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supergrunt
Feb 1st, 2007, 11:22 PM
I know that Serena played great at the Australian Open final this year. My question is, can she take her game to another level; can she play even better? :)

Joachim1978
Feb 1st, 2007, 11:28 PM
Well I think in the final, she was close to 100% for sure, I'm not convinced I've ever seen her play better, even in 2002 and 2003.

But it's consistency and injury that messes her up. She could easily have lost to both Petrova and Peer, but had she played the way she did in the final against them, they wouldn't have even taken sets off her.

But the way she plays means she is vulnerable to injury, particularly when she is not at her best fitness level.

But so long as she plans her schedule carefully, not playing too much or too little we will definitley see her win more slams and end the year in the top 5 where she belongs.

I can't wait to see her play Justine again! And Venus!

Denise4925
Feb 1st, 2007, 11:39 PM
I think she can, if she gets fitter and she stays injury free. I think she's out to send a message this year and if everything goes as planned, I think it will work. I really don't think Serena plans on losing again for a while.

DOUBLEFIST
Feb 1st, 2007, 11:39 PM
Serena EXECUTED well, and you can't ask for much more than what she did from an execution stand point. Sure there were a couple of UEs, but any time Serena is playing at +17 UEs/Winners, considering the high wire, high risk nature of her game, that's spectacular.

I do think that there is room for improvment from a tactical stand point, though it's difficult to tell from her last match, because Shapo didn't force Serena to tactically adjust. And even then, I have to back pedal a little, because it seemed Serena seemed to played the right shot at the right time throughout- the top spin lob, the well timed deep moonball to buy time to get back in position and push Shapo off the baseline, etc, etc.

Serena could definitely imporve the bite and kick of her second serve. I still don't think it is the best it's ever been. Her movement, though very, very good now, is not quite at optimum Serena level yet, so that could improve. And, I do wish she would drop a few pounds, not because she can't move with the beautiful body she has now, but it would be less stress on her joint's- particularly her vulnerable knee- if she did.

starin
Feb 2nd, 2007, 12:04 AM
She could probably stand to go up few nothces fitness wise. But I think she knows that. She's not as fast as she once was so its a bit easier to put her on her back foot. But I think she can regain her speed. Her second serve could stand to be a little better although during her final she was hitting her second serve very well (some @ 100mph!) But other than that her consistency is much better and she is more tactically sound than she was even in 2002.

sfselesfan
Feb 2nd, 2007, 12:08 AM
I think she's already improved over her 2002-4 level. I think she's thinking more on the court and playing less of a "big babe/ball basher" game. She was not aiming for the lines like she used to...and she obviously didn't need to. I was very impressed by what I saw in Melbourne. Given the gameplay I saw, I think she's a real threat this year on clay.

SF

DOUBLEFIST
Feb 2nd, 2007, 12:09 AM
...she is more tactically sound than she was even in 2002.

Hmmm, that's an interesting point. I think your right. She is more tactically sound than even 2002. But I still believe there is room for improvement there. But she certainly showed in the pre-finals rounds, particularly against Vaidasova and Peer, that she is a shrewd tactician. Personally, I hope that other players continue to sleep on that aspect of her game. It's better to have your competetors underestimate you than over estimate you.

franny
Feb 2nd, 2007, 12:32 AM
I have learned to never EVER say that Serena can't do something. The woman is crazy, and if you say she can't do something, she'll do it and then growl at you.

Dawn Marie
Feb 2nd, 2007, 01:21 AM
Yes. Serena can always improve her net game. She can also improve on her slice. She can even serve better. LOL!


Serena is a power babe that is always under appreciated for her skill at ball direction and court sense. Serena has a great angle shot. She knows what she's doing out there. Also her serve has always been nasty. Her second the best in the WTA. I feel that it is her serving that came back into form as well as her ground game.

I actually think that this year that Serena can actually win all 4 grandslams. I can really see her winning the French and then Wimby and the US if she stays healthy. Her fitness will only get better. I'm telling yah, this women can win the grandslam.

spencercarlos
Feb 2nd, 2007, 01:31 AM
Well I think in the final, she was close to 100% for sure, I'm not convinced I've ever seen her play better, even in 2002 and 2003.

But it's consistency and injury that messes her up. She could easily have lost to both Petrova and Peer, but had she played the way she did in the final against them, they wouldn't have even taken sets off her.

But the way she plays means she is vulnerable to injury, particularly when she is not at her best fitness level.

But so long as she plans her schedule carefully, not playing too much or too little we will definitley see her win more slams and end the year in the top 5 where she belongs.

I can't wait to see her play Justine again! And Venus!
Honestly Sharapova is not the kind of player that would push Serena at her best.
Watch Roland Garros 2002 SF vs Capriati and her Final against Venus Williams at Wimbledon or Usopen that year as well, that is Serena at her very best against the best players playing well.

Denise4925
Feb 2nd, 2007, 05:25 AM
Honestly Sharapova is not the kind of player that would push Serena at her best.Watch Roland Garros 2002 SF vs Capriati and her Final against Venus Williams at Wimbledon or Usopen that year as well, that is Serena at her very best against the best players playing well.

I so agree with this. Maria just doesn't have enough game in my opinion.

No Name Face
Feb 2nd, 2007, 05:37 AM
one of the best matches i saw serena play was against justine in the rome final, i think.

i want her to win the French this year. I really do.

supergrunt
Feb 2nd, 2007, 08:11 PM
^did she win that match?

supergrunt
Feb 2nd, 2007, 08:12 PM
o never mind :lol:

In The Zone
Feb 2nd, 2007, 08:13 PM
Serena winning the French would be amazing -- sending a real message to the Tour. I want her to do it so bad, too.

slydevil6142
Feb 2nd, 2007, 08:31 PM
I so agree with this. Maria just doesn't have enough game in my opinion.

Its not that Maria doesnt have enough game (she did beat serena 04' wim) but that she doesnt have the "right" type of game to do it on a consistent basis. Maria is the new Davenport and Serena never struggled against Davie.

tennisIlove09
Feb 2nd, 2007, 08:33 PM
No no no. I dont think Serena was any where near her best in the finals of the Australian. That was just the START of seeing the old Serena. If she gets fully, 100% back into shape, and starts being ultra aggressive off EVERY return, starts going for lines EVERY point, she'll be back to her 2002-2003 level. We saw a glimpse, but she can still get BETTER. Which is scary.

Kim's_fan_4ever
Feb 2nd, 2007, 08:41 PM
There's always room for improvement.

eugreene2
Feb 2nd, 2007, 08:56 PM
Serena said so herself that she can get better

Bruno71
Feb 2nd, 2007, 09:21 PM
She played most of her AO matches very well from a tactical standpoint. It's just the execution that was on & off...(off for a set & a half against Petrova for instance). I like the fact that she's giving herself good margin for error on her shots and not overplaying points. That already puts her a cut above most of the power players. She's like Sharapova except with better angles, better movement, and better mental fitness :devil:

A good defender can give Serena problems though...to steamroll one of those she had to play at an extremely high level (against Jankovic). Peer played great defense...and look for Serena to get better tests from the great defenders like Justine, Amelie, & Kim.

DOUBLEFIST
Feb 2nd, 2007, 09:40 PM
Serena never struggled against Davie.

Serena DID struggle against Davey (witness 2000 USO). At the time the book on the sisters was to hit down the middle and make them move their feet because they weren't technically sound enough to reposition themselves and create their own angles. That was the Landsdorf(sp) theory. It actually worked on Serena in 2000. Of course, baby girl adjusted.

A good defender can give Serena problems though...

I think a more acurate statement is "a good defender presents Serena with a different set of challenges."

You have to remember Serena wasn't playing the same high risk game in the Petrova, Peer or Vaidasova matches that she was playing in the finals. She was playing more defensively herself because she wasn't confident enough to take the ball early. So it became an all counter punchers match(which Serena played quite well from that stand point). Go back and look at those matches and you'll see Serena surrender control of points simply because she wasn't taking the ball early and therefore not robbing her opponent of time like she does when at her best.

If Serena steps up, takes the ball early, she'll do away with "good defenders" with very little difficulty.

franny
Feb 2nd, 2007, 09:45 PM
Serena winning the French would be amazing -- sending a real message to the Tour. I want her to do it so bad, too.

Well everyone wants their favorites to win so bad. I for one want Martina Hingis to win so bad, because it would really send a real message to the tour. That you can win through brains over brawns. And also, lets admit, it will be a great story. Anyways, sorry for interrupting this Serena love-fest with a bit about Martina. Back to Serena now. I think that she can get better in terms of taking care of her body. If she stays injury free, the sky's her limit.

