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Forehand_Volley
Oct 18th, 2007, 04:56 AM
Serena must adapt to get back on top
Matthew Cronin
FOXSports.com, Updated 5 hours ago

Give credit to Serena Williams for going all out this fall to regain her once-dominant posture, but it's clear after her last three tournaments that she's nowhere near the player who stunned the world by winning her eighth Grand Slam title at the 2007 Australian Open.

Williams has not won a tournament since March, when she came back from match-point down to work over top-ranked Justine Henin in the Miami final. The Belgian got payback, knocking her out in three successive Grand Slam quarters — the French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open.
Realizing after the loss in New York to Henin that she needed to hone her stroke, Williams landed in Europe earlier this month. In Stuttgart, she was pounded by Svetlana Kuznetsova. In Moscow, Serena looked a whole lot more confident when she stomped the Russian in Kuznetsova's home country.

But in the final Serena suffered her first loss to another Russian, the relentless Elena Dementieva, in a shocking 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 defeat. Then on Tuesday in Zurich, Serena retired with a groin injury down 6-0, 3-0 to Patty Schnyder on the day it was announced that she had qualified for the Sony Ericsson WTA Championships in Madrid.

Tour officials say she'll be good to go when the WTA Championships begin in two weeks, but no one really knows what kind of mental or physical shape Serena will be in until she steps on court.

"I'm not sure she has the hunger that she's had, and it's pretty clear she's not as confident as she was," said Katrina Adams, who called the Moscow tournament for the Tennis Channel last week. "Her groundstrokes aren't as clean as they were. Her first serve is on and off. Plus, players don't fear her anymore. Now they fear Justine."

It's been nearly five years since Williams completed her "Serena Slam," winning the 2002 French Open, Wimbledon, U.S. Open and 2003 Australian Open, all final-round victories over her older and once-dominant sister Venus. Since that time, Serena has shown flashes of brilliance, but has not been able to put together another terrifying reign, as she has been saddled by significant injuries, personal tragedy, and an on-and-off commitment to practicing and competing.

But at the outset of this year, things looked different. Serena spent the off-season getting in shape, hitting a ton of balls, and arrived in Australia at the turn of the New Year. She lost a tough three-setter to the competent Austrian, Sybille Bammer, in Hobart, and was so pumped up to improve that she disappeared the rest of the day, running wind sprints at a hidden park.

She didn't look great when she showed up in Melbourne, but the fire was there and she gutted out match after match until her ethereal form came in the final, when she crushed Maria Sharapova. She then spoke of having a shot at winning the calendar year Grand Slam, and who was to doubt her, especially two months later in Miami when Serena looked like she had a good deal more self belief and willpower than Henin.

But all that changed at the French Open, when Henin was able to yank her around on clay. It got worse at Wimbledon, when Serena sprained her thumb and the Belgian buried her. Due to her battered thumb, Williams was unable to compete until the U.S. Open and it showed in her loss to Henin, as she couldn't contend with the Belgian's perfect mix of precision and power.

"She had lost her confidence and form by then and she hasn't gotten it back yet," Adams said. "When she's dominating, she's hitting aces, service winners, return winners — she's the one who is dictating. But now the players feel they can get into matches against her and stay with her off the ground. She's not as fast as she was, either."

Adams believes Serena is capable of getting back to the top level, but wants to see her put in the work. She's encouraged by Serena's decision to play this fall and that Williams is putting herself out there, warts and all. It's not easy for an eight-time Grand Slam champion to go seven months without a title, but at age 26, Serena has entered a new stage of her career. Without the body of a fleet, healthy teenager, she won't be able to waltz her way through matches.

Now she's going to have to do what other legends did in their second stage as elite players — add variety, accept the up and downs and work harder. That's what all-time greats Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert did, and it worked for them. Now Serena is going to have to do much the same, or she's not going to realize her goal of going well into the double digits of Slam titles.

She can ignite the process in Madrid, where Henin will be waiting to cap off her glorious year with another high-level title. But if Serena can score a win over the Belgian there, when she returns to defend her Australian title in 2008 she may have leveled the playing field.

"She really needs a win over Justine, just to show her that she's still there and can play with her," Adams said. "She might not have enough time to get her game together by then, but she's capable if she starts trusting herself again. If you look at where Serena started the year, ranked No. 94, and realize that she's pushed her ranking up to No. 6, a lot of players would consider that a great year. But not Serena — she wants to be No. 1 again. But it's going to take a big commitment to get there."

MrSerenaWilliams
Oct 18th, 2007, 05:14 AM
Katrina is a bit too critical of Serena IMO

friendsita
Oct 18th, 2007, 05:24 AM
ajjj

gaggleguy
Oct 18th, 2007, 05:28 AM
so now "adapt" is the new secret code word for "lose 25 pounds"?

Cronin :lol:

iWill
Oct 18th, 2007, 05:31 AM
Nice article. I too think that Serena has had a good year and if any other player had this year it would be considered an "ok season" but Serena really needs to get back in the gym and work harder shes trying and that is visible but sometimes you have to go that extra mile to truly live up to her own expectations and i don't feel shes doing that right now but she could prove me wrong and i hope she does

switz
Oct 18th, 2007, 05:32 AM
i'm think her comments are pretty good actually. to be honest though i don't think Serena really needs to change her game that much she just needs to get really fit and spend a lot of time on the court practicing. That's not to say she will automatically be unbeatable again - Justine has obviously improved is going to be a big obstacle to overcome. I've got no doubt Serena is still capable of beating her though. Things have changed that much since Miami (even if Justine should have won that perhaps)

Denise4925
Oct 18th, 2007, 06:00 AM
I don't think Serena needs to adapt her game. Serena will ruin her game if she tries to add something different. Her game isn't broken, therefore it doesn't need fixing. It's her execution of her game.

I think she needs to work on losing no less than 15 lbs and working on her footwork, which will improve her groundstrokes. Her confidence is low because her groundstrokes are horrid and that's a result of her not focusing on her footwork. If she lost some weight and get fitter, she'll feel better about moving her feet and feel more comfortable doing it, plus she'll have the added speed. That's my opinion.

darrinbaker00
Oct 18th, 2007, 06:05 AM
I don't think Serena needs to adapt her game. Serena will ruin her game if she tries to add something different. Her game isn't broken, therefore it doesn't need fixing. It's her execution of her game.

I think she needs to work on losing no less than 15 lbs and working on her footwork, which will improve her groundstrokes. Her confidence is low because her groundstrokes are horrid and that's a result of her not focusing on her footwork. If she lost some weight and get fitter, she'll feel better about moving her feet and feel more comfortable doing it, plus she'll have the added speed. That's my opinion.
In other words, she needs to adapt her game. De, you said the exact same thing Katrina Adams said. ;)

Jakeev
Oct 18th, 2007, 06:12 AM
I think all fans and non fans agree that Serena needs to get her fitness back and that is key to her getting back to her dominating ways.

BUT, I am a little surprised she has lost some of her intensity that got her those two titles this year.

I think her getting injured again has kinda taken its toll on her confidence so hopefully, she will work on what she has to work on in the off season.

G1Player2
Oct 18th, 2007, 06:31 AM
I think all fans and non fans agree that Serena needs to get her fitness back and that is key to her getting back to her dominating ways.

BUT, I am a little surprised she has lost some of her intensity that got her those two titles this year.

I think her getting injured again has kinda taken its toll on her confidence so hopefully, she will work on what she has to work on in the off season.

I agree. Her fitness is abosultely imperative to her being sucessful. And, I don't think she has lost any of her intensity because in Moscow she was very intense and fierce if you saw her matches. In the final she was just too exhausted to raise her level to the way Dementieva was playing.

The intensity and mental aspect of her game will always be there but it's the phsycial conditioning as to what she needs to work on.

Denise4925
Oct 18th, 2007, 06:44 AM
In other words, she needs to adapt her game. De, you said the exact same thing Katrina Adams said. ;)

Uhmmm noooo.. Katrina said the following:

Now she's going to have to do what other legends did in their second stage as elite players — add variety, accept the up and downs and work harder. That's what all-time greats Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert did, and it worked for them.

Adaptation implies modification according to changing circumstances. Neither the tour nor the game of tennis has changed. The conditions haven't changed. She doesn't need to modify her game to adapt to anything new. She just needs to fine tune the game she already has in her, e.g. get fitter and get her footwork back to where it was when she was dominating.

And...

Without the body of a fleet, healthy teenager, she won't be able to waltz her way through matches.

Serena was not a teenager when she was dominating in 2002-2003. She's still a young woman at 26, she's just heavier and not as fit for a variety of reasons. But, with fitness comes speed and confidence. She'll get there if she wants it bad enough and I think she does.

venus_rulez
Oct 18th, 2007, 07:03 AM
Sorry, but any time you win a slam, you've had a great year. If Serena needs to adapt, so does everyone else on tour not named Serena Williams, Venus Williams, or Justine Henin.

thomas.chung
Oct 18th, 2007, 07:04 AM
As Justine has put it, "Everything can be better, there is no limit."

Let Serena play her game, and I believe in her will to get back into the top.

Direwolf
Oct 18th, 2007, 07:44 AM
Adapt is not the word.

shes coming from an thumb injury and now a
light injury in her thigh..
she hasnt slept for like 36 hours..
her loss was so expected.

she has a magnificent record in the YEC
right.. i think that its 3 finals in 3 tries.

micah63
Oct 18th, 2007, 08:36 AM
Sorry, but any time you win a slam, you've had a great year. If Serena needs to adapt, so does everyone else on tour not named Serena Williams, Venus Williams, or Justine Henin.

Navratilova didn't have a great year in 1990, Graf didn't have a great year in 1991 or 1992, Seles didn't have a great year in 1993 or 1996, Henin didn't have a great year in 2004. And Serena didn't have a great year in 2005 or 2007.
All-time greats don't have a great years when they win only 1 slam.

micah63
Oct 18th, 2007, 08:37 AM
Adapt is not the word.

shes coming from an thumb injury and now a
light injury in her thigh..
she hasnt slept for like 36 hours..

:eek: Why that???:eek:

frontier
Oct 18th, 2007, 09:39 AM
She needs lots of match play and she will get fit in the process.She needs as fit as when she won Aussie 2005.

Renalicious
Oct 18th, 2007, 09:56 AM
I'm proud of Serena, she has the fire and she is willing to work on her game. However, I think she needs to be more patient and realize that her form can't just appear out of no where. She needs to PREPARE for tournaments.

Forehand_Volley
Oct 18th, 2007, 10:02 AM
Navratilova didn't have a great year in 1990,
Most 34 years olds don't in the sport of tennis. However, Navratilova was still able to win Wimbledon.

lecciones
Oct 18th, 2007, 12:56 PM
Hmm if Serena adapts she might win more than just one grandslam a year..... I think she has everything to win right now she just needs to be fresh a.k.a. don't play for a long time then suddenly enter the scene and win the tournament kind of fresh. LOL

tae04
Oct 18th, 2007, 01:16 PM
Just lose the weight, it will work wonders! When you retire be as big as you want!

