Originally Posted by The Dawntreader
This match up is so perfunctory for Serena now, that she didn't even fully invest in playing anywhere near her best. She was coasting for the most part, content to let her serve do the trick when it mattered, and apply great width and length, which is the kiss of death for Pova. It's all too predictable the way Serena can exploit Pova's game. As soon as Pova's serving level dropped early in the first set, it was all over.
Pova can't match Serena off the ground any more, that much is obvious. Pova's groundgame in general has deteriorated off clay, and posters were right about how the emphasis on heavier spin and a more aggressive-grinding mindset has made her so vulnerable against Serena. She can no longer take her forehand early in high pace rallies, and the amount of spin she puts on the ball these days, means that the height of the ball generally is ideal for Serena to take big, profitable strikes, without any threat of being out-hit herself for any real period of time. Once Serena takes over the rally, it's all over.
This is a void rivalry. Like it has been for years.
I know you like to pound away with this theory that Maria's game is at about 30% of its peak level, but it doesn't explain why she managed to even make it competitive against Serena in 2010, when she was playing a fraction as well as 2012/13.
Nor does it explain why she completely fails to put away the type of midcourt balls she was getting routinely against Serena yesterday, that she was slaughtering without fail the day before against Stosur.
Originally Posted by Fiercepova
Maria's record against Serena dropped to 2-11. Maria said: "I'm certainly capable of beating a player like Serena. That's why I'm always eager to get better and make my game better in order to go out onto the court and beat her."
Try harder next time Maria
We'll always love and support you
Yup. I've said it before, but I really think she should see a sports psychologist. Even though she is as mentally tough as they come in certain aspects (fighting spirit, and her day-to-day resilience at shaking off setbacks), it's beyond clear at this point that she has a problem of wanting it so desperately and putting way too much pressure on herself in big matches, that she lets that pressure/anxiety suffocate herself and completely overwhelm her thinking processes.
I've NEVER understood why tennis players don't see sports psychologists more often -- they're common in most sports. Jessica Ennis, who is considered one of the most mentally tough women in sports right now, was openly chatting to her psychologist in front of the cameras right before she started the heptathlon at the Olympics last year. But for some reason, with tennis players there's just a stigma surrounding them -- and tbh, I can just see Maria being exactly the type of person who'd be too proud/stubborn to admit that she has a mental "weakness" that she needs help with.