Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, Stuttgart
 Simona Halep (ROU) vs.  Coco Vandeweghe (USA)
Everyone knows how Vandeweghe feels about clay and if they did not know, well she made it abundantly clear after she defeated fellow countrywoman, Sloane Stephens. In the first round, the American knocked out Stephens 6-1, 6-0. In her post match interview she said “I really don’t like clay…..it’s my least favorite surface. I’ll never like it. This is my second time in Germany……I’m not here for the clay, it’s more for the shopping”.
Yesterday when she defeated the defending champion, Laura Siegemund, she again reminded everyone that she is here for anything but the clay and actually probably more for the cars. In any event, she is playing some of her best tennis of the season. Perhaps the lack of expectation frees her up mentally and allows her to go for shots with more abandon. Whether she is cognizant of it or not, she has employed one of the strategies recommended to help you perform at your best under pressure: minimize the significance of the tournament. This has taken a considerable amount of stress off her shoulders and leaves her free to play relaxed.
In their one previous meeting last year on clay, Halep dismantled the American’s game and won 6-1, 6-1. Perhaps that was extra incentive for the American, who came out focused. With clarity about what she wanted to do and needed to do, Vandeweghe struck the ball with conviction and constantly kept Halep on her heels.
She may be here for the shopping; however, while she is here, she does not mind knocking out some well-established clay court players. Today she knocked out the number one ranked player 6-4, 6-1.
SOURCE OF IMAGE: Zimbio.com (Alex Grimm/Getty Images Europe: Coco Vandeweghe)