Originally Posted by Mexicola
I think a telling stat is the one someone posted in this forum a few days ago. Before the surgery, Maria was a stellar 20-7 in tournament finals. After the surgery, it's been a dreadful 7-11. She just isn't the same in the clutch anymore against the top players. There's a fragility to her. When Maria's game goes bad, it REALLY goes bad and you get results in finals like we've seen post 2008.
I blame so much of it on her forehand. I understand they had to alter the technique following the shoulder issues (i.e., less reverse follow through), but now she doesn't get the angle on it that she once did, especially on the cross court. And she's less willing to come in and drive volley than she was in 2008.
Having said that I think she's continuing to improve, and I'm sure that when she hired Hoggy he had a long term plan for her as far as what to work on. Her movement and serve have really improved this season, and now she seems to be putting some MPH's back on her strokes.
Plus 5 of those 11 losses were to Azarenka, and at least she's getting as far as she is. I too wish some of those losses were closer, but it beats losing in the second round of every other tournament (like that other fave of mine
). I'll take a slam winning season if it means losing five finals TBH. I still say RG was worth it.