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theFutureisNow
Aug 11th, 2011, 10:52 PM
This thread is a place to discuss Maria's game/training/history and questions or suggestions about it.
I know a lot of people don't like to hear the "complaints", but other people do want to talk about it. So I think that it would be a good idea to have a separate discussion thread on this topic.
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When you are as tall as Maria, your serve simply has to be a strength. She would be extremely lucky to win a major title without a large improvement to her serve.

I'm not going to sort through tens of thousands of posts, but was wondering if someone knew the answer to these questions-

-Why hasn't she tried a shorter ball toss? If she has, what were the results and how long did she try it for?
-Why doesn't she use a kick serve? Is she incapable of learning one, when this seems to be the obvious choice for a second serve given the unbelievable weakness of her current second serve?
-Why isn't she focusing on serve placement instead of speed? Clearly just serving fast without placement is not working.
-Does her coach do any sort of scouting on other players? Why is it that Maria never seems prepared for their tactics?

Break My Rapture
Aug 11th, 2011, 11:06 PM
Good idea. I replied to your questions in the Toronto thread.

Marilyn Monheaux
Aug 11th, 2011, 11:52 PM
When you are as tall as Maria, your serve simply has to be a strength. She would be extremely lucky to win a major title without a large improvement to her serve.

I'm not going to sort through tens of thousands of posts, but was wondering if someone knew the answer to these questions-

-Why hasn't she tried a shorter ball toss? If she has, what were the results and how long did she try it for?
-Why doesn't she use a kick serve? Is she incapable of learning one, when this seems to be the obvious choice for a second serve given the unbelievable weakness of her current second serve?
-Why isn't she focusing on serve placement instead of speed? Clearly just serving fast without placement is not working.
-Does her coach do any sort of scouting on other players? Why is it that Maria never seems prepared for their tactics?


- I think she tried a slightly shorter ball toss in 07 (at least it was shorter than 08), but I'm not sure when it started/ended. I think it was around the time she came back for the clay season, but don't take my word for it.
- Her kick serve comes and goes. She's probably not comfortable enough with it to use it when her serve already isn't working. A confidence thing, maybe? Or maybe she feels like it's not effective enough and she wants to go for the BOOM BOOM 120mph serves all time every time.
- Good question. One thing I noticed is that while she hit plenty of DFs in 09/10, she also always had quite a few aces, often times in crucial moments. What happened? :confused:
- I think Hogger gives Maria plenty of info, she just doesn't seem to be able to stick to a game plan /adjust it throughout the course of a match. When Maria played Na, she must have had all the information in the world, yet she never seemed to follow one specific tactic...
Then again, I would not put it past Maria and Hogger to think that "sticking to her game" would get her through... which leads me to my question:

Why do Maria's coaches keep telling her that "the girl will falter". Michael did it and apparently Hogger did it as well. Do they really believe that they will or are they just trying to motivate Maria? Is it what Maria wants to hear or is she not listening anyway?
I always thought of on-court coaching as an opportunity to enforce/adjust or chance pre-planned tactics. An opportunity to give the player some insight from an outside perspective, but advise like "She won't keep this up", "Just keep moving" or "Keep playing your game" don't seem insightful or helpful at all.
You can't tell me that her opponent "surely" letting up is part sooner or later of their game plan, cause if it is then... :help:

lylux
Aug 12th, 2011, 12:42 AM
Good idea, this will serve as therapy haha

Andy.
Aug 12th, 2011, 02:23 AM
I truely think that Maria believes she doesnt need to worry about strategy. I feel like she believes its all about her, (same as Serena and Venus) in that if she plays well it doesnt really matter how the other player players.

theFutureisNow
Aug 12th, 2011, 05:56 AM
- I think she tried a slightly shorter ball toss in 07 (at least it was shorter than 08), but I'm not sure when it started/ended. I think it was around the time she came back for the clay season, but don't take my word for it.
- Her kick serve comes and goes. She's probably not comfortable enough with it to use it when her serve already isn't working. A confidence thing, maybe? Or maybe she feels like it's not effective enough and she wants to go for the BOOM BOOM 120mph serves all time every time.
- Good question. One thing I noticed is that while she hit plenty of DFs in 09/10, she also always had quite a few aces, often times in crucial moments. What happened? :confused:
- I think Hogger gives Maria plenty of info, she just doesn't seem to be able to stick to a game plan /adjust it throughout the course of a match. When Maria played Na, she must have had all the information in the world, yet she never seemed to follow one specific tactic...
Then again, I would not put it past Maria and Hogger to think that "sticking to her game" would get her through... which leads me to my question:

Why do Maria's coaches keep telling her that "the girl will falter". Michael did it and apparently Hogger did it as well. Do they really believe that they will or are they just trying to motivate Maria? Is it what Maria wants to hear or is she not listening anyway?
I always thought of on-court coaching as an opportunity to enforce/adjust or chance pre-planned tactics. An opportunity to give the player some insight from an outside perspective, but advise like "She won't keep this up", "Just keep moving" or "Keep playing your game" don't seem insightful or helpful at all.
You can't tell me that her opponent "surely" letting up is part sooner or later of their game plan, cause if it is then... :help:

I don't remember a shorter toss, but I do remember that she used to have a kick serve. I wonder if her shoulder keeps her from hitting it at that angle?

