PDA

View Full Version : Is Sharapova's serve overrated?


Steffica Greles
Feb 1st, 2007, 05:47 PM
I've thought so for a while now. I think her biggest weapon is her groundstrokes.

As far as her serve goes, I think her technique is awkward and ungainly, and not enough first deliveries reach their target on a consistent basis. It is true that all players have bad days when their serve is not working, yet the stroke can still be a weapon when everything is working in order.

I think the tremendous advantage Sharapova has on her serve is her height. But, as far as I can see, there is scarely any variety, limited power, and her service action does not fill me with confidence.

Serves also need weight in them as well as power, making the ball difficult to time. Davenport's serve had tremendous weight, as does Serena's, as did Mary Pierce's. Maria Sharapova's serve looks a little lean, to me, rather like her frame.

Anybody agree?

swissmr
Feb 1st, 2007, 05:54 PM
I disagree. Just watch the US Open final too see how good Sharapova's serve can be when it's at its best.

But lately she has been serving like crap.

slydevil6142
Feb 1st, 2007, 05:56 PM
Ive thought so for awhile to. Dont get me wrong she has a great serve the problem is she only has two serves.... the one down the tee and the deep in the pocket serve. Most players arent good enough to do anything about it but when I saw Venus tear apart the Maria serve in Wim 05' I knew that could be a liability against the best returners in the game. Maria is 6'2 theres no reason she cant get a little more pop on her serve and she would be well gained to add some more variety to her serve.

Adal
Feb 1st, 2007, 06:00 PM
Just don't look at her serve in AO open, wait until she will find her serve again. She was serving great at the US open, that was the main thing that took her to the victory. She was serving great at the end of last season and that's why she won so many tournaments and won 19 matches in a row.

Emina.
Feb 1st, 2007, 06:08 PM
its her best weapon when it works

Corswandt
Feb 1st, 2007, 06:33 PM
Anybody agree?

Disagree.

Maria suffered from a misdiagnosed injury throughout the latter half of 2005, which greatly hampered her serving until it finally broke down altogether in the YEC SF against Mauresmo.

During the earlier part of 2006, she was serving adequately, but certainly not as well as someone of her heigth should be. Even at Wimbledon, her first serve was quite powerful, but conservatively placed, and without much variety.

The turning point was San Diego. Maria served her way to the title there. She was particularly impressive vs Schnyder (who, granted, isn't the most aggressive returner of serve out there) - Patty got hammered with 78% 1st serves, 2-3 aces and unreturnable serves on each of Maria's service games, and several "eat this!" aces on big points. The placement of her serves as a whole was much improved, and she would now attempt to hit aces or unreturnable serves down the T when in trouble - and more often than not pull it off. Even later on the final vs Clijsters, it was Maria's serving on clutch points that allowed her to keep herself in the second set, in which she was being completely outplayed, long enough for Clijsters to choke it away.

The USO was much the same. Whole sets would go by without Maria's opponents able to get even a look at her service games - case in point the second set of the final (no less), and during the fall indoor tournaments it continued to be so, with a few minor hiccups (say the match vs Ivanovic in Linz).

At the AO, on the other hand, the only match where Maria's serve was up to late 2006 standards was vs Zvonareva.

Now Maria's serve has fallen apart, and is at least as poor as that of late 2005.

I've heard that her service motion is superb from a technical POV - not being an expert, I wouldn't know about that, but I do know that her toss is to die for. :hearts:

mboyle
Feb 1st, 2007, 06:36 PM
Agree with the above poster. Maria´s serve has fallen apart now. She is probably injured. When she is healthy, her serve is amazing.

goldenlox
Feb 1st, 2007, 07:08 PM
Her serve is a huge weapon. No one is at their best all the time. Sharapova's serve is what makes her #1. Otherwise, she's no better than Dementieva.

Tenis Srbija
Feb 1st, 2007, 07:11 PM
It's not overrated...it's just not working currently...

RG Moonballer
Feb 1st, 2007, 07:13 PM
Maybe she's got a bit taller and that's what bothering her serve.

miffedmax
Feb 1st, 2007, 07:14 PM
Any report of TOB's demise based on the AO is greatly exaggerated. Her serve is one of her best weapons--it simply overpowers most players. It's less effective against the best players largely because they are, well, better.

I think the problem for Maria is that it's such a good weapon--even when it's off--that she can still rely on it to win matches against most players on the tour (she did, after all, serve badly throughout the AO and still made the final). The problem is that when she does run into a Serena in Australia, a Lena D. in LA, etc. and they're able to return her serve she doesn't always have a plan B. Just keeps trying to outhit other hardhitters (and that will never, ever work against Serena. Forget it. You will die).

I think TOB's weaknesses as a player are her mobility and footwork. When her serve is off, other players can really start to use that against her.

miffedmax
Feb 1st, 2007, 07:17 PM
Her serve is a huge weapon. No one is at their best all the time. Sharapova's serve is what makes her #1. Otherwise, she's no better than Dementieva.

Actually, I don't think she'd be as good as Dementieva without her serve. She's not as mobile and while she hits a little harder on the forehand side, she's not as good at the net as Lena.

the cat
Feb 1st, 2007, 07:17 PM
I feel that both Maria's serve and toughness are slightly overrated. I think Masha is on her way to International Tennis Hall of Fame greatness and hope her new serving woes don't derail her from becoming an all time great. I think Maria has one of the best serves in women's tennis. But it's certainly not the best. Serena Williams has the best serve ever in women's tennis. And Steffi Graf's serve would be second. What concerns me about Masha is that when her serve is off it affects the rest of her game.

