It’s good to be back.
If Caro was going to beat Masha, she was going to need some heart, consistency, and a little bit of luck, and boy did she get all of those.
Caro got balls back, made few errors, showed her underrated ability to rally with big hitters, and even hit some winners and took some chances. It all equalled a frustrated and confused Masha and a crusing Caro.
To be honest, I was a bit confused by Masha’s game plan, specifrically in the second set. She wasn’t interested in getting into rallies with Caro, specifically when returning, which meant going for psycho winners off the return and making a lot of errors. When she did get into rallies, she seemed passive and didn’t attempt to open up holes, or expose the holes in Caro’s game (specifically the movement). Sure, there were some sweet drop shots and good shots, but on the whole it wasn’t going to be enough.
One key to take out of this match is Caro’s improved strength, and if you want to call it that, power. I’m not talking big serves, or flat, huge winners. I’m talking about the ability to stay with big hitters and not get flattened or blown off the court by the player on the other side of the net. A year ago, it was clear that Caro could not play her game against the monster shots of Kim. Today she showed that she could keep up and play her game against Masha. Worth noting.
All in all, a disappointing result for Masha who made a lot of goofy errors and had once again, a few too many double faults (nine total) one of which gave the key break in the second. I really thought she was going to win this match and go deep.
Anyway, I’m back guys, and I’m giving Caro the bump, obviously. Caro/Domi and Bepa/Kaia are the four players left in this half… in other words, one of them is making the final. Wut.