Solid win today for Vika, who took out Sam in straights today. The stats show pretty obviously that Vika brought her A game, and Sam did not, and it was enough to make the difference. Both these players are too good for another to not show up, and have things be close. Vika served at 74%, Sam at 55% with only 2 aces. Vika was only broken once in her 6-2, 6-3 victory.
The real impressive thing for the birthday girl (who turned 21 today) was her match yesterday versus Bartoli. Down a break in the first set, she remained positive, fist pumping, tapping herself, and urging herself on. Unfortunately for her, she dropped the set and got broken early in the second. Things totally unraveled, with her yelling at herself and whacking balls against the backstop. I figured it was over, usual Vika was out being herself again. But slowly things shifted, Vika pushed on, upped her game, Bartoli’s game dropped a bit, and before you knew it, Vika had the match in three. While it wasn’t a total mental display, the end of the first set, and the eventual win showed real signs of Vika staying calm, positive, and reassuring of herself. Those are the wins that are important for big time players, because more often then not, you find your A game the next day and before you know it, you’re in the final.
I can’t say I’m a huge Vika fan. Hate her for the “wooo” sound (once drove my sister out of an adjacent room because the sound alone was driving her mad) or the temper, but the fact of the matter is that Vika has one of the hardest hitting games out there, and isn’t afraid to take it to opponents. Not to mention some good defensive skills and above average volleying. The temper and consistency are what has been hurting her, but with an improvement in the headcasiness (I can only assume that’s a word) and a proper control on aggression, she should be a serious contender for a ton of hard court points this season. Which along with other big hitters like Sam, Masha, and Elena, you’ve got to like as a fan of the WTA.