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View Full Version : Has Sharapova changed her groundstrokes?


msharafan
Sep 2nd, 2006, 03:15 AM
With the rain delay at flushing meadows there was a replay of last years semi final between Kim and Maria. from watching the match i noticed how maria was hitting the ball much more flatter and harder. then when i thought to when i last saw her play in the san diego final which was coincidnetly against the same oppositon i noticed that sharapova wasnt hitting the ball as hard or as flat, but instead using a lost more topspin. has anyone else noticed this? and if so and if what im pointing out is a change in her game, is it a change for the better or for the worse? also i noticed it was more on the forehand side than the bachand which always has a bit of top spin.

just after asking that watching that match brought back the memories of this time last year when that semifinal took place and really it was a terrific match the first set was poor by maria but she fought back valiantly in the secons saving 5 match points before willtering in the 3rd and final set. i think sharapova fought so well and showed some signs of great tennis in the future during that match, and bear in mind she went into the us open with just two matches under her belt and a shoulder injury that only recovered this year, so with her improved fitness that she says she has improved do you really think maria has a chance at winning this years us open? also i think maria adding abit more topspin to her groundstrokes albeit taking some of the power away from her groundstrokes it shows that she has been working very hard, and as we could see from this summer alone her serve is coming together very well, but the qusestion is can she beat mauresmo and henin hardenne with more variety, i think the answer is yes, and i really think thats the difference in maria winning this years us open, as we know maria can beat the less dimensional and hard hitting player ie serena and elena, not to take anything away from then, but serena is only on the comeback and elena well elena is elena so you dont really no what to expect! :)

msharafan
Sep 2nd, 2006, 03:17 AM
and just to make myself clear i really dont mean to make any offense towards serena or elena but i believe its the players with variety that maria will lose to at the moment and not the player she can hit hard with.

IceHock
Sep 2nd, 2006, 03:19 AM
Well Maria just lost to Elena some weeks ago.

burgerboy
Sep 2nd, 2006, 03:23 AM
Serena is not one-dimensional. Maria does not always have the advantage against a hard hitter. Did you watch last year's Wimbledon semi-final where Maria was hitting the heck out of the ball and Venus still blew her of the court and was dominant in the rallys and on serve? (Well at least in my opinion she did :) )

msharafan
Sep 2nd, 2006, 03:23 AM
yeh i know im not making exscuse but maria played a poor match but ill give credit to elena where its due i just dont see maria putting in a performance like that in a grand slam, and they both have to get to the final anyway before that happens.

supergrunt
Sep 2nd, 2006, 03:24 AM
Serena is not one-dimensional. Maria does not always have the advantage against a hard hitter. Did you watch last year's Wimbledon semi-final where Maria was hitting the heck out of the ball and Venus still blew her of the court and was dominant in the rallys and on serve? (Well at least in my opinion she did :) )

agreed

UDACHi
Sep 2nd, 2006, 03:26 AM
not sure how the elena and serena post relates to the topic, so i'll ignore that one. :lol:
i think maria has definitely pulled back on her shots. it's noticeable, to me, that she is going for broke much less often. as she gets into better shape, this will start to pay off majorly because she will have the ability to get to a few more balls, but still maintain her capability to smack winners out of nowhere.

supergrunt
Sep 2nd, 2006, 03:29 AM
Are you joking? MAria has definatley not pulled in the reins. I watched her first round match and she was hitting it as hard as ever.

Lulu.
Sep 2nd, 2006, 03:30 AM
:rolleyes:

msharafan
Sep 2nd, 2006, 03:37 AM
not sure how the elena and serena post relates to the topic, so i'll ignore that one. :lol:
i think maria has definitely pulled back on her shots. it's noticeable, to me, that she is going for broke much less often. as she gets into better shape, this will start to pay off majorly because she will have the ability to get to a few more balls, but still maintain her capability to smack winners out of nowhere.


thanks for this insight and yes i think i have to agree with you so it looks like this is a positive move for maria. i just wanted to make sure i wasnt seeing things! lol. one other thing i just thought of bringing up i know this is a bit off topic but i saw today what a nice person elena is after her match i saw that she was trying to sign her autograph to everyone, and was so nice! :) :) :worship:

msharafan
Sep 2nd, 2006, 03:40 AM
Serena is not one-dimensional. Maria does not always have the advantage against a hard hitter. Did you watch last year's Wimbledon semi-final where Maria was hitting the heck out of the ball and Venus still blew her of the court and was dominant in the rallys and on serve? (Well at least in my opinion she did :) )

i didnt say serena was one dimensional i said she was less dimensional than justine and mauresmo, and what i really meant was she was a hard hitter! and i agree about the wimby semi but that was a once off by venus and shes not here and serenas isnt is as in good shape or form at the moment.

