Re: Rome R2: Azarenka comes back vs Svitolina 4-6 6-1 7-5
Elina's FH technique is quite bad, with that awful body twist when she hits the balll. Even if there was a moment she was teeing off Vika's own loopy FH, she can only sustain her ragged looking ballbashing attempt for a very limited time before it all goes wild. The problem is that when she reverts to grinding she's leaking far too many errors, and there's nothing at the moment like a good balance in her game between attack and defense so she can deliver, if not outstanding, at least really solid performances. Vika was too up and down, but I don't think it was really a great performance, apart from some volleys and her much improved fight, which is already making a difference. Her FH and movement are still suspect, and her serve was atrocious at times. She has a good draw though.
vikas crisp BH and volleys tho...
def feel it for elina tho, the moment vika upped it in third set and shrugged off the MP with gutsy play it seemed inevitable. that's always the danger if you play elite returners out for blood, the moment the stats drop on serve you're second best most of the time regardless of the abilities on serve by your opponent.
Shrugged off the MP with gutsy play ? It was the easiest sitter that E. should have put away, and it would have been G,S and M. This is a match Elina really shouldn't have lost.
dang, i initially thought it was a lucky bounce off the frame, but vika actually hit that tricky volley clean as a whistle. glorious.
She's got great hands, especially by today's standards. I don't think she's got the fitness anymore to play a baseline game and win consistently, and it's probably too late in her career to change her instincts, but if she can move forward more and be more proactive....could be interesting to see.
This marks three first round losses in a row for Svitolina. However I'm thinking Elina can rebound and have a good French Open. Probably the most important thing is this match was the first time in a long while where I didn't see Elina's knee taped up. So her health is improving. Considering she's coming back from injury her last two matches weren't all that bad. Just not as sharp as she needs to be yet. Last year Elina was in a slump and got knocked out of the China Open in the first round - and barely qualified for the YEC. She then suddenly "out of nowhere" got hot and won the YEC when no one exptected it. That's why I have a hunch she's going to have a good French Open this year. We'll see....