I was going to reply to DragonFlame's post in the match thread, but I thought
I'd make this into a new thread.
I could see maybe some improvements from ana in certain area’s which others maybe saw which i didn’t in the last 2 weeks.(namely her netplay and getting the extra ball back in defense) And that is exactly what will make me worry after this year’s performances. I want to strangle her coaching, or lack thereof right now, cause i can clearly see that’s where the problem lies(partly due to ana’s negligance of taking a coach seriously)
Ana is NOT improving in the right way if at all, here i’m gonna explain why:
The thing that distinguishes a tennisplayer from someone else is their strengths. The things they are good at and better then most others. How well you play to your strengths means the most to how well you play alltogether, this comes first. NOT improving your weaknesses. That’s because you can improve your weaknesses however you like but there will still be players who are better in this area because it’s their strength.(To me, this is commonly known sporting routine and psychology.)
1. Ana was pretty much missing everything early on while dulko was steady(nothing more) and went down 1-4 in the first set. Then Dulko couldn’t get a ball in play while ana had to resort to touchy shots and dropshots. This got her back in the game but this isn’t her game and strength at all. She won’t be able to play these shots against decent opponents. Dulko made ana look good at that, but she will not have the chance to hit them or fail at them against better opponents. She really doesn’t have the touch or she’s pressured too much to play them, at the end of the second set she tried it again and was missing all of these balls now.
2. she’s hitting her strokes at about 70% speed, when she’s increasing the pace herself she’s rushing her strokes and making errors. Somehow it feels like a vicious circle... She just can’t go for it how she did in the past. This means she has to play more rallies, in which her weaknesses get more exploited.
3. she can’t keep up with high pace anymore, both in rallies and servicereturns. when Dulko puts even a bit pace on it(which she hardly even can) ana was being forced behind the baseline. How will she handle a real player that will put in about 200% more pace 200% more consistent then Dulko? She will just get pushed around and played with. Besides this she could hardly return perry’s 160km serves the other day...
4. the servicetoss issue will hold her back even further. This robs her of both consistency on serve and time to get in position for the return(because she’s jumping to the right in her motion so her balance is on 1 leg.) and pretty much nulifies her 1-2 strike which she was succesful with.
Really it’s nice to see ana’s defense and netplay might be slightly better but this won’t help her to get back to the top of the game at all if all her strengths have pretty much been neutralized.
I think Ana is the perfect example of a player now who’s not playing to her strengths and won’t get back till she gets coached back on the right path. Improving on your weaknesses won’t get you back to the top if you’re not playing to your strength, it will only get you to top50 max. You won’t be much different from everyone else up there.
And i can’t believe they aren’t noticing it... A professional team should be able to notice it by looking at her matches this year. This just isn’t the right way to go for her. I’m really wondering what they are doing in her trainingexercises, let her hit volleys all day and work in the gym all day? 0_o How the hell can she gain any confidence playing this game that’s not at all suited for her, it is just so sad to see.
Get a real coach and start working on all your techniques/strenghts, fitness isn’t the issue(her fitness is fine, if not improved), its her trademark that’s completely gone, she’s like any other player now.
I really can't see what her coach is doing.
And I read a quote from her maybe a year or 2 ago, that she doesn't
really like sitting around watching videos and working on technique,
which I think is exactly the problem. For some perverse reason, she thinks
has good technique and just needs to "go out there and play her game"!
In a way, it's good she lost now. She should go away and just practice,
practice, practice. No tournaments for a month and a half or something.
Maybe if she keeps losing R1 and R2's, she'll see that and go back to practising.
She really needs a proper fulltime coach - one that will tell her, WE NEED TO WORK
ON YOUR TECHNIQUE!, and she needs to listen and do what her coach says.
3 things at the top of the list:
- man, it's been 2 years already with the same problem. Obviously, she
can't just ignore the ball toss problem and hope it'll go away. It's totally limiting
her advantage. With a good ball toss, she could perfect her placement and get more
mileage out of the serve - because of it, she's so predictable with that serve out
wide on the deuce court.
- her biggest strength, but she's lost so much consistency and power on that
side. This has to be firing for her to even have a chance to beat the top players.
3) SLICE BACKHAND
- Might seem like a strange choice at 1st glance, but this
is one of the things I've been screaming for since I started watching her play (probably
1st match was that Hingis match in Montreal). She's got the hands for slice. She even hits
some lovely slice passes at times. But she needs to improve it. It would work wonders for
her on the defense. At the moment, it usually falls too short and sits up a bit too much,
putting her in trouble immediately she hits it. If she could get it deeper and lower
consistently, it would be a very good defensive option for her, particularly on hard courts
and grass. She likes those high backhand moonballs, and they are useful to an extent,
particularly on clay, but opponents are starting to read them and just come forward to
drive volley them. With slice, more reach, she can keep opponent back, and still give herself time
for recovery. At the moment, I think even her forehand
slice is slightly better than her backhand slice (stays lower).
So what do you guys think?
And you can post your own top 3 as well.