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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old Apr 4th, 2011, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
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Patrick Mouratoglou article - Women's Game Lacks Focus

Very interesting article by Patrick - really reflecting what a lot of us have said for some time. Read on......

http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/tennis.../article/1522/

It was great to see Maria Sharapova reach the final in Miami, before losing to Victoria Azarenka in quite comfortable straight sets.

I went to watch Sharapova play recently in Indian Wells, when she thrashed Aravane Rezai 6-2 6-2, and was struck by two things: how electrifyingly she was beating people in the early rounds, but also the relative weakness of her game.

She's still young but after suffering from lots of injuries, including undergoing right shoulder surgery, she doesn't give me the impression that she still makes tennis a top priority.

It may sound weird to talk about the weakness of a player who is reaching finals in a top event like Miami but I am certain Maria Sharapova is far from having her A-game back.

She built her strength around several main weapons: a big serve, being efficient on her first shot after the serve and putting a lot of intensity into her returns, which kept her opponent under pressure.

Even if the last shot is still efficient, despite her coach reminding her throughout matches to be aggressive on the second serve, her serve is barely a shadow of what it used to be.

Her first serve has lot a lot of its crushing ability, the stats confirm it, and her second serve is not amazingly reliable. It's not a safe shot for her.

All this results in a huge number of double faults; leading, of course, to a large number of breaks of serve.

She does still display an aggressive game but she has lost a bit of power and explosiveness in her movement. Now she is making just as many unforced errors as she used to but at the same time managing far fewer winners.

Most important of all though is that she has becomes a beatable player as long as you know the strategy to play against her.

She remains dangerous if you give her angles and she likes to be moved around the court in order to use those angles to fire some great shots.

In women's tennis numerous girls are playing from right to left with reasonable pace and the Russian enjoys playing against that.

But if an opponent sends deep balls back down the middle of the court, Sharapova doesn't know what how to strike back. Then the mistakes follow and the opponent is able to counter-punch.

After all this criticism it is possible to wonder how she is still winning matches.

Firstly her efficiency is tied in with the fact that most of her opponents play a game that completely suits her. When that's the case, she remains one of the best in the world on the return of serve, so she's putting a lot of pressure on her opponents. Also when she is not deep in a double-fault crisis she can focus on her opponent's serve.

She's also a huge competitor still; she is a really tough on the key points, a player who rarely chokes when it is time to end a match and a player who is going to take her chance no matter what from the first to the last point.

She still fights like her lift is at stake and because of that she is able to get back in the world's top 10 and reach a final like Miami.

It is also thrilling to watch Maria just being in the spotlight again. Her charisma, the feeling she gives people watching her play, is just unique.

She's displays great inner strength, she makes people dream and love the sport. Like Venus or Serena, she is simply in another dimension. They all make people love them, admire them or hate them. They give a soul to the game because people always have an opinion out them one way or another.

And this is the major issue in the women's game today: the stars with charisma and the players who make people dream are no longer at the top of the game.

Sharapova, Venus and Serena are extraordinary players, true tennis ambassadors, and when they were reigning women's tennis was at its best.

Now they've turned their back on the sport slightly in order to pick up a more glamorous life. Venus isn't shining in Grand Slams anymore, her sister hasn't played in nine months and even before that she wasn't really playing or winning anything outside the Grand Slams.

What would the men's game be if Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic were ranked between 15th and 30th? What if they never played each other in the last four of the major events? What if they only played 15 tournaments a year? The sport was turn slightly dull and would lose its audience.

The ATP tour has had ten amazing years because the Pete Sampras-Andre Agassi duet has been replaced by the Nadal-Federer one.

What allows Nadal and Federer to achieve so much is their love of the game and their dedication to it. They still have the flame so they can go on training and searching to be better in order to win. The still want to win and the deeply respect the sport, its history and culture.

Celebrity, glamour and sponsorship contracts now take too much of a place in the women's game and it takes away the stars of a sport that brought them to the top.

They are losing their focus and the level of their game is becoming unpredictable so they are prevented from shining in the big events.

The absence of giant rivalries is what is slowly killing the women's game.
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old Apr 4th, 2011, 08:54 PM
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Re: Patrick Mouratoglou article - Women's Game Lacks Focus

IMO Mouratoglou is a wanker whose analysis of tennis is mediocre at best. Oh, and that there are some posters here who have similar opinions to his is . . just . . . shocking. Totally shocking.

