What should Azarenka do about her game? (if anythng_ - TennisForum.com

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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old Jan 30th, 2010, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
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What should Azarenka do about her game? (if anythng_

There wasn't anything wrong about how Azarenka played in her QF vs Serena. She did her thing, she did it well and then Serena projected herself to the level of tennis Serena is capable of playing when motivated. Right now, Serena's best is better than Azarenka's best. But in the normal course of development, Azarenka will improve and refine what she does well now. She'll improve without changing her decision making. Will that be enough to win slams?

Aside from all the Azarenka-Safina style players, the Chinese will produce another couple small fast players with weak serves who hit demonic angles. The Human Backboard wll still be around, Sharapova will hopefully have found her form again, Kuzzy may be having a last hurrah, plus the occasional Bondarenko-Radwanska.

Does Azarenka need anything else? Recall that, Davenport, Capriati, Pierce, Clijsters, Hings, ASV, Sharapova,Kuznetsova all won multiple slams without substantially alteraing their games. (Venus, Serena, Justine DID make changes, which may be why their total slm singles wins are higher, but that's not the point of the thread.)

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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old Jan 30th, 2010, 05:25 PM
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Re: What should Azarenka do about her game? (if anythng_

I think she just needs to develop a better serve and I think she will. Out of all the young girls coming out, she is def. the one I see (hopefully) winning GS's. Her ground game is good and so are her returns. Though I do believe she should become more of an all-around player which she is capable of doing.

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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old Jan 30th, 2010, 05:25 PM
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Re: What should Azarenka do about her game? (if anythng_

Azarenka doesn't have the mental fortitude just yet. Even up a set and 4-0 and dominating Serena, she obviously had too much self doubt. Otherwise, she wouldn't have taken her foot off of Serena's throat just enough to allow Serena to get back in that match. It was a winnable match for Azarenak. She just eased up that slight little bit and that was enough for Serena. The game is there. Between the ears was the decider for that match.

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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old Jan 30th, 2010, 05:28 PM
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Re: What should Azarenka do about her game? (if anythng_

Serve better and learn how to RAISE and match the level of her opponent when they are raising theirs, which of course is somewhat of a mental thing. She needs to find away, when she's missing, to not go for the lines so much but dial it back a bit until she can find her game again.

Against Serena, the other day, there was little she could have done though. The match, when First-strike-arena starts dialing in, is pretty much on her racket against everybody.

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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old Jan 30th, 2010, 05:36 PM
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Re: What should Azarenka do about her game? (if anythng_

Yea i agree i dont feel it was Serena just playing to good but more Azarenka getting tight and letting it slip away....with that said her mental fortitude and belief is what she lacks! Oh and btw (Venus, Serena, Justine DID make changes, which may be why their total slm singles wins are higher, but that's not the point of the thread.) umm what exactly did Venus do to SUBSTANTIALLY change her game?

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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old Jan 30th, 2010, 05:37 PM
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Re: What should Azarenka do about her game? (if anythng_

Her serve is pathetic.
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old Jan 30th, 2010, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
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Re: What should Azarenka do about her game? (if anythng_

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Originally Posted by mdterp01 View Post
Azarenka doesn't have the mental fortitude just yet. Even up a set and 4-0 and dominating Serena, she obviously had too much self doubt.
I don't think it's self-doubt, so much as inexperience. She didn't know that up a set and 4-0 was the time to bear down and play harder against an opponent like Serena. She figured she coud just keep doing what she was doing. Especially given their past match history.

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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old Jan 30th, 2010, 05:41 PM
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Re: What should Azarenka do about her game? (if anythng_

I think she's on the right track.
She had one huge disadvantage, which was her mental side and her attitude. But I think she has improved it a lot in the last few months; she is far more positive now, last year in the match against Serena she would have collapsed mentally.

Now she has to work on her serve, especially because she is a tall girl, so she could use that shot a lot better.
Another thing she should do is being more aggressive, but this one is another thing she is already doing from the beginning of this year.
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old Jan 30th, 2010, 05:49 PM
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Re: What should Azarenka do about her game? (if anythng_

Developing a better serve would do wonders.
She's already improved her defense, all court game and mentality in the off season. Clearly she is putting in the work.

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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old Jan 30th, 2010, 05:52 PM
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Re: What should Azarenka do about her game? (if anythng_

Spice up the serve.
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post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old Jan 30th, 2010, 05:53 PM
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Re: What should Azarenka do about her game? (if anythng_

She still cant hit through her opponents. Her shots still sit up quite a bit until she's basically forced to flatten out the shot (usually on the BH side).

If she wants to play Big Babe tennis, that's fine, but she just does not hit the ball hard enough and or flat enough right now.

And contrary to popular belief, I thought Azarenka couldn't have done any more against Serena. GOATRena is just unstoppable.

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post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old Jan 30th, 2010, 06:04 PM
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Re: What should Azarenka do about her game? (if anythng_

Her first serve could use more bite to it, she has pretty decent placement on it, but it could be better. Her second serve needs better placement.
And while I like that Vika can add spin and flatten out the ball, she needs to be able to flatten it on more often so the ball doesn't sit up as much at times. And she needs to continue to be aggresive when she can, she's already started to do that more.

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post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old Jan 30th, 2010, 06:06 PM
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Re: What should Azarenka do about her game? (if anythng_

She needs a better first serve because with her current one she's always going to be a bit vulnerable to players coming back at her like Serena did. Even against lower ranked players she rarely has that many easy service games. She looks a bit quicker around the court than she did towards the end of last year though and her defensive play has improved too. I'd like to see her come in and volley a lot more than she does do when she stretches her opponents out wide instead of staying back on the baseline like a lot of players do. The CC forehand has also been a bit of a weakness in the past but it is steadily getting better.

Overall though it's definitely the serve needs the most work doing to it because she was statistically the best returner on tour last season, so with many more free points on her own serve it could make so much difference to her results.

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post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old Jan 30th, 2010, 06:06 PM
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Re: What should Azarenka do about her game? (if anythng_

During the Australian Open, she came to the net more than I have ever seen her. Continuing to do that will help her immensely in the long run... especially as she keeps playing/succeeding in doubles.

Her attitude and ability to handle her emotions got better with the coaching change as well. She would not have won that match against Vera had she played it last year... nor would she have been able to take Serena to a tiebreak in that second set after Serena won so many games in a row.

Things are coming along nicely for her. So far she has slowly made steps in her career, and if she continues to do so... she should win a slam within the next couple of years.

That darned serve needs to get better though. I don't understand how it is so weak. She is tall and has plenty of power. She just needs to find the right motion, in my opinion.
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post #15 of 35 (permalink) Old Jan 30th, 2010, 06:11 PM Thread Starter
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Re: What should Azarenka do about her game? (if anythng_

Quote:
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what exactly did Venus do to SUBSTANTIALLY change her game?
Look at Venus in 2000-2001. She barely came at net at all. She's one of the most effective volley-ers on tour now.

Also, in 2000-2001, Venus hit a very flat ball, and hit near fullpower almost every shot. These days, she hits almost everything with topspin, except attempting the winning shot on a point.

\Have you actually been watching tennis over the past ten years? How could not have noticed that?

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