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View Full Version : Now we know- What's wrong with Maria.


xan
Mar 28th, 2007, 01:43 PM
I watched Maria in action today against Serena. her first matched televised here since IW. And I could see immediately why she lost.

Serena was beatable yesterday. It was just that Maria is still in this terrible serving slump. It just wasn't Maria. If she could have held her serve games, she could have put a lot of pressure on Serena - and she did in many of the games, with her returns and all-court game. Burt Serena was never pressed hard or put to test in the match because Maria kept conceding her serve.

The problem was her serve, than Serena's returns. Serena returns well, but even she can't keep breaking a good server. Apart from the DFs, Maria's serve was weak and didn't dominate the points as it needed to - or normally does. She was serving first serves at 90 mph and average 97 - a bit different from the 117 she was managing at the USO and at times in Oz. even against venus her serve was much better, up to 115 at times, and averaging 105. No wonder they were hiot back with interest.

So what is the matter with maria's serve. Injury, yips, or what????

the cat
Mar 28th, 2007, 01:54 PM
It's a combination of Maria's serve breaking down and her having the yips. Her confidence is shot and she's now intimidated by Serena. :eek: Masha needs to start playing with her Siberian Tigresss ferocity again. :cat: :fiery: :toothy:

Steve-o
Mar 28th, 2007, 11:37 PM
Serena was beatable yesterday. It was just that Maria is still in this terrible serving slump. It just wasn't Maria. If she could have held her serve games, she could have put a lot of pressure on Serena - and she did in many of the games, with her returns and all-court game. Burt Serena was never pressed hard or put to test in the match because Maria kept conceding her serve.

I don't think Serena played unbelievably well, certainly not to the level she found in the AO final. She played well within herself, gave Maria just enough rope to hang herself if you like. I kinda feel Serena had 2 or 3 more gears to spare if she needed them.

So what is the matter with maria's serve. Injury, yips, or what????

It's the yips. The serving problems probably started because of the injury but it's all inside her head now. I agree with the cat, her confidence is totally shot.

Maria Croft
Mar 29th, 2007, 08:49 AM
I think Serena got to her, she let Serena totally dominate the points and her serve, if you noticed she was trying to hit over 110/115 all the time, when a good solid first serve from Maria is usually found near 107, as she said herself, it's not about the power but about placement, but since her injury she just hasn’t found the right placement yet. Serena was also destroying her weak second serve, which of course was weak most of the time because she was hitting many double faults, but the irony is she was hitting so many double faults because a lot of the times she was hitting over 105 on her second serve as well.

But to answer the thread question, I don't believe there is anything really wrong with her, these things happen to all players, she just has to find herself again and get some confidence back, it will take some time.

xan
Mar 29th, 2007, 01:44 PM
According to the stats Maria was hitting an average first serve of 97 MPH. Now that's not Maria. Chakvetadze amanged better than that (103) in her match the same day - and Chakkers is no powerhouse. Against Venus, where she was only serving patchily, Maria managed an average of 105mph.

I don't really buy into this, "Maria is intimidated by Serena" line. I just don't think Maria is the sort intimidated by one match - otherwise she would have been intimidated by Davenport or Hingis when they had big wins over her.

i think Maria's serve has been dodgy since the start of the year. She had all that trouble in Round 1 of the AO remember? Her good play elsewhere in her game has covered for that most of the time.

Aravanecaravan
Mar 29th, 2007, 04:59 PM
According to the stats Maria was hitting an average first serve of 97 MPH. Now that's not Maria. Chakvetadze amanged better than that (103) in her match the same day - and Chakkers is no powerhouse. Against Venus, where she was only serving patchily, Maria managed an average of 105mph.

I don't really buy into this, "Maria is intimidated by Serena" line. I just don't think Maria is the sort intimidated by one match - otherwise she would have been intimidated by Davenport or Hingis when they had big wins over her.


Neither do I. Maria relishes playing against Serena. Maybe not when her game is so poor, but we all know she "lives" for big matches. At her worst, she should lose to Serena in three sets. There really is nothing all that impressive about Williams' game, and she is very beatable despite all the bandwagon jumping over at ESPN and other places. She serves big, but Maria can return well. Vaidisova should have had her in three last night, to be honest--Nikki was serving beautifully going into that 8th game, had triple break point, for a chance to close it out on her serve, and then just lost it. Williams fights well, to her credit. Something Maria hasn't been doing well this year.

You're right about Maria's serve. I have said this on many occasions this year. Against Pin, I noticed her serve was off by a good 10 mph. It was up and down all through the AO, and again in Tokyo, IW and Miami. Something is going on with her physically--either an injury, or maybe she's still growing and it's throwing her serve off. Or maybe she's trying something new that's just not working.

It goes back beyond the AO, too. We had a chance to see her matches at Hong Kong on TV, and she wasn't serving real well in any of them.

Steve-o
Mar 29th, 2007, 11:34 PM
I don't really buy into this, "Maria is intimidated by Serena" line. I just don't think Maria is the sort intimidated by one match - otherwise she would have been intimidated by Davenport or Hingis when they had big wins over her.

I don't think Maria was intimidated by the prospect of playing Serena again but she was definitely intimidated by her tennis. Maria played ok until she lost her serve the first time, Serena served 4 bombs in the next game and there was no belief in Maria's tennis after that.

The next month or two could be tough to watch and it may get worse before it gets better but I'm sure she will sort it out eventually.

xan
Mar 31st, 2007, 11:55 AM
Good points. But I'm still worrieed about what is behind Maria's poor serving. Hopefully she gets it right soon.

xan
Apr 2nd, 2007, 05:15 PM
So, it's bad News. Maria has withdrawn from Charleston and fed Cup because of a shoulder injury...

I haven't wanted to talk a lot about my injuries, but I'm afraid it has
become obvious that I am having some problems with my right shoulder
and left hamstring. I hurt my shoulder right before I started playing
in Hong Kong, and kept hoping that I could work through it. I was told
by doctors I had pretty severe inflammation, but decided to give it a
shot. I think the anti-inflams and treatment helped me get through H.K
and Australia. Unfortunately, my shoulder hasn't been able to be normal
on its own, without the medicine.
My doctors have a positive outlook, despite telling me I cannot play
for a while. They said I must drop out of the next two events, but they
are confident that, with five or six weeks of rest, I will be ready for
the next events. I am especially bummed about the Fed Cup, as I was
looking forward to playing in Moscow, and representing my country in a
team environment for the first time. I will be speaking with the
Russian Federation soon about future matches. The Family Circle Cup is
always a great event, and a tournament I look forward to competing in
again.
It's difficult for me to take time off from tennis, but the first thing
is my health and that's something that I have made a big priority in my
career. I can only look forward to getting back on the court ASAP.
Thanks, as always, for your support.

It's dreadful that as soon as Maria gets to Number 1 she seems to get injured! It was obvious Maria had a problem on serve. It wasn't yips or some psychological problem - but physical. It's typical of Maria to keep her injuries a secret and take flak for "bad play," or being "unworthy" as number 1.

Let's hope that this new shoulder problem cures with rest, and she's back to normal soon.

Aravanecaravan
Apr 2nd, 2007, 05:30 PM
It's dreadful that as soon as Maria gets to Number 1 she seems to get injured! It was obvious Maria had a problem on serve. It wasn't yips or some psychological problem - but physical. It's typical of Maria to keep her injuries a secret and take flak for "bad play," or being "unworthy" as number 1.

Let's hope that this new shoulder problem cures with rest, and she's back to normal soon.

Only those who had an axe to grind or an agenda to pursue against Maria would attribute that to "confidence". She doesn't back down from anybody. I thought it very gracious of her to give props to Serena and not make excuses, but it was obvious she has not been herself since at least the YEC.

Maria WILL be back. I'm glad that at least she has challenged the media to stop orchestrating her demise.

Best wishes for a speedy and full recovery, Masha. We love you!

Effy
Apr 2nd, 2007, 05:44 PM
Masha, take care of yourself :hug: It was obvious that smth was not right.

but the first thing is my health and that's something that I have made a big priority in my career.


that is right! Wish our Maria full recovery.

the cat
Apr 2nd, 2007, 06:50 PM
I knew something had to be amiss with Masha after playing weak tennis for so long. But it's Masha's responsibility to herself and her career to not play injured. But she did. She never should have played Indian Wells and Miami. This is when she should have rested. I hope her break from tennis heals her injuries and also gives her the mental break she needs from Serena's 2 crushings of her and all the double faults. Get well Maria. :hug:

Dan23
Apr 3rd, 2007, 12:27 AM
http://img137.imageshack.us/img137/4696/sucksvm0.gif

Andy.
Apr 3rd, 2007, 01:46 AM
This has been a terrible start to the season, she has had to deal with a lot. I hope this break will help her and give her what she needs to come back strong, refreshed and healthy. Good luck in your recovery Masha

myxomatosis
Apr 3rd, 2007, 02:48 AM
She had a pretty crappy start to 2006 and an (arguably) disappointing 2005 - at least towards the end of the season. If trends hold, she'll repeat at USO Champ this year. :p
But first she needs to recover and get some confidence back.. One step at a time I guess :hug:

Maria Croft
Apr 3rd, 2007, 10:23 AM
I’m actually a little relieved to hear it’s an injury, we all knew something was wrong with her serve but I didn’t really suspect a shoulder injury, I did notice that her swing on her serve looked weird sometimes, so it’s not really a surprise. Looks like Maria has two horrible clay seasons in a row now, I feel so sorry for her, hope she can recover in time for Wimbledon, but knowing Maria she really wants to compete at Roland Garros as well.

xan
Apr 3rd, 2007, 03:07 PM
Actually you could see by yuris face in the Serena match in Miami, that something was wrong. he always looks dour, but this time from the very start he looked really worried and fed up

Lefty.
Apr 3rd, 2007, 05:26 PM
Iím actually a little relieved to hear itís an injury, we all knew something was wrong with her serve but I didnít really suspect a shoulder injury, I did notice that her swing on her serve looked weird sometimes, so itís not really a surprise. Looks like Maria has two horrible clay seasons in a row now, I feel so sorry for her, hope she can recover in time for Wimbledon, but knowing Maria she really wants to compete at Roland Garros as well.

I'm a little relieved too, that the reason why her serve has gone like this is because of an injury and not because she wanted to change it or anything. Although didn't Dementieva's serve get screwed because of a shoulder injury she had? Not that she was a huge server previously but she wasn't serving a huge number of dfs a match like she is now. I certainly hope that doesn't happen to Maria.

tojja
Apr 3rd, 2007, 06:59 PM
Sad news to read,she´s still hurt :(

jacobruiz
Apr 3rd, 2007, 09:17 PM
I wonder why Yuri and the rest allowed or even encouraged Maria to play injured? This really pisses me off!:fiery: Maria didn't deserve to have to go through all that on top of making the injury worse!

swissmr
Apr 3rd, 2007, 10:20 PM
Yeah but Maria is an independent woman, she can make her own decisions. Maybe she thought she wouldn't make the injury worse by playing the hardcourts and trying to defend her points and then she could rest during the clay season where she doesn't have many points to defend.

Dan23
Apr 4th, 2007, 12:14 AM
shoulder injuries can be :scared: and be a problem for a long time

jacobruiz
Apr 4th, 2007, 01:20 AM
Yeah but Maria is an independent woman, she can make her own decisions. Maybe she thought she wouldn't make the injury worse by playing the hardcourts and trying to defend her points and then she could rest during the clay season where she doesn't have many points to defend.


When you are a teen-ager, especially a girl, and you have lived your entire life with your parents, doing what they think is best, plus following your coaches' advise, and your manager's instructions; I think making the break into adulthood and real independence would be really hard at first, anyway. I think Maria is becoming more experienced and more independent but she's not totally there yet.

