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View Full Version : was that Maria's best performance ever?


welshboy91
Sep 16th, 2006, 06:24 PM
In my mind that is by far and away the best performance by a women on tour this year. How would you rank this amongst her best ever performances?

markspot
Sep 17th, 2006, 06:20 PM
Has to be the best.
I liked her very solid play in Zurich of 2004, before she got that injury in the final.
Finally, she is back to that form and better.

By the number of unforced errors she had better matches,
but considering the opposition, and the need to play very deep and very wide, it is understandable.
She was serving very reliably and a range of different serves, and that going away from Justine serve down the center line to ad court was just awsome.
She did not allow Justine to play her game,
she literally run down Justine, how tired Justine was towards the end.
She made Justine run not only from side to side, but even jerking her forward backward simultaneuosly, very cruel.
She constructed points beautifully, she played smartly without excessive power when not needed, she well played the bigest points, she was even probably better at the net than Justine, and she was moving probably better than ever.
She clearly had a reserve to switch into a higher gear if needed, while Justine was stretched to the limit.
She even played many games without grunting, and conscious suppressing of grunting had to take away part of her concentration on the game, so there was a reserve right there.

And she played some of the best points I've ever seen, period.




Maria played some pretty impressive matches this year as well, Indian Wells with Dementieva, also with Hingis, but one has to assume that overpowering Justine here was way more difficult, especially that Justine was playing much better than in SF.

Come to think of it, from all the excitement, I have almost no recollection of details of her recent San Diego final with Kim, 7-5, 7-5, it may have been a good mach,
I know I watched and recorded it, but ... nothing

Maria Croft
Sep 17th, 2006, 07:46 PM
No, I don't think so, she played a really good tournament, but it wasn't her best, still amazing that she beat the number 1 and 2 ranked players in the world without even playing her best tennis :yeah:

myxomatosis
Sep 18th, 2006, 12:46 AM
No, I don't think so, she played a really good tournament, but it wasn't her best, still amazing that she beat the number 1 and 2 ranked players in the world without even playing her best tennis :yeah:Agreed.
I'd love to see her against Justine or Amelie playing at her best. :drool:
Is it bad I already can't wait for the Australian Open? :lol:

markspot
Sep 18th, 2006, 07:41 AM
when exactly she played her best tennis then?
In Zurich 2004?

She was very impressive in Indian Wells this year, but she really was not challenged
in the final or in the semifinal.
She had very good San Diego, followed by the worst ever match with Dementieva in LA.

Most of her GS semifinals were probably the best matches of the corresponding tournaments, that does not mean that she was playing her best tennis there either.
Her match with Venus last year in Miami was good as well.

But she probably never served better and smarter than in this US Open,
she never moved better, she never constructed points better, she never kept opponents running better, she never demonstrated better touch at the net,
she made good passing shots, she played smartly, controlling the power, she played
well the big points.

The only thing that was not so good in this final - the number of unforced errors and the ratio between winners and unforced errors
But you know, these unforced errors were acceptable, they were a consequence of the type of play that was required to beat Justine, and their number did not jeopardize the outcome of the match.
You would like to see Maria playing Justine at her best.
But Justine was playing very well, at least 90% of her best or more.
The thing is that Maria did not allow Justine to play her game,
and towards the end of the match Justine was so terribly tired, that is also 100% Maria's achievement.

Don't make the mistake in thinking, that Justine is not playing well, if she does not beat Maria. Actually, Maria never played fully healthy with Justine before.
It may well be the last time when Justine lost to Maria by one break per set only.

Dan23
Sep 18th, 2006, 08:51 AM
IMO that (USO) was Maria's best all round performance of the year and thinking about it possibly her best since 2004. Her serve for sure hadnt been that solid and dangerous for quite some time. There were patches of brilliance last year but not on a continuous basis.

It just shows how restricted Maria was last year with that rib problem :( Hopefully Maria looks after herself and doesnt have to go through that sort of thing again.

Doc
Sep 18th, 2006, 02:31 PM
Yes. the USO was an excellent performance.

Her serve is better
Her movement is better
Her tactics are better

Only one lost set in the tournament.
Amazing serving stats 84% first serves one match, 70% for the tournament.

She's played this well before, but rarely for so many matches at a stretch.

Wimbledon 2004 was spectacular, but then Maria was an unknown and players didn't know how best to play her.

What is good is that I think Maria can do it again and even improve.

lakan kildap
Sep 19th, 2006, 03:51 AM
In my mind that is by far and away the best performance by a women on tour this year. How would you rank this amongst her best ever performances?

I'm nitpicking, but your first sentence is quite different from the thread title. Best performance by Maria vs. performance by a woman this year.

I don't really deal too much with all the stats, but the fact that she beat Mauresmo for the 1st time (regardless of whether Momo tanked/choked or wasn't healthy, as some GM people allege) is an achievement. That she was able to pull out aces or service winners, sometimes on 2nd serves, at crucial points, over 2 weeks, with total confidence, was important. Nobody did that better than Sampras, but Maria in some matches was serving almost like that. (I'm probably exaggerating, but well, she just won the USO! And I said "almost". Nobody serves like Sampras, especially 2nd serve.)

In the 3rd set of the Momo SF, while I expected it to be a nip-and-tuck affair, Maria still bageled Momo. Quite a feat.

