Nervous breakdown

BGL BNP Paribas Luxembourg Open, Luxembourg

Women’s Final: [CR31] Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) vs. [CR60] Annika Beck (GER)

Overwhelmed by nerves, Strycova barely held serve and her game was dominated by unforced errors the entire match.  Strycova the seasoned veteran was ill-equipped to deal with the occasion while her relatively inexperienced opponent was more mentally prepared.  Strycova was frustrated the entire match with her game, there were moments when she appeared close to tears, and she audibly expressed her frustration on several occasions.

Strycova would be engaged in a rally and just when it appeared that she had regained her rhythm, inexplicably her shot would find the net or fly long in another unforced error.  As the errors mounted so did Strycova’s level of disgust.  Hampered by the burden of expectation as the higher ranked player, Strycova was never able to relax or to think clearly enough to find a solution to her nerves and achieve the victory.

Beck was the sharper player, she kept her perspective and focused on the immediate point rather than the previous lost point, something Strycova was incapable of doing.  As the match drew near its end, Strycova’s wilting confidence saw her commit one final error into the net that gave Beck the victory 6-2, 6-1, and her first WTA title   The anguish of another lost final was visible on Strycova’s face as she awaited the trophy presentation and although this loss left a bitter taste in her mouth, she was gracious in defeat, demonstrating the quality of her character.

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