Donny
Oct 18th, 2007, 01:27 PM
The only problem I see in her game is her groundstrokes. She's not hitting with as much pace as she should be.

In Miami, she was hitting the ball with so much pace and racket head speed you could hardly see the ball. That's why she was waltzing through her early round matches. I remember in her Sharapova match, Sharapova hit a fluff of a second serve. Serena hit it so hard it flew past Sharapova and landed ten feet long. Cliff Drysdale said something to the effect of "When you see her hit shots like that you go 'wow' but the truth is, that's how she won Australia." For some reason, she stopped doing that.

In her semifinal with Peer, she started going for safer shots- and of course, Peer got them back. The first set ended in a tiebreak. Then, from the third game of the second set, Serena just let the hammer down and won it 6 1. Peer didn't switch up her tactics or drop her level- Serena just hit harder.

And in the Miami final, she again hit safe shots- it wasn't until she saved match points did she decide to go for the lines. The last point of the game was a second serve kicker than skidded off the sideline- those are the shots she SHOULD be hitting, not safe shots.

So forget strategy and tactics, don't even worry too much on losing weight- I'd suggest to her just going for winners on every shot. She might lose badly if she isn't 'on" like she was at Melbourne- but it's still better than getting breadsticks from the likes of Henin and Dementieva.

goldenslam888
Oct 18th, 2007, 01:28 PM
Serena must adapt to get back on top
Matthew Cronin
FOXSports.com, Updated 5 hours ago

Give credit to Serena Williams for going all out this fall to regain her once-dominant posture, but it's clear after her last three tournaments that she's nowhere near the player who stunned the world by winning her eighth Grand Slam title at the 2007 Australian Open.

serena is the same player who won the 2007 AO. she was fortunate the draw fell right for her and the top players were either absent or off their games. and she won some close matches.

serena needs to improve her fitness so she can grind, reduce her errors, and improve her net game.

V-MAC
Oct 18th, 2007, 01:44 PM
Serena needs to try and rediscover her love for the game. She just doesn't seem to be enjoying herself on the court these days. Yes I know turning up in the fall and playing three events in a row shows that she is probably commited but it doesn't mean much if her heart isn't in the game. It is tough coz if she isn't enjoying herself then the motivation to tone up is lacking.

misael
Oct 18th, 2007, 02:32 PM
I don't think Serena needs to adapt her game. Serena will ruin her game if she tries to add something different. Her game isn't broken, therefore it doesn't need fixing. It's her execution of her game.

I think she needs to work on losing no less than 15 lbs and working on her footwork, which will improve her groundstrokes. Her confidence is low because her groundstrokes are horrid and that's a result of her not focusing on her footwork. If she lost some weight and get fitter, she'll feel better about moving her feet and feel more comfortable doing it, plus she'll have the added speed. That's my opinion.
I agree,footwork,footwork,footwork,That's the one thing that can make a big difference,Monica Seles who had some extra wieght on her,but she had excellent footwork,when i see Serena taking three big steps instead of alot of little onesit drives me crazy,she usually overruns the balls.

tennisIlove09
Oct 18th, 2007, 02:36 PM
Good article. I kinda agree. I remember Serena being capable of getting to EVERYTHING back in the day. I dont see that same speed, and her defensive shots are more defensive now. She just be to hit cold winners from crazy positions ... she still does, just not as often.

I think Serena is capable of getting back, she just has to work hard, and try to remain healthy ... or play a regular schedule. Like I dont think she should try to play 3 weeks in a row as she just tried. It's too much tennis for her.

hotandspicey
Oct 18th, 2007, 02:43 PM
It's not that easy to just adapt one's game.:rolleyes: Serena needs the 3 F's. Fitness. Focus and Frequency of play. That was her in 2002-2003.

OrdinaryfoolisNJ
Oct 18th, 2007, 03:00 PM
In my opinion, the article is dead spot on. And when it talks about adapting, I believe that Serena does need to adapt her game because she had relied on being a big hitter and big returner. Now, the other girls are just as big hitters. I could not believe how recently Henin matched Serena shot for shot, and sometimes out powered her.

I think that Serena needs to get in shape (as most do), needs to get faster (especially footwork), needs to get her serve more consistent, but what I noticed recently is that she wasn't coming in to finish off points. She was hitting everything from the back court. I think she needs to look for the short ball more, or create the short ball from her opponents, and then look for more easy putaways and shorter points. Right now, she's got too many unforced errors in her slugouts from the back court.

All Evert did to "adapt," was to get into better shape (with increased foot speed to her already great foot work), take more advantage of short balls and come to net to finish points quicker, and improve her serve as she got older. So adapting doesn't necessarily mean changing, it just means taking the great game that the player has, and pushing it up a notch to compete with a body that is not what it used to be at 18, 19, and 20. Not creating from zero.

OrdinaryfoolisNJ
Oct 18th, 2007, 03:03 PM
Serena needs the 3 F's. Fitness. Focus and Frequency of play. That was her in 2002-2003.

And this is true too. But it can't happen if she's always injured. I still say that she needs to find a way to shorten points. For me, that remains for Serena hitting that consistent first serve, and creating the short ball and ending the points quickly. Not the slug fest from the back court. That's for the kiddies with the young legs.

RAA
Oct 18th, 2007, 03:37 PM
if she could just keep the damn ball in the court.. that would help...

