Talking Tennis with Gigi Fernandez

It’s always nice to bump into a tennis legend on the tennis circuit and recently at an ITF tournament in Tampa, Florida I had the pleasure to chat tennis with Gigi Fernandez, who won 17 Grand Slams (14 with Natasha Zvereva), two Olympic gold medals for USA and reached WTA no. 1 in doubles. As a coach, Gigi coached Sam Stosur to her first US Open title with Lisa Raymond. She coached no. 1 doubles players Renee Stubbs, Raymond and Stosur. She currently coaches in Tampa. Fernandez was inducted into the International Hall of Fame in Newport in 2010.

Question: Monica Seles was more difficult for you to play than Steffi Graf?

Gigi Fernandez: “Yeah because she hits hard on both sides. Like with Steffi, she had the slice backhand so I could serve and volley to her backhand. And I was a serve and volleyer. So, with Monica, not only did she hit hard on both sides, but she stood one or two or sometimes three feet inside the baseline. So when you’re serve and volleying and someone is standing three feet inside the baseline to return, you don’t have enough time to get anywhere for your first volley. They were just going by so fast. So quickly. With Steffi I could just hit it to her backhand – I knew slices were coming back and I could get the volley in and then it was like Okay, who’s gonna win the point? But with Monica I couldn’t even get a racquet on it.

Question: Which of the young players today most impress you?

Gigi: “I think Andreescu. She is pretty impressive. I love her all court game. We’re starting to get away from… we had ten or fifteen years of just pounding the baseline. And now girls are more looking to come forward and looking to finish at the net. She drop shots. Hits high balls. Hits angles. It’s not just pounding from the baseline. So I think it’s the future of tennis.”

Question: What do you think sparked this new change, evolution in the women’s game?

Gigi: “I think it’s been coming. I think because it’s been so one-dimensional. And if you want to stand out, if you’re coming up and you see the pros and you want to be different, then that’s the logical thing to add. And also now girls are more fitter, so they can handle the power. And obviously Bianca has really good hands so she can handle the volleys when she comes in. She’s blessed with good hands and she’s taking advantage of it.”

Question: Do you see Bianca Andreescu having the qualities to become the dominant WTA player?

Gigi: “She’s very mentally prescient. She comes back from a lot of adversity in her matches. She didn’t retire in Indian Wells. I was really impressed by Osaka’s third set win at Australian Open after blowing the second set. I think she was mentally very down. Then she fired her coach which was not the smartest thing in the world to do. To become no. 1 in the world and won two Grand Slams.”

Question: Which players impress you in the ATP?

Gigi: “I think when Zverev figures out what’s going on up there in his head. He has a complete game, he moves well for his height. He has a big serve, good return, good groundies. If Rafa and Roger ever quit [smiles] he could be the heir apparent.”

Question: How about Felix Auger-Aliassime?

Gigi: “Yeah, that’s the next step, Felix and Shapovalov. But they’re a little bit younger, Zverev is 22-23. So he has four or five years of experience on them. So I don’t think Felix or Shapovalov are ready to win a Grand Slam or even Tier 1 events. I don’t think they’re mature enough to withstand a whole tournament like that. But they will be in a couple of years. They’re getting there.”

Question: What is the best you ever felt on court? Your finest matches?

Gigi: “It’s funny. If you look at my whole career, it’s probably three matches that I walked off the court and I felt I played like perfect tennis. Three times in 500, 800, I don’t know how many matches I played. 800 matches singles and doubles. So tennis is not a game of perfection. It’s not about playing great or feeling great. It’s about playing your best when you’re not playing well. And figuring out how to win when nothing’s working. That’s what makes the difference between a champion and the average players. A champion figures out a way to win when they’re playing their worst. Where as some players sort of give in.”

Question: What were those three matches?

