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Paris75
Feb 9th, 2008, 01:05 PM
Well, both Maria and Justine already have won three different slams. But who will do the Grand slam first ?

Shoulderpova
Feb 9th, 2008, 01:10 PM
based on Justine's previous performances at Wimbledon and Maria's previous ones at Roland Garros, it's clear that its just the matter of time before Justine wins London. But in tennis you will never know.
My opinion is that Justine will complete her GS collection before Maria.

lympyisthebest
Feb 9th, 2008, 01:12 PM
I say Justine will win Wimbledon first, she has a good record at Wimbledon and has won several titles on grass, while Maria has yet to reach a final on clay.

mankind
Feb 9th, 2008, 01:14 PM
You wouldn't think so. If Henin can just get her head together at Wimbledon she can definitely win it. 2006 and 2007 presented opportunities to win it when she was the favourite, but on both occasions she imploded mentally. Not taking anything away from Mauresmo in the 2006 final because she did play phenomenally after the first set, but it was still a letdown for Justine after winning the first 6-2 :tape:. And Bartoli of course deserves a lot of credit, but Henin should normally proceed without too much trouble in a Grand Slam SF against an opponent with much less experience (particularly someone she had crushed the week before on grass :o)

I think there is huge hype around Maria at the moment, similar to the hype surrounding Serena in 07 after she won the AO (in more spectacular fashion, IMO). So whilst Maria had a great fortnight and showed she is a worthy No.1, winning a clay event is a little out of reach for mine, let alone winning a specialist slam like RG.

Realistically, I can see both Henin and Sharapova never achieving the career Grand Slam, and if that's the case I think Henin should be the one who is more disappointed.

jamatthews
Feb 9th, 2008, 01:20 PM
While there's a very good chance that neither will complete the Career Grand Slam, the quality of tennis at RG is much lower than at Wimbledon and I could see Maria sneaking one with luck and fight.

serenaforever
Feb 9th, 2008, 01:47 PM
Interesting thread. I'm not sure, I think that either could happen. :shrug:

iamme
Feb 9th, 2008, 01:50 PM
Both of them have good chances...and if Maria can keep her form..maybe she will be the first!:)IMO it's possible.

master40
Feb 9th, 2008, 07:17 PM
Maria will win it first! She reached semis last year!! Also, we didnt see quite often good players going really far at the FO, the quality of tennis is really low at this tournament!!

I dont think Justine will ever win WImbledon with Serena, Venus, Lindsay etc... We all know that she is struggling mentally at Wimbledon (last year against Bartoli and much more...)

iamme
Feb 9th, 2008, 07:32 PM
she WAS a cow on ice maybe..but she isn't anymore.

Peterk07
Feb 9th, 2008, 07:34 PM
While there's a very good chance that neither will complete the Career Grand Slam, the quality of tennis at RG is much lower than at Wimbledon and I could see Maria sneaking one with luck and fight.

"Lower quality"? :eek: Interesting. :rolleyes:

Let me translate: "Lower quality" = "A tournament where my favs use to suck, so it must be a sh*tty one."

Am I right? :lol:

jamatthews
Feb 9th, 2008, 07:37 PM
"Lower quality"? :eek: Interesting. :rolleyes:

Let me translate: "Lower quality" = "A tournament where my favs use to suck, so it must be a sh*tty one."

Am I right? :lol:

No "lower quality" = "lower quality"

faboozadoo15
Feb 9th, 2008, 07:56 PM
More women play their good tennis on grass than on clay.

The form on clay at times is ridiculously bad, double faults, missed easy returns, sloppy errors.

I love watching dramatic claycourt tennis far more than grass though.

Tripp
Feb 9th, 2008, 08:14 PM
I doubt it. Sharapova still has a lot to learn on clay to win the French Open, while Justine's game can be suited to grass pretty well.

Mikey B
Feb 9th, 2008, 08:42 PM
i just dont think you can predict these things realistically, because tennis is so unpredictable!!! things can change on a day to day basis, things such as form and health are so important yet can be quite fragile and can change the outlook of a tournament and even more dramatic a season... for example, if henin were to get injured then the whole season would appear to be wide open as she's favourite to have another dominating year... this is why i love tennis, there's no way of knowing whats going to happen and that just makes it so exciting and interesting to watch...

but back on topic, the french is the next slam, so maria has a chance to complete her career slam first, obviously. but making the semi's last year, without a serve, without playing a good clay court season and coming back still injured was an incredible feat, so if her serve is still firing and her movement keeps improving come may then i dont see why she doesnt have a good shot at the title. if sharapova does win the french this year, i think henin will win wimbledon... i dont think she's able to win the french and wimbledon back to back, so it has to be one or the other....

AnnaK_4ever
Feb 9th, 2008, 08:49 PM
I don't think Henin will ever win Wimbledon.

The Daviator
Feb 9th, 2008, 09:11 PM
And How coULD you FoRget LiNDSAY!!!! She cAn Win the FrenCh Open beFpre either of These TWO WEak ASS mamas!!!!

faboozadoo15
Feb 9th, 2008, 09:17 PM
Here's an interesting scenario.

I've always thought Henin's best chance to win Wimbledon would be if she lost in Paris and could really focus and be hungry for Wimbledon.
If Henin loses in Paris, that completely opens the gates. No one right now is playing at Maria's level, and the players who prefer clay (Kuz, Ana, Jelena) aren't going to take Sharapova out in a competitive match where Maria isn't hobbled.

So Maria and Justine could both win this year...

Still, I would really love to see Sharapova try to tough it out against Henin in Paris.

In The Zone
Feb 9th, 2008, 09:20 PM
I believe neither happens. Anyone with a brain can neutralize Maria on clay. And Henin needs time to set up her shots and on grass, her time is greatly taken away from her.

I'd like to see how Maria plays on clay, first, however. Her game has reached a sort of maturity and I'd like to see how she transitions this to clay.

tennisbear7
Feb 9th, 2008, 09:24 PM
Here's an interesting scenario.

I've always thought Henin's best chance to win Wimbledon would be if she lost in Paris and could really focus and be hungry for Wimbledon.
If Henin loses in Paris, that completely opens the gates. No one right now is playing at Maria's level, and the players who prefer clay (Kuz, Ana, Jelena) aren't going to take Sharapova out in a competitive match where Maria isn't hobbled.

So Maria and Justine could both win this year...

Still, I would really love to see Sharapova try to tough it out against Henin in Paris.

Maria is not Monica Seles.

The Daviator
Feb 9th, 2008, 09:24 PM
Here's an interesting scenario.

I've always thought Henin's best chance to win Wimbledon would be if she lost in Paris and could really focus and be hungry for Wimbledon.
If Henin loses in Paris, that completely opens the gates. No one right now is playing at Maria's level, and the players who prefer clay (Kuz, Ana, Jelena) aren't going to take Sharapova out in a competitive match where Maria isn't hobbled.

So Maria and Justine could both win this year...

Still, I would really love to see Sharapova try to tough it out against Henin in Paris.

She was fit enough last year to make the semis and got whipped, Kuznetsova and Ivanovic playing well would be too much for Sharapova on clay.

AcesHigh
Feb 9th, 2008, 09:31 PM
No one right now is playing at Maria's level, and the players who prefer clay (Kuz, Ana, Jelena) aren't going to take Sharapova out in a competitive match where Maria isn't hobbled.

:help: What?

faboozadoo15
Feb 9th, 2008, 09:31 PM
She was fit enough last year to make the semis and got whipped, Kuznetsova and Ivanovic playing well would be too much for Sharapova on clay.

"Fit enough to make the semis" means she really toughed out some wins over Schnyder and Chakvetadze serving double faults all over the place.

You could say Sharapova was "fit enough to make the final" at the Australian Open last year. What was the difference this year?

Her serve, her shoulder, her confidence. It's a different ballgame against Sharapova this year. She made the semis last year playing shitty tennis. It'll be interesting to see what she can do about RG this year with all the girls under her thumb.

faboozadoo15
Feb 9th, 2008, 09:32 PM
Maria is not Monica Seles.

What has Monica Seles got to do with this? Mitigating circumstances aside, she was going for her 4th RG title as a TEENAGER. Nobody has held that kind of standard on the clay in Paris.

faboozadoo15
Feb 9th, 2008, 09:33 PM
:help: What?

Who is at Maria's level?

AcesHigh
Feb 9th, 2008, 09:33 PM
I believe neither happens. Anyone with a brain can neutralize Maria on clay. And Henin needs time to set up her shots and on grass, her time is greatly taken away from her.

I'd like to see how Maria plays on clay, first, however. Her game has reached a sort of maturity and I'd like to see how she transitions this to clay.

How would you rank players on grass?

IMO,

1.Venus(unpredictable)
2.Serena(unfit)
3.Amelie(playing terribly)
4.Justine/Maria
5.Lindsay

Henin could easily take this year's Wimbledon title. Venus is too unpredictable and Serena can be handled if she's not playing well.

On the other hand, there are a lot of players who can take out Sharapova on clay.

AcesHigh
Feb 9th, 2008, 09:33 PM
Who is at Maria's level?

On hardcourt? No one. Clay is a totally different scenario.

Uranium
Feb 9th, 2008, 09:35 PM
On hardcourt? No one. Clay is a totally different scenario.

:worship:
Maria isn't good at all on clay, she acts like its hard and got crushed by Ana because she is bad mover.
clay will make it easier for Kuznetsova, and Ana and Venus to beat her.

The Daviator
Feb 9th, 2008, 09:38 PM
"Fit enough to make the semis" means she really toughed out some wins over Schnyder and Chakvetadze serving double faults all over the place.

You could say Sharapova was "fit enough to make the final" at the Australian Open last year. What was the difference this year?

Her serve, her shoulder, her confidence. It's a different ballgame against Sharapova this year. She made the semis last year playing shitty tennis. It'll be interesting to see what she can do about RG this year with all the girls under her thumb.

So she made the semis of a Grand Slam tournament, and suddenly in the semis she becomes a cripple?

From winning 5 matches to losing 2-6 1-6 in the semis had NOTHING to do with the fact that she played a player in a different league to her other opponents and who was very comfortable herself on clay?

I seriously believe that Ivanovic will become lethal on the red stuff, she has so much time to set up for her shots, the high bounce is good for her, and she moves really well even if she's not "fast" so to speak. She'll have Sharapova's number on that surface, Sveta too although nothing is sure with Sveta :help:

faboozadoo15
Feb 9th, 2008, 09:40 PM
The fact that you'd put Amelie ahead of Sharapova on grass, when Sharapova has won wimbledon and is in much better form, really goes to underscore your inability rid yourself of bias.

Regarding clay, the thing is that none of the top women are secure on that surface except Justine. A lot of girls can beat Ivanovic on their day, Kuznetsova has lost early at RG more often than Maria, the Williams Sieters beat themselves, Jankovic can be outhit. Maria would be the favorite against certainly any other player than those mentioned.

FRI-- Sharapova and Juznetsova have identical RG records. Both are better than Jelena's RG record. Only Ana has a slightly better record-- 12-3 versus 16-5.

So really, other than Henin, Sharapova is really in that short list of contenders, and no one is playing like she is.

The Daviator
Feb 9th, 2008, 09:40 PM
You could say Sharapova was "fit enough to make the final" at the Australian Open last year. What was the difference this year?

Oh, and had Maria lost at the AO, we'd probably hear the same crap about the shoulder from some people :help:

tennisbear7
Feb 9th, 2008, 09:41 PM
I agree. Ana would have Maria's number on clay. Maria didn't even play badly in 2007 RG.

faboozadoo15
Feb 9th, 2008, 09:42 PM
That was also my point-- Ana was in another league from Sharapova's opponents she faced earlier in the tournament. Anan totally deserved to win.

Sharapova got by playing crappy tennis but barely keeping her nose in front of her opponents. in a 9-7 third set effort against Sharapova, Maria hit 1 ace. That should tell you something about her form...

Uranium
Feb 9th, 2008, 09:43 PM
The fact that you'd put Amelie ahead of Sharapova on grass, when Sharapova has won wimbledon and is in much better form, really goes to underscore your inability rid yourself of bias.

Regarding clay, the thing is that none of the top women are secure on that surface except Justine. A lot of girls can beat Ivanovic on their day, Kuznetsova has lost early at RG more often than Maria, the Williams Sieters beat themselves, Jankovic can be outhit. Maria would be the favorite against certainly any other player than those mentioned.

FRI-- Sharapova and Juznetsova have identical RG records. Both are better than Jelena's RG record. Only Ana has a slightly better record-- 12-3 versus 16-5.

So really, other than Henin, Sharapova is really in that short list of contenders, and no one is playing like she is.
does 2006 Wimbledon ring a bell
:secret:Amelie won it...shhh!
How she play on hard and how she plays on clay are different, so her form on hard means nothing.

faboozadoo15
Feb 9th, 2008, 09:43 PM
Oh, and had Maria lost at the AO, we'd probably hear the same crap about the shoulder from some people :help:

Answer my question, you tool.
What was the difference? Her shoulder held up and didn't cause problems.

faboozadoo15
Feb 9th, 2008, 09:44 PM
does 2006 Wimbledon ring a bell
:secret:Amelie won it...shhh!

Ummm you don't need to tell me that Amelie has won Wimbledon.
Did anyone see Amelie play in 2007 or so far this year? Amelie has no edge over Sharapova on a fast court.

The Daviator
Feb 9th, 2008, 09:46 PM
Answer my question, you tool.
What was the difference? Her shoulder held up and didn't cause problems.

And had she lost you and the other tards would be saying 'Oh Masha, rest up that shoulder :hug:' :lol: :weirdo:

Every loss of Maria's is not because of her duff shoulder, had she been 100% in last year's final she still would have been mauled by Serena.

cecilija
Feb 9th, 2008, 09:47 PM
As much as I hope to be wrong here, Henin chokes and doubts her game too much at Wimbledon when it comes to the crunch that she will never win it.

She's blown all her chances and it is only downwards from here.

Uranium
Feb 9th, 2008, 09:48 PM
And had she lost you and the other tards would be saying 'Oh Masha, rest up that shoulder :hug:' :lol: :weirdo:

Every loss of Maria's is not because of her duff shoulder, had she been 100% in last year's final she still would have been mauled by Serena.

that injury was crap a couple days before she crushed Kim.
Serena won fair and square in a outhit fest:p

tennisbear7
Feb 9th, 2008, 09:49 PM
The fact that you'd put Amelie ahead of Sharapova on grass, when Sharapova has won wimbledon and is in much better form, really goes to underscore your inability rid yourself of bias.

Regarding clay, the thing is that none of the top women are secure on that surface except Justine. A lot of girls can beat Ivanovic on their day, Kuznetsova has lost early at RG more often than Maria, the Williams Sieters beat themselves, Jankovic can be outhit. Maria would be the favorite against certainly any other player than those mentioned.

FRI-- Sharapova and Juznetsova have identical RG records. Both are better than Jelena's RG record. Only Ana has a slightly better record-- 12-3 versus 16-5.

So really, other than Henin, Sharapova is really in that short list of contenders, and no one is playing like she is.

Lol. Sharapova HATES clay. It weakens the effectiveness of her game.

faboozadoo15
Feb 9th, 2008, 09:49 PM
First you're talking about What would have happened had she lost (first giant speculation). Sharapova didn't ever come close to losing, and she never even dropped a set.

Then you're going to say that the same thing would have happened even if Sharapova wasn't tossing in a DF per game in the final and if she was serving over 95 mph (second speculation)?

You're laughable. Go watch Lindsay play some tier 4's.

The Daviator
Feb 9th, 2008, 09:51 PM
that injury was crap a couple days before she crushed Kim.
Serena won fair and square in a outhit fest:p

Nobody was talking about how Sharapova was injured before that final, most people thought Sharapova would win, look at Tracy's article and I'm sure there are some polls which had Maria as the big favourite.

Then she gets whipped by an inspired Serena, and she's got shoulder issues, I'm not denying that she's had shoulder problems, she clearly has had some, but it was tiring to hear how great she played when she she won, and how injured she was when she lost.

faboozadoo15
Feb 9th, 2008, 09:52 PM
Lol. Sharapova HATES clay. It weakens the effectiveness of her game.

I'm not going to argue that it suits her game. That would be silly.
But she has a good record at the one clay event that matters.
She cares immensely about major championships, and she has the ability to put forth an inspired effort even on her worst surface. That could won day equate to a RG title.

tennisbear7
Feb 9th, 2008, 09:54 PM
First you're talking about What would have happened had she lost (first giant speculation). Sharapova didn't ever come close to losing, and she never even dropped a set.

Then you're going to say that the same thing would have happened even if Sharapova wasn't tossing in a DF per game in the final and if she was serving over 95 mph (second speculation)?

You're laughable. Go watch Lindsay play some tier 4's.

Maria's shoulder problems were not that bad. Her terrible 2007 year stems from the fact that she had mental blockages against certain players (Serena, anyone?) and also random players. That choke against Radwanska at USO was not because of her shoulder. In fact, she had won the first two rounds dropping two games or something. You're not giving her enough credit. Maria is a seasoned pro. If her shoulder injury was that serious, then she would have withdrawn her commitments to some tournaments, which she didn't do. So her shoulder problem was not a major thing. It may have hindered her serve, but her groundstrokes were normal. She was serving at 170kph+ at RG against Ivanovic. Her serve was nullified on the red stuff.

The Daviator
Feb 9th, 2008, 09:54 PM
First you're talking about What would have happened had she lost (first giant speculation). Sharapova didn't ever come close to losing, and she never even dropped a set.

Then you're going to say that the same thing would have happened even if Sharapova wasn't tossing in a DF per game in the final and if she was serving over 95 mph (second speculation)?

You're laughable. Go watch Lindsay play some tier 4's.

She's not playing a Tier 4 this week. Sadly.

I'm saying that Serena's performance had nothing to do with Sharapova, she was simply playing like the great Serena Williams, and she won comfortably. But that result was because of Maria's duff shoulder, same with Ana's win, and Venus' win, and Aga's win, right? :rolleyes:

faboozadoo15
Feb 9th, 2008, 09:55 PM
Nobody was talking about how Sharapova was injured before that final, most people thought Sharapova would win, look at Tracy's article and I'm sure there are some polls which had Maria as the big favourite.

Then she gets whipped by an inspired Serena, and she's got shoulder issues, I'm not denying that she's had shoulder problems, she clearly has had some, but it was tiring to hear how great she played when she she won, and how injured she was when she lost.

Tracy is a moron. But most people picked Serena to win that match, and I'm nearly sure she led the polls on WTA World.

Everyone who watched Sharapova play in the AO and in Hong Kong knew she was having shoulder problems. She had tons of double faults against Kim, went 9-7 in the third set with Camille Pin.... She surely wasn't waltzing. Her match against Kim gave people false hope. That was one of the poorest efforts I'd ever seen from Kim.

AcesHigh
Feb 9th, 2008, 09:56 PM
The fact that you'd put Amelie ahead of Sharapova on grass, when Sharapova has won wimbledon and is in much better form, really goes to underscore your inability rid yourself of bias.

Regarding clay, the thing is that none of the top women are secure on that surface except Justine. A lot of girls can beat Ivanovic on their day, Kuznetsova has lost early at RG more often than Maria, the Williams Sieters beat themselves, Jankovic can be outhit. Maria would be the favorite against certainly any other player than those mentioned.

FRI-- Sharapova and Juznetsova have identical RG records. Both are better than Jelena's RG record. Only Ana has a slightly better record-- 12-3 versus 16-5.

So really, other than Henin, Sharapova is really in that short list of contenders, and no one is playing like she is.

My bias?? :lol: Putting Mauresmo above Sharapova is purely based on my opinion that her game is so suited to grass, that she's on another level entirely from most players if she can ever put it together. Before last year, she hadnt lost before the semi's since 2001 and if she didn't have that back injury in 2004, maybe she could have done a better job in the final. Obviously, Mauresmo would not be ahead of Sharapova now.. I was addressing whose game was best suited for the surface.

Now, let's get to your bias. I think it's ridiculous to put Maria(who as far as I know hasnt reached a clay final) in the same league as Jelena Jankovic(who won Charleston last year and then ONLY lost to Henin on clay, pushing her to 3 sets several times), Kuznetsova(RG finalist with major clay titles) and Ivanovic(RG finalist who won Berlin and then smashed Sharapova in the semi's where she only served 5 DF's and her serve percentage was >70%).

Peterk07
Feb 9th, 2008, 09:58 PM
Maria is clearly the best player on tour atm. But how did she become the best at AO? The fact is, none of her oponents payed in their best form. Henin, Jelena, Serena, Ana, Kuzny. Some of them played OK, but all were far from their best. I'm sure Masha could have won AO in any case, but I doubt she can do the same at RG, except if all her opponents will be below their best...again. What is the chance of this?

AcesHigh
Feb 9th, 2008, 09:59 PM
She surely wasn't waltzing.

She wasn't 100%, but after that Pin match, which was due to the heat..not really her serving issues, she didn't drop a set and she beat Kim 4 and 2. She wasn't struggling mightily. Serena was having a much harder time, hence everyone predicting a Sharapova win.

faboozadoo15
Feb 9th, 2008, 09:59 PM
She's not playing a Tier 4 this week. Sadly.

I'm saying that Serena's performance had nothing to do with Sharapova, she was simply playing like the great Serena Williams, and she won comfortably. But that result was because of Maria's duff shoulder, same with Ana's win, and Venus' win, and Aga's win, right? :rolleyes:

I'm not trying to rewrite history. Those matches were lost, badly (for the most part), and are in the past. Sharapova surely had shoulder issues for the greater part of the year. There's no way to say what happens when a healthy shoulder could have made a difference. It drags down the entire game, causes doubt, puts you in a whole. I don't care about the past though.

I'm talking about now, with Sharapova serving well and playing healthily and with confidence. It's easy to see what kind of difference it's already making.

Shoulderpova
Feb 9th, 2008, 10:01 PM
Maria is clearly the best player on tour atm. But how did she become the best at AO? The fact is, none of her oponents payed in their best form. Henin, Jelena, Serena, Ana, Kuzny. Some of them played OK, but all were far from their best. I'm sure Masha could have won AO in any case, but I doubt she can do the same at RG, except if all her opponents will be below their best...again. What is the chance of this?

here we go again :tape:

The Daviator
Feb 9th, 2008, 10:03 PM
Now, let's get to your bias. I think it's ridiculous to put Maria(who as far as I know hasnt reached a clay final) in the same league as Jelena Jankovic(who won Charleston last year and then ONLY lost to Henin on clay, pushing her to 3 sets several times), Kuznetsova(RG finalist with major clay titles) and Ivanovic(RG finalist who won Berlin and then smashed Sharapova in the semi's where she only served 5 DF's and her serve percentage was >70%).

:yeah:

To put a player who has never reached a clay final, as the 2nd favourite for the RG title can only be the product of some serious bias.

faboozadoo15
Feb 9th, 2008, 10:05 PM
My bias?? :lol: Putting Mauresmo above Sharapova is purely based on my opinion that her game is so suited to grass, that she's on another level entirely from most players if she can ever put it together. Before last year, she hadnt lost before the semi's since 2001 and if she didn't have that back injury in 2004, maybe she could have done a better job in the final. Obviously, Mauresmo would not be ahead of Sharapova now.. I was addressing whose game was best suited for the surface.

Now, let's get to your bias. I think it's ridiculous to put Maria(who as far as I know hasnt reached a clay final) in the same league as Jelena Jankovic(who won Charleston last year and then ONLY lost to Henin on clay, pushing her to 3 sets several times), Kuznetsova(RG finalist with major clay titles) and Ivanovic(RG finalist who won Berlin and then smashed Sharapova in the semi's where she only served 5 DF's and her serve percentage was >70%).

I really don't see how Amelie's game is better suited to grass. She's played some excellent matches there, but she's far too passive, especially now, and would be blown off the court.

Sharapova belongs in the same category with those other women because she has the hot hand and has a good record at RG. She also gets the best of those players most of the time they set foot on the court with her.

And by the way, in a 15 game match, serving 5 double faults is roughly one per service game. That's quite a lot. And Sharapova serving above 70% is really just a reflection of her hitting 2 second serves.

tennisbear7
Feb 9th, 2008, 10:06 PM
:yeah:

To put a player who has never reached a clay final, as the 2nd favourite for the RG title can only be the product of some serious bias.

Agreed.

Uranium
Feb 9th, 2008, 10:11 PM
I really don't see how Amelie's game is better suited to grass. She's played some excellent matches there, but she's far too passive, especially now, and would be blown off the court.

Sharapova belongs in the same category with those other women because she has the hot hand and has a good record at RG. She also gets the best of those players most of the time they set foot on the court with her.

.

Amelie serves and volleys and slices taking away time
2006 Wimbledon semi shows why too.
Sharapova isn't good on clay, her shots don't have much emphasis on it and shes slow. Justine and Ana and Sveta would be able to move her and win. Venus had a decent RG record too in her beginning career, means nothing.

AcesHigh
Feb 9th, 2008, 10:14 PM
I really don't see how Amelie's game is better suited to grass. She's played some excellent matches there, but she's far too passive, especially now, and would be blown off the court.

Sharapova belongs in the same category with those other women because she has the hot hand and has a good record at RG. She also gets the best of those players most of the time they set foot on the court with her.

And by the way, in a 15 game match, serving 5 double faults is roughly one per service game. That's quite a lot. And Sharapova serving above 70% is really just a reflection of her hitting 2 second serves.

The effectiveness of Amelie's game is arguable. Of course now, she's playing terribly.
But back to Sharapova.. she has a hot hand.. on hard court. Her good record at RG is due to avoiding Kuznetsova, Petrova, Serena, Venus, Jankovic, etc. Her biggest win was against Schnyder which isn't saying much. Her lack of results elsehwere is an obvious sign that she can be outmatched on the surface.

And if Sharapova was as hobbled as you were saying, 5 DF's and a serving % over 70 is not much evidence of that. It's enough to remain competitive in a match and not get blown away.

Sharapova is a great player and maybe she'll surprise everyone but based on what we've seen.. she has to be on the list of dark horse..not favorites and not even contenders.

Matt01
Feb 9th, 2008, 10:21 PM
As much as I hope to be wrong here, Henin chokes and doubts her game too much at Wimbledon when it comes to the crunch that she will never win it.

She's blown all her chances and it is only downwards from here.


I think that there will still be a few more chances left for her...hopefully she won't blow them :sad:

AnnaK_4ever
Feb 9th, 2008, 10:25 PM
Now, let's get to your bias. I think it's ridiculous to put Maria(who as far as I know hasnt reached a clay final) in the same league as Jelena Jankovic(who won Charleston last year and then ONLY lost to Henin on clay, pushing her to 3 sets several times), Kuznetsova(RG finalist with major clay titles) and Ivanovic(RG finalist who won Berlin and then smashed Sharapova in the semi's where she only served 5 DF's and her serve percentage was >70%).

You will be surprised to know Kuznetsova has never won anything worth of mention on clay. Her only clay court title is a Tier IV Helsinki that she won in 2002. And Sveta has never defeated a top-tenner at Roland Garros.

Matt01
Feb 9th, 2008, 10:33 PM
You will be surprised to know Kuznetsova has never won anything worth of mention on clay. Her only clay court title is a Tier IV Helsinki that she won in 2002. And Sveta has never defeated a top-tenner at Roland Garros.


She's still a great clay court player, though. I hope you don't doubt that :p
She has beaten players like Henin, Venus and Clijsters on clay and from 2004-2006 she has always lost against the eventual Champion at RG; last year she "only" last against the eventual finalist.

Il Primo!
Feb 9th, 2008, 10:40 PM
Justine on grass is much better than Maria on clay.

BUT the others contenders are more dangerous for Justine on grass (she could not beat Venus, Serena, Maria on grass, she would have a tough time agaisnt Trannylie and Day and could lose to Ivanovic, Jankovic ) than they are for Maria on clay (Maria is far from being invicible on clay but she can beat anyone on clay but Justine, I don't see why she couldn't).

So if Maria's out in Wimbly, the field is still helluva too strong for Bradley.
And if Brad loses in Paris, it's very open and Maria could steal it.

Plus Maria is younger than Justine who is the only clay court specialist (No Sveta fans, she ain't no a thunder on clay).

So I pick Maria easily cause Brad will never ever win Wimbledon.

Matt01
Feb 9th, 2008, 10:42 PM
Who are Trannylie and Bradley? :lol:

AcesHigh
Feb 9th, 2008, 10:54 PM
You will be surprised to know Kuznetsova has never won anything worth of mention on clay. Her only clay court title is a Tier IV Helsinki that she won in 2002. And Sveta has never defeated a top-tenner at Roland Garros.

I thought she had won Rome or Berlin last year.. still, she made both finals and has made the final of Warsaw 3 times. She just seems to have issues in finals. Since 2004, she's had rough luck or more accurately, disappointing resuts at RG. She barely lost to Myskina in 2004, barely lost to Henin in 2005, didn't play too well in the final in 2006 and then had a weird, disappointing match against Ana in 2007.

She's still an outstanding player on clay.

AcesHigh
Feb 9th, 2008, 10:57 PM
Justine on grass is much better than Maria on clay.

BUT the others contenders are more dangerous for Justine on grass (she could not beat Venus, Serena, Maria on grass, she would have a tough time agaisnt Trannylie and Day and could lose to Ivanovic, Jankovic ) than they are for Maria on clay (Maria is far from being invicible on clay but she can beat anyone on clay but Justine, I don't see why she couldn't).

So if Maria's out in Wimbly, the field is still helluva too strong for Bradley.
And if Brad loses in Paris, it's very open and Maria could steal it.

Plus Maria is younger than Justine who is the only clay court specialist (No Sveta fans, she ain't no a thunder on clay).

So I pick Maria easily cause Brad will never ever win Wimbledon.

:smash: Henin losing to Ivanovic or Jankovic on grass :help:


Check out Henin's record at Wimbledon or watch her play on grass. Then let's see if you have the same opinion. Except for two freak 1st round losses, she's never lost before the semi's.

Il Primo!
Feb 9th, 2008, 11:10 PM
:smash: Henin losing to Ivanovic or Jankovic on grass :help:


Check out Henin's record at Wimbledon or watch her play on grass. Then let's see if you have the same opinion. Except for two freak 1st round losses, she's never lost before the semi's.

Who did Hénin beat in Wimbledon? NOBODY but Capriati and Kim. You can reach the semis wich a bloody hell cakewalk draw. Look at Sveta's run in RG2006 and last US Open.
Hénin did not prove anything against the best.

She got ruined by Venus, winning one set in two matches and losing the others 61 60 62 63:help: Shelost in straight against Serena 63 62. She even lost against Trannylie in final. So her good record doesn't mean anything.


And YES Jankovic's game could trouble Brad in London. :weirdo:

But for Ivanovic... ok I was wrong, perhaps.

tennisbear7
Feb 9th, 2008, 11:17 PM
Justine on grass is much better than Maria on clay.

BUT the others contenders are more dangerous for Justine on grass (she could not beat Venus, Serena, Maria on grass, she would have a tough time agaisnt Trannylie and Day and could lose to Ivanovic, Jankovic ) than they are for Maria on clay (Maria is far from being invicible on clay but she can beat anyone on clay but Justine, I don't see why she couldn't).

So if Maria's out in Wimbly, the field is still helluva too strong for Bradley.
And if Brad loses in Paris, it's very open and Maria could steal it.

Plus Maria is younger than Justine who is the only clay court specialist (No Sveta fans, she ain't no a thunder on clay).

So I pick Maria easily cause Brad will never ever win Wimbledon.

But here's the thing. Unless Maria shows that she can "beat anyone on clay" (her best result is beating Schynder... barf), she can't. End of story, you illiterate moron.

AcesHigh
Feb 9th, 2008, 11:27 PM
Who did Hénin beat in Wimbledon? NOBODY but Capriati and Kim. You can reach the semis wich a bloody hell cakewalk draw. Look at Sveta's run in RG2006 and last US Open.
Hénin did not prove anything against the best.

She got ruined by Venus, winning one set in two matches and losing the others 61 60 62 63:help: Shelost in straight against Serena 63 62. She even lost against Trannylie in final. So her good record doesn't mean anything.


And YES Jankovic's game could trouble Brad in London. :weirdo:

But for Ivanovic... ok I was wrong, perhaps.

:confused: She beat who was ahead of her. She lost to Serena and Venus in their prime and before she reached her prime. At least she's reached two finals, won Eastbourne twice, and 'S-Hertogenbosch. Why would Jankovic, who plays a defensive game, bother her?? And Ivanovic?? :lol:

Does Serena's French Open title not count because she didnt beat anyone impressive except for Capriati?? Does her 2007 title have any less significance b/c she beat no one of significance except for a less than 100% Sharapova?

Don't be ridiculous. When you have such a good record at Wimbledon + 3 other grasscourt titles with the weapons that fit the surface(a great slice, good footwork and movement, a effective slice serve, great volleys and a versatile game that can be used to serve&volley) you are always one of the favorites.

sarciness
Feb 9th, 2008, 11:35 PM
I believe neither happens. Anyone with a brain can neutralize Maria on clay. And Henin needs time to set up her shots and on grass, her time is greatly taken away from her.

I'd like to see how Maria plays on clay, first, however. Her game has reached a sort of maturity and I'd like to see how she transitions this to clay.
Well said!

I think Justine should serve and volley more at Wimby. Then again, I never thought she'd lose to Bartoli... ick!

Il Primo!
Feb 9th, 2008, 11:43 PM
It's funny to see how Maria is underrated on clay and Brad's overrated on grass :lol:
Be sure I'll bump this thread in June with a big fat "I told ya"

danieln1
Feb 10th, 2008, 12:21 AM
Justine will have to work a lot harder to win Wimbledon, but Maria has a better chance of winning Roland Garros, for them to succeed Maria can´t face Henin in Roland Garros, where Justine can´t face Maria in Wimbledon!!

Medina
Feb 10th, 2008, 12:25 AM
Sharapova win a clay tournament :haha: :spit: :haha: :spit:

Matt01
Feb 10th, 2008, 12:37 AM
Justine will have to work a lot harder to win Wimbledon, but Maria has a better chance of winning Roland Garros, for them to succeed Maria can´t face Henin in Roland Garros, where Justine can´t face Maria in Wimbledon!!


Justine is capable of beating players like Maria on fast surfaces, thank you very much :p

moby
Feb 10th, 2008, 12:42 AM
:smash: Henin losing to Ivanovic or Jankovic on grass :help:


Check out Henin's record at Wimbledon or watch her play on grass. Then let's see if you have the same opinion. Except for two freak 1st round losses, she's never lost before the semi's.1 freak 1st round loss. Losing to ASV in three sets in your first Wimbledon is no shame. ;)

tennisbear7
Feb 10th, 2008, 12:43 AM
Justine will have to work a lot harder to win Wimbledon, but Maria has a better chance of winning Roland Garros, for them to succeed Maria can´t face Henin in Roland Garros, where Justine can´t face Maria in Wimbledon!!

Oh, please.

Justine has 6-3 record against Maria. They've met 6 times on hardcourts/carpet, with Justine leading 4-2. She's better than Maria on hardcourts, even.

Kar16d
Feb 10th, 2008, 12:45 AM
heck naw

mankind
Feb 10th, 2008, 12:56 AM
God. Some people are losing control in this Maria-hype at the moment. Can I remind you that it's not that long since she lost to Azarenka in straights on a hard court :weirdo: You can't say Sharapova is going to dominate or keep up her Melbourne form, but you can say that Henin/Ivanovic/Jankovic and the WS are going to pick up their form. At any moment she could suffer another strange loss. Tennis is a crazy game. I think Serena played a million times better than Maria to win the AO last year and has she dominated since? :rolleyes:

Some people seem to forget that Maria was playing AT HER BEST at the AO. She simply cannot play any better than she did. But, here's the thing: Ivanovic, Henin, Jankovic, the WS, CAN play SO MUCH better than they did in Melbourne. Their best form has to re-emerge for all of them at some stage in the season and THAT will be the first real test for Maria. So jump off the bandwagon now before your posts are bumped the next time Sharapova loses after she has been hailed as the best player on grass, hard, and now it seems, even clay. :spit:

ElusiveChanteuse
Feb 10th, 2008, 12:58 AM
I believe both players can win that one title that they don't have.
But realistically,there aren't many top players who are can actually play consistently on clay(only Justine,Sveta(?) and Ana(?)) compared to grass(we have Venus,Serena(?),Maria) for an example.:shrug:
So I think Maria may win FO before Justine wins Wimby.;)

LindsayRulz
Feb 10th, 2008, 01:06 AM
It's funny to see how Maria is underrated on clay and Brad's overrated on grass :lol:
Be sure I'll bump this thread in June with a big fat "I told ya"

Underrated? She has never won a title on clay and some people thinks she might win RG pretty soon. I call this being overrated.

mankind
Feb 10th, 2008, 01:08 AM
Underrated? She has never won a title on clay and some people thinks she might win RG pretty soon. I call this being overrated.

Never made a final in a clay event either.

sunsfuns
Feb 10th, 2008, 01:10 AM
In order of probability - 1) neither does 2) Justine wins Wimbledon 3) Maria wins Roland Garos


Sharapova just won a GS (not on clay!!!) and the hype is in overdrive... Maria is a really lousy clay courter (similar in this respect to Davenport). One RG semi final doesn't change it in any way or form (remember Ljubicic also did it!) I would pick any current top 10 player, except Hantuchova or Bartoli over her...

rollup
Feb 10th, 2008, 01:21 AM
God. Some people are losing control in this Maria-hype at the moment. Can I remind you that it's not that long since she lost to Azarenka in straights on a hard court :weirdo: You can't say Sharapova is going to dominate or keep up her Melbourne form, but you can say that Henin/Ivanovic/Jankovic and the WS are going to pick up their form. At any moment she could suffer another strange loss. Tennis is a crazy game. I think Serena played a million times better than Maria to win the AO last year and has she dominated since? :rolleyes:

Some people seem to forget that Maria was playing AT HER BEST at the AO. She simply cannot play any better than she did. But, here's the thing: Ivanovic, Henin, Jankovic, the WS, CAN play SO MUCH better than they did in Melbourne. Their best form has to re-emerge for all of them at some stage in the season and THAT will be the first real test for Maria. So jump off the bandwagon now before your posts are bumped the next time Sharapova loses after she has been hailed as the best player on grass, hard, and now it seems, even clay. :spit:

Great post, but I think you may have just burst their bubble :lol:

ZeroSOFInfinity
Feb 10th, 2008, 01:46 AM
Here are some stats for Justine and Maria...

Justine - 3 Titles and 3 Finals on Grass.
Maria - NO Titles and NO Finals on Clay.

You guys do the math :wavey:

spiritedenergy
Feb 10th, 2008, 01:52 AM
Justine or neither of them (most probably).

spiritedenergy
Feb 10th, 2008, 01:58 AM
God. Some people are losing control in this Maria-hype at the moment. Can I remind you that it's not that long since she lost to Azarenka in straights on a hard court :weirdo: You can't say Sharapova is going to dominate or keep up her Melbourne form, but you can say that Henin/Ivanovic/Jankovic and the WS are going to pick up their form. At any moment she could suffer another strange loss. Tennis is a crazy game. I think Serena played a million times better than Maria to win the AO last year and has she dominated since? :rolleyes:

Some people seem to forget that Maria was playing AT HER BEST at the AO. She simply cannot play any better than she did. But, here's the thing: Ivanovic, Henin, Jankovic, the WS, CAN play SO MUCH better than they did in Melbourne. Their best form has to re-emerge for all of them at some stage in the season and THAT will be the first real test for Maria. So jump off the bandwagon now before your posts are bumped the next time Sharapova loses after she has been hailed as the best player on grass, hard, and now it seems, even clay. :spit:

:worship:

Pasta-Na
Feb 10th, 2008, 02:21 AM
maria's games are not very suitable on clay surface... AMG and other clay experts could beat her.

AnnaK_4ever
Feb 10th, 2008, 02:29 AM
All Maria needs to win Roland Garros is playing wise, patient tennis for two weeks. That and early loss of Henin.
It worked perfectly for Myskina who is not better claycourter than Sharapova.

Sharakim
Feb 10th, 2008, 02:34 AM
Yes she can, but she can't be favored. Mentally, it's never been a problem for her in the big matches. She needs to avoid Henin in the early rounds and get a few decent clay courters in her draw. If she can pull win over jankovic or kuznetsova on clay I think her confidence will increase dramatically. Her movement will have to be if not great than not a hinderence and she can't get impatient! That's been the biggest problem and why she does so bad on the dirt. She said herself that patience is not one of her strengths. Maria needs to develop a more consistant defense before I think she has a great shot at the french.

bellascarlett
Feb 10th, 2008, 02:53 AM
Some people seem to forget that Maria was playing AT HER BEST at the AO. She simply cannot play any better than she did. But, here's the thing: Ivanovic, Henin, Jankovic, the WS, CAN play SO MUCH better than they did in Melbourne. Their best form has to re-emerge for all of them at some stage in the season and THAT will be the first real test for Maria. So jump off the bandwagon now before your posts are bumped the next time Sharapova loses after she has been hailed as the best player on grass, hard, and now it seems, even clay. :spit:

No, you seem to forget that Maria only played NEAR HER BEST against Justine. :weirdo: (You can add the Davenport match but with Lindsay not the top player she used to be, it's not that telling of a match) Maria played her best match at the AO against Justine but I wouldn't say it was her absolute best. There were still some shaky moments here and there especially at the end of the first set. But in terms of her other matches, especially her semi against Jankovic and her final against Ivanovic...:haha: Only a desperate fool would say she played her best in those matches. I mean...gosh...those matches weren't even good quality-wise. So sorry, but in as much as you say the others can still play SO MUCH better...Maria can also still play SO MUCH better. :lol:

mankind
Feb 10th, 2008, 03:05 AM
No, you seem to forget that Maria only played NEAR HER BEST against Justine. :weirdo: (You can add the Davenport match but with Lindsay not the top player she used to be, it's not that telling of a match) Maria played her best match at the AO against Justine but I wouldn't say it was her absolute best. There were still some shaky moments here and there especially at the end of the first set. But in terms of her other matches, especially her semi against Jankovic and her final against Ivanovic...:haha: Only a desperate fool would say she played her best in those matches. I mean...gosh...those matches weren't even good quality-wise. So sorry, but in as much as you say the others can still play SO MUCH better...Maria can also still play SO MUCH better. :lol:

I was there in Melbourne watching the matches live and I can tell you Sharapova played like a steamtrain. Sure, she's still only 20 and she might have another 6 years of top tennis within her and she can still improve, but only marginally. I think she has maximised her potential - she's not a player with oodles of "natural talent", she's just worked hard to be accurate and consistent. But having worked so hard already at only 20, physically it will be interesting to see how long she can go on.

Realistically, what else can she improve? Looking at her game for what it is, she needs more variety obviously, but I don't think Sharapova is the type of player who will all of a sudden grow a brain at the net or show some special touch at key moments in a match. Face it, she's a consistent smasher of the ball who can paint the lines pretty nicely and it might win her a few more slams or it might not. I certainly think, looking at a player like Ivanovic, she can improve so much more than Sharapova because she has the ABILITY to be amazing at the net and vary her game. Ivanovic can improve mentally, Sharapova cannot; Ivanovic can continue to improve her net game; Sharapova struggles in this respect and probably feels that her drive volleys will be enough; Ivanovic can become more consistent from the baseline; Sharapova cannot get any better from the baseline than she is now. All in all, Maria deserves respect for achieving as much as she has from a fairly limited, one-dimensional game which takes a huge toll on her physically. Let's see how long she can keep it up. :shrug:

spiritedenergy
Feb 10th, 2008, 03:09 AM
I was there in Melbourne watching the matches live and I can tell you Sharapova played like a steamtrain. Sure, she's still only 20 and she might have another 6 years of top tennis within her and she can still improve, but only marginally. I think she has maximised her potential - she's not a player with oodles of "natural talent", she's just worked hard to be accurate and consistent. But having worked so hard already at only 20, physically it will be interesting to see how long she can go on.

Realistically, what else can she improve? Looking at her game for what it is, she needs more variety obviously, but I don't think Sharapova is the type of player who will all of a sudden grow a brain at the net or show some special touch at key moments in a match. Face it, she's a consistent smasher of the ball who can paint the lines pretty nicely and it might win her a few more slams or it might not. I certainly think, looking at a player like Ivanovic, she can improve so much more than Sharapova because she has the ABILITY to be amazing at the net and vary her game. Ivanovic can improve mentally, Sharapova cannot; Ivanovic can continue to improve her net game; Sharapova struggles in this respect and probably feels that her drive volleys will be enough; Ivanovic can become more consistent from the baseline; Sharapova cannot get any better from the baseline than she is now. All in all, Maria deserves respect for achieving as much as she has from a fairly limited, one-dimensional game which takes a huge toll on her physically. Let's see how long she can keep it up. :shrug:

:hearts::worship: SO TRUE

tennisbear7
Feb 10th, 2008, 03:16 AM
There's nothing wrong with having a one-dimensional game if you're beating up the field and smashing winners everywhere. And Maria deserves credit for that. She's not going to suddenly play topspin all the time. She goes for it. She's a flat hitter and beautiful striker of the ball. Leave her be. If she's making millions and winning slams with her game, then so be it! Don't try to change what has been a winning formula for her.

Her game is rendered less effective on clay, and she hasn't proven herself on the surface yet. If she does, kudos, but with the game she plays, realistically, it's going to be tough for her. Looking at past winners:

07: Henin
06: Henin
05: Henin
04: Myskina
03: Henin
02: Serena
01: Capriati
00: Pierce
99: Graf
98: Sanchez Vicario
97: Majoli
96: Graf

With the exception of Pierce, these players all have one thing in common: GREAT FOOTWORK AND SPEED AROUND THE COURT. And even then, Pierce is better than Maria on clay simply because Pierce embraces the surface and has spent years training on it, while Maria has been on the hardcourts of Florida forever now.

Unless her footing increases dramatically and she plays lights-out from 3RD on at RG, she won't win. On clay, understanding the geometry of the court and court positioning is much more important than on the faster surfaces. To say that Maria is second favourite after Justine is both nonsensical and deluded thinking. Sure, she CAN play better, but unless she beats someone like Ivanovic, Jankovic or Henin on clay, she hasn't proven herself, I'm afraid. It really might be a Sampras case on clay. You'd think that with his booming serve and damaging groundstrokes he would have been able to win at least one RG (and this is a thorn in the argument where people think Maria's going to win because of blasting serves and hitting 120mph groundies). Alas, no, and I would not be surprised if RG remained the bane of Maria's career from now until its end.

That said, I think Maria has four-six slams left in her. I'm predicting 2-3 titles of each slam outside of RG. She might sneak in one at RG, but I very much doubt it.

Sharakim
Feb 10th, 2008, 03:18 AM
Realistically, what else can she improve? Looking at her game for what it is, she needs more variety obviously, but I don't think Sharapova is the type of player who will all of a sudden grow a brain at the net or show some special touch at key moments in a match. Face it, she's a consistent smasher of the ball who can paint the lines pretty nicely and it might win her a few more slams or it might not. I certainly think, looking at a player like Ivanovic, she can improve so much more than Sharapova because she has the ABILITY to be amazing at the net and vary her game. Ivanovic can improve mentally, Sharapova cannot; Ivanovic can continue to improve her net game; Sharapova struggles in this respect and probably feels that her drive volleys will be enough; Ivanovic can become more consistent from the baseline; Sharapova cannot get any better from the baseline than she is now. All in all, Maria deserves respect for achieving as much as she has from a fairly limited, one-dimensional game which takes a huge toll on her physically. Let's see how long she can keep it up. :shrug:I agree that Maria plays a simple game. I don't think she is as natuarlly gifted as other tennis players. She is successful because of her attitude, determination, and fantastic self-belief. However, I think that as long as her desire to win slams is there, she will want to continue to improve. Will she ever by a good volleyer? Probably not because she just doesn't have soft hands. But can she learn to better anticipate when to play the volley, yes. I also believe her young body premits her to get even fitter. The thing I love most about Maria is that she's willing to make improvements to her game. After winning 3 slams, she still wants to get better and I know she can.

tennisbear7
Feb 10th, 2008, 03:39 AM
I agree that Maria plays a simple game. I don't think she is as natuarlly gifted as other tennis players. She is successful because of her attitude, determination, and fantastic self-belief. However, I think that as long as her desire to win slams is there, she will want to continue to improve. Will she ever by a good volleyer? Probably not because she just doesn't have soft hands. But can she learn to better anticipate when to play the volley, yes. I also believe her young body premits her to get even fitter. The thing I love most about Maria is that she's willing to make improvements to her game. After winning 3 slams, she still wants to get better and I know she can.

I agree.

But I don't think she can get fitter. Look at her! She's already tres fit, but her movement - well I don't think that's going to improve too much. She's not a natural athelete when it comes to running.

She does play a simple game, and I wish people would stop saying that it's one-dimensional. Amelie, bless her heart, plays one of the most varied, exciting games on tour, yet Maria will go down as the better player even though she's not as talented.

It's not all about Maria's game either. It's about her mind.

bellascarlett
Feb 10th, 2008, 03:47 AM
Realistically, what else can she improve? Looking at her game for what it is, she needs more variety obviously, but I don't think Sharapova is the type of player who will all of a sudden grow a brain at the net or show some special touch at key moments in a match. Face it, she's a consistent smasher of the ball who can paint the lines pretty nicely and it might win her a few more slams or it might not. I certainly think, looking at a player like Ivanovic, she can improve so much more than Sharapova because she has the ABILITY to be amazing at the net and vary her game. Ivanovic can improve mentally, Sharapova cannot; Ivanovic can continue to improve her net game; Sharapova struggles in this respect and probably feels that her drive volleys will be enough; Ivanovic can become more consistent from the baseline; Sharapova cannot get any better from the baseline than she is now. All in all, Maria deserves respect for achieving as much as she has from a fairly limited, one-dimensional game which takes a huge toll on her physically. Let's see how long she can keep it up. :shrug:

You were talking about Melbourne in the other post and generalizing the play of all. All I was saying was that Maria was not at her best in all those matches at the AO. It's unfair to say otherwise while maintaining the others could play better. Maria played Justine like it was a GS final. After that, her confidence, general good form and mental toughness basically carried her to the title. But she wasn't playing consistently at her best or near her best. The drop in form was evident after Justine's match. So in that respect, Maria could still improve. I also think she can still improve from the baseline as opposed to what you think. For one, she's been hitting better angles from the baseline than I've ever seen her and I feel she's just starting as that could still improve. The forehand still gets shaky compared to her ever-solid backhand. The backhand by the way could get more lethal. And if you say you were there in Melbourne, I'm sure you did see how Maria tried to mix it up better in her match against Justine. She hit some approach slice backhands for example that ended up winning her the points against Justine of all people...wtf :eek: :lol: That surprised many and the commentators from different stations were keen to notice those improvements and that she didn't win just because she was hitting the ball consistently hard. Maria will probably never be great or even very good at net...but she is showing that she is working on it and slowly trying to incorporate it into her game. If you can't see that then I don't know...In terms of improvements mentally, ugh did you see how Maria was struggling almost every single time she was about to serve for the set (especially the first set), the match or even just serving to consolidate a break she's earned? I thought you were there. :confused: Go back and watch those matches or even go back to the threads posted after those matches were played, point is Maria is still susceptible to vulnerability mentally and a lot of nerves when she has the advantage even a two break advantage for that matter. So mentally that could improve. She used to be better in closing out when she was younger. But I think this is partly caused by her struggles last year when her serve was MIA, which brings me to an important aspect she could very much improve on...that serve. Maria's is still in the process of bringing that serve back from the dead. She's made progress but there is still much more work to be done.

In the end, I believe it's about what you choose to see and what you choose to ignore or belittle. But what's exciting is we can't really foresee what's ahead so it's really exciting to watch how things will unfold in the future. We'll see...we'll see.

Sharakim
Feb 10th, 2008, 04:14 AM
I agree.

But I don't think she can get fitter. Look at her! She's already tres fit, but her movement - well I don't think that's going to improve too much. She's not a natural athelete when it comes to running.
While I agree that she'll never be very fast, she can improve her movenment enough that it won't hinder her too much (a la Davenport). Also she seems to be better at positioning herself on court now then she was 2 years ago.

AcesHigh
Feb 10th, 2008, 05:45 AM
I think what mankind meant to say was that Sharapova doesn't have a high ceiling in terms of her game. There is not much room for improvement in her baseline game. There's really not too much more she could do with it. Her serve is already solid and consistent(among the top contenders she usually has the highests serve % i think and the least DF's). Her net game can improve, but not too much(same for Venus IMO).
She's not just a smasher, but she's a player who relies on big play from the baseline and overpowering her opponents. She's not going to outwit anyone..she's not going to outrun her opponents or use placement and variety to win. Her game is simple. However, she executes it well enough to work most of the time.

Really, I only see small improvements and her mental strength is already best on tour. This AO only showed her nerves b/c it was her first time in a big spot at a slam in a year and she was shaky all last 2007. She's a great fighter though.. it's really her best quality and she works so hard so who knows how much she can accomplish.

I agree with mankind though that Ivanovic and some others(Vaidisova for example) have so much they can improve upon.

tennisbear7
Feb 10th, 2008, 05:49 AM
I think it's exciting to watch Maria and Ana and how their rivalry unfolds.

Ana's got so much to improve in her game, much more than Maria, so it's a matter of improving for Ana.

Maria hasn't got as much to improve in her game, so for her it'll be about trying to smother Ana everytime they play, and not let Ana play the way she did at RG.

majuu
Feb 10th, 2008, 07:09 AM
"There is a title we can't win no matter how hard we might swing."

Maria Sharapova and Roland Garros.

BuTtErFrEnA
Feb 10th, 2008, 08:50 AM
i think its either...

jh wins wimby, then
neither wins, then
masha wins rg...

Princeza
Feb 10th, 2008, 08:56 AM
Probably Justine.
Well, we'll see.

Slutati
Feb 10th, 2008, 09:06 AM
OMG NO COMMENT :lol:

Talula
Feb 10th, 2008, 09:11 AM
There are too many players who can beat Justine at Wimbledon: the Williams, Sharapova, Jelena and Ana probably too. Wimbledon is much more competitive. With a bit of luck on her side I tink Maria can grab a French Open.

RG isn't what it was. I can remember the days of Steffi, Monica, Hingis, Pierce, Arantxa and Conchita all battling it out in the quarters and semis.

Calypso
Feb 10th, 2008, 09:18 AM
It will be tough for either to complete career slams. Justine has a much better chance at Wimbledon than Maria at Roland Garros, methinks.

So I'll say Justine wins Wimbledon b4 Maria wins the French.

bandabou
Feb 10th, 2008, 09:28 AM
Maria is young..so that's already a big edge. Justine's window at Wimbledon is already closing imo, 'cause she'll be what 26 this year?? Maria really has only one BIG BIG BIG weakness on clay: movement, lack of movement. But are there any youngsters out there who have the game to exploit that? Don't know.

DAVAJ MKirilenko
Feb 10th, 2008, 09:31 AM
But who will do the Grand slam first ?

If Maria wins RG 2008, then my vote goes to her ;)

Calypso
Feb 10th, 2008, 09:35 AM
However, in Maria's favor is that she is still only 20, and has a lot more years to get 'lucky' at Roland Garros ;), while Justine et al fade away..

Justine turns 26 this year, and likely has to face her chief grasscourt rivals around her for the rest of her career (Venus, Serena, Sharapova). Add a post-natal Lindsay in the mix and Henin has to fight through more 'grass-court specialists' than Maria at the French.

BuTtErFrEnA
Feb 10th, 2008, 09:52 AM
There are too many players who can beat Justine at Wimbledon: the Williams, Sharapova, Jelena and Ana probably too. Wimbledon is much more competitive. With a bit of luck on her side I tink Maria can grab a French Open.

RG isn't what it was. I can remember the days of Steffi, Monica, Hingis, Pierce, Arantxa and Conchita all battling it out in the quarters and semis.

however i think jh's game is better suited to grass than masha to clay...while there may not be as many good clay courters as the good old days, the majority of top players will still beat masha on clay...serena, venus, ana, jj and even kuzzy...only venus and serena on that list are tougher than her in GS play but on clay all their games are better than hers and they all know it so it gives them all the boost they need at RG, like safina that one year...or maybe a petrova (of the spring of 06 not now :o )
imo they both need luck, but if they both don't get any luck of the draw or luck of players' poor form i'd say jh has a better game to beat the others on grass than masha has to beat the others on clay

BuTtErFrEnA
Feb 10th, 2008, 10:12 AM
Maria is young..so that's already a big edge. Justine's window at Wimbledon is already closing imo, 'cause she'll be what 26 this year?? Maria really has only one BIG BIG BIG weakness on clay: movement, lack of movement. But are there any youngsters out there who have the game to exploit that? Don't know.

maria may be young but other youngsters are better on clay than she is...ana, jj (who isn't as old as jh and the sisters so probably has more years left than they do), kuzzy, nicole, petrova (if she can get her head on at some point :o ) and maybe even a safina (who also would need to get her head on)...golovin (if her ankles hold up)
if we give jh and the sisters 3 more years of playing then that puts maria at 24 (counting her as 21 already by RG) and then she'll have those who are as young as her to compete with for the next couple years of her career...we still have to take in to account injury (as every player gets at least one serious one at some point) and may have to miss 1 RG or may lose early due to rust at some point...or may just have a drop in form for a period....all those things to be taken into consideration...her movement isn't her only weakness however...it's her impatience and the fact that her main element of taking time from her opponents is lost on the clay which then requires her to come out of her comfort zone...
BUT...all that said...she has more time to get lucky but i don't think its as much as people think...it may not seem like that long ago when hingis was the youngster or seles or the sisters or jh...but a tennis season flies by and so does the chances of winning...

Calypso
Feb 10th, 2008, 10:21 AM
Justine on grass is much better than Maria on clay.

BUT the others contenders are more dangerous for Justine on grass (she could not beat Venus, Serena, Maria on grass, she would have a tough time agaisnt Trannylie and Day and could lose to Ivanovic, Jankovic ) than they are for Maria on clay
:tape:

Highlandman
Feb 10th, 2008, 10:36 AM
I think Henin has better chances to win Wimbledon than Sharapova in Paris at the moment. Clay is always pretty unpredictable.

tennisbear7
Feb 10th, 2008, 10:55 AM
I don't think Maria believes she can win on clay. Grass, hardcourt, carpet, yes.

But given what she's said about clay... well, if Maria doesn't believe, I can't either.

Play_Suspended
Feb 10th, 2008, 10:57 AM
do we actually know maria's clay schedule? i might have missed it but i havent heard her enter any tournies yet. :confused:

iamme
Feb 10th, 2008, 11:46 AM
I don't think Maria believes she can win on clay. Grass, hardcourt, carpet, yes.

But given what she's said about clay... well, if Maria doesn't believe, I can't either.
I think she believes and really wants to win it. I dont't think that she thinks about any tourament or match she can't win. I really believe in her.

and she doesn't have clay schedule yet.

Il Primo!
Feb 10th, 2008, 11:58 AM
I don't think Maria believes she can win on clay. Grass, hardcourt, carpet, yes.

But given what she's said about clay... well, if Maria doesn't believe, I can't either.

She told you this when you were brushing your teeth this morning?

Wayn77
Feb 10th, 2008, 12:14 PM
No.

Sadly Roland Garros isn't wot it used to be.
We are in a era of top players having fair success playing modified hard court tennis on clay (I would class Maria in that group).

That's fine, but it will only take you so far before coming up against a real specialist like Henin.
She is a class or three above the field on the dirt - I don't see an end to the dominance.

The main clay-court challengers either haven't cut it (Petrova, Kuznetsova, Mauresmo, Schnyder) or are potential threats in-waiting (Jankovic, Szavay, Peer, Golovin).

xan
Feb 10th, 2008, 12:26 PM
Many people are contradicting themselves here. They say:

1. Maria is not well skilled and practiced at playing on clay. and
2. Maria has reached the peak of her game and can't improve!

Sorry. those two statements contradict. Maria has great room for improvement on clay, and she has said she is determined to make those improvements. Determination counts for a lot in tennis. I remember everybody saying Serena would never win on clay too....

Already Maria has proved she can beat most "clay-court specialists" on clay, with the "Vice president" of clay court players, (Patty) falling to her at RG last year. I think Maria has her target set on a career slam. Clay will always be harder for her than other surfaces, but the same applied to many who have won at RG

Edward.
Feb 10th, 2008, 12:28 PM
Oh, and had Maria lost at the AO, we'd probably hear the same crap about the shoulder from some people :help:

oh dear, Maria equalling Lindsay's grand slam record at 20 has really got your panties in a twist, hasn't it? :awww:

AcesHigh
Feb 10th, 2008, 03:08 PM
Already Maria has proved she can beat most "clay-court specialists" on clay

How many wins does she have against Petrova, Kuznetsova, Ivanovic, or Jankovic on clay? What about against Venus? Serena? Vaidisova?

Sharapova hasnt really improved anything on clay. Even Lindsay reached an RG semi.

No one is saying Sharapova can't improve. What people are saying is that there is not that much she can really improve on compared to the rest at her age which is probably true.

BuTtErFrEnA
Feb 10th, 2008, 03:36 PM
Many people are contradicting themselves here. They say:

1. Maria is not well skilled and practiced at playing on clay. and
2. Maria has reached the peak of her game and can't improve!

Sorry. those two statements contradict. Maria has great room for improvement on clay, and she has said she is determined to make those improvements. Determination counts for a lot in tennis. I remember everybody saying Serena would never win on clay too....

Already Maria has proved she can beat most "clay-court specialists" on clay, with the "Vice president" of clay court players, (Patty) falling to her at RG last year. I think Maria has her target set on a career slam. Clay will always be harder for her than other surfaces, but the same applied to many who have won at RG

i knew someone would use that comparison....but the difference is that serena in 02 had excellent movement, footwork and patience...she had the ability to attack the net and use angles...even though people say serena is one dimensional she has the variety needed to win on the clay hence why she did...
maria does not have the movement and footwork and patience needed to excel on clay...neither does she have the variety needed should Plan A fail or simply just to change up things...it isn't as easy to set up for those drive volleys so what happens when she has to actually attack the net and use the conventional volleys...we all remember that lindsay got to a rg semi as well (luck of the draw?)...no movement and patience does not yield results on the dirt...

Maria Croft
Feb 10th, 2008, 04:37 PM
How many wins does she have against Petrova, Kuznetsova, Ivanovic, or Jankovic on clay? What about against Venus? Serena? Vaidisova?
Sharapova hasnt really improved anything on clay. Even Lindsay reached an RG semi.

No one is saying Sharapova can't improve. What people are saying is that there is not that much she can really improve on compared to the rest at her age which is probably true.


She has never played any of them on clay except Ivanovic and I really don't see how she fits into the clay specialist group to be honest.

I agree that it's very difficult for Maria to win RG, she needs a little luck, but you just can’t compare her to Lindsay on clay, her movement is too good for that, as well as her motivation to do well on clay.

We just haven't been really able to see what she can do on clay these last few years because of her injuries. Still she made the SF at RG.

I won't hold my breath for it but I think it could happen.

lizchris
Feb 10th, 2008, 04:57 PM
I feel neither will win on either surface. While Justine has won on gass and has gotten to two Wimbledon finals, she will be 26 when Wimbledon is played this year and time is not on her side with other younger players coming upn who may be able to play better than her on gass and she has to contend with veterans like the Williams sisters, Sharapova, Amelie and Lindsay who have won Wimbledon, As far as Maria on clay; she has yet to win a tournament on clay and I don't know if she has ever gotten to a final on clay. Though she is only 20 (she will be 21 when the FO is played), she can look old playing on clay because her movement on it is poor. If she wants any chance to win the , she will have to try to win a tournament on clay sometime before this decade is over.

iamhe
Feb 10th, 2008, 05:35 PM
Justine has the game to win Wimby. But she needs to be mentally and physically strong, especially when it is very likely that she'll have the chance to play the latter rounds of RG. She needs the determination and self-belief, and not get nervous as she did in 06 final. And she has to keep her body fresh instead of fatigue. In other words, she has to be in a very good form to stand a chance. Considering Wimby is just a fortnight after RG, I think it is very hard for her to hold her small body and keep her concerntration. But if she can manage it, I can see her win wimby.


Maria on the other hand, seems to not perform so well on clay. She hasn't got a title on clay or played a final on clay. And it seems that she is not that devoted to play on clay. However, Maria is a brave and a determined girl, and her mental and confidence is the best on tour ATM. With the allure of Career Slam, I'm sure she'll work extremely hard for it. I think with a bit of luck and a decent draw, she may have a chance to sneak one. You can never count her out. But she does need to have some real big victories on clay before we consider her a serious contender to RG.

theFutureisNow
Feb 10th, 2008, 06:22 PM
Realistically, what else can she improve? Looking at her game for what it is, she needs more variety obviously, but I don't think Sharapova is the type of player who will all of a sudden grow a brain at the net or show some special touch at key moments in a match. Face it, she's a consistent smasher of the ball who can paint the lines pretty nicely and it might win her a few more slams or it might not. I certainly think, looking at a player like Ivanovic, she can improve so much more than Sharapova because she has the ABILITY to be amazing at the net and vary her game. Ivanovic can improve mentally, Sharapova cannot; Ivanovic can continue to improve her net game; Sharapova struggles in this respect and probably feels that her drive volleys will be enough; Ivanovic can become more consistent from the baseline; Sharapova cannot get any better from the baseline than she is now. All in all, Maria deserves respect for achieving as much as she has from a fairly limited, one-dimensional game which takes a huge toll on her physically. Let's see how long she can keep it up. :shrug:

Well based on the Australian Open you are flat-out wrong.

Here are the net points won in Australia-

Ivanovic- 71 for 101 70%
Sharapova- 76 for 95 80%

Based on statistics, Sharapova was clearly better than Ivanovic at the net. I dont have a way to look it up, but she might have been the best player in the whole tournament at the net. As an added bonus, she greatly outplayed Justine at the net in their match.

Also, I would disagree that Maria can't get better from the baseline. She might have the best backhand in tennis, but she can definitely improve her forehand.

And if Maria is so good at serving, painting the lines, and now showing vast improvement at the net, wouldn't that shorten her points and take much less of a physical toll?

faboozadoo15
Feb 10th, 2008, 07:26 PM
How many wins does she have against Petrova, Kuznetsova, Ivanovic, or Jankovic on clay? What about against Venus? Serena? Vaidisova?

Sharapova hasnt really improved anything on clay. Even Lindsay reached an RG semi.

No one is saying Sharapova can't improve. What people are saying is that there is not that much she can really improve on compared to the rest at her age which is probably true.

Of all those players you listed, Sharapova is a combined 0-1 against all of them.
End of. And she's beaten them all everywhere else except Vaidisova, who Sharapova has never played.

ZeroSOFInfinity
Feb 11th, 2008, 12:52 AM
I find it strange that suddenly people in this Boards say Maria can complete the Grand Slam by winning the FO...

Must be the AO fever still lingering about.... :lol:

The fact that Maria haven't won a title on clay yet, or be in the Final of any clay court tournament, speaks volumes. Yeah, she reached the SF last year, but that for me is a fluke... she barely survived against Patty (who choked), and then received a mauling from Ana in the semis. I am still not quite convinced that she can play on clay. She will have to sleep, eat and drink clay for the next few months to have even the slightest shot at winning FO.

Unless she has already done so... well...

Anyway, we shall see in the next few months what will happen. Either Maria will look at the sidelines again as another player holds the FO trophy (not necessary Justine), or shocked the tennis world by becoming a Grand Slam winner by the age of 20.

Uranium
Feb 11th, 2008, 12:56 AM
Of all those players you listed, Sharapova is a combined 0-1 against all of them.
End of. And she's beaten them all everywhere else except Vaidisova, who Sharapova has never played.

thats not the subject of the matter it is about clay.
Personally i can see
Henin, Venus, Ana, JJ andKuznetsova beating her on clay. Possibly Nicole.

AcesHigh
Feb 11th, 2008, 01:02 AM
Of all those players you listed, Sharapova is a combined 0-1 against all of them.
End of. And she's beaten them all everywhere else except Vaidisova, who Sharapova has never played.

Exactly my point. She hasn't proven anything. If she can avoid a bunch of players.. she has a shot

mankind
Feb 11th, 2008, 01:04 AM
Well based on the Australian Open you are flat-out wrong.

Here are the net points won in Australia-

Ivanovic- 71 for 101 70%
Sharapova- 76 for 95 80%

Based on statistics, Sharapova was clearly better than Ivanovic at the net. I dont have a way to look it up, but she might have been the best player in the whole tournament at the net. As an added bonus, she greatly outplayed Justine at the net in their match.

Also, I would disagree that Maria can't get better from the baseline. She might have the best backhand in tennis, but she can definitely improve her forehand.

And if Maria is so good at serving, painting the lines, and now showing vast improvement at the net, wouldn't that shorten her points and take much less of a physical toll?

Points won at net does not equal volleys. Sharapova would have hit 2, maybe 3 ACTUAL volleys during that event. And probably netted them all. What Sharapova does at the net is hit those swinging drive volleys, which are effective, but it in no way means she can volley.

As for her forehand, yes of course it can be improved, but it seems she is stuck with her horrible technique on that shot. Mashatards may argue that it is just as effective, which may be so, but physically it is not good for her, and shoulder problems will probably arise again.

AcesHigh
Feb 11th, 2008, 01:04 AM
I find it strange that suddenly people in this Boards say Maria can complete the Grand Slam by winning the FO...

Must be the AO fever still lingering about.... :lol:

The fact that Maria haven't won a title on clay yet, or be in the Final of any clay court tournament, speaks volumes. Yeah, she reached the SF last year, but that for me is a fluke... she barely survived against Patty (who choked), and then received a mauling from Ana in the semis. I am still not quite convinced that she can play on clay. She will have to sleep, eat and drink clay for the next few months to have even the slightest shot at winning FO.

Unless she has already done so... well...

Anyway, we shall see in the next few months what will happen. Either Maria will look at the sidelines again as another player holds the FO trophy (not necessary Justine), or shocked the tennis world by becoming a Grand Slam winner by the age of 20.


:worship: :worship: :worship:

BuTtErFrEnA
Feb 11th, 2008, 04:27 AM
I find it strange that suddenly people in this Boards say Maria can complete the Grand Slam by winning the FO...

Must be the AO fever still lingering about.... :lol:

The fact that Maria haven't won a title on clay yet, or be in the Final of any clay court tournament, speaks volumes. Yeah, she reached the SF last year, but that for me is a fluke... she barely survived against Patty (who choked), and then received a mauling from Ana in the semis. I am still not quite convinced that she can play on clay. She will have to sleep, eat and drink clay for the next few months to have even the slightest shot at winning FO.

Unless she has already done so... well...

Anyway, we shall see in the next few months what will happen. Either Maria will look at the sidelines again as another player holds the FO trophy (not necessary Justine), or shocked the tennis world by becoming a Grand Slam winner by the age of 20.

me likes the objectivity :worship:

BuTtErFrEnA
Feb 11th, 2008, 04:39 AM
Well based on the Australian Open you are flat-out wrong.

Here are the net points won in Australia-

Ivanovic- 71 for 101 70%
Sharapova- 76 for 95 80%

Based on statistics, Sharapova was clearly better than Ivanovic at the net. I dont have a way to look it up, but she might have been the best player in the whole tournament at the net. As an added bonus, she greatly outplayed Justine at the net in their match.

Also, I would disagree that Maria can't get better from the baseline. She might have the best backhand in tennis, but she can definitely improve her forehand.

And if Maria is so good at serving, painting the lines, and now showing vast improvement at the net, wouldn't that shorten her points and take much less of a physical toll?

1. stats lie...any follower of tennis knows this...especially net stats which take into account drive volleys which is what maria wins her net points with so if she wins 2 out of 3 points at the net with drive volleys but misses the conventional volley it doesn't make her some sort of net player like momo, jh or venus...

2. i can assure you maria does not have the best backhand in the game...

3. vast improvement at the net looks good when she's resting easy and her opponents aren't playing their best...it remains to be seen if she can play conventional volleys in tight situations when she and her opponent are playing their best tennis or when she is not playing her best tennis...kudos to her for trying but it doesn't all of a sudden make her good at net...again...drive volleys now boost stats and make it look like a player can play at net

4. maria's serve to me was not tested a lot during the AO...and the few times when it was tested she gave some dfs...its also very readable...she played to win...congrats...but to me everyone played her more or less the same way which was hit down the middle, which more than allowed her to tee off on her shots...i especially wondered why jh used that tatic as if she had made it a track meet she probably would have won..

to me maria is playing good tennis....but is she playing lights out tennis that will kill anyone? no

Cakeisgood
Feb 11th, 2008, 04:49 AM
Uranium, why do you hate Sharapova so much? Like, seriously, I would say, you are the greatest Masha hater of WTAworld. Honestly, I can see Maria making the final if she plays well, but winning it now is a stretch. Henin has a chance this year, but if she doesn't this year, it is unlikely that it will ever happen.

P.S. Uranium, Venus isn't a queen on clay either. Just sayin.

tennisbear7
Feb 11th, 2008, 04:53 AM
Well based on the Australian Open you are flat-out wrong.

Here are the net points won in Australia-

Ivanovic- 71 for 101 70%
Sharapova- 76 for 95 80%

Based on statistics, Sharapova was clearly better than Ivanovic at the net. I dont have a way to look it up, but she might have been the best player in the whole tournament at the net. As an added bonus, she greatly outplayed Justine at the net in their match.

Also, I would disagree that Maria can't get better from the baseline. She might have the best backhand in tennis, but she can definitely improve her forehand.

And if Maria is so good at serving, painting the lines, and now showing vast improvement at the net, wouldn't that shorten her points and take much less of a physical toll?

You're officially an idiot.

Maria won those net points using 99% DRIVE VOLLEYS, which does NOT equate to conventional volleys. She has the most consistent double-fisted backhand, but not the best. I would give that award to Venus, just for sheer power and amazing consistency (only bettered by Maria).

Cakeisgood
Feb 11th, 2008, 05:05 AM
1. stats lie...any follower of tennis knows this...especially net stats which take into account drive volleys which is what maria wins her net points with so if she wins 2 out of 3 points at the net with drive volleys but misses the conventional volley it doesn't make her some sort of net player like momo, jh or venus...

2. i can assure you maria does not have the best backhand in the game...

3. vast improvement at the net looks good when she's resting easy and her opponents aren't playing their best...it remains to be seen if she can play conventional volleys in tight situations when she and her opponent are playing their best tennis or when she is not playing her best tennis...kudos to her for trying but it doesn't all of a sudden make her good at net...again...drive volleys now boost stats and make it look like a player can play at net

4. maria's serve to me was not tested a lot during the AO...and the few times when it was tested she gave some dfs...its also very readable...she played to win...congrats...but to me everyone played her more or less the same way which was hit down the middle, which more than allowed her to tee off on her shots...i especially wondered why jh used that tatic as if she had made it a track meet she probably would have won..

to me maria is playing good tennis....but is she playing lights out tennis that will kill anyone? no

1. Yes, BUT the fact remains that she does come to net far more often then before, and is growing as a player. She is nowhere near the level of Momo, or JH, but her volleys are steadily evolving. Surely, they are more effective than a lot of the WTA (don't flame, but I'd say stronger then ReRe's and Ana's.)

2. Not the strongest, but definitely in terms of accuracy and consistency, she is one of, if not the best for that shot.

3. Great points, but undermining her success with "they weren't playing their best" is a bit low don't you think?

4. Her serve was, as you said, tested more by herself then by her opponents (see the match vs. Ana for serve point stats) but it is pretty excellent right now.

I agree with your last point, but lights out tennis now is hard to come by (except JH on clay)

theFutureisNow
Feb 11th, 2008, 05:52 AM
You're officially an idiot.

Maria won those net points using 99% DRIVE VOLLEYS, which does NOT equate to conventional volleys. She has the most consistent double-fisted backhand, but not the best. I would give that award to Venus, just for sheer power and amazing consistency (only bettered by Maria).

I don't get why you guys are so obsessed about the exact type of shots Maria is hitting. The bottom line is that she is winning those points at a very high percentage. And call me an idiot, but aren't drive volleys considered more difficult than regular ones? So this would seem to defeat your point that Maria can't be good at the net if she is regularly pulling off more difficult shots.

As for backhand, any shot that isn't precisely measurable is debatable. But if she doesnt have the best backhand, she is pretty close to the top. If you know of any site that keeps track of forehand vs backhand winners/UEs let me know.

tennisbear7
Feb 11th, 2008, 06:08 AM
I don't get why you guys are so obsessed about the exact type of shots Maria is hitting. The bottom line is that she is winning those points at a very high percentage. And call me an idiot, but aren't drive volleys considered more difficult than regular ones? So this would seem to defeat your point that Maria can't be good at the net if she is regularly pulling off more difficult shots.

As for backhand, any shot that isn't precisely measurable is debatable. But if she doesnt have the best backhand, she is pretty close to the top. If you know of any site that keeps track of forehand vs backhand winners/UEs let me know.

You don't get it, do you?

Maria wins her net points after she draws a weak reply from the opponent. She doesn't come to net if the other player has a good smack at the ball, in which case she would almost definitely lose the point.
She ISN'T good at conventional volleying, and if she's going to burden herself with upper shoulder rotations, then she'll have more shoulder injuries in the future. She is a weak net player, and the only reason why she has such good percentages at net is because she draws weak replies from opponents allowing for easy put-aways. Kapeesh?

As I said before in this thread: don't mend an unbroken record. Improve it. Maria can kill the field with her shots, but until she improves her game, she'll never dominate like Graf or Seles. She's still a work in progress, but so far, nothing suggests to me that she's trying to implement a variety of tactics that would suit her well on any surface. She's never going to come into net on a shot that isn't a winner/doesn't draw a short reply. She's not going to serve and volley, nor is she going to hit a deep return and follow that into the net. Frankly, I fear for the rest of the field if Maria does improve, but she can.

theFutureisNow
Feb 11th, 2008, 06:24 AM
1. stats lie...any follower of tennis knows this...especially net stats which take into account drive volleys which is what maria wins her net points with so if she wins 2 out of 3 points at the net with drive volleys but misses the conventional volley it doesn't make her some sort of net player like momo, jh or venus...

2. i can assure you maria does not have the best backhand in the game...

3. vast improvement at the net looks good when she's resting easy and her opponents aren't playing their best...it remains to be seen if she can play conventional volleys in tight situations when she and her opponent are playing their best tennis or when she is not playing her best tennis...kudos to her for trying but it doesn't all of a sudden make her good at net...again...drive volleys now boost stats and make it look like a player can play at net

4. maria's serve to me was not tested a lot during the AO...and the few times when it was tested she gave some dfs...its also very readable...she played to win...congrats...but to me everyone played her more or less the same way which was hit down the middle, which more than allowed her to tee off on her shots...i especially wondered why jh used that tatic as if she had made it a track meet she probably would have won..

to me maria is playing good tennis....but is she playing lights out tennis that will kill anyone? no

1.I'm not saying she is some sort of volleying demon like Sampras. But she did do very well at net points, which gives her another way to win besides baseline and serves. And mathematically, if she is missing all of her conventional volleys then she would probably have to be winning at least 9 out of 10 drive volley points- which would be a spectacular conversion rate.

2.Well show me the stats that back this up. I think it is at least debatable.

3.Good players make their opponent's look like they aren't playing their best. No one else seems to be boosting their stats all that much with them. Obviously it remains to be seen whether she can keep playing so well, but she won by a big enough margin that she has room to play worse and still win against most players.

4.I think people tend to hit it down the middle when they are being overpowered. Also, while I would agree that her serve is somewhat overrated, you arguing against her serve and her net play actually strengthens my argument about how good her backhand is.

Well, I guess we disagree about what "killing" someone is, but allowing the second fewest points in a slam in the last ten years (of those that didn't lose a set) seems to be coming pretty close by anyone's definition.

theFutureisNow
Feb 11th, 2008, 06:41 AM
You don't get it, do you?

Maria wins her net points after she draws a weak reply from the opponent. She doesn't come to net if the other player has a good smack at the ball, in which case she would almost definitely lose the point.
She ISN'T good at conventional volleying, and if she's going to burden herself with upper shoulder rotations, then she'll have more shoulder injuries in the future. She is a weak net player, and the only reason why she has such good percentages at net is because she draws weak replies from opponents allowing for easy put-aways. Kapeesh?

As I said before in this thread: don't mend an unbroken record. Improve it. Maria can kill the field with her shots, but until she improves her game, she'll never dominate like Graf or Seles. She's still a work in progress, but so far, nothing suggests to me that she's trying to implement a variety of tactics that would suit her well on any surface. She's never going to come into net on a shot that isn't a winner/doesn't draw a short reply. She's not going to serve and volley, nor is she going to hit a deep return and follow that into the net. Frankly, I fear for the rest of the field if Maria does improve, but she can.

I think I get more than you realize. I never claimed that she is great at every aspect of volleying. What I said is that Maria is better at the net than most people tend to give her credit for, and showed a stat to back this up. And who cares why she has a good percentage. If she can get more weak returns than anyone else then it is a significant advantage.

I would say that just about every volleyer waits for weak returns. That is probably why the volley game is dying out, because there are less weak returns now to exploit.

Well I just showed you a change in her tactics- a very strong percentage of net points won. "She's never going to come into net on a shot that isn't a winner/doesn't draw a short reply."- and she shouldn't; the whole point of net play is to play points you aren't likely to get passed on. In today's game no one can afford to strictly serve and volley. But I think that she does follow her good shots into the net more than she used to.

heytennis
Feb 11th, 2008, 06:57 AM
People talking about Maria's ability to play on clay presently is pretty silly. She has played 3 tournaments on clay since 2005! Last time she played Berlin and Rome, she was only 18.

If she stays uninjured during the clay season this year, I can see her doing huge damage at RG. She has beaten some good players on clay when she has been healthy enough to play. She has wins over AMG, Pierce, Dementieva, Schnyder, Zvonareva, Chakvetadze and Safina. I'd love to see how she does when she plays a full clay schedule.

Deck
Feb 11th, 2008, 07:04 AM
no way she will

for me it would in fact be a bit surprising if Masha could win RG someday

tennisbear7
Feb 11th, 2008, 07:43 AM
People talking about Maria's ability to play on clay presently is pretty silly. She has played 3 tournaments on clay since 2005! Last time she played Berlin and Rome, she was only 18.

If she stays uninjured during the clay season this year, I can see her doing huge damage at RG. She has beaten some good players on clay when she has been healthy enough to play. She has wins over AMG, Pierce, Dementieva, Schnyder, Zvonareva, Chakvetadze and Safina. I'd love to see how she does when she plays a full clay schedule.

Unless she beats Kuznetsova, Jankovic, Ivanovic, Serena and even Venus (the five below Justine), then I'm still not convinced.

faboozadoo15
Feb 11th, 2008, 07:52 AM
People need to get off Sharapova's back when it comes to volleying. No one lately has been coming in as much as she has or winning anywhere near as many points at net. Sure she's using drive volleys, but she's also hit a bunch of conventional volleyes in her matches at the Australian Open. To say she hits them all into the net is foolish and shows you may not have watched her play.

People keep harping on the fac that she only comes in on weak replies-- well that's what everyone does. That's the point. Sharapova has superb appraoch shots and gets herself a weak reply. There's no need for her to be hitting shoestring volleyes all the time when she approaches as well as she does.

heytennis
Feb 11th, 2008, 08:34 AM
Unless she beats Kuznetsova, Jankovic, Ivanovic, Serena and even Venus (the five below Justine), then I'm still not convinced.

I agree. I'm just saying that instead of criticizing her play on clay, we should wait and see how she plays this season (if she actually plays on clay).

I think she would have a shot against Serena and Venus for sure. Maybe even Ivanovic.

hwanmig
Feb 11th, 2008, 08:46 AM
----> NO The question you should be asking is if Sharapova will ever win RG. And that would be never.

OsloErik
Feb 11th, 2008, 09:11 AM
People talking about Maria's ability to play on clay presently is pretty silly. She has played 3 tournaments on clay since 2005! Last time she played Berlin and Rome, she was only 18.

If she stays uninjured during the clay season this year, I can see her doing huge damage at RG. She has beaten some good players on clay when she has been healthy enough to play. She has wins over AMG, Pierce, Dementieva, Schnyder, Zvonareva, Chakvetadze and Safina. I'd love to see how she does when she plays a full clay schedule.

I also agree that it's a little unfair to gauge her clay form not having seen her on clay fully since 2005, but it does bear notice that she hasn't beaten any of the really big names (of today) on clay. Pierce in '05 was good at Roland Garros, but was a mess before that tournament. I thought she was going to lose early at RG and retire that year. And the others aren't exactly top-flight clay players, and weren't when Sharapova beat them.

She hasn't beaten any of the seven most accomplished clay courters on tour (Henin and Ivanovic haven't dropped a set against her, Jankovic, Kuznetsova, Serena, Venus, and Mauresmo haven't played her) because of her schedule. At the moment, I'd say her biggest achievement on clay is taking a set off of Capriati in 2004.

Even with her improved movement, she simply isn't a great clay court mover. She doesn't know how to slide, and that's not something you can really teach after a certain point.

That said, Mauresmo, Venus, and Serena haven't done much on clay lately, Jankovic and Kuznetsova are flighty, and Ivanovic isn't very fast (although she's a terrific clay court mover). All of those are conceivable wins. But I cannot imagine her winning the French by beating Henin. She'd need somebody to take her out. And while she can conceivably beat six of those seven on clay, they can all beat her. Add to that probably four or five more who could beat her on clay (Golovin, Petrova, Safina, maybe Peer and maybe Szavay) and her list of potential vanquishers is pretty substantial. Oh, Radwanska too probably. Maybe even Bondarenko.

BUT, to look at Henin's possible foes, it's even more unlikely. While there isn't anyone I would feel comfortable saying couldn't lose to Henin on grass (even Venus is a little streaky) there are about five players that I think have more than 50% chances of beating Henin there (Venus, Serena, Davenport, Sharapova, and Mauresmo).

Sharapova has more people who COULD beat her but PROBABLY won't, but Henin has more who CAN beat her and LIKELY will.

So that's my take.

OsloErik
Feb 11th, 2008, 09:12 AM
People need to get off Sharapova's back when it comes to volleying. No one lately has been coming in as much as she has or winning anywhere near as many points at net. Sure she's using drive volleys, but she's also hit a bunch of conventional volleyes in her matches at the Australian Open. To say she hits them all into the net is foolish and shows you may not have watched her play.

People keep harping on the fac that she only comes in on weak replies-- well that's what everyone does. That's the point. Sharapova has superb appraoch shots and gets herself a weak reply. There's no need for her to be hitting shoestring volleyes all the time when she approaches as well as she does.

THANK YOU!

Until Mauresmo makes a good solid run at a slam again, Sharapova has the mantle of best-at-net firmly in her grasp. She's not pretty up there, but she's much better up there than anyone else who moves forward as often, and she is undefeated on the season because of it.

tennisbear7
Feb 11th, 2008, 10:12 AM
THANK YOU!

Until Mauresmo makes a good solid run at a slam again, Sharapova has the mantle of best-at-net firmly in her grasp. She's not pretty up there, but she's much better up there than anyone else who moves forward as often, and she is undefeated on the season because of it.

What you seem to be forgetting is that because Maria has such fabulous ground strokes, she doesn't really even need to be stretched at the net so put balls away. Most of her groundstrokes ilicit very weak replies, so her ability at the net and all the statistics are not indicative of her prowess there in terms of conventional volleying. So most of her net points come from when the opponent has been forced into a weak reply as a natural corollary to her ground stroke game, not because she pulls amazing volleys like Amelie or Justine. Yes, she is great at the net, but only because most of the put-aways are as a direct consequence of her amazing groundstroking ability.

BuTtErFrEnA
Feb 11th, 2008, 12:30 PM
THANK YOU!

Until Mauresmo makes a good solid run at a slam again, Sharapova has the mantle of best-at-net firmly in her grasp. She's not pretty up there, but she's much better up there than anyone else who moves forward as often, and she is undefeated on the season because of it.

LMAO!!!! no she does not!!!! :haha: omg i understand loving a player but this is just downright ridiculous

thrust
Feb 11th, 2008, 12:53 PM
On clay you have to be consistant and have a more varied game. Just bashing the ball does not usually work against a player like Justine or Chris Evert.

bellascarlett
Feb 11th, 2008, 01:34 PM
2.Well show me the stats that back this up. I think it is at least debatable.

3.Good players make their opponent's look like they aren't playing their best. No one else seems to be boosting their stats all that much with them. Obviously it remains to be seen whether she can keep playing so well, but she won by a big enough margin that she has room to play worse and still win against most players.

Yup true. And right now, I agree that Maria has the best (at least two-handed) backhand on tour. It's hugely consistent, very solid, reliable, strong and it just keeps on getting better I feel.

Well, I guess we disagree about what "killing" someone is, but allowing the second fewest points in a slam in the last ten years (of those that didn't lose a set) seems to be coming pretty close by anyone's definition.

Wow is this true? That's a great stat to have if it is.



Well I just showed you a change in her tactics- a very strong percentage of net points won. "She's never going to come into net on a shot that isn't a winner/doesn't draw a short reply."- and she shouldn't; the whole point of net play is to play points you aren't likely to get passed on. In today's game no one can afford to strictly serve and volley. But I think that she does follow her good shots into the net more than she used to.

:lol: Exactly.

sunsfuns
Feb 11th, 2008, 01:58 PM
BUT, to look at Henin's possible foes, it's even more unlikely. While there isn't anyone I would feel comfortable saying couldn't lose to Henin on grass (even Venus is a little streaky) there are about five players that I think have more than 50% chances of beating Henin there (Venus, Serena, Davenport, Sharapova, and Mauresmo).


IMO both Mauresmo and Davenport are done as GS contenders. So that leaves only three and Justine did beat Serena on grass last year.

Only advantage Maria has is time (5 years younger), but still I can't imagine her winning RG...

Matt01
Feb 11th, 2008, 01:59 PM
On clay you have to be consistant and have a more varied game. Just bashing the ball does not usually work against a player like Justine or Chris Evert.


Well, I guess Maria is very lucky then that Evert hasn't played a WTA tournament in almost 20 years? :lol:

thrust
Feb 11th, 2008, 02:20 PM
Well, I guess Maria is very lucky then that Evert hasn't played a WTA tournament in almost 20 years? :lol:

YES, she is! So are many other top players.

thrust
Feb 11th, 2008, 02:30 PM
If Maria keeps playing at her AO level I think she has a good chance to win the FO, especially if Justine is not at her best. Maria seems to have improved her movement, added some variety to her game, and is serving extremely well. With all that, Maria is mentally superior to the other top young players. I doubt Venus or Serena have a chance to win the FO anymore.

OsloErik
Feb 11th, 2008, 04:24 PM
LMAO!!!! no she does not!!!! :haha: omg i understand loving a player but this is just downright ridiculous

Read almost anything I've ever posted and you'd know that I don't even like Sharapova; I respect her game though. And name one top 20 player who comes to net as often. AND wins points up there. Since mid-2006, Sharapova has been the most dangerous player at net, except for a few patches when Mauresmo didn't suck and Venus at Wimbledon '07.

Being good at net and having a good volley are two very different things. I wouldn't deign to call Sharapova a good volleyer, but she is damn good at net.

OsloErik
Feb 11th, 2008, 04:29 PM
What you seem to be forgetting is that because Maria has such fabulous ground strokes, she doesn't really even need to be stretched at the net so put balls away. Most of her groundstrokes ilicit very weak replies, so her ability at the net and all the statistics are not indicative of her prowess there in terms of conventional volleying. So most of her net points come from when the opponent has been forced into a weak reply as a natural corollary to her ground stroke game, not because she pulls amazing volleys like Amelie or Justine. Yes, she is great at the net, but only because most of the put-aways are as a direct consequence of her amazing groundstroking ability.

We don't discredit Navratilova's net skills because she had such good reflexes. Sharapova's groundstrokes are a skill that augment her net game. Having good set up and approach shots doesn't denigrate the fact that she is, at the moment and for much of the past year and a half (Mauresmo's not-sucking phase early last season and Venus for a few months being the exceptions) the most consistent player at net in the top 20. I don't even like her and I can admit that she's found a way to make up for her lousy form and slow movement; being 6'2'' she has enough reach that she doesn't have to worry as much about passing shots anyway, and her groundstrokes help her out even more. It's the result that matters, not how she goes about it.

OsloErik
Feb 11th, 2008, 04:31 PM
IMO both Mauresmo and Davenport are done as GS contenders. So that leaves only three and Justine did beat Serena on grass last year.

Only advantage Maria has is time (5 years younger), but still I can't imagine her winning RG...

Not being a slam contender doesn't rule you out of an upset, though, especially when you're ranking is in the toilet and you face players early. I don't expect to see Mauresmo or Davenport win a slam again, but I can imagine them knocking Justine out on grass.

OsloErik
Feb 11th, 2008, 04:35 PM
1. stats lie...any follower of tennis knows this...especially net stats which take into account drive volleys which is what maria wins her net points with so if she wins 2 out of 3 points at the net with drive volleys but misses the conventional volley it doesn't make her some sort of net player like momo, jh or venus...

3. vast improvement at the net looks good when she's resting easy and her opponents aren't playing their best...it remains to be seen if she can play conventional volleys in tight situations when she and her opponent are playing their best tennis or when she is not playing her best tennis...kudos to her for trying but it doesn't all of a sudden make her good at net...again...drive volleys now boost stats and make it look like a player can play at net

I think we're just disagreeing on what we're calling good at net. In my mind, Sharapova is tremendous at net, but isn't even a good volleyer. I don't think of drive volleys as volleys. They ARE a part of the net game, though. And in that respect, she's top dog right now.

And since they are technically points at net, it does kind of imply that she can play at net. She can't hit a conventional volley when the pressure's on, no doubt, but she can play at net. That stat isn't lying.

BuTtErFrEnA
Feb 11th, 2008, 05:23 PM
so let's say that maria and both martina's were playing in a tournie this week and all in top form...

maria hardly attacks the net unless she has a drive volley, while both martina's attack the net whenever they can for change of tactics....out of 5 matches played let's say maria hits 2 drive volleys per match and wins them all so she's 10/10 so that's 100% at net...
the two martina's on the other hand both have lovely touch at the net, excellent reach and hit superb volleys even when they come in without their opponents out of position...so out of 10 volleys each they both miss two...martina #1 is passed twice and martina #2 goes for some deft touch but barely misses both times...80% for martina's...
the stats here lie and would make you think that with 100% record maria is top dog at net play, when the martina's are only 80%...when in actual fact...both martina's are way better players at net than maria...
if i come to net 3 times and have to hit 3 drive volleys and make them all my net stats look way better than the person who attacks the net 20 times and wins 15/20 of those points...

BuTtErFrEnA
Feb 11th, 2008, 05:25 PM
I think we're just disagreeing on what we're calling good at net. In my mind, Sharapova is tremendous at net, but isn't even a good volleyer. I don't think of drive volleys as volleys. They ARE a part of the net game, though. And in that respect, she's top dog right now.

And since they are technically points at net, it does kind of imply that she can play at net. She can't hit a conventional volley when the pressure's on, no doubt, but she can play at net. That stat isn't lying.

you can't say that someone is tremendous at net but can't volley...if she can only hit one shot at the net that can't be tremendous at net...

Tamus
Feb 11th, 2008, 05:58 PM
so let's say that maria and both martina's were playing in a tournie this week and all in top form...

maria hardly attacks the net unless she has a drive volley, while both martina's attack the net whenever they can for change of tactics....out of 5 matches played let's say maria hits 2 drive volleys per match and wins them all so she's 10/10 so that's 100% at net...
the two martina's on the other hand both have lovely touch at the net, excellent reach and hit superb volleys even when they come in without their opponents out of position...so out of 10 volleys each they both miss two...martina #1 is passed twice and martina #2 goes for some deft touch but barely misses both times...80% for martina's...
the stats here lie and would make you think that with 100% record maria is top dog at net play, when the martina's are only 80%...when in actual fact...both martina's are way better players at net than maria...
if i come to net 3 times and have to hit 3 drive volleys and make them all my net stats look way better than the person who attacks the net 20 times and wins 15/20 of those points...

. . . but Maria comes to the net more often than you're suggesting. A lot of times, she comes to the net more often than her opponent.

Wayn77
Feb 11th, 2008, 06:20 PM
Martina was in a different class at the net. Right to the very end playing mixed at the Majors it was a joy to watch her incredible reflexes and volleying skills - a throwback to a bygone age.

I guess the main difference to her era - even 10 years ago, is how much harder the girls are hitting the ball. The pace on return of serve, winners being hit effortlessly from the back of the court and beyond. Rushing to the net at every opportunity is not an option anymore, your gonna get passed on either wing with impunity.

I sense a vogue to more net-play with the women leadng the way. To beat the very best you need variety with the mid-court arsenal to to attack the net. Ivanovic was convincingly all over the net in the Sydney final before losing her nerve and having the tactic taken away from her by Henin. Vaidisova showed alarmingly positive net play in Sydney (but not Melbourne!) and Maria's movement coming forward and net-play has improved drastically.

Is it a fad or will they be brave enough to pursue it further. How much net-play did we see in yesterdays final? Apart from a couple of drop-shots and Chak's incredible reflex volley - zilch. Exchanges at the net are exhilarating to watch when you have two skilled practioners standing toe to toe. We still don't see enough of it.

AcesHigh
Feb 11th, 2008, 06:43 PM
There are many other players better at net than Sharapova. Like it has been mentioned, she has drive volleys and other than that, she only comes in on weak replies. Her volleys are not very good.

However, who cares b/c she gets the job done.

We should all know by now that Maria has limited skills compared to other top players, yet she uses what she has very well and does a good job at squeezing the most out of what many call a one-dimensional game.

SAEKeithSerena
Feb 11th, 2008, 07:19 PM
maria>justine.

Mikey B
Feb 11th, 2008, 07:27 PM
We should all know by now that Maria has limited skills compared to other top players, yet she uses what she has very well and does a good job at squeezing the most out of what many call a one-dimensional game.

i agree but what 'little' game she has is alot better than what many of the top ten players have..

its been said again and again but sharapova's greatest strength is in her mind, and unlike henin at wimbledon, sharapova hasnt shown any mental lapses at RG, so if she gets to the final there's no reason she wont win, but if henin gets to the wimbledon final or a later stage its not always certain who will show up...

i think it could be true that for henin to win wimbledon, she may need to lose early at the french in order to get on grass early and not worry about making back to back grandslam championships.. and if henin goes early then it really is wide open, in the last few years the only consistant feature at the later stages is henin, and maybe kuznetsova, so it could be anyone's event...

faboozadoo15
Feb 11th, 2008, 07:40 PM
:rolleyes: Sharapova's limited technique.... OMG, get over yourselves. She has a beautful serve, damn near picture perfect ball toss, the best backhand in women's tennis, a ferocious forehand, and badass drive volleys.

Would you rather have Jelena's "skills", Chaky's, Bartoli's> Hantuchova's?

shap_half
Feb 11th, 2008, 07:53 PM
i agree but what 'little' game she has is alot better than what many of the top ten players have..

its been said again and again but sharapova's greatest strength is in her mind, and unlike henin at wimbledon, sharapova hasnt shown any mental lapses at RG, so if she gets to the final there's no reason she wont win, but if henin gets to the wimbledon final or a later stage its not always certain who will show up...

i think it could be true that for henin to win wimbledon, she may need to lose early at the french in order to get on grass early and not worry about making back to back grandslam championships.. and if henin goes early then it really is wide open, in the last few years the only consistant feature at the later stages is henin, and maybe kuznetsova, so it could be anyone's event...

How about: she doesn't know how to play on clay. Mental toughness isn't really a huge factor on clay courts when your movement and point construction on the surface is poor.

I don't know how some people here can argue that Maria, who has no clay court titles, never made the final, made the SF of RG once, has never shown she can play on clay, obviously can't move on the surface has a better chance of winning RG over Justine at Wimbledon when Justine is a 2 time Wimbledon finalist, 5 time SFist, who has 3 grass titles, and has a great game for the surface.

Brooks.
Feb 11th, 2008, 08:02 PM
:rolleyes: Sharapova's limited technique.... OMG, get over yourselves. She has a beautful serve, damn near picture perfect ball toss, the best backhand in women's tennis, a ferocious forehand, and badass drive volleys.

Would you rather have Jelena's "skills", Chaky's, Bartoli's> Hantuchova's?

I understand that you are excited that Maria is playing well again, but some of your posts in this thread act like she has won the last three slams. She played really well at the Australian Open, but she still has the same weaknesses she always had. She's not going to all of sudden win every tournament in sight.

How quickly you forget that Sharapova looked so invincible after the US Open in 06' and in the very next slam she was killed by Serena.

I highly doubt Sharapova is just going to dominate all the top players the rest of the year the way you imply. It's going to take more than one tournament for me to believe that. I mean she was expected to win all her matches there, except the Justine match. After she won that, she became the favorite for the tournament. It was an impressive tournament from her, but it doesn't prove to me that she's going to all of a sudden win Roland Garros.

To answer the poll, Justine will win Wimbledon before Sharapova wins the French

Il Primo!
Feb 11th, 2008, 08:07 PM
There are many other players better at net than Sharapova. Like it has been mentioned, she has drive volleys and other than that, she only comes in on weak replies. Her volleys are not very good.

However, who cares b/c she gets the job done.

We should all know by now that Maria has limited skills compared to other top players, yet she uses what she has very well and does a good job at squeezing the most out of what many call a one-dimensional game.

I don't see how Maria has limited skills compared to the other members of the top10?:spit: One of the most bullshit-esque thing I've read for sure!:help:

AcesHigh
Feb 11th, 2008, 08:12 PM
I don't see how Maria has limited skills compared to the other members of the top10?:spit: One of the most bullshit-esque thing I've read for sure!:help:

She doesn't hit a great slice, can't hit a drop shot, her movement is limited, she's not quick or fast. She has one of the best serves on tour, but not THE best and others can serve as well as she can. Her backhand is only arguably the best backhand(Serena, Venus, Henin and others are possibly better), her volleys aren't very good and her touch is limited.

She hits deep, hard and with good angles and is very consistent. If you compare her with Henin, Venus, Serena, Ivanovic, Mauresmo, even Jankovic, they all have a wider skillset. They're just not as consistent or mentally strong.

This is why people say she has a limited ceiling for improvement because her game is fairly one-dimensional and there's not much drastic improvement she can make compared to the other players in tennis.

jonny84
Feb 11th, 2008, 08:17 PM
I think Maria needs to win a tournament on clay first, to give her confidence for Roland Garros before she can actually lift the title.

Henin has a good chance to win Wimbledon having lost the final twice in three sets.

Tamus
Feb 11th, 2008, 08:24 PM
First Maria has no talent, now she has no skills. :rolleyes: Damn, I never knew that you could accomplish so much by just thinking that you're good at something.

theFutureisNow
Feb 11th, 2008, 08:24 PM
I think this argument has pretty much been exhausted, but I'll throw in a couple items that support my points.

This is a list of the best slam performances in the last ten years showing that Maria was in fact "killing" people.
These are the women who didnt lose a set, and allowed the least points.

29 Serena Williams 02 US
32 Maria Sharapova 08 Aus
32 Justine Henin 07 US
32 Lindsay Davenport 98 US
36 Venus Williams 01 US
37 Lindsay Davenport 99 Wim
38 Justine Henin 07 Fre
38 Lindsay Davenport 00 Aus



The simplest way to measure net prowess is what I would call total points(TP), or net points won minus net points lost. This would measure the points you won by going to the net versus staying back. But this assumes that you had a 50 percent chance of winning the point otherwise, which might not be correct since you tend to win net points in already advantageous situations. So I also put in a 60% assumption to show how much going to the net would help if you were actually ahead because of a weak return or just had an advantage from the baseline. The true number actually varies from shot to shot and player to player, but I would guess that it ranges from 50 to 60.

Here is an assessment of all the AO quarterfinalist's net games, and Petrova as well since she was the best of those who played at least 4 games. Maria was vastly better than anyone else at net point percentage, and was at or near the top in total net points won depending on your assumptions. In this chart I measured total net points per game. I put them in order of who I thought played the best.

--------------------------Total---------Net%-----TP50-------TP60
Maria Sharapova-------76/95-------.800-------8.1---------5.4
Justine Henin----------81/118-------.686-------8.8---------4
Nadia Petrova---------68/101-------.673-------8.8--------3.8
Venus Williams--------68/100-------.680-------7.2--------3.2
Daniela Hantuchova---63/88--------.716-------6.3--------3.3
Ana Ivanovic------------71/101-------.703-------5.9--------3
Serena Williams---------45/63-------.714-------5.4--------2.8
Agnieszka Radwanska-45/68-------.662-------5.5--------2
Jelena Jankovic---------58/89-------.652-------4.5--------1.5


One last thing- even though Maria is much better at the net than people give her credit for, I'm still not predicting a French Open victory. However, I think she is one of the top 5 contenders once you consider her improved net play and how well she is playing on other surfaces. Of course that might not mean a whole lot since this could be another year of "Justine and the seven dwarves". But at least Maria might be in Justine's head more than any other player right now.

LeChuck
Feb 11th, 2008, 08:27 PM
I'm a huge Henin fan, but I fear that she missed her golden chance to win Wimbledon in 2006 when she was one set away, and that she will never get a better oppportunity than that. Obviously I hope that I'm wrong though. In 2007 while her capitulation against Bartoli in the semi-final was disappointing, even if she had won that match, I don't think that she would have beaten Venus (who's name was basically on the trophy after she crushed Sharapova in the 4th round) in the final.

Il Primo!
Feb 11th, 2008, 08:44 PM
She doesn't hit a great slice, can't hit a drop shot, her movement is limited, she's not quick or fast. She has one of the best serves on tour, but not THE best and others can serve as well as she can. Her backhand is only arguably the best backhand(Serena, Venus, Henin and others are possibly better), her volleys aren't very good and her touch is limited.

She hits deep, hard and with good angles and is very consistent. If you compare her with Henin, Venus, Serena, Ivanovic, Mauresmo, even Jankovic, they all have a wider skillset. They're just not as consistent or mentally strong.

This is why people say she has a limited ceiling for improvement because her game is fairly one-dimensional and there's not much drastic improvement she can make compared to the other players in tennis


Nobody but Hénin and Mauresmo hits great slices. Maria have EXCELLENT dropshots, we saw it last year. Her movement is limted, I concede that. But she does have the best backhand without any doubt: she hits more winners than anyone else and hits less errors too. Everyone has kind suspicious volleys but Hénin/Mauresmo and in a lesser extend Venus (her volleys can be very ackward though).

Hénin has the wilder skills sets of all, that's unarguable. But you're so so so wrong about the rest. Mauresmo may have variety but she cannot hit a FH and a decent return to save her life. So she just has the volleys as dominant skill and it sounds poor to me. Venus does nothing plus than Maria but the movement (I don't consider it as skill anyways). Same with Serena. This applies to the serbians, are you serious mate?:o It's getting funny out there :lol: Ivanovic has absolutely nothing more in a game (she can't even masterise her BH), same for Jankovic and her kind of weak FH.

You know what, I always try to be objective no matter what. But I really don't see how you can say that.:confused: If Maria's got a one dimensional ame, so does everyone BUT Hénin (as usual). The others all play the similar type of game. Serena tried to mix it up but it didn't work at all and she didn't win all her GS by moonballing like she did recently (at least during the last season).

rollup
Feb 11th, 2008, 08:49 PM
I understand that you are excited that Maria is playing well again, but some of your posts in this thread act like she has won the last three slams. She played really well at the Australian Open, but she still has the same weaknesses she always had. She's not going to all of sudden win every tournament in sight.

How quickly you forget that Sharapova looked so invincible after the US Open in 06' and in the very next slam she was killed by Serena.

I highly doubt Sharapova is just going to dominate all the top players the rest of the year the way you imply. It's going to take more than one tournament for me to believe that. I mean she was expected to win all her matches there, except the Justine match. After she won that, she became the favorite for the tournament. It was an impressive tournament from her, but it doesn't prove to me that she's going to all of a sudden win Roland Garros.

To answer the poll, Justine will win Wimbledon before Sharapova wins the French

Excellent objective post :clap2:

OsloErik
Feb 11th, 2008, 09:38 PM
you can't say that someone is tremendous at net but can't volley...if she can only hit one shot at the net that can't be tremendous at net...

I can and I did. Maria's winning percentage at net at the Australian was in 80's. She can't hit a conventional volley, but she knows how and when to come forward for the kill shot. That's good net play.

I think the Martina's are terrific. I prefer to watch them play any day over some of the ugly crap most top 10ers produce these days. But, even if Sharapova is only hitting drive volleys, if they each come in 20 times and Maria has a higher winning percentage, Maria is playing better at net. Her volleys aren't as nice, but she's winning more. That's what makes you good at net, winning the freaking point.

If it was about looking nice while winning the point, Zvereva would be the greatest volleyer of all time because she could do anything at net. BUT, she didn't win the points she needed to stake out her claim.

Until I see someone else come into the net 15ish times a match and win about 12 of those 15 points, Maria is the best player at net at the moment. Mauresmo has better volleys, Maria is the better player at net. There is a difference. Conventional versus drive. If you win more points at net, it doesn't particularly matter HOW you do them. You are the better net player.

We don't penalize Navratilova and say "oh, she wouldn't have been the greatest volleyer if she didn't have that lefty hook serve". Just because Sharapova has better approaches and doesn't have to deal with as much pressure as a result of those big approaches isn't a barrier on her quality as winner at the net. Winning the point at the net is what matters, not the way you get to that opportunity, nor the style of shot you hit to win it.

If you don't agree with this, we'll have to agree to disagree, because nothing short of Sharapova suddenly losing 50% of points at net consistently is going to change my mind. I don't think she's got a nice game to look at by any stretch, but I think it's just as wrong to say she is worse at net than others in the top 20 when she's coming forward more often and winning more frequently.

Tennisstar86
Feb 11th, 2008, 10:00 PM
I can and I did. Maria's winning percentage at net at the Australian was in 80's. She can't hit a conventional volley, but she knows how and when to come forward for the kill shot. That's good net play.

I think the Martina's are terrific. I prefer to watch them play any day over some of the ugly crap most top 10ers produce these days. But, even if Sharapova is only hitting drive volleys, if they each come in 20 times and Maria has a higher winning percentage, Maria is playing better at net. Her volleys aren't as nice, but she's winning more. That's what makes you good at net, winning the freaking point.

If it was about looking nice while winning the point, Zvereva would be the greatest volleyer of all time because she could do anything at net. BUT, she didn't win the points she needed to stake out her claim.

Until I see someone else come into the net 15ish times a match and win about 12 of those 15 points, Maria is the best player at net at the moment. Mauresmo has better volleys, Maria is the better player at net. There is a difference. Conventional versus drive. If you win more points at net, it doesn't particularly matter HOW you do them. You are the better net player.

We don't penalize Navratilova and say "oh, she wouldn't have been the greatest volleyer if she didn't have that lefty hook serve". Just because Sharapova has better approaches and doesn't have to deal with as much pressure as a result of those big approaches isn't a barrier on her quality as winner at the net. Winning the point at the net is what matters, not the way you get to that opportunity, nor the style of shot you hit to win it.

If you don't agree with this, we'll have to agree to disagree, because nothing short of Sharapova suddenly losing 50% of points at net consistently is going to change my mind. I don't think she's got a nice game to look at by any stretch, but I think it's just as wrong to say she is worse at net than others in the top 20 when she's coming forward more often and winning more frequently.

WRONG... lol thats part of the baseliners tactics at net.... When playing a scrambler (henin... janokic) basically you have to come to net to finish the point.... so you hit a great deep angled shot follow into net and put away the volley set up by the groundstroke... Now, is it nice to see? yes... is it a great tactic. OF COURSE...

IS it an example of great net play... NO!!!! the point was won waaaay before they hit the volley and usually only the worse vollier in the game couldnt screw it up...

faboozadoo15
Feb 12th, 2008, 12:34 AM
How about: she doesn't know how to play on clay. Mental toughness isn't really a huge factor on clay courts when your movement and point construction on the surface is poor.

I don't know how some people here can argue that Maria, who has no clay court titles, never made the final, made the SF of RG once, has never shown she can play on clay, obviously can't move on the surface has a better chance of winning RG over Justine at Wimbledon when Justine is a 2 time Wimbledon finalist, 5 time SFist, who has 3 grass titles, and has a great game for the surface.

Sharapova is 20 years old. How old was Justine when she won her first? People make it sound like Sharapova made the SF years ago. It was last year. She's made the QF or better 3 times in the last 4 years.

Mental toughness is EVERYTHING on clay. If you don't lnow this, you don't know tennis. Intelligent net rushers have won numerous times on the red clay courts at Roland Garros. S Williams, Pierce, and Majoli have all powered their way to titles on the dirt, and Sharapova can certainly do the same.

Justine may have missed her greatest chances to win Wimbledon, and she's a lot older than Sharapova.

faboozadoo15
Feb 12th, 2008, 12:46 AM
WRONG... lol thats part of the baseliners tactics at net.... When playing a scrambler (henin... janokic) basically you have to come to net to finish the point.... so you hit a great deep angled shot follow into net and put away the volley set up by the groundstroke... Now, is it nice to see? yes... is it a great tactic. OF COURSE...

IS it an example of great net play... NO!!!! the point was won waaaay before they hit the volley and usually only the worse vollier in the game couldnt screw it up...

No, retard, you're WRONG. Sharapova hits half her drive volleyes from midcourt and often has to hit a second one. Her approaches are great. Why fault her for that? She's STILL coming to net more than her opponents AND winning a higher percent.

The point isn't over until it's over. Navratilova had the best approaches, and this made her volleys look even better. No one ever said "Well she had that point won..." before she put away the easy volley. Volleys are supposed to be easy. It's about putting your opponent in a bad position and sneaking forward and shortneding up the court. What difference does it make if she takes a swing or hits a drop volley (She can do both)? It's good, effective net play.

Tennisstar86
Feb 12th, 2008, 01:08 AM
No, retard, you're WRONG. Sharapova hits half her drive volleyes from midcourt and often has to hit a second one. Her approaches are great. Why fault her for that? She's STILL coming to net more than her opponents AND winning a higher percent.

The point isn't over until it's over. Navratilova had the best approaches, and this made her volleys look even better. No one ever said "Well she had that point won..." before she put away the easy volley. Volleys are supposed to be easy. It's about putting your opponent in a bad position and sneaking forward and shortneding up the court. What difference does it make if she takes a swing or hits a drop volley (She can do both)? It's good, effective net play.

NO faboo the troll. Sharapova and Venus are the same. what they do is hit deep groundstrokes which their opponents barely gets to and pops high into the court or is a winner .... then they hit a swinging volley for the winner or another pop up shot. which anyone with a racquet in thier hands can put away....

No sharapova does not have a good "net" game....

Anyways.. .I voted for neither.... I dont see Sharapova winning the french anytime soon as if someone is gonna beat henin on clay i dont think it'll be Sharapova...

And i dont think Henin will win WImbledon as she missed her best shot of doing so in 2006... IMO....

faboozadoo15
Feb 12th, 2008, 02:19 AM
That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. Excellent appraoch shots making easy putaways = poor net game. :haha:

If it was so "easy" anyone would do it.

How am I a troll? This is a thread about my favorite player...

AcesHigh
Feb 12th, 2008, 02:29 AM
That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. Excellent appraoch shots making easy putaways = poor net game. :haha:

If it was so "easy" anyone would do it.

How am I a troll? This is a thread about my favorite player...

At the same time, excellent approach shots does not equal a good net game. Put Sharapova at net in doubles or put her in a position where she is not going to get a weak reply and she looks helpless. Anyway, I don't even know how it got to this point, b/c Maria isn't going to spend much time at net at RG anyway. She's not going to have the easy putaways she had at AO.

sunsfuns
Feb 12th, 2008, 03:13 AM
Perhaps I am missing something here, but since when superior volleying is the key for winning RG?

Maria's chances are not good because she doesn't move as comfortably on clay and her serve (one of the best on tour for sure) is not as effective.

Tamus
Feb 12th, 2008, 03:55 AM
Forget about Maria winning the French Open, she should retire right now because she is totally useless. At least that's what her detractors would like us to believe.

"maximized her potential"
"limited, one-dimensional game"
"not a natural athlete"
"susceptible to vulnerability mentally"
"a lot of nerves when she has the advantage"
"not much room for improvement"
"not going to outwit anyone"
"doesn't have the movement and footwork and patience"
"neither does she have the variety"
"not that devoted"
"horrible technique on (the forehand)"
her serve is "very readable"
"can't hit a conventional volley"
"a weak net player"
"doesn't know how to slide"
"has limited skills"
"doesn't hit a great slice"
"can't hit a drop shot"
"not quick or fast"
"touch is limited"

Cp6uja
Feb 12th, 2008, 04:02 AM
Sharapova career claycourt results:

2003 Charleston (I): Maria Sharapova def. Akiko Morigami 7-5 5-7 6-4
2003 Charleston (I): Maria Sharapova def. Julia Vakulenko 7-5 6-4
2003 Charleston (I): Maja Matevzic def. Maria Sharapova 6-4 5-7 6-2
2003 French Open (GS): Maria Sharapova def. Anastasia Rodionova 6-3 6-3
2003 French Open (GS): Maria Sharapova def. Maria Vento-Kabchi 6-3 6-1
2003 French Open (GS): Maria Sharapova def. Yulia Beygelzimer 6-7(6) 7-5 8-6
2003 French Open (GS): Magui Serna def. Maria Sharapova 6-3 6-3
2004 Berlin (I): Maria Sharapova def. Dinara Safina 6-1 1-6 6-3
2004 Berlin (I): Maria Sharapova def. Petra Mandula 5-4 ret.
2004 Berlin (I): Jennifer Capriati def. Maria Sharapova 5-7 6-4 6-1
2004 Rome (I): Maria Sharapova def. Tatiana Perebiynis 6-4 7-5
2004 Rome (I): Maria Sharapova def. Elena Dementieva 6-1 6-4
2004 Rome (I): Silvia Farina Elia def. Maria Sharapova 7-6(3) 6-0
2004 French Open (GS): Maria Sharapova def. Barbara Schwartz 6-3 6-0
2004 French Open (GS): Maria Sharapova def. Rita Grande 6-2 6-0
2004 French Open (GS): Maria Sharapova def. Vera Zvonareva 6-3 7-6(3)
2004 French Open (GS): Maria Sharapova def. Marlene Weingartner 6-3 6-1
2004 French Open (GS): Paola Suarez def. Maria Sharapova 6-1 6-3
2005 Berlin (I): Maria Sharapova def. Anna-Lena Groenefeld 6-2 6-2
2005 Berlin (I): Maria Sharapova def. Shuai Peng 6-2 6-1
2005 Berlin (I): Justine Henin def. Maria Sharapova 6-2 6-4
2005 Rome (I): Maria Sharapova def. Anabel Medina Garrigues 6-4 6-2
2005 Rome (I): Maria Sharapova def. Mary Pierce 7-6(4) 6-4
2005 Rome (I): Maria Sharapova def. Elena Bovina 6-2 6-2
2005 Rome (I): Patty Schnyder def. Maria Sharapova 3-6 6-3 6-1
2005 French Open (GS): Maria Sharapova def. Eugenia Linetskaya 6-7(3) 6-2 6-4
2005 French Open (GS): Maria Sharapova def. Aravane Rezai 6-3 6-2
2005 French Open (GS): Maria Sharapova def. Anna Chakvetadze 6-1 6-4
2005 French Open (GS): Maria Sharapova def. Nuria Llagostera Vives 6-2 6-3
2005 French Open (GS): Justine Henin def. Maria Sharapova 6-4 6-2
2006 French Open (GS): Maria Sharapova def. Mashona Washington 6-2 5-7 7-5
2006 French Open (GS): Maria Sharapova def. Iveta Benesova 6-4 6-1
2006 French Open (GS): Maria Sharapova def. Alicia Molik 6-0 7-5
2006 French Open (GS): Dinara Safina def. Maria Sharapova 7-5 2-6 7-5
2007 Istanbul (III): Maria Sharapova def. Tsvetana Pironkova 6-4 7-6(1)
2007 Istanbul (III): Maria Sharapova def. Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2 3-6 6-0
2007 Istanbul (III): Aravane Rezai def. Maria Sharapova 6-2 6-4
2007 French Open (GS): Maria Sharapova def. Emilie Loit 6-3 7-6(4)
2007 French Open (GS): Maria Sharapova def. Jill Craybas 6-2 6-1
2007 French Open (GS): Maria Sharapova def. Alla Kudryavtseva 6-1 6-4
2007 French Open (GS): Maria Sharapova def. Patty Schnyder 3-6 6-4 9-7
2007 French Open (GS): Maria Sharapova def. Anna Chakvetadze 6-3 6-4
2007 French Open (GS): Ana Ivanovic def. Maria Sharapova 6-2 6-1


Maria on clay is simple not same player like Maria at all other surfaces. Something like Sampras case. She already won all other three slams but at clay she so far won only one single match against realy good claycourt opponent - Mary Pierce at Rome 2005, and that is all! And dont forget that before rising at RG/05 Pierce is still on comeback process that season and not reach any clay QF before Paris that season (and she play full 2005 clay shedule - Amelia, Charleston, Berlin and Rome). Like TOP4 seeds Masha will always have "easy draws" in future - but i dont see how she will survive ever at semis, not only in finals.

On other hand Justine is already by far best grasscourt player ever which never (so far actualy) not won at Wimbledon (IMO). So in this case is not important who is younger.

faboozadoo15
Feb 12th, 2008, 05:26 AM
She's also beaten Zvonareva, Dementieva, Safina, Schnyder....

Cp6uja
Feb 12th, 2008, 06:01 AM
She's also beaten Zvonareva, Dementieva, Safina, Schnyder....:scratch: So what???

Look how she play at other surfaces... for example only at one single tournament last month she beat Henin, Davenport, Ivanovic, Jankovic and Dementieva. And who's she beat at clay in whole career (since 2003)??? Yes, she beat "Safina The Great" but Dinara revange her at much important claycourt match and reach her only RG QF. Dementieva is RG/04 runnerup, but actualy she is not good claycourt player, especialy she is not consistent on clay. She played about 30 RG + clay/tier-I tournaments so far but reach less than 5 quarterfinals at this surface... Schnyder is good claycourt player and she beat Masha at clay already, but she is typical WTA GS-headcase player (playing more than 10 FO but never reach RG QF so far) and beat her in Paris 9-7 in third set is not so impressive achievement. Vera Zvonareva so far reach only one GS QF in whole career and beat her once at clay means nothing if we talking seriously about Maria chances to won FO sometime.

And one more (important) thing - dont forget that never in WTA history nobody tallest than 5'9 (180+ cm) never won Roland Garros and Maria is 6'2 (188cm). If ever in future some 180+ girl reach this clay slam - that will be Ana Ivanovic, not Maria.

mankind
Feb 12th, 2008, 06:10 AM
Forget about Maria winning the French Open, she should retire right now because she is totally useless. At least that's what her detractors would like us to believe.

"maximized her potential"
"limited, one-dimensional game"
"not a natural athlete"
"susceptible to vulnerability mentally"
"a lot of nerves when she has the advantage"
"not much room for improvement"
"not going to outwit anyone"
"doesn't have the movement and footwork and patience"
"neither does she have the variety"
"not that devoted"
"horrible technique on (the forehand)"
her serve is "very readable"
"can't hit a conventional volley"
"a weak net player"
"doesn't know how to slide"
"has limited skills"
"doesn't hit a great slice"
"can't hit a drop shot"
"not quick or fast"
"touch is limited"

All of that is true (except apart from the serve, which is effective because she is so big), but she can hit hard and fairly consistently, and it appears that's all you need for quick success. However, she won't be remembered as one of the greats unless she....well, it's useless. She just won't be remembered as one of the greatest of all time. :shrug:

faboozadoo15
Feb 12th, 2008, 06:25 AM
:scratch: So what???

Look how she play at other surfaces... for example only at one single tournament last month she beat Henin, Davenport, Ivanovic, Jankovic and Dementieva. And who's she beat at clay in whole career (since 2003)??? Yes, she beat "Safina The Great" but Dinara revange her at much important claycourt match and reach her only RG QF. Dementieva is RG/04 runnerup, but actualy she is not good claycourt player, especialy she is not consistent on clay. She played about 30 RG + clay/tier-I tournaments so far but reach less than 5 quarterfinals at this surface... Schnyder is good claycourt player and she beat Masha at clay already, but she is typical WTA GS-headcase player (playing more than 10 FO but never reach RG QF so far) and beat her in Paris 9-7 in third set is not so impressive achievement. Vera Zvonareva so far reach only one GS QF in whole career and beat her once at clay means nothing if we talking seriously about Maria chances to won FO sometime.

And one more (important) thing - dont forget that never in WTA history nobody tallest than 5'9 (180+ cm) never won Roland Garros and Maria is 6'2 (188cm). If ever in future some 180+ girl reach this clay slam - that will be Ana Ivanovic, not Maria.

:rolleyes: All this nagging BS. Do you realize Vera beat Ana just last year on clay? Ana also lost to Golovin too. Additonally, she went the distance in a three set match with Patty and beat Sveta "headcase" Kuz in a third set tiebreak to get her only clay title.

Judging by this, Ana has only ever beaten Jankovic and Kuznetsova twice.

AcesHigh
Feb 12th, 2008, 06:42 AM
:rolleyes: All this nagging BS. Do you realize Vera beat Ana just last year on clay? Ana also lost to Golovin too. Additonally, she went the distance in a three set match with Patty and beat Sveta "headcase" Kuz in a third set tiebreak to get her only clay title.

Judging by this, Ana has only ever beaten Jankovic and Kuznetsova twice.

We all know Ana is inconsistent, but at least she's been to the RG final and won a clay title in one year whereas Maria hasn't been to a clay final despite being a top player for several years.

Nevertheless, Vera and Elena are not very good claycourt players and beating Patty and Chaks to get to the semi's is nothing impressive. I think many are willing to admit that Sharapova could possibly get better and do some damage at RG..it's not impossible, yet you still try to pump her game and her little achievement on clay like it's something great when she clearly has very little success on the surface and a game that isnt suited for it.

faboozadoo15
Feb 12th, 2008, 06:52 AM
Ivanovic won her lone clay title by beating these types of players Sharapova has beaten and which you're attempting to cut down to make your point. Sharapova and Ana are roughly the same age, and Maria has made the second week of RG a few more times. Ana has few impressive wins on clay, too.

The only substantial claycourt player (If Maria isn't one in your book) who Ana beat en route to her RG final is Kuznetsova. And Kuz was playing terribly at the time.

AcesHigh
Feb 12th, 2008, 06:59 AM
Ivanovic won her lone clay title by beating these types of players Sharapova has beaten and which you're attempting to cut down to make your point. Sharapova and Ana are roughly the same age, and Maria has made the second week of RG a few more times. Ana has few impressive wins on clay, too.

The only substantial claycourt player (If Maria isn't one in your book) who Ana beat en route to her RG final is Kuznetsova. And Kuz was playing terribly at the time.

She's defeated Jankovic and Kuznetsova(twice). More than Sharapova has done in her entire career. And at least she's won a title(or been to a final) whereas Sharapova couldn't even win(or get to the final of) Istanbul.

Cp6uja
Feb 12th, 2008, 07:02 AM
:rolleyes: All this nagging BS. Do you realize Vera beat Ana just last year on clay? Ana also lost to Golovin too. Additonally, she went the distance in a three set match with Patty and beat Sveta "headcase" Kuz in a third set tiebreak to get her only clay title.

Judging by this, Ana has only ever beaten Jankovic and Kuznetsova twice.What about you talking? I not use Sharapova worst loses at clay (against Rezai or Serna for example) to prove that she is not capable to win in Paris. I'm only notice that her career results at clay is by far much worse that at any other surface and she is not same class player like at all others surfaces she is.

For you Svetlana Kuznetsova and Patty Schnyder is the same GS-headcase!?!? Patty at 30 only once reach RG QF (and have awful record at all other slams) and Sveta at 23 is already GS champion and at RG is already played final and reach finals at both red clay tier-I last season and Sveta is last player which beat Henin at clay (Berlin 2007) or won set against her at RG (2005)... but for you career 1:1 h2h at clay vs Patty is same achievement like 2:0 vs Sveta in her career best season. Only last season at clay Ana won three matches against high-class claycourt players (Kuznetsova twice and Jankovic once) and couple against solid claycourt players (Schnyder, Sharapova, Medina...) and won tier-I title and reach Roland Garros final.

iamme
Feb 12th, 2008, 09:33 AM
:lol::lol: really funny thread..I am sure we will see..Maria's all years are different..her game is changing..It's really true she has played really few clay tournament since 2005. Maybe she will surpsire you.;)

bandabou
Feb 12th, 2008, 01:41 PM
I think faboo is confusing two things..Maria is consistently enough to not go losing to players who CAN'T beat her, she won't go beating herself. But she CAN be beaten by players who CAN beat her.

Shoulderpova
Feb 12th, 2008, 01:53 PM
All of that is true (except apart from the serve, which is effective because she is so big), but she can hit hard and fairly consistently, and it appears that's all you need for quick success. However, she won't be remembered as one of the greats unless she....well, it's useless. She just won't be remembered as one of the greatest of all time. :shrug:

you better shut the fuck up because you're not making any sense at all :tape::rolleyes:

Barrie_Dude
Feb 12th, 2008, 02:02 PM
I think Maria can win this year

Beny
Feb 12th, 2008, 02:59 PM
This is an interesting thing.
While Justine has always been good on grass, Maria has developed enormously on clay. In 2005 I would laugh out loud if someone told me Maria was going to win RG.
While you could count with Justine since her final in 2001.
But Maria has improved so much that now i believe she can win RG in 2009 or later. I wouldn´t be that shocked if she did it this year. Last year she reached the SF and her game this year is much better than last year, śhe´s developed so many things in her game since then.
I think their chances are almost the same.

Tamus
Feb 12th, 2008, 03:13 PM
All of that is true (except apart from the serve, which is effective because she is so big), but she can hit hard and fairly consistently, and it appears that's all you need for quick success.

If you truly believe that statement, then you are either a sad or stupid individual. (It's apparent that you are just by looking at your signature, anyway)

bellascarlett
Feb 12th, 2008, 03:22 PM
All of that is true (except apart from the serve, which is effective because she is so big), but she can hit hard and fairly consistently, and it appears that's all you need for quick success. However, she won't be remembered as one of the greats unless she....well, it's useless. She just won't be remembered as one of the greatest of all time. :shrug:

:lol: So what? When did this become a greatest-of-all-time thread? Well, I guess that's what you're hoping for. And every time she wins a grandslam is another chance to go and hide in the bushes for a while. :D Again, so what? The important thing right now is that she is happy and satisfied with the things she achieves every day (even if its just practicing/training hard for the day). In the end, what matters is that she will look back and acknowledge that she made the most of what she was given and didn't waste any chances.

bellascarlett
Feb 12th, 2008, 03:24 PM
Don't tell me this thread will go on until the FO or maybe Wimbledon? :lol:

Dasha_
Feb 12th, 2008, 03:42 PM
Justine will win Wimbledon.

BuTtErFrEnA
Feb 12th, 2008, 04:11 PM
This is an interesting thing.
While Justine has always been good on grass, Maria has developed enormously on clay. In 2005 I would laugh out loud if someone told me Maria was going to win RG.
While you could count with Justine since her final in 2001.
But Maria has improved so much that now i believe she can win RG in 2009 or later. I wouldn´t be that shocked if she did it this year. Last year she reached the SF and her game this year is much better than last year, śhe´s developed so many things in her game since then.
I think their chances are almost the same.

maria at last year's RG had to beat...patty...ms headcase herself...no one else really was going to beat her...she hasn't developed on clay :shrug: her getting to the semis last year is not indicative of her game now being good on clay...lindsay got to the RG semis once but in no way can she play on clay...the draw fell for masha last year but you can believe that if she gets ana, jh,, jj, venus, serena, kuzzy at RG before the semis she won't be defending her semi...

BuTtErFrEnA
Feb 12th, 2008, 04:13 PM
I think faboo is confusing two things..Maria is consistently enough to not go losing to players who CAN'T beat her, she won't go beating herself. But she CAN be beaten by players who CAN beat her.

thank you!!! and on clay the number of players who CAN beat her increases...it goes like this:

on clay:
players who CAN defeat jh decreases
players who CAN defeat masha increases

on grass:
players who CAN defeat jh is probably the same as hard court with increased chances for venus, masha, serena, or maybe a bartoli playing the same way she played last year
players who CAN defeat masha is probably the same as hard court with the exception being venus or serena, who play better grass court tennis, or maybe a bartoli playing the same way she played last year...

the difference between the two is:
jh has a game for grass more so than masha has a game for clay...so logically speaking you would have to expect that if one completes the career slam first (with no luck of the draw and having to beat the best on the surface with your best game and their best game) it would have to be jh :shrug:

Allez-H
Feb 12th, 2008, 04:25 PM
Don't tell me this thread will go on until the FO or maybe Wimbledon? :lol:

Or in case neither win Wimbledon or FO this year, it'll go on until someone actually wins it :p

Or maybe we'll just get bombed with a million "Justine/Maria should retire from tennis"-threads since not winning a Slam for longer than 4 months is considered retirement-worthy ;)

AcesHigh
Feb 12th, 2008, 04:32 PM
Well.. I dont know why the thread is so long. The answer is obvious. Unless Sharapova develops a new game, she's not going to win RG anytime soon.
Meanwhile, I think Henin has a GREAT chance to win Wimbledon this year. Like I said, Mauresmo is nothing like she was in 2006, Serena seems to have lost her aggressiveness, Venus is too inconsistent and Sharapova's results at Wimbledon havent been too spectacular since her win in 2004.

BuTtErFrEnA
Feb 12th, 2008, 04:38 PM
lol the thread is so long because they are two top players and one is very popular lol once that happens a thread will go on until something has been proved or disproved...

Brooks.
Feb 12th, 2008, 04:42 PM
She's also beaten Zvonareva, Dementieva, Safina, Schnyder....

so she's beaten mental case, mental case, mental case, and mental case:o

InTheGloaming
Feb 12th, 2008, 06:24 PM
Justine had 1 big chance to win Wimbly. She was never going to win against Venus in her first final there. But she could have won in 2006. 2007, who knows had she beaten Bartoli, but I still don't tink she would have beaten Venus in the final.

For Sharapova and the French? The only way is up!

Tamus
Feb 12th, 2008, 08:11 PM
so logically speaking you would have to expect that if one completes the career slam first (with no luck of the draw and having to beat the best on the surface with your best game and their best game) it would have to be jh :shrug:

Nice qualifier

OsloErik
Feb 12th, 2008, 11:07 PM
the difference between the two is:
jh has a game for grass more so than masha has a game for clay...so logically speaking you would have to expect that if one completes the career slam first (with no luck of the draw and having to beat the best on the surface with your best game and their best game) it would have to be jh :shrug:

I totally agree that Henin has a better grass game than Sharapova has a clay game, but I'd argue that the parenthetical kind of blows a hole in the post. While obviously Henin is more capable of beating some great grass player on grass, it's conceivable that Sharapova could win the title without having to face any really great clay players. The modern-day clay players besides Henin are all very up-and-down. I don't think she would beat Ivanovic, Kuznetsova, Jankovic, or even Venus or Serena, but it's not outside the realm of possibility. If Henin loses before the final (or semifinal), it would be shocking, but that blows open the draw. If Sharapova's draw gives her Jankovic in the quarters, Kuznetsova in the semis, and Ivanovic in the final, I wouldn't be stunned to see her win the title. By comparison, I would be stunned if Henin could win Wimbledon having to go through Serena in the quarters, Sharapova in the semis, and Venus in the final.

So while Henin has a better chance against the top grass players in a one-off match, I don't like her odds of beating three top grass players in a row. By comparison, I can picture Sharapova beating three top clay players in a row. While the number of players that can beat Sharapova increases on clay, the number that I'd have a to of difficulty picturing her beat is limited to only one (Henin). All the rest she's definitely in with a fighting chance against. With Henin, while the number of players that can beat her doesn't really increase on grass, there are about three players that I'd be very skeptical of her beating back-to-back-to-back, and one of them is very, very consistent at Wimbledon.

Ultimately, I think Sharapova would have the easier road, but Henin would make more sense.

I'll also throw in that I would be very irritated if Sharapova won on clay. The notion of someone who can't slide winning the French Open offends my sensibilities. I would be greatly less irritated if Henin won on grass.

Rerun
Feb 12th, 2008, 11:22 PM
This Year Maria will play only Rome to prepare the RG?

playng only two clay tournaments every year is very difficoult to improve the clay court tennis and how to move on this surface

AcesHigh
Feb 13th, 2008, 12:04 AM
[QUOTE=OsloErik;12497891]So while Henin has a better chance against the top grass players in a one-off match, I don't like her odds of beating three top grass players in a row. By comparison, I can picture Sharapova beating three top clay players in a row.QUOTE]

Why? She's never done it in her career.

Cp6uja
Feb 13th, 2008, 12:49 AM
By comparison, I can picture Sharapova beating three top clay players in a row. While the number of players that can beat Sharapova increases on clay, the number that I'd have a to of difficulty picturing her beat is limited to only one (Henin). All the rest she's definitely in with a fighting chance against. With Henin, while the number of players that can beat her doesn't really increase on grass, there are about three players that I'd be very skeptical of her beating back-to-back-to-back, and one of them is very, very consistent at Wimbledon.
In past i never have problem imagine picture that Pete Sampras will beat three top clay players in the row - i'm been patient more than decade, but that never happen! Simple because Sampras Sharapova on clay and Sharapova at all other surfaces is not same player. Also, if you compete in same time with one of best claycourt player ever that ONE is enough problem for you. Look at Roger Federer case at Roland Garros last three season. For me, he is already one of TOP10 best claycourt players ever, but because Nadal he probably never reach RG title. Maria is much younger than Justine, but if JH is injury free in next several FO's she will be enough big RG problem from Masha in about next 5 years! And look at players of young generation. If they play at clay like last season without any improvment, Ana, Sveta and JJ is enough big problem for Sharapova... and dont forget about Vaidisova, or upcoming claycourt very good players like Szaway or Paszek (after Henin and Serena retire).

Justine Henin is only player (or only one in last 50 years) in Wimbledon history which reach atleast 2F+2SF but never won this tournament. In her case is much more interesting question how she still not won Wimbledon... but of course... she still have great chances.

ZeroSOFInfinity
Feb 13th, 2008, 01:15 AM
So while Henin has a better chance against the top grass players in a one-off match, I don't like her odds of beating three top grass players in a row. By comparison, I can picture Sharapova beating three top clay players in a row.

Well... if you say so...

(in my opinion)
Top Grass Players - Serena, Venus, Maria
Top Clay Players - Justine, Kuznetsova, Ivanovic

Justine H2H On Grass vs...
1) Serena (1-1)
2) Venus (0-2)
3) Maria (0-0) (Interesting...)

Maria H2H On Clay vs...
1) Justine (0-2)
2) Kuznetsova (0-0)
3) Ivanovic (0-1)

I prefer Justine's chances than Maria... she has at least 3 titles on Grass compared to none by Maria.

Just my 2 cents. :wavey:

Serge007
Feb 13th, 2008, 07:56 AM
Top Grass Players - Serena, Venus, Maria
Venus: 4 W, 2 F
Serena: 2 W, 1 F

Today Venus is much better Serena on Grass.


Top Clay Players - Justine, Kuznetsova, Ivanovic
BTW top clay player Kuznetsova has 0 clay-tournaments...

Cat123
Feb 13th, 2008, 08:59 AM
I like Maria a lot, would love her to win RG first, but I voted no.

AnnaK_4ever
Feb 13th, 2008, 10:15 AM
BTW top clay player Kuznetsova has 0 clay-tournaments...

1.
She won Helsinki in 2002.

BuTtErFrEnA
Feb 13th, 2008, 11:23 AM
Venus: 4 W, 2 F
Serena: 2 W, 1 F

Today Venus is much better Serena on Grass.



BTW top clay player Kuznetsova has 0 clay-tournaments...

because venus is much better on grass than serena (p.s. she's better on grass than EVERYONE) that doesn't mean serena isn't a top grass courter...that's like saying because Fed has won wimby 5 times in a row, roddick sucks on grass because he has two wimby finals but no wins :rolleyes: so amelie has 1 wimby title but lost to serena few times so she must be worst on grass now?

so because kuzzy has 1clay title does it mean she can't play on clay? she has the results on clay to match the title of top clay player...you're logic needs refining

DA FOREHAND
Feb 13th, 2008, 05:38 PM
sorry but if you took a poll of commentators, coaches, and avid tennis fans Maria Sharapova's name wouldn't show up on anyone's list of top volleyers, or net game. One does not need a great net game to win RG, or Wimby for that matter.

Best active Grass court players... Venus , Serena, Justine, Maria, Amelie, Lindsay
Best active Clay court players....Justine.........JJ, Kuzy, Serena, Venus, Ana,.....Patty

If Justine and Maria meet at both RG and Wimby. Justine has a huge edge at RG, and slighly less than %50 chance to top Maria at Wimby.


Justine more likely to win Wimby before Maria wins the French.

bandabou
Feb 14th, 2008, 05:46 PM
sorry but if you took a poll of commentators, coaches, and avid tennis fans Maria Sharapova's name wouldn't show up on anyone's list of top volleyers, or net game. One does not need a great net game to win RG, or Wimby for that matter.

Best active Grass court players... Venus , Serena, Justine, Maria, Amelie, Lindsay
Best active Clay court players....Justine.........JJ, Kuzy, Serena, Venus, Ana,.....Patty

If Justine and Maria meet at both RG and Wimby. Justine has a huge edge at RG, and slighly less than %50 chance to top Maria at Wimby.


Justine more likely to win Wimby before Maria wins the French.

Agreed..

Il Primo!
Feb 14th, 2008, 07:30 PM
People still can't understand everything is NOt about level of game.

No one can deny the fact's Justine on grass is way better than Maria on clay.

BUT the level of the contenders matters too! They are excellent grasscourt players such as Venus, Serena, Maria who are superior to Hénin. There's only one claycourt specialist who is Brad and the rest of the field is more or less at the same level (Maria included). On clay, no one is that superior to Maria so she could prevail with her mind and her hardcourt game (since everyone but Hénin plays a hardcourt game on clay ).

If Justine's out, Maria can totally win whereas if Maria's out in ondon, Venus or Serena can still take care of her properly.

Wait and see but I put my money on Maria.

jj74
Feb 14th, 2008, 07:44 PM
Justine's advantage: She is good on grass, she reached two finals at wimbledon
Maria's advantage: There are only a bunch of good clay courters

Justine is better on grass than Maria on clay, but she will face a lot more opposition. Maria has reached latter rounds at Roland Garros, but the truth is that she had heavy loses. Maria needs a good draw, improve her game on clay and have a lot of luck, to win RG right now

bandabou
Feb 15th, 2008, 04:24 PM
Maria is still two or three years away from really learning playing on the clay.

OsloErik
Feb 16th, 2008, 01:14 AM
In past i never have problem imagine picture that Pete Sampras will beat three top clay players in the row - i'm been patient more than decade, but that never happen! Simple because Sampras Sharapova on clay and Sharapova at all other surfaces is not same player. Also, if you compete in same time with one of best claycourt player ever that ONE is enough problem for you. Look at Roger Federer case at Roland Garros last three season. For me, he is already one of TOP10 best claycourt players ever, but because Nadal he probably never reach RG title. Maria is much younger than Justine, but if JH is injury free in next several FO's she will be enough big RG problem from Masha in about next 5 years! And look at players of young generation. If they play at clay like last season without any improvment, Ana, Sveta and JJ is enough big problem for Sharapova... and dont forget about Vaidisova, or upcoming claycourt very good players like Szaway or Paszek (after Henin and Serena retire).

Thing is, Sampras wasn't contending with just 1 truly great clay courter. There was Kuerten, sure, but he also had to handle players like Medvedev, Chesnokov, Moya, Chang, Muster, Bruguera, Courier, Kafelnikov...there was a whole legion of players who went from barely top 30 in the world overall to top 10 or top 5 on clay, while I don't think Sampras was ever one of the 5 best clay players, not even just for a season.

Nowadays, there are only two active players who have won the French Open: Henin and Serena. Serena hasn't played really well on clay since 2003. That leaves Henin as the only GREAT clay court player around at the moment. There are maybe five more quite good clay court players (Kuznetsova, Jankovic, Ivanovic, Serena, and Venus), and a handful of just good clay court players (Sharapova is one of these) but not many GREAT clay court players.

And Henin isn't entirely invincible. She hasn't looked great this season so far, and she hasn't always looked inevitable on clay (2005 French Open against Kuznetsova, for example, or numerous times against Petrova in '06). She's head and shoulders above the best, but that doesn't mean she's guaranteed to make the final. I can picture four players knocking her out, just based on the past. In short, Sharapova could conceivable make it to the winners circle without EVER having to face a truly great clay court player. Add to that the fact that Henin is 25, and not likely to get substantiall better. The only GREAT active clay courter is in a different generation than Sharapova.

Now look at Henin's path to a Wimbledon title. There are three players I'd call truly great grass players right now (Venus, Serena, and Sharapova). Sharapova hasn't managed to consolidate her grass status, but she's certainly one of the top 3 at the moment. Add to that Mauresmo (if she's going to make an impact again, it'll be on grass) and Davenport (same as Mauresmo).

The number of players that I find it hard to picture Henin beating on grass is large, and mostly of the same generation. Serena isn't much older than Justine; Maria is four years younger. There's virtually no way Henin could make it to a Wimbledon title without having to beat one of those three.

There isn't this legion of clay court specialists in the WTA; most players get worse on clay (Sharapova included). But look at the 2007 French: Sharapova made it to the semifinals playing terribly because she didn't have to face a really good clay courter. Ivanovic demonstrated how badly Sharapova was playing; her serve was terrible, her movement lousy, her groundstrokes an embarrassment. If Sharapova is playing well, I wouldn't be surprised to see her beat one or two of the "quite good" clay courters. I have trouble picturing Henin beating more than one of the "GREAT" grass courters.

I don't see how I can make this argument any clearer. It's nonsensical to describe Ivanovic, Kuznetsova, and Jankovic as clay-court equals to Serena, Sharapova, and Mauresmo on grass. And that's the difference. Henin has the better game for Wimbledon, but the tougher road. Sharapova has an embarrassing clay court game, but she's got a good enough overall game and a relatively easy road.

OsloErik
Feb 16th, 2008, 01:16 AM
Maria is still two or three years away from really learning playing on the clay.

That's a good point. I'll even add a parenthetical and say that she's two or three year (of full clay seasons) away from really learning playing on the clay. If she plays two or three REAL warm ups on clay, she'll get better. If not, she won't. Fortunately for her, she's young enough. Unfortunately for us, it's going to be ugly watching her get to that point.

AcesHigh
Feb 16th, 2008, 02:04 AM
People understimate Henin way too much on grass. Even though I don't want her to win Wimbledon, I think it is inevitable. She's smart enough and a good enough tactician(sp?) to find a way to win.

And people present Serena, Maria and Venus as if they are obstacles in Henin's way. Last time I checked, Serena and Venus are terribly inconsistent, and Sharapova has been outclassed every year since 2004 by a better player. Maria is an excellent grasscourt player but without the skills at net or great movement, she is at a disadvantage when certain players(Mauresmo, Henin, Venus and Serena) are on top of their game.

Meanwhile, at the French Open, even if Henin were to falter, Sharapova certainly wouldn't be one of the favorites to take her place as favorite. There are a handful of women who are IMO undoubtedly better on clay while Henin is arguably as good as anyone in the field on grass.

hwanmig
Feb 16th, 2008, 02:42 AM
People still can't understand everything is NOt about level of game.

No one can deny the fact's Justine on grass is way better than Maria on clay.

BUT the level of the contenders matters too! They are excellent grasscourt players such as Venus, Serena, Maria who are superior to Hénin. There's only one claycourt specialist who is Brad and the rest of the field is more or less at the same level (Maria included). On clay, no one is that superior to Maria so she could prevail with her mind and her hardcourt game (since everyone but Hénin plays a hardcourt game on clay ).

If Justine's out, Maria can totally win whereas if Maria's out in ondon, Venus or Serena can still take care of her properly.

Wait and see but I put my money on Maria.

Yup thats so true Maria is as good on clay as Ivanovic or Kuznetsova. Heck! she is even better than Jankovic:lol:

tennisbear7
Feb 16th, 2008, 02:42 AM
There are two options when playing Maria on grass:
- Draw her into the net NOT on Maria's terms, and outmanoevre like Amelie 2006.
- Overpower and beat Maria at her own game a la Venus 05 07.

The thing with Henin is that with such a small body, she often falters at Wimbledon after winning RG. There's only really one way to beat Henin on grass, and that's by overpowering her like Bartoli. I really do believe that Henin goes into Wimbledon as the second favourite after Venus, whereas Maria goes into the French Open with only a marginal chance of winning after Henin, Jankovic, Kuznetsova, Ivanovic, Williams.

To win Wimbledon, Henin's probably got to beat at least two of the following: Venus, Serena, Amelie and Maria. And that's conceivable. People are speaking as if grass is a totally new surface to hardcourts, on which she has a winning edge over Maria (on Maria's favourite surface!), but that's simply untrue.

SelesFan70
Feb 16th, 2008, 02:43 AM
based on Justine's previous performances at Wimbledon and Maria's previous ones at Roland Garros, it's clear that its just the matter of time before Justine wins London. But in tennis you will never know.
My opinion is that Justine will complete her GS collection before Maria.

Agree 100%

bellascarlett
Feb 16th, 2008, 03:58 AM
And people present Serena, Maria and Venus as if they are obstacles in Henin's way. Last time I checked, Serena and Venus are terribly inconsistent, and Sharapova has been outclassed every year since 2004 by a better player. Maria is an excellent grasscourt player but without the skills at net or great movement, she is at a disadvantage when certain players(Mauresmo, Henin, Venus and Serena) are on top of their game.
\.

Maria was beaten by the eventual champion each of those three times - twice to Venus (!) & once to Amelie (in three sets). They had to play very well to beat her so I wouldn't necessarily put this as a negative to prove something. I really believe Maria would have gotten far had she won those two matches against Venus (last year for example, she was playing great before she bumped into Venus) but were talking about Venus here, queen of Wimbledon. If Maria continues to play as well as she has been, I only see Venus as her main obstacle at Wimbledon. But I dunno...that's still a huge obstacle.

Buitenzorg
Feb 16th, 2008, 04:07 AM
NO

At least HENIN has reached the Wimbledon finals whereas SHARAPOVA hasn't reach the FO finals :p

serena_fan
Feb 16th, 2008, 08:58 AM
No

OsloErik
Feb 16th, 2008, 11:41 PM
BUT the level of the contenders matters too! They are excellent grasscourt players such as Venus, Serena, Maria who are superior to Hénin. There's only one claycourt specialist who is Brad and the rest of the field is more or less at the same level (Maria included). On clay, no one is that superior to Maria so she could prevail with her mind and her hardcourt game (since everyone but Hénin plays a hardcourt game on clay ).

I agreed with this post on every level except for the two bolded sections. I'd say there are four players who are clearly superior to Sharapova on clay (Henin (duh), Kuznetsova, Ivanovic, and Jankovic) and obviously don't play a hardcourt game on clay. If they played a hardcourt game on clay, they wouldn't have markedly better results, and they do. Ivanovic and Kuznetsova have steadier forehands on clay, and more dangerous backhands. All four of those players incorporate more topspin on their groundstrokes, their movement improves (because they know how to slide), and they use kick serves much more (well, not Jankovic, but I don't think she knows how) to set themselves up. Sharapova doesn't change her game for clay. That's why they have markedly better games on clay than she.

And I agree that she's got a fair enough chance to win against Jankovic, Ivanovic, and Kuznetsova, but that has nothing to do with her hardcourt game and everything to do with her mind. She's got nerves of steel, and the other three have nerves of jelly. That's all there is to it.

I think Kuznetsova has a 65-35 chance, Ivanovic probably the same, and Jankovic a 60-40 chance. They're still favorites, but it's not as crazy an upset as some people are thinking.

OsloErik
Feb 16th, 2008, 11:52 PM
People understimate Henin way too much on grass. Even though I don't want her to win Wimbledon, I think it is inevitable. She's smart enough and a good enough tactician(sp?) to find a way to win.

And people present Serena, Maria and Venus as if they are obstacles in Henin's way. Last time I checked, Serena and Venus are terribly inconsistent, and Sharapova has been outclassed every year since 2004 by a better player. Maria is an excellent grasscourt player but without the skills at net or great movement, she is at a disadvantage when certain players(Mauresmo, Henin, Venus and Serena) are on top of their game.

Meanwhile, at the French Open, even if Henin were to falter, Sharapova certainly wouldn't be one of the favorites to take her place as favorite. There are a handful of women who are IMO undoubtedly better on clay while Henin is arguably as good as anyone in the field on grass.

I don't think it's as clear cut as that.

If we look at the top four on both surfaces, it's Venus and Henin head and shoulders above the rest on their respective surfaces.

But behind Venus, we have Serena (2x champion) Sharapova (1x champion) and Mauresmo (1x champion who has beaten Henin on grass very, very recently). Now, Henin is right behind those three, and you might even have a case to put her ahead of Mauresmo. Serena and Sharapova are pretty determined monsters when it comes to winning, and I have trouble seeing either of them (healthy) losing to Henin on grass. Although the healthy label is a pretty vague qualifier that won't help matters as far as hypotheticals go.

Meanwhile, behind Henin we have Kuznetsova (1x finalist) Ivanovic (1x finalist) and Jankovic (1x semifinalist). I kind of DO put Sharapova right behind those two; despite having an ugly game on clay, it's hard to deny that her record at the French since 2004 has been pretty impressive, especially considering it comprises about half the clay tournaments she's played in that stretch. And unlike Serena and Sharapova on grass, the three players I've mentioned aren't proven champions with champion mentality, and none of them are exactly bastions of mental fortitude.

I also think Henin is likely to find a way to win Wimbledon someday soon, but I think it's important to note that she has much, much more established opposition than Sharapova does.

Although I think you are definitely onto something with the movement comment; I really do believe you need to be fast to do well on grass in a way you don't necessarily have to be to do well on clay. There are obviously exceptions; Sharapova and Davenport stand out, but they hit the ball so flat and hard that when they hit their form (interestingly, as of now they have only won one Wimbledon each...hmmmm...) they are hard to beat. But the past several winners have been the best movers on tour at the time; Venus (all four times), Mauresmo, Serena both times... they were all the best at moving forward, if not to the net than into an aggressive position. You could even make a case that Sharapova did that better than anyone in 2004. She was stepping forward aggressively in a way nobody else was that year.

This has been a rambling, largely nonsensical post, but I'm still getting over the flu, so that's my excuse!

Have a good night everyone.

Il Primo!
Feb 17th, 2008, 12:05 AM
Yup thats so true Maria is as good on clay as Ivanovic or Kuznetsova. Heck! she is even better than Jankovic:lol:
I meant none player was insurmountable for Maria but Hénin. That doesn't mean Maria's as good as them;)

I agreed with this post on every level except for the two bolded sections. I'd say there are four players who are clearly superior to Sharapova on clay (Henin (duh), Kuznetsova, Ivanovic, and Jankovic) and obviously don't play a hardcourt game on clay. If they played a hardcourt game on clay, they wouldn't have markedly better results, and they do. Ivanovic and Kuznetsova have steadier forehands on clay, and more dangerous backhands. All four of those players incorporate more topspin on their groundstrokes, their movement improves (because they know how to slide), and they use kick serves much more (well, not Jankovic, but I don't think she knows how) to set themselves up. Sharapova doesn't change her game for clay. That's why they have markedly better games on clay than she.

And I agree that she's got a fair enough chance to win against Jankovic, Ivanovic, and Kuznetsova, but that has nothing to do with her hardcourt game and everything to do with her mind. She's got nerves of steel, and the other three have nerves of jelly. That's all there is to it.

I think Kuznetsova has a 65-35 chance, Ivanovic probably the same, and Jankovic a 60-40 chance. They're still favorites, but it's not as crazy an upset as some people are thinking.


Actually I think Kuz/Ana/Jeca play a hardcourt game in the sense they don't change their strategy that much, they just adjust their mouvement to the clay. I may be wrong though;)

It's true the are the best after Hénin, but Maria can surclass them with her mind and her willpower (especially Kuz) cause it's clear she plays less good than her, without a doubt.

thirty-all
Feb 17th, 2008, 12:08 AM
Mauresmo (1x champion who has beaten Henin on grass very, very recently).

Momo beat Justine on grass (Wimbledon) 2006
Justine beat Momo on grass (Eastbourne) 2007

Justine beat Momo more recently no?

sportywoman
Feb 17th, 2008, 12:13 AM
Momo beat Justine on grass (Wimbledon) 2006
Justine beat Momo on grass (Eastbourne) 2007

Justine beat Momo more recently no?

Actually, its more like :

Justine beat Momo on grass (Eastbourne) 2006
Momo beat Justine on grass (Wimbledon) 2006
Justine beat Momo on grass (Eastbourne) 2007

Justine beat Momo more recently no?

AcesHigh
Feb 17th, 2008, 12:46 AM
I don't think it's as clear cut as that.

If we look at the top four on both surfaces, it's Venus and Henin head and shoulders above the rest on their respective surfaces.

But behind Venus, we have Serena (2x champion) Sharapova (1x champion) and Mauresmo (1x champion who has beaten Henin on grass very, very recently). Now, Henin is right behind those three, and you might even have a case to put her ahead of Mauresmo. Serena and Sharapova are pretty determined monsters when it comes to winning, and I have trouble seeing either of them (healthy) losing to Henin on grass. Although the healthy label is a pretty vague qualifier that won't help matters as far as hypotheticals go.

Meanwhile, behind Henin we have Kuznetsova (1x finalist) Ivanovic (1x finalist) and Jankovic (1x semifinalist). I kind of DO put Sharapova right behind those two; despite having an ugly game on clay, it's hard to deny that her record at the French since 2004 has been pretty impressive, especially considering it comprises about half the clay tournaments she's played in that stretch. And unlike Serena and Sharapova on grass, the three players I've mentioned aren't proven champions with champion mentality, and none of them are exactly bastions of mental fortitude.

I also think Henin is likely to find a way to win Wimbledon someday soon, but I think it's important to note that she has much, much more established opposition than Sharapova does.

Although I think you are definitely onto something with the movement comment; I really do believe you need to be fast to do well on grass in a way you don't necessarily have to be to do well on clay. There are obviously exceptions; Sharapova and Davenport stand out, but they hit the ball so flat and hard that when they hit their form (interestingly, as of now they have only won one Wimbledon each...hmmmm...) they are hard to beat. But the past several winners have been the best movers on tour at the time; Venus (all four times), Mauresmo, Serena both times... they were all the best at moving forward, if not to the net than into an aggressive position. You could even make a case that Sharapova did that better than anyone in 2004. She was stepping forward aggressively in a way nobody else was that year.

This has been a rambling, largely nonsensical post, but I'm still getting over the flu, so that's my excuse!

Have a good night everyone.

You make very good points.

However... Sharapova's record at RG is not representative of the quality of her play nor the quality of opponents faced.

Secondly, Venus is not miles ahead of everyone on grass. If we only include the last three years(which is reasonable), Sharapova and Serena have not really done much better than Henin and Venus since 2004 has not reached the QF's in an even year and has been terribly inconsistent. Mauresmo seems closer to retirement than the top 10 and Sharapova since winning her title has not seemed able to cement the title she was often appointed as best on grass.

Looking at the last three years, if we allow for both quality and consistency, Henin stands near the top of grasscourt players(especially with her 19-2 record on the surface in the last two years). If she plays with confidence and doesn't get defensive, I don't see her bowing out to Sharapova or Serena(unless she can find her form).

Venus is unique in that her speed, wingspan, power, precision and serving on this surface create a monster of a force when in sync. No one else on tour can do what she does at Wimbledon when she's playing well. However.... we can never depend on her to put up a good showing.

With all that taken into perspective, Henin appears one of the favorites for Wimbledon, if not the favorite while Sharapova has a very outside chance at Roland Garros even if Henin were to withdraw from the tournament.

In The Zone
Feb 17th, 2008, 12:58 AM
With all that taken into perspective, Henin appears one of the favorites for Wimbledon, if not the favorite while Sharapova has a very outside chance at Roland Garros even if Henin were to withdraw from the tournament.

This thread should be closed after this post. Sums up this discussion exactly. :)

OsloErik
Feb 17th, 2008, 09:23 AM
It's true the are the best after Hénin, but Maria can surclass them with her mind and her willpower (especially Kuz) cause it's clear she plays less good than her, without a doubt.

I'd take a look at Sharapova's record outdoors against Kuznetsova before making that statement. Even on hardcourts, Kuznetsova can throttle Sharapova playing well. Of the three, I think Kuznetsova is the harder one to beat on clay because her level doesn't dip very often, and she's conditioned to play longer matches than the others. She may look out of shape, but her form doesn't trail off after two and a half hours on court.

OsloErik
Feb 17th, 2008, 09:30 AM
Sharapova's record at RG is not representative of the quality of her play nor the quality of opponents faced.

But isn't that exactly what I'm arguing? The fact that she can make it to the semifinals of the French Open without having to beat anyone substantial is indicative of the clay-court game in women's tennis today. It's not as though she'll ever be the favorite to win the title, but when three of the four top title threats are head cases who haven't won a slam since 2004, your odds start looking much better.

We've seen the best Henin can do on grass, at Eastbourne in '06 and '07. And two weeks later, she couldn't reproduce that form. Both times. She's not going to get many more chances like that. Sharapova, in the meantime, hasn't yet shown herself capable of winning on clay, but she hasn't played a clay season since 2004! I have trouble believing that a healthy Sharapova with five to ten matches on clay under her belt is going to wilt against Ivanovic, Jankovic, and Kuznetsova the same way a healthy Henin with five to ten matches under her belt wilted against Bartoli and Mauresmo.

And I don't even like the girl! I vastly prefer the three headcases and Henin, but I just don't think Wimbledon is going to get any easier or Henin any better, while the French can realistically get easier (Henin losing early in the next two or three years, or retiring in four or five) and Sharapova significantly better (not moving like an ice cow, for example).

OsloErik
Feb 17th, 2008, 09:35 AM
This thread should be closed after this post. Sums up this discussion exactly. :)

I think you're right. AcesHigh knows how to end a good argument!

faboozadoo15
Feb 17th, 2008, 09:38 AM
People understimate Henin way too much on grass. Even though I don't want her to win Wimbledon, I think it is inevitable. She's smart enough and a good enough tactician(sp?) to find a way to win.

And people present Serena, Maria and Venus as if they are obstacles in Henin's way. Last time I checked, Serena and Venus are terribly inconsistent, and Sharapova has been outclassed every year since 2004 by a better player. Maria is an excellent grasscourt player but without the skills at net or great movement, she is at a disadvantage when certain players(Mauresmo, Henin, Venus and Serena) are on top of their game.

Meanwhile, at the French Open, even if Henin were to falter, Sharapova certainly wouldn't be one of the favorites to take her place as favorite. There are a handful of women who are IMO undoubtedly better on clay while Henin is arguably as good as anyone in the field on grass.

Imagine Henin Vs Maria playing at the AO but instead on a grass court. :tape:

Henin has already played her best claycourt tennis against Maria (in 2005, her QF with Maria was BY FAR her best match of the tourney). Maria is a lot better since then...

Any objective person would have a similar answer. If random wins over Kuznetsova won you majors, Ivanovic (and the like) would already have one. Maria has three and has never looked better. Women can play hardcourt tennis and win on clay. It's not like Sharapova is the Pete Sampras of clay... Majoli and Pierce have no greater skill set, fight, or tenacity than Maria, and they've won RG.

tennisbear7
Feb 17th, 2008, 09:54 AM
Majoli and Pierce knew how to move on clay.

faboozadoo15
Feb 17th, 2008, 10:07 AM
Majoli and Pierce knew how to move on clay.

Not really. They're merely more faimilar. Neither of these two are great "sliders" or dirt ballers. Both hit pretty darn flat and just kept the ball in play and made THEIR OPPONENT do the moving for two weeks. Sharapova is capable of this if she can stay on the offensive. It all comes down to her serve to start points off. Last year she had no serve and made the SF. We'll see what happens this year.

BuTtErFrEnA
Feb 17th, 2008, 10:12 AM
But isn't that exactly what I'm arguing? The fact that she can make it to the semifinals of the French Open without having to beat anyone substantial is indicative of the clay-court game in women's tennis today. It's not as though she'll ever be the favorite to win the title, but when three of the four top title threats are head cases who haven't won a slam since 2004, your odds start looking much better.

We've seen the best Henin can do on grass, at Eastbourne in '06 and '07. And two weeks later, she couldn't reproduce that form. Both times. She's not going to get many more chances like that. Sharapova, in the meantime, hasn't yet shown herself capable of winning on clay, but she hasn't played a clay season since 2004! I have trouble believing that a healthy Sharapova with five to ten matches on clay under her belt is going to wilt against Ivanovic, Jankovic, and Kuznetsova the same way a healthy Henin with five to ten matches under her belt wilted against Bartoli and Mauresmo.

And I don't even like the girl! I vastly prefer the three headcases and Henin, but I just don't think Wimbledon is going to get any easier or Henin any better, while the French can realistically get easier (Henin losing early in the next two or three years, or retiring in four or five) and Sharapova significantly better (not moving like an ice cow, for example).

actually no, the draw put everyone else in the other side and the only others she had in her draw (ana and sveta) she could only meet in the semis....take a look at the RG draw last year...jh, serena, jj, venus, nicole, safina (who has beaten masha at RG)...so while everyone else with more than 70%chance to beat her at RG were busy knocking each other out, she was busy getting to the semis....no fault of her own but just saying you can't use that draw and say it shows the level of tennis on clay :shrug: serena, venus, hingis, momo could probably have gotten to the semis with that same draw

tennisbear7
Feb 17th, 2008, 10:16 AM
Not really. They're merely more faimilar. Neither of these two are great "sliders" or dirt ballers. Both hit pretty darn flat and just kept the ball in play and made THEIR OPPONENT do the moving for two weeks. Sharapova is capable of this if she can stay on the offensive. It all comes down to her serve to start points off. Last year she had no serve and made the SF. We'll see what happens this year.

Lol. This post just showed how little you know about tennis.

faboozadoo15
Feb 17th, 2008, 10:19 AM
Safina has no such 70% chance to beat Maria at RG. Maria would be the 75-80% favorite against Safina on any court except maybe on a cloud...

Maria beat Patty last year who had just beaten Serena...
Venus isn't any better than Maria on clay....
Nicole? Don't make me laugh. She is worthless half the time.

Women's tennis isn't men's tennis.

Coria would lose handily to Roddick on hardcourt -- Roddick would lose handily to Coria on clay....

This doesn't happen in the women's game. They employ the same strategies as on hardcourt...
The players who have won RG EITHER make their opponent run OR are more comfortable than their oppoenent at doing some running. It can be done either way.

faboozadoo15
Feb 17th, 2008, 10:26 AM
Lol. This post just showed how little you know about tennis.

I don't really care what "tennisbear" thinks. Sharapova is worth talking about as a contender for any title. Anyone who thinks otherwise will ahve to eat their words. The players everyone mentions as "better" than Maria on clay are mental midgets, and Maria has winning records against all of them bar Henin, whom I'd favor (80-20) over Sharapova on red clay.

Mary Pierce doesn't slide. She makes her opponent slide around awkardly by taking the initiative away from them. In winning RG, she beat Seles, Hingis, and Martinez whom up until that point were all MUCH MUCH MUCH more accomplished claycourt players than she was. They even slid better and employed better claycourt strategy. It didn't matter. Mary throttled all of them by playing a hardcourt brand of tennis.

Show me a youtube clip of a point where Mary won a point by sliding brilliantly or playing Sanchez Vicario style defense.
It never happened.

:tape: shows how much you know about WOMEN'S tennis. :haha:

lightningquick
Feb 17th, 2008, 10:31 AM
actually no, the draw put everyone else in the other side and the only others she had in her draw (ana and sveta) she could only meet in the semis....take a look at the RG draw last year...jh, serena, jj, venus, nicole, safina (who has beaten masha at RG)...so while everyone else with more than 70%chance to beat her at RG were busy knocking each other out, she was busy getting to the semis....no fault of her own but just saying you can't use that draw and say it shows the level of tennis on clay :shrug: serena, venus, hingis, momo could probably have gotten to the semis with that same draw

exactly. maria wouldnt have even reached the sf if she was in this part of the draw, serena and jj alone would have caused her lots of trouble. though let's see if maria can surprise us this year.