PDA

View Full Version : Do You Agree re: Masha?


petra martinnen
Mar 12th, 2008, 06:12 PM
If healthy, Maria has a serious shot at a Golden Slam and complete domination. Sha-RAP-uh-vuh is going to Spain to improve on last year's semi at Roland Garros! Whatever you think of her, her time has come.

The way she is destroying the field reminds me of Williams gals 5 years ago. Who can stop her. Justine looks frayed and with serve problems; Amelie looks suddenly old; Jelena looks tired; Nicole seems incapable; Ana is just not as good; other "Russians" can't handle her.

We will know by Miami if she is the real deal at last.

Destiny
Mar 12th, 2008, 06:18 PM
Yes we will know by Miami!!! I think she's great and all that but not good enough to capture the golden slam. Needs to improve more than she is now. Justine was just not up to her game in Aussie and why aren't you considering the WS???

goldenlox
Mar 12th, 2008, 06:20 PM
Her toughest test is the next one, Paris.
But Maria winning one or 2 more majors this year seems possible. She should be one of the favorites in Beijing.

Slutati
Mar 12th, 2008, 06:20 PM
I disagree.No French Open for her yet.Someday maybe:shrug:

serenus_2k8
Mar 12th, 2008, 06:28 PM
No I disagree :wavey:

kwilliams
Mar 12th, 2008, 06:30 PM
I can't see her ever winning the FO under normal circumstances. Maybe one year with a somewhat depleted field she could do it, she has the drive but I don't think she is a clay-court Slam Champ.

lilimi
Mar 12th, 2008, 06:33 PM
The French Open is the only Grand Slam Maria didn't win, I'm sure she'll do all she can to add this trophy to her collection.
If she stays healthy, I mean if her shoulder stay healthy enough to allow her to serve bombs, she could win the French Open with a good draw. It's more easier for her to win the FO, than for Federer...

Cp6uja
Mar 12th, 2008, 06:35 PM
Henin, Ivanovic, Serena, Kuznetsova, Jankovic.
To win RG Maria must beat in SF and Final 2 of this 5 players which is all better than she at clay for sure (especialy Justine which not lose set at RG since 2005 QF).

morningglory
Mar 12th, 2008, 06:41 PM
THe problem, see... is that RG is played on a slimy thing they call.... (yuck)clay... :o
I'm pretty sure she can beat anyone with this form on all the other surfaces

Lunaris
Mar 12th, 2008, 06:43 PM
She lacks skills to win French Open. She moves like a cow on clay and wins matches rather by outhitting than by outsmarting her opponents in long baseline rallies.

Russianboy
Mar 12th, 2008, 06:44 PM
At FO she wouldnt lose like less than 4 games against players like henin, but maybe 7 or 8 :p

lilimi
Mar 12th, 2008, 06:47 PM
Henin, Ivanovic, Serena, Kuznetsova, Jankovic.
To win RG Maria must beat in SF and Final 2 of this 5 players which is all better than she at clay for sure (especialy Justine which not lose set at RG since 2005 QF).


mentally, Sharpie is stronger than Ana, Kuznetsova and Jankovic.
If Maria has a good graw, i mean whithout any clay specialist - and considering the evolution of women tennis, there's only one real clay player on tour, Justine -maria can go to the final...and if she's in final...there's 99% she'll hold the trophy at the end...
seriously, I don't see who will win the French Open..Justine seems to want to sharapovize her game, and if she continues like this, she won't keep her trophy.
Ana could do it... clay suits her game greatly, she has time do develop her game, and she has improved her movement a lot since last year.but she has to defend her final...she's so nervous that i see her losing in first round:sad:
Kuznetsova and Jankovic lack some mental toughness compare to other top players...
Serena could do something, if she is healthy.
"Surprises" would be Chakvetadze, Lena D, or Safina. Dinara is playing good but still has some brain problems... i hope she'll win matchs on clay to gain confidence...

Dave.
Mar 12th, 2008, 06:48 PM
No way. She has the game to go on some decent win streaks but not to dominate for a whole year. The French Open is not even an option for her this year, and while she is a contender for W and US, there are still many others capable of winning those titles. I think her winning streak will end in Miami, if not then the claycourt season. She may have another run on the hardcourts but not domination.

lilimi
Mar 12th, 2008, 06:49 PM
She lacks skills to win French Open. She moves like a cow on clay and wins matches rather by outhitting than by outsmarting her opponents in long baseline rallies.

but if she decides to end her points at the net, she could go far...

Lucas_Arg
Mar 12th, 2008, 06:50 PM
It's hard with Henin, but I would love to see her winning, not this year though.
Honestly I don't see her losing against Kuzzy or Ana, but everything can happen.

Maria Croft
Mar 12th, 2008, 06:53 PM
I don't think it's possible for anyone these days to win all four slams in the same year.

Lunaris
Mar 12th, 2008, 06:53 PM
but if she decides to end her points at the net, she could go far...
Sharapova at the net? Don't make me laugh. ;)

Russianboy
Mar 12th, 2008, 06:56 PM
Sharapova at the net? Don't make me laugh. ;)

She improved her volleys A LOT if u compare this to the years before.
and BTW u dont have to play volleys at net. u can play drive volleys too.

BarsonlyOne
Mar 12th, 2008, 06:57 PM
i think Maria can do anything if she wants. Just like any other top player can if they choose to. In terms of winning the French, there are a lot of people ahead of her only due the fact that her mobility is her greatest weakness. But her movement has improved greatly as of late. so we may never know. i mean who knew that she would have the form that she had at the australian open? but of course it was a hard court, though seemingly invincible that tournament. But she is a favorite at wimbledon and the us open.

Rollo
Mar 12th, 2008, 07:00 PM
It's a very long shot at best. Masha-good as she is-still has a long way to go just to be near the kind of slam domination that Serena and Justine have had in stretches.

Lets see how she does in the pre-French warmups first.

Thanx4nothin
Mar 12th, 2008, 07:01 PM
If healthy, Maria has a serious shot at a Golden Slam and complete domination. Sha-RAP-uh-vuh is going to Spain to improve on last year's semi at Roland Garros! Whatever you think of her, her time has come.

The way she is destroying the field reminds me of Williams gals 5 years ago. Who can stop her. Justine looks frayed and with serve problems; Amelie looks suddenly old; Jelena looks tired; Nicole seems incapable; Ana is just not as good; other "Russians" can't handle her.

We will know by Miami if she is the real deal at last.

No i dont agree at all, and you will see why after the french.

Lunaris
Mar 12th, 2008, 07:14 PM
She improved her volleys A LOT if u compare this to the years before.
and BTW u dont have to play volleys at net. u can play drive volleys too.
Her volleys in previous years were almost non-existent so improving them doesn't mean much.
I think she lacks skills to outplay players like Henin or Jankovic in baseline rallies, on clay. Playing on clay is different from playing on hardcourts and requires different style of play and tactical approach. She is excellent on hard and grass and I respect her for her accomplishments, but on clay there are much better players.

frontier
Mar 12th, 2008, 07:21 PM
I think its too early in the year to predict whats going to happen throughout the year.I think Maria will find it difficult to win because there are a lot of young players who play better on clay like Nikki,Ana,Sveta,Safarova.She didnt play anyone significant until semis last year.Her movement is not good on clay and most of the europeans grew up playing on clay and anyone of them will beat her like that girl Radwanska.Wimbledon wont be easy for her if she has to meet Venus of Serena.Her best chances are at the USA Open.
Anyway its too early she might not have a good second half of the year,there are a lot of matches to be played.....time will tell:p

CR3WLFC
Mar 12th, 2008, 07:24 PM
i dont get why is ana beter then maria on clay ????? just because she made the final last year????
She was playing like she always was against kuznetsova and sharapova last year on clay so... she wasn't actually getting balls with some slices BOOM BOOM BOOOM just like maria.....

and if maria stays fit she is the better player on clay then ana:angel:

CR3WLFC
Mar 12th, 2008, 07:25 PM
:wavey:SAFAROVA :lol:

DA FOREHAND
Mar 12th, 2008, 07:25 PM
isn't this her longest win streak ever? how does that translate to winning the golden slam?