RenaSlam.
Oct 18th, 2007, 03:55 PM
Katrina is a moron.

pigam
Oct 18th, 2007, 04:09 PM
all people who say serena needs to get fitter.
She looked a lot lighter during USopen/Moskow than during the AUSOpen. Am I the only one seeing this?
Just loosing weight doesn't make you faster per se. It takes daily sprint routines etc. ...
Serena still has all the amazing strokes (especially the serve) the thing that surprises me though s her attitude. In quite some of her last matches she looked scared and annoyed at herself. Not being "zoned in" during a match.

I have no doubt, however, that she can of course beat Justine and every other player on tour. However, she will have to improve her "attitude" (sorry if this a wrong word in english) and work more on endurance + short explosive training.

Variety is not the problem, I think. I think studying opponents before playing them is, though.

misael
Oct 18th, 2007, 04:19 PM
Katrina is a moron.

Katrina is one of the most insightful,intelligentand fair commentators we have.

misael
Oct 18th, 2007, 04:21 PM
In my opinion, the article is dead spot on. And when it talks about adapting, I believe that Serena does need to adapt her game because she had relied on being a big hitter and big returner. Now, the other girls are just as big hitters. I could not believe how recently Henin matched Serena shot for shot, and sometimes out powered her.

I think that Serena needs to get in shape (as most do), needs to get faster (especially footwork), needs to get her serve more consistent, but what I noticed recently is that she wasn't coming in to finish off points. She was hitting everything from the back court. I think she needs to look for the short ball more, or create the short ball from her opponents, and then look for more easy putaways and shorter points. Right now, she's got too many unforced errors in her slugouts from the back court.

All Evert did to "adapt," was to get into better shape (with increased foot speed to her already great foot work), take more advantage of short balls and come to net to finish points quicker, and improve her serve as she got older. So adapting doesn't necessarily mean changing, it just means taking the great game that the player has, and pushing it up a notch to compete with a body that is not what it used to be at 18, 19, and 20. Not creating from zero.
It's funny but Chris Evert was in much better shape in 1986 then she was in 1976,She was so tight and fit.Still is.

karimcartoon
Oct 18th, 2007, 04:23 PM
uh forehand volley, Justine's dominance is like 2003 and 2006-2007.
in both 2004-2005 she was barely in the top 10 and was injured.
just a few tips.

darice
Oct 18th, 2007, 04:25 PM
Serena was not a teenager when she was dominating in 2002-2003. She's still a young woman at 26, she's just heavier and not as fit for a variety of reasons. But, with fitness comes speed and confidence. She'll get there if she wants it bad enough and I think she does.

yeah that's totally how i see it. :yeah: rena so knows what's she gotta do. it's up to her. i totally believe she'll get it back. these losses in europe she'll learn from i'm sure. :)

IceHock
Oct 18th, 2007, 04:34 PM
Does anyone else find that Serena was running faster when she was a little bit heavier at the AO and now she's lost some weight from when she was at the AO and is now running slower?

karimcartoon
Oct 18th, 2007, 04:44 PM
Does anyone else find that Serena was running faster when she was a little bit heavier at the AO and now she's lost some weight from when she was at the AO and is now running slower?

i think she was in the zone and was ready to win this. She looked a little flat the last two weeks. Hope she gets well soon.

Donny
Oct 18th, 2007, 04:49 PM
Does anyone else find that Serena was running faster when she was a little bit heavier at the AO and now she's lost some weight from when she was at the AO and is now running slower?

Her peak this year, imo, was the Miami tournament, from her Sharapova match to her semis with Peer. She was on fire during those two weeks.

Tennisaddict
Oct 18th, 2007, 07:04 PM
I don't think Serena must adapt anything in her game. She just has to get back to her form of Miami 2007 and become fitter. Injuries and a lack of confidence in her game have made her play very defensively especially after Wimbledon. However I think it's just a matter of time before Serena starts playing like she can and I believe that's still better than anyone else on tour.

Denise4925
Oct 23rd, 2007, 06:09 PM
In my opinion, the article is dead spot on. And when it talks about adapting, I believe that Serena does need to adapt her game because she had relied on being a big hitter and big returner. Now, the other girls are just as big hitters. I could not believe how recently Henin matched Serena shot for shot, and sometimes out powered her.

Being a big hitter and a big returner is Serena's game. It's what won her the two titles got her to all the quarters and the final this year. Henin didn't outpower Serena, her groundstrokes were just better because Serena made too many errors due to bad footwork. Serena is not a finese player and to change her game at this late stage of her career would be disasterous. Many players, including Davenport, Capriati, Venus and Dementiava were all big hitters during Serena's domination, who matched Serena's power. It's not now just happening. Serena was fit, had superior speed and her footwork was spot on for her groundstrokes to paint the lines and dictate play.

I think that Serena needs to get in shape (as most do), needs to get faster (especially footwork), needs to get her serve more consistent, but what I noticed recently is that she wasn't coming in to finish off points. She was hitting everything from the back court. I think she needs to look for the short ball more, or create the short ball from her opponents, and then look for more easy putaways and shorter points. Right now, she's got too many unforced errors in her slugouts from the back court.

Her serve is the only thing about her game that is consistent. It's the one shot she can rely on that wins most of her matches these days. She isn't coming in to finish off points because her groundstrokes are so erratic. She can't create a short ball if she can't even keep the ball in court. Because she's so afraid of hitting the ball out or into the net, she's not hitting freely, i.e she doesn't have the confidence to keep her opponent pinned behind the baseline for the easy putaways and shorter points. It's easy to say what the problem is, but what is the solution? Certainly not to change what has worked for her to get her 8 GS titles. She's got too many UFE's because she's not fit and her footwork is bad. Also, she doesn't have enough match play to just play without overthinking it. She's making mistakes in footwork, which results in overrunning the ball, and hitting it into the net or overhitting it.

All Evert did to "adapt," was to get into better shape (with increased foot speed to her already great foot work), take more advantage of short balls and come to net to finish points quicker, and improve her serve as she got older. So adapting doesn't necessarily mean changing, it just means taking the great game that the player has, and pushing it up a notch to compete with a body that is not what it used to be at 18, 19, and 20. Not creating from zero.

Adapting always means change. So, if that's not what Katrina meant, she should have used another word. But, if you're saying that it doesn't always means change, then you have contradicted yourself from your first paragraph where you imply that Serena was a big hitter and big returner, and because the other players can match her power, she should change. Serena still has the best and most consistent serve on the tour, so no improvement is needed in that area. Regardless of what a lot of people think, it won't take much for Serena to get fitter and get back to where she was. She's only 26 years old. It's not like she's 30. It was only 4 years ago that she was dominating. That's not that big of a gap in age difference.

shap_half
Oct 23rd, 2007, 06:22 PM
What she needs to do boils down to one thing: commit to playing tennis. If Serena were committed, she would lose the weight, she would work on her footwork, she would play the tournaments. The reason many players get injured is because their bodies are not in the best condition to handle competitive tennis. If she was in better shape, there would be less of a chance of getting injured. Now, of course there are many other reasons. But for those random aches and soreness and whatevers, it comes down to not being fit.

Does Serena think her current physical state is good enough to win? Who knows? it seems like it. She's playing and every time she loses she's upset. So she must have been expecting to win.

Denise4925
Oct 23rd, 2007, 06:23 PM
I don't think Serena must adapt anything in her game. She just has to get back to her form of Miami 2007 and become fitter. Injuries and a lack of confidence in her game have made her play very defensively especially after Wimbledon. However I think it's just a matter of time before Serena starts playing like she can and I believe that's still better than anyone else on tour.

I totally agree with this. I think Serena was prime and ready to win Wimbledon, beating Justine on the way if not for that awful muscle cramp and thumb injury. Her confidence was really high and her groundstrokes and speed were reflective of that confidence. Not playing for a long time after an injury can cause you to lose confidence and be annoyed with yourself on court because you know you are better than you are playing.

ETA: I think Serena it totally committed to playing tennis and getting back to number one. If she were not, she would not be playing at all. Also, it takes more than just playing tennis to lose weight and get fitter. It takes good nutrition and a good diet to lose those extra pounds for a woman. Any woman knows that just exercise alone will not take the pounds off, because the more you exercise, the more your appetite increases, especially after the age of 25. Also, Serena needs to recognize that it's her footwork that's giving her problems. I'm not sure that her mom is stressing that or if she is, that Serena is listening.

And...she's playing the tournaments. If that wasn't her in Europe these past three weeks, I don't know who it was. The only reason she missed the summer hardcourt was because of her thumb, which had absolutely nothing to do with fitness.

Nicolás89
Oct 23rd, 2007, 06:34 PM
she only needs to be fitter, if she somehow can get as fit as she used to her footwork will come along and for defect her groundstrokes will get better.

Jakeev
Oct 23rd, 2007, 06:44 PM
The only problem I see in her game is her groundstrokes. She's not hitting with as much pace as she should be.

In Miami, she was hitting the ball with so much pace and racket head speed you could hardly see the ball. That's why she was waltzing through her early round matches. I remember in her Sharapova match, Sharapova hit a fluff of a second serve. Serena hit it so hard it flew past Sharapova and landed ten feet long. Cliff Drysdale said something to the effect of "When you see her hit shots like that you go 'wow' but the truth is, that's how she won Australia." For some reason, she stopped doing that.

In her semifinal with Peer, she started going for safer shots- and of course, Peer got them back. The first set ended in a tiebreak. Then, from the third game of the second set, Serena just let the hammer down and won it 6 1. Peer didn't switch up her tactics or drop her level- Serena just hit harder.

And in the Miami final, she again hit safe shots- it wasn't until she saved match points did she decide to go for the lines. The last point of the game was a second serve kicker than skidded off the sideline- those are the shots she SHOULD be hitting, not safe shots.

So forget strategy and tactics, don't even worry too much on losing weight- I'd suggest to her just going for winners on every shot. She might lose badly if she isn't 'on" like she was at Melbourne- but it's still better than getting breadsticks from the likes of Henin and Dementieva.

EXACTLY!! that is why I felt Serena has lost some of her intensity is the fact she stopped hitting out and going for her groundstrokes in her last several tournaments in big matches.

That's exactly what I thought didn't happen at the U.S. Open which allowed Justine to be aggressive and win that match. And she might have tired in the Moscow final but losing the last two sets in breadsticks?

Somehow though I think Serena is going to be a different player in 08, depending on how her body holds up.

starin
Oct 23rd, 2007, 07:13 PM
so now "adapt" is the new secret code word for "lose 25 pounds"?

Cronin :lol:

I don't think Serena needs to adapt her game. Serena will ruin her game if she tries to add something different. Her game isn't broken, therefore it doesn't need fixing. It's her execution of her game.

I think she needs to work on losing no less than 15 lbs and working on her footwork, which will improve her groundstrokes. Her confidence is low because her groundstrokes are horrid and that's a result of her not focusing on her footwork. If she lost some weight and get fitter, she'll feel better about moving her feet and feel more comfortable doing it, plus she'll have the added speed. That's my opinion.

lol...pretty much. She needs to get fitter....i'm not sure she needs to lose 25lbs though.
She's not executing her game well. neither sister is. But that takes patience and lots of practice and hard work on the court. Look at Dementieva. It took her all year to find her game, but she kept chugging away at it and eventually it looks like she finding some form again. Same with Hantuchova, over the last few years. Both sisters added a few changes to their game and they need to continue that but they shouldn't stray too far from their original strengths which is what I think Serena has been doing. And to a much lesser extent ,Venus as well.

