Thursday, 16 January 2014

Stosur Solid

Samantha Stosur had the unenviable responsibility of being a winning Australian at a night session.  Her match, as 17th seed, against recent Sydney winner Tsvetana Pironkova was not a typical second round match up.  Normally seeded players are less threatened by the draw until the third round where other seeds are placed.

However, with Pironkova having had to qualify for Sydney, then making the run to the title, with wins over three top ten singles players, Sam would need to be right on her mettle from the start.
The Australian won her opening serve, thanks in large part to a nervous contribution from the Bulgarian player.  Then Pironkova evened things up with an easy game on serve before placing Sam under some pressure in the third game.  Stosur was not placing her shots well, giving her opponent too much time to set up a winning point, but fortunately a couple of better attempts, closer to the body and restricting movement, saved Sam from falling behind.

The pressure moved from one girl to the other as break points were created by Sam in the fourth game.  Singularly unimpressed was Pironkova who dismissed Sam's efforts and tied it at 2-2.  So far the contest was one from the baseline, with both hitting hard, rallies longer than what Sam would ideally want, and with Pironkova throwing in perhaps a few too many errors for her liking.
In the sixth game the Bulgarian error count was so high it almost blew up the stats computer.  Sam took full advantage, did nothing extraordinary, but was the recipient of the service break in the end, and a 4-2 lead.

Variety on her serve made things easy for Sam as she consolidated for a 5-2 lead, and an all out attack in the eight game saw the Bulgarian defence completely crumble and Pironkova lost the set 2-6.

Stosur serving first in the second, gave nothing, and quickly had a 1-0 advantage.  Pironkova appeared to be restricted by injury, and the next game, a service break, gave weight to that, with a frustration in the face and body language evident in every point played.

Sam Stosur looked a better player as the minutes ticked by, but much of that was due to the hampered movement of her rival.  Good players display no pity for injured opponents while they are still on court, and Sam was heartless as she should be.

Inevitably, Australia had a win, and Samantha Stosur was into the third round winning 6-2 6-0

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