[CR71] Annika Beck (GER) vs. [CR78] Andreea Mitu (ROU)
How do you lose a match after winning the first set 6-1? This is one of those instances when the score is misleading. Although Beck won the first set 6-1, it was not because of brilliant tennis; rather, it was the result of a nervous start by her opponent. Mitu was quite anxious in front of her home crowd. Distracted by the expectation of the audience, she barely could get a ball in play.
One of the important keys to success on the tennis court is the ability to maintain your focus on the ball, while completely ignoring all other distractions, internal as well as external. As obvious as that may seem, it is not always as easy to do. It explains why you sometimes miss the easiest ball. As you approach the midcourt ball, eagerly anticipating the pleasure you will get from hitting a winner against your opponent, you will probably lose the point because your focus was no longer solely on the ball. You were distracted, however briefly, by your thoughts and in that instant you are more likely to miss hit the ball.
Mitu wanted to win not only for herself and her team, but also for the home crowd. The immense pressure created by those expectations weighed heavily on her mind the first set. Perhaps one of the benefits of on court coaching is that you can re-direct the player when you sense that they have lost their focus. The second set was a complete turn around and Beck could not elevate her game to keep up with Mitu. Although she stumbled while serving to close out the match, Mitu immediately broke back and won 1-6, 6-3, 6-3.