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Well, a disappointing match. However I was saddest right after she lost the first set and then I pretty much accepted she wasn’t going to be able to fight her way back. She literally had the thousand yard stare in the first changeover of the second set that my husband and I both noticed - for our kids it always comes right before they are about to pass out. She looked like a zombie out there, only sheer will kept her even on her feet.

i think she still has many positives to take away and be proud of from this week. Sure there are still things to work on. But it’s a journey and no one said it was going to be easy. If she didn’t pick up any new injury I’d be happy for her. She was arching and stretching her back in a concerning way. Hopefully a physio is still on site to help sort her out. And then a good night sleep will restore her to a better state for Toronto.

Emma likes to go sight seeing a bit at the end of each tournament. I guess she will probably go to the pentagon tomorrow morning. DC is a much more interesting place to visit than San Jose. But the blisters and horrible weather are not worth it. I suspect that after this she’ll go to San Jose in the future.

Actually thinking about the future I’m not 100% sure Emma will really want to stay in the sport for 15 more years like she says now. What happened at this tournament was physically so brutal for her. You’ve got to love tennis a lot to want to keep going with it. She doesn’t have to suffer this way. Not only was it physically absolutely brutal but in the end there was no glory. 24 hours later it hardly matters how hard she fought through her second round match (and caused her to be too tired for her quarterfinal match). I’m sure tomorrow’s papers will be very critical and dismissive - maybe they’re already starting.
I disagree on the last part. No glory in a match like this, but plenty of glory in slams and other tournaments. She will always have the advantage that even if her ranking drops, she can get lots of wildcards to play where she wants. That’s also why I believe her when she said that. When she’s 30 she will probably play less of these tournaments (assuming a successful career). If she said she wants to do it for 15 more years, why not believe her?
Anyway, this loss is not that bad. Sad about the wasted SPs, and in the end she was a bit exhausted (I don’t think she was tanking, but the previous fight still affected her, and she knows she probably didn’t have energy to win in three), but last year Emma lost in the first round against Zhang at this time. This year she made a QF.
 

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Really annoyed by the 4 SPs, but hey, last year at this time she lost in the first round in San Jose, and won the USO just a few weeks later. So this year at this time she actually did better, since she won two matches!
In the second set Emma looked a bit exhausted. Maybe knew she couldn’t win in three. Or maybe she could, but was it worth it? Let’s be honest here: this was a shitty tournament in terrible conditions and we know Toronto is coming up and Emma has no bye and a tough R1. Toronto is much bigger and more important. Even if she could batter her body and win it in three with a supreme effort, I really don’t think it was worth it. If it were a 1000 or a Slam I think she would have tried anything to do it, but let’s also be honest, you don’t want to tire yourself out in a small tournament and be gassed when the big tournaments happen.
Also we would love it if Emma won all the TBs, but you can’t always win the TBs, you sometimes will lose them. It happens. Emma still won 2 of the 3 tiebreaks she played this tournament.
Yes a psychologist can help, but remember in RG R1 she lost a tiebreak similarly and came back to win the next two sets…so it’s not like Emma can’t fight mentally after losing a close first set. She already did it against Noskova, and also Hercog the first set was pretty close and after losing it, she came back to win in three. But this time I think she was too tired, and all things considered I’m not that angry that she checked out a bit. Still clearly fought to at least avoid the bagel. But if she exhausted herself completely to win this match in a silly 250 and then flopped in Toronto, I would have been much angrier. The heat yesterday didn’t help, and today it was really, really late. Past Emma’s bedtime, after an almost 3h battle in 36 Celsius and humid heat, honestly we can’t blame her if she was exhausted. And tbh this tournament was simply not worth it. I’m happy enough with Emma conserving her energy for Toronto. Much better to lose here and win a few rounds in Toronto (hopefully) than losing R1 in Toronto because she was too exhausted. After losing the tiebreak, she surely had this in mind too, and we can’t blame her.

It’s not that bad she lost, at least she will be fresher for Toronto, where many more points are available.
Exhausting herself to reach a SF in DC would have been of no use if she picked up another injury or simply was too tired to play well in Toronto.
This was just a warmup tournament and it served its purpose. Emma played 3 matches and this last one will help her a lot vs Giorgi, who has a similar style to Samsonova. Lots of player peak in 250s and then lose in the big tournament, just look at Haddad Maia (or even Bianca) in the grass season. I’d much rather Emma peaks in the big ones. And given she’s still developing her endurance, better not to use all your energy to reach a SF in a 250.
But her endurance is already getting better, otherwise she wouldn’t have come through in almost 3h in those conditions in the previous match
Personally, given the shitty tournament with bad weather and organisation, I’m not that bothered by this loss.
On to Toronto, which is much more important. And this way Emma will have time to rest a bit and be fresher for Toronto. If she wins R1 she can have a run there, which is way more important.
 