Gigi: “I don’t remember [laughs]. I really don’t. But I remember one was a singles match but I can’t tell you exactly the match. But I kind of had a general feeling when I walked off the court, I felt I played great. But there’s always something about it that I could have done better. I did play a lot of doubles matches where I played the whole match and I never missed a volley. And that was sort of like my standard, if I played a match and I missed volleys, then that was a bad day. I just could not miss volleys. I mean, makeable volleys. Anything that I could get my racquet on, I had to get it in the court.”

Question: How about the best matches of near perfect tennis that opponents played against you?

Gigi: “You know, (Gabriela) Sabatini used to beat the crap out of me. Because she always seemed to play well against me. I could never beat her. Especially her second serve was so attackable. But I could never beat her. That’s the one who could always get to me [smiles].”

Question: Why? What did she do that was so effective?

Gigi: “Nothing [laughs]. I just beat myself half the time. I don’t know. She had a really nice backhand, good groundies. But she didn’t have a big serve. It just seemed like I should have a chance to beat her but I never did.”

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  • Scoop Malinowski · August 8, 2019 at 8:07 pm

    Very nice praises by Gigi for Bibi. The super champs of the sport really like what they see in Bibi, Santoro’s praises of her were also extremely positive also.

  • Anonymous · August 8, 2019 at 11:47 pm

    If you recall my past postings, I told you that Novak had the full support of Roger Federer for his agenda. Keep in mind that the Laver Cup was added as an ATP event before Roger got on the Player Council and for good reason. What would it have looked like otherwise? The addition of this event to the ATP was something that rank and file ATP pros were complaining about since it is only an event for the top guys. Novak took the bullet on it since what else could he do.

    Nadal did not want to really get involved with the Player Council but with Federer coming aboard, they needed someone of his caliber to appease the Spanish-speaking bloc upset at how Lapentti was treated. It also made sense from a business standpoint. There is virtually no chance of a player strike regarding the comments by Pospisil. Federer is very close with Ken Solomon as you know so I believe Gimelstob will be back at some point in the picture since SOlomon and Jon Wertheim are big supporters.

  • catherine · August 9, 2019 at 4:43 am

    Scoop – I think some of the older ex-players see something in Bianca which has been missing from women’s tennis for a long time and they welcome that. Let us hope she can stay fit and fulfil her promise.

    All those shots have always been there in tennis – it’s just that hardly any women ever used them.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 9, 2019 at 8:05 am

    Catherine, Seles was said to be a very good volleyer in practice but she never or rarely ventured forward in her matches. Maybe she didn’t need to. She won so much playing her one dimensional tennis. Wonder how great she could have been if she was able to incorporate her fine volley skills into her matches.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 9, 2019 at 8:06 am

    I think it’s more than the techniques and skills they see in Andreescu it’s the overall package she has all the qualities, mental and physical and game. Personality, character, poise.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 9, 2019 at 8:09 am

    Anonymous, thanks again for this post. Not sure if I can believe that Federer and Nadal are on board for Djokovic/Gimelstob’s secret agenda. Wawrinka is clearly not and Fed and Stan are tight. I would be shocked if Federer sells out, let’s wait and see.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 9, 2019 at 8:19 am

    Iga Swiatek, remember this name. She lost 76 64 last night to Osaka but she played top 3 level tennis and forced Osaka to show her best. It was the biggest match of her life and she rose to the occasion. Iga will win majors, there is no doubt about it. Despite losing she was clearly thrilled by her own performance, as if she played better than she even expected. Osaka will trounce Serena today.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 9, 2019 at 8:26 am

    Interesting stats: Felix at 19 compared to Fed, Rafa, Djokovic.

    Felix 47 matches – 31 wins – 0 titles – ranking 21
    Federer 75 matches – 35 wins – 0 titles – ranking 39
    Djokovic 46 matches – 24 wins – 0 titles – ranking 34
    Nadal 127 matches – 92 wins – 6 titles – ranking 5

  • catherine · August 9, 2019 at 8:35 am

    Swiatek has been around for a year or so but she went through a bit of a slump where she couldn’t win anything at all – now she’s looking more mature and showed good form against Naomi. Naomi should beat Serena whose court movement hasn’t improved – I’m getting a bit sick of the Osaka/Williams love-in stirred up by the media – you’d think there were no other players in the draw. And Naomi’s by no means a carbon copy of Serena. She represents Japan as well which maybe gets up some people’s noses so they put out all this idolatry stuff.

