Originally Posted by Break My Rapture
Why do you take so much solace in the fact that Azarenka isn't liked by crowds? You should focus more on Maria. They didn't even play each other in this tournament.
Anyway I think Jack89 might have made a good point about Maria spending too much energy and focus on the Venus match. It was absolutely unecessary to peak for that match, because Venus wasn't playing up to snuff at all and Maria could've just scraped past her in straights ala Rome 2012. Perhaps the two double bagels and demolition of Venus somewhat deluded herself and us (a lot of people were quick to preach the rebirth of the '08 AO steamroller form) into thinking that she was going to go on a streak of good play long enough to win this tournament (especially with Serena bombing out to Stephens). The calibre of players she's had to face though didn't prepare her at all for Li's good play, the way she played Maria today actually reminded me a bit of how Azarenka plays Maria, just with more firepower and less patience. I must say that the prospect of Rodriguez being on Li's side makes me anxious about their meetings to come.
Just take comfort in the fact that if she wins the tournament it wasn't done cleanly.
Rodriguez coached Henin and Maria played some of her best matches in her career against her with him coaching. Not sure we even need to deconstruct this match quite to the extent you have because it was visible that Maria was just having a bad day. Missing conventional, routine groundstrokes...wouldn't even matter who was on the other side of the net. Coupled with consistent tennis from Li and that was all.