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Old Jan 3rd, 2014, 11:32 AM   #331
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Re: Aussie Open preparations in Brisbane Dec 29

This should be a oonfidence builder for Maria; she will do it and beat Serena at 2014 AO.

Maria's serves let her down today, but it will get better over the next 2 weeks.

Sven Groeneveld is off to a flying start.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2014, 11:34 AM   #332
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Re: Aussie Open preparations in Brisbane Dec 29

Well Maria had her chances in the 2nd and she didn't take them unfortunatelly
They both served pretty bad but other than that it was a good match. Some great rallies and even volleypova showed up a few times
I guess I'm quite optimistic for AO
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Old Jan 3rd, 2014, 11:34 AM   #333
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Re: Aussie Open preparations in Brisbane Dec 29

I'm happy to see a close second set, but the fact that she couldn't take advantage of Serena serving so horrible leaves somewhat of a bitter after taste in my mouth.
Shame she had to meet her in only her third match back.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2014, 11:36 AM   #334
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Re: Aussie Open preparations in Brisbane Dec 29

Quote:
Originally Posted by 18majors View Post
This should be a oonfidence builder for Maria; she will do it and beat Serena at 2014 AO.

Maria's serves let her down today, but it will get better over the next 2 weeks.

Sven Groeneveld is off to a flying start.
Agree with you hopefully she can pick her serve up againts Serena next time.
Still good sign at all cause she can rally well with Serena for a long time
Good Luck in AO Maria
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Old Jan 3rd, 2014, 11:37 AM   #335
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Re: Aussie Open preparations in Brisbane Dec 29

Serena hasn't played that well against Maria the last four or five times they've played each other. But Maria just can't be steady enough, particularly with her serve, to get it done. That second set should have been hers. Still, it was an entertaining match, and there's a level of intensity when these women go up against each that isn't there with any other female match up unless its in a major, even if the result is inevitable. I suppose Maria can take some comfort in this being her first tournament since August. I don't take much comfort in it, but I hope she does. (Serena, please don't lose to Vika tomorrow).

Good luck in Aussie Maria.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2014, 11:39 AM   #336
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Re: Aussie Open preparations in Brisbane Dec 29

I'm both extremely frustrated and happy. Happy for the overall performance, the fact that Maria didn't back down, the fact that she lost in the end because she went for her shots. But still, so frustrated that she had her in that TB, but was just always one step behind. This is the first time I have personally seen Maria get under Serena's skin, because Serena would never make 2 DFs in a row in a TB if she wasn't severely compromised (granted, her serve was pretty bad today). Anyway, it's so frustrating that the one time Maria puts so much pressure on Serena's serve (due to Serena's bad serving throughout the most of the match, but I thought that Maria actually returned really good as well) is the time she can't compose her serve enough to hit 2 good ones in a row consistently, which is what hurt her the most in the end. Plus, the luck was really not on her side, first that linesman's call, then the let cord in the final game of the second (I was rather impressed that she didn't fold like a cheap tent and hit two amazing, clean winners in the end), and she needed just a little bit more margin in those 2 misses towards the end of the tiebreak. But I prefer those misses, and like I said the fact that she went for her shots, because ultimately, win or lose, that is the base of her game, and she should stick to it no matter what. Overall, good performance, I thought she fared pretty nicely in baseline rallies, and I was actually positively surprised with her retrieval skills and defense. The thing that made the biggest difference were the clutch points, because that's were Serena was able to find her serve, or return for the most part, and Maria's serve was MIA every single time.

