How much better has Serena gotten since 1999? - TennisForum.com

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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old Feb 26th, 2003, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
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How much better has Serena gotten since 1999?

Everyone is saying she's so much better now than she was back in '99. that makes me wonder the Serena who won the '99 open was crap. Don't you think some of you are a bit exaggerating the improvement she's made from then to now?
I'm not saying she's pre much the same player as she was a few years ago. there is no doubt that she's become a better player.. but to what extent?? I wonder if that's not as much as some people make it out to be.... just my thought.....
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old Feb 26th, 2003, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
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I think the difference is mostly about her confidence level. Technique wise, I dont think there's much of a difference..
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old Feb 26th, 2003, 12:13 PM
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She makes much less unforced errors now than she did then, and shes also improved her mental strength. She wasnt bad in 1999, but she wasnt dominating the tour, losing all the time to Venus and getting beaten by other players too, and she was choking away matches a lot. It was a big step up for her to go from that to dominating the tour and being so far ahead of everyone like this. So i'd say shes improved a lot.
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old Feb 26th, 2003, 12:21 PM
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I think alot of it is mental, her confidence is at an all time high, and her decision making is improved, as well as her health. Serena still isnt as strong emntally as Venus is even though she has done well against her lately. Venus handles pressure much better than serena, the other players just havent exploited that aspect of her mental game yet. Some have come close but no one has done it yet. I cant really say that its one particular things beacuse it seems that she needed everything to click before she started dominating. Venus seems to have been able to win a bunch of matches not even playing near her best. Serena seems like the pressure gets to her when she is less than 100%, whereas Venus just goes along and plays to win with whatever she has. u know gogomaggie, i thought this was actually an easy question. now i can honestly say i really dont know why serena is so good now. Must be the shoes and catsuit. i think technique wise serena hasnt changed much. just making few errors. less erratic than she used to be. i think with serena of the past, everybody feared her because of what they knew she had the potential to do, now they fear her because of what they know she is going to do,, if that makes any sense. players knew that if serena was on , they had no chance, now they just come to expect that she will be on and that she will play great most 95% of the time. i dunno i would love to hear what others think about this though. great post gogomaggie.
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old Feb 26th, 2003, 01:21 PM
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I think you guys summed it up actually. Serena and Venus used to play high risk shots. You could notice because of the shrieking during return. They don't shriek that much anymore and that's when they play their best.

All this shit about "powertennis" is just that: bullshit. In my opinion, it's just mediahype to all it anything else but skill. Men hit even harder, I don't hear Agassis, Mark Phili's or Roddicks game getting hyped into powertennis. Yes S and V hit harder but that's just their standard. When they accelerate rallies you'll notice it.

That's where Serena improved the most, she picks her shots better and takes less risks. Remember her awesome high angle shots. When playing Clijsters in the finals last year she tried them alot and kept hitting the net. Nowadays she refrains from using them thus lowering her unforced error amount. Really that is the only thing that decides the outcomes of her matches and since she makes less mistakes she wins more.

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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old Feb 26th, 2003, 01:51 PM
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I'm sorry but I disagree Tennis1972. Serena has improved mentally by alot. You say that she cant handle pressure situations? I guess all of those tough matches with Jennifer in 2002 were just cakewalks huh? Serena played horrendous tennis in both her French Open semi matches and her Austrailan 2003 semi matches and still pulled out the win. Serenas improvement comes from less UFE's, Exhibiting more patience, and improved confidence level. She has simply stopped letting people off the hook in these tight, close matches. In 2001 and earlier years when things got tight in a match (alot of times, not everytime) Serena would just back off and expect that person to back off. I think with the Wimbeldon match of 2001 she just expected Jennifer to back off and got a rude awakening, same with Seles. She has since continued to fight every reguardless of the scoreline.
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old Feb 26th, 2003, 03:16 PM
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I think it's a combination of everything people have said here plus harnessing her power. I think that was huge for her in reducing the number of UE's she used to make. This leads to an increase in confidence which is vital for closing out those close matches. Just look at her tiebreak record since the start of 2001. It's a whopping 13-1. How great is it going into a tiebreak knowing you've performed like that?

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"I wanna see Anna, I bet I could tape that ass" - SerenaSlam, on fan perception of Anna K.
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old Feb 26th, 2003, 04:11 PM
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gogomaggie

What is your obsession with team Williams? Do you have a favorite...if so, how much has he or she improved?
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old Feb 26th, 2003, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
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Serena y Monica. I don't know what led you to that question, but my obesession with Serena and Venus has absolutely nothing to do with this thread. I really thought this was an interesting topic.
If you dont get it, that's fine with me.
To answer your pointless question, Maggie hasn't improved much. She was already a complete player a few years back. But I think she's adapting to the tennis of the new generation better than any other player from her generation. thus, she's improved more or less.
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old Feb 26th, 2003, 04:56 PM
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What's funny is that Serena y Monica couldn't deduce GoGoMaggie's favorite player.
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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old Feb 26th, 2003, 05:51 PM
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Serena's serve consistency is the difference between now and '99.

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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old Feb 26th, 2003, 05:56 PM
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her serve is very much better, i mean it was very dominat at that usopen 99', but now its more dominant than ever in her matches. also serena is much stronger than what she was back then, i mean when she is given pace, serena feels the need to send the ball back w/ even more. her return of serve, right now she has the best on the tour, monica and lindsay were conisdered the best, b/c they always attacked the second serve, serena did that as well, but since monica and linsday were considered "the starters" of it all, they were 1 and 2, anyway, serena's return of serve, i mean off the first serve, she is hitting winners, if the serve isn't placed well, the power seems not to bother her, good example is just to watch all her matches with venus, i mean venus would bomb 1 down aroun 115mph down the middle of the "T" and since it was right into serena's power zone, she would just take a crack at it, no one really can do this. serena also mentally has gotten better. she is very much so a totally different player from 99! i would say she has gotten even better since 2002, they way she was playing amelie at the Paris Indoors, this was the best i'd seen her serve since serving 100% against hingis at the 2001 usopen semis!

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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old Feb 26th, 2003, 06:25 PM
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Umm... . SerenaSlam,
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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old Feb 26th, 2003, 06:26 PM
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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old Feb 26th, 2003, 06:36 PM
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Physically Serena was great in 99 but even greater now. Her serve has evolved with greater power and variety. Her 2nd serve has improved as well. But the main component is the evolution of her forehand. Once erratic, it has become one of the most dominant shots in tennis. Serena is also smarter, footwork has improved, and her variety has increased. She now uses angles as well as anyone in the game. Mentally, she maintains her focus, handles expectations pressures better (still needs work), and plays from behind much better than in the past. In addition her net play is beginning to improve especially her backhand volleys. The best Serena is probably a couple of years away.

Beat'em down Ms Williams, beat'em down!
SERENA PRINCESS OF POWER

Victoria Duval - coming to a slam near you
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