According to some Mashastans (chµck, madmax, and others), Maria's shoulder is not an issue "resolved" as it sill bothers her to serve, for instance in Wimbledon final.
What do you think?
I will give you some statistics (from the most recent Slam and her favourite/best one) and pros/cons :
In Wimbledon :
Masha hit 24 aces
, she is at #4 (but she played 7 matchs so ~3.43 aces per match... not a lot for a former great server
). Lisicki is first, then Serena and Kvitty-GOAT (who hit 36 aces, it may have been an important factor in that final).
BUT !!!!! Masha is leading the Doublefaults rankings with 38 dfs
uch: it means ~5.43 per match, so a differential of -2... Kinda bad especially that we know she hit some dfs on big points.
Now let's see the serve speed...She is even with the likes of Pironkova, Gajdosova, Rybarikova, Kvitty-GOAT (even Ivanovic is ahead them
but it means Baby Anci is clueless even at serve, if she didn't score a single point on her serve in that tie-break) with 113 mph
, not bad at all
On her first serve : 71% of first point won
(on Wimbledon overall, of course) for Maria !!! (weird to notice that Patricia Mayr is leading with 90% !!! but who cares, she only played a match)
About her second serve (points won) : she is not even in the top 20 (while Kvitty-GOAT is #6, must be the most deciding factor in the Wimbledon final), so less than 54%.
Now let's study her ROS game...
She won 115 first serve return points in 7 matchs, she is #2, behind Kvitova (128 points). She won 103 points off serve return (only behind Marion who won 114 points
She won 33 break points, even with Kvitty-GOAT.
So, she is better on ROS than on serve. No shit Sherlock. But even her serve is good, I should remind you she didn't lose a single set till the final where she lost in straights. So she was not THAT bad. Or maybe her opponents (Chakvetadze, Robson, Zakopalova, Peng, Cibulkova-GRASS GOAT, Lisicki) were really bad. Feel free to choose.
She was injured from summer 2008 till clay season 2009 (she played doubles in Indian Wells, with Vesnina, right? they both lost in 1R if I am not wrong). She played a good season, reaching quarters of RG, her so-called worst Slam. How to explain this? Was she mentally fresh to fight every match and her own serve ? Afterwards, she got worse (2nd round exit in Wimbly 09, 3r at the USO, 1r at the AO where she hit like 20 dfs and 70 ues
, 3r in RG but she played RG-GOAT Juju Heng, 4r in Wimbly and USO '10...).
But it seems she woke up this year : 4r in the AO (Fourthroundpova
), 1/2 in RG (Semipova back !), final in Wimbledon....
- The kind of injury she got was very severe, a lot of athletes were never the same after that shoulder injury (I don't remember his name, but a baseball player had that injury, ask Lizchris, she talked about him). She had to change her whole serve-and-ROS game, knowing that Greatpova was a serve monster (summer-fall 2006
uch: She was scaring), who built her whole game around her serve. If her serve collapses, her game collapses as well.
- She is still afraid to get injured again, so she is safer with her shoulder so at the serve. Therefore, she can't serve like before, because she is too afraid.
- She has tried to have a plan B, especially on second serve. I remember that one day, she shortened her serve motion, but she hit as much dfs as she used to with her old serve motion.
- It was three years ago it happened. Enough time to find a plan B.
- It is not because of her injury, that's because she can't cope well with outdoors conditions : the wind, the sun...
- She has a much better ROS game, so it should compensate the lack of serve points won.
And she should change her second serve, because she doesn't bring variations nor different speed on second serve.
- It is a mental issue, she is not as a fighter as she was before, so she loses more matchs.
- You are a Williams fans (bandabou, Butterfrena, do you hear me?) or Caralenko, you are tired to hear Mashastans' excuses, and you think she has passed her peak and will never win a Slam again.
Hope it helps.
Personally, I think she is too stubborn with her second serve, she keeps hitting it like it is a first serve. Has she taken serve classes with Dementieva? But she is doing good, she can win another Slam, she needs to stop spraying UEs all over the court if her serve is AWOL, she needs to have the confidence to keep in mind that her serve sucks but she can control her game. It seems she lacks of confidence. When she is confident, she can play great, no hitting DFs, and stuff... I have noticed that most of her DFs happened in tight matchs.
Maria is thankful you read the whole thread.