Originally Posted by Mexicola
Has it been 8 titles? I thought it was 7.
I guess it doesn't really matter. Either way, it seems like a small number of titles to win over a 4 year period. As a comparison, Serena has won 8 titles since last summer and Vika has won 8 since last January.
It's so hard for Maria to win tournaments anymore. While everything looks easy and effortless right now for the "Big 2", Maria has to grind and grind and grind for every trophy she can get. And it does make every title she earns more special because you know how extra hard she has to work to beat the top players with her limitations. That's why I treat every tournament she's in as almost a major because I know how difficult it is for her, even though I keep hoping for improvements in her game.
As for clay, maybe I'm the one in denial. It's hard to erase all that I saw from her in the first 8 or 9 years on that surface. And all the memories of seeing Maria excel on fast courts, racking up the vast majority of her titles. Maybe I have to come to terms with what Maria is as a player these days, which is a slow court specialist.
I guess we'll learn a lot about the state of her game this spring.
Tbh, even before the surgery, she was declining on grass in particular. I've said it before, and some people have disagreed with me, but I really see the big decline in her grass game as starting in 2006, after she'd that growth spurt -- even though she moved pretty well on most surfaces that year, her movement in her matches at Wimbledon against Pennetta and Mauresmo was noticeably worse than in previous years (some of those attempts to return Mauresmo slices were
I do agree with people who say her game is a very good fit for clay (I do still wonder if she's maybe a bit better on Plexicushion at her best though), because it's just beyond doubt at this point that surfaces that give her that little bit more time to set her feet right and have a full swing makes her a lot more comfortable.