Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Samantha Stosur vs Lucie Safarova, Dubai 2012

Sam defeats Lucie 6-1, 6-7, 6-1.

In the first set, Sam looked rather ruthless. Her serves were magnificent and she had Safarova on mat. Kick on a wide serve and then pump a forehand winner - this was Sam's game plan throughout the first set and it worked for her. Lucie was left without any kind of answers to Sam's serves. The leftie managed to win only one game in the first set overall.

In the second set, no one broke each other's service game instead of having so many break points to do so. Lucie had one or more break points in first four service games of Sam, but dint convert even one of them. But she did well enough to hold her first four service games without conceding a break point. The Czech's serve right into the body of the Australian seemed to trouble her a lot and didn't really have a chance to break into Lucie's service games. Sam was left doing more of a catching work in the second set and her backhand down the line shot didnt come out well today. Had Lucie converted her break points, Lucie wouldnt have needed a tie breaker to win the second set. Even in the tie breaker, Sam made a backhand down the line error to give Lucie a 3-1 lead. Lucie had so many set points but only on the fifth attempt she was able to win it. Lucie had a set point in Sam's sixth service game, but lost it with an error. Even in the tie breaker, Lucie had 3 set points that Sam saved (especially the forehand down the line winner to save the third set point was lovely to watch) before winning the fifth set point.

In the third set, Lucie dropped the ball inside the net attempting a drop shot when 30-40 down on Sam's first service game of the set and eventually let Sam hold her serve. Sam started to handle Lucie's serve well and was having two break points in her opening service game in the set. Lucie, for the second time in the set, couldnt get her drop shot right handing an easy break to Sam. Sam easily went up 3-0 in the set in no time, when Lucie held her serve to win her first game in the set. Some good variety in serves along with great forehand winners won the third set for Sam. Lucie was not able to get the ball inside the line and missed way too many chances to put any pressure on Sam. Such a poor effort by Lucie in the third set especially after giving a hard time for Sam in the second set. Sam, on the other hand, started the third set with great calmness and composure. She was so focussed and didnt give any time to Lucie to gather her thoughts.

Looking at Lucie, one would wonder why she isnt in the top 20 despite having wonderful talent. Its because of her inconsistency, not only between matches but also between sets. She needs to play with lot more consistency throughout the match to win against top 10 players which will give a huge boost to her confidence.

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