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Old Oct 10th, 2012, 06:43 PM   #7081
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Re: ...HardCourt

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Still not entirely comfortable with Razzano biting into Sam's back, but hey...when you've got a mispositioned sky, unexploded things, and irreproducible virtuosity, what's a little nibble?
Ahhahahahhahaha, gold, I think I have a new crush

Anyway, I like the sound of this Sutosa person. Looks like helluva player. I might become a fan.

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Old Oct 10th, 2012, 06:50 PM   #7082
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Re: ...HardCourt

^I think you're right, Sam often plays really well when she lets rip with a few choice words. But I think it's because she doesn't do it very often that it works so well. It means something when she does it. I while ago Fed remarked on all the come-ons, fist-pumps and such that most of WTA players seem to do after just about every single point. His point was that if you do it all the time it doesn't really have any effect, it's just another silly habit that you can't do without. If you do it on really key points it can really help though, because those are the points where you really need to be pumped up.

I don't know whether Sam has thought it through like this, but she seems to follow Fed's rule pretty well, maybe intuitively. When Sam swears, pumps her fist or (my favorite) gives herself that cute little buttslap, it really seems to help her focus and get her energy channelled in the right direction.
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Old Oct 10th, 2012, 10:11 PM   #7083
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Re: ...HardCourt

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^I think you're right, Sam often plays really well when she lets rip with a few choice words. But I think it's because she doesn't do it very often that it works so well. It means something when she does it. I while ago Fed remarked on all the come-ons, fist-pumps and such that most of WTA players seem to do after just about every single point. His point was that if you do it all the time it doesn't really have any effect, it's just another silly habit that you can't do without. If you do it on really key points it can really help though, because those are the points where you really need to be pumped up.

I don't know whether Sam has thought it through like this, but she seems to follow Fed's rule pretty well, maybe intuitively. When Sam swears, pumps her fist or (my favorite) gives herself that cute little buttslap, it really seems to help her focus and get her energy channelled in the right direction.
To me, the buttslap is kind of a habit. It's part of her little ritual before a point. Like blowing on her fingers. Allowing herself a good fist pump is her way of acknowledging that she made a good shot, feeling the enjoyment of it, and channeling the motivation for the next one. Ah, but the swearing....I think she needs this outlet for her frustration and anger. Sure, I joke about wanting to see it more, but I'm glad she doesn't overuse it. I'm just happy when she does swear because it means she is expressing that bad feeling and not carrying it around with her into the next point.

It's important for her to feel her emotion, acknowledge it, then move on from it and get back into the present without it becoming a spectacle like some of the others . I agree those gestures and things are overused on the WTA - and if we wanted to analyze it, I'm sure we could trace it back to some sports psychologist who planted a seed somewhere in the players' heads that they need a way to pat themselves on the back for good points, or even mediocre ones. Lucky for us, we have a fave who has adorable ritual habits - finger blowing, buttslap, moderate use of fistpump, and the occasional FUCK!!!
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Old Oct 10th, 2012, 10:59 PM   #7084
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Re: ...HardCourt

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Ahhahahahhahaha, gold, I think I have a new crush

Anyway, I like the sound of this Sutosa person. Looks like helluva player. I might become a fan.
Oh yeah. Exploding Sutosa and the Snuggly Balls....I think I saw them play at the House of Blues once. They were the opening act for Live It Unbearable.

Flattery will get you everywhere with me, Sussurrous. But alas, I don't think I'm your type. *sigh*
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Old Oct 11th, 2012, 09:26 AM   #7085
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Re: ...HardCourt

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Oh yeah. Exploding Sutosa and the Snuggly Balls....I think I saw them play at the House of Blues once. They were the opening act for Live It Unbearable.

Flattery will get you everywhere with me, Sussurrous. But alas, I don't think I'm your type. *sigh*
LOL, 'Exploding Sutosa and the Snuggly Balls' sounds like the name we should give to the new and uber-hip manga rock band that we should create to open for Sammy at the Slams!

