I’ve been thinking about what I am going to write for the women’s final for several hours and i’ve still got no clue. It’s going to be messy but I hope you’ll stick with me as I try to sum up what’s going on, both with the tennis and in my head right now. Tweets and pictures are probably the best way of projecting how i’m feeling right now.
That picture of Lucie and Beth is just the BEST. I’m just so thrilled for Lucie and Rob, and her team. This is such a magnificent achievement. I was there at Roland Garros for her first match against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova…. that feels about two years ago now. Against Pavs, that match could so easily have swung away from her but she managed to get it done in two sets, 7-6 7-6. I think the confidence from winning that match against such a good friend has propelled her going forward and given her both momentum and confidence. Lucie’s route through the draw has been so tough and complete polar opposites to the one she faced at Wimbledon where she reached the semi-finals. Lucie’s route has passed by Kurumi Nara (6-2 6-0), Sabine Lisicki (6-3 7-6), Maria Sharapova (7-6 6-4), Garbine Muguruza (7-6 6-3) and Ana Ivanovic (7-5 7-5).
I’m not going to tell you all the stats and stuff for the semi-final as I still haven’t caught up fully with the match. What I will tell you is that I was listening on RG radio and I WAS A MESS. I did barely any work this afternoon. I have so much work to catch up on tomorrow haha. I was half following on Twitter and it was nice to be able to share that pain with other Lucie fans on Twitter. All the Lucie fans are awesome on Twitter and i’d list you all right now but in fear of missing someone out, I won’t!
When Lucie stepped up to serve for the match, I was waiting for that double fault on the first point… and it came. Lucie’s nerves have been an ever present through her career although she has shown over the past few years of dealing with it better. I can’t begin to imagine how Lucie was feeling because I was actually shaking. I can’t believe what tennis fandom is doing to me. I would say it’s the most nervous i’ve ever been for a tennis match. I laugh at myself now but I love feeling those emotions and rooting for a player to succeed. Tennis is such a bloody awesome sport.
Lucie missed a match point (on a double fault) and then got broken. My heart sank. I thought that could be it, particularly if Ana were to hold in the next game. She didn’t though and Lucie got a second chance to serve it out, which this time she took. My heart was beating so fast. I did a silent fist pump at the computer screen although I wanted to shout. While all us Lucie fans are happy, there’s always two sides to a story… commiserations to Ana fans. She did great this tournament and personally, i’m really pleased to see her finally turning a corner on what has been a tough 2015 campaign.
I can’t really put into words how happy I am for Lucie. I always root for the nice people and in my opinion, Lucie is just the best. One thing I notice on social media is that there’s very few, if anyone, who has a bad thing to say about Lucie. Yes, people have criticised her struggles to close out matches and her nerves. As a person though, everyone seems to like and respect Lucie. I’ve never seen her give a bad handshake and she just seems like such a thoroughly decent person. Nice people rule!
Lucie’s first Grand Slam singles final (it still doesn’t seem right hahahaha!) will be against Serena Williams. The American player, who skipped press afterwards, was under the weather and came out of another big hole, coming back to defeat Timea Bacsinszky, 4-6 6-3 6-0. I was playing tennis this evening and when I started, Timea had break points to take a set and a break lead. When I next checked the live scores, Serena had just won with a third set bagel. Huge credit to Serena for what she’s done this fortnight. Her form has been shaky and her health is not quite there it seems, but she’s forced her way into yet another Grand Slam final.
This may be different to other Lucie fans but i’m pleased she plays Serena in the final. Against Timea, she would have gone in as the favourite and I also think Timea’s game would have given her great problems. The head-to-head against Serena is one-sided and there is no denying that, but Lucie is the underdog and I feel like that is the best position for her to go into her first Grand Slam final. She can go out there, swing away and give it a real good go. There’s no way in telling how Lucie will cope with the nerves. Everyone responds differently and we just won’t know until the day.
So… who’s going to win? Mannn, this is so tough to write. This is the hardest preview i’ve ever written. Trying to disentangle my head and heart has become harder and harder this week and i’m really struggling. So here comes a mini monologue. This tournament has felt different to any other tournament i’ve watched Lucie play in. She’s flown through the draw, beaten top quality opposition, not dropped a set, not lost a tiebreak (!) and shown so much belief. I’ve been a fanatical fan of Lucie since the start of 2014 and it’s been amazing to witness how much she has improved. At the end of the day, she’s a winner in my eyes for reaching the final. It’s such a cliché but seriously, who had Lucie making the final pre-Roland Garros?
I just hope Lucie believes in herself. She’s got the game to give Serena a match and even more so if Serena is struggling physically. Her serve, her forehand, her ability (particularly this fortnight) to stay in rallies. It’s all there. She will only win this match if she stays aggressive, like she has played all of her matches this week. Furthermore, I think playing the doubles semi-final tomorrow is perfect for Lucie as she has the opportunity to take her mind off the final. The big question is whether Lucie can control her nerves and have the belief that she can beat Serena. Personally, I think if Lucie wins, it will have to be in straight sets. There were visible nerves against Ivanovic, but she got across that line. My heart is completely ruling my head right now and i’m fully aware of this. This is the crazy fandom taking me away from reality but i’m standing by Lucie, I really am.
I’m looking forward to reading all your comments (thanks for being so awesome this fortnight, as always it’s been a ball reading them all). I’ve missed all of Lucie’s matches this week which has been sucky but Saturday is going to be such a great day, whatever the outcome. Great match, ladies and enjoy it Lucie… give it your best shot! 😀
Prediction: Lucie to win the whole caboodle!