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Yup. And too often nowadays we're seeing her whole body looking stiff, whereas before it was just her feet.

Pre-pregnancy, she was able to improvise with poor footwork better than anyone because of how incredibly flexible and strong she was. That's how she won all of those slams in 2012-17 despite battling nerves in every F. Now she has lost some of that flexibility (understandably, given her C-section + age) and isn't able to get away with poor footwork like she could in the past. It's costing her in crunch time in these losses.

I'm hopeful that she'll be 100% healthy for the clay swing this year. I feel like the clay can force her into better habits (knowing that she'll have to construct points and won't be able to servebot) that will elevate her game across the board. Crazy that she hasn't had a proper clay season since 2016.
Yes! She has always been the queen of improvising shots, due exactly to what you mentioned about her needing to do so because of her lazy footwork, and then actually the ability to do so because of her strength and flexibility. Like you said, she can’t get away with bad footwork anymore, and Serena herself knows it. I just hope that this loss lights a fire under her to put in tons of work before Indian Wells. She won the French Open in 2013 for a reason, and it’s the same reason that, save for a few bad matches throughout the season (and untimely ones at that during the Australian Open and Wimbledon), caused her to have such a stellar season. She had been prepared to play a full season, meaning that she was as fit as she had been in a very long time, and it showed with all her wins. I know that for us fans, we have been wanting to see her in this same ominous form, but we haven’t seen it in such a long time. We can all see that the potential is still there, but she hasn’t reached it yet. She is totally capable, and I know that for me, the worst stretch in the season is this gap between the Australian Open and the French Open (unless she wins the Australian, of course), but I have hope this year because it gives her the time needed to improve. And this year, she doesn’t seemingly have to deal with injuries that would prevent her from training. Looking forward to the next 3 slams!!!
 

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LOL at Garbi losing to Kenin. She would, without a doubt, have peaked if Serena was across the net. The only positive I can take from this tournament is that it makes the FO loss against Kenin a little better. TBH, I wasn't impressed by anyone's level past the quarterfinals.

This was another golden opportunity for Serena that she blew. It is getting really frustrating watching her continue to play part-time and expecting to win at will. It's just not going to happen. She needs to play a fuller season. As far as I can tell, she got through Australia without an injury, which is something positive. The way her body seemed to shut down in that Wang match was concerning, but those physical off-days are just something she will have to manage better in the future, if possible. I think she would play the middle east swing if it weren't for Olympia, but I just can't see her traveling all of that way with her. And I think she'd rather spend a month with Olympia at home anyway
 

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Wow...loss of mental focus in finals isn't just a WTA thing: Novak had two bizarre lapses in set 2, both resulting in getting broken.

The second time, at 4-all, was just weird: he got two time violations (2nd one cost him his first serve), and after getting broken, had some words with the umpire for injecting himself into the match. Weird to see him flop mentally like this.

ESPN's loving it, though - their dislike of Djokovic is palpable.
 

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This is the worst AO ever. I wouldn't mind if Thiem was blowing him off the court, but Djokovic is just shitting the bed worse than Muguruza (at least she had an excuse for gassing out).
 

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Kenin winning a slam, mmmkay. Serena really needs to win a slam or two this year AND next, and in the process block some of these more random winners, or the record will be worthless by the time she gets it, as it turns out practically anyone can win a slam or two.
 

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Well, we're going to a fifth! Can't say I saw that coming after how awful Novak looked after the 1st set. I wonder what's wrong with him - clearly something's not okay.
 

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Kenin winning a slam, mmmkay. Serena really needs to win a slam or two this year AND next, and in the process block some of these more random winners, or the record will be worthless by the time she gets it, as it turns out practically anyone can win a slam or two.
This is what's wrong with the WTA at the moment. There's no top-level vanguard to stop all of this randomness from winning slams. Up until the beginning of 2017, Serena routinely took care of her side of the draw, and more often than not, she'd face an elite opponent when she made the final, so the other side was, more or less, taking care of itself, too.

Now you can't count on Serena in a final, and draws are regularly falling apart, so her loss is a victory for the random player who managed to make it through.

As much as anyone tries to cast this as "depth", it's simply a matter of the top level being really inconsistent. Frankly makes the game less attractive to watch.
 

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anyone tries to cast this as "depth", it's simply a matter of the top level being really inconsistent. Frankly makes the game less attractive to watch.
I'd say it's a little bit of both. It's pretty obvious that since the 2017 Australian Open, there have been no true elite/dominant players on tour. Without those gatekeepers, just about anyone in the top 50 (see Ostapenko), and a few outside of it, can take the title. The top 10 isn't nearly as strong as it was in 2000's, that's for sure.

At the same time, the players in the top 11 to 100 slots are much better than in years past. Previously, the top players could count on a cakewalk to the second week, and that's no longer the case. More money, better nutrition and training, larger teams, and access to film mean that there are more than just scrubs at those lower levels.

Combine that all with a best of 3 format (vs best of 5 in men's) , and you have a recipe for random Slam winners. I don't see that changing for a long time, if ever. This may be the new WTA.

We'll see if Osaka, Andreescu, Kenin, Gauff, or some player we haven't heard of can take the reins, but it's looking dicey.
 

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Djokovic does it! Number 17 is in the books, with many more to come, it appears. He looked and played awful in the middle of the match (losing something like six games in a row), but fought back well.

Looks like Roger's record of 20 is in grave danger.
 

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King Djokovic!!!!!!!!!!! I love it!!!! And honestly....I was a little worried at the end of the third just to see how he was going to do in the 4th, but once he won the 4th set, it was NID he was gonna win the match. Fed and Rafa stans in ruins!!! ???
 

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I know, right? This was probably his worst match, played against his toughest opponent, and he managed to pull it out anyway. That's how good he is. IMO, he's the best player of the Big 3.
Same thing happened at Wimbledon last year. Tanked sets 2 and 4 and still won. He needs to stop doing that though before someone actually makes him pay for it.
 
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