Sunday, February 24, 2013

Erakovic wins Memphis title when--surprise!--Lisicki retires

Yesterday, I was thinking about how I'd been wrong in assuming that Sabine Lisicki, the top seed in Memphis, would retire at some point during the tournament. Rather, she advanced to the final. But there was still time! And yes, the fragile German player retired after her first set against Marina Erakovic. Erakovic, who won the opening set 6-1, is now the first New Zealander to win a WTA title in 24 years.

Lisicki had to stop playing because of a gastrointestinal illness. And that is a shame--for both players and for fans--but if it hadn't been that, it would have been something else.

Lisicki struggles with what we once might have called the Bartoli/Azarenka Syndrome; she retires from matches on a regular basis, and for a variety of reasons. Chronic retiring can be caused by many things--poor fitness and over-training come to mind. But there has to be a story behind the story. Poor fitness? Get a new physio. Training too much? Cut down. Weak immune system? Find a good health practitioner.

No, there's something else behind chronic retiring, and that something is undoubtedly an unconscious issue that prevents a player from competing at her highest potential. I think that much more attention should be paid to the psychological processes that motivate players to do what they do. Lisicki, for example, has a lot of talent, but she is unable to gain momentum because of her constant illnesses and injuries.

Kristina Mladenovic and Galina Voskoboeva won the Memphis doubles title. In the final, they defeated Sofia Arvidwsson and Johanna Larsson 7-6, 6-3.

In Bogota, top seed Jelena Jankovic won the championship today by defeating Paula Ormaechea 6-1, 6-2. The Bogota title is Jankovic's 13th.


Daniel said...

Have to admit though...if Lisicki had Norovirus, props to her for even trying b/c I can barely work days after having it, much less playing tennis! ;)

Diane said...

Oh, I think she tried to fight through it--she's just so physically vulnerable.

Remember when she won Charleston? Even in the early rounds, she had "winner" written all over her. I miss that Lisicki.

sunny nine said...

Just curious for my own memory check-do you remember the last two times each that Bartoli or Azarenka retired mid-match? When watching Bartoli at Dubai, I was thinking that she had't been retiring as much.

sunny nine said...

Just checked a little myself. Azarenka retired just after Olympics in 2012 which a few higher ranked players did (or didn't show up). That was it for 2012 but she had a few ret in 2011.
So it looked like she got better about the issue in 2012, 2013 pulling out rather than retiring.

Bartoli retired 2 times last year, none this year which both years were good for her previous amounts of retirements.

That was all via the WTA tournament results.

My problem with Lisicki is that I often see her crying a lot during her retirements. I don't know what that is about. I am sorry I can't stand to see a woman athlete cry-it turns them into a "girl" rather than an athlete. I didn't see her at Memphis. Maybe she is just tired of the injuries and ailments.

Diane said...

That's why I said "what we once might have called." Vika and Marion taught themselves now to stop all that retiring. Bartoli's change has been dramatic.

There's a lot of drama with Lisicki. Some people jumped on Martina N. when she called her a drama queen, but I saw where she was coming from.

TennisAce said...

Happy Monday everyone. I for one was very happy to see Erakovic win her maiden title and frankly I could not care less how she did it. She has always been a player that I liked to watch but never got to see much of her because she was always injured. Glad to see her back and finally putting that big serve and forehand to good use. She also seems to have worked on her fitness and mental issues.

As to Lisicki, I have no idea what is going on with that young woman. I always get this feeling that she is trying too hard to please and not too hard on her game. For someone with such a big first serve, her second serve is just pathetic. Her backhand is woeful (a bit like mine) and her movement is not very good. She goes all out to hit balls from positions that do nothing more than inflict damage on her body. Sabine has legs like a tree, she should use that lower body strength to work on her upper body strength. She also needs to work on her mental issues because she is as fragile as they come.

Diane said...

Erakovic is a good grass player, so it follows that she would do well on an indoor court. I like to warch her, too.

Here's the thing about Lisicki: Her 2nd serve used to be fantastic--one of the very best. That tells me that's a confidence issue.

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