Thursday, February 11, 2010

So close but so far… - January 16, 2010

Hello everyone once again.

The good news is that last night we made it to the final by beating a very good player called Sara Errani whom is a member of the recent victorious Italian Fed Cup Team.

Shahar played a very exciting and aggressive match. She won with a very impressive score of 6-2 6-0 to go through to the finals.

I am glad I shared with you already about tennis being a deep sport and that it comes from within the player and not from without. This was very obvious yesterday in the change Shahar made at 3-2 up on the first set. On the tour the players are allowed to invite their coaches on court once a set to ask for advice. For us as coaches is not easy to do this as most of us realize that you can either make or break the player by what you say when you go in there.

Yesterday I was very straight and stern with Shahar, and even though I knew she would not like it, I knew this was necessary for her to wake up and somehow connect herself and her game again and play what she is capable of playing. This obviously worked and she went on to win 9 games in a row.

Today, in the final, it was not quite the same as she lost a match she could have won should she have been in touch with herself and her insides. This was unfortunately not the case and therefore her tennis did not flow as it has done for most of this and last tournament. It is true that I have said that great players win even when they are not flowing, and this of course still gets my vote even after today’s result and goes a long way in showing me that we still have work to do with Shahar so she can become the great player she aspires to be one day.

We leave to Melbourne tonight, and tomorrow we will be having a day off as we found out yesterday that Shahar starts her singles campaign on Tuesday at the Australian Open.

Between now and then most of the players would have done, and finished their preparations for the Grand Slam, by the Thursday before the tournament starts. Meaning that the remaining days will just be about feeling the ball and getting psychologically and physically ready for the start of the event.

It is a very exciting and vibrant time and one that as a coach I enjoy very much, however the players…mmmmm I am not sure enjoy it as much unless of course they know inside that they are great and whatever they are bringing to the table will make the grade every time.

Have a great day and see you tomorrow hopefully from my base camp in Melbourne.


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