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Old Jan 9th, 2012, 08:20 AM   #76
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Re: Sydney 2012.

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Originally Posted by tennisforadults View Post
Not all bad. Now they won't pile on too much expectations. Always a good thing when Sam is an underdog.
Im trying to think that as well. But the expectations will still be there, especially from the Aussie fans. I think Sam will still feel it and her confidence will have taken a hit. But DT is awesome, Im sure he will sort it out. I just hope her first two rounds are against players she can get good wins against, because like the commentators said today she players better and better each match, shes a player that does really well when she goes on a run so a the first two matches (if she gets to the 2nd round ) will be really crucial in Melbourne.
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Old Jan 9th, 2012, 09:53 AM   #77
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Re: Sydney 2012.

Got off the plane this morning hoping to hear that Sam had pulled off a comfortable win only to find that Fran had gotten the better of her yet again. Not the end of the world, but not good obviously, especially her going down in straights. Hard to see Sam getting far in Melbourne now, with just a single win and 2 losses so far this year a 4th round finish would be a pretty good result. She's not the first player to struggle with the pressure of performing on her home turf, so this doesn't have to be a big deal for her. Hopefully she can accept that so she won't get too down on herself when the inevitable happens, because there's still plenty to play for when she leaves Australia. Some decent results on hard courts in spring can still set her up for another good clay season, and hopefully this can be the year she finally get her name engraved on the RG trophy.
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Old Jan 9th, 2012, 09:59 AM   #78
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Re: Sydney 2012.

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Hey SilverPersian! I've been browsing but not posting. I've had some family things going on as my Dad's pretty sick. I still check in to see what's going on with the boards, and I've been watching the matches online. It's good to have a bit of time to post while watching the match, although I wish the match was going better!
Sorry to hear about your Dad Towanda, must be tough on you and your family, so all the best to all of you. Nonetheless good to see you back again, I've missed you! As you said Sam could have done a bit more today to welcome you back but I'm sure she'll find her form again before too long. Take care!
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Old Jan 9th, 2012, 11:34 AM   #79
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Re: Sydney 2012.

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Speechless Now Sam is gonna be the darkhorse in AO.....so she will play well
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Old Jan 9th, 2012, 11:36 AM   #80
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Re: Sydney 2012.

well is Sam...nice and easy tournament is not really an option with her...get ready to suffer
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Old Jan 9th, 2012, 12:26 PM   #81
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Re: Sydney 2012.

Bad opening in Sydney . At least it was Fran. She will get even in Rome again.

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Not all bad. Now they won't pile on too much expectations. Always a good thing when Sam is an underdog.
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Old Jan 9th, 2012, 12:30 PM   #82
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Re: Sydney 2012.

Poor Sammy. This is a quote from an article in the local paper, titled "Shattered Stosur in Turmoil":

"I think it's just the whole expectation I put on myself, too," she said. "You do all the work leading up … and then today, all of a sudden, it's just like a bombshell hits you."
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Old Jan 9th, 2012, 01:01 PM   #83
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Re: Sydney 2012.

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Originally Posted by tennisforadults View Post
Poor Sammy. This is a quote from an article in the local paper, titled "Shattered Stosur in Turmoil":

"I think it's just the whole expectation I put on myself, too," she said. "You do all the work leading up … and then today, all of a sudden, it's just like a bombshell hits you."
I like that she's being a little bit candid with the media. It was frustrating throughout the first half of last year where she kept losing winnable matches, but then saying that she felt like she was playing well. Getting the feelings out there, and not having to pretend that they don't exist when they clearly do, might be a good thing.

Come on Sam - let's take down this punk ass field of nobodies and win Melbourne
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Old Jan 9th, 2012, 04:05 PM   #84
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Re: Sydney 2012.

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Originally Posted by SilverPersian View Post
I like that she's being a little bit candid with the media. It was frustrating throughout the first half of last year where she kept losing winnable matches, but then saying that she felt like she was playing well. Getting the feelings out there, and not having to pretend that they don't exist when they clearly do, might be a good thing.

