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Old Jan 23rd, 2013, 06:36 AM   #706
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Re: *Vika Azarenka Cheering Thread* - Vikalume 4.

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Originally Posted by hurricanejeanne View Post
Now we get to suffer another Serena beat down.
You sure about that?

Anyway, Vika should not overlook Sloane. She should come out firing and ready to go from the first point. No mercy.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2013, 07:02 AM   #707
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Re: *Vika Azarenka Cheering Thread* - Vikalume 4.

Pleased with Vika today. She should be able to beat Sloane but I just want her to play freely and with confidence.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2013, 07:14 AM   #708
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Re: *Vika Azarenka Cheering Thread* - Vikalume 4.

So I think Vika will drop maybe 4 games max to Sloane, and then I'll give my opinion on her chances against Maria and Li. Against Maria she'll have to step it up, and be more aggressive, she needs to try and hit deeper and harder side to side to make Maria run, unless Maria implodes like last year I don't see what else Vika can do. Holding serve will also be key because Maria always throws in a bad serving game or period in matches.

For Li, well I honestly have no clue. Li is tricky for everyone, and while Vika doesn't give Li good pace which she loves, Li has worked hard on becoming better at hitting the pushers off court, like Aga. So I guess Vika will just have to return super will and try and move Li around enough that she can't really get good hits on the ball. I'm expecting Maria to beat Li but you never know, so it should be interesting.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2013, 09:26 AM   #709
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Re: *Vika Azarenka Cheering Thread* - Vikalume 4.

OK, so I woke up earlier checking the results and couldn't really believe what I've seen. Can someone please sum up Sloane's performance to me? Was she GOAT, was Serena injured, was it both?

Sloane and Vika have never played against each other and Sloane certainly is full of confidence right now so I expect everything but an easy match for Vika.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2013, 10:09 AM   #710
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Re: *Vika Azarenka Cheering Thread* - Vikalume 4.

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Originally Posted by Natural Joe View Post
OK, so I woke up earlier checking the results and couldn't really believe what I've seen. Can someone please sum up Sloane's performance to me? Was she GOAT, was Serena injured, was it both?
The first set was basically an all serve borefest, Sloane did okay and Serena wasn't playing great. The second set Sloane was playing much better but the score's were more or less even. Midway through the second Serena hit an awkward winner from mere centimetres from the net and injured her back, for a while from then on Serena was grimacing and wasn't able to serve properly but otherwise she was moving at a decent level. The third set was mostly really tight as Serena's serve speeds increased again but she was making a whole lot of errors. So yeah, you could say Sloane played a fantastic match but she made somewhere around 20 more UEs than winners, and there were times where she struggled to put Injurena away late in the second.

It's going to be an awful tall order for Sloane to beat two top 3 players in a row and at her age I don't think she has the experience to win a slam SF against someone as driven and comparatively experienced as Vika yet.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2013, 12:03 PM   #711
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Re: *Vika Azarenka Cheering Thread* - Vikalume 4.

Sloane is a promising player but she certainly didn't play GOAT and it was not a good match by any means. I would be very surprised if Vika lost to her. Vika has a fair chance to win the AO now.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2013, 12:10 PM   #712
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Re: *Vika Azarenka Cheering Thread* - Vikalume 4.

With Serena out, this is a wide open chance for Slam #2. I wish Vika would beat Serena again though, weirdly enough I thought Vika could have a chance against Williams here seeing as Serena was injured and was sleepwalking through the draw before facing Vika similarly to the US Open last year. That said, you can never know with Serena, if she comes out with her serve booming she has a rabid advantage over Vika. So, I guess it's a good thing we don't have to worry about that.

I doubt Stephens will be a pushover though, she'll be brimming with confidence, though probably tired. Hopefully Vika continues improving her play as the tournament keeps going.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2013, 12:31 PM   #713
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Re: *Vika Azarenka Cheering Thread* - Vikalume 4.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Break My Rapture View Post
With Serena out, this is a wide open chance for Slam #2. I wish Vika would beat Serena again though, weirdly enough I thought Vika could have a chance against Williams here seeing as Serena was injured and was sleepwalking through the draw before facing Vika similarly to the US Open last year. That said, you can never know with Serena, if she comes out with her serve booming she has a rabid advantage over Vika. So, I guess it's a good thing we don't have to worry about that.

I doubt Stephens will be a pushover though, she'll be brimming with confidence, though probably tired. Hopefully Vika continues improving her play as the tournament keeps going.
Don't think Stephens will be problematic having seen the match last night. Taking out Maria in the final will be tough this time, a lot at stake for both players should they both get there.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2013, 12:42 PM   #714
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she's getting up a head of steam now, that was her best match since Beijing last year. I really liked how she went for ir when it was close late in the first set.

Can still do better. Should deal with Stephens if she keeps this level up, as long as Sam doesn't give her another troll scouting report.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2013, 12:48 PM   #715
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Re: *Vika Azarenka Cheering Thread* - Vikalume 4.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oh yeah i guess View Post
The first set was basically an all serve borefest, Sloane did okay and Serena wasn't playing great. The second set Sloane was playing much better but the score's were more or less even. Midway through the second Serena hit an awkward winner from mere centimetres from the net and injured her back, for a while from then on Serena was grimacing and wasn't able to serve properly but otherwise she was moving at a decent level. The third set was mostly really tight as Serena's serve speeds increased again but she was making a whole lot of errors. So yeah, you could say Sloane played a fantastic match but she made somewhere around 20 more UEs than winners, and there were times where she struggled to put Injurena away late in the second.

It's going to be an awful tall order for Sloane to beat two top 3 players in a row and at her age I don't think she has the experience to win a slam SF against someone as driven and comparatively experienced as Vika yet.
Thanks! Found some time to watch the replay of the third set on ES.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2013, 01:17 PM   #716
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Re: *Vika Azarenka Cheering Thread* - Vikalume 4.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StoneRose View Post
Sloane is a promising player but she certainly didn't play GOAT and it was not a good match by any means. I would be very surprised if Vika lost to her. Vika has a fair chance to win the AO now.
I think Serena Williams might have underestimated Sloane Stephens before the match and gave her some unintentional advantages in the physical side. For instance Sara Errani & Roberta Vinci beat Serena & Venus Williams in a hard and frustrating doubles quarterfinal match (3-6 7-6 7-5) and Serena seemed to have some sort of injuries especially with her ankle. As we know on Vika´s side she gave up playing the doubles with Maria Kirilenko in 2011 to concentrate to singles matches.

On the other hand Sloane Stephens didn´t respect too much for her older collegue and she had fresh memories about their Brisbane final. I am sure Vika doesn´t underestimate Sloane and she is well prepared for a semifinal both mentally and physically.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2013, 01:29 PM   #717
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Re: *Vika Azarenka Cheering Thread* - Vikalume 4.

I didn't watch the end of the third set as my flu meds kicked in, but Serena wasn't Serena. I know it's sort of a running joke about Serena only being at 70, 50% or whatever but she wasn't playing well at all. She definitely was anxious about Sloane, but personally I think that's more about Sloane being an American rather than her game (See Serena's matches against Davenport, Capriati for reference). The she hurt her back and had even more demons to deal with.

That said Sloane was on and off. After Serena hurt her back and came back out, Sloane served for the second set and choked hard core. This sounds horrible but if it was this hard for her to beat an injured, anxious Serena how is she going to handle a (god willing) healthy, feisty Vika? Their games are very similar but Vika is more consistent, but she cannot underestimate Sloane at this point. Child's already developing some serious bravado.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2013, 01:51 PM   #718
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Re: *Vika Azarenka Cheering Thread* - Vikalume 4.

I honestly don't know who to root for in the Li/Maria semifinal so that Vika has a better chance if she makes the final.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2013, 03:41 PM   #719
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Re: *Vika Azarenka Cheering Thread* - Vikalume 4.

If the final is Vika vs Maria as expected. It is a key key match not only because it will be a grand slam final! Vika needs to win to keep the mental edge on Maria. There will likely be many more meetings this year, and it's important to keep her head in front after losing their last encounter. Ultimately I give a big edge to Vika. She has dropped 1 set to Maria in their last 6 outdoor hard meetings. That's quite the record.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2013, 04:22 PM   #720
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Re: *Vika Azarenka Cheering Thread* - Vikalume 4.

I'm not overlooking Sloane at all, but Serena was making her look ordinary at 63 20*, before she got the injury. Vika will have to be wary because Sloane could either come out nervous because of the occasion or just totally swing out.

And I think that if she does make the final, she will get up for whoever she's playing.

Keep going bb
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