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Old Aug 19th, 2013, 08:03 AM   #1321
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Re: Off Topic....Anything Goes vol5

And now Azarenka's fans can talk "how better Vika is compared to Maria". I have really often a feeling that Serena lose purposely against Azarenka. Sounds crazy but I can't help myself. She ALWAYS plays better against Maria, much better. For example, in Miami Maria played great, for sure better than Vika yesterday, but Serena even raised her level when she needed to (in the middle of the second set). I just don't want to Maria be in so shity form that Vika can escape in their h2h. Maria defeated her last two times they played and last year in US Open was pretty close too. She has all the weapons to destroy Belorussian over and over again, but she must find her form and quickly!

Oh, and by the way. I'm pretty new here. Can somebody tell me the story about Vika's nickname. The guest?
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Old Aug 19th, 2013, 08:29 AM   #1322
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Re: Off Topic....Anything Goes vol5

All top three players are great returners but Vika is the best returner in the game imo. And part of this may be that I just see what I want to see, but I have the impression that at least in their recent history Serena always serves better against Maria than against Vika. If Serena served against Maria like she did yesterday Maria might be able to get into Serena's service games a bit. Unfortunately, when Serena plays Maria we always get an avalanche of aces and unreturnables. And Vika is a better defender and can hit agressive shots from defensive positions. She's improved her skills around the net a lot as well. The things that Maria does better than Vika (the serve when she's on, even more powerful groundstrokes, etc) don't bother Serena as much as the things that Vika does well. So I think that Maria is just a better match-up for Serena. In terms of their own rivalry (Maria vs Vika) I think it will continue to go back and forth - IF Maria can sort out the mess of the last couple of months.
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Old Aug 19th, 2013, 11:41 AM   #1323
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Re: Off Topic....Anything Goes vol5

I can't at Cronin saying the third set of Vika-Serena was probably the best WTA set of the year I mean, apart from the drama and a couple of great shots, the only thing it had was Serena and Vika competing who's gonna choke harder and a myriad of UEs Was it interesting to watch? Yes. Was it also pleasing to the eye? No
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Old Aug 19th, 2013, 11:51 AM   #1324
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Re: Off Topic....Anything Goes vol5

Vuvurenka stans can claim whatever they want, but the fact still remains - it was 17 years old Maria who blew big bad Williams off the court in that Wimby final, while belorussian is still to beat american at the slam. And Maria has the game to beat ANYONE when she's firing on all cylinders. It's too bad that shoulder surgery and the decline of her mental game gave so much ammunition to the armies of her detractors...but I still trust in her talent and abilities nonetheless.
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Old Aug 19th, 2013, 12:55 PM   #1325
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Re: Off Topic....Anything Goes vol5



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Old Aug 19th, 2013, 12:57 PM   #1326
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Re: Off Topic....Anything Goes vol5

sxhe is perfect i cant fucking deal omfg ALL THOSE OUTFITS, THAT BODY, THE CHOREOGRAPHY I CANTTTTTT
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Old Aug 19th, 2013, 01:11 PM   #1327
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Re: Off Topic....Anything Goes vol5

THAT SWAN. I can't stop laughing at the swan

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sxhe is perfect i cant fucking deal omfg ALL THOSE OUTFITS, THAT BODY, THE CHOREOGRAPHY I CANTTTTTT
my twitter timeline is just you fangirling
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Old Aug 19th, 2013, 01:13 PM   #1328
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Re: Off Topic....Anything Goes vol5

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What's more dull than Nadal? The insistence that he's dull. Let it go already people. Besides, at the very least even his bigger haters must admit he's more entertaining than Murray.
In your opinion probably. I personally find Andrew's wry sense of humour really entertaining.

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I didn't mind it when Federer was dominating. But yeah, from a neutrals perspective it's better that there are several people in the mix. Still, even a 6-0/6-0 can be interesting in terms of seeing how good a master can be when he's at the top of his game. It's a bit like, say, Usain Bolt or S.A. Fraser-Price. You know beforehand that the're going to win it but it's still great entertainment.
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These types of complaints remind me of when black men began taking over the NBA fifty or years ago, and many were complaining about how shot-making and strategy began to matter less, when in reality it did and still does greatly matter. It's just that athleticism began mattering a lot more than it once did. Every sport besides baseball and golf have shifted into something more athlete driven, and baseball is losing its popularity with the younger generation because it's stayed so stagnant.
Look I know you're a HUGE Nadal fan but it is preference at the end of the day. I'll never like Nadal's brand of tennis, but I'll give him credit that it's his contrasting style that provided some great epic matches against Fed. It's just unfortunate that everyone near the top is starting to play almost too similarly (personally I dread Nole-Andrew matches), and it's actually not just ATP.
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Old Aug 19th, 2013, 01:20 PM   #1329
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Re: Off Topic....Anything Goes vol5

