PDA

View Full Version : Toray PPO Tennis 2006


Maria Croft
Jan 26th, 2006, 10:41 AM
This is something that should make us feel a little better :)

http://www.mariaworld.net/tokyo0569.jpg

1 Maria Sharapova
2 Elena Dementieva
3 Nathalie Dechy
4 Anastasia Myskina
5 Nicole Vaidisova
6 Ana Ivanovic
7 Elena Likhovtseva
8 Daniela Hantuchova
9 Jelena Jankovic
10 Tatiana Golovin
11 Maria Kirilenko
12 Katarina Srebotnik
13 Ai Sugiyama
14 Kveta Peschke
15 Klara Koukalova
16 Shuai Peng
17 Marion Bartoli
18 Shinobu Asagoe
19 Jie Zheng
20 Samantha Stosur
21 Jill Craybas
22 WC Nakamura
23 WC Martina Hingis
24 EWC Akiko Morigami

Looks like Davenport and Serena won't be playing :confused:

Good luck Maria!

Andy.
Jan 26th, 2006, 10:59 AM
Well just like Masha we will move on Quickly. From what i saw in the Semis Maria is playing great and will be he huge favourite in this tournament.

Maria Croft
Jan 26th, 2006, 11:44 AM
If this is the full entry list and Maria is healthy then I don't see a reason why Maria can't win this :D

~lollipop_girl~
Jan 26th, 2006, 12:12 PM
If this is the full entry list and Maria is healthy then I don't see a reason why Maria can't win this :D
I want to see the actual draw, there is certian people there I would love to see Maria against in the final!

RussiansFan
Jan 26th, 2006, 02:41 PM
Good luck Masha! You're really the favorite here, so let's repeat the win of last year! I hope she won't be bothered by her shoulder injury or something else...

Steve-o
Jan 26th, 2006, 07:50 PM
If this is the full entry list and Maria is healthy then I don't see a reason why Maria can't win this :D

My thoughts exactly :)

Sweep
Jan 26th, 2006, 08:05 PM
As you may have seen, I'm trying out something - I'm going to resist posting on here for a week from Monday to Sunday...just to see what happens to Maria. Hopefully she'll win the tournament anyway on current form.

There are some competent players in the draw so it won't be all plain sailing - Dementieva, Dechy, Myskina and Vaidisova are probably going to be her four big rivals for the title. But with her performances in the AO Maria's the red hot favourite to retain her trophy.

Come on Maria!

jacobruiz
Jan 27th, 2006, 02:58 PM
http://cache.wtnphotos.com/594/21237716797.jpg


Ah, yes - Maria's first tier I!

I, too think Maria will defend this title. But I wish Serena and Lindsay hadn't withdrawn because Maria needs to beat them, and I'm quite sure she could have done that here!

Still - it's certainly not Maria's fault that Lindsay is injured and Serena is, well, "out of shape".

bellascarlett
Jan 27th, 2006, 08:45 PM
C'mon Maria!!! This will be close to good consolation. :woohoo:

I really wish for a Maria-Martina final with Maria prevailing that I can't state it enough...:lol: Hope they are on different sides of the draw.


As you may have seen, I'm trying out something - I'm going to resist posting on here for a week from Monday to Sunday...just to see what happens to Maria. Hopefully she'll win the tournament anyway on current form.

:confused: :lol:

Andy.
Jan 27th, 2006, 08:48 PM
That would be a nice final Bella as long as masha comes out on top. If Maria is playing anything like she did in the semi finals of the AO this should be her title but it will be tough as she hasnt had a lot of time to adjust to a much different surface to the one she was just playing on.

bellascarlett
Jan 27th, 2006, 08:53 PM
That would be a nice final Bella as long as masha comes out on top. If Maria is playing anything like she did in the semi finals of the AO this should be her title but it will be tough as she hasnt had a lot of time to adjust to a much different surface to the one she was just playing on.

Well, she was able to do it last year and with Lindsay out, I'm sure she could do it again. Lindsay was always going to be her toughest opponent here. And the AO semi does indicate good things.

Maria Croft
Jan 28th, 2006, 07:04 AM
This surface is perfect for Maria because it's very fast

Dan23
Jan 28th, 2006, 11:12 AM
CMON Maria...keep up the good work and keep building up your fitness :cool:

Andy.
Jan 28th, 2006, 12:35 PM
She will have huge support as well she is the real croud favourite there in Japan.

msharafan
Jan 28th, 2006, 10:37 PM
yeah good luck maria! you can win this no probs, once your fit and healthy!

Maria Croft
Jan 29th, 2006, 08:06 AM
I hope the draw will be out soon

Andy.
Jan 29th, 2006, 09:27 AM
Hi Guys :D :wavey: I have the draw

Sharapova (1) -bye
q vs. q
Stosur vs. Nakamura
Jankovic vs. Hantuchova (6)

Dechy (3) -bye
Morigami vs. Hingis
Kirilenko vs. q
Sugiyama vs. Ivanovic (8)

Likhotseva (7) vs. Asagoe
Bartoli vs. Golovin
Koukalova vs. Zheng
Myskina (4) -bye

Vaidisova (5) vs. q
Peng vs. Peschke
Craybas vs. Srebotnik
Dementieva (2) -bye

Not a bad draw her first match should ease her into the tournament and then it will progressively get harder. Dani has beaten her here but masha is a different player now if she can get past that A semi final with Ana possibly could be interesting or even Martina but Im getting ahead of myself. One match at a time.

~lollipop_girl~
Jan 29th, 2006, 10:31 AM
The top half is certainly the toughest and I'm not happy with it overall but from a Masha point of view it isn't too bad but it's not great either... Still could be difficult!

Maria Croft
Jan 29th, 2006, 12:21 PM
She is up 4-0 against Stosur in H2H and 4-1 against Hantuchova winning their last 4 meetings in straight sets, and then a possible SF versus Ivanovic or Hingis, could both be very interesting, her second round match shouldn't be a problem since it's a qualifier either way

msharafan
Jan 29th, 2006, 01:01 PM
yeah who does she face in the third round or 1/4s?

bellascarlett
Jan 30th, 2006, 06:57 AM
Do any of you get to watch the tokyo matches? is there a livestream or something? I dunno if the tennis channel airs the final rounds.

Sharapova's_Boy
Jan 30th, 2006, 09:43 AM
Good luck Maria. :D

*fingers crossed for a Maria v. Nikki final* :hearts:

Sharapova's_Boy
Jan 30th, 2006, 09:45 AM
Do any of you get to watch the tokyo matches? is there a livestream or something? I dunno if the tennis channel airs the final rounds.

I think Fox Sports will show the final again, for us Aussies.

Andy.
Jan 30th, 2006, 09:56 AM
I think Fox Sports will show the final again, for us Aussies.

