Re: Mona Barthel
Sounds like she is missing the "knack" of matchplay, or pressure play. There is no substitute for it. It's the difference between hitting or practicing well and playing well in matches. Clearly certain things- such as the serve- are letting her down under pressure and not allowing her to play her game the way it should be played.
Nah I think she pretty much nailed it. It´s not that she doesn´t play enough matches. She doesn´t have a basic concept what her own game should be. When she rose through the ranks she benefited from her confidence, an excellent 1st serve percentage and the basic assumption that all players will make against an unknown opponent, namely that the backhand is the weaker side. As the opponent´s became more familiar with her game it became more and more obvious that her movement and defensive forehand are really weak. Simultaniously her confidence and 1st serve percentage dropped. So that´s the point she found herself in around the summer.
Her defensive weaknesses would suggest a hyper-aggressive style (depending on confidence and a 1st serve), but she missed a lot of shots and subsequently lost a lot of matches. At the start of the year I marvelled at the progress she had made in the movement department compared to her match against Wozniacki last year, when she missed everything on the run. Now she is back at that point and I think she needs a real good coach that gives her a clear direction what the structure of her game should be like. I think it has to be the shotmaker-approach like Kvitova or Davenport. With the extreme grip she has on her forehand I just don´t see that ever being transformed into a reliable defensive rallying shot. I think she has the natural power, serve, shot-making and net skills to become a strong offensive-minded player. Maybe not as successful as Kvitova will be, but in the Ivanovic mold.
I am not a fan of the direction a lot of Maria threads have taken over the last 12 months.
The undertone is very disappointing, aggressive and the comments are sometimes rude to a player just trying to earn a living, playing her hardest and having a good amount of success given her god given, natural talents.
You made the list: Cibulkova (President), Mladenovic, Wozniacki, Kerber, Cornet, Watson.
Please note this is a signature about Tatjana Maria