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View Poll Results: Maria is actually in her best form of career ?

Yes 8 38.10%
No 13 61.90%
Voters: 21. You may not vote on this poll

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Old Jan 19th, 2013, 01:22 PM   #1
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Maria is actually in her best form of career ?

During Australian Open 2013, Maria is in her best form of career ?
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Old Jan 19th, 2013, 01:23 PM   #2
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Re: Maria is actually in her best form of career ?

We've only seen three matches
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Old Jan 19th, 2013, 01:41 PM   #3
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Re: Maria is actually in her best form of career ?

i would not rule it out. too early to tell. it is all there, physically, and the mental attitude seems strong, too.
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Old Jan 19th, 2013, 01:48 PM   #4
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Re: Maria is actually in her best form of career ?

She definitely seems fitter and her game seems to flow more... Last year and in 2011 her game got kinda ugly. So aggressive; just bashing the ball as hard as she can, etc. It seems kind of different now which is good.
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Old Jan 19th, 2013, 04:09 PM   #5
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Re: Maria is actually in her best form of career ?

Maria is in the best shape of her life, her arms and legs are both fitter and stronger than ever before and her stamina can go on forever. Mechanically, she's simplified both her serves and forehands and is less prone to breakdowns. Additionally, she gets to the ball quicker and needs less time to set up her shots.

For the first time in Maria's career, she is physically as strong as Serena.
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Old Jan 19th, 2013, 04:30 PM   #6
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Re: Maria is actually in her best form of career ?

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Originally Posted by heavyhorse View Post
She definitely seems fitter and her game seems to flow more... Last year and in 2011 her game got kinda ugly. So aggressive; just bashing the ball as hard as she can, etc. It seems kind of different now which is good.
I think the exact opposite to be honest. I thought 2011 and 2012 she improved her physical greatly, but her ground game became passive. I think she's finally showing a strong combination of her improved fitness, speed and movement with a more robust ground game at AO thus far
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Old Jan 19th, 2013, 04:48 PM   #7
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Re: Maria is actually in her best form of career ?

Maria will never surpass what she did at the 2008 Australian Open and the early part of that season before her shoulder fell apart. That was as close to perfection from her as you'll get. She had the complete game for that brief time period. Dominant serve, powerful accurate groundies, great returns, and she actually wasn't afraid to wander to net.

But based on the very early results this year, I think 2013 has the potential to be Maria's best form since before the surgery if she stays healthy.
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Old Jan 19th, 2013, 04:55 PM   #8
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Re: Maria is actually in her best form of career ?

It could be, but it is too early to tell. I mean whether she loses tonight or in the Final or wins the thing it's certainly looks like her game has made major improvements and I'm optimistic for a great 2013 health prevailing. Serve and BH aren't fully clicking yet but that's to be expected with such little match play. Plus, it's good that despite how well she's playing there's still room for improvement.
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Old Jan 19th, 2013, 05:26 PM   #9
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Re: Maria is actually in her best form of career ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mexicola View Post
Maria will never surpass what she did at the 2008 Australian Open and the early part of that season before her shoulder fell apart. That was as close to perfection from her as you'll get. She had the complete game for that brief time period. Dominant serve, powerful accurate groundies, great returns, and she actually wasn't afraid to wander to net.

But based on the very early results this year, I think 2013 has the potential to be Maria's best form since before the surgery if she stays healthy.
Geesh, man, you're one of the most pessimistic posters on here. How about we wait a few more weeks to see what her results are? She's only played 3 matches. Let's see what the next 10 or so look like before we say "never."
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Old Jan 19th, 2013, 06:40 PM   #10
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Re: Maria is actually in her best form of career ?

Hmmm, I don't know. It seems like the Maria of past and Maria of present are two completely different players. Given that 2006 and 2012 were her best years, I'll use those terms in order to avoid stupid names like "Maria present" and "Maria future"

Consistency: In terms of results and play, 2012 Maria takes it (although 2006 Maria was very consistent in results, but not that much in actual game). Though I guess a factor was opponents then and now, but still. Maria's shots now are more reliable, she doesn't make too many errors (apart from off days) and is a more stable and patient player, hence the success on clay.

Power: 2006 Maria. I've noticed a big drop in her 'power level' after the shoulder injury, however it's understandable. While she is still powerful (one of the most powerful players on tour after Serena, Petra and maybe a few others), she hits the ball a lot softer now.

Fitness: Definitely 2012 Maria. Hogstedt helped Maria immensely in a way that she is able to endure multiple 3 setters in a row and not get fatigued. She rarely looks tired on the court, she is usually full of energy.

Movement: 2012 Maria again. You could hardly find anyone slower than Masha back in the day, but she made up for it with great power. Nowadays she can run relatively fast and while she isn't the best mover, she can defend better now thanks to her improvements. It has helped her out a lot on clay.

Serve: No competition really. Her life would have been much easier if she hadn't gotten the injury and her serve remained the same. Her serve was her weapon back in the day and imagine if she had it now! It definitely has improved from 2009 with each year and last year it was good, however 2006 was still better.

Forehand/Backhand: Arguable, but 2006 in my opinion. There was a lot more power on them and even tho she made more errors, they were harder to return and she made quite more winners as well.

Match-ups: If the Maria of 2006 was playing now, I don't think Vika would be able to challenge her as she played players like VIka all the time in 2006 and usually won easily. Also, with the 2006 serve + forehand, she would be able to challenge Serena, even beat her, I'm SURE.

Fighting spirit: 2012 wins this one. She was always a tremendous fighter, but once her serve completely deserted her in 2009 she was forced to fight for every single point(tho the serve has been very good throughout 2012 and it's getting better again). Also, after she was nearly forced to never play tennis again, I think she put things in perspective and generally became a more passionate person. It's not like she wasn't but it magnified.

Mentality: Definitely 2006. Maria is mentally strong, however she is also prone to complete meltdowns in finals, because she is Russian If 2006 Maria was here, she sure as hell would have won the AO, IW, Miami (especially) and most likely Beijing final Aside from Serena, I don't think anyone would be a favorite vs her in the final, whereas now, you never know (Miami, Rome vs LI even tho she won, etc.).


Both have their weaknesses and strnegths, but I give the edge to the past Maria, even though this new, completely different Maria has been an amazing player and deffo getting back to her best. In my opinion, 2011 was also a good year, but 2012 was just epic. Basically, her only weak years since she won a Slam in 2004 were 2009 and 2010 when she was coming back from injury
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Old Jan 19th, 2013, 06:45 PM   #11
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Re: Maria is actually in her best form of career ?

Although I agree about the AO 2008. Her game clicked like it never clicked before

She was the perfect combination of power play + amazing movement/variety. She was virtually unbeatable

Though I am optimistic that she will eventually find that level again as there have been indicators (2012 Stuttgart F vs Vika, Olympics SF vs Kiri, Beijing QF vs Kerber, etc.) and her overall form in 2012 was pretty great.

I'm quite optimistic that she can sustain a high level for long periods of time like she has in 2012 and prior to surgery
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Old Jan 19th, 2013, 06:54 PM   #12
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Re: Maria is actually in her best form of career ?

I think current Maria is best equipped to dealing with today's slow courts and very physical game - she's strong as an oak, can run for hours without getting fatigued and her defense improved tremendously from her pre-injury years. I also noticed her hitting shots much harder recently, so the power of her strokes is improving all the time too. She made Williams the Lesser look like a pusher on court two days ago... To sum it up, I think current Maria is a better player than earlier one, despite not having the same explosive power than in her teen days.
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Old Jan 19th, 2013, 07:25 PM   #13
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Re: Maria is actually in her best form of career ?

I don't know if it's the best form of her career (she'll need to be if she's gonna win this though), but I couldn't be happier with what I've seen so far. Her strokes, serve, and movement are all SO much more fluid and crisp. And I love how she's shortened her backswing on the returns. She'll get a lot more in play that way.
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Old Jan 19th, 2013, 07:27 PM   #14
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Re: Maria is actually in her best form of career ?

No. Her best form was at the beginning of 2008. But hope this year she'll play even better and next year will reach a level 30% better than in 2008.
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Old Jan 19th, 2013, 09:58 PM   #15
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Re: Maria is actually in her best form of career ?

It depends really . We've only seen 3 matches of hers here. We know how Maria is, she can throw in a shitfest out of nowhere. Let's wait till she reaches the QF or the SF .

I still have the feeling that her best form yet was at AO 2008. She was just brutal then.
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