  • Hartt · August 9, 2019 at 9:44 am

    One of Bianca’s biggest strengths is knowing how to win. Of course she needs terrific skills to do that, but her sheer determination and ability to turn things around make a huge difference.

    In her post match press conference she was asked about playing 3 very different players. She replied that she and her coaches study her opponents, and have a game plan before each match, “tweaking” things depending on who she is playing. That is a refreshing change from the mantra we so often hear of I just play my game no matter who is on the other side of the net.

    “So far she has beaten Genie Bouchard 6-4 in the third, Daria Kasatkina 7-5 in the third, and Bertens 6-4 in the third. Andreescu hasn’t been perfect, but that’s OK, because one of her strengths is that she’s not a perfectionist—at least not compared to most other tennis players. She might commit five straight errors, or blow a commanding lead, but she puts her mistakes behind her and moves on. After seven weeks off the tour, Andreescu is still good at winning.” (Tennis. com)

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 9, 2019 at 9:48 am

    Nice to hear Andreescu doesn’t use that tired old cliche about being concerned only “with her side of the net.”

  • catherine · August 9, 2019 at 10:09 am

    Hartt – who is Bianca’s main coach ? She talks about ‘coaches’ – has she had the same team for the past few years ?

    Interesting quotes. I wonder what the game-plan will be v Pliskova and if it’ll be another 3 setter.

  • catherine · August 9, 2019 at 10:24 am

    I saw Rob Steckley is now coaching Pavs. Still waiting for any coaching news from Muguruza and Kerber. It’s getting close to USO.

  • Hartt · August 9, 2019 at 11:29 am

    Sylvain Bruneau is Bianca’s coach. He was the Fed Cup captain and did not want o give up that position, but agreed to work with Bianca when it was obvious he was the best choice. He was the one who gave her the famous OCC pep talk at IW. Bianca may be referring to her fitness trainer, a Tennis Canada staff member who has occasionally acted as Bianca’s coach on the road. She was at Auckland, etc. and the cameras kept showing her because she is very attractive.

    That is interesting news about Rob Steckley.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 9, 2019 at 11:35 am

    Other news, Ryan Harrison and Donald Young both played Aptos Challenger and lost early. Escobedo won 76 in the third 14-12 vs Fratangelo to wrap up the US Open WC. Top Americans Martin Damm and Toby Kodat both lost in Kalamazoo. Bryan SHelton’s son Ben is into the semis.

  • Hartt · August 9, 2019 at 11:54 am

    Catherine, it took me a while to find the article about Bianca’s coach, but he started working with her in the winter of 2018, so not that long, actually.

    “When my boss, Louis Borfiga, asked me to become Bianca’s coach in the winter of 2018, my first reaction was to refuse. He had to convince me.

    I want to be clear: I love Bianca and I know she has tremendous potential. I was working with Louis in search of a coach for her. We did some tests, without finding exactly what we were looking for. That’s when Louis told me it must be me.” (Radio Canada)

    I doubt that any Tennis Canada staffer would ever refuse Louis Borfiga what he wanted!

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 9, 2019 at 12:06 pm

    Hartt, good quotes and insights, enjoy Louis Borfiga while you have him 🙂 I wonder why Bibi’s junior coach Nathalie Tauziat is out of the picture now?

  • Jon King · August 9, 2019 at 1:00 pm

    We watch a ton of top junior matches along with WTA and I would not hold my breath for a huge influx of variety. In fact we may miss the days of power baseliners. Most of the girls stand 4 feet behind the baseline and use only the middle 2/3rds of the court, waiting for someone to miss, hit fairly hard but nothing crazy. My hunch is the future of women’s tennis is 50-60 players who could win on any given day, with no stand out superstars. Kenin is likely as good as any of them, she simply plays with confidence and puts balls back, waiting for a miss. The reality is she could be top 5, just like another 50-60 other players. Very little on court personalities, they all act like they are at the dentist instead of enjoying a creative sport.

  • catherine · August 9, 2019 at 2:02 pm

    Jon – we’ve been hearing the same criticism about women’s tennis for years. In reality nothing is that different – there are quite a lot of players about the same level at the top of the game and then maybe three or four who can swap around the major tournaments for a few years. If you’re looking for a different playing style in juniors, blame the coaches.

    I get tired of listening to stuff about lack of personalities. How many riveting personalities are there in the ATP ranks ? No wonder everyone’s going crazy about Kyrgios. Women aren’t generally that demonstrative on court – something we discussed here on T-P not long ago. Not going to change.

    Memories can be deceptive – those ‘great’ players from the past – they didn’t all play at the same time and there was plenty of dross around then – believe me, because I had to watch a lot of it.

    Andreescu has injected variety into the game and I hope she continues to do so but I don’t think she’ll have a massive influence on the way juniors play – it’s difficult.

  • Hartt · August 9, 2019 at 2:08 pm

    This is another are where Bianca stands out, if other players are indeed acting “like they are at the dentist instead of enjoying a creative sport.” She shows her emotions, both positive and negative, and is always fully engaged.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 9, 2019 at 2:24 pm

    By today’s standards I guess you have to say Borg, Evert, Lendl, Wilander, Tanner, Becker, Mandlikova, Sukova, Pierce, Capriati, Graf, Seles, Martina were also all boring personalities who just played tennis on the court and showed little emotion or personality.

  • Andrew Miller · August 9, 2019 at 2:25 pm

    WTA, and women’s game in general, has been dealing very well in my opinion as Serena Williams earth shattering dominance has diminished (making slam finals rather than winning them counts as diminishing for Serena, who is one of best of all time, men or women. It’s about the sport you play, not whether you can beat the #300 ranked ATP professional!!!)

    As much as I consider the WTA a carousel of champions, it’s not an unpleasant one; if this constant changing of the guard is what we can expect on the men’s ATP side as the big guys break down (some day) or retire because they prefer playing billiards rather than smashing the next generation’s next generation of ATP pros, then all tennis fans will be fine.

    I have been amazed by Osaka’s triumphs as well as her Ostapenko-like fall to earth after deep sixing her coach Bajiin. About as amazed as I’ve been by Kerber coming back, Sloane Stephens finding her mark, Barty slicing and dicing her way to a French crown. Even Muguruza when motivated.

    It’s a little strange no one’s interested in becoming the next consensus great champion, and I’ve been unnerved by the inability of past champs like Azarenka to find her mark.

    But I’m good with the any given day WTA tour. I’d love to see Serena Williams nab the slam count, but if she doesn’t I don’t think it matters. We’ve been fortunate enough as fans as it is.

  • Andrew Miller · August 9, 2019 at 2:30 pm

    Glad to see Escobedo and Fratangelo still in the mix. Seeing Harrison, Young struggle again – I think we have to circle their names and say, proof, coaching from parents worsens player’s games. Two guys that should be in the mix, making good headway at regular ATP events, instead just depressing to see them eeking out an existence again.

    Especially Harrison given his rise not too long ago. DY we all know, talented guy who learns great lessons, then shows promise and results, then slips up again. Both players, fortunate to catch them on a good day, always a good experience. But now they are just novelties.

  • Andrew Miller · August 9, 2019 at 2:35 pm

    No offense meant to DY, Harrison. Sorry to see their consistency crater.

    Speaking of consistency, another nice win from Medvedev, this time on Thiem. I’d guess Thiem still on Euro time from his Austria win. He has time to adjust to hard courts, but maybe everyone is right that his big windup off both the FH and BH wing doesn’t match up well with the hard courts or grass courts. I don’t recall how Muster handled the same issue, but Muster, with big windup, posted some quality hardcourt wins (who staying off it as long as humanly possible to protect the knees). Hopefully one day tennis appreciates Muster. He is another character!

