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Old Feb 5th, 2012, 07:24 PM   #1
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Maria's Coach

Thought it might be a good idea to have thread dedicated to the coaching aspect of her career.

For example one question that popped into my head numerous times during Maria's impressive if ultimately disappointing run was: Where would Maria be if she was still working solely with Michael Joyce. Would her rather dismal (for someone of her calibre) results have continued? Or would she have eventually pulled herself together and regained decent form

Do you like Thomas as Maria's coach? I personally think he has a great effect on her and has really improved her game with regards to use of tactics against opponents, see the Kvitova match (but not the Azarenka match ) Is there any other coach you feel would work well/better with Maria (Sanchez? ).

I also remember a thread being created around 09ish 10ish that suggested Maria see a sports psychologist after she seemed to almost needlessly lose all big matches particularly is slams (Dulko, Oudin, Kvitova, Henin). Do people think that this is still advisable even though she seems to have for the most part learned how to battle through these matches again (Garcia at RG, Lisicki a AO, Watson at USO but not Penetta at USO). Anyone think this might help Maria overcome that final hump and allow her to produce better tennis in important finals, seemingly something she struggles with nowadays....

Discuss!
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Old Feb 5th, 2012, 09:27 PM   #2
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Re: Maria's Coach

Excuse any typos cause I'm typing this from my ihpobe yewwwwww.

Anyway, Michael Joyce obviously coached Maria to become a powerful aggressive baseliner and to dictate matches with first strike tennis. Maria no longer had the serve post-shoulder surgery to do so though and suffere horrible losses before she changed coaches. I'm sure, despite her demeanor, that her confidence was shattered as a result. The game she played under Michael Joyce's guidance ultimately brought her te success and glamour of her early career, but now that it was ineffective, there was nothing left for him to do.

Sure her biggest weapon, her ground strokes would've found their mark eventually, and given her a little bit of success but she would have never been this successful without Thomas Hogstedt.

Thomas Hogatedt is a very good coach and mentor to Maria. At first I was a bit skeptical of his motives and usefulness, but thankfully he managed to get Maria's career back on track after such am arduous journey.

If it weren't for Hogstedt, Maria would not have one of her biggest weapon since her post-shoulder surgery: her return of serves. She has never been this good at consistently crushing both first and second serves which is the biggest aspect for her recent deep runs in the biggest tournament again. Maria's game was never reliant on the ROS but Thomas Hogstedt did something Michael Joyce was unable to do, that is compensate for Maria's lack of serve.

Of course the serve is very important but it was also the aspect of Maria's game that she was struggling the most with. Constantly hanging motions isn't goig to help her. I'm sure her confidence was continually shot down when none of the service motions were working. I feel that Hogatedt was very smart in changing the focus to something she always had - I mean let's face it, the return of serve is basically a "glorified groundstroke" that just deals with more pace than a rallying ground stroke right? Ultimately it became the staple in both her newfound confidence and improved game and hence spectacular results she has now.

The second aspect of Maria's game that Hogstedt seemingly improved, although less apparent, is Maria's defense. This FURTHER reduces the reliance on the serve and as a result making it less of a liability. She's shown great tennis while on the defense the past couple of years and I think her scrambling and foot work (ie balance) is actually one of the reasons why she can keep up without resorting to the type of first strike tennis she was capable of producing when she had a serve. Minus the occasional errorpova (who has been turning up less as less) she can actually rally for an extended time and play with controlled aggression which has also been a key to her rise to the top again.

I think that despite Hogstedt's influence on Maroas game has yet net her a slam, she could no longer play the way she did while under Joyce's influence. And I think without this change, she would forever be stuck in the middle to lower top 20 like Ana is.

I hope this post is coherent lol too hard to read back on what I've typed on the iPhone.
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Old Feb 16th, 2012, 01:33 AM   #3
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Re: Maria's Coach

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven. View Post
Excuse any typos cause I'm typing this from my ihpobe yewwwwww.

Anyway, Michael Joyce obviously coached Maria to become a powerful aggressive baseliner and to dictate matches with first strike tennis. Maria no longer had the serve post-shoulder surgery to do so though and suffere horrible losses before she changed coaches. I'm sure, despite her demeanor, that her confidence was shattered as a result. The game she played under Michael Joyce's guidance ultimately brought her te success and glamour of her early career, but now that it was ineffective, there was nothing left for him to do.

Sure her biggest weapon, her ground strokes would've found their mark eventually, and given her a little bit of success but she would have never been this successful without Thomas Hogstedt.

Thomas Hogatedt is a very good coach and mentor to Maria. At first I was a bit skeptical of his motives and usefulness, but thankfully he managed to get Maria's career back on track after such am arduous journey.

If it weren't for Hogstedt, Maria would not have one of her biggest weapon since her post-shoulder surgery: her return of serves. She has never been this good at consistently crushing both first and second serves which is the biggest aspect for her recent deep runs in the biggest tournament again. Maria's game was never reliant on the ROS but Thomas Hogstedt did something Michael Joyce was unable to do, that is compensate for Maria's lack of serve.

Of course the serve is very important but it was also the aspect of Maria's game that she was struggling the most with. Constantly hanging motions isn't goig to help her. I'm sure her confidence was continually shot down when none of the service motions were working. I feel that Hogatedt was very smart in changing the focus to something she always had - I mean let's face it, the return of serve is basically a "glorified groundstroke" that just deals with more pace than a rallying ground stroke right? Ultimately it became the staple in both her newfound confidence and improved game and hence spectacular results she has now.

The second aspect of Maria's game that Hogstedt seemingly improved, although less apparent, is Maria's defense. This FURTHER reduces the reliance on the serve and as a result making it less of a liability. She's shown great tennis while on the defense the past couple of years and I think her scrambling and foot work (ie balance) is actually one of the reasons why she can keep up without resorting to the type of first strike tennis she was capable of producing when she had a serve. Minus the occasional errorpova (who has been turning up less as less) she can actually rally for an extended time and play with controlled aggression which has also been a key to her rise to the top again.

I think that despite Hogstedt's influence on Maroas game has yet net her a slam, she could no longer play the way she did while under Joyce's influence. And I think without this change, she would forever be stuck in the middle to lower top 20 like Ana is.

I hope this post is coherent lol too hard to read back on what I've typed on the iPhone.
I agree with everything you said, expect Masha has been going hell for leather on ROS since the day she came back. Joyce did that.
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Old Feb 16th, 2012, 09:29 AM   #4
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Re: Maria's Coach

Personally I think it was a great idea for Maria to change her coach as she did last year. Michael was more of a friend to her rather than a person who pushes her to improve and to do better.

Many of the users around here started complaining about the above mentioned change, but soon results came in and they changed their minds about the issue. Maria is more consistent nowadays, in 2010 and 2009 she wasn't consistent at all. Now she reaches later stages of slams on a daily basis and eventually she'll win one, for that I'm sure .
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Old Feb 16th, 2012, 10:54 AM   #5
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Re: Maria's Coach

With the shoulder issue, Mike became Pova's protector and friend and helped her get back on the court. She would never have made it without his support, friendship and love in those dark days. The transition back to being a task master coach just didn't/couldn't happen. Mike did his part, heart and soul.

Hogg seems to be the ideal coach with Pova. With him she got her mojo back, her intensity and has demonstrated her will to play and win, which was lacking in 2009 and 2010. 2011 was just an incredible turnaround in my opinion. 2012 should be very exciting...
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Old Mar 19th, 2012, 10:14 AM   #6
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Re: Maria's Coach

After Maria's recent defeat in the final of IW against Vika, I saw some posters say that Maria should dump Hogstedt for another coach. Personally I believe he did a great job with Maria and the fact that she's now back at #2 in the world is partly due to him. What's your opinion on this matter?
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Old Mar 19th, 2012, 01:45 PM   #7
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Re: Maria's Coach

I believe that Hogstedt has been fantastic, and I don't think he's done all he has. People are forgetting how she played for most of the AO andthe notable improvements there. I'll see after a few more tournaments, but I do feel that Hoggys idiotic ''choke'' statements and ''push mode'' statements have no place on Masha's court. However, most of the time he is brilliant when he is on court.

If by then end of the year Masha still hasn't improved she'll need to bring in some ATP coach legend or bring Yuri back, Yuri would work wonders for her confidence.

A lot of people seem to think she's incapable of being aggressive, see '12 AO SF. The problem, I think, is that either Maria or Hoggy thinks that she shouldn't be that kind of aggressive against Vika. All in all I say bring Yuri back - nobody is gonna motivate her better than him, he would be killing her on the practice courts and make her believe that she is Masha Fierce again. After this season Vika and Petra will be the only true threats, '05/'06 Maria would dominate these Bitches never mind '08.
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Old Mar 19th, 2012, 06:01 PM   #8
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Re: Maria's Coach

I think Mashenka and coaches want to interact in that way... Remember the incident with Joyce?
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Old Mar 19th, 2012, 06:02 PM   #9
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Re: Maria's Coach

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maja12 View Post
I think Mashenka and coaches want to interact in that way... Remember the incident with Joyce?
Which one? and in what way?
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Old Mar 19th, 2012, 06:09 PM   #10
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Re: Maria's Coach

the n word... if it was an n word... besides, it is totally irrelevant what they say to her. She never listens to them, she is in LALALALALA land when they speak to her.
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Old Mar 19th, 2012, 06:14 PM   #11
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Re: Maria's Coach

I thought it was that, personally thought her was gonna say 'man'. Anyways if she's changing coaches she should wait til the end of the off-season, and if she manages a slam this season then Hoggy is here for another while.
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Old Mar 19th, 2012, 07:11 PM   #12
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Re: Maria's Coach

Hoggy should/will stay! Masha is not like Vera or Ana or Sveta to change coaches back and forth. Plus with Hoggy she improved and he has a plan for her. Nobody remembers Hoggy's Fed Cup interview?
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Old Mar 19th, 2012, 07:28 PM   #13
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Re: Maria's Coach

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maja12 View Post
Hoggy should/will stay! Masha is not like Vera or Ana or Sveta to change coaches back and forth. Plus with Hoggy she improved and he has a plan for her. Nobody remembers Hoggy's Fed Cup interview?
I do, and I remember the ball striking I seen at the AO. Some just think a bad loss is enough to warrant a coach change, but at least she somewhat improved the score from Oz.

People also forget Masha has another four good years left in her.
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Old Mar 19th, 2012, 11:01 PM   #14
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Re: Maria's Coach

One day success will come. Don't forget Azarenka's the hottest player of the world right now and it's really hard to stop her at this moment. But this won't last long so Maria has to work even harder to keep up what she has.
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