And unlike Wimbledon 2004, this time she managed to avoid getting overwhelmed by kisses from her support crew after winning the final. :D Incredible performance.

johnoo
Sep 19th, 2006, 04:55 PM
might have been her best but the match I enjoyed most this year so far was v hingis IW,martina played good and tried everything but maria was really on song that day.

markspot
Sep 19th, 2006, 05:33 PM
She was overpowering poor Martina, somewhat similar to the next match with Dementieva. Perhaps here in USO she was more multidimensional and smarter, because she had to be to win.

But if she is finally healthy, what happened to her with the same Dementieva in LA?
I never saw her playing so badly, except the second half of last year when she really was suffering. It was her last match before USO too

johnoo
Sep 19th, 2006, 07:45 PM
She was overpowering poor Martina, somewhat similar to the next match with Dementieva. Perhaps here in USO she was more multidimensional and smarter, because she had to be to win.

But if she is finally healthy, what happened to her with the same Dementieva in LA?
I never saw her playing so badly, except the second half of last year when she really was suffering. It was her last match before USO too
she was really tired,leftys rock uploaded some video that she took from the match and you could see in that(more than the tv coverage) how tired she was,anyway it was only a warmup for USO maria only cares about GrandSlams.

Kipling
Sep 21st, 2006, 02:41 PM
I thought it was her best performance ever, given what was riding on it. Regardless of how baseless all the "will she ever win another major?" talk was, once the press latches onto something, they never let go of it until it blows up in their faces. Maria had to be feeling alot of pressure to win at Flushing.

I hate to say it because it will sound like hindsight, but I really do believe that when Masha is "on" she is the best in the game. I've never really thought Mauresmo was a true #1 in that regard. She plays alot of tournaments and gets alot of points, but I think Maria has a much better game, is more consistent, more of a risk-taker. Henin is tough, and her experience counts for alot, but ultimately, now that Maria is done growing and adjusting to her body, and is stronger, I think she'll get the best of Henin on a regular basis from now on, providing she's healthy.

I think the US Open was her best performance simply because with every match she plays, she is a better player. She is only 19, after all, still very much learning things about her opponents. She figured out Mauresmo from past tactical mistakes and clobbered her in the semi. She was forced to evolve her game against Henin in the final, coming to net, making some nice shots from there, putting Henin on the defensive. She made errors, but she found a way to win against a top player by making changes to her game during the match. I don't think we would have seen that from Maria a year ago.

I love the way her schedule has been managed. While I would love to see more of her, I think women's tennis has evolved to the point where the players are simply exerting themselves far more than even ten years ago, let alone 20 or 30. And with that, naturally, comes the injuries. She is so lithe and light that trying to generate that much power week after week would be bad for her. It says alot that she has been largely injury-free, save for the nagging rib problem last year and foot injury this spring.

xan
Sep 23rd, 2006, 12:36 PM
wI thought it was her best performance ever, given what was riding on it. Regardless of how baseless all the "will she ever win another major?" talk was, once the press latches onto something, they never let go of it until it blows up in their faces. Maria had to be feeling alot of pressure to win at Flushing.

I hate to say it because it will sound like hindsight, but I really do believe that when Masha is "on" she is the best in the game. I've never really thought Mauresmo was a true #1 in that regard. She plays alot of tournaments and gets alot of points, but I think Maria has a much better game, is more consistent, more of a risk-taker. Henin is tough, and her experience counts for alot, but ultimately, now that Maria is done growing and adjusting to her body, and is stronger, I think she'll get the best of Henin on a regular basis from now on, providing she's healthy.

I think the US Open was her best performance simply because with every match she plays, she is a better player. She is only 19, after all, still very much learning things about her opponents. She figured out Mauresmo from past tactical mistakes and clobbered her in the semi. She was forced to evolve her game against Henin in the final, coming to net, making some nice shots from there, putting Henin on the defensive. She made errors, but she found a way to win against a top player by making changes to her game during the match. I don't think we would have seen that from Maria a year ago.

I love the way her schedule has been managed. While I would love to see more of her, I think women's tennis has evolved to the point where the players are simply exerting themselves far more than even ten years ago, let alone 20 or 30. And with that, naturally, comes the injuries. She is so lithe and light that trying to generate that much power week after week would be bad for her. It says alot that she has been largely injury-free, save for the nagging rib problem last year and foot injury this spring.

Yes. Maria has benefited from some excellent scheduling decisions most of the time. (Trying to play san diego, LA and Canada on successive weeks was an off decision)

Maria was very good at the USO and on the US hardcourts at figuring out opponents who have beaten her before (Ckijsters, Hingis, Mauresmo Justine) and finding a way to beat them. That gives a lot of hope for the future.

Lillibet
Sep 23rd, 2006, 12:40 PM
Mentally, it was very good, but I think the Clijsters final this summer was the best she's played, or the Indian Wells final.

Confident
Sep 24th, 2006, 07:28 PM
Uhm, I can say yes. Cause she was very impressive. Her every match was great. She played solid game, was serving very reliably. The San Diego final was grand too, I think it was the first big step to win the USO. So maybe it wasn't her best game in the USO final but was enough to win a GS and this is the most important! I do believe this summer was one of her best performances, beating Clijsters, Mauresmo, JHH. :)

Maria Croft
Sep 24th, 2006, 08:02 PM
Uhm, I can say yes. Cause she was very impressive. Her every match was great. She played solid game, was serving very reliably. The San Diego final was grand too, I think it was the first big step to win the USO. So maybe it wasn't her best game in the USO final but was enough to win a GS and this is the most important! I do believe this summer was one of her best performances, beating Clijsters, Mauresmo, JHH. :)

Her match against Li was horrible, but I agree, this summer was probably her best one so far :)