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Sabalenka made too many errors today , but she's solid enough in the 3rd set to get a win

Rybakina seemed not ready enough for deep rounds at such a big stage, still a great week for her.

A SF rematch of last year against Barty, Sabalenka certainly has to do much better this time to get through.
 

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Rybakina was peak in that 2nd set, just outhit Sabalenka

Then Sabalenka peaked in the 3rd, outhit Rybakina

Two great ballstrikers who had different purple patches, one in the 2nd and one in the 3rd.
 

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Sabalenka is another one whose 2019 "slump" has been overstated. She's largely consolidated her position without going on any big losing streaks, and she had some very unfortunate Slam draws. And any expectations that she'd actually contend for Slams were ridiculous anyway.

I'll probably never love her game style but I'm actually quite impressed that, given her temperament and ability to blow herself out of any match, that she's actually weathered the ups and downs on and off court without going into a tailspin.
 

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Sabalenka is another one whose 2019 "slump" has been overstated. She's largely consolidated her position without going on any big losing streaks, and she had some very unfortunate Slam draws. And any expectations that she'd actually contend for Slams were ridiculous anyway.
Since winning a title in the first week of the season, she made one final all year (losing to Sai-Sai goat in San Jose) and flopped in countless tournaments. You would have had to have very low expectations to call this anything else than a slump.
 

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Hugely impressed with how she turned it back around. She didn't seem to panic at all, looking very composed. Not on par with her other matches this week (leaking a few more errors and her anticipation was a step slower), but to me her general level throughout has still looked the highest of the players remaining (Yastremska close runner up).

Beautiful second set from Rybakina who figured out a way to outhit Sabalenka for that stretch. Some great BHDTLs from her. Nice to see her coming forward more and more too.
 

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very big up and down from Aryna, but finally blew her opponent in the 3rd
Lena :hug: at least she hang on rallies and made Aryna many errors in the 2nd
 

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Since winning a title in the first week of the season, she made one final all year (losing to Sai-Sai goat in San Jose) and flopped in countless tournaments. You would have had to have very low expectations to call this anything else than a slump.
A slump is crashing out in R1 after R1 and not being able to beat anyone half-decent.

Sabalenka had a positive win-loss record (26-20) *before* this week, SFs in St Petersburg and Strasbourg, 4R in Indian Wells, QF in Eastbourne, wins over Wozniacki, Vekic, CSN, Azarenka, and taken Kerber, Bencic, Bertens and Martic to three sets in decent quality matches.

Unfortunate Slam results but Anisimova twice, Rybarikova on grass and Putintseva are just all unlucky draws.

Far from a great year but more than enough decent tennis in there not to be classed as a slump.

Of course, some people thought she'd be a title-winning machine and dominate the tour...but that would have been way overrating her ability.

In fact with her game style I'd have expected MORE of a sophomore slump with way more WTF losses - I'd say she only has one really bizarrely terrible loss, to Aiava in 's-Hertogenbosch. Arguably Tomljanovic in Miami (but Ajla is a decent ballstriker) and Cornet in Rome (but only because of Cornet's own decline, and even so clay is a mitigating factor).
 

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Good learning experience for Rybakina.

Just too early in her career, out of all the young girls only Andreescu has shown maturity in the latter stages of big events this year.
 

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Since winning a title in the first week of the season, she made one final all year (losing to Sai-Sai goat in San Jose) and flopped in countless tournaments. You would have had to have very low expectations to call this anything else than a slump.
What?!? She's top 20 in the race( not even counting this Wuhan run), she has an additional Final, at least 3 SemiFinals an Eastbourne QF and an Indian Wells Rd16 plus her W/L is 33-21...........that's nothing close to a slump.
 

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not aryna's best, but good enough. any win is a good win, and she had to find a way after the second set.

rematch with barty, and the title defense is still on.

as a semi-finalist she gets a performance bye into beijing, which is very useful if she is playing next week.
 

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What?!? She's top 20 in the race( not even counting this Wuhan run), she has an additional Final, at least 3 SemiFinals an Eastbourne QF and an Indian Wells Rd16 plus her W/L is 33-21...........that's nothing close to a slump.
I think few people going into this season expected her to be outside top 10 at the end 2019.

The fact that you even list R16 in IW as a success factor shows she had a disappointing year. But it's not uncommon for a player to struggle a bit after climbing the rankings the year before.
 

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I think few people going into this season expected her to be outside top 10 at the end 2019.
Expecting her to be top 10 this year would have been pretty optimistic. She didn't even finish last year top 10 and that was after peaking for a few months - a few months which weren't ever likely to be her new normal (certainly not this year, anyway). As you yourself just said it's more common for players who have sudden breakthroughs to consolidate for a season, not to carry on rising at the same rate.
 

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if this season for Sabalenka can't be considered a slump and is the standard we should be expecting from her going forward ,then all the hype she got at the end of last season was way way off the mark .:shrug:
 

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Aryna :) :worship:

Like Kvitova she loves to play in China and plays her best tennis there.

Lena :hug:

Russia should do everything to get this most talented young Russian back.
 
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