I have just lost all confidence. On the court, I don't know what I can do. It was tough even winning one point.
- Li Na after losing in the first round of Beijing to Monica Niculescu 6-4, 6-0
I wonder what it must be like to be riding the ultimate high of winning your first major and making history for your country and then hitting the skids and taking a nosedive all in a span of months. The shock of winning a Slam just evolves into another kind of shock, one that has to do with having no control over your game. How could that winning game just suddenly disappear?
Because it's an individual sport a baller's success is always teetering on the edge. A career-making win can free up someone so much their game hits extraordinary heights while for others it can have the opposite effect. As we've seen, the former is probably more the exception while the latter is more the rule. Pressure comes in many forms as do ballers' personalities, and when the two collide it can be inspiring to watch or down right awkward.
A hit to the confidence can snowball, build up speed and knock them back down especially for a new major winner. Every experience becomes a new one because you're now a Grand Slam champion. There's a reason why it takes most multiple Slam winners a while, sometimes years, to snatch that second title. Talk about a blessing and a curse, though it's a curse most ballers wouldn't mind having.
[Photo(s) credit: Feng Li/Getty Images]