They are showing the Semi finals on Sunday and the Finals on Monday :D

~lollipop_girl~
Jan 30th, 2006, 10:19 AM
Stupid free to air!.... I want Fox Sports! :sad:

Dan23
Jan 30th, 2006, 10:31 AM
They are showing the Semi finals on Sunday and the Finals on Monday :D
vamos :D

Sharapova's_Boy
Jan 30th, 2006, 10:36 AM
They are showing the Semi finals on Sunday and the Finals on Monday :D

:woohoo:

~lollipop_girl~
Jan 30th, 2006, 10:51 AM
Do you all have Fox Sports? ^^^^^^

Portobello
Jan 30th, 2006, 12:01 PM
not a bad draw

if she continues her Aussie open form ,she will win the crown again ;)

possible maria-dani match up again :angel:

Dan23
Jan 30th, 2006, 12:03 PM
Do you all have Fox Sports? ^^^^^^
hell yes...but they should show more than just the SF and F

Maria Croft
Jan 30th, 2006, 12:32 PM
I won't be able to see any Tokyo matches this year :sad:

~lollipop_girl~
Jan 30th, 2006, 12:33 PM
hell yes...but they should show more than just the SF and F
:ras: Nah, I'm content with my free to air... Besides I'd be at school during most of the matches anyway!

Dan23
Jan 30th, 2006, 12:42 PM
:ras: Nah, I'm content with my free to air... Besides I'd be at school during most of the matches anyway!
true...but thats what VCR's or DVD-R's are for :lol: ;)
theres nowhere near enoug tennis on fox for my liking...im trying to find out how we get our hands on Eurosport around here :hehehe:

~lollipop_girl~
Jan 30th, 2006, 12:52 PM
true...but thats what VCR's or DVD-R's are for :lol: ;)
theres nowhere near enoug tennis on fox for my liking...im trying to find out how we get our hands on Eurosport around here :hehehe:
I know you can get little Eurosport news updates but I didn't think we could get Eurosport!

Dan23
Jan 30th, 2006, 01:16 PM
I know you can get little Eurosport news updates but I didn't think we could get Eurosport!
yea ESNews is on Fox :D we saw this pub in melbourne that had actual Eurosport on so it must be available somewhere...and ive heard you can also get it under the table as well :angel:

Doc
Jan 30th, 2006, 04:17 PM
The Semi and the final will be shown recorded on Eurosport the following morning.

Hopefully Maria can win this - though its not a foregone conclusion. there are some tough players here.

Steve-o
Jan 30th, 2006, 06:21 PM
According to the PPO website, If I'm correct, the local broadcasters are only covering the tournament from the semi's onwards, so this limits all other channels like Eurosport. This sucks for a Tier 1 IMO, tennis is obviously not essential viewing in Japan (not that I'd be able to watch the early rounds anyway :lol: ).

Steve-o
Jan 30th, 2006, 06:24 PM
I won't be able to see any Tokyo matches this year :sad:

:hug: How come?

johnoo
Jan 30th, 2006, 10:24 PM
The Semi and the final will be shown recorded on Eurosport the following morning.

Hopefully Maria can win this - though its not a foregone conclusion. there are some tough players here.

its seems eurosport have changed there schedule for the final,last time I looked it was on eurosport 1 at 8-30am but now only appears to be on eurosport 2 at 12,can anyone confirm this http://www.eurosport.co.uk/tvschedule_clng2_day6.shtml

Maria Croft
Jan 30th, 2006, 10:29 PM
:hug: How come?


I think I was a little to early with opening the flood gates :lol:

Eurosport shows the taped matches on Saturday and Sunday, I thought they didn't do that this year, I'm relieved :D

Steve-o
Jan 30th, 2006, 11:11 PM
its seems eurosport have changed there schedule for the final,last time I looked it was on eurosport 1 at 8-30am but now only appears to be on eurosport 2 at 12,can anyone confirm this http://www.eurosport.co.uk/tvschedule_clng2_day6.shtml

It looks like your right mate and Saturday's back to 7:30am now :fiery: There's nothing less predictable than Eurosport scheduling :rolleyes:

Steve-o
Jan 30th, 2006, 11:13 PM
I think I was a little to early with opening the flood gates :lol:

Eurosport shows the taped matches on Saturday and Sunday, I thought they didn't do that this year, I'm relieved :D

I like happy endings :)

Sharapova's_Boy
Jan 31st, 2006, 12:00 AM
yea ESNews is on Fox :D we saw this pub in melbourne that had actual Eurosport on so it must be available somewhere...and ive heard you can also get it under the table as well :angel:

Let us know if you find out where to get it from. :hearts:

Andy.
Jan 31st, 2006, 04:08 AM
Yeah black market Eurosport all the way LOL

bellascarlett
Jan 31st, 2006, 09:26 AM
I think I was a little to early with opening the flood gates :lol:

Eurosport shows the taped matches on Saturday and Sunday, I thought they didn't do that this year, I'm relieved :D


I won't be able to see anything! :hysteric:

The Tennis Channel will be covering ATP instead! :fiery: :smash: :sad:

If Maria reaches the semis/finals, can someone record them and share them here??? please? :confused: :angel:

Porcupine
Jan 31st, 2006, 11:35 AM
I won't be able to see anything! :hysteric:

The Tennis Channel will be covering ATP instead! :fiery: :smash: :sad:

If Maria reaches the semis/finals, can someone record them and share them here??? please? :confused: :angel:
Hey me neither!Only have StarSports,Sport Plus and ESPN.Well,perhaps I can watch some highlights,Sport Center here we go!
And good luck Maria,2nd Tier I :bounce:

Portobello
Jan 31st, 2006, 11:58 AM
Hey me neither!Only have StarSports,Sport Plus and ESPN.Well,perhaps I can watch some highlights,Sport Center here we go!
And good luck Maria,2nd Tier I :bounce:

me three :mad:
Only have StarSports,ESPN and UBC's own-produced sport channel.

they always show ATP here and skip WTA :o
i enjoy watching ATP but i want both.

btw when will maria play?? wednesday or thursday?

Porcupine
Jan 31st, 2006, 03:02 PM
me three :mad:
Only have StarSports,ESPN and UBC's own-produced sport channel.

they always show ATP here and skip WTA :o
i enjoy watching ATP but i want both.

btw when will maria play?? wednesday or thursday?
Poor us :sad:

johnoo
Jan 31st, 2006, 06:20 PM
If Maria reaches the semis/finals, can someone record them and share them here??? please? :confused: :angel:

yes I will find a way to upload and share.

bellascarlett
Jan 31st, 2006, 07:21 PM
yes I will find a way to upload and share.

yes please do so! :bounce: thanks in advance johnoo! :)

lakan kildap
Feb 1st, 2006, 12:23 AM
Hey me neither!Only have StarSports,Sport Plus and ESPN.Well,perhaps I can watch some highlights,Sport Center here we go!
And good luck Maria,2nd Tier I :bounce:

Hi, do you happen to live in the Philippines? Star Sports, ESPN and Sports Plus.

Porcupine
Feb 1st, 2006, 05:23 AM
Hi, do you happen to live in the Philippines? Star Sports, ESPN and Sports Plus.
Well actually,I have Digital Satellite TV at home,so I can watch many shows :) such as Animax,...The time is Philippines's GMT.

Maria Croft
Feb 1st, 2006, 05:08 PM
Court 1 (from 11.00hrs)
1. Kirilenko vs. Ivanovic
2. Dechy vs. Hingis
3. Sharapova vs. Raymond
4. Koukalova vs. Myskina
5. Gullickson/Mattek vs. Raymond/Stosur (NB 17.00hrs)

morningglory
Feb 1st, 2006, 06:28 PM
Is this really a tier 1, wow!
Maria is the overwhelming fave here...

