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View Full Version : YEC : Maria is out for the moment


Sharapower
Sep 7th, 2004, 06:22 AM
Her poor performances on US hardcourts, especially USO, made her drop out of the race's top 8 so she needs good results by now to play the WTA championships.

Hopefully she's going to do better at indoor tournaments but she has got only 3 tournaments left considering AER so I'm afraid she won't get enough points to make the race top 8 even if she wins all the tournaments she's going to enter.

I'm pissed off :mad: ! I was really looking forward to see her play in LA against the other top girls.

Dan23
Sep 7th, 2004, 06:45 AM
Yeah I was hoping Maria would make the race Top 8 as well...
..but its been a great year for her and to get this far while only 17 and on the AER is a great achievement.

Sharapower
Sep 7th, 2004, 06:59 AM
Yeah I was hoping Maria would make the race Top 8 as well...
..but its been a great year for her and to get this far while only 17 and on the AER is a great achievement.
In absolute terms you're right but my problem is that I have this feeling Maria wasted her chances since Wimby. That match against Mary for example, she had it in her hands but she let it go because of lack of lucidity.

I think now she must take some distance from off-court concerns, the media stuff and so on. And choose the best coach she can find. A genuine champion's coach.

Dan23
Sep 7th, 2004, 07:19 AM
You make a good point Quasimodo :)
There have been a few matches since Wimby where on one hand you say 'After her form at Wimby, Maria should really have won matches like that' and on the other hand you think 'well shes only young and inexperienced and will learn from it'.
Which way do we go? I have been leaning more towards the latter which is the attitude Maria is taking at the moment too but at some stage the expectation will change. Maybe its next year, maybe its not.

On the coach issue I find it fairly unlikely that Maria will have much say in who takes on the coaching job, if they indeed decide to replace Hadad.
:)

Sharapower
Sep 7th, 2004, 07:57 AM
You make a good point Quasimodo :)
There have been a few matches since Wimby where on one hand you say 'After her form at Wimby, Maria should really have won matches like that' and on the other hand you think 'well shes only young and inexperienced and will learn from it'.
Which way do we go? I have been leaning more towards the latter which is the attitude Maria is taking at the moment too but at some stage the expectation will change. Maybe its next year, maybe its not.

On the coach issue I find it fairly unlikely that Maria will have much say in who takes on the coaching job, if they indeed decide to replace Hadad.
:)
For the moment, it seems to me that things are going the worst way it could. I really wonder why most of these talented girls have assholes for parents. I'm quite sure that the tensions between Haddad and Yuri Sharapov weren't something new and that it had a bad influence on Maria's recent performances.

Despite all the former cases of parents bad influence (Mary Pierce, Anna Kournikova, Jelena Dokic...) the same error is being made about Maria.

Hopefully Nick Bolletieri and IMG will be able to get things on a good path again.

lakan kildap
Sep 7th, 2004, 08:53 AM
It's one thing for a father to step back, it's another if Maria wants her father to be closely involved. Personally, I don't know how much coaching Yuri is doing, one of Maria's coaches had written that Yuri doesn't know much about tennis (the coaching part, I believe). My point is, even if Yuri is willing to step back, what would Maria's reaction be? What if she wants him to stay close?

I think it's fair enough that she's attributing her losses to inexperience. And for a pure power player, she's still raw, still not strong enough, still filling out her body. But fair or not, the media and the fans would soon get tired of her explanation, the "I'm only 17" will only have a year's validity, and I doubt if it will still be handy early next year, when she's 17 and a half. People are forgiving for only so long.

In one of my earliest posts I referred to Becker's advice to Maria to allow herself 6 months of "losing", just to improve her strokes, to improve her game. I saw the wisdom of Becker's words then, considering he's saying it in hindsight, but watching Maria before these crowds, many of them kids, I realize how hard it is to be "losing". I don't think she can do it (losing). She wants to win, for these crowds. And these losses could be taking their toll on her confidence.

Lemonskin.
Sep 7th, 2004, 09:30 AM
I think she can sneak in in 8th place.

Lucky Vera didn't go further than the 4th round!

If she goes extremely well in her final tourneys (I count 4 on mariaworld.com, unless one is after the Championships), she can sneak in I think.

Hopefully one of the Williams will be injured too, and have to withdraw :p

t_fan
Sep 7th, 2004, 10:17 AM
Missing from YEC may be of more help than trouble, IMHO. She'll have more time to develop her game going to 2005 season. As for coaching stuff. The departure of Hadad may be not a totally bad thing. Masha's talent is huge, she should have the most quality coaching she's able to get ATM. It seems Yuri's taking her recent form too hard hence his behaviour. As soon as Masha starts doing better he would slow down a bit, IMHO. So far he didn't do her any wrong, let's hope this will be true in the future.

