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Volcana
Jul 7th, 2006, 10:21 PM
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13738663/

From the middle of the article

No improvement in two years
Sharapova's game has remained where it was when she won the Wimbledon title in 2004. Despite her having fallen short of again reaching the final at a major, her game has not regressed.
What was different at Wimbledon in 2004 was that with Henin-Hardenne and Clijsters sidelined, there was an opening for other players, and Sharapova made the most of that.

It was the same situation when Anastasia Myskina won the 2004 French Open — Henin-Hardenne and Clijsters weren’t in the draw.I have a couple problems with this. First off, Henin-Hardenne played Roland Garros in 2004.

Secondly, there have been eight slams played since Wimbledon 2004, including 2006). Clijsters and Henin-Hardenne have both played most of them, each missing OZ '05. Yet Venus, Serena, Mauresmo and Kuznetnova all won slams during that period, and Pierce, Davenport, and Dementieva have all made finals.

It seems like the presence of Clijsters and Henin-Hardenne is no block to winning GS tournaments or making finals, providing you happen to be one of the two best players for a given fortnight.

Having said all that, Austin makes an intersting point, despite being so wrong on the essential facts, and what they portend.

Sharapova hasn't improved in the last two years.

Wait. Too simpistic.

Sharapova is getting the same results she was post-Wimbledon '04 (putting aside the '04 YEC). Mind you, her results are good. She's pretty much a lock for the semis in any GS not on clay. But how many different ways can you lose in the semis? Then again, there is a constant to her losses. she's been losing those semis to older, smarter players. (Venus, Serena, Amelie Mauresmo, Henin-Hardenne, Clijsters) Who will all (most likely) be off the tour over the next five years. And Sharapova will only be 24.

But back to Tracy Austin, you almost get the feeling the article was originally longer, and badly edited. Cause her reasoning is sub-par.

SAEKeithSerena
Jul 7th, 2006, 10:29 PM
i can't stand tracy austin

Veenut
Jul 7th, 2006, 11:02 PM
I guess it is difficult for Tracey to acknowledge that Maria at this time cannot consistently defeat the Veterans. Yes, she will get a win if they are suffering from injury or an off day. Tracey is in denial if she thinks Justine and Kim are are the two people standing between Maria and a major win.

Brooklyn90
Jul 7th, 2006, 11:07 PM
it's true when she said her movement isn't as good as amelies

Brashkoala
Jul 7th, 2006, 11:25 PM
maria has won a slam and been number one in the world. she has reached a feat many dream of. however, she is young and it will take her a couple of years before she is fully comfortable in her body and able to win slams consistantly.

maria has improved since 04 wimbledon. she is a lot more consistant and not as streaky, but players now know how she plays and pressure plays a major role. maria is a great girl who is serious about her tennis and puts it before all other things. i am really greatful she is a part of tennis, and most of all that i was a fan of hers since late 2002.

Morrissey
Jul 8th, 2006, 12:10 AM
I also can't stand Tracy Austin she is biased very biased. Sharapova also was coached by Robert Landsorpf. And he said Sharapova has gotten lazy and I agree. Maria's fitness isn't that great and yes she does get tired in three set matches. Her footwork is crap she doesn't move well at times, and her volleys are pathetic. All Mauresmo had to do was get Maria to the net and she missed the volley. Maria still to this day doesn't play doubles. Now if the girl bothered to learn how to really volley and play doubles and develop some strategy maybe she would be a better player.

tennisIlove09
Jul 8th, 2006, 02:17 AM
2005
Australian Open -- SF Serena def. 26 75 86

In my mind THIS was the match that changed Sharapova's career so far. She was up. Not once. Twice. In the second and then again in the third. Match points. She would have faced Davenport, who she has had good success in. Had she beaten Serena, entirally different situtation. Had she won, she would have had the Wimbledon - YEC - Aussie title under belt. Obviously the best player. That to me is where things changed.

Brooks.
Jul 8th, 2006, 02:33 AM
2005
Australian Open -- SF Serena def. 26 75 86

In my mind THIS was the match that changed Sharapova's career so far. She was up. Not once. Twice. In the second and then again in the third. Match points. She would have faced Davenport, who she has had good success in. Had she beaten Serena, entirally different situtation. Had she won, she would have had the Wimbledon - YEC - Aussie title under belt. Obviously the best player. That to me is where things changed.

Serena :devil:

Stamp Paid
Jul 8th, 2006, 02:46 AM
Serena :devil:
She fucked up Kuznetsova too after Beijing in 2004. :devil:
Altho Sveta has found her form again. :angel:

switz
Jul 8th, 2006, 03:12 AM
i don't like her particularly but when you consider the fact that since then she's accumulated a 1-8 or something H2H against the Belgians (with her only win over Henin in her first match back in what has arguably been her worst major tournament in Miami) it does make some sense. bit simplistic though.

switz
Jul 8th, 2006, 03:15 AM
most people without a huge affection for her can say that Wimbleden 2004 was basically a combination of determination but also a lot of good fortune. Sugiyama had her almost beat in the quarters before putting in her customary choke, Davenport was wiping the floor with her before the rain came Lindsay realised she could win Wimbledon and Serena was at about 60% of her capacities.

Still an unbelievable achievement no doubt but the lack of slams (or even finals) since really does back this up that she wasn't ready.

Reuchlin
Jul 8th, 2006, 03:56 AM
maria has won a slam and been number one in the world. she has reached a feat many dream of. however, she is young and it will take her a couple of years before she is fully comfortable in her body and able to win slams consistantly.

maria has improved since 04 wimbledon. she is a lot more consistant and not as streaky, but players now know how she plays and pressure plays a major role. maria is a great girl who is serious about her tennis and puts it before all other things. i am really greatful she is a part of tennis, and most of all that i was a fan of hers since late 2002.
wiser words have never been spoken. :worship: :worship:

Reuchlin
Jul 8th, 2006, 03:58 AM
most people without a huge affection for her can say that Wimbleden 2004 was basically a combination of determination but also a lot of good fortune. Sugiyama had her almost beat in the quarters before putting in her customary choke, Davenport was wiping the floor with her before the rain came Lindsay realised she could win Wimbledon and Serena was at about 60% of her capacities.

Still an unbelievable achievement no doubt but the lack of slams (or even finals) since really does back this up that she wasn't ready.

Serena at 60% can defeat Capriati 61 61 ?

SJW
Jul 8th, 2006, 04:01 AM
Serena at 60% can defeat Capriati 61 61 ?

:devil:

akosijepoy
Jul 8th, 2006, 04:31 AM
She's only 19. She will only get better!!!!!

supergrunt
Jul 8th, 2006, 04:44 AM
Sharapova was good enough and comfortable enough in her body to beat Serena; she is comfortable enough to beat top ten players. I think its far to say that in all of those slams she just met a better player. :tape: The " only 19, still in developemental stages" thing is a sorry excuse. :)

trivfun
Jul 8th, 2006, 04:45 AM
Once she gets her leg strength. She will have an effective serve which means the points will be shorter and she'll have energy which is something her opponents don't want to see come 2007.

backhanddtl4
Jul 8th, 2006, 06:02 AM
Serena at 60% can defeat Capriati 61 61 ?


Cap played like ass.

mboyle
Jul 8th, 2006, 08:36 AM
Sharapova was good enough and comfortable enough in her body to beat Serena; she is comfortable enough to beat top ten players. I think its far to say that in all of those slams she just met a better player. :tape: The " only 19, still in developemental stages" thing is a sorry excuse. :)

Players who had never won a slam at 19:

Venus Williams--won her first at 20...has 5 by 25
Jennifer Capriati--won her first slam at 24...has 3
Mary Pierce--won her first slam at 20...has 2
Justine Henin-Hardenne--won her first slam at 21...has 6
Amelie Mauresmo--kind of won her first slam at 26...has 1
Kim Clijsters--won her first slam at 22...has 1
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA--won her first slam at 21...has 18

I could clearly go on. Instead I will post the example of Serena Williams

1 slam won as a teenager, 6 won so far in her twenties
Arantxa Sanchez Vicario won 1 as a teenager and 3 in her twenties

The argument that Sharapova is still developing is very very valid. Players no longer win grand slams in their teenage years. Maria is the only player in the history of the age eligibility rules to do this (Serena was exempted from the rules, I believe, but Maria was younger anyway.) She played fearlessly at Wimbledon, and displayed what she is capable of in the future. I feel she would have won even with Kim and Justine at the tournament, because Maria was totally in her zone.

Since 2004, Maria has
1. Grown faster
2. Displayed a greater willingness to come to net
3. Developed a slightly more powerful serve
4. Gained much greater consistency.