Andy.
Feb 1st, 2006, 06:37 PM
Good luck today Masha

Maria Croft
Feb 1st, 2006, 10:02 PM
Good luck Maria!

Natasc
Feb 1st, 2006, 10:09 PM
super lucky for u Masha!! ;) :yeah:

Mafia_Sharapova
Feb 2nd, 2006, 12:51 AM
Good luck Maria! :bounce:

Porcupine
Feb 2nd, 2006, 04:26 AM
Smash Raymond,Maria

lakan kildap
Feb 2nd, 2006, 05:50 AM
some exciting tennis tournament, this. seeds are falling off fast. Ivanovic, Dechy, Hantuchova all lost today, to unseeded players.

Maria should be careful.

msharafan
Feb 2nd, 2006, 06:32 AM
yeah maria is wining 6-4 2-1! its great but if maria wins this one she will have to play sam stosur who easily dismissed hantuchova 7-6 6-2 this could be tough for maria if she wins! so good luck keep it up!

Dan23
Feb 2nd, 2006, 06:55 AM
6-4 6-4 win for Maria...was up a early break and had points for 3-0 lead in the 2nd set. She broke at 5-4* as she did in the 1st set to take the match....:cool:

Porcupine
Feb 2nd, 2006, 06:58 AM
God,watching live score is sooooo excited.Dunno what's going on and the only thing you can do is wait.
But I'm happy that Maria won :woohoo:

Mafia_Sharapova
Feb 2nd, 2006, 07:06 AM
God,watching live score is sooooo excited.Dunno what's going on and the only thing you can do is wait.
But I'm happy that Maria won :woohoo:

yeah !!!

the match was so attractive and I think Maria fans's cheers for Maria is the best on this forum :cool:

Maria Croft
Feb 2nd, 2006, 08:27 AM
Nice win from Maria, nothing spectacular, hope she improves a bit for her next match

Congrats Maria!

Andy.
Feb 2nd, 2006, 09:10 AM
Wow that was a tough battle but this was Maria's first match on this surface and Lisa has had many. A tough match like this will set her up nicely for the rest of the tournament. Well done on getting thru Masha

Portobello
Feb 2nd, 2006, 10:59 AM
maria will play the 1st match on court 1 tommorow

so maybe i can catch the live score before going to the movie (Geisha :banana: )

Go Maria :rocker2:

msharafan
Feb 2nd, 2006, 03:05 PM
yeah just wondering whether maria can rise to #3 if she defends her title and wins as lindsey has 210 points to defend but isnt playing?
and good luck aginst sam, im a bit worried though shes playing well and the last time you played was in birmingham on grass 05 which was a quick surface like tokyo and you got taken to 3 sets, stosurs in good form now and surly has improved but i still think maria will win, cause although not noticed much she has improved too!

Maria Croft
Feb 2nd, 2006, 03:48 PM
Court 1 (from 13.00hrs)
1. Sharapova vs. Stosur
2. Hingis vs. Kirilenko
3. Vaidisova vs. Dementieva
4. Likhovtseva vs. Myskina
5. Black/Stubbs vs. Benesova/Tu (NB 17.00hrs)

waratahsrock
Feb 2nd, 2006, 08:08 PM
Good luck today Maria :D
looks like it could be another tough match against the in form Stosur, but i'm sure Maria will be triumphant again!

Steve-o
Feb 2nd, 2006, 09:05 PM
Yeah, Sam's really confident at the moment but Maria should have too much for her.

C'mon Masha :)

msharafan
Feb 2nd, 2006, 09:19 PM
any idea what time that is british time thanks!

waratahsrock
Feb 2nd, 2006, 09:26 PM
any idea what time that is british time thanks!

the match starts in 5 and a half hours from now, use the following website for the current times in all the major cities around the world..
http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/

x Chu x
Feb 2nd, 2006, 09:29 PM
Does any one have the match statistics from her match yesterday?

Maria Croft
Feb 2nd, 2006, 09:59 PM
Good luck Maria!

Maria Croft
Feb 3rd, 2006, 04:28 AM
Maria won 6-1 6-4!

Andy.
Feb 3rd, 2006, 04:30 AM
Wooo Hooo Masha wins 61 64, a good scoreline but she could have won a little easier. Her serve will need improving but her compeditiveness was awesome and really got her oover the line. She is slowly building her form. Good luck in the semis Masha

Maria Croft
Feb 3rd, 2006, 04:40 AM
Finally another straight set win over Stosur, their last two matches were 3 set matches, and now a 2 set win again :worship:

Still some things to improve, but I'm sure she's working on it :)

morningglory
Feb 3rd, 2006, 04:41 AM
oky

TennisPlayingFox
Feb 3rd, 2006, 04:44 AM
Very nice win for Masha! Keep it up!

Dan23
Feb 3rd, 2006, 05:04 AM
Good effort Masha...keep improving :D

Maria Croft
Feb 3rd, 2006, 06:33 AM
Next up is Hingis :unsure:

I really hope she will be able to blast past her, otherwise this is going to be a very tough match!

Dan23
Feb 3rd, 2006, 06:47 AM
Itll be interesting to see how Maria goes about this...she needs to stamp some authority on Hingis asap in the match.

msharafan
Feb 3rd, 2006, 08:27 AM
yeah it should be a very tough match, if hingis can beat kirilenko 1 and 2 she can beat maria! but i honestly think maria will progress, especially after waht hingis said before, 'i dont know whats so special about her' well shes about to find out!
come on masha!
put this hingis one back in her place for good!!!

Andy.
Feb 3rd, 2006, 09:44 AM
Hingis will be very interesting this is the match up everyone has been waiting for. Maria will have to play very solid and clean while still being aggressive. She will have to take advantage of Martina's second serve and just try and dictate. Good luck maria.

Maria Croft
Feb 3rd, 2006, 12:29 PM
Saturday, February 4, 2006

Court 1 (from 13.00hrs)
1. Sharapova vs. Hingis
2. Myskina vs. Dementieva
3. Black/Stubbs vs. Pratt/Santangelo
4. Kirilenko/Ivanovic vs. Raymond/Stosur

Andy.
Feb 3rd, 2006, 12:47 PM
Thanks for the Schedule Jakim

jacobruiz
Feb 3rd, 2006, 02:24 PM
I hope Maria will be able to control her nerves in this match because after trouncing Maria K. Hingis is got to be feeling very confident and, as she says, Martina has nothing to lose.

Also, while Maria seems to lose focus after the first set of her matches lately, Hingis is the opposite, getting better as her matches (and sets) go on.

Maria's shots have got to be on - if she plays as well as she did the first and last sets with Justine she should win. But no drop shots please - Hingis is too smart and quick for that. Maria's lobs were great, though. And I'm sure Maria will be attacking Hingis' serve but she needs to get more of her first serves in.

