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Old Feb 7th, 2014, 05:42 AM   #676
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Re: Goddess in training: Despina Papamichail

She decided to skip Fed Cup despite having good results in Fed Cup in previous years. She's also going to play the 15K in Tallinn next week which is strange since Fed Cup is in Tallinn and she's skipping it

Anyways here's a pic of her with her runner-up singles trophy from the first Egypt tournament:
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Lisicki. Paszek. Vesnina. Pavlyuchenkova. Cornet.
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Old Feb 9th, 2014, 04:26 AM   #677
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Re: Goddess in training: Despina Papamichail

Happy 21st Birthday!
I hope this year is her best year yet! She deserves it! I'm disappointed that she didn't play Fed Cup but she must have a good reason to skip . I am so proud of her for sticking on tour after all of her struggles. She is a fighter and worked her way back up the rankings in 2013 from nothing and never gave up even when she was struggling to win matches at the 10K level. Enjoy your birthday and keep working hard!
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Lisicki. Paszek. Vesnina. Pavlyuchenkova. Cornet.
Stephens. Oudin. King. Vandeweghe. McHale.
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Old Feb 9th, 2014, 07:51 PM   #678
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Re: Goddess in training: Despina Papamichail

Ranking of 358 is close to her all time best of 351 late in 2011 before the disaster of 2012. Any idea of what happened or was it just poor play?
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Old Feb 10th, 2014, 01:10 AM   #679
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Re: Goddess in training: Despina Papamichail

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillFromRichmond View Post
Ranking of 358 is close to her all time best of 351 late in 2011 before the disaster of 2012. Any idea of what happened or was it just poor play?
I don't know to be honest. I've seen her wear tape and stuff but she never had any serious injury where she missed a significant amount of time on tour so it couldn't have been injury. I think she just lost her confidence maybe. If I had to guess a lot of it would have to do with Fed Cup in 2012. Greece was in Group I but Daniilidou, Gerasimou, and Georgatou all skipped which meant Despina, who had never played singles (or any live match) at Fed Cup before was to lead the team to try and stay in the top category. Unfortunately Greece wasn't going to beat Hungary or Sweden so they needed to beat Bosnia and Despina had set points in the first set against Tinjic and could not convert.

Then Greece played the relegation playoff against Luxembourg and Stefanou was up 4-0 in the first set and then got injured and lost so Despina had to win her singles against Anne Kremer (former top 20) and she won 7-5 in the third and then in the doubles they were down 5-1 in the third set and saved 2 MPs that game and slowly came back and saved 5-6 MPs in total and then in the third set tiebreak they saved more match points and then had one of their own and couldn't convert and ended up losing it 10-8. Long story short, that could've hurt Despina a lot since she fought so hard for nothing.

My theory is that it was either that Fed Cup that hurt her to end 2012 outside the top 700, or the Greek economic crisis. I have no idea what her family's situation is like, but maybe they are struggling and relying on Despina to pay their bills? Who knows, they could even be rich but maybe the financial situation added a lot of pressure on her? Once again, I could be completely wrong but I'm just assuming its either Fed Cup or the economy.

Sorry I wrote so much but it was a good question to ask, as I don't know the real answer
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Lisicki. Paszek. Vesnina. Pavlyuchenkova. Cornet.
Stephens. Oudin. King. Vandeweghe. McHale.
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Old Feb 10th, 2014, 01:32 AM   #680
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Re: Goddess in training: Despina Papamichail

Hey, I appreciate the detailed answer. I've only been following her for about a year so didn't know the details of the Fed Cup thing.

We don't know the financial situation with her specifically, but I think the economic situation in countries like Greece, Italy and some of the others is underestimated in its affects on some of the players, not only in they or their families supporting them but also its affects on obtaining sponsors, whether it be individuals or companies. I read somewhere recently that it costs $150,000 plus in American dollars for a lower tier to spend a year on the WTA Tour. Its less for ITF players who don't have to travel so far in most cases, but the price money is also MUCH less. There is a Top 100 player I follow( will not name) who doesn't seem to play as near as many tourneys as she should, disappears for sometimes months at a time and has had no injury problems in the last couple of years, so I speculate finances are part or all of the reason.
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Old Feb 10th, 2014, 01:44 AM   #681
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Re: Goddess in training: Despina Papamichail

No problem
And yeah I think I know who you're talking about. It's sad how some of these girls could be really good but don't have the resources. Especially in countries like Greece with little tennis tradition. There are a lot of courts, but people treat tennis more like a recreational sport/hobby. A lot of girls (and guys) give up because they realize they won't be top 50/100 and it just doesn't pay. I've seen it many times. And obviously Greece isn't the only country that deals with this. You see it with Croatia, Serbia, Russia, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Italy, Spain, etc. I've seen it many times before though (from Greek players) and to be honest I'm surprised Despina has continued to try to play on tour. For all we know, Despina could come from a rich family and all this talk is irrelevant, but we just don't know

------------------------------------------------------
A quick google search led me to this
http://www.livetennis.it/post/147110...a-papamichail/
I found this interview, from July

It's in Italian (and I don't speak Italian) so I used google translate

She was first asked why she started playing and she said that when she was younger she played many different sports and one of her friends introduced her to tennis.