Frank
Sep 7th, 2004, 10:18 AM
It would be nice if she could play The Championships...But it won't be a disaster if she doesn't...

She's only 17 and has plenty of time to play them...

Also...At this point...I think she really needs some rest...She should relax a bit...Now with the Asian tour coming up it's unlikely she'll get much rest and media there will probably haunt her...

I really wouldn't mind if she would just "disappear" for a month or so...And if that invloves not playing this tournament...So be it...

lakan kildap
Sep 7th, 2004, 10:22 AM
OFF topic, but I saw highlights of Vera Zvonareva's loss to Lena D. and Vera was very emotional. She was alternately crying on her chair, banging her racket on the court and even on her toes! That's got to hurt! The bragging rights rivalry must be that intense among the Russians.

I think that has something to do with Russian coaches. A few years ago, the coach of the Russian women's volleyball team caused a lot of comedy here in the Phils. as he was always berating his players, even when they've just scored! Amazing. Now years removed from the Volleyball Grand Prix, I thought we had rid of him on our TV's, but no, these recent Athens Olympics, he was on TV again. Same guy. And still berating his players, even when they're ahead 12-4 or something. Arrrgh! Coaching like that could be murder on tennis players. At least with volleyball, there are six players getting yelled at.

Must be lonely being a world class athlete.

SWP
Sep 7th, 2004, 10:27 AM
what is this championships thing?

Frank
Sep 7th, 2004, 10:30 AM
what is this championships thing? You've already asked this in the cheering thread...:rolleyes:

Sharapower
Sep 7th, 2004, 10:35 AM
It's one thing for a father to step back, it's another if Maria wants her father to be closely involved. Personally, I don't know how much coaching Yuri is doing, one of Maria's coaches had written that Yuri doesn't know much about tennis (the coaching part, I believe). My point is, even if Yuri is willing to step back, what would Maria's reaction be? What if she wants him to stay close?

I think it's fair enough that she's attributing her losses to inexperience. And for a pure power player, she's still raw, still not strong enough, still filling out her body. But fair or not, the media and the fans would soon get tired of her explanation, the "I'm only 17" will only have a year's validity, and I doubt if it will still be handy early next year, when she's 17 and a half. People are forgiving for only so long.

In one of my earliest posts I referred to Becker's advice to Maria to allow herself 6 months of "losing", just to improve her strokes, to improve her game. I saw the wisdom of Becker's words then, considering he's saying it in hindsight, but watching Maria before these crowds, many of them kids, I realize how hard it is to be "losing". I don't think she can do it (losing). She wants to win, for these crowds. And these losses could be taking their toll on her confidence.
If Yuri is aware that Maria needs professional coaching and then decides to step back in that domain, he'll know how to convince Maria of what is the best decision. Then he might continue following her on tour, that's another story. But I'm not quite sure he's aware of how important it is for Maria to have someone knowledgeable helping here maturing her game and fixing some obvious weaknesses. From the Wimby title on, Maria's carreer must be managed with accuracy and pertinence.

The "17" excuse is BS. You can't win everything for sure and losing matches is completely part of a carreer but then comes the question "How did I lose ?". As far as Maria's recent appearances are concerned I think she lost stupidly. It's not like she was dominated by Vera, Mashona or Mary but she didn't make the right choices of shots, tactics and so on. These were not matches won by opponents but lost by Maria which is very worrying. Let's face the facts : Maria, since the Wimby victory was not able to win 3 matches in a row, that's definitely poor for the level she's supposed to have and shows that something is going really wrong.

SWP
Sep 7th, 2004, 10:41 AM
You've already asked this in the cheering thread...:rolleyes:

yes i did. I thought no one replied but now i realised they did. :)

I hope maria still has a chance to qualify. The championships need her in it.

Daniel
Sep 7th, 2004, 10:45 AM
Dont worry she will go to the YEC.She has a GS she just needs to do well in a big tournament now,lets say Moscow or Zurich .

Frank
Sep 7th, 2004, 10:46 AM
Dont worry she will go to the YEC.She has a GS she just needs to do well in a big tournament now,lets say Moscow or Zurich . She won't play Moscow, that's for sure...I'm not too sure about Zurich...

