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Old Oct 1st, 2013, 08:36 AM   #466
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Re: Sammy's Asian Swing 2013

Its highly unlikely she would skip Charleston or Stuttgart - she loves these tournaments and have generally done pretty well there. Like Stro says there are no guarantees that Sam will go to a MM and vulture her way deep into the tourney/win like an Aga can. She is well capable on coming up with some shocking losses like the one to KFC @ Osaka last year. Its too bad Madrid is a PM event, otherwise would be a good candidate for the skip since the venue is quite shocking. Looking at the calendar not really sure how much Sam can tweak her schedule compared to this year - hopefully starting with the Hopman cup would lead to a better Sydney International for her.
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Old Oct 1st, 2013, 08:46 AM   #467
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Re: Sammy's Asian Swing 2013

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Originally Posted by annetcl View Post
I Looking at the calendar not really sure how much Sam can tweak her schedule compared to this year - hopefully starting with the Hopman cup would lead to a better Sydney International for her.
This is my feeling as well ... in my head I thought there could be a few changes that might have been beneficial, but when looking at the calendar it's difficult to see many opportune spots to alter her schedule. If there was an easily accessible HC MM instead of Dubai, maybe there, but alas there is nothing.

I agree with pretty much everything that's been said - going into MM tournaments and taking some early losses could have the double negative of both denting her confidence and not getting many points for 1-2 wins. But then again it seems like the premier tournaments are so stacked with players who can give Sam a tough time when she's not playing at her best. Maybe the best thing would be to stick broadly to her schedule as it is, and add in an MM here or there on the basis of how her year is progressing...

I still want her to play Hobart though. Hobart Sam, Hobart!
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Old Oct 1st, 2013, 08:49 AM   #468
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Re: Sammy's Asian Swing 2013

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But then again it seems like the premier tournaments are so stacked with players who can give Sam a tough time when she's not playing at her best. Maybe the best thing would be to stick broadly to her schedule as it is, and add in an MM here or there on the basis of how her year is progressing...

I still want her to play Hobart though. Hobart Sam, Hobart!
Much as I would like to say Sam has been handed the short end of the stick when it comes to her draws - she just has to figure out a way to handle these players as the list is sure getting longer by the minute - which means sorting out the coaching situation is paramount - really dont want her to still be languishing without a coach at the start of preseason - that would just be a disaster.
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Old Oct 1st, 2013, 09:39 AM   #469
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Re: Sammy's Asian Swing 2013

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Originally Posted by annetcl View Post
Much as I would like to say Sam has been handed the short end of the stick when it comes to her draws - she just has to figure out a way to handle these players as the list is sure getting longer by the minute - which means sorting out the coaching situation is paramount - really dont want her to still be languishing without a coach at the start of preseason - that would just be a disaster.
I feel the same way, and hope that she's already close to sealing a deal with a new coach, because I think having that uncertainty hanging over her head during the off season could really hurt her ability to get off to a good start next year.

As for the short end of the stick, I agree with you that the list of "tricky opponents" is too long these days to be able to use that as a general excuse for her bad year. That said, her year may well been a little less disastrous if she'd had kinder early rounds in a few key tourneys, in particular Stuttgart, Madrid and Wimbledon. She could hardly have drawn worse opponents than she did at that stage in those tournaments, and the losses all hurt her because they came at a key time, when she was looking to kick start her year after the calf injury.

I think those draws must have felt a bit like a kick in the teeth to Sam, as if the tennis gods really must hate her, and this latest draw against Lucie can only have strengthened that feeling I think. Indirectly I think this may have also contributed to her losses against Govortsova and Duval: the feeling that she finally had an okay draw for a few rounds and MUST take advantage.
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Old Oct 1st, 2013, 10:23 AM   #470
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Re: Sammy's Asian Swing 2013

Yeah there is no doubt her draws have been horrible - sure does not look like this will change And any odd chance that she gets a decent draw (like the USO) she flames out early to some unheralded opponent Drawing her "masters" JJ and Lucie time and time again this year is just ridiculous! Her win/loss this year is 30/19. She lost to the following players:

Top 20/Form players (14)
Lucie x4!
JJ x2
Petra x2
Maria x1
Vika x1
Sabine x1
Vinci x1
CSN x1
Simona x1

Down under (3)
Sofia x1
Jay Z x2

Bad losses (2)
Vicky D
Govortsova

Which does not look too bad - the really damaging one was the loss to Vicky D and JJ after winning the first sets in both matches at Slam events Those 2 losses cost her big time

Maybe being ranked lower and drawing the big guns early will do her no harm - her underdog status means there is a potential she could be a giant killer in her quarter. 2014 cant possibly be worse than 2013 right?

Just saw an alarming stat on the WTA site while looking into Sam's results this year. Her Aces to DF ratio this year is 118/179! 179 DFs? Good god!

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Old Oct 1st, 2013, 11:41 AM   #471
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Re: Sammy's Asian Swing 2013

Well, she's played about 50 matches and I'd say she's been hitting about 3-4 DFs on average, so it's not too surprising when you do the maths, it just seems like a lot when you add them all up. We need to send Sam Sinclair's rant about needing to fix her second serve

I guess when you write out her results like that there aren't too many really bad losses. I think stromatolite made that point after the clay season, that her results looked worse than they really were because of some unfortunate draws.