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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old Apr 4th, 2011, 08:55 PM
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Re: Patrick Mouratoglou article - Women's Game Lacks Focus

This is just an article about Sharapova, not the tour. People need to get used to her new level. I say new level... the way shes been playing since her comeback.

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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old Apr 4th, 2011, 09:01 PM
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Re: Patrick Mouratoglou article - Women's Game Lacks Focus

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferg View Post
This is just an article about Sharapova, not the tour.
I didn't read it (GIGO) but it's another shock that Mouratoglou would be confused like that. Totally shocking.

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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old Apr 4th, 2011, 09:02 PM
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Re: Patrick Mouratoglou article - Women's Game Lacks Focus

Seriously of all the players he could pick on the Women´s Tour that lack in effort and focus he picks Sharapova. If that is Sharapova not playing hard or focused, she must have a hidden serial killer gear somewhere.

- Caroline Wozniacki has never beaten a reigning world #1.
- Caroline Wozniacki has never beaten a top 5 player at a major.
- Caroline Wozniacki has not beaten a top 3 player en route to any of her 23 titles.
- Caroline Wozniacki has beaten two top 5 players en route to her 23 titles (#4 Zvonareva and #5 Schiavone)

-Her fans think she had very bad luck with her Grand Slam and Regular Tour draws.
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old Apr 4th, 2011, 09:03 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Patrick Mouratoglou article - Women's Game Lacks Focus

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferg View Post
This is just an article about Sharapova, not the tour. People need to get used to her new level. I say new level... the way shes been playing since her comeback.
It's an article about Sharapova AND the tour. That's why the article is called "Women's Game Lacks Focuus" and not "What can Sharapova improve to win big titles"
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old Apr 4th, 2011, 09:04 PM
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Re: Patrick Mouratoglou article - Women's Game Lacks Focus

He has like 4 lines on the tour.

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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old Apr 4th, 2011, 09:09 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Patrick Mouratoglou article - Women's Game Lacks Focus

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Originally Posted by pov View Post
I didn't read it (GIGO) but it's another shock that Mouratoglou would be confused like that. Totally shocking.
There's a few people confused around here

You need to read an article first before making assessments and passing judgements
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old Apr 4th, 2011, 09:09 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Patrick Mouratoglou article - Women's Game Lacks Focus

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He has like 4 lines on the tour.
Are you serious?
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old Apr 4th, 2011, 09:20 PM
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Re: Patrick Mouratoglou article - Women's Game Lacks Focus

yeah.

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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old Apr 4th, 2011, 09:20 PM
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Re: Patrick Mouratoglou article - Women's Game Lacks Focus

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Are you serious?
Its a stupid article. Maria and the sisters have had injuries. They're not winning majors because of injuries, not because they have sponsors and like glamour.
And no one has more focus and tries harder than the current world #1.
And she is a role model and a great ambassador for the game.
And if he doesnt think Kim has charisma, then fuck him.

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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old Apr 4th, 2011, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Patrick Mouratoglou article - Women's Game Lacks Focus

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yeah.
Ok.....
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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old Apr 4th, 2011, 09:23 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Patrick Mouratoglou article - Women's Game Lacks Focus

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Its a stupid article. Maria and the sisters have had injuries. They're not winning majors because of injuries, not because they have sponsors and like glamour.
And no one has more focus and tries harder than the current world #1.
And she is a role model and a great ambassador for the game.
I don't think anyone would dispute that Wozniacki is a role model and great ambassador. But no player becomes a real household name unless / until they win major titles.
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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old Apr 4th, 2011, 09:26 PM
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Re: Patrick Mouratoglou article - Women's Game Lacks Focus

Fair assessment of the problems being faced by both Martha and the Tour as a whole. Not very original, since it's pretty much what everybody else is saying as well, but at least it's clearly laid out.

Flat out wrong about the causes of the Tour's problems.

No solutions suggested.

Thanks for posting this anyway; posting articles used to be done more often in here, but nowadays people only link to blogs/articles/interviews when they want to start yet another tard war.

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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old Apr 4th, 2011, 09:28 PM
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Re: Patrick Mouratoglou article - Women's Game Lacks Focus

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Originally Posted by laurie View Post
I don't think anyone would dispute that Wozniacki is a role model and great ambassador. But no player becomes a real household name unless / until they win major titles.
Anna Kournikova? (those doubles majors don't really count.)

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