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Old Jan 3rd, 2014, 11:14 PM   #391
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Re: Aussie Open preparations in Brisbane Dec 29

I'm so proud of Maria just the same. That was a great 2nd set.. Give her a few more competitive matches and this year, it will happen.. She can beat Serena. It's getting very close. As a Maria fan, considering her long absence on tour.. Those 3 games she had at Brisbane showed tennis quality to the highest degree and awesome intensity. I guess Sven had so much to offer Maria, and she's welcoming those. Great start!
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Old Jan 3rd, 2014, 11:16 PM   #392
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Re: Aussie Open preparations in Brisbane Dec 29

I'm so proud of Maria just the same. That was a great 2nd set.. Give her a few more competitive matches and this year, it will happen.. She can beat Serena. It's getting very close. As a Maria fan, considering her long absence on tour.. Those 3 games she had at Brisbane showed tennis quality to the highest degree and awesome intensity. I guess Sven had so much to offer Maria, and she's welcoming those. Great start! Let's go Masha!!!
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Old Jan 3rd, 2014, 11:19 PM   #393
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Re: Aussie Open preparations in Brisbane Dec 29

I saw the first set and highlights of the second, I liked how she played.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2014, 11:48 PM   #394
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Re: Aussie Open preparations in Brisbane Dec 29

The second set was good quality but Serena's serve being that AWOL and it still being straight sets says to me that Maria's not really closer to beating her . Sorry but that's my view. She'll never run into Serena serving that badly again.
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Old Jan 4th, 2014, 12:04 AM   #395
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Re: Aussie Open preparations in Brisbane Dec 29

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Originally Posted by Pops Maellard View Post
The second set was good quality but Serena's serve being that AWOL and it still being straight sets says to me that Maria's not really closer to beating her . Sorry but that's my view. She'll never run into Serena serving that badly again.
I won't be that pessimistic. Sharapova previously wasn't able to attack Serena's 2nd serve and her own second serve was read by Serena like an opened book. It was much different today. Masha won 48% of points on her second serve and 60% on Serena's serve. Actually it's Maria's first serve which let her down, she simply has no free point from it and it's speed (155-170km/h) wasn't enough to trouble Serena. Hence no aces.

Hoggy's plan was consistenly hit to the baseline and make Serena hit one more shot , it never worked. What is more, now Masha hits less (i don't remember a single one) idiotic shots short in the middle. It was a complete disaster previously.
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Old Jan 4th, 2014, 01:07 AM   #396
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Re: Aussie Open preparations in Brisbane Dec 29

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I won't be that pessimistic. Sharapova previously wasn't able to attack Serena's 2nd serve and her own second serve was read by Serena like an opened book. It was much different today. Masha won 48% of points on her second serve and 60% on Serena's serve. Actually it's Maria's first serve which let her down, she simply has no free point from it and it's speed (155-170km/h) wasn't enough to trouble Serena. Hence no aces.

Hoggy's plan was consistenly hit to the baseline and make Serena hit one more shot , it never worked. What is more, now Masha hits less (i don't remember a single one) idiotic shots short in the middle. It was a complete disaster previously.
The speed of Maria's 1st serves topped out at around 176 km/h throughout the three matches in Brisbane, which is 10 km/h slower than during 2012/2013.

I hope it's temporary, not a permanent handicap because of her shoulder.
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Old Jan 4th, 2014, 01:28 AM   #397
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Re: Aussie Open preparations in Brisbane Dec 29

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Originally Posted by Pops Maellard View Post
The second set was good quality but Serena's serve being that AWOL and it still being straight sets says to me that Maria's not really closer to beating her . Sorry but that's my view. She'll never run into Serena serving that badly again.
I see what you mean and you're also right, but for example I had a better feeling today than I had in Miami when she won a set to Serena.
There it was Maria on/Serena off - Maria off/Serena on, you could feel (at least I did) that it was over already from half second set... Today instead I had the feeling she was playing much better during rallies, and Serena wasn't off at all besides the serve, which was bad for both of them.
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Old Jan 4th, 2014, 03:05 AM   #398
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Re: Aussie Open preparations in Brisbane Dec 29

All I can say is, stupid baseline linesman
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Old Jan 4th, 2014, 07:52 AM   #399
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Re: Aussie Open preparations in Brisbane Dec 29

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Originally Posted by Pops Maellard View Post
The second set was good quality but Serena's serve being that AWOL and it still being straight sets says to me that Maria's not really closer to beating her . Sorry but that's my view. She'll never run into Serena serving that badly again.
Serena is getting older and older, sooner or later it will happen. Sharapova WILL defeat Williams the Younger.
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Old Jan 4th, 2014, 08:40 AM   #400
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Re: Aussie Open preparations in Brisbane Dec 29

Got to admire Azarenka. Unlike Maria she doesn't serve scared against Serena. The quality of her serve doesn't drop. Love her or hate her, you can tell she approaches Serena like she's just another player, which Maria seems unable to do. Before last year the H2H was also pretty much as horrific too.
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Old Jan 4th, 2014, 08:41 AM   #401
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Re: Aussie Open preparations in Brisbane Dec 29

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pops Maellard View Post
The second set was good quality but Serena's serve being that AWOL and it still being straight sets says to me that Maria's not really closer to beating her . Sorry but that's my view. She'll never run into Serena serving that badly again.
neither of them had the serve in the second set, if Serena had it, she would have won it 6-2, if Maria it would be 6-2 for her
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Old Jan 4th, 2014, 09:05 AM   #402
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Re: Aussie Open preparations in Brisbane Dec 29

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Originally Posted by Pops Maellard View Post
Got to admire Azarenka. Unlike Maria she doesn't serve scared against Serena. The quality of her serve doesn't drop. Love her or hate her, you can tell she approaches Serena like she's just another player, which Maria seems unable to do. Before last year the H2H was also pretty much as horrific too.
I'm pretty sure that the serve is a problem for her for the rest of her career, not just against Serena, it's against anyone. Look at her runs through tournaments, one match the serve is awesome, the next match it's very bad. I agree that the inconsistency is related to Maria's mental blocks, but she has that block because of her shoulder woes. It's not that she serves scared, it's that she is serving with a surgically repaired shoulder. It needs to be constantly worked on and treated before and after matches, it can be effected by bad conditions and anxiety, in short it can help make the serve erratic.

Once that injury started to occur in early 2007 and really went bad mid 2008, her shoulder was never the same again. We will never ever see at first serve as consistent or as deadly as it was early in her career and at AO 2008. The injury is a big reason she has problems with her serve, it made her change her serving motion (something she was using since her childhood), do you realize how hard that is on a player mentally? To never 100% trust your serve again.

Whats more she has had her rotater cuff ripped up, and that pretty much gives he premenant nerve damage in the shoulder muscle. As you saw last season, it will flare up every few months from now on. all in all, Maria has done a great job turning her "bum" right shoulder into a servicable weapon again. I can't say that it will ever be as great as it once was, but it's good enough to not be a big liability in MOST matches. Still, I don't think Maria is ever scared of anything from Serena. She knows on her best day, she will need Williams to play below her best level to win, but that doesn't make her scared. If she was scared, she wouldn't even be competing. She'd have retired long ago.

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Old Jan 4th, 2014, 10:16 AM   #403
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Re: Aussie Open preparations in Brisbane Dec 29

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pops Maellard View Post
Got to admire Azarenka. Unlike Maria she doesn't serve scared against Serena. The quality of her serve doesn't drop. Love her or hate her, you can tell she approaches Serena like she's just another player, which Maria seems unable to do. Before last year the H2H was also pretty much as horrific too.
Azarenka has never had a shoulder injury that could have ended her career though.
Maria's shoulder problems first started way back in 2004, and by the time 2007 rolled around she was having serious service problems all the time.


That being said, I do wish Maria would at least approach Serena differently with her serve.
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Old Jan 4th, 2014, 10:29 AM   #404
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Re: Aussie Open preparations in Brisbane Dec 29

Did anyone else sensed right away she was going to return the double fault right after Serena did it twice in a row during the tie-break?

And yes, I also agree with the fact that the shoulder is the reason her serve will never the same.

However, that hasn't stop her from having good service performances after the surgery. A good serving day could've possibly won her that SF me thinks.



Last thing: What the fuck I was thinking in making that thread for the Brisbane final. Maria got mentioned and it's turning into another mess. *Unsubscribing*
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Old Jan 4th, 2014, 11:15 AM   #405
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Re: Aussie Open preparations in Brisbane Dec 29

I realize the injury stuff, of course. But it looks to me like against other players she serves more confidently. The quality of the serve is much better.
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