There are a couple of players i’ve really warmed to during this year but none more so than Timea Bacsinszky. Her personality, her story and most importantly, the way she plays tennis have all drawn me in like a moth to a flame. It’s been a tough few months for Timea as she has struggled for match wins on the hard courts. After posting a sensational 36-8 W-L record during the first six months, including winning two titles and reaching her first ever Grand Slam semi-final at Roland Garros, the Swiss player went 0-4 between Wimbledon and Beijing. In all four of those tournaments, I had Bacsinszky winning her first match. For the first time in Beijing, I went against her in the first round… and look what happened haha! In the third round, Bacsinszky defeated Carla Suárez Navarro in three tight sets, 6-4 4-6 7-5 in two hours and 21 minutes.
While Suárez Navarro conjured up her own magic in that last GIF in their third round match, Bacsinszky also managed a magnificent sliced backhand winner which helped her seal the first set. All in all, it was an entertaining match and great to see both Carla and Timea playing well again. Considering Suárez Navarro’s stellar three set record in 2015 (even with the dip in form) and the Spaniard leading the head-to-head, 3-1, it was a super win for Bacsinszky.
Bacsinszky’s recent barren form was probably inevitable as there’s always going to be a dip in form. She played an extraordinary amount of tennis in the first half of the year because she kept winning and even though she managed her tournament schedule very well (pulled out of Miami and the grass court season prior to Wimbledon), I wonder if fatigue and burnout had a role in her losses. The first match she played after Wimbledon in Canada saw her miss match points in a three set loss to Alison Riske… having gone from winning many of these tight matches to losing out on one may have been a blow to the confidence.
Next up in the quarter-finals is Sara Errani who has had a brilliant week so far, defeating Petra Kvitova, Caroline Garcia and Andrea Petkovic to reach the last eight. In their most recent match, Bacsinszky won a third set tiebreak against Errani in Monterrey, 6-0 4-6 7-6(3) in a match I vaguely remember watching… it’s been a long year! I’ll be honest, I hope Bacsinszky can keep winning but my instinct says Errani might edge this one. The Italian player deserves respect for the way she’s fought her way through the draw and she can be a devilish opponent. Bacsinszky will have to be at her clincial best and play a clean and aggressive match to prevail.
Head over heart on this occasion!