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View Full Version : What should Maria work on to take her game to the Serbs and the Williams sisters?


baleineau
Oct 19th, 2008, 12:51 AM
When Maria returns, I cannot help but think that she'll need to bring something different to her matches than in the past. Simply hitting her way out of trouble on one Game Plan will not be good enough to win her the multiple slams that many people felt she could rack up by her mid-20s (even conservative estimates were in the 3-5 range).

with this long absence, maria has had an opportunity to think about her game and try different things. what do you think she'll need to get back into the mix with Jelena, Ana, Serena, Venus and Dinara?

RenaSlam.
Oct 19th, 2008, 12:54 AM
Maria at her best is practically unmatched by anyone except Venus or Serena at their best.

She doesn't need to do anything differently.

Uranium
Oct 19th, 2008, 12:55 AM
She needs to realize that her time at the top is up and move on to something different
:kiss:

Viktymise
Oct 19th, 2008, 01:04 AM
Ask Alizé!

swissmr
Oct 19th, 2008, 01:06 AM
She doesn't need to improve anything to beat the Serbs.

goldenlox
Oct 19th, 2008, 01:08 AM
I think her game is solid. She needs to stay healthy and she'll be fine.

-NAJ-
Oct 19th, 2008, 01:09 AM
for start she needs to return.
wta tour is not the same without her.
Maria :)

VenusSerenaBlvd.
Oct 19th, 2008, 01:14 AM
Maria's game can beat anyone when it is on from all aspects. The only thing I think she can improve on is her net game. But her groundies are so solid to begin with, she does not need to volley often.

Привет
Oct 19th, 2008, 01:18 AM
:spit: @ some of the options. Since when has Masha been lonely? And since when do players have to have tennis playing friends? :lol:

4 votes for Maria moving on from tennis. :lol: Why don't people realise that when you let your hate cloud your judgement, it makes you look stupid? :lol:

Maria doesn't need to improve on much to beat the Serbians, but I voted to get rid of Papa Yuri as coach. If she comes up against the Williams sisters in good form, she struggles. She needs to work at that.

Lucemferre
Oct 19th, 2008, 01:18 AM
Nothing. Her only rival is Serena Williams and there is nothing she could about that either so nothing :)

mboyle
Oct 19th, 2008, 01:29 AM
When Maria returns, I cannot help but think that she'll need to bring something different to her matches than in the past. Simply hitting her way out of trouble on one Game Plan will not be good enough to win her the multiple slams that many people felt she could rack up by her mid-20s (even conservative estimates were in the 3-5 range).

with this long absence, maria has had an opportunity to think about her game and try different things. what do you think she'll need to get back into the mix with Jelena, Ana, Serena, Venus and Dinara?

I think it says a lot about the state of women's tennis that Dinara Safina is even considered a threat to Maria. Maria came within one point of beating Dinara on clay with half a shoulder and even less of a serve. Maria leads Jankovic 4-1 and Ivanovic 3-2 (and bitch slapped Ana when it mattered most.) She has not lost to Venus off of grass. That leaves Serena. Serena is a faster, more athletic but less consistent version of Maria. When Serena plays her best, Maria can't beat her and she never will be able to, but Serena won't always be at her best. It's as simple as that.

But it is almost insulting to say that Dinara Safina is at a level above the former world no. 1 and three time slam champion.

Mikey.
Oct 19th, 2008, 01:30 AM
I don't think there is much she can work on. Maybe working on the mental side of her game for when she plays against the WS, otherwise... she isn't doing too bad.

Shafanovic.
Oct 19th, 2008, 01:32 AM
For starters she needs to go back on the court :D and fix that shoulder.

tonybotz
Oct 19th, 2008, 01:37 AM
she needs to learn how to hit her forehand without that horrible wrap around. its whats causing her shoulder injury and its really unnecessary.

AcesHigh
Oct 19th, 2008, 01:41 AM
Work on technique that doesnt cause her any serious injury.

Other than that.. she's fine. She destroyed the field at Australia. She'll be a huge contender there again and at Wimby and USO.

SOA_MC
Oct 19th, 2008, 01:44 AM
Why do people still think Yuri is her coach he's only her coach on paper, we all know that Michael Joyce is her coach

BuTtErFrEnA
Oct 19th, 2008, 01:47 AM
honestly she doesnt have much competition outside of serena (the one person she goes in as an underdog against on any surface) or *wait for it* sveta (i guess sveta likes to soak up the pace from her :shrug: )...dinara shouldn't be a constant threat to her if she is playing well on anything except clay (the quicker the court and the lower the bounce i'd have to give maria the advantage always...safina might get one or two wins but more often than not i will expect maria to win that match up off of clay :shrug: )

venus hasn't been able to do anything to maria off of grass and maria's mentality at times seems better than venus' so she doesn't really have to bother about trying to beat venus, unless venus starts winning consistently outside of wimbledon...there's not much maria can do to venus on grass lol so i'd say she feels pretty good about beating venus anywhere else but SW19

she leads ana i believe so until ana starts winning more in that match up i'd say maria feels pretty good about it (which will all change next year...when ana and serena dominate tennis ;) )

maria, like serena, has the ability to blow jj of the court so i'd say that match up is really up to how maria plays...

all in all i'd have to say she doesn't have to do anything...:shrug:

tennisbear7
Oct 19th, 2008, 01:48 AM
She needs a consistent serve.