I think Maria should hire Phil Dent as her serve coach and pay him a couple hundred thousand dollars a year to do so. She can afford it. And if Maria is to win a grand slam this year her serve will have to significantly improve.

If Maria was injured there is no way she would be playing in Tokyo. It wouldn't make any sense. But Masha's serving technique is excellent compared to double fault divas Anna Kournikova and Elena Dementieva. There is no way this should be happening to Maria. And it concerns me that she can't fix the problem.

Denise4925
Feb 1st, 2007, 07:21 PM
What is TOB? :confused:

Lefty.
Feb 1st, 2007, 07:23 PM
What is TOB? :confused:

The Other Blonde, Max's name for Maria. :p

hingisGOAT
Feb 1st, 2007, 07:23 PM
it's easy to make a thread like this when she's having the worst service tournaments of her career

:weirdo:

Denise4925
Feb 1st, 2007, 07:23 PM
The Other Blonde, Max's name for Maria. :p

Oh :lol:

Josh.
Feb 1st, 2007, 07:24 PM
Actually, I don't think she'd be as good as Dementieva without her serve. She's not as mobile and while she hits a little harder on the forehand side, she's not as good at the net as Lena.

:bowdown:

franny
Feb 1st, 2007, 07:25 PM
It's definitely not overrated. It's been off, but last year, when it was on, it was amazing. No variety? Her serve has amazing variety. She can hit it to all four corners consistently, she can hit a slice serve, the kick serve, hit it above 115 mph. THe problem is that she's kinda lost it right now, but I expect her to get it back with confidence soon.

jazar
Feb 1st, 2007, 07:27 PM
it could be better for someone who is over 6 feet tall, but it isnt really overrated

LudwigDvorak
Feb 1st, 2007, 07:32 PM
Sharapova is underrated at net. When all you do is drive volleys into the forehand side, you're going to have some success. Good margin for error.

Now, if you mean a touch game at net, yes, Dementieva is better.

But Sharapova adds way more pace to her shots than Elena, which is pretty amazing if you ask me. It overpowers Elena herself, and when you add in her service woes, it's basically almost impossible for Elena to do much against Sharpie. I don't know about Elena's first victory against Sharapova, but it was 2003, and the LA match was just awful for both players, just moreso for $. Sharapova is just a better player even if far more one-dimensional than someone who's fairly one-dimensional herself.

Anyway, all that said, Sharapova has a great serve. Like everything else in her game, it's the same shot over and over. But pre-Aussie Open, I'd say if it ain't broke, don't fix it. If the same serve gets her to win every single time, why change it?

Denise4925
Feb 1st, 2007, 08:01 PM
Sharapova is underrated at net. When all you do is drive volleys into the forehand side, you're going to have some success. Good margin for error.

Now, if you mean a touch game at net, yes, Dementieva is better.

But Sharapova adds way more pace to her shots than Elena, which is pretty amazing if you ask me. It overpowers Elena herself, and when you add in her service woes, it's basically almost impossible for Elena to do much against Sharpie. I don't know about Elena's first victory against Sharapova, but it was 2003, and the LA match was just awful for both players, just moreso for $. Sharapova is just a better player even if far more one-dimensional than someone who's fairly one-dimensional herself.

Anyway, all that said, Sharapova has a great serve. Like everything else in her game, it's the same shot over and over. But pre-Aussie Open, I'd say if it ain't broke, don't fix it. If the same serve gets her to win every single time, why change it?

This is a good objective analysis. I agree.

Denise4925
Feb 1st, 2007, 08:02 PM
It's definitely not overrated. It's been off, but last year, when it was on, it was amazing. No variety? Her serve has amazing variety. She can hit it to all four corners consistently, she can hit a slice serve, the kick serve, hit it above 115 mph. THe problem is that she's kinda lost it right now, but I expect her to get it back with confidence soon.

I don't think it's overrated per se, but when someone like Tracey Austin dares to compare her serve to Serena's and then says they are even in that department, then I think that's overrating her serve.

RenaSlam.
Feb 1st, 2007, 08:06 PM
Serena's serve (always) > Maria's.

SAEKeithSerena
Feb 1st, 2007, 09:10 PM
EVERYONE has their "off days" with their serve. however, Maria's this year has been more than unimpressive. she consistently struggled with it at the australian open, and in her first match she served 17 double faults? it needs work, that's not a question.

SAEKeithSerena
Feb 1st, 2007, 09:11 PM
I don't think it's overrated per se, but when someone like Tracey Austin dares to compare her serve to Serena's and then says they are even in that department, then I think that's overrating her serve.


tracy austin is a complete idiot. i don't listen to one word that comes out of her mouth:drool: :help:

goldenlox
Feb 1st, 2007, 09:20 PM
Maria has won 26 of her 28 matches, including the USO final. Her serve is not a problem. Being tired might be the problem this week. She's only in Tokyo for money.

franny
Feb 1st, 2007, 09:29 PM
I don't think it's overrated per se, but when someone like Tracey Austin dares to compare her serve to Serena's and then says they are even in that department, then I think that's overrating her serve.

