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View Full Version : Serena subpar from the baseline??


AcesHigh
Jul 4th, 2008, 03:19 AM
I haven't watched much of Serena's matches this Wimbledon(only seen her match against Mauresmo and second set against Jie Zheng), but it seems that even with her dominating performances, her play from the baseline isnt AMAZING as the statistics would tell.

Her serve has beeen AMAZING and her groundstrokes seem to definitely be on.

HOWEVER, what I've heard from some posters and some fans I know.. and from what little I've seen, it seems that when Serena is actually forced into a rally, she is not as dominant. Her footwork seems suspect and we all know her speed is not the same since 2003. I'm not sure she's been tested in that way yet.

I just think many people aren't taking this into account. Her greatest asset IMO in the final will be her consistency in serving and off the ground. She's a lot less likely to make UFE's and DF's. And she'll definitely need to capitalize on Vee's very weak second serve and bad patches. But Venus is definitely going to move Serena around with punishing groundstrokes moreso than anyone Serena has faced so far.

I'm not saying Venus is the favorite(although I do believe that), but I just don't think the serve will be as much a factor as people believe. Serena has a ton of aces, but Venus is the best returner she'll have faced the entire tournament. Venus has a much wider reach than Aga or Jie and IMHO, Serena will have to win it from the baseline.

I just wanted the opinion of everyone who's watched her so far as to how her baseline play and her MOVEMENT especially so far at Wimbledon.

supergrunt
Jul 4th, 2008, 03:20 AM
Zheng was really going for it on every shot. She had nothing to lose. In the first set she didn't really have any answers to Serena's baseline game or serve.

supergrunt
Jul 4th, 2008, 03:21 AM
in the second she let up :tears:

Thanx4nothin
Jul 4th, 2008, 03:22 AM
I agree, she has looked awkward regularly and her footwork has been poor ever since 2005, but it seems at least better at this years Wimbledon than the last one lol.

Stamp Paid
Jul 4th, 2008, 03:27 AM
Worried much?

Apoleb
Jul 4th, 2008, 03:30 AM
Basically everytime the rally starts on equal footing (with no serious advantage because of serve or return), she looks at best mediocre. Not only she tends to make errors, but the weight of shot isn't really there (in terms of depth and power). I actually thought that today she hit the ball better than in previous rounds, but still Zheng managed to outplay her from the baseline. I don't think this is something new or anything. This has been Serena's story since last year. Huge serves and returns, but everything else is suspect and inconsistent. Of course though we still get the occasional complete dominance (a la Sharapova in the AO final) but that has become more of an exception than the rule.

Anyway I wouldn't worry too much if I was a Serena fan. Her serve is huge and reliable enough to get her far into tournaments.

supergrunt
Jul 4th, 2008, 03:33 AM
Basically everytime the rally starts on equal footing (with no serious advantage because of serve or return), she looks at best mediocre. Not only she tends to make errors, but the weight of shot isn't really there (in terms of depth and power). I actually thought that today she hit the ball better than in previous rounds, but still Zheng managed to outplay her from the baseline. I don't think this is something new or anything. This has been Serena's story since last year. Huge serves and returns, but everything else is suspect and inconsistent. Of course though we still get the occasional complete dominance (a la Sharapova in the AO final) but that has become more of an exception than the rule.

Anyway I wouldn't worry too much if I was a Serena fan. Her serve is huge and reliable enough to get her far into tournaments.

I think her groundstrokes have been good this year on a whole. This Wimbledon I must say though has been horrendous. It has been the worst groundstroking that I have ever seen her do to be honest so I guess this tournament is just an exception.

Apoleb
Jul 4th, 2008, 03:39 AM
I think her groundstrokes have been good this year on a whole. This Wimbledon I must say though has been horrendous. It has been the worst groundstroking that I have ever seen her do to be honest so I guess this tournament is just an exception.

Grass has something to do with it. You need better footwork and timing on grass because of low and bad bounces. In one way, grass is an advantage for Serena (because of the serve) but it could be a disadvantage that exposes her current weaknesess (footwork).