Come on Sam - let's take down this punk ass field of nobodies and win Melbourne
I agree that it's good that Sam doesn't feel the need to put a brave face on things anymore, but she has to be careful not to go into panic mode. Even though it was frustrating at times last year to hear Sam keep saying she was playing well, it was by keeping her cool that she and Dave got her game back on track later in the year. TBH she wasn't completely wrong to say that she was playing well last year, she just wasn't stringing enough good matches together to go deep into tournaments. I haven't seen any of her matches this year but from the comments I've read here she doesn't seem to have managed to play a single really good match so far this year. I think she has been surprised by how badly the pressure of playing at home as a slam champ has affected her, so at this point the main thing for her is to start to play like she wants to play rather than like she thinks the world expects her to play. I can't see that being nearly enough to win the title in Melbourne, but it might give her the momentum she needs to get her game back on track after the Aussie season is over.
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Old Jan 9th, 2012, 07:43 PM   #85
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Re: Sydney 2012.

Oh for Christ sake Sam.

She did pretty well not to cry at that presser - looked like she was on the verge.
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Old Jan 10th, 2012, 12:28 AM   #86
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Re: Sydney 2012.

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Originally Posted by stromatolite
I agree that it's good that Sam doesn't feel the need to put a brave face on things anymore, but she has to be careful not to go into panic mode. Even though it was frustrating at times last year to hear Sam keep saying she was playing well, it was by keeping her cool that she and Dave got her game back on track later in the year. TBH she wasn't completely wrong to say that she was playing well last year, she just wasn't stringing enough good matches together to go deep into tournaments.
I kind of agree with what you're saying about last year. She seemed to sail through the first one or two rounds of most tournaments, but then falter when she faced her first challenge or big name player. But I don't know if she was actually staying cool in that period - my impression was that she was doing a good job of covering up the nerves and doubts in press conferences, but still letting them inhibit her on court. I just think (hope?) that admitting that the nerves exist will take another little bit of pressure of shoulders, so she doesn't have to pretend anymore. Having said that...

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Originally Posted by Siderophyre View Post
Oh for Christ sake Sam.

She did pretty well not to cry at that presser - looked like she was on the verge.
This is clearly not a good thing

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Originally Posted by stromatolite
I haven't seen any of her matches this year but from the comments I've read here she doesn't seem to have managed to play a single really good match so far this year. I think she has been surprised by how badly the pressure of playing at home as a slam champ has affected her, so at this point the main thing for her is to start to play like she wants to play rather than like she thinks the world expects her to play. I can't see that being nearly enough to win the title in Melbourne, but it might give her the momentum she needs to get her game back on track after the Aussie season is over
Definitely. Sam Smith always talks about how, in the past, she thought Sam looked like she was in the naughty chair outside the principal's office when on court, and I think that is back a little bit at the moment She needs to relax, compete and accept that she can only do her best. It's really easy for me to say that though.

I think I'd be happy with a third-fourth round showing at this stage. I really hope she doesn't get an unkind draw in the first two rounds.
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Old Jan 10th, 2012, 03:11 AM   #87
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Re: Sydney 2012.

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Originally Posted by SilverPersian View Post
I kind of agree with what you're saying about last year. She seemed to sail through the first one or two rounds of most tournaments, but then falter when she faced her first challenge or big name player. But I don't know if she was actually staying cool in that period - my impression was that she was doing a good job of covering up the nerves and doubts in press conferences, but still letting them inhibit her on court. I just think (hope?) that admitting that the nerves exist will take another little bit of pressure of shoulders, so she doesn't have to pretend anymore. Having said that...
You're right for sure that there was a lot more uncertainty last year than she was showing, but even allowing for that she did remain pretty cool under the circumstances, and not showing her uncertainty may have helped. The whole world was harping at her about what was wrong, whether she needed a new coach, whether she needed to fundamentally change her game, etc. Not admitting there was anything wrong was a handy way of deflecting all that. Admitting her nerves now may be a 2-edged sword. On one hand as you said it shows she is more comfortable within herself, but on the other hand it has allowed the outside world, in particular the media, a foot in the door of what used to be her own private domain. Not sure that's a good thing.

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Originally Posted by SilverPersian View Post
Definitely. Sam Smith always talks about how, in the past, she thought Sam looked like she was in the naughty chair outside the principal's office when on court, and I think that is back a little bit at the moment She needs to relax, compete and accept that she can only do her best. It's really easy for me to say that though.
I think it's the double whammy of returning to Australia as a slam champ. IMO nerves and pressure have been a much bigger factor this year than last, when her losses in Aus were as much down to her opponents' ability to exploit the limitations in her game as nerves per se. I really don't think she realized the pressure was going to hit her this year until she got out on court. In that respect there may be a silver lining to her R1 loss this week, because it gives her a whole week to steel herself for Melbourne. And the fact that nobody really expects her to win the thing anymore might help as well.

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I think I'd be happy with a third-fourth round showing at this stage. I really hope she doesn't get an unkind draw in the first two rounds.
I don't think she'll let the likes of Benesova get the better of her again, so she should be fine against unseeded players and so should get to R3 at least I think. But I agree she's unlikely to go much further than that because she's starting the tournament too low on confidence and match rhythm. A kind draw could help remedy that, but even then a QF finish would be the absolute best she could expect to achieve at this stage.
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Old Jan 10th, 2012, 04:35 PM   #88
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Re: Sydney 2012.

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Originally Posted by stromatolite View Post
I don't think she'll let the likes of Benesova get the better of her again, so she should be fine against unseeded players and so should get to R3 at least I think. But I agree she's unlikely to go much further than that because she's starting the tournament too low on confidence and match rhythm. A kind draw could help remedy that, but even then a QF finish would be the absolute best she could expect to achieve at this stage.
The draw wasn't kind in Brisbane or Sydney, so it HAS to be kind in the AO. At least, I hope . And when (I know I am bold by not saying if ) she reaches R3 or R4, then I think her chances to go deeper in the tournament will be as good as anyone's. She will be pumped! I only wish she didn't have to play in RLA . The pressure in this court will be even higher . But there's no chance of that happening, so I will just keep my fingers crossed for the draw .
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Old Jan 11th, 2012, 01:52 AM   #89
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Re: Sydney 2012.

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Originally Posted by stromatolite View Post
You're right for sure that there was a lot more uncertainty last year than she was showing, but even allowing for that she did remain pretty cool under the circumstances, and not showing her uncertainty may have helped. The whole world was harping at her about what was wrong, whether she needed a new coach, whether she needed to fundamentally change her game, etc. Not admitting there was anything wrong was a handy way of deflecting all that. Admitting her nerves now may be a 2-edged sword. On one hand as you said it shows she is more comfortable within herself, but on the other hand it has allowed the outside world, in particular the media, a foot in the door of what used to be her own private domain. Not sure that's a good thing.
You could be right - and like I said earlier, Sam being on the verge of tears during a press conferences is not a good thing. I guess we'll have to wait and see what happens. I wonder if I should stalk her in Melbourne and slip a Xanex into her drink before her matches

Quote:
I think it's the double whammy of returning to Australia as a slam champ. IMO nerves and pressure have been a much bigger factor this year than last, when her losses in Aus were as much down to her opponents' ability to exploit the limitations in her game as nerves per se. I really don't think she realized the pressure was going to hit her this year until she got out on court. In that respect there may be a silver lining to her R1 loss this week, because it gives her a whole week to steel herself for Melbourne. And the fact that nobody really expects her to win the thing anymore might help as well.
I agree that last year's losses, while disappointing, were not as bad as many have made out. Kuzzy is amazingly talented, and I thought Sam played well in that match; Jarka is scary when playing well (which doesn't happen too often so people forget); and Petra is, well, Petra. This year, she hasn't played a really good match yet (imo, even against Yakimova she looked terse and had very little control over her BH).

Hopefully she'll have acclimatised to the pressure by the time she plays in the AO. Although, it did take her a long time to shift into gear last year, and even after she had a couple of good results during the clay court season, she didn't fully get over the nerves until the US hard courts, so I guess we can't expect miracles

Yesterday I was watching the match between Dokic and Bartoli, and one of the commentators mentioned that they'd seen Marion having an intense gym session just hours before a tournament final last year. I wonder if this kind of tactic would work for Sam, as a way of exhausting the nerves away. Probably wouldn't be a good thing to test out first round of a grand slam though.
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Old Jan 11th, 2012, 02:12 AM   #90
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Re: Sydney 2012.

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Yesterday I was watching the match between Dokic and Bartoli, and one of the commentators mentioned that they'd seen Marion having an intense gym session just hours before a tournament final last year. I wonder if this kind of tactic would work for Sam, as a way of exhausting the nerves away. Probably wouldn't be a good thing to test out first round of a grand slam though.
Have you seen Marion jumping around like a mad monkey between every point? She's not normal.

Her tactics seem to involve exhausting herself physically in order to feel pumped and focused. Very bizarre and counter-intuitive. But her father is a doctor and she is playing extremely well.
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