Rafa needs rest

Swiss Indoors Basel, Switzerland [CR3] Rafael Nadal (ESP) is a shadow of his former self.  In his match today against [CR75] Simone Bolelli (ITA), Nadal spent the majority of his time pushing the ball instead of striking the ball with conviction, a sign that he is not feeling confident.  His groundstrokes had no sting and many of his shots landed…

Continue reading →

Another pitiful performance

BNP Paribas WTA Finals, Singapore Round Robin, Day 1: [CR4] Simona Halep (ROU) vs. [CR5] Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) Bouchard is not handling the pressure of expectation very well and today was another example of the poor job she is doing.  Her performance was pitiful, she could barely get the ball in play and when she finally…

Continue reading →

At their best

If Stockholm Open, Sweden Men’s Final: [CR7] Tomas Berdych (CZE) vs. [CR10] Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) There was no holding back today as both players were focused on winning, for differing reasons perhaps, but the desire was equally strong on both sides.  Dimitrov took the first set, but it was not a given that he would win…

Continue reading →

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 →