Maria Croft
Sep 7th, 2004, 11:11 AM
Beijing ( don't know if you spell it like this ) Seoul, Tokyo and Zurich are her next tournaments. I don't think you guys are very fair, she is only 17 !! Most girls of her age are in the top 100/200, she has already won a grand slam, let's also not forget that this is hardcourt and not grass !! She can do it but as Maria said in an interview : Coulda, shoulda, didn't !! Who cares if she doesn't make the champions !! the top ten is full of great players like Capriati, Mauresmo and of course players like Serena who wants her top spot back !! She has all the time in the world to win big and score big !!!

Frank
Sep 7th, 2004, 11:23 AM
Beijing ( don't know if you spell it like this ) Seoul, Tokyo and Zurich are her next tournaments. I don't think you guys are very fair, she is only 17 !! Most girls of her age are in the top 100/200, she has already won a grand slam, let's also not forget that this is hardcourt and not grass !! She can do it but as Maria said in an interview : Coulda, shoulda, didn't !! Who cares if she doesn't make the champions !! the top ten is full of great players like Capriati, Mauresmo and of course players like Serena who wants her top spot back !! She has all the time in the world to win big and score big !!! If you don't think I'm being fair you didn't read my post I guess...:confused:

Lemonskin.
Sep 7th, 2004, 11:29 AM
She won't play Moscow, that's for sure...I'm not too sure about Zurich...

She's down to play Zurich...

Sharapower
Sep 7th, 2004, 01:13 PM
I'm the one who's not fair I guess (or at least who doesn't sound fair). But the recent history of women's tennis shows that "the sooner the best". At like 23, most of the top girls are already declining so Maria doesn't have that much time to peak.

It's never a good thing to drop in the rankings and to lose confidence. IMHO, it's almost like all the work she did to win Wimbledon has been ruined by the hardcourt season. Hopefully I'm wrong but unfortunately, tennis is this stupid game in which you work for years to build a confidence that you might completely lose in a few days.

Frank
Sep 7th, 2004, 01:23 PM
I'm the one who's not fair I guess (or at least who doesn't sound fair). But the recent history of women's tennis shows that "the sooner the best". At like 23, most of the top girls are already declining so Maria doesn't have that much time to peak.

It's never a good thing to drop in the rankings and to lose confidence. IMHO, it's almost like all the work she did to win Wimbledon has been ruined by the hardcourt season. Hopefully I'm wrong but unfortunately, tennis is this stupid game in which you work for years to build a confidence that you might completely lose in a few days. Sure...But don't dramatize it...It's not a disaster if she drops a couple of places in ranking...

Right now improving and developing her game is much more important than playing the WTA Championships IMO...

Maria didn't have a good hardcourt season...And that had a couple of reasons...She is not experienced enough to win matches against lower ranked players (Washington) on routine...Hardcourt is not her favourite surface...She spent way too much time on other things than tennis in my opinion...

I think it would be a good thing if she would concentrate on her tennis again and stop particapating in the media circus...

She has years ahead of her...If she wins 2 Grand Slams next year or the year after next year, who's complaining about this hardcourt season?

Sure...Some players seem to be over their top at 23...But look at Davenport...And Pierce didn't play too bad either against Maria...

Anything can happen but right now she just has to concentrate on her tennis and not forgetting to relax a bit, have some fun, enjoy life...:)

SWP
Sep 7th, 2004, 01:23 PM
no way, the work she did at wimbledon certainly has not and will never be wiped away. I think you're just getting this feeling because of all the haters' comments, they are jealous and talk bullshit.

Sharapower
Sep 7th, 2004, 01:39 PM
Perhaps I'm dramatizing a little bit, that's right but, guys, I've been traumatized once, being a Hantuchova fan. Though Daniela was not 17 in 2002 when she had this great win in Indian Wells and a big season, lots of observers, including me, found at that time she was a great talent and a #1 material. Maria's situation is very similar right now (with all the expectations and the media circus), so I pray the reaction will be different for Maria.

Frank
Sep 7th, 2004, 01:45 PM
Perhaps I'm dramatizing a little bit, that's right but, guys, I've been traumatized once, being a Hantuchova fan. Though Daniela was not 17 in 2002 when she had this great win in Indian Wells and a big season, lots of observers, including me, found at that time she was a great talent and a #1 material. Maria's situation is very similar right now (with all the expectations and the media circus), so I pray the reaction will be different for Maria. Oh well...Good point...

But every player is different and it appears to me that Maria is mentally stronger than Daniela...

In any case...I hope this media circus thing is over right now...Well...It will never be over completely but I hope that it dies down to a more acceptable level...

Maria has said it herself on numerous occasions...She still has a lot to learn...She doesn't win matches on routine and makes wrong decisions during matches...This can only improve, but she needs time for that...If she keeps going to talk shows, making helicopter rides and whatsoever...She won't get to work on her tennis...

Maria is ambitious and seems intelligent to me...Hopefully she'll be back stronger than ever when the external factors turn in her direction as well...

SWP
Sep 7th, 2004, 01:51 PM
Perhaps I'm dramatizing a little bit, that's right but, guys, I've been traumatized once, being a Hantuchova fan. Though Daniela was not 17 in 2002 when she had this great win in Indian Wells and a big season, lots of observers, including me, found at that time she was a great talent and a #1 material. Maria's situation is very similar right now (with all the expectations and the media circus), so I pray the reaction will be different for Maria.

Well Maria is the wimbledon champion, Daniela was not. BIG defference.

Frank
Sep 7th, 2004, 02:02 PM
Well Maria is the wimbledon champion, Daniela was not. BIG defference. That's not the point here...

The point is what will happen in the future...Many people predicted Daniela would be winning Grand Slams as well...Look where she is now...That has nothing to do with won titles...

Sharapower
Sep 7th, 2004, 02:49 PM
Maria is mentally and nervously stronger than Daniela, that's certain, at least she appears to be...

Whatever, Maria needs to get out of this little slump as soon as possible. When she says there is still a lot for her to learn, IMO, the main thing she has to learn is consistency : refuse to get defeated by lower ranked players, unless there's an objective reason (injury, tireness...), that's the basic rule of a very top player. Learn to win matches even though her game is off, never fall into self-satisfaction...

And all this learning, Maria needs a good coach to help her making it.

The YEC is not that important, that's right, but it's a great opportunity to test herself against experienced top players. never mind if she doesn't get out of Round Robin but at least that's experience. And qualifying for the YEC would be, I think, a "smart goal" for the rest of the season. That means going far in the 3 or 4 tournaments she's going to play.

Bigboi
Sep 7th, 2004, 03:27 PM
That's not the point here...

The point is what will happen in the future...Many people predicted Daniela would be winning Grand Slams as well...Look where she is now...That has nothing to do with won titles...

But not many people thought Daniela would have eating problems, and huge mental distress as the result of her parents, who had been togerther for 23 years, getting divorced

That completely destroyed 2003 in terms of her tennis career,
She is only just recovering from her parents divorce now.

Maria Croft
Sep 7th, 2004, 06:28 PM
Don't forget that Maria was only 7th because Capriati didn't play in New Haven, that is why she lost points and Maria gained a place !! she has an amzing year. Melbourne 3th round, Q final in Paris, of course winner at Wimbledon and 3th round in US open, and that only in her second year at the WTA tour !! How many 17 years old can say that !!

sharapovarulz1
Sep 7th, 2004, 08:15 PM
In absolute terms you're right but my problem is that I have this feeling Maria wasted her chances since Wimby. That match against Mary for example, she had it in her hands but she let it go because of lack of lucidity.

I think now she must take some distance from off-court concerns, the media stuff and so on. And choose the best coach she can find. A genuine champion's coach.

I definatly agree with you quasimodo on this point maria has definatly got 2 get her head down!!!

Edward.
Sep 7th, 2004, 08:19 PM
I would personally prefer if she didn't play YEC. She needs a break. And a long one. Her performance at the US Open made that glaringly obvious.

Doc
Sep 8th, 2004, 01:41 AM
I would personally prefer if she didn't play YEC. She needs a break. And a long one. Her performance at the US Open made that glaringly obvious.

I don't think a break is the solution. She had a break before the hard court season, and that's where she lost that edge she had on the grass. Personally I think the YEC would be great for her to regain her confidence. She would be among top players and not in the position of being expected to win every match. The round-robin format also takes the "sudden death" pressure off.

What has really annoyed me about this hard-court season has been Maria's bad luck in draws and opponents, which has definately affected her confidence. Where Mauresmo and Dementieva have generally had "soft" opponents who have sprayed free points like crazy, Maria has consistently met "Terminator" types on the top of their form, who get every ball back hard and never give a free point away. At the US Open, she gets Pierce in her best form for 4 years, and utterly determined to win. Kuznetsova gets a pierce suddenly injured and immobile and unable to get a ball back in court in the 2nd set! :fiery: As a player you need breaks.

This is not to make excuses for Maria. The idea that her losses are all due to it being hard courts not grass is an excuse IMO. It doesn't seem to affect the other players to that extent. Maria's problem seems to have been a combination of the pressures of expectation on her to win everything producing a fear of losses to lower-ranked players, and the distraction of being hyped. She is also a target for others now, which is a reversal of the previous situation. Hopefully those pressures will ease for the rest of the year. When she is out of the US, I don't think the hype will be so effective and damaging.

Whatever, Maria needs to get out of this little slump as soon as possible. When she says there is still a lot for her to learn, IMO, the main thing she has to learn is consistency : refuse to get defeated by lower ranked players, unless there's an objective reason (injury, tireness...), that's the basic rule of a very top player. Learn to win matches even though her game is off, never fall into self-satisfaction...

Yes. To be a regular in the Top Ten, she has to learn to defeat lower ranked players routinely and with little effort. To win a slam you need to go through the first three rounds as close to straight sets as possible. Otherwise you are too exhausted to do anything later. Maria can't afford to show weakness to lower ranked players. She needs to gain the champions' art of appearing invincible to them, so that they come on court with no hope of winning, and already defeated in their own minds. That way you avoid players like Mashona suddenly giving you a hard fight.

Technically, Maria needs to stop losing her serve so often. THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR THIS. She has a good serve - as demonstrated at Wimbledon. But these DFs are killing. She HAS to vary her 2nd serve when the big one isn't working. Holding serve securely is the key for her I believe.

I think Maria has to win some good matches, get into the YEC and end the season on a high note with her confidence back. As for her dad, the last thing she needs is a big row with him. Ideally he will take some advice and take 2nd place to a good travelling coach.

Dan23
Sep 8th, 2004, 02:17 AM
Youve nailed it pretty well there :)

What has really annoyed me about this hard-court season has been Maria's bad luck in draws and opponents, which has definately affected her confidence. Where Mauresmo and Dementieva have generally had "soft" opponents who have sprayed free points like crazy, Maria has consistently met "Terminator" types on the top of their form, who get every ball back hard and never give a free point away. At the US Open, she gets Pierce in her best form for 4 years, and utterly determined to win. Kuznetsova gets a pierce suddenly injured and immobile and unable to get a ball back in court in the 2nd set! :fiery: As a player you need breaks.
I was thinking the same regarding her draws and opponents recently....with the Pierce example being the best
Maria hasnt had a good break at all lately but with a bit of luck that may change

lakan kildap
Sep 8th, 2004, 03:11 AM
As far as Maria's recent appearances are concerned I think she lost stupidly. It's not like she was dominated by Vera, Mashona or Mary but she didn't make the right choices of shots, tactics and so on.

I have to agree. In the Mary Pierce match, there was one point where she sent two weak "lobs" right at Mary, I put them in quotes because they did not have enough elevation, not enough length. Mary, all 29 years of her, and much heavier than she was before, reached and returned both, the second one a winner. Makes me think whether those lobs she did to Serena were just lucky shots. I know, I hate writing that. Whenever Mary approached the net, Maria sent shots right at Mary, when there was enough space for a passing shot. She did that to Serena in the Wimbledon final, the now famous backhand that glanced off Serena's racket and struck her in the nose, but she cannot count on those those happening every match.

I also think she's coasting in some points. I really think she missed the chance to break Mary's serve in the 5th game of the 3rd set, when she was up 3-1. I felt she absolutely had to break, because she was double-faulting like crazy in the 2nd set, and there was no guarantee she would hold her own serve. In the next game, inevitably, Maria was broken to bring it to 3-3, mostly due to, guess what, faulty serving. Maria needs to be able to "smell" the turn of the tide, the momentum shifts during her matches, and pounce on them.

Dan23
Sep 8th, 2004, 03:45 AM
I have to agree. In the Mary Pierce match, there was one point where she sent two weak "lobs" right at Mary, I put them in quotes because they did not have enough elevation, not enough length. Mary, all 29 years of her, and much heavier than she was before, reached and returned both, the second one a winner. Makes me think whether those lobs she did to Serena were just lucky shots. I know, I hate writing that. Whenever Mary approached the net, Maria sent shots right at Mary, when there was enough space for a passing shot. She did that to Serena in the Wimbledon final, the now famous backhand that glanced off Serena's racket and struck her in the nose, but she cannot count on those those happening every match.

I dont know Lakan...
The lobs Maria played against Serena were definitely not just lucky shots, she was confident and hitting everything beautifully that day.
They were much better played than the ones against Mary, they went higher and were executed when Serena was much closer in to the net.
I think Maria played them at the wrong time against Mary, where a passing shot would have been a better option.

lakan kildap
Sep 8th, 2004, 04:41 AM
Dan,
you have a point (which is more than Serena got from that umpire today, LOL). As Vijay Armritraj says, it's a lot easier when you're just watching, as opposed to playing. Especially chess, oops, I mean, tennis.

I think we're all armchair quarterbacks now because we desperately want Maria to win. We're just as frustrated, perhaps even more, than she is. We need to relax a bit.

