effect, even if you are on meds that reduce everything to maybe 4 times or so a year - which I assume most female elite athletes are.
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Old Nov 10th, 2011, 05:19 PM   #60
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Re: Sammy's 2011 Party and Off-Season Thread

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Originally Posted by Siderophyre View Post
True about the Dulko match. I remember watching a stream of that match at the time and just saying "Nooooooooooooooooo! Nooooooooooooooo! Aaaarrrgggghhhhhhhh!" I was supposed to be working at the time, so was probably putting in as shoddy a day at work as Sam did that day. I kept thinking she would pull it out though, because there were flashes of decent play. I guess I didn't really single out that match because I put it down to her general poor form at the beginning of this year. Maybe a mistake considering she had found some form in Rome and Stuttgart. (Speaking of which - that's another loss that pisses me off because I just think Goerges is a decent player who is way overrated. Sam should not lose to her on indoor clay for God sake.)

But there's no doubt she throws in these appalling matches from time to time. Maybe it's as simple as gender-based physiological reasons. God knows JJ broadcasts when that's the case. There's no question that it has a physiological effect, even if you are on meds that reduce everything to maybe 4 times or so a year - which I assume most female elite athletes are.
She should have beaten Goerges as well, but that loss was different from her loss to Dulko. She didn't play really bad against Goerges, she just failed to capitalize on her chances, and played too much to Goerges's strength (I was going to say strengths, but really she hasn't got much except a big forehand). Against Dulko she played like me for god's sake, it was dreadful!
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