Oh it certainly is not as good as Serena's serve. Maybe when Serena wasn't playing it was the best serve, but when Serena plays, she is still by far the best server in the game.

DOUBLEFIST
Feb 1st, 2007, 09:37 PM
I don't think it's overrated per se, but when someone like Tracey Austin dares to compare her serve to Serena's and then says they are even in that department, then I think that's overrating her serve.

:lol: obvioiusly Tracy Austin is overrated.

Shapo's serve is rated, I think, just about right. It's simply a necessary shot for her to be successful against the very top players. But, it's not the kind of shot that will- on a regular basis- overwhelm top players like, say, Serena J. William's serve. Shapo's serve simply keeps them ( the top players) honest. I think it's something of a testament to her ability that she is able to beat decent players while throwing in 17 :eek: dfs. For reasons that I don't care to argue here (right now ;) ), I don't think Shapo will ever have an overwhelmingly dominant serve like many might expect, but- barring injury- I do think it's a VERY effective and necessary weapon.

Shonami Slam
Feb 1st, 2007, 09:57 PM
always nice to read corswandt writing things that should be heard loud and far. bless you my friend for a very nice post.

Her match against Clijsters was of pathetic form in more ways than one. Clijsters still looked the best hard-court player in the world - except for a mind ready and set, and a serve that held off just enough for a dirty patch.
you'd expect any match with Vaidisova or Petrova to look closer to a men's clash in terms of aces, unreturnables and easy put-away second shots, but somehow her major abbility on serve is to keep it steady when she needs to.

but yeah, Pin to an extent, and many other equaly ready to run around take a foot or two back from the baseline and simply read what's very clear.

it's been said that her serve is somewhat simular to that of the great pistol pete - for me, it's mostly a serve that is very rapidly adapting and changing itself to fit the new maria (in terms of style and build) time and time again.
i'm quite certain that after the first big shoulder injury, we'll learn a very new player, spinning it in much more, and that should indicate how good her groundstrokes really are.

i still say it isn't a serve enough to take her anywhere on clay.

trufanjay
Feb 1st, 2007, 09:59 PM
Maria has a good serve. It's only overrated when some people say it's the best. Because her serve to me is not in the top four or five.

laurie
Feb 1st, 2007, 10:18 PM
I think Maria technically has an excellent serve but seems to lose confidence in it now and again. As I've mentioned before she has a similar motion to Sampras and Davenport, they've all worked in California with Robert Lansdorp. I think Maria could look at Sampras and Davenport and see how they vary the serve in all corners of the box in deuce and ad courts. They could serve to the backhand in the deuce and ad equally well, as well as the slider/kicker to the forehand. They also had a great kick serve, so the opponents were always guessing. Plus the ball toss was the same for first and second serve, allowing them to have a magnificent serve on both first and second deliveries.

That's the sort of things Maria can develop to make her serve even better - and hit more aces. Because her serve is a little predictable she doesn't hit as many aces as you would expect.

goldenlox
Feb 1st, 2007, 10:23 PM
John McEnroe likes her motion and thinks her serve will keep improving as she gets stronger.
It's already arguably the best serve on the tour.
Maria has the best results over the past year, she's #1, and her moment isn't great.

tobi
Feb 1st, 2007, 10:23 PM
We will have to wait and see to find out.

Of course 17 DF is :o but has to see stats of few more matches to really judge it

Denise4925
Feb 1st, 2007, 10:32 PM
John McEnroe likes her motion and thinks her serve will keep improving as she gets stronger.
It's already arguably the best serve on the tour.
Maria has the best results over the past year, she's #1, and her moment isn't great.

You couldn't possibly believe that, right?? Because, it's not even arguably the best serve on the tour. See, this is where she gets the reputation of being overrated. She has a good serve and it's served her well. She doesn't have the best or even closest to the best serve on tour. Her motions are technically sound and she serves good fast flat serves, but she doesn't have a good kick serve and her service outwide is not short enough, in my opinion, in the box to be effective. Plus, her serves are predictable.

goldenlox
Feb 1st, 2007, 10:37 PM
She doesn't move well, she doesn't volley well, yet she's a teenager who's won 2 majors and has a big points lead as world #1.
And her serve is the biggest reason.

Denise4925
Feb 1st, 2007, 10:44 PM
She doesn't move well, she doesn't volley well, yet she's a teenager who's won 2 majors and has a big points lead as world #1.
And her serve is the biggest reason.

Yes I am aware that her serve was a large part of her winning ways. I never said her serve was a shambles. I said it was good, but there's a whole lot of room for improvement. She won't be a teenager for long. Ugh :rolleyes: I'm so sick of that. But, she doesn't have the best serve on tour at the moment. Serena does and there's no argument or room for doubt there.

Anyway, I think you're underselling her when you say that she doesn't do this or that well. I think she moves well enough to get those long arms stretched out to reach a lot of balls. I think she plays defense relatively well to get the ball back in play and take control of the point. Also, I think her swinging volleys are great. Plus, her groundstrokes are :eek: fantastic when she's not trying to go for too much. Which she doesn't have to do with a lot of players. This is why she wins and is No. 1.

goldenlox
Feb 1st, 2007, 10:47 PM
Her game is about her serve. When she won her 2 majors, she dominated on her serve. That gives her an opportunity to take chances when she returns.

Rex59
Feb 1st, 2007, 10:48 PM
She doesn't move well, she doesn't volley well, yet she's a teenager who's won 2 majors and has a big points lead as world #1.
And her serve is the biggest reason.

Well, her movement has improved, as evidenced by her performance against Kim at the AO '07. She was tracking Kim's shots all over the court and returning same for winners and/or points in rallies. I've never seen her move better. When her serve is on, it's more than adequate. However, her serve has gone south so far this season. She's had a ton of double-faults. This can be corrected, though. When? It's on her.

Denise4925
Feb 1st, 2007, 10:50 PM
Her game is about her serve. When she won her 2 majors, she dominated on her serve. That gives her an opportunity to take chances when she returns.

Since when? I never thought that. Not even when she beat Serena at Wimbledon. I thought her serve was adequate, but that her groundstrokes was what made her game so hard to beat. But, if her game is about her serve, then she needs to punch it up, because she's in a slump with it and if she needs it to win matches, she's going to be losing a few.

goldenlox
Feb 1st, 2007, 10:51 PM
When she wins majors, she controls the matches with her serve. Now her serve isn't at it's best, but she can hold enough to grind through most matches.
When she had to hold in Melbourne, she did, until the final.

DOUBLEFIST
Feb 1st, 2007, 10:52 PM
...I think you're underselling her when you say that she doesn't do this or that well. I think she moves well enough to get those long arms stretched out to reach a lot of balls. I think she plays defense relatively well to get the ball back in play and take control of the point. Also, I think her swinging volleys are great. Plus, her groundstrokes are :eek: fantastic when she's not trying to go for too much. Which she doesn't have to do with a lot of players. This is why she wins and is No. 1.

Totally agree. What people should be arguing is the best in the game are her groundies. Shapo could very well be the best off the ground on tour right now. You don't overcome 17 DFs being just above mediocre off the ground. Her motion is great, copied sampras, blah, blah, blah, but there are a whole lot of players who've copied Sampras motion to one degree of success or the other. I can think of one off the top of my head..., oh..., what's her name..., uh..., VENUS WILLIAMS. Shapo's serve is very good, not great and several times removed from being the best in the game.

Denise4925
Feb 1st, 2007, 10:54 PM
When she wins majors, she controls the match with her serve. Now her serve isn't at it's best, but she can hold enough to grind through most matches.
When she had to hold in Melbourne, she did, until the final.

Oh honey, even if she was serving without any DF's or second serves in the final, she wouldn't have been able to beat Serena that day. Serena was just in the zone.

I don't think her serve is at it's best, but do you honestly think she has a better serve than Serena? I know that's what you're getting at, but you really don't want to come out and say it. It's okay, we know.

laurie
Feb 1st, 2007, 10:58 PM
Her serve isn't the best right now because she is still improving. I reckon by the age of 25 her serve will be as good as Lindsay Davenport and Serena Williams. She still has a way to go.

trufanjay
Feb 1st, 2007, 10:59 PM
Maria's serve is not the best at all. I would put her at maybe 4,5 or 6 on the list of best active serves. It's a very good serve but let's give it the rank it deserves.

goldenlox
Feb 1st, 2007, 10:59 PM
I don't know how to compare serves. Serena moves much better. You would have to separate their games fragment by fragment, which is all opinion.
Sharapova's serve is the key to her game. That, and keeping her forehand together.
I don't want to argue who has the better serve. Sharapova can dominate with her serve against anyone, and she's done it.
But her serve has to be on, like the USO final.

hablo
Feb 1st, 2007, 11:09 PM
It's so strange to see for GL defend Sharpie so much, all of a sudden. :lol:

Serena has the best serve in women's tennis. Period.

It was giving Momo problems even at the US Open even though she was not in top shape over there either. :scared:

Sefo
Feb 1st, 2007, 11:10 PM
What does have Serena over Masha, she has a few more mph on her serve, but that's understandable, she's more muscular and heavier. At just 130 pounds, I'm amazed how much aces Sharapova's serve can produce, when in form.

DOUBLEFIST
Feb 1st, 2007, 11:20 PM
I reckon by the age of 25 her serve will be as good as Lindsay Davenport and Serena Williams. She still has a way to go.

MAYBE Davey's, not Serena's though. Maria simply is not athletic enough, imho. Davey's serve was strong, not because of pace (though she did serve plenty hard) but rather because of clever placement and a nice kicking second serve. At a certain point(once past the mental hurdle that a few players have never gotten past), the serve is has as much to do with sheer athleticism as any thing else. (edit) It is ARGUABLY the most athletic shot in tennis which is ONE reason why Serena excells at it so much.

cnelson575
Feb 2nd, 2007, 01:45 AM
Dementieva is use to not relying on a serve, Sharapova is not, i think she is just having issues mentally on court right now more than anything, im sure it will pass

miffedmax
Feb 2nd, 2007, 01:49 AM
I agree. TOB has one of the best serves, but it's not the best serve. But just because it's not the best doesn't mean it not her most important weapon. Her groundstrokes are great, but I still say her movement is a weakness. (Again, I'm really comparing her to other top players--by mortal standards she moves great).

A strong service game allows her to dictate more points and avoid track meet type of points. In this, she is more dependent on her serve than say, Serena, even though I think Serena has a better serve.

Every player, even at this level, has weaknesses. Great ones, like Serena, JH, TOB, Venus, etc. know how to compensate.

miffedmax
Feb 2nd, 2007, 01:51 AM
Of course, as a Dementieva fan I probably shouldn't be allowed to comment on serves in general.

Wayn77
Feb 2nd, 2007, 02:01 AM
Sharapova's serve was lethal: big, accurate, consistent and throughout the recent indoor season mixed in with some nice variety and rarely, rarely broken. Apart from the Vera match she served poorly at AO in comparison, broken with regularity. I wonder why?

Sharapova's_Boy
Feb 2nd, 2007, 02:18 AM
Of course, as a Dementieva fan I probably shouldn't be allowed to comment on serves in general.

:lol:

Marcus1979
Feb 2nd, 2007, 02:25 AM
during the Australian Open here Tracy Austin was mentioning the fact that no matter what shape the rest of Serena's game is in her serve is always consistent and does keep her in matches

faboozadoo15
Feb 2nd, 2007, 02:27 AM
looks like sharapova's having some issues on serve. it shouldn't come as much of a surprise. people have bad days. her serve was best on tour last year, it has potential to be this year.

yeah, serena's is great, but it's only been GREAT for 1 tournament.

bellascarlett
Feb 2nd, 2007, 02:40 AM
Of course, as a Dementieva fan I probably shouldn't be allowed to comment on serves in general.

:lol:

Maria will get it back...:scared:...it was starting to become such a weapon. And IIRC Maria has said it herself that her serve is the most important part of her game. It's really no wonder things have gone the way they have since the season started. Her game basically gets its confidence from her serve. Doesn't matter how good her groundstrokes are, if her serve isn't working up to the standards she thinks it should on a normal basis, her game and her mentality falters. She's a natural fighter though which helps a lot on days when her serve is a bit off or these days, just completely off. As someone said, she's not like Dementieva who is used to NOT having a serve and relying just on her groundstrokes.

For now, it seems like it has snowballed into a mental issue more than anything. she started the season (even in the hk exhibition she was having serving troubles :o ) without much confidence on serve and it just somehow dragged along unfortunately. it should come to pass...at least hopefully. she'll have a few weeks after tokyo to work on her serve without being in the more pressure-filled environment of a tournament.

it's easy to judge her (serve) now. but it isn't a secret she's having very unusual problems with it.

bellascarlett
Feb 2nd, 2007, 02:43 AM
Sharapova's serve was lethal: big, accurate, consistent and throughout the recent indoor season mixed in with some nice variety and rarely, rarely broken.

exactly. dunno why people are saying the serve has no variety...

anyway, the good news is...she's not lena. maria still has hope. and her serve will see the light of day again. ;)

KYLIE
Feb 2nd, 2007, 02:48 AM
Sharapovas serve is better than most of the females out there on a regular basis. Her serve hasnt been greta lately but overall, no, it is very much not over rated.

Is Sharapovas serve as good as Serena's, no...but then, i dont thing anybody can serve like Serena when Serena is 'on"

but otherwise Sharapova has got most of the tour beat...

komorli
Feb 2nd, 2007, 02:49 AM
I think her service motion is fine. It's fluid and she takes a long backswing, which allows her to gain more momentum for the delivery of the serve as compared to someone with a short service motion.

Think about the racquet head speed of someone with a bigger backswing on groundstrokes compared to someone who takes their racquet straight down. The person with the bigger backswing is going to produce more power and spin because there's more "room" to create that momentum right before you strike the ball. But that doesn't mean that the bigger the backswing the better. On groundies, it's hard to produce topspin if you have giant backswings.

IMO, Maria's serve is her biggest weapon. She's one of the few players on tour that can produce a big serve when she wants to. I just wish she could throw in a little more variety at times instead of just hard slice. I think the reason why Maria hasn't been serving at her best is because she's trying to throw in a topspin serve with toss for a slice or flat ball. She needs to throw it over her head more. It's kind of a cycle. She wants to have more net clearance, but perhaps isn't doing it the correct way. And then she throws in a few double faults here and there. Her serve is technically one of the best on tour, so she shouldn't have much problem getting back to it's best. (NOTE: This judgement is based on what I saw at the AO)

However, I'm not a big fan of her groundies. :p

Denise4925
Feb 2nd, 2007, 03:43 AM
looks like sharapova's having some issues on serve. it shouldn't come as much of a surprise. people have bad days. her serve was best on tour last year, it has potential to be this year.

yeah, serena's is great, but it's only been GREAT for 1 tournament.

:tape:

ZListCelebrity
Feb 2nd, 2007, 03:49 AM
She is overrated overall.

Denise4925
Feb 2nd, 2007, 03:53 AM
What does have Serena over Masha, she has a few more mph on her serve, but that's understandable, she's more muscular and heavier. At just 130 pounds, I'm amazed how much aces Sharapova's serve can produce, when in form.

You've got to be kidding. Serena not only serves with more miles per hour, her toss is deceiving, so you never know where her serve is going. She serves short in the box out wide and her down the T serve slices away from the opponent which is very hard to do with so many mph's on the serve. This is why she has so many aces. Her second serve has a very high kick and is very deep in the box, which makes it more difficult to return. Plus, it's consistent and she's able to pull it together on the big points.

And for those who said, Serena only had a great service game in one tournament, that's a lie, because when she wasn't in shape and unable to defend, her serve is what kept her in the match. If her serve was off, she had nothing else to rely on. Now that her fitness has improved, if her service game is off in a match, she can defend long enough to stay in the match and get her service together. This is why she dominated in 2002 and 2003.

