Is Sharapova's serve overrated? - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 109 (permalink) Old Feb 1st, 2007, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
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Is Sharapova's serve overrated?

I've thought so for a while now. I think her biggest weapon is her groundstrokes.

As far as her serve goes, I think her technique is awkward and ungainly, and not enough first deliveries reach their target on a consistent basis. It is true that all players have bad days when their serve is not working, yet the stroke can still be a weapon when everything is working in order.

I think the tremendous advantage Sharapova has on her serve is her height. But, as far as I can see, there is scarely any variety, limited power, and her service action does not fill me with confidence.

Serves also need weight in them as well as power, making the ball difficult to time. Davenport's serve had tremendous weight, as does Serena's, as did Mary Pierce's. Maria Sharapova's serve looks a little lean, to me, rather like her frame.

Anybody agree?
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post #2 of 109 (permalink) Old Feb 1st, 2007, 05:54 PM
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Re: Is Sharapova's serve overrated?

I disagree. Just watch the US Open final too see how good Sharapova's serve can be when it's at its best.

But lately she has been serving like crap.
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post #3 of 109 (permalink) Old Feb 1st, 2007, 05:56 PM
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Re: Is Sharapova's serve overrated?

Ive thought so for awhile to. Dont get me wrong she has a great serve the problem is she only has two serves.... the one down the tee and the deep in the pocket serve. Most players arent good enough to do anything about it but when I saw Venus tear apart the Maria serve in Wim 05' I knew that could be a liability against the best returners in the game. Maria is 6'2 theres no reason she cant get a little more pop on her serve and she would be well gained to add some more variety to her serve.

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post #4 of 109 (permalink) Old Feb 1st, 2007, 06:00 PM
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Re: Is Sharapova's serve overrated?

Just don't look at her serve in AO open, wait until she will find her serve again. She was serving great at the US open, that was the main thing that took her to the victory. She was serving great at the end of last season and that's why she won so many tournaments and won 19 matches in a row.

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post #5 of 109 (permalink) Old Feb 1st, 2007, 06:08 PM
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Re: Is Sharapova's serve overrated?

its her best weapon when it works
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post #6 of 109 (permalink) Old Feb 1st, 2007, 06:33 PM
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Re: Is Sharapova's serve overrated?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steffica Greles View Post
Anybody agree?
Disagree.

Maria suffered from a misdiagnosed injury throughout the latter half of 2005, which greatly hampered her serving until it finally broke down altogether in the YEC SF against Mauresmo.

During the earlier part of 2006, she was serving adequately, but certainly not as well as someone of her heigth should be. Even at Wimbledon, her first serve was quite powerful, but conservatively placed, and without much variety.

The turning point was San Diego. Maria served her way to the title there. She was particularly impressive vs Schnyder (who, granted, isn't the most aggressive returner of serve out there) - Patty got hammered with 78% 1st serves, 2-3 aces and unreturnable serves on each of Maria's service games, and several "eat this!" aces on big points. The placement of her serves as a whole was much improved, and she would now attempt to hit aces or unreturnable serves down the T when in trouble - and more often than not pull it off. Even later on the final vs Clijsters, it was Maria's serving on clutch points that allowed her to keep herself in the second set, in which she was being completely outplayed, long enough for Clijsters to choke it away.

The USO was much the same. Whole sets would go by without Maria's opponents able to get even a look at her service games - case in point the second set of the final (no less), and during the fall indoor tournaments it continued to be so, with a few minor hiccups (say the match vs Ivanovic in Linz).

At the AO, on the other hand, the only match where Maria's serve was up to late 2006 standards was vs Zvonareva.

Now Maria's serve has fallen apart, and is at least as poor as that of late 2005.

I've heard that her service motion is superb from a technical POV - not being an expert, I wouldn't know about that, but I do know that her toss is to die for.

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post #7 of 109 (permalink) Old Feb 1st, 2007, 06:36 PM
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Re: Is Sharapova's serve overrated?

Agree with the above poster. Maria´s serve has fallen apart now. She is probably injured. When she is healthy, her serve is amazing.

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post #8 of 109 (permalink) Old Feb 1st, 2007, 07:08 PM
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Re: Is Sharapova's serve overrated?

Her serve is a huge weapon. No one is at their best all the time. Sharapova's serve is what makes her #1. Otherwise, she's no better than Dementieva.

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post #9 of 109 (permalink) Old Feb 1st, 2007, 07:11 PM
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Re: Is Sharapova's serve overrated?

It's not overrated...it's just not working currently...
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post #10 of 109 (permalink) Old Feb 1st, 2007, 07:13 PM
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Re: Is Sharapova's serve overrated?

Maybe she's got a bit taller and that's what bothering her serve.
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post #11 of 109 (permalink) Old Feb 1st, 2007, 07:14 PM
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Re: Is Sharapova's serve overrated?

Any report of TOB's demise based on the AO is greatly exaggerated. Her serve is one of her best weapons--it simply overpowers most players. It's less effective against the best players largely because they are, well, better.

I think the problem for Maria is that it's such a good weapon--even when it's off--that she can still rely on it to win matches against most players on the tour (she did, after all, serve badly throughout the AO and still made the final). The problem is that when she does run into a Serena in Australia, a Lena D. in LA, etc. and they're able to return her serve she doesn't always have a plan B. Just keeps trying to outhit other hardhitters (and that will never, ever work against Serena. Forget it. You will die).

I think TOB's weaknesses as a player are her mobility and footwork. When her serve is off, other players can really start to use that against her.

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post #12 of 109 (permalink) Old Feb 1st, 2007, 07:17 PM
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Re: Is Sharapova's serve overrated?

Quote:
Originally Posted by goldenlox View Post
Her serve is a huge weapon. No one is at their best all the time. Sharapova's serve is what makes her #1. Otherwise, she's no better than Dementieva.
Actually, I don't think she'd be as good as Dementieva without her serve. She's not as mobile and while she hits a little harder on the forehand side, she's not as good at the net as Lena.

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post #13 of 109 (permalink) Old Feb 1st, 2007, 07:17 PM
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Re: Is Sharapova's serve overrated?

I feel that both Maria's serve and toughness are slightly overrated. I think Masha is on her way to International Tennis Hall of Fame greatness and hope her new serving woes don't derail her from becoming an all time great. I think Maria has one of the best serves in women's tennis. But it's certainly not the best. Serena Williams has the best serve ever in women's tennis. And Steffi Graf's serve would be second. What concerns me about Masha is that when her serve is off it affects the rest of her game.

I think Maria should hire Phil Dent as her serve coach and pay him a couple hundred thousand dollars a year to do so. She can afford it. And if Maria is to win a grand slam this year her serve will have to significantly improve.

If Maria was injured there is no way she would be playing in Tokyo. It wouldn't make any sense. But Masha's serving technique is excellent compared to double fault divas Anna Kournikova and Elena Dementieva. There is no way this should be happening to Maria. And it concerns me that she can't fix the problem.

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post #14 of 109 (permalink) Old Feb 1st, 2007, 07:21 PM
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Re: Is Sharapova's serve overrated?

What is TOB?
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post #15 of 109 (permalink) Old Feb 1st, 2007, 07:23 PM
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Re: Is Sharapova's serve overrated?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Denise4925 View Post
What is TOB?
The Other Blonde, Max's name for Maria.
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