Of course she could shut us all up on saturday. She's done it before where she comes out storming out of nowhere. But Venus is going to seriously test her movement. This is not 2002/2003 anymore, cause the game of Serena especially has changed considerably.

Direwolf
Jul 4th, 2008, 03:40 AM
thats the thing...
she has been serving aces to small people...
and from
Jies height of 5'4" to
Venuss 6'2" frame..
and thats a huge gap...

and i wasnt really a huge fan of her baseline...
from what i saw...
Venus changes pace in the rally..
while Serena hasnt really done that much

Nobody's Perfecc
Jul 4th, 2008, 04:16 AM
Speaking as a Serena fan, I'm concerned about this. I agree with the guy who pointed that whenever they got into the rally, almost right away Serena would be on the defensive. Part of this is of course Zheng Jie being very aggressive, but it's also got with Serena somehow always being on her back foot as soon as it's a rally. I hope this won't happen in the final, because I don't think she can beat Venus on Saturday unless her ground game is on.

I believe she will be fine though, because it seems from the interviews that she is willing to do anything to win. If that means that her "instinctual" footwork/ferocity will come out and replace her tentative playing, then so be it.

She's just trying to contain that monster inside. Let it out Serena.

fufuqifuqishahah
Jul 4th, 2008, 04:19 AM
Basically everytime the rally starts on equal footing (with no serious advantage because of serve or return), she looks at best mediocre. Not only she tends to make errors, but the weight of shot isn't really there (in terms of depth and power). I actually thought that today she hit the ball better than in previous rounds, but still Zheng managed to outplay her from the baseline. I don't think this is something new or anything. This has been Serena's story since last year. Huge serves and returns, but everything else is suspect and inconsistent. Of course though we still get the occasional complete dominance (a la Sharapova in the AO final) but that has become more of an exception than the rule.

Anyway I wouldn't worry too much if I was a Serena fan. Her serve is huge and reliable enough to get her far into tournaments.

she dominated sharapova very much only on serve and return. those points in the AO final were ridiculously short.

Apoleb
Jul 4th, 2008, 04:23 AM
she dominated sharapova very much only on serve and return. those points in the AO final were ridiculously short.

Actually you're right. But she did come up with excellent shots from unbalanced positions. But in general you're right. Her movement wasn't that tested in that match.

virtue05
Jul 4th, 2008, 04:23 AM
I really do not think Serena is going to win, I know everyone is talking about their head to head results in slam finals, but that is when Serena was at the top oehr game. I think as they have gotten older Venus is better, and she really wants to win 2 to 3 more Wimbledon titles. Venus may not express it as Serena does, but this Wimbledon title means a lot to her, and I think she going to win, and I am going to out on the limb and say she is also going to win the US Open. ( I know call me crazy :) .

harloo
Jul 4th, 2008, 04:26 AM
I haven't watched much of Serena's matches this Wimbledon(only seen her match against Mauresmo and second set against Jie Zheng), but it seems that even with her dominating performances, her play from the baseline isnt AMAZING as the statistics would tell.

Her serve has beeen AMAZING and her groundstrokes seem to definitely be on.

HOWEVER, what I've heard from some posters and some fans I know.. and from what little I've seen, it seems that when Serena is actually forced into a rally, she is not as dominant. Her footwork seems suspect and we all know her speed is not the same since 2003. I'm not sure she's been tested in that way yet.

I just think many people aren't taking this into account. Her greatest asset IMO in the final will be her consistency in serving and off the ground. She's a lot less likely to make UFE's and DF's. And she'll definitely need to capitalize on Vee's very weak second serve and bad patches. But Venus is definitely going to move Serena around with punishing groundstrokes moreso than anyone Serena has faced so far.

I'm not saying Venus is the favorite(although I do believe that), but I just don't think the serve will be as much a factor as people believe. Serena has a ton of aces, but Venus is the best returner she'll have faced the entire tournament. Venus has a much wider reach than Aga or Jie and IMHO, Serena will have to win it from the baseline.

I just wanted the opinion of everyone who's watched her so far as to how her baseline play and her MOVEMENT especially so far at Wimbledon.

:haha::haha:Your cover has been blown. Stop the nonsense Aceshigh, this isn't about Serena's suspect movement but more about how you think Venus will thrash her in the final.:tape:

starin
Jul 4th, 2008, 04:28 AM
I said this last year at Wimbledon where I thought she was practically pushing the ball a la AMG. But i was lambasted by other Serena fans. watch her MOlik match where she was def. subpar off the ground. Molik moves like a turtle yet Serena was losing baselines rallies to her a lot.

I think from AO-Miami last year she was hitting the ball very hard and dictating in most of the baseline rallies, up to the final where all her groundstrokes deserted her. And from there after she started pushing. Then this year at AO I thought she was dictating a little more, and same for Miami, Charleston (didn't see her play after till RG). She was makign more UE but dictating off the ground more. So to me it seems like she'll play a horrendous match where all her groundstrokes are awful and then she'll start to pull back. And start adding more spin and pushing the ball in the court. It seems like a confidence issue. I think that combined w/ her lack of fitness and speed makes her more defensive off the ground. Instead of going for big shots and killing herself w/ UE she slowly builds up confidence in her groundstrokes. But for now this is her game and I patiently await the real Serena groundstrokes to come back.

AcesHigh
Jul 4th, 2008, 04:31 AM
:haha::haha:Your cover has been blown. Stop the nonsense Aceshigh, this isn't about Serena's suspect movement but more about how you think Venus will thrash her in the final.:tape:

:weirdo: When have I once said Venus will thrash her in the final? I've already posted before that Serena is the better player. My only reason for thinking Venus is the favorite is that it's Wimbledon.

fufuqifuqishahah
Jul 4th, 2008, 04:37 AM
I still think Maria, Lindsay, and Mary, and now Ana hit consistently more powerful groundstrokes than current Serena...

supergrunt
Jul 4th, 2008, 04:38 AM
I still think Maria, Lindsay, and Mary, and now Ana hit consistently more powerful groundstrokes than current Serena...

But when Serena is moving her feet I think she hits harder.

AcesHigh
Jul 4th, 2008, 04:41 AM
Btw, I think Serena has great groundstrokes.. possibly the best on tour when she's on. HOWEVER, when you have suspect footwork you cannot put yourself in a position to hit your best. If Serena is in control of hte point, not many people can beat her. However, when she's forced to move around.. lately it looks like she struggles. That's all I'm saying.

bandabou
Jul 4th, 2008, 05:17 AM
Serena looked a tad bit slow yesterday when zheng went for her shots and Serena was a bit tentative herself. But once Serena really went for her shots, not much Zheng could do.

Agreed though: needs to step the juice in her groundstrokes.

VeeReeDavJCap81
Jul 4th, 2008, 05:18 AM
Serena can still win Wimbledon without a punishing ground game, being as she has the best serve and return in women's tennis.

BuTtErFrEnA
Jul 4th, 2008, 01:49 PM
:yawn: yea that's why she's winning...serve....can't do a thing off the ground...might i remind you that the reason why jie beat everyone else was because she was able to beat them all on return...she broke a lot because she could either take control and get you out of position and therefore hit winners or she'd hit so flat that she'd just get a lot of errors from her opponents...case in point: Ana

serena can't be that subpar from off the ground if 1. jie wasn't able to hit that much winners past her, or 2. able to draw enough errors to even win a set...for someone so subpar to win each match here not losing a set against the others who are obviously much better off the ground then the rest of the tour must suck

DemWilliamsGulls
Jul 4th, 2008, 01:56 PM
I haven't watched much of Serena's matches this Wimbledon(only seen her match against Mauresmo and second set against Jie Zheng), but it seems that even with her dominating performances, her play from the baseline isnt AMAZING as the statistics would tell.

Her serve has beeen AMAZING and her groundstrokes seem to definitely be on.

HOWEVER, what I've heard from some posters and some fans I know.. and from what little I've seen, it seems that when Serena is actually forced into a rally, she is not as dominant. Her footwork seems suspect and we all know her speed is not the same since 2003. I'm not sure she's been tested in that way yet.

I just think many people aren't taking this into account. Her greatest asset IMO in the final will be her consistency in serving and off the ground. She's a lot less likely to make UFE's and DF's. And she'll definitely need to capitalize on Vee's very weak second serve and bad patches. But Venus is definitely going to move Serena around with punishing groundstrokes moreso than anyone Serena has faced so far.

I'm not saying Venus is the favorite(although I do believe that), but I just don't think the serve will be as much a factor as people believe. Serena has a ton of aces, but Venus is the best returner she'll have faced the entire tournament. Venus has a much wider reach than Aga or Jie and IMHO, Serena will have to win it from the baseline.

I just wanted the opinion of everyone who's watched her so far as to how her baseline play and her MOVEMENT especially so far at Wimbledon.

And there it is right there...I think she's improved her footwork but still not the same as she was in 2003 and earlier. THats to be expected somewhat though..she was smaller back then and faster...she was straight up DEMON! But she's managed to work with what she have and still win. ;)

TSequoia01
Jul 4th, 2008, 02:06 PM
Most of the posters here have explained Serena's lacking ground game. Bad footwork and a lack of quickness. She still is pretty fast. Serena can not hit out because it is hard for her to get the ball over the net and in between the lines. So most of the time she hits at about 75 percent with a lot of topspin. Her opponents can hit much flatter. The net result has been much lower ues, her winner to error ratio is the highest it has ever been. But she does not dictate like she used to. I remember a match with Capriati where she had 80 ues and still won! She has made a decision to be more in control, dictate less, it also takes less energy. The new Serena is a bit larger than the 2002-3 Serena.

~Cherry*Blossom~
Jul 4th, 2008, 02:26 PM
All this worry over nothing imo. Yesterday she was nervous as she was the overwhelming favourite to win. We saw it before the match in the interview, where she looked worried.

It really doesn't worry me as I think she'll win tomorrow and show everyone just how good her game (including her groundstrokes) really are.

fufuqifuqishahah
Jul 4th, 2008, 03:33 PM
But when Serena is moving her feet I think she hits harder.

yah. Serena can hit more powerfully than everyone on the tour by far, but she usually doesn't (or hasn't been recently).

AcesHigh
Jul 4th, 2008, 06:55 PM
:yawn: yea that's why she's winning...serve....can't do a thing off the ground...might i remind you that the reason why jie beat everyone else was because she was able to beat them all on return...she broke a lot because she could either take control and get you out of position and therefore hit winners or she'd hit so flat that she'd just get a lot of errors from her opponents...case in point: Ana

serena can't be that subpar from off the ground if 1. jie wasn't able to hit that much winners past her, or 2. able to draw enough errors to even win a set...for someone so subpar to win each match here not losing a set against the others who are obviously much better off the ground then the rest of the tour must suck

:confused: Neither Aga or Jie have good serves. Neither of them has the wingspan or returning ability of a Venus. Serena won handily mostly on her serve and b/c she was able to dictate off the return too. But when she was pushed into a rally, she lost the distinct advantage she had.

I'm not saying Serena's bad off the ground, but it's pure denial to think that she's showing good movement and footwork b/c she's not.

AcesHigh
Jul 4th, 2008, 06:55 PM
All this worry over nothing imo. Yesterday she was nervous as she was the overwhelming favourite to win. We saw it before the match in the interview, where she looked worried.

It really doesn't worry me as I think she'll win tomorrow and show everyone just how good her game (including her groundstrokes) really are.

Serena, nervous?? You must be kidding me.

bandabou
Jul 4th, 2008, 07:03 PM
:confused: Neither Aga or Jie have good serves. Neither of them has the wingspan or returning ability of a Venus. Serena won handily mostly on her serve and b/c she was able to dictate off the return too. But when she was pushed into a rally, she lost the distinct advantage she had.

I'm not saying Serena's bad off the ground, but it's pure denial to think that she's showing good movement and footwork b/c she's not.

And Venus has faced someone with Serena's serve and return?

Tennisstar86
Jul 4th, 2008, 07:06 PM
I haven't watched much of Serena's matches this Wimbledon(only seen her match against Mauresmo and second set against Jie Zheng), but it seems that even with her dominating performances, her play from the baseline isnt AMAZING as the statistics would tell.

