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Old May 21st, 2012, 02:16 PM   #1
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Ana's surface analysis thread

I made this a thread because I thought it was OT everywhere else. So we can discuss things like her regression on clay, her best matches by surface, the improvements she needs to make etc in here.

The thread in GM about a player's best match on her worst surface got me thinking, what is Ana's worst surface? A couple of people answered with matches on grass, is this the general consensus? Thoughts?

You could make an argument for US Open style decoturf I guess, but I think Ana is actually pretty good on all surfaces. Izzy and Cajka, one of you recently mentioned that all of Ana's post RG titles were indoors, is this her best surface now? I think I am uncomfortable giving a prescriptive answer to questions like this. There is never a time in the season where I dread a surface change for Ana. I think that if she's playing welk enough, the surface is not as limiting as it can be for other players, but I do not value my thoughts as much as I value everyone else's here so looking forward to your input
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Old May 21st, 2012, 02:34 PM   #2
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Re: Ana's surface analysis thread

Nice thread.

I don't think the surface is what determines if Ana plays well or not.. she can do relatively ok in all surfaces IMHO. It's not like.. say.. Stosur, who simply can't play on grass if her life depended on it.

Now.. the surface can help her game or make it a bit less effective. I think obviously indoor hard favors her serve and FH these days. One of the reasons Ana used to do so well on clay back in 07-08 was that she was a smooth mover on it and her shots were powerful and heavy enough to hit through the surface. Ana has had issues with movement for a while now, and even though I think she has improved her movement on hard courts this year, her movement on clay is suspect at best. She isn't sliding and using the surface as she used to, and often gets messed up footwork. Add to that the lack of weight of shot and not going for her FH as she used to, and clay has made Ana's game more unneffective in the last few years. I still think Ana's worst surface is grass though. The low bounce puts the ball out of Ana's hitting zone and she has to bend all the time, which she doesn't do as well and as often as she should. The surface helps Ana's serve, but she doesn't have the time to run around her BH to hit FHs as much as she needs, so she gets trapped into BH rallies way more than in any other surface. Ana's BH slice is not good enough to get out of that trap and she can only hit rally BH CC, which limits her whole game. Also.. Ana has a lot of trouble against flat hitters hitting hard to her BH side, and grass potentializes that.

So while I think Ana can play on all surfaces.. I would rate them like this (as of this moment), from better to worse:

1 - Indoor hard.
2 - Outdoor hard.
3 - Clay.
4 - Grass.
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Old May 21st, 2012, 06:29 PM   #3
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Re: Ana's surface analysis thread

Indoors hard - Her game reaches maximum, her serve and her forehand get pretty good and there are no elements to affect her shots
Outdoors hard - Her game is there and her shots are made for that surface, but she is sometimes troubled to play with elements
Clay - Her forehand gets stable and she uses it to make points and her backhand is not that attackable, courts are slow and good for her to mentallly come back, while her power doesn't get that much influence
Grass - her power, her serve and her forehand are great for it, but when she loses some bad points she isn't able to recover mentally, because the game is fast on the surface and you have to think fast, which results into a lot of series of errors and, when she thinks she's mentally back to play it, the game is over
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Old May 21st, 2012, 11:13 PM   #4
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Re: Ana's surface analysis thread

After RG 2008:

W/L

grass: 12 - 8 (60%)

hard indoor: 24 - 7 (77%)

hard outdoor: 69 - 46 (60%)

clay outdoor: 15 - 10 (60%)

clay indoor: 2 - 4 (33%)
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Old May 21st, 2012, 11:24 PM   #5
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Re: Ana's surface analysis thread

But her best tournaments are IW, Linz and Bali.

IW: 12 - 4

Bali: 6 - 0

Linz: 9 - 0
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Old May 21st, 2012, 11:39 PM   #6
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Re: Ana's surface analysis thread

Also, the tournaments where she was beating top 10 players: Beijing (Dementieva and Zvonareva), IW (Bartoli, Woz, JJ, Flavia?), Rome (Dementieva, Azarenka), Linz (Zvonareva, Radwanska)... Anything else?
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Old May 21st, 2012, 11:56 PM   #7
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Re: Ana's surface analysis thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cajka View Post
After RG 2008:

W/L

grass: 12 - 8 (60%)

hard indoor: 24 - 7 (77%)

hard outdoor: 69 - 46 (60%)

clay outdoor: 15 - 10 (60%)

clay indoor: 2 - 4 (33%)
Interesting stats Cajka! Thanks!

Maybe we could divide this discussion in best surface for results and best for level of play... or maybe one complements the other. So here a question.. since RG 2008, in which match/tournament/surface Ana had her best level of play?
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Old May 21st, 2012, 11:58 PM   #8
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Re: Ana's surface analysis thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cajka View Post
Also, the tournaments where she was beating top 10 players: Beijing (Dementieva and Zvonareva), IW (Bartoli, Woz, JJ, Flavia?), Rome (Dementieva, Azarenka), Linz (Zvonareva, Radwanska)... Anything else?
I don't think Flavia was top 10 when Ana beat her at IW. Azarenka was number 9 when Ana beat her in Cincy 2010.
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Old May 22nd, 2012, 12:04 AM   #9
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Re: Ana's surface analysis thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by gaviotabr View Post
Interesting stats Cajka! Thanks!

Maybe we could divide this discussion in best surface for results and best for level of play... or maybe one complements the other. So here a question.. since RG 2008, in which match/tournament/surface Ana had her best level of play?
IMO, her best matches during that time were: the match against Sam (W 2009), all the matches in Linz and Bali in 2010, the match against LenaD in Beijing (great match overall), the match against JJ (IW 2011), the matches against Zvonareva and Sveta (Beijing 2011), the final of Bali 2011, all the matches in IW (2012, except the match against Pervak), the match against Sveta in Rome (very smart play considering the conditions).
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Old May 22nd, 2012, 12:08 AM   #10
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Re: Ana's surface analysis thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by gaviotabr View Post
I don't think Flavia was top 10 when Ana beat her at IW. Azarenka was number 9 when Ana beat her in Cincy 2010.
You are right about Flavia, Azarenka was #12, but she was seed #9.
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Old May 22nd, 2012, 12:13 AM   #11
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Re: Ana's surface analysis thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cajka View Post
IMO, her best matches during that time were: the match against Sam (W 2009), all the matches in Linz and Bali in 2010, the match against LenaD in Beijing (great match overall), the match against JJ (IW 2011), the matches against Zvonareva and Sveta (Beijing 2011), the final of Bali 2011, all the matches in IW (2012, except the match against Pervak), the match against Sveta in Rome (very smart play considering the conditions).
You listed pretty much all the good matches she had.

If I had to choose one.. for level of play alone.. I'd choose her win over Zvonareva in Beijing. Ana was going for her shots beautifully. The match against AMG in Bali 2011 comes second, and then against Sveta in Beijing 2011 completes the podium.

That's for overall play.. her most consistantly good stretch was end of 2010 IMHO. That match against Lena D has to be the best match Ana played against an in form opponent during this 4 year period. It was high quality.
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Old May 22nd, 2012, 12:14 AM   #12
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Re: Ana's surface analysis thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cajka View Post
You are right about Flavia, Azarenka was #12, but she was seed #9.
Oh! Right! I remember it now..

Ana hasn't had manytop 10 wins since RG 08.. time to change that.
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Old May 22nd, 2012, 12:21 AM   #13
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Re: Ana's surface analysis thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by gaviotabr View Post
You listed pretty much all the good matches she had.

If I had to choose one.. for level of play alone.. I'd choose her win over Zvonareva in Beijing. Ana was going for her shots beautifully. The match against AMG in Bali 2011 comes second, and then against Sveta in Beijing 2011 completes the podium.

That's for overall play.. her most consistantly good stretch was end of 2010 IMHO. That match against Lena D has to be the best match Ana played against an in form opponent during this 4 year period. It was high quality.
There's one match that should be mentioned. It's the match against KDK in Bali. It wasn't Ana's best tennis, but... Considering the surface, it was one of the trickiest players for Ana. She tends to lose those kinds of matches, not only Slumpana, but also Ana from 2006, 2007 or 2008. It was also a hq match overall. Better than all the matches in Bali and YEC in 2010.
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Old May 22nd, 2012, 12:30 AM   #14
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Re: Ana's surface analysis thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cajka View Post
There's one match that should be mentioned. It's the match against KDK in Bali. It wasn't Ana's best tennis, but... Considering the surface, it was one of the trickiest players for Ana. She tends to lose those kinds of matches, not only Slumpana, but also Ana from 2006, 2007 or 2008. It was also a hq match overall. Better than all the matches in Bali and YEC in 2010.
That was an entertaining match. I knew Ana would win because it was played on her birthday... she never lost a match played on her birthday.. 3-0 in that particular date. She seems to fight hard.

Seriously though.. it was a different match that Ana really should've won in 2.. It was entertaining due to being a throw back the years kind of match.. but not that high quality IMHO.
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Old May 22nd, 2012, 12:39 AM   #15
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Re: Ana's surface analysis thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by gaviotabr View Post
That was an entertaining match. I knew Ana would win because it was played on her birthday... she never lost a match played on her birthday.. 3-0 in that particular date. She seems to fight hard.

Seriously though.. it was a different match that Ana really should've won in 2.. It was entertaining due to being a throw back the years kind of match.. but not that high quality IMHO.
She was leading in the second, but KDK was leading in the first set. 3rd set was NID, because KDK was a 40 yo who would usually play a 3 setter against the top players, but she lost many of these matches. But the list of the players she managed to beat in her second career is very impressive. I think she played a great match against Ana in Bali. Ana was forced to change her gameplan to beat her, especially in the end of first set. She had to play smartly. And she did it. Every time I see Ana adjusting her game to conditions or opponents, I find it important. Lately, she did very well in that area. Ana from 2012 would win that IW final from 2009 IMO. Nigel has done a great job in that area, she doesn't struggle in windy conditions so much anymore.
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