What a day.  As predicted by Spin, Hampton pulled the biggest upset of the tournament on the women’s side when she ousted Petra Kvitova in straight sets.  I will have more on that match in another post. Also going out was 2010 finalist, Samantha Stosur.  She went out to 2 time semifinalist Jelena Jankovic.  We here at the Spin really did believe that Jankovic would have pulled the upset.  
As expected,  Cornet gave Azarenka her toughest match of this tournament by taking her to 3 sets.  Cornet had a break in the third set but was  unable to maintain her lead and lost the last 6 games of the match.  
We are now into Day 8 of the tournament and the matches scheduled for play tomorrow feature some really good match ups.  Picks will be very hard from here on in.  Below are  Spin’s Picks in red:-

Serena Williams Roberta Vinci 

Svetlana Kuznetsova v Angelique Kerber 

Agnieszka Radwanska  v Ana Ivanovic 

Carla Suarez Navarro  v Sara Errani 

Petra Kvitova – Respecting your Opponent

Throughout this tournament, I have noticed the intensity that the top 3 women bring to their matches.  It did not matter whether the opponent was a wild card, an aging champion or even a top 10 player who had fallen on hard times, all 3 women faced each opponent with one thing in mind, my opponent across the net is a competitor and wants to beat me. My job is to ensure that it does not happen.  

From the fist pumps, the come ons, the jumping around between points, the glares across the net, all 3 top women have faced each of their opponents with respect that the woman across the net deserves.  I watched Petra Kvitova’s match today against Jamie Hampton from start to finish.  Kvitova took to the court showing little or no emotion.  She was flat, unprepared and her game was somewhere in the locker room or in Prague.  Hampton, on the other hand, ever the competitor, respected her opponent enough to come with all her weapons, as well as her intensity. She knew that if she wanted to win this particular match, she had to bring her A game. Hampton, in my view, respected Kvitova’s game and what she had achieved and knew that nothing but the best was required for this match. 

It was not until 5-4 up in the second set that Petra started to bring the game that won her Wimbledon and the WTA Tour Championship in 2011.  She started to serve better, mix up the variety on her shots and started to move Hampton around.  In the tie breaker, she played some great tennis, but just faltered at the end.  Credit however must be given to Hampton, who could have faded after losing 2 match points on her serve.  She kept focused on the change of ends and saved a set point with some stellar play.  

In thinking about this match, I wondered to myself whether Petra has respect for every opponent that she faces across the net, or whether she is only concerned with those who are either ranked ahead of her. I remembered her match against Serena Williams in  Doha this year when she showed the world just how great a tennis player she can be.  I have seen her against Sharapova in Australia in 2012 and against Victoria Azarenka in Madrid.  She brings her A game when she plays these women, and I believe she brings that A game because she knows if she plays anything less than her A game she will be sent packing. 

Is it then that she does not respect the games of lower ranked opponents why she continues to put forth these dismal performances against lower ranked opponents, and most times when faced with the prospect  of losing she turns on her A game? Most of my friends who watched the match today were of the view that the first set score of 6-1 was a typical Petra first set.  Most said they would wait until the second set for Petra to bring her A game. She eventually did do that, but why does she feel the need to go on these walkabouts and then try to regroup?

I am sure that Petra and her team will have much to discuss from today’s loss, but at the end of the day Hampton should also be given credit for playing a spectacular match and coming away with the win. 

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