About the type, what is my type? How do you know. This last week i'm having a huge and ill-timed crush on Justine Henin, SO YOU NEVER KNOW WITH ME!
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Old Oct 11th, 2012, 09:30 AM   #7086
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Re: ...HardCourt

With the draw opening up even more now (didn't seem possible, but it has) it's looking increasingly likely that the title will be decided in the probably SF between Sam and Laura. Besides them, the only seed left in the draw is Scheepers.

If it comes to it, I think Sam will have her work cut out for her beating Laura. She'll certainly need to lift her game compared to how she played in the first two rounds. But I was pleased to see that Laura had to work pretty hard to beat #228-ranked Zhou today, so maybe she's not in peak form either. But first things first, Sam has to get past Hampton tomorrow. Given how she struggled in the first two rounds that's not a given by any means.
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Old Oct 11th, 2012, 09:38 AM   #7087
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Re: ...HardCourt

Well, we know that Sam can beat Laura pretty comfortably if she sets her mind to it, so let's hope for the best. I have a good feeling for this, so let's not jinx her with disbelief, shall we
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Old Oct 11th, 2012, 09:49 AM   #7088
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Re: ...HardCourt

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Well, we know that Sam can beat Laura pretty comfortably if she sets her mind to it, so let's hope for the best. I have a good feeling for this, so let's not jinx her with disbelief, shall we
Believe me, if I thought there was any way I could jinx or counterjinx Sam I would only post tried and trusted comments that have been reliably proven to enhance her performance.

Actually we did go through a phase of trying stuff like this, and actually almost believed that stern words from Towanda, or American Dream (I think, or was it someone else?) waking up at precisely the right moment during Sam's matches, could have a decisive influence. But alas we were just kidding ourselves.

As for Laura: I absolutely believe that Sam can beat her, but that doesn't mean she will. Still, even though I'm a bit nervous for the match, I do believe that Sam should be the favorite. She finished strongly in both her matches so far, and having played Laura and a couple of other hard-hitting lefties recently should help her as well I think.
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Old Oct 11th, 2012, 10:08 AM   #7089
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Re: ...HardCourt

Only thing is now Laura know what its like to play Sam. I think at USO the fact that it was their first meeting helped Sam. Laura knows what to expect now. I still think Sam should beat her but if Sam is slightly off and Laura is playing well.. it will be tough.
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Old Oct 11th, 2012, 10:15 AM   #7090
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Re: ...HardCourt

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Originally Posted by Sinclair View Post
To me, the buttslap is kind of a habit. It's part of her little ritual before a point. Like blowing on her fingers. Allowing herself a good fist pump is her way of acknowledging that she made a good shot, feeling the enjoyment of it, and channeling the motivation for the next one. Ah, but the swearing....I think she needs this outlet for her frustration and anger. Sure, I joke about wanting to see it more, but I'm glad she doesn't overuse it. I'm just happy when she does swear because it means she is expressing that bad feeling and not carrying it around with her into the next point.

It's important for her to feel her emotion, acknowledge it, then move on from it and get back into the present without it becoming a spectacle like some of the others . I agree those gestures and things are overused on the WTA - and if we wanted to analyze it, I'm sure we could trace it back to some sports psychologist who planted a seed somewhere in the players' heads that they need a way to pat themselves on the back for good points, or even mediocre ones. Lucky for us, we have a fave who has adorable ritual habits - finger blowing, buttslap, moderate use of fistpump, and the occasional FUCK!!!
Don't know about the swearing - I would much rather she didn't have to use it - because that means she is on top of things and playing well Also, the last two times she did it, she ended up losing her matches (Olympics and Beijing). Don't mind too much if she says things like "hit it!", "move your feet" "stay down" though - at least these are more positive.
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Old Oct 11th, 2012, 10:26 AM   #7091
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Re: ...HardCourt

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Only thing is now Laura know what its like to play Sam. I think at USO the fact that it was their first meeting helped Sam. Laura knows what to expect now. I still think Sam should beat her but if Sam is slightly off and Laura is playing well.. it will be tough.
This is true - I really thought Sam was lucky to get by that match in the sense that it was probably one match too many for Laura after beating Kim and Li Na. It was by far the worst match Sam played during USO 12 - kinda like her match against Sloane at the FO. She really didn't do too much other than wait for Laura to gift her points with her UEs. Don't think she can afford to be as passive this time - because like you said, she now knows what to expect when playing Sam. Its comforting to see that she didn't exactly roll over her Chinese opponent today but we all know that means nothing much because these young ones are always going to be more pumped up when they are playing the big guns, plus Sam isn't exactly blowing her opponents off the court.

