I'm not even mad right now. That's not how I'm feeling. I'm just...disappointed. I've followed Ana enough to know I have to be prepared for anything. And I probably should have prepared myself a little better for this loss, seeing as how she hasn't played in a month, there's a surface change, and she has a busted thumb. So shame on me.
But seriously? What. The. Eff. She starts out slow. I get it. She loses the first set 6-1. But then she comes out firing in the second set, reducing her UFE's from 25 in the first set, to two in the second set. TWO!!! That's Rafa-like. At this point, you know she's going to close out the match. She's found her range and she's good.
But that wily 17 year old Pazcek takes a long bathroom break. Yeah, because that's why you just got your ass handed to you in the second set. But it seems to work. Ana can't find her range and is passive when she should be aggressive and aggressive when she should be passive. She handed the match to the kid.
I mean, great win for Pascek, who has had a horrible year. But this was a prime example of how fine tuned Ana's game has to be get the job done. She just didn't look like she knew what she wanted to do out there.
It's almost as if against the top 10 players, Ana knows her game plan and goes out there and executes it with a single-minded, laser sharp focus. But against unfamiliar players, she gets a little confused and can't seem to problem solve on the court. This is understandable because when Ana's game is on, it doesn't matter who is on the other side of the net. Her natural instinct for the game takes over and she just executes without thinking. But when she gets into trouble it's because her head gets in the way. Her shots take 100% commitment and if she's unsure, even just a little bit, she pulls off her backhand, she pulls off her forehand, she chases bad tosses, and she muffs easy volleys.
Phew. Glad I got that out of my system. I'm looking forward to a solid run in Beijing and/or the USO. She just needs to get her feet under her, heal that thumb, and come into a tournament with belief and confidence in her game.
Don't worry, folks. Baby Elephant will be just fine.