In the four weeks of practice leading up to the Thunderbird Invitational, everyone on the ASU women’s tennis team had something on which they could work. That doesn’t exclude preseason No. 84 sophomore Desirae Krawczyk.
The past few practices, Krawczyk said she has been working on her ball placement and overall strategy.
“We were just (working on) how we can spread the court … and placement,” Krawczyk said. “Understanding how to play your game and … moving the ball, moving the player (with) shot selection (and) margins.”
That’s something coach Sheila McInerney noticed in Krawczyk’s game that needed improvement, along with the way she handled adversity in matches.
Krawczyk said she has been working on that in practice, too.
“Every practice if you’re playing matches, even if you’re just … doing drills, you need to just focus,” Krawczyk said. “If you’re missing two, three, four balls in the row, you need to tell yourself what you’re doing wrong, what you can do to fix it and not just get flustered.”
McInerney believes that Krawczyk has the raw talent to play with anyone, but sometimes it’s mental lapses that cost her in match play.
She played a match against junior Joanna Smith in practice that displayed some of the skills she is working on. McInerney paid close attention and was quick to correct Krawczyk if she used the wrong swing or didn’t place the ball correctly.
That was one topic brought up in the after-practice meeting in which a few players were picked on to talk about what they struggled with during practice and how they fixed it.
Krawczyk said it helps build an already high team morale.
“After practice we meet to see how we feel, how we played,” Krawczyk said. “It can happen sometimes at random.”
Near the end of match play in practice, Krawczyk got lucky. As she sprinted for a drop shot, her racquet hit the net and ricocheted to hit her in the mouth. She was able to finish practice but suffered a swollen lip. It could have been a lot worse, she joked, imagining broken teeth.
“Now I have a fat lip,” Krawczyk said.
The two freshmen, Kassidy Jump and Gussie O’Sullivan, were the only other players hampered by injury during practice.
O’Sullivan participated fully, but was frequently getting her left wrist re-taped.
Jump has been dealing with a back injury since the Michigan Invitational that has kept her from fully participating in practice. While others were playing matches, she was practicing hitting with coach Clint Letcher.
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