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Old Oct 30th, 2011, 02:33 AM   #1
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Sammy's 2011 Party and Off-Season Thread

In this thread, we celebtrate Sam's 2011.


Results:
Singles
Champion: US Open
Runner Up: Rome, Toronto, Osaka
Semi-Finalist: Year Ending Championships, Stuttgart, Eastbourne
Quarter Finalist: Dubai, Cincinnati

Doubles
Champion: Stuttgart (w/ Lisicki)
Runner Up: Wimbledon (w/ Lisicki)
Quarter Finalist: Dubai (w/ Raymond), Eastbourne (w/Gajdosova), Stanford (w/ Lisicki)

Year End Singles Rank: 6

To give the thread some purpose, answer the following questions:

1) What was Sam's best win of the year?
2) What was Sam's worst loss of the year
3) What fictional character does Sam remind you of?
4) If you had to describe Sam's year in the form of a song, which song would it be?
5) What was Sam's most under-rated win of the year?
6) Which of Sam's losses were you most impressed with?
7) What part of Sam's game has improved most throughout the year?
8) What would you like to see Sam work on in the future?
9) What's the one match you wish Sam had won, that she didn't?
10) What do you predict in 2012 for Sam (ranking, tournmanets, H2Hs with particular players etc.)?
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Old Oct 30th, 2011, 03:11 AM   #2
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Re: Sammy's 2011 Party and Off-Season Thread

1) What was Sam's best win of the year?
Difficult to go past the USO final obviously. But in terms of drama, probably her matches with MKiri and Petrova at the USO (which have melted into one in my brain) were my favourites.

2) What was Sam's worst loss of the year
Melinda Czink

3) What fictional character does Sam remind you of?
Neville Longbottom. A bit timid, but always growing in knowledge and confidence, and now a talented hottie

4) If you had to describe Sam's year in the form of a song, which song would it be?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWOyfLBYtuU&ob=av3e

5) What was Sam's most under-rated win of the year?
I think her wins over Franny and Li Na in Rome, at the time, didn't seem that impressive. But she ended up beating the two FO finalists for the year on clay.

6) Which of Sam's losses were you most impressed with?
Her loss to Petra yesterday was probably my favourite of Sam's losses this year

7) What part of Sam's game has improved most throughout the year?
Her willingness to defend. Still nto a strength for her, but it's gone from being a weakness to being solid

8) What would you like to see Sam work on in the future
I think she needs to work on getting the balance right between aggression and defene when playing Kvitova/Masha/Vika types. She did a really good job against them this week (well, not so much Vika), but I felt sometimes concentrated a little too much on defending and didn't go for her shots as much as she could have.

9) What's the one match you wish Sam had won, that she didn't?
A win over Dulko at the French could easily have become a SF

10) What do you predict in 2012 for Sam (ranking, tournamnets, H2Hs with particular players etc.)
I think she could be top three going into the 2012 clay court season. The only top fifteen player with fewer points to defend at the start of next year is Serena, who didn't play that period in 2011 at all.
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Old Oct 30th, 2011, 03:33 AM   #3
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Re: Sammy's 2011 Party and Off-Season Thread

1) What was Sam's best win of the year? The win over Serena in the US Open Final
2) What was Sam's worst loss of the year? Losing to Czink in the 1st Round of Wimbledon
3) What fictional character does Sam remind you of? Don't know
4) If you had to describe Sam's year in the form of a song, which song would it be? Don't know, maybe "Fighter" from Christina Aguilera
5) What was Sam's most under-rated win of the year? Against Zvonareva in the Quarters of Eastbourne
6) Which of Sam's losses were you most impressed with? Both of her losses against Kvitova this season. She didn't play poorly in those, Kvitova just outplayed her.
7) What part of Sam's game has improved most throughout the year? Her consistency
8) What would you like to see Sam work on in the future? Not much, adding a bit of variety to the serve
9) What's the one match you wish Sam had won, that she didn't? A few probably her SF match against Goerges in Stuttgart
10) What do you predict in 2012 for Sam (ranking, tournamnets, H2Hs with particular players etc.) She will be Top 5 for most of the season & finish 2012 there. She will win another GS singles title (either at the AO, FO or USO) & she'll go deep in most of her tournaments (with a title or two).
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Old Oct 30th, 2011, 06:14 AM   #4
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Re: Sammy's 2011 Party and Off-Season Thread

Thanks for starting this thread SilverPersian, I was thinking along similar lines but you beat me to it!

