Player discussion : Anastasia Myskina - TennisForum.com

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post #1 of 39 (permalink) Old Feb 27th, 2005, 11:07 PM Thread Starter
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Player discussion : Anastasia Myskina

I think out of all the players on the tour Myskina has the most divided opinion of her. Some people think she plays crafty, intelligent tennis and is bound to be a multiple slam winner, others think she's highly overrated and roland garos was luck (due to injured and mentally unsound opponents). I think she lies somewhere in between. I don't think she will ever reach number 1, i think playing her best she is a solid top tenner. She doesn't seem to have any major weapons and has been very inconsistent throughout her career.
Weapons - If on has a good forehand, solid backhand, hits with pace, intelligent shot making, doesn't seem phased by big occassions (fed cup, rg)
Weaknesses - Can make truly horrendous UE's, poor second serve
Predicted ranking throughout 2005 - 4-12

What does everyone else think?
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post #2 of 39 (permalink) Old Feb 27th, 2005, 11:24 PM
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She has great anticipation, and always knows exaclty where to hit the ball, and I when I watch her I almost get the feeling that her groundstrokes and very solid and consistent...


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post #3 of 39 (permalink) Old Feb 27th, 2005, 11:30 PM
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  • She does play intelligent tennis. Of course, most of the top players do.
  • She has a pretty good chance of being a multi-slam winner because she's under 25, and only has to win one more, and she'll probably play another twenty.
  • Her last four matches at RG were Kuznetsova, V Williams, Capriati and Dementieva. Not exactly a cakewalk. (Well, the final was ..... uh...)
  • As for overrated, she was ITF Player of the Year for 2004. It isn't an award they give away.
On paper, it seems unlikely she'll ever be #1. But last year she set out to win a GS title, defend Moscow and win Fed Cup. She did all that. So when I read her saying she intends to become #1 this year, I don't completely discount it.

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post #4 of 39 (permalink) Old Feb 27th, 2005, 11:33 PM
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Her game is solid overall.

Serve: Probably the weakest part of her game. Her second serve is quite slow and her first serve doesn't go in at a high percentage.

Forehand: She has a nice forehand, nothing particularly noteable about it.

Backhand: I think her backhand is better than her forehand. She has a great backhand down the line.

Movement: Probably one of her greatest weapons, she's very quick around the court and gets to a lot of balls.

Volleys: She has a solid net game, but it's under utilized.

She has the best anticipation on tour, but her game does not have enough weapons to get to #1 or to dominate for any significant period of time. She can be a complete mess when she's off, IE against Dechy at this years AO where she had a completely awful match.

I do think she earned her FO title, but she did have the advantage of meeting Venus and Jennifer on off days and then meeting a noticeably weary Dementieva in the finals.

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post #5 of 39 (permalink) Old Feb 27th, 2005, 11:36 PM
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ditto volanca..

Good luck to the Aussie and Balkan girls!
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post #6 of 39 (permalink) Old Feb 27th, 2005, 11:37 PM
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She didn't dominate in RG, but unlike Kuznetsova at the US Open, her play impressed me a lot. She deserved to win, even if her road to the title was suspect. Capriati and Dementieva played as bad as they could possibly play, while beating Venus is no longer an amazing feat. Her best match was against Kuznetsova, just for hanging in there....that made her a champ in my eyes.
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post #7 of 39 (permalink) Old Feb 27th, 2005, 11:49 PM
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Nastya has bad weeks and good weeks. Her bad weeks are often explicable by events - after the Olympics, after the FO , after this year's Hopman Cup. Her bad matches are often related to odd thoughts like "I am beating Justine to get the Olympic medal I want" creeping in in matches. Not ideal but Momo, Venus, Sveta, Elena, Maria and Lindsay all collapse at the wromg moment too so its hardly unique. Her success also seems related to her first serve percentage - which hits 30 when she loses - and may be related to an ongoing shoulder injury.

For a player with bad weeks and a serve that goes AWOL she has been very close to number 1. Take out her hopman Cup letdown this year and she would probably still be up there alongside Maria now - instead she has had a mucked up start to the year.

the reason she has done so well has something to do with the fact that when she is on she plays smarter and with more speed, anticipation and power than anyone who isn't a member of the big babe school. Against the power hitters she is one of the few people with the anticipation, fitness and speed and the odd killer shot who can keep them in a rally long enough to win it. She has taken Venus and Serena close and beats a less mobile Lindsay which isn't bad for someone with a serve that goes off. As Maria said after a pretty humiliating first set at the yec, Nastya can make you play her game and she plays it better than you do. Nastya's problem is the lapses in winning positions, the injured serving arm and the need for a bit more consistency - if she could bring out her Moscow or FO form at a couple of other tournaments she would be right up there with the very top. if she hadn't lost two big winning leads last year and had avoided the hopman cup disapointment this year she might already have made it to number 1.
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post #8 of 39 (permalink) Old Feb 27th, 2005, 11:51 PM
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Allez Myskina.
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post #9 of 39 (permalink) Old Feb 28th, 2005, 12:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Volcana
  • She does play intelligent tennis. Of course, most of the top players do.
  • She has a pretty good chance of being a multi-slam winner because she's under 25, and only has to win one more, and she'll probably play another twenty.
  • Her last four matches at RG were Kuznetsova, V Williams, Capriati and Dementieva. Not exactly a cakewalk. (Well, the final was ..... uh...)
  • As for overrated, she was ITF Player of the Year for 2004. It isn't an award they give away.
On paper, it seems unlikely she'll ever be #1. But last year she set out to win a GS title, defend Moscow and win Fed Cup. She did all that. So when I read her saying she intends to become #1 this year, I don't completely discount it.

You have to remember who the competition is for number 1 - there is a lot of it, it splits the points up and no one looks dominating and everyone has someone who can knock them out of a GS,

That said number 1 on the numbers was a perfectly realistic goal for Nastya. She came out of 2004 having missed number 1 by 2 GS letdowns and 2 big wins (YEC and Ollympics) lost from winning positions - it was very reachable in 2004 with just one more decent GS performance and one more big win. Before someone says other people could have done better too , Nastya didn't need a really good GS performance - a QF would have done and she was the one who twice lost winning leads at the YEC.

In 2005 , she won 3 matches at hopman and her schedule and her draws in Australia made it very possible to stay ahead of Maria in a good position for number 1 with a few points added from Sydney too. Hopman, or rather safin losing Hopman , just mucked her up for Australia though and Antwerp may not have helped for Doha so her schedule has gone wrong. Her way to number 1 is now a lot tougher - the Williams sisters are playing better and she has to defend the FO. She has lots of opportunities to add points but so do Maria, Sveta (Wimbledon) and Serena. Number 1 will be tough. The intra-Russian war though hasn't yet started in 2005 and I am not sure Maria can beat Nastya - she couldn't handle Molik the few games molik played like a slower Nastya.. There still isn't a clearly dominant character out there though and everyone out there is capable of losing badly so it may all depend on who gets who on what day in what draw anyway.
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post #10 of 39 (permalink) Old Feb 28th, 2005, 10:46 AM
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Nastya's game is solid if unspectacular. Her biggest weapons are her BH, speed and anticipation. She is a definite Top 10 player, however I feel she is a 5-10 ranked player. She is fascinating to watch when on, however I never sit up and really take notice like when Elena smacks a FH, Jennifer crushes a sitter or Venus unleashes her BH.

I think Nastya lacks a certain explosiveness that the top power players possess. Maybe thats why she is underrated at times.

Ability and talent is there, however a defining shot or weapon is hard to identify with her.

If Elena wasn't such a mental midget at RG, Nastya would not be a Slam champion IMO.

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post #11 of 39 (permalink) Old Feb 28th, 2005, 12:20 PM
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nastya's main problem is her lapses of concentration. she can be cruising in a match but suddenly find herself down a break etc. it's sometimes really worrying and scary to watch her play...

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post #12 of 39 (permalink) Old Feb 28th, 2005, 02:35 PM
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Are we talking about the good Nastya or the bad Nastya?

Good Nastya has, I think, a shot at being Number 1. Bad Nastya doesn't even belong in the Top 20.

The problem is that you never know which Nastya will show up. But would a consistent Nastya be any fun to watch?

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post #13 of 39 (permalink) Old Feb 28th, 2005, 02:43 PM
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Myskina is a good player. She annoys the hell out of the top players but when she's off she's off. Myskina's advantage is her superior record against the Russians. If she continues to play well against her fellow Russians, then she will continue to be a top 5 player.
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post #14 of 39 (permalink) Old Feb 28th, 2005, 03:18 PM
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i think she's just smoochy

she's also someone who can be very good when she's good and roll over and play dead when she's not. #1 seems difficult at the moment, i think she should have done better at the AO, and if she loses early at RG things could unravel quickly.

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post #15 of 39 (permalink) Old Feb 28th, 2005, 03:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by king416
I think out of all the players on the tour Myskina has the most divided opinion of her. Some people think she plays crafty, intelligent tennis and is bound to be a multiple slam winner, others think she's highly overrated and roland garos was luck (due to injured and mentally unsound opponents). I think she lies somewhere in between. I don't think she will ever reach number 1, i think playing her best she is a solid top tenner. She doesn't seem to have any major weapons and has been very inconsistent throughout her career.
Weapons - If on has a good forehand, solid backhand, hits with pace, intelligent shot making, doesn't seem phased by big occassions (fed cup, rg)
Weaknesses - Can make truly horrendous UE's, poor second serve
Predicted ranking throughout 2005 - 4-12

What does everyone else think?
To be quite frank, I'm going to show my age here a little bit, but Anastasia's game is strikingly similar to another Russian player from about 15 years ago whose name was Leila Meshki (who I believe also caught Capriati on a bad day at the USOpen years ago). The games are/were solid, the retrieving skills world-class, but there really is nothing of substance there to really hurt the top players unless they're having a bad day at the office. That will (as the French Open last year illustrated) happen every now and again, and this type of player thrives among mediocrity, but in the long run, someone always comes along who plays to win, and who can take the game of a player who plays not to lose apart with surgical precision.

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