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Old Dec 9th, 2012, 10:31 PM   #466
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Re: Maria's Exho-Whore offseason cheering thread.

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Originally Posted by OlympianPova View Post
How do exos work? Do they get to choose who they want to play against? Caroline is fun loving. I don't mind seeing her exos with Maria as brings out the playfulness in Maria.
The organizers of the event choose the players. The players can only say "accept" or not. If one of the players did not accept then organizers look for a replacement. At that time the other player's agent could help by offering some players too.
Maria can play with anybody.
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Old Dec 9th, 2012, 10:57 PM   #467
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Re: Maria's Exho-Whore offseason cheering thread.

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It's Caroline again!
Batman and Robin.

(except Karolina is straight.)

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Originally Posted by denny5576 View Post
The organizers of the event choose the players. The players can only say "accept" or not. If one of the players did not accept then organizers look for a replacement. At that time the other player's agent could help by offering some players too.
Maria can play with anybody.
But in case of really big names like Maria and Serena she can say "I accept if opponent isnt X"... and since she is the bigger star (she gets probably 5-10 times more $$$ than Karolina or Azarenka for every match), the organizers want her name and will ditch the lesser player easily just to keep the bigger star happy.
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Old Dec 10th, 2012, 12:03 AM   #468
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Re: Maria's Exho-Whore offseason cheering thread.

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I think the main difference from Istanbul to now is her ball toss and her weight transference on her serve, the toss is more to the right and she jumps that way a little more making it easier to hit the outwide serve (but she's going to have to work on disguising it a bit better because it's easy to see where it's going) and her wrist work on her strokes. FH looks like she's using a lot more snap (similar to Ivanovic's almost) to generate more pace and spin, and also I've noticed the grip change is a lot bigger now from FH-BH. I think maybe she's taken the BH a little more flatter and also changed her takeback a little on that side too.
In short I think 2013 will be more about her serve and FH than her BH as has been most years since her shoulder surgery.
Yeah I loved the changes I saw in her forehand. For me the biggest issue with it post-surgery is that she doesn't get enough width on it, because where she would usually reverse the follow-through she was now hitting through it across her body (probs to alleviate stress on the shoulder, kind of like her overhead phobia) and the shot suffered because of it. But I feel like towards the end of the season she was getting a lot more width on the cross-court and was able to get her arm through the shot better on down the lines so it's a much crisper shot. She's absorbing pace a lot better on that side lately too. I'm sure it's just her becoming for comfortable with it.

The backhand looked slightly different too. Like more of an open racket face after the take-back, but it's still a beautiful shot like always.

What I really like about Hogstedt is that I feel he truly has a long-term approach to Maria's tennis. There have been steady improvements made basically since they started working together (when you take away a couple of injuries she's had). That's what makes me so excited for 2013, because there's nothing to say that these improvements won't continue.
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Old Dec 10th, 2012, 08:17 AM   #469
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Re: Maria's Exho-Whore offseason cheering thread.

Can't believe there's only 20 days left of the off-season .

Brisbane is gonna be such a treat with all the top players. Like an opening season Stuttgart. Excited for Maria's last exho so I can pay more attention to some of the changes you guys have been noticing. I agree that Hogstedt has been an amazing addition, always seeming to look for ways for Maria to improve and coming up with strategies against players who give her trouble. Maria really seems to respect him and they have one of the best coach-player relationships I've seen in a while
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Old Dec 10th, 2012, 09:57 AM   #470
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Re: Maria's Exho-Whore offseason cheering thread.

Hopefully Brisbane will be a successful start of the season and by "successful" I don't mean losing 3 and 1 to Azarenka for the upteenth time
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Old Dec 10th, 2012, 10:01 AM   #471
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Re: Maria's Exho-Whore offseason cheering thread.

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Can't believe there's only 20 days left of the off-season .

Brisbane is gonna be such a treat with all the top players. Like an opening season Stuttgart. Excited for Maria's last exho so I can pay more attention to some of the changes you guys have been noticing. I agree that Hogstedt has been an amazing addition, always seeming to look for ways for Maria to improve and coming up with strategies against players who give her trouble. Maria really seems to respect him and they have one of the best coach-player relationships I've seen in a while
I was surprised he was in Milan with her. Not many coaches travel with players to exos. I agree Hoggy is the best choice. He knows how to handle Maria.
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Old Dec 10th, 2012, 10:03 AM   #472
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Re: Maria's Exho-Whore offseason cheering thread.

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Hopefully Brisbane will be a successful start of the season and by "successful" I don't mean losing 3 and 1 to Azarenka for the upteenth time
Maria loses 3 and 1 in so many of her straight sets losses to Vika/Serena
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Old Dec 10th, 2012, 10:06 AM   #473
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Re: Maria's Exho-Whore offseason cheering thread.

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Maria loses 3 and 1 in so many of her straight sets losses to Vika/Serena
Losing to Serena with a respectable score is fine. She's the GOAT! But losing to Vika without winning many games...
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Old Dec 10th, 2012, 10:15 AM   #474
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Re: Maria's Exho-Whore offseason cheering thread.

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Losing to Serena with a respectable score is fine. She's the GOAT! But losing to Vika without winning many games...
I watched the highlights of her match in Madrid against Serena (why do I do this to myself?) and there were so many times when Maria was ahead in games and had break points and couldn't get her shit together for that one more point. Or Serena just blasts an ace leaving Maria whiplashed. It's so sad

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Old Dec 10th, 2012, 10:21 AM   #475
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Re: Maria's Exho-Whore offseason cheering thread.

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I watched the highlights of her match in Madrid against Serena (why do I do this to myself?) and there were so many times when Maria was ahead in games and had break points and couldn't get her shit together for that one more point. Or Serena just blasts an ace leaving Maria whiplashed. It's so sad
True! But that second set was winnable! Maria has to understand that she always has to be 100% against Serena, so as to be ready in case Serena has an off day! Serena wasn't even playing that well in Madrid. I mean, Maria could win points on Serena's serve! In Istanbul and at the Olympics Serena served and played way too well.
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Old Dec 10th, 2012, 10:46 AM   #476
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Re: Maria's Exho-Whore offseason cheering thread.

Yes, I always watch matches that she wins/loses and that Madrid match is one of the ones where she should have won more than 4 games in a set let alone the whole match

She proved she can break/hold serve with ease, but didn't let herself do it as soon as she got ahead in each game.
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Old Dec 10th, 2012, 10:49 AM   #477
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Re: Maria's Exho-Whore offseason cheering thread.

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Yes, I always watch matches that she wins/loses and that Madrid match is one of the ones where she should have won more than 4 games in a set let alone the whole match

She proved she can break/hold serve with ease, but didn't let herself do it as soon as she got ahead in each game.
Maria is really bad at keeping momentum and seizing the few chances she has against Serena! I mean, if Serena's playing GOAT, there's nothing anyone can do, so just hang in there and take the L. But if she isn't playing well, they all have chances, if they execute a gameplan well!
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Old Dec 10th, 2012, 02:28 PM   #478
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Re: Maria's Exho-Whore offseason cheering thread.

Oh, man, I don't know if I'm ready for the new season already. I've been following Maria since 2004, but for some reason, I felt more nerves and anxiety with Maria's matches in 2012 than any other year. By the time the 4th round or quarters rolled around, my stomach was tied in knots. Those Vika finals losses were especially tough, like getting kicked in the groin.

Maria has shown steady improvement in her game from 2009-2012 each year. She got back to the top of the mountain this year with the French and the number one ranking. I hope that wasn't her post-shoulder surgery ceiling and we see a continued growth and evolution to her game in 2013. It's one thing to see some new wrinkles in easy-going exhos. But I want to see these changes in action when it counts.

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Old Dec 10th, 2012, 02:34 PM   #479
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Re: Maria's Exho-Whore offseason cheering thread.

Well normally Maria carries her form rather well over from exhos to tour matches so I'm not particularly concerned. The good thing is like what Mark and Griffin pointed out, the steady improvements she has made ever since her comeback, that certainly fuels optimism for the future seasons.
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Old Dec 10th, 2012, 03:12 PM   #480
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Re: Maria's Exho-Whore offseason cheering thread.

^Yeah. I liked what I saw from the Brazil exho, but part of me was wondering how well she'd be able to play that way against Vika or Serena in a real match and whether she would be able to come in as much against Vika's returns for example. While Woz is a nice person and tries to make them fun, I wish Maria would have an exho with someone who takes them more seriously so that she (and MUCH more importantly, we) can gauge her game as if it was a real match. Not Vika because I think both of them would try to kill each other or Masha would take it way seriously and risk injury in a meaningless exho, like in Prague, but maybe Kerber, Li or Kvitty - dangerous players that can cause Masha trouble.

And, yeah, the exho gives me hope that there are changes she and Hogstedt are making that I hope will lead to better results.
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