1) What was Sam's best win of the year? -> beating Serena in NY of course, although her win against Maria in Istanbul is right up there too!
2) What was Sam's worst loss of the year -> to Dulko at RG, for me this was much worse than her loss to Czink at Wimbledon
3) What fictional character does Sam remind you of? -> no particular character, but she kind of reminds me of Clint Eastwood: she rides silently into town, looks the bad guy in the eye, does what has to be done, then rides back out of town
4) If you had to describe Sam's year in the form of a song, which song would it be? -> The times are a-changin'
5) What was Sam's most under-rated win of the year? -> either of her 3-setters against Vera, in Stuttgart and Eastbourne. Everybody assumes that Vera is Sam's "bitch" (hate that word), but both these were extremely hard fought matches where Sam came back from losing the first set and held her nerve magnificently to claim the win in a tight third set
6) Which of Sam's losses were you most impressed with? -> hard to go past yesterday's match for this, but I was also very proud of her fight against both Maria AND a badly upset tummy in Rome
7) What part of Sam's game has improved most throughout the year? -> everything, but if I have to choose I would say her defensive game
8) What would you like to see Sam work on in the future? -> to be honest I am so incredibly impressed with how much Sam's game has improved over the last year, I would not presume to make any recommendations at all in this department. Just keep up the good work Sam and Dave!
9) What's the one match you wish Sam had won, that she didn't? -> too many! But probably her match against Dulko at RG. I could of handled seeing her go out in the QF or SF, but it was painful to see her so humbled in the 3R.
10) What do you predict in 2012 for Sam (ranking, tournaments, H2Hs with particular players etc.)? -> I think Sam will go top 2 for sure next year, and even has a shot at the no. 1 spot. I see her winning a lot of tournaments next year (5+), including at least 1 more slam. I've already gone out on a limb and predicted that she will beat ALL of her "masters" at least once in the next 12 months. Maria is already in the bag and she's taken a set off Petra, so that prediction is looking good I think. On the other hand it wouldn't surprise me if she loses a match to Vera and/or Na.
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Old Oct 30th, 2011, 10:32 AM   #5
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Re: Sammy's 2011 Party and Off-Season Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by stromatolite View Post
Thanks for starting this thread SilverPersian, I was thinking along similar lines but you beat me to it!
No probs...if there were any other questions or features you were going to have, tell me and I can edit them in.

Quote:
3) What fictional character does Sam remind you of? -> no particular character, but she kind of reminds me of Clint Eastwood: she rides silently into town, looks the bad guy in the eye, does what has to be done, then rides back out of town
I get what you mean with the Sam-Clint Eastwood comparison, but you'd have to replace Clint's steely gaze with Sammy's watery blue nervous glances.

Quote:
5) What was Sam's most under-rated win of the year? -> either of her 3-setters against Vera, in Stuttgart and Eastbourne. Everybody assumes that Vera is Sam's "bitch" (hate that word), but both these were extremely hard fought matches where Sam came back from losing the first set and held her nerve magnificently to claim the win in a tight third set
I thought the Stuttgart win was especially significant. It was her first three set win since the previous USO (look it up, it's true ), her first SF of the year and her first top ten win of the year. In my mind it was the turning point that started to send her in the right direction.
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Old Oct 30th, 2011, 10:34 AM   #6
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Re: Sammy's 2011 Party and Off-Season Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben. View Post
1)
4) If you had to describe Sam's year in the form of a song, which song would it be? Don't know, maybe "Fighter" from Christina Aguilera...
9) What's the one match you wish Sam had won, that she didn't? A few probably her SF match against Goerges in Stuttgart
[/b]
Good choice of song

A clay court final with Woz would have been great
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Old Oct 30th, 2011, 11:10 AM   #7
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Re: Sammy's 2011 Party and Off-Season Thread

1) What was Sam's best win of the year?
US Open for sure. I've watched that final more times than I care to admit and it still amazes. The confidence, the accuracy hitting lines, the ability to produce a performance like that in the ultimate pressure situation. Epic.

2) What was Sam's worst loss of the year
Wimbledon yes. But those two occasions Sam got hammered by Bartoli were pretty bad too (Eastbourne, Osaka). Both were spectacularly lopsided and both could have led to titles.

3) What fictional character does Sam remind you of?
This is an interesting question because Sam's characteristics almost make her an archetypal fictional character. The combination of obvious external physical strength with an internal vulnerability that can be read in the eyes is very, very compelling. In fact it's probably more common in fiction than in real life because it can easily be used to manipulate the reader's or viewer's emotions. One obvious example of this in film I would suggest is the character of the woman boxer in Million Dollar Baby.