As for her need to seize the top spot in, like right now or next year, part of me agrees and part of me says it's better for her to have a good 8-10 years as a top player. I'm not sure about the window she's got for taking that no. 1 spot. This is no longer the age of long-lasting players of Navratilova/Graf's era. In women's tennis now, it seems you have to be a phenom at 12 and the top player at 17 in order to be considered a success, and usually a has been by the time you're 24, which is why maybe we are all in a rush. Let's face it, she's not Martina Hingis, in both the fact that her game did not mature as quickly as Hingis', and in the fact that she's better built than Hingis and will probably last longer.

So with the 2nd, there's hope that at least, barring injury, Maria will have the physical part of the game intact even in her mid-20's. What we cannot predict is whether by the time Maria is Hingis' current age, some newcomer with superior talent would be kicking her royal arse in tournaments.

lakan kildap
Sep 8th, 2004, 04:45 AM
I dont know Lakan...
The lobs Maria played against Serena were definitely not just lucky shots, she was confident and hitting everything beautifully that day.


Not to mention Maria got a chance to test her lob early in the first set against Serena, although it went long. But she nailed the next two.

t_fan
Sep 8th, 2004, 02:05 PM
I have to agree. In the Mary Pierce match, there was one point where she sent two weak "lobs" right at Mary, I put them in quotes because they did not have enough elevation, not enough length. Mary, all 29 years of her, and much heavier than she was before, reached and returned both, the second one a winner. Makes me think whether those lobs she did to Serena were just lucky shots. I know, I hate writing that. Whenever Mary approached the net, Maria sent shots right at Mary, when there was enough space for a passing shot.
Those lobs in the Wimby finals were "spinal cord" shots. Hit purely by instinct. When you're in the zone, they're almost always in. Those in the match against Mary were calculated and executed poorly. She has to hone that ability to make a right tactical decision in a split second. Better to make many of them at the unconscious level, but there's long way to it, IMO.

I also think she's coasting in some points. I really think she missed the chance to break Mary's serve in the 5th game of the 3rd set, when she was up 3-1. I felt she absolutely had to break, because she was double-faulting like crazy in the 2nd set, and there was no guarantee she would hold her own serve. In the next game, inevitably, Maria was broken to bring it to 3-3, mostly due to, guess what, faulty serving. Maria needs to be able to "smell" the turn of the tide, the momentum shifts during her matches, and pounce on them.
She's been doing it most of the time (coasting) even in pre-Wimbly days. Wild returns which if they're in are amazing winners, and pathetic mishits if not. You're absolutely right about sensing the opponent's psychological state and use it to the fullest. That's a part of being an elite sports player. Use whatever advatange that comes your way and conceal whatever weakness you have. Tennis is a war as Nick loves to say.

t_fan
Sep 8th, 2004, 02:17 PM
I would personally prefer if she didn't play YEC. She needs a break. And a long one. Her performance at the US Open made that glaringly obvious.
I don't think a break is the solution. She had a break before the hard court season, and that's where she lost that edge she had on the grass. Personally I think the YEC would be great for her to regain her confidence.
We all want her to do well but are suggesting different ways. The sooner her game diversifies the better IMHO. Short term goals such as making it to the YEC may harm this. It's unclear what's right and most importantly, what's she thinking about this, but I think that it's better first to expand the tactical arsenal then improve it than to try to elevate the level of current game which is hard to be kept consistent on surfaces different from grass.

Sharapower
Sep 8th, 2004, 03:15 PM
We all want her to do well but are suggesting different ways. The sooner her game diversifies the better IMHO. Short term goals such as making it to the YEC may harm this. It's unclear what's right and most importantly, what's she thinking about this, but I think that it's better first to expand the tactical arsenal then improve it than to try to elevate the level of current game which is hard to be kept consistent on surfaces different from grass.
All is part of a whole. The tactical improvements need matches. Keeping confidence high takes WINNING matches. As far as she's a professional player, her job is to play and try to win a lot of matches (but of course at a reasonable rhythm).

Setting "smart goals" is a Nick Bolletierri's recommendation and smart goals are generally short-term or short-middle term goals. I think qualifying for the YEC is a smart one (but it's not only in her hands, it's going to depend on the other girls performance too). I mean Maria is close to that qualification, it's not like she's still at #16 and trying to reach #8.

I think it's not that important that Maria diversifies her game. It's more about focus and on-court awareness. Maria doesn't need to change her game to be more consistent on hardcourts or carpet. Maybe on clay some adjustments are required. She rather needs to "feel" how a match is evoluing, where is the momentum ; when to go for winners and when to make her opponent play ; in crucial points instead of forcing on 2nd serve, choose the best placement of the serve.

