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View Full Version : What impressed you the most about Maria's game at the Open?


franny
Sep 19th, 2006, 04:16 AM
Okay, we all know Maria improved lots. I mean, there's her forehand that was just on in the semis and finals. There was her speed which was amazing all tournament long. Her fitness held up, which meant that she's been working real hard on that. Her volleys got a lot better. I mean, did ya'll see those volleys(and that half volley!) she hit against Justine? Of course there is her consistency. And of course who can forget that amazing serve of hers, just perfectly placed every time, with lots of variety, and lots of pace. I mean, the serve totally won her the tournament.

BUT! For me, the most impressive part about Maria's game at the Open was how she held it together when serving for matches! I mean, whoa. In the semis and finals, she served out her last games to 15. Considering how she had struggled before to close out matches, and considering how even in the Tati match she was broken when serving the match out, to hold serves, by hitting winners too, like that in the most crucial moments was incredible. So I say that's what impressed me the most, followed by her serve in general. Then her fitness, then her consistency. What about you guys?

franny
Sep 19th, 2006, 04:18 AM
Um, I forgot to put volleys in there. How do you edit polls?

Dan23
Sep 19th, 2006, 05:31 AM
I dont think you can edit the poll franny ;)
..but her volleys were very good, I think Maria has always been able to volley well, she was just steered away from venturing to the net in her junior years. Changing her mindset and picking the right opportunities to come in is what has required improvement and shes getting there. Part of the reason she gets in trouble up there is being too late and out of position. During Wimby 04 Maria came up fairly often and that was the case again at the USO, I think its in her instinct to do it.

Anyhow...I think her serve and ability to serve well under pressure was the most impressive thing. Serving out both sets in the final was huge as she had come to rely a bit of breaking serve to take sets.

Maria Croft
Sep 19th, 2006, 05:32 AM
For me it was her patience in playing long points, especially against Mauresmo and Henin-Hardenne.

WIMBLY2004
Sep 19th, 2006, 06:52 AM
For me it was her patience in playing long points, especially against Mauresmo and Henin-Hardenne.

I was about to say Franny should put patience there when I saw this :lol:

Yes, her patience really impressed me, she is much smarter and more patient to construct point now.

Dan23
Sep 19th, 2006, 06:56 AM
Maria has been playing a more patient sort of game for much of the year I think. It was evident at IW and even AO where she lacked a bit of power...anyhow it was important she played like that against the likes of JHH/Mauresmo.

franny
Sep 19th, 2006, 07:42 AM
Ooooh yes, patience is another really good one. But like Dan said, I think that Maria has been patient for some time now. She's waited for her opps, but a lot of times, she has mental lapses or her fitness just catches up to her. It's amazing really how many parts of her game has improved, and its amazing how we can see how its improved. I believe that in a year, she's going to prove to everyone that she is not just some basher. I remember last year after her match against Kim I along with so many of my fellow Maria fans dissecting what parts of her game has been improving and what parts had still needed improving. I think that its safe to say that many of those things we critiqued her on last year has improved dramatically. I'm so proud of our Maria!

Stroba
Sep 19th, 2006, 09:25 AM
I think her consistency really stood out. Results-wise she has always been consistent, hardly ever losing early in a tournament. But I think she has lost a lot of matches due to bad patches where she just commits error after error. Against lesser players, she usually gets away with it, but against players like Henin and Clijsters she won´t.

My point is I think she would have won some of those GS semis earlier had she only been more consistent and committing fever UE:s. It´s not like she always was outplayed.

But during this US-open she was consistent, and when she is, she usually dictates play and wins. Against Li and Golovin she was less impressive but played the most important points well.

Of course she has taken a step forward in almost every aspect of the game but consistency really made the difference IMO.

madame_maria
Sep 19th, 2006, 10:43 AM
i thought half of her service games were won by her serve, especially in the later matches of week 2. so i picked the serve. it has been amazingly consistent, powerful, accurate. she knows exactly how to trade power for placement on it. her confidence with it has never wavered since the weird game in loit's match.

her patience helped A LOT too. but i'd say

1) the serves
2) the patience
3) the movement

her groundstrokes were ALWAYS there at a high level. it's just the way she moves to these balls that hurt her. she used to hit shots with really awkward postures and at really unstable balance. i think her speed has been kicked up a notch and she anticipates and hits so much better now precisely because of her greatly improved footwork. which also has to do a bit with fitness :)

i'm just proud of Maria :)

Edward.
Sep 19th, 2006, 11:38 AM
The serve definately.

It makes her game click. When its on fire, like it was against Momo and Justine, she tends to play very well, and she can run over opponents.

In the only match where her serve was off, against Golovin, the rest of her game was poor.

Andy.
Sep 19th, 2006, 12:21 PM
I was impressed with her power, her serve was awesome and her speed and fitness but what impressed me above all else was that under pressure she stepped it up went for it and raised her level and played awesome. In the tie breaks against Golovin, down set points, down against Li, regrouping against Amelie and playing well under pressure in the final. Her mental strength seems to have come back to its very best again.

Natasc
Sep 19th, 2006, 01:01 PM
I was about to say Franny should put patience there when I saw this :lol:

Yes, her patience really impressed me, she is much smarter and more patient to construct point now.
yeah... but you know, thanks for fitness for that too
When u watch her vs KIm last year and her vs Henin this year u can how phisically pepared she is
a huge change....

johnoo
Sep 19th, 2006, 04:52 PM
ok the serve was fantastic but because of the semi and especially the final I have gone for the forehand,it was especially good in the final and it totally threw justine because maria's so called weak shot was playing great,the serve set up the shot but if that forehand had been off(and we have seen it before with maria) it could have been a different story.

xan
Sep 20th, 2006, 12:25 PM
Marias improvements over past months have all come together at the US Open and finally earned her a big result.

I was very impressed with

Serve. Improved a lot in penetration and variety as well as power. She was getting over 80% in in some matches (though this went down in the Li match). I loved the kick serves and the googly one down the middle with spin and kick.

Return. A lot of people ignore this, but this is the shot that frightens her opponents into errors and going for too much. Killer returns off weak serves.

Speed round court. So much improved.

Mental attitude. So businesslike on court, maintaining that concentration through everything to stay in long rallies, hit the lines, and make those winners. She also seems keen to develop her game, and think during matches.

All these things made her hard to beat.

Coffee&TV
Sep 20th, 2006, 02:58 PM
The speed and yep the patience, it improved alot. :yeah: