[CR41] Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) vs. [CR58] Roberta Vinci (ITA)
Pavlyuchenkova has dominated their rivalry, 5:1. Vinci had to come out swinging to prevent another loss; yet, getting the break is irrelevant if you cannot hold your serve at that critical moment. When you play an opponent who has more weapons and hits the ball harder than you, you have to remain focused the entire match to prevent the loss. You have to serve smart, be quick and execute your shots almost to perfection. That demand for perfection can be mentally draining and a momentary lapse in concentration can cause the benefits of your hard work to be quickly erased. That’s the pressure Vinci was under this entire match.
Vinci withstood the winners and aces as Pavlyuchenkova tried to erase the deficit; however, too many unforced errors and a lack of conviction resulted in Vinci getting the extremely easy victory 6-2, 6-1. Pavlyuchenkova has not made the semifinals of a tournament since October 2014. Her performance has been erratic considering her talent. When a player is struggling like this, you immediately think that if there is no physical hindrance, then the cause has to be psychological. The need for a healthy and fit mind in life as well as sports cannot be underestimated. When you are struggling to cope with your thoughts and emotions on court during a match, it’s highly improbable that you will be effective. Can Pavlyuchenkova fix the problem(s)?