PDA

View Full Version : Dementieva new serve. Has it really made a difference?


Marty-Dom
Jul 11th, 2009, 07:20 PM
If you look at Elena's results from before her serve deteriorated (1999-2003), during her serving voes (2004-2007), and after she fixed it again (2008 till now), one has to conclude that the bad serve has made her a better player overall.
She was outside top 10 with little success in big tournaments from 2000-2003 when her serve was "normal". With her worst serve she was in the top 10 for four years, got to 2 major finals, one semi and 2 quarters and won 6 tournaments.
Since she got her serve back, she hasn't reached major finals (despite the level of competition being weakened by absence of her biggest rivals), reached 4 semis and one quarter. She won 5 titles. Her ranking is a few places higher than in 2004-7, but she is not really making the progress one would expect. Back in 2004-6 everyone thought that Dementieva with a good serve would be deadly because her ground game was so good. But, it hasn't really happened.
Yes, she won Olympics and had some success lately beating Serena 3 times in a row, but she is only marginally better player overall due to her serve. I guess that slicing out wide serve on deuce side wasn't as bad as many including Elena thought.

revolvtion
Jul 11th, 2009, 07:24 PM
Dementieva's old serve was deceptively hard to attack. If you play amateur tennis sometimes it is harder than you think to attact puffball serves consistently. Also, the amount of side spin on her serve was wicked.

Dementieva's new serve is undoubtedly better through. Her serve actually got better in '06. I remember her R1 @ Wimbledon against Mirza she was getting it to the BH of Sania enough to make a difference.

Ackms421
Jul 11th, 2009, 07:53 PM
She had a match point against (eventual champion) Serena Williams at Wimbledon, so yeah, I'd say it has made a difference. The old Elena couldn't dream of a result like that.

Also, one of those three wins was a walkover. ;)

Nicolás89
Jul 11th, 2009, 07:55 PM
It does, who would of thought 3 years ago she would reach the semis of Wimbledon?

The Dawntreader
Jul 11th, 2009, 08:00 PM
It's a strange irony that Dementieva has improved her serve out of sight, yet was able to reach Slam finals with the most fragile serve around.

Didn't J-Cap or Davenport once call her second serve 'the side-winder'?:lol: It was actually quite a drastic change of pace to respond to on return. Especially the above mentioned who loved to react to genuine pace off the return.

Dementieva's service improvements have made her more subdued off the ground IMO. Back in the day, Dementieva had to hit big to compensate for her serve. I kinda miss that Dementieva. The risktaker.

In The Zone
Jul 11th, 2009, 08:04 PM
It does, who would of thought 3 years ago she would reach the semis of Wimbledon?

TWICE!

Of course the serve has made her a better player. Being a better player, though, hasn't matched up to the results, so I get the OP's point. Unless Elena's whole mission was to be a Semifinal kinda girl.

SIN DIOS NI LEY
Jul 11th, 2009, 08:07 PM
No

Elena doesn´t serve well in big matches

AnnaK_4ever
Jul 11th, 2009, 08:10 PM
With her old serve Lena would have never won Olympics imo.

jzrnsk
Jul 11th, 2009, 08:12 PM
If you look at Elena's results from before her serve deteriorated (1999-2003), during her serving voes (2004-2007), and after she fixed it again (2008 till now), one has to conclude that the bad serve has made her a better player overall.
She was outside top 10 with little success in big tournaments from 2000-2003 when her serve was "normal". With her worst serve she was in the top 10 for four years, got to 2 major finals, one semi and 2 quarters and won 6 tournaments.
Since she got her serve back, she hasn't reached major finals (despite the level of competition being weakened by absence of her biggest rivals), reached 4 semis and one quarter. She won 5 titles. Her ranking is a few places higher than in 2004-7, but she is not really making the progress one would expect. Back in 2004-6 everyone thought that Dementieva with a good serve would be deadly because her ground game was so good. But, it hasn't really happened.
Yes, she won Olympics and had some success lately beating Serena 3 times in a row, but she is only marginally better player overall due to her serve. I guess that slicing out wide serve on deuce side wasn't as bad as many including Elena thought.

she is not playing badly at all. just because she hasn't been making gs finals doesn't make her bad. she is having a great year, with semis at aussie and wimbledon. she had a great start to the year also. her serve has helped her

DragonFlame
Jul 11th, 2009, 08:12 PM
We´ll see, elena´s best part of the season coming up! Including her best slam, and she won´t be mentally focused on the olympics this time so i´ll doubt she´ll lose to a jankovic this time round.