All right, I'm pretty nervous about this match! After Hingis beat Dechy I figured not much of a problem for Maria but beating Maria K. like that I'm a bit scared. Did anyone see the match? Was Maria K. playing poorly?

johnoo
Feb 3rd, 2006, 05:20 PM
match is live on eurosport 2,4-00am uk,5-00am cet.

bellascarlett
Feb 3rd, 2006, 07:45 PM
I'm :scared: too but I'm sure if Maria serves and plays well, fights like hell, and doesn't lose focus all throughout the match, she'll win...well...umm..hopefully! :D

I'm so pissed I won't be seeing this match :fiery: :hysteric: Hopefully johnoo or someone else with a good heart records this. :angel:

Good luck Maria ( :lol: three threads now I've wished her good luck so she has all the luck she needs and it's now on her to give it her best shot)!!! Please win this Maria!!! :bounce:

andrewbroad
Feb 3rd, 2006, 10:03 PM
All right, I'm pretty nervous about this match! After Hingis beat Dechy I figured not much of a problem for Maria but beating Maria K. like that I'm a bit scared. Did anyone see the match? Was Maria K. playing poorly?

Hingis loves to humiliate my favourite players. She beat Vera Zvonarëva (http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/zvona/) 6-1 6-2 in the first round of the Australian Open. :o :o

I just hope that Big Maria with all her power and mental strength will be above that, and will get some revenge for Little Maria. "You beat up my little sister, so now I'm going to beat you up."

Hingis always struggled against the power-players who could blast her off the court, but they have to be on their game to do so, because no one exploits any weaknesses as cruelly as Hingis.

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

Maria Croft
Feb 3rd, 2006, 10:50 PM
C'mon Maria, blast away with style!

Good luck Maria!

Andy.
Feb 3rd, 2006, 11:37 PM
The one type pf player that gives Hingis trouble is the power hitter. Kim and Justine have both beaten Martina this year and they hit the ball harder than she does. Maria hits flatter and harder than they do so im sure she will give Martina a lot of trouble. Good luck Masha show her how special you are.

morningglory
Feb 4th, 2006, 03:29 AM
.... nervous....

Shoulderpova
Feb 4th, 2006, 03:49 AM
first set 3-6 to Hingis :rolleyes:

morningglory
Feb 4th, 2006, 03:59 AM
not good...

shadowsecret
Feb 4th, 2006, 04:13 AM
this is really not good..

shadowsecret
Feb 4th, 2006, 04:33 AM
ok my day is ruined.. sigh..

Maria Croft
Feb 4th, 2006, 04:40 AM
Holy crap

Can't even be really disappointed, I mean, she didn't stand a change, it doesn't make sense to me really why though

Hope Maria doesn't feel to bad about it

Mafia_Sharapova
Feb 4th, 2006, 04:41 AM
I 'm too sad :sad:

Maria comeback soon , Please :hug:

bellascarlett
Feb 4th, 2006, 05:09 AM
Holy crap

Can't even be really disappointed, I mean, she didn't stand a change, it doesn't make sense to me really why though

Hope Maria doesn't feel to bad about it

Exactly! It's funny that I dont feel THAT bad. I certainly am not jumping for joy because she lost but in the second set, you just knew Martina was gonna win when she got broken the first time. I was actually laughing like a crazy person trying to believe what was going on.

What worries me is how this will affect Maria. I hope she learns from this match and prepares well for a next meeting with Martina which would seem to be coming up real fast. Martina is back and means business. The top players better be ready. Is she playing in Dubai too? Anyway, I hope Maria does not get intimidated because of this match. This is the first time they've met so she didnt know what to expect and was probably thrown off by how well Martina was playing.

But did Maria cry or did it look like she was about to cry after? How was the handshake like? I'm really worried about her. :sad: And how was Yuri all throughout? Damn Martina, why did she even come back?! :fiery: Everyone was doing great. Now Maria has another bump in her road to grand slam glory and WTA domination! :( :o ;)

chloejoey
Feb 4th, 2006, 05:21 AM
it upsets me whenever she loses..i know martina is a dangerous opponent, but i never expect maria to lose with such scoreline. seriously, i think maria needs a new coach, i don't think yuri can help maria improve her game.

Teemu
Feb 4th, 2006, 05:43 AM
I wouldn't worry about Maria too much, I mean I do, but she's shown on so many occasions that losses don't bother her that much. She learns from them like a smart player does. I just hope that she keeps developing. There's really nothing radical she can do about her game, nor should she, but there's just that little something that needs to click and she's right back up there. She looks a little lost sometimes on court when her game isn't working the way she would like it to, and it's not going to work like that always, and top players still manage to win. Her game is still a work in progress yes, and I'm going to hate the headlines this loss is going to cause but I'll just have to suck it up and remember that only a few years ago, nobody expected Maria to win anything. Now they expect her to win everything, and real changes just don't happen that fast. I know she's going to continue to believe in herself, to develop her game and to work hard for it. The challenge is tough out there, but the next big win is just around the corner, I know it.
Good show still Maria! Even though the loss didn't leave any doubt about who was the better player that day. Best of Luck for the next tournament!

Teemu
Feb 4th, 2006, 05:47 AM
it upsets me whenever she loses..i know martina is a dangerous opponent, but i never expect maria to lose with such scoreline. seriously, i think maria needs a new coach, i don't think yuri can help maria improve her game.


A new coach might not be such a bad idea. Maria's game need a new spark, and while her father is important to be around for sure, I too doubt that he can help with Maria's game that much.

chloejoey
Feb 4th, 2006, 06:12 AM
is maria's ranking going to drop?

~lollipop_girl~
Feb 4th, 2006, 07:24 AM
Wow I was in complete shock when I saw the score but I did expect a tough match.... I thought it would be really close and a three setter but didn't know who would win! At least it is Martina that she lost to and not some other player outside of the top 100!

iine:
Feb 4th, 2006, 07:41 AM
What a shocking scoreline against Hingis!:eek: Never expected her to lose like this! :sad:

bellascarlett
Feb 4th, 2006, 07:48 AM
Guys I just want to give all of you a big :hug: ! We'll see better days soon...:D Next time I'm reluctant about a match win, I'm really going to a church to pray for Maria. :lol: This is really unbelievable...

tennisjunky
Feb 4th, 2006, 08:06 AM
maria admited not having her usual fighting spirit and so much of her game is tied to that. the next they play she'll be prepared and i expect revenge.

hingis fans suck ass. i can understand being happy but there heads are getting just as big as martina's. im so mad right now. i'll calm down in a bit.

Porcupine
Feb 4th, 2006, 08:07 AM
Guys I just want to give all of you a big :hug: ! We'll see better days soon...:D Next time I'm reluctant about a match win, I'm really going to a church to pray for Maria. :lol: This is really unbelievable...

After Maria's loss to Hingis, I feel sad, a bit. But now it's better ,thanks for your :hug: Bella

Maria Croft
Feb 4th, 2006, 08:11 AM
The only thing about this match that bothers me a little is that Maria doesn't have to experience players like Hingis, Clijsters or Mauresmo have, and she won't have it for he next few years because she is still so young, I hope she learns a lot from this tough loss, and really kicks Hingis ass the next time they play!

