Originally Posted by nelsondan
Something about this seems wrong, but it is interesting. I was going to post a couple of photos from December of 2008 for you to inspect for "meatiness", but, as always, they are so outnumbered by Maria looking pretty much the same, I thought it was pointless.
Women Maria's age sometimes over diet and make their face look older from trying to get a thinner body. (I think that caused trouble for Kournikova). In Maria's case, she is simply in the best shape I have ever seen her in...I have thought she looked a little thin a couple of times, until I noticed the muscle. Her legs and arms look more powerful...greater proportion of muscle...if that is meaty.
I wonder how much she works on her body for reasons not related to tennis...whatever she does, it works.
One of the things I've always thought was missing from Maria over the years was upper body strength. I too have noticed that Maria's arms seem to have more muscular definition to them this year. There's no question she's in the best shape of her life. Look at Stuttgart when she defeated those 3 top 10 players in 3 days. She was the strongest player. Look at the Olympics when she had to play 6 straight days. Fatigue certainly wasn't a reason she lost to Serena in the final. Then you had that marathon against Petrova at the US Open. The marathon against Bartoli. And the marathon against Vika. She brought it hard from start to finish in all of those matches, without a hint of fatigue. She even said in her post-Vika presser that she felt fine out there in that 3rd set. And, finally, at the YEC, she was excelling while Agi looked whipped, Stosur looked whipped, and Vika looked whipped. We saw Kerber breaking down towards the end of the year. And Petra was wilting pretty much all year.
I don't recall one moment all season where Maria looked tired on court and it's certainly a big reason for her 3-set record. She has really been so committed to her off-court conditioning and I absolutely love that about her.
Sorry for going on a tangent in the Maria picture thread.