Therefore I blame the older people who should have known better.:shrug:

xan
Apr 4th, 2007, 01:37 PM
Unless we know what type of shoulder injury it is, we can't really say whether extra play was such a bad thing. If it's only some form of inflammation as Maria writes, then she could have played through it.

I think it was Maria's big amount of points to defend at Indian Wells and Miami that was the temptation to play.

I only hope that the injury is a trivial one and she'll be back to full health soon. I suspect she wants to play FO.

tojja
Apr 4th, 2007, 02:27 PM
shoulder injuries can be :scared: and be a problem for a long time
Yes,she have some problem in two years now :(

miura
Apr 4th, 2007, 07:56 PM
Let's hope those six weeks goes past fast. Boring knowing no Maria-matches is coming up any time soon. I hope she can fully recover to Wimbledon if not even Roland Garros. Get well!

Doc
Apr 5th, 2007, 03:00 PM
Yes,she have some problem in two years now :(

Her last problem was supposedly more to do with her pectoral muscle in the chest, or a displaced bone there.

This is supposed to be different.

schorsch
Apr 5th, 2007, 03:35 PM
Actually you could see by yuris face in the Serena match in Miami, that something was wrong. he always looks dour, but this time from the very start he looked really worried and fed up


i noticed that, too. he was like... my poor little daughter... :sad:

schorsch
Apr 5th, 2007, 03:39 PM
wait, do you guys think she could make it to rome?

xan
Apr 5th, 2007, 04:22 PM
wait, do you guys think she could make it to rome?

It's down as her next tournament on her updated list on mariasharapova.com, so she's obviously hoping to make it. Let's hope she does, and that whatever it is, is only minor.

tojja
Apr 5th, 2007, 05:21 PM
Her last problem was supposedly more to do with her pectoral muscle in the chest, or a displaced bone there.

This is supposed to be different.
Yes but she have some problem whith here shoulder in almost two years now.
They tell us in swedish television news about that

!!!--Duizô--!!!
Apr 10th, 2007, 09:55 AM
I think Serena got to her, she let Serena totally dominate the points and her serve, if you noticed she was trying to hit over 110/115 all the time, when a good solid first serve from Maria is usually found near 107, as she said herself, it's not about the power but about placement, but since her injury she just hasnít found the right placement yet. Serena was also destroying her weak second serve, which of course was weak most of the time because she was hitting many double faults, but the irony is she was hitting so many double faults because a lot of the times she was hitting over 105 on her second serve as well.

But to answer the thread question, I don't believe there is anything really wrong with her, these things happen to all players, she just has to find herself again and get some confidence back, it will take some time.

When I used to see Maria in the past, I know that even Maria as a wounded gazelle would try to perform at her best and not let her confidence down. I agree with you here bud. Definetly the issue has been confidence, because Maria even at a lower level was able to kick Serena's butt right at her throne and argueably her second prime.

lakan kildap
May 1st, 2007, 07:44 AM
I think the 2005 Aussie Open SF was the turning point. Maria served for the match twice, had match points, and couldn't close it out. Serena hit big shot after big shot, each one a statement, each one a lion's roar (or a lioness's). Previously, people close to the game thought Maria had no fear of the Williamses, had no fear of anyone, in fact. After that match, I wasn't so sure anymore.

Maria Croft
May 1st, 2007, 08:10 AM
I think the 2005 Aussie Open SF was the turning point. Maria served for the match twice, had match points, and couldn't close it out. Serena hit big shot after big shot, each one a statement, each one a lion's roar (or a lioness's). Previously, people close to the game thought Maria had no fear of the Williamses, had no fear of anyone, in fact. After that match, I wasn't so sure anymore.


I really don't think a match from 2005 would effect her now. We know it's an injury now and I do believe she will be fine again once she has healed, let's just hope that it doesn't take as long to find her serve than the last time she got a shoulder injury.