4) If you had to describe Sam's year in the form of a song, which song would it be?
Someone else's example of Fighter is very good. Sam said herself at one of her US Open pressers that she had not been known for that in the past, but it has clearly changed now. That should be emblematic of her year.

5) What was Sam's most under-rated win of the year?
The win against Vera at Eastbourne - and not just because I was there for that one. Vera really brought it that day, and Sam really worked for it. One of the first times I saw her really up her level. That third set was great - a bit of a bump serving it out, but she got there in the end. A close second was the win over Schiavone in Rome. The crowd was going nuts for Fran and Sam just shut them down.

6) Which of Sam's losses were you most impressed with?

Petra in Istanbul for sure. I actually believed she could pull something out in that third set. Scraping those last 3 games there was huge - she would never have accomplished that a few years ago.

7) What part of Sam's game has improved most throughout the year?
Defence certainly - I remember watching matches in the past where I would wonder why she didn't even attempt to move for some shots - not any more. The improved backhand is a big part of that. How sweet is it to see BHDTL winners coming off that racquet? Slices that land this close to the baseline?

8) What would you like to see Sam work on in the future?
Keep improving that backhand. Vika had her pinned in that backhand corner...

9) What's the one match you wish Sam had won, that she didn't?
Melinda fucking Czink. The draw was pretty sweet after that match and I had tickets for God sake!

10) What do you predict in 2012 for Sam (ranking, tournmanets, H2Hs with particular players etc.)?
I'd like to see her rack up some points in the Aussie summer. A major clay court title, including a premier mandatory. Top five throughout the year and a win over a healthy Sharapova. Dare I say defend her US Open title?
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Old Oct 30th, 2011, 08:12 PM   #8
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Re: Sammy's 2011 Party and Off-Season Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverPersian View Post
No probs...if there were any other questions or features you were going to have, tell me and I can edit them in.
No, I'd say you've got all bases covered nicely, and half of these I certainly wouldn't have thought of so it's good that you beat me to it.

Quote:
I get what you mean with the Sam-Clint Eastwood comparison, but you'd have to replace Clint's steely gaze with Sammy's watery blue nervous glances.
nice one! Actually the comparison works best when Sam wears her sunnies for the whole match so you can't see how nervous she is. And of course, deep in his heart old Clint was nervous as shit too, that's why he never said anything in his first 10 movies . Only his later movies did he dare to show his vulnerable side.

Quote:
I thought the Stuttgart win was especially significant. It was her first three set win since the previous USO (look it up, it's true ), her first SF of the year and her first top ten win of the year. In my mind it was the turning point that started to send her in the right direction.
I know, and I was really excited at the time because I expected her to then go on an unbelievable winning spree, and was a bit disappointed when she seemed to falter again. But you're spot on, it was a turning point for Sam, only we didn't realise at the time how wide her turning circle was
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Old Nov 2nd, 2011, 05:21 AM   #9
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Re: Sammy's 2011 Party and Off-Season Thread

1) What was Sam's best win of the year? There are a few highlights. Obvious one being against Serena for her USO title. And also her matches against Nadia and Makiri.

2) What was Sam's worst loss of the year I cant choose between Wimby and FO. FO really hurts because I really thought she'd turn it around then and there after her Rome Final, but to lose in 3 sets against Dulko, that sucked. Wimby hurts because it was against Czink of all people. Oh and against Safina at IW. Vesnina at Charleston. Okay there are a few I could name because any loss sucks, but the last two, the way she played... I mean at Charleston DT even came on court.

3) What fictional character does Sam remind you of? Wow, ummm the Million Dollar Baby sort of works. Will have to think about this one.

4) If you had to describe Sam's year in the form of a song, which song would it be? Fighter is a great one. The Climb by Miley Cyrus, I hate the song but I was listening to it last night The lyrics kind of work.

5) What was Sam's most under-rated win of the year? vs Vera in Eastbourne. Even at Stuttgart, she fought hard in that one too. And especially considering how her year was going that was important.

6) Which of Sam's losses were you most impressed with? Petra in Istanbul. Honestly I try not to remember too many of her losses. Possibly the ones against Kiri in Asia... purely because she fought like hell. Alot of her 3 setters at the start of the year (im thinking Flavia ... fed cup) were the same but I dont really remember them too well.

7) What part of Sam's game has improved most throughout the year? Obviously her BH. Her movement towards the end of the year got better and better which helped with her defence.

8) What would you like to see Sam work on in the future? Still keep working on her BH and defence. And varying her serve against certain players.

