Tag Archives: Petra Kvitova

Five Reasons Why Petra Will and Won’t Win Roland Garros

Just under one week from today another grand slam is upon us and the excitement is in the air. But her fans want to know how will Petra do? Does she have a legit threat to win this title or is there something blocking her path that is too much to overcome? I felt like writing this article because I wanted to offer my thoughts on how she can lift this trophy, but also how she will come up short. Nobody knows how she’ll do of course and I know the draw isn’t out yet but this way I can give realistic thoughts early on both sides so nobody is too hopeful or pessimistic. I’m trying to balance my usual optimism with some harsh truths and trying to balance it for #TeamPetra too! Feel free to counter your thoughts as this is an interesting topic to discuss!

Five Reasons Why Kvitty Will Win in Paris

  1. The uncanny ability to blow anyone off the court on any given day/week(s).

As a Petra fan this is the reason you have faith in her to win anywhere anytime even when her form isn’t the greatest at the moment. Sure, she can be wild but also very deadly and we never know when Petra could get hot and start destroying all of her competition. It could be coming soon and if she’s on, it won’t matter who she is playing because she’ll run right through them. Although Madrid is a different court speed, when she won that title last year that’s the potential you are looking at in any event. I don’t care what surface it’s on or what form she’s in, I would take Petra over a lot of other players to have the best chance to get hot and dominate anyone. Not many have the potential to do it like she does. We’ve seen it before and it’s truly mesmerizing to watch.

  1. She is due for a big event

We all know Petra is the type of player who will flop randomly to people she shouldn’t, but then out of nowhere wins a huge title because she’s just that good. It’s no secret that this year has been nothing short of disastrous, but you have to feel that Petra is getting closer and closer to that big surprise that she is known to deliver. Last year the season was going kind of similar to this until she stormed through Madrid and won her second title there while beating in Serena in the process. That was on clay too of course and basically out of nowhere so you never know. Even when Petra’s form isn’t the greatest this is still something that we can pretty much bank on getting at least a few big surprises. This could be it. If you’re doubting it, just think of the titles Petra has won where you doubted her coming in. The only problem with this reason is if we think she is due it’s kind of like expecting something big. I don’t mean it that way; just that we haven’t gotten to a final yet. It has to happen eventually.

  1. Nobody is giving her a chance to win it= no pressure

I don’t care what people say, this one is totally true and if you’re expecting her to win it judging on her year so far then I don’t know what to tell you. She is seeded 11th here for Christ sake. I don’t remember the last time she didn’t have a top 10 seed for a slam so that should tell you everything you need to know. This is good for Petra. Not necessarily draw wise but pressure wise. Hopefully this will relax her a bit knowing that she won’t get as many of these type of questions during the week for a change. Of course she’ll still get it more than most just because of her recognition but it won’t be as much as the past I can tell you that. Even if she does, it’s only because reporters won’t have better questions to ask. She won’t have to feel like she is supposed to lead the pack and can focus on her own game and let everyone else take the heat. Maybe it’ll lead to her swooping in for the win.

  1. The current WTA around her isn’t in a consistent state at the moment.

This one doesn’t have to do with her really but it gives her a better chance than most years because of how unreliable any of the top players have been this year for the most part. It’s not like Petra has been anything close to consistent either this year yet but I’m just saying the draw has bigger potential to crumble and if Kvitty finds a way to stay consistent, she could take advantage and go deep here. I’m also not saying that draws matter for her much but it still wouldn’t hurt if she didn’t have to play anyone that has caused her trouble like Aga, Angie, CSN, Simo, etc.

  1. She has made a deep run here before.

Take this one with a grain of salt because it was way back in 2012 when she made the SFs and since then she hasn’t reached the QFs. Still, it’s not like she hasn’t proved herself here before and at this slam especially it’s nice to have any kind of successful experience. I wouldn’t put your hope on this reason being the one to have faith in her chances, I’m just pointing it out because she can get there.

Five Reasons why Kvitty won’t win in Paris

  1. Her current form is not near a grand slam title level.

Petra has had a rough year we can’t avoid it. It all started with an early loss in the first slam of the year in Australia and kept going downhill from there. The only real positives to this year so far have been her QF run in Indian Wells and SF in Stuttgart. There have been hints of greatness during this clay season, notably Stuttgart but Madrid left us back to where we started with more questions after that seemed to be her best chance to succeed on clay again.  The best we can do is hope but like I said you can’t expect it. There are higher odds she won’t win than will and until she proves us her level is back near the top, she’s not quite ready to take the big leap towards this title.

