Mathieu’s Mental Resolve Pays Dividends

German Tennis Championships, Hamburg

[44] Nicolas Almagro (ESP) vs. [66] Paul-Henri Mathieu (FRA)

Mathieu led their head-to-head, 3:1, going into this match; however, Almagro was the one playing better tennis recently.  Both are fighting to rediscover their top form after being sidelined by injury. Almagro is a talented player with a fierce serve and blistering one-handed backhand.  When he is focused he can beat just about anyone; however, that is the problem.  Known to let his emotions get the better of him, he can unravel at the slightest provocation.  Instead of channeling his anger/frustration into playing better tennis, he inevitably loses his focus and his game.  Yet, today he tried harder than I have I have seen to control his emotions.  In the end, Mathieu was more determined and had better control of his emotions.  He stepped up the pressure late in the second set and never relented.  Even when it looked as if Almagro had the advantage, Mathieu stayed calm.  His mental resolve was stronger and that allowed him to prevail in the end.  Mathieu won 4-6, 7-6(4), 7-5.





BRD Bucharest Open, Romania

[73] Cagla Buyukakcay (TUR) vs. [144] Vania King (USA)

Once a promising singles player, King has become more well-known for doubles prowess.  She has won one singles title and fifteen doubles titles, including Wimbledon and the US Open. Her singles ranking dropped as low as 466 at the end of 2015.  Despite the lack of weapons, she is a fighter.  Her strongest traits may be her mental toughness and her calm resolve.  You have to beat her to win, she will not give you the match and Buyukakcay found that out today.  Her emotions got the better of her and in the end cost her the match.  King won 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-1.

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