Her serve has beeen AMAZING and her groundstrokes seem to definitely be on.

HOWEVER, what I've heard from some posters and some fans I know.. and from what little I've seen, it seems that when Serena is actually forced into a rally, she is not as dominant. Her footwork seems suspect and we all know her speed is not the same since 2003. I'm not sure she's been tested in that way yet.

I just think many people aren't taking this into account. Her greatest asset IMO in the final will be her consistency in serving and off the ground. She's a lot less likely to make UFE's and DF's. And she'll definitely need to capitalize on Vee's very weak second serve and bad patches. But Venus is definitely going to move Serena around with punishing groundstrokes moreso than anyone Serena has faced so far.

I'm not saying Venus is the favorite(although I do believe that), but I just don't think the serve will be as much a factor as people believe. Serena has a ton of aces, but Venus is the best returner she'll have faced the entire tournament. Venus has a much wider reach than Aga or Jie and IMHO, Serena will have to win it from the baseline.

I just wanted the opinion of everyone who's watched her so far as to how her baseline play and her MOVEMENT especially so far at Wimbledon.

Serena's still curving her ground strokes in in my opinion... and i dont think that'll work against Venus who is not curving them in....
Shes winning points by moving her opponents around, which works fine againt little oh zheng...but it'll take something different against Venus, which she has, but i dont know if she'll be able to bring it out since she hasnt used it all tournament...

Venus in 2
Or Serena in 3.

Tennisstar86
Jul 4th, 2008, 07:17 PM
she dominated sharapova very much only on serve and return. those points in the AO final were ridiculously short.

Thats because Sharapova has no return of serve.... and her serve is average at best... doesnt she average like 105 on first serves when serving well?

youizahoe
Jul 4th, 2008, 07:28 PM
I agree, she has looked awkward regularly and her footwork has been poor ever since 2005, but it seems at least better at this years Wimbledon than the last one lol.

Weird that all comentators said her footwork is at it's best again.

Tennisstar86
Jul 4th, 2008, 07:43 PM
Weird that all comentators said her footwork is at it's best again.

I believe they said its the best its been in a while.... big Difference in best ever.... cause hell Serena hasnt had footwork since 2004....

And the Commentators... lol didnt they pick Ivanovic and Djokovic to win the titles...

bandabou
Jul 4th, 2008, 08:05 PM
Well to me..true, Serena hasn't faced anybody like Venus yet...but the same rings true for Venus as well, she hasn't faced anybody like Serena yet either.

youizahoe
Jul 4th, 2008, 08:10 PM
I believe they said its the best its been in a while.... big Difference in best ever.... cause hell Serena hasnt had footwork since 2004....

And the Commentators... lol didnt they pick Ivanovic and Djokovic to win the titles...

I didn't hear anybody saying Ivanovic or Djokovic for the title. The ones that I heard where Sharapova, Williams' sisters and Nadal.

Calypso
Jul 4th, 2008, 08:18 PM
Alot of credit goes to Jie for exposing Serena at the baseline. She was extremely consistent and aggressive in the second set and used a lot of angles to move Serena around. She also maintained very good depth.

I agree with the posters who say Venus will test her movement even more. Venus has looked more impressive off the ground so far, and it will not be as easy for Serena to blast as many aces past Vee, with her long reach. That being said, Serena is perfectly capable of raising her game to overcome Venus.

GrafMariaPetraK
Jul 4th, 2008, 09:27 PM
Serena seems to fighting with the fat gene and losing.Maria use to have great movement when she was just under 6ft,when she grew a couple of more inches her movement was not as good,maybe Serena's weight affects her game somehow.

bandabou
Jul 4th, 2008, 09:37 PM
Alot of credit goes to Jie for exposing Serena at the baseline. She was extremely consistent and aggressive in the second set and used a lot of angles to move Serena around. She also maintained very good depth.

I agree with the posters who say Venus will test her movement even more. Venus has looked more impressive off the ground so far, and it will not be as easy for Serena to blast as many aces past Vee, with her long reach. That being said, Serena is perfectly capable of raising her game to overcome Venus.