Maria just doesn't have as much variety in her serve and any experienced player can predict where she's going with it. Again, she has a good, consistent serve and when Serena and Alicia weren't playing last season, it was the best on the tour. But, I believe there is room for much improvement. I think she will have some competition in that area with Serena, Alicia, Venus and Vaidisova in the mix this season.

DOUBLEFIST
Feb 2nd, 2007, 03:53 AM
...serena's is great, but it's only been GREAT for 1 tournament.

Well, considering most would say it was pretty great in '99, '00, '01, '02, '03, that'd make 5 years +1 tournament. :rolleyes:

Sharapova's_Boy
Feb 2nd, 2007, 04:00 AM
Woohoo, another Serena vs. Maria thread.

Haven't had many of those lately.

Dan23
Feb 2nd, 2007, 04:03 AM
No

Denise4925
Feb 2nd, 2007, 04:06 AM
I don't think her serve is overrated either. Like I said earlier, she's going through a serving slump and the only time I think her serve is overrated is when her serve is compared to Serena's serve and said to be equal or better. To me, that's overrating her serve.

Knizzle
Feb 2nd, 2007, 04:17 AM
As far as it being rated best on tour yes I always thought that was it being overrated, but as far as being a great serve no it's not overrated. She has a great serve, I'm not sure what's happening with these double faults this year, but she has to get that under control or she won't be beating the top players so regularly this year.

faboozadoo15
Feb 2nd, 2007, 04:24 AM
:tape:

one tournament in almost 2 years... there. 2 years is a lot in terms of tennis. serena wasn't serving them off the court in hobart.

kinglear
Feb 2nd, 2007, 04:24 AM
Her serve is okay, but when I watch her, I always expect for her to hit a lot into the net because she always seems like she's hitting the ball late, but she somehow gets it. Oh how I wish Lena D had won at least one Slam. It bugs me that someone as brilliant as Lena D doesn't have a Slam and Sharapova does. I think Lena is a lot more dynamic and a better player than Sharapova. That might sound insane, but that's what I think. Plus, Lena D's karate grunts are much greater than Sharapova's shrieks. You can see I have resentment, but I can't help it. I'm still holding a lot of hope for Lena, but I don't expect anything. :sad:

faboozadoo15
Feb 2nd, 2007, 04:25 AM
Well, considering most would say it was pretty great in '99, '00, '01, '02, '03, that'd make 5 years +1 tournament. :rolleyes:

crazy me, i thought we were talking about what's been going on currently.

Denise4925
Feb 2nd, 2007, 04:27 AM
one tournament in almost 2 years... there. 2 years is a lot in terms of tennis. serena wasn't serving them off the court in hobart.

Her service game wasn't the problem in Hobart, it was her ground game and movement. Did you see the tournament? Because I didn't, just looked at the stats and her serve stats were not bad at all. It was all of the errors that defeated her.

F-R-E-A-K
Feb 2nd, 2007, 04:29 AM
:rolls:

faboozadoo15
Feb 2nd, 2007, 04:29 AM
Her service game wasn't the problem in Hobart, it was her ground game and movement. Did you see the tournament? Because I didn't, just looked at the stats and her serve stats were not bad at all. It was all of the errors that defeated her.

i'll buy that.
but the best server in the world, which i believe she is or has the potential to be, doesn't have trouble holding serve in the opening rounds of tier4's.

so like i said. if she brings it like she did in the AO, there's no doubt she's the best. but it's been just 1 tournament of stellar serving. i wasn't trying to downplay it.

Knizzle
Feb 2nd, 2007, 04:31 AM
Denise, you can't reason with faboozadoo, he's an idiot especially when it comes to Serena or Venus. I learned that a long time ago. ;)

G1Player2
Feb 2nd, 2007, 04:41 AM
one tournament in almost 2 years... there. 2 years is a lot in terms of tennis. serena wasn't serving them off the court in hobart.

So are you saying Maria's serve is better than Serena's serve?

Langers
Feb 2nd, 2007, 04:42 AM
She is overrated overall.
:lol: :help:

brent-o
Feb 2nd, 2007, 04:43 AM
I think her serve (when she wasn't in this little slump) was very effective. However, it is painful to watch. Such an ugly motion, it's a miracle she does get it in consistently.

VeeReeDavJCap81
Feb 2nd, 2007, 05:07 AM
I don't think her serve is overrated at all, she was the best server on the tour in '06. I don't know why she's sucking this year so far, but I'm sure it'll improve as the season goes on.

Sexysova
Feb 2nd, 2007, 05:11 AM
NICOLE VAIDISOVA has the best serve with SERENA :)

Langers
Feb 2nd, 2007, 05:19 AM
NICOLE VAIDISOVA has the best serve with SERENA :)
Se often falls back when she serves though, that can be improved.

bellascarlett
Feb 2nd, 2007, 05:26 AM
I don't think her serve is overrated at all, she was the best server on the tour in '06. I don't know why she's sucking this year so far, but I'm sure it'll improve as the season goes on.

Exactly. this is what has been largely ignored in this thread...In 2006, Maria was the best server on tour. she finds herself in a very unusual serving slump and suddenly of course, as expected, we have threads like this. :o

brokenflowers
Feb 2nd, 2007, 05:45 AM
I don't think her serve is overrated at all, she was the best server on the tour in '06. I don't know why she's sucking this year so far, but I'm sure it'll improve as the season goes on.

Agreed. :cool:

Dunlop1
Feb 2nd, 2007, 06:08 AM
I have always felt Maria's serve was overrated. What she has is good placement. But the actual serve has minor flaws that make larger impacts.

Her serve motion isn't fluid enough. I'm pretty sure it has to do with her toss. It is a tad bit too high and so there is too long a pause after she transfers her weight/brings forward her right leg till she makes contact with the ball.
As a result some of the stored energy dissipates.

Another thing is I don't think she uses her shoulders to the fullest.
Justine is a good example of really getting FORWARD shoulder rotation. No wonder Justine (in her tiny frame) consistently serves bigger than Pova.
Venus is another good example of really using her shoulders. Her problem is that she lets the front shoulder drop too much sometimes (as a result of her dropping her head) so her shoulder rotation takes a forward but also slightly downward motion causing her to net the ball.

Maria can place her serve very well. Mentally she is very confident and this helps her to swing out on her second serve and place it well. However Maria's kick serves do not have a lot of 'action' on them. (Yes I have seen it live). They are just like her first serves with more topspin. Not much movement. Where she gets you is with her placement.

Her slice serve is really good. But even at Pova's best, Serena's short slice out wide outshines hers.

What I admire about Maria is her change ups. She will sometimes pull out the slice serve up the T on a second serve on a BREAKPOINT and will nail it. It won't be hard, but she will paint the line and that is what makes her a great server.

But the best on tour? Not in my opinion.

hablo
Feb 2nd, 2007, 06:27 AM
Sharapova was not the best server during Wimbledon in 2006. :drool::ras:

OZTENNIS
Feb 2nd, 2007, 06:52 AM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but a good server has good technique (ala Alicia Molik), great accuracy (ala Lindsay Davenport) and tremendous power (ala Serena Williams). Sharapova's serve is no where near as good a weapon as Davenport's, Molik's or Serena's. She serves lots of double faults and doesn't get a high 1st serve % too often.

Whilst some of u may say that Sharapova served well at the US Open, which I admit she did, not of the other Q/F's (Mauresmo, Henin, Jankovic, Dementieva, Golovin etc.) rely on their serves as a 'big weapon,' thus making Maria's serve look even better. fast forward to AO '07 and u see Serena and Vaidisova hitting harder and serving much more effectively than sharapova

UncleZeke
Feb 2nd, 2007, 06:58 AM
She's had her problems lately.

OZTENNIS
Feb 2nd, 2007, 07:08 AM
She's had her problems lately.

and alicia molik/serena williams haven't?

Viktymise
Feb 2nd, 2007, 07:23 AM
I think Maria's serve used to be better before she got the shoulder injury in 05. Her serve is the part of her game which has put her to the top, if she had dementieva's serve, she wouldn't be top or have a slam thats for sure

bellascarlett
Feb 2nd, 2007, 07:30 AM
I think Maria's serve used to be better before she got the shoulder injury in 05. Her serve is the part of her game which has put her to the top, if she had dementieva's serve, she wouldn't be top or have a slam thats for sure

well duh that's why lena doesnt have a slam. :o

i would disagree about being a top player but well, that would be difficult to prove just as what you say is too. maria's never had it any other way so how would we know how she would have ended up? anyway, this is all irrelevant. we work with what we have.

bandabou
Feb 2nd, 2007, 08:12 AM
faboo, faboo....:lol:. way to backpedal. one tournament..2 years. weak.

bandabou
Feb 2nd, 2007, 09:31 AM
maria's serve's good, just one bad match...but it ain't the best on the tour.

Shimizu Amon
Feb 2nd, 2007, 09:45 AM
It's really not that big o' deal. It can happen. She'll get over it.

And she still has one of the biggest serves in women tennis.

Stroba
Feb 2nd, 2007, 01:12 PM
I have always felt Maria's serve was overrated. What she has is good placement. But the actual serve has minor flaws that make larger impacts.

Her serve motion isn't fluid enough. I'm pretty sure it has to do with her toss. It is a tad bit too high and so there is too long a pause after she transfers her weight/brings forward her right leg till she makes contact with the ball.
As a result some of the stored energy dissipates.

Another thing is I don't think she uses her shoulders to the fullest.
Justine is a good example of really getting FORWARD shoulder rotation. No wonder Justine (in her tiny frame) consistently serves bigger than Pova.
Venus is another good example of really using her shoulders. Her problem is that she lets the front shoulder drop too much sometimes (as a result of her dropping her head) so her shoulder rotation takes a forward but also slightly downward motion causing her to net the ball.

Maria can place her serve very well. Mentally she is very confident and this helps her to swing out on her second serve and place it well. However Maria's kick serves do not have a lot of 'action' on them. (Yes I have seen it live). They are just like her first serves with more topspin. Not much movement. Where she gets you is with her placement.

Her slice serve is really good. But even at Pova's best, Serena's short slice out wide outshines hers.

What I admire about Maria is her change ups. She will sometimes pull out the slice serve up the T on a second serve on a BREAKPOINT and will nail it. It won't be hard, but she will paint the line and that is what makes her a great server.

But the best on tour? Not in my opinion.