  1. She has injury concerns.

Coming into Madrid she had to deal with an abdominal injury and she said she couldn’t practice until Saturday before the tournament started. So the third round exit doesn’t look as bad but it still makes you wonder… after an early loss in Rome, how is it going to hold up in Paris? The best news out of that loss was it gives her more time to heal it however bad it is which nobody really knows but her and her team. I’m thinking it has been getting better over the past week and will keep improving this week. We won’t know anything about it unless it pops up during a match which I hope we won’t have to worry about. Severity doesn’t usually matter because if it’s there in any form, it could limit her enough to cause her trouble at any time. That’s a good enough reason to lose a match and this is the one way I don’t want to see her go out.

  1. Recent appearances here have not been good.

Her good run was in the positives section but there have been more bad runs than good ones so that’s why it has to be addressed again. The last three years after that SF have been full of disappointments and it makes you scratch your head sometimes because we know she isn’t a terrible clay court player. Her game is suited for all surfaces. I give her credit in 2014 for an incredible fight against Kuznetsova in a tough loss in which she probably would’ve beat many others. However 2013 was very ugly and 2015 was ok but she had to work much harder than necessary to get where she ended up. And she basically was nowhere to be found after the first set in her loss to Timea Bacsinszky last year. You can’t know what to expect but based on the last few years, that alone is a concern to happen again.

  1. She is just as much as of threat to lose very early as to win it all.

This goes along perfectly with the first reason in the last section. She can blow anyone away, but could just as easily put in a miserable performance against even the lowest opponents to send her home packing way earlier than expected. A good example in Paris would be her loss to Jamie Hampton in 2013 where she was the clear favorite, but got destroyed after losing a tight first set. She isn’t supposed to bend over to a player like that but it happened. Nobody knows when it’s coming but at the same time nobody is surprised when it happens either. So you can decide what you think we are going to get this year. It’s going to be one or the other, nothing in between most likely. Prepare yourself.

  1. Last event before grass, how much motivation?

Before you question this one, deep down you’ll know the reasoning is pretty accurate. I am not saying at all that Petra won’t be motivated to win this title. I mean if she’s not then what is she doing there? I mean it’s a grand slam she’ll be focused. I am just saying we all know how much she loves the grass and does anything she can to compliment it and show her excitement for Wimbledon. Who could blame her with her amazing success there? That being said, I don’t think this will be the end of the world for her no matter what round she loses in. I think her biggest slams of the year honestly are in Melbourne and Wimbledon. The other two she goes to play and hopes for the best and that can be a good and bad thing. This reason just happens to be a bad one. As fans, this is a small positive to if she loses here, that grass is next and greatness has a much better chance to appear.

Thanks for reading and look out for the Simo version of this article tomorrow! I’m open to discussion about your own reasons for either side if you have them!

Pojd Kvitty!

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Reliving a Trip of a Lifetime; Attending the 2016 Miami Open

Hello everyone! Last year I had the opportunity to experience the Miami Open in Key Biscayne for the first time in my life for five days. What an experience it was. It made me realize I had to come back again ASAP and this year I did something I couldn’t have imagined would happen so soon but I made it work: attending this great event for nearly the whole two weeks. 12 days to be exact; including my first ever final on the WTA side. It was absolutely incredible. The best part was Petra was here this time after sadly skipping it last year due to fatigue and needing a mental break from tennis. No event is the same without her. That was the only negative of last year but all was well this time! I will try to recap all of my greatest moments here, any fun stories while on the trip, what it was like to be here for an amazing 12 days, and anything else I can think of! Hope you enjoy reading!