UDACHi
Sep 2nd, 2006, 03:43 AM
Are you joking? MAria has definatley not pulled in the reins. I watched her first round match and she was hitting it as hard as ever.

well that was against krajicek. :weirdo:

when maria plays top players, she has been more patient. i'm not gunna stay and argue with people, though. :wavey:

Volcana
Sep 2nd, 2006, 03:56 AM
This is an evolution most elite power players go through. They give up pace, in exchange for fewer unforced errors. The exceptions I can think of are Davenport and Capriati. And Capriati was a VERY conservative player. She hit the ball hard, but well away from the lines. Davenport ... she's pure. 'Hit it hard, hit it flat, walk away'.

All that said, I haven't really witnessed that evolution in Sharapova. Not at least to the extent of say, Venus, who used to hit every forehand flat, and now hit almost every one with topspin.as we know maria can beat the less dimensional and hard hitting player ie serena and elenaDidn't she lose to both of those players the last time she played them?

Isn't the issue whether Sharapova has figured out how to beat the top players? The fast surfaces have been unkind this year.

AUSTRALIAN OPEN SMI HENIN-HARDENNE L 4-6 6-1 6-4
Indian Wells... FNL DEMENTIEVA.... W 6-1 6-2
MIAMI.......... FNL KUZNETSOVA.... L 6-4 6-3
Birmingham..... SMI JACKSON* ..... L 6-4 6-4
WIMBLEDON...... QTR DEMENTIEVA.... W 6-1 6-4
WIMBLEDON...... SMI MAURESMO...... L 6-3 3-6 6-2
San Diego...... FNL CLIJSTERS..... W 7-5 7-5
Los Angeles.... SMI DEMENTIEVA.... L 7-5 6-2

*Jackson is no elite player. But what is Sharapova doing losing to a player ranked #81 in the world?

More than any other player, Sharapova is another Davenport. Big serve, clean strokes, big pace, limited footspeed. Nice to be the second coming of a multi-GS winner. But her game, as displayed this year, isn't beating the creme-de-la-creme. Sharapova hasn't found her 'A' game in a loooooooong time.

supergrunt
Sep 2nd, 2006, 03:58 AM
well that was against krajicek. :weirdo:

when maria plays top players, she has been more patient. i'm not gunna stay and argue with people, though. :wavey:

Well it doesn't matter she was still hitting the ball hard :weirdo: I don't want to argue with you anyway becuase your dumb. :)

rockstar
Sep 2nd, 2006, 03:58 AM
sharapova? topspin? :haha:

matthieu_tennis
Sep 2nd, 2006, 04:08 AM
on the firehand side she hit the ball very very flat but on the backhand side she add some topspin

UDACHi
Sep 2nd, 2006, 04:18 AM
Well it doesn't matter she was still hitting the ball hard :weirdo: I don't want to argue with you anyway becuase your dumb. :)

FCUK U BITH!!1! U R OBV., THA DUMM 1 HRE!!!!!111!one!!1

supergrunt
Sep 2nd, 2006, 04:33 AM
FCUK U BITH!!1! U R OBV., THA DUMM 1 HRE!!!!!111!one!!1
:D Thanks!

trivfun
Sep 2nd, 2006, 04:35 AM
It seems that Maria is learning from her boyfriend's coach as well.

mboyle
Sep 2nd, 2006, 04:36 AM
Are you joking? MAria has definatley not pulled in the reins. I watched her first round match and she was hitting it as hard as ever.

Yeah that was against Michaela "I make a sloth look fast" Krajicek. If you saw Maria against Kim or Patty in San Diego, she was not hitting hard at all until she had the court opened.

ccrood
Sep 2nd, 2006, 05:01 AM
she has definitely not changed her strokes...alot of skeptics would argue that she needs more topspin..NOT...this is Maria's style....it won her Wimby...she is a power player with strengths in the way she hits...THROUGH THE BALL.

burgerboy
Sep 2nd, 2006, 05:14 AM
IMO, Maria hasn't changed anything.

