Originally Posted by dsanders06
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.
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.
I completely agree with both this post and the later one. I actually really like reading your posts overall, they are pretty objective and down to the point
Anyway, I gotta say I'm impressed with Vika. She was serving to stay in the set twice, it was 30 all and 15:30 and she salvaged those games (where I think we as a whole fanbase could bet our lives Maria would fold against Serena
). Then she blew off 5:2 in the tie-break majorly due to her errors, faced a set point on Serena's serve, and won the set. Of course she had huge help from Serena not hitting first serves on that set point and the next one, but still, you've gotta give her credit for the attitude. That's my major problem with Maria. She never changes anything and is so stubborn to seek help like all of you already pointed out. And she clearly needs it.