NO SHE WON'T WIN THE GOLDEN SLAM EVEN IF SHE'S COMPLETELY HEALTHY

Lucas_Arg
Mar 12th, 2008, 07:28 PM
isn't this her longest win streak ever? how does that translate to winning the golden slam?
I don't know if is a streak (WO at Moscow) But she won 18 (US 2006 - YEC SF)

Cp6uja
Mar 12th, 2008, 07:31 PM
mentally, Sharpie is stronger than Ana, Kuznetsova and Jankovic.
If Maria has a good graw, i mean whithout any clay specialist - and considering the evolution of women tennis, there's only one real clay player on tour, Justine -maria can go to the final...Easy draw can help her to reach SF but b/c all 4 of other TOP5 players is better than Maria at clay (+Serena) she must play against 2 of them to reach title. She is not same player (her weapons and skills) at clay like at other surfaces and mentally advantage will be enough against players like Schnyder - but not against players which alredy played at slam finals (including at clay) like Ivanovic or Kuznetsova and against Henin and Serena she actualy dont have that kind of advantage. I remind about Sampras case at RG. His weapons and skills simple not works well at clay and that is reason why so grat player and champion in 9 of his 13 RG not reach even 4R (and have only one SF in whole career).

CR3WLFC
Mar 12th, 2008, 07:33 PM
i say the only one who will takeout maria (if fit) in RG is EITHER henin or the williams all the others are not good enough !!!! ivanovic and kuznetsova will lose QR i think but i think if maria is on form ana and sveta cant beat her even on clay

Serge007
Mar 12th, 2008, 07:34 PM
players like Schnyder
But "player like Schnyder" could beat Henin (2006) and Serena Williams (2007) on clay...

but not against players which alredy played at slam finals (including at clay) like Ivanovic
Ivanovic played at slam final before RG-2007? Where?

theFutureisNow
Mar 12th, 2008, 07:42 PM
Go find the "who will win the french open" thread. We argued about it for a while. But even most Maria fans agree that she is unlikely to win the French. However, she has done surprisingly well there based on average results. The way some people talk you'd think she was one of the worst clay court players on tour.

Here is how I would rank the players based on how they are playing right now, and past performance at the french open.

1 HENIN, JUSTINE ----------- 2 W W W
2 IVANOVIC, ANA -------------- - Q 3 F
3 SHARAPOVA, MARIA --------Q Q 4 S
4 KUZNETSOVA, SVETLANA --4 4 F Q
5 JANKOVIC, JELENA ----------1 1 3 S
6 WILLIAMS, SERENA ---------Q - - Q
7 VAIDISOVA, NICOLE --------- 2 S Q
8 WILLIAMS, VENUS ----------Q 3 Q 3
9 DEMENTIEVA, ELENA --------F 4 3 3
10 CHAKVETADZE, ANNA ------- 3 2 Q

LizeT
Mar 12th, 2008, 07:47 PM
i still see henin as the favorite to win RG, but i do hope maria can win the RG if not this year hopefully soon. Anything can happen, will just have to wait and see.

miffedmax
Mar 12th, 2008, 07:52 PM
Well, she's the only one who CAN win the Golden Slam, which defintitely a rather long and shapely leg up on everybody else.

I don't think she'll pull it off, though. She's had some good streaks, but she's also prone to breakdowns in her game and I think her limitations are magnified on clay. Justine's pride had to be stung at the AO, and she is a woman for whom that really matters.

Wimbledon, with it's rain delays, battered courts in Week 2 and the fact that Venus plays out of her mind here make it a challenge for anyone. TOB's game is good for grass, but grass is treacherous as all get out.

I think she has a good chance to make the medal round at the Olympics. And because I'm desperate for Lena D. to win in NYC I refuse to concede that TOB has a really good shot there solely based on my irrational bias.

On the other hand, if she pulls it off I won't be surprised. There's really no one in her age group who's ready to consistently challenge her, and while the Williams and Justine aren't over the hill yet, they are getting along in tennis years.

goldenlox
Mar 12th, 2008, 07:57 PM
Maria made the semis last year, and she's definately a better player this year, with her shoulder healthy.
If Justine doesn't raise her level, and she will have a lot of pressure at RG, going for 4 in a row, then Sharapova has at least as good a chance as anyone.

cartmancop
Mar 12th, 2008, 07:58 PM
I don't think she will get the FO this year...there are just too many players that can expose her movement on clay and she still hasn't mastered the art of having to hit multiple winners to win points against the best clay court retrievers. @ this point, I don't see anyone troubling Justine on the surface unless she has an off day, but even if something happened with Henin, I would rate Kuznetsova, Ivanovic, possibly JJ & the WS as more likely to pick up a FO title.

Wimbledon she will for sure have a good shot at, but I would be hesitant to call her the fave until she gets by Venus Williams on center court, which is considerably different than Venus anywhere else :lol:

USO there are a handful of contenders, depending on health, draw, etc.

The Olympics are tricky for me to predict, it feels like almost a different kind of pressure than the slams. Some players respond well to it, others not so much (Myskina :eek:) Are the Olympics going to be on a fast hard court? If so, she'll be a favorite for sure.

Lunaris
Mar 12th, 2008, 08:06 PM
Don't forget Jankovic who is an excellent claycourter and imo would have a shot to win RG if Henin wasn't there. She won Charleston and Rome last year.

Kipling
Mar 12th, 2008, 08:18 PM
If healthy, Maria has a serious shot at a Golden Slam and complete domination. Sha-RAP-uh-vuh is going to Spain to improve on last year's semi at Roland Garros! Whatever you think of her, her time has come.

The way she is destroying the field reminds me of Williams gals 5 years ago. Who can stop her. Justine looks frayed and with serve problems; Amelie looks suddenly old; Jelena looks tired; Nicole seems incapable; Ana is just not as good; other "Russians" can't handle her.

We will know by Miami if she is the real deal at last.

Much as I'd like to see it, I don't think in the current climate a Grand Slam--let alone a Golden Slam--is realistic. The field is deeper, the players hit harder, and are bigger and stronger than they were even five years ago. To do it today, you'd have to 1) be healthy (100% healthy) for all five events; 2) be playing at your peak for all five events; 3) be comfortable playing on, and be adept at playing on all surfaces; 4) be lucky with draws at at least a couple of them.


Sharapova might win a calendar year slam one day--that is possible. I think she will win the French eventually, and at 6'2" if she stays in shape and keeps improving her movement, she has huge physical advantages over the more promising players coming along behind her, so yes, a Grand Slam is eventually possible, because at least for awhile, as Henin, the Williamses, Mauresmo and Davenport age and phase out of the game, she will have a period of dominance not unlike what Federer has had the past few years. But winning alot and winning alot of slams are two different things--first and foremost, you have to be healthy and playing your best.

For 2008, I wouldn't bet against Henin winning at least one slam. Venus Williams is still a viable threat at Wimbledon when she can keep the ball in the court.

I don't think anyone can touch her right now on hardcourts unless she just has an error-prone day, so I'd guess she's the favorite for the USO. The other two slams?? Who knows. I wouldn't be shocked if she won three in '08, though.

AcesHigh
Mar 12th, 2008, 08:51 PM
Maria made the semis last year, and she's definately a better player this year, with her shoulder healthy.
If Justine doesn't raise her level, and she will have a lot of pressure at RG, going for 4 in a row, then Sharapova has at least as good a chance as anyone.

Look at who she defeated to get there. Her draw may not be so easy this time.

AcesHigh
Mar 12th, 2008, 08:55 PM
Btw, how many women have won 2 slams in one year over the past 10 years let alone 3 slasm in one year.

Sharapova has not even won a slam in back-to-back years. So let's wait. Her domination is nothing like that of Henin's or Serena's or even Venus's back in 2000-2001. Players get hot and get on streaks but they often dont last too long. Look at Clijsters in 2005 and she only ended up with one slam.

Let's see if she cools down or not. Miami should be a good sign of possible things to come.

Brooks.
Mar 12th, 2008, 08:57 PM
I think Serena and Venus can beat Maria even when she's playing her best tennis so I think Wimbledon and the US Open will be really tough (Henin is more a struggle for them imo b/c Henin moves so much better)

plus you have Justine in Paris so it would be a tall order indeed...not even Peak Serena could do it

goldenlox
Mar 12th, 2008, 08:58 PM
She beat Patty and Anna to get to the semis.
I've seen Maria a lot on clay. If she's serving well, she's going to be tough to beat.
This Justine we're watching this year, she won't beat Maria on any surface, unless she improves.

AcesHigh
Mar 12th, 2008, 09:00 PM
She beat Patty and Anna to get to the semis.
I've seen Maria a lot on clay. If she's serving well, she's going to be tough to beat.
This Justine we're watching this year, she won't beat Maria on any surface, unless she improves.

Yes, Patty the choker and Anna who really isn't impressive on clay. Throw Petrova, Kuznetsova, Venus, Serena, Jankovic, Henin, Ivanovic in her half and let's see what happens.

Henin isn't the only one standing in her way. There are a handful of players better than Maria on clay.

Serenidad.
Mar 12th, 2008, 09:03 PM
She can't played Serena this year?

Venus at Wimbledon can surely best Sharapova as well.

She'll never beat Henin in Paris either.

goldenlox
Mar 12th, 2008, 09:04 PM
Maria is healthy now, she's glad to play anyone.
She's been beating everyone who beat her last year.
Aga, Ana, Justine, JJ, Vera, she still has a few more to go.

No one is favored over a healthy Maria. Not off 2008 form.

goldenslam888
Mar 12th, 2008, 09:25 PM
maria hasn't shown she can maintain a high level of play throughout an entire year. not to mention she has a lot of off court distractions.

she might have a chance in a few years once she reaches her physical peek, improves her volley, and justine, serena, and venus age a little more.

goldenlox
Mar 12th, 2008, 09:31 PM
Maria does have distractions

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p222/kasia1992/kasia1992x/80218521.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p222/kasia1992/kasia1992x/80218579.jpg

slamchamp
Mar 13th, 2008, 01:13 AM
what are those pictures about?:confused:

morningglory
Mar 13th, 2008, 01:40 AM
Maria does have distractions

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p222/kasia1992/kasia1992x/80218521.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p222/kasia1992/kasia1992x/80218579.jpg

First pic looks kinda photoshopped...
Second pic is very real tho :eek: Nice work there...

OsloErik
Mar 13th, 2008, 01:46 AM
I think she's head and shoulders above everyone on hardcourts right now (the way she pulled herself together after the blips against Voskoboeva and Zvonereva was just scary) although I'm waiting to see her against Serena before making that pronouncement, and Kuznetsova as well who traditionally brings it against Sharapova when they play outdoors.

But as for clay, I'm not quite convinced yet. I have a huge problem proclaiming her a clay-court threat when she has yet to do anything impressive on clay. She hasn't beaten a top clay court player (by which I mean a RG title threat, and Schnyder '07 doesn't count) in her entire career, and while she has been plagued by injury during clay season since '04, I'm not going to give her THAT much benefit of the doubt. This is the year to see if she can bring it against the best on clay. The best you can really say about Sharapova's results SO FAR on clay is that she hasn't had any loss that is completely unusual (Rezai being the closest one, but losing on your worst surface with only two matches under your belt is hardly reprehensible), but hasn't had any wins against the best. Right now I'd rate her best clay-court match as taking a set off Capriati in '04. Beating Dementieva, Zvonereva, Schnyder, and Chakvetadze are good, but not great. This is the year to see if she can break over that hump and beat the best.

LUXXXAS
Mar 13th, 2008, 01:56 AM
bullshit!
she can't keep such an amazing form for a whole season or for each grand slam! everyone has a bad day sometimes! she will lose soon - IW or Miami.
And she won't win Paris with her movement... :tape:

Dan23
Mar 13th, 2008, 01:59 AM
Maria has defeated 2 RG finalists on clay before, both in the same year that they made the final....I would consider them pretty good clay-court players. Circumstances have conspired against her around that time of the year for each of the last 2 seasons. I hope this year is different, some people might be surprised.

OsloErik
Mar 13th, 2008, 02:12 AM
Maria has defeated 2 RG finalists on clay before, both in the same year that they made the final....I would consider them pretty good clay-court players. Circumstances have conspired against her around that time of the year for each of the last 2 seasons. I hope this year is different, some people might be surprised.

Dementieva and Pierce? With all due respect for those lofty achievements, neither were considered top 5 title threats until they hit the semifinals. And both got blown out of the water in the finals. So she's beaten two surprise RG finalists who produced the weakest results in the final in the past five years.

I think she's got a good chance to do well, provided she plays enough warm ups to get a feel for clay, but until I see her do that, I'm not crowning her a threat at Roland Garros.

The Daviator
Mar 13th, 2008, 02:15 AM
Maria won't lose a single match this year.

Dan23
Mar 13th, 2008, 02:23 AM
I think she's got a good chance to do well, provided she plays enough warm ups to get a feel for clay, but until I see her do that, I'm not crowning her a threat at Roland Garros.
But who aside from Henin would you place above her as a bigger threat at RG that she hasnt shown she can beat on clay in the past (when she wasnt as competent a player) or doesnt have the wood over in general?

AcesHigh
Mar 13th, 2008, 02:27 AM
But who aside from Henin would you place above her as a bigger threat at RG that she hasnt shown she can beat on clay in the past (when she wasnt as competent a player) or doesnt have the wood over in general?

Ivanovic, Jankovic, Venus, Serena, and Kuznetsova.

OsloErik
Mar 13th, 2008, 02:32 AM
Ivanovic, Jankovic, Venus, Serena, and Kuznetsova.

Thanks, AcesHigh.

She hasn't beaten any of those five on clay yet. And while I think it's possible that she could beat Jankovic and Ivanovic, and probably Venus, I think if she has that much difficulty with Serena on hardcourts, she's going to get smoked on clay, which lowers both of their ability but affects Sharapova more. And Kuznetsova will always be a bit of a problem for Sharapova, especially on clay.

Dan23
Mar 13th, 2008, 02:38 AM
As you say only Serena/Kuznetsova, along with Henin, would be considered equal or greater threats IMO....so therefore wouldnt it mean Maria is some sort of threat? It would just need a couple of stellar performances and who knows.

AcesHigh
Mar 13th, 2008, 02:42 AM
As you say only Serena/Kuznetsova, along with Henin, would be considered equal or greater threats IMO....so therefore wouldnt it mean Maria is some sort of threat? It would just need a couple of stellar performances and who knows.

The five players I've mentioned have shown themselves to be better on clay than Sharapova. Of course it's possible for Sharapova to defeat those players. Any player can defeat any play on any given day.

It doesn't mean it is likely. Ivanovic, Kuznetsova, and Jankovic are a class above Maria on clay. Serena is a former champ who is also better than Maria. Venus is arguable, but her record on clay speaks for itself in that she's a formidable force.

The only evidence of Sharapova possibly doing well at RG is her record there, but when you look at opponents she faced, it no longer looks so impressive.

Anyway, everything for now is speculation. IMO, she'll need a very cushioned draw to have a chance..but that is just my opinion.

I predict somewhere between a 4th round and SF showing depending on the draw.

OsloErik
Mar 13th, 2008, 02:45 AM
As you say only Serena/Kuznetsova, along with Henin, would be considered equal or greater threats IMO....so therefore wouldnt it mean Maria is some sort of threat? It would just need a couple of stellar performances and who knows.

No, I think those are three players that I would give Sharapova a less than 25% chance of beating on clay. I'd give Venus, Jankovic, and Ivanovic a 2 of 3 chance to beat her on clay. Sharapova's not a title threat. She's an upset threat, but she's not the caliber of clay courter to beat 2-3 of the big names in a row (which is what RG requires), especially since she has yet to beat ANY of them.

OsloErik
Mar 13th, 2008, 02:47 AM
As you say only Serena/Kuznetsova, along with Henin, would be considered equal or greater threats IMO....so therefore wouldnt it mean Maria is some sort of threat? It would just need a couple of stellar performances and who knows.

That's exactly the point: who knows. At the moment, the facts indicate Sharapova hasn't performed well enough on clay to warrant that kind of talk. Once she does beat a top player, or wins a top title, she's in the discussion. But until then, proclaiming her a potential title threat (without the evidence to back it up) is uninformed speculation, while looking to the past is informed speculation. That's the difference.

denzuko
Mar 13th, 2008, 03:11 AM
Instead of cakewalk draws or depleted field, give her the toughest draws... then maybe she can win RG.
Who knows, sometimes reverse psychology worked. :)

Dan23
Mar 13th, 2008, 03:28 AM
That's exactly the point: who knows. At the moment, the facts indicate Sharapova hasn't performed well enough on clay to warrant that kind of talk. Once she does beat a top player, or wins a top title, she's in the discussion. But until then, proclaiming her a potential title threat (without the evidence to back it up) is uninformed speculation, while looking to the past is informed speculation. That's the difference.
Without flogging a dead horse too much there are other avenues to draw informed speculation from. Maria has played just 3 clay events in the last 2 years. While also withdrawing from at least 4 others due to well documented injury problems. She has a proven track record of making the QF stage at RG (a better record than Ivanovic/Jankovic in the long term). If you add the fact she has picked up a title at the other 3 slams in draws against these same players then it points to her being a chance. That is more than uninformed speculation....but in the end its all speculation. We will wait and see :p

SvetaPleaseWin.
Mar 13th, 2008, 03:41 AM
The five players I've mentioned have shown themselves to be better on clay than Sharapova. Of course it's possible for Sharapova to defeat those players. Any player can defeat any play on any given day.

It doesn't mean it is likely. Ivanovic, Kuznetsova, and Jankovic are a class above Maria on clay. Serena is a former champ who is also better than Maria. Venus is arguable, but her record on clay speaks for itself in that she's a formidable force.

The only evidence of Sharapova possibly doing well at RG is her record there, but when you look at opponents she faced, it no longer looks so impressive.

Anyway, everything for now is speculation. IMO, she'll need a very cushioned draw to have a chance..but that is just my opinion.

I predict somewhere between a 4th round and SF showing depending on the draw.

I agree-I think she'll always do well at RG cos she's willing to put in the effort (unlike Davenport :rolleyes: ) but when it comes to the crunch the other slam contenders are better on clay-unless some serious upsets happened she will not win RG

CR3WLFC
Mar 13th, 2008, 07:49 AM
Can Someone Please Explain Me Why Is Ivanovic Better Then Sharapova On Clay

mankind
Mar 13th, 2008, 08:17 AM
Sha-RAP-uh-vuh

THANK YOU.

Not Sher-a-POV-aw, thank you very much. :rolleyes:

Slumpsova
Mar 13th, 2008, 09:06 AM
oh god :rolleyes:

Mikey B
Mar 13th, 2008, 09:16 AM
THANK YOU.

Not Sher-a-POV-aw, thank you very much. :rolleyes:

isnt it more important how maria says her name than how others think it should be said?? she pronounces it shar-a-POV-a, not sha-RAP-ova like a certain american commentator... lol!

i always struggle with kuznetsova, every commentator seems to say it differently!!!!

mankind
Mar 13th, 2008, 09:52 AM
isnt it more important how maria says her name than how others think it should be said?? she pronounces it shar-a-POV-a, not sha-RAP-ova like a certain american commentator... lol!

i always struggle with kuznetsova, every commentator seems to say it differently!!!!

Well therein lies a dilemma, because I don't think Maria herself knows how to say her last name. At the beginning of her career she insisted everyone pronounce it "Sha-RUP-uh-vuh", but since all the Yanks started pronouncing it differently, she has seemed happy to let them change her name.

merda2004
Mar 13th, 2008, 10:52 AM
If healthy, Maria has a serious shot at a Golden Slam and complete domination. Sha-RAP-uh-vuh is going to Spain to improve on last year's semi at Roland Garros! Whatever you think of her, her time has come.

The way she is destroying the field reminds me of Williams gals 5 years ago. Who can stop her. Justine looks frayed and with serve problems; Amelie looks suddenly old; Jelena looks tired; Nicole seems incapable; Ana is just not as good; other "Russians" can't handle her.

We will know by Miami if she is the real deal at last.


we all know that maria is improving....maybe it will be a masha GS.i hope eleni wins her second round match so we can see eleni and masha on telly

hwanmig
Mar 13th, 2008, 11:19 AM
What a disturbing thought! Maria winning at FO. Even more disturbing than trying to spread lies about her supposed beauty.

Renalicious
Mar 13th, 2008, 12:38 PM
I disagree. Maria is very talented but I don't see her winning the French...

Matt01
Mar 13th, 2008, 12:40 PM
Can Someone Please Explain Me Why Is Ivanovic Better Then Sharapova On Clay


I Will Explain You That Ana Has Already Won A Tournament On Clay Unlike Maria And That She beat Her On Clay At RG Semifinal 2007 6:2, 6:1. :wavey:

:rolleyes:

goldenlox
Mar 13th, 2008, 12:50 PM
Maria wasn't at her best last year. She got a cortizone shot after Miami, then rushed back for Turkey, the week before RG.
Sharapova needs her serve to be at her best.
The next time she played Ana she gave up 3 games at the YEC.

2007 is a wash. In 2006, Maria was injured and didn't want to play the first Sunday at RG. She lost at Birmingham the last 2 years. She wasn't healthy in the spring in 2006&2007.

Her clay form is a product of her health the last 2 springs.
She can win on clay. I've seen her play several times on it.

Shoulderpova
Mar 13th, 2008, 12:54 PM
I like it when people write Maria off :)

bwahahahahaha
Mar 13th, 2008, 01:00 PM
If anybody underestimates Maria on clay -particularly at the FO- they will lose.

Adal
Mar 13th, 2008, 01:04 PM
I haven't seen her playing on clay healthy since 2005. She has really improved her game since. First of all, her variety and movement (both of these are the key to being a good clay-courter)
2005 she reached QT at RG and Berlin and SF in Rome. She also beat Pierce on clay that year. But that was when her height problems began, so she wasn't really moving well.
2006 she had knee injury and pretty much wasn't moving at all.
2007 she moved much better, but had some other problems in her game: serving.
In 2008 her priority coming to the clay season must be her health. I think she has the game to win RG, but she must 100% fit and ready

stevos
Mar 13th, 2008, 01:12 PM
Not really, because things can change very quickly for a player who has been playing great for awhile. She is playing great, but no one can keep up a pace like this for a whole year, and not lose a single match within these 5 huge tournaments. It's not completely out of the question though, although it would be insane.

tennisbear7
Mar 13th, 2008, 01:26 PM
I like it when people write Maria off :)

Listen, you arrogant fool.

There's a difference between saying "Maria will never win a slam again" and "Maria will win the Golden Slam and completely dominate." To say that she will win the golden slam is beyond the realm of realistic possibility, but to say that she will will US, W, Olympics or whatever is more likely.

Ova
Mar 13th, 2008, 01:28 PM
Sharapova spits game like a 20-fanged Cobra.

She is unstoppable this year; it's her time to shine.

hayleytrotter
Mar 13th, 2008, 01:44 PM
If maria can play like, Berlin and Rome and do well, and not be injured (!!!) then i think she has a great chance if she is healthy and has confidence. the golden slam is a bit unrealistic, especially with all the players going ga ga over the olympics, but i think she could win RG. This year? who knows.
But im sure eventually she will. Shes one determined little (okay, not so little) lady!

slamchamp
Mar 13th, 2008, 02:09 PM
Ivanovic a bigger thread than sharapova? please..if maria's healthy she'll dispatch ivanovic in straight sets

DA FOREHAND
Mar 13th, 2008, 02:20 PM
i dont get why is ana beter then maria on clay ????? just because she made the final last year????
She was playing like she always was against kuznetsova and sharapova last year on clay so... she wasn't actually getting balls with some slices BOOM BOOM BOOOM just like maria.....

and if maria stays fit she is the better player on clay then ana:angel:

did she not smoke Maria on the very court the final was played on?:wavey::wavey::wavey:

Nikkiri
Mar 13th, 2008, 02:56 PM
Ivanovic a bigger thread than sharapova? please..if maria's healthy she'll dispatch ivanovic in straight sets

Please.. you don't know that. But hopefully we'll get a rematch this year :)

slamchamp
Mar 13th, 2008, 02:57 PM
Please.. you don't know that. But hopefully we'll get a rematch this year :)I'm really waiting for that to happen:bounce:

Nikkiri
Mar 13th, 2008, 03:10 PM
I'm really waiting for that to happen:bounce:

I'm sure ;) And if Ana wins then maybe you'll actually give her some credit :)

slamchamp
Mar 13th, 2008, 03:14 PM
I'm sure ;) And if Ana wins then maybe you'll actually give her some credit :)uhhhmm...ok:lol:

Nikkiri
Mar 13th, 2008, 03:15 PM
uhhhmm...ok:lol:

Yeah that would be asking too much.

slamchamp
Mar 13th, 2008, 03:24 PM
Yeah that would be asking too much.i was joking ana_is_love

Nikkiri
Mar 13th, 2008, 03:27 PM
i was joking ana_is_love

:lol: That's nice :wavey:

The Daviator
Mar 13th, 2008, 03:44 PM
Maria wasn't at her best last year. She got a cortizone shot after Miami, then rushed back for Turkey, the week before RG.
Sharapova needs her serve to be at her best.
The next time she played Ana she gave up 3 games at the YEC.

2007 is a wash. In 2006, Maria was injured and didn't want to play the first Sunday at RG. She lost at Birmingham the last 2 years. She wasn't healthy in the spring in 2006&2007.

Her clay form is a product of her health the last 2 springs.
She can win on clay. I've seen her play several times on it.

Did her injury cause her to move so horribly at RG last year? Maybe you should watch last year's FO SF and see how Ana exploited it ;)

But like I said earlier, she'll probably win the Golden Slam this year :shrug:

stevos
Mar 13th, 2008, 03:50 PM
Did her injury cause her to move so horribly at RG last year? Maybe you should watch last year's FO SF and see how Ana exploited it ;)

But like I said earlier, she'll probably win the Golden Slam this year :shrug:

Jinxing beeotch! :armed: :lol:

There were a lot of factors going into last years clay, and rest of the, season. I think confidence was a huge thing, really the main main issue.

stevos
Mar 13th, 2008, 03:53 PM
Well therein lies a dilemma, because I don't think Maria herself knows how to say her last name. At the beginning of her career she insisted everyone pronounce it "Sha-RUP-uh-vuh", but since all the Yanks started pronouncing it differently, she has seemed happy to let them change her name.

:o You know so little about Maria, yet try to make intelligent-sounding remarks.

frontier
Mar 13th, 2008, 04:01 PM
Maria has never won a clay court title how can she win RG without ever slogging it on clay.I think its premature to predict whether she will win RG or not,on clay its about endurance and momemtum and the clay season is just round the corner ,we will be able to judge then.
I sometimes wonder if they didnt change the surface in Australia will she have won it....now she has two hard court slams won at different venues.;)

The Daviator
Mar 13th, 2008, 04:05 PM
Jinxing beeotch! :armed: :lol:

There were a lot of factors going into last years clay, and rest of the, season. I think confidence was a huge thing, really the main main issue.

Alright, I'll concede, if Lindsay goes to Paris then RG is out of the question, BUT if not then the Golden Slam is definitely hers :p

stevos
Mar 13th, 2008, 04:13 PM
Alright, I'll concede, if Lindsay goes to Paris then RG is out of the question, BUT if not then the Golden Slam is definitely hers :p

Good! Definitely!

bellascarlett
Mar 13th, 2008, 04:52 PM
I just hope that Maria will be as healthy as she has been so far this year during the clay season and especially during the French Open. When she's healthy, the confidence she plays with is much much better, and much more things of course are possible. She wasn't the model of great health in the last two clay court seasons. Hopefully, this season will be different. And I agree with the poster who said that Henin aside, Maria has as good a shot as the others.

Corswandt
Mar 13th, 2008, 04:59 PM
The five players I've mentioned have shown themselves to be better on clay than Sharapova. Of course it's possible for Sharapova to defeat those players. Any player can defeat any play on any given day.

It doesn't mean it is likely. Ivanovic, Kuznetsova, and Jankovic are a class above Maria on clay. Serena is a former champ who is also better than Maria. Venus is arguable, but her record on clay speaks for itself in that she's a formidable force.

She hasn't beaten any of those five on clay yet. And while I think it's possible that she could beat Jankovic and Ivanovic, and probably Venus, I think if she has that much difficulty with Serena on hardcourts, she's going to get smoked on clay, which lowers both of their ability but affects Sharapova more. And Kuznetsova will always be a bit of a problem for Sharapova, especially on clay.

Stop h8tin'

I'm beginning to suspect Erik is the second coming of Orion. :scratch:

Anyh00

In their current forms, the sisters aren't going to beat any top 5 players, on clay or anywhere else.

Kuznetsova's ability to pull herself together after so many bad losses, in finals and elsewhere, and soldier on, continues to amaze me, but I don't think Sharapova with the SuperMasha serve will have that much trouble with her. Their last two matches were played on Sharapova's best surface and Kuznetsova's worst, but then again has Kuznetsova ever played as well as she did in Miami '06?

Jankovic has been playing zombie tennis since the 2007 grasscourt season. Bad matchup for Sharapova, but sadly not a factor right now.

Henin is now nothing more than a glorified retriever who isn't even that consistent. She could always be pinned to the baseline and rendered harmless, but few had the power, depth and accuracy on their shots, as well as the consistency and cojones (oops, this is women's tennis - but can't think of anything more appropriate right now) to pull this off over the course of a whole match (Petrova Berlin 06, Sharapova USO 06 and very few more). But now it's different. Her FH has gone down the shitter, her groundstrokes as a whole are little more than puffshots, and the lowliest scrubs are having her 2nd serve for breakfast. If she shows up at RG the way she is playing now, she may lose to anyone, clay or no clay.

RG 08 is Ivanovic's to lose. The current shite form of many high ranked players, and all the pesky baseline grinders that are becoming factors as of late, suggest RG 08 has the potential to be filled with carnage. Imagine a draw opening up again for Ivanovic, in a surface where the ball bounces up into her hitting zone time and again so she can whack it with full force, in a surface where she can choose to run around her BH almost every time, where she has time to properly set up her BH, where she can tee off second serves at will.

The cruel, uncharismatic, talentless Shriekapova. Good hitting is good hitting on any surface. Sharapova's serve may go away again at any time, I fear, but she clawed her way to the RG SF without it, so who knows. She seemed OK with a somewhat intermittent serve at the ultraslow Rebound Ace in Doha. And she now knows how to hit kickers, at least to the ad court. This leaves movement and, above all, confidence. Confidence is quite possibly at an all-time high, and good hitting can go a long way to make up for shortcomings in mobility.

All being said, I very much doubt things will be that much different than they were over the past 2 years though: whether she does well on IW - Miami or not, Sharapova will probably skip nearly the whole of the clay season again, show up at RG wrapped up in a garish, distracting outfit, claim injury and rustiness, win a couple of (needlessly tough) epics, annoy the Parisians, give me false hopes, only to crash out spectacularly in the QF (or SF, if she is one of the top 4 seeds and manages to avoid Ivanovic until then) in a match for which for all intents and purposes she failed to show up.

Maria's main priorities are probably Wimbledon and the Olympics.

Il Primo!
Mar 13th, 2008, 05:50 PM
Always the same discussion taken in all the different angles possible :yawn:

Just wait and see.. or BUMP the first thread about Maria's chances at RG cause this thread's basically about that :wavey:

Lunaris
Mar 13th, 2008, 06:09 PM
Maria's main priorities are probably Wimbledon and the Olympics.
So at first a barrage of arguments, then a couple of excuses if the arguments proved to be false? Nice try. ;)

lindsayno1
Mar 13th, 2008, 06:12 PM
maria will only ever win the FO if shes the only one in the draw...

Shimizu Amon
Mar 13th, 2008, 06:55 PM
:lol: this topic is kinda funny. She only needs to add three more Grand Slam titles to her name to win a Golden Slam.

Do I think it's impossible: NO! Do I think this topic is way ahead of itself: YES!

First things first. Let us just look at how Masha will perform at Indian Wells.
Good luck there Masha. I'm confident that you can fetch your third title this season.
Vamos Masha!

Allez-H
Mar 13th, 2008, 06:57 PM
mentally, Sharpie is stronger than Ana, Kuznetsova and Jankovic.
If Maria has a good graw, i mean whithout any clay specialist - and considering the evolution of women tennis, there's only one real clay player on tour, Justine -maria can go to the final...and if she's in final...there's 99% she'll hold the trophy at the end...
seriously, I don't see who will win the French Open..Justine seems to want to sharapovize her game, and if she continues like this, she won't keep her trophy.
Ana could do it... clay suits her game greatly, she has time do develop her game, and she has improved her movement a lot since last year.but she has to defend her final...she's so nervous that i see her losing in first round:sad:
Kuznetsova and Jankovic lack some mental toughness compare to other top players...
Serena could do something, if she is healthy.
"Surprises" would be Chakvetadze, Lena D, or Safina. Dinara is playing good but still has some brain problems... i hope she'll win matchs on clay to gain confidence...

So you say if Maria were to play the final against Justine at RG, there's 99% chance she'll take the trophy even though Justine has lost a total of 17 games in her 4 RG-finals?

Wow, talk about bold predictions.

And believe me Justine may having been playing like crap since the beginning of the year and hell, she might even continue playing like crap trough the smaller clay-tournies but somehow her game always clicks back in place while RG.

Mikey B
Mar 13th, 2008, 07:16 PM
I sometimes wonder if they didnt change the surface in Australia will she have won it....now she has two hard court slams won at different venues.;)

well she won in doha in 05 and 08, which is a rebound ace event... and its not like this year is the first time she's made an impact at the australian open, match points in the semis in 05, finalist in 07 and won in 08... i think its just a good event for her...

Corswandt
Mar 13th, 2008, 07:38 PM
So at first a barrage of arguments, then a couple of excuses if the arguments proved to be false? Nice try. ;)

I'm not trying to be right both ways.

Should be read thusly:

First part to disagree with those who claim that Sharapova would be at a fundamental disadvantage against players X or Y because they're better claycourters - this when everyone save for Henin and some Latin scrubs plays a hardcourt game on clay (a point which BTW I forgot to make).

Second part to conclude that this debate is largely theoretical, since Sharapova's limited schedule has no room for any deep commitment to clay - all the more so in a year when there will be an Olympic tournament.

So I'm wrong if Sharapova's 2008 RG campaign, and clay season in general, is any different from those in 2006 and 2007.

NeoZod19
Mar 14th, 2008, 12:31 AM
guys!

All I can say is she is only 20 years old and has PLENTY of time to win more GSs!!! She has the IT to be N#1 for sure. I think she will be the one that carry the torch from now on.

She has been one of the most consistent player to reach the SF and QF in all GSs tournament ever since she won winbledon in 2004!

and that's the fact!

Bruno71
Mar 14th, 2008, 12:38 AM
Stop h8tin'

I'm beginning to suspect Erik is the second coming of Orion. :scratch:

Anyh00

In their current forms, the sisters aren't going to beat any top 5 players, on clay or anywhere else.

Kuznetsova's ability to pull herself together after so many bad losses, in finals and elsewhere, and soldier on, continues to amaze me, but I don't think Sharapova with the SuperMasha serve will have that much trouble with her. Their last two matches were played on Sharapova's best surface and Kuznetsova's worst, but then again has Kuznetsova ever played as well as she did in Miami '06?

Jankovic has been playing zombie tennis since the 2007 grasscourt season. Bad matchup for Sharapova, but sadly not a factor right now.

Henin is now nothing more than a glorified retriever who isn't even that consistent. She could always be pinned to the baseline and rendered harmless, but few had the power, depth and accuracy on their shots, as well as the consistency and cojones (oops, this is women's tennis - but can't think of anything more appropriate right now) to pull this off over the course of a whole match (Petrova Berlin 06, Sharapova USO 06 and very few more). But now it's different. Her FH has gone down the shitter, her groundstrokes as a whole are little more than puffshots, and the lowliest scrubs are having her 2nd serve for breakfast. If she shows up at RG the way she is playing now, she may lose to anyone, clay or no clay.

RG 08 is Ivanovic's to lose. The current shite form of many high ranked players, and all the pesky baseline grinders that are becoming factors as of late, suggest RG 08 has the potential to be filled with carnage. Imagine a draw opening up again for Ivanovic, in a surface where the ball bounces up into her hitting zone time and again so she can whack it with full force, in a surface where she can choose to run around her BH almost every time, where she has time to properly set up her BH, where she can tee off second serves at will.

The cruel, uncharismatic, talentless Shriekapova. Good hitting is good hitting on any surface. Sharapova's serve may go away again at any time, I fear, but she clawed her way to the RG SF without it, so who knows. She seemed OK with a somewhat intermittent serve at the ultraslow Rebound Ace in Doha. And she now knows how to hit kickers, at least to the ad court. This leaves movement and, above all, confidence. Confidence is quite possibly at an all-time high, and good hitting can go a long way to make up for shortcomings in mobility.

All being said, I very much doubt things will be that much different than they were over the past 2 years though: whether she does well on IW - Miami or not, Sharapova will probably skip nearly the whole of the clay season again, show up at RG wrapped up in a garish, distracting outfit, claim injury and rustiness, win a couple of (needlessly tough) epics, annoy the Parisians, give me false hopes, only to crash out spectacularly in the QF (or SF, if she is one of the top 4 seeds and manages to avoid Ivanovic until then) in a match for which for all intents and purposes she failed to show up.

Maria's main priorities are probably Wimbledon and the Olympics.

Good stuff as usual :worship: Though I want to add one thing regarding Maria on clay: confidence. If she's announcing to the world that she moves like a "cow on ice" on the stuff, that doesn't bode well for her approach to playing on the surface. And if, as you say, she skips the majority of the clay court season, I don't see that changing. I somehow feel she'll be in Berlin & Rome though...just a hunch. I think she's at a point where she's gotten some confidence from the semi run at RG last year and maybe wants to take her approach more seriously. We'll see.

Corswandt
Mar 14th, 2008, 01:00 AM
I somehow feel she'll be in Berlin & Rome though...just a hunch. I think she's at a point where she's gotten some confidence from the semi run at RG last year and maybe wants to take her approach more seriously. We'll see.

Doubt it. She can't play that many tournaments if she's going deep in all of them. If she overplays, she'll place too much stress on her shoulder, and there goes the serve again. The last time it took nearly a year for her to get it back. The red clay season is just the time for her to take some weeks off. That's what she's been doing ever since, after playing a full red clay season in 2005, she finished the year as a walking casualty.

Maybe if she really really needs that top 4 seeding at RG she'll show up in Rome (certainly not in dreary Berlin) to do some shopping and give those Eye-taylians something to ogle at. And perhaps win a match or two, no more. Probably ret. against a local player once mission is accomplished. Her PR team will think of something.

Nicolás89
Mar 14th, 2008, 01:07 AM
Playing on clay is different from playing on hardcourts and requires different style of play and tactical approach.

Oh yeah, that's what Ivanovic does.

AcesHigh
Mar 14th, 2008, 03:37 AM
Oh yeah, that's what Ivanovic does.

I wouldn't agree with that statement(that you quoted) either, but clay affects different players different. It hurts Sharapova's game and aids some parts of Ivanovic's.

Like someone expertly mentioned already, it gives her time to set up her shots, run around her backhand to hit that monstrous forehand, and she moves fairly well on the surface.. at least not as poorly as a Sharapova or DAvenport.

I think Sharapova making the QF or SF is definitely within reach.. probably likely. However, she does not have the game yet IMO to win 7 consecutive matches where she'll eventually have to face a player(at least one unless she's ridiculously lucky) that is better than her on the surface.

Btw, I don't buy this "confidence" and "will" junk when it comes to Roland Garros. You need the game on clay to win... even those who had a very comfortable draw still needed at least an above average game on the surface to take the trophy. This doesnt mean you need a claycourt style, but you need to be better than Sharapova has shown.

OsloErik
Mar 14th, 2008, 08:20 AM
I'm beginning to suspect Erik is the second coming of Orion. :scratch:

Taught together for two years in St. Petersburg, he was an English teacher (his written is waaay better than mine) and I taught gym with the exchange students. We're both named Erik (he's Eric) and we both went to the Helsinki event in '02 (Kuznetsova won it, that's where we began our mutual admiration). He's a better player than I am, but he has a bum foot. I used to troll the boards back when he posted, but then he moved to Central America (he was a bit of a missionary) and the board wasn't as polite, or articulate. But there are enough intelligent conversations here to warrant some writing of my own, and I enjoy getting to chat about the pro game, and it also gives some tips for my students now and then.

chris whiteside
Mar 14th, 2008, 01:22 PM
I hate to say it but what you say could very well be true but she's not that great a player and it would only be because the standard of women's tennis at the minute is pretty low.

In another era I think Ana and Jelena would struggle to make the top 5. No question that if they played to their potential Venus and Serena Williams would still dominate but they rarely do nowadays although either could always take fire at any time. It remains to be seen whether Justine's dip in form is temporary or endemic.

Miss Sharapova could clean everything in sight up purely by default.

BuTtErFrEnA
Mar 14th, 2008, 01:29 PM
I wouldn't agree with that statement(that you quoted) either, but clay affects different players different. It hurts Sharapova's game and aids some parts of Ivanovic's.

Like someone expertly mentioned already, it gives her time to set up her shots, run around her backhand to hit that monstrous forehand, and she moves fairly well on the surface.. at least not as poorly as a Sharapova or DAvenport.

I think Sharapova making the QF or SF is definitely within reach.. probably likely. However, she does not have the game yet IMO to win 7 consecutive matches where she'll eventually have to face a player(at least one unless she's ridiculously lucky) that is better than her on the surface.

Btw, I don't buy this "confidence" and "will" junk when it comes to Roland Garros. You need the game on clay to win... even those who had a very comfortable draw still needed at least an above average game on the surface to take the trophy. This doesnt mean you need a claycourt style, but you need to be better than Sharapova has shown.

very good insight...

goldenlox
Mar 14th, 2008, 01:32 PM
Sharapova made the RG semis last year, with no serve.
She's playing much better this year, and so far in 2008, no one else has played at her level.

lindsayno1
Mar 14th, 2008, 02:18 PM
she hardly had a difficult draw there...

Corswandt
Mar 14th, 2008, 02:35 PM
Taught together for two years in St. Petersburg, he was an English teacher (his written is waaay better than mine) and I taught gym with the exchange students. We're both named Erik (he's Eric) and we both went to the Helsinki event in '02 (Kuznetsova won it, that's where we began our mutual admiration). He's a better player than I am, but he has a bum foot. I used to troll the boards back when he posted, but then he moved to Central America (he was a bit of a missionary) and the board wasn't as polite, or articulate. But there are enough intelligent conversations here to warrant some writing of my own, and I enjoy getting to chat about the pro game, and it also gives some tips for my students now and then.

:eek:

Small world.

How is Orion/Eric doing, do you know? The way he put it when he left, it seemed as if he was leaving civilization and would be out of touch and eating only raw vegetables and insects for years. If you're in contact with Orion/Eric, please send him my regards.

I owe Orion/Eric one of the funniest WTAW moments ever - his reaction after the Sharapova d. Pin match. That one drove him completely up the wall, and it was delightful to see someone usually so articulate and restrained completely losing it. :devil:

stevos
Mar 14th, 2008, 02:41 PM
I hate to say it but what you say could very well be true but she's not that great a player and it would only be because the standard of women's tennis at the minute is pretty low.

In another era I think Ana and Jelena would struggle to make the top 5. No question that if they played to their potential Venus and Serena Williams would still dominate but they rarely do nowadays although either could always take fire at any time. It remains to be seen whether Justine's dip in form is temporary or endemic.

Miss Sharapova could clean everything in sight up purely by default.

:o This kind of posting is so depressing because I'm worried some intelligent minds might buy into it.
The standard is NOT that low, people were just overly blessed by the excitement of the early 00's. And Ana and Jelena are very good players and deserve to be exactly where they are. I'm not even going to touch on your Sharapova insight.

stevos
Mar 14th, 2008, 02:46 PM
Stop h8tin'

I'm beginning to suspect Erik is the second coming of Orion. :scratch:

Anyh00

In their current forms, the sisters aren't going to beat any top 5 players, on clay or anywhere else.

Kuznetsova's ability to pull herself together after so many bad losses, in finals and elsewhere, and soldier on, continues to amaze me, but I don't think Sharapova with the SuperMasha serve will have that much trouble with her. Their last two matches were played on Sharapova's best surface and Kuznetsova's worst, but then again has Kuznetsova ever played as well as she did in Miami '06?

Jankovic has been playing zombie tennis since the 2007 grasscourt season. Bad matchup for Sharapova, but sadly not a factor right now.

Henin is now nothing more than a glorified retriever who isn't even that consistent. She could always be pinned to the baseline and rendered harmless, but few had the power, depth and accuracy on their shots, as well as the consistency and cojones (oops, this is women's tennis - but can't think of anything more appropriate right now) to pull this off over the course of a whole match (Petrova Berlin 06, Sharapova USO 06 and very few more). But now it's different. Her FH has gone down the shitter, her groundstrokes as a whole are little more than puffshots, and the lowliest scrubs are having her 2nd serve for breakfast. If she shows up at RG the way she is playing now, she may lose to anyone, clay or no clay.

RG 08 is Ivanovic's to lose. The current shite form of many high ranked players, and all the pesky baseline grinders that are becoming factors as of late, suggest RG 08 has the potential to be filled with carnage. Imagine a draw opening up again for Ivanovic, in a surface where the ball bounces up into her hitting zone time and again so she can whack it with full force, in a surface where she can choose to run around her BH almost every time, where she has time to properly set up her BH, where she can tee off second serves at will.

The cruel, uncharismatic, talentless Shriekapova. Good hitting is good hitting on any surface. Sharapova's serve may go away again at any time, I fear, but she clawed her way to the RG SF without it, so who knows. She seemed OK with a somewhat intermittent serve at the ultraslow Rebound Ace in Doha. And she now knows how to hit kickers, at least to the ad court. This leaves movement and, above all, confidence. Confidence is quite possibly at an all-time high, and good hitting can go a long way to make up for shortcomings in mobility.

All being said, I very much doubt things will be that much different than they were over the past 2 years though: whether she does well on IW - Miami or not, Sharapova will probably skip nearly the whole of the clay season again, show up at RG wrapped up in a garish, distracting outfit, claim injury and rustiness, win a couple of (needlessly tough) epics, annoy the Parisians, give me false hopes, only to crash out spectacularly in the QF (or SF, if she is one of the top 4 seeds and manages to avoid Ivanovic until then) in a match for which for all intents and purposes she failed to show up.

Maria's main priorities are probably Wimbledon and the Olympics.

Posting gold. :sobbing:
Never leave us.
So you say if Maria were to play the final against Justine at RG, there's 99% chance she'll take the trophy even though Justine has lost a total of 17 games in her 4 RG-finals?

Wow, talk about bold predictions.

And believe me Justine may having been playing like crap since the beginning of the year and hell, she might even continue playing like crap trough the smaller clay-tournies but somehow her game always clicks back in place while RG.

I don't think he meant against Justine.

Lunaris
Mar 14th, 2008, 06:43 PM
Oh yeah, that's what Ivanovic does.
Remind me when did Ivanovic win RG, I forgot it. Regardless, from what I saw last year I wasn't that impressed with her. Against Kuznetsova in Berlin she profited from the fact that Kuznetsova was way too inconsistent from the baseline and couldn't keep a decent depth of her shots which allowed Ivanovic to step into the court and hit forehands at will, high bounce that clay produces helped her to keep error ratio in positive numbers because she could hit the ball exactly from her hitting wheel. I don't remember her RG matches as well but I suspect it was a similar case, the only player who could stay par-to-par with her was surprise surprise Medina Garriguess in 4th round, Kuznetsova in QF was injured and had to retire, Sharapova was way below her 100%, not a stellar draw imo considering how many people think Ivanovic is gold on clay. Henin ended her hopes quickly as she should because she was able to keep Ivanovic off-balance due to her versatile style of play and made her look like a 2nd league player that can't keep the ball in play, something Sharapova doesn't have the skills to do. But even Ana changes her tactics slightly, despite the fact that she mainly benefits from most other players either having almost zero claycourt skills and playing basically hardcourt tennis or lacking power that could keep them in rallies with her. For example she runs around her backhand whenever it's possible and therefore makes the most of that shot, which is a tactic she can employ only on clay. She adjusts her movement (Sharapova doesn‘t). She kicks the 2nd serve (Sharapova doesn‘t). It is still not perfect but she was doing it quite well against Kuznetsova in Berlin and Sveta being of a rather small stature had problems to return Ana's 2nd serve effectively. IMO Ivanovic has a big chance to repeat her RG run from the last year but nonetheless I can't rate her higher than Henin, Jankovic, Kuznetsova or Serena when it comes to clay. The last two should work on their fitness though cause in current state they have a very little or no business in RG final. Sharapova is even lower in my book, at a similar level as Venus who never managed to take the title there. The difference is that Sharapova has many years to improve her game ahead of her.
Maria is in-form at this point of the season while the other RG contenders besides Ana are playing bad, which gives people a certain right to think she could do something in Paris but on clay she is not good enough to win the whole tournament yet (she was in RG SF that's true, but Chakvetadze is a non-factor on clay and Schnyder well is Schnyder) plus we have more than two months and some big tournaments until the RG kicks off and in tennis things can change very quickly, players may find their lost form, Maria may lose the momentum...

Cp6uja
Mar 14th, 2008, 09:35 PM
Ana Ivanovic advantages at clay in comparations with Sharapova:

- Both this girls is too much tall for clay, but Sharapova is 3cm taller than Ana.
In WTA history never some 180cm+ player still not won RG and that will be big problem for 185cm Ana but much bigger for 188cm Maria.

- All big girls in history have problems with movement (except Venus Williams) and in Maria/Ana case difference is not so big except at clay where for some reasons Maria always feels worse and Ana best if we talking about theys movement.

- Ana have Europian and Maria USA background. So far for Maria claycourt part of season is traditionaly less important and for Ana it's so far always theys peak.
Serbian young players have only one choice - summer=clay and winter=carpet. When Ana left Serbia she still stay in Europe where clay is always treated like very important surface (this case is only in Europe and South America). In USA where Maria grow, clay is always last option, especialy for players selected like tall powerhitters. So this is new reason why Maria feel herself so bad at clay and Ana so confortabile since early ages.

- In order of game style Ivanovic attacks seems more efective at clay than Sharapova's.
They both is (baseline) powerhitters but type of theys games is not same. Maria try to hitting every single shot very powerfull, Ana not - but Ivanovic use some kind of "superpower" in her first and especialy final shot. Ivanovic agressive first serve or return on opponent 2nd serve is almost same efective at all surfaces and same things is for her "final shot", when she try to hit winner (mostly FH). She have more time to place herself on right place before hitting and that compensate in her case all of power what slow surface take away of her best shots. On other hand powerfull tempo/pressure which Sharapove use to "kill" they opponents is less efective at clay and too many shots which is enough good to close point or atleast take initiative at all other surfaces is not enough good for clay.

All other girls which i notice here before like better than Sharapova at clay (Henin, Kuznetsova, Serena, Jankovic) dont have any problem with clay in order of they height, movement (except Sveta), background or season priorities (except Serena), despite Maria (and Ana) they all have good deffensive game and b/c all this ^^^^ reasons they all will have at clay more problems with Ana than with Maria.

iamme
Mar 14th, 2008, 10:00 PM
I think these all things really don't matter. If Maria plays her best tennis she can beat Ana anywhere. that's all.

Cp6uja
Mar 14th, 2008, 10:06 PM
I think these all things really don't matter. If Maria plays her best tennis she can beat Ana anywhere. that's all.Yes... like Federer and Nadal... great Federer will beat Rafa anywhere :p.

iamme
Mar 14th, 2008, 10:14 PM
Yes... like Federer and Nadal... great Federer will beat Rafa anywhere :p.

hahha, Ana isn't a three times RG champion:p

Cp6uja
Mar 14th, 2008, 10:18 PM
hahha, Ana isn't a three times RG champion:pBut Masha is already 12 times GS champion :p

goldenlox
Mar 14th, 2008, 10:24 PM
Maria is a lot younger than Federer.

iamme
Mar 14th, 2008, 10:26 PM
But Masha is already 12 times GS champion :p

not yet..:lol:she needs.let me count..four this year..then it's 6..yes she needs about other 2 years.. :lol:

of cours they aren't any of them..but Maria is still better right now

DOUBLEFIST
Mar 15th, 2008, 04:48 AM
If healthy, Maria has a serious shot at a Golden Slam and complete domination.

Ask us after the French.

mankind
Mar 15th, 2008, 06:05 AM
Sharapova will never lose another match. Ever.