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Old 08-17-2011, 10:15 AM   #34
Arafel
Professional
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,091
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ian2 View Post
Arafel, sounds like you have a story to tell! Would you share? How was it playing against a bona-fide (albeit a somewhat rusty) pro?
The pace and anticipation are what amazed me. I mean, I am over 40, and I stopped playing for 15 years after college due to burnout, but I was never a top level junior, so take this for what is worth. I would play tournaments in New York and win a round or two before losing. What I remember about playing Vas though is that there was no time to set up. If I wasn't immediately ready to hit again after my follow through, I was screwed. Likewise, if I hit short, I was immediately on the defensive, or the point was over. There was a feeling that I had to hit every shot perfectly just to be able to get a rally going.

Vasilisa beat me 6-1, 6-0. I got to deuce a few times besides the game I won. I distinctly remember cracking a hard flat first serve wide to her forehand (I am lefty) in the deuce court at deuce and it felt like before I had even finished my follow through the ball was at my feet. I sort of flashed to that first set tiebreaker between Roddick and Federer in the 2007 US Open, when Federer did something like that to Andy. I just shook my head and said aloud, "That's just not fair."

Vas had a big support section watching, and they encouraged me a few times, saying she had been inside the top 50 in the world. When I made the not fair comment, they all laughed, but it was a good, sympathetic laughter, not mean.

I can also tell you that Vasilisa is a really nice person on and off the court. We both work with Jeff Salzenstein as our coach, and I've run into her a few times either as I was leaving or arriving, and chatted for a couple of moments. I really hope she makes the main draw.
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