    For what it’s worth too I like Gigi Fernandez a lot. She had the volley, one of the best.

  • jg · August 9, 2019 at 3:03 pm

    Medvedev is going to be hard to beat the rest of the US Open season, I can see him winning the Open, at 6 foot 6 he’s lightening fast and doesn’t seem to miss, it will take a Kyrgios DC type of effort to beat him, and that was close–Medvedev has already beaten Djokovic. On the women side, I enjoyed watching McNally last week, i think she has variety to her game, after the trainer came out during her semi she shortened the points by serve and volleying and she was very effective at it. At 17 she has huge upside. She was also very cagy in the doubles final, moving positions around when her partner was returning –throwing off the server. Not seeing cookie cutter there.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 9, 2019 at 3:11 pm

    Andrew, what I don’t understand is there is a sense of frustration about Fedalovic winning every major and the WTA offers the perfect counterbalance, a constant array of fresh new major winners. It proves no one is ever satisfied, no matter who wins there will be some complaining and dissatisfaction. It’s human nature.

  • catherine · August 9, 2019 at 3:14 pm

    I agree about McNally – I mentioned after seeing her play earlier, I hadn’t seen her before, that she showed an almost classic serve/volley on some points. Doubles a help there.

    Kenin just beat Svitolina in SS. Not a terrific match – Elina seemed a bit underpowered. She turned her ankle playing Bencic but I don’t think that was the problem.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 9, 2019 at 3:15 pm

    Harrison and DY are very similar, their careers are parallels, career high ranking of about 40 something, one singles title between them (Harrison in Memphis) and the 2017 Roland Garros doubles final clash won by Harrison and Venus over Young and Gonzalez. And of course the fabricated racism accusations by Young on Harrison which were proved to be pure fiction. Since that controversy at NY Open in 2018 both of their careers have plummeted. Both are trying to resurrect one last career hurrah.

  • catherine · August 9, 2019 at 3:19 pm

    Bianca takes first set 6-0 v Pliskova. Gulp.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 9, 2019 at 3:19 pm

    Medvedev is your Mary Joe Fernandez, great player with the lowest profile. Though he had been involved in some controversies, Medvedev has been quiet lately and all his talking is done on the court now with his racquet and he is making some big noise now and has to be considered a threat to win a major. Gigi Fernandez was a fantastic player and a Hall of Famer who also has had some success as a doubles coach but had to get a lawyer and sue one top player to get her pay. Won’t go into details! Meanwhile Scott Lipsky paid Rick Leach a uncontracted, voluntary four or five figure bonus for Leach’s tips after he won his first and only major in AO mixed.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 9, 2019 at 3:22 pm

    jg, Caty Mcnally is known as a volley wizard, since juniors, she’s been working on it for years and it’s already professional world class, maybe the best in the WTA already. I first saw her play Gauff in a close tight Miami Open rematch this year of their Roland Garros junior final last year. Gauff won but it was very close. Mcnally has the more complete arsenal, she is a beautiful moving athlete. Some think she has the bigger upside than Gauff, we shall see. I agree on Medvedev, he’s a scary opponent for anyone and he is a threat to win the US Open.

  • Harold · August 9, 2019 at 3:25 pm

    Welcome back Andrew, good to read you here and the SI Mailbag. Coric says hello from the top 15😀..

    Anyone else notice the incredible shrinking Brad Gilbert? He interviewed Medvedev who is 6’6 and towered over him, then he interviewed Thiem who is listed at 6’1, and he was 2 inches taller. He’s now listed at 6’1, but when he played he was listed taller.. just weird

  • Andrew Miller · August 9, 2019 at 3:39 pm

    Harold, thanks for the welcome back. I miss the tennis camaraderie. I hope to see a Dan posting but I’m sure he’s with his son at tournaments. Or finding a good topic for the post Spadea era! Yes, I eat my words on Coric, no problem with that.

    Coric is good. I get on him for one tournament because I dislike tanking, but he’s dedicated himself.

  • Andrew Miller · August 9, 2019 at 3:42 pm

    Scoop, thanks for chiming in on Harrison and DY. I’m somewhat idealistic so hope they play doubles. I’m afraid given the bad blood they’d go after each other. Haven’t seen much lift in their games, they got lost in their own dizzying distraction. Could be worse…could by Patty Snyder! All that talent….

  • Harold · August 9, 2019 at 3:42 pm

    I think you think the tournament he supposedly yanked, was the one he hurt his knee, and missed a lot of time after.

  • Andrew Miller · August 9, 2019 at 3:51 pm

    Scoop, no one can ever satisfy fans and critics. No one. Ever. Example, as fans we hated Connors then suddenly he’s an older player reliving the glory days at the US Open and we couldn’t get enough – at the expense of poor Aaron Krickstein, Paul Haurhuis (spelling), Pat McEnroe…etc etc.

    Same thing. I have a problem with Djokafedalovic but whatever – they play the same sport, same rules. I have more of an issue with the attitude of their opponents. It’s hard for players to go against the grain, and if someone’s an up and coming player they basically have to disown their favorite players or make them sworn enemies when they play them.

    That’s sport. It just is. I don’t think Tsitsipas, Kyrgios are all that different in terms of their approach to the big guys – they see them as just another opponent. Kyrgios is a little less polite here, but it’s the same kind of way of handling the challenge of playing them. Even Djokovic has an approach to playing the more popular big three players!

    But yeah, the WTA has a great product today, as good as I remember it and it’s looked very good over the last years. Even over a good five years! They show that for now people appreciate the great tennis. It’s ok not to have a superstar system – a star system works just fine.

  • catherine · August 9, 2019 at 3:59 pm

    Pliskova turns things around and they’re going into the 3rd set and my prediction is that Ka will prevail. Still – Bianca’s had a great week.

  • catherine · August 9, 2019 at 4:57 pm

    Bianca wins in 3. Every match she has played has been 3 sets. She and Sabalenka are the triple set queens.

  • catherine · August 9, 2019 at 5:16 pm

    OK – this match Bianca had her thigh taped and was limping a bit and also had an MTO – she’s playing maybe too much but how can you stop when you’re winning ? She’s young, she wants to carry on. And all she gets is a ton of nasty comments about her attitude. Pliskova’s a big girl. She’s played a lot of matches and she lost this one. No excuses and I’m sure she’s not making any.

    Bianca’s got exceptional talent. Doesn’t always come with perfect manners and if she was a man everyone would be praising her fighting spirit, not trashing her online.

    Should she play the sf v Kenin ? Probably not, but that’s up to her team.

  • Hartt · August 9, 2019 at 5:46 pm

    I was amazed at Bianca’s fighting spirit to win that match. And of course there is a big chorus of “drama queen.” She was injured, she got treatment, she fought through the pain and managed to win. But this seems to be a big crime!

    I just hope she will be OK for her next match. This is her home tourney and so is special for her.

    Two other players from Ontario are still in the doubles – Gaby Dabrowski with her partner Xu, and somewhat surprising – Shapo with Bopanna.

  • Andrew Miller · August 9, 2019 at 6:00 pm

    Don’t think I’ve said this, love MJ Fernandez. Flawless technique. Some solid matches from her as the game changes with the rise of women’s power tennis. Good times.

  • catherine · August 9, 2019 at 6:13 pm

    Hartt – It’s a big shame but I think this ‘drama queen’ rubbish (blame Angie for that) is going to stick to Bianca whatever she does. Looks as if that thigh injury could be chronic so I’d like to think she’d skip Cinci but she won’t. Bet there are some battles backstage.

    Svitolina played very poorly v Kenin so it’s hard to judge Sofia’s level. She’ll make Bianca run I’d guess.