Maria does hit an extremely low amount of aces, and this trend has been going on for a while now.

I think I read somewhere that she had the 47th best serve in terms of service games won in 2011. If this is accurate(and it seems that way :tape:), then it's a little amazing the rest of her game is good enough for her to be ranked so high.

I guess in theory a player could be hitting some really lucky shots, but if you are losing it's more likely that there is some simple adjustment that might be more effective. Maybe Maria is not the type of player that can do a plan B, C, D, E, F, G. I'd at least like to see her go to plan B though if her original strategy isn't working.

claypova
Aug 12th, 2011, 09:04 AM
she just needs to get a brain :help:

Mr.Sharapova
Aug 12th, 2011, 09:23 AM
Her serve is her main problem. That high toss has to go :yeah:. It's really messing up with her serve. She is not keen to improve her serve, cause if she was she would have done it :yeah:.

Her ground strokes are fine, but her brain has issues. She has matches in her bag leading 6-1,2-0 or something and she ends up into a third set :facepalm:.

Fighterpova
Aug 12th, 2011, 02:10 PM
she just needs to get a brain :help:

+1 :smash:

Fighterpova
Aug 12th, 2011, 02:14 PM
Her serve is her main problem. That high toss has to go :yeah:. It's really messing up with her serve. She is not keen to improve her serve, cause if she was she would have done it :yeah:.

Her ground strokes are fine, but her brain has issues. She has matches in her bag leading 6-1,2-0 or something and she ends up into a third set :facepalm:.

Ikr?
for example this year: IW QF vs Peng..She was in full control up to 6-2 4-2 and 40-0, she was playing her best tennis and then she won the match 6-2 5-7 6-3(because Peng totally choked in the 3rd) and Masha ended up with 13 double faults and 60+ UE, when it could have been 6-2 6-2 :facepalm:
And of course she lost a lot of energy and won 3 games vs Wozniacki :facepalm:

vozas
Aug 12th, 2011, 03:36 PM
She had an abbreviated motion for the summer HC season in 2007 because of her shoulder issues. She lost to Radwanska at the 07 USO and then came back with her full motion again for the YEC. At the 08 AO she had a full swing again, but there were clearly adjustments to her shoulder. Her kick serves were awesome at that time, but she wasn't slicing like she did in 06, her best serving season IMO.

When she came back in 2009 she had the abbreviated motion again, up until Tokyo I believe. I think her serve has never been as awful as it has been this year. It destroys her confidence and the rest of her game. Until she fixes that, she's not getting anywhere near a major, simple as that.

Her FH footwork is a bloody mess too. She always hits it on her backfoot, way too late and it looks like she's falling backwards when she hits it.

cowsonice
Aug 12th, 2011, 09:51 PM
Maria needs to change her service motion...again. The way she takes her arm back and winds up can be easily mistimed. Oh and when she leans in (almost caves in over herself) to hit a kick serve down the T is really :o. (does anybody know what I'm talking about?)

goldlion
Aug 20th, 2011, 03:55 PM
It seems to me that Maria doesn't come to the net as often as she used to. A lot of times she could have ended the rally with a drive but instead she waited it to bounce and hit it right towards her opponent.

vozas
Aug 20th, 2011, 04:51 PM
She needs to get some attitude out there. 2010 was horrible and devastating from a mental point of view but she's better than that. I was watching some highlights from her Pironkova match at the 09 USO and she was really spunked (not to mention playing MUCH better than she is nowadays :help:). Like, she'd be talking to herself on her way to her bench during change over, tilting her head forward with her come ons and what not.

Her body language is horrible nowadays. Particularly in Wimbledon, it always looked as if she didn't want to be there. I hope a title in Cincinatti and a deep run at the Open start changing that. She's much scarier (and not to mention, a much fiercer shotmaker) when she believes she's the best player in the world, like she did up until 2009.

doooma6816
Aug 20th, 2011, 05:11 PM
It seems to me that Maria doesn't come to the net as often as she used to. A lot of times she could have ended the rally with a drive but instead she waited it to bounce and hit it right towards her opponent.

this this this!
She has great drive volley, she should move forward often.

effedcamel
Aug 20th, 2011, 07:00 PM
this this this!
She has great drive volley, she should move forward often.

and what's up with her not hitting traditional overheads anymore??? :(

goldlion
Aug 21st, 2011, 01:28 AM
and what's up with her not hitting traditional overheads anymore??? :(

Cos she rarely hits overheads. She prefers drive volleys instead. But I think the speed of her opponents and the ability to retrieve balls with interest didn't really give her time to set up a shot to kill it off. She should change a bit in her placements and follow through better, i.e. hit wide serve on ad court and wrong foot her opponent instead of hitting to open court and then come to the net if the other end doesn't move to the other side. Her traditional winner approach doesn't seem to work effectively anymore.