Sometimes the defeats in tennis are the ones you learn the most from. Amanda Anisimova will probably be feeling disappointed following her defeat to Hsieh in Hiroshima today but on the bigger picture not many 17 year olds are playing in a WTA Final and have just cracked the top 100 in the world.
I’ve always felt like it’s good for these young players to be tested early on and face tricky opponents. I still stand by the ‘too much too soon’ philosophy which comes with young players bursting on the tour especially when the success is just there but then fades out.
When I say tricky opponents I mean players like the recently retired Roberta Vinci or players still on the tour like Monica Niculescu and Hsieh herself.
None of these players have ever been some of the best on the tour and that isn’t a bad thing at all as they have their own persona.
If I were a player on the tour I’d probably have a list of players in the back of my mind thinking I don’t really want to play them and these ladies will be there.
Monica has wins against Sharapova, Kerber and Kvitova in her career. Roberta Vinci pulled off one of the biggest upsets in tennis history against Serena in New York but also the Italian had wins against Kvitova, Kerber and Wozniacki in her career.
Hsieh is in that bracket as well. She’s only really hit those heights in the last year or so but with her creativity on the court it has seen her secure wins against Konta, Muguruza and of course Simona Halep at Wimbledon where she really got under the world number one’s skin.
I think it is key to look back and reflect on wins and defeats on the tour and have a look at things to improve in your own game but in defeats like these I think it’s key to focus a little more on the player you played against and then think about what you could have done better.
It’s a WTA Final which means a trophy was on the cards but it should be treated as a lesson rather than just a defeat.