Did it take Petra and her team that long to figure that out? This is what I mean: Keystone Cops/The Gang that can't shoot straight. You're kidding me?
Even if Petra says, "it's for the YEC, you know better players are there". OK. But eventually, even in a regular tournament, you're going to face a Serena, Vika (not that she's played her) or Sharapova--if everyone keeps winning.
That's who you need to practice your serve, returns, ground strokes and volleys for. Can't she pay some smuck $40,000 a year to travel with her (or that's a "No No" with Adam)? Of course you can use them per hire, but you don't get the same consistency in every particular area, depending on what you're working on. But it's still better than no one or trying to scrap up Li Na.
I think this has been one of her problems this year (regarding errors, foot work, lack of consistency and execution, ROS problems), facing Sharapova and Serena, and even some scrubs early. There's no regular male hitting partner.
It doesn't mean that you're going to always beat those players (of course there can be other co-mitigating factors). But at least you get used to the pace and serve, by playing against someone that hit's just as hard, if not harder than they do, as you try to implement your game plan, tactics and new touches/improvements to your game. Obviously with the scrubs in the early around, its' just the consistency (or even practicing an area they excel in, that could give Petra particular trouble) where it can help.
And the less said about that Martic match (she of the horrendous record since May), the better. Please stop Petra.
I gather by her practice comments, she's FOCUSING on her serve, return and volleys (cause of course, I would hope she would always practice those things). Hopefully, she'll hit with more topspin, deep, corner to corner with more angles, like she did last year during her rally's, before the volley or ground stroke winner. "Ahhh Petra (hands in the air)". SMH.