She said she went to Italy because she met an Italian coach, Massimiliano Albarella. (Before she spent a few years in Spain training with Ferrero)

Off the court, she enjoys movies, shopping, and listening to music.

She now trains in Jesi, Italy (still with Albarella), and she is determined to reach the top 100.

Then there is some stuff lost in translation, but I understood the part where she said she is working hard on her serve and has a lot to improve

Her goal for the rest of the year was to improve and return to the top 350 (she ended the year just outside)

She doesn't know how high she can get but her career goal is to be in the top 50

She said its not easy being away from home, but she's used to it by now.

She said she loves Greece and visiting Greece but the tennis system is more organized in Italy and she loves Italy as well, especially the food

THEN THEY ASKED WHAT HAPPENED THAT CAUSED HER DROP IN THE RANKINGS! She answered by saying that she lost confidence. My interpretation of the rest is that she was doing well and winning because of her fighting, but she wanted to develop her game more (I'm assuming this means she started to change her style of play, but once gain I don't know Italian)

Then I think she said she struggled to win in 25K and 50K tournaments, but once again I don't know

----------------------------------------------------

So that seems like the reason. But of course you never know the real reason. It could be money and she's just embarrassed, but I think I believe her
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Lisicki. Paszek. Vesnina. Pavlyuchenkova. Cornet.
Stephens. Oudin. King. Vandeweghe. McHale.
Grammatikopoulou ~ Papamichail ~ Sakkari

Last edited by hellas719 : Feb 10th, 2014 at 01:47 AM. Reason: Interview summary added
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Old Feb 13th, 2014, 02:12 AM   #682
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Re: Goddess in training: Despina Papamichail

15K Tallinn:
R1: Hofmann GER (#327) d. Papamichail GRE (#358) 6-4 6-2
Not a bad loss but I think she could've won
Also 1/4 on BPs probably didn't help either

R1: Laine FIN/Vrljic CRO d. Ostapenko LAT/Papamichail GRE 6-4 6-4
Really not much could be done there, just a bad draw for them

She isn't on any entry lists for the next two weeks so either she's going to play WTA qualies or rest/practice

I hope she takes a trip to South America or Asia soon to rack up cheap points
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Stephens. Oudin. King. Vandeweghe. McHale.
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Old Feb 19th, 2014, 05:53 AM   #683
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Re: Goddess in training: Despina Papamichail

10K and 25K Bath, GBR 2012:
































10K Amelia Island, USA 2013:




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Lisicki. Paszek. Vesnina. Pavlyuchenkova. Cornet.
Stephens. Oudin. King. Vandeweghe. McHale.
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Old Feb 26th, 2014, 06:26 AM   #684
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Re: Goddess in training: Despina Papamichail

















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Lisicki. Paszek. Vesnina. Pavlyuchenkova. Cornet.
Stephens. Oudin. King. Vandeweghe. McHale.
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Old Mar 1st, 2014, 05:22 AM   #685
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Re: Goddess in training: Despina Papamichail

25K Brazil QR1 vs. Ioana Bogdan (ROU, NR)
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Lisicki. Paszek. Vesnina. Pavlyuchenkova. Cornet.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2014, 03:11 AM   #686
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Re: Goddess in training: Despina Papamichail

6/0 6/0 over Ana Bogdan's sister
QR2 vs. Ingrid Gamarra Martins BRA (#1203)
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Stephens. Oudin. King. Vandeweghe. McHale.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2014, 06:00 AM   #687
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Re: Goddess in training: Despina Papamichail

6-4 6-0
FQR vs. (4) Laura Thorpe FRA (#269)
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Stephens. Oudin. King. Vandeweghe. McHale.
Grammatikopoulou ~ Papamichail ~ Sakkari
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Old Mar 6th, 2014, 04:13 AM   #688
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Re: Goddess in training: Despina Papamichail

5-7 0-6
She was 3/12 on break points
So ironic that I wanted her to go get cheap points in South America, and she came and this ended up being the strongest challenger field ever in South America

Next week she plays another one in Brazil which will have most of the same players as this one

Photo from this week:
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Lisicki. Paszek. Vesnina. Pavlyuchenkova. Cornet.
Stephens. Oudin. King. Vandeweghe. McHale.
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Old Mar 8th, 2014, 05:42 AM   #689
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Re: Goddess in training: Despina Papamichail

She would've been seeded 4th in qualies but withdrew. IMO doesn't make sense to go to Brazil and only play one tournament, not sure why she didn't just play this one since she was already there



Old pics:
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Interview with a station from her hometown of Preveza:
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Lisicki. Paszek. Vesnina. Pavlyuchenkova. Cornet.
Stephens. Oudin. King. Vandeweghe. McHale.
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Old Mar 9th, 2014, 03:06 AM   #690
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Re: Goddess in training: Despina Papamichail

I'm wondering if after getting bageled in the first round last week and facing the same field again if her motivation wasn't there to go through another round of qualifying.
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