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View Full Version : Could this be the year that Sharapova finally takes over?


BartoliBabes
Jan 22nd, 2008, 05:39 PM
Not just based on the one match against Justine today, but throughout this whole tournament she has really surprised me. She's playing better than anyone at the minute and this tournament could be hers if she plays like this for two more rounds. I can't see anyone but Venus being capable of stopping her when she's hot like this. I don't think Jankovic at her very best could handle her shots right now and i don't think Ivanovic or Hantuchova have the consistancy or mental ability to contend with her, and i just don't think Radwanska has the weapons (Yes i know Radwanska did it at the US but Maria was totally off that day). I'm not even that fond of Sharapova but i'm just appreciating the tennis she's produced. But then again who knows if she can keep it up for the rest of the tournament nevermind the rest of the year. She can be a bit up and down. What do you guys think?

Mightymirza
Jan 22nd, 2008, 05:47 PM
well its better for her to stay down..:lol: once she gets to number 1 she gets into all sorts of troubles :tape:

@Sweet Cleopatra
Jan 22nd, 2008, 05:48 PM
I really hope she keeps it up cause this is the level of tennis that deseves Slams ,

serenus_2k8
Jan 22nd, 2008, 05:52 PM
Yeh, congrats to Masha, fantastic win! I didnt get to see the match but it sounds like there was some great tennis on display which is no doubt great. I guess Masha really loves the AO hey? :D

I think as long as she can hold this sort of level, Masha will be a huge threat :woohoo:

sfselesfan
Jan 22nd, 2008, 05:53 PM
I don't think anyone is going to "take over." The field is too deep now.

These threads frustrate me because the women's game is different now than it was previously. Last week everyone was so sure Justine had "taken over" and now people are saying Maria could "take over."

Perhaps people need to accept that the field is deep and every tournament is wide open.

Enjoy, it took us long years of suffering through Steffi and the Seven Dwarves to get here. Look at the men's tour. Completely boring.

SF

Tennisstar86
Jan 22nd, 2008, 05:53 PM
Jankovic is a tricky player... dont count her out. she retrieves well and has an amazing backhand...

Tennisstar86
Jan 22nd, 2008, 05:54 PM
I don't think anyone is going to "take over." The field is too deep now.

These threads frustrate me because the women's game is different now than it was previously. Last week everyone was so sure Justine had "taken over" and now people are saying Maria could "take over."

Perhaps people need to accept that the field is deep and every tournament is wide open.

Enjoy, it took us long years of suffering through Steffi and the Seven Dwarves to get here. Look at the men's tour. Completely boring.

SF

The mens tour is not boring... I swear every match from the 2nd/3rd round on has had two big names(players who have done damage in the past) going at it,

Poova
Jan 22nd, 2008, 05:55 PM
Stop with all these threads! :(

People were saying the same thing after the US Open 2006, that 2007 was going to be Maria's best year yet. :o

You just don't know for sure what's going to happen.

sfselesfan
Jan 22nd, 2008, 05:59 PM
The mens tour is not boring... I swear every match from the 2nd/3rd round on has had two big names(players who have done damage in the past) going at it,

Look at the slam results for the last four years and tell me it isn't boring.

SF

LDVTennis
Jan 22nd, 2008, 07:25 PM
Enjoy, it took us long years of suffering through Steffi and the Seven Dwarves to get here. Look at the men's tour. Completely boring.

SF


In those years when you were suffering, Steffi raised the women's game to a level where it compared favorably to the men's game. She played just like Federer with her serve/forehand combination. Here's a flashback showing how well her game compared to Federer's: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lH70UJu3n4A and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DU23ruYwMRc

After Steffi retired, there was no one with her technical agility and athelticism to keep the ball bashing style introduced by Monica Seles from taking over and turning the women's game into what it is today.

Tennisstar86
Jan 22nd, 2008, 07:36 PM
In those years when you were suffering, Steffi raised the women's game to a level where it compared favorably to the men's game. She played just like Federer with her serve/forehand combination. Here's a flashback showing how well her game compared to Federer's: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lH70UJu3n4A and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DU23ruYwMRc

After Steffi retired, there was no one with her technical agility and athelticism to keep the ball bashing style introduced by Monica Seles from taking over and turning the women's game into what it is today.

yeah.... cause steffi did a great job keeping monica from winning those 8 GS real quick before she got stabbed...:rolleyes:

Tennisstar86
Jan 22nd, 2008, 07:39 PM
Look at the slam results for the last four years and tell me it isn't boring.

