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post #1 of 42 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 2008, 04:53 AM Thread Starter
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Nostalgia

Just for shits and giggles
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16810620/
Serena's improbable run to end

Unseeded American will fall to top-seeded Sharapova in Aussie final

COMMENTARY
By Tracy Austin
MSNBC contributor
updated 2:55 p.m. ET, Thurs., Jan. 25, 2007


Tracy Austin
MELBOURNE, Australia - Serena Williams has given tennis fans an Australian Open to remember.

Entering the first major of 2007 ranked as world No. 81 due to having played in only four events in 2006, the 25-year-old American has defied the odds to reach her 10th Grand Slam final.

She has taken out five seeded players, and she says she hasn't even played well yet Down Under.

There's no question Serena has exceeded expectations, but she is going to have her work cut out for her when she takes on top-seeded Maria Sharapova in the women's singles final.

Sharapova is going to be a huge step up in class for Williams -- too big a step in my opinion as I see the Russian taking the title.

Sharapova in storming form
There’s no doubt that Sharapova has elevated her game in the last few months. She is also a more confident player than she was before she won her second major at last year's U.S. Open.

The 19-year-old was already a great player on the attack, but her defense has gotten better and she has been serving well on big points.

Overall there are more facets to her game than there used to be, and you can see all the little pieces falling into place as Sharapova improves.

Williams’ semifinal opponent Nicole Vaidisova is a stablemate of Sharapova’s at Nick Bollettieri’s tennis academy in Florida, and she has a similar game to Sharapova's but with one big difference -- Sharapova is much better at that game than is Vaidisova.

Sharapova is a tough cookie and she won’t be intimidated the way Vaidisova was against Williams. She was not intimidated by Williams when she was 17 and playing in the Wimbledon final, and she certainly is not going to be intimidated now as a seasoned player who has won two majors.

Sharapova hits the ball so early, so deep and so well on a consistent basis. I think she is going to rush Williams and therefore test her conditioning a lot more than it has been tested so far.

At her peak, Williams moved so well it was impossible to rush her, but Sharapova is going to put her on her back foot over and over again.
Let's break down their games.

SERVE
It’s tough to choose between them. Williams has a big serve and she has used it well this tournament, but Sharapova’s serve is much improved. I don't see a decided edge for either of them on the serve.
EDGE: EVEN

RETURN OF SERVE
Williams used to have one of the best returns in the game, but it is not quite "on" yet.
Sharapova is returning a lot better than she used to, and she is being smarter about choosing when to go for her returns too.
EDGE: SHARAPOVA


VOLLEYS
Sharapova really does not volley unless she is fairly sure of hitting a winner, so she makes a higher percentage of a the volleys she hits. Williams, though, is a more natural volleyer.
EDGE: WILLIAMS

FOREHAND
Both Williams and Sharapova have incredibly powerful forehands, but both are also prone to mistakes on that wing.
I think Williams’ lack of matches puts her at a slight disadvantage here so, on current form, she loses out to Sharapova.
EDGE: SHARAPOVA

BACKHAND
Right here, right now, Sharapova’s backhand is a safer shot than Williams’ is, so I back the Russian here too.
So many shots are about confidence, and in three months’ time, when Williams has a few more matches under her belt, then she is going to be stronger in so many areas, including this one.
EDGE: SHARAPOVA

FITNESS AND ATHLETICISM
I would split these categories into two. I think Williams is the more agile mover and is the better athlete naturally, but there is no question that Sharapova is in much better shape.
EDGE ATHLETICISM: WILLIAMS
EDGE FITNESS: SHARAPOVA

STRATEGY
This is not going to be a strategic contest, it is going to be a battle of serves and power hitting. It is going to be about who executes their shots better on the day.
EDGE: EVEN

MENTAL TOUGHNESS
These are two of the strongest players mentally in the women’s game. Neither of them ever gives up and they have that champion’s ability to compete well even if they aren’t necessarily playing well.
EDGE: EVEN

MY PICK
SHARAPOVA IN STRAIGHT SETS

Proud to be an American
Not blind. Not uninformed. We are party to atrocities. But the response of the world after 9/11 is worth noting. Even our most dire enemies offered aid. We should all be so lucky.
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post #2 of 42 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 2008, 04:55 AM
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Re: Nostalgia

Well considering just about everyone was on Sharapova's non-existent dick after she escaped in the 1R, I am not surprised that Tracy picked Sharapova, as she was on Sharapova's non-existent dick as well.

Serena

Step to this! Step to this!
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post #3 of 42 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 2008, 05:03 AM
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Re: Nostalgia

Quote:
Originally Posted by RenaSlam588 View Post
Well considering just about everyone was on Sharapova's non-existent dick after she escaped in the 1R, I am not surprised that Tracy picked Sharapova, as she was on Sharapova's non-existent dick as well.

Serena

Step to this! Step to this!
RenaSlam I admire your enthusiasm but calm down dude.
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post #4 of 42 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 2008, 05:05 AM
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Re: Nostalgia

Volcana, you are getting a good rep for this,

Rena's Army, Ana and Vika!!!

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post #5 of 42 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 2008, 05:05 AM
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Re: Nostalgia

i remember that article...someone ate some serious crow

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post #6 of 42 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 2008, 05:09 AM
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Re: Nostalgia

living in the past as always


Quote:
Originally Posted by RenaSlam588 View Post
Step to this! Step to this!
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post #7 of 42 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 2008, 05:28 AM
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Re: Nostalgia

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living in the past as always


The past and future as you shall soon see,
Maybe you already got a glimpse in Hong Kong,

Rena's Army, Ana and Vika!!!

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post #8 of 42 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 2008, 05:29 AM
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Re: Nostalgia

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Originally Posted by doni1212 View Post
The past and future as you shall soon see,
Maybe you already got a glimpse in Hong Kong,


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post #9 of 42 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 2008, 05:38 AM
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Re: Nostalgia

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post #10 of 42 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 2008, 05:38 AM
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Re: Nostalgia

Fucking idiot Austin is and always will be, particularly when it comes to Sharapova. This isn't even only tragic with the benefit of hindsight, it was a stupid stupid pick even before a ball had been struck. Anyone who had been watching the tournament instead of burying their head in Sharapova's lap would know this was never going to be straight sets for Maria. As for the demolition that ensued, well, even I couldn't have picked that.
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post #11 of 42 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 2008, 05:40 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Nostalgia

I was trying to find her predictions for this year, and ran into that article.

Proud to be an American
Not blind. Not uninformed. We are party to atrocities. But the response of the world after 9/11 is worth noting. Even our most dire enemies offered aid. We should all be so lucky.
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post #12 of 42 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 2008, 05:52 AM
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Re: Nostalgia

but if Sharapova was fitter, had just as good of a serve, better forehand, better backhand

however did she lose?? lmao!
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post #13 of 42 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 2008, 06:17 AM
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Re: Nostalgia

You would think that people would know by now that The Williams Sisters defy all the rules. That was a fantastic beatdown by Serena

RIDE OR DIE! Down for Venus Williams



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post #14 of 42 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 2008, 06:18 AM
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Re: Nostalgia

lol.......Tracy and her opinion just don't matter

Serena Williams.

16-Time Grand Slam Champion.

2013 Titles: Brisbane, Sony Open (Miami), Family Circle Cup, Madrid, Rome, 16th SLAM-THE FRENCH OPEN, Bastad, Roger's Cup

2013 Record: (60-4)
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post #15 of 42 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 2008, 07:41 PM
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Re: Nostalgia

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