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Dan23
Nov 14th, 2005, 02:51 AM
Maria's year is over obviously aside from the Japan Fashion tour thing later on..

Her win/loss record for the season was 53-12 compared to 55-15 in 2004.
In 2005 Maria:
- won titles at Tokyo, Doha and Birmingham
- was a finalist at Miami
- made the SF at Australian Open, Indian Wells, Rome, Wimbledon, US Open, Beijing and the WTA Champs.
- made the QF at Berlin, Roland Garros, Los Angeles and Moscow
- was not ousted from a tournament before the QF all year.
(The USO 1R match was an exhibition in the 2nd set, close to Maria's classiest display all year, though against a lower ranked player)
(another great match, this time against a high ranked player was the Miami SF vs Venus)

Her best wins of the year included:
Top10: Kuznetsova, Davenport (x2), Molik, V. Williams, Petrova (x2) and Schnyder
Top20: Farina Elia, Henin-Hardenne, Bovina, Golovin, Jankovic, Dechy

For me the high points of the year were:
- making the SF of the AO while battling back pain and being with-in a point of moving through to the final where a second GS title was waiting.
- achieving her goal of becoming the first Russian to hold the World number 1 ranking.
- being the only player to make 4 SF's out of the 5 major events.
Though Masha was cut back by injuries her fight was always there and there was no better display all year than the ending to the 2nd set at the USO SF when she found herself down triple match point after serving a double fault.

The lowest point was most likely the re-emergence of the evil pec injury at Los Angeles and its constant return for the rest of the year until the final day.

I think that though Masha faltered at the biggest occasions of the year it is still a year she can be proud of and knowing that she got herself in those positions consistantly all year, even while battling injuries, would give her confidence. At times Maria played blinding tennis that her opponents had absolutely no answer for...if she can get back to a level to produce this consistanly then the big titles will come.

Post your thoughts, highs and lows and any pics that were typical of Masha's year (or just let the thread fall off the bottom of the page :lol: )

Andy.
Nov 14th, 2005, 03:28 AM
Thanks for all the work Dan. Masha has had a nice consistant year without iceing on the cake. The injury has been a real bummer and i hope its sorted out for next year. I have enjoyed posting with all of you this year new and old fans a like i hope we will have a lot more to celebrate next year.

Dan23
Nov 14th, 2005, 03:32 AM
Some of the pics of the year:

http://img431.imageshack.us/img431/6623/usopen051281mh.jpg

http://img431.imageshack.us/img431/8517/birmingham05824tb.jpg

http://img431.imageshack.us/img431/2782/wimbledon053085cf.jpg

http://img431.imageshack.us/img431/6721/tokyo05694tk.jpg


Fighting through pain...
http://img431.imageshack.us/img431/7352/losangeles05386nt.jpg

http://img431.imageshack.us/img431/3027/moscow05220ih.jpg


Tennis at its beautiful best...
http://img431.imageshack.us/img431/2472/wimbledon05546uw.jpg

Dan23
Nov 14th, 2005, 05:51 AM
BTW Masha got pushed down to number 4 in the end of year rankings after Mauresmo won the YEC. A top 4 seed at the AO should be secured, #3 is possible.

waratahsrock
Nov 14th, 2005, 06:24 AM
BTW Masha got pushed down to number 4 in the end of year rankings after Mauresmo won the YEC. A top 4 seed at the AO should be secured, #3 is possible.

So depending on how well she does @ the Gold Coast, will deterimine her seeding for AO?

Maria Croft
Nov 14th, 2005, 06:28 AM
Donít really know what to add to this, I agree with everything, although when Maria beat Venus in Miami she wasnít a top ten player I believe?! And she only made the QF in Roland Garros so she hasnít made the SF of the 5 biggest tournaments, the rest looks good though :)

For me the worst moments were when she got injured again, really thatís all, oh yeah, and her loss to Safina in Moscow, that was horrible for me, especially because she fought back from 5-1 down

And the best are when she won Tokyo and made the Final in Miami just two weeks after her double bagel! That she never lost before the QF, that she made the SF in three slams, and that she beat Davenport in the YEC, that was so special for me, and that was also the first time since the US open that I saw the real Maria again

Dan23
Nov 14th, 2005, 06:28 AM
So depending on how well she does @ the Gold Coast, will deterimine her seeding for AO?
Yea I think she can get up to #3 with a good performance there ;)
Theres still also the removal of quality points from the rankings which need to be considered because Maria has more than Amelie.

Maria Croft
Nov 14th, 2005, 06:29 AM
So depending on how well she does @ the Gold Coast, will deterimine her seeding for AO?


