Re: Maria's problem against Serena Williams
As i've said before, coaching has nothing to do with Maria's problems. Joyce and Thomas are well versed and knowledgeable in what it takes to be a consistent winner in this sport. It's all about Maria's stubborness and closed-mindedness when it comes to working on the weaker aspects of her game. It's inexcusable that a player with her credentials can't at the very least have a serviceable net game and off-speed game. And a kick-serve. And a willingness move forward more. Her game is way too limited and it gets exposed over and over again in these blow-out losses to top players.
I still can’t help but think back to the fact that Maria had a 2-1 record against Serena at one point and had match points to go up 3-1 head to head. It’s still seems like just yesterday.
You know, the irony of all this is that one of the big reasons why I became of fan of Maria’s in 2004 after Wimbledon is not just because she won that tournament, but because she beat Serena. I had been so disillusioned with women’s tennis for the previous few years because of Serena’s dominance. Time and time again I’d watch hyped players walk onto that court and wet their pants at the sight of Serena. I was so sick of it all. And then along comes Maria Sharapova seemingly out of nowhere. She was fearless, she wasn’t intimidated, and she walked onto that court, stared down Serena and beat her on the biggest stage there is. It was awe-inspiring. I said to myself, “Finally, I’ve found my champion!” If she could do something like that at age 17, then there’s no limit to what she can do in the years to come. This was going to be an amazing rivalry!
And now here we are all these years later talking about 10 straight losses to Serena. Maria has become the very kind of player that used to aggravate me back in those days. Someone who wilts, panics, and collapses the moment they see Serena. It’s just sad.