VeeReeDavJCap81
Sep 2nd, 2006, 06:43 AM
The only thing Maria has changed is the beginning of her serve, but that was way back at the French when I first noticed that. Her strokes are still the same, and I bet 99.99999% wish we could hit the ball that well.

Doc
Sep 2nd, 2006, 11:47 AM
Maria has made changes in her game. She is hitting a little bit of spin on many of her groundstrokes now, and biding her time to go for the winner. She has also picked up on her movement and her serve, which is more varied now - though less so with players who are easier to beat.

msharafan
Sep 2nd, 2006, 11:56 AM
thought so too myself really! :)

santhuruu
Sep 2nd, 2006, 12:36 PM
You know, all I know is that Maria Sharapova has become a sooooooo much better player with more experience since last year UsOpen. I think her groundies are a lot more solid, her movement is a lot better too. And she is working harder as ever. And she shows the hunger for titles. She is a great tennis player that is all I can say about her I think.

Mother_Marjorie
Sep 2nd, 2006, 01:01 PM
This is an evolution most elite power players go through. They give up pace, in exchange for fewer unforced errors. The exceptions I can think of are Davenport and Capriati. And Capriati was a VERY conservative player. She hit the ball hard, but well away from the lines. Davenport ... she's pure. 'Hit it hard, hit it flat, walk away'.

All that said, I haven't really witnessed that evolution in Sharapova. Not at least to the extent of say, Venus, who used to hit every forehand flat, and now hit almost every one with topspin.Didn't she lose to both of those players the last time she played them?

Isn't the issue whether Sharapova has figured out how to beat the top players? The fast surfaces have been unkind this year.

AUSTRALIAN OPEN SMI HENIN-HARDENNE L 4-6 6-1 6-4
Indian Wells... FNL DEMENTIEVA.... W 6-1 6-2
MIAMI.......... FNL KUZNETSOVA.... L 6-4 6-3
Birmingham..... SMI JACKSON* ..... L 6-4 6-4
WIMBLEDON...... QTR DEMENTIEVA.... W 6-1 6-4
WIMBLEDON...... SMI MAURESMO...... L 6-3 3-6 6-2
San Diego...... FNL CLIJSTERS..... W 7-5 7-5
Los Angeles.... SMI DEMENTIEVA.... L 7-5 6-2

*Jackson is no elite player. But what is Sharapova doing losing to a player ranked #81 in the world?

More than any other player, Sharapova is another Davenport. Big serve, clean strokes, big pace, limited footspeed. Nice to be the second coming of a multi-GS winner. But her game, as displayed this year, isn't beating the creme-de-la-creme. Sharapova hasn't found her 'A' game in a loooooooong time.

Two Tier I victories on hardcourt in 2006 and a semifinalist at the Australian Open make Sharapova one of the best hardcourt players this year.

*Jackson is no elite player. But what is Sharapova doing losing to a player ranked #81 in the world?

Well, with all these people that bitch about the depth of the WTA, one could argue that a player ranked #81 beating a top four player provides evidence to the contrary.

The problem with your continued pessimistic attitudes towards Sharapova is your inability to see the ground she's gained in winning Tier I events, making it to multiple semifinals of grand slam events, all after a win at Wimbledon while she is still a teenager.

And in spite of her commercial success, she still works very hard to play and win at tennis tournaments. The desire is there, and the results will eventually follow.

Let us compare Maria's early success to that of the current best player of this generation, Serena Williams.

I wonder if you were so critical of Serena in the three years after she won her inaugural GS tournament at age 17 at the US Open in 1999. It wasn't until 2002 that she won her next GS tournament. Those who follow tennis closely could see the change in Serena's game and it evolution.

Sharapova is going through a similar evolution at the present; technically and mentally. And I would argue that Sharapova will strike with her second GS win in less time than it took Serena to win her second.

Now, I wonder what you would have to say should Sharapova win this US Open or at the 2007 Australian Open???

Shall we bookmark? :wavey:

Craigy
Sep 2nd, 2006, 01:26 PM
sharapova? topspin? :haha:
:lol:

Craigy
Sep 2nd, 2006, 01:27 PM
FCUK U BITH!!1! U R OBV., THA DUMM 1 HRE!!!!!111!one!!1
Jordan :haha: :haha: