Re: Ana's surface analysis thread
I don't think the surface is what determines if Ana plays well or not.. she can do relatively ok in all surfaces IMHO. It's not like.. say.. Stosur, who simply can't play on grass if her life depended on it.
Now.. the surface can help her game or make it a bit less effective. I think obviously indoor hard favors her serve and FH these days. One of the reasons Ana used to do so well on clay back in 07-08 was that she was a smooth mover on it and her shots were powerful and heavy enough to hit through the surface. Ana has had issues with movement for a while now, and even though I think she has improved her movement on hard courts this year, her movement on clay is suspect at best. She isn't sliding and using the surface as she used to, and often gets messed up footwork. Add to that the lack of weight of shot and not going for her FH as she used to, and clay has made Ana's game more unneffective in the last few years. I still think Ana's worst surface is grass though. The low bounce puts the ball out of Ana's hitting zone and she has to bend all the time, which she doesn't do as well and as often as she should. The surface helps Ana's serve, but she doesn't have the time to run around her BH to hit FHs as much as she needs, so she gets trapped into BH rallies way more than in any other surface. Ana's BH slice is not good enough to get out of that trap and she can only hit rally BH CC, which limits her whole game. Also.. Ana has a lot of trouble against flat hitters hitting hard to her BH side, and grass potentializes that.
So while I think Ana can play on all surfaces.. I would rate them like this (as of this moment), from better to worse:
1 - Indoor hard.
2 - Outdoor hard.
3 - Clay.
4 - Grass.
Mental Strength is an underrated ability, it sets champions apart
Making mistakes is human, repeating them is dumb.
What I write is my opinion, and my opinion only.