Russian Samsonova emerged as a great player last year during the grass season showing some of the best tennis in her career.
She remained a stable performer after that but she took a step forward this year after not being able to play much on the grass. The Wimbledon ban was something that initially disappointed her but it also gave her an opportunity to work hard for an entire month and prepare for the North American hard court season.
It proved a blessing in disguise for the Russian who returned in spectacular form to competition going 18-1 in her last 19 matches and winning three trophies:
“I said, ‘OK, I have one month without tournaments, so let’s work this month. I used it so well because I was working so hard. I had 32 days of just practising, which is not normal at that time of the year for a tennis player.”
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The only loss happened in the 4th round of the US Open when Ajla Tomljanovic proved better in two sets. Trophies came in Washington, Cleveland and Tokyo last week. Talking about the US Open, she admitted that she was feeling a bit tired at the major:
“I was feeling great physically but I was feeling a little bit tired mentally. I’m very happy how I managed today with the pressure — it’s unbelievable what I did today. All the week was really impressive and I’m really happy about my game.”