Pace vs. Guile

Kremlin Cup by Bank of Moscow, Russia Women’s Final: [CR30] Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) vs. [CR61] Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU) A game built around guile is more dependent on mental fortitude and physical stamina than one built around pace. If your game is weaker than your opponent’s, you will be more susceptible to the negative influence of tension. Begu realized…

Continue reading →

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. …

Continue reading →

Slow start

Kremlin Cup by Bank of Moscow, Russia [CR74] Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) got off to an extremely slow start in his match against [CR27] Mikhail Youzhny (RUS).   Maybe it was uncertainty about the degree of discomfort or limitation he would experience in his injured right arm, but his game was not  as sharp as it was in his recent match against…

Continue reading →

New face with a big game

BGL BNP Paribas Luxembourg Open, Luxembourg I saw [CR145] Denisa Allertova (CZE) play for the first time yesterday when she played against [CR25] Sabine Lisicki (GER), and I was impressed by how flat she hits the ball, her pace, and her composure. Her game took Lisicki by surprise and she handled Lisicki’s pace with ease. Today Allertova…

Continue reading →

Flamboyant vs. Calm

If Stockholm Open, Sweden [CR7] Tomas Berdych (CZE) only needed two breaks to win the match against [CR92] Dustin Brown (GER); however, he had to work very hard to get the first break.  Brown’s game is explosive, unpredictable and sometimes puerile. Brown served extremely well and made many great shots; however, the flamboyant German was too erratic and that cost him…

Continue reading →

Slight lapse in concentration

If Stockholm Open, Sweden [CR51] Jack Sock (USA) was in total control of this match against [CR58] Andrey Golubev (KAZ), until a slight lapse in concentration saw him lose the second set.  That did not cause Sock to panic, he had loss the second set against Golubev in their only other encounter and had won that match….

Continue reading →