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Looks and sounds like a drag queen. Seriously I just don't get it
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Old Aug 19th, 2013, 01:22 PM   #1330
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Re: Off Topic....Anything Goes vol5

I've given up understanding her music videos for a loooonnggg time
I miss her blonde wig and fancy glasses though
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Old Aug 19th, 2013, 01:23 PM   #1331
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Re: Off Topic....Anything Goes vol5

I'm said the drag race girls weren't in it tbh
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Old Aug 19th, 2013, 01:31 PM   #1332
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Re: Off Topic....Anything Goes vol5

yeah they were only in the lyric video. but it's still perffff wah
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Old Aug 19th, 2013, 01:54 PM   #1333
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Re: Off Topic....Anything Goes vol5

As for Vika and Serena, and Novak/Nadal/Fed/Peasant this is how I see it.

Vika is the best thing to happen for Maria in a long time. She's exactly what Maria needed. A top player, a real contender, someone who makes Maria get better and they also despise each other much more openy than Serena and Maria. Vika makes Maria be better, try harder. Maria will know anytime she brings her game, the match is hers. That's why we need Vika to be around for as long as Maria.

Serena is the opposite. It took a long time for me to try to understand the Serena issue, but the other day I think I noticed something. Maria had the problems mentally with Serena before her shoulder surgery. Maria came back from that and she quickly lost her arrogance, her confidence and really her game for a while, BUT she never lost her belief because she knew she could beat whoever stood across from her when she put it together. With Serena she'd already had 3/4 years of losses, and a few horrible chokes (AO 05, Charleston 08). Everytime she faces Serena, (or at least in 2011/12, in the back of her mind she knew her best game wasn't good enough to beat Serena, so how would her slower, more conservative game beat her? It wasn't until Maria really reflected on 2012 and said "this was probably my best year" around the YEC it became more and more obvious she felt she was as good as before her surgery (I think in some ways she was better and she knew that). But. 2013 has been bad really. Yes, AO was a flop, but we can look past that given Maria's up and down form in bigger matches. IW and Miami were good, she competed and looked to finally have beaten Serena, but just came up short. Then things got interesting. She is the best clay courter, and everyone knew that, but she put in very, very patchy performances in each tournament. Stuttgart was bad, but she got through. Madrid too was pretty average, and the final must have hurt. She had that 2nd set in the bag, and let Serena back in, I think that was just a hangover from Miami. Rome, well she withdrew mid tournament but looked pretty sharp. FO was not as good as it should have been. Now, I think the pressure was on her, but it was also on Serena. She let players back into matches and got punished when JJ played a half decent set. Her SF against Vika was terrible. She got tight being up a set, and then even tighter trying to serve it out, was lucky to get away with that. The final, well Serena was good, but Maria should have been great. She started well, and again let Serena back in and couldn't come back from that. I think that loss hurt a lot, she lost that "best on clay" tag and I think it stung. Wimbledon was never going to be good, but we didn't expect it to be that bad. And here's where I get back to Serena. I think for Maria now, the sooner Serena retires the better. She's made it clear publicly that she dislikes Maria, and even has shown her true colors with her "I wanna play Stuttgart" comments in Cincy. Maria too played her part but they won't be chatting friendly anymore at the WTA events. Add to that Maria is not playing poorly and struggling with coaching issues, a win over even a poor Serena looks unlikely. I think, all the good and positive steps forward against Serena, have been cancelled out by a few close losses. It's sad. The motivation to beat her is there, the belief is gone. She's going back (at least mentally it must feel like) to her 2010/11 form, and her confidence has got to suffer. So I think Serena will always be a problem for Maria now, her opportunities to grab a win or two have come and gone these last 12 months.

As for men's tennis, I find Nadal boring and his on court antics cheap and tactical. It's no secret he's a sore loser, but lately it's becoming a bit much even for him. Also, like someone said when Fed wins a match 6-0 6-0, it with dazzling winners and great variety, with Nadal it's a much more physical battle, with him consistently dragging down his opponent. Usually it's boring. I feel at least Novak tries to add variety and outhit the lower ranked guys, you rarely get that with Rafa. Murray's game had gotten better in terms of appeal, but my god his matches with Novak are unwatchable. The pushing is too much. Wimbledon was probably the last match of theirs I'll watch, even as a Novak fan it's just not interesting at all.

**sorry about the random spelling and grammatical errors I typed this all on my phone**
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Old Aug 19th, 2013, 03:00 PM   #1334
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Re: Off Topic....Anything Goes vol5

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This match just highlighted how much more mentally tough Serena and Vika are over Maria at this stage in her career. Vika got pummeled in the first set but she just dug in and kept trying. Once any whiff of hardship arises in a match involving Maria and one of these two, Maria begins to fold like a cheap tent. Her game today is more than adequate to at least be pushing those two to the limit, if not beating (one) of them, but she just can't keep it together.
Yes, even though I still believe Maria is a better player than Vika, yesterday's match reminded me of the case that Azarenka is mentally-tougher than Maria thesedays. It's hard to imagine Maria being able to put a first-set blowout from Serena behind her like Aza did. Also, the way she stayed composed in the 3rd set --- one of the most disappointing things about the Serena-Maria Miami match was how Maria folded after the end of the 2nd set and seemed to have resigned herself to thinking that, if she hadn't got it done in straights, she wasn't going to be able to do it. She should've been aware that Serena can get very nervy in 3rd sets thesedays.

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All top three players are great returners but Vika is the best returner in the game imo. And part of this may be that I just see what I want to see, but I have the impression that at least in their recent history Serena always serves better against Maria than against Vika. If Serena served against Maria like she did yesterday Maria might be able to get into Serena's service games a bit. Unfortunately, when Serena plays Maria we always get an avalanche of aces and unreturnables. And Vika is a better defender and can hit agressive shots from defensive positions. She's improved her skills around the net a lot as well. The things that Maria does better than Vika (the serve when she's on, even more powerful groundstrokes, etc) don't bother Serena as much as the things that Vika does well. So I think that Maria is just a better match-up for Serena. In terms of their own rivalry (Maria vs Vika) I think it will continue to go back and forth - IF Maria can sort out the mess of the last couple of months.
It's true that Serena served bad for her standards yesterday, because she had an ab injury. But in general, I really don't think she serves better against Maria than she does against Vika. The key is that Vika plays more high-% returns against Serena and thus puts more in play (I bet you're surprised I'm approving of someone not playing uber-aggressively, huh? ). The big problem is that, in recent years, Maria (and most other women) have got it into their heads that they need to be trying to hit massive returns off of Serena's serve, because they think weak returns are always going to be slaughtered by Serena. But, actually, there's always a benefit from just putting returns in play and making Serena play. Basically, in a typical Serena service game in a Maria-Serena match, Maria takes huge, uncompromising swings at every return, and because that's a ridiculously low-% play against a huge serve, she ends up netting most or all of them, and that means Serena has just had to stand still and not play a shot off the ground, and thus goes into her own return games feeling very fresh and full of vigour and ready to attack Maria's serve. Whereas, if Maria just tried to put returns in play, even if those returns were weak and Serena ends up winning that service game to love, you've still made her consume some energy and brainpower and that means she has a little less going into the next game. That's what Azarenka has been so good at this year (Jankovic has also always been very good at it).

In fairness, I was genuinely impressed by Maria's returning in the RG final, because for once she took a return stance further back, took shortened backswings, and just tried to get returns into play and atleast get herself into rallies (which she actually won a fair share of). I think she even managed to get Serena's fastest serve of the tournament back into play. And, even though she only broke Serena's serve twice, that good returning still paid dividends in that, like I said before, the mere fact Serena was having to work harder and rally in her service games more than usual meant she had less energy (physical and mental) in Maria's service games. And I do genuinely believe Maria has potential to be a better returner of Serena's serve, because she obviously has a great wingspan and decent anticipation (she actually gets her racquet on more of Serena's serves than most players do, she just can't get enough into play), but she just needs to not be so stubborn and just try to get the rally started rather than going for huge low-% returns all the time.
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Old Aug 19th, 2013, 03:30 PM   #1335
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Re: Off Topic....Anything Goes vol5

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Look I know you're a HUGE Nadal fan but it is preference at the end of the day. I'll never like Nadal's brand of tennis, but I'll give him credit that it's his contrasting style that provided some great epic matches against Fed. It's just unfortunate that everyone near the top is starting to play almost too similarly (personally I dread Nole-Andrew matches), and it's actually not just ATP.
Some different styles at the top of the game would be nice. I've never argued against that. It's the utter resentment that Nadal's success has bred over the years that's become tiresome. Right now big hitters who can contend with Nadal, Novak and Murray like Delpo (my second favorite player) and Tsonga are just not consistent enough or able to stay healthy long enough, though I haven't given up hope for Delpo. Or we'll have to wait for another Federer 2.0, a player who has/had the shots and aggression but only has just enough athleticism to contend. I just don't think the importance of atheism on the men's side is going to die down any generation soon. It's not really about what someone prefers so much as it is accepting the reality of the sport's evolution. But every evolution has a transition point. I'm sure sooner or later they'll be more variation at the top.
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