First a quick background for you, I stayed about an hour and 15 minutes from the park and with the traffic it added up to about 1.5 hours every day there and back. Compared to Cincy where the drive is only about 20 minutes for me every day. I don’t know how many of you do something like this when you are attending live events but it’s not something I see people do often. I told some fans here about this and they were stunned I would do that. Some people within a half hour of Miami even wouldn’t dare to tackle that traffic everyday like that it’s so rough. The traffic in Miami is one of the worst in the country and that was easily the toughest part of every day. I’m a good driver though no worries. Doesn’t mean that everyone else there is though 😉

Not much changed from last year regarding the scenery, player access, practice schedule chaos and such and most of that is never a bad thing. As always, coming in my mind was set on getting to see as much of my favorites up close as possible and I think I accomplished that mission in a huge way. I saw at least one of them every single day except the first day and the last so it definitely made the trip that much more enjoyable. One of the funniest things about coming every day was some of the staff members especially the parking and ticket people started to recognize me pretty easily. Like every day I came through it was “back again?” Or “Welcome back nice to see you again!” I brought the same stuff every day a little green bag and a camera so it wasn’t the hardest to spot me out I guess.

One of my favorite parts of last year was media day and how close I got to be to Simo as she did various interviews; most of which were funny and interesting so plenty of smiles were involved. This year was no different. This is a very rare time at an event where you get to be up close to players where they aren’t so serious practicing or playing a match and just relaxing and talking and having a good time. It’s quite exciting to watch and just in case you didn’t know, Kvitty and Simo are every bit as relaxed, beautiful and smiley as they seem on TV 🙂

Two moments stood out on this day that were pretty hard to describe how amazing they were but I’ll try. First, right before media day started at about 11 I was walking around looking at the practice courts for my faves because that’s what I always do during a lot of my time. Like last year, the practice schedule was nowhere to be found anywhere so you basically had to walk around to every court every hour to have a chance to find someone you wanted to see practicing. There’s two sections of practice courts, one near the entrance and one way across towards the back of the park so they were far apart. It just created much more work for people to walk all of that way back and forth. That’s the one huge flaw this event has but to give them credit, it was only for the first 4 days or so. Then they had the schedule viewable to the public.

Anyway, the first story. Like I said I was walking around the practice courts and all of a sudden I hear Simo’s grunt and I’m like really… Looking at the time it was just about 11 so I figured I missed all of it. I literally stopped in my tracks and ran over there and sure enough, just as I got there they were walking off. So I found an open spot by the gate where they come out and since there weren’t too many fans around, I got a selfie. That’s never happened and I never expected to get a selfie from a fave after missing their whole practice but that’s how it went and I’m not complaining. (Well I would’ve liked to see some of the practice at least) Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good as they say.

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During media day another moment I’ve dreamed about for the longest time happened for a brief moment.  Kvitty was the first to do her interviews and I was watching her do them and it was of course mesmerizing to watch, and I quick turn around a little to the right of me and pretty much right next to me Simo is standing there! No warning! Kvitalep were so close to each other and I was right in the middle of it bye. She went upstairs shortly after but I have to say that alone was worth the trip. I was screaming inside and not breathing I’m not kidding. You just have to know me and something like that does not come around often if ever. Even if it was for a second.

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I also watched Petra practice that day which was great as always. The stunning part was that she practiced with Genie that day and she’s probably at the bottom of the list of people you’d expect Petra to practice with but it happened. It was just a bit awkward I have to say… Not very long after that I saw fed practice on stadium court and what a delight that was. It was funny because Lucie was on before him and at the end of her practice while she was still hitting, fed came on and the crowd roared and she was laughing because it just happened suddenly. They passed each other later and there may have been some other words exchanged who knows. As for Roger’s practice, it was great to see him back in action after a couple months missed due to a knee injury sustained after the Australian Open. This practice was the highlight of my experience with him here because I didn’t get to see much else of him sadly the rest of the event after he pulled out of his first match with a stomach virus. He was crisp, moving great and happy, he put on a nice show for the fans.

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I had many selfies during this event and the perfect day regarding selfies came on the third day when I got selfies with Kvitty, Simo, and Lucie. All came out pretty good I have to say. Kvitty and Lucie practiced together that day and I was a bit surprised I could get pics with both considering it doesn’t always work that way if they come out at the same time. I also told Petra about me being in the fan book she got for her birthday and she smiled and said it was very nice. We knew that but I doubt she expected someone in it to say something to her about it so soon after she read it. I was just glad to put a smile on her face because she put so many on mine 🙂

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The next day was the first match day for Kvitty and Simo but I think those will all be separate articles like I’ve been doing since those are a whole different story. But it’s always an amazing experience seeing those two play live, it is such a joy. Win or lose it’s a dream come true.

