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View Full Version : Maria's level at Nasdaq vs. Wimbledon


franny
Jul 21st, 2005, 12:45 AM
Hey guys, I was rewatching the Maria-Venus Nasdaq semis and I had forgotten how well she played that day. That match was some high quality tennis! So I was wondering, for those of you who also watched both matches, how do the two performances of Maria compare? Venus definitely played better at Wimbledon, but still, I got the feeling that Maria was playing a lot more aggresively. She was hitting the lines and not making any errors. At Wimbledon, she was hitting the ball back down the middle of the court and really tried to aim at that Venus forehand too much. It was like that's all she was doing. I mean, I don't know, maybe she was defending better at Wimbledon, but overall, I feel like she was definitely more aggressive at the Nasdaq. I think that the match against Kim where she was aggressive but hitting so many errors really made her change her game a little. That and the clay court season made her play less aggressively and with more margin for error. To me, that's not a good sign. I hope she regains her aggressiveness. It will be interesting to see how she will handle the hard courts.

xan
Jul 21st, 2005, 01:26 AM
I didn't see the Nasdaq match. But the Wimbledon one was awesome - at least the 1st set.

Maria was playing amazingly as far as I could see, there was no lack of aggression. She was trading huge shots in fierce rallies that went on for many strokes. The problem was that venus was making some miraculous shots and hitting with huge pace and depth and virtually no errors. The curious nature of her draw, (Justine Danilidou and Serena falling out) allowed Venus to play herself into form, and she seemed hugely motivated for the Maria match.

I know that commentators described the match as awesome, frightening, and a new level in women's tennis, because of the high quality and the power and fierceness of the hitting. Maria clawed her way back from 2-5 down to 6-6, but then made her big mistake by losing concentration in the tiebreak. Had that gone the other way, the whole balance would have changed.

Maybe at 2-5 down Maria should have just surrendered the 1st set and used her energy on winning the 2nd, instead of putting her effort into that energy-expensive fightback. But who knows what would have happened if she'd tanked the 1st.

Dan23
Jul 21st, 2005, 02:10 AM
Xan you know Maria wouldnt tank a set regardless...esp not in her favourite tournament ;)

I think Maria played better in the Nasdaq SF too...very few errors and made Venus move around by hitting at the lines accurately. At Wimbledon it did seem Maria was more intent to hit the ball down the middle rather than firing away as she has done...maybe she didnt feel confident in her shot making. That was as bad a day ive seen on Maria's backhand for quite a while, its usually her consistant point winner. Still Venus had a better day and Maria's fightback was of the highest quality...taking the TB would have been amazing but it wasnt to be :)

franny
Jul 21st, 2005, 05:16 AM
Yea, in the first set, Maria had 16 winners to 6 errors at the Nasdaq (According to ESPN). I don't even need to remind us of her stats from the Wimbledon match.

* I have no idea why Espn's stats differ so much from Nasdaq's stats. That's just weird.

WIMBLY2004
Jul 21st, 2005, 06:12 AM
Yea, in the first set, Maria had 16 winners to 6 errors at the Nasdaq (According to ESPN). I don't even need to remind us of her stats from the Wimbledon match.

* I have no idea why Espn's stats differ so much from Nasdaq's stats. That's just weird.

ESPN counts unreturned serve as winner, that's why their winner number is much higher than the Nasdaq's stats.

And yes, I agree that Maria played a much more aggressive and confident game in Nasdaq SF, and she served really well in that match too.

waratahsrock
Jul 21st, 2005, 09:02 AM
Totally agree with you franny. At Nasdaq, Maria was far more aggressive and in very impressive form. It was a very high quality match.
Maybe at Wimbledon the burdon of being defending champion was just too much on Maria's shoulders? Hopefully she gets back to being her old self during the hard court season.

azi
Jul 21st, 2005, 10:05 AM
oh, i miss seeing her play, i hope she will have a very successful hardcourt season...

Maria Croft
Jul 21st, 2005, 10:08 AM
I saw both matches and it's very obvious what happened, Maria had the pressure on her at Wimbledon and still managed to play some amazing tennis, but Venus was a different player that day, and not to forget that Maria did play some awesome tennis against Venus in Miami, that's also something that doesn't happen a lot, that you can 'paint the lines' like that, it was just an awesome day, but Venus was just to good that day, shit happens, I think that Maria couldn't have handled the pressure better than she did

sharapovarulz1
Jul 21st, 2005, 02:13 PM
yeh i think she could of aswell!

