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View Full Version : Maria's 2005 Opponents. has she been unlucky?


xan
Jul 3rd, 2005, 11:58 AM
Maria seems to have been Very Unlucky in her Opponents so far in 2005.


It has been very annoying seeing Maria meet opponents just as they hit their form of the year, and start to play at what seems like their lifetime best. If Maria had met opponents playing on anything like their normal form. That would be fine, but not so frustrating as seeing opponent after opponent in important matches, suddenly playing inspired, career-best, tennis, against her. Tennis which seems to vanish at other times.

Wimbledon: Venus has her draw cleared in front of her (Serena, Justine) and hits an unheralded two and a half year high on form, just in time to play one of the most perfect matches of her career against Maria, having done nothing significant for most of the year. Against Lindsay, Venus shows up and plays in a manner that would have gained her a quick exit against Maria in the Semi.
I have just watched the semi and the final again, and the difference is astonishing. To break Maria in the first set of the Semi, Venus came up with almost impossible shots that defied belief. the rest of the set she made virtually no errors, and hit a sequence of power rallies with precision hitting, and retrieving that commentators say could have been her best ever. Against Lindsay, she was errorstrewn and listless.

Berlin and Paris: Maria faces a resurgent Justine in two Quarter Finals , who comes into perfect form just in time to stop Maria early in the tournaments. Has done little before or since.

Miami: Maria meets Kim on a plateau of perfect form that she hasn't shown since. Kim's collapse to Lindsay on clay in Paris then helps deny Maria the No 1 spot.

Sydney Serena makes her only big move of the year, again preventing Maria reaching the Open final.



This year so far, Maria has seemed to meet players in "unplayable" mode in important matches, getting them just in those weeks or days when they are having their peak and playing at their ultimate best. If Maria had met them on anything like normal form, in many cases the results would have been very different.

All this has denied Maria the number and quality of titles she could have won this year so far - and kept her from yet achieving the No 1 spot.

The way Maria played at this year's Wimbledon, and went about the defence of her title was incredibly expert and mature, and she had an excellent chance of succeeding. It is so frustrating to see her then meet a player who suddenly makes a miraculous return to perfect form. Hopefully Maria has now had her share of nasty surprises of this sort.

Dan23
Jul 3rd, 2005, 12:32 PM
Good discussion point Xan ;)
I pretty much agree with it :D
Maria has been a little unlucky with her opponents form and when you write em all down like that it just seems a bit much...but Maria is due a run of good fortune at some time and if she works hard like she has been then things might happen for her.

The harder the tests Maria gets now the better prepared she'll be for them in the future...with the way Maria's attitude to things is, it cant really be anything but good for her :D

sharapovarulz1
Jul 3rd, 2005, 01:26 PM
good point xan intresting to read aswell!

Andy Mac
Jul 3rd, 2005, 05:27 PM
yeah..its still only lack of experience i think...shes still only 18 remember that...yet she has done soo well people forget!

Maria Croft
Jul 3rd, 2005, 07:13 PM
yeah, she was very unlucky, but on the other hand, she could have won most of those matches, maybe not now, but in a few years she will, these tough defeats will only make her stronger and want it more, it's the best experience you can get !!

hey did you notice that Maria has only (except for Patty) lost to former world number one players so far this year ?! that is really amazing !!

Szymanowski
Jul 3rd, 2005, 09:31 PM
I think you're probably right. I'm dissapointed about her lack of wins against top players this year, but I reckon yor summary probably states why that is. :sad:

Still, I guess this is tennis, and if you're playing a top ten player, you should expect them at their best. But it's really a shame :sad:

Szymanowski
Jul 3rd, 2005, 09:32 PM
hey did you notice that Maria has only (except for Patty) lost to former world number one players so far this year ?! that is really amazing !!
This really is a fantastic stat!

Szymanowski
Jul 3rd, 2005, 09:34 PM
"..........seeing opponent after opponent in important matches, suddenly playing inspired, career-best, tennis, against her. Tennis which seems to vanish at other times."
I'm gonna try and look at this in the way I know Maria would.

It's an honour really; these players know they need to play absolutely out of their mind to beat her.

andrewbroad
Jul 3rd, 2005, 11:27 PM
I read through xan's message, and indeed it is incredibly frustrating that Maria comes up against in-form players who seem to play better against her than against anyone else.

Maria's sensational Wimbledon 2004 triumph has made her a marked woman. Everyone wants to beat her, and the very best players - only the very best, but there are half a dozen of these in women's tennis right now - are able to raise their level against her.

Maria is not on top form at the moment. She's had a very solid and consistent 2005 so far, never losing to anyone who isn't a great player, but she isn't playing with the spectacular precision that made her last year's Wimbledon champion. So when she comes up against these on-fire opponents, she finds it difficult to respond.

Maria has the talent to dominate the women's tour as Roger Federer is currently dominating the men's game, possibly in 2006. When this talent comes to fruition - and Wimbledon 2004 was way ahead of schedule - then she will be #1 with a bullet, and not even the #2 and #3 will be able to compete with her.

Wimbledon 2004 was just the tip of the iceberg.

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/ (http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/)
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/ (http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/)
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/ (http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/)

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sizzlingsharapova/ (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sizzlingsharapova/)
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/ (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/)

xan
Jul 4th, 2005, 11:02 AM
Good discussion point Xan ;)
I pretty much agree with it :D
Maria has been a little unlucky with her opponents form and when you write em all down like that it just seems a bit much...but Maria is due a run of good fortune at some time and if she works hard like she has been then things might happen for her.

