Originally Posted by SilverSlam
What happened to you? You went from being so optimistic last year to a mess this year?
Maria has that effect on me. She has a way of getting my hopes up, only to crush them hard, and I get very emotional. She's been the biggest late tournament tease in the WTA since 2011. I was really optimistic after she had such a consistent 2012, even though she still blew some great opportunities. But I saw real progress, for example, in her rivalry with Vika. She had that awesome win in Stuttgart. I thought she played really well for much of that US Open semifinal. I especially loved the way she came right out and took it to Vika. Unfortunate loss, but not horrible. Yeah, she had the dud in Beijing. But then she clocked Azarenka in Istanbul, and, overall, Maria looked so strong in that last tournament, while everyone else not named Serena were completely wilting.
It was very promising and I thought Maria would build on that in the offseason and come out in 2013 on a mission. But the way this Aussie Open unfolded was so discouraging. It was the same pattern that's been all too familiar. Start strong and then her game starts crumbling as the tourney progresses. Same DFs, same errors, same one-dimensional game. Still getting exploited by the stronger, more athletic players, whether it's Serena, Vika, or Li.
I just get mentally exhausted by the broken record that is Maria and I vent because I want her to win so badly. I want people to respect her as a great tennis champion, whether it's her peers or the media or internet tennis boards. But I don't think she is. I still think she's resented more than respected overall. And each of these kinds of losses adds more fuel to the ridicule and it frustrates me.