Pierce/Zheng match report
Pierce came out on court in the same way she approaches any other matches-Smiling and seeming full of enthu.She was dressed the same way as her doubles.
The first game started with some huge intimidation by Pierce.She was absolutely cracking every damn return.Some went in and some went out but she pushed Jie to deuce.It seemed like she wasn't really worried about missing out on an early break,but Jie broke in game 2 after Pierce's serve which seemed so good at 30-0 seemed to fade a bit.
Jie just fed on Pierce's power and hit a couple of good returns on Pierce's feet near the baseline.Mary still was unfazed.Only when she went down 0-3 did she get back on full gear.She started hitting a few winners and moonballed so often I had to check to see if I was watching Pierce or Martinez in action.Pierce's returns were hitting the net so often Pierce decided to dropshot the serve rather than pace it back.It worked perfectly.Pierce fought back to 2-3 and then held serve.One weird point saw Jie hit a ball close to the line and the Umpire was asking Mary if it was out or not.Yeah right, like he was expecting Pierce to say it was in.Of course Pierce did not let it affect her and like a hot knife through butter she broke down her opponent's game reeling 6 straight games.
The 2nd set saw Jie go up 3-0 ,but Pierce was lackadaisical.She got a little over confident.In one return game she tried 2 straight dropshots off 2nd serves and was suitably punished.Pierce was just not thinking and was hurrying her game too much.At 0-5 down Pierce tried to get into action but it was too little too late.Pierce got visibly upset when at 15-0 a lob of hers was called out.The lob was clearly in though.Jie reeled off 3 of the next 4 points to win set 2 6-0.The crowd was a little subdued and confused with what was going on on this day.First Elena,then Clarisa , now what Mary?
Pierce was lucky she started serving ahead in set 3.She went up 30-0 but Jie pulled even to 30-30.Pierce was saved by 2 silly errors by Jie and went up 1-0.That gave her some confidence and the inexperienced Jie just started making more errors to give Pierce a 3-0 and 4-1 lead.At 4-1,Pierce seemed so dull on the Jie service game and Jie reeled off 8 of 9 points to inch to 3-4.Pierce was clearly getting tense but she also pulled out all stops.She was running down so many balls I thought she'd drop down dead any second with a big thud.She started hitting some good returns and a winner that seemed to seal the game's fate.At 5-3 Pierce was in a hurry.She was playing like "OK Jie u've had ur fun, ur 5 minutes in the sun.Now back off,I've chipped my nail,I just have to manicure it."Seriously,the last game was pure power by Pierce.At one point Jie's racket almost flew off and the crowd wowed the pure pace of the ground strokes.Pierce finally clenched her fist and was really happy to come through.
Her next opponent Evie is going to be very tough.She can hit winners and also play on till u make an error.Pierce is suseptible to such players.But I stillknow she will come through...with pure guts and determination.