Dave.
Oct 19th, 2008, 02:07 AM
I think this:

She doesn't need to do anything differently. She was just unlucky to be injured.


But I hope she goes with this:

She needs to realise that her time at the top is up and move on to something different.



Seriously, not even a year ago at the AO she totally crushed the field. She wouldn't have lost to anyone playing like that. And she sustained it the next couple of months too, she really was just unlucky to get injured. I think all the improvements she has made in the last few years shone through in Melbourne. That was peak Maria we saw there, and that level is good enough to win slams.

Tennisation
Oct 19th, 2008, 02:22 AM
To be honest (comming from a NON-fan), when she's back and fully healthy, she'll handle the serbs without a problem and won't lose to Venus outside of grass. She only needs to focus on what she can do to beat Serena.

pov
Oct 19th, 2008, 02:28 AM
I think none of the given selections are on point. Her biggest think is going to be trusting that her shoulder is fine. If she can do that an focus on her game she'll do well.

The Daviator
Oct 19th, 2008, 02:47 AM
She needs to try to ingratiate herself more with other players to feel less lonely.

Andy.
Oct 19th, 2008, 02:52 AM
Maria just has to play her best. At her best hardly anyone (Williams Sisters Aside) can match her let alone beat her. I dont think she needs to really add to her game. She is not about variety and never will be. She has that one game she she plays it better than nearly everybody

Apoleb
Oct 19th, 2008, 02:56 AM
If she's able to get her serve she wouldn't need to do anything to dominate all of the tour except Serena and Venus. If she can't, then that's a totally different story, and in that case, she would need to develop something different to her game. Though honestly I don't know what could work and what could get her the results she used to have.

Tennisstar86
Oct 19th, 2008, 03:56 AM
I think it says a lot about the state of women's tennis that Dinara Safina is even considered a threat to Maria. Maria came within one point of beating Dinara on clay with half a shoulder and even less of a serve. Maria leads Jankovic 4-1 and Ivanovic 3-2 (and bitch slapped Ana when it mattered most.) She has not lost to Venus off of grass. That leaves Serena. Serena is a faster, more athletic but less consistent version of Maria. When Serena plays her best, Maria can't beat her and she never will be able to, but Serena won't always be at her best. It's as simple as that.

But it is almost insulting to say that Dinara Safina is at a level above the former world no. 1 and three time slam champion.

Maria is not a less athletic and more consistant version of Serena..... Their games arent similar at all IMO.....

Id say shes a less athletic but more consistant version of Venus, but i would barely go that far these days since Venus has been changing her game.... she comes in a LOT more than she use to....

InsideOut.
Oct 19th, 2008, 04:01 AM
To beat the Serbs she really doesn't have to do much different...if you're talking about on clay then movement for sure...

I think Maria's problems with Serena are completely mental. :shrug: She has no problems with Venus off of grass.

Dunlop1
Oct 19th, 2008, 04:15 AM
Maria doesn't have to work on anything to take her game to the Serbs. Her current game did the job.

However as with all great tennis players, she should be working on improving on her best.
So for Maria to improve on her best tennis, I would suggest she:

1. Try to improve her movement
She will never be one of the fastest players but if she can work on getting that first step to be a bit quicker, it would really help.

2. Keep working on net game
This is a minor issue. Maria has shown improvements in her net game. Her game is to get you on the defensive and then come in for the easy volley. Against the current field, this game is more than sufficient.

Sharakim
Oct 19th, 2008, 05:36 AM
Maria does not have a lot of trouble with the Serbs. I think she has the upper hand on the faster hardcourt and grass surfaces. Plus, so far shes proven to be stronger than both at slams. Even on clay, I would give her a fighting chance.

She has problems with Serena, but i think a huge part of that is psychological. She got a set off of Serena this year on clay her worst surface. Imagine what she could do healthy and with confidence on hard court or grass? I'm not saying that Serena doesn't "own" her at the moment; all I'm saying is that Maria has the ability (game) to turn that record around. She just needs to find it within herself.

Improvements I'd like to see:
1. Attitude. Sharapova is very tough both physically and mentally. Unfortunately, she sometimes has problems finishing a match or closing a set. I'd like to see Maria be a little calmer and more focused when finishing a match. The FO 4th round this year was one of the most disapointing chokes I've ever seen from Maria. She had Safina beat, then the crowd and her own negative energy brought her down. Too many times I've seen Maria inexplicabily choke away a lead in matches (AO 2005 SF, WTA CHAMPS 2007 F). She is very talented and brave, but she needs to pratice pulling the trigger on a match.

2. Volleys, great improvements have been made. I love the occasional drop volley. All I ask is that she keeps working on this part of her game because the work is slowly but surely paying off.