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Not going to be all doom and gloom.

I'm also wondering what happened to her overall tennis game but Emma can still be a top 60 player with this brand of tennis. Don't forget she almost took a set off of Samsonova last week.

She just needs to find those extra percents, whether physically, mentally, or shots-wise, to show the form that she showed last year. This is why I really hope she settles on a coach and/or team soon and that this is a long term problem that, I don't think, can be solved overnight.
 

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I don’t think it was that bad. It was bad but not too bad
Emma had a chance to go 5-3 up when she was *4-3 and Ad, but her volley (a similar shot to the Voegele R1 USO one) landed a few inches out. I think she would have won the set if that shot was in. She was decently aggressive in the first set (although could have been better) but not enough in the second.
She collapsed a bit in the second set and Camila played very well. What I’m sad about is the squandered 2-0 lead in the second set, she seems to have just gone away after that. If she had held serve for 3-0 maybe it would have bene different. It was 30-30 so it could have happened.

Overall, Emma needs to find her aggression again. It’s there, it’s still there under the surface for sure. But she tried too hard to play on clay and that messed with her mentality.
I hope she hires Dmitry and that helps her hit harder and flatter and aggressive again.
Really hope he’s back at Cinci and USO but from what she said, they’re talking about it.

I also think the coming points drop (if it indeed happens) at USO will release pressure and will help her find her aggressive game once more, and then she can climb the rankings again after a fresh start.
I wouldn’t be so negative because Camila on her day can be very good, and this WAS her day. She hit very aggressive and well, cut down errors in the second.
Let’s just hope for a better draw in Cinci and hopefully Emma can be more aggressive after a week with Dmitry. Hope she now goes straight back to the USA and starts working on her aggressive game with Dmitry. Right now it’s the best option. She needs to be the attacker once more. She showed it in glimpses today, but not nearly enough. She’s surely aware, hope she works on it right away.

Right now she’s playing not to lose, rather than to win.
Her main problem is the lack of confidence, and the defensiveness comes form that.
Either she changes that asap this week (difficult but not impossible), or she changes it after the USO. The latter is more likely.
We might see an entirely different Emma after the USO is over.
 

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Really, the problem is she’s playing defensive because she lacks confidence and plays not to lose, rather than to win.
But it’s aggressive play that brought her success, and she needs to bring that back. Aggressive is her natural way of playing, this passiveness is not.
She has showed it a few times even today, but overall, obviously, not nearly enough.

After the next two tournaments are over, this will end. The pressure, the defensiveness, the “playing not to lose”
She will have, as she said, a clean slate, and time to bring back the aggression that brought her up in the rankings in the first place by winning the USO. Then she can climb again, in 2023.

Of course, I hope she fixes her team and coaching asap, Dmitry is one step in the right direction.
 

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I’m happy to be doom and gloom about this loss right now. But it will all be fine in the morning.
 

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Dmitry is one step in the right direction.
How do you know that? She may already have decided that it's not to be, we don't know anything about the dynamics between them, do we? She said some good things but she's said that before.

Also this 'clean slate' idea I don't understand. If she doesn't do well there will just be more questions, adding to the stress surely? She will have a lower ranking and be playing tougher opponents in the early rounds and losing. But people will still expect her to win whatever her ranking is, because she won the USO. How is this going to help?
 

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I wish the british press, instead of asking her all the time about pressure, by this constantly reminding her and adding more pressure, would actually start asking questions about the technical side of her game.
Doesn’t produce the stories the journalists have been charged by their editors to file.
 

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How do you know that? She may already have decided that it's not to be, we don't know anything about the dynamics between them, do we? She said some good things but she's said that before.

Also this 'clean slate' idea I don't understand. If she doesn't do well there will just be more questions, adding to the stress surely? She will have a lower ranking and be playing tougher opponents in the early rounds and losing. But people will still expect her to win whatever her ranking is, because she won the USO. How is this going to help?
Totally agree. Discussed this with my partner just now, I really hope it’s just Emma telling the media what her team have told her to say, and she doesn’t really believe that the day she loses at the USO (assuming she doesn’t defend the title which looks very, very optimistic as things stand) will mean the pressure, interest and hype around her will magically disappear and she’ll be given breathing space. The media are prematurely rubbing their hands together at the thought of an early loss for her, she gives them headlines weekly regardless of a win or loss. She will never not have some form of pressure and expectation as she’s part of the elite club of grand slam winners - after Serena won her first slam, the hype and interest didn’t just go away overnight when she failed to win the second one soon after. She was consistently in the spotlight thereafter, same with Sharapova, Osaka etc. To think that in merely 3 weeks time the media will forget about her and lose interest in her, considering the massive level of coverage she’s received practically daily since she lifted the trophy last year, is very naive imo.
 

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How do you know that? She may already have decided that it's not to be, we don't know anything about the dynamics between them, do we? She said some good things but she's said that before.

Also this 'clean slate' idea I don't understand. If she doesn't do well there will just be more questions, adding to the stress surely? She will have a lower ranking and be playing tougher opponents in the early rounds and losing. But people will still expect her to win whatever her ranking is, because she won the USO. How is this going to help?
Emma said they’re talking about working together for the rest of the HC swing. She said it in an interview before her R1 match.

If she drops, say, to #70:
  • Expectations will be much lower if she loses early at USO. She won’t be a reigning gran slam champion and top 10
  • she will play a mix of lower level tournaments and higher with WCs, get her confidence back with easier opponents in the lower ones, then maybe have a good run in one of the higher ones when she has a good confidence again. Either way, she can gradually rise in rankings (more slowly this time)
  • she can therefore gradually rise again in 2023 a bit more under the radar, hopefully after a good preseason, with a better team, and less pressure on herself, a more natural progression
 

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Totally agree. Discussed this with my partner just now, I really hope it’s just Emma telling the media what her team have told her to say, and she doesn’t really believe that the day she loses at the USO (assuming she doesn’t defend the title which looks very, very optimistic as things stand) will mean the pressure, interest and hype around her will magically disappear and she’ll be given breathing space. The media are prematurely rubbing their hands together at the thought of an early loss for her, she gives them headlines weekly regardless of a win or loss. She will never not have some form of pressure and expectation as she’s part of the elite club of grand slam winners - after Serena won her first slam, the hype and interest didn’t just go away overnight when she failed to win the second one soon after. She was consistently in the spotlight thereafter, same with Sharapova, Osaka etc. To think that I’m merely 3 weeks time the media will forget about her and lose interest in her is very naive imo.
She will still have less hype and expectations than now, if she loses early at USO. that’s for sure.

Of course people and media will still be interested in her. She will still be a slam champion, and a massively popular one! That will be forever.

But with a lower ranking and not a reigning slam champion, expectations will be quite a bit lower
 

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She will still have less hype and expectations than now, if she loses early at USO. that’s for sure.

Of course people and media will still be interested in her. She will still be a slam champion, and a massively popular one! That will be forever.

But with a lower ranking and not a reigning slam champion, expectations will be quite a bit lower
Lower yes, but always present. And definitely no clean slate.
 
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Lower yes, but always present. And definitely no clean slate.
Yeah, for sure. Then what? She’s doomed forever? Definitely not. Of course pressure won’t be zero, but it will be much less and she will have time to reset.
She will reset and be back again in 2023. Being passive is due to the extreme pressure. That will change. After that, she can rise again more gradually. When she reaches a higher ranking again, it will be after some time and she will be much more used to the pressure. Her rise was so quick, she didn’t have time to adjust. Next time it will be better, but all this will give her massive lessons for the future.
 

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Yeah, for sure. Then what? She’s doomed forever? Definitely not. Of course pressure won’t be zero, but it will be much less and she will have time to reset.
She will reset and be back again in 2023. Being passive is due to the extreme pressure. That will change. After that, she can rise again more gradually. When she reaches a higher ranking again, it will be after some time and she will be much more used to the pressure. Her rise was so quick, she didn’t have time to adjust. Next time it will be better, but all this will give her massive lessons for the future.
I don’t agree the pressure will be relieved after the USO to a point, though, where it’ll allow Emma that massive breathing space clearly needed to find some kind of form again. Emma could really do with someone like Coco or Leylah winning a slam soon and that’ll 100% relieve plenty of pressure as the media and eyes of the world will divert to them. It’s such a unique situation for her to be in, one that practically no one’s been in before, it’s going to be really, really tough for her to manage and get the better of at least in the foreseeable future, imo. I can agree to disagree though.
 