She has also
1. Stopped hitting as big point to point
2. Lost her fearlessness

That second point is very normal. She lost that fearlessness when she lost the Australian Open semi-finals. As TennisIlove09 said, Maria would almost certainly have won a second major at 17, and would have been far and away the best player on tour. She would have exuded confidence and possibly would never have gotten an opportunity to lose that fearless style of play. That match really set her back, I believe, two or three years, but life goes on. Actually, the Wimbledon match against Amelie gave me great hope. Maria was hitting very well in that match. Two or three sloppy games proved the difference. She blinked; Amelie did not. However, as we all know, it took Amelie 27 years to get to the point where she doesn't blink. Maria's volleys weren't stellar, but they were much better than what I saw last year, and she came in way more, which shows a willingness to reinvent herself that was sorely lacking last year. Finally, Maria was serving hard again--not as hard as in 2004, but harder than last year to be certain.

Maria has almost no points to defend between now and the end of the year. Tournament for tournament, she is second to Justine in terms of number of points she picks up. Whether or not you like her, Maria has real potential to dominate this tour. She is visibly the weakest girl in the top ten, maybe the top twenty. She is not in the same kind of shape that Justine or Kim or Amelie is in. She is not a natural mover or athlete. However, despite all this, she is ranked four in the world, and, under the divisor system (which is probably a more accurate way of ranking, though the tour benefits tremendously from the best of 17 ranking) Sharapova is no. 2.

Remember, Justine used to get called out of shape and too weak to dominate. I personally said Justine was never going to win a major (way back in 2002.) However, she bulked up, ran her tail off and made herself lose the fear. Sharapova has the same level of desire as Justine. That desire cannot be taught. Kuznetsova does not have it. Ivanovic does not have it. Golovin does not have it. Clijsters does not have it. Serena has it. Justine has it. Maria has it. I feel that Maria is going to bulk up--especially in her legs, and maybe play some doubles, or else otherwise gain confidence in her volleys. With these improvements, Maria will be able to move faster, last longer, serve even harder, hit even more penetratingly and have the ability to never let a point go once she has taken hold. If Maria learns to volley properly, the only way to beat her, by retrieving her screaming shots until one gets a neutral ball to take charge with, will be lost. Maria CONSISTENTLY controls the first two or three shots in a rally against almost EVERY player on tour. That is why she beats Lindsay all the time. If Maria can neutralize her opponents' speed by getting into net after those first two big blasts, no one will be able to touch her except maybe on clay.

Obviously, she CAN make these improvements. Whether or not she does, I don't know, but it would sure be a shame if she didn't. But, whatever you do, do NOT tell me that she is done developing and will never get any better. And, as someone said before, Even if Maria never gets any better than she currently is, she will be winning multiple slams in 5 or 6 more years, because the only players who are beating her are the crafty veterans with much more experience.

frenchie
Jul 8th, 2006, 08:39 AM
I agree with what she said but why does she have to bring Nastya.....

Carmen Mairena
Jul 8th, 2006, 09:42 AM
Stupid arguments IMO... :retard:

!<blocparty>!
Jul 8th, 2006, 09:52 AM
Who listens to Tracy anyway?

supergrunt
Jul 8th, 2006, 10:00 AM
Players who had never won a slam at 19:

Venus Williams--won her first at 20...has 5 by 25
Jennifer Capriati--won her first slam at 24...has 3
Mary Pierce--won her first slam at 20...has 2
Justine Henin-Hardenne--won her first slam at 21...has 6
Amelie Mauresmo--kind of won her first slam at 26...has 1
Kim Clijsters--won her first slam at 22...has 1
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA--won her first slam at 21...has 18

I could clearly go on. Instead I will post the example of Serena Williams

1 slam won as a teenager, 6 won so far in her twenties
Arantxa Sanchez Vicario won 1 as a teenager and 3 in her twenties

The argument that Sharapova is still developing is very very valid. Players no longer win grand slams in their teenage years. Maria is the only player in the history of the age eligibility rules to do this (Serena was exempted from the rules, I believe, but Maria was younger anyway.) She played fearlessly at Wimbledon, and displayed what she is capable of in the future. I feel she would have won even with Kim and Justine at the tournament, because Maria was totally in her zone.

Since 2004, Maria has
1. Grown faster
2. Displayed a greater willingness to come to net
3. Developed a slightly more powerful serve
4. Gained much greater consistency.