Edward.
Jul 21st, 2005, 09:08 PM
Xan you know Maria wouldnt tank a set regardless...esp not in her favourite tournament ;)

I think Maria played better in the Nasdaq SF too...very few errors and made Venus move around by hitting at the lines accurately. At Wimbledon it did seem Maria was more intent to hit the ball down the middle rather than firing away as she has done...maybe she didnt feel confident in her shot making. That was as bad a day ive seen on Maria's backhand for quite a while, its usually her consistant point winner. Still Venus had a better day and Maria's fightback was of the highest quality...taking the TB would have been amazing but it wasnt to be :)

I was discussing this with someone, and I personally think Maria tanked the second set at Wimbledon.

IMO, Maria's level has been steadily declining. She's playing good, but I personally think she was superior at last years Wimbledon then she was at this years.

Andy Mac
Jul 21st, 2005, 09:16 PM
I was discussing this with someone, and I personally think Maria tanked the second set at Wimbledon.

IMO, Maria's level has been steadily declining. She's playing good, but I personally think she was superior at last years Wimbledon then she was at this years.
sadly...i couldn't agree with that more...its true..and dissipointing!

franny
Jul 21st, 2005, 11:25 PM
In the end, I just think it comes down to aggression. She's just held back a lot since the final against Clijsters. I just think that now that she's number 2 in the world, so close to number 1 in the world, and really feeling like she needs to get to finals or semis at every tournament, she's holding back so that she does not make so many errors. It's helping her win most of her matches, but when she goes up against players that hits as hard as she does and as consistently, she runs into trouble. If she wants to beat Davenport, Venus, Clijsters, Henin, she's going to have to get her aggression back. She has the power to overpower anyone, including the Williams. She just needs to get herself to go for the lines again.

Maria Croft
Jul 21st, 2005, 11:45 PM
In the end, I just think it comes down to aggression. She's just held back a lot since the final against Clijsters. I just think that now that she's number 2 in the world, so close to number 1 in the world, and really feeling like she needs to get to finals or semis at every tournament, she's holding back so that she does not make so many errors. It's helping her win most of her matches, but when she goes up against players that hits as hard as she does and as consistently, she runs into trouble. If she wants to beat Davenport, Venus, Clijsters, Henin, she's going to have to get her aggression back. She has the power to overpower anyone, including the Williams. She just needs to get herself to go for the lines again.


well maybe, I don't know about that, but I mean, what are you guys complaining about anyway ?! she is the number 2 in the world !! it doesn't get much better then that, Maria knows that she needs to be consistent to reach the number 1 position, you can't get there with going for the lines all the time

Maria knows that, and I'm with her no matter how she plays, if it's aggressive or not so aggressive lol, she is no longer a 30 something player, that is what happens when your in the top 10, the game changes for you, why do you think Clijsters came back so good, she had no pressure whatsoever, the same goes for Davenport last year in the summer season, she was thinking to herself, it's all over soon, might as well play as I like, and it worked for her, so much that she decided to continue another year, look at Mary Pierce, she is also at the end of her career and now the pressure is of her so she can play freely again, look at Venus at Wimbledon, no one except her fans believed she could do it one more time, and she proved everyone wrong and won !! and there is of course Maria, no pressure last year and played freely and won, you so cannot expect her to play freely as the number 2 in the world, I would like to see any of you deal with that at 18 !!

my god people, just be happy for what she did, I think it's sad when Maria is having the best season of her young career and someone calls it disappointing (not you Franny) just be happy with all her good results !!

lol, this post is so much longer then I planned

Dan23
Jul 22nd, 2005, 12:14 AM
I was discussing this with someone, and I personally think Maria tanked the second set at Wimbledon.I agree it was a letdown the 2nd set..and I was surprised how easy it ended up being for Venus
I dont know if it'd be called a tank though...

IMO, Maria's level has been steadily declining. She's playing good, but I personally think she was superior at last years Wimbledon then she was at this years.Thats pretty tough on her mate...I think its true she wasnt as fiery as at last years Wimbledon but she hasnt really been declining

Maria doesnt seem to be playing as aggressively recently as Franny said...maybe shes trying to respond to criticism (that she has a one-dimensional game) and trying to be more patient in rallies. Maybe not...but Maria has definitely improved certain areas of her game