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Emma said they’re talking about working together for the rest of the HC swing. She said it in an interview before her R1 match.
Yes we know that she talked about it in two interviews in Toronto: she said that both sides would review how the 3 weeks went. I agree she was more positive about it in the second interview (Sky) which I listened to again, where she said "it was a pretty good three weeks....we're going to talk this week and see about going forward the rest of the US swing". It would be great if this was a good fit for her, that she was comfortable with and that would help her tennis, so she can move forward to the USO and beyond.
 

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Yes we know that she talked about it in two interviews in Toronto: she said that both sides would review how the 3 weeks went. I agree she was more positive about it in the second interview (Sky) which I listened to again, where she said "it was a pretty good three weeks....we're going to talk this week and see about going forward the rest of the US swing". It would be great if this was a good fit for her, that she was comfortable with and that would help her tennis, so she can move forward to the USO and beyond.
Yeah I was talking about that second interview, the one you quoted. It looked pretty likely that she hires him, from that interview
 

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If she drops, say, to #70:
  • Expectations will be much lower if she loses early at USO. She won’t be a reigning gran slam champion and top 10
  • she will play a mix of lower level tournaments and higher with WCs, get her confidence back with easier opponents in the lower ones, then maybe have a good run in one of the higher ones when she has a good confidence again. Either way, she can gradually rise in rankings (more slowly this time)
  • she can therefore gradually rise again in 2023 a bit more under the radar, hopefully after a good preseason, with a better team, and less pressure on herself, a more natural progression
Well, I wouldn't wish it on her, dropping far down the rankings, but if it does happen it does sound like she is accepting and up to the challenge, and that is a very good attitude. I think that there would be negativity from the media that won't help though.

I take your points that with a lower ranking she would play lower level tournaments and get more matches, that might help to build up momentum with a team, though hopefully she wouldn't be doing that for long.

I really thought that last week she made great progress and I was pretty confident that she would go a few rounds here, but it wasn't to be. Two steps forwards, one step back. Hopefully only one step back. Camila played much better than I expected, she gets the ball back very fast, faster than Samsonova I think. At least Emma is not injured and can prepare now with her coach hopefully for Cincy!
 

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I don’t quite know what to think about today’s match. In the first set, it looked like she was going through periods of playing better and worse. She was having difficulty hitting deep, but it’s not like she didn’t try. When she did, sometimes she won the point, and sometimes it just went long. The tiebreaker was shockingly uncompetitive. And then the second set she just kinda faded. Much like how she faded against Samsonova. Except there was no grueling 3-hour match in a sauna the day before, or playing past midnight. Or another tournament to rush to. I really don’t get it. Was there a post match presser?

i mean, Giorgi definitely reduced her number of UE’s over time, much like Samsonova. And that could explain Emma’s gradual worsening helplessness. These bigger hitters generally improve their timing and technique if you let them get into a rhythm. Emma used to have a playing style that prevented her opponents getting into a rhythm. I distinctly remember various commentators saying at USO how her shots always came back with some interest, how she was constantly moving her opponents around on each shot, so that it was always a bit awkward for them, how she played very smart. I don’t know where that went. She seems to hit a lot of shots now right back to the middle of the court, so her opponent can just stay there. I really want to hear her explain technically what’s going on. I feel like if we can see what’s going wrong, then professionals like herself and her team should be able to spot these problems and fix them?

Well, on the surface, Tursonov in her box = 2 wins, no Tursonov = 0 win. I hope this encourages Emma to keep him on the team.
 

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Emma used to have a playing style that prevented her opponents getting into a rhythm. I distinctly remember various commentators saying at USO how her shots always came back with some interest, how she was constantly moving her opponents around on each shot, so that it was always a bit awkward for them, how she played very smart. I don’t know where that went. She seems to hit a lot of shots now right back to the middle of the court, so her opponent can just stay there. I really want to hear her explain technically what’s going on. I feel like if we can see what’s going wrong, then professionals like herself and her team should be able to spot these problems and fix them?
spot on. right now she's just getting to ball over the net. she's not moving the ball around, not hitting deep. i mean she even moonballed a bunch during the clay court season... she's not making tons of errors though... so she's basically a pusher that isn't consistent like a real pusher which only leads to one conclusion: multiple 1st and 2nd rd losses.... where oh where did our sweet emma go? sophomore slump? but she's completely different now....
 
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