We will see. Why this talk about Venus?? Serena can do damage to Venus too!

swissmr
Jul 4th, 2008, 10:19 PM
Thats because Sharapova has no return of serve.... and her serve is average at best... doesnt she average like 105 on first serves when serving well?

Yeah, and so does Lindsay Davenport. It's not all about the power.

Marty-Dom
Jul 4th, 2008, 11:53 PM
Alot of credit goes to Jie for exposing Serena at the baseline. She was extremely consistent and aggressive in the second set and used a lot of angles to move Serena around. She also maintained very good depth.

I agree with the posters who say Venus will test her movement even more. Venus has looked more impressive off the ground so far, and it will not be as easy for Serena to blast as many aces past Vee, with her long reach. That being said, Serena is perfectly capable of raising her game to overcome Venus.

Jie has not exposed anything. The girl was playing very high risk game, stepping well inside the court during most of the points, so that she can take time away from Serena. She was successful on many points, but not enough of them to win. There is a reason why few players play this way. Most of the time it doesn't work, as it is considered too risky of a strategy.
Jie had the tournament of her career. She will most likely not be able to consistently repeat this performance day in day out. This week her shots landed in more than not. But, unless she is a very brilliant and very late bloomer she will not get to another GS semi final or beat world's top players on consistent basis. The next tournament, when her shots start missing, and when the opponents adjust their strategy she will not look so good anymore.
Serena has shown that an in-form all-time great player will find a way to win most of the time regardless.
Remember Kim Clijsters and Shuai Peng in 2005? Shuai played just like Jie- very aggressive and inspired. Kim thought she was a top 10 material. But, she hasn't done anything since. Has Shuai exposed Kim's deficiencies? Not in the least. Same for Jie. Serena is still one of the best movers and shot makers on tour, and the sum of her skills and weapons is greater than the sum of skills and weapons of any other current player on tour. That's why she is in the finals of a GS for the 11th time and not Jie.

bandabou
Jul 5th, 2008, 08:15 AM
Jie has not exposed anything. The girl was playing very high risk game, stepping well inside the court during most of the points, so that she can take time away from Serena. She was successful on many points, but not enough of them to win. There is a reason why few players play this way. Most of the time it doesn't work, as it is considered too risky of a strategy.
Jie had the tournament of her career. She will most likely not be able to consistently repeat this performance day in day out. This week her shots landed in more than not. But, unless she is a very brilliant and very late bloomer she will not get to another GS semi final or beat world's top players on consistent basis. The next tournament, when her shots start missing, and when the opponents adjust their strategy she will not look so good anymore.
Serena has shown that an in-form all-time great player will find a way to win most of the time regardless.
Remember Kim Clijsters and Shuai Peng in 2005? Shuai played just like Jie- very aggressive and inspired. Kim thought she was a top 10 material. But, she hasn't done anything since. Has Shuai exposed Kim's deficiencies? Not in the least. Same for Jie. Serena is still one of the best movers and shot makers on tour, and the sum of her skills and weapons is greater than the sum of skills and weapons of any other current player on tour. That's why she is in the finals of a GS for the 11th time and not Jie.

Agreed..

fufuqifuqishahah
Jul 5th, 2008, 08:22 AM
Serena seems to fighting with the fat gene and losing.Maria use to have great movement when she was just under 6ft,when she grew a couple of more inches her movement was not as good,maybe Serena's weight affects her game somehow.

Maria's movement has definitely worsened ever since she burst onto the scene. I think Serena's physical issues might be similar too though. Tis interesting.

venus_rulez
Jul 5th, 2008, 08:41 AM
My God, both sisters are capable of beating the other. They both need to play very well or they're going to get blown off the court. Simple as that. Whoever plays better will win, I'm hoping and thinking it will be Venus, but I am more than aware that Serena is more than capable of beating Venus and vice versa. Let's just enjoy that we have ANOTHER ALL WILLIAMS FINAL!!!!

Dodoboy.
Jul 5th, 2008, 08:45 AM
Watch the first set with Jie!