Wimbledon 2009 is definetly the best i´ve seen elena serve ever, and the best i´ve seen her play in a while in the serena match. She was playing better then in australia IMO. If she can play like olympics last year + the improved serve, she has her chances.

SIN DIOS NI LEY
Jul 11th, 2009, 08:17 PM
Low precentage of first serves in game, always broken when she must hold for a TB or 5-5

Its still a bad serve imo

vadin124
Jul 11th, 2009, 10:56 PM
Wimby 09 SF - Serena def. New-serve Elena 6-7 7-5 8-6
Wimby 09 SF - Serena def. Old-serve Elena 6-3 6-3

go figure.

DOUBLEFIST
Jul 11th, 2009, 11:13 PM
Ask Serena.

I'd say that's an emphatic "Yes."

Denise4925
Jul 11th, 2009, 11:17 PM
Yes, her great ground game is now supported by a better serve. It was hard for Serena to get a handle on it, I think.

Steffica Greles
Jul 11th, 2009, 11:45 PM
If you look at Elena's results from before her serve deteriorated (1999-2003), during her serving voes (2004-2007), and after she fixed it again (2008 till now), one has to conclude that the bad serve has made her a better player overall.
She was outside top 10 with little success in big tournaments from 2000-2003 when her serve was "normal". With her worst serve she was in the top 10 for four years, got to 2 major finals, one semi and 2 quarters and won 6 tournaments.
Since she got her serve back, she hasn't reached major finals (despite the level of competition being weakened by absence of her biggest rivals), reached 4 semis and one quarter. She won 5 titles. Her ranking is a few places higher than in 2004-7, but she is not really making the progress one would expect. Back in 2004-6 everyone thought that Dementieva with a good serve would be deadly because her ground game was so good. But, it hasn't really happened.
Yes, she won Olympics and had some success lately beating Serena 3 times in a row, but she is only marginally better player overall due to her serve. I guess that slicing out wide serve on deuce side wasn't as bad as many including Elena thought.

Elena's serve was never as bad as people made it out to be, just on pressurised occasions. Similarly, it's not now as good as people make it out to be. When she played that brilliant match against Serena a couple of weeks ago, she served well in places, not so well in others. Yet the commentators (poor male commentators) made her out to be serving the match of her life. Rubbish.

It's all press tittle tattle, and then when Elena hears it, it gets into her head too.

Steffica Greles
Jul 11th, 2009, 11:48 PM
Yes, her great ground game is now supported by a better serve. It was hard for Serena to get a handle on it, I think.

Serena's serve was still the clear advantage, though. It got her out of trouble so many times where Elena's didn't.

That said, from the baseline I felt Elena was quicker, had much better balance, and had the edge on Serena in the long rallies. Venus really should not have lost that finals match...Serena isn't a shadow of what she used to be. But anyway...back to the thread.

BuTtErFrEnA
Jul 11th, 2009, 11:54 PM
i think that old serve made her a better player :lol: it forced her to be excellent off the ground in a way since she knew she wouldn't be winning free points, she'd have to rally her way to wins literally

Pebbles
Jul 12th, 2009, 12:07 AM
It really has. Back in 04' the 2nd serve was just horrible to watch. The toss went so far out to right that it was like she was never going to hit it. Over the past couple of years she's really tried to make it less of a liability in big situations and when she can get the 1st serve in, it's often flat, hard and fast. Even the 2nd serve has improved. It must be great for her because she knows she can serve the occasional ace and doesn't always have to be on the defensive after she serves.

Svetlana)))
Jul 12th, 2009, 12:54 AM
IMO, Demetieva's second serve in 2004-2007 was quite tricky for some players yet could be eaten by others. The main reason was the slow pace and the slice she gives it. In the USO 04 semis against Capriati, her serves were like 70-80 mph but yet Capriati could not eat them up. Even the commentators were puzzled. After the match, Cap said that it was the slice that made it so difficult to read because it could jump at your body. Thus, i think Dementieva has made her serve more consistent, but not deadlier

faboozadoo15
Jul 12th, 2009, 12:56 AM
I wish I could say it's helped her more. Her serve is certainly much less of a liability than it used to be, even a weapon sometimes.

