Tag Archives: Australian Open

2017 Season Preview/Predictions of Simo Halep. Is a Grand Slam Title Finally in the Cards?

Welcome back fellow Halepenos and HalepBand!! It is that time again as we are ready to kick off another year of supporting our champion. Last year Simo started very slow with a first round exit in the first slam in the year down under. She came into it with an illness which ended up becoming a more serious issue than initially expected and she even announced that she would have nasal surgery to fix it which would’ve sidelined her for at least a month including fed cup. Here’s where I jump in to say THANK GOD SHE POSTPONED IT WE GOT THE GREATEST KVITALEP MATCH OF ALL TIME BECAUSE OF THAT!! Ok. Moving on. Simo went on to win three titles in 2016: Madrid, (her first one in 14 months) Bucharest for the second time in her career (the first one she ever won multiple times) and another huge win in Montreal over Madison Keys the week before the Olympics which she didn’t participate in. She kind of struggled towards the end of the year but one of her highlights even in defeat was a very hard-fought battle against Serena in Flushing Meadows at the US Open which she lost in three sets. Including one of the most clutch sets you’ll see in a long time where she faced 12 break points in the second set and saved every single one to win it.

So…. What does 2017 have in store for us? She will begin her journey in Shenzhen again; an event which she won back in 2015. Barring health issues, as I believe every year, the highlight of this year will be seeing her stand in front of a massive crowd kissing her first career grand slam trophy. Doubters and haters will say she will never be able to do it because of weak mental strength, power, etc. but they have never stopped us before in believing it will happen. Simo has to trust herself most importantly, live in the moment and play without fear because that’s the only thing holding her back as of now since we know her fighting spirit and talent has never been in question.He can’t help her on court during them but believe in Darren to show her the way to this majestic trophy! He’s a wizard don’t ever doubt that! This partnership has many great things left to accomplish in her career. I think Simo can win at least five titles this year (my bias could even do more if I wanted! But five sounded nice to start with) And I’m gonna predict them (despite not knowing draws which of course would help) and the results at every slam for starters here:

Australian Open: QF- This one is hard to predict for a lot more reasons than usual mainly because it’s so early in the year and it can be hard to get fully zoned into grand slam mode immediately starting 2017, you don’t know who is hot and who is cold yet, and the extreme heat is always random and that can get concerning on certain days. I mean I know she can go further but she has never reached a SF here and so I’m hesitant to think she will all of a sudden, but she has the talent to even win this so I’m trying to be cautious but at the same time optimistic! Based on plenty of experience… it’s better to be pleasantly surprised than expect a title and get let down again.

Roland Garros– Winner! A boring and obvious pick for many as the one she will win first but hey, this is her favorite event to play so why shouldn’t it be here? And she has shown amazing success here before and on clay in general. I still am very bitter about how it ended last year as the conditions were extremely horrid and they made her play through them and it cost her a loss. It’s not like she played great but come on she should’ve never been out there. That could’ve easily been her first slam too who knows. Ok that’s enough of Jake’s rant session that’s a topic you don’t want to push me on! So throw away the loss to Lucic Baroni in 2015 and her resume here doesn’t look too shabby.

Wimbledon: QF- This would be the same result as last year and I feel the same way about this one as AO because I know she can have success here and the 2014 SF shows that, but grass has never been her best surface and I feel she will need some draw luck to go deep. If she didn’t have to play Angie last year I think she could’ve had a shot at the title again so while this wouldn’t be an amazing run, I am still optimistic that she can go even deeper here! She has to believe I keep saying that’s always the key!

US Open- Final. I don’t know if she can win but I can easily see her making her first USO final this year because she has played some fantastic tennis in New York and nearly made it in 2015 before falling very flat in the SF vs Pennetta. If she gets there, it’s not like I’m automatically predicting a loss I am just saying I think she’s gonna get there and the rest will play out itself. I mean it could be against Serena for all we know and that’s big trouble (not that it’s totally impossible to beat her 😉 If she already has one this year coming into this one, the thought of her playing for her second one in the same year gives me so many feels don’t touch me right now I’m getting emotional.

The main thing I’m praying for this grand slam season are that there are no extremely early round flops to break our hearts. (Ok YES ANY GRAND SLAM LOSS WILL BREAK OUR HEARTS BUT YOU GET ME) Because this has happened at least once in each of the past couple of years and we know it’s very difficult to deal with! It crushes me seeing all of her fans sad after losses like those because it’s so unexpected and it’s just like a huge bomb out of nowhere dropping down on her fanbase. If she is gonna lose at a slam I prefer it to be later because at least she gave herself a much better chance to lift the trophy.

