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Maria Croft Jun 11th, 2012 08:10 AM

Everything happens for a reason
Who ever thought the shoulder injury would turn out to be a good thing?
It’s easy now in retrospect to say this, but it was.

Maria having to undergo surgery, pulling her away from the game has just increased her love for the sport even more. She became more willing to make whatever change was necessary to get back to the top, and improve her game. Her serve was (and in some small way always will be) a liability. She had to improve her already impressive return even further, because she needed to break serve more often. Beating a Maria who’s serving well these days will be that much more difficult, because she’s improved her return so much.

Her outlook has changed, and she’s more aware of how limited her time is to actually enjoy the sport. Without the injury she might have retired sooner. I think there’s a good chance now that Maria will play for at least 3-5 more years now.

Also, the gap between her Slam wins (to me) further proves what a fighter she is. Look at Hingis for instance, she won all her Slams in just a few years. It took Maria 8 years to win them all. That takes so much determination and fight. Even if she were never to win a Slam again, she’s an all-time great now.

Just wanted to create this thread to say this, and that I have so much respect for her. She’s one of my role models for not giving up on your dreams. She always was, and she always will be.

Andy. Jun 11th, 2012 08:54 AM

Re: Everything happens for a reason
So well said. I couldnt have written it better myself. She is such a massive inspiration. I was watching and interview with Lindsay Davenport today and I always knew her shoulder injury was bad but just hearing someone from the outside say it was a career ending just really gave me even more respect for our girl. She is amazing and she really does love and respect this game. I really think we will see her for many more years.

Adal Jun 11th, 2012 11:02 AM

Re: Everything happens for a reason
Remembering those times in 2008, the injury didn't really seem like a very big deal. She's never spoken about how dangerous it really was and that it would might end her career for good until few years later.

When she came back in 2009 and went on to reach the QF of RG, everyone thought she is back for good and is going find her to the top very soon. But another big disappointment after that. I think she hasn't reached even a QF in GS till RG last year since then? I think that was the closest I've been to giving up on her. 2010 was just horrible start to finish. She kind of bounced back in 2011, but it was still a big struggle and she was still mostly unable to compete with top players.

So pumped to finally see her playing well. I don't know what happened between Miami and Stuttgart, but it was really two different players I've seen. She's definitely more aware of what is going on now, her game is more planned out, yet she still has that intensity and fearlessness that got her to the top back in 2004.

That said, of course there are going to be many more disappointments and struggles in the future, she is not going to win every tournament she plays (even though right now it feels like she will :D), but yes soon we are going to be back to reality, but now is our moment to enjoy.

perseus2006 Jun 11th, 2012 12:50 PM

Re: Everything happens for a reason
Adal, that is a very nice avatar!

nelsondan Jun 11th, 2012 01:45 PM

Re: Everything happens for a reason
I was trying to find something about the mysterious video lady...ran across a thread of my own from march, 2009. The fact that maybe, just maybe Maria might start playing again was too insignificant to remain in Gm.

Dan23 Jun 11th, 2012 01:58 PM

Re: Everything happens for a reason
I dont know if I'd go as far as saying it was ever a 'good' thing for Maria to pick up a shoulder injury serious enough to need surgery. I think she would have had more success to this date had it not been for the injury but whether or not she would have won RG is a question impossible to answer.

I think the main thing Maria has got from this whole exercise is more maturity in her game which I think in part is thanks to the change in coach. Thomas is what Maria needed, his deeper understanding and analysis of the game is possibly what Maria was lacking from her team.

To be the only player to win a slam (albeit the slam that least suited her game) after shoulder surgery says a lot about Maria.

18majors Jun 11th, 2012 03:29 PM

Re: Everything happens for a reason
I'm just happy that Maria now has a chance to write the story that she wasn't able to finish in 2008, but is also conscious that nothing can be taken for granted and injuries do happen.

domon17th Jun 11th, 2012 03:42 PM

Re: Everything happens for a reason

Originally Posted by nelsondan (Post 21630336)
I was trying to find something about the mysterious video lady...ran across a thread of my own from march, 2009. The fact that maybe, just maybe Maria might start playing again was too insignificant to remain in Gm.

Is that the legendary video lady ::bigcry::rolls: She was the only glimmer of hope during those dark times.

I too, agree with Dan that saying the shoulder injury is a 'good' thing per se may not be that accurate IMO. Thomas has really been the catalyst for her success thus far. Of course, the fact that the unfortunate injury happened and didn't break our girl is just further proof of how incredibly committed and dedicated Maria is to tennis. And that mental resilience and fortitude, now that's something a coach can't teach!

nelsondan Jun 11th, 2012 04:43 PM

Re: Everything happens for a reason
The video shows her playing left handed...the comments mention how cold it was...apparently Maria made cookies with lots of sugar and butter for the video lady...maybe the start of her candy making thing.....she is always up to something....between the u.s. Open and Australia, she needs to call some people together, give a couple of them that cold icy stare, and fix the problems in the middle east.

Stonerpova Jun 12th, 2012 02:20 AM

Re: Everything happens for a reason
It's just so gratifying to have stayed with her through so many dissapointments (Aussie '10 & Cincy '10 stuck with me for a WHILE). I believe in Maria's fight so much, probably too much, and I never considered giving up on her. It's cool that me and the rest of you diehards (not to mention Maria herself) get a pay off like this for having faith.

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