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laurie
Jan 7th, 2009, 12:40 PM
Sveta has been quiet the last month, so it's good to see her back so I can gauge where her game is, hopefully her spirit will be refreshed:

http://livenews.com.au/Articles/2009/01/07/Kuznetsova_plotting_path_to_the_top

Kuznetsova plotting path to the top
7/01/2009 1:41:00 PM. | 0

World No.8 Svetlana Kuznetsova says she will use the Sydney International to springboard off her grand slam plateau.

The 23-year-old has not won a major tournament since the 2004 US Open, where she defeated fellow Russian Elena Dementieva.

Kuznetsova is making her second appearance in Sydney, a year after her final loss to retired world No.1 Justine Henin.

"Definitely it's great to face tough opponents before going into a grand slam, to try your strength outside a grand slam," Kuznetsova told reporters on Wednesday. "To experiment a little bit and do your best.

"I didn't have a great season last year so my goal is to practise and do better."

Kuznetsova, who arrived from Moscow on Monday, said she will be fit to play in Sydney's 30-plus degrees summer heat.

"You take it easy, you drink lots of water and try to adjust," she said.

"It's why I came a week before the tournament starts, so I have enough time for my body to adjust to the weather so it doesn't suffer a lot.

"It was snowing (in Moscow) and minus-15 degrees, but it's nice here.

"The bounce on the court is very high, but I like it. I feel very comfortable here."

Nine-time grand slam champion Serena Williams headlines this year's women's tournament, as well as world No.3 Dinara Safina and Olympic gold medallist Elena Dementieva.

Kuznetsova recorded a 6-3 6-3 win against Williams at the 2007 tennis Grand Prix in Germany before going down 6-2 6-4 to Tatiana Golovin in the semi-finals.
Williams arrives in Sydney on Thursday morning.

"There are very tough opponents here, but hopefully I'll do my best and win it," Kuznetsova said.

"It's going to be very nice to win it, it's one of my goals.

"I'm just looking to play some matches."

Wildcard entry Novak Djokovic is the top seed in the men's draw ahead of last year's Australian open finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

The Sydney International runs from from January 11-17.

goldenlox
Jan 7th, 2009, 12:50 PM
Sveta played some good tennis last year. Finals of IW, Dubai and Sydney, SF in Miami. Then she fell off when Justine retired.
But now she needs to win titles again.

au_sports_opinion
Jan 7th, 2009, 12:52 PM
Laurie is there any changes to her game? What is going to take her to the next level that we know she has the natural skill to do so?

laurie
Jan 7th, 2009, 03:01 PM
Laurie is there any changes to her game? What is going to take her to the next level that we know she has the natural skill to do so?

Well I'm waiting to see next week in Sydney and then the Aussie Open to see what changes there will be from Sveta this year.

I agree with Goldenlox to an extent, she got to four or five finals again last year but was unable to win any, her best chance came in the Dubai final where she won the 1st set 6-2 then ran out of steam, disappointing because I want to see Sveta exploit Dementieva's 2nd serve when they play eachother.

Improvements? I'm looking for a few.

Well, first of all, I'm looking for an improvement of attitude. I think with Sveta having changed coaches is an encouraging sign that she's prepared to take the brave decisions. And now she's back in Russia among family and friends might help her as well.

Then, I'm looking for an improvement in temperment on the court. I think Henin is a perfect example in the womens game, when there is a 2nd serve and a 15:30 situation for instance, Henin will attack by making sure she gets a deep return into play which she can either use it to chip and charge or get into an offensive position in the rally, too often Sveta just takes a whack at the return and misses the lines, sometimes wildly - adjustments like that where she concentrates on getting more balls into play more often will make a big difference in the long run, I hope and I'm sure that's the kind of thing Olga Morozova will be impressing on her from a tactical standpoint.

If Sveta can get these tactical adjustments right, plus come to the net more often off approaches and returns, she can become a force, it's down to her, and of course to not give in and succumb to nerves in the finals of tournaments.

And one more important thing, Sveta MUST improve her 2nd serve. That might sound surprising because she has good technique and a good ball toss. But she got her tactics wrong when working with Stefan Ortega, maybe he has to take some responsibility. In the ad court, Sveta ALWAYS hits a topsin second serve to her opponents backhand, this has cost her many finals the last 2 years. Players are actually waiting for the shot because it's slow and sits up waiting to be smacked, in fact in the 2008 Indian Wells final, Ivanovic was running around her backhand to smack forehand return winners, Sveta had nowhere to go and it drains the confidence. And this is important because the ad court is the decision court, that's where games are won and lost, so a good change up serve on that side is vital. Sveta has to develop a change up 2nd serve to the opponents forehand with slice and topspin. Players take a longer swing on the forehand so serves to the forehand actually rushes them into errors or short replies which can then be put away, especially as often players are taking a stance to cover the backhand, Sampras and Becker were masters of this and Murray is starting to develop this kind of serve, Sharapova uses it all the time and when Mauresmo was at her best in 2006 she used this 2nd serve tactic a lot too.