Go Maria!

tennisjunky
Feb 4th, 2006, 08:12 AM
Guys I just want to give all of you a big :hug: ! We'll see better days soon...:D Next time I'm reluctant about a match win, I'm really going to a church to pray for Maria. :lol: This is really unbelievable...
should have read your post before posting, it would have calmed me down. feel better already, thanks.

Mafia_Sharapova
Feb 4th, 2006, 08:15 AM
The only thing about this match that bothers me a little is that Maria doesn't have to experience players like Hingis, Clijsters or Mauresmo have, and she won't have it for he next few years because she is still so young, I hope she learns a lot from this tough loss, and really kicks Hingis ass the next time they play!

Go Maria!


yeah ! :D

Kicks Hingis ass :lol:

(but I still feel sad :crying2: )

Porcupine
Feb 4th, 2006, 08:31 AM
yeah ! :D

Kicks Hingis ass :lol:

(but I still feel sad :crying2: )
Hey mafia, don't cry, just go to bed :zzz: and you'll feel much better. Bella gave all of us a hug :hug: , so please stop crying. I'm scare when a boy cries :scared:

Stroba
Feb 4th, 2006, 09:26 AM
I wouldn´t be to worried about this loss as long as it doesn´t bother Maria mentally. Maria played quite well, especially in the first set. But Martina played as close to perfect tennis as you can get. She could have beaten anybody with that performance.

Maria keep improving and try cutting down the UE:s, thats what mainly causes her to lose these big matches.

MaitaBaby
Feb 4th, 2006, 09:28 AM
Woah. I thought Maria will blow Martina's head out of the court. I never expected her to lose but I love Martina too so I'm not sad just shocked.

Maria's going to win her next tourney-- watch.

msharafan
Feb 4th, 2006, 10:11 AM
yeah hard luck masha you were unlucky with the net cord in the first set and seemed to realise form then on it wasnt going to be your day! but nevermind although im really upset maria will have gained somthing out of this match surlely, and when or if shes already figured out what it is she can get straight to work on it, and i also think maria should get a new coach, yuri doesnt bother me hes just the protected dad any father would be in that situation, i think he knows when marias losing and he starts all his funny business that the reason why shes losing is because of him and the fact that he is her coach, and wont let anyone else coach maria, anyway hopfully hell have learnt this time and will get her a new better and more experienced coach fast, otherwise i can only see maria stay in a rut of dissapointment and not being able to defend her titles. but good luck maria in dubai, who else is in the field, i wont mind if hingis is in as hopfully maria can improve by then knows what to expect and will want revenge!
good luck maria!
ignore the press and the media!
cause we your true fans love u!
and ignore the media too!
what do they know about tennis anyway they just wnat trouble!
but we know youll give them a fight by winning more titles!
but no pressure cause even if you dont we still love you!

Steve-o
Feb 4th, 2006, 10:18 AM
:sad: I can't believe the scoreline. On this quick surface I thought Maria would win comfortably. :speakles:

bellascarlett
Feb 4th, 2006, 10:44 AM
should have read your post before posting, it would have calmed me down. feel better already, thanks.

Yeah don't worry too much about the Hingis fans. Let them enjoy this moment. I was prepared to celebrate as much if Maria had been the winner especially with such a scoreline. Most of the Hingis fans aren't bad actually even crediting Maria when necessary. It was just not Maria's day. And it comforts me when somebody who watched the match says Martina could have beaten anyone with how she played today. I have yet to see it but I somehow hope it is true. At least it means Maria did not lose the match, but rather her opponent won it. But I still feel she could have fought harder in the second set. She came into the match a bit raw and unprepared I would imagine particularly when compared to Martina. Martina said she knew her strategy from the beginning. I don't even know if Maria had one. And because of this, I do agree Maria needs an additional coach who would help strengthen her game.

What remains annoying though are those posters who aren't even big Hingis fans who have nothing better to do than criticize Maria and constantly find ways to put her down. No need to name them. It's sickening sometimes the things that they say. I feel as though they don't understand that they are talking about a human being and not some character in a movie or something they could just step on. It's even more disgusting when those who criticize have players in their signatures who have no potential of achieving half the things Maria has. Ugh! the nerve! I had hoped we could get a chance to tell those haters off with this match, but that will have to wait. Hopefully it happens sooner rather than later. Sorry for the ranting. :)

bellascarlett
Feb 4th, 2006, 10:47 AM
The only thing about this match that bothers me a little is that Maria doesn't have to experience players like Hingis, Clijsters or Mauresmo have, and she won't have it for he next few years because she is still so young

I don't think I get what you're saying here Summon. :shrug:

Steve-o
Feb 4th, 2006, 11:07 AM
Yeah don't worry too much about the Hingis fans. Let them enjoy this moment. I was prepared to celebrate as much if Maria had been the winner especially with such a scoreline. Most of the Hingis fans aren't bad actually even crediting Maria when necessary. It was just not Maria's day. And it comforts me when somebody who watched the match says Martina could have beaten anyone with how she played today. I have yet to see it but I somehow hope it is true. At least it means Maria did not lose the match, but rather her opponent won it. But I still feel she could have fought harder in the second set. She came into the match a bit raw and unprepared I would imagine particularly when compared to Martina. Martina said she knew her strategy from the beginning. I don't even know if Maria had one. And because of this, I do agree Maria needs an additional coach who would help strengthen her game.

What remains annoying though are those posters who aren't even big Hingis fans who have nothing better to do than criticize Maria and constantly find ways to put her down. No need to name them. It's sickening sometimes the things that they say. I feel as though they don't understand that they are talking about a human being and not some character in a movie or something they could just step on. It's even more disgusting when those who criticize have players in their signatures who have no potential of achieving half the things Maria has. Ugh! the nerve! I had hoped we could get a chance to tell those haters off with this match, but that will have to wait. Hopefully it happens sooner rather than later. Sorry for the ranting. :)

The posters you're refferring to just get a kick out of winding people up, I wouldn't take them too seriously. :)

I also agree that Maria needs a specialist coach, she still has much to learn.

Martian Jeza
Feb 4th, 2006, 11:16 AM
maria admited not having her usual fighting spirit and so much of her game is tied to that. the next they play she'll be prepared and i expect revenge.

hingis fans suck ass. i can understand being happy but there heads are getting just as big as martina's. im so mad right now. i'll calm down in a bit.

Hingis fans suck ass ? I beg your pardon ! And Martina's head ain't that big as you think : she's a very clever woman. we have the right to be happy after 3 years without her on courts... Martina just outclassed Masha ! Ignoring this fact would be plain dumb...

xan
Feb 4th, 2006, 11:43 AM
BAD... BAD... BAD.... BAD.... BAD.... BAD...

Not a good match from Maria. I'm not talking about the scoreline. 7-6 6-7 6-7 would have been just as bad. But the fact is Maria just isn't winning these crunch matches at the moment. And the Semi-Final Jinx is still in place.

Yes. this was always going to be a tough match. Maria hasn't played Martina and so didn't know what to expect. Martina has come back playing astoundingly, and much better than when she retired three years ago. This sudden reappearance was unlucky for Maria. The pressure was all on Maria and none at all on Martina - and it was another Semi-Final!

But still, Maria SHOULD have won. It was a fairly fast court. She does well in Japan. She's top seed and No 4 in the world.