Very good analysis. I agree with all you said besides the first sentence. I actually donīt think many (unbiased) people have suggested Maria has the BEST serve. Most people seems to think she has a GOOD serve, which is true. Hence itīs not overrated IMO. Second half of 2006 she had the best serve on tour. Of course Serena at her best tops any of Marias serving performances.

Although Maria has been serving poorly for her standards so far this year, I think itīs premature making threads like this. For some reason she has lost confidence in it. But I think it only take a few good matches and her serve might be as lethal as ever.

kinglear
Feb 2nd, 2007, 01:17 PM
haha Forget her serve, she's overrated. She and her ugly tennis are very overrated. Now before someone says I'm hating, even players like Venus can play ugly tennis. I've noticed when all these power players are off, they're WAY off. Sharpova, cut out the screaming and just hit the ball. ;)

Steffica Greles
Feb 2nd, 2007, 01:22 PM
Although Maria has been serving poorly for her standards so far this year, I think itīs premature making threads like this. For some reason she has lost confidence in it. But I think it only take a few good matches and her serve might be as lethal as ever.

But it's the very fact that her serve is governed to such a great extent by her confidence that informs me that her service motion -- which I don't find the most prepossessing, let alone technically sound -- is flawed. You can't hit 17 double faults in one match and not have problems.

Her serve is above average -- that is true. But for her height, I do think that it could be much better. I think her action is the root cause, and to me, it never looks that convincing even when she's firing aces.

goldenlox
Feb 2nd, 2007, 01:27 PM
John McEnroe likes her motion, and thinks her serve will keep getting better.
Sharapova has won 27 of her last 29 matches, going back to the USO.
She has the best results on the tour going back to Wimbledon.
The rest of the tour should have the problems Sharapova has.

Dementinator
Feb 2nd, 2007, 01:47 PM
Sharapova is over rated in many many ways ,looks ,greatness etc ,but ,she does still have one of the best serves on the tour ,not the best ,but one of them ,so no ,i wouldnt say its as overated as the girl itself is. Her serve is good.

shibster
Feb 2nd, 2007, 01:53 PM
Dementinator: according to miffedmax, dementieva fans are not qualified to comment about serves :p :haha:

Dementinator
Feb 2nd, 2007, 01:56 PM
well i know a bloody good one when i see it !! :lol:

mike/topgun
Feb 2nd, 2007, 07:21 PM
Absolutely disagree.
Her service technique is really smooth and sound. Maria's tall and that's a great advantage, but the placement and various types of serves she can hit is actually surprising. It's not all about power, though she can hit up to 115 mph at times. It worked tremendously well during the summer of 2006, but lately it's has not been as efficient. The final vs Serena was :help: when it came to serving and returning. Well, it was a whitewash.
Masha's serve is her weapon and her most effective shot when it's on, which hasn't been that often recently.:tape:

faboozadoo15
Feb 9th, 2007, 12:34 AM
imo, sharapova has the most beautiful toss and body movement of all time on the serve. it's just so confident and smooth when she's playing well. she uses her height well and never overstrains her body.

hopefully once she gets attention paid to her hamstring, we won't see anymore serving like in australia and tokyo.

Corswandt
Feb 9th, 2007, 12:45 AM
sharapova has the most beautiful toss

She does, she does. I'm totally in love with that toss. :hearts:

Dementieva Guts
Feb 9th, 2007, 02:50 AM
Her serve isn't overrated, isn't underrrated, it's just that opponents finally stopped being intimidated by her name and her father. She doesn't mix her serve at all, its about time that her opponents guess right and pick it up.

Sharapova's serve doesn't come close to serena's, henin's, vaidi's or even kuzi's.

Mental toughness is everything in this game. When a player isn't feared anymore to a certain player, that's the finish of the, so call, "domination".:)

bellascarlett
Feb 9th, 2007, 03:10 AM
imo, sharapova has the most beautiful toss and body movement of all time on the serve. it's just so confident and smooth when she's playing well.

Yes, she does have the most beautiful toss. Love it as well. Very graceful. I also think her movement on the serve is beautiful. Its funny it's like the ball freezes in time after her toss :angel:.....then you hear her scream...:lol:

williams123
Feb 9th, 2007, 03:24 AM
to be honest. sharapova is only as good as venus and serena..., and to a lesser amount, juju and kim alowed her to be. it's not her fault that they cannot play a full year without being injured. she is highely overrated..., but is a champion. those times she played and beat venus and serena were mosly all flukes. i mean she won them but venus and serena were mosly injured or not match ready for her. dont get me wrong she's really good and all but not oustanding like venus and serena, and to a lesser degree kim and juju.

Kenny
Feb 9th, 2007, 03:28 AM
I think the Australian Open showed exactly what her serve is.

LUIS9
Feb 9th, 2007, 03:29 AM
I have never been overly impressed with her first serve, even when she schocked Serena at wimby '04. Her second serve has been the serve that always seemed to impress me, it's usually so consistent and deep very few can really hurt it. Davenport and Serena being among the few.

On the other hand her first serve is pretty predictable you can predict her patterns just about at the third game of almost all her matches. She likes going to the middle a lot but it's no where as effective as Davenports so why not mix it up a bit?

It's definitely not a weak serve but certainly not the best.

serenafan08
Feb 9th, 2007, 03:33 AM
I don't think it's as good as advertised, but it isn't bad either. It can break down when she gets tentative - like in Australia in her last three matches. When she goes up and into it, it's a good serve.