9) What's the one match you wish Sam had won, that she didn't? Every match she lost...
Petra at AO, because I really want to see her do well at her home slam. I can just imagine how crazy it would get here. Dulko at FO.


10) What do you predict in 2012 for Sam (ranking, tournmanets, H2Hs with particular players etc.)? More frustrating matches.
But I can see her winning a few titles, at least 3. If she is going to win a slam Id say it will be FO (although Id love it to be AO). Defending a slam is always difficult but who knows. I see her appearing in the top 4 too considering she has barely any points the first part of the year.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2011, 06:02 AM   #10
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Re: Sammy's 2011 Party and Off-Season Thread

1) What was Sam's best win of the year?
of course her win in final USO over Serena, but I would say, that all her USO wins from R3 up to final (Petrova, Kiri, Zvonareva, Kerber) were great! So the final win was just amazing continue of those wins

2) What was Sam's worst loss of the year
1st round Wimbledon

3) What fictional character does Sam remind you of?
cant' answer

4) If you had to describe Sam's year in the form of a song, which song would it be?
I'm not sure ... but oftenly when I see her, in my mind play "Be your sound" by Cosmic Gate & Emma Hewitt , maybe because this song has strong and tender like Sam (ha! maybe because I like Emma alot and cause she is Australian too)

5) What was Sam's most under-rated win of the year?
Eastbourne vs Vera

6) Which of Sam's losses were you most impressed with?
two vs Kirilenko after USOpen

7) What part of Sam's game has improved most throughout the year?
her backhand

8) What would you like to see Sam work on in the future?
her backhand

9) What's the one match you wish Sam had won, that she didn't?
of course vs Kvitova in Istanbul. And also it was great if Sam and Sabine won that Wimbledone double

10) What do you predict in 2012 for Sam (ranking, tournmanets, H2Hs with particular players etc.)?
don't like predict. I only hope that Sam will be healthy. If she will, so I guess there will be a lot of her great wins vs any girls of top5, top10, top20 ..... top1000
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Old Nov 2nd, 2011, 06:11 AM   #11
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Re: Sammy's 2011 Party and Off-Season Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Siderosphyre
3) What fictional character does Sam remind you of?
This is an interesting question because Sam's characteristics almost make her an archetypal fictional character. The combination of obvious external physical strength with an internal vulnerability that can be read in the eyes is very, very compelling. In fact it's probably more common in fiction than in real life because it can easily be used to manipulate the reader's or viewer's emotions. One obvious example of this in film I would suggest is the character of the woman boxer in Million Dollar Baby.
This is brilliant. I could totally see Sam's life being made into a B-Grade straight-to-television movie:

The inspirational story of a muscular young doubles player suffering through disappointment, heartbreak and illness. Under the guidance of Sensei Master Dave (cue montage of Sam punching bags, running up steps, skipping, etc.), Sam confronts her demons. A story about finding love (Sam and Simone kissing), getting a less dodgy backhand (BTL winner). and defeating the biggest badass in women's tennis (Serena telling Eva Asderaki she it a hater). This is the story of Sam.

...yes I am still trying to procrastinate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Huntress55 View Post
[b]1) I mean at Charleston DT even came on court.
Seriously!?

I guess being trounced on clay by Vesnina does that to you.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2011, 07:44 AM   #12
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Re: Sammy's 2011 Party and Off-Season Thread

Thanks for doing this - fun!

1) What was Sam's best win of the year?
Def Serena Williams 6-2 6-3 USO Final.
2nd place: Def Kirilenko USO QF. On hindsight Sam could have easily lost the match after losing the tiebreak. She then lost to Kiri in two consecutive tournaments. So it was a great win.

2) What was Sam's worst loss of the year
to Melinda Czink at Wimbledon. Completely inexplicable considering she went on to reach the Doubles final with Sabine. Is grass really so hard?

3) What fictional character does Sam remind you of?
Never thought of her that way. Except when I saw that unflattering picture of her posing at Times Square with her trophy. She looked like Heath Ledger's Joker.

4) If you had to describe Sam's year in the form of a song, which song would it be?
Sorry, terrible with songs.

5) What was Sam's most under-rated win of the year?
Any of her wins against Vera Zvonareva (2) or Li Na (4). Keeps the perfect records.

6) Which of Sam's losses were you most impressed with?
to Petra Kvitova YEC SF. Doing all the right things... just not for long enough.

7) What part of Sam's game has improved most throughout the year?
Defence and sliced backhand. She can now chase down balls she didn't use to and her steadier backhand is contributing to her success on court.