The best day of the whole tournament I have to say was the exact day I could’ve hoped it would be; my birthday. I was hoping before it started that Kvitty and/or Simo could’ve played on it but neither did which was fine since it probably was better they didn’t considering what happened. The beginning of the day was a bit strange because I thought Petra’s practice was at 11 so I started to go over to her court at about 10:45 but checked the practice schedule again just to make sure. In yet another misunderstanding it was actually from 10-1130 so it wasn’t the end of the world since I could see the second half of it still, but I was just a bit annoyed that I missed some of it again.

Anyway, I watched her practice and it was easily the best one I saw of the week as she was laughing constantly with her relaxed and goofy team. When it’s not a match day you can expect a little more of this and it didn’t disappoint. My favorite part was when they threw around a nerf football and Petra threw it over the fence and they lost it. Boy that got some great laughs 🙂 Most of you know what happened after but I can’t ever say it enough how happy and amazed I was during it all. I came into the day hoping I could get a birthday wish from her and I told her it was my birthday and she did indeed wish me a happy birthday and then I had a picture of her and she was very nice to write happy birthday on that I was just speechless pretty much. After she signed it I was too out of it and in awe to get a selfie but that didn’t matter. I tried to take a video of her doing something else after it was over and if you ever see it, you can tell how much I’m shaking because I still couldn’t believe what happened.

I could’ve tried to tweet her for a birthday wish and probably wouldn’t have got it, and even if I did it wouldn’t have been anything close to as special as one in person. Like I said I will never be grateful enough I had the opportunity to do this; the fact I could even see her hitting and smiling right in front of me on my birthday was such a great gift already. She is such a wonderful human being as I already knew to take the time to do those things for me, to make a dream come true. It’s so normal for her to be nice but we appreciate it so much for every little thing she does because she never has to be perfect for everybody, it’s just in her nature.  I can look at this photo forever and remember exactly what happened and remember it actually did happen, it wasn’t a dream. My year had been made thanks to her and usually she makes it anyway. I want to praise her much more but can’t because it would take way too long 🙂

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Simo practiced later in the day and I tried the exact same thing but there were much more people so I didn’t say it because it wouldn’t feel like the right moment. I got the picture I wanted most signed though by her and that was her gift to me 🙂 I received two perfect birthday presents.

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Last but not least about this day, I want to say thank you again to every single person who wished me a happy birthday it means a lot. I am lucky to be a part of such great fandoms and not just for Kvitty and Simo but everyone else on tennis twitter that I’ve gotten to know. You make it all more exciting for me and I’m thankful there are people who are so kind enough to say nice things to me and I always want to do the same for you when I get the chance. Much love to all of you 🙂

It was kind of a surreal feeling once we got to the second week because pretty much every event is only a week long besides slams and these in March. Plus, the longest I ever stayed at a tournament was five days so when I woke up on the second Monday it was quite a feeling to have another week of tennis left. Not all of my faves were still there but more tennis is never a bad thing. I have to say it was a bit tougher walking around the grounds once Petra was no longer there but I knew this wasn’t her best event and she might not be there long. The week I had with her was everything I could ever wanted.

The hardest day of the week for me besides my last day of the trip was the day after Simo lost and I had no more faves left. In fairness, I was happy with nine days with them and I can’t say I totally expected that many so I was satisfied. However, it stung walking around the grounds without any of them to look forward to. They make every event even better and it was just kind of an empty feeling. Also by this point all of the practice courts were pretty much empty most of the day and that was depressing too. When you know the end is near… but at least there was still great tennis to be played for those that were left!

The last part I want to share with you is my last day which was the day of the women’s final. I had never been to a final before so I thought it would be cool to try it once even probably knowing that neither of my faves were going to be in it. I’m an optimistic person yes but with their form not quite where it needs to be yet, it was hard to expect it. I didn’t care because I knew it’d be fun either way. The only weird thing was there was a possibility that my drive there could be longer than the actual final and I think the final was only a few minutes longer. Knowing who was in it and how the two players were playing, the result never surprised me as Vika was on a mission and wasn’t going to let Sveta get another upset. It was clear from the beginning she would win in straights as most could expect. She gave a nice speech after she won and I congratulate her for a spectacular month of March. Her matches against Garbine and Angie were the best ones I saw here so I’m glad she was able to play well throughout this event.

