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Old Jan 19th, 2013, 07:57 PM   #16
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Re: Serena and Maria are in the best shape ever

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Old Jan 19th, 2013, 08:31 PM   #17
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Re: Serena and Maria are in the best shape ever

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Originally Posted by Craig. View Post
Same here.
Agreed!

And I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one here who honestly feels this way.
Plus, I can't believe that I'm actually agreeing with Dominic...but 'credit when due' has always been my motto.
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Old Jan 19th, 2013, 08:33 PM   #18
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Re: Serena and Maria are in the best shape ever

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Originally Posted by RVD View Post
Agreed!

And I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one here who honestly feels this way.
Plus, I can't believe that I'm actually agreeing with Dominic...but 'credit when due' has always been my motto.
I thought she played a solid, smart match for about a set and a half (served, returned and moved beautifully), but there were a few too many errors once Venus picked it up a bit.
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Old Jan 19th, 2013, 08:41 PM   #19
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Re: Serena and Maria are in the best shape ever

Maria is definitely at her physical peak, she's never been better at recovering from matches or had such high endurance levels and her movement is always improving. Hopefully the days of Maria moving slower than Robson are gone for good.

Serena is in great shape too although I'm not sure whether she's physically just as good as she was in 2002-2003 but the current level is still damn impressive.
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Old Jan 19th, 2013, 08:43 PM   #20
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Re: Serena and Maria are in the best shape ever

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Maria is definitely at her physical peak, she's never been better at recovering from matches or had such high endurance levels and her movement is always improving. Hopefully the days of Maria moving slower than Robson are gone for good.

Serena is in great shape too although I'm not sure whether she's physically just as good as she was in 2002-2003 but the current level is still damn impressive.
I don't think Serena will ever be as fast as she was pre-2003, but she seems to be better in all other aspects.
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Old Jan 19th, 2013, 08:47 PM   #21
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Re: Serena and Maria are in the best shape ever

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I thought she played a solid, smart match for about a set and a half (served, returned and moved beautifully), but there were a few too many errors once Venus picked it up a bit.
I attributed that dip (of Sharapova's) to nerves, as Venus tends to historically turn-it-on at odd times during a match. And she's (Venus) especially scary when coming to the net, as she did in the 2nd set.

I got the sense that her illness was sapping her, and was exacerbated in that Australian heat, but I can't be certain, as I wasn't there to judge properly.

What is certain, however, is that she played awful throughout...even after that short improvement in play at 2-5(?) in the 2nd.
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Old Jan 19th, 2013, 08:49 PM   #22
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Re: Serena and Maria are in the best shape ever

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I don't think Serena will ever be as fast as she was pre-2003, but she seems to be better in all other aspects.
Smarter- yes. Better ballstriker, better returner, better match-player? No. That's no insult though. It just shows you how insane her level was a decade ago. She was basically unplayable.

Sharapova still isn't the same player that she was 5-6 years ago.
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Old Jan 19th, 2013, 09:01 PM   #23
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Re: Serena and Maria are in the best shape ever

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Originally Posted by The Dawntreader View Post
Smarter- yes. Better ballstriker, better returner, better match-player? No. That's no insult though. It just shows you how insane her level was a decade ago. She was basically unplayable.

Sharapova still isn't the same player that she was 5-6 years ago.
I respect your opinion, but Serena has improved in all of these areas, because she's HAD to.

Since she's older, and since her speed is visually a step below (compared to her 2001-2003 form), she has had to improve other areas to compensate.
I'm not arguing with you though. I'm simply saying that we both see a different Serena when watching her play today as opposed to 2001-2003. The Serena of today is so much more polished and balanced than her 2001-2003 prime years. I have old tapes from back then, and though I agree that she was scary, she's even more scary today what with her patience, improved court sense, and even mentality.
She's been through a lot to get to this point, and has made improvements in areas that I originally prayed that she would. Particularly in the areas of net play, slice returns, and lobs.
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Old Jan 19th, 2013, 09:12 PM   #24
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Re: Serena and Maria are in the best shape ever

I have been following Venus and Serena's career from the the very beginning and serena is a muh better tennis play now than she was in 2002. By looking at her unforced error to winner ratio most of the time today she hits more winners than ue. Her serve is much better today also, I don't think Serena ever got past 119 mph during her 2002-2003 form. Her volleys are much better today also it's like day and night I used to cringe when serena was up at net especially hitting and overhead. (Watch Serena's matches in 2002-2003 her overheads will make you cringe. All I can say about her 2002-2003 form was that she was a better athlete than she is today which allowed her to dominate.
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Old Jan 19th, 2013, 09:24 PM   #25
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Re: Serena and Maria are in the best shape ever

Adding to the 'in shape' talk, Serena and Maria are looking impressive but I reckon Vika is not looking as fit this year. I remember seeing her last year on the practice courts in Melbourne and being so impressed by her physique, taken aback by how good she looked even. But I saw her again this year and she is no way near as impressive looking physique wise as she was last year.
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Old Jan 19th, 2013, 09:29 PM   #26
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Re: Serena and Maria are in the best shape ever

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Originally Posted by The Dawntreader View Post
Smarter- yes. Better ballstriker, better returner, better match-player? No. That's no insult though. It just shows you how insane her level was a decade ago. She was basically unplayable.

Sharapova still isn't the same player that she was 5-6 years ago.
I meant only from a physical standpoint, I wasn't talking about Serena as a player.

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Adding to the 'in shape' talk, Serena and Maria are looking impressive but I reckon Vika is not looking as fit this year. I remember seeing her last year on the practice courts in Melbourne and being so impressed by her physique, taken aback by how good she looked even. But I saw her again this year and she is no way near as impressive looking physique wise as she was last year.
I agree. She doesn't look nearly as impressive in general as she did last year.
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Old Jan 19th, 2013, 09:33 PM   #27
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Re: Serena and Maria are in the best shape ever

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I meant only from a physical standpoint, I wasn't talking about Serena as a player.



I agree. She doesn't look nearly as impressive in general as she did last year.
Sounds good to me
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Old Jan 19th, 2013, 09:36 PM   #28
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Re: Serena and Maria are in the best shape ever

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Sounds good to me
It would've taken a huge act of physical and mental attrition for Azarenka to replicate the sort of form she exhibited at the start of '12. Even then, it only lasted about 3 months.
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Old Jan 19th, 2013, 09:40 PM   #29
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Re: Serena and Maria are in the best shape ever

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To be honest I didn't think Maria was THAT impressive against Venus, especially towards the end, a lot of UE
Yeah, that was a lesser note to end on, but the purple patch she hit from the end of the first set up to 5-1 in the second set was mighty good.
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Old Jan 19th, 2013, 10:17 PM   #30
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Re: Serena and Maria are in the best shape ever

Maria's thighs look slightly larger to me, with nothing added around her middle.If that is the case, it took some pretty disciplined training. She looks more confident about hitting hard shots, close to the edges of the court. More consistent.
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