SJW
Feb 2nd, 2007, 10:01 PM
Honestly Sharapova is not the kind of player that would push Serena at her best.
Watch Roland Garros 2002 SF vs Capriati and her Final against Venus Williams at Wimbledon or Usopen that year as well, that is Serena at her very best against the best players playing well.

Sharapova still not getting the credit she deserves, I see.

Sharapova has the first strike capability needed to beat Serena when she's playing well...ala Monica Seles. Serena had mental issues against Capriati...I would put my house on her being mentally shaky everytime she played her. All Capriati would have to do is get the ball back in court and wait for Serena to make the error. Venus...well Serena does everything Venus does, just a little better.

As for the question, Serena won the AO playing maybe to half of her potential. She can get quicker. She can get meaner. Her technique will improve even more with match play. That's a scary thought.

Mentally, however, we're starting to see Serena at her peak. I disagree with her, Serena Williams is now a thinker too :yeah:

Mina Vagante
Feb 2nd, 2007, 10:03 PM
i think her AO final was near to 100% but i think there is another level that serena can go to.

UncleZeke
Feb 2nd, 2007, 10:08 PM
Serena played her best in AO against quality opponent. Serena's best against anyone on WTA tours best, Serena wins.

Bruno71
Feb 2nd, 2007, 10:09 PM
If Serena steps up, takes the ball early, she'll do away with "good defenders" with very little difficulty.

She did play more tentatively against some of the other players, but my point is that even when she takes the ball early & hits it well, Justine and the others are much more capable of getting that one extra shot back than Sharapova. She'd have had about 1/4-1/2 the winners against Justine if they'd played instead of Sharapova (partly because Maria just had no read on whatever Serena threw at her). This would make for longer rallies and more profoundly test all aspects of Serena's game...hence posing more "problems" for her. That doesn't mean Serena can't adjust to those problems and still win against those players.

spencercarlos
Feb 2nd, 2007, 10:18 PM
Sharapova still not getting the credit she deserves, I see.

Sharapova has the first strike capability needed to beat Serena when she's playing well...ala Monica Seles. Serena had mental issues against Capriati...I would put my house on her being mentally shaky everytime she played her. All Capriati would have to do is get the ball back in court and wait for Serena to make the error. Venus...well Serena does everything Venus does, just a little better.

As for the question, Serena won the AO playing maybe to half of her potential. She can get quicker. She can get meaner. Her technique will improve even more with match play. That's a scary thought.

Mentally, however, we're starting to see Serena at her peak. I disagree with her, Serena Williams is now a thinker too :yeah:
Sharapova does not have the atleticism or movement anywhere near to be able to challenge Serena at her best. (Like Capriati, Venus can)
Sharapova does not know how to play a defensive, or variety game in order to throw her oponnents game off. (Like Hingis, Capriati)

And sorry i just don´t see Sharapova excuting a better hard hitting and running around the court game better than a top notch Serena Williams. Period.

Denise4925
Feb 2nd, 2007, 10:42 PM
Its not that Maria doesnt have enough game (she did beat serena 04' wim) but that she doesnt have the "right" type of game to do it on a consistent basis. Maria is the new Davenport and Serena never struggled against Davie.

Enough, right type, same thing. :shrug: The only reason Maria beat Serena in 2004 Wimbly is because Serena did not know her game and didn't expect Maria to hit as hard.

trufanjay
Feb 2nd, 2007, 10:43 PM
She can step it up if she keeps working hard. No doubt!

GrafMariaPetraK
Feb 2nd, 2007, 10:45 PM
sharapova can hit her groundstrokes harder more longer at her best than serena can,plus why serena won the match at aussie open,because maria's serve was rubbish all tourny.Maria is 19 and can get a alot better than she is now.

SJW
Feb 2nd, 2007, 10:47 PM
Sharapova does not have the atleticism or movement anywhere near to be able to challenge Serena at her best. (Like Capriati, Venus can)
Sharapova does not know how to play a defensive, or variety game in order to throw her oponnents game off. (Like Hingis, Capriati)

And sorry i just don´t see Sharapova excuting a better hard hitting and running around the court game better than a top notch Serena Williams. Period.

Nobody can beat Serena at her best in my mind. Period.
Not Capriati, not Venus, not Hingis, not Sharapova and not Henin.
So I don't get your point really.

Denise4925
Feb 2nd, 2007, 10:52 PM
Sharapova does not have the atleticism or movement anywhere near to be able to challenge Serena at her best. (Like Capriati, Venus can)
Sharapova does not know how to play a defensive, or variety game in order to throw her oponnents game off. (Like Hingis, Capriati)

And sorry i just donīt see Sharapova excuting a better hard hitting and running around the court game better than a top notch Serena Williams. Period.

:worship: :worship: :worship: The world is going to implode. I've agreed with spencer twice in one thread. :lol:

Denise4925
Feb 2nd, 2007, 10:53 PM
sharapova can hit her groundstrokes harder more longer at her best than serena can,plus why serena won the match at aussie open,because maria's serve was rubbish all tourny.Maria is 19 and can get a alot better than she is now.

:tape: :spit: :lol: :help:

GrafMariaPetraK
Feb 2nd, 2007, 11:01 PM
:rolleyes: :lol:

Lulu.
Feb 2nd, 2007, 11:25 PM
sharapova can hit her groundstrokes harder more longer at her best than serena can,plus why serena won the match at aussie open,because maria's serve was rubbish all tourny.Maria is 19 and can get a alot better than she is now.




You must be :smoke:

Craigy
Feb 2nd, 2007, 11:30 PM
sharapova can hit her groundstrokes harder more longer at her best than serena can,plus why serena won the match at aussie open,because maria's serve was rubbish all tourny.Maria is 19 and can get a alot better than she is now.

ok.yeh,whateverrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!1111 :D

DOUBLEFIST
Feb 2nd, 2007, 11:52 PM
Justine and the others are much more capable of getting that one extra shot back than Sharapova.

That much I agree with, but if Serena is playing high risk and not making errors, the result would still be the same. The only exception I see to this is on the clay.

...because it would really send a real message to the tour. That you can win through brains over brawns.

Uh..., Serena DOES have brains too!

Volcana
Feb 2nd, 2007, 11:57 PM
Can Serena get better? Check that one drop volley she had off the backhand side. Sharpen that up to a weapon she can use regularly, and only the fastest players could reach it. A drop volley off the forehand side could be added.

I'm not at all sure slice groundstrokes would help Serena much. They give the opponent time. Actually, Serena HAS a good slice backhand, in that it produces LOTS of slice. But it's totally telegraphed, unlike Henin-Hardenne's.

What I'd like to see Serena improve is onhow fast she gets her 'read' on what the opponent is doing. Those dropped first sets happen when the opponent plays well, and Serena doesn't know the best way to attack them. In the AO final, Serena knew exactly how she wanted to attack her opponent. And executed at about as high a level as I've ever seen her.

spencercarlos
Feb 3rd, 2007, 03:22 AM
Nobody can beat Serena at her best in my mind. Period.
Not Capriati, not Venus, not Hingis, not Sharapova and not Henin.
So I don't get your point really.
I have seen Venus, Capriati, Hingis, and yeah sometimes Davenport (Usopen 2001) trouble Serena even when she is playing at her best.
These players can move, first step reaction much quicker than the one Sharapova owns, even if Sharapova is hitting the ball well, she can´t react the way the other three women i mentioned do.
Venus can go toe to toe with Serena in a hard hitting and athletic running in a match, Venus ends up short to a top notch Serena only because of her forehand tecnique and sometimes her serve can go off.

Capriati was another nightmare for Serena because she moved tremendously and could trade hard hitting shots and play great defensive game running down a lot of Serena´s shots that against most players would have been winners. Serena´s serve proved to be the better in the end and made the difference in their close matches.

Hingis, the great counter puncher, yeah she had some great battles against Serena as well, could stay with Serena in most of their matches were really close, despite the huge differences phisically, Serena was able to beat Martina very easily in two of their 13 matches (2001-2002 circa), while Martina did the same to Serena in two of their early meetings, still Hingis had the enough first step reaction and got to defend a lot of balls and play her junk game to throw Serena´s game off and drew errors.

Sharapova seems useless against a top notch Serena because right from the start she is on a defensive position and her first step reaction is not enough and she does not have very good defensive skills. Its very simple.

supergrunt
Feb 3rd, 2007, 03:29 AM
Yeah I finally got to rewatch that final :lol: Serena is definatley capable of being better.

Merton
Feb 3rd, 2007, 04:08 AM
Yes.