Also another prediction that is probably worth mentioning is her ranking status this year. She is currently #4 in the world and you have to think if she can maintain that consistency and stay in the top 5 the whole year that would be another great year for her. Of course her reaching #1 in the world is another huge achievement that we would all love to see her get to at some point, but it certainly won’t be easy. However, it’s obviously not impossible and there will be some nice chances early for her to get at least to #3 by the end of the Australian Open and if she wins it, could leapfrog all the way to #2 if I’m not mistaken. Bottom line, my prediction is that she will end at #3. I think staying in the top 5 is still my main wish but I’m not ruling her out to get higher and higher if she believes in herself and takes her chances.

Last but not least, my four other trophy predictions include Shenzhen again, Miami, Cincy and Singapore. Why not try for some more new trophies for her trophy case! Feel free to make your predictions on her titles, her grand slam results and anything else you want! Regardless of how her year plays out I can’t wait to support Simo with all of you for another year. Win or lose we always have her beautiful smile, her positivity, her cuteness, her kindness, her hard work ethic, and too many more amazing qualities to count. That counts for more than any tennis result could. I wish you all a healthy and Happy New Year and let’s make 2017 the best one yet! Hai Super Simo!!

Hope you enjoyed reading!

Jake

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Petra Kvitova vs Luksika Kumkhum 2014 Aussie Open

Well here we are. If you ask most Petra fans, they’ll tell you her most painful loss of 2013 came here and everyone was finally ready to get revenge. I picked her to win it before the year started so yeah… expectations were very high. And as we already knew, there was a harmless 70 points to defend so this is where the climb to the top could really begin. Not so fast…

Not many people had heard of her first round opponent Luksika Kumkhum. So you figure this is another one of those matchups where it should be pretty routine, but as we would soon find out… it was anything but. Kumkhum had a bit of a funky game and she came out red hot just returning every ball and painting corners making Petra run from side to side. I mean she made it look easy; she just was not missing and quickly won the first set 6-2. I was very worried because although it wasn’t likely she could keep up this pace, Petra had to find another gear to stay in it. She did exactly that as she started to play a little more aggressive and predictably Kumkhum dropped down a little but not enough to give Petra the set, she still had to take control. So after Petra won the 2nd set 6-1, you could kind of let out a sigh of relief as it looked like the upset alert was over for Kumkhum. But she did a brilliant job of forgetting about that set, stayed calm and went back to her first set ways. Controlling and finishing the points, making Petra run, forcing errors from her and suddenly after Petra double faulted on break point at 3-4… the pressure was officially on. She needed a miracle two games to stay alive. It doesn’t seem like a lot but she hadn’t been playing that well and it was kind of hard to see Kumkhum folding away after this much dominance. But then we remembered who the seed was and who was going for the upset, as Kumkhum made some costly double faults clearly nervous serving for easily the biggest win of her career. Somehow, someway, Petra broke back and maybe another life was given to her. But as we’ve seen many times, she couldn’t capitalize and the pressure got to her and was broken right back. Petra would lose her first round match to Lusika Kumkhum in 3 sets, in what may go down as one of the biggest upsets in 2014.

This was an absolutely crushing blow to her and all her fans. I for sure thought there was no way it could get any worse than last years’ loss to Robson but she proved us wrong. We waited a whole year to get revenge from that and in the blink of an eye, it happened again. Me personally, I was really sad and upset; even worse than last year. This is one fans will never forget; they will try to and some will say they have forgotten it, but they can’t. It’s very hard to think it can much worse than this, I mean I am typing this as best as I can without losing it. It sounds over dramatic but come on people how you can just brush this off so easily, at a grand slam she folds like a cheap tent. After the dreadful 2013, will it get better in 2014? At this point it’s hard to tell, but something needs to change fast or it’ll be another long year. Maybe it’s just a blip on the radar but it’s a big blip. Sorry for the rant, it will never change my opinion of her; I want the very best for her and will always love her and believe in her, but it hurts so much I don’t know what else to say. Better to stop before I say something i’ll regret. It’ll pass eventually.

So many questions and topics are probably coming up from not just me, but all of the other #TeamPetra ranging from the usual fitness issues, confidence and mental strength, was she sick again maybe, and firing coaches. I give all the credit Kumkhum deserves, but this one was really rough. However, like always it was on to the next one, hoping for the greatness to return. This look says it all… How could this possibly happen?

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Recapping the Wild Ride of the 2015 Slams: Featuring Rog, Kvitty and Simo

It really is amazing how fast the tennis season always goes, and yet again here we are looking at the tail end of it as all four slams have now been completed. I thought it might be fun to recap the highs and lows I experienced with my faves during the slams, and a little preview of what 2016 might hold. Hope you enjoy!

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Roger Federer

The king finished with the best year at the slams out of my faves I would say as he made an RG QF and two finals at Wimbledon and U.S. Open sadly losing both to Novak. However, it doesn’t take away anything from an amazing season he had as he continues to defy the odds and compete at such an extraordinary level despite his age and no doubt seems to be primed to get more chances next year.

Favorite match: Defeating Andy Murray in the Wimbledon SFs. This is the one match of his career these days where he might not get the most crowd support. Against the UK’s own Andy Murray. I knew the match would be electric and a very tough one and Fed just silenced all doubters he had with brilliant tennis to not even let Andy into this match. He won all the key points and failed to let this one go into a tiebreaker as I if I remember correctly he broke all three sets to win them. It’s always a glorious feeling to see him get another chance in a grand slam final to try for the elusive 18th.

Proudest moment: Getting to his second grand slam final at the U.S. Open as he hadn’t been there in six years and again he played brilliant tennis to get there by not dropping a set. Unfortunately it had to be against Novak again, and he failed to take the many chances he had in that match en route to losing but still, I couldn’t have been more proud to see him reach two slam finals in an age where people are still doubting him. I’m sure the doubters fueled his fire, but he doesn’t need them as he’s got all the supporters he could ever want as you could tell if you watched the final. Keep slaying.

Most disappointing moment: Not a hard choice here as he opened his grand slam year losing to Andreeas Seppi in a heartbreaker in the third round at the Australian Open. This is where the haters came out and wondered if his chances were gone because this is another slam that he is usually strong at as he had made 11 straight SF appearances here before this loss. Seppi played out of his mind though and sometimes there’s nothing you can do. His shot on match point to clinch the victory proved it as it was an insane passing shot that I just stared in disbelief after it all unfolded. It sucked a lot because this is my favorite slam and I always believe in great things here. Oh well, he made up for it later in the year and I’m sure next year will be back to normal.

Favorite outfit: His night outfit at the U.S. Open! White and hot pink.

Grade for 2015 slams: A-. Sure he had a hiccup in one and lost two finals but the fact that he got there was amazing and I’m satisfied with this year despite not having a trophy. I’m just happy to see him playing so well year after year.

Predictions for 2016 slams: If he plays anything close to the level he showed this year, I can see him winning his 18th. Wimbledon always has to be the best chance so I’ll say he’ll win that. I’ll predict an AO final, RG SF, and USO final at the other slams. That is another dream year and I hope I’m not too greedy! Just my thoughts though, I’d be happy with something similar to this year, but please try to win one! No pressure.

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Petra Kvitova

Favorite match: Wimbledon Round 1 vs Kiki Bertens. Regardless of how this tournament turned out, this was a very cool moment as she destroyed Bertens in only 36 minutes. That’s pretty ridiculous and it barely gave us enough time to get our teeth into the match. If only she could win every match like that, we’d be the calmest fans in the world. However, we are exactly the opposite of that with her, but at least we had this fun moment to enjoy.

Proudest moment: Defeating Johanna Konta to reach her first USO QFs. I think it’s safe to say a lot of us were a bit surprised she made it this far especially with her mono and all, and then she goes ahead and scores this big win to continue the amazing journey. Her reaction was priceless as it wasn’t one you might see in an average straight sets win in R16 but one you could tell how much it meant to her to achieve something new in her career after all these years. It’s kind of like at New Haven when she said “When a win is more than a win” It felt like that here too. I couldn’t have been more proud despite her next match because we had already gotten something new and maybe unexpected. It also gave us hope for the upcoming years here that anything is possible.

Most disappointing moment: Another very easy choice as it had to be losing to Jelena Jankovic in the third round of Wimbledon. She came into this as the defending champion of course and seemed poised to be another huge threat to defend her title, but it wasn’t meant to be. It hurt even more as she cruised through the first set and a half, up a break in the second, but everything fell apart after that, and we were soon left crushed. No doubt it had to really hurt for her too as this is easily her favorite tournament in the world and she is always used to being here at least through the QFs. There were a bunch of depressing photos after this one and all of us felt very bad because of how much it means; just a sad sight overall. However, it’s just one bad year and I think she has a great chance to lift up the trophy again next year!