  • Andrew Miller · August 9, 2019 at 6:20 pm

    re: double standard for Andreescu, it is what it is. I would remark from a conditioning standpoint, she may need a few trainers worth their salt. Much like investing in a non-parent coach (sorry…I feel like way too many players have opted for mom and dad here, even as many coaches aren’t as good as they should be, or many players aren’t as receptive).

    If a trainer works pretty well for the elite players, it probably works well for anyone. Not even going to get started on the diet stuff – some top players admitted that their game day match was anything but what they should be putting in the tank.

    Won’t name names. But I remember what they called a standard meal for a big match. Scratched my head. No wonder the player crumbled in the biggest matches.

  • Hartt · August 9, 2019 at 6:50 pm

    Bianca works with Tennis Canada trainers, and I imagine they employ skilled people. She has a regular one, I forget the woman’s name. Bianca did say she improved her diet during those months she was off, so that is a good sign.

  • Jeff · August 9, 2019 at 7:47 pm

    Pretty amazing what Bianca is doing. Gotta say she is an amazing talent.

    Serena showing she has lots left as she dominated Osaka in this first set.

    Jack Sock taking on Kukushkin tomorrow in Cincinnati qualifiers. This is a winnable match.

    Harrison and Young are both has-beens who have been passed by the young Americans like Fritz, Opelka, Paul and Tiafoe. Interesting in Fritz’s AMA on Reddit that he said he believes he has a chance to be No. 1 in the world in the future.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 9, 2019 at 8:22 pm

    Bibi is doing it her way and the rest of the players and fans and media can keep complaining. It’s Monica Seles all over again with her grunting. The players knew Seles was the best and chipped away at her by targeting her grunting and whining like bi****** about it, none other than Navratilova leading the anti Seles grunting brigade, even saying Seles grunts sounded like a stuck pig on the court. Then the media kept pestering her about it and it messed her up in the Wimby final she lost to Graf 62 61. I think the players know Bibi is gonna be the best and are threatened by her and are honing in on the “drama queen” angle. She has to be tough and stand her ground and keep being herself and doing the drama, even do it extra to rub it in. She has to stand her ground and be who she is, dont let the critics and criticism alter her competitive nature. Some love drama players like Bibi

  • Jeff · August 9, 2019 at 8:32 pm

    What an impressive performance by Serena! She was on a mission and wanted to set the record straight that she can still dominate the No. 1 player in the world. Osaka had no answers.

    Serena showing championship mettle and fortitude at the right time and she will no doubt peak at the Open. This thorough dismantling sends a clear message – it is Serena’s world and we are all just living in it. What a win for her and Patrick and the team.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 9, 2019 at 8:50 pm

    Major win for Serena and it sends a heavy message to the rest of the players, Serena is not finished yet, her desire is greater than ever and this is her first big win over a major player in a long time. Osaka has faltered since firing Bajin and becoming a global icon superstar.

  • Jeff · August 9, 2019 at 9:10 pm

    Very surprised at Osaka’s lack of fight and response to Serena’s game. Osaka definitely has lost a gear since Sascha left her. Soon she will not be the darling of tennis anymore if Serena captures the Open!

  • catherine · August 10, 2019 at 1:01 am

    Naomi is starting to look ordinary – I mean someone who is getting dominated easily and can’t find the right tactics or the aggression when called for. Her coach doesn’t seem to be doing it either. Agree with Jeff that she’s slipped a notch since dumping Sascha. That was a bad bad move and carried out in a bad way – just getting her agent to do the dirty work. Andreescu is a better player than Osaka and has a better competitive attitude. Too much hype around Naomi and around that match. I don’t think Bianca is going to let what other people say affect her. She’ll just go her own way.

    I suspect a player nearer Serena’s generation might put up a better fight. I can see her winning the title in Toronto.

    Simona retired with a calf injury. Bianca’s injury is to her groin. Kenin is going to test her.

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