3. Health. This is the biggest concern of mine. I really want her to healthy for as long as possible. Her injuries/or lack thereof can make or break her career. Hopefully this shoulder rehab works out and I can enjoy watching her kick ass throughout the whole 2009 season.

mboyle
Oct 19th, 2008, 06:12 AM
Maria is not a less athletic and more consistant version of Serena..... Their games arent similar at all IMO.....

Id say shes a less athletic but more consistant version of Venus, but i would barely go that far these days since Venus has been changing her game.... she comes in a LOT more than she use to....

Accepted. It was a gross oversimplification of what I was trying to say. I have actually argued for years that their games aren't really similar lol. Sorry for not saying what I meant.

mboyle
Oct 19th, 2008, 06:14 AM
Maria is not a less athletic and more consistant version of Serena..... Their games arent similar at all IMO.....

Id say shes a less athletic but more consistant version of Venus, but i would barely go that far these days since Venus has been changing her game.... she comes in a LOT more than she use to....

Accepted. It was a gross oversimplification of what I was trying to say. I have actually argued for years that their games aren't really similar lol. Sorry for not saying what I meant.

VishaalMaria
Oct 19th, 2008, 06:37 AM
Maria does not have a lot of trouble with the Serbs. I think she has the upper hand on the faster hardcourt and grass surfaces. Plus, so far shes proven to be stronger than both at slams. Even on clay, I would give her a fighting chance.

She has problems with Serena, but i think a huge part of that is psychological. She got a set off of Serena this year on clay her worst surface. Imagine what she could do healthy and with confidence on hard court or grass? I'm not saying that Serena doesn't "own" her at the moment; all I'm saying is that Maria has the ability (game) to turn that record around. She just needs to find it within herself.

Improvements I'd like to see:
1. Attitude. Sharapova is very tough both physically and mentally. Unfortunately, she sometimes has problems finishing a match or closing a set. I'd like to see Maria be a little calmer and more focused when finishing a match. The FO 4th round this year was one of the most disapointing chokes I've ever seen from Maria. She had Safina beat, then the crowd and her own negative energy brought her down. Too many times I've seen Maria inexplicabily choke away a lead in matches (AO 2005 SF, WTA CHAMPS 2007 F). She is very talented and brave, but she needs to pratice pulling the trigger on a match.

2. Volleys, great improvements have been made. I love the occasional drop volley. All I ask is that she keeps working on this part of her game because the work is slowly but surely paying off.

3. Health. This is the biggest concern of mine. I really want her to healthy for as long as possible. Her injuries/or lack thereof can make or break her career. Hopefully this shoulder rehab works out and I can enjoy watching her kick ass throughout the whole 2009 season.

I'm quoting your post, but I'd just like to say that my following point[s] are general to anyone.

The only problem Maria has against Serena is that she [Maria] is mentally weaker. There's a difference between being in someone elses head and just generally having a weaker mentality; being in someone's head is what Justine was to Jelena. This is not the case between Serena and Maria, which seems to be the thought everyone is adopting.

After all, the way Serena saved those match points at the AO SF 05, and the way she fought her way and won the first set in Charleston Serena was hitting WINNERS, Maria couldn't do anything. Serena took it away from Maria, Maria didn't choke.

The only way Maria will win against Serena is if Serena's injured or if Serena chokes herself [highly unlikely].

As for Venus, I think her head to head against Maria will improve. People seem to think Venus is such a God-dess on grass that they totally under-estimate her on hard-court game and IMHO, she has more than game to beat Maria. After all, we all saw that this year at the Hong Kong Exhibition; fair enough it was an exhibition but it was still a competitive tennis match that I'm sure Maria would have liked to have won.

With regards to Ana and Jelena, Maria doesn't have to do anything besides being aggressive and consistent.

Sharapowerr
Oct 19th, 2008, 06:58 AM
Her game is allmost perfect, Her groundstrokes are the hardest then of the other 4, so JJ won t bring many balls , Ana s game is good , but Maria s doing allmost everything a little better, especially the swing volley she can hit that ball with her eyes close... and the mental part..
And for the WS ... a quote here by Uranium...WS are getting
down from the top, they re making too many UE and are getting a little old imo.. so .. she doesn t need to change anything..

Sharakim
Oct 19th, 2008, 07:17 AM
I'm quoting your post, but I'd just like to say that my following point[s] are general to anyone.

The only problem Maria has against Serena is that she [Maria] is mentally weaker. There's a difference between being in someone elses head and just generally having a weaker mentality; being in someone's head is what Justine was to Jelena. This is not the case between Serena and Maria, which seems to be the thought everyone is adopting.

After all, the way Serena saved those match points at the AO SF 05, and the way she fought her way and won the first set in Charleston Serena was hitting WINNERS, Maria couldn't do anything. Serena took it away from Maria, Maria didn't choke.

The only way Maria will win against Serena is if Serena's injured or if Serena chokes herself [highly unlikely].

As for Venus, I think her head to head against Maria will improve. People seem to think Venus is such a God-dess on grass that they totally under-estimate her on hard-court game and IMHO, she has more than game to beat Maria. After all, we all saw that this year at the Hong Kong Exhibition; fair enough it was an exhibition but it was still a competitive tennis match that I'm sure Maria would have liked to have won.

