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Discussion Starter #1
To be honest I didn't really look if we already had a thread like this but anyways.. There was a nice article on the WTA Tour website about Maria, so I'll start with that one.

On The Rise Again: Maria Kirilenko



NEW YORK, NY, USA - Despite a first round loss at the US Open, there's no doubt Maria Kirilenko has been finding her best form again this season. She was a Top 20 player for four weeks in 2006 and this summer, after nearly two full years outside the elite, broke back into it thanks to some impressive play in the last 12 months. Now she is poised to keep that upwards momentum going.

Kirilenko burst into the upper echelon of the women's game for the first time in the fall of 2005, making a surprising run to her first Sony Ericsson WTA Tour title in Beijing, a Tier II event. She continued to build on her ranking in the months to follow, and for the four-week grass court season in 2006, between June 12 and July 9, she was the world's No.20 player.

Following most upwards moves is a plateau, however, with points to defend and other players become accustomed to the rising star's game. Kirilenko was unable to defend her Beijing title in 2006 and continued to struggle with consistency in her results over the next several months. It showed in her ranking, which at one point dipped out of the Top 40, although it never strayed too far from that group.

"I was very up and down in my results; I'd play a good tournament then a bad one," Kirilenko said. "Winning the China Open gave me lots of points, but when it came time to defend them I couldn't, so I dropped down quite a bit. I knew that was something I had to work on, staying consistent week to week."

Kirilenko kept working hard, and a new and very experienced coaching change - bringing Eric Van Harpen on board - may have been what she needed.

"Although I was always working hard the results weren't there. But my coaching is perfect now. Eric and I started just before Wimbledon last year, and right away I had some great weeks in America, with some important wