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Old Jun 3rd, 2013, 04:22 PM   #2266
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Re: Clay Court 2013: Sam on the Road to Roland Garros

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Old Jun 3rd, 2013, 04:24 PM   #2267
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Re: Clay Court 2013: Sam on the Road to Roland Garros

Bugger

Fran's serve really let them down. Where were those GOAT serves she hit against Sam in the '10 final
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Old Jun 3rd, 2013, 04:24 PM   #2268
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Re: Clay Court 2013: Sam on the Road to Roland Garros

64 75

Sigh.

At least this will give Sam a lot of time to adjust to the grass. But I was hoping a run to the quarters (or better) in the doubles might have dispelled some of the singles disappointment.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2013, 04:25 PM   #2269
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Re: Clay Court 2013: Sam on the Road to Roland Garros

Oh well Sam, head straight for the railway station and get on the first available Eurostar to London. The sooner you put Paris behind you the better
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Old Jun 3rd, 2013, 04:32 PM   #2270
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Re: Clay Court 2013: Sam on the Road to Roland Garros

Started this thread so full of hope, but I'd be lying if I didn't say this clay season has been a huge disappointment. The fact that most of that was down to bad luck (calf injury, crappy draws) doesn't do much to soften that.

But Sammy's a trooper, she'll bounce back on the HCs, and who knows, maybe she'll even pull off a win or two on grass.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2013, 09:16 PM   #2271
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Re: Clay Court 2013: Sam on the Road to Roland Garros

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Started this thread so full of hope, but I'd be lying if I didn't say this clay season has been a huge disappointment. The fact that most of that was down to bad luck (calf injury, crappy draws) doesn't do much to soften that.

But Sammy's a trooper, she'll bounce back on the HCs, and who knows, maybe she'll even pull off a win or two on grass.
^^ This.

Having such a dismal clay season is really a bummer. I know some of it has to do with shitty luck, but I'm also not ignoring the fact that when Sam really should step up her game in the face of non-goat opponents, she crumbles. Sure, it's hard to determine how successful her clay season would have been without the injury combined with bad draws, weather, etc., but I'm not so sure she is playing like a top 10 player right now. In fact, as much as I hate to say this (because I don't want to believe it), the last time she played like a top player with a strong drive to win was against Azarenka at the USO last year.

There, I said it. **runs away**
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 06:02 AM   #2272
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Re: Clay Court 2013: Sam on the Road to Roland Garros

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^^ This.

Having such a dismal clay season is really a bummer. I know some of it has to do with shitty luck, but I'm also not ignoring the fact that when Sam really should step up her game in the face of non-goat opponents, she crumbles. Sure, it's hard to determine how successful her clay season would have been without the injury combined with bad draws, weather, etc., but I'm not so sure she is playing like a top 10 player right now. In fact, as much as I hate to say this (because I don't want to believe it), the last time she played like a top player with a strong drive to win was against Azarenka at the USO last year.

There, I said it. **runs away**
I agree with you in most respects. The frustrating thing is that I get the sense that potentially Sam is not far removed from her very best form now, and that it's her confidence that keeps breaking down rather than her game itself.

The thing that has me worried is that I have the feeling that she's developing the same kind of mental block for RG as she already has for Wimbledon and the AO. I think this last loss against JJ was the worst of her RG losses in the last 4 years.

As bad as her losses to Dulko and Errani were, both those players did stuff that contributed to that loss. They needed some pretty poor play from Sam to get a foot in the door so to speak, but once they got that, they played really smart tennis to drag Sam even further from her comfort zone. JJ is capable of doing that as well, but in Saturday's match she did very little except keep the ball in play (expect the last few games, where she really stepped it up). For most of the match it was just good Sam vs bad Sam.

I'm hoping that as she plays more Sam will eventually get a grip on the doubts that have plagued her for most of this year. I think she still desperately wants to do well (this is the only part of your post I disagree with), but so far every time she looks like breaking free from those doubts and unleashing her big game, they sneak back in and just paralyze her.
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 10:37 AM   #2273
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Re: Clay Court 2013: Sam on the Road to Roland Garros

To return to the discussion of pre-Wimbledon, I really hope Sam comes to her senses and asks for at least one WC. Not just for the possible points, but because if she doesn't, there is a very real possibility that she will go to Stanford having played just one competitive match (a R1 loss at Wimbledon) in almost two months prior to the start of that tournament. That seems like madness to me, given the fact that she is already suffering from a lack of match rhythm.

It wouldn't even need to be a grass tournament if she hates it that much, she could do some whoring on clay in Nuremburg. Alternatively (or in addition) she could do some post-Wimbledon whoring at one of the smaller clay tournaments in the period between the grass season and the American HC season.
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 12:47 PM   #2274
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Re: Clay Court 2013: Sam on the Road to Roland Garros

Completely agree, it's time for Sam to start 'vulturing' some smaller events for the points and matches. Can understand her not giving a stuff about Wimby but that's just too long and her ranking will singer as there is still points to defend later in the year
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 01:09 PM   #2275
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Re: Clay Court 2013: Sam on the Road to Roland Garros

Surely she will pick up a lead in event to Wimbledon? My interpretation of the fact that she hasn't committed to one yet was that she was waiting to see how deep she went in the French, and whether she would have enough time to prepare for Birmingham. I remember in an interview that she said that she wasn't sure what she was doing immediately after the French, so I think this is what she was considering.

I think I'm a little more hopeful about the grass than you guys are - I still foolishly believe she can get to the fourth round at Wimbly if she doesn't get a poopy draw. She has been volleying well this year, and her slice seems to have been very effective when she has used it. Now if only she can whip her brain into form ...
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 01:48 PM   #2276
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Re: Clay Court 2013: Sam on the Road to Roland Garros

^Several Aussie media, like this one, have cited her as "revealing" she won't be playing before Wimbledon.

http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/sport/...-1226655441286

Not sure exactly when she's supposed to have "revealed" this, but it kind of implies it was in response to her loss to JJ. There is no post-match interview that I can find on the RG site, so probably it was in an interview she did for one of the Australian papers or tv networks.

As for her Wimbledon prospects, I seriously believe she might do better there if she doesn't give a fuck and expects to lose. There really was no apparent reason for her loss to Rus last time, she was thrashing her until she froze up and basically stopped playing tennis.
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 02:04 PM   #2277
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Re: Clay Court 2013: Sam on the Road to Roland Garros

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^Several Aussie media, like this one, have cited her as "revealing" she won't be playing before Wimbledon.

http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/sport/...-1226655441286

Not sure exactly when she's supposed to have "revealed" this, but it kind of implies it was in response to her loss to JJ. There is no post-match interview that I can find on the RG site, so probably it was in an interview she did for one of the Australian papers or tv networks.
I wish they'd asked her some more follow up questions about why she's changed the schedule. She's usually pretty consistent from year to year about the tournaments that she plays, so there must have been a clear reason for the decision to change. And given these reports, and the fact there has never been a grass lead up tournament on her website, it seems like she's decided to skip them from quite awhile ago. The only things I can think of are that she (a) wants to maximise her grass court training time (which seems a bit strange given how she did at Olympics last year); (b) she just does not care about the grass season anymore (I don't believe that this is true); or (c) she wants to "save" her international tournament for later, and doesn't want to play Eastbourne the week before Wimbledon (Maybe, but I don't really see her adding in an MM anywhere else ... and from memory I think she's only allowed to play 1 MM before Wimbledon and 1 MM after). Just seems a bit weird to me, especially with the extra week she gets from being out relatively early at RG.

... I wish Bertrand would come on-line. I have all these nightmare conspiracy theories running through my head atm
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 02:19 PM   #2278
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Re: Clay Court 2013: Sam on the Road to Roland Garros

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I wish they'd asked her some more follow up questions about why she's changed the schedule. She's usually pretty consistent from year to year about the tournaments that she plays, so there must have been a clear reason for the decision to change. And given these reports, and the fact there has never been a grass lead up tournament on her website, it seems like she's decided to skip them from quite awhile ago. The only things I can think of are that she (a) wants to maximise her grass court training time (which seems a bit strange given how she did at Olympics last year); (b) she just does not care about the grass season anymore (I don't believe that this is true); or (c) she wants to "save" her international tournament for later, and doesn't want to play Eastbourne the week before Wimbledon (Maybe, but I don't really see her adding in an MM anywhere else ... and from memory I think she's only allowed to play 1 MM before Wimbledon and 1 MM after). Just seems a bit weird to me, especially with the extra week she gets from being out relatively early at RG.

... I wish Bertrand would come on-line. I have all these nightmare conspiracy theories running through my head atm
Yeah, I have to admit similar thoughts have been plaguing me as well.

I can think of a 4th reason, which is kind of a variant of (a): she has tried every other permutation of pre-Wimby preparation, and has decided to give no preparation a try.

As for her having decided earlier, I can recall that a Dutch fan asked her a couple of months ago whether she was going to 's Hertogenbosch again, and she said she hadn't decided. It could be that she was too polite to say she wasn't going to go back, but if she had decided to skip a warmup tournament altogether, there doesn't seem to be any reason why she wouldn't just say that.
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 02:41 PM   #2279
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Re: Clay Court 2013: Sam on the Road to Roland Garros

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Yeah, I have to admit similar thoughts have been plaguing me as well.

I can think of a 4th reason, which is kind of a variant of (a): she has tried every other permutation of pre-Wimby preparation, and has decided to give no preparation a try.

As for her having decided earlier, I can recall that a Dutch fan asked her a couple of months ago whether she was going to 's Hertogenbosch again, and she said she hadn't decided. It could be that she was too polite to say she wasn't going to go back, but if she had decided to skip a warmup tournament altogether, there doesn't seem to be any reason why she wouldn't just say that.
Yeah, I think I saw this as well. I don't see that losing early at the French would mean that she would be less likely to play a lead in event, so it seems like a decision that she's made at least a little while ago.

It's possible that the calf injury changed the situation slightly. She's said in the media that it's completely healed, but it may be the case that she still feels underdone with regards to time in the gym/on the training court. She may have decided pre-emptively to use these two/three weeks before Wimbledon as a training block. Although, as others have suggested before, her problems right now don't seem to have anything to do with her physical capabilities, but a lack of court-time and mental strength, so if this is the thought process I'm not sure it's a good thing.

In conclusion, I have no idea why she's made the decision. Maybe you're right and she's doing the counter-intuitive thing out of desperation
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 02:43 PM   #2280
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Re: Clay Court 2013: Sam on the Road to Roland Garros

And in unrelated news, Sveta about to go 3-0 up in the third against Serena (Not that I dislike the latter, more that I dislike the latter's fans )
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