Didnt really want to start a new thread for this but anyway....on a different subject the upcoming weeks include:
March 19 : Miami
March 26 : Miami
April 02 : Week off
April 09 : Charleston
April 16 : FED CUP
April 23 : week off
April 30 : week off
May 07 : week off
May 14: Rome
May 21 : week off
May 28 : RG
June 4 : RG
I really hope all goes well for Maria in Miami with her leg....because there are important times ahead in the near future. If she can get through Miami to the week off then hopefully she'll be near to top shape for Charleston.
The week after that is set to be a big occasion and one I really wouldnt like her to be missing this year!
..and then comes Rome and RG where Maria can really make up for last years absense/lack of fitness before going to England.
Mar 16th, 2007, 11:23 PM
It's a shame the clay season is about to start, it will be even more difficult to get her serve going on clay, not so many free points on serve. So I hope she will get her serve going in Miami at least so she can built some confidence, especially because I think we all want her to do well for Russia :)
Mar 17th, 2007, 12:02 AM
i think the grand slams are the most important tournaments, looking at that schedule she's got 10 weeks to get back to her winning ways before the next 1... even if she has trouble at miami and even charleston i think she'll recover by roland garros...
she really has no points to defend after miami to the french open so if she's successful at the in between events she'll get a load of fresh points!!
Mar 17th, 2007, 08:23 AM
I'm confident Masha is starting to get back to her form in Miami.
Hopefully she is going to trust her own body a little bit more. I guess it still takes some time before she dares to get the full weight on that leg. Maybe that also had something to do with all that happened. Especially with the serve and all.
She has a few matches under her belt and she can only go up from here on.
And of course I wanna see Masha doing her thing for Russia, but for that matter I always wanna see Masha doing her best thing ;).
Mar 18th, 2007, 04:03 AM
Hopefully with continuing play and practice by the time we get to RG she should be back to good form.
Mar 21st, 2007, 12:46 AM
I think it is a big mistake to make Rome her only red-clay tournament before the French Open (assuming that her goal is to win the French Open, rather than just using it as a platform for Wimbledon). If I were her, I would add Warsaw (week of 30th April).
I don't think playing a green-clay tournament in America (i.e. Charleston) is very valuable preparation - except to clay-court specialists who want to win that tournament for its own sake. Green clay is very different from the red clay of Europe.
Regarding the thread-title, I have to say I'm not too optimistic for Maria over the next few months. Indian Wells showed that she's lost her best two assets: her serve and her nerve (when serving for a set or a match).
While it's not my place to say her confidence is low, she has a huge task ahead of her to get back on track by the French Open or Wimbledon (let alone in time to face the nightmare-draw she has at Miami).
Dr. Andrew Broad
she's lost her best two assets: her serve and her nerve
unfortunatley i agree with u... she creates her game around the big serve and when thats off there's not much she can do... now that it seems she's lost her 'nerve' at crucial times she seems like a vulnerable player, not the unstopable monsters she has been over the past few years... (by that i mean she had already won alot of her matches before she even stepped onto the court, now all the players are confident in her lack of confidence and everyone thinks they can beat her even if she gets in front)
Mar 21st, 2007, 01:31 PM
Maria has a lot more than just a serve. Shes still been winning or been damn close to without the luxury of confidence in or easy games on her serve. If she can find it again then she'll head back to her best form.
Mar 21st, 2007, 02:06 PM
She should add Berlin, really! I'm kind of disapointed to see her playing so little during the clay season, especially since Berlin clay seems really fast surprisingly.
And to all doubters, don't worry, she's gonna bounce back anytime soon. The matches against the Williams will help. If she passes Venus, she will pass Sererna IMO.
Mar 21st, 2007, 02:24 PM
She might plays in Berlin ;) .
Eight top-10 players for Qatar Telecom German Open
EIGHT of the top-10 ranked players are expected to play in the Qatar Telecom German Open to be held in the second week of May this year, the Qatar Tennis Federation (QTF) announced yesterday.
"The Qatar Telecom German Open will see eight players in the top-10 participating," QTF president Sheikh Mohamed bin Faleh al-Thani told reporters.
"The preparations for the tournament are right on schedule and we are sure about hosting an excellent event," he added.
Current World No 2 Maria Sharapova, however, has not yet confirmed for the May 7-13 event. "We are in touch with her. We hope to get her confirmation soon," said Sheikh Mohamed.