Well, that's what I'm looking for in Sveta' game - sounds a lot :lol:
But it's small tactical adjustments and I belive she can do it.

shell
Jan 7th, 2009, 03:53 PM
Well said Laurie. I was actually just watching last year's final last night. It was well played by both players, but I agree about that second serve. It's not a bad plan against Justine (1HBH), but she did it every time, and Justine wasn't your typical slice it back one-hander.

I was actually hoping last year that Sveta would really step it up and make her mark after my beloved Justine retired :sad: I have always liked Sveta, and I think she has the game to play that power, transitional all court tennis that I believe is just starting to making a comeback to the tour.

We shall see this year!

DA FOREHAND
Jan 7th, 2009, 04:49 PM
I think she could use a coaching change. I'd like to see Navratilova work w/her. She def. should be moving forward more often.

ElusiveChanteuse
Jan 7th, 2009, 05:01 PM
Come on Sveta!:rocker2: More good luck in 2009!:D

matty
Jan 7th, 2009, 05:02 PM
Well I'm waiting to see next week in Sydney and then the Aussie Open to see what changes there will be from Sveta this year.

I agree with Goldenlox to an extent, she got to four or five finals again last year but was unable to win any, her best chance came in the Dubai final where she won the 1st set 6-2 then ran out of steam, disappointing because I want to see Sveta exploit Dementieva's 2nd serve when they play eachother.

Improvements? I'm looking for a few.

Well, first of all, I'm looking for an improvement of attitude. I think with Sveta having changed coaches is an encouraging sign that she's prepared to take the brave decisions. And now she's back in Russia among family and friends might help her as well.

Then, I'm looking for an improvement in temperment on the court. I think Henin is a perfect example in the womens game, when there is a 2nd serve and a 15:30 situation for instance, Henin will attack by making sure she gets a deep return into play which she can either use it to chip and charge or get into an offensive position in the rally, too often Sveta just takes a whack at the return and misses the lines, sometimes wildly - adjustments like that where she concentrates on getting more balls into play more often will make a big difference in the long run, I hope and I'm sure that's the kind of thing Olga Morozova will be impressing on her from a tactical standpoint.

If Sveta can get these tactical adjustments right, plus come to the net more often off approaches and returns, she can become a force, it's down to her, and of course to not give in and succumb to nerves in the finals of tournaments.

And one more important thing, Sveta MUST improve her 2nd serve. That might sound surprising because she has good technique and a good ball toss. But she got her tactics wrong when working with Stefan Ortega, maybe he has to take some responsibility. In the ad court, Sveta ALWAYS hits a topsin second serve to her opponents backhand, this has cost her many finals the last 2 years. Players are actually waiting for the shot because it's slow and sits up waiting to be smacked, in fact in the 2008 Indian Wells final, Ivanovic was running around her backhand to smack forehand return winners, Sveta had nowhere to go and it drains the confidence. And this is important because the ad court is the decision court, that's where games are won and lost, so a good change up serve on that side is vital. Sveta has to develop a change up 2nd serve to the opponents forehand with slice and topspin. Players take a longer swing on the forehand so serves to the forehand actually rushes them into errors or short replies which can then be put away, especially as often players are taking a stance to cover the backhand, Sampras and Becker were masters of this and Murray is starting to develop this kind of serve, Sharapova uses it all the time and when Mauresmo was at her best in 2006 she used this 2nd serve tactic a lot too.

Well, that's what I'm looking for in Sveta' game - sounds a lot :lol:
But it's small tactical adjustments and I belive she can do it.

Please tell me why she and her former coach couldn't have figured this out for themselves? Don't you wish that you could just get a direct line to the player or the coach and give them some of these tips!

Dawn Marie
Jan 7th, 2009, 06:09 PM
Svetlana needs t work on her mental game. She lets her nerves get the best of her. She needs to get to the net more often and play more angles. Svetlana has a all-court game that is suitable for all surfaces, and when she gets confident and uses the net as her arsenal she can win a slam again.

laurie
Jan 7th, 2009, 06:40 PM
Please tell me why she and her former coach couldn't have figured this out for themselves? Don't you wish that you could just get a direct line to the player or the coach and give them some of these tips!

Well Sveta knows what I think about the potential of her game, At the same time, Sveta checks the website so she would have been aware of the "constructive" criticisms on the forum there over the last 12 months - because we want her to win but surely as a player it's good to be aware of what her fans think, as long as they are not having a go.

A lot of people talk about Sveta's mental game - confidence and a good mental approach go hand in hand - ie, if you keep doing the right things, the confidence grows and the mental attitude improves because doing the right things invariably leads to good results. In 2006 Sveta played 4 finals and won 3 of them. Just take a look at the 2006 Miami semifinal against Mauresmo and final against Sharapova (sadly Youtube have removed those two popular videos I had there), in those two matches Sveta was serving well, moving well, coming to net, moving her opponenets around, hitting good returns and playing smart, in fact she looked a great player. That sort of smart play will lead to an increase in Sveta's confidence. That's Olga's job, to get Sveta to play smart.

Will be interesting next week in Sydney.

pwayne
Jan 7th, 2009, 08:12 PM
Will be interesting to see if the move in coach and location worked for her. She is the Top 10 player who is under the most pressure in 2009.

santhuruu
Jan 7th, 2009, 08:44 PM
Svetlana is such a nice and sweet player with a good inside, I hope 2009 brings a lot of luck and joy for her! Let's start by winning a title before the French Open, that is realistic!

svetaisthebest
Jan 8th, 2009, 12:24 AM
Well I'm waiting to see next week in Sydney and then the Aussie Open to see what changes there will be from Sveta this year.

I agree with Goldenlox to an extent, she got to four or five finals again last year but was unable to win any, her best chance came in the Dubai final where she won the 1st set 6-2 then ran out of steam, disappointing because I want to see Sveta exploit Dementieva's 2nd serve when they play eachother.

Improvements? I'm looking for a few.

Well, first of all, I'm looking for an improvement of attitude. I think with Sveta having changed coaches is an encouraging sign that she's prepared to take the brave decisions. And now she's back in Russia among family and friends might help her as well.

Then, I'm looking for an improvement in temperment on the court. I think Henin is a perfect example in the womens game, when there is a 2nd serve and a 15:30 situation for instance, Henin will attack by making sure she gets a deep return into play which she can either use it to chip and charge or get into an offensive position in the rally, too often Sveta just takes a whack at the return and misses the lines, sometimes wildly - adjustments like that where she concentrates on getting more balls into play more often will make a big difference in the long run, I hope and I'm sure that's the kind of thing Olga Morozova will be impressing on her from a tactical standpoint.

If Sveta can get these tactical adjustments right, plus come to the net more often off approaches and returns, she can become a force, it's down to her, and of course to not give in and succumb to nerves in the finals of tournaments.

And one more important thing, Sveta MUST improve her 2nd serve. That might sound surprising because she has good technique and a good ball toss. But she got her tactics wrong when working with Stefan Ortega, maybe he has to take some responsibility. In the ad court, Sveta ALWAYS hits a topsin second serve to her opponents backhand, this has cost her many finals the last 2 years. Players are actually waiting for the shot because it's slow and sits up waiting to be smacked, in fact in the 2008 Indian Wells final, Ivanovic was running around her backhand to smack forehand return winners, Sveta had nowhere to go and it drains the confidence. And this is important because the ad court is the decision court, that's where games are won and lost, so a good change up serve on that side is vital. Sveta has to develop a change up 2nd serve to the opponents forehand with slice and topspin. Players take a longer swing on the forehand so serves to the forehand actually rushes them into errors or short replies which can then be put away, especially as often players are taking a stance to cover the backhand, Sampras and Becker were masters of this and Murray is starting to develop this kind of serve, Sharapova uses it all the time and when Mauresmo was at her best in 2006 she used this 2nd serve tactic a lot too.

Well, that's what I'm looking for in Sveta' game - sounds a lot :lol:
But it's small tactical adjustments and I belive she can do it.

yeah I totally agree with what you've said about her second serve:worship:hopefully she's worked on it with Morozova during the off season.

anyways Good Luck in 2009 Sveta :D

goldenlox
Jan 8th, 2009, 12:31 AM
During the semi at Miami, I wrote this in Sveta's thread..
She had beaten Jankovic in Dubai, Sharapova at IW, Venus in Miami,
and she was up a set on Serena and on serve in set 2, serving *23, *34, *45, *56.
One hold from a tiebreak, and if she wins that tb, she beat Venus and Serena back to back.

At that time, I thought Sveta was nearing her best form ever. She fell apart in that *56 game and lost the 3rd set.

But I was optimistic that Sveta would be a force on clay.
But her whole game fell apart, and she never played well the rest of the year

santhuruu
Jan 8th, 2009, 08:02 PM
During the semi at Miami, I wrote this in Sveta's thread..
She had beaten Jankovic in Dubai, Sharapova at IW, Venus in Miami,
and she was up a set on Serena and on serve in set 2, serving *23, *34, *45, *56.
One hold from a tiebreak, and if she wins that tb, she beat Venus and Serena back to back.

At that time, I thought Sveta was nearing her best form ever. She fell apart in that *56 game and lost the 3rd set.

But I was optimistic that Sveta would be a force on clay.
But her whole game fell apart, and she never played well the rest of the year

That is soo true, I remember seeing her play against Serena, I was already in shock that she was able to defeat Venus, and when I saw her play good tennis against Serena, and also the fact that Serena had that back injury, I thought it was almost over, but the fact was that Sveta was more on the defense instead of being offense against Serena in the second and third set, and that pattern continued in the rest of her matches. Such a pitty because she is a great attacker and she volleys really good to, I love it when she does that split to get a forehand volley, that shot usually goes well and it is a joy to watch too!

Dawson.
Jan 8th, 2009, 08:08 PM
Really looking forward to seeing her play. I want to see improvements, Sveta. Make 2009 a one to remember :yeah: