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View Full Version : What will Maria need to add to her game to nab the French Open title?


DA FOREHAND
Apr 14th, 2008, 04:04 PM
Based on her performance yesterday -v- D.C., she could def improve her movement, although she actully began to slide a little in the second set.

She would need to keep her service percentage up
Drive all short balls and move forward
A tad more consistancy
Belief


I would love to see her win the French Open, and of course beating Justine enroute would be the icing on the cake.

jazar
Apr 14th, 2008, 04:07 PM
slice backhand

Serge007
Apr 14th, 2008, 04:08 PM
just cut UE

Aaron.
Apr 14th, 2008, 04:09 PM
Not trying to finish the point of early I watched Maria's QF and F and she was still playing like a hardcourt to me Of course she has more firepower and expierence then those other girls so its what got her through

I really wanted to see her play Lindsay...too bad

InsideOut.
Apr 14th, 2008, 04:16 PM
moonballs :lol:

Dave.
Apr 14th, 2008, 04:18 PM
She has the mental toughness to succeed on clay. I don't think her movement will improve that much so she should focus on her strengths. She needs to be more consistent from the back of the court. Perhaps add a bit more height to her strokes and focus more on depth and placement rather than power. This will involve improving her forehand alot. She also needs to work on her transition game and be able to finish points at the net regularly. I think the stuff I just mentioned are more vital than movement. She's never going to be in Henin's league in movement, so she should focus on what she does well.

joćo.
Apr 14th, 2008, 04:30 PM
Her movement is improving i think so she just needs practice to get around and learn how to be consistent and techniques to play on clay.

athake
Apr 14th, 2008, 04:34 PM
Sliding right after hitting is not the sliding on clay, if u wanna see the pure sliding watch some more Nadal,Justine,Sveta,Jelena match on red clay.

its better to discuss it after Berlin, that green fake clay thing which's invented for US hardcourters means nothing for RG...

goldenlox
Apr 14th, 2008, 04:42 PM
just cut UEThat's a big part of it. She can't control points from the baseline as easily as on hardcourt.
She has to play steadier, then when she attacks, she has to finish it quick, and not hit 5 or 6 aggressive shots to win one point.

QUEENLINDSAY
Apr 14th, 2008, 04:49 PM
I really think movement is not a factor for her to win RG. Mary Pierce won it with power tennis and Lindsay beat a good mover like Clijsters at RG too.
What she needs to do is try to have more variety with her shots. She needs to add more slices and topspins instead of a hardcourt tennis ball bashing from side to side. She can use ball bashing side to side but she needs to aim for the lines consistently to be effective. I said consistently. Also she needs patience to look for opportunity for winners and not try to convert everything into a winner shots.
All being said, she won't win RG. well not with her current game.

spencercarlos
Apr 14th, 2008, 05:05 PM
Based on her performance yesterday -v- D.C., she could def improve her movement, although she actully began to slide a little in the second set.

She would need to keep her service percentage up
Drive all short balls and move forward
A tad more consistancy
Belief


I would love to see her win the French Open, and of course beating Justine enroute would be the icing on the cake.
I don´t really buy this "Drive all short balls and move forward", even Maria said something similar yesterday, just the imagination of having Sharapova at the net on clay it´s really ridiculous. She does not even have a great volley to start up with.

Still Sharapova´s best weapons on clay are her groundstrokes and her desire, she has that mental attitude and she will never give up, similar to what Seles had (eventhough Seles was way better on clay and used more topspin and angles than Sharapova).

Not sure if she can win it someday, i just can´t see it happening with Henin around.

Viktymise
Apr 14th, 2008, 05:08 PM
I don“t really buy this "Drive all short balls and move forward", even Maria said something similar yesterday, just the imagination of having Sharapova at the net on clay it“s really ridiculous. She does not even have a great volley to start up with.

Still Sharapova“s best weapons on clay are her groundstrokes and her desire, she has that mental attitude and she will never give up, similar to what Seles had (eventhough Seles was way better on clay and used more topspin and angles than Sharapova).

Not sure if she can win it someday, i just can“t see it happening with Henin around.

I agree. Moving foward constantly on clay doesn't really work for Venus, why would it work for Sharapova?

spencercarlos
Apr 14th, 2008, 05:10 PM
I really think movement is not a factor for her to win RG. Mary Pierce won it with power tennis and Lindsay beat a good mover like Clijsters at RG too.
What she needs to do is try to have more variety with her shots. She needs to add more slices and topspins instead of a hardcourt tennis ball bashing from side to side. She can use ball bashing side to side but she needs to aim for the lines consistently to be effective. I said consistently. Also she needs patience to look for opportunity for winners and not try to convert everything into a winner shots.
All being said, she won't win RG. well not with her current game.
Clijsters was not a typical clay courter either. Movement and clay are surely a problem for Maria.

Having a variety game of topspin and slice does not necesarily is a guarantee for sucess on clay. Remmember that those kind of shots are variety shots and you usually employ them while being on defensive positions, and i´m sure that Sharapova won´t win an important clay court title by playing defensive, varied tennis.

She has to do it by dominating from the first shot, by having her oponnent on the move.

spencercarlos
Apr 14th, 2008, 05:12 PM
I agree. Moving foward constantly on clay doesn't really work for Venus, why would it work for Sharapova?
And Venus is way better at the net also, not only by execution but also on how to cover the net. Sharapova is really hopeless up there, she can only go there when the point is almost over.

nelsondan
Apr 14th, 2008, 05:34 PM
I thought her coach gave her good advice telling her to return more balls up the middle. It had the effect of throwing her opponent with the quick movements off her patterns, and allowed maria to survive points longer to win long rallies---because when she finally gets the chance to drive it somewhere else, she often succeeds.

Keep playing matches---keep learning tiny little things which can make the difference.

QUEENLINDSAY
Apr 14th, 2008, 05:36 PM
Clijsters was not a typical clay courter either..
I dont agree with that. Clijsters always perform on red clay court and it suits her game. Only because of Henin's dominance on clay that she wasn't able to win RG. In fact it was her first slam final that she almost won!

Movement and clay are surely a problem for Maria.. As I have said, Mary Pierce dont move much better than Maria but she won the French. Movement is an advantage but not necessarily needed if you have the groundies of Lindsay,Pierce and Sharapova and Seles.

Having a variety game of topspin and slice does not necesarily is a guarantee for sucess on clay. Remmember that those kind of shots are variety shots and you usually employ them while being on defensive positions, and i´m sure that Sharapova won´t win an important clay court title by playing defensive, varied tennis..
Having a variety on clay is not a sure thing but its definitely an advantage. If you can keep your oponent guessing, its gonna be hard to retrieve every ball even your the best movers on tour.

She has to do it by dominating from the first shot, by having her oponnent on the move. You are right except that you got to be accurate also.

For me, Power tennis is so effective on clay if you hit your shots perfectly on the lines and onced you got a short ball, time to hit the winner. In order to win on clay, you either have to be the agressor or the best defender of all. But if you can do both like henin and nadal.

Juarito
Apr 14th, 2008, 05:44 PM
She sould learn playing on clay, specially on red ones. She does not slide, that is so much advantage for her opponent. I think Justine, Ana, Jelena, ElenaD, Serena and Sveta can destroy her in FO.

Direwolf
Apr 14th, 2008, 05:50 PM
why? are you her coach or something??

j/k

well..

more angles and patience...

Maria is a great tennis player...

and i think that she should withdraw from Charleston..
to prepare for Berlin..

Dodoboy.
Apr 14th, 2008, 06:04 PM
Needs to be able to last in long rallies really and if she wants to shorten the point she should rush to the net.

Mikey B
Apr 14th, 2008, 06:05 PM
back hand slice would be really useful.. she's incorporated the drop shot more at amelia island which is useful on clay to move her opponent around.. but i think the thing that hurt her the most was her unforced errors... if she cut them out i think the scorelines from her 3rd, quarters and the final would have been alot more straight forward...

but i just think that time on clay is important, the more she plays the better she'll be... a good run at charleston, berlin and rome, possibly even a win would be the perfect lead up to the french..

goldenlox
Apr 14th, 2008, 06:13 PM
She's not going to change much.
I've watched the Myskina-Venus QF from RG 2004 a few times.
I think the rain was key.
Maria is going to need a dry week 2, a decent draw, Justine to not be near top form,
and Maria will have to serve well and play well at big moments, which she is capable of.

Il Primo!
Apr 14th, 2008, 06:15 PM
Put more topspin into her FH instead of bash the yellow out the ball like the Queen of the deafs and clean up her returns. Period.

Helen Lawson
Apr 14th, 2008, 06:19 PM
She needs Justine to be injured or playing well below what she can. If Justine's out of the equation, it's anyone's tournament and Maria is playing the best right now.

She made the semifinals last year playing poorly. She can certainly improve on that. Can you imagine, it's June, the crowd is roaring, she's bathed golden in the reflection of the red clay on that afternoon and she hoists the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen above her head as tears stream down her face. She has completed the career Grand Slam at 21. Oh, Maria haters will be mad as hell!! It could happen.

Mikey B
Apr 14th, 2008, 06:31 PM
She made the semifinals last year playing poorly. She can certainly improve on that. Can you imagine, it's June, the crowd is roaring, she's bathed golden in the reflection of the red clay on that afternoon and she hoists the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen above her head as tears stream down her face. She has completed the career Grand Slam at 21. Oh, Maria haters will be mad as hell!! It could happen.

and maria fans will be mad at you for the possible jinx you've just sent out! lol! just kidding, but that would be AMAZING!! i think of that cup with maria holding it all the time! haha!

CR3WLFC
Apr 14th, 2008, 06:53 PM
sharapova certainly believe's she can win it!!!!

She wont defend like jankovic or henin by end of may... but she is moving better then she was last year she improved that already.... she needs to play her own game no slices, angles and all that bullshit... Big first serves..... and if her forehand helds up she will get far..... if she loses she will lose to either henin or the williams NO OTHER PLAYER:fiery:

pov
Apr 14th, 2008, 06:56 PM
I think that what she said in her comments after winning Amelia Island sums up most of it:
http://www.wtaworld.com/showthread.php?t=339373

That and keeping her ball toss consistent.

hablo
Apr 14th, 2008, 06:57 PM
sharapova certainly believe's she can win it!!!!

She wont defend like jankovic or henin by end of may... but she is moving better then she was last year she improved that already.... she needs to play her own game no slices, angles and all that bullshit... Big first serves..... and if her forehand helds up she will get far..... if she loses she will lose to either henin or the williams NO OTHER PLAYER:fiery:

Angles are part of Sharapova's game though. A very effective part of her game imo. Besides her serve (when it's on) and her self-belief, solid bh and aggressive fh. I think she needs a better slice and some more topspin, from time to time, on her fh (to push her opponent off the court or way back behind the baseline). And she needs to be more patient in the rallies - like she was when she won US Open in 2006 and AO 2008. Controlled aggression is the key.

AcesHigh
Apr 14th, 2008, 07:36 PM
I dont agree with that. Clijsters always perform on red clay court and it suits her game. Only because of Henin's dominance on clay that she wasn't able to win RG. In fact it was her first slam final that she almost won!
Clay is Clijsters's least favorite surface. Just because she's performed well on it means she's a natural claycourter.

As I have said, Mary Pierce dont move much better than Maria but she won the French. Movement is an advantage but not necessarily needed if you have the groundies of Lindsay,Pierce and Sharapova and Seles.

Pierce moved much more naturally on the surface and had better footwork. Speed isn't everything. Seles moved much better on the surface also, and made much more effective use of topspin, angles and just overall variety.
If anything, Sharapova is more like Davenport than any of those players and Lindsay has had very limited success on clay.

That she was able to collect so many Amelia Island titles should tell us the big difference between that surface and red clay. I will wait to see Sharapova play Berlin/Rome before I make an judgements on her game for that surface this year.

Tennisstar86
Apr 14th, 2008, 08:01 PM
judging from what i saw in AI Sharapova has a lot of work today. I havent seen her on the red stuff yet, but on the green she kept trying to hit through the clay.. so to speak. If she wants to win the FO she needs A GOOD draw meaning easy or mental case opponents and for everyone else to wilt away. Of course this happened last year and she still didnt make the final...

I feel like For maria to be a favorite to grab the title she'll need to change much of her game, which could of course jeoperdize her wimbledon chances so it depends on if she wants to give that up for the FO.

She could win it, but at this point its more dependent on what the other girls are doing than what sharapova is.

MrSerenaWilliams
Apr 14th, 2008, 08:56 PM
She needs a good draw. :shrug:

She can beat most players anyway on general principles, but I mean if she was up against a Williamsx2/Kuznetsova/Henin/Jankovic, she might run into trouble because they're better on clay that she is.