We should be used to it by now--Petra Kvitova struggles to do what she should do with relative ease, drops a set, and then (sometimes) finds a way to win. Today in Stuttgart, she dropped a tiebreak 0-7 against Annika Beck, and probably had to deal with more than she was expecting from the 19-year-old German. Kvitova had to work for the first set, which she won 7-5, and Beck won the second set 7-6. Early in the third set, Beck failed to convert a couple of break points, and that gave Kvitova just the bit of momentum she needed to get back on track.
Beck and Kvitova were on the court for almost two and a half hours, and Beck--though she lost--delivered a real challenge to the Czech star, breaking her five times, and running over her in the second set tiebreak.
Prior to that match, Mona Barthel lost in straight sets to Lucie Safarova. The German crowd had plenty to cheer for in Beck, but they could really cheer for Julia Goerges, who--though she beat Kirsten Flipkens via retirement (stomach illness)--nevertheless showed excellent form.
Jelena Jankovic continued her fine serving form with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Sam Stosur, and Carla Suarez Navarro defeated Caroline Wozniacki 7-6, 6-1. Fed Cup stand-outs Roberta Vinci and Ekaterina Makarova both lost their first round matches, but I'm going to give them both a pass because I believe they were both probably depleted of both mental and physical energy after their wonderful performances over the weekend. (Makarova, by the way, played for over two and a half hours against countrywoman Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.)
Certainly agree re: giving both Vinci and Makarova a pass today.
Pleased with Kvitova's win, although she did have to earn it. Her serving shoulder was not taped today - maybe some improvement in sight for at least one of her various issues. Fingers crossed.
Lots of fun to see Jankovic in much better form lately, while still remaining true to herself.
Kvitova's serve has a tiny little 'hitch' in it. The arm stops for a fraction of a fraction of a second, and then starts again. This is stressful. Many of the pros have this hitch in their motion.
You know, I've noticed that hitch in others, but not in Kvitova. Thanks for pointing it out.
Sumyk has been doing outstanding work with Azarenka. Probably THE most important factor in Azarenka successfully making it through the ordeal she was submitted to during the AO 2013. No wonder Sumyk was the very first person Azarenka went to after her incredible 2nd AO title this year.
I agree about Sumyk. In addition to everything else, he has worked with Azarenka on impulse control, which has made it easier for her to concentrate on the points.
I think the best work that Sumyk has done is stop going down court side to hold Vika's hand. He does not believe in on court coaching and so he teaches her to rely on herself. I think the opposite is true of Petra's coach. He has a svengali like hold over her head and it can be seen by the way she looks to him after almost every point for his nod of approval. If she tried to rely on her own strategy she would become so much stronger mentally. It is the same reason why Ivanovic has been languishing outside the top 10 for so long, despite her having the tools to be a constant in the top 10.
I totally agree with everything you said, Karen.
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