With regards to Ana and Jelena, Maria doesn't have to do anything besides being aggressive and consistent.You've made some valid points. But I still stand by my beliefs. Sharapova can beat both Williams sisters. She's got the game to do it. And by your post, I infer that if she does improve her attitude toward playing Serena, her chances of winning will increase...prehaps dramatically.

nelsondan
Oct 19th, 2008, 07:43 AM
What if she added ten pounds? Mostly muscle. Would it give her more power and longer endurance---or would it just slow up her movement?

Adal
Oct 19th, 2008, 07:46 AM
She won't have to do anything different.

~Cherry*Blossom~
Oct 19th, 2008, 07:57 AM
People say that Sharapova won't struggle with Venus outside of grass, but I really think at the US Open Venus will be the favourite against her. In other tournaments Sharapova will likely be more confident and will go in as the favourite, however, at Wimbledon & the USO she'll go in as the underdog.

That being said, she really doesn't have to do much to her game. She is better than the Serbs and usually always beats them. On clay she will struggle against them but everywhere else she should beat them.

Marilyn Monheaux
Oct 19th, 2008, 08:11 AM
It's never wrong to improve your movement I guess:shrug:
Besides that I think she has the game to beat anybody, she just needs to stay injury free!

As for Serena, I think this is more mental. I remember that Joyce said that she has to believe she can really beat her...

Tennisstar86
Oct 19th, 2008, 08:38 AM
What if she added ten pounds? Mostly muscle. Would it give her more power and longer endurance---or would it just slow up her movement?

no, shed be waaaay to slow.... shes already slow enough

Mashafaaaaan
Oct 19th, 2008, 08:40 AM
She won't have to do anything different.

Exactly, with this kind of ttennis she showed during OZ, noone can beat her.

kwilliams
Oct 19th, 2008, 09:18 AM
I don't think she needs to worry about the Serbs, except on clay. As for the WS, she should hope they are out of form. If not she should work on her movement and also her return a little. Her return is great but since her serve won't quite measure up to the WS (especially because of her shoulder) she should sharpen her return.

Kipling
Oct 19th, 2008, 12:03 PM
All she "needs to do" is have a healthy shoulder. When she is healthy, she is the best in the world.

Effy
Oct 19th, 2008, 12:07 PM
She needs to realize that her time at the top is up and move on to something different
:kiss:

:haha: yeah at the age of 21 she needs to realize it. You are so biased its almost funny :awww:

Beny
Oct 19th, 2008, 12:14 PM
Her AO form :shrug:
She just has to stay healthy
And she should fix her head when playing Serena :tape:

Otherwise she´s perfect..in terms of tennis

santhuruu
Oct 19th, 2008, 12:31 PM
To be honest I think that shoulder injury really messed up her game. Really on the service and the forehand. I think it was a very good decision from her to stop for the rest of the season. And she will be really eager to play good tennis next year because of that long rest periode. She has nothing to defend after Wimbledon, so I'm prediciting good things for the Sharapova fans, wouldn't be too surprised if she gets to number 1 again too. I think to take on the Serbs, Sharapova should return a lot of the serves, especially the second ones very deep back towards the middle of the baseline, cause both four players have difficulties with that, and they just put those balls back to the court, and sharapova is magnificent with the way she slams the ball when she gets that chance. So that is the only thing she could improve on in my opinion!

Matt01
Oct 19th, 2008, 12:48 PM
All she "needs to do" is have a healthy shoulder. When she is healthy, she is the best in the world.


Err....no.

markdelaney
Oct 19th, 2008, 12:53 PM
I wasn't aware the Serbs gave Maria so much trouble as she leads Jankovic 4-1 and Ivanovic 3-2 including the Australian Open thumping of JJ this year and the final win over AI. Her weakest shot has always been the low forehand which generally goes wide and often into the net. I think she, like everyone else, knows that when the Williamses are on top form in a slam that they can't be beaten except by each other.

bandabou
Oct 19th, 2008, 03:20 PM
Hmm..I guess if the serve is on, she should do fine against the serbs...should be interesting to see how she does against the new and improved Jankovic.

Against Serena?! The mental battle is gonna be interesting to follow. Serena is in her head, that's for certain.

Volcana
Oct 19th, 2008, 03:27 PM
Sharapova could learn to get to net better. Lindsay Davenport was very effective at net, and knew how and when to get there, even though she was a relatively slow player.

Dodoboy.
Oct 19th, 2008, 03:31 PM
All she "needs to do" is have a healthy shoulder. When she is healthy, she is the best in the world.

Errrr..... HELL no.

FoxyliciousKhat
Oct 19th, 2008, 03:33 PM
Maria will be just fine, she don't need to change anything especially not against the Serbs. And she's done enough to prove she can beat Vee and Ree. However, if the sisters are playing at their best it will be a tougher task.

The only thing Maria has to worry about is if her shoulder will be a problem for her career. END OF STORY!

