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Old Sep 25th, 2012, 11:00 AM   #1126
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Re: Sammy Stosur News & Articles Thread

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Originally Posted by stromatolite View Post
I totally get it! That's why I focussed my remarks mainly on Serena fans. Even though I don't like Maria, most of her fans on TF are quite okay in my experience. The same applies to some Serena fans, but the worst of them are just
Maria and her fans get my respect any day (ever since Wimby 2004 ), but it's hard for me to imagine them in a constant state of anxiety during a 1st round match against a non-seeded player. I guess I'd think differently if I was a Masha fan!

I have to stay away from the Serena forum, though. It can get quite rude and offensive, not to mention the massacre of the english language which goes on there. Like Stromatolite said, maybe having a GOAT for your favorite player creates this void that begs to be filled with insults and put-downs to keep the boredom away. Some of them are just ugly. On the inside.
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Old Sep 25th, 2012, 01:02 PM   #1127
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Re: Sammy Stosur News & Articles Thread

On the WTA website, there's a Tokyo picture gallery from a couple days ago. In one of the pics, Kerber is signing her name on a big poster for breast cancer awareness....and I just happened to notice that a certain someone has already signed her name to it, right below where Kerber signed. All the more reason for me to love Sam!! I'd like to think that showing support for breast cancer research is not a WTA marketing thing.
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Old Sep 25th, 2012, 03:18 PM   #1128
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Re: Sammy Stosur News & Articles Thread

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Originally Posted by Sinclair View Post
On the WTA website, there's a Tokyo picture gallery from a couple days ago. In one of the pics, Kerber is signing her name on a big poster for breast cancer awareness....and I just happened to notice that a certain someone has already signed her name to it, right below where Kerber signed. All the more reason for me to love Sam!! I'd like to think that showing support for breast cancer research is not a WTA marketing thing.
I think a lot of these organizations adopt a "we'll scratch your back if you'll scratch ours" approach to things like this, but that doesn't necessarily make it a bad thing. I'm all for corporate social responsibility as long as it doesn't become too cynical. Whatever the case, I don't think players are under any particular pressure to support causes like this, and I'm inclined to think they do so because they're genuinely engaged with the issues. I'm sure that applies to Sam in any case
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Old Oct 9th, 2012, 04:14 AM   #1129
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Re: Sammy Stosur News & Articles Thread

It looks like the rumours about Sam playing the Hopman Cup next year aren't true. I'd kind of prefer she did, but I guess she might feel an obligation to play Brisbane because it's the closest thing she has to a hometown tournament.

http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news...009-27ak6.html
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Old Oct 9th, 2012, 04:49 AM   #1130
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Re: Sammy Stosur News & Articles Thread

Hmph! HC would have been a lot better for Sammy I think.
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Old Oct 9th, 2012, 04:53 AM   #1131
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Re: Sammy Stosur News & Articles Thread

Now that is a surprise. I thought she was all but confirmed for HC. I think it would have been far better prep for her than Brissy. Oh well I hope she gets a bit more match practice than the last few years.
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Old Oct 9th, 2012, 04:55 AM   #1132
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Re: Sammy Stosur News & Articles Thread

The WTA moves in mysterious ways. Sam beats an unknown Japanese player in R1 of an MM and gets about the biggest write-up on their website she's had all year:

http://www.wtatennis.com/news/201210...256076_2943450
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Old Oct 9th, 2012, 05:01 AM   #1133
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Re: Sammy Stosur News & Articles Thread

Well Im happy she's playing Brisbane for selfish reasons

Hopman cup does guarantee more matches though. But how Sam plays Brisbane is how we'll know just what kind of mind frame she's in for the Aussie summer. Could be a good thing.
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Old Oct 9th, 2012, 05:07 AM   #1134
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Re: Sammy Stosur News & Articles Thread

^You could be right. If she can tap into the "don't know about you guys but I'm here to have fun" mindset she had in NY there's no reason she can't do reasonably well. It's a strong field, so I wouldn't expect her to win the title or anything, but if she can just win a couple of matches that would be her best Aussie start in years.
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Old Oct 9th, 2012, 02:16 PM   #1135
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Re: Sammy Stosur News & Articles Thread

Sam Stosur keen for big Australian summer of tennis

Valkerie Baynes
The Courier-Mail
October 10, 201212:00AM


HER schedule is the same, her preparation unchanged and she plans to be as fit as always, but Sam Stosur is determined this Australian summer will be different.

