Sunday, April 24, 2011
Jules beat Wozzi in a competitive Stuttgart final today upsetting the world's top lady baller 7-6 (3), 6-3 and earning the second and biggest title of her career. The 22-year old just kept serving huge (her kicker espesh) and backing it up with power groundies keeping the Dane pinned back and on defense for most of the match. She also took advantage of her opportunities earning the only break of the match in the second set and making good when coming forward (15 of 22 net points won).
In women's tennis it's all about who can hold serve and Jules uses her smooth, powerful delivery to open up the court for her equally big forehand. That's the major difference between Petko and Jules but one that could mean the difference at the business end of a tourney, particularly at majors. Petko's serve is mediocre at best and has hitches that can cause it to break down under pressure. I have a feeling she and her new advisory coach, Heinz Gunthhardt, will be spending some time at that stroke.
Jules also showcased some serious mental toughness outplaying the World No. 1 and earning the career win in front of an uber-supportive home crowd (and a father who looked on the verge of a heart attack at every turn of this match.) She hadn't won a match against Woz in two tries so to pull off the upset under these circumstances is impressive.
A quick note about Wozzi: She has yet to win a title on the red clay and this loss gave some clues as to why it's going to be a challenge. Her movement isn't as natural on the clay as it is on the hard court and can't seem to generate enough pace when she doesn't have firm footing. Moreover, she's still susceptible on the clay when a big hitting baller gets on a streak. Without the offensive tools on the slippery stuff she'll need to force her opponents into errors to get the wins. She's the best in the world at doing that consistently, but over two weeks and seven matches at Roland Garros? BIG question mark.
But it's Jules with the title. Enjoy driving that new Porsche, girl. And better luck getting it started next time.
[Photo: Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images]