Laurie is there any changes to her game? What is going to take her to the next level that we know she has the natural skill to do so?
Well I'm waiting to see next week in Sydney and then the Aussie Open to see what changes there will be from Sveta this year.
I agree with Goldenlox to an extent, she got to four or five finals again last year but was unable to win any, her best chance came in the Dubai final where she won the 1st set 6-2 then ran out of steam, disappointing because I want to see Sveta exploit Dementieva's 2nd serve when they play eachother.
Improvements? I'm looking for a few.
Well, first of all, I'm looking for an improvement of attitude. I think with Sveta having changed coaches is an encouraging sign that she's prepared to take the brave decisions. And now she's back in Russia among family and friends might help her as well.
Then, I'm looking for an improvement in temperment on the court. I think Henin is a perfect example in the womens game, when there is a 2nd serve and a 15:30 situation for instance, Henin will attack by making sure she gets a deep return into play which she can either use it to chip and charge or get into an offensive position in the rally, too often Sveta just takes a whack at the return and misses the lines, sometimes wildly - adjustments like that where she concentrates on getting more balls into play more often will make a big difference in the long run, I hope and I'm sure that's the kind of thing Olga Morozova will be impressing on her from a tactical standpoint.
If Sveta can get these tactical adjustments right, plus come to the net more often off approaches and returns, she can become a force, it's down to her, and of course to not give in and succumb to nerves in the finals of tournaments.
And one more important thing, Sveta MUST
improve her 2nd serve. That might sound surprising because she has good technique and a good ball toss. But she got her tactics wrong when working with Stefan Ortega, maybe he has to take some responsibility. In the ad court, Sveta ALWAYS
hits a topsin second serve to her opponents backhand, this has cost her many finals the last 2 years. Players are actually waiting for the shot because it's slow and sits up waiting to be smacked, in fact in the 2008 Indian Wells final, Ivanovic was running around her backhand to smack forehand return winners, Sveta had nowhere to go and it drains the confidence. And this is important because the ad court is the decision court, that's where games are won and lost, so a good change up serve on that side is vital. Sveta has to develop a change up 2nd serve to the opponents forehand with slice and topspin. Players take a longer swing on the forehand so serves to the forehand actually rushes them into errors or short replies which can then be put away, especially as often players are taking a stance to cover the backhand, Sampras and Becker were masters of this and Murray is starting to develop this kind of serve, Sharapova uses it all the time and when Mauresmo was at her best in 2006 she used this 2nd serve tactic a lot too.
Well, that's what I'm looking for in Sveta' game - sounds a lot
But it's small tactical adjustments and I belive she can do it.