A year ago, Stosur returned home amid a frenzy of expectation as US Open champion and admits: "I froze."

After a more subdued year where she will finish in the top 10 for a third straight time but miss the season-ending Championships except as a reserve, Stosur will resist the temptation to seek a magic remedy.

"I've got the team around me and the people that I work with in all different aspects," Stosur told The Courier-Mail.

"I'm going to keep all that the same.

"Even though it didn't work out for January, I've had an up and down year, but overall I think I'm still doing what I need to so I'm not going to look for one person to dramatically change anything.

"I really trust the people I've got around me and I'm going to stick to that and hopefully we can put it all together."

The 28-year-old Queenslander begins the quest for Australian Open redemption with her usual pre-season training block in Sydney.

Her first tournament will be the Brisbane International, where she bombed out in the second round last January, followed by Sydney, where she failed to win a set before her shocking first-round capitulation in Melbourne.

"I did everything the way that I thought was correct and tried to tick every box and practise as much as I needed to and do all my fitness work and do all the psychological stuff and it just didn't happen," Stosur said.

"I froze and that was it. I was pretty disappointed that I felt like I'd done all those things going in and I didn't get any reward for doing it.

"I can't obviously control whatever is going to happen but if I go along those same lines, I'll certainly be in a good position. If I can even learn one thing and that adds 1 per cent to my performance, then I think that can make a difference."

Stosur has no illusions about flying under the radar, however.

"Being the home person, there's always a little bit of extra attention," she said.

While a possible rematch with reigning US Open champion Serena Williams is not the talking point it was this time last year immediately after their eventful 2011 final, it remains a tantalising prospect.

The American has already committed to the Brisbane International, which starts on December 30. So too has world No.2 Maria Sharapova.

Regardless of whether Stosur secures a showdown with one of those leading ladies, she simply wants to avoid a repeat summer.

"Looking back, it certainly wasn't an enjoyable time, that's for sure," Stosur said.




Original article:

http://www.news.com.au/sport/tennis/...-1226491981177
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Old Oct 9th, 2012, 11:13 PM   #1136
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Re: Sammy Stosur News & Articles Thread

^It's good to hear that Sam is sounding pretty calm and realistic about Australia ... doesn't necessarily mean it will translate into good results though, since she normally sounds calm and realistic in press conferences. I think she was quite unlucky with draws last year in Australia, her only really bad loss (imo) was to Benesova. Franny and Cirstea are tough for her even at the best of times ...

(I just know by the time the Australian season rolls around again I will have convinced myself that Sammy is going to win the Australian Open )
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Old Oct 10th, 2012, 02:57 PM   #1137
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Re: Sammy Stosur News & Articles Thread

A little bit of insight into Sam's struggles today:

http://www.wtatennis.com/news/201210...256076_2945028

I find the "it's hard to get on top of the point" comment a bit worrying. I think this is what happens to Sam in a lot of matches, she allows her opponents to dictate too much and ends up not playing on her own terms. She really needs to be able to play her own game regardless of how the other is playing. Easier said than done of course.
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Old Oct 10th, 2012, 04:30 PM   #1138
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Re: Sammy Stosur News & Articles Thread