This hasn't turned about immediate slam success or big title wins though.

I feel overall, Elena is much more consistent in her results than she used to be now that her serve isn't as easy to attack and she has a great physical presence on court.

Denise4925
Jul 12th, 2009, 12:58 AM
Serena's serve was still the clear advantage, though. It got her out of trouble so many times where Elena's didn't.

Well with 20 aces, ya think?!! :confused: Serena is still the return queen.

That said, from the baseline I felt Elena was quicker, had much better balance, and had the edge on Serena in the long rallies. Venus really should not have lost that finals match...Serena isn't a shadow of what she used to be. But anyway...back to the thread.

Too bad there weren't that many long rallies and a couple of them Serena won.

No, Serena has a better game then she used to, so thank God she's not.

Rome
Jul 12th, 2009, 01:14 AM
Serena's serve was still the clear advantage, though. It got her out of trouble so many times where Elena's didn't.

That said, from the baseline I felt Elena was quicker, had much better balance, and had the edge on Serena in the long rallies. Venus really should not have lost that finals match...Serena isn't a shadow of what she used to be. But anyway...back to the thread.
Shadow you say? I"ll say she is not the same player she was back then she would really go for her shots back then win lose or draw. But the new Serena can stay in rallys. I notice she is not going for big shot or powering the ball all the time. But when she is being push around the court it makes her look slow or as some would say not the same Serena of 2002-2003 but she just plays alot more safe then in those years which makes for good tennis

Denise4925
Jul 12th, 2009, 01:19 AM
Elena's serve was never as bad as people made it out to be, just on pressurised occasions. Similarly, it's not now as good as people make it out to be. When she played that brilliant match against Serena a couple of weeks ago, she served well in places, not so well in others. Yet the commentators (poor male commentators) made her out to be serving the match of her life. Rubbish.

It's all press tittle tattle, and then when Elena hears it, it gets into her head too.

:confused: Her first serve % was 63% to Serena's 57%. Her average first serve speed was 104 mph and average second serve speed was 92 mph (close to Serena's). She only had three more DF's than Serena.

darrinbaker00
Jul 12th, 2009, 01:24 AM
The mere notion that Elena Dementieva or anyone else is a worse player with an improved serve is Ridiculous with a capital R. The serve is the only shot you have complete control over, so it should be your best shot, not your worst. The thread starter must not play tennis.

Nicolás89
Jul 12th, 2009, 01:32 AM
Well with 20 aces, ya think?!! :confused: Serena is still the return queen.



Too bad there weren't that many long rallies and a couple of them Serena won.

No, Serena has a better game then she used to, so thank God she's not.

Definitely, Serena is a much much better player than before.

BuTtErFrEnA
Jul 12th, 2009, 01:33 AM
you obviously have not met ivo karlovic :lol: such a serve should have seen him skyrocket up the rankings, but just like roddick, almost everyone can serve and return, and therefore it comes down to the ground game....

Marty-Dom
Jul 12th, 2009, 02:01 AM
The mere notion that Elena Dementieva or anyone else is a worse player with an improved serve is Ridiculous with a capital R. The serve is the only shot you have complete control over, so it should be your best shot, not your worst. The thread starter must not play tennis.

Can't you read? Or is it just the comprehension part that's not up to snuff? I postulated she is a marginally better player now based on the results she is getting. That's all. She did better against stronger field when her serve was weaker. Hence the question- has it really made a difference- as in: has it translated to bigger wins? The answer, based on the responses, is a big "maybe".
But it's for sure not a clear cut case of "Elena is a much more dangerous player now that she has a dependable serve". She still loses big matches- her serve is not giving her the edge like it should.

Denise4925
Jul 12th, 2009, 02:13 AM
Can't you read? Or is it just the comprehension part that's not up to snuff? I postulated she is a marginally better player now based on the results she is getting. That's all. She did better against stronger field when her serve was weaker. Hence the question- has it really made a difference- as in: has it translated to bigger wins? The answer, based on the responses, is a big "maybe".
But it's for sure not a clear cut case of "Elena is a much more dangerous player now that she has a dependable serve". She still loses big matches- her serve is not giving her the edge like it should.