The harder the tests Maria gets now the better prepared she'll be for them in the future...with the way Maria's attitude to things is, it cant really be anything but good for her :D

You're right there. If she takes the right lessons from these matches - which she has seemed to so far. Bt it must be VERY frustrating for her.

xan
Jul 4th, 2005, 11:08 AM
yeah, she was very unlucky, but on the other hand, she could have won most of those matches, maybe not now, but in a few years she will, these tough defeats will only make her stronger and want it more, it's the best experience you can get !!
Maybe. The AO she should have won. But I wonder who could have beaten venus in the form she was in in that semi. That game where she broke Maria in the first set was unbelievable. Half those shots were semi-miraculous. yet Maria stayed with her and broke back.

On a very few days some players hit a level where they are virtually unplayable. This was one of venus's. I was astonished how well Maria played in that match. If she'd got to the final and played against Lindsay like that, she'd have the title.

hey did you notice that Maria has only (except for Patty) lost to former world number one players so far this year ?! that is really amazing !!

Yes. That shows how good Maria actually is.

xan
Jul 4th, 2005, 11:21 AM
I read through xan's message, and indeed it is incredibly frustrating that Maria comes up against in-form players who seem to play better against her than against anyone else.

Maria's sensational Wimbledon 2004 triumph has made her a marked woman. Everyone wants to beat her, and the very best players - only the very best, but there are half a dozen of these in women's tennis right now - are able to raise their level against her.
Yes. Maria is at a stage of her career when everyone knows she's dangerous, so they prepare for their matches with her, and know they have to play their best. But she's not yet at a stage where she has a huge intimidation factor, so that players go on court thinking, "Why try too hard to win - it's not going to happen?"

There is another factor here, though. What Tracey Austin called the "surge" - top players coming back from a long lay-off or decline, and suddenly coming into perfect form for a while. They come back. They're playing well. They're happy. They have nothing to lose or to defend. They hit freely with no worries for a while, and play at peak form. This is what we saw with Kim and Justine, and probably Venus. That surge of confidence goes after a while, but Maria has caught three players in that "zone" this year.

Maria is not on top form at the moment. She's had a very solid and consistent 2005 so far, never losing to anyone who isn't a great player, but she isn't playing with the spectacular precision that made her last year's Wimbledon champion. So when she comes up against these on-fire opponents, she finds it difficult to respond.
I might have said that after Birmingham, but at Wimbledon she was playing amazingly despite her nerves, and the pressure of defending. That set against Venus until the tie-break was awesome! Her destruction of Sesil and Dechy was clinical. She was only broken once in five matches before the Semi. The only place where her lack of experience did tell was in the tie-break against Venus, where she should have known - NO loose shots. That was a million dollar tie-break - literally.

Maria has the talent to dominate the women's tour as Roger Federer is currently dominating the men's game, possibly in 2006. When this talent comes to fruition - and Wimbledon 2004 was way ahead of schedule - then she will be #1 with a bullet, and not even the #2 and #3 will be able to compete with her.

Wimbledon 2004 was just the tip of the iceberg.

Its going to be hard to Dominate the womens tour. but I hope so.

Dan23
Jul 5th, 2005, 12:16 AM
The only place where her lack of experience did tell was in the tie-break against Venus, where she should have known - NO loose shots. That was a million dollar tie-break - literally.
Yup that TB decided the match IMO, if Maria had have got it then the result would have been different....but its easy to say that now ;)

Dan23
Jul 5th, 2005, 12:17 AM
You're right there. If she takes the right lessons from these matches - which she has seemed to so far. Bt it must be VERY frustrating for her.
Yeah it sure would be...its also frustrating for us :cool: :mad:

Andy.
Jul 5th, 2005, 01:28 AM
These looses will only Make Masha tougher and more motivated. But she has really only been losing to the best on each surface so im not tooo upset with her loses this year.

xan
Jul 5th, 2005, 02:09 AM
Yup that TB decided the match IMO, if Maria had have got it then the result would have been different....but its easy to say that now ;)

Indeed. If Maria had taken that tiebreak, she would have had the ascendancy. Venus might have wilted, but even if Maria had lost the next set, the rain-break would have come, and Maria would have had a fresh start for the final set next day.....

Grrrrrrr.

Dan23
Jul 5th, 2005, 02:27 AM
Indeed. If Maria had taken that tiebreak, she would have had the ascendancy. Venus might have wilted, but even if Maria had lost the next set, the rain-break would have come, and Maria would have had a fresh start for the final set next day.....

Grrrrrrr.
Yep exactly....

:banghead:

Anyhow as it was Masha played some awesome tennis to get to the TB in the 1st place...next year she'll be extremely determined :cool:

franny
Jul 5th, 2005, 06:20 AM
Well, like the Williams always say, others always play their best against them. I think we're seeing the same against Maria. Everyone who plays her is gunning for her and seems to play their best against her.

Andy.
Jul 5th, 2005, 11:00 AM
These losses will help Maria to learn how to win. Last year was easy but this is the real deal and Masha knows it. She will have more determination than ever to win and im sure she will win many majors in her career.

sharapovarulz1
Jul 5th, 2005, 12:18 PM
Yeh your right andrew, she will be frustrated but she can turn that in to determination and win alot of tournaments.

Alize's#1fan
Jul 11th, 2005, 04:08 AM
She has ran into some tough players this year, but it will make her better.

sharapovarulz1
Jul 11th, 2005, 11:09 AM
Yeh in the long run!