All of the top ten seeds have fallen by the wayside in Indian Wells. This meant an opportunity to the rising stars of the women’s game to end the season on a high. Annett, winner of the Ostrava Open, taking on Ons Jabeur, finalist in Chicago, wasn’t the big name quarter final expected by great tennis here nonetheless. What took Kontaveit to the title on the Czech Republic was her unusual forehand motion. Ons of course has that backhand drop shot in her arsenal. Watch first set 1-0 (Kontaveit) 0-15. This time its the forehand drop shot. Well disguised as per usual Jabeur fashion, getting the elevation on the ball as well as back spin the key. Key game of the first set was at 1-1.
Anett was way too safe with her serve during this match. She had 81% on first serve which is normally match winning form but a telling stat was zero aces. At 40-40 you can see why. Kontaveit was bested by Ons in the winners department despite Anett preferring to fight it out on the baseline. Same applies to 3-1(15-15), the serve from the Estonian was way too safe and short inviting the forehand winner from Ons. Anett did well to take the set to a twelfth game though having been down a double break. It was Jabeur’s turn to serve short. Check out 4-1 first point. Ons’s first serve percentage was at 69% which is enough to win any top class match. My point of the match was at 5-3 first set 40-30 Anett. In all honesty Ons should have won that point. Great defense from Anett getting to the deep forehand in the corner and the unconvincing overhead smash right. Ons waiving the ball away signifying her frustration.
Anett’s undoing in this one was her unforced error count. She however got the better of the Ons at the net. Check out the net coverage in second set first point advantage on deuce Anett. For once Kontaveit read the drop shot at 2-1(0-15) but nothing she could do at 3-2(15-40). Serving 101 for the youngsters. When serving to a right hander and you are also right handed, employing a mixed strategy of serving to both the forehand and the backhand during a game is the most effective way to win a match.Anett always favored serving to the Ons’s backhand, Jabeur grew comfortable with that. Now Watch 5-3(40-30) the match point. The backhand slice by Ons was do die for but the return by Anett my goodness. With the ball that low , the only shot she could play was the backhand with top spin so as to clear the net. She didn’t do that and paid for it.