I think it really comes down to shot selection. Her game is much better than it has been in my opinion. A stronger serve, i.e. a more consistent serve makes anybody's game better. You get more free points and better chances. In this match with Serena, her serve being much more consistent, made it a more even match, but then there were some shot selections she made, that were questionable and Serena capitalized. Serena also outserved her, but anytime Serena has 20 aces in a match, she's going to win. :shrug:

DOUBLEFIST
Jul 12th, 2009, 02:53 AM
But it's for sure not a clear cut case of "Elena is a much more dangerous player now that she has a dependable serve". She still loses big matches- her serve is not giving her the edge like it should.

I don't agree.

I think she is DEFINITELY more of a threat when her new serve is on. Now, you can't just lay in the alley and blast away. In addition, it puts more pressure on her opponents serve because you KNOW 'Lena is capable of breaking ANYONE.

For the record, I think the Olympics counts as a pretty big win.

As for a reason it hasn't translated into other bigger wins (by which we mean slams), it's not that simple. Slams are won between the ears as much as between lines. They're about belief and courage, nerve and will. Does Elena have those things...? :shrug: ONLY she can answer that question.

Dave.
Jul 12th, 2009, 03:24 AM
It's a strange irony that Dementieva has improved her serve out of sight, yet was able to reach Slam finals with the most fragile serve around.

Didn't J-Cap or Davenport once call her second serve 'the side-winder'?:lol: It was actually quite a drastic change of pace to respond to on return. Especially the above mentioned who loved to react to genuine pace off the return.

Dementieva's service improvements have made her more subdued off the ground IMO. Back in the day, Dementieva had to hit big to compensate for her serve. I kinda miss that Dementieva. The risktaker.

Yeah that was Lindsay I think, she HATED Dementieva's serve :o (and so did I until I became a fan :lol:). I don't think there's any doubt Dementieva is a "better" player now with a much better serve. But whether she's as "dangerous" like you said, willing to take as many risks, I'm not so sure. She just had her best career year in 2008 including her biggest title but she's now lost 5 slam semis in a row having won 2 in 2004.

I think it really comes down to shot selection. Her game is much better than it has been in my opinion. A stronger serve, i.e. a more consistent serve makes anybody's game better. You get more free points and better chances. In this match with Serena, her serve being much more consistent, made it a more even match, but then there were some shot selections she made, that were questionable and Serena capitalized. Serena also outserved her, but anytime Serena has 20 aces in a match, she's going to win. :shrug:

Well she was one missed volley away from losing having served loads of aces. Serving 20 aces isn't necessarily a reflection of dominant serving in a match. To even hit that many aces you're playing loads of points on your serve, the games are extended which means Dementieva was usually in Serena's service games. Serena faced 10 break points in the match. Recently Karlovic hit 55 aces and lost, Johansson had 50+ before and lost, usually hitting that many aces means losing because you're opponents are always putting pressure on your serve.

Volcana
Jul 12th, 2009, 03:33 AM
Dementieva's serve has improved. But some of the change is attitude. Rather than throw in a 60 mph second serve the oppoent will hit for a winner, she now tries to DO something with her second serve. Which means more double-faults. But she was losing those points anyway.

To me, this is a real veteran move. Look at her semi vs Serena at WB. Dementieva DF'd eight times. BUt she won 62% of her SECOND service points.

LudwigDvorak
Jul 12th, 2009, 04:44 AM
Her serve started getting better as early as 2005. She hit many double faults against Clijsters in Filderstadt '05, but she was walloping the serve as well many more times. Against Hingis in Tokyo '06 she served pretty well, hitting the corners. Even against Ivanovic in IW '06 she served well sporadically, including to the backhand. EDIT: Against Clijsters in Antwerp '06 she was serving like a DEMON in that first set. Awesome stuff from Dementieva.

Around that point, summer '06, her ground game started deteriorating, and her serve hadn't completely amped up yet. Tied that with some injuries in early '07, it took her awhile to start really getting results again. Aside from maybe LA '06, after IW '06 it was well over a year before she had another considerable tournament run, and that was Moscow '07 where her serving had most obviously improved tremendously.

By summer '07 her serve was getting better, and by the fall her serve was at its (still to this day) peak. Notice, though, that many of her best service days I alone have mentioned have come indoors--I don't think that's a coincidence.

The serve comes and goes, but to FINALLY answer the question--it has. She would have lost so many matches without a better serve, I do think the game would have moved beyond her without changing that big issue. Amelia Island was the only title of note she won with her serve as a hindrance. Everything else (Tokyo '06-Sydney '09) has come when her serve became much better not day in/day out but enough to score the win.

She's lost lots of big matches in her career, even with the new serve. She's won a lot too, even more IMO with the new serve.

faboozadoo15
Jul 12th, 2009, 06:18 AM
The main reason her results haven't gotten dramatically better is because
A: She never really let the bad serve get her down. She's a good fighter and could shrug off some wacky serves.
B: Shitserve threw some really good returners off their game-- Hingis, Davenport, Venus, Jennifer.
C: She attacked more and took more risks with her ground game when she got no free points off her serve.



This woman's the eternal enigma.

Denise4925
Jul 12th, 2009, 06:46 AM
Well she was one missed volley away from losing having served loads of aces. Serving 20 aces isn't necessarily a reflection of dominant serving in a match. To even hit that many aces you're playing loads of points on your serve, the games are extended which means Dementieva was usually in Serena's service games. Serena faced 10 break points in the match. Recently Karlovic hit 55 aces and lost, Johansson had 50+ before and lost, usually hitting that many aces means losing because you're opponents are always putting pressure on your serve.

With Serena it is. :shrug: But, what is your point? Elena was one missed opportunity to go down the line, instead of cross court from winning.

And, there must not have been too much pressure on Serena's serve, she was hitting tons of aces. Half of her points came from her serve, otherwise the match was even. Just seems to me that if people have pressure on their serve, they are not serving well.

Pebbles
Jul 12th, 2009, 11:01 AM
With Serena it is. :shrug: But, what is your point? Elena was one missed opportunity to go down the line, instead of cross court from winning.

And, there must not have been too much pressure on Serena's serve, she was hitting tons of aces. Half of her points came from her serve, otherwise the match was even. Just seems to me that if people have pressure on their serve, they are not serving well.
Serena's serve and experience got her through that match, no doubt. I remember the stats after and they noted Serena hit 47 winners and Lena hit like 28/29. It's remarkable that 20 of those 47 were aces and it shows that her serve never cracked. Elena was punishing that 2nd serve and the 1st serve at times so Serena knew she had to find the lines and start hitting more aces.

Steffica Greles
Jul 12th, 2009, 11:16 AM
Shadow you say? I"ll say she is not the same player she was back then she would really go for her shots back then win lose or draw. But the new Serena can stay in rallys. I notice she is not going for big shot or powering the ball all the time. But when she is being push around the court it makes her look slow or as some would say not the same Serena of 2002-2003 but she just plays alot more safe then in those years which makes for good tennis

But these days Serena is usually playing screeching Fatiana Pigovas, rather than quality opposition. That's the difference. She doesn't have to get into shape, or go for as much.

bandabou
Jul 12th, 2009, 01:52 PM
Serena's serve was still the clear advantage, though. It got her out of trouble so many times where Elena's didn't.

That said, from the baseline I felt Elena was quicker, had much better balance, and had the edge on Serena in the long rallies. Venus really should not have lost that finals match...Serena isn't a shadow of what she used to be. But anyway...back to the thread.

Serena's deceptive right now..you see her and think: She isn't the same Serena of old..looks slower, footwork can be a mess, etc..but I think she is smarter now. Doesn't go all out all the time. But when it's crunch time...two flicks of magic and she turned a match around.

bandabou
Jul 12th, 2009, 01:57 PM
But these days Serena is usually playing screeching Fatiana Pigovas, rather than quality opposition. That's the difference. She doesn't have to get into shape, or go for as much.

:lol: Of course..but all of it is the same competition Justine et al were facing, yet Justine could only shine at RG..never could win Wimbledon. So what gives? Maybe there's hope for Monica too no..get in shape Monica and you could easily reach 20+ majors still..no competition!

But you know what would happen if Serena was to get into real shape huh? 3 majors a year yearly and a strong possibility for a career grand slam.

kaktusino
Jul 12th, 2009, 02:00 PM
Also, one of those three wins was a walkover. ;)
No.
Moscow 2007, Olympics 2008 and Sydney 2009. Only then was a walkover in Paris.

Pops Maellard
Jul 12th, 2009, 02:25 PM
I think her serve has really made a difference. When you think that her improved serving allowed her to hold a MP over Serena in a slam semifinal you get the picture. That match was a great indicator of how hard Lena can be to beat when her serve AND ground-game are clicking like they were in that match.