8) What would you like to see Sam work on in the future?
Her performance at the Australian Open.

9) What's the one match you wish Sam had won, that she didn't?
Beating Sharapova for Rome title or beating Bartoli for Osaka title. She really needs more of them.

10) What do you predict in 2012 for Sam (ranking, tournmanets, H2Hs with particular players etc.)?
Ascending to Top 3. Winning one or two clay tournaments (hopefully the French). Getting a win against Azarenka or Pennetta.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2011, 07:56 AM   #13
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Re: Sammy's 2011 Party and Off-Season Thread

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Originally Posted by SilverPersian View Post
This is brilliant. I could totally see Sam's life being made into a B-Grade straight-to-television movie:

The inspirational story of a muscular young doubles player suffering through disappointment, heartbreak and illness. Under the guidance of Sensei Master Dave (cue montage of Sam punching bags, running up steps, skipping, etc.), Sam confronts her demons. A story about finding love (Sam and Simone kissing), getting a less dodgy backhand (BTL winner). and defeating the biggest badass in women's tennis (Serena telling Eva Asderaki she it a hater). This is the story of Sam.
Why should it be B-grade? It will be directed by Quentin Tarantino and Sam will kick everyone's ass. Like Kill Bill.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2011, 10:27 AM   #14
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Re: Sammy's 2011 Party and Off-Season Thread

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Originally Posted by tennisforadults View Post
Why should it be B-grade? It will be directed by Quentin Tarantino and Sam will kick everyone's ass. Like Kill Bill.
Ha! Totally right - Kill Bill is great. Tarantino is fantastic with strong/vulnerable women characters.
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Old Nov 4th, 2011, 03:13 AM   #15
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Re: Sammy's 2011 Party and Off-Season Thread

1) What was Sam's best win of the year?
I guess the win against Serena in the US Open Final comes in mind first for obvious reasons. Beating pissed-off Serena in New York city, in Arthur Ashe, 2 and 3 is kind of impossible to forget and overlook. And her wins against Petrova and Kirilenko at the USO were also very impressive, both exciting and dramatic.

2) What was Sam's worst loss of the year
Wimbledon 1st round.

3) What fictional character does Sam remind you of?
I would pick the character of Sarah Connor from the Terminator films, played by Linda Hamilton. In the first film, Sarah is an ordinary and timid person, certainly not tough. She is a woman who needs protection. And then, in Terminator 2 she rises to the challenge. The timid victim has been transformed into a muscular woman, a warrior, a survivor. I think she is the embodiment of a female fighter in fiction. And yet, there are scenes in the film when you can still see the vulnerability behind the muscles. I think it's the same thing with Sam. The timid player who could be blown off the court a few years ago has become a fighter, a survivor, a major threat for the best players of the game, because she belongs among the best IMHO.

4) If you had to describe Sam's year in the form of a song, which song would it be?
"Standind on top of the world" by Sarah Connor (it's a funny coincidence, I know).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvapLudamBg
I think Sam proved many people wrong this year.

5) What was Sam's most under-rated win of the year?
Both wins against Vera on clay and grass, after being a set down and again the win against her at the USO QF, a match she was meant to win according to everyone.

6) Which of Sam's losses were you most impressed with?
The loss against Kvitova at the YEC. She took the first set and she managed to make a threat in the third, after being 5-0 down.

7) What part of Sam's game has improved most throughout the year?
First of all, I would say mental toughness. The matches against Nadia/Makiri/Serena at the USO prove this. And then it's the defence, the movement, the backhand.

8) What would you like to see Sam work on in the future?
The backhand.

9) What's the one match you wish Sam had won, that she didn't?
The final against Masha in Rome.

10) What do you predict in 2012 for Sam (ranking, tournmanets, H2Hs with particular players etc.)?
She will definately enter the top 5 close to the beginning of the season and she will remain in the top 5 for the rest of the year. I believe she will win 3-5 tournaments, including a slam (probably not Wimbledon ), just to see people stop saying she has only won 3 singles titles. As for H2Hs, I can see her beating again Masha, since she cracked the Masha code in the YEC. She also took a set off Kvitova, so a win will follow very soon. And if she can beat Masha and Petra, I don't see why she can't beat Vika too. These are my predictions and I do not think they are bold, considering the year she's had. My wish is that she stays healthy and mentally strong. Then the wins and the titles will follow, as I predict.

P.S. Yes, this is my first post and hopefully not the last. No, I don't know why it took me so long.
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