Then, the saddest part of the whole trip was leaving Crandon Park for the last time and knowing I wouldn’t be back for a whole year and that’s a maybe. Still, the memories that were created for me during these two weeks were unforgettable. I had a brilliant run here and I knew it would end eventually no matter I didn’t want it to. I lived the dream. That’s as best as I can say. I saw the top players in the world play and my favorite people right in front of my eyes as I dream every day. I only hope other fans can experience something like this because you all deserve it. I thank all of my friends on twitter who experienced this ride through me and all of my favorites who gave me things so hard to imagine. It wasn’t all about the results, you just have to hope for the best in that regard. Seeing their personalities up close and their friendliness is what mattered most. I got it all.

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed and hope you all get to experience your favorites in the near future and enjoy them like I did!

Let The Hype Begin!! Every Single Thing I Want You to Know About Kvitalep Part III

Czech Republic vs Romania. We had the dream come true. But then we received a massive scare when Simo decided to skip it for surgery. That’s when I figured we would never get this matchup again because if we couldn’t get it in something this perfectly aligned… when could we??  A few days later however, in a pleasantly shocking decision she decided to postpone that surgery to play in this fed cup tie. So now we can confirm it. Finally. This is an article I’ve been wanting to write for a very long time. If you know me you would know by now that my life in the tennis fandom world revolves around Kvitty and Simo. That’s what I call them just about all of the time you know so I’m sticking with it here. Ever since mid-2014 when I became a full time #HalepBand member I’ve wished to see these two play each other at every tournament to witness as much cuteness and beautiful tennis on court at one time. Of course, that’s not possible every week but I never thought it would take nearly two years for them to meet again after their last meeting which was in May 2014 in the Madrid Semifinals. More about that a bit later.

Anyway, this article is intended to be about their relationship, their previous matches against each other, missed chances of more matches, a preview of this upcoming match, what I hope to see, who I intend to cheer for and how I will do it, and anything else I can think of. We have a whole week to hype this up! Let’s have some fun!!

Relationship

It all started at the 2014 WTA Finals in Singapore where they both qualified, including Simo for the first time in her career. This is the top players’ best chance to hang out with each other every year and apparently these two hit it off. In the following year, the first event of the year in Shenzhen they were the only two top 10 players that played and were heavily featured together in the off court activities. Oh the fun I had during that week. You had to figure it blossomed even more during that time together and the season had just begun. In Melbourne a few weeks after this I remember Simo was asked the question about friends on the tour and Kvitty was the first name she mentioned as a new friend. That’s the first time I heard her say that. (Search Simona Halep Fan Chat AO 2015 to find it) You can see her answer one of my questions too! Simo is continuously asked this question and pretty much always gives the same answer. Also Petra was asked this question too before Shenzhen even started and responded with a quality answer as well. 

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There have been other gatherings at player parties where they are spotted next to each other and it always leads me to believe they very much enjoy each other’s company. The last thing I have to say about this that I don’t know if everybody knew but in an exclusive Romanian interview with Simo recently, Simo mentioned in Singapore this past year that she told Kvitty that she looked ‘sexy’ in a dress she was wearing. Kvitty responded with “I know, I’m going out to the club later” They laughed a lot about this and this an example of the part of the friendship that I think happens behind the scenes that we’ll never know about it (besides this) but it’s a strong bond I can tell. The good times together will be back again this week stay tuned!

Previous Meetings

Not a ton to look back on sadly but the two we got were very interesting. The first one came back in 2013 in the New Haven Final. It brings up one of my weirdest and funny memories that I have to share again for those who might not have known.

At this point in time I had been a hardcore Kvitty fan and this was the first time I kid you not that I had heard of the girl now known to me as Super Simo. I knew she was on a hot streak winning lots of events and then beat Wozniacki to make the final here. I still figured how much harm could she possibly inflict on the great queen Petra? This was Petra’s home and a place where she didn’t lose, so I could expect a win against this unknown girl right? Wrong. Very very wrong. Kvitty had her chances early to break and take a lead but didn’t and from there the wheels fell off. It’s like she put all of her energy into breaking that game and when couldn’t, she kind of shut it down after realizing how well Simo could fight off her power. I’m not gonna go into heavy details for either match but watch the highlights if you can for this one and the one point I want to point out is the second break point for Kvitty at 2-1 30-40. A fab point that ends with a passing winner from Simo. A perfect example of the kind of points these two play.