Foxy

bandabou
Oct 19th, 2008, 03:35 PM
Maria will be just fine, she don't need to change anything especially not against the Serbs. And she's done enough to prove she can beat Vee and Ree. However, if the sisters are playing at their best it will be a tougher task.

The only thing Maria has to worry about is if her shoulder will be a problem for her career. END OF STORY!

Foxy

Really?!Memory says she hasn't beaten Serena in almost three years and only recently has even taken a SET off of Serena.

Destiny
Oct 19th, 2008, 03:49 PM
yeah what the rest have said
expect for the fact she needs to move from tennis

Serenita
Oct 19th, 2008, 03:49 PM
she should work on a plan B. she's to 1 dimensional

SAEKeithSerena
Oct 19th, 2008, 03:57 PM
Nothing. Her only rival is Serena Williams and there is nothing she could about that either so nothing :)

agreed:worship:

sweetpeas
Oct 19th, 2008, 06:24 PM
Nothing!She alright..As long as Maria,can stay injury feel....She top 3!!!!!!

Sean.
Oct 19th, 2008, 07:15 PM
I think she needs a coach.

Because her tecnique, particularly on her serve, has gone. She stands with her feet facing away from the court and throws the ball to far back. Thus she has to compensate with her shoulder.

A coach would change this immediately

FoxyliciousKhat
Oct 19th, 2008, 08:07 PM
Really?!Memory says she hasn't beaten Serena in almost three years and only recently has even taken a SET off of Serena.

Still except for AO 07 they have been close matches, and as such she has shown it can happen if she execute things right.


Foxy

doni1212
Oct 19th, 2008, 08:41 PM
Still except for AO 07 they have been close matches, and as such she has shown it can happen if she execute things right.


Foxy

I guess you forgot about Miami, huh? :lol:

mboyle
Oct 19th, 2008, 08:52 PM
Hmm..I guess if the serve is on, she should do fine against the serbs...should be interesting to see how she does against the new and improved Jankovic.

Against Serena?! The mental battle is gonna be interesting to follow. Serena is in her head, that's for certain.

Jankovic isn't new and improved...Maria cleaned her clock down under this year after she got her win over Serena.

blumaroo
Oct 19th, 2008, 08:58 PM
Jankovic isn't new and improved...Maria cleaned her clock down under this year after she got her win over Serena.

Did you see that match?
Jankovic was basically giving Maria a walkover. She could hardly run.

Every match they played went to three sets and that's when Jelena wasn't the player she is now. Both players have the best groundies of the whole tour. I am personally looking forward to a rivalry between both of them.

doni1212
Oct 19th, 2008, 09:01 PM
Did you see that match?
Jankovic was basically giving Maria a walkover. She could hardly run.

I am personally looking forward to a rivalry between Jelena and Maria. Every match they played went to three sets and that's when Jelena wasn't the player she is now.

Yeah, me too. I just won't know who to cheer for!! I don't like either of them, :rolls:
I think I'll cheer for Jelena, though. At least I'll know she'll get beaten in a later round if it's a grandslam, :lol:

G1Player2
Oct 19th, 2008, 09:16 PM
Jankovic isn't new and improved...Maria cleaned her clock down under this year after she got her win over Serena.

Are you kidding me? The same Jelena Jankovic who could barely even move with her mother crying in the stands almost the whole time? I know we are sometimes biased about our faves, but this is ridiculous. There is no way you can judge Jelena's form if you watched that match and are being objective considering the condition Jelena was in at the time. :rolleyes:

laurie
Oct 19th, 2008, 09:17 PM
When Maria returns, I cannot help but think that she'll need to bring something different to her matches than in the past. Simply hitting her way out of trouble on one Game Plan will not be good enough to win her the multiple slams that many people felt she could rack up by her mid-20s (even conservative estimates were in the 3-5 range).

with this long absence, maria has had an opportunity to think about her game and try different things. what do you think she'll need to get back into the mix with Jelena, Ana, Serena, Venus and Dinara?

The Serbs? I don't know about that, Ana's game has a lot of technical and mental issues right now from her second serve ball toss (too far to the right) to playing too quick and rushing and making elementary errors on both wings.

Maria is a warrior, not sure Ana matches Maria's competitiveness, I saw that first hand in Madrid last year in the WTA final against Henin.

What Maria has to do is get healthy, and when she's back on tour to try to improve her game, because Maria is always trying to improve her game - Maria is aware she is no genious but makes up for that with a big competitive spirit.

If anything I would say Maria will continue to improve her movement and her transition game to net. When her shoulder is fine Maria has one of the best serves and second serves in the womens game.

Jelena I agree and I've complimented her on really playing very well these last few weeks. But lets be serious here, Jelena is not a Justine Henin, Jelena does not play Tennis which is a considerable level higher than anyone else that will be talked about for decades to come.

It's the Williams sisters who will present a stiffer challenge in the slams because they know how to win and play at the highest level consistently and have the same competitive spirit as Maria.