Anyway, to conclude this rant, I just hope that Maria will take the positives from this, instead of thinking I was so close, what do I have to do to win even a set, let alone a match against her, because ultimately, she doesn't have a whole lot to regret about this match. And if this new go-for-my-shots whenever I can, and set my foot down on the baseline without backing down is a product of Sven's work, then kudos to him, and I can't wait to see what he's got in store next for our girl

And another side note, VolleyPova
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Old Jan 3rd, 2014, 11:40 AM   #337
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Re: Aussie Open preparations in Brisbane Dec 29

Maria showed some tenacity today. You could tell both had something to prove. I think when you have some sort of dislike for each other, it shows in your matches. Considering Maria hasn't played for months, she did very well to take Serena to a tiebreak. Maria certainly has the potential to beat her. Let's hope Sven can help make it happen and soon. I am tired of watching Maria lose to Serena.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2014, 11:41 AM   #338
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Re: Aussie Open preparations in Brisbane Dec 29

Maria should have won that 2nd set, but oh well. I only watched the 2nd set, but from what I saw, the serves let both of them down big times, but at least Serena was still able to throw some aces here and there. But Maria's ground strokes matched Serena's, and she's not intimidated and let Serena dictate everything. A lot of good rallies from Maria that made Serena have to use her A++++ movement and defense.

Oh and I'm very happy that Maria was able to hold both serves at 4-5 and 5-6 down in the 2nd set, after all the exchanges of breaks before that. The normal Maria would fold like a cheap tent there, losing it to love or 15, just like in Madrid last year

Overall, good 1st tournament back from Maria though. Many positives to take. Take a few days off, you deserve it, and then hit the practice court again girl You will get her the next time - at the more important one - AO!
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Old Jan 3rd, 2014, 11:43 AM   #339
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Re: Aussie Open preparations in Brisbane Dec 29

Hey that was a great effort. The serve was ridiculously tragic, not a single ace in sight, but it was nice to watch a competitive set for once. I think Sven has really improved her ability to stay in the point and turn defence to offence. I'm sure her serve will start to click with more match practice. Plus an actual overhead winner
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Old Jan 3rd, 2014, 11:44 AM   #340
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Although she really should have one the second this was a great effort for her third match back. She is slowly but surely making strides against Serena and I like what I saw. She kept fighting and didn't play scared.

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Old Jan 3rd, 2014, 11:44 AM   #341
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Re: Aussie Open preparations in Brisbane Dec 29

I also have mixed feelings about this match. She definitely improved and did not fold like she usually does. Serena's serve was not at servebot status but was still good in the important points (aside from the ones in the tiebreak lol). Maria just need to makes her serve consistent, thats all it takes sometimes. Today she could have won the match, it was literally one serve away, at least to win that set. For that I am sad that she didn't push serena further into a third set, but the improvements this early (its only her third match after 6 months) already makes it seem like Sven is a good fit for her. Can't wait for the Australian Open.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2014, 11:51 AM   #342
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Re: Aussie Open preparations in Brisbane Dec 29

Ok, she had a better winners/UEs ratio. By 4 From the stats, I would never guess that it was such an amazing match (or more like a set), the fact that they don't put forced errors in really hurts the overall impression when you look at the numbers
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Old Jan 3rd, 2014, 11:51 AM   #343
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Re: Aussie Open preparations in Brisbane Dec 29

Dang!!! - She was so close to win the second set which was all I managed to see - I missed the first and to doubt by the numbers that set was dominated by Serena - I'm so sorry for Masha that she still can't figure out a way to win - I'm sure it is all in her head - However - to be honest - Serena is a great champion who finds the best of herself when she faces Masha - Unfortunately the opposite isn't the case - Masha seemed intimidated on several occasions especially while serving - She made Serena scream like a wild cat in one rally though which was interfered by a faulty judgment - what a pity!!! - Anways - a beat down it was NOT!!!
Good fight in the second set Masha - you'll get there in the end!!!

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Old Jan 3rd, 2014, 11:57 AM   #344
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Re: Aussie Open preparations in Brisbane Dec 29

Sounds like other than the serves from both it was one of their best quality matches in a long time. Encouraged that Maria was able to take advantage of an off-serving Serena, but she can't serve like she did and expect a better outcome. Still wish it at least went to a third. It was deserved
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Old Jan 3rd, 2014, 12:04 PM   #345
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Re: Aussie Open preparations in Brisbane Dec 29

That result thread quickly turning into the WWW thread 2.0

I just will never get tired of saying how disappointed I am at that second set. So many, so many fucking opportunities wasted.
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