But she didn't seem prepared at all for the match, other than being nervous. Her serve was still not doing the damage it should. She wasn't getting many winners, and threw away six games worth of unforced errors!

This is real proof that Maria needs a proper coach! Yuri just isn't enough to keep Maria at the very top. Maria needs more match preparation, better tactics, and to do something about improving her serve and holding her serve games easily! Hopefully this will be a wake-up call to Maria. She can't cruise to number one. She has to start beating the in-form best players.

Hopefully she'll start by burning that ugly dress, and get motivated and tuned up for Dubai.

Dan23
Feb 4th, 2006, 12:04 PM
Yup most things would have pointed towards Maria winning the match but she is not at the right level now. These big matches are building up now, and this one will hurt her.
The coaching issue is getting bigger every tournament IMO, though we dont know a lot about the structure surely Masha cant be getting the best possible tuition to help her improve.

The same old comedians in the GM are there again as usual but we should keep our heads together and not make asses of ourselves. Maria will again have her day to prove herself.

Andy.
Feb 4th, 2006, 12:09 PM
Im totally devastated this is one of her worse ever losses im sooo dissapointed i dont know what to think. To lose like this is really sad. I didnt even really worry tooo much i thought she would have Martina's number. This is really sad i hope she can bounce back from this. :sad::sad::sad::sad::sad::sad:

Maria Croft
Feb 4th, 2006, 12:29 PM
BAD... BAD... BAD.... BAD.... BAD.... BAD...

Not a good match from Maria. I'm not talking about the scoreline. 7-6 6-7 6-7 would have been just as bad. But the fact is Maria just isn't winning these crunch matches at the moment. And the Semi-Final Jinx is still in place.

Yes. this was always going to be a tough match. Maria hasn't played Martina and so didn't know what to expect. Martina has come back playing astoundingly, and much better than when she retired three years ago. This sudden reappearance was unlucky for Maria. The pressure was all on Maria and none at all on Martina - and it was another Semi-Final!

But still, Maria SHOULD have won. It was a fairly fast court. She does well in Japan. She's top seed and No 4 in the world.

But she didn't seem prepared at all for the match, other than being nervous. Her serve was still not doing the damage it should. She wasn't getting many winners, and threw away six games worth of unforced errors!

This is real proof that Maria needs a proper coach! Yuri just isn't enough to keep Maria at the very top. Maria needs more match preparation, better tactics, and to do something about improving her serve and holding her serve games easily! Hopefully this will be a wake-up call to Maria. She can't cruise to number one. She has to start beating the in-form best players.

Hopefully she'll start by burning that ugly dress, and get motivated and tuned up for Dubai.


I have to agree this time, although Maria lost again to a top player something should change, it's no shame to lose to a Hingis but with those numbers in another SF is, she's still young and I expect that she is already working hard on improving things I feel that she really should do the things that you said, get a new coach doesn't sound like a bad idea either

The thing is that Maria is the best player from the new generation, but she can't beat the ones from the old generation yet, she's only 18 so she has enough time, but I hope she can at least get some wins rather sooner then later over the in from top players, if not she’s not gonna win many big tiles anytime soon

xan
Feb 4th, 2006, 12:29 PM
Im totally devastated this is one of her worse ever losses im sooo dissapointed i dont know what to think. To lose like this is really sad. I didnt even really worry tooo much i thought she would have Martina's number. This is really sad i hope she can bounce back from this. :sad::sad::sad::sad::sad::sad:

It's not one of Maria's worst losses. Think of Mashona!

But its come at a bad time, and Maria needs to regroup and sort herself out.

Maria Croft
Feb 4th, 2006, 12:32 PM
For me her worst loss in the last 2 years was against Safina in Moscow, that one really hurt me

Dan23
Feb 4th, 2006, 12:39 PM
It's not one of Maria's worst losses. Think of Mashona!

But its come at a bad time, and Maria needs to regroup and sort herself out.
if it can be said, tactically this was a bad loss, Maria had a lot to prove here but all it has done is added weight to the avalanche of questions over her. I hope she still firmly believes in herself and can fight back again to where she should be.

gary
Feb 4th, 2006, 12:39 PM
really disappointing :bigcry: :sad:
I can't believe Masha will lose like this :eek::help: only 4 games :o :o
hope she'll win another title soon :D
good luck next time Masha :hug:

Maria Croft
Feb 4th, 2006, 12:41 PM
I also hope that she doesn't lose her believe in herself because of this, Maria is a fantastic player, just not ready to beat players like Hingis, Clijsters and such, but that doesn't mean that she should go down on herself, I really hope Maria knows that and moves on and just tries to improve and continue with getting good results

waratahsrock
Feb 4th, 2006, 06:13 PM
For me this would have to rank up there with the most awful losses for Maria. I havent seen all the stats yet, but the fact that she didn't even have one break point opportunity is a worry - Martina's serve was one aspect Maria really could've taken hold of this match.

I agree with those of you suggesting Maria needs a new coach, the current set up just isn't working..

I just hope this loss doesn't have too much of a negative effect on Maria's confidence in the comming weeks.

Sweep
Feb 4th, 2006, 07:01 PM
Bloody hell.

I'm not going anywhere near GM.

Man, I'm disappointed. I really thought she could win this torunament. Oh well. Onwards and upwards...Keep going Masha.

Andy.
Feb 4th, 2006, 09:26 PM
Im sort of over it now, but there has to be some action taken as we all have said, Yuri's best role would be a supporter she needs a real coach who can help her with small aspects of her game. Amd its stated that she felt she didnt fight in that last set which is not a good thing as that is her biggest strength. Poor Masha i was really hoping to see her get another title. :sad:

Maria Croft
Feb 5th, 2006, 09:47 AM
I feel like I used some laughing gas, first Henin-Hardenne plays amazing against Maria (according to herself) then she gets sick in the final, a week later Maria plays Hingis who doesn't miss a thing only making 9 UE, then she plays the final and completely collapses, what the fuck is wrong with these players! why the hell do they always play their damn best against Maria!

Sorry, I just needed that rant after seeing that Hingis only got 2 games in the final

Andy.
Feb 5th, 2006, 10:05 AM
Yeah its like when players play Masha they eat something special that morning to make them play supper tennis like they have extra motivation to beat her.

Maria Croft
Feb 5th, 2006, 10:08 AM
Yeah it makes me sick, why does everyone want to beat Maria so badly?! I guess they really are afraid of her, sure, Maria still needs a lot to improve and possibly a new trainer but after seeing the score line in the final it makes me think that Hingis used all her energy in the SF

Hope Maria can get to another final soon, she deserves it!

Dan23
Feb 5th, 2006, 10:46 AM
I feel like I used some laughing gas, first Henin-Hardenne plays amazing against Maria (according to herself) then she gets sick in the final, a week later Maria plays Hingis who doesn't miss a thing only making 9 UE, then she plays the final and completely collapses, what the fuck is wrong with these players! why the hell do they always play their damn best against Maria!

