Do you think that playing more is helping or hurting Serena? - TennisForum.com

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post #1 of 39 (permalink) Old May 17th, 2012, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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Do you think that playing more is helping or hurting Serena?

Last year, Serena won Stanford, Toronto, and the Us Open series before falling to Stosur in a shockingly bizarre, one-sided affair which seemed to suggest that an early-summer loss and some rest (her usual pattern before a grand slam win) would have done her some good. Now she's on the road to her third clay court title of the year; if she wins, she will have played 7 matches in a row a week before a grueling two-week grand slam on clay--a surface that requires the most stamina. On top of that (as much as Serena fans don't like to admit it) its clear that her foot is acting up again.

We all know that Venus and Serena have benefited from their unique, reserved approach to the tennis season. Now it seems as if Serena is playing events week in and week out, winning them consistently, and playing her best at non-slam events. Is it for her or to make her fans and the tennis community happy? Does this compromise come at the cost of Serena's unique approach to the game that has worked for her for years?

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post #2 of 39 (permalink) Old May 17th, 2012, 09:18 PM
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Re: Do you think that playing more is helping or hurting Serena?

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post #3 of 39 (permalink) Old May 17th, 2012, 09:22 PM
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Re: Do you think that playing more is helping or hurting Serena?

It'll help her unless she has a real problem as is suggested about her back, then she'd better rest.
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post #4 of 39 (permalink) Old May 17th, 2012, 09:25 PM
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Re: Do you think that playing more is helping or hurting Serena?

Has Serena herself spoken about this?
Or it one of things palyers do not want to reveal until the competition is over
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post #5 of 39 (permalink) Old May 17th, 2012, 09:53 PM
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Re: Do you think that playing more is helping or hurting Serena?

I don't think she's hurting herself at all really. She took a three week break between Miami/Charleston and Madrid/Rome, and will take another week off before RG kicks off. It's not exactly like she's ramming in tournaments Bartoli style. She's basically playing a standard claycourt season.

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post #6 of 39 (permalink) Old May 17th, 2012, 09:55 PM
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Re: Do you think that playing more is helping or hurting Serena?

She wants to be match fit unlike the AO
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post #7 of 39 (permalink) Old May 17th, 2012, 10:03 PM
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Re: Do you think that playing more is helping or hurting Serena?

No, she's playing the right schedule.
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post #8 of 39 (permalink) Old May 17th, 2012, 10:11 PM
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Re: Do you think that playing more is helping or hurting Serena?

Its actually good practise because a grand slam is two weeks long serena has basically played fully for two weeks.

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post #9 of 39 (permalink) Old May 17th, 2012, 10:17 PM
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Re: Do you think that playing more is helping or hurting Serena?

It doesn't help because apparently she has some ache. Even if she plays 2 red clay warmup before RG, that wouldn't help. And because of her body type she's prone to injury more than other players. Red clay is the one surface that doesn't fit her game overall. She will make the UE on that extra shot. And just compare her aces stats in Madrid and Rome...
She's the clear favourite for Wimbledon, but not RG.
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post #10 of 39 (permalink) Old May 17th, 2012, 10:46 PM
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Re: Do you think that playing more is helping or hurting Serena?

Helping her thus far, but she's teetering on the edge.

Gained confidence, big scalps and a title at Madrid. Has had a tough match (Nadia) and got some practice on the real stuff.

This title is in sight and would make it a hugely successful clay season regardless of the result at the French but she wants a 2nd RG at all costs, so it isn't worth it imo.

I don't think we'll see it now, but i would suggest a tank to Flavia
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post #11 of 39 (permalink) Old May 17th, 2012, 10:49 PM
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Re: Do you think that playing more is helping or hurting Serena?

My view is slightly different.

Serena is 30 years old now and is in the twilight years of her career. She has just come back from a long absence occasioned by a freak accident that nearly had fatal consequences. She must be aware of how hard it is to win grand slams aged over 30, looking at the stats of the whole open era.

The period 2004-10 of her career was all about conserving herself for the slams and not really trying on the WTA Tour, partly because Serena was rightly confident that she could still win slams out of nowhere. Coming back from zero in 2011, she had to win WTA tournaments quickly to avoid a long and tedious process outside the top 20(cf Venus, for whom this agony is far more prolonged). Also she has found since this comeback that she has been unable to rely on the last two slams, losing a rare GS final in New York and then producing her worst Australian Open performance in aeons. I think Serena is now just going for it in the events she plays, because she needs these to bring back her confidence and also re-instill the fear factor that used to intimidate her opponents, but also because she is not looking to conserve her body for another 10 years of tennis, she is probably only looking at 2-3 years realistically.

Whatever the case, this clay season she has put together some of the best tennis she has played in ages and looks like the Serena of old. She is certainly playing her best clay tennis since 2002. The way she is playing now, it looks like Paris is hers for the taking, especially the way she dispatched her two main rivals, Azarenka and Sharapova, for the loss of 8 games in Madrid. The big question is how long she can keep this purple patch going, whether she will get another injury, lose form or produce a bad performance out of nowhere (cf US Open final). But the fact that Henin is gone and there is no real great clay player at the moment or even of the level of threat of a Safina, Kuznetsova, Jankovic or Ivanovic of a few years back, makes one wonder who will win RG besides Serena.
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post #12 of 39 (permalink) Old May 17th, 2012, 10:51 PM
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Re: Do you think that playing more is helping or hurting Serena?

"I've never been so motivated to continue on my journey. I feel good and I have had a lot of practice on clay and today I was running so much and I was ready to play and feeling good. I wasn't tired at all. I feel good.”
http://www.internazionalibnlditalia....-Thursday.aspx
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post #13 of 39 (permalink) Old May 17th, 2012, 10:53 PM
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Re: Do you think that playing more is helping or hurting Serena?

Quote:
Originally Posted by supergrunt View Post
Last year, Serena won Stanford, Toronto, and the Us Open series before falling to Stosur in a shockingly bizarre, one-sided affair which seemed to suggest that an early-summer loss and some rest (her usual pattern before a grand slam win) would have done her some good. Now she's on the road to her third clay court title of the year; if she wins, she will have played 7 matches in a row a week before a grueling two-week grand slam on clay--a surface that requires the most stamina. On top of that (as much as Serena fans don't like to admit it) its clear that her foot is acting up again.

We all know that Venus and Serena have benefited from their unique, truncated approach to the tennis season. Now it seems as if Serena is playing events week in and week out, winning them consistently, and playing her best at non-slam events. Is it for her or to make her fans and the tennis community happy? Does this compromise come at the cost of Serena's unique approach to the game that has worked for her for years?
Well, a lot of the time Serena couldn't play over the years because of injury. I'm delighted to see her playing on a weekly basis and playing brilliant tennis. Her form makes Roland Garros and Wimbledon an extremely exciting prospect
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post #14 of 39 (permalink) Old May 17th, 2012, 10:53 PM
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Re: Do you think that playing more is helping or hurting Serena?

She'll have a week off to rest, relax and recover. She needs the practice. She has not had that many long matches. I don't recall any match that was 2 hours.

I do not believe her shocking loss in the US Open had anything due to fatigue. First Stosur played decently. Stosur was not fantastic or unbelievable but well within herself. She played her game, remained calm and let Serena make errors. Serena on the other hand seemed nervous and unable to do anything right. We've seen her play with her forehand off. We've seen her when her serve was off. We've seen her when her movement was off. We've even seen her when her backhand hasn't shown up. We've even seen her even when she seems disinterested or bored. But its not too often when the forehand, serve, movement and backhand are ALL off.

My diagnosis is that her nerves coupled with the lack of recent match play in tight situations, didn't allow her to relax and play her game with her skills. She won two tournaments before playing pretty decently. But still she had not played that much tennis prior to the US Open. So with her nerves betraying her in a big moment in her own country as the overwhelming favorite, she simply could not get beyond herself (her psyche) to play as she had done in the rounds before. That was a match that nothing she did was right. Nothing. No more, no less.

To me it all comes down to nerves in those situations.

As far as this tournament, I'm sure she is tired a bit from playing several days in a row. She may not be tired physically as much as just wanting a day away from the court and being able to just chill or needing a break. Still these matches are important preparation. She has to be prepared physically, mentally and in spirit to fight her opponent, herself, the elements and maybe even the crowd to win at Roland Garros again.
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post #15 of 39 (permalink) Old May 17th, 2012, 10:56 PM
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Re: Do you think that playing more is helping or hurting Serena?

StephenUK: I concur wholeheartedly with you. Great perspective and summation.
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