It ended with a routine 6-2 6-2 win for Simo and it lead to the beginning of my extreme hatred of Simo. Seeing the only person I adored as much as Kvitty get blasted this easily in a final was tough for me to take and I didn’t handle it well. I wanted nothing to do with Simo and it was a phase I heavily regret these days. At least I got over it very well as you can see! At least we have this glorious pic that I wish I could have cherished more back in the day!

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Their next matchup in Madrid was much better than the first one as it went the distance and they both brought the goods. I had a much different perspective watching this one as well compared to the first because at this point Simo had really grown on me and jumped into second in line behind Petra as players I really supported. I wasn’t as hardcore with her yet as I am now but it was still hard to root against her. It was the only match Simo ever won as a fan where I was disappointed. Weird feeling. Petra really should’ve won this match up a set and a break but she let Simo hang around and Simo used that fuel to steal the 2nd set and cruise through the third. Still, it’s a match I love watching and more of what I hope to see in this upcoming match.

Missed Chances

Last year there were a lot of times where I thought a certain event they had a great chance of meeting but never did. Three tournaments though we were one win away from it happening and of course each time it failed. You can also count the 2014 and 2015 WTA Finals as missed chances for a guaranteed match.

The first one came in Shenzhen the very first event of the year where they were the one and two seeds and really no other competition it seemed to meet in the final. However, after Simo made the final in the first SF, Kvitty would crumble in the second SF against Timea Bacsinszky to crush the dream. The second came in Rome where they were lined up to meet up in the SFs and Simo made it there and all Kvitty had to do was beat CSN and couldn’t of course because that’s one of her toughest opponents to beat these days. Finally, at the US Open they both made the QFs and I guess technically we weren’t a match away exactly since Petra lost first, but Simo did win next and we would’ve had it had Petra beat Pennetta. The day they meet that late in a slam is the day I lose my mind. Not sure I’ll want it as bad as I do now if it happens.

PREVIEW OF PART III

Now that all of the background is out of the way I can finally move forward and discuss the current match coming up this weekend. It’s very hard to know what kind of match we’ll get considering both are not at 100% form yet it would seem and neither has started their year well at all. This a very intriguing matchup with both players having two very contrasting styles and it makes for fun tennis in my opinion. Kvitty likes to crush the ball and go for lines and not as much defending. She can also have a very strong net game when she feels like coming in. Simo will make players extend points which makes it harder for power players to make fewer errors, and she does that by defending very well with her fantastic speed. It’ll be crucial for Kvitty to be accurate and end the points early otherwise Simo can force her to make more errors in longer rallies. I think Petra should try more dropshots and make Simo come to the net which is easily the weakest part of her game. Also big returns will be necessary to attack a serve that is weaker than her own. This will be a tremendous setting in Romania where the crowd will be fully behind Simo and it doesn’t mean Kvitty will be holding anything back. You can bet this will be a big match in deciding the tie and perhaps won’t go until Sunday. All I’m saying is get your popcorn ready for some fireworks.

I’m asked every so often who do I cheer for in a situation like this and I really like that question because it shows it’s hard to tell who I am more lenient towards because I love them both almost equally the same. I pride myself in that because I put in the effort, I give it my all to make sure I never miss either of them play a match, and I try to make it seem like I would never let them down as a fan. These two make it easy to love them and it’s extremely hard to pick against either. For some people with multiple faves it may be easier to tell who they are more devoted to and that’s fine, everyone has their own feelings and I love that. I just want to make it clear that this isn’t as easy for me as you might think. All of that being said, it always has been and always will be my first love Petra who I support in a time like this. I have never seen myself rooting against her no matter what. I made that promise since day one. Petra molded me into the tennis fan I am today. The first girl to play tennis I ever saw that was so kind and genuine and pure off court and such a talented player on court. Even in the worst of times I could see her best; she made me keep believing over and over again that when things don’t go right, brighter days are always ahead. She helped me find wonderful people all over the world that I didn’t know existed with the same passion for her that I have. I couldn’t thank her enough for what she’s helped me with since I became her fan and she’ll never know it but that’s ok. Everyone usually knows who their top favorite is through thick and thin and I don’t like to choose on the spot but if I have to like now I will. When I am watching a fave I’m not a person who can just say I’m rooting only for a good match. There has to be a purpose and that is to see them win.