Viktymise
Jul 12th, 2009, 04:47 PM
Her ground game isn't as explosive or as dangerous as it once was. Simple as.

Vyacheslavovna
Jul 12th, 2009, 08:37 PM
Her serve is better, and she is a better player now than she's ever been.

I don't understand people who say this player was better in 2002 or that player was better in 2004. Juan Carlos Ferrero says he is a better player now, than he was when he was ranked number 1 in the word. And today he's ranked nowhere. Generally the standard gets better every year.

I have old DVDs and sometimes watch ESPN Classic in the UK, the evidence is there.

I think sometimes we forget how great it is RIGHT NOW.


If you look at Elena's results from before her serve deteriorated (1999-2003), during her serving voes (2004-2007), and after she fixed it again (2008 till now), one has to conclude that the bad serve has made her a better player overall.
She was outside top 10 with little success in big tournaments from 2000-2003 when her serve was "normal". With her worst serve she was in the top 10 for four years, got to 2 major finals, one semi and 2 quarters and won 6 tournaments.
Since she got her serve back, she hasn't reached major finals (despite the level of competition being weakened by absence of her biggest rivals), reached 4 semis and one quarter. She won 5 titles. Her ranking is a few places higher than in 2004-7, but she is not really making the progress one would expect. Back in 2004-6 everyone thought that Dementieva with a good serve would be deadly because her ground game was so good. But, it hasn't really happened.
Yes, she won Olympics and had some success lately beating Serena 3 times in a row, but she is only marginally better player overall due to her serve. I guess that slicing out wide serve on deuce side wasn't as bad as many including Elena thought.

You seem to be saying "we all think Elena is better now with her new serve, but actually her results say something different"

Using your own figures, I disagree.


over 4 years; 2004-2007, serving woes

2 grand slam finals
1 semi
6 tournament wins

over 19 months; 2008-2009 so far

4 grand slam semis
4 tournament wins
1 olympic title, (Thank you Dinara)
highest ever ranking


I think Elena's old serve was bit like facing a left hander. Left handers and not better than right handers in themselves, but because you don't play against them every week, some players find them awkward. You didn't face a serve that slow and with that much spin often enough, to feel comfortable dealing with it. It had scarcity value.


It probably helped if you had good footwork and movement, so you could step in and wallop it. That might be why Lindsay had trouble with it.


The mere notion that Elena Dementieva or anyone else is a worse player with an improved serve is Ridiculous with a capital R. The serve is the only shot you have complete control over, so it should be your best shot, not your worst.


Agreed. The serve is a free shot, you have complete control. If your serve gets better, you get better.


Are you named after Dusty Baker's son?

kiwifan
Jul 12th, 2009, 09:10 PM
I could have sworn at the beginning of this year everyone was pointing at Demented as the hottest player on tour (I mean playing not looks)...so obviously it made a difference. :shrug:

UDACHi
Jul 12th, 2009, 09:13 PM
yes it has.

doujyr
Jul 12th, 2009, 11:33 PM
Her serve started getting better as early as 2005. She hit many double faults against Clijsters in Filderstadt '05, but she was walloping the serve as well many more times. Against Hingis in Tokyo '06 she served pretty well, hitting the corners. Even against Ivanovic in IW '06 she served well sporadically, including to the backhand. EDIT: Against Clijsters in Antwerp '06 she was serving like a DEMON in that first set. Awesome stuff from Dementieva.

Around that point, summer '06, her ground game started deteriorating, and her serve hadn't completely amped up yet. Tied that with some injuries in early '07, it took her awhile to start really getting results again. Aside from maybe LA '06, after IW '06 it was well over a year before she had another considerable tournament run, and that was Moscow '07 where her serving had most obviously improved tremendously.

By summer '07 her serve was getting better, and by the fall her serve was at its (still to this day) peak. Notice, though, that many of her best service days I alone have mentioned have come indoors--I don't think that's a coincidence.

The serve comes and goes, but to FINALLY answer the question--it has. She would have lost so many matches without a better serve, I do think the game would have moved beyond her without changing that big issue. Amelia Island was the only title of note she won with her serve as a hindrance. Everything else (Tokyo '06-Sydney '09) has come when her serve became much better not day in/day out but enough to score the win.