Favorite outfit: Her night outfit at the U.S. Open. Back in black!

Grade for 2015 slams: B- It was a bit of bumpy road for Kvitty this year as it always is but still there were some huge positives to take out of this year. She made the third round at the AO for the first time since 2012, the second week at RG for the first time since 2012 as well, and made her first career QF at the U.S. Open. So if anything, it gives us some extra hope for those events for next year where we usually might not expect much. I’m sure a lot of us will take what we got besides the Wimbledon result.

Predictions for 2016 slams: It’s basically throwing darts when it comes to predicting anything with Petra, but I’ll try. I think the second week is doable for AO, I still feel RG isn’t quite where it needs to be and could see another R3 but we’ll see. Think she’ll win Wimbledon again barring any health concerns, and a SF in New York to complete the SF slam!

on day one of the 2015 French Open at Roland Garros on May 24, 2015 in Paris, France.
on day one of the 2015 French Open at Roland Garros on May 24, 2015 in Paris, France.

Simona Halep

Favorite match: Defeating Victoria Azarenka at the U.S. Open. This was such a good match and I couldn’t help but see over and over again before this tournament and match started that Vika was the favorite to overtake Serena. It was nice to see Simo prove everyone wrong and say not so fast and pull off this huge win, especially after her huge grind against Lisicki the match before. Her reactions to winning this one were unforgettable and it was amazing to see the passion and excitement she had after this one after making her first U.S. Open SF. Sure it abruptly ended the match after but this was a fun journey with great memories and she’ll be back next year ready to get another chance at a trophy.

Proudest moment: Same as favorite match. Just the fact she was able to come through all adversity against her to survive this one. This was the happiest I was after one of her slam matches this year, so fun to watch and I won’t forget it anytime soon

Most disappointing moment: Unfortunately Simo’s slam season wasn’t too great and there were a lot of these. I’ll pick the RG loss because it was crushing to see it end like that so early after reaching the final last year. I had very high hopes she could make it again but she ran into the same force that knocked her out in New York last year in Lucic-Baroni. It’s a player we don’t want to see in future grand slams please. I still think she could’ve went very deep in RG had that not been her opponent because it seems there’s a bit of a mental block against her now but we’ll never know. This was identical to Petra’s loss at Wimbledon because this is Simo’s favorite event and she surely had to be pretty hurt after this one. Like we always say though, next year super Simo will be back and ready to make the final again and perhaps win it!

Favorite outfit: The black one at RG and I thought her visor with the flower in it was the coolest thing ever! Black suits her well and wished we could’ve seen it longer!

Grade for 2015 slams: D. This is a pretty bad grade but it fits. She made the QFs in AO yes but played one of her worst matches of the season there as she even admits she didn’t fight and doesn’t know why. At least in the other losses she tried to fight harder. RG was ugly and Wimbledon was uglier; no comment. At least we had the joy of her big run in USO to salvage the grand slam season. There is no doubt in my mind however that next year won’t be anything like this.

Predictions for 2016 slams: I’m thinking she’ll make the SFs in Australia and her loss will be a hard fought this time. It’s hard to quite know what to expect in the summer but I believe it’s destiny for Simo to win her first GS at RG so I’ll predict her to win that. I think a Wimbledon QF would be a good expectation as it’s not like she isn’t a good grass court player; there’s potential there. I think she’ll win the USO too! Two slams for Simo woah I should settle down! You can yell jinx at me but I know y’all would love this too!

My Path to the Tennis World

I saw someone write about this and it got me to think about how I was introduced to tennis and how I came to know and love my favorite players today. For starters, as far as sports went in my early life, I played baseball all the way until high school and I watched football too so those were the only sports I really knew about. I sucked at basketball and didn’t like it and couldn’t skate so hockey was out of the equation. So I figured baseball and football were all I’d ever know and that’s typical for an American.

I go to Florida once in a while to visit my grandparents and they have a ton of tennis courts right next to them and in 2005 or 06 when I went there was the first time I ever played tennis. It was pretty fun and over a span of a few trips there I found out I wasn’t too bad at it and wanted to know as much about the sport as possible.

