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Old Sep 15th, 2012, 11:27 PM   #3751
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

I believe that since Indian Wells Ana has been trying to be more aggressive. And when she gets passive (usually after winning a first set), it's really strange. Few times she said that Nigel told her that she was too passive in the second set, but she didn't notice it. Few times I heard that, after the match against Dani, Errani, maybe even after the match against Bondarenko IIRC. Against top players she freezes. She was passive against Vika for example and against Goerges she played very risky. No wonder she thinks that Vika is a big hitter, she was pushing in that match.

And Ana's fh was never a low percentage shot, she has never been a bbb with a low percentage game. That's why she handles the counterpunchers so well, she can stay in a point with them. She struggles against grinders who take the ball early, like Vika or LenaD (even Domi), so if she's passive, like she was against Vika, she's a toast. That's when she needs to play very risky.

And I don't think that her serve has been bad since Birmingham. It was good in Birmingham, she hit so many aces during the 2011 grass season. And I don't remember it was bad until the clay season.
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Old Sep 16th, 2012, 12:17 AM   #3752
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

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Originally Posted by Cajka View Post
I believe that since Indian Wells Ana has been trying to be more aggressive. And when she gets passive (usually after winning a first set), it's really strange. Few times she said that Nigel told her that she was too passive in the second set, but she didn't notice it. Few times I heard that, after the match against Dani, Errani, maybe even after the match against Bondarenko IIRC. Against top players she freezes. She was passive against Vika for example and against Goerges she played very risky. No wonder she thinks that Vika is a big hitter, she was pushing in that match.
Its no coincidence Ana looks passive against top players.. its a bit mental, but not only mental. Nigel wants her to be aggressive within the average route, as I said before. But that is going to be very hard against good opponents as they rob her of time and space to hit.. and this game of averages is not her natural one.

And against Goerges it was not like Ana was playing risky.. it was eigther trying to go for a winner or seeing a winner pass her by, as Goerges was playing complete BBB tennis. It was Goerges BBB turning completely erractic and Ana's fight (who would've said!) that won Ana that match.

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Originally Posted by Cajka View Post
And Ana's fh was never a low percentage shot, she has never been a bbb with a low percentage game. That's why she handles the counterpunchers so well, she can stay in a point with them. She struggles against grinders who take the ball early, like Vika or LenaD (even Domi), so if she's passive, like she was against Vika, she's a toast. That's when she needs to play very risky.
I never said Ana's FH was a low percentage shot. Ana used to have a heavy flat FH that was a weapon, and she was aggressive with it at the first chance.

And Ana struggles with grinders who take the ball early because they play high paced games. Ana cant handle the high pace of rallies.. all too fast for her. She needs to have the ultimate aggression against these kind of players, like against Lena D in Beijing 2010, so she doesnt allow them to impose these fast rallies from side to side. If she lets them in, they take control and she can't help but look passive, as they rob her of time and space.

With the average game route she is taking, she will always give them the advantage.

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Originally Posted by Cajka View Post
And I don't think that her serve has been bad since Birmingham. It was good in Birmingham, she hit so many aces during the 2011 grass season. And I don't remember it was bad until the clay season.
It was good in Birmingham.. then never good again. That's why I said since Birmingham.. since then its been getting progressively worse.. she improved the consistency of her groundgame with the average route, and that's why she is winning matches against lesser players.. but the serve has been getting worse and worse and worse.. its just reached a point its really bad, so much it became obvious for anyone to see.
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Old Sep 16th, 2012, 10:45 AM   #3753
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

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Originally Posted by gaviotabr View Post
which makes me hope
are you sure there is hope? because your posts are pure gloom.
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Old Sep 16th, 2012, 12:58 PM   #3754
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

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are you sure there is hope? because your posts are pure gloom.
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Old Sep 16th, 2012, 01:53 PM   #3755
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

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Originally Posted by gaviotabr View Post
Nigel wants her to be aggressive within the average route, as I said before.
Yes, I know that you said that, I just have a completely different impression. She's going forward whenever she can, her volleys have improved a bit, she's hitting the forehand better. The reason why she can't be more aggressive isn't that "new style" or "average route", she simply has a very low 1st serve percentage. She had a right game plan against Serena, she was competitive off the ground and it's not like the average route prevented her from winning more games, she was missing some easy putaways and/or hitting on Serena's racket when she had a chance to finish the points. I think it's panic because she didn't do that against other players.

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Originally Posted by gaviotabr View Post
And against Goerges it was not like Ana was playing risky.. it was eigther trying to go for a winner or seeing a winner pass her by, as Goerges was playing complete BBB tennis. It was Goerges BBB turning completely erractic and Ana's fight (who would've said!) that won Ana that match.
Fight? You mean she stayed focused after wasting the break points. But, still, how did she win the match? Fight is not a playing style.

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Originally Posted by gaviotabr View Post
I never said Ana's FH was a low percentage shot. Ana used to have a heavy flat FH that was a weapon, and she was aggressive with it at the first chance.
You say that she should hit it as flat as possible and I don't think that she has ever played that way. And trying to kill every single ball was what she was doing before 2007 for obvious reasons. Ever since getting fitter she's been trying to play with more patience, to construct the point.


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Originally Posted by gaviotabr View Post
And Ana struggles with grinders who take the ball early because they play high paced games. Ana cant handle the high pace of rallies.. all too fast for her. She needs to have the ultimate aggression against these kind of players, like against Lena D in Beijing 2010, so she doesnt allow them to impose these fast rallies from side to side. If she lets them in, they take control and she can't help but look passive, as they rob her of time and space.
That's what I said. But I don't think that she didn't rally against LenaD. She was doing it, but she was faster and hitting a fh better. Also, she could serve.


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Originally Posted by gaviotabr View Post
It was good in Birmingham.. then never good again. That's why I said since Birmingham.. since then its been getting progressively worse.. she improved the consistency of her groundgame with the average route, and that's why she is winning matches against lesser players.. but the serve has been getting worse and worse and worse.. its just reached a point its really bad, so much it became obvious for anyone to see.
You can't win a single match in pro tennis if your serve is really bad unless you're Errani. Even her serve is not "really bad". Ana's 1st serve percentage is a big problem there. And we can't say how good Ana's serve in 2011 was because she was losing in R1 for the most of the time. And against the scrubs her serve still looks good. When she plays against what you call a 1st decent opponent (top 5 player, btw), it falls apart. But how many times did Ana play against those decent players during the last 4 years? Her serve wasn't good enough even against the players like Sevastova. I noticed that her serve got worse after Miami, when she started taking those vacations and getting injured frequently, but it's not getting progressively worse after hiring Nigel. What kind of coach would make someone's serve worse? It happens when you try to change your serve motion or when you get injured, but not just like that.
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Old Sep 16th, 2012, 02:03 PM   #3756
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

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Originally Posted by gaviotabr View Post
But Srđan is right, Izzy. You say that her game reached a dead end and they don't plan to change it, therefore there's no hope. His conclusion is logically correct. And if by "hope" you mean that it will get better if they choose to change her game completely, I'm sorry, but in that case she'll fall apart completely. Screwing her mind once again would be fatal.
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Old Sep 16th, 2012, 02:20 PM   #3757
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

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Originally Posted by Cajka View Post
But Srđan is right, Izzy. You say that her game reached a dead end and they don't plan to change it, therefore there's no hope. His conclusion is logically correct. And if by "hope" you mean that it will get better if they choose to change her game completely, I'm sorry, but in that case she'll fall apart completely. Screwing her mind once again would be fatal.
Your conclusion is not logic actually.

I never said they didn't plan to change it.. the hope comes exactly from HOPING they see that this is a dead end and they need to change it.

If by screwing her mind you mean making her be an all out aggressive player and hit her FH flat and hard at first chance, then I don't get it. That is her natural game.. if anything it would make her more comfortable.. less clueless.. just playing her natural game.

What would be really fatal is sticking with this dead end route that will lock her and limit her potential. That will be fatal.
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Old Sep 16th, 2012, 02:53 PM   #3758
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

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Originally Posted by Cajka View Post
Yes, I know that you said that, I just have a completely different impression. She's going forward whenever she can, her volleys have improved a bit, she's hitting the forehand better. The reason why she can't be more aggressive isn't that "new style" or "average route", she simply has a very low 1st serve percentage. She had a right game plan against Serena, she was competitive off the ground and it's not like the average route prevented her from winning more games, she was missing some easy putaways and/or hitting on Serena's racket when she had a chance to finish the points. I think it's panic because she didn't do that against other players.
We disagree completely then. Against Serena, its undeniable that Ana's FH costed her at least a few more games. Exactly because a top player barely allows her to hit the FH freely and robs her time on it.. so when she has the chance to hit a FH, its too erractic to actually work. She gets anxious to do it, because its so few chances.. and its not really what she is working on. Ana needed to be working to death on the flat FH, her best shot at a real big weapon.

Against scrubs, she gets all the time in the world.. so she looks aggressive.. like that FH winner feast against Arvidsson. But I have said that Ana was striking her FH a bit better, more aggressively and flatter at the USO.. comparing to the passiveness of most of the tournaments this year, which made me hope they are finally seeing she needs her flat FH.

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Originally Posted by Cajka View Post
Fight? You mean she stayed focused after wasting the break points. But, still, how did she win the match? Fight is not a playing style.
Fight yes.. keeping herself in it, fighting off BPs and keeping focused while wasting some.. that's fight. Julia had BPs in many games in that third set and Ana kept saving them.. that's also fight.

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Originally Posted by Cajka View Post
You say that she should hit it as flat as possible and I don't think that she has ever played that way. And trying to kill every single ball was what she was doing before 2007 for obvious reasons. Ever since getting fitter she's been trying to play with more patience, to construct the point.
No... where did I say she has to hit as flat as possible? I said she needs her flat heavy FH and none of this put spin on it . That has nothing to do with hitting as flat as possible. And there is a difference between being patient and constructing points and being passive. With all this put spin on it, Ana's FH was just not hurting anyone anymore.. she was being robbed of time.. and even though she lost weight she isn't fast and will never really be. So she needs to hit her FH aggressively at the first opportunity. Which doesn't mean trying to bash the ball the first time she has a FH to hit.. but at the first opportunity she has, at the first opening for an aggressive FH. Against top players, if she isn't really aggressive from the start, these opportunities will be scarce.. And if Ana waits for the fith opportunity to actually strike a FH, the ball will just not get to her FH, will already be endlessly on her BH.

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Originally Posted by Cajka View Post
That's what I said. But I don't think that she didn't rally against LenaD. She was doing it, but she was faster and hitting a fh better. Also, she could serve.
In that match Ana was very aggressive.. hitting hard, flat and heavy shots. Hardly ever does this now.. her shots are much more airy since she began to work in getting her game through the average route..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cajka View Post
You can't win a single match in pro tennis if your serve is really bad unless you're Errani. Even her serve is not "really bad". Ana's 1st serve percentage is a big problem there. And we can't say how good Ana's serve in 2011 was because she was losing in R1 for the most of the time. And against the scrubs her serve still looks good. When she plays against what you call a 1st decent opponent (top 5 player, btw), it falls apart. But how many times did Ana play against those decent players during the last 4 years? Her serve wasn't good enough even against the players like Sevastova. I noticed that her serve got worse after Miami, when she started taking those vacations and getting injured frequently, but it's not getting progressively worse after hiring Nigel. What kind of coach would make someone's serve worse? It happens when you try to change your serve motion or when you get injured, but not just like that.
No.. Ana's serve doesn't look good against anyone.. even scrubs are having a quite high win percentage in her 1st and 2nd serves. Ana is winning matches against lesser players on groundgame.. the average route is good for that, as she will be more consistent then the lesser players, so less prone to real bad losses. You don't need 1000000 matches to see if the serve is good, ok, bad, so so.. Hradecka doesnt play that much and loses a lot of matches, but her serve is great. Ana's serve in 2011 was WAY better than it is now.. better placement, higher percentage, hit harder.

And Ana's first decent opponent are not top 5 players.. Even now against Stephens, Ana struggled mightly on serve.. Sofia was getting BPs on Ana's serve left, right and center.

Ana played Sevastova in IW 2010, right? Did you watch that match? No. Ana's groundgame was in shambles at that point in 2010.. there was no way she could do well in a match without a groundgame.. see Hradecka. Ana's serve in early 2011 was only thing that was working.. now her groundgame is less erractic against lesser opposition, due to the average route, so she beats them regardless of the awful state of her serve.

And it has been progressively bad since Ana started working with Nigel.. that's the one shot he has made worse. There is no doubt about that. It was better at USO 2011 than at Beijing 2011 (remember thinking how Ana won those matches against Kuznetsova and Zvonareva on groundgame ALONE), and better in Beijing than in Bali and better in Bali than at AO, then better at AO than Dubai, then better in Dubai than Miami, then better in Miami than Rome, then better in Rome than RG, then better in RG than at Wimbledon, then better at Wimbledon than OG, then better at OG than USO 2012. Only exception was Indian Wells. Ana served ok in Indian Wells. A serve can get worse whenever you are tinkering with it.. and they are obviously tinkering with it. Ana has said herself that they are working in a lot of things regarding her serve. And its obviously not working. Its no coincidence that her first serve percentage was that abysmal at the USO. Its just that the progression of getting worse started to get obvious during clay season.. and now its really bad, so its more obvious.

Ana's injuries were all leg injuries.. it might have slowed her down in footwork and speed.. but not in serving. Now.. it might have contributed or made the process of the degeneration of Ana's serve faster.. but its not the cause. The cause is the tinkering they are making.

Don't say players cant win matches without serve.. Vika's serve is not good at all, and she is winning a LOT, because of her groundgame. Errani is not the only example. Kerber has the most match wins of the year and her serve is crap. Lena D didn't have a serve for SO long, yet she was a top 10 player for 10 years... I could go on and on. If you have a bad serve, you can compensate with your groundgame. Now Ana is a player who depends much more on her serve than the above mentioned players, because she isn't as fast or consistent. So to have a chance against any top player, yes Ana needs the serve to be working well and the FH to be firing and to be really aggressive. But she can keep winning matches against lesser players on groundgame alone.
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Old Sep 16th, 2012, 03:00 PM   #3759
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

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Originally Posted by gaviotabr View Post
Your conclusion is not logic actually.

I never said they didn't plan to change it.. the hope comes exactly from HOPING they see that this is a dead end and they need to change it.

If by screwing her mind you mean making her be an all out aggressive player and hit her FH flat and hard at first chance, then I don't get it. That is her natural game.. if anything it would make her more comfortable.. less clueless.. just playing her natural game.
Controlled aggression is what made her a great player, not hitting as hard as possible. In 2008 she said that she can hit harder than she did in that moment, but she was going for higher percentage. She can become more aggressive, little by little, but starting from a scratch, as you're suggesting, would be fatal and it would screw her mind. Her body is different now, her mindset is damaged, there were too many coaches trying different things with her. Trying something like that would be to risky for her body and her mind. And I remember last year you said you disliked Kardon because he was trying to make her play the way you're currently think she should. IMO, in 2009 she could still play like that, now it would be too difficult. She can try to add some strength, aggression and try to get as close as possible to her level from 2008, but it will never be exactly the same.
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Old Sep 16th, 2012, 03:13 PM   #3760
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

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Originally Posted by Cajka View Post
Controlled aggression is what made her a great player, not hitting as hard as possible. In 2008 she said that she can hit harder than she did in that moment, but she was going for higher percentage. She can become more aggressive, little by little, but starting from a scratch, as you're suggesting, would be fatal and it would screw her mind. Her body is different now, her mindset is damaged, there were too many coaches trying different things with her. Trying something like that would be to risky for her body and her mind. And I remember last year you said you disliked Kardon because he was trying to make her play the way you're currently think she should. IMO, in 2009 she could still play like that, now it would be too difficult. She can try to add some strength, aggression and try to get as close as possible to her level from 2008, but it will never be exactly the same.
WTF??!!!

I would like to understand how on EARTH! Kardon wanted Ana to play the way I'm saying she should play. Kardon tried to change Ana's game completely by making her a net rusher. That has nothing, absolutely nothing to do with what I'm saying. Nothing. WTF?!

Its different to have controlled aggression and to make your shots harmless and being passive... very different. Ana was an aggressive players with weapons back in 2008.. her FH would hurt opponents. Now she is playing the game of averages, adding spin to her shots, making it harmless and airy. This average route is the pollar opposite of the aggressive route. And by aggressive route I never meant for her to be only a complete ballbasher. Its about taking the opportunity to strike and turning her shots into weapons again.. hitting them hard and flat as they should always be. Going for the average route as she is doing is playing a whole different style of play than the one that is natural to her, the one she had up until 2010.. This style is pollar opposite than the one she should have. Its no wonder she looks clueless on court so often. If she ever sees this style has a dead end for her, she will have to start again from scratch. The mistake was going for this route in the first place. She will have to forget about spin and go for flat, she will have to make her mind in being aggressive and not withstanding 20 shots + rallies, so on. I know Ana will never be the one she was in 2008.. that player got killed off. But she is playing now a game that doesn't favor her, that negates her weapons, that has a dead end within her possibilities. All I'm saying is that she needs to go for the game that is natural to her, that not only make her weapons visible but make them shine. Otherwise she won't ever have anything special, that differentiates her from others, as she once did. And that would be fatal.. or you think she will be satisfied if she never does anything of significance again?
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Old Sep 16th, 2012, 03:33 PM   #3761
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

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WTF??!!!

I would like to understand how on EARTH! Kardon wanted Ana to play the way I'm saying she should play. Kardon tried to change Ana's game completely by making her a net rusher. That has nothing, absolutely nothing to do with what I'm saying. Nothing. WTF?!

Its different to have controlled aggression and to make your shots harmless and being passive... very different. Ana was an aggressive players with weapons back in 2008.. her FH would hurt opponents. Now she is playing the game of averages, adding spin to her shots, making it harmless and airy. This average route is the pollar opposite of the aggressive route. And by aggressive route I never meant for her to be only a complete ballbasher. Its about taking the opportunity to strike and turning her shots into weapons again.. hitting them hard and flat as they should always be. Going for the average route as she is doing is playing a whole different style of play than the one that is natural to her, the one she had up until 2010.. This style is pollar opposite than the one she should have. Its no wonder she looks clueless on court so often. If she ever sees this style has a dead end for her, she will have to start again from scratch. The mistake was going for this route in the first place. She will have to forget about spin and go for flat, she will have to make her mind in being aggressive and not withstanding 20 shots + rallies, so on. I know Ana will never be the one she was in 2008.. that player got killed off. But she is playing now a game that doesn't favor her, that negates her weapons, that has a dead end within her possibilities. All I'm saying is that she needs to go for the game that is natural to her, that not only make her weapons visible but make them shine. Otherwise she won't ever have anything special, that differentiates her from others, as she once did. And that would be fatal.. or you think she will be satisfied if she never does anything of significance again?
She had a perfect mix of controlled aggression in 2007/08, and I'm with you...that's the kind of style that works best for her. She was patient with her backhand as a rally shot, she used to hit it pretty well deep with spin, and then she'd move around to crack the forehand. Now she has half that power and half that aggressive mentality I haven't read this whole conversation but this I agree with.

EDIT: Can I also add that her forehand now is too much arm and not enough body, she comes up around the outside of it too much and it's not nearly as technically good as it used to be, unless she is totally set and in the zone. It's a pretty big problem because like you say she's not using it when she gets the chances to go for a big flat shot, its just a spun shot now...so she has to work harder to win points then she becomes more clueless. Well I guess, maybe I'm wrong
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Old Sep 16th, 2012, 03:53 PM   #3762
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

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Originally Posted by gaviotabr View Post
We disagree completely then. Against Serena, its undeniable that Ana's FH costed her at least a few more games. Exactly because a top player barely allows her to hit the FH freely and robs her time on it.. so when she has the chance to hit a FH, its too erractic to actually work. She gets anxious to do it, because its so few chances.. and its not really what she is working on. Ana needed to be working to death on the flat FH, her best shot at a real big weapon.

Against scrubs, she gets all the time in the world.. so she looks aggressive.. like that FH winner feast against Arvidsson. But I have said that Ana was striking her FH a bit better, more aggressively and flatter at the USO.. comparing to the passiveness of most of the tournaments this year, which made me hope they are finally seeing she needs her flat FH.
Missing an easy putaway is missing an easy putaway, you shouldn't miss it against anyone. If you're missing it against top players and not against scrubs, then it's all in your head. She was inpatient, wanted to finish it as soon as possible, so she was overhitting or making poor shot selection. That's how I saw it.


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Ana's FH was just not hurting anyone anymore..
In 2009 and 2010 it was hurting a lot of people... who were in the crowd. They made adjustments for a reason, I have this crazy theory that coaches do some things for a reason, I don't think that Nigel is a deluded old man who thinks that Ana can play like Hingis, but when you get a player who is a mess atm, you must try to make her win some matches for a beginning. I don't think he wants her to play like that for the rest of her career.


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Ana played Sevastova in IW 2010, right? Did you watch that match? No.
I watched her against Dulko, Perry and I watched her in FC (live, unfortunately), so I have a slight idea what could've happened in that match.

I'm tempted to post all Ana's serve stats (including serve speed stats from slams) from the last 4 years. And to back them up with available match videos from YT. But it would be a useless effort, because you will find a way to dismiss all my arguments (), so I should probably save my effort and researching skills for the paper I'm writing atm. Those stats and videos are on the Internet anyway and everybody can see it in case someone forgot what her toss looked like and how many dfs she used to hit.

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Ana's injuries were all leg injuries.. it might have slowed her down in footwork and speed.. but not in serving. Now.. it might have contributed or made the process of the degeneration of Ana's serve faster.. but its not the cause. The cause is the tinkering they are making.
What are they tinkering? I don't see it. It's not like she cut off some pace to get a higher 1st serve percentage. Her 1st serve percentage was horrible. What can be the reason for that? The lack of practice is the only thing I can think of. Vacations in the middle of season can explain the lack of practice and they can be a reason for injuries (that make you unable to practice as well).
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Old Sep 16th, 2012, 04:32 PM   #3763
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

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WTF??!!!
I would like to understand how on EARTH! Kardon wanted Ana to play the way I'm saying she should play. Kardon tried to change Ana's game completely by making her a net rusher. That has nothing, absolutely nothing to do with what I'm saying. Nothing. WTF?!

Its different to have controlled aggression and to make your shots harmless and being passive... very different. Ana was an aggressive players with weapons back in 2008.. her FH would hurt opponents. Now she is playing the game of averages, adding spin to her shots, making it harmless and airy. This average route is the pollar opposite of the aggressive route.
The only two extremes in tennis are pushing and ballbashing, not a single top 50 player is exclusively one or another. When you say that Ana's playing style is completely opposite of what it should be, it's wrong because Ana's playing style is not an extreme in any way. She's still an aggressive player, not as aggressive as she could or should be, but when you say that it has to be MUCH different, for me it means that she should go to some extreme. I don't think that we disagree about her game as much as we have different ideas about the meaning of the words like: slight, much, opposite, bad, really bad, decent. These adjectives and adverbs are often used to describe personal judgement which really varies from person to person, so what is good for me can be average for you, but your usage of these words is quite something. That's why I asked if you ever got B+ in the school. I was a nerd tbh. So, for me, getting B+ was disappointing, terrible and I really thought that B+ was slightly better than C-.

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or you think she will be satisfied if she never does anything of significance again?
Controlled aggression is the only way to do something. And controlled aggression is not an opposition to her "new style". I don't see that she's trying to have 0 winners and 0 UEs in her stats. She's still an aggressive player who should be more aggressive
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Old Sep 16th, 2012, 07:02 PM   #3764
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

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no offense izzy. the way you've been painting it, the future looks very dark. there are no positives to take since ana has taken the "average" route. and all that.

we all know that ana of 2007/08 was much better and we also all know she won't come back in that shape.
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Old Sep 16th, 2012, 09:44 PM   #3765
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

Ana will shut Izzy up, chill out.
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