Originally Posted by MM_1257
Refuse?? Superior? Is she?? Not yet. Azarenka developed into a player who is a bad matchup for Maria and I really do not see Maria's superiority in the matchup... Maybe in the future that will change. Hopefully.
Yes, Maria is the better player and that's been apparent since Stuttgart last year. Before then, Maria was still trying to find her game since the shoulder surgery. There was steady improvement, but she hadn't reached her potential, her serve was still shaky, and that led to some bad losses, including the ones to Vika. But everything finally fell into place starting in the clay season last year. And when that happened, Maria became the clear number two in the world.
Crushed Vika in Stuttgart. She was the better player in New York and if she had consolidated that break and gone up 2-0 in the 2nd, it would've been an easy straight set win. But Maria got sloppy and lost concentration at the worst time. Go back and watch the match. Azarenka didn't even play that well in the 3rd set, Maria just gave it to her. I will admit that Beijing was bad and Vika beat a Maria that mysteriously didn't even show up. But then we get Istanbul and an easy beatdown handed out by Maria. And the recent French Open battle that was closer than it should have been. The stats were overwhelmingly in Maria's favor and, just like in New York, her sloppiness gave away games, rather than Vika elevating her level.
As far as I'm concerned, Maria has outplayed her in 4 of the last 5 meetings. Their matches are always played on Maria's terms. They are on her racket. She has more power, she is more aggressive, she dictates. Vika can only play her defensive style and hope Maria implodes with errors. Azarenka does play that style well, but it's not one you can dominate with against Serena or Maria. And Maria, in particular, is figuring it out more and more.