Originally Posted by Mexicola
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.
I think Maria is VERY respected by the tennis world as a whole. She's perhaps not respected by everyone on internet tennis boards, but frankly, who is??? If anything, 'hate' is a sign of respect on tennis boards. As soon as the hate stops it's usually a sign that you're 'no longer relevant.'
As for Maria's loss - well, Li Na is at her best a great player with wins against anyone. Losing is inevitably part of any players career, no matter how great she is. Nobody can win 'em all. But if you win enough like Maria has done everyone that matters will consider you one of the best of your era. Don't worry, if Maria would stop playing today she's already done enough to earn her place in history. But she has several, possibly even many more years to try and add to her already impressive list of achievements. And let's not forget that making a slam semi isn't too shabby but an achievement in itself.