I noticed that Maria had a very good stat as to net points won, during the USO but she came in only in first sets and then sticked to baseline on 2nd and 3rd sets. Hopefully her coaching team pointed it out too and help her maintaining a level of play during a whole match and not only the first set.

All these things cannot be imporved but by competitive playing.

t_fan
Sep 9th, 2004, 12:30 PM
All is part of a whole. The tactical improvements need matches. Keeping confidence high takes WINNING matches. As far as she's a professional player, her job is to play and try to win a lot of matches (but of course at a reasonable rhythm).

In her current form I don't see her winning many matches at the YEC. I'm not saying that making YEC is a totally bad thing. It's hard to say (IMHO) what's more beneficial in the long term, skipping or taking a part.

...I think it's not that important that Maria diversifies her game. It's more about focus and on-court awareness. Maria doesn't need to change her game to be more consistent on hardcourts or carpet. Maybe on clay some adjustments are required. She rather needs to "feel" how a match is evoluing, where is the momentum ; when to go for winners and when to make her opponent play ; in crucial points instead of forcing on 2nd serve, choose the best placement of the serve.

She has much more talent than being simply a baseline powerful hitter with a good serve, IMHO. May be I want too much too early. Throw in the physical fitness aspect. To consistenlty maintain high level of game playing almost only from the baseline you need to be more fit than to be a versatile all-around player. Though in both cases she should gain a bit more muscle mass, the physical requirements of the former are more stringent IMO.

I noticed that Maria had a very good stat as to net points won, during the USO but she came in only in first sets and then sticked to baseline on 2nd and 3rd sets. Hopefully her coaching team pointed it out too and help her maintaining a level of play during a whole match and not only the first set.

All these things cannot be imporved but by competitive playing.
Net points of course were won but the majority of them were just finishing drive volleys (with many of them from half-court) not logical results of a well executed net attacks. Her opponents didn't take any pressure from her attacking at net.

SWP
Sep 9th, 2004, 12:41 PM
No way, we certainly do NOT want Maria to gain more muscle mass. She looks just right the way she is.

t_fan
Sep 9th, 2004, 01:05 PM
No way, we certainly do NOT want Maria to gain more muscle mass. She looks just right the way she is.
He-he :)
What's more important her looks or her game/results? That's a thing she should decide for herself. You can gain muscle mass in different ways. AFAICT her heredity favors her looks in that matter. Most likely she'd not be harmed by gaining some more mass if doing it carefully.

Edward.
Sep 9th, 2004, 01:57 PM
No way, we certainly do NOT want Maria to gain more muscle mass. She looks just right the way she is.

:rolleyes:

sharapova-sam
Sep 9th, 2004, 05:01 PM
Her poor performances on US hardcourts, especially USO, made her drop out of the race's top 8 so she needs good results by now to play the WTA championships.

Hopefully she's going to do better at indoor tournaments but she has got only 3 tournaments left considering AER so I'm afraid she won't get enough points to make the race top 8 even if she wins all the tournaments she's going to enter.

I'm pissed off :mad: ! I was really looking forward to see her play in LA against the other top girls.


I agree with you about how sad it is that maria dropt out. but i have to remind you that Maria's 'poor performance' was caused by her loss of concentration during the match which appeared, in my opinion, because of the situation in her country.

sharapova-sam
Sep 9th, 2004, 05:04 PM
No way, we certainly do NOT want Maria to gain more muscle mass. She looks just right the way she is.

Your quite right!! But she has to contain her way of playing, and with it the success, as well

xan
Sep 9th, 2004, 06:10 PM
All is part of a whole. The tactical improvements need matches. Keeping confidence high takes WINNING matches. As far as she's a professional player, her job is to play and try to win a lot of matches (but of course at a reasonable rhythm).Yes. This is right. Going home and drilling balls will only do so much. To stay match tough and ready a player needs competition. Otherwise they get rusty and start losing matches.

Setting "smart goals" is a Nick Bolletierri's recommendation and smart goals are generally short-term or short-middle term goals. I think qualifying for the YEC is a smart one (but it's not only in her hands, it's going to depend on the other girls performance too). I mean Maria is close to that qualification, it's not like she's still at #16 and trying to reach #8.Yes. Maria was at No 6 in the race pre the Open. Unfortunately the players doing well at USO are those who were behind her in the race (Kuznetsova, Dementieva, Capriati). But I don't think the points gap will be too much to overcome - though we won't know until next week.

