21 January, 2006

Seeing is believing


I got to watch Hingis last night, and Federer this morning. Hingis looked strong, though she needs to look stronger. Federer, of course, is almost bored in his match with Mirnyi. Anything can still happen in that match, but it's not going to. Mirnyi started the match playing above his level, and he will have to come back to earth at some point.

Hingis is a little more interesting to analyze. She started her match last night by falling behind 1-3. That is a bad thing. I could call the match, though, when it reached 3-3. By that point, Hingis had gotten into Benesova's head. Benesova's serve was broken to bring them back on serve, and the service was back in her hands. She immediately started serving inches down into the net.

Hingis had not done anything impressive to that point, but she was totally in control of the match.


Benesova jumped out to her 3-1 lead by hitting the lines. She was tossing in amazing shots. Guess what? You cannot do that for very long.

That's how a thinking player makes her opponent lose.

Her opponent cannot win with merely excellent shots, they must be amazing. Hingis hits the top, flat, and back spins to her opponent's strengths and weaknesses, and each of those spins causes her opponent's shot to be a little bit harder to aim. The same shot that puts away a topspin, puts a backspin halfway down the net. It is hard to keep hitting amazingly when so many little adjustments mess up your calculations.

Hingis just kept adding adjustments to Benesova's shot calculations, until she cracked. She literally could not keep up the mental effort of figuring out how to hit the next ball for another winner.

From the point Benesova had her 3-1 lead, she only won 2 more games.

Unfortunately, I don't think Hingis has enough going on to confound Sharapova or Davenport, but it's only the first major of her new life.


codepoke said...

Fascinating Roddick match. Pity I have to go bed and miss the rest of it.

"New" Andy seems to have had a little trouble with a Baghdatis, but it looks like "Classic" Andy is going to keep him in the tournament. Baghdatis is giving a somewhat Federer-like all-court look. I'm afraid that the trouble Andy is having with him is a bad sign for his match with the real deal.

Kansas Bob said...

Saw some of the Hingis - Benesova match. I was impressed with Martina ... agree that she will need more to than she showed to get to the finals ... but then again comebacks are not predictable :)

codepoke said...

Uh. Oops.

Neither Andy could figure Baghdatis out.

Rich said...

I guess I still have Lindsay to cheer for, but Henin-Hardene is next, so I may well have all my hopefuls scrubbed from the tourney here soon.

I can't see anyone beating Federer. Nalbandian's record against him isn't too bad, but lately its taken a beating. If they met, it'd be in the Finals. I guess I'll hope for that.

codepoke said...

Justine has a beautiful game, and a backhand worth copying, but I quit cheering for her the day she stole that point from Serena in the French. I really wish Lindsay were healthy.

codepoke said...

Santoro is on - 9:30 EPT. If you can get to see him, you have GOT to do it. He is the MOST fun tennis player to watch ever!

codepoke said...

Hmmm. Anyone else notice that on the women's side, only one seed was knocked out of the top 8, and Hingis took Pierce's place (hardly what you would call an unseeded player)? But on the men's side half of the 1-8 seeds are gone, and there's two unseeded players up there?