Watching
Oct 23rd, 2007, 07:15 PM
What she needs to do boils down to one thing: commit to playing tennis. If Serena were committed, she would lose the weight, she would work on her footwork, she would play the tournaments. The reason many players get injured is because their bodies are not in the best condition to handle competitive tennis. If she was in better shape, there would be less of a chance of getting injured. Now, of course there are many other reasons. But for those random aches and soreness and whatevers, it comes down to not being fit.

Does Serena think her current physical state is good enough to win? Who knows? it seems like it. She's playing and every time she loses she's upset. So she must have been expecting to win.

Stop pulling the extra weight card already. Serena is in average shape, it can get alot better but there you go. You probably haven't watched or seen her for a long time to know this and are making stuff up as usual.

And this is committed. For Serena to play all 4 slams in a year and 3 consecutive weeks in Europe at fall is rare...

P.s. Your face is a mess :help:

Denise4925
Oct 23rd, 2007, 07:17 PM
Stop pulling the extra weight card already. Serena is in average shape, it can get alot better but there you go. You probably haven't watched or seen her for a long time to know this and are making stuff up as usual.

And this is committed. For Serena to play all 4 slams in a year and 3 consecutive weeks in Europe at fall is rare...

P.s. Your face is a mess :help:

:lol:

doni1212
Oct 23rd, 2007, 07:55 PM
Stop pulling the extra weight card already. Serena is in average shape, it can get alot better but there you go. You probably haven't watched or seen her for a long time to know this and are making stuff up as usual.

And this is committed. For Serena to play all 4 slams in a year and 3 consecutive weeks in Europe at fall is rare...

P.s. Your face is a mess :help:

I didn't even see who you were responding to, but I knew automatically who you were talking to once you made that comment, :lol:

shap_half
Oct 24th, 2007, 01:07 AM
Stop pulling the extra weight card already. Serena is in average shape, it can get alot better but there you go. You probably haven't watched or seen her for a long time to know this and are making stuff up as usual.

And this is committed. For Serena to play all 4 slams in a year and 3 consecutive weeks in Europe at fall is rare...

P.s. Your face is a mess :help:

Commitment doesn't end at playing a tournament. I can show up at work everyday and get there unprepared most of the time and only do my work when I'm antagonized, am I committed? Same with Serena. She can show up at every tournament she's in, but until she shows up at every single one of them physically and mentally prepared, she's not getting as far she'd like to.

Please, Serena needs to lose weight. Most of the posters in this thread have said the same thing. Go ahead and pick on me all you want. Serena's body needs to be toned down. She's always going to be the size she is, but it seems like her core isn't as strong as it can be. Losing a 6-1 second set after a 7-6 first is a sign that she got worn down.

And you and members of your mentally retarded clan can continue you to comment on the avatar, it's not going to change anything except showcase your stupidity. If you have such a problem with it you are free to put me on ignore. The photo will stay up until I find something else I'd prefer.

AcesHigh
Oct 24th, 2007, 01:30 AM
Commitment doesn't end at playing a tournament. I can show up at work everyday and get there unprepared most of the time and only do my work when I'm antagonized, am I committed? Same with Serena. She can show up at every tournament she's in, but until she shows up at every single one of them physically and mentally prepared, she's not getting as far she'd like to.

Please, Serena needs to lose weight. Most of the posters in this thread have said the same thing. Go ahead and pick on me all you want. Serena's body needs to be toned down. She's always going to be the size she is, but it seems like her core isn't as strong as it can be. Losing a 6-1 second set after a 7-6 first is a sign that she got worn down.

And you and members of your mentally retarded clan can continue you to comment on the avatar, it's not going to change anything except showcase your stupidity. If you have such a problem with it you are free to put me on ignore. The photo will stay up until I find something else I'd prefer.

I agree. However, the injury during the summer probably hurt her training and these months are never really Serena's best.
If not for the injuries at Wimbledon, she possibly could have won. She wasn't playing too poorly. If that had happened, we'd be talking about her instead of Justine right now. Anyway....
Let's wait until the Australian Open to see how SErena does and how fit she is.

Donny
Oct 24th, 2007, 01:57 AM
I agree. However, the injury during the summer probably hurt her training and these months are never really Serena's best.
If not for the injuries at Wimbledon, she possibly could have won. She wasn't playing too poorly. If that had happened, we'd be talking about her instead of Justine right now. Anyway....
Let's wait until the Australian Open to see how SErena does and how fit she is.

I agree that Serena could have won had she been uninjured..but she was playing badly per her standards. Had Justine not mini choked closing it out, it'd have been a lopsided third set.

AcesHigh
Oct 24th, 2007, 02:12 AM
I agree that Serena could have won had she been uninjured..but she was playing badly per her standards. Had Justine not mini choked closing it out, it'd have been a lopsided third set.

Well, in that match they both weren't playing well, but Serena had no backhand, it was actually a horrible match to watch for any Williams fan because she was trying so hard but that backhand slice :help:

Forehand_Volley
Oct 24th, 2007, 03:46 AM
I remember in 2001 when a couple of tennis commentators were talking about how Serena needed to lose a little weight during her losing battles with Capriati. I thought, "are they nuts, she looks great"

The weight issue has followed Serena throughout her career but after all the fuss they made the past two years, I began tuning it out because people got really mean about it and most of it is :bs: .

I believe that when Serena moves well, she dominates the tennis court.

I think her rehabed knee has been a continued source of instability in her ground game and has adversely affected her mentally during matches. It's almost painful watching an athlete of Serena's caliber holding back at times. I hope Serena will once again get the kick back in her step. Watching tennis on the weekends was much more enjoyable when her and Venus were winning more frequently.

Denise4925
Oct 24th, 2007, 06:15 PM
Commitment doesn't end at playing a tournament. I can show up at work everyday and get there unprepared most of the time and only do my work when I'm antagonized, am I committed? Same with Serena. She can show up at every tournament she's in, but until she shows up at every single one of them physically and mentally prepared, she's not getting as far she'd like to.



:spit:

LOL at you comparing your job situation to that of Serena's. Nooooo, it's not the same with Serena. Unless you are independently wealthy, the difference between you and Serena is that you HAVE to work, she doesn't. She's going to tournaments, obviously because she loves her job and wants to get back to number one.

Good lord, it takes time. Hell, it took three years for Justine to get to where she is. If something happens where she needs to have major knee surgery and she loses someone very close to her in her family, let's see how she bounces back and how long it takes. Let's see if her committment is then questioned when she doesn't live up to everyone's expectations. :rolleyes:

shap_half
Oct 24th, 2007, 09:11 PM
:spit:

LOL at you comparing your job situation to that of Serena's. Nooooo, it's not the same with Serena. Unless you are independently wealthy, the difference between you and Serena is that you HAVE to work, she doesn't. She's going to tournaments, obviously because she loves her job and wants to get back to number one.

Good lord, it takes time. Hell, it took three years for Justine to get to where she is. If something happens where she needs to have major knee surgery and she loses someone very close to her in her family, let's see how she bounces back and how long it takes. Let's see if her committment is then questioned when she doesn't live up to everyone's expectations. :rolleyes:

yeah because a divorce, losing your mom as a young girl, being estranged to your family, having an energy sapping virus that's confined you to bed for months at a time, those are little gifts from heaven.

I don't have to do anything I don't want to do. I LOVE my job and that's why I do it, but my commitment to my job will always be questioned if I come in not doing my work, or if I'm unprepared or if I only show up when I want to or if I decide to do other work on the side that gets in the way of my primary job.

The Dawntreader
Oct 24th, 2007, 09:20 PM
Serena's game has become more subdued in recent months. Where's the huge ballstriking Serena gone that we saw in Australia and miami? All we're seeing now is conservative groundstrokes from Serena, too much margin for error with the topspin. I cant remember seeing Serena with so few outright winners in her matches recently. I cant recall that many winners when she faced Kuznetsova or Dementieva in Stuutgart and Moscow. I just feel she's playing her game with too much safety. The Serena of old was a risk-taker that produced the goods. Safety Serena, is someway short......

Denise4925
Oct 24th, 2007, 09:26 PM
yeah because a divorce, losing your mom as a young girl, being estranged to your family, having an energy sapping virus that's confined you to bed for months at a time, those are little gifts from heaven.

Are all those things happening right now? You know, it would be different if all of things happened in the middle of the pinnacle of Justine's success, but they didn't.

Divorce is nothing...been through it twice myself. I'm sure that Justine losing her mother at such a young age has done nothing to derail her career. If anything it has propelled her to be the best she can be as a woman. So, I think there's a big difference between losing your mother as a child and your sister being shot to death in the middle of biggest year of your life. It's not even comparable. Also, you can't compare having an energy sapping virus that obviously she recouperated from and having major surgery on your knee, which can have a lasting effect on your career as an athlete.

I don't have to do anything I don't want to do. I LOVE my job and that's why I do it, but my commitment to my job will always be questioned if I come in not doing my work, or if I'm unprepared or if I only show up when I want to or if I decide to do other work on the side that gets in the way of my primary job.

Again...LOL at you comparing your job situation to Serena's :haha:

shap_half
Oct 24th, 2007, 09:50 PM
Are all those things happening right now? You know, it would be different if all of things happened in the middle of the pinnacle of Justine's success, but they didn't.

Divorce is nothing...been through it twice myself. I'm sure that Justine losing her mother at such a young age has done nothing to derail her career. If anything it has propelled her to be the best she can be as a woman. So, I think there's a big difference between losing your mother as a child and your sister being shot to death in the middle of biggest year of your life. It's not even comparable. Also, you can't compare having an energy sapping virus that obviously she recouperated from and having major surgery on your knee, which can have a lasting effect on your career as an athlete.



Again...LOL at you comparing your job situation to Serena's :haha:

1. Justine's divorce was a huge blow. She said many times in the past that having that personal stability allowed her to focus on tennis and gave her confidence. If what gave you confidence is taken away, what do you have left but self-doubt?

2. I'm not going to compare deaths with you. If you're ok with making public statements that your favorite's loss is worse than another person's that's you. "It's not even comparable." I pity you.

3. That energy sapping virus came at the biggest stage of Justine's career. Up until then, she had dominated tennis losing just one match in 5 tournaments. To be hit with something that forced her to be in bed days at a time that was a big deal. She couldn't get up she was so exhausted. And it still does affect her. She can't play as much as she'd like, she has to go to the doctors to have her body checked for any signs of that same virus...etc. etc.

The point of the Justine/Serena comparison is that people have to deal with blows all the time.

Re: Jobs...
The correlation is relevant. If you are doing something that takes up a large chunk of your livelihood and people think you're doing it kinda half-assed, your commitment to that something will always be questioned.

Denise4925
Oct 24th, 2007, 10:05 PM
1. Justine's divorce was a huge blow. She said many times in the past that having that personal stability allowed her to focus on tennis and gave her confidence. If what gave you confidence is taken away, what do you have left but self-doubt?

Divorce is not death. Obviously she got over it. It's better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all. :shrug:

2. I'm not going to compare deaths with you. If you're ok with making public statements that your favorite's loss is worse than another person's that's you. "It's not even comparable." I pity you.

I didn't compare deaths, nor did I say one was worse than the other. Please don't try to put words in my mouth. I've noticed that you've done this with others on the same topic.

What I said was there's a difference between the death of Justine's mother happening at such a young age, giving her inspiration and the WS losing their sister at such a critical junction in their career, i.e. the grief derailed them for quite a while. Hence, Justine isn't in the grips of a grief over the death of her mother. The WS went through more recent grief in the middle of their reign at the top. Do you get it now?

3. That energy sapping virus came at the biggest stage of Justine's career. Up until then, she had dominated tennis losing just one match in 5 tournaments. To be hit with something that forced her to be in bed days at a time that was a big deal. She couldn't get up she was so exhausted. And it still does affect her. She can't play as much as she'd like, she has to go to the doctors to have her body checked for any signs of that same virus...etc. etc.

This is the biggest stage of Justine's career. :lol: She was not dominating tennis when that illness took a hold of her. She still recouperated, regardless of whether she still checks for it or not. :rolleyes:

The point of the Justine/Serena comparison is that people have to deal with blows all the time.

Yes, but some come at crucial times and can't just be shoved under the rug is if it didn't happen to them.

Re: Jobs...
The correlation is relevant. If you are doing something that takes up a large chunk of your livelihood and people think you're doing it kinda half-assed, your commitment to that something will always be questioned.

Hopefully for the last time...LOL at you comparing your job situation to Serena's :haha:

Donny
Oct 24th, 2007, 10:13 PM
1. Justine's divorce was a huge blow. She said many times in the past that having that personal stability allowed her to focus on tennis and gave her confidence. If what gave you confidence is taken away, what do you have left but self-doubt?

2. I'm not going to compare deaths with you. If you're ok with making public statements that your favorite's loss is worse than another person's that's you. "It's not even comparable." I pity you.

3. That energy sapping virus came at the biggest stage of Justine's career. Up until then, she had dominated tennis losing just one match in 5 tournaments. To be hit with something that forced her to be in bed days at a time that was a big deal. She couldn't get up she was so exhausted. And it still does affect her. She can't play as much as she'd like, she has to go to the doctors to have her body checked for any signs of that same virus...etc. etc.

The point of the Justine/Serena comparison is that people have to deal with blows all the time.

Re: Jobs...
The correlation is relevant. If you are doing something that takes up a large chunk of your livelihood and people think you're doing it kinda half-assed, your commitment to that something will always be questioned.

Half assed? Say it with me now:

Fifth. In the world.

G1Player2
Oct 24th, 2007, 10:51 PM
:spit:

LOL at you comparing your job situation to that of Serena's. Nooooo, it's not the same with Serena. Unless you are independently wealthy, the difference between you and Serena is that you HAVE to work, she doesn't. She's going to tournaments, obviously because she loves her job and wants to get back to number one.

Good lord, it takes time. Hell, it took three years for Justine to get to where she is. If something happens where she needs to have major knee surgery and she loses someone very close to her in her family, let's see how she bounces back and how long it takes. Let's see if her committment is then questioned when she doesn't live up to everyone's expectations. :rolleyes:


:worship: THE END

No Name Face
Oct 24th, 2007, 11:11 PM
Losing a 6-1 second set after a 7-6 first is a sign that she got worn down.

That's not really the case against Dementieva. Elena usually plays her best tennis when she's down. I think Serena was worn out by the third set, but the second set was all Elena. I thought Serena would raise her game in the third and snatch the win, but that's when she was tired IMO.

For the record, Denise is on a roll in this thread. :worship:

Donny
Oct 24th, 2007, 11:15 PM
That's not really the case against Dementieva. Elena usually plays her best tennis when she's down. I think Serena was worn out by the third set, but the second set was all Elena. I thought Serena would raise her game in the third and snatch the win, but that's when she was tired IMO.

For the record, Denise is on a roll in this thread. :worship:

He's referring to the USO.

No Name Face
Oct 24th, 2007, 11:18 PM
He's referring to the USO.

oops. :o
But still, it applies :ras:

homogenius
Oct 24th, 2007, 11:23 PM
It's too late adapt her game but she must adapt her attitude and mentality if she wants to get back to the top.

starin
Oct 25th, 2007, 01:43 AM
Serena's game has become more subdued in recent months. Where's the huge ballstriking Serena gone that we saw in Australia and miami? All we're seeing now is conservative groundstrokes from Serena, too much margin for error with the topspin. I cant remember seeing Serena with so few outright winners in her matches recently. I cant recall that many winners when she faced Kuznetsova or Dementieva in Stuutgart and Moscow. I just feel she's playing her game with too much safety. The Serena of old was a risk-taker that produced the goods. Safety Serena, is someway short......

I agree. I've been saying the same thing since the FO. But I think she just lacks confidence in her game. It shows in her demeanor and her struggles against players that she normally would crush. And most of her opponents who lose to her always say that off the ground they feel that they are her equal but the serve was the main difference. Serena used to be crushing off the ground and most players would never say that, let alone players outside the top 10 or top 20.