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Old Jun 24th, 2011, 08:14 AM   #1
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What is REALLY going on with Sorana? Why no improvement?

Sorana is still only 21, but it seems like she’s been around forever. She had a good debut year at the Slams in 2008 as she gave eventual finalist Ivanovic a good test in the 1st round, and then reached the second round of all the remaining 3 Slams. She started 2009 ranked at 36 in the world, but had a disastrous start to the year as she failed to win a game in the first few months. The French Open was obviously her big breakthrough, and her career high to this point. She beat Wozniacki and Jankovic in back to back matches to reach the QF. I was then so, so impressed with her efforts at Wimbledon in reaching the 3rd round and to this day I still think the first set she played against Azarenka was the best tennis she’s played. She then finished the Slams by reaching the 3rd round of the US Open, this time falling to Wozniacki. After that she lost five matches in a row, and for her good results at the French and the Slams in general, still finished the year with a losing record.

So while she posted good results at the Slams, she stagnated a bit in 2009 by dropping her ranking from 36 to 43. 2010 was another very disappointing year, posted only one win at the Slams, against Rogowska in Melbourne. Sorana ended the year ranked in the 90’s.

2011 so far has been another disappointment. She did win a round in Melbourne, and two in Paris, so on that front she’s done okay, but outside of this has only won TWO WTA matches. She has a 5-7 record for the year. She’s ranked 86, and her game doesn’t appear to be progressing.

What I’m saying is that at Wimbledon 2009, after her fantastic run at the French, she showed some tremendous signs and I honestly thought she’d be a top 10 player by now. Fast forward two years time and she’s getting thrashed in the first round to Pauline Parmentier. About as low as you can go. With a ranking that isn’t improving, and not nearly enough good streaks to get her confidence and ranking up, what’s going on? Is she working hard on the practice court, is she even enjoying the game? Did I massively overrate her talent? I thought she had such huge power, a decent enough serve, and I thought with continued work on her consistency, she’d be making second week of the Slams regularly. But you watch her now, and she is often overpowered, her movement still hasn’t got to the level it needs to be (after significant improvement in mid 2009), and she certainly hasn’t improved her consistency and shot selection.

Is this all she is destined to be, a ‘ball basher’ and 50+ ranked player? I know she's beautiful, and I know she's a lovely person, but I want results. I'm not satisfied with a nice win here or there, I want consistent results, and if she's not winning then I at least want to see some positives, which I don't see at the moment. No offence to Mattek-Sands, Safarova, Pironkova, Errani, Zakapolova, but they are ranked 31-35, and I would’ve thought Sorana had at least as much talent as they did, if not more, and yet they’re ranked 50 places ahead of her. I can’t understand how quickly she has regressed and how little improvements there have been in her game since this time two years ago. Look at that match vs Azarenka and look at her now, I’m at a loss as to where it’s all gone so very, very wrong. She's still young and has time on her side, so hopefully it all clicks, but it's a long way back.
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Old Jun 24th, 2011, 06:47 PM   #2
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Re: What is REALLY going on with Sorana? Why no improvement?

She needs to spend more time in the gym working on her physical strength and less time taking photography lessons on the beach
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Old Jun 25th, 2011, 12:16 PM   #3
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Re: What is REALLY going on with Sorana? Why no improvement?

She really needs a brain! That seems a bit harsh, but sometimes she is just rushing every ball which comes in her way. Nothing to interrupt if you have a good day and feel comfortable on your shots, but you should have a plan B if things don't go your way, something Sorana even hadn't during her best times...
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Old Jun 25th, 2011, 04:04 PM   #4
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Re: What is REALLY going on with Sorana? Why no improvement?

guys after today i realised i must believe in her i cant stop believing and the reason is petra cetkovska. after 2008 and her ranking of49 she went down so much down that she was ranked like 326 but she played itfs and made it back to tp 100 after two years and today she beat ivanovic and previously radwanska and she played amazingly sori has enough time to come back and i believe that if not this season the next one it will be
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Old Jun 25th, 2011, 05:25 PM   #5
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Re: What is REALLY going on with Sorana? Why no improvement?

Good example! I hope she can come up again, but she has to change her coaching situation...
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Old Jun 26th, 2011, 08:25 PM   #6
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Re: What is REALLY going on with Sorana? Why no improvement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Curcubeu View Post
She really needs a brain! That seems a bit harsh, but sometimes she is just rushing every ball which comes in her way. Nothing to interrupt if you have a good day and feel comfortable on your shots, but you should have a plan B if things don't go your way, something Sorana even hadn't during her best times...
yes, a plan B... but it´s a problem of all the womens tennis players... they have got only an A plan and it´s not only Sori it´s about another 1000 players... I don´t know if even top womens players have got two or more plans how to play when it doesn´t work... nowadays girls are playing only one style of tennis and they play it even though they have a bad day and that´s wrong... you´re right Sorana should get better her mind she should believe in herself and should have her tennis coach with her she needs somebody to work with her every day... in my opinion it´s her biggest reason why she´s not higher in the rankings...
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Old Jun 28th, 2011, 08:17 PM   #7
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Re: What is REALLY going on with Sorana? Why no improvement?

It's really sad to see all the other young girls in the QF/SF of Wimbledon like Cibulkova, Lisicki, Azarenka, Kvitova, and Paszek but not Sori
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Old Jun 29th, 2011, 10:22 AM   #8
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Re: What is REALLY going on with Sorana? Why no improvement?

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Originally Posted by hellas719 View Post
It's really sad to see all the other young girls in the QF/SF of Wimbledon like Cibulkova, Lisicki, Azarenka, Kvitova, and Paszek but not Sori
I believe one time we´ll see Sori in QFs at least once again but she has to change something.. she has done a small progress this season but it is too little

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Old Jun 30th, 2011, 05:18 AM   #9
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Re: What is REALLY going on with Sorana? Why no improvement?

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Originally Posted by Rovegun View Post
yes, a plan B... but it´s a problem of all the womens tennis players... they have got only an A plan and it´s not only Sori it´s about another 1000 players... I don´t know if even top womens players have got two or more plans how to play when it doesn´t work]... nowadays girls are playing only one style of tennis and they play it even though they have a bad day and that´s wrong... you´re right Sorana should get better her mind she should believe in herself and should have her tennis coach with her she needs somebody to work with her every day... in my opinion it´s her biggest reason why she´s not higher in the rankings...
As you point out no woman really has a plan B. So it is not really necessary for Sori to either. After all, she's only going to play other women.

But Sorana's execution of her plan A has not been going well.

Essentially, she has to improve plan A. She has to be able to execute plan A in an acceptable manner. And she must be able to execute the majority of her plan A even if she is not having a good day.

At the moment it seems that:
1. Plan A doesn't work 90% of the time
2. I'm not sure she knows what plan A actually is anyway
3. Plan A seems to involve a lot of missing.

I still believe she can turn her tennis around. But she has to play smarter. She only needs one plan but it has to be executed better.
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Old Jun 30th, 2011, 05:37 AM   #10
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Re: What is REALLY going on with Sorana? Why no improvement?

There have only ever been a handful of women players with the game flexibility to play more than one gameplan. Hingis, who had a very smart game and could adapt to anyone, Justine, who could play a myriad of ways, from defense to offense, Mauresmo, who was comfortable all the way from the baseline to the net. There are a few more I'm sure, but not many.

There were far, far more top players who had one gameplan, but that gameplan worked consistently, and even if they weren't really on the gameplan worked reasonably well. So, if the WS game is on, they win slams. If it's a bit off (or they are rusty), they lose a bit earlier but they aren't totally hopeless. Whereas for Sorana, if her game is off she loses to... everyone. And her game is never on, apparently.

I actually think one plan is already one plan more than she currently has. I.e. I think she doesn't have a plan right now when she plays. She doesn't think on court.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2011, 10:31 AM   #11
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Re: What is REALLY going on with Sorana? Why no improvement?

I agree, Howard... it seems you found the right reason of her bad form because as we agreed no woman has a plan B but it´s important how a plan A works... if it works well you don´t need to have another one in womens tennis but if a plan A doesn´t work and you don´t have another one what to do now? and like you said it seems Sorana´s plan A doesn´t work at all or there is a question if she has a plan A at least... I say she should have her full time coach in my opinion who says her what to play, how to play and set tactics for the match... she´s not so experienced to recognize what to improve, what tactics to set and so on.. only Federer could allow to play and practice without his coach...
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Old Jul 3rd, 2011, 12:53 PM   #12
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Re: What is REALLY going on with Sorana? Why no improvement?

i watched her 2009 french open match against jankovic, and I also saw live one of the wimbledon 2009 matches she won, against mirza. she won by playing a power game, with precision and a good sense of when to go for winners.

this year, i watched the match she lost against na li at roland garros. she definitely doesn't seem to know what she's doing on court. she panics when she's behind, and then she rushes her shots and she goes for winners when she has no business going for winners. that's partly a mental problem that comes from the lack of confidence and lack of winning.

but the biggest problem, in my opinion, is that she doesn't know HOW to use her game to win. that's what wozniacki succeeded in doing. woz is not the most talented of the bunch, but shes no 1. why? because either her or someone in her team figured out HOW TO GET THE MOST out of her type of tenns. this is a question of management and thinking.

sorana is not only a ball basher. she can do a lot with a tennis racket but she doesn't use half the things she could do in a match. she is tall and has powerful legs, but her serve is not a weapon. she can volley and she knows her way around the net, (unlike other big hitters like, say, sharapova) but she rarely uses that to finish points. în the match against na li, she just stayed on the baseline and ran and ran. she is not a defensive player and with all her improved fitness, she cannot win matches that way. and when she comes across a player who's even a bigger hitter than her, she tries to hit even harder and misses, instead of using variety.

my opinion is that she needs to make the serve a weapon, if not with pace, then with placement. that's key. if you know you can hold serve, you approach the return games with more peace of mind. and if hard hitting doesn't do the trick on that day, work on constructing the point, throwing in some variety, slices, moonballs, volleys, whatever, until she gets her oponent out of position and can go for the winner. again, i don't think she uses the whole range of shots that she's capable of. and that's just a shame.

she's not only a nice girl, but her brand of tennis, when she's playing well, is very exciting to watch. i hope she can figure it out for herself sooner than later...
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Old Jul 4th, 2011, 11:52 AM   #13
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Re: What is REALLY going on with Sorana? Why no improvement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by circulati View Post
i watched her 2009 french open match against jankovic, and I also saw live one of the wimbledon 2009 matches she won, against mirza. she won by playing a power game, with precision and a good sense of when to go for winners.

this year, i watched the match she lost against na li at roland garros. she definitely doesn't seem to know what she's doing on court. she panics when she's behind, and then she rushes her shots and she goes for winners when she has no business going for winners. that's partly a mental problem that comes from the lack of confidence and lack of winning.

but the biggest problem, in my opinion, is that she doesn't know HOW to use her game to win. that's what wozniacki succeeded in doing. woz is not the most talented of the bunch, but shes no 1. why? because either her or someone in her team figured out HOW TO GET THE MOST out of her type of tenns. this is a question of management and thinking.

sorana is not only a ball basher. she can do a lot with a tennis racket but she doesn't use half the things she could do in a match. she is tall and has powerful legs, but her serve is not a weapon. she can volley and she knows her way around the net, (unlike other big hitters like, say, sharapova) but she rarely uses that to finish points. în the match against na li, she just stayed on the baseline and ran and ran. she is not a defensive player and with all her improved fitness, she cannot win matches that way. and when she comes across a player who's even a bigger hitter than her, she tries to hit even harder and misses, instead of using variety.

my opinion is that she needs to make the serve a weapon, if not with pace, then with placement. that's key. if you know you can hold serve, you approach the return games with more peace of mind. and if hard hitting doesn't do the trick on that day, work on constructing the point, throwing in some variety, slices, moonballs, volleys, whatever, until she gets her oponent out of position and can go for the winner. again, i don't think she uses the whole range of shots that she's capable of. and that's just a shame.

she's not only a nice girl, but her brand of tennis, when she's playing well, is very exciting to watch. i hope she can figure it out for herself sooner than later...
nicely said!
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Old Jul 4th, 2011, 03:20 PM   #14
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Re: What is REALLY going on with Sorana? Why no improvement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by circulati View Post
i watched her 2009 french open match against jankovic, and I also saw live one of the wimbledon 2009 matches she won, against mirza. she won by playing a power game, with precision and a good sense of when to go for winners.

this year, i watched the match she lost against na li at roland garros. she definitely doesn't seem to know what she's doing on court. she panics when she's behind, and then she rushes her shots and she goes for winners when she has no business going for winners. that's partly a mental problem that comes from the lack of confidence and lack of winning.

but the biggest problem, in my opinion, is that she doesn't know HOW to use her game to win. that's what wozniacki succeeded in doing. woz is not the most talented of the bunch, but shes no 1. why? because either her or someone in her team figured out HOW TO GET THE MOST out of her type of tenns. this is a question of management and thinking.

sorana is not only a ball basher. she can do a lot with a tennis racket but she doesn't use half the things she could do in a match. she is tall and has powerful legs, but her serve is not a weapon. she can volley and she knows her way around the net, (unlike other big hitters like, say, sharapova) but she rarely uses that to finish points. în the match against na li, she just stayed on the baseline and ran and ran. she is not a defensive player and with all her improved fitness, she cannot win matches that way. and when she comes across a player who's even a bigger hitter than her, she tries to hit even harder and misses, instead of using variety.

my opinion is that she needs to make the serve a weapon, if not with pace, then with placement. that's key. if you know you can hold serve, you approach the return games with more peace of mind. and if hard hitting doesn't do the trick on that day, work on constructing the point, throwing in some variety, slices, moonballs, volleys, whatever, until she gets her oponent out of position and can go for the winner. again, i don't think she uses the whole range of shots that she's capable of. and that's just a shame.

she's not only a nice girl, but her brand of tennis, when she's playing well, is very exciting to watch. i hope she can figure it out for herself sooner than later...
100% agree!
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Old Jul 4th, 2011, 03:42 PM   #15
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Re: What is REALLY going on with Sorana? Why no improvement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by circulati View Post
i watched her 2009 french open match against jankovic, and I also saw live one of the wimbledon 2009 matches she won, against mirza. she won by playing a power game, with precision and a good sense of when to go for winners.

this year, i watched the match she lost against na li at roland garros. she definitely doesn't seem to know what she's doing on court. she panics when she's behind, and then she rushes her shots and she goes for winners when she has no business going for winners. that's partly a mental problem that comes from the lack of confidence and lack of winning.

but the biggest problem, in my opinion, is that she doesn't know HOW to use her game to win. that's what wozniacki succeeded in doing. woz is not the most talented of the bunch, but shes no 1. why? because either her or someone in her team figured out HOW TO GET THE MOST out of her type of tenns. this is a question of management and thinking.

sorana is not only a ball basher. she can do a lot with a tennis racket but she doesn't use half the things she could do in a match. she is tall and has powerful legs, but her serve is not a weapon. she can volley and she knows her way around the net, (unlike other big hitters like, say, sharapova) but she rarely uses that to finish points. în the match against na li, she just stayed on the baseline and ran and ran. she is not a defensive player and with all her improved fitness, she cannot win matches that way. and when she comes across a player who's even a bigger hitter than her, she tries to hit even harder and misses, instead of using variety.

my opinion is that she needs to make the serve a weapon, if not with pace, then with placement. that's key. if you know you can hold serve, you approach the return games with more peace of mind. and if hard hitting doesn't do the trick on that day, work on constructing the point, throwing in some variety, slices, moonballs, volleys, whatever, until she gets her oponent out of position and can go for the winner. again, i don't think she uses the whole range of shots that she's capable of. and that's just a shame.

she's not only a nice girl, but her brand of tennis, when she's playing well, is very exciting to watch. i hope she can figure it out for herself sooner than later...
Wow what a first post, I completely agree!

Sorana's serve has seemed to go backwards. I remember watching a match of hers at the US Open in...2008? against Kuznetsova. She lost in straight sets, but she served so well, hit so many aces, and it was a real weapon. Not, not so much. But that's only one part of her game that has regressed.

Your post is spot on, everything is correct.
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