However, that doesn’t take anything at all away from Simo. It will be so tough for me to not get the same happy feeling I get after each point, game, and set she wins. I like to think of this matchup as not rooting against Simo, but rooting for Petra. That’s basically how I think during every match with my faves. I don’t root against, I root for. I may not want Simo to beat Kvitty but it doesn’t mean I’ll like her any less if she does. Just don’t expect me to be as fired up how I usually am after a win. It’s another match and I’ll clap her good shots, smile at her cuteness, and appreciate the fact she’ll give it her all for her country. I’ll do the same for Kvitty besides the fact I hope she is the one on top at the end. I am also mainly rooting for a good handshake at the end and I can believe we’ll get our best one of the three meetings this time because of how close they’ve gotten. It’ll be tough to see one lose but in a time like this of course it has to happen.

I hope #HalepBand doesn’t take anything the wrong way when I cheer for Kvitty in this match. I am almost certain they won’t but I’ve never seen this match as a true member of #HalepBand so I still wonder. You guys know it’s just for a match and seeing her play tennis is enough for me to be happy win or lose. Plus it’s just a first round fed cup tie. There will be much harder matches to stress over than this one in the future. I’m gonna try to make it as fun as possible during the match and I look forward to both fanbases tweeting at the same time! Something I really am curious about and excited to see how it will turn out. I’m sure I can expect a great day due to both fanbases being amazing.

Thanks for reading if you did the whole thing. It’s been nearly two years and believe me it has felt much longer than that. Since we have a week to enjoy the buildup, I thought it was fitting to write this and pour out my feelings for these two and hopefully answer any questions about it you may have had. Good luck to both and may the best girl win!

If you want, you can share your prediction of who you think will win in the comments section below or reply on twitter. I am interested to know what your thoughts are!

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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Brought back for 2016: Writing about Kvitty and Simo’s Matches

Hello all! I wanted to share with you the news if anyone cared that I am bringing back something I really missed last year. Recapping every match that Petra plays at least that I can see, and new for this year is doing the same for Simo. I have a feeling most of you never knew I did this in the past but I started doing this when I first became a fan of Petra in 2013 and I thought it turned out great. I still have both articles I wrote about every match she played in 2013 and 2014 before taking 2015 off. If anyone wants to see those I can gladly show you; 2013 was like 19 pages and 2014 was almost 40 so yeah there definitely was a lot of work put into it, but I really enjoyed doing it as I like to write.

This year I will try to do the same, and I’m not saying that you have to read any of the recaps, it’s just I have never shared it in a blog form match my match so I thought since some like how I write I would open it to you to see if you enjoy it or not. If it’s too long for you it’s quite alright because I will still do it anyway because I do a lot of this for myself because I love looking back at all of Petra’s matches and the reactions I felt years ago. I didn’t remember a lot of the stuff I wrote and felt until I read those again and it was neat to see. That’s what I hope to accomplish this year as well to try and remember the 2016 matches in 2017, 2018, etc. Also if you guys can’t remember a specific match maybe it will help you as well, if you like the written version to go along with the highlights which I know a lot prefer but that’s ok.

Some of the features that I hope to include in every recap are best/most clutch points, point of the match, photos, maybe twitter moments from fans and such; who knows exactly where this will take me. There can always be room for additional things with every passing match and hopefully if it goes well enough from your side there can be some nice feedback, but like I said even if it isn’t a huge hit with others I’d like to keep doing it to help me remember. This isn’t something I will bombard you with like ‘read this, read this’ it’s a one-time post and if you don’t read it fine, it will always be there if you change your mind.

So that’s basically it, I will try to get these out close to after the matches are over otherwise whenever I have free time. I can’t guarantee I’ll be able to watch and recap every single match but I try very hard to work around things to be able to see them play, or I record them for later if I can’t see them. So that being said I hope one way or the other I’ll have enough info to write about them.

I don’t know if anyone else is doing anything similar to this because I know there are a lot of tennis fans out there with blogs and that’s great because there are a lot of good writers out there. I just wanted to do something I love which is write about my two favorite players and their 2016 journeys so come along and follow it if you like! Can’t wait to get this season rolling!

Jake

#PojdPetra #HaiSimo

 

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

oldmemtweets5 oldmemtweets4

 

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!