In addition, a player or two may not be able to attend. It is also a fact, I believe that only seven of the eight places are awarded strictly on points. The eighth is a sort of wildcard awarded by the WTA. This might be given to Maria as Wimbledon Champion and/or because she is a draw at a generally poorly-attended event.

I think it's not that important that Maria diversifies her game. It's more about focus and on-court awareness. Maria doesn't need to change her game to be more consistent on hardcourts or carpet. Maybe on clay some adjustments are required. She rather needs to "feel" how a match is evoluing, where is the momentum ; when to go for winners and when to make her opponent play ; in crucial points instead of forcing on 2nd serve, choose the best placement of the serve.
All these things cannot be improved but by competitive playing.[/QUOTE]Indeed. Maria NEEDS to play when she can. If she gets to the YEC she will have virtually no pressure on her, since most of her competitors will be ranked higher. A reasonable showing at the YEC would be a good base to start the new season, confidence wise.

xan
Sep 9th, 2004, 06:12 PM
No way, we certainly do NOT want Maria to gain more muscle mass. She looks just right the way she is.
Wrong. Maria needs to do what it takes to be a top tennis player - not be a catwalk model!! If the modelling interferes with her tennis, she is finished.

SWP
Sep 9th, 2004, 07:31 PM
Wrong. Maria needs to do what it takes to be a top tennis player - not be a catwalk model!! If the modelling interferes with her tennis, she is finished.

You don't have to have a lot of muscles to play tennis you know?

Frank
Sep 9th, 2004, 09:03 PM
You don't have to have a lot of muscles to play tennis you know? Nope...

But when you play Maria's style of tennis it sure comes in handy...

SWP
Sep 9th, 2004, 09:06 PM
Nope...

But when you play Maria's style of tennis it sure comes in handy...

No, Maria DEFINATELY should NOT put on muscle. She currently looks super fine :hearts:

!!!--Duiz™--!!!
Sep 9th, 2004, 09:08 PM
No, Maria DEFINATELY should NOT put on muscle. She currently looks super fine :hearts:

Sonsidering that is the only thing that matters to you...

Edward.
Sep 9th, 2004, 09:12 PM
Sonsidering that is the only thing that matters to you...

For once, I agree.

SWP
Sep 9th, 2004, 09:15 PM
What? You think the way she looks is the only thing that matters to me? Then you clearly do not have a clue.

Frank
Sep 9th, 2004, 09:17 PM
A little bit of extra muscle won't harm her...If it would improve her game...Why not?

!!!--Duiz™--!!!
Sep 9th, 2004, 09:22 PM
A little bit of extra muscle won't harm her...If it would improve her game...Why not?

I think she needs about a slight increase of 10% of lipids and a increase of 30% of muscular mass won't harm her and will maker her perform better..
I would preferably wnat her to get some good lipids in her brain so she can go to college and have a carrer online... :)

Andy Mac
Sep 9th, 2004, 10:09 PM
lipids??? what the ef!

Lemonskin.
Sep 9th, 2004, 10:37 PM
Lipids sounds like a prehistoric animal :p

Dan23
Sep 9th, 2004, 11:34 PM
:lol:

Andy Mac
Sep 10th, 2004, 12:39 AM
it sounds like some sort of flap! lol ahah...sounds liek something an alien from star wars wud have hangin off his head! "...omg...luke skywalker lightsabered my lipids off!..i cant breath!!!!!!!"

Sharapower
Sep 29th, 2004, 02:57 PM
After all, Masha still has chances to qualify for the YEC : she's just 50 point behind Jennifer right now and if she doesn't give us a bad surprise in Seoul, she's going to be #8 again in the Race, then she's playing Tokyo where she can earn some more points. Plus Jennifer is not scheduling a big indoor season, she's just signed in to play Moscow.

Greenout
Sep 30th, 2004, 11:36 AM
Is everyone aware of the latest mandate from the WTA relating to
their (cough, cough) so called wild, wild 8th player card option?

Yes, there's a clause in the rules where they can elect to choose
their own 8th player to be in the YEC.


Right now as things stand Venus is concentrating on her Design
thang, and Nadia is too far behind. My UberBoss, being the
snake that she isn't playing Fiderstadt; but targeting the YEC-
she'll still be there.

This leaves the 8th place to be between Maria, Capriati and
Vera. It will look really bad if 4 grand slam champions are
not in the YEC. I forecast Maria to be given the wild, wild
card despite how the actual weekly rankings may turn out
the week prior to the YEC.


Any comments?

Frank
Sep 30th, 2004, 12:59 PM
Pffff...The one who deserves it most should get the last spot, not the one who is most prefered by the WTA...