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Discussion Starter #1
Looking at some matchups and H2Hs, you can understand why things have gone a certain way.

Some, however, are just confusing.

- Stosur vs. Li: 6-1 to Stosur

It's quite confusing how Sam completely dominated Li to this extent. Granted, Sam's form was much better during Li's career than it is now, and her kick serve was disastrous for Li. However, other players have struggled with Sam's topspin and still been able to have more success against her.


I think the key may be mental strength. The toughest opponents for Sam are the ones who have mental strength and never give up (Sharapova, Azarenka etc). Li wasn't the worst in this department, but definitely not a mental giant either.

Stephens vs. Kerber: 5-1 to Stephens

It's no secret that Angie struggles against defensive players. It's also no secret that Angie struggles against players with heavy topspin. However, this H2H is absolutely disastrous for Angie and you can basically tell that Angie gives up as soon as the first couple of games have been played. Sloane has rarely looked more dominant than she does against Angie.


Again, I just think this matchup has become so mental now that Angie doesn't think she has a chance. Same for Sloane - I think she just has total faith that she'll win this matchup even when things aren't going well.

Wozniacki vs. Ostapenko: 4-0 to Ostapenko

Obviously a peaking Ostapenko is incredibly dangerous to anyone on tour, but this 4-0 record is so confusing. I think it probably has a lot to do with the fact that 3 of their 4 matches have been played on clay (obviously Caroline's weakness), and the only HC match was in 2016.


I'm gonna put this down to surface preferences because nothing else makes this completely logical.

Halep vs. Lucic-Baroni: 2-0 to Lucic-Baroni

Two matches isn't enough to make generalised statements about this matchup, but in both of them MLB just completely blew Simona off the court. Especially at RG where Halep was the defending finalist and one of the heavy favourites for the title, MLB just took the match completely out of her hands Halep is usually one of the best defensive players and MLB has been quite erratic at times, so it is a bit confusing I guess.


I guess this can be put down to a player just being in the zone. MLB probably realised she was the underdog and had nothing to lose, so she may as well just play as big and risky as she could, and it happened to pay off.

List some others!
 

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Sharapova vs. Halep 7-2

For someone who is lauded as one of the ultimate counterpunchers, Halep lost 7-0 in a row to Sharapova including 2 wins on clay and that USO R1 classic where Sharapova only had few matches under her belt after coming back.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sharapova vs. Halep 7-2

For someone who is lauded as one of the ultimate counterpunchers, Halep lost 7-0 in a row to Sharapova including 2 wins on clay and that USO R1 classic where Sharapova only had few matches under her belt after coming back.
True, that was confusingly bad for Simona - I can see that Maria had some advantages, but the record seemed like it could have been closer by all accounts. Simona was able to get 2 wins at the end which was important for her I think.
 

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Sometimes it just comes down to how you are mentally against an opponent.

I would imagine if you get a few losses to a particular player, you just think that they have a game that matches you and you may go into the match with a negative mindset, even if on paper you are the better player than them.
Also, the other player thinks more positively about the match up, and they play with more freedom than usual.
 

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Pennetta vs Stosur 7-0
I find this baffling as they've been quite similar in terms of ranking, CHR, age. Stosur has actually been the higher ranked in 4 meetings.
This is why I rooted for Pennetta a lot because that mental edge she had was mesmerizing. Literally, when she turned it on, she could beat virtually anybody. That's why she also had that 3 consecutive wins vs Venus at one point.
 

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Hingis-Seles H2H was more one-sided than I expected. 15-5

Venus-Henin being 6-2 is also weird. They probably met a lot back when Henin was more inexperienced. (In comparison, Serena-Henin is 8-6)
 

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Hingis-Seles H2H was more one-sided than I expected. 15-5

Venus-Heenin being 6-2 is also weird. Probably they met a lot back when Henin was more inexperienced.
Wow shocking. Even though peak Seles was well before Hingis started, but Seles ranked inside top 5 for half of their meetings. Hingis also led 2-1 on clay which was Seles' best surface.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hingis-Seles H2H was more one-sided than I expected. 15-5
I remember Hingis thrashing Monica a few times - wasn't there a 6-0 6-0 in there somewhere even? Yikes!

I think by the time Hingis came on the scene, Monica's movement had really declined and her serve was particularly ineffective. I think Martina's smarts just kept Monica off-balance and she could never really execute the game plan she wanted to when she was always on the back foot.
 

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The Ostapenko-Wozniacki H2H is really just because of the timing. They always seemed to play when Ostapenko was coming into form and Wozniacki was falling out of it. I mean that New Haven match changed Wozniacki’s second career; if she’d lost to Townsend in USO R1 it’s hard to see her sticking around the next year to win YEC and then AO in 2018, she was outside the Top 70.
 

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The Ostapenko-Wozniacki H2H is really just because of the timing. They always seemed to play when Ostapenko was coming into form and Wozniacki was falling out of it. I mean that New Haven match changed Wozniacki’s second career; if she’d lost to Townsend in USO R1 it’s hard to see her sticking around the next year to win YEC and then AO in 2018, she was outside the Top 70.
Yup. Hard to put it into perspective since all those 4 losses happened within a single year period basically. Peak Ostapenko vs meh-Wozniacki.

Can't see Ostapenko mantains it if the situation was the opposite way.
 

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Another player with weird H2Hs: Konta. I'm not really sure which kind of players she excels against and which she hates.
Defensive players: 4-0 against Sloane, 2-1 against Woz, 3-4 against Halep, 1-3 against Angie, 0-5 against Svitolina
Offensive players: 4-0 against Osaka, 2-1 against Keys and Garbi, 3-2 against Penko, 1-1 vs Serena, 4-4 against Venus, 2-3 against Petra, 0-2 against Goerges, 2-6 against Pliskova
Others: 5-2 against Hsieh, 2-2 against Kasatkina, 0-4 against Mlad, 1-3 vs Barty

Maybe my Defensive/Offensive player classification is faulty or simplistic, but I'm not really sure how to decide what kind of player she would do well against.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Another player with weird H2Hs: Konta. I'm not really sure which kind of players she excels against and which she hates.
Defensive players: 4-0 against Sloane, 2-1 against Woz, 3-4 against Halep, 1-3 against Angie, 0-5 against Svitolina
Offensive players: 4-0 against Osaka, 2-1 against Keys and Garbi, 3-2 against Penko, 1-1 vs Serena, 4-4 against Venus, 2-3 against Petra, 0-2 against Goerges, 2-6 against Pliskova
Others: 5-2 against Hsieh, 2-2 against Kasatkina, 0-4 against Mlad, 1-3 vs Barty

Maybe my Defensive/Offensive player classification is faulty or simplistic, but I'm not really sure how to decide what kind of player she would do well against.
Konta is all around confusing really. I think she's similar to Sam Stosur in some regards - players who are very strong mentally or who are very consistent with their level are going to be tough for her. Then again, she has some wins over mentally tough players...
 

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Konta is all around confusing really. I think she's similar to Sam Stosur in some regards - players who are very strong mentally or who are very consistent with their level are going to be tough for her. Then again, she has some wins over mentally tough players...
The difference is Stosur's game is contingent on set-piece point construction, and so players who lack the ability to combat that set-piece (kick serve, dominant forehand, move forward on the short ball) will always struggle against it no matter whether it's top 10 Stosur or top 100 Stosur.

In contrast, there's something about Konta's game that's very brittle, and so it can break down very easily, either from her physicality (I can't think of another top 10 pedigree player who is so beatable on a slight injury), her mentality (it's easy to rattle her confidence), or disruption from an opponent (thinking specifically Vondrousova at the French, which was a combination of disruption and Konta's mentality failing).
 

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Sharapova vs. Halep 7-2

For someone who is lauded as one of the ultimate counterpunchers, Halep lost 7-0 in a row to Sharapova including 2 wins on clay and that USO R1 classic where Sharapova only had few matches under her belt after coming back.
Sharapova was just much bigger and stronger than Simona. Maria could hit most of her contemporaries off the court when she was on.
 

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Lena D is 3-11 against Kim, 2-11 against Justine, 3-9 against Maria and Venus, 5-11 against Lindsay.
She was 5-7 against Serena though, and it would've been 6-6 if not for that Wimbledon SF.
 

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Venus-Henin being 6-2 is also weird. They probably met a lot back when Henin was more inexperienced. (In comparison, Serena-Henin is 8-6)
Wow shocking. Even though peak Seles was well before Hingis started, but Seles ranked inside top 5 for half of their meetings. Hingis also led 2-1 on clay which was Seles' best surface.
I don’t think Martina played the pre-stabbing Seles. That older version of Seles could hang with prime Steffi and older Martina.

The first half of Henin’s career she had to face a prime Venus. The Venus that played in 1999-2002 is not the Venus that’s playing today. Her level was definitely higher than Henin’s.
 
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