Perhaps I’ll never understand why Flavs gets under Sams skin so very much – but she does.
“I can return her kick serve. There are few shots that I have that can make her nervous all the time,” Pennetta said. “She’s one of the best servers. I am really comfortable with her ball. I can handle the speed.”
Said Stosur: “She makes a lot of balls and runs everything down. She really makes you work for every point you win. Sometimes that can be a little bit frustrating.”
The opinion makers have Pennetta’s backhand DtL as well as her ability to “get over the top” of Sam’s big serve as the defining feature of her winning H2H over the Aussie, which is now 3-0 for the loss of….no sets.
Probably all true. Though you could likely make that case for anyone that bothers Sam. Flavs does, clearly, have a grip on Sam’s serve, though there’s no reason she should be any more equipped than, say, someone over 6 ft tall, to “get over the top” of it.
For my money, Flavs is simply, pound-for-pound, a better player from the back of the court. And it showed.
As did Sam’s propensity to overpress or, worse yet, shank in any rally lasting more than 6 strokes.
It wasn’t, to be fair to Sam, her best day (Flavs served 8 aces, Sam, none eh?) – and she does have a niggle in her arm that’s been troubling her since before the event. But if someone is doing a good job of returning her serve, be it Flavs, Venus or anyone else, that’s not a good place to be in.