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post #71 of (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 2012, 03:23 PM Thread Starter
country flag dsanders06
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Join Date: May 2009
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Re: Predict who will win the 2013 head-to-head between Sharapova and Azarenka

Originally Posted by StoneRose View Post
I exaggerated a bit because it's downright impossible to answer intelligently to the dumb arguments some Masha fans bring to the table.
Well OK, fair enough
And I'll admit I too was exaggerating slightly when I predicted Maria will win their 2013 matches 5-2 (probably wishful thinking because I want Maria to take the lead in the Career H2H). Realistically, I think a 2-match advantage in 2013 is the best Maria can hope for.

But yes, i certainly believe Vika will have the edge. There were 6 matches this year and Vika won the first 2 with very convincing scorelines. It got closer thereafter, Maria was much too strong in Stuttgart. Maybe Vika underestimated her there but based on that encounter alone i'd give Maria the edge on that surface. USO was close too, then again Vika was considerably stronger second and third set. Maria just couldn't hit through Vika anymore. YEC Vika was clearly very tired, imo she shouldn't have played Linz with such an important tournament coming up but i got the impression she was already happy to clinch #1 there. Underestimation and fatigue can be no excuses of course and there are undoubtedly excuses to be made for Maria as well on some of these occasions.
For me, the Australian Open and Indian Wells matches don't really have much bearing on how the "PovaRenka" match-up is now. Those 2 matches were part of a sequence where Maria lost 9 sets in a row against Vika, when Maria clearly WAS clueless on what to do against her .... whereas, in the 9 sets AFTER that, Maria has actually had a slight edge, so the match-up has clearly turned a corner since then So I'm just not sure how relevant the AO/IW matches are for their rivalry going forward.

But yes, I do think Maria's play against Vika will continue to improve, although like I said I'm not going to pretend I have anything more substantial to base it on than gut instinct. One thing I do think that should be beared in mind is, imo, Maria doesn't get enough credit for her willingness to adapt her game to certain opponents, and her persistence in trying to beat players who are owning her at a time. I mean, apart from Serena, there's NEVER been an opponent in her whole career that Maria hasn't eventually figured out a way to play eventually, even if she first struggles with them for 1 or 2 seasons. Look at her match-up with Li -- admittedly Maria never struggled with Li quite as much as she's struggled with Vika, but still, going from losing 4 matches in a row against Li, to comprehensively figuring her out in 2012, is still a pretty drastic turn of events.

Anyway, even if it turns out Vika ends up having the upper-hand on her in 2013, I'm still very much looking forward to it, and in fact their US Open semifinal was for me the best WTA match of the year, even if it didn't end the way I wanted it to And I actually have a feeling that, irrespective of who wins the majority of their matches, most of them from now on will be closer to the USO match, rather than the one-sided wins they've mostly been getting over eachother until now.
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