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Old Sep 14th, 2012, 02:15 PM   #3736
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

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Originally Posted by Cajka View Post
It's the end of the season, so it can hardly affect her next tournament after that.

If she wants to have a good clay season in 2013 she will have to skip Fed Cup next year. First, she won't add any MM in that case and she'll lose in R1 of Stuttgart again. But it all depends on result of their first tie which will be played in February.

I can understand why she skipped Stanford and San Diego this year, but next year it would be inexcusable.
I'm pretty sure she will play Stanford and San Diego next year..

As for clay season.. I don't know.. first thing she needs is to have a good prep.. a real good one. She had no prep this season. After Miami she only saw Nigel again in Stuttgart. I mean.. hitting on clay with only a hitting partner before Fed Cup is hardly a good preparation, especially considering how the movement on that surface is so specific.

As for Fed Cup... yes it won't affect any tournament after, since its the last one.. but it might affect tournaments before.. she really wants to play Fed Cup final, so she might save herself to avoid any injury. We all know how paranoid Ana can be with injuries.
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Old Sep 14th, 2012, 05:33 PM   #3737
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

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Originally Posted by gaviotabr View Post
I think Ana's current brand of tennis is harmless against any top 10 player.. not only the strong top 4. Its the average route that serves well to beating scrubs, because its more consistent.. but that also negates any of her weapons, so it cant cause even ticking in top players.

In premier events and slams, apart from losing to Serena, Vika, Maria, Kim and Venus.. Ana also lost to Cetkovska, Barthel, Safarova, Vinci, Wozniacki, Kvitova, Errani.. so its not like Ana is only losing against the very best and she didn't have chances of doing better in tournaments, instead of losing in early rounds 80% of times.

We'll see what happens in her last 3 tournaments.. I hope she can build on the USO run. And don't remind me of Fed Cup.. that's almost always recipe for disaster..
hey, hey, let's not disrespect kvitty and woz that much, they have no business on a list of bad losses no matter what but it doesn't matter anyway. other top 10 players also have losses like that. this is why it's basically ana's scheduling that's ruined her best chance in years to reach yec. she is not playing her best tennis but even so she is knocking on the door of top 10 and might have had a shot at top 8. and you agree that if she got there she would stay there for a long time. which is something we should acknowledge and give her some credit. even the short reviews from other websites you posted last do.

and i still think she can beat top players. errani is now also top 10 and we know what the 1st set at rg looked like.
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Old Sep 14th, 2012, 08:57 PM   #3738
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

I somehow regret not watching that match vs. Errani, at least for missing that first set. I got to see a bit of the second and that's when I saw doubts in her eyes.
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Old Sep 14th, 2012, 11:52 PM   #3739
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

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hey, hey, let's not disrespect kvitty and woz that much, they have no business on a list of bad losses no matter what but it doesn't matter anyway. other top 10 players also have losses like that. this is why it's basically ana's scheduling that's ruined her best chance in years to reach yec. she is not playing her best tennis but even so she is knocking on the door of top 10 and might have had a shot at top 8. and you agree that if she got there she would stay there for a long time. which is something we should acknowledge and give her some credit. even the short reviews from other websites you posted last do.

and i still think she can beat top players. errani is now also top 10 and we know what the 1st set at rg looked like.
I'm not disrespecting Kvitova or Woz, I was just listing all of Ana's losses in premiers and slams.

I think other top players have bad losses because they are inconsistent.. but not due to having nothing to harm the other player. That's the issue.. Ana's current game denies her weapons, so she doesnt even cause tinkling in top players, who will move faster and be even more consistent than her or hit harder.

I agree Ana would have a good chance of keeping a top 8 position in case she ever gets there exactly because she is more consistent and would benefit from easier draws and facing more scrubs or lesser players. She would probably reach a lot of QFs with a top 8 seed.. but keep losing to the first good player she faces, because her current game just cant hurt them.

I agree Ana could possibly beat Errani.. but when she most needed to do it, she didnt. Ana cant sustain the high level she displayed in the first set, because that is not what she has been working on in practice.. She sure needs that utmost aggressive game, flattening out her FH.. but she rarely ever plays like that, because that is not how Ana and Nigel have designed her new game. Its based on being more consistent and ends up negating Ana's possible weapons. So it ends up going back to the average route and then even Errani, who is a weaker top player IMHO (no ofense to Errani fans), can work Ana out. The thing that most made me hope after the US Open run was that Ana was actually trying to hit her FH hard and flat at first opportunity.. that's the only hope really. Ana needs to have a real weapon to be able to bother and beat top players.
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Old Sep 15th, 2012, 07:52 AM   #3740
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

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hey, hey, let's not disrespect kvitty and woz that much, they have no business on a list of bad losses no matter what but it doesn't matter anyway. other top 10 players also have losses like that. this is why it's basically ana's scheduling that's ruined her best chance in years to reach yec. she is not playing her best tennis but even so she is knocking on the door of top 10 and might have had a shot at top 8. and you agree that if she got there she would stay there for a long time. which is something we should acknowledge and give her some credit. even the short reviews from other websites you posted last do.

and i still think she can beat top players. errani is now also top 10 and we know what the 1st set at rg looked like.
Exactly!.
As far as scheduling is concerned I guess the purpose of having top 10 schedule was trying to keep herself in the mix of the toughest opponents and learn how to beat them again. On one hand that is nice and brave, on the other hand winning tournaments where she has the upper hand over the rest of the players also isn´t a bad idea when one wants to improve. Against the opponents who are (ranking-wise) easier to beat she could try to develop some parts of her game which need improvement.She would be able to take more risks against an opponent who would not be able to keep up with her and try things which are too risky to apply against top players unless the execution is brilliant.

Hopefully she won´t be too stubborn next season and lets go a little bit. I think that the schedule which is average and not too light can actually help to prevent injuries. Playing more could help her to get fitter and stronger,too.
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Old Sep 15th, 2012, 09:44 AM   #3741
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

oh come on izzy, ana still can play aggressively and she can hurt at least some of the top players even now. and it's not like being consistent is undesirable. she will get to play top players more frequently if she consistently lives up to her seeding and gets to play them. then she will have to figure out how to beat them. it's easy to say how she should play, she actually needs to be able to execute that kind of a game plan on any given day. and since now she will face big players in later stages of tournaments any win would be a really big one.
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Old Sep 15th, 2012, 12:07 PM   #3742
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

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Originally Posted by marineblue View Post
Exactly!.
As far as scheduling is concerned I guess the purpose of having top 10 schedule was trying to keep herself in the mix of the toughest opponents and learn how to beat them again. On one hand that is nice and brave, on the other hand winning tournaments where she has the upper hand over the rest of the players also isn´t a bad idea when one wants to improve. Against the opponents who are (ranking-wise) easier to beat she could try to develop some parts of her game which need improvement.She would be able to take more risks against an opponent who would not be able to keep up with her and try things which are too risky to apply against top players unless the execution is brilliant.

Hopefully she won´t be too stubborn next season and lets go a little bit. I think that the schedule which is average and not too light can actually help to prevent injuries. Playing more could help her to get fitter and stronger,too.
Ana doesn't have a top 10 schedule. Ana has a top 5 schedule. Only Vika, Maria and Serena have played less tournaments than Ana. But they make the final rounds in all of these tournaments, so they play more matches.

This is not a matter of trying different things and taking risks against lesser opponents. This is about getting match management and game rythm that only by playing you can get. Even more because its against the top players that you need to take more risks and try harder and have weapons, to see if that really works.. not so against lesser opponents... against them, the usual can do and the riskier might work even if it doesn't against top players.

Playing such light schedule has nothing to do with keeping herself in the mix of toughest opposition, it is just the schedule Ana always had. Except for end of 2010, which was her best level of play period since 2008, Ana always had a very light, big tournament only, schedule. Hard to see that changing much.

AH! And again, I'm not disrespecting Woz or Kvitova.. I listed all of Ana's losses in slams and premieres.. all of them.. because it was said somewhere not many people can do much against Serena or Vika or Maria right now.. Ana lost against them, but also against a lot of others... so she really had a chance to do better and just didn't. I wasnt the one saying that was a list of bad losses.. but I guess you guys who read my post considered so..
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Old Sep 15th, 2012, 12:14 PM   #3743
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

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Originally Posted by azdaja View Post
oh come on izzy, ana still can play aggressively and she can hurt at least some of the top players even now. and it's not like being consistent is undesirable. she will get to play top players more frequently if she consistently lives up to her seeding and gets to play them. then she will have to figure out how to beat them. it's easy to say how she should play, she actually needs to be able to execute that kind of a game plan on any given day. and since now she will face big players in later stages of tournaments any win would be a really big one.
The way I see Ana's level of play and the way she has been playing.. I mean, the way she choose to play.. it's harmless against any top player. They will be faster, more aggressive, more consistent and she will have nothing with which to hurt them. This way of playing negates Ana's weapons, and you need weapons against top players. A weaponless player can play a top player 20 straight times and not "figure out how to beat them" simply because said player cant hurt the top player.

Ana has the potential to have weapons in her game... and she was once a great player with lots of weapons.. but this average route game that she and Nigel have chosen for her is different and hides her weapons, making her easy target for top players. It does help her be less exposed to real bad losses.. even though her worst scorelines ever have come this season.

Ana could still play aggressively.. but if that is not the game path she has taken, not what she is working on.. then she mostly wont.
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Old Sep 15th, 2012, 08:19 PM   #3744
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

Izzy, I thought you said that you don't think that Ana should fire Nigel, but from your latest posts I've got an impression that you feel like he's the worst coach ever, that he's just awful for her game wise, tactics wise + he can't make her change her bad habits. For example, I don't think that playing passive is their game plan. In every single interview Ana says she must be aggressive, but when she usually steps back. In IW she started the match against Masha very well, but she stepped back.
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Old Sep 15th, 2012, 08:51 PM   #3745
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

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Izzy, I thought you said that you don't think that Ana should fire Nigel, but from your latest posts I've got an impression that you feel like he's the worst coach ever, that he's just awful for her game wise, tactics wise + he can't make her change her bad habits. For example, I don't think that playing passive is their game plan. In every single interview Ana says she must be aggressive, but when she usually steps back. In IW she started the match against Masha very well, but she stepped back.
You got me wrong then..

I don't think Ana should fire Nigel or that he is the worst coach ever.. I do think they are taking the wrong way with her game. In what he set out to do, in his vision of Ana's new style of play (as Morozova put it), he has done a good job. But that's a dead end to Ana. She can perfect this kind of game and she won't ever be good enough, because this game negates her strengths.

No.. playing passive is not their game plan.. its being aggressive within a game of averages. As Ana has repeated ad nauseum this year, she has been working mostly on being more consistent, on adding spin to her shots. The thing is, the game of averages is not Ana's game. She will never be fast enough, or absorb and redirect pace as well, or hit with crazy spin, to actually make any of that a weapon. So what ends up happening is that she looks passive even if she doesn't intend to be.. not by choice, but exactly because she wont be better than good opponents playing this game. They will either overpower her or outrun her or outsmart her. In this game of averages Ana is doing the best she can, so in the game Nigel and her have designed for her they are doing a good job. Its just that Ana will never be good enough in it.. its not her game.

She can start out well in a match, like the one you mention in IW, but cant sustain it, simply because that's not what she has been working on. You do on court what you practice.. So if anything, I'm saying that Nigel and Ana have choosen the wrong game path for her. Enough for her to beat the scrubs and lesser players, but harmless against anyone good. Nigel is a good, smart, experienced coach.. I just think he took the wrong game path with Ana, one with a dead end.
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Old Sep 15th, 2012, 09:35 PM   #3746
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

They did what everybody thought they were supposed to do. Finding a way to win matches, it had to be a start, but to take it to another level she should gain few kilos of muscles and if she wants to do it properly, she must avoid frequent vacations. Imagine this: just when you start doing on something with her, she decides to go to Belgrade. Or she gets injured and can't practice. I think that she needs the whole off season to make proper adjustments.
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Old Sep 15th, 2012, 09:39 PM   #3747
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

I can't even read your texts, I'm always surprised by how much you wrote when I visit this thread.

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Old Sep 15th, 2012, 09:43 PM   #3748
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

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They did what everybody thought they were supposed to do. Finding a way to win matches, it had to be a start, but to take it to another level she should gain few kilos of muscles and if she wants to do it properly, she must avoid frequent vacations. Imagine this: just when you start doing on something with her, she decides to go to Belgrade. Or she gets injured and can't practice. I think that she needs the whole off season to make proper adjustments.
This new style and the aggressive way Ana should play are polar opposites... If she ever decides to go the aggressive way she would have to sort of start from scratch again. This average route has a dead end.. she can't take this style of game to a next level... she will just never be fast enough or be able to handle high pace well enough or be tennis smart enough or even to hit spin enough (muscles or no muscles) to have real weapons and to make the game special. This has a dead end in terms of the level she can have in this average route and she is very close to it. She can make adjustments in the off season, get stronger, fitter, she can perfect this game of averages.. its not her game, she will never be good enough with it.

My hope is that she and Nigel see that she needs all out aggression.. even if she does need to start from scratch.
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Old Sep 15th, 2012, 10:02 PM   #3749
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

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This new style and the aggressive way Ana should play are polar opposites... If she ever decides to go the aggressive way she would have to sort of start from scratch again. This average route has a dead end.. she can't take this style of game to a next level...
Not to take her defensive skills to another level, although I think that she used to defend better when she worked with Byrnes. I was talking about taking her aggressive game to another lever. Her fh looks much better than it looked on USO last year, much better. But, what the fuck happened to her serve. It started during the clay season. I blame the vacations and the injuries for that.

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she will just never be fast enough or be able to handle high pace well enough or be tennis smart enough or even to hit spin enough (muscles or no muscles) to have real weapons and to make the game special.
She's not fast enough and it's not her tennis plan. I don't think that not being tennis smart enough is her issue. You can't be tennis smart for all playing styles. Look at defensive players when they try to be more aggressive, they also look clueless, can't finish the point. She definitely tries to be more consistent, but I don't think that her plan is to be "average". She just can't play as aggressive as she should for various reasons.

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My hope is that she and Nigel see that she needs all out aggression.. even if she does need to start from scratch.
She needs a first serve.
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Old Sep 15th, 2012, 10:50 PM   #3750
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

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Not to take her defensive skills to another level, although I think that she used to defend better when she worked with Byrnes. I was talking about taking her aggressive game to another lever. Her fh looks much better than it looked on USO last year, much better. But, what the fuck happened to her serve. It started during the clay season. I blame the vacations and the injuries for that.

She's not fast enough and it's not her tennis plan. I don't think that not being tennis smart enough is her issue. You can't be tennis smart for all playing styles. Look at defensive players when they try to be more aggressive, they also look clueless, can't finish the point. She definitely tries to be more consistent, but I don't think that her plan is to be "average". She just can't play as aggressive as she should for various reasons.

She needs a first serve.
No... they are going for an average route for her game. Its adding spin, its being more consistent, not pulling the trigger too early, its withstanding rallies.. things Ana has repeated ad nauseum she is working on. And that's how she has been playing... Everyone can see she is playing a new style for her.. very different than how she used to play. Ana herself sees it and says she is a different player now. Its the game of averages. To play that game, a player needs to have good anticipation, run well, absorb and redirect pace well, be utter consistent. The one player who I think is the master of the average game is Vika. You can be aggressive within the average game... Vika is.. but to be aggressive within this game you need those assets I mentioned. Otherwise you will just look passive.. like Ana has looked so many times. She isn't choosing to be passive, but playing this game without being fast enough or smart enough or have spin enough or absorb and redirect pace well enough, will make Ana look passive, because she just won't have means to be aggressive.. and then when she starts being passive, she starts missing, which only makes her even more passive and more erractic.

What I meant by saying Ana will never be fast enough or tennis smart enough or hit with enough spin or handle high pace well enough is that you need to do at the very least one of those very well to have a weapon within the average game. And Ana won't ever be able to be top notch in any of those to make it a real weapon.. its just not in her. If Ana plays her natural game, the one in which she does have weapons, she wouldn't need much tennis smarts.

Against lesser opponents, the average game works ok.. leaves Ana less prone to bad losses.. and those opponents will give her a little extra time and space to hit her FH and look aggressive. But top players will not.. and then even if she tries to be aggressive at first, she will be robbed of space and time and will end up on the back foot and being passive/erractic.

I do think Ana attempted to hit her FH flatter at the USO.. which makes me hope that they are seeing how adding spin and trying consistency in rallies with the FH is not the way to go. Ana needs the flat FH so that can be a weapon and she needs to use it and attack with the FH at first opportunity, every time there is a chance. But that seems like an oasis in the middle of a desert.. Ana's FH has barely looked aggressive all year apart from this USO and perhaps IW. And still.. when you think about it, the first really good opponent Ana faced, which unfortunately was the best of all Serena, her FH costed her at least a few more games. Exactly because a top player barely allows her to hit it and robs her time on it.. so when she has the chance, its too erractic to actually work. Ana needed to be working to death on the flat FH, her best shot at a real big weapon.

And you said yourself.. look at how clueless pushers look when they try to be aggressive, stepping away from their natural games.. its the same for Ana.. look at how a naturally aggressive player looks clueless when trying to be too consistent.. she ends up being an erractic passive player.

Now the serve.. the serve is a big issue. And no.. apart from Indian Wells, Ana hasn't served well since Birmingham last year. It didn't start in the clay season.. If there is one shot that Nigel has made considerably and progressively worse, then that's the serve. When Ana was losing all those choking matches last year, it was not because of her serve.. she was serving ok really... it was because of her inexistant groundgame and ridiculously weak mentality. But now the serve is one of the biggest liabilities.. its just bad.. easy to read, not good placement, not hard enough, low 1st service percentage. I think Nigel is a good coach... but I don't understand what he is tinkering with on Ana's serve.. its just getting worse and worse.

So yes, Ana needs a first serve.. but still wont be enough to take the next level if her groundgame keeps following the average route.
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Last edited by gaviotabr : Sep 15th, 2012 at 10:57 PM.
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