Originally Posted by Mexicola
One thing that bothers me about article after article dissecting Maria's game is that these writers continue to pair Vika with Serena as if Maria struggles equally with both. Maria has NO Vika problem. Any perceived mental block ended in Stuttgart last year. She crushed her there, she should have won in New York, because she was the better player, she beat her easily in Istanbul, and she was the dominant player in Paris.
I am not as optimistic as you, Mexicola, (never thought the day would come
) on the mental block ending in Stuttgart last year. While I agree that Maria is getting the right tactics in dealing with Vika after Stuttgart, I think all of their matches after Stuttgart shows that Maria can get edgy as she tries to close Vika out.
- Up a set and break and then loses the second set 2-6 and drops serve while trying to stay in the match.
- Didn't see this, but sounds like Poova(
) made an appearance after Maria got bored from feeding bagels to Li and Kerber (that match
- On fire in the first set and then wobbles a bit and has a tighter second set as Azarenka steps up somewhat after MTO (
I think/assume there was an MTO there, but don't recall exactly).
- Amazing first set after going down 0-1 and losing multiple breakpoints to go from 0-40 to deuce on Azarenka's serve, disastrous second set and regroups in the beginning of the third set, but still drops break leads twice at least and loses multiple MP's while trying to serve it out the first time.
I think Maria's mental problem against Azarenka comes from the pressure Maria feels to maintain that form from her first sets in all of those matches throughout the match. If she doesn't maintain that form, it gets messy and Azarenka can easily get back into the match.