Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Cincy Update so far...

There have been no major shocks so far in Cincy however we have seen some horror shows! Andrea Petkovic scraped past Jarmila Gajdosova, 5-7 7-6 6-2 in one of the ugliest encounters of the year so far. Gajdosova committed an unbelievable amount of errors in one of the streakiest performances I have ever seen. Gajdosova was just basically whacking the ball without any thought or due attention, which made it hard for Petkovic to get any rhythm in the match because Gajdosova would often hit winners followed by a succession of unforced errors.

Gajdosova put in an unprofessional performance, which showed her dwindling confidence following five first round losses

An example was on the set point that Petkovic converted in the second set tiebreak when Gajdosova's return nearly ended up in the stands. Gajdosova has been through some difficult times this year; she divorced from her husband a few months ago. Unfortunately, it seems her mind is not in the right place at the moment and she is really struggling to play her best tennis. Petkovic played a pretty shocking match too but the unforced error count was the telling factor in the end.

Jelena Jankovic has also made it into the second round following another dismal performance, this time from Iveta Benesova. Benesova has a solid game but I find that once she goes down in a match, she rarely shows any fighting spirit to try and turn it around and she becomes rather defeatist in her attitude. It was an excellent win for Jelena who played well despite a few lapses in concentration. Jankovic has really added some power to the serve and she remains relatively solid off her groundstrokes. She also has a good backhand slice, which I think she should employ more often. I remember her using this to good effect in a match earlier this year in Doha against Vera Zvonareva.

Jankovic will now play Zheng Jie in the next round

However, I believe Jelena's main problem is her mental strength; she has lost so many three set matches, I think it has affected her confidence and made her much more vulnerable in the tight matches. An example was the loss to Francesca Schiavone at Roland Garros where in the crucial stage of the match at the end of the third set, Jelena became extremely passive. If she is to get some big wins under her belt, I feel she needs to take some risks on her shots and be more aggressive. I have been a fan of Jelena for so long and would love to see her win a grand slam; however I feel her time has probably passed now.

In other notable matches, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova continues to struggle for form as she went down in three sets to Flavia Pennetta. Zheng Jie managed to upstage Julia Goerges, 6-2 1-6 6-4 (a correct prediction!) and Nadia Petrova recovered from a second set bagel to defeat the tricky, Roberta Vinci who took out both Wozniacki and Ivanovic last week. Svetlana Kuznetsova and Daniela Hantuchova both had straightforward victories, meanwhile Li Na was the first player to progress to the third round with an excellent victory over the tricky Czech, Lucie Safarova, 6-3 6-4. Li could now play Serena Williams or Sam Stosur in what will be one of the highlight third round womens matches in Cincy.

Pennetta had a good win over Pavlyuchenkova and will now play Daniela Hantuchova in round two

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