On the basis of my hasty count, this year she's 3-4 against top tenners, 11-13 against top 30, and 19-7 against outside the top 30. Not too bad I guess, but she probably needs to get her results against the top 30 into positive territory to get back into the top 10...
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Old Oct 1st, 2013, 11:51 AM   #472
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Re: Sammy's Asian Swing 2013

^That ratio looks pretty shocking, but in Samís defense, for some reason most of the WTA seems to have suffered from chronic DF-itus this year. Samís stats arenít really that bad compared to most: Vika 69-227, Petra 230-327, Na 122-193, Marion 77-274. Only Serena has a good ratio: 419-151, and Aga also has more aces than DFs (157-107), but the rest are mostly as bad or worse than Sam. In percentage terms, Errani has probably the worst ratio of all: 7-66, thatís more than 9 DFs for every ace

As for Samís draws, I think itís worth mentioning that a lot of her bad ones have been spookily surface-specific. I mean, what are the odds that she would draw Lucie 4 times on grass or fast HCs and not once on clay, that she played JJ only on clay, and that she would only meet grass-GOAT Sabine at Wimby?
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Old Oct 1st, 2013, 12:35 PM   #473
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Re: Sammy's Asian Swing 2013

I agree with all of this except we are missing one important point - in a number of her loses, she had winning leads including:

- A break up in the third sets again Zheng in Sydney and Melbourne.
- A set point against Lucy in Fed Cup
- A match point against Petra in Fed Cup
- A set point against Carla in Madrid
- Up a break in the third against Vika in Rome
- A set up against JJ at the french
- A set point against Lucy at Eastbourne
- A set up against Sabine at Wimbledon
- A set up against Vicky in New York

These stats are most concerning. She has lost the ability to go in for the kill which points to two things - mental frailty and a lack of confidence in her keys shots, mainly her serve.

This is where I fear that the longer she is without a strong coach, the greater this problem will become.

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Old Oct 1st, 2013, 12:56 PM   #474
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Re: Sammy's Asian Swing 2013

^There's almost a fear of winning in Sam, rather than a fear of losing, if that makes sense ... maybe it doesn't I think we were saying something similar to this last year, except last year the feeling was specifically that Sam wasn't taking her opportunities against top players, now it feels like she's struggling to take her opportunities against many in the top 30.

...why are we all summing up like the year's over? Sam's clearly going to win Osaka, Moscow and Sofia, and we'll all be saying in a month's time how Sam won more tournaments in 2013 than in her entire prior career
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Old Oct 1st, 2013, 01:17 PM   #475
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Re: Sammy's Asian Swing 2013

Another random fact: first time since 2004 Sam hasn't made a GS QF in singles or doubles
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Old Oct 1st, 2013, 02:37 PM   #476
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Re: Sammy's Asian Swing 2013

^By my count she's made at least one slam SF in each of those years, and at least two QFs. This is really a horror year* for her in slams

* I believe the posh term for this is "annus horribilis", otherwise known as a horrible arsehole of a year

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Old Oct 2nd, 2013, 12:27 AM   #477
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Re: Sammy's Asian Swing 2013

^It's really impressive she maintained that record, even through having Lyme's Disease. Puts her results this year into some perspective...

Le sigh. I don't have high expectations for the next two weeks; I'm hoping that she'll see the Australian season as a fresh start and have some positive results there. Please for the love of God

Osaka looks very tough this year, at least comparatively. In current form, I think all of JJ, Robson, Pennetta, Shvedova, Bouchard, Zheng, Keys, and Lisicki could cause Sammy some grief. Draw will be very important, as usual I guess.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2013, 11:08 AM   #478
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Re: Sammy's Asian Swing 2013

My only hope is that Sam does enough to remain in the Top 20. I think psychologically this is important (at least to me). Kuzzy losing today helps that for another week. Race results has her and Sori 10 points apart and there is less than 300 to a few above her which is good for the beginning of next year as she has nothing to defend. Kuzzy only has Moscow to go. Not sure about the others.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2013, 12:07 PM   #479
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Re: Sammy's Asian Swing 2013

^I'm not quite as fixated on top-20 as you are Ado, but I think it's really important for Sam to avoid sliding out of the top 24 seeding at the AO, which would pit her against one of the top 4 in R3 already.

I know she's not even expected to get that far based on the last few years, but that's not chiseled in stone, and a second week showing in Melbourne would be a great way to kick off the new season. If she's drawn to play one of the top 4 in R3 that can be pretty much ruled out before she even steps on court. And the later in the tournament she's drawn to meet them, the bigger the chance that somebody will pull off an upset and take them out before Sam has to play them.

Atm she looks a fairly safe bet to stay in the top 25 (assuming Marion doesn't come out of retirement that would be enough for a top 24 seeding), but a few wins in the next couple of weeks would make that a lot safer.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2013, 02:36 PM   #480
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Re: Sammy's Asian Swing 2013

Do we know when osaka draw is announced?
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