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Old Jan 3rd, 2014, 01:53 PM   #361
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Re: Aussie Open preparations in Brisbane Dec 29

Did anyone at the presser ask her what was up with her finger?
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Old Jan 3rd, 2014, 02:13 PM   #362
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Re: Aussie Open preparations in Brisbane Dec 29

I'm quite frustrated with this match to be honest because even if this can seem weird, I believe she was slightly better than Serena off the ground, she was hitting with depth and really matched Serena who had to defend big time. Maria had two problems off the ground actually: She was struggling with balls in the middle of the court, especially taking them with her forehand. If her serve clicked as in the match against Garcia, no doubt she would have won this second set but this is her first tournament since August. I liked Maria's attitude, she did not over do it, she was herself and it was great to see. She can have some regrets on this volley she missed while the court was wide open, the 40/30 point of course and the Tie-break she had in her racquet.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2014, 02:25 PM   #363
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Re: Aussie Open preparations in Brisbane Dec 29

The good thing about 2014 AO is that the earliest that Maria will meet Serena is SF; and it gives Maria and Sven five (5) more matches to work out the wrinkles.

Maria will be such a different player, the next time she meets with Serena again.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2014, 02:25 PM   #364
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Re: Aussie Open preparations in Brisbane Dec 29

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She's treading into Empress JJ terrains with her conferences
That I'm pulling my teeth quote

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OMG, did she really say that? That's awesome
Well, according to tweets, she did
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Old Jan 3rd, 2014, 02:47 PM   #365
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Re: Aussie Open preparations in Brisbane Dec 29

So many positives to take out of this loss. First of all Maria did not back down when the pressure was on . Her serve troubled her throughout the match but when under pressure (4-5 and 5-6 down) she really delivered and that was good. The first set went begging after she got broken but in the second she really got into the head of Serena and read those serves better, however her serve which was working perfectly under pressure when down, failed her when leading. So many missed chances, so many. This could have easily gone into a third set.

I'm happy that she's back, and I can't wait for AO. I want another go at Serena there, no matter the result.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2014, 03:00 PM   #366
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Re: Aussie Open preparations in Brisbane Dec 29

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So many positives to take out of this loss. First of all Maria did not back down when the pressure was on . Her serve troubled her throughout the match but when under pressure (4-5 and 5-6 down) she really delivered and that was good. The first set went begging after she got broken but in the second she really got into the head of Serena and read those serves better, however her serve which was working perfectly under pressure when down, failed her when leading. So many missed chances, so many. This could have easily gone into a third set.

I'm happy that she's back, and I can't wait for AO. I want another go at Serena there, no matter the result.
Well said, couldn't agree more.

The three matches at Brisbane, helped to focus Maria's training agenda for the next ten days before 2014 AO. I won't be surprised if we see some of her best tennis there.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2014, 03:21 PM   #367
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Re: Aussie Open preparations in Brisbane Dec 29

I just can't stop thinking about how different this result could have been had she served like her first match . Hopefully she looks back at that one and sees what was working so well, and I would love to see similar serving performances at the AO, DF on match point not included
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Old Jan 3rd, 2014, 03:32 PM   #368
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Re: Aussie Open preparations in Brisbane Dec 29

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I just can't stop thinking about how different this result could have been had she served like her first match . Hopefully she looks back at that one and sees what was working so well, and I would love to see similar serving performances at the AO, DF on match point not included
IKR? even Maria must be frustrated how she served today, especially in the second set, she could have easily won it like 6-2, and third set could be competitive

and i don´t understand those who say Serena was playing 20%, she was moving great and apart from her serve she was playing very good
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Old Jan 3rd, 2014, 03:50 PM   #369
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Re: Aussie Open preparations in Brisbane Dec 29

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IKR? even Maria must be frustrated how she served today, especially in the second set, she could have easily won it like 6-2, and third set could be competitive

and i don´t understand those who say Serena was playing 20%, she was moving great and apart from her serve she was playing very good
They always say that Serena is 10-15-20%. Looking at the stats, it's clear that even her bad serving day was way better than Masha's bad serving day.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2014, 04:08 PM   #370
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Re: Aussie Open preparations in Brisbane Dec 29

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They always say that Serena is 10-15-20%. Looking at the stats, it's clear that even her bad serving day was way better than Masha's bad serving day.
Indeed, and the major difference IMO is that Serena can fire a good serve basically whenever she wants no matter how bad of a serving day she's having. MP, BP down in the second game, 4 all in the second set, at 40:30, after that stupid replay of the point are just some examples that spring to mind, while Maria simply doesn't have that kind of confidence in her serve, and she usually can't rely on it to get her out of the tough situations quickly and effortlessly. Not to mention that she was facing second serves during a vast majority of important points in her games.

But, on the other hand, when we take the serving out of the equation, statistically watching (just winners and UEs), today, she was better than Serena off the ground. It's just very frustrating for me that she can play shoulder to shoulder with Serena from the baseline, and still have this kind of scoreline, just because Serena can usually rip off good serves and returns in those most important moments, thanks to her own good serve and Maria's usually wobbly one. And the result can be either 6:2 or 7:6 in her favor (because quite honestly, to me Maria was not that much worse and Serena not that much better in the first set, and the difference was certainly not 4 whole games), it practically doesn't even matter.

Bottom line is, if Maria can sort out her serving, she will have a very good shot at beating her in one of their next encounters.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2014, 04:39 PM   #371
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Re: Aussie Open preparations in Brisbane Dec 29

I followed the match only up to when Sven got on the court. Then I had to leave and missed the rest.
Reading what happened I believe we have a mix of optimism and frustration.
For one, Maria is in much better form that when she came back from surgery, and to play a very honourable match against Serena on her 3rd one after a 6 months pause is something that Maria and us can feel quite good about.
The frustration comes from the fact that it looks that Maria had more than a fair chance to pocket the 2nd set but she did not manage. Lack of a more consistent serve seems to be the main cause.
Maria and Sven will need to work so that Maria can capitalise more on the favourable opportunities, especially against people like Serena against whom they do not appear very often.
I think there are very good reasons to believe that if she keeps healthy Maria can have a very successful season this year.
Come on Maria, off to Melbourne.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2014, 04:59 PM   #372
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Re: Aussie Open preparations in Brisbane Dec 29

Not disappointed at all. She played an ok match after such a long break.
Keep working hard honey and let's rock in Melbourne
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Old Jan 3rd, 2014, 04:59 PM   #373
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Re: Aussie Open preparations in Brisbane Dec 29

so Sharapova won 40 points in the second set, whereas Serena 39....

I think Sharapova has improved
1) disguise of her 2nd serve
2) return of big serves in T
3) more consistent DTL shots

In 2013 all this was nonexistent in Masha's game
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Old Jan 3rd, 2014, 05:21 PM   #374
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Re: Aussie Open preparations in Brisbane Dec 29

Quote:
Originally Posted by NashaMasha View Post
so Sharapova won 40 points in the second set, whereas Serena 39....

I think Sharapova has improved
1) disguise of her 2nd serve
2) return of big serves in T
3) more consistent DTL shots

In 2013 all this was nonexistent in Masha's game
Serena would have doubled her ace count from 7 to 14, if Maria didn't read and return Serena's serves as well as she did last night.

Last night was a small step Maria took to overtake Serena; bigger steps will come in bunches throughout 2014.

I don't mind at all, a 6-0 6-0 beatdown of Serena by Maria before we close out 2014.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2014, 05:28 PM   #375
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Re: Aussie Open preparations in Brisbane Dec 29

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Originally Posted by 18majors View Post
Serena would have doubled her ace count from 7 to 14, if Maria didn't read and return Serena's serves as well as she did last night.

Last night was a small step Maria took to overtake Serena; bigger steps will come in bunches throughout 2014.

I don't mind at all, a 6-0 6-0 beatdown of Serena by Maria before we close out 2014.
I gotta say, I truly admire your optimism, that is if you're not being sarcastic (at least not entirely)
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