Originally Posted by dsanders06
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.
People on messageboards used to joke about the growth spurt excuse her fans would put out there back in the day. But I have wondered if it has had an impact on her movement and shot consistency. When you're that tall, lanky, and awkward, maybe she just can't always get her limbs to do what she needs them to do.
When you look at her footwork, her service motion, or her groundstrokes, so many times there's been something that goes off during matches.
I know nagging injuries played a part in it, but Maria has never been able to sustain a long stretch of excellent tennis where she was the best or near it. Look at the many stretches Serena has had, or what Vika has accomplished for the past year. Or even Woz, when she stayed at number one for 67 weeks. I know Maria is hardly the first tall player, but I wonder if her height really has contributed to her inconsistency throughout the years. Take Venus, for instance. She's had fewer weeks at number one than even Maria, which is hard to believe when you think about her accomplishments. But, like Maria, consistency with her mechanics has been an issue, whether with the serve or her forehand. So maybe there is something to too much height being a detriment.