Lucie v Garbine… Nerves, excitement, but mainly nerves!

SafarovaWow. I thought Lucie had a real chance to upset Maria Sharapova in their fourth round match but I questioned (i’m ashamed to say!) whether she could get across the finish line. She only went and DID IT, holding on for a 7-6(3) 6-4 victory over Sharapova. I was listening on RG radio for the entire match andΒ my heart was beating so fast at the end. This was a monumental win for Lucie and she *could* crack the top ten depending on other results. As I write this, i’m half watching the highlights being played on British Eurosport. I was stunned how well Lucie played in that tiebreak, particularly the first three points. She’s been shaky in tiebreaks all year but at this tournament, Lucie is 4-0 in tiebreaks! I loved that she closed it out on Maria’s serve with such aggressive tennis because Lucie does have the tendency to get passive when in winning situations. Maria has been struggling with a cold all tournament, but Lucie still had to put her away.

Muguruza has made back-to-back Roland Garros quarter-finals as she came from a break down in both sets of her fourth round match to beat Flavia Pennetta, 6-3 6-4. Her reaction to winning was adorable and it’s great to see her playing well again. I’ve been holding out in Racket Rally keeping my shares in Garbine knowing that she’d come good somewhere. I’m so annoyed with myself for getting rid of half of my shares this week… i’m a fool!

In equal measures, this draw excites/scares me because Lucie has such a great opportunity. All four players in the bottom half will fancy their chances of reaching the final. One match at a time though. Lucie’s played three Grand Slam quarter-finals before, while Muguruza is playing only her second, but will have the experience of last year’s match with Maria Sharapova at Roland Garros to build on. Both have the tendency to get nervous. I think Lucie has the better serve but Garbine has the more explosive power from the baseline. The pair have never met before so it promises to be very intriguing.

I’m in a meeting all day tomorrow so I won’t be able to follow or watch it… I AM GUTTED. Anyway, i’ll be keeping my fingers and toes crossed for Lucie. And if she doesn’t do it, then i’ll be pleased for Garbine because I really warm to her. Do I think Lucie can do it? YES! Beating Sharapova will have given her a huge amount of confidence and while I think there will still be plenty of nerves, I believe Lucie can keep this going…

Prediction: Safarova d. Muguruza in 3 sets

ATP RG QF Predictions

Roger Federer d. Stan Wawrinka in 5 sets

Kei Nishikori d. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in 4 sets

44 thoughts on “Lucie v Garbine… Nerves, excitement, but mainly nerves!

  1. I forgot about Garbine…for some reason I thought the Sharapova/Safarova match was the QF LOL. There is still hope for Ana!
    Have Muguruza and Safarova ever played? It seems like a tight match that could really go either way. I think the key is how well Garbine can serve since Lucie seems pretty impenetrable (though GM is likely to really attack every serve) and since her second serve can be rather questionable. They both play very simple, effective attacking games though so it should be a good one.

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      • Congrats James on Lucie! However I think you have just allowed your head bully your heart in picking Safarova over Mugu who is really my fav for the title. I just keep having this thought of Lucie being overwhelmed by Garbine. Sam, during commentary today referred to Sharapova as the ultimate street fighter while comparing her to Lucy the nice girl. I think Muguruza is a one woman gang. It is always amazing tome how from a pretty face she could suddenly conjure up that viscous stare across the court after a brutal rally. I really think Mugu will rush Lucy out of her comfort zone. Odds are a gift!!

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      • Ohhh! I’m sticking by Lucie. I know it’s going to a be a tough match but I honestly believe it will be very close and Lucie can do it.

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      • James, did you factor in that Lucie is still playing doubles with Bethanie Mattek-Sands. Infact, they beat the Bencic duo yesterday, after she topped Sharapova ? Is she fit enough to carry on at this level. For now, Muguruza is doable, but going forward ..

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      • I didn’t actually. I think Lucie will be OK. She hasn’t dropped a set in singles yet and I think she’s pretty fit. We’ll see…

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  2. Sorry James.I am going for a Garbine win,as long as her serve is on song and stays aggressive,Garbine to win in 3 sets.In saying that I would be delighted if Lucie wins.

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    • Ohhh another vote for Garbine! It seems i’m outnumbered in the comments πŸ˜‰ To be fair, I completely understand. I honestly think it could go either way. I’m obviously hoping Lucie, but I really like Garbine as well so we’ll see…

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    • That would be super interesting to be honest! I’m not sure Garbine would best Ivanovic if they met in a semi final though! That’s another match that’s never happened, though a few years ago when GM first started getting noticed she was referred to as an Ana Ivanovic lookalike. I think even their games are similar. Though Garbine is more confident than Ana is (now) and doesn’t quite have the huge weapon that Ana has in her forehand.

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      • Even I like Ana too but I don’t think her forehand is stronger than Garbine. I believe Garbine can beat Ana anytime.

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      • Perhaps on a good day and in a stationary position. On the run, I think Li Na has the best (but she retired already). If Ana’s forehand is so good, she won’t flop so many times and won only one slam. I only reckon she relies her forehand more than backhand because her B/H is lousy. I would rate Stosur’s forehand better than her.

        Serena’s forehand is not the best but her backhand.

