I don't think we should be at all worried that she lost Svetlana. Sveta's a top 5 player now. Had Maria not won Wimbledon, she would still be in the 15-20 ranking area. Wimbledon was a lovely fairytale that we will never forget, but it's just not where Maria's game is at the moment. Her ranking doesn't really reflect where her game is at ATM. People don't make such a fuss when top-20 players like Sugiyama, Molik, Petrova, Sprem et al lose to the very top players, but when Maria loses to then, its cause for a big fuss.
Think of Svetlana. She's 19 and won her first Grand Slam, two years older than when Maria won hers. I think that when Maria's 19, SHE'LL be a top 5 player. And she'll have the experience by then to be able to be beating top-5 players consistently, and winning Grand Slams and Tier I's. If you think about it, Beijing was her first ever Tier II semifinal!
The only thing I worry about is IMG. I really, really, REALLY wish they would just let her get on with playing tennis. What does a 17-year old need with her own fragrance line? It's all too distracting. I wish they would just let her get on with becomming a great tennis player, and maybe just pop up with a photo shoot every now and then. It's so obvious that she has the potential to be a great player. I really hope they dont turn her into the next Kournikova. She's said it herself: She's not the next Kournikova. She's the first Maria Sharapova.
IMG, please let her BE Maria Sharapova, the great tennis player. Not the next Kournikova.
Sep 25th, 2004, 02:02 PM
LS, I would post my own thoughts, but it seems like your thoughts are IDENTICAL to my own! :yeah:
She should dump IMG and Max. They are the only thing that could bring her down.
Sep 25th, 2004, 02:07 PM
This Max guy seems like an idiot who doesn't care about Maria, just cares about himself.
Dunno about IMG, I don't actually think the perfume and motorola deals will affect her. I think she just needs a top coach.
Sep 25th, 2004, 03:35 PM
lemonskin! i applaud u mate....that was a wonderful speach that brought tears to my eyes....haha well i was relaly tired and i yawn'd but still....i agree with eddy...my thought are exactly to yours mate...and some ppl might say marias not doing too well after wimbledon..those idiots!
Sep 25th, 2004, 06:46 PM
Very true, well said man! :p
Sep 25th, 2004, 07:03 PM
matbez........u new here mate?
Sep 25th, 2004, 07:27 PM
I agree !! people are always saying that her game has been off since wimbledon but I don't agree, her game is the same, wimbledon was just her tournament and it was on grass, and svetlana is at her best tennis right now and Maria still has a lot to learn !! She didn't play well today but that doesn't mean that her game is bad !! Wimbledon was just her 4th tournament win, I wonder what some people expected, that she would win every tournament or something ?!! She has all the time in the world to win grand slams and tournaments and be number 1 in the world !! GO Maria !!
Sep 25th, 2004, 07:40 PM
very true QueenMaria.
Sep 26th, 2004, 10:31 AM
I think your right there LS..
A few of us have talked about this before and the fact that the Wimbledon win in some ways hasnt been good for Maria.
She is now expected to play like a GS champion at all times but Maria knows as well as we do that she has a lot to learn and needs experience to get the consistancy in her game. I think Maria has handled things fairly well and doesnt seem to get too down on herself. Her interviews are always positive and I think shes going about things in the right way. The coaching dept is one area Maria may be able to benefit from some changes and I hope the situation can be sorted out in the way that best suits Maria and will help get the best tennis out of her.
Lastly I agree with Ed and LS that it seems IMG are indeed putting the $$ ahead of what may be best for Masha right now..though the perfume and Motorola deals arent going to take a lot of her time, the more deals there are the more possible distractions can creep in.
I hope it doesnt get out of hand..
Most importantly good luck to Masha in Korea :D
Sep 26th, 2004, 01:19 PM
Most importantly good luck to Masha in Korea :D
Buenos Aires Masha!
Sep 26th, 2004, 01:21 PM
She is a Grand Slam champion. But she is a champion on a surface that is only played on for 4 weeks in the year. On the other surfaces, Maria is still learning. People forget after all that has gone on, that Maria has hardly been on the WTA Tour for 2 years. She is now a very good player, but she is not an excellent player. To become a truly excellent player, and world #1 material, she needs to try and expand her game. At the moment, she is rather one dimensional (smacking every ball as hard as possible).
She should add variety to her game, such as learning to play rallies longer on hardcourts and claycourts, to give her a chance to work for the point. Currently, she is trying to end rallies too quickly by going for outright winners and this will not work on hardcourts against good players. Good players play defensively against Maria on hardcourts because they know that eventually she will make mistakes. She needs to slow it down and try to develop and angle in which to win the point.
Needless to say, her volleying needs to improve. She is playing doubles to help this, but she should spend more time in practice working on volleys.
The GM and other people are being incredibly unrealistic by expecting Maria to win everything. Anybody who knows anything about tennis knows that Maria is still growing as a player, and needs time to be as good on the other surfaces as she is on grass. I believe progress was seen on the hardcourts in Beijing, but she needs to continue improving.
Good Luck in Korea, Maria!
Sep 26th, 2004, 04:05 PM
Many good points in here...
Losing to Sveta, the number 5 of the world and reigning US Open champion, in the semi-final of a Tier II is far from being a bad result of course...
But the way she lost is what worries me...
Maria appears somewhat burnt out to me...She doesn't look like she's enjoying anything she does...Her face is in a troubled grimasse all the time and all her shots are going long and wide...
I think what she needs now is rest...Rest to work on her game and to empty her mind a bit...She should forget about Wimbledon and all the stuff around that...Concentrate on tennis again...Improve her shots a bit...
And most important of all: Have fun in life...Enjoy everything what she's doing...
Sep 27th, 2004, 04:55 AM
As for IMG, I'm not sure that's easy to do. Remember, Maria owes Bollitieri (spelling?), and IMG now own Bollitieri's academy. It may not be as easy as we think to completely sever her relationships with her old coach.
I think this losing trend will play out very well. First, a little waning in the media interest might bring her back to her 2003 Birmingham level, basically, that obscure 16-year old just breaking out. Now, I'm aware that that's impossible to duplicate, because no matter how low Maria sinks now, she'll no longer be an unknown or obscure player. She's already famous. But I think it will relieve some pressure off of her. Second, I hope she's learning from all of this. Meaning, she's learning new tricks, adding variety and shots to her game, getting more fit. The only uncertainty in my mind is whether she is indeed learning from this. That's the risk that comes with winning early, people oftentimes are reluctant to change something that's already brought them success. Maria's game, so far, hasn't changed, but it's only been two months, so let's give her time.
And maybe some perspective. First, she's not Martina Hingis. That means two things: she doesn't quite have Martina's all around game based on guile and location, but it also means she's more fit than Martina. So if she can add the guile part, and with the physical tools already there, she can only get better. So it all comes back to that uncertainty in my mind: is Maria willing to change? At all?
Second, she's won two titles this year, and she's still defending champion in two more. How bad is it really?
Maria needs to be patient, as we do. In one of my earlier postings, I said Maria should take her time, and so should we. She needs faith, and so do we.