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Old Jan 26th, 2013, 09:37 AM   #211
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Re: time to hire up a coach?

certainly Thomas is way better Im just wondering if she abandoned all the other shots except for baseline flat shots and her serve
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Old Jan 26th, 2013, 12:49 PM   #212
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Re: time to hire up a coach?

She was a better tennis player with Joyce, but it wasn't working anymore. Hogstedt is very good too. He made her a better athlete.
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Old Jan 26th, 2013, 03:48 PM   #213
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Re: time to hire up a coach?

At this point I'm not sure if it's her coach or just her own mentality. Like I said in the AO thread, she has near zero confidence or fight in slams against top players playing well. Just not executing.
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Old Jan 26th, 2013, 04:28 PM   #214
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Re: time to hire up a coach?

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Originally Posted by domon17th View Post
At this point I'm not sure if it's her coach or just her own mentality. Like I said in the AO thread, she has near zero confidence or fight in slams against top players playing well. Just not executing.
I agree. I don't think a new coach would change her at all. At this point, it's all about Maria. Whether it's stubborness or a lack of confidence, she just refuses to implement anything new to her game. I believe Thomas is a good coach who is a student of the game and understands what it takes to win and what would make Maria a better player. But he can only do so much. It's ultimately up to Maria to apply what's taught in practice. But other than a little better movement and fitness, and maybe a slightly more reliable serve, Maria's game hasn't changed physically or tactically at all under Thomas.

Whether it's Thomas or any new coach, do you think Maria would be receptive to "Hey, we're really going to work on volleying and net play." "Let's develop a reliable slice backhand." "Time to add a kick serve." "We're going to improve your drop shot ability." Drill after drill after drill for her weak areas. It sure doesn't appear that she's interested in that.

I think Maria is one of the easiest players to prepare for on tour because you know exactly what you're going to get from her. It's clear the top players love playing her and always seem to go GOAT and perform with confidence because they only have to prepare for her pace. Maria doesn't do anything to keep opponents off-balance or surprise them. Sure, that style is enough to overpower the lesser-tiered players and get Maria into late rounds, but the dissapointing results against the Vikas, Serenas, Lis, and Agis of the world speak to her limitations. The best players aren't going to be beaten by power alone.

Maria is only hurting herself with her Plan A only approach. I'd love it if one day Maria just went nuts on the court in a match she was struggling in and started drop-shotting, lobbing, slicing, and randomly serve and volleying all over the place. Even if the chances are it wouldn't work well, I bet it would unnerve her opponent and maybe turn the momentum of a match. I just want to see Maria unafraid to mix it up from time to time. It would be so beneficial to her in the long run.
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Old Jan 26th, 2013, 06:09 PM   #215
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Re: time to hire up a coach?

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Originally Posted by Mexicola View Post
I agree. I don't think a new coach would change her at all. At this point, it's all about Maria. Whether it's stubborness or a lack of confidence, she just refuses to implement anything new to her game. I believe Thomas is a good coach who is a student of the game and understands what it takes to win and what would make Maria a better player. But he can only do so much. It's ultimately up to Maria to apply what's taught in practice. But other than a little better movement and fitness, and maybe a slightly more reliable serve, Maria's game hasn't changed physically or tactically at all under Thomas.

Whether it's Thomas or any new coach, do you think Maria would be receptive to "Hey, we're really going to work on volleying and net play." "Let's develop a reliable slice backhand." "Time to add a kick serve." "We're going to improve your drop shot ability." Drill after drill after drill for her weak areas. It sure doesn't appear that she's interested in that.

I think Maria is one of the easiest players to prepare for on tour because you know exactly what you're going to get from her. It's clear the top players love playing her and always seem to go GOAT and perform with confidence because they only have to prepare for her pace. Maria doesn't do anything to keep opponents off-balance or surprise them. Sure, that style is enough to overpower the lesser-tiered players and get Maria into late rounds, but the dissapointing results against the Vikas, Serenas, Lis, and Agis of the world speak to her limitations. The best players aren't going to be beaten by power alone.

Maria is only hurting herself with her Plan A only approach. I'd love it if one day Maria just went nuts on the court in a match she was struggling in and started drop-shotting, lobbing, slicing, and randomly serve and volleying all over the place. Even if the chances are it wouldn't work well, I bet it would unnerve her opponent and maybe turn the momentum of a match. I just want to see Maria unafraid to mix it up from time to time. It would be so beneficial to her in the long run.

you are right, in fact I wasnt talking about kick serves or slice backhand but about the use of easier shots like topspin shots. At some points in the past she started to use them to get back in position in long rallies (RG 2007?) but since she became a better athlete she stopped to use this kind of shot again. Damn today before the injury Nanà was already out of focus simply because Vika started to hit topspin balls with high trajectory... this is what Maria is unable to do, and actually is the only kind of shot that Serena is unwilling to play

So for instance this is a kind of shot she can hit, she simply stopped using it. Na Li under Thomas' coaching became a better athlete too but was Rodriguez the one who changed partially her game imho. I think that training Maria is hell tough but still she isnt improving anymore while she can do a lot more imho
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Old Jan 26th, 2013, 08:07 PM   #216
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Re: time to hire up a coach?

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Originally Posted by Rerun View Post
you are right, in fact I wasnt talking about kick serves or slice backhand but about the use of easier shots like topspin shots. At some points in the past she started to use them to get back in position in long rallies (RG 2007?) but since she became a better athlete she stopped to use this kind of shot again. Damn today before the injury Nanà was already out of focus simply because Vika started to hit topspin balls with high trajectory... this is what Maria is unable to do, and actually is the only kind of shot that Serena is unwilling to play

So for instance this is a kind of shot she can hit, she simply stopped using it. Na Li under Thomas' coaching became a better athlete too but was Rodriguez the one who changed partially her game imho. I think that training Maria is hell tough but still she isnt improving anymore while she can do a lot more imho
Yes, adding more topspin to her shots is another great suggestion. There’s so little margin for error in Maria’s endless barrage of hard flat groundstrokes. If timing is just a little off in a match, the mistakes start piling up in a hurry and things can get one-sided in a flash. Topspin would allow her to have more time to get in better position and to work the point where she can be more selective in unleashing one of her power shots. The change of pace would also keep her opponent more out of rhythm and make them more wary of what Maria’s doing out there. She just needs to find more patience out there and not be afraid to get into rallies and think a point through.
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Old Jan 27th, 2013, 04:53 AM   #217
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Re: time to hire up a coach?

Actually Maria was using more spin on her shots and has been since Hoggy came onto the scene. In fact it looked glorious on the FH at times with the consistent depth she was getting. The problem is when she is off she's using the spin but not hitting through and the balls just last so short. There's a lot of positives to be taken from her play this AO and we aren't always going to see the benefits straight away.

About the mentality, I've rarely legitimately questioned it but that was what was wrong in the SF. No fistpumps, no come on shouts, no intensity. That said, everyone can have completely flat days so I would wait to see whether or not it becomes a consistent issue before really getting into it.

There was a lot of play from Maria that looked a whole lot better than what we seen last year, as dsanders points out pretty often Hoggy has a long term plan for Maria and is great at improving her as a player. People need to accept that Maria just doesn't have the consistency to play all out flat bashing anymore or at least she shouldn't go back to it for a while yet, she's much more versatile as a player these days. Until I stop seeing improvements then she should stick with Thomas.
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Old Jan 27th, 2013, 09:15 AM   #218
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Re: time to hire up a coach?

yeh I feel when she's being outhit/matched on the fh side she tends to swat at the shot rather than step up.
tbh i think this is more about foot placement over anything else, you rarely see Vika a step out of line

but like what oggy said, i'd rather tomas improve her as a player then quick fix her
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Old Jan 27th, 2013, 11:15 AM   #219
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Re: time to hire up a coach?

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Originally Posted by Cosmic Voices View Post
yeh I feel when she's being outhit/matched on the fh side she tends to swat at the shot rather than step up.
tbh i think this is more about foot placement over anything else, you rarely see Vika a step out of line

but like what oggy said, i'd rather tomas improve her as a player then quick fix her
This so much! Remember how she was hitting her FH in the tiebreak aginst Lisicki at the Olympics Luckily during the second set it became more fluid!
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Old Jan 27th, 2013, 11:29 AM   #220
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Re: time to hire up a coach?

It's funny how this thread comes back after every slam loss I still think Tomas is doing a great job with Maria. Ok she played badly in her SF but remember this time last year how excited we were that she'd even made the QF of a hardcourt slam? And now we all pretty much take SFs for granted.

I do agree about the forehand being the main problem though - Under Hoggy it's become more consistent but it does become really weak when up against the really big forehanders like Li. The serve wasn't great this AO either but I think that's probably due to lack of practise from the collarbone.
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Old Jan 27th, 2013, 02:08 PM   #221
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Re: time to hire up a coach?

She doesn't need a new coach, she needs new approach to things mentally or maybe she reached her peak.
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