Sharapova was the World No 1 until recently, but was overtaken by Henin, who has been in tremendous form, winning in Dubai and Doha and making the semifinals in Paris.
Martina Hingis, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Petrova, who are in the top 10, have also signed for the tournament with Serena Williams, currently ranked 18th, also lining up.
The Tier One event offers prize money of $1.34 million, the same amount which the Qatar Total Open in Doha had awarded earlier in the month.
This will be the third year in succession that Qatar is sponsoring the Berlin clay-court tournament after it ran into financial difficulties in 2005.
Belgian Justine Henin won in 2005 beating Russian Nadia Petrova, but the Russian had her revenge the next year when she beat Henin in the final, completing a Qatar double, having earlier won the Doha title that year.
The QTF had already announced it would be increasing the prize fund to $2.5 million next year for the Doha event in a bid to increase its profile and attract the best players.
The QTF also has plans to upgrade the men's Qatar ExxonMobil Open, but that will all depend on the changes the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) plans to introduce at the start of the 2009 season.
The ATP and the Women's Tour Association (WTA) are working to streamline future tournaments in such a way that players are not burdened as they are now.
"There will be changes in the way tennis is run and we have to wait and see," said Sheikh Mohamed. He added that the QTF was also open to the idea of holding a men's and women's tournament together or in successive weeks.
"We have an excellent relationship with the WTA and the ATP, but we have got to wait and see what changes come about. We also need to improve our facilities further which is one of the requirements for hosting big events."
Sheikh Mohamed and tournament director Ayman Azmy have been making frequent visits to Germany to supervise the preparations of the Qatar Telecom German Open.
Various sponsorship deals have been signed during the past weeks.
The Qatar Telecom German Open, which was earlier called the German Open, is one of the oldest tennis tournaments of the world and is an important stop on the clay circuit in the build-up to the French Open.
The tournament was first held in 1896. It has been won by Steffi Graf a whopping nine times.
Mar 21st, 2007, 02:34 PM
Ah good news thanks for sharing Corinne :yeah:
Mar 21st, 2007, 03:19 PM
Waiting to see how things are going at the time obviously :lol: it seems to fit into the schedule though
Mar 21st, 2007, 03:27 PM
I'm thinking that is too much tennis, if she adds Berlin. That would be--
I'm not sure there's any player out there with a similarly ambitious schedule.
She needs the Charleston event to get ready for Fed Cup. At that point, she will likely have 4-6 matches on clay. Maria always plays well in slams with a little rest going in, so I would think Rome over Berlin.
But who knows--maybe this is her big push to try and improve her clay court game.
By the way--what IS the difference between green and red clay, in terms of playability?
My understanding of it is that red clay is crushed brick, and green clay (Har-Tru) is a synthetic made from a particular kind of crushed green stone mined in the Appalachians of the eastern US.
It can't be *too* different--the best clay courters in the world always used to win equally well on green and red clay, when the green was more widely used for tournament play. When the US figured more prominently in the tour schedule, there were many green clay events--USCC (Indianapolis), Cincinnati, Washington, Boca Raton, Charleston, Amelia Island, etc. Now it's down to two.
Is green clay faster than red? Does the bounce bounce higher or lower? Inquiring minds want to know.
Mar 21st, 2007, 04:18 PM
As far as I know Green clay is a little faster, harder to slide over and has a higher bounce, not 100% sure though.
I really hope she would add Berlin to her schedule, Rome alone in preparation for Roland Garros just isn't much.
Mar 28th, 2007, 02:13 PM
She would do much better to add Warsaw to her schedule than Berlin IMO. With Berlin and Rome, she'd be playing in 2 of the 3 weeks before the French Open. With Warsaw instead, she'd have a week off before Rome. Clay is the most physically grueling surface there is, while Maria's body becomes very fatigued if she plays too many matches in too few days.
I wonder if it wouldn't be better for Maria to take a break until Warsaw. I think she came back too early for Indian Wells - her hamstring-injury may have fully healed, but she had not had time to get her serve back.
It may be better to go away and work on her serve and her defence, than to play on and have her confidence dented by defeats which are either premature or humiliating - or in the case of Miami, both. :o
Maria is treading a very delicate tightrope between lack of match-play and her game not being ready, so it's just my suggestion that she should replace Charleston and Fed Cup with Warsaw.
Dr. Andrew Broad
glad shes player more event on clay, shows she commited to improving her game on the surface. it may be her weakest surface, but i think once shes confident again, she can surprise a lot of people on the dirt.