Lauren Davis was ready to call it quits into getting into Wimbledon this season when she lost her qualifying round to Kristie Ahn in Roehampton. But it was just a few hours later that her fate had changed. She was awarded a place in the Championship's main draw as a 'lucky loser' and quickly packed her things to head on and upward in her tennis tour.
It would be her chance to play the former no. 1 in the world, Angelique Kerber. The last time Davis had played against her was at the 2011 U.S. Open where Kerber took the helm grabbing the win in straight sets. Davis might not have had a formidable game plan on playing her since it's been eight years, but she had the determination and courage to give it her best shot.
"I definitely believe in myself and believe that I can hang with these girls and beat them," she had always said and thought. But it was those thoughts that came into action as she had nothing to lose and went about her performance with aggression and fortitude.
She might have looked like a wounded warrior out there, her left leg heavily wrapped but she says "the tape is a lot worse than it looks. It's just a little soreness with my meniscus..." Nothing stopped Davis from accentuating the positive on court for she came on with super toughness and precision having 45 winners to Kerber's paltry 13.
But it's not how you start, but how you finish and Davis made a slow start, losing the first set to Kerber at 2-6. She didn't want to count herself down and out just yet, enjoying her surprising participation at Wimbledon in the first place.
She adjusted her visor and changed the pace of the game in the second set being more dominant by coming up to the net, opening up the court and presenting an all-around game strategy of success. She levelled the second set at 6-2 but could sense a different rhythm in Kerber's game.
"The energy was not there - I was too defensive in the important moments," the German had admitted. She hadn't gone any further than the fourth round at any slam since last year when she won Wimbledon over Serena Williams.
She had never lost that early at since 2013 and now will suffer a drop out of the top 10 rankings. Kerber had expressed her feeling toward a lackluster game saying "I'm disappointed. Of course, it's not the way I would like to finish or to play here...you sometimes have days like that."
The deciding set was nearly all Davis as she picked her points, hit her marks and became more consistent to win the last set 6-2 and the match at 2-6, 6-2, 6-1. The perky Lauren Davis may have contributed part of her win to changing her diet to a gluten-free nutritional plan but it was evident that more might have been going on with her successful change of playing strategies and tactics.
She feels the momentum starting to elevate and hopes that days like that as a 'lucky loser' or not will continue giving her positive vibes and loads of success.