Originally Posted by MashaFan01
So here is my theory and analysis about Masha and her surprising losses in finals this year - and I'm sure lotsa people won't agree with me - On what is Masha's game build on? - Yes - her ground strokes and fantastic returns but most of all it's build on her serve - Masha once said that after her surgery - she lost the "feel" for her serve - I've also read somewhere that if Masha's serve doesn't work well - she loses confidence and her whole game falls apart
During 2009 until the end of 2011 - she lost matches because of her serve and people have been mocking her for all her DFs - In 2009 and 2010 many "experts" doubted that she would ever make it back to the top 10 - she ended 2010 ranked #18 - In 2011 she ended the year as #4 - but then people were questioning if she ever would win another slam - which is exactly what she did this year - mainly because her serve has been working well most of the time
Masha is however still not comfy with her serve and under pressure - like playing a top player like Victoria and Serena - she has to focus to much on serving well and that maybe is the main reason why the rest of her game deteriorate - ie loads of unforced errors - According to what I've read about a rotator cuff operation in the shoulder - it's a wonder that she plays tennis on such a high level at all - 'cause one loses strength in that shoulder which never can be rebuild again - Masha once said that returning to tennis was like starting all over again and we've seen how slow her come back has been - It took her from 2009 until this year to have some decent results - Her FO 2012 victory this year was mainly because she served well through the whole tournament - So many people - "experts" included - have all sorta well meant advices today - like she needs a plan B whatever that means - Trust me - Masha doesn't need a plan B - she needs to be comfy with her serve - All the pieces in Masha's game are in place except for a "natural coming" serve - I'm sure she's working hard on it - and my hope is that she'll get that "feel" back someday - so that she suddenly just knows that her timing and her hits in the serving moment come natural again and that she doesn't need to think about it that much during a match against a top player and that can trust her serve again - Until that happens - I fear that all Masha can hope for is to be a top 5 player - the #3 at best
BTW - I reviewed the AO QF from 2008 vs Justine Henin the other day and I was amazed by how confident her whole body language was through the entire match - She looks different today when she enters the court to face Victoria or Serena
Frankly I didn't feel like Maria's confidence was shattered when she entered in the court to play Vika in Stuttgart final, au contraire she was quite pumped up there are just surfaces where you know you're confident and clearly playing on clay lately bring a fierce Maria(the way she cameback from 6-4 4-0 against Na li in Rome final
I just don't see this happening on HC times have clearly changed) on HC it's a whole different situation she still has doubts.
Look the first major that she won happened to be on clay it's not a coincidence, Maria's confidence and game is great on clay; on HC she is for now a mess when it matters.