So that’s the part about how I first found out about tennis and started to get into it, but I still wondered about the professional level because I figured there had to be pros for this since I knew all of the other sports I watched of course had them. I can’t remember much about it, but I do recall the first ever professional match I watched a big chunk of was in 2007- the Australian Open final between Fernando Gonzalez and Roger Federer. That was my first glimpse at Roger and I just remember he had all these cool shots and I didn’t know how a tennis player could possibly do this. That wasn’t the moment I became a fed fan, but it was a start.

My tennis viewing was kind of sporadic back in the day so I don’t remember watching another match until the next Australian Open which turned out to be my favorite grand slam and still is, probably because I enjoyed getting to stay up late and watch tennis because it usually goes from like 6 pm to 6 am every night where I live. 2008 was the first year I remember setting alarms at 230 am to watch tennis J I only remember a few things about this tournament, and one was seeing Jo Wilfred Tsonga upset Andy Murray in the first round and I was really shocked at that because I knew very little about Tsonga. I was intrigued to see his run continue all the way to the final, even crushing Nadal in the SFs which I was so amazed by because I knew Nadal was really good. I watched the final and was rooting for him to beat Novak because I liked his Cinderella story but alas, it wasn’t meant to be.

At this point I still didn’t watch much tennis I’m not sure why. In 2008, besides the AO I only remember watching the Wimbledon final between Federer and Nadal and again, there was something about Roger I just liked. The one-handed backhand was new to me because I hadn’t seen many use it. I remember a lot of rain delays in this one, and how dark it was, making it seem more epic to me and this was the first mini disappointment I faced as a tennis fan when he lost.

I’m skipping to 2011 because I honestly can’t remember a whole lot of what happened during the previous span. Yes Roger did some amazing things during that span of 2009-2011 but for some reason it didn’t hook me in. In case you hadn’t noticed, I haven’t mentioned anything WTA related yet and that’s because it didn’t appeal to me at all. The only time I knew anything about it was when I watched a little of the slams and took a quick glance at who the champion was and that was it. However, one WTA match I remember pretty well was Petra Kvitova vs Sam Stosur at the 2011 AO. More details of that in the Petra section 😉 Anyway I remember watching Novak win another AO and I was thinking: Why are Novak and Nadal winning all of the AOs and not Roger? (Yes I know he won in 2010 but like I said, I don’t remember much of it) Maybe that’s why it took me a while to become a full time Fed fan because he wasn’t winning the AO every year.

So oddly enough, I went into another tennis hiatus in 2011 after the AO of course. I mean I knew a tiny bit about the slam winners but that was just about it. So now I want to talk about 2012 because that’s the first year I started to watch a lot of tennis outside of the Australian Open, and I officially found the first 2 of my 3 favorites. Now I’m going to make a section for each one so you see their stories individually, if you’re interested.

Roger Federer

So this was my only favorite I had seen a decent amount of before I actually really started to like them. Of course it started with the 2012 AO and I was steadily following his run and remember his match against crowd favorite and up and comer Bernard Tomic and was impressed how easily he won that match. After that, the match that sealed the deal was the SF against Nadal. I already knew these two had played many great matches before and I felt like Nadal had won so many of the recent ones. I was wondering when Roger was gonna get back on top and I surely thought this time was it. This was the first time I was actually heavily invested in a match and it was disappointing to see it end how it did after Roger won the first set.

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However, I still knew after that match I was with Roger for good this time. He was too much of a fighter and too talented for me to think he wouldn’t win at least one more slam in his career and I wanted to be a part of it when he did. Over the years I learned how classy, nice and funny he was and he seemed like a really strong guy determined to silence everyone who thought it was time for him to retire. I loved the passion he had to keep playing despite his age, because it’s harder than it looks.

Petra Kvitova-

Ok so if you read my earlier sections, I mentioned the match she played against Stosur at 2011 AO. That was not the moment I became a fan, but the first time I saw her play. My first impressions of her were that she’s kind of strange? She is making these weird barking noises, and the braces… lol sorry but I didn’t hate her, I just hadn’t seen someone like that yet. But boy could she crush the hell out of a tennis ball, and I was in awe.

However, after that match I never saw her play another match in 2011 despite that being the best year of her career, including a grand slam of course. So back we go to 2012, and again I still hadn’t been too much into WTA but it was the SFs of AO and I thought I’d catch a sneak peek. Guess who was on the screen… Yup Kvitty and she was ranked way higher than last AO and she looked different from what I last remembered. She still possessed that same power and I knew Sharapova was good, but the screaming was always annoying and again I wanted to root for the underdog (even though maybe Petra was a favorite?) This match did not convert me into a full fan either, but I knew I’d be seeing more of her soon.