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Originally Posted by stromatolite View Post
A little bit of insight into Sam's struggles today:

http://www.wtatennis.com/news/201210...256076_2945028

I find the "it's hard to get on top of the point" comment a bit worrying. I think this is what happens to Sam in a lot of matches, she allows her opponents to dictate too much and ends up not playing on her own terms. She really needs to be able to play her own game regardless of how the other is playing. Easier said than done of course.
Sam Smith often makes an interesting point on Sam's game versus her personally - that by nature her laid back personality is a few notches below her aggressive game style so she has a tendency to sometimes be a bit passive with her game play. Think these days she more often than not, plays aggressively but if she is not allowed to do this from the start that is when she struggle. Probably the reason why she often losses a match if she fails to win the first set? This appears to have improved but I suspect most of the times she was allowed back into the match by inferior opponents. Don't think she has won any 3 set matches (where she lost the first set) against top 10 players? The closest I can think of is her match against Henin at the French in 2010, although she was within 2 points of doing so in her match against Vika .

She will always struggle when her opponent plays deep and fast on her especially on a fast court - seems to me from her post match interview that this was what happened to her. Maybe she needs to hire a more aggressive hitting partner - this is going to remain her Achilles heel and we all know that more and more players are in this mould going forward so no way she can avoid them. I remember B's videos from Charleston - thought those drills she did with Raj(?)were really good.
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Old Oct 10th, 2012, 05:03 PM   #1139
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Re: Sammy Stosur News & Articles Thread

Yeah, she's got to learn to take the fight to her opponent instead of letting them take it to her....no matter what happened in the previous point or game or set. Maybe the key to doing more of this would be to do like Annetcl said and get a hitting partner that will make it his/her job to break her focus and keep her in an uncomfortable place. (Ok, I am a big proponent of this because it worked miracles for me - even at my recreational player level - to hit with a guy who doesn't let me get comfortable with my shots) The practice sessions with Raj looked intense from the perspective of Bert's videos. If he can keep her moving and unfocused and out of her comfort zone, she will be better prepared for a wide variety of shots that won't knock her off her game so much. In turn, that could help to make her feel confident enough to attack, even when she is not 'on top of the point', and she could keep a cool head, regardless of what the other player throws at her.

You're right (annetcl) - she will only face more of these players in the future. She can't sit back and expect them to hit into her strong shots. Maybe some strategy - like setting up the point from the beginning to put them at a disadvantage - would do some good also, but I don't know how much of this she already does.
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Old Oct 10th, 2012, 05:33 PM   #1140
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Re: Sammy Stosur News & Articles Thread

^^I think there are two sides to this, one that is mainly physical/technical the other much more mental. Sam has gotten better at dealing with both, especially the physical side, but she's still got a ways to go in dealing with the mental side.

The physical side is really just the tennis: how certain players take the ball early, hit flat and deep and force the mishit or weaker shot. This still causes Sam some problems, but when she's on her game I really don't think this is a major weakness for her any more, or at least no more than it is for most players. Azarenka and Sharapova are not ranked #1 and #2 for nothing: this kind of play is hard for anybody to deal with whose name is not Serena Williams. Sam has improved her movement, her defense, has added short-backswing shots on both wings, etc., so if she can get into a match against players like this, she's able to keep herself in points long enough to get her own shots working.

The bigger problem is that she sometimes doesn't get into matches when the opponent is playing like that because she lacks the self-belief to really go for her shots. It seems pretty random as to when that happens and when it doesn't happen, which is why she can sometimes play really well against a player one week and lose hopelessly a couple of weeks later. I'm not sure why she can sometimes get back into a match and why she sometimes can't when this starts to happen, but I suspect that it's because she first needs her opponent to give her a couple of weaker points in which she is able to capitalize and hit her big FH. Sam is very much a confidence player, so sometimes all it takes is for her to hit a couple of really good FHs to give her the confidence to go for more of the same.

As Annetcl said, she is generally not so good at coming back from a bad position against top players, which is probably because those players are good enough not to give her the few weak points she needs to get her confidence up. That's why Vika is such a huge challenge for her, because she rarely throws in weak points. Maria is more inconsistent, which gives Sam more opportunities to get on top of her. Serena doesn't usually play first strike tennis to the same extent as Vika and Maria (because she is so good in rallies against most players she doesn't really need to), which is why Sam has had more success against Serena than against players like them who are actually not in Serena's league.
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