She's lost lots of big matches in her career, even with the new serve. She's won a lot too, even more IMO with the new serve.

excellent analysis :yeah:

doujyr
Jul 12th, 2009, 11:35 PM
Her ground game isn't as explosive or as dangerous as it once was. Simple as.

Also sadly true. The elena of 2004-2006 would never have be outrallied by the likes of wozniacki, but she has been the last times they've met. :rolleyes:

Pops Maellard
Jul 13th, 2009, 01:12 AM
Also sadly true. The elena of 2004-2006 would never have be outrallied by the likes of wozniacki, but she has been the last times they've met. :rolleyes:
:lol: I don't think when she's played Wozniacki this year she's really been "herself". Especially in Miami with her crying over errors. Plus in Charleston she got tired, saving MP and fighting from being down in the second set. But please, leave Wozniacki out of this discussion or kman and all her other supporters will come here defending her. :tape:

Besides, Lena's always had a problem with pushers and/or defensive players. Look at her record against Jankovic as well.

miffedmax
Jul 13th, 2009, 07:59 PM
Her run to the Olympics title was far more impressive than her run to either of her finals in '04. If you remember, there was much squawking at the time about what a weak field showed up for the French and US Opens in '04--the same two Belgians that supposedly make picnics out of slams today were out with injuries, and both Williams sisters were, as I recall, walking wounded who played, but light years from their best. So I don't think your posit that Elena is doing less well against inferior competition really hold water if you go back and review.

Also, where Elena's improved serve really pays off is against weaker players. If you look back, I'm pretty sure she got knocked out very early at the Aussie and Wimby in '04. Since she fixed the serve, she's consistently made the second week of every slam for the last two years except the French this year, when she was sick.

Of her 8 trips to Slam semis, 4 have been in the last year. So in other words, she's done as many trips in the last year as she did the previous 9.

That's a pretty huge improvement.

serenafann
Jul 13th, 2009, 11:34 PM
She almost beat the GREAT Serena at Wimbledon so... Yeah.

LightWarrior
Jul 13th, 2009, 11:52 PM
Can someone tell what she exactly changed ? Her motion ? It looked damn effective against Serena at Wimbledon, she got so many free points.

Sharapower
Jul 14th, 2009, 02:23 AM
Can someone tell what she exactly changed ? Her motion ? It looked damn effective against Serena at Wimbledon, she got so many free points.
In the past she used to serve 95% slice with a ball-toss going to the right. She gradually learned to hit flat and with slight kick. It took her quite a long time, I remember at some point she had Richard Krajicek helping her at that, 2004 or 2005 but as we see it's only now that she found the confidence to have it work consistently without being plagued by DF's.

tennnisfannn
Jul 14th, 2009, 04:29 AM
Unfortunately Elena like so many other players gear up only to play a williams and in this case serena. The elena who took serena to 8/6 on grass had no business losing to Stosur at the French. Quite frankly with her groundies she should have won 2 slams this last two years, the FO of 08 and 09. Now that is where there was a real missed opportunity.

Sharapower
Jul 14th, 2009, 04:41 AM
Unfortunately Elena like so many other players gear up only to play a williams and in this case serena. The elena who took serena to 8/6 on grass had no business losing to Stosur at the French. Quite frankly with her groundies she should have won 2 slams this last two years, the FO of 08 and 09. Now that is where there was a real missed opportunity.
Indeed, and the flawed serve doesn't explain it all.
In that infamous RG final vs. Myskina, Elena was basically paralyzed.

Pebbles
Jul 14th, 2009, 11:26 AM
Can someone tell what she exactly changed ? Her motion ? It looked damn effective against Serena at Wimbledon, she got so many free points.
Pretty much everything regarding the serve has changed. The motion, the toss, the knee-bend.

Pebbles
Jul 14th, 2009, 11:28 AM
Unfortunately Elena like so many other players gear up only to play a williams and in this case serena. The elena who took serena to 8/6 on grass had no business losing to Stosur at the French. Quite frankly with her groundies she should have won 2 slams this last two years, the FO of 08 and 09. Now that is where there was a real missed opportunity.
She was really out of sorts at the French, she really struggled all week I remember. In one of her press conferences after her 1st or 2nd round win she mentioned she'd been feeling ill and it meant she wasn't being able to play her best. During the Stosur match she seemed exhausted.