I thought Sabine played really well. It doesn’t show on the scoreboard, but Sabine was in control of the entire match. Her first four service games she got 40-0 leads. The first of those went to deuce and she had to save break points, but she did save it! When Sabine served for the match she had to save two break points. For a second you thought “oh boy here we go again.” She had the win all wrapped up. Had held every service game. You really didn’t want to see her lose it after playing such a complete match. Thankfully she did hold and win, but we’ve seen those matches get away sometimes and get complicated. It shows great mental fortitude for Sabine to have gotten through both those service games where she faced break points. It’s a positive sign that I hope we see more of.
Sabine’s ground strokes seemed really good. She made some errors and hit some amazing winners, but I just got the feel she contained herself in the shots she hit and how she constructed points.
Now a few thoughts on Sabine’s opponent: Cetkovska. I felt she was lethargic throughout the match. She never seemed enthused or pumped up. I looked at Sabine and I saw a woman who was ecstatic to be on the court. It looked like Cetkovska wanted to be somewhere else to be honest. She had some tape on her leg so maybe that was an issue. I haven’t seen her play much either, so maybe it’s just her court personality, but I felt Sabine’s excitement to be playing and Cetkovska’s lack of it was a contributing factor to the outcome.
Cetkovska was playing a lot of slices. None of them looked really that good. Kind of like the way Wozniacki hits them lol. But Sabine seemed to handle them well. Usually she struggles with those kinds of shots, but I thought she did pretty well with them. They didn’t bother her. Another positive sign in Sabine’s play.
Overall I hope to see this Sabine more often. We’re in store for some fun if she can. I almost feel like I’m getting a bit carried away since it was just one match. She’s played matches like this before and then struggled in the next round. That probably will be the case as either Mattek-Sands or Allertova will be tough. They play a style that Sabine doesn’t like playing. I’m just happy Sabine won though and picked up some points. After Hopman Cup I was nervous this was going to be a long season, but she’s shown since that she’s doing well with her game. She picked up a win in Sydney and gave a tough match to eventual champion, Kuzetsova. Now she’s picked up another win and at a major! I guess we didn’t have to wait too long for her form to arrive. Choosing Hopman Cup was so smart to get those matches and probably was the difference with her leaving Australia with over 100 ranking points and possibly even more. It got her some rhythm and time on the court that she desperately needed. It’s a great feeling to seeing her make the correct scheduling decisions that she may have not done at other times in her career.
2016 may not have started well, but there’s been many positive signs since Sabine left Perth. Let’s all hope we see those each week she plays this year. I believe we’re going experience some great moments this season with what I saw today. Next up: Mattek Sands or Allertova. Go Bine!