Dinara, I stand by this but I don't see Dinara as been top 5 over a five year period - her movement is not good enough and that can be exposed in the slams by the real top players.

goldenlox
Oct 19th, 2008, 11:49 PM
Maria comes back as defending AO champion, with a lot of points to defend. Then goes for a career grand slam at the FO.
If she stays healthy, she's going to be in a position to put herself in the elite of the sport.

BuTtErFrEnA
Oct 20th, 2008, 12:51 AM
Maria does not have a lot of trouble with the Serbs. I think she has the upper hand on the faster hardcourt and grass surfaces. Plus, so far shes proven to be stronger than both at slams. Even on clay, I would give her a fighting chance.

She has problems with Serena, but i think a huge part of that is psychological. She got a set off of Serena this year on clay her worst surface. Imagine what she could do healthy and with confidence on hard court or grass? I'm not saying that Serena doesn't "own" her at the moment; all I'm saying is that Maria has the ability (game) to turn that record around. She just needs to find it within herself.

Improvements I'd like to see:
1. Attitude. Sharapova is very tough both physically and mentally. Unfortunately, she sometimes has problems finishing a match or closing a set. I'd like to see Maria be a little calmer and more focused when finishing a match. The FO 4th round this year was one of the most disapointing chokes I've ever seen from Maria. She had Safina beat, then the crowd and her own negative energy brought her down. Too many times I've seen Maria inexplicabily choke away a lead in matches (AO 2005 SF, WTA CHAMPS 2007 F). She is very talented and brave, but she needs to pratice pulling the trigger on a match.

2. Volleys, great improvements have been made. I love the occasional drop volley. All I ask is that she keeps working on this part of her game because the work is slowly but surely paying off.

3. Health. This is the biggest concern of mine. I really want her to healthy for as long as possible. Her injuries/or lack thereof can make or break her career. Hopefully this shoulder rehab works out and I can enjoy watching her kick ass throughout the whole 2009 season.

clay is also serena's worst surface....let alone green clay :wavey: plus i'd say the reason serena "owns" maria is mental - that wimbledon and YEC defeat sparked the fire....not to mention serena can beat maria at her game but maria can't play anything different to beat serena :shrug: no slight to maria since she beats almost everyone else :shrug:

goldenlox
Oct 20th, 2008, 01:04 AM
If Dementieva can beat Serena at the Olympics and win the Gold medal, and beat Serena in the Tier I Moscow final, then Maria can beat Serena too. And she has beat her, in 2 finals.
It depends who is in better form on that day

BuTtErFrEnA
Oct 20th, 2008, 01:20 AM
plz goldenlox....ED can actually run for hours against serena...maria can't...and since you choose to ignore the chokes of serena in the olympics and the injured serena in moscow....ED can change up her game and play a very solid net game if need be against serena, while maria can't...can maria win more against serena? yes...will she?? remains to be seen....

but as i said, if maria and serena get into a hitting match like at the AO final last year you clearly see that serena wins...maria simply can't beat serena at that sort of hitting game....if serena is off her game she has the ability to play incredible defense, take something off her shots and just play consistent tennis like she did during the US Open win....again, maria can't do that....she has Plan A & B that she can bring against maria while maria has plan A that she can bring against serena so she must always have plan A working....

i don't think she has a mental thing against serena..i just think serena is mentally tougher than her....you get accustomed to maria being able to fight her way out of situations until she comes up against someone who is just tougher than her :shrug: again, no slight to maria since no one is tougher than serena when she puts her all into winning....right now it seems she does that against maria, and my, as well as others, thinking is that the said finals that maria won are what stung serena to the point where she comes out so focused against maria :shrug: maybe that's it, maybe it's not

again i take nothing away from maria :shrug: a great player in her own right, hence why i don't think she has to do anything to beat anyone else since right now her only discrepancy in match ups is against serena...and i already stated my position about the serena match up just now :wavey:

goldenlox
Oct 20th, 2008, 01:28 AM
Maria is 21 and we'll see. But I've seen Maria beat Elena several times, including 62 60 at this year's AO. When Maria has been healthy and in great form, she hasn't played Serena.
That's typical of tennis. All players have injuries and slumps. When you play someone, form that day is what matters.
Justine always beat Jankovic, but on the right day I'm sure Jelena can win

BuTtErFrEnA
Oct 20th, 2008, 02:07 AM
maria always beats lena :shrug: match up is different...up until moscow ED hadn't beaten serena in a while....if you say when maria was always injured when she played serena then i can say the same about serena during those two defeats in 04 :shrug: IMO they played 3 matches no one can complain about...AO 05 semi, AO 07 final and Charleston 07 qf....and three of those matches were by serena, and even in one serena was out of shape.....

pengluv
Oct 20th, 2008, 02:23 AM
Serena is a faster, more athletic but less consistent version of Maria Since when was maria any version of Serena. You might as well say sharapova is a slower dementieva with a serve. But is it just me or less people noticed sharapova was gone... cuz when serena was gone for like a year the announcers couldn't stop talking about it and it seems that the announcers didn't say much about sharapova... maybe its just me...But to say its just the inevitable is happening that well all knew was coming. The old legends like justine, clijsters, davenport, and hingis are gone... and the remaining serena and venus are leaving... we hoped a new breed would step up with the talent... but it seems like in the future they will win grand slams not because of talent but the lack of extraordinary talent that the previous had with the roster of the current and future players...

