Round of 32 at the Chicago fall tennis classic. We have had a lot of Canada versus USA matches on Tour this year and Canada seems to have surged ahead in terms of wins. Shelby had that morale boosting victory over Barty at Flushing Meadows whilst Bianca has had an injury plagued season. As usual I start off with the serving. Both averaged 61% on first serve which made the match a close one. The winner would have to have been the one that seized break point chances and minimized unforced errors in rallies. Now, check out 1-1(adv Bianca). How do you deal with a kick serve with the ball bouncing that high on your backhand? Keep your eye on the ball and hit straight across so as to keep it down. Very long opening 3 games of the match, an indication that this was not going to be a one sided affair. Set was decided by the single break of serve. Watch set point Rogers at 5-4(40-30). Like I said errors were going to be a factor, Bianca hitting the forehand long, wasn’t as if it was a great serve anyway by Rogers putting the unforced in the “unforced error”.
Bianca fared better when receiving than when she served. Watch second set third game 1-1. Yes she was unlucky with the net cord at 40-30, but she wasn’t hitting the ball with the necessary conviction. Illustration, watch the opening point of that game, the forehand was a nothing shot just inviting Shelby to hit the backhand to the corner. Well, there were glimpses of the shot variation that propelled her to the US Open title 2 years ago. Watch the majestic drop shot at 3-1(40-30) to crucially stay in the match behind by just a single break. One thing that a drop shot gives you is confidence. It showed in the following games up to the 10th when Rogers was serving for the match at 5-4. The forehand by Bianca at 40-15 to finally break Rogers’s serve got me thinking, if she had played it cross court on the initial return of serve, the point would have been over. But she hit another safe shot back to court , she must have been grateful to receive another bite of the cherry there. Watch. Her tentativeness to take the risky shot was her undoing in the context of the match.