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Rise up from ignorance
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Most top player had a shaky first match on HC after a long break. It was no different with Paula.
 
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Yeah, I was fully expecting her to lose towards the back end, and was going to post something like 'don't want to dwell on it too much, long break, opponent having a fabulous week (and possibly / probably deserved to win), but...'

It might be the time, or that I have just basically had a month away from tennis, or that I had already accepted defeat (or maybe that I have concerns), but I didn't really feel any massive emotions at the end, which is quite strange, but obviously very pleased she came through, and now a day off, before a big match against whoever comes through tomorrow.

I'll probably treat that next match as a free hit, and not very optimistic, but at least she has a battling win, 100 points in the bag, and hopefully she can produce a great performance and surprise us (or me) - the day off could be useful.

Anyway, off to bed, I'm up in like 4 and a half hours :sleep: :hysteric:
 
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First of all, I want to say that I am SO proud of her for finding a way through. That kind of fight had been lacking earlier this year imo and that's why I'm her fan.

However, she was pretty awful and had no business being in those situations in the third. She also got a lot of her from MANDLIK, although I do think she fought hard to take advantage as well.

It's hard to say how much this match will mean. She actually seemed fairly fresh at the end, but had looked exhausted (as usual) for most of the match until that point. So part of me thinks she could come out and surprise us on Friday, especially since she has a rest day, but part of me also wonders if she should withdraw to save herself from a zombie like performance, similar to the KEYS match in Melbourne. But even if she gets dragged then I think it could be a learning experience and hopefully serve as a lesson to not let herself get caught in these drawn out battles.

GAUFF seems very confident right now but is far from unbeatable, while OSAKA played really well against ZHENG in the parts of the match I saw so could be very dangerous but her match fitness is always a question mark.
 

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Yeah, I was fully expecting her to lose towards the back end, and was going to post something like 'don't want to dwell on it too much, long break, opponent having a fabulous week (and possibly / probably deserved to win), but...'

It might be the time, or that I have just basically had a month away from tennis, or that I had already accepted defeat (or maybe that I have concerns), but I didn't really feel any massive emotions at the end, which is quite strange, but obviously very pleased she came through, and now a day off, before a big match against whoever comes through tomorrow.

I'll probably treat that next match as a free hit, and not very optimistic, but at least she has a battling win, 100 points in the bag, and hopefully she can produce a great performance and surprise us (or me) - the day off could be useful.

Anyway, off to bed, I'm up in like 4 and a half hours :sleep: :hysteric:
Hope your wakeup was okay :hug:

Somewhat surprisingly, I was getting super into it in that tiebreak. Most of the match, including in the second set, I found it very uninspiring and was scared that this kind of scenario could happen so once the third got dicey I had accepted defeat and wasn't terribly bothered (although pretty concerned for the bigger picture). Then at 3-5, I just thought "okay Paula needs to hold to make her opponent win this match" and that's what she did, and then I thought well maybe she is still in it. I was disgusted when she got broken at 5-all (really can't let that happen !) but then figured she still had a chance when MANDLIK missed on the first point in the next game. And then I was jumping out of my bed in excitement in the tiebreak once she got the lead, even though right down to 6-5 I was still extremely nervous she would fuck it up. Crazy, crazy match but I'm so glad she fought so hard.
 
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A good fighting win might just be what she needed.
 
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Rise up from ignorance
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I have a feeling Gauff will roll through Osaka in R2. I've long given up on Osaka showing any pride in playing tennis anymore :tape:
 

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I have a feeling Gauff will roll through Osaka in R2. I've long given up on Osaka showing any pride in playing tennis anymore :tape:
I'm not so sure. Naomi randomly did well in Miami and the match against Qinwen was really high quality. She also claims this tournament is special to her because a bunch of her best friends go to the university there and her outfit is even in the university colors. The questions are her match fitness and general fitness, but she'll be hard to beat based on what I saw in the first round. I would fucking love for Paula to beat Naomi (or Cori tbh) to help shut up all the people who say those two are real top five and she's not, but I'm not too optimistic.
 

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Part of me also dreads a KEYS scenario, but part of me thinks that kind of lashing could be good because Paula has failed to close out winning positions too many times this year. So maybe receiving painful drubbings in the next round would help remind her why she can't let that happen. Or maybe I'm clutching at straws and it would be terrible for her confidence 🙃
 

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OOP is out. She gets the NB 4:30 pm start again (1:30 am CET).
 
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Pretty shocked by that to be honest. You'd think either Gauff or Osaka would probably be the tournaments biggest draw, so I'd have definitely thought that would have been the evening match, especially with those two playing at 7pm tonight (and selling the session out) - if that did go on until around 10pm tonight then it's a fairly tight turnaround - I know I wouldn't have been too happy if Paula had a turnaround like that when it could/should have been delayed.
 
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Rise up from ignorance
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Well, Gauff got two night matches in a row already? It would be strange if she got three. This is not CC at Wimbledon. It ends up that Anisimova vs Rogers will be the night match so not that bad for the Americans (worse for me but at least it's basically Saturday morning) :hehehe:
 
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Yeah, not really a big deal, and it was a quick enough match, and Gauff is young enough that it shouldn't affect her, but I am still surprised, especially as the OOO was out before Sakkari-Rogers had even started, I just 100% assumed, like not even 99.9%, that it would be the evening match with those two being on at 7pm yesterday. I was genuinely stunned :lol2:

The semi finals are 1pm and 6pm local on Saturday, so if Paula were to beat Gauff, she'd almost certainly be on the earlier slot, so 9/10pm for us in Europe.
 
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It does look as though they are treating it as the main match going off their website, with 3 of the 5 posts primarily covering it, although not sure about 'French faces Badosa' :lol2:


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Well Monz was right about GAUFF being the favorite in that match. Paula has beaten her before, but the American seems loaded with confidence right now.
 

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Well Monz was right about GAUFF being the favorite in that match. Paula has beaten her before, but the American seems loaded with confidence right now.
Yeah, Gauff was a slight betting favourite last night, and is a bigger favourite tonight, like a little more than 60/40, and you'd have to say, based on what we've seen this week, that does look fair, and perhaps should be a bit wider, but as you say, less than 10 months ago, also in California, Paula did beat her (we'll forget the Middle East happened since then :lol2: ).

I reckon it'll be a similar score to Dubai unfortunately, but it's obviously not beyond her. I guess at this stage, Iga (obviously), Jabeur and you'd probably have to include Gauff, do look the most likely to qualify for the WTA Finals, but the next 5 are anybody's guess, so I suppose if Gauff did win, and go on to meet Ons in the final, and that's probably the most expected outcome, that might not be too bad from a Paula YEC POV.

I think I'll struggle to watch it live tonight, but if I can't I'll be watching first thing in the morning, hopefully without spoilers.
 

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If she does lose, 100 points obviously isn't going to do much good from a current #4 looking to head back towards #2 POV, but it may come in handy as a lower counter in the Race totals, but also, thinking more conservatively, if she did have a little (ranking) drop off over the next 10 months or so then it's there for another year, and these were actually her first ranking points since the French Open in May.

Mandlik proved a lot tougher than we'd have liked / expected, but Paula got exactly the same amount of points for scraping past her than Rogers has for beating both Andreescu and #1 seed Sakkari in straight sets, which sounds crazy, but also highlights the importance of being a high seed - she's had a R1 bye 8 times this year, and has won 7 of those R2 matches (Burrage the anomaly), so has picked up a lot of 'free wins' this year.
 
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I'm a post machine at the moment after near enough a month off :lol2: , but going back to the odds, I've mentioned a few times, Paula was the betting favourite in her first 38 matches this season, stretching to 41 if we include Swiatek, Sakkari, and Muguruza from the YECs last year, but has now been the underdog in 3 of her last 4 matches, which kind of does highlight where she is at the moment.

In Madrid she was 1.75 fave vs 2.09 against Halep, whereas at Wimbledon it was 3.02 vs 1.40, likewise vs Gauff, she was the 1.42 fave vs 2.87 in Qatar, whereas tonight it is currently 2.47 vs 1.54 and widening all the time. She was beaten comfortably twice when she was favourite in those matches, and that will obviously have some impact on the odds in the next match up, as well as the surface in the case of Halep, but I do think it is kind of a gauge, and I also generally feel more confident when she is the favourite, as you kind of feel she is doing something right, if that makes sense.
 
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Rise up from ignorance
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Being a realist sadly I see this as 62 64 Gauff win. Gauff was one top player who didn't see to have any rust issues in San Jose unlike some others (Sakkari winning four games vs Rogers takes the cake :tape: ).
 
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Being a realist sadly I see this as 62 64 Gauff win. Gauff was one top player who didn't see to have any rust issues in San Jose unlike some others (Sakkari winning four games vs Rogers takes the cake :tape: ).
Yeah, that was kind of the score line I was thinking.

Poor Sakkari has been struggling since the IW final as @iGOAT was saying - she started the year 16/4 up to that Paula SF win, but since then is only 11/11 in her next 22. Paula clearly hasn't been firing on all cylinders since Miami, or perhaps Stuttgart, but she's still doing better than most of her fellow year end top 10, probably better than any one outside of Iga and Ons in recent months - some of them have really fallen off a cliff, for a variety of reasons, and Sakkari's 11/11 will actually look good in comparison to some of them.
 
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