Radwanska will be no hingis skill wise
asia will be no williams sister skill wise
jankovic is no clijsters power and attitude wise
ivanonvic will be no davenport power and consistency wise

doni1212
Oct 20th, 2008, 03:30 AM
Maria is 21 and we'll see. But I've seen Maria beat Elena several times, including 62 60 at this year's AO. When Maria has been healthy and in great form, she hasn't played Serena.
That's typical of tennis. All players have injuries and slumps. When you play someone, form that day is what matters.
Justine always beat Jankovic, but on the right day I'm sure Jelena can win

But I thought she was "healthy" :rolleyes:, this year in Charleston? :shrug:
Not to mention, AO Final 07, Semi 05, Miami 07......

Optima
Oct 20th, 2008, 03:44 AM
People are underestimating Jelena when it comes to Maria; they've only played twice since Jelena became a "top" player, and each have one win. Jelena could barely move in that SF. Plus, even before Jelena joined the higher ranked girls, she took Maria to 3 sets. Maria was also on fire at the AO, a form which a player could only hope to reach a couple if only one time a year, maybe even two years.

Dan23
Oct 20th, 2008, 03:46 AM
Staying fit and strong for a long period of time would be a good start.

There'll always be something she can improve on though.

Vincey!
Oct 20th, 2008, 04:37 AM
Fix the shoulder, that's all...of course her movement isn't the best, but she knows that and she was wokring on that and Maria when she's 100% can beat everybody ...The Serbs aren't at her level at all. Williams at 100% are her biggest opponents ( if not the only)

Vincey!
Oct 20th, 2008, 04:39 AM
People are underestimating Jelena when it comes to Maria; they've only played twice since Jelena became a "top" player, and each have one win. Jelena could barely move in that SF. Plus, even before Jelena joined the higher ranked girls, she took Maria to 3 sets. Maria was also on fire at the AO, a form which a player could only hope to reach a couple if only one time a year, maybe even two years.

Well Jelena's win over Sharapova was when Maria was struggling with her shoulder....so that's underestimating a fully fit Sharapova to bring that win up to prove Jelena's ability to beat Sharapova...

Vincey!
Oct 20th, 2008, 04:44 AM
But I thought she was "healthy" :rolleyes:, this year in Charleston? :shrug:
Not to mention, AO Final 07, Semi 05, Miami 07......

Maria got her shoulder injury back in IW against Bondarenko..so she wasn't fully healthy at Charleston and she took a set to Serena on Clay, so that was for from bad...Sharapova started to have trouble with her shoulder at the AO 07 I think, and she had a harmstring injury, she got it from her thriller first round against Pin :p...Semis 05 was a great match, both were healthy and that gave a good match...Miami still injured at her shoulder (I think she was injured at her shoulder all 2007, but she was still playing)

tennisbear7
Oct 20th, 2008, 05:05 AM
I can't believe how arrogant some Maria fans are being, as if she doesn't need to improve anything. :lol:

bandabou
Oct 20th, 2008, 07:55 AM
I see...so Serena only beat an " injured" Maria..:lol: Okaayyy.

goldenlox
Oct 20th, 2008, 11:06 AM
Serena fans keep saying she wasn't 100% when Justine was mopping her up in 3 straight majors.
Serena went into this USO winning one of the last 14 majors, 2 of the last 21.
She loses to plenty of players worse than Maria. And Maria has lost to players worse than Serena

Matt01
Oct 20th, 2008, 11:48 AM
Maria got her shoulder injury back in IW against Bondarenko..so she wasn't fully healthy at Charleston and she took a set to Serena on Clay, so that was for from bad...Sharapova started to have trouble with her shoulder at the AO 07 I think, and she had a harmstring injury, she got it from her thriller first round against Pin :p...Semis 05 was a great match, both were healthy and that gave a good match...Miami still injured at her shoulder (I think she was injured at her shoulder all 2007, but she was still playing)


Seriously, those excuses are really tiresome. When a player steps on the court, the match counts and no excuses should be made. And no, Sharapova wasn't injured for all 2007 :rolleyes:

Of course that doesn't mean that Maria won't be ever able to beat Serena again. She is not a better player than Serena, but she has already beaten her in a Slam final, so I don't see why Maria shouldn't be able to beat Serena again when Maria is healthy and Serena doesn't play her absolute best.

Mashafaaaaan
Oct 20th, 2008, 11:56 AM
Seriously, those excuses are really tiresome. When a player steps on the court, the match counts and no excuses should be made. And no, Sharapova wasn't injured for all 2007 :rolleyes:

Well, honestly, he is right, there was clearly a problem during MIAMI. I'm sorry but when Maria served 17 DF a match, there is clearly something wrong, last year, her serve was totally a joke, everyone were laughing on it.

For the other part, I agree, Maria beat Serena in a Slam final, I'm sure she will be able to do it again. That's just a matter of time.

MaBaker
Oct 20th, 2008, 12:08 PM
I see...so Serena only beat an " injured" Maria..:lol: Okaayyy.
Yes, and Serena lose only when she's injured

Bosco123
Oct 20th, 2008, 12:11 PM
Well, honestly, he is right, there was clearly a problem during MIAMI. I'm sorry but when Maria served 17 DF a match, there is clearly something wrong, last year, her serve was totally a joke, everyone were laughing on it.

For the other part, I agree, Maria beat Serena in a Slam final, I'm sure she will be able to do it again. That's just a matter of time.

People seem to forget that Wimbledon 04 was the first Grand slam that Serena played after her sister's murder and she was clearly not focused and not fully motivated at the time span and particularly in the finals.

Andy.
Oct 20th, 2008, 12:12 PM
People seem to forget that Wimbledon 04 was the first Grand slam that Serena played after her sister's murder and she was clearly not focused and not fully motivated at the time span and particularly in the finals.
Second ;) and she had been on the tour since March

Matt01
Oct 20th, 2008, 12:13 PM
Well, honestly, he is right, there was clearly a problem during MIAMI. I'm sorry but when Maria served 17 DF a match, there is clearly something wrong, last year, her serve was totally a joke, everyone were laughing on it.


I saw that match against Serena on TV and I didn't notice any injury. Her problems with her serve also could have been mental.

Lucemferre
Oct 20th, 2008, 12:13 PM
Serena fans keep saying she wasn't 100% when Justine was mopping her up in 3 straight majors.
Serena went into this USO winning one of the last 14 majors, 2 of the last 21.
She loses to plenty of players worse than Maria. And Maria has lost to players worse than Serena

And Henin loses to Bartoli :spit:

Stick to your airhead Russians goldenlox. Justine is retired get over it. Serena handed her the worst defeat of a no1 player since Hingis with a 6-2 6-0 humiliation :lol: Then Dinara kicked her out of the WTA tour :kiss:

Justine was not the greatest player of her generation at any time in her career. It always was Serena and their rivalry ended in a fitting way, 6-2 6-0 :spit: Serena leads all of her major rivals when it comes to H2H and overall achievements. She is the winner of the last major title, the best player of both the last 10 years and this year. Understood? :)

Henin is the past, Serena Williams is the present and future :hearts: :drool:

Matt01
Oct 20th, 2008, 12:16 PM
People seem to forget that Wimbledon 04 was the first Grand slam that Serena played after her sister's murder and she was clearly not focused and not fully motivated at the time span and particularly in the finals.


So she was motivated enough to reach the Wimbledon final, but then in the final she suddenly wasn't motivated anymore because she suddenly remembered the loss of her half-sister? Yeah right. :tape:

Miss Amor
Oct 20th, 2008, 12:18 PM
The second last option.

Mashafaaaaan
Oct 20th, 2008, 12:20 PM
People seem to forget that Wimbledon 04 was the first Grand slam that Serena played after her sister's murder and she was clearly not focused and not fully motivated at the time span and particularly in the finals.

Don't, don't, don't.
Serena is not afraid during GS Finals just like Maria, when Maria trashed her, Maria was better, when Serena trashed Maria, Serena was just better. btw, Serena reached the final, she beat Mauresmo, Capriati, but couldn't beat Maria, deal with it. Don't talk about motivation, why did she play if she wasn't motivated?

MashaFanatic
Oct 20th, 2008, 12:41 PM
Let's go back to the topic ;) and not transforming this into a serena vs maria thread. As all great champions, Maria needs to improve things and she already was eager to do that with AO open where her tennis was much more various. She had worked a lot to come back for YEC 2007 and she worked a lot to during season break before 2008 season. I'm pretty sure that she's ready to work again crazy to become a better tennis player.

bandabou
Oct 20th, 2008, 01:06 PM
Serena fans keep saying she wasn't 100% when Justine was mopping her up in 3 straight majors.
Serena went into this USO winning one of the last 14 majors, 2 of the last 21.
She loses to plenty of players worse than Maria. And Maria has lost to players worse than Serena

And suddenly she has 3 of the last 22, exactly as Maria has for her whole career. So it's all good.

rjd1111
Oct 20th, 2008, 03:55 PM
I think it says a lot about the state of women's tennis that Dinara Safina is even considered a threat to Maria. Maria came within one point of beating Dinara on clay with half a shoulder and even less of a serve. Maria leads Jankovic 4-1 and Ivanovic 3-2 (and bitch slapped Ana when it mattered most.) She has not lost to Venus off of grass. That leaves Serena. Serena is a faster, more athletic but less consistent version of Maria. When Serena plays her best, Maria can't beat her and she never will be able to, but Serena won't always be at her best. It's as simple as that.

But it is almost insulting to say that Dinara Safina is at a level above the former world no. 1 and three time slam champion.

Pova and Dinara H2H 3-3

HRHoliviasmith
Oct 20th, 2008, 05:02 PM
I see...so Serena only beat an " injured" Maria..:lol: Okaayyy.

:haha: :haha: :haha: :haha: :haha: :haha: :haha: :haha: :haha: :haha: