Sofya Golubovskaya’s improved finishing leads to on-court success

first_img Published on January 29, 2019 at 11:25 pm Contact Arabdho: [email protected] | @aromajumder Sofya Golubovskaya bent over at the baseline, hands on her knees. Her face was a mix of frustration and desperation. It wasn’t the first time that look appeared in the third set. She had just double faulted at 40-30, giving match point at deuce to Columbia’s Jennifer Kerr.Unforced errors were followed by shouts in Russian. After a backhand into the net, she slapped her shoe twice with her racket.“I just told myself that I need to calm down and to figure it out so I wouldn’t lose this match,” Golubovskaya said after the contest on Jan. 20.The Russian sophomore saved that match point at deuce with a backhand which caused Kerr to commit an error. A few games later, Golubovskaya completed the comeback and hit a backhand passing shot to win the match and give Syracuse a 3-1 lead.The Orange (4-0) have relied on Golubovskaya, who at times last season would implode near the end of matches — she’s walked off the court, and had tears in her eyes after poor performances — to act as one of its key finishers this season. The 92nd ranked singles player in the country has “unbelievable potential,” head coach Younes Limam said. She’s 2-0 when she drops the second set of the match after winning the first, and owns a 3-1 singles record this season.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textGolubovskaya isn’t afraid of standing up on the baseline and taking balls early. She would rather go for winners than extend the rally, and Limam said he doesn’t want her to change that attitude.“When you play tennis, you’ve got to make mistakes,” Limam said.But against Columbia, Golubovskaya said when she trailed, she focused on putting the ball back into play and maintained at least a four-shot rally before attacking. Last season, she struggled when she extended the points. Three of her eight losses in the spring were three-setters, and she had a 3-3 overall record in the deciding frame.With last spring season over, Golubovskaya showed improvement in the fall. She started stringing together back-to-back performances, Limam said, going 6-3 in singles and 8-3 in doubles. Against the Lions, her coaches told her to not be afraid of aiming down the middle or to Kerr’s forehand. It worked, and Golubovskaya picked smarter moments to attack.Golubovskaya’s first two singles matches this year lasted all three sets. She won against Brown in the season-opener 12-10 in the third set tiebreak.“I’m just telling myself that this shot is the right shot to do, just trust myself and that’s all I need to do,” Golubovskaya said after the Columbia match.Her play so far this season has inspired confidence from her teammates. Senior and top singles player Gabriela Knutson called Golubovskaya “a fighter.”“Knowing that she just won’t give up no matter what,” Knutson continued. “It just sends us a huge message as to where her heart and mind is.” Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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