SF

Sure, the finals are boring... but heck so were ALL the womens finals last year......the men have a much better tournament, and Fed isnt quite as unbeatable as he use to be, and im not just talkin about his last match. he looked quite vulnerable in 07 as well....but most of his matches he has the same thing goin for him that justine had after the US Open through to Sharapova tappin that ***, just like Serena had in 03'......fear from other players when they walk on the court even if they werent playing that good...

goldenlox
Jan 22nd, 2008, 07:39 PM
Graf 's losses to Seles led to the level of security being raised so dominant players wouldn't get stabbed on court in the future. On court, all Graf could do was watch Seles win majors.

Sharapova might be on her way to her first 2 slam year, but she won't dominate the game. Not yet.

Destiny
Jan 22nd, 2008, 07:41 PM
oh no you didn't!!!
The field is deep and every tourney in my opinion is getting less predictable

Wannabeknowitall
Jan 22nd, 2008, 07:42 PM
Nope because there's someone with a similar game who has shown she can crush Maria, at the slam she seems to want the most, Wimbledon.
Her name is Venus Williams.

sfselesfan
Jan 22nd, 2008, 07:53 PM
Sure, the finals are boring... but heck so were ALL the womens finals last year......the men have a much better tournament, and Fed isnt quite as unbeatable as he use to be, and im not just talkin about his last match. he looked quite vulnerable in 07 as well....but most of his matches he has the same thing goin for him that justine had after the US Open through to Sharapova tappin that ***, just like Serena had in 03'......fear from other players when they walk on the court even if they werent playing that good...

The same guys win the same titles year after year. If that's not stagnant and boring I don't know what is. The only exciting part of the men's game is when someone beats Federer. Big deal. I remember the years of Steffi and the Seven Dwarves all to well, and I don't want to go back to that. Sure, it was fun to see an underdog come up and challenge Steffi (who I liked). But it's a lot more fun for a tournament to start and not know who the clear favorite is and watch them battle it out.

To get back to the point of the thread. I don't think Sharapova is going to fill that role in the women's tour...I don't think any current player is. Thankfully.

SF

Dave.
Jan 22nd, 2008, 07:58 PM
No. I don't think Sharapova has the game to totally dominate (there are still some obvious weaknesses for people to pick on). Sharapova has played her best tennis this tournament, but it is just one tournament. If she can keep this up then she has a shot at number 1, but not at the grand slam or anything like that. I still think Henin is the dominant player right now, and perfectly capable of going on another winning streak.

As for the field being deeper now, well it might be as there are more players winning slams but I still think the 90's were a tougher period.

sfselesfan
Jan 22nd, 2008, 08:03 PM
^ By saying "deep" I am in no way implying "tougher." I'm only saying that it's more competitive and there are more winners.

SF

Tennisstar86
Jan 22nd, 2008, 08:03 PM
No. I don't think Sharapova has the game to totally dominate (there are still some obvious weaknesses for people to pick on). Sharapova has played her best tennis this tournament, but it is just one tournament. If she can keep this up then she has a shot at number 1, but not at the grand slam or anything like that. I still think Henin is the dominant player right now, and perfectly capable of going on another winning streak.

As for the field being deeper now, well it might be as there are more players winning slams but I still think the 90's were a tougher period.

oh yeah. I def dont see her with the grand slam... Shes got the most dominant player on clay and the most dominant player on grass to beat for that... Henin will prolly have another long match streak on clay... and Venus is a wild card on grass.... but assuming she gets to the second week there i think she'll win again...

woosey
Jan 22nd, 2008, 08:22 PM
if henin, venus, serena, and the other players are motivated there will be no domination. granted, henin will go in as the favorite at the french and venus will go in as a favorite at wimbledon because of the excellent records.

the field is too tough for outright domination. i said a few weeks ago that henin would not dominate this year. she's not steffi graf and the other players are not merely happy to rollover for her.

there are girls in the top 20 who are playing tough and want to win.

i'm glad there's more competition. i just hope everyone turns up for their tournaments so that we have a good 2008.

DOUBLEFIST
Jan 22nd, 2008, 08:33 PM
Personally, I think Justine just created a MONSTER for everyone to deal with for the rest of the year. I have NEVER seen Sharapova look so good. Her movement was simply fantastic. With movement like this, she is a LEGITIMATE threat for RG. Not only did she play flawless "first strike" tennis. She was able to hang in rally's and grind Henin down. Unbelievable. She could very well dominate for some time if some of the other's aren't willing to step up and match her focus and effort.

Tennisstar86
Jan 22nd, 2008, 08:34 PM
Personally, I think Justine just created a MONSTER for everyone to deal with for the rest of the year. I have NEVER seen Sharapova look so good. Her movement was simply fantastic. With movement like this, she is a LEGITIMATE threat for RG. Not only did she play flawless "first strike" tennis. She was able to hang in rally's and grind Henin down. Unbelievable. She could very well dominate for some time if some of the other's aren't willing to step up and match her focus and effort.

how did justine create this monster? by playing poorly?:confused:
Sharapova put in the work, and played well... time will tell how she does though.....

sfselesfan
Jan 22nd, 2008, 08:36 PM
Personally, I think Justine just created a MONSTER for everyone to deal with for the rest of the year. I have NEVER seen Sharapova look so good. Her movement was simply fantastic. With movement like this, she is a LEGITIMATE threat for RG. Not only did she play flawless "first strike" tennis. She was able to hang in rally's and grind Henin down. Unbelievable. She could very well dominate for some time if some of the other's aren't willing to step up and match her focus and effort.

I'm still not seeing the fantastic movement others are seeing. I'm seeing Davenport-like, top level tennis. Movement? Not so much. Footwork? Sure. Grinding baseline tennis...not so much. She played great, but she was not moving as well as some seem to have hallucinated.

SF

DownTheLine21
Jan 22nd, 2008, 08:41 PM
I'm still not seeing the fantastic movement others are seeing. I'm seeing Davenport-like, top level tennis. Movement? Not so much. Footwork? Sure. Grinding baseline tennis...not so much. She played great, but she was not moving as well as some seem to have hallucinated.

SF

I agree. Reading these posts, I feel like I must have seen a completely different match.

DOUBLEFIST
Jan 22nd, 2008, 08:41 PM
Justine created a Monster by losing. Period. In losing she allowed Sharapova to build on the high level of confidence she already possesses. I believe that had Justine managed to win, Maria would still have a looming sliver of doubt about her tennis "destiny" (so to speak), but now- having thoroughly dismantle the world's #1 and purists' favorite, she has results that PROVE what she is capable of. She doesn't have to hang her hat on substantiated self belief. She has the results- largely because of the MANNER in which she beat Juju.

Juju created a monster.

DOUBLEFIST
Jan 22nd, 2008, 08:44 PM
I'm seeing Davenport-like, top level tennis. Movement? Not so much. Footwork? Sure.

SF

I think her movement was far superior to Lindsay's at her best. No. her movement is not on par with Vee or Serena's or JJ's, etc, etc, but yes her foot work is MUCH MUCH improved. I think her movement is just good enough and her foot work definitely good enough to be a threat at RG.

sfselesfan
Jan 22nd, 2008, 08:48 PM
I think her movement was far superior to Lindsay's at her best. No. her movement is not on par with Vee or Serena's or JJ's, etc, etc, but yes her foot work is MUCH MUCH improved. I think her movement is just good enough and her foot work definitely good enough to be a threat at RG.

I would put her movement on par with Lindsay's at her best. Lindsay is a better mover than people give her credit for. They're built pretty similar IMO and when I watch them move I see virtually the same player.

I'm not saying that Maria can't win RG. I'm just saying, lets not paint Maria as a baseline grinder...'cause she ain't. She's very Davenport-esque. And I mean that as a very big compliment.

SF

AcesHigh
Jan 22nd, 2008, 09:09 PM
I think people are going overboard. Not too long ago, Sharapova was in danger of falling out of the top 10 if she continued her poor play into the new year. Now, she has regained form. She didn't play too poorly in 2006 and still won only one slam.

Fans of Pova should know to take things slow after the predictions post-USO 2006 all turned out wrong. I'm just happy she's back to top 3 level tennis.

AcesHigh
Jan 22nd, 2008, 09:13 PM
I would put her movement on par with Lindsay's at her best. Lindsay is a better mover than people give her credit for. They're built pretty similar IMO and when I watch them move I see virtually the same player.

I'm not saying that Maria can't win RG. I'm just saying, lets not paint Maria as a baseline grinder...'cause she ain't. She's very Davenport-esque. And I mean that as a very big compliment.

SF

I agree, except I think Sharapova is more fierce, her strokes more powerful and penetrating when she's on..and Davenport I think is the better all-court player who's definitely better at net, better returning and maybe a little better in other areas.

Sharapova is improving in footwork and anticipation.. I saw that in the match. I did not see some new speed that everyone is talking about.. some vast improvement in movement. Henin was not making Sharapova run very much, and when she did, it was not the most effective.

Aaron.
Jan 22nd, 2008, 09:16 PM
Sharapova moves better then Serena for sure.

serena has the worst footwork on the tour

sfselesfan
Jan 22nd, 2008, 09:17 PM
I agree, except I think Sharapova is more fierce, her strokes more powerful and penetrating when she's on..and Davenport I think is the better all-court player who's definitely better at net, better returning and maybe a little better in other areas.

Sharapova is improving in footwork and anticipation.. I saw that in the match. I did not see some new speed that everyone is talking about.. some vast improvement in movement. Henin was not making Sharapova run very much, and when she did, it was not the most effective.

Agreed.

SF

#1SteffiGraf#1
Jan 22nd, 2008, 09:18 PM
She is playing amazing right now. The match against Lindsay really opened my eyes. She was dominating :eek:

sfselesfan
Jan 22nd, 2008, 09:18 PM
Sharapova moves better then Serena for sure.



No comment necessary.

SF

Aaron.
Jan 22nd, 2008, 09:20 PM
No comment necessary.

SF Oh really? If Jankovic played Sharapova im sure Maria would have gotten more balls back then Serena did

just watch thier match tomorrow

sfselesfan
Jan 22nd, 2008, 09:23 PM
Oh really? If Jankovic played Sharapova im sure Maria would have gotten more balls back then Serena did

just watch thier match tomorrow

Perhaps you missed the Azarenka match and the Vaidisova match?

I don't think Jelena will be hitting many balls to the center of the court (a la Henin).

Your original statement is patently retarded. I'm not even saying that Serena is the best mover, or a better player than Maria. But, Serena at her least fit is a better mover than Maria. Maria is lucky enough to not need great movement to play top flight tennis.

SF

Il Primo!
Jan 22nd, 2008, 09:29 PM
Personally, I think Justine just created a MONSTER for everyone to deal with for the rest of the year. I have NEVER seen Sharapova look so good. Her movement was simply fantastic. With movement like this, she is a LEGITIMATE threat for RG. Not only did she play flawless "first strike" tennis. She was able to hang in rally's and grind Henin down. Unbelievable. She could very well dominate for some time if some of the other's aren't willing to step up and match her focus and effort.


The movement on clay is just another big deal and I'm not sure Maria figured it out yet.

Dave.
Jan 22nd, 2008, 09:31 PM
I think her movement was far superior to Lindsay's at her best. No. her movement is not on par with Vee or Serena's or JJ's, etc, etc, but yes her foot work is MUCH MUCH improved. I think her movement is just good enough and her foot work definitely good enough to be a threat at RG.

Lindsay's movement is very underrated. She has never been a great mover, but she still gets enough balls back and has great defense. She moves especially well on grass. But Lindsay's footwork is just about unmatched on the tour.



I'm not saying that Maria can't win RG. I'm just saying, lets not paint Maria as a baseline grinder...'cause she ain't. She's very Davenport-esque. And I mean that as a very big compliment.
SF

The gamestyle is similar but I always think Ivanovic is more Davenport-esque. Sharapova can be a bit more scrappy than Davenport was but still wins because of her better fighting attitude. Lindsay can come onto court and hit perfectly and win. Maria isn't so technically perfect (she can hit some poor shots that Lindsay wouldn't) but scraps through anyway.


I agree, except I think Sharapova is more fierce, her strokes more powerful and penetrating when she's on..and Davenport I think is the better all-court player who's definitely better at net, better returning and maybe a little better in other areas.


No I don't see that. I think Davenport hits the harder ball more consistently. She can outpower her opponents more than Sharapova can. Sharapova fights more though.

The Daviator
Jan 22nd, 2008, 09:33 PM
She's going through a purple patch right now, no doubt, but I can't see her keeping this level up, it's enough to win huge titles every now and then, but not enough to dominate.

Keadz
Jan 22nd, 2008, 09:43 PM
Just because Serena moved badly her last match, doesn't mean Sharapova is a better mover overall, there was clearly something bothering Serena.
Anyway, I still think that Maria's forehand isn't stable enough to dominate. You could see at about 5-2 in her last match, when Justine started hitting it deep and a bit flatter(to the forehand court) that Maria couldn't handle it and her forehand became very inconsistent, I was amazed at how easily it broke down.
If she had kept this up, instead of hitting slices to her backhand and rallying more towards Maria's backhand in the 2nd set, I'm not sure what would have happened.

NeoZod19
Jan 22nd, 2008, 09:48 PM
Nope because there's someone with a similar game who has shown she can crush Maria, at the slam she seems to want the most, Wimbledon.
Her name is Venus Williams.

This is why makes the whole thing so interesting!! the bottom line is we will be able to witness a fight between Maria, Justine, Serena, Venus, and probably Jelena.

You might be right about Venus because of the serves and ther maturity and it's possible for now even her game is not as consistent as before!!

But one thing is clear, if Maria maintains this rythm then it would be very tough to beat her, do you agree?

sfselesfan
Jan 22nd, 2008, 09:56 PM
This is why makes the whole thing so interesting!! the bottom line is we will be able to witness a fight between Maria, Justine, Serena, Venus, and probably Jelena.

You might be right about Venus because of the serves and ther maturity and it's possible for now even her game is not as consistent as before!!

But one thing is clear, if Maria maintains this rythm then it would be very tough to beat her, do you agree?

Don't know about Wannabe, but I agree. If Sharapova plays like she has throughout the AO, she's no pushover for anyone...Justine, Venus, or Serena included. She's capable of beating any of them. Dominating? No one is ready to do that on the women's tour.

SF

Shvedbarilescu
Jan 22nd, 2008, 10:01 PM
The honest answer is I don't know. I believe this year will be the year the young generation take over and win the lionshare of the big prizes. I sincerely hope that those prizes get shared around a few different players but the way Sharapova has played this tournament I do fear she may hog the the majority for herself leaving only a few leftovers, not unlike Henin last year. I hope this does not happen. I would like to see the silverware spread about.

DOUBLEFIST
Jan 22nd, 2008, 10:08 PM
...I'm just saying, lets not paint Maria as a baseline grinder...'cause she ain't. She's very Davenport-esque. And I mean that as a very big compliment.

SF
Agreed. I just think she runs better than Davey.

The movement on clay is just another big deal and I'm not sure Maria figured it out yet.
What I'm saying is Maria doesn't have to have movement on clay perfected. It just has to be a little better than it was last year. And, if that's the criteria, I think she's off to a good start.

Lindsay's movement is very underrated. She has never been a great mover, but she still gets enough balls back and has great defense. She moves especially well on grass. But Lindsay's footwork is just about unmatched on the tour.
I agree with all of that. But, to my eyes, Sharapova's movement last night was better.

sharapovarulz1
Jan 22nd, 2008, 10:34 PM
Yes this really could be Maria's year she is due one after a cruel 2007 :(

sorceress
Jan 22nd, 2008, 11:17 PM
Justine created a Monster by losing. Period. In losing she allowed Sharapova to build on the high level of confidence she already possesses. I believe that had Justine managed to win, Maria would still have a looming sliver of doubt about her tennis "destiny" (so to speak), but now- having thoroughly dismantle the world's #1 and purists' favorite, she has results that PROVE what she is capable of. She doesn't have to hang her hat on substantiated self belief. She has the results- largely because of the MANNER in which she beat Juju.

Juju created a monster.

My opinion is that it was actually Serena 12 months ago that created this monster.
Maria lost last year embarrassingly and wants revenge - I saw this when she played Lindsay,nobody is going to get in her way.

But like Serena last year,I'm not sure Maria will continue this streak through to the other tournaments.

Geisha
Jan 22nd, 2008, 11:47 PM
I don't think so.

In my opinion, Sharapova has a dominating game, just like Serena, Davenport, Pierce, Seles, and Venus. Everybody knows that when these players play their "best" tennis, they WILL win. For Maria, I don't think she has the intangibles that Serena, Venus, or Seles had/have. She doesn't have the great movement or net play, etc.

What I'm saying is that it is very difficult for Maria to play this type of tennis every single day because she has to play INCREDIBLE to beat everyone. She had to play incredible to beat Serena at Wimbledon '04, Justine at the Australian Open this year, even Davenport. Anytime where she plays "okay", she just gets clobbered.

Geisha
Jan 22nd, 2008, 11:50 PM
Don't know about Wannabe, but I agree. If Sharapova plays like she has throughout the AO, she's no pushover for anyone...Justine, Venus, or Serena included. She's capable of beating any of them. Dominating? No one is ready to do that on the women's tour.

SF

If Sharapova plays like she did against Henin and everyone else this year...she will kill EVERYONE. Obviously, Serena and Venus would beat her if they were 100%, but nobody is ever that perfect.

I'm trying to say that it is nearly impossible to play that level of tennis every time you step on court against the big players.