Sorry, I just needed that rant after seeing that Hingis only got 2 games in the final
fair call :yeah:
Maria must have walked under a ladder or something before the 05 season :(

xan
Feb 5th, 2006, 11:55 AM
I feel like I used some laughing gas, first Henin-Hardenne plays amazing against Maria (according to herself) then she gets sick in the final, a week later Maria plays Hingis who doesn't miss a thing only making 9 UE, then she plays the final and completely collapses, what the fuck is wrong with these players! why the hell do they always play their damn best against Maria!

Sorry, I just needed that rant after seeing that Hingis only got 2 games in the final

Yes. This is REALLY annoying. These players always seem to play the best game of their lives against Masha and then collapse next round! :fiery:

Martina had 78% first serve and single figure UEs against Maria
Against Elena, 28% first serve in set 2 (48% overall) plus loads of UEs.

The way Maria plays she should have a rack of titles from the past 12 months, but she virtually never meets a top player on poor form, and always seems to get the "on-fire" player in the Semi!

I'm happy for Elena - but once again it is at the expense of Maria! However Maria is going to have to learn to tough out these matches, then the other Top players will be more afraid of her.

Dan23
Feb 5th, 2006, 12:25 PM
Yes. This is REALLY annoying. These players always seem to play the best game of their lives against Masha and then collapse next round! :fiery:

Martina had 78% first serve and single figure UEs against Maria
Against Elena, 28% first serve in set 2 (48% overall) plus loads of UEs.

The way Maria plays she should have a rack of titles from the past 12 months, but she virtually never meets a top player on poor form, and always seems to get the "on-fire" player in the Semi!

I'm happy for Elena - but once again it is at the expense of Maria! However Maria is going to have to learn to tough out these matches, then the other Top players will be more afraid of her.damn :eek: :o

andrewbroad
Feb 5th, 2006, 07:06 PM
======================
TORAY PAN PACIFIC OPEN (Tokyo, Japan; indoor carpet; WTA Tier I)
====================== http://www.toray-ppo.co.jp/ (http://www.toray-ppo.co.jp/)

Maria's defence of the title ended in the semi-finals (surprise surprise) with a humbling 6-3 6-1 loss to Martina Hingis, who was playing just her fourth tournament since coming out of a three-year retirement, but is embarrassing almost everyone with her superior knowledge of where to place the ball, and what her opponent is going to do with the ball before it's even hit.

This could be the most damaging loss of Maria's career, in terms of the psychological edge that Hingis will have in their future meetings. The double bagel by Lindsay Davenport was humiliating enough, but at least Maria has beaten Davenport in all their other meetings before and since.

So until Maria can avenge this loss, it stands as the worst of her career.

Many of my fellow Maria-fans have suggested that she needs to get a new coach. Robert Lansdorp was sacked after the US Open 2005, following a row with Yuri Sharapov about his shouting to Maria during her matches. This leaves Yuri as Maria's sole coach AFAIK, amidst rumours that Maria and Yuri had a bit of a row over Yuri's shouting at the Australian Open (these rumours allege that it was Yuri who shouted "out" in the middle of a rally against Justine Henin-Hardenne).

------
Photos
------

http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/photogallery/ (http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/photogallery/)
http://www.toray-ppo.co.jp/web/pc/english/photo_gallery/ (http://www.toray-ppo.co.jp/web/pc/english/photo_gallery/)
http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=sharapova (http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=sharapova)
http://www.wtaworld.com/showthread.php?t=99305&page=113 (http://www.wtaworld.com/showthread.php?t=99305&page=113)
Search Getty Images for "sharapova"

Maria looked great at the welcome-party - and, I must add, so did Ana Ivanovic. I think Maria has gone up a level in facial beauty from Melbourne to Tokyo, surpassing even Maria Kirilenko.

---------------------
Pre-tournament quotes
---------------------

"I don't think I've hit a wall or anything. You expect me to win a Grand Slam every year now? I think you should give more time.

"At this point in my career, I'm more than happy to be in Grand Slam semi-finals. Just because I won Wimbledon at 17, a lot of people expect you all of a sudden to win every single one. That's not going to take one day or one week.

"I know that in a few years, when I do improve little things in my game by one or two percent, that I will get better.

"I would love to win Wimbledon rather than be number one. But I'm very happy to be consistently in the semi-finals of Grand Slams.

"I'm not just overnight going to become an experienced player. I played some great tennis in Australia, and I'm looking forward to improving and getting further.

"Women's tennis is at such a high level right now that everyone in the top 10 is a rival. Martina is not in there yet, but I'm sure she will quickly get into the top 10."


------------
Second round (Thursday)
------------

+ MARIA SHARAPOVA [1] d. Lisa Raymond [Q], 6-4 6-4

Maria went *1-3 down in the first set, but broke back for *4-4, then won the next two games.

In the second set, Maria was up an early break, but Raymond broke back before Maria finally sealed victory after 1h24m. She broke to win, "converting her first match-point with a blistering backhand pass off a sharp Raymond volley" [Yahoo! Sports].


Maria quotes
------------

"I had a bye, and she had already played a few matches. I've never really played well in my first match here. She's a great player, but I broke her when I needed to and that helped.

"The court here is a lot faster than in Australia. Moving-wise, it's hard to get used to on the first day. I got off to a slow start, but then I think I always do here. It's quite a change from the courts in Australia, but it didn't take me too long to get used to the fast speed of the courts here.

"I don't feel any pressure as defending champion. I just have great memories of winning the title last year every time I step on the court.

"When I had the opportunity to win, I did. But I think I will play better. If I keep improving, I definitely feel confident I can win it again."


--------------
Quarter-finals (Friday)
--------------

+ MARIA SHARAPOVA [1] d. Samantha Stosur, 6-1 6-4

An impressive result for Maria, who had struggled quite a bit against Stosur at Birmingham 2005 (Stosur played a blinder to take the second set - I was there).

With her big serve and serve-volley game, Stosur is ideally equipped to be a threat at Tokyo, which has the next-fastest surface to grass. She had knocked out Daniela Hantuchová in the previous round, denying us a repeat of that mouthwatering Australian Open fourth round.

Maria raced to a 5-0 lead in the first set, closed out the match in 69 minutes, and is now 5-0 in her head-to-heads against Stosur.


Maria quotes about Stosur
-------------------------

"In the beginning of the match I wanted to dictate from the first point, I think it was very important. In the second set obviously it was very tough, but I was able to finish it off. In the second set, she didn't make as many errors as she did in the first set, and we had longer rallies, but on important points I was able to get the returns deep and put pressure on her."


Maria quotes about Hingis
-------------------------

"I'm looking forward to playing Martina. She's a great champion and it should be a great match. On this surface, I have to come out strong and hold my serve, and try to return well.

"The best part of her game is she reads the ball so well and takes it early, so I have to try and not give her time, especially because the court is faster and I will also try to attack. She moves around the court very well.

"Obviously, I've never played her before, so I'm really excited. I'll try to attack her serve, because I think that's one of her weaknesses. She reads the game so well, so I'll try not to give her the time she needs.

"It should be really exciting. I've never played her before. Obviously it will be a tough match and I'll have to play well. It will be very important to serve well and hold serve. Martina returns the ball well and sees it well, so it's important not to give her much time."


Hingis quotes
-------------

"When Maria was about 12 years old, I was visiting Bollettieri's Academy in Florida and met five young girls - Maria was one of them. I hit a little hit with her, and she was already outstanding amongst the girls.