I watched her again at the French Open and I was impressed with the run she was making there, and during this time is where I started to do a little more research about her and her personality. I started to learn how adorable, funny and shy she was, and her voice was just the cutest thing ever, I’m sorry I can’t help it. Her English still wasn’t the best and she tried pretty hard you could tell and it was sweet. Anyway, during this tournament a fun fact for you: Petra was the first tennis player I ever tweeted to, ATP or WTA. (Yes I checked the archives, she was really the first) Surely that’s some sort of sign right? 😉

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I was even more invested in her rematch with Maria in the FO SF and again I was left disappointed. I still didn’t watch her full-time, mainly the slams and the US tournaments because they were on TV. I remember watching another tough defeat to Serena at Wimbledon, and while all these tough GS losses were not easy to handle, it was still great she was playing like this.

Another great experience was seeing her get her first title with me as a fan, in Montreal. I only saw the title match because ESPN usually only shows SF/Final matches with these kind of tournaments, same with New Haven when she won that week too. But it was really cool to enjoy that moment, you don’t forget your first title as a fan.

2013 was my first year of full-time tennis watching. FANBOY ALERT: (And 2013 was also the year I realized Petra was a total hottie as well. She was still nice before, but I’m not sure what happened, her beauty struck me very hard what can I say. I like every other single thing about her don’t get me wrong, but this girl is smokin all of the time) Ignore me if you didn’t come for that part, I am so sorry. But really… don’t even try to argue it 🙂

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Aaaaanyway… I was hooked and I wasn’t going on any hiatuses. Of course that was the year Petra and Roger had horrible years for the most part; it got better at the very end but it wasn’t that pretty. They only won a combined 3 titles that year and only a combined two slam QFs or better out of 8 tries, but I think this was a good test for me. It showed that no matter how bad things get for my favorites, I will stick with them and getting through that year really helped me handle some of the tough losses this year as well.

Simona Halep-

Ok so this is probably the weirdest story of my favorites. Simona was one of those players who came out of nowhere and started winning all of these titles in 2013. The first time I ever saw her play was against Petra in the New Haven final that year. I had honestly never heard of her before and thought Petra would be able to win kind of easily. Boy was I wrong. Simona crushed Petra and that was really tough for me to see, I was so surprised and confused. Just one of those off days for Petra and Simona took advantage.

Simona Halep of Romania after beating Petra Kvitova in the final of the New Haven Open

This is where it gets interesting. After that win, I literally hated Simona so much… I wanted nothing to do with her. My opinion was, I’m glad I didn’t know you before and now you crushed my favorite player so stay far away from me. And as she kept improving and winning tournaments, I saw her fans keep popping up out of nowhere running their mouth like she was the best to ever play and she was about to take over the world. I couldn’t stand their cockiness, and sadly that’s a lot of the reason why I hated Simona for a while, and it wasn’t even her fault.

Even this year, 2014, when she started the year in Sydney my hate was still strong. I remember how happy I was when Madison Keys beat her in the first round, to silence her fans. The key part of this was because I hated her, I didn’t watch any of her matches, I only followed her results.

She kept advancing in the Australian Open this year and she eventually got through to a R16 matchup with Jelena Jankovic who was pretty good I thought. I decided I’d give her a chance and see what she was all about again. She ended up beating Jelena and I was impressed but not totally thrilled either. But then I won’t ever forget what first lead me on the path to #TeamHalep. Her winning reaction. It sounds a bit odd but it was really awesome and I saw how happy this girl was to make her first QFs of a slam and wondered, how can I hate this girl? She has a nice smile too 🙂  Literally that reaction put a smile on my face. The reaction and some of my tweets to prove it:

GwvOA.St.4

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It took me a little while longer after that to become a full-time Simo fan. It wasn’t really until March where I really became a fan. I barely remember her Doha title; all I know was that I was happy she won because I knew I still liked her. I found out more about her and she is just so lovely and cute and a wonderful smile like I said before. Of course she has a great game style too with a world-class backhand and her defense can be insane. My first great experience with her was of course her wonderful run at the FO and I still can’t believe how close she was to having a slam trophy in her collection right now. The first and only title I experienced as a true fan was a very small one in Bucharest, but I’ve had many other great moments as her fan, and I know she will collect many more trophies down the road.

So that’s my story. I don’t know how much you guys read but I hope you all enjoyed learning about how I first got into tennis and how my favorites became my favorites. Any thoughts or comments are appreciated! Thanks for reading and have a great day!