franny
Jul 22nd, 2005, 05:04 PM
I'm definitely very proud of Maria, and overall, I would say that she is a better play now than she was a year ago. A year ago she would lose to Mashona Washington. Now, there's no way in hell that would happen. But the problem is that she hasn't improved enough to be winning titles. It's one thing to get to semis and finals, it's another to win. As fans, we just need to analyze that next big step she's gotta take. For me, I really see two solutions. Either she goes back playing with the same aggression against the top players and be willing to probably lose 50% of those matches but at the same time win 50% of them, or she can keep playing like this and add a lot more variety to her game. That is, she needs to develop a better volley, she needs to develop a slice backhand so she doesn't need to hit that weak left handed forehand, or she can improve that left handed forehand like Seles did so that she can hit it with more power on the run, she needs to work on her drop shot, and MOST OF ALL, she needs to work on her non-lateral movements. That is, she has trouble running up to the net and back. She is very fast side to side, but because of her height, she does not move forward very well. She needs to train herself to stay lower to the ground when running forward, and that's gonna take her to do more sprints in practice and to do more thigh exercises. But of course, I'm being very picky with her, but it's only because I'm such a big fan that I want to see her do as well as she can and to her full potential. I'm proud of everything that she's acheived, but there's more, and I'm sure she wants more and will be looking to add to her game and to improve. I know that everything I said she needs to do will take time, lots of time. We as fans of course are willing to give her the time, but I guess I just see a lot of Martina Hingis in her. After Serena won her U.S Open, she didn't go through not winning a slam because of lack of aggression. It was because she was just getting injured and making lots of errors. For Martina and for Maria, it's that lack of aggression. She needs to get it back if she wants to win another slam. There's too much potential there, too much. I know it's only been a year, and I'm sure she'll win many more slams in the future, but I guess that us fans are really thirsty for that big glory one more time. I'm thinking though that she gets her aggression back this summer and plays her best at the U.S Open and wins it!

Maria Croft
Jul 22nd, 2005, 06:54 PM
so if you think that she gets her 'aggression' back why make this topic ??

Let's look at who she lost this year ?! Venus played out of her mind !! same goes for Justine, and she beat her twice on clay, on Maria's worst surface, Kim Clijsters who was also playing out of her mind, then she lost to Serena in a great 3 set match, could have gone either way, Davenport, got her ass kicked, yes that's true, but Davenport is still the number one in the world and got another lesson from Schnyder on clay, last year Maria made 1, only 1 clay QF, and now she made 2 and one SF, on her worst surface !! you know, I could go on and on, but you know how Maria has improved, but what I don't understand is that you won't her to improve everything, don't you think Maria knows that too ?! and is working hard on that

I think it's so unfair to say that she should go all the way in tournaments and not just make the finals, I mean, look at what she did after her Miami final, the clay season, she improved so much, even worked on a drop shot lol, then she won another grass title and got to the SF as a defending champion, now you tell me what she should have done differently in those tournaments, if you ask me she did the best she could, she will win those big tournaments soon enough, and let's not forget that she just won her first Tier 1 tournament at 17 years old !!

I just don't want people to expect so much from her, it's not fair, she is doing so well and yet people still criticize so much about her, I want her too win too, but I won't go looking for silly explanations why she didn't, just like Maria I move on, it's in the past, let's focus on the future

franny
Jul 22nd, 2005, 07:02 PM
so if you think that she gets her 'aggression' back why make this topic ??

Let's look at who she lost this year ?! Venus played out of her mind !! same goes for Justine, and she beat her twice on clay, on Maria's worst surface, Kim Clijsters who was also playing out of her mind, then she lost to Serena in a great 3 set match, could have gone either way, Davenport, got her ass kicked, yes that's true, but Davenport is still the number one in the world and got another lesson from Schnyder on clay, last year Maria made 1, only 1 clay QF, and now she made 2 and one SF, on her worst surface !! you know, I could go on and on, but you know how Maria has improved, but what I don't understand is that you won't her to improve everything, don't you think Maria knows that too ?! and is working hard on that

I think it's so unfair to say that she should go all the way in tournaments and not just make the finals, I mean, look at what she did after her Miami final, the clay season, she improved so much, even worked on a drop shot lol, then she won another grass title and got to the SF as a defending champion, now you tell me what she should have done differently in those tournaments, if you ask me she did the best she could, she will win those big tournaments soon enough, and let's not forget that she just won her first Tier 1 tournament at 17 years old !!

I just don't want people to expect so much from her, it's not fair, she is doing so well and yet people still criticize so much about her, I want her too win too, but I won't go looking for silly explanations why she didn't, just like Maria I move on, it's in the past, let's focus on the future

True, but as fans, we are not only here to cheer her on and compliment her. As fans, we are also here to critique and discuss. That's why we're on this forum. Perfection is impossible, but it's the trying to gain perfection that makes you a champion. I know that Maria is doing her best to improve on everything, but as fans, there is nothing wrong with us sitting here and saying that she needs to improve her game or that she needs to acheive certain things. We are not groupies, we are tennis fans and tennis scholars. That is why we are in this forum, so that we can discuss tennis. This is not a bag on Maria thread, it's because we support her so much that we are talking about her flaws and what she needs to do to improve her flaws. Otherwise, what's the point of having a forum? Why not just have one thread that goes, "We love Maria you are the best no matter what!" Right?

Maria Croft
Jul 22nd, 2005, 07:07 PM
True, but as fans, we are not only here to cheer her on and compliment her. As fans, we are also here to critique and discuss. That's why we're on this forum. Perfection is impossible, but it's the trying to gain perfection that makes you a champion. I know that Maria is doing her best to improve on everything, but as fans, there is nothing wrong with us sitting here and saying that she needs to improve her game or that she needs to acheive certain things. We are not groupies, we are tennis fans and tennis scholars. That is why we are in this forum, so that we can discuss tennis. This is not a bag on Maria thread, it's because we support her so much that we are talking about her flaws and what she needs to do to improve her flaws. Otherwise, what's the point of having a forum? Why not just have one thread that goes, "We love Maria you are the best no matter what!" Right?

you don't have to explain to me why I'm here thank you, I know that, all I'm saying is that it looks like people are looking for things to bicth about when there isn't much to complain, save that for when the tough times come, it won't be as good as it is now all the time

I want her to go for the lines too at every single shot but I know that she can't, and I'm happy with that, I think that she had a great year so far, won what she needed to win, and lost to only the best of the world, doesn't get much better then this

franny
Jul 23rd, 2005, 12:55 AM
Well we've got to have something to talk about right? ;) And just for me, I'm not too big on talking about Maria's personal life, her relationships, her dog, etc. I'm here to talk about her tennis. So that's why I chose to create this thread, just so we can compare and contrast her level at different tournaments and to talk about what she has to improve on so that in a few months of a few years, we can look back and say, yup she improved on this and that. We're really not so much bitching and complaining about her and just discussing what she needs to improve, and ou must agree, there is a lot to improve. And it does get much better than that, and that's why we're talking about it. It just gives us something to talk about you know, something to do. :)

Dan23
Jul 23rd, 2005, 05:34 AM
I dont mind threads like this...its true we can talk about all aspects of Maria's tennis including this, its not criticism (most :p ppl in here would be the last to criticise Maria)...Maria would be the first to admit that she has things to work on and us being fans of her see a lot more than most of the 'experts' in the GM who know all about Maria after seeing a couple of highlights of her match or whatever. Im really happy with how Maria's going so far and it could have been a whole lot better if things had of gone her way on certain occasions but thats what Maria will improve on and will become better. Im looking forward to the USO for Masha :cool:

Edward.
Jul 23rd, 2005, 01:27 PM
Maria can win tons of points between now and the end of the year. She knows this and will be extremely motivated.

Lindsay, meanwhile has a shitload of points to defend. Should she slip up, Maria will need to captitalize.

#1 is well within Maria's grasp.

Wenicole
Jul 24th, 2005, 01:48 PM
Maria didn't make big mistakes at Wimbledon, just Venus played so good that Maria lost....

Portobello
Jul 24th, 2005, 02:32 PM
Maria did do a great job at wimby,she lost that match coz Venus play her best tennis
I agree she has the room to improve n I'm sure she's working on it

Andy Mac
Jul 24th, 2005, 11:03 PM
she will always have room for improvement

Doc
Jul 25th, 2005, 03:01 PM
so if you think that she gets her 'aggression' back why make this topic ??

Let's look at who she lost this year ?! Venus played out of her mind !! same goes for Justine, and she beat her twice on clay, on Maria's worst surface, Kim Clijsters who was also playing out of her mind, then she lost to Serena in a great 3 set match, could have gone either way, Davenport, got her ass kicked, yes that's true, but Davenport is still the number one in the world and got another lesson from Schnyder on clay, last year Maria made 1, only 1 clay QF, and now she made 2 and one SF, on her worst surface !! you know, I could go on and on, but you know how Maria has improved, but what I don't understand is that you won't her to improve everything, don't you think Maria knows that too ?! and is working hard on that

I think it's so unfair to say that she should go all the way in tournaments and not just make the finals, I mean, look at what she did after her Miami final, the clay season, she improved so much, even worked on a drop shot lol, then she won another grass title and got to the SF as a defending champion, now you tell me what she should have done differently in those tournaments, if you ask me she did the best she could, she will win those big tournaments soon enough, and let's not forget that she just won her first Tier 1 tournament at 17 years old !!

I just don't want people to expect so much from her, it's not fair, she is doing so well and yet people still criticize so much about her, I want her too win too, but I won't go looking for silly explanations why she didn't, just like Maria I move on, it's in the past, let's focus on the future

I agree. Maria's tennis has Improved over last year. The only thing that hasn't improved is the 1st serve, and hopefully she's working on that,

What's changed this year has been she's met Serena, Kim, Justine and Venus just when they've been at the peak of their form for the year. Maria had a tough job defending Wimbledon under pressure. If Venus had played against her like she did against davenport, she might have done it.