Re: US Open 2013: hashtag slam number 5
Well, we finally get the final bombshell from Maria in an increasingly depressing 2013. What a bizarre 2 months. It's just so much to digest.....
Obviously, this is career-threatening, given what she's already had to deal with concerning her shoulder. It really has been the scariest "what-if" scenario of the past 4 years. "What if her shoulder acts up again???" Shoulder exercises were still a big part of her daily routine, so I think it was apparent that it was still a fragile area and always would be kind of a ticking time bomb. I'm sure Maria knew that and it may have been a big reason why her serve was still so erratic at times. Her shoulder issues probably didn't allow her to experiment too much with different mechanics that could've helped.
I think this news should cause us to re-evaluate her accomplishments over these past 4 years. I believe now that the shoulder was never 100% after the surgery and maybe not even close to 100%. I think that was the big factor in why her serve and her overall game was so slow in coming around between 2009-2012. Maria was in a tough spot of trying to find a balance between playing her aggressive style of tennis that was her identity and yet still not putting too much stress on her shoulder. It must have been a really tough constant struggle for her. But she poured everything she had into clawing her way to the top again, even after being saddled with this handicap. And she got to number one again. And she won another major. And she completed the career slam.
I don't want to make this sound like a eulogy, but I think we can look at these past 4 years with more admiration and pride because despite her always putting on a brave, positive face and all her struggles, I think there was always a degree of uneasiness and discomfort with that shoulder. But she still won so much with it and she had that amazing 2012. Maria has shown to be a real warrior.