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Old Mar 11th, 2014, 03:53 PM   #316
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Re: Indian Wells 2014 - Once - Twice - Three Times the Champion?

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Originally Posted by nelsondan View Post
I don't know much about Yuri Yudkin.....but.....when was Michael hired, and when was he...fired?....just how bad a coach was he? I wonder if there was something good about him.
Maria was a more fearlessly aggressive player when Michael Joyce was her coach. She was constantly attacking with her hard, flat groundstrokes and she wasn't afraid to move forward when needed. I don't think he was much of a tactician, but he understood Maria's strengths and built her game around those and emphasized them, instead of trying to mold her into something she's not comfortable being. And he gave her an attitude. The death stares and killer instinct and will were reinforced by Yuri and Michael.

Now, Hogstedt did make Maria a much better clay player and she probably wouldn't have completed the career slam without him. But I think the changes he made to her game sapped the natural aggression from her. She became more passive and safer with her shots. There's nothing wrong with utilizing more topspin with shots to give yourself more margin for error, but I think this more tentative style went against what Maria did best. Holding back gives her opponents more time to react with what she's doing and with her lack of foot speed, she quickly becomes the one on the defensive. I don't think it's a coincidence that her grass and hard court results got much worse in the last few years when Thomas became coach. How many times have we talked about Maria hitting short, loopy, weaker shots into the middle of the court and seeing them get bludgeoned by opponents. She's getting outhit more and more out there and I wish she would go back to her attacking, ultra-aggressive style, even if it's higher risk.
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Old Mar 11th, 2014, 03:59 PM   #317
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Re: Indian Wells 2014 - Once - Twice - Three Times the Champion?

I hope she enters Charleston
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Old Mar 11th, 2014, 04:11 PM   #318
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Re: Indian Wells 2014 - Once - Twice - Three Times the Champion?

Do you really think that you have the same athlete 7-8 years later?
When you're young and you want to be at the top you have a rage that you do not have when you are on the top and you just have to defend yourself from young enraged tigers like Pavlyuchenkova or Giorgi. Errani, Azarenka, Sharapova, they all are in troubles for different reasons, one of the reason is that NEW (younger) players are making their way through the ranking.
It's life: Monica Seles exits the scene and Sharapova enters. Sharapova (slowly) exits the scene and Giorgi steps in. ANYWAY I do not think Maria is "out".

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Maria was a more fearlessly aggressive player when Michael Joyce was her coach....
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Old Mar 11th, 2014, 04:20 PM   #319
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Re: Indian Wells 2014 - Once - Twice - Three Times the Champion?

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Originally Posted by Mexicola View Post
Maria was a more fearlessly aggressive player when Michael Joyce was her coach. She was constantly attacking with her hard, flat groundstrokes and she wasn't afraid to move forward when needed. I don't think he was much of a tactician, but he understood Maria's strengths and built her game around those and emphasized them, instead of trying to mold her into something she's not comfortable being. And he gave her an attitude. The death stares and killer instinct and will were reinforced by Yuri and Michael.

Now, Hogstedt did make Maria a much better clay player and she probably wouldn't have completed the career slam without him. But I think the changes he made to her game sapped the natural aggression from her. She became more passive and safer with her shots. There's nothing wrong with utilizing more topspin with shots to give yourself more margin for error, but I think this more tentative style went against what Maria did best. Holding back gives her opponents more time to react with what she's doing and with her lack of foot speed, she quickly becomes the one on the defensive. I don't think it's a coincidence that her grass and hard court results got much worse in the last few years when Thomas became coach. How many times have we talked about Maria hitting short, loopy, weaker shots into the middle of the court and seeing them get bludgeoned by opponents. She's getting outhit more and more out there and I wish she would go back to her attacking, ultra-aggressive style, even if it's higher risk.
I think it's more a matter of confidence. When she's on and she's going for her shots she believes she will make it. Now when she goes for her shots she hopes she will make it. It's a very simplistic way of putting it, but I think that's the main difference. She's just low on self confidence at the moment. She suffers from a severe lack of match play plus those recurrent problems with her shoulder have left some psychological scars. Maybe she should just enter some lower tier event and get used to winning again. But of course, even there you have to play at a certain level because on their day those lowly ranked players can play some good ball as well.
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Old Mar 11th, 2014, 04:37 PM   #320
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Re: Indian Wells 2014 - Once - Twice - Three Times the Champion?

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I think it's more a matter of confidence. When she's on and she's going for her shots she believes she will make it. Now when she goes for her shots she hopes she will make it. It's a very simplistic way of putting it, but I think that's the main difference. She's just low on self confidence at the moment. She suffers from a severe lack of match play plus those recurrent problems with her shoulder have left some psychological scars. Maybe she should just enter some lower tier event and get used to winning again. But of course, even there you have to play at a certain level because on their day those lowly ranked players can play some good ball as well.
I agree with most of this, she is low on her confidence now and she needs more matches to build her confidence. But post surgery Sharapova is a completely different player than before surgery. Looking at some old videos you will realise Maria was much more agressive before and was really moving up the court to hit drive volleys. And of course her serve was great. I miss old Maria but she was definitely forced to improve other aspects of her game and I admire her for keep working hard and that brought her RG title
But one thing that didn't change is Maria's determination and will to compete and fight. So I believe she will bounce back but maybe it will take some time. We'll see how she does in Miami and then on the clay courts. I wish her all the best
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Old Mar 11th, 2014, 04:47 PM   #321
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Re: Indian Wells 2014 - Once - Twice - Three Times the Champion?

I have to wonder if there was something really good at Michael letting her decide so much on her own....when he said something with uncharacteristic emphasis....I think it might have been paid appropriate attention.....she is being told so many things since he departed, that there is a lot of very subtle.....but ultimately damaging second guessing.

I would like to see Michael have another year with her.
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Old Mar 11th, 2014, 05:00 PM   #322
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Re: Indian Wells 2014 - Once - Twice - Three Times the Champion?

i dont know, guys, this "lack of matchplay" is weakest reasoning of all to me. She already played 12 matches this year. 12!
And why this never affects on her 1st rounds? She didnt play for months before Brisbane R1, still won comfortably. She didnt play for a month before IW R1, still won comfortably. Shouldnt she have more trouble with 1st rounds then?
But as the trend goes (AO 3 wins, Paris 2 wins, IW 1 win) next time even that 1st round gonna be a challenge.
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Old Mar 11th, 2014, 05:03 PM   #323
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Re: Indian Wells 2014 - Once - Twice - Three Times the Champion?

The only bright side to this is the joy well all have when she finally gets that 30th title
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Old Mar 11th, 2014, 05:35 PM   #324
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Re: Indian Wells 2014 - Once - Twice - Three Times the Champion?

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Asking her putting up a fight against Giorgi or Pavs and not play continously bad and worse, shouldnt be too much to ask.
And when we complain about Grigor, Sven or Sugarpova (everyone here can pick one), its mostly because we just guessing what might be the reason.


I just ask everyone to not watch the match or highlights itself, only her reactions through the match, the 3(!!!) coaching timeout, etc... and compare that to matches you remember from 2-4-6 years ago.

I, for one, absolutely not believe in this "rusty, needs more matchplay" or "just a bad day" excuse. I hope someone uploads on youtube the 3 coaching timeout from yesterday, you can here that Sven wasnt running his mouth about all the technical stuff, it was pointless, but he constantly had to tell her to even fight, because the great Maria Sharapova doesnt even know or care what is that. Its mind boggling.
And if thats the way she is going, there is absolutely no point to continue.
Very accurate observation! That is exactly what I was worried about the most! Not the serve, not the backhands and forehands in out, not the horrendous play but the mindset and the things which Sven had to say to her in the timeouts. It was ridiculous - it was like Maria is starting to play tennis just now. She is in a state of total psychological collapse. Poor coach Sven and her team - they were desperate because they knew what would happen. Maria doesn't need a coach but a psychologist because she looks emotionally disturbed on the court. I don't know if she had used one in the past but at the moment she needs that kind of help to address the problems. Some of the top guys also use psychologists like Berdych and Djokovic for example. At least she can try
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Old Mar 11th, 2014, 05:36 PM   #325
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Re: Indian Wells 2014 - Once - Twice - Three Times the Champion?

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The only bright side to this is the joy well all have when she finally gets that 30th title
As long as it happens this year I would hate to see her streak come to an end just because she was coming off another injury-induced lay off
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Old Mar 11th, 2014, 05:37 PM   #326
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Re: Indian Wells 2014 - Once - Twice - Three Times the Champion?

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I agree with most of this, she is low on her confidence now and she needs more matches to build her confidence. But post surgery Sharapova is a completely different player than before surgery. Looking at some old videos you will realise Maria was much more agressive before and was really moving up the court to hit drive volleys. And of course her serve was great. I miss old Maria but she was definitely forced to improve other aspects of her game and I admire her for keep working hard and that brought her RG title
Yes, the Hogstedt Maria became a somewhat different player which allowed her to win the FO and a host of other claycourt titles, but she also lost something along the way. But perhaps this was more a matter of necessity than choice. Since her shoulder problems meant that her serve was less of a weapon than it was in the days of old they had to rebuild her game somewhat to allow her to still compete at the highest level (or something). But less agression should also mean fewer UE and unfortunately it doesn't seem to work that way for her at the moment.
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Old Mar 11th, 2014, 05:38 PM   #327
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Re: Indian Wells 2014 - Once - Twice - Three Times the Champion?

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As long as it happens this year I would hate to see her streak come to an end just because she was coming off another injury-induced lay off
I won't give up on this season unless she flops Stuttgart
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Old Mar 11th, 2014, 05:45 PM   #328
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Re: Indian Wells 2014 - Once - Twice - Three Times the Champion?

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But as the trend goes (AO 3 wins, Paris 2 wins, IW 1 win) next time even that 1st round gonna be a challenge.
She's going backwards... If she had 1 win, 2 win, 3 wins I'd say "she needs/needed match time and improving" but this? I have no clue what's happening.
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Old Mar 11th, 2014, 07:55 PM   #329
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Re: Indian Wells 2014 - Once - Twice - Three Times the Champion?

when I listened to the on-court coaching I thought "what the hell is this guy talking about?". Other coaches are saying loads of technical and specific things and here only lower your center of gravity and play her and not yourself, is this a fake coach? it was that bad, no?
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Old Mar 11th, 2014, 09:36 PM   #330
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Re: Indian Wells 2014 - Once - Twice - Three Times the Champion?

I never thought the day will come when the Empress is ahead of Maria again Nevertheless, I'm so happy with her performances lately, she played a great match against Caro. Ofc, now I fully expect her to flop to Flavia or even worse, Maria's executioner
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