I doubt it, unless Mary plays before the Australian open Maria is not going to drop to 5

Dan23
Nov 14th, 2005, 06:33 AM
Donít really know what to add to this, I agree with everything, although when Maria beat Venus in Miami she wasnít a top ten player I believe?! And she only made the QF in Roland Garros so she hasnít made the SF of the 5 biggest tournaments, the rest looks good though :) Venus was at #9 at Miami :D
..and Maria made the SF at 4 of the 5 tournaments :cool:

Maria Croft
Nov 14th, 2005, 06:35 AM
Venus was at #9 at Miami :D
..and Maria made the SF at 4 of the 5 tournaments :cool:

I didn't know Venus was a top ten player in Miami :D

and how could I forget, one of the best moments of the year was when she got to the number one as the first russian!

waratahsrock
Nov 14th, 2005, 08:07 AM
Venus was at #9 at Miami :D
..and Maria made the SF at 4 of the 5 tournaments :cool:

That match in Miami was definately one of the highlights of the year for me. Maria was in very hot form that day.
Maria's 2 wins over Lindsay and the #1 ranking also rate as great moments this year.

The worst moment had to be losing that Wimby SF, you could just see in Maria's eyes how hurt she was, which was very painful to watch.

Here's hoping in 2006 we see plenty more great moments for Maria - including slam #2!

Sweep
Nov 14th, 2005, 03:42 PM
Good review Dan!

A reasonable year for Masha - not the best but still pretty good.

My moments of the year - Masha getting to number one and also her good win over Davenport in the YEC.

sharapova1987
Nov 14th, 2005, 05:51 PM
I LOVE Maria, but I would have to say its been a pretty disappointing year. I'm not a tennis player anymore, and I'm certainly not a WTA expert by any means. But it seems that for a player of Maria's caliber, only winning three very low profile tournaments that hardly anyone has ever heard of is a large disappointment. Especially considering how highly she was ranked for the entire year. But the rankings are a HUGE joke anyway as far as I'm concerned. Lindsay Davenport ended the year #1, and she hasn't won a grand slam tournament for almost SIX years. That is just ridiculous. I have no idea how they could shake up the rankings system, but there has to be something to more accurately reflect the current situation on the WTA. People have said that Maria had a "consistent" year, but as I've said before, I'm sure she would much rather have had one grand slam win and three first round losses than to finish the way she did in all four. I know her injury obviously had an effect on her for the entire second half of the season, but that's life. That's the way it is. These young girls who practice tennis and play tennis everyday of their lives are going to have injuries. I think its poor to use injuries as an excuse. Either you can play or you can't. If Serena Williams hadn't come down with the injuries she's had for the past couple years, she probably would have continued to win everything. But to be honest, I did not see much, if any improvement in Maria's game at all this year. I can't begin to count how many times she served for a set or served for a match and had her serve broken. It's almost like you expect her to get broken when she has a chance to serve out a match. Her oncourt demeanor and body language was also very poor I thought. It's easy to pump your fist and yell "Vamos!" when you're beating the #166 player in the world 6-1, 4-0. I'm sorry, but that has to be annoying as hell for the other players to see her do that. It seems like she picks just almost meaningless points in the match to pump her fist and pump herself up. And does anyone think its just a coincidence that her play wasn't nearly as good this year even though she is doing a photo shoot or a commercial seemingly every time she turns around now? I think there are many, many question marks surrounding Maria right now.

Maria Croft
Nov 14th, 2005, 08:46 PM
I LOVE Maria, but I would have to say its been a pretty disappointing year. I'm not a tennis player anymore, and I'm certainly not a WTA expert by any means. But it seems that for a player of Maria's caliber, only winning three very low profile tournaments that hardly anyone has ever heard of is a large disappointment. Especially considering how highly she was ranked for the entire year. But the rankings are a HUGE joke anyway as far as I'm concerned. Lindsay Davenport ended the year #1, and she hasn't won a grand slam tournament for almost SIX years. That is just ridiculous. I have no idea how they could shake up the rankings system, but there has to be something to more accurately reflect the current situation on the WTA. People have said that Maria had a "consistent" year, but as I've said before, I'm sure she would much rather have had one grand slam win and three first round losses than to finish the way she did in all four. I know her injury obviously had an effect on her for the entire second half of the season, but that's life. That's the way it is. These young girls who practice tennis and play tennis everyday of their lives are going to have injuries. I think its poor to use injuries as an excuse. Either you can play or you can't. If Serena Williams hadn't come down with the injuries she's had for the past couple years, she probably would have continued to win everything. But to be honest, I did not see much, if any improvement in Maria's game at all this year. I can't begin to count how many times she served for a set or served for a match and had her serve broken. It's almost like you expect her to get broken when she has a chance to serve out a match. Her oncourt demeanor and body language was also very poor I thought. It's easy to pump your fist and yell "Vamos!" when you're beating the #166 player in the world 6-1, 4-0. I'm sorry, but that has to be annoying as hell for the other players to see her do that. It seems like she picks just almost meaningless points in the match to pump her fist and pump herself up. And does anyone think its just a coincidence that her play wasn't nearly as good this year even though she is doing a photo shoot or a commercial seemingly every time she turns around now? I think there are many, many question marks surrounding Maria right now.

