Originally Posted by Mexicola
So, basically, we need the fitness and stamina of today's Maria to go with the better precision, fight, and, dare I say, variety of 2004-2008 Maria. Then we'd see her go tooth and nail in some back and forth semifinal and final 3-setters with the likes of Serena, Vika, and Li Na, instead of seeing her get dumptrucked in meek fashion.
There's no question Maria is more than capable of going 2 and a half or 3 hours in a match if need be and not look fatigued. But she just errors herself to death before she can get any traction, so stamina and match pressure never even come into play. And, especially against someone like Li Na, extending a match is absolutely essential because she will crumble more often than not in tight situations. I want to see Maria do a MUCH better job at digging in against top opponents when momentum isn't going her way.
Yeah, really not. Obviously finesse is never going to be her strong point, but she can atleast occasionally hit a decent dropshot these days, which she never could've done in 04-06....she's always had an underrated lob though.
Also, I do think some people are guilty of overstating the gap between the "old" Maria and the current one. Overall I'd say 04-06Pova is slightly better than today's, but it's not as big a gap between them as some say, and there ARE certain things she does better today (movement as well as stamina, and I actually think there's an argument her backhand at times in 2012 was better than it ever was in 04-06). And I definitely don't think it's fair to say she fights
less. Even in her worst losses over the past 12 months, it's not like she actually willingly gives up
She's always been pumping herself up and trying to get herself going right til the end of her matches, even if she's still making mountains of errors. She might have less self-belief than she used to, but her will to fight is and always has been (except maybe a few matches in 2010) at pretty much the maximum possible.