Marketa Vondrousova: Rome R32
You may claim that we are still not there, because "there will be an R64 match between Strycova (33) and Vondrousova (19)", but I'm afraid that it is going to be rather easy for Vondrousova. Their balance is:
Marketa Vondrousova - Barbora Strycova: 3:0
(since 2017, always 2-setters), on HC and Clay
I was mistaken on this. Vondrousova looked very rusty in the 1st set, and even in the 3rd seemed ill or something. She was too passive, playing too much behind, didn't use her power, and showed not too much interest in winning the match. (Still she won it, somehow.)
So, what about Marketa Vondrousova?
(You see, right now there is some time for the proper preparation!)
- 19 years old ==> she's full of puberty hormones, she's strong, quick, and dynamic for free!
- 172 cm / 65 kg ==> she's stronger than Simona, but not that much. Simona can be competitive in the physical department, if she plays with the right strategy.
- she's a LEFTY! (Simona missed to discover this in time in their first match in IW 2019, what Simona lost to 26 63 26
- she's a TALENTED girl (not to be underestimated). She was Junior World No.1, she's a 2-times DOUBLES Junior GS champion (AOpen and RG), and played final one more time. ==> She moves well on clay
, and she's very good at the net
- Her ranking is not stratospheric (No.42), but she's rising very well, and look at her scalps only from this year:
Begu, Siegemund, Kasatkina, Ostapenko 2x, Halep
, Strycova 3x, Mertens, Tomljanovic, Kuznetsova
As you can see, she's good enough already to beat quality players.
Simona cannot expect an easy victory over her, NOT EVEN ON CLAY (and especially because Simona is a notorious slow-starter).
Regarding the right strategy, there are certain things that must be built deep into Simona's mind:
- It would be a SUICIDE to feed her with "safe balls" placed to the middle region of the court, because Vondrousova is an excellent doubles player, she would kill them immediately. Simona MUST GO FOR THE CORNERS AND THE SIDELINES. ALWAYS. RELENTLESSLY.
- Vondrousova is a LEFTY, therefore it is MEANINGLESS to attack her with continuous BH CC shots. Simona should start and finish
her attacks on Vondrousova's lefty BH, that is with FH CC and BH DTL shots
. The FH DTL and BH CC shots are needed only for the effective opponent moving (targeting the lines with a little larger margin.)
- Vondrousova is a youngster: this means that she can become confused for a while if her tennis doesn't work.
- Also, although she's experienced against the relatively weaker opponents, and she's hardly experienced enough to know what to do against the on-the-run winners, made from defending positions.
- Simona must control the rallies. She can do it, because she has the better hitting accuracy, especially when both girls have to run.