"I've always said Maria was the one player I wanted to play on my return to tennis, so the day is here and I'm very happy to have the opportunity. I've got nothing to lose.

"Her biggest strength is she serves well and is mentally tough. I've always said I wanted to play her, and now I'll get my chance.

"If I play as well as I did today [Hingis d. Kirilenko, 6-2 6-1], I think I definitely have a chance. I served well today. I only lost serve once, and if I can come out of the match like I did today, I'll have a pretty good chance.

"We'll see what my strategy is tomorrow - it's going to be a surprise."


-----------
Semi-finals (Saturday)
-----------

- MARIA SHARAPOVA [1] lt. Martina Hingis [WC], 6-3 6-1

Hingis won this tournament in 1997, 1999, 2000 and 2002, as well as five Grand Slams. Amazingly still only 25 years old, she looks to have lost none of her class after that three-year retirement. She frustrates her opponents with her all-court control, and all the pressure was on Maria in terms of being the top seed not supposed to lose to the world #117.

Hingis loves to humiliate my favourite players. She beat Vera Zvonarëva 6-1 6-2 in the first round of the Australian Open, and her previous criminal record includes a 6-0 6-0 win over an injured Monica Seles at Miami 2000 (whom she also beat 6-2 6-0 in their first meeting when Hingis was only 16), and a 6-0 6-2 win over Iva Majoli at this very tournament in 1998. :o

I really hoped and thought that Maria with all her power and mental strength would be above that. Hingis always struggled against the power-players who could blast her off the court, but they have to be on their game to do so, because no one exploits any weaknesses as cruelly as Hingis.

But Hingis has also been the victim of some of my fanees' greatest triumphs, including Iva Majoli's 6-4 6-2 victory in the French Open 1997 final, Monica Seles's 6-3 6-2 victory in the French Open 1998 semi-finals (three weeks after Monica's father died), Jelena Dokic's 6-2 6-0 eruption onto the scene at Wimbledon 1999, Daniela Hantuchová's 6-3 6-4 victory in the Indian Wells 2002 final, and four victories for Karina Habšudová.

www.wtatour.com (http://www.wtatour.com/):
>>>
In what appeared to be a flashback to her years as the world No.1, Hingis ran the top-seeded, defending champion Sharapova all over the court during a one-hour, six-minute 63 61 victory, using clever angles and down-the-lines as well as forays into the net to finish points. The 25-year-old Swiss's second serve, often considered her most attackable shot, held up brilliantly, winning on 11 of 15 points. In addition to solid serving, she converted on four of 10 break opportunities while allowing Sharapova no looks at a break.

A lucky netcord helped Hingis obtain a service break in the eighth game of the first set, but there was no luck in the ace she served on set point, with her first delivery clearly a bigger weapon than it was in the past.
<<<

Yahoo! Sports (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/): "Hingis relied on solid groundstrokes and a strong serve on her way to a win over the defending champion that took just 1 hour and 6 minutes."

Yahoo! Sports (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/): "Sharapova simply had no answer to Hingis's guile and precision, surrendering in just 66 minutes."

Yahoo! Sports (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/): "The 'Swiss Miss' rolled back the years, mixing power with sublime touch and making Sharapova look ordinary at times."


First Set
---------
SHARAP _* * *___ 3
HINGIS * * * *@* 6

Maria serving 3-4 (break-point): A backhand return from Hingis hit the netcord and dropped dead on Maria's side.
Hingis serving 5-3: Two aces, including on set-point.

The first set was closer than 6-3 6-1 implies - seven tight games to begin with, and just one break.


Second Set
----------
SHARAP *______ 1
HINGIS _*@*@*@ 6

Maria serving 1-1 (break-point): Maria netted a backhand.

Maria serving 1-3 (break-point): Maria "wild forehand" [Yahoo! Sports].

Maria serving 1-5 (match-point): Maria hit the ball out.


Maria quotes
------------

"She still has a lot of experience and feel for the game. She was picking the ball up early. She used my pace and the quickness of the court to her advantage, and came up with some very good shots.

"We had a battle until about three-all [first set], and then she broke me. After that she served two aces. She gained a lot of confidence. That's what happened - one or two points, and the other person gains a lot of confidence from that.

"When I look back, there were chances I could have taken and didn't. In the second set especially, I didn't have my usual 'fight to the end'. It wasn't any particular point, but a little here and there made a big difference. I could have fought a little harder. You know, 'could've, would've, should've' but didn't."


Hingis quotes
-------------

"It was very competitive in the first set. I think we were both feeling each other out, seeing how each other played and what shots we chose to make. I was lucky to break her in the eighth game, and I hit an ace to take the set. I was very happy about that, and I think that gave me a lot of confidence to go on to win the match.

"Yesterday when you asked me what I needed to do to beat Maria, I said I'd like to serve at 100% and make zero unforced errors. I think I came pretty close to that, because I served pretty good and only made a handful of mistakes.

"I played well. I didn't miss much on the key points, and I put a lot of pressure on her. I couldn't ask for much more, she's the No. 4 player in the world. I knew I had to come up with a great game, and I did.

"It feels like being back in time. I knew I still had some game in me. You just have to start believing. I believe I still can play really good tennis.

"It took me three years to recharge my brain and my body, and hopefully I can keep playing like this. This week I've shown a better game than at the Australian Open. I'm improving with every tournament.

"Playing the top players you have to play them over and over. You have to start believing, and step by step I'm getting my confidence back.

"It feels good to be in the finals once again - I never thought I would make it this far.

"I think the secret to the success of my comeback was that I was able to recharge my body and mind. The difference between before and now is that I'm stronger mentally. Until today, I played like I had nothing to lose because there was nowhere to go but up, but now I'm gaining momentum and I know that the game is still in me. Now it's what I make of it. The key is to stay healthy."


-----
Final (Sunday)
-----

I like Elena Dementieva more than I like Hingis, but it really adds insult to injury that Hingis followed up her crushing victories over the Super Maria Sisters with a 6-2 6-0 loss in the final.

There were no injury-excuses for any of these matches - just one girl outplaying another. Is Dementieva really that much better than Maria now? Or, why do players like Henin and Hingis find their best form against Maria in the semis, only to roll over in the final?


====================
What next for Maria?
====================

Maria will play Dubai in the week of 20th February. She will not be defending her Doha title (week of 27th February) unless she makes a late entry.

Doha and Birmingham are now the only tournaments of which Maria is the reigning champion. When she won Doha last year, it made her, at age 17, the reigning champion of six tournaments including Wimbledon and the WTA Tour Championships. How times have changed. :sad:

Maria is very reliable at beating the majority of her opponents, but there's a small group of players she's having trouble with, most notably Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin-Hardenne, and now we have to add Hingis to that.

The first priority is for Maria to be injury-free, as she has been under-tennised for the last seven months due to the shoulder-injury. The second priority is to review her coaching-situation, as Yuri alone is unlikely to be sufficient.

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

lakan kildap
Feb 5th, 2006, 11:56 PM
or actually have a plan before facing an opponent. we're all seemingly happy to hear her say that she plays the game by instinct, but I don't know if that is one thing to be happy about.