One match at a time though, she has to get by Jamie first.
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Old Oct 11th, 2012, 10:37 AM   #7092
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Re: ...HardCourt

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This is true - I really thought Sam was lucky to get by that match in the sense that it was probably one match too many for Laura after beating Kim and Li Na. It was by far the worst match Sam played during USO 12 - kinda like her match against Sloane at the FO. She really didn't do too much other than wait for Laura to gift her points with her UEs. Don't think she can afford to / expect to be as passive this time - because like you said, she now know what to expect when playing Sam. Its comforting to see that she didn't exactly roll over her Chinese opponent today but we all know that means nothing much because these young ones are always going to be more pumped up when they are playing the big guns, plus Sam isn't exactly blowing her opponents off the court.

One match at a time though, she has to get by Jamie first.
I don't think Sam was lucky to win that match. On the contrary, she should have won it a lot easier. As you said, she was way too passive, and I thought she treated Laura with a little more respect than she should have. I don't want to take anything away from Laura, she's a talented player with a big future I think, but those wins against Kim and Na flattered her, they both played very poorly against her I thought. Even though Sam played a relatively poor match as well, Laura really struggled to handle her heavy spin. It was that, rather than that she had played one match too many, that was her undoing.

I don't think Laura knowing what to expect this time will make a lot of difference tbh, unless she's practiced a lot in the meantime against someone hitting a similar kind of ball. As long as Sam is aggressive she should beat Laura convincingly I think. The only question is whether she will get all tentative again, in which case Laura could well beat her this time. It's on Sam's racquet.
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Old Oct 11th, 2012, 11:09 AM   #7093
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Re: ...HardCourt

Sam/Jamie 3rd up on CC tomorrow, so probably around 3pm Osaka time.
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Old Oct 11th, 2012, 11:59 AM   #7094
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Re: ...HardCourt

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I don't think Sam was lucky to win that match. On the contrary, she should have won it a lot easier. As you said, she was way too passive, and I thought she treated Laura with a little more respect than she should have. I don't want to take anything away from Laura, she's a talented player with a big future I think, but those wins against Kim and Na flattered her, they both played very poorly against her I thought. Even though Sam played a relatively poor match as well, Laura really struggled to handle her heavy spin. It was that, rather than that she had played one match too many, that was her undoing.

I don't think Laura knowing what to expect this time will make a lot of difference tbh, unless she's practiced a lot in the meantime against someone hitting a similar kind of ball. As long as Sam is aggressive she should beat Laura convincingly I think. The only question is whether she will get all tentative again, in which case Laura could well beat her this time. It's on Sam's racquet.
Given the error ridden performance by Laura in the match, yes, Sam really should have won a lot more comfortably. I thought Laura played a lot better against Kim - granted Kim was below her best but on most part Laura still had to come up with shots to put Kim away. She made way too many errors against Sam - it maybe partially due to Sam's spin but I thought she was a bit impatient and tried to go for the winner one/two shots too early. Could have been troubling if Laura played better that day and held on to her serve early in the first set after she broke Sam - anyways its a moot point, bottom line is that Sam won that day and a win is a win.

I still think it helps Laura to have actually faced Sam before - if not only to be on the receiving end of Sam's serves especially. Think she got better in dealing with Sam's serves as the match went on.

But like you said, the key is whether Sam can get on top of the points early on in the match which she has not really been able to do so far this tournament it appears. IF she plays freely and aggressively and not let Laura into the match, her game and experience should be enough for her to get through this match. If she allows Laura to swing, well...she is not going to like her flat deep balls.

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Old Oct 11th, 2012, 12:05 PM   #7095
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Re: ...HardCourt

I think we also have to accept that Sam hasn't been serving as well in the last few weeks as she did at the USO. I'd guess Laura could have more opportunities to break serve than she had in their previous match.

(But we should all stop talking about this or the TennisForum jinx gods will ensure she'll lose to Hampton )
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