SharapovaFan16
May 2nd, 2007, 01:57 PM
it's confidence... even the greatest athletes in the world can lose their confidence. the funny thing is it is usually the little things that kill the confidence. I play golf, a scratch golfer which is a 0 handicap for you non golfers out there. I go through periods of confidence as well out there on the course. Sometimes you fell like you don't even have to think, you are so in the zone it seems like you are going through the motions but you are playing well. Maria isn't in that groove and she lost is somehow, only she can get the confidence back noone else.

Shimizu Amon
May 5th, 2007, 08:35 AM
I've been here a couple of times and I didn't know what to post, because to me this is just a bunch of bla bla bla. We are not sure what's wrong, only that what we have been told by the media. We can't get into her mind and see what's wrong. So I just wait and see what will happen next. Of course I'm hoping she gets back into winning mode and fetch that 3rd GS.

kasia1992
May 5th, 2007, 04:58 PM
You know she wrote on her site aboat her injury and the treatment,but honestly I didnt see a pain on her face when she played in Miami its not like that i didnt belive her but i am very confiuse.She won over Venus and lost to
Serena and i dont know that is it injury or her confident and i think if her injury wasny healer to 100% she didnt go to miami
I AM VERY VWER CONFIUSE.

nelsondan
May 5th, 2007, 05:06 PM
Maybe i am naive---but I thought her shoulder was hurting enough to make her serve, and other parts of her game several miles per hour slower. That can cause baseball pitchers who get people out to start having trouble getting people out. She was the number one player, so even injured, she is still pretty good---but missing that part that makes her super good.

I think it has been physical.

Dan23
May 6th, 2007, 12:45 PM
Time will tell what the problems have been and if they can be overcome......I think Maria will prove once again the special player that she is!

Aravanecaravan
May 6th, 2007, 01:45 PM
Maybe i am naive---but I thought her shoulder was hurting enough to make her serve, and other parts of her game several miles per hour slower. That can cause baseball pitchers who get people out to start having trouble getting people out. She was the number one player, so even injured, she is still pretty good---but missing that part that makes her super good.

I think it has been physical.

I can tell you with assurance that a serving shoulder injury, no matter how slight, will affect a player's game significantly.

How do I know this? Well, last Tuesday night I was practicing my serve and felt a twinge in my shoulder. Thought nothing of it and kept on serving--for nearly an hour. The weird part was, with my normal serving motion, which has always been reliable, I couldn't get anything over the net. It was very frustrating.

About an hour after I stopped, I could hardly lift my arm. By the next day, I couldn't move it at all.

Turned out that it's a bad sprain, says the doctor, but he gave me an anti-inflammatory, which masks the pain pretty well. Unfortunately, the arm is still weak, almost a week later, and I can't really serve well at all at this point, either. I've had these types of things before--even when they start to feel better, when you really exert that muscle or joint, it still feels weak for a long time afterwards.

My point is--Maria says she had a shoulder injury at some point in the off-season, and that she felt "OK" with anti-inflammatories by the time of the Aussie Open. OK--what does that mean? Anti-inflammatories are pain killers, they don't heal. They certainly don't give back strength. She wasn't 100% herself in OZ, or anywhere else this year. That is statistically seen if you look at her serve speed in her matches this year. It is way down from normal. That is empirical evidence. Her shoulder is obviously restricting her because it is injured.

Only rest will heal that, and Maria never gave herself a chance to rest, playing Tokyo, IW and Miami because she had a ton of points to defend there. She is proud. Maybe she didn't want to admit that she wasn't ready to play. Who knows? But it was a big mistake, which she paid for by having to sit out the clay season and let that shoulder heal.

All this "confidence" bullshit is funny. Maria is the most confident athlete I can think of.

I wish all the doubters would just give her a chance to play healthy.

kasia1992
May 6th, 2007, 04:31 PM
THANK I HEART MASHA

Now I understand the Marias problem,but aboat confident when i see how she
play with serena that her confident is not 100%.this is just my opinion aboat that situation.I hope that Maria back to her form like have at the end of 2006 season.BEST WISHES TO MARIA.

Emina.
May 6th, 2007, 06:55 PM
i hope Masha comes back very soon, now that Kim is gone :crying2: :bigcry: