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Old Feb 17th, 2013, 02:34 PM   #933
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Re: SemiPova returns to flop in Doha. GSM Serena 6-3 6-2.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrissie-fan View Post
Well, I agree with dsanders that Maria's problems are mostly psychological. Not that Serena isn't the better player because she is, but for Maria to be so totally dominated by her is not normal. Although Federer owned Roddick at least Andy won sets and was in some competitive matches with Roger. Roddick's problems weren't mental. Federer was just a better player. The only way out that I see for Maria is beating Serena on red clay. IF she would be able to do that (and it's a big if) perhaps that mental block she's suffering from might disappear.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoana R. View Post
I agree with dsanders that a sports psychologist would do her good I was actually about to post that too because especially in this match if it wasn't for her brain getting in the way she had some solid chances However i don't understand why so many of you are so negative and it's not like the Serena phenomenon is something new. She couldn't even get a win against her in 2008 when she was arguably playing the best tennis of her career so that's nothing new really and even though the score didn't show it I thought it was really close it's not like she couldn't do anything against Serena but like Maria'd say she didn't take her chances when she had them. About Vika they haven't played yet this year so we don't know how that match-up will go but she beat her at the YEC and I think it'll be a lot closer this year. Also I think there are a lot of improvements to her game this year especially the serve and ROS and she isn't playing worse than last year so no need to lose faith i'm positive that the results will come in the near future.
I mean, I don't think it's JUST a case of her having a mental block against Serena specifically (although I'm sure that's an element of it), I think it's also part of the general pattern over the past 2 years of her wanting something too much. I mean, I don't mean in a perfect world she would NEVER be suffering blowout losses -- for such a relatively "one-dimensional" player as her, it's inevitable that atleast occasionally her A-game would be off and thus she'd have nothing to rely on. It occasionally happened in her pre-surgery career (obviously those beatdowns from Hingis and Davenport stand out as TOTAL outliers in their head-to-heads), and it also happened to Seles, who was as mentally tough as they came but like Maria, didn't have good movement or variety, so when her ballstriking was completely off, she was on the wrong end of some VERY grisly scorelines. So even in a perfect world, some losses of this nature would occur occasionally.

But that should only be happening if her game is off from the start of a tournament. As Chrissiefan has said, it's really not logical for her to be playing so great and winning so easily, only for her game to completely evaporate in the later rounds, as it has done so many times against Serena, Azarenka, and especially Radwanska in that Miami final (it really was so bizarre to see a big-point player like Maria hit gimme returns well wide everytime she held a breakpoint in that match). Tbh, in retrospect part of me is actually amazed she was as calm as she was and played so well in that Roland Garros final.

I mean, this is an issue that can potentially be overcome -- Serena herself really blew some matches in 2008 in particular, where she'd be playing great in the early rounds and then want it so bad in the later rounds that she couldn't get out of her own way...but she eventually overcame it. Murray too managed to learn to relax a bit in big matches after starting work with a sports psychologist (I don't mean all of his big-match losses were because of him choking, because the Big 3 at their best are better, but there were definitely a couple of Slam semifinals against a 'meh' Nadal in 2012 which were Murray's for the taking). I do believe she as such a mentally tough character in general can overcome it, but she needs to be brave enough to step out of her comfort zone and admit she needs 'help', because what she's been trying up til now isn't working and isn't going to start magically working ("insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results").
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