She has also
1. Stopped hitting as big point to point
2. Lost her fearlessness

That second point is very normal. She lost that fearlessness when she lost the Australian Open semi-finals. As TennisIlove09 said, Maria would almost certainly have won a second major at 17, and would have been far and away the best player on tour. She would have exuded confidence and possibly would never have gotten an opportunity to lose that fearless style of play. That match really set her back, I believe, two or three years, but life goes on. Actually, the Wimbledon match against Amelie gave me great hope. Maria was hitting very well in that match. Two or three sloppy games proved the difference. She blinked; Amelie did not. However, as we all know, it took Amelie 27 years to get to the point where she doesn't blink. Maria's volleys weren't stellar, but they were much better than what I saw last year, and she came in way more, which shows a willingness to reinvent herself that was sorely lacking last year. Finally, Maria was serving hard again--not as hard as in 2004, but harder than last year to be certain.

Maria has almost no points to defend between now and the end of the year. Tournament for tournament, she is second to Justine in terms of number of points she picks up. Whether or not you like her, Maria has real potential to dominate this tour. She is visibly the weakest girl in the top ten, maybe the top twenty. She is not in the same kind of shape that Justine or Kim or Amelie is in. She is not a natural mover or athlete. However, despite all this, she is ranked four in the world, and, under the divisor system (which is probably a more accurate way of ranking, though the tour benefits tremendously from the best of 17 ranking) Sharapova is no. 2.

Remember, Justine used to get called out of shape and too weak to dominate. I personally said Justine was never going to win a major (way back in 2002.) However, she bulked up, ran her tail off and made herself lose the fear. Sharapova has the same level of desire as Justine. That desire cannot be taught. Kuznetsova does not have it. Ivanovic does not have it. Golovin does not have it. Clijsters does not have it. Serena has it. Justine has it. Maria has it. I feel that Maria is going to bulk up--especially in her legs, and maybe play some doubles, or else otherwise gain confidence in her volleys. With these improvements, Maria will be able to move faster, last longer, serve even harder, hit even more penetratingly and have the ability to never let a point go once she has taken hold. If Maria learns to volley properly, the only way to beat her, by retrieving her screaming shots until one gets a neutral ball to take charge with, will be lost. Maria CONSISTENTLY controls the first two or three shots in a rally against almost EVERY player on tour. That is why she beats Lindsay all the time. If Maria can neutralize her opponents' speed by getting into net after those first two big blasts, no one will be able to touch her except maybe on clay.

Obviously, she CAN make these improvements. Whether or not she does, I don't know, but it would sure be a shame if she didn't. But, whatever you do, do NOT tell me that she is done developing and will never get any better. And, as someone said before, Even if Maria never gets any better than she currently is, she will be winning multiple slams in 5 or 6 more years, because the only players who are beating her are the crafty veterans with much more experience.

Wow.. you wrote me a book. I only read the first paragraph though. :lol: :rolleyes: The age thing isn't valid; maybe she needs to improve her game, but she is clearly physically ready to handle the other power players on the tour, which she has demonstrated.

tennisjunky
Jul 8th, 2006, 10:13 AM
mboyle, wish you would have broken up your post so it can get the attention it deserves. some really good points. make it fair by also bringing up the possible effects that these kinds of losses can have on maria's psyche. for a player with marias talent this is the crucial time. its the growing pains where you have to prove yourself after having already won. great players usually solve the riddle somewhere in a 3 year span. maria's era is coming despite what others may think.

supergrunt
Jul 8th, 2006, 10:27 AM
I am not denying Maria's talent; she is obviously very talented. The excuse that a lack of physical maturity, however, contributed to her failure to win a slam since Wimbledon is stupid :rolleyes: . If Maria is going to dominate like you are saying she will, she is going to need some serious work, especially on her volleys :lol: . I agree with Bolleteri that hitting it hard and flat is not going to get you the W all of the time. I'm not hating.. I'm am just telling it as i see it. :shrug:

supergrunt
Jul 8th, 2006, 10:33 AM
mboyle, wish you would have broken up your post so it can get the attention it deserves. some really good points. make it fair by also bringing up the possible effects that these kinds of losses can have on maria's psyche. for a player with marias talent this is the crucial time. its the growing pains where you have to prove yourself after having already won. great players usually solve the riddle somewhere in a 3 year span. maria's era is coming despite what others may think.

omg omg... you make it sound like you have predicted the end of time

:haha: :haha: :haha:

:silly: - "maria's era is coming"