I was watching AO highlights too, the reason Maria was so successful there was because she had implemented the spins and the angles on her shots. I think we have to appreciate that Maria started from scratch to go from zero to number 1 in the world in 3 years is pretty amazing. How many juniors do that?
And that's what Maria just coming back could almost be compared to.
The main thing that she needs to work on is her serve which she will continue to do that. It is the catalyst for her game. She really needs to get a natural feel for it because that's what gives the variety and she doesn't have that at the minute. If she can get that fully back then her HC tennis will likely comeback, even though Maria in 2005/2006 was all out flat bashing and it was amazing, it led to very erratic performances which is why her spins and angles could be a good thing in the long run. I mean look at some of the shockers she's game us this year, imagine if she was trying to bash every ball (in fact many shocker have been because of that).
Yeah, she needs her confidence back again, that killer unshakable belief but realistically even the toughest don't have unlimited strength. The past couple of years will have taken a lot out of her but seasons like this one should go a long way to getting that back. I know it's frustrating to see her lose to players like Vika/Aga who an AO 2008 Maria would have bagelled and breadsticked but it's a process. She's came leaps and bounds these past two season, the time for worrying will be if we're still here this time next year.