No your right, you're really not an expert!

Tokyo is a Tier I, as far as Tier tournaments go, it doesn't get any higher! Your faith in Maria is your own choice, but I hope you don't expect anyone here to say; heck yeah! I think you're right

I believe in Maria, she has had a good year, not the best sure, but she has improved so much, it doesn't always go perfect, and Maria also knows that, she is a very focused young girl and the only question mark I see is around her injury!

Steve-o
Nov 14th, 2005, 09:21 PM
A tough year for Maria, but was a solid effort after last year's fairytale. She's definately a better player, physically stronger and fitter. I think really it's the injuries that have prevented it from being a great year. For me the high's were the performance against Venus in Miami, it was stunning. The second set against Clijsters in USO, literally unbelievable and the number one ranking that was pretty cool. When you think about it this hasn't been such a bad year!
The low's: There were too many! Obviously the injuries are the most worrying thing to come out of 05, hopefully none of them are long term but that pec injury's got me quite anxious. The Aus semi against Serena, I don't even want to think about that! The bagel although that didn't bother me too much.

I love Maria and can't wait for 06 it's gonna be a great year for Masha!

sharapova1987
Nov 14th, 2005, 11:47 PM
Oh I am SO sorry, what was I thinking? I must have lost my head. Maria had the most dominating season of any player, male or female, in the history of tennis!!! I think she will win the next forty grand slams in a row! In fact, I doubt if she loses another match for at least the next decade! Oh and yes, that HUGE "Tier 1" tournament she won in Tokyo is the most important tournament of the year! I was STOKED when she tucked that one away in the win column! Who did she beat to win that tournament again? Was it Chris Evert, Steffi Graf, or Monica Seles? I can't remember.......I think it is so hilarious when someone raises some legitimate issues to discuss on these boards, and the only replies you get are illiterates who have to resort to using curse words and other foul language, and can't accept that someone else may have a slightly different view on things than they do.

Dan23
Nov 15th, 2005, 12:25 AM
Sharapova1987 did have a couple of reasonable points though I think he seriously underestimated the effects of Maria's injurys on her season. One of the reasons Maria struggled to serve out matches this year was because her serve is lacking the power it had last year when she could hit really big serves (110+) when needed. Maria's courage and fight at times was excellent especially at the AO when no-one knew she was battling back problems and also to finish off the match against Anna C at LA.
The photoshoot arguement doesnt stand up though because Maria's schedule of sponsor duties was the same as it was last year...all focused around 3 weeks of the year.

It wouldnt have taken much for a few things to go Marias way this year...and thats the main area Maria can improve on next year, producing her best when its most needed. When free to play her normal game she rarely struggled to dismiss lower ranked players which is a good sign...and also showed in short patches the sort of form that even the very best players had no answer for.

sharapova1987
Nov 15th, 2005, 02:52 AM
Well, I wasn't necessarily underestimating her injuries, I was just pointing out that if you play, you (and your fans) shouldn't always use those as excuses. I definitely hope Maria recovers during the offseason and is 100% ready to go for the Australian Open. But none of us have any clue one way or the other what is going to happen. This is something that could be cured completely in a few months, or it could linger for the rest of her career. There's no way to know that. And what she does to further her career either in tennis or in business is NOBODY's business but hers. But with all of the endorsements and photo shoots and commercials and advertising she is doing, even though I have no way to know or not know the real answer, I am not buying into the fact that she does it all in that "three week" window and has it all done with and out of the way. I also understand that she has a worldwide whirlwind schedule that none of us could really comprehend at all. And add all of that to the fact that she is a young eighteen year old. I'm not Maria's best friend, I don't know her and never will, just like no one else on these boards ever will. But she is my favorite tennis player, and I do like to watch her play and want her to win every match. But being a fan, I do get frustrated when she plays like crap, and I do get frustrated when she's hurt, and I do get frustrated when she chokes. I'm human, just like she is.

Maria Croft
Nov 15th, 2005, 06:10 AM
Oh I am SO sorry, what was I thinking? I must have lost my head. Maria had the most dominating season of any player, male or female, in the history of tennis!!! I think she will win the next forty grand slams in a row! In fact, I doubt if she loses another match for at least the next decade! Oh and yes, that HUGE "Tier 1" tournament she won in Tokyo is the most important tournament of the year! I was STOKED when she tucked that one away in the win column! Who did she beat to win that tournament again? Was it Chris Evert, Steffi Graf, or Monica Seles? I can't remember.......I think it is so hilarious when someone raises some legitimate issues to discuss on these boards, and the only replies you get are illiterates who have to resort to using curse words and other foul language, and can't accept that someone else may have a slightly different view on things than they do.


Whatever! foul language?! excuses?! and yeah, she beat Davenport in Tokyo, so that really is a huge win! And I can respect someone elseís view, I even said so, but that doesn't seem what you're after, you said nothing in your previous post that was worthy of a discussion