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      • Ana’s inside out forehand is a thing of beauty. Her backhand isnt all too bad either, ive seen her hit some magnificent shots with it. I think Ana just might end up winning the entire tournament atm.

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      • I can’t think of any woman who hits more impressive forehands on the run and at full stretch than Ana.
        And her backhand can be lethal when it’s firing too. It just isn’t nearly as reliable.

        She doesn’t lose matches because of technique. She loses because she doubts herself far too much. I’m takinf it you didn’t follow tennis when she hit her stride in 2007/8 because her game was nearly flawless in every department.

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      • Yes, I was a late bloomer when it comes to being a tennis enthusiast! I started watching it avidly in 2011, during the French Open. Ive always liked Ivanovic, but last year was the first time when I actually saw her play excellent tennis. And I agree, its her mind, and to some extent her ball toss (which has a tendency to fo awry), which contributes towards her losing matches. Nevertheless, she has done incredibly well to get this far, and I cant wait to see how well she handles the pressure of being the second highest seed left in the draw.

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      • I was referring to Sudut. But I’d recommend you both look up old Ivanovic vids on youtube. Her forehand didn’t zing quite as much as it does now, but her backhand and serve used to be real weapons.

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      • Her forehand is decent compares to big hitter. Backhand is no good all the time. You could tell why Elina attacked her backhand and won some points though it was a boring match. A top player already played so many years supposed to be able to control her mind games but she is not. I wish her well if she can survive Lucie assault. I see Lucie playing Serena in the final. Lucie has a chance to win the title this year if Serena starts slow again.

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  3. I hope Garbine goes on to play her first slam final. On her half, I reckon she has the best game, but she needs to keep it together mentally. So far so good.

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  4. Phew, I was disappointed about Angie losing to Muguruza but to be fair, clay is not Angie’s surface and she still got two titles this season (at least)… and the gras comes soon πŸ™‚
    however, I totally can understand you with the ‘warming’ for Muguruza – such cute reactions and a beautiful game when not spraying and painting the lines instead. I also like Lucie so it’s a win-win situation for me :P. I think Muguruza will make it as she has the edge mentally. Ranking wise, everyone expects Lucie to win and that is pressure. It’s different from being the underdog (made the experience already :P) Everyone that has ever taken part in competition knows what I mean. Sooo, I’m going with Garbi, and I’m predicting she will be in the final. much more sure about her than about Serena who is doing crazy ….things…. these days πŸ˜€ I just hope she wins against Errani – the thouht of Errani being a slam winner (which could be likely) is giving me nightmares πŸ˜€

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  5. I’ll be happy for either of them even though Garbine and I have a love-hate relationship. At the Wimbledon QF last year I thought Lucie would struggle against Makarova but came through soundly and I think this could be a similar story. I feel as though Garbine will have lapses Lucie won’t. Hopefully it’s a good match, though. πŸ™‚

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  6. Garbine has the chance to win the whole tournament if she can keep her UE low. The power possessed by Garbine is another level I don’t think Lucie can find it easily to handle. This is another 50/50 match.

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  7. C’mon Garbine… This match better live up to the hype. I’m sure it will be as their aggressive game styles should make for plenty of winners. It’s storming in Cape Town today so and I happen to be off so ill watch RG all afternoon James.

    If Lucie wins then it’s a replay of Lucie vs Ana and I’d rather see Ana vs Garbine.

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  8. I AM SO HAPPY FOR LUCIE!! I think she’ll make it in 3! she has far more experience than Garbine, which in this situation should help her to adopt the right play in those make or break moments. Should it come to an Ivanovic V Safarova semi, id put my money on Ivanovic to come through, although I wouldnt mind if it were Lucie who ends up in the final! Its going to be a very interesting week.

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  9. Who’d have predicted a Safarova vs Ivanovic semi final?! Impressed with how calmly both players finished out their matches to be honest.

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    • Well, now that it is here Andrew are you still rooting for Ana? Lucie has been impressive so far against two hard hitting girls.

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      • It’s a tough call. I want both players to win!! I think Safarova has been more impressive this week thanks to her consistant serve. Ana has had a tougher road because of her inconsistant serve. Ivanovic has struggled with lefty service in the past (which is why Safarova is 5 – 3 against her) but she was pretty impressive against Makarova.
        The key to the match will be the first serve. Can Lucie play pressure free in only her second semi final (first here)? Has she really been able to do a 180 mentally?

        I think a Serena vs Ana final would be the most interesting of all the possible matchups left.

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  10. Incroyable! Lucie is playing with so much maturity and tact. Just great to see!

    And so…..it begins, the march to the title, Ana Ivanovic vs Lucie Safarova..

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  11. Well done Lucie,I dont mind being wrong:) maybe her match against Sharapova has given her added confidence…James must be one happy guy:)

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  12. Tough day at office for me…..three of the four gone wrong…Only Ana won. Hope tommorow Nole crushes Rafa and the Scot crushes the spaniard.Rest two womens results everybody knows ; williams and the swiss

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  13. I saw this match, Garbine was the aggressor, she was literally hammering the ball. I was amazed by how Lucie was able to handle those bombs from Garbine and sometimes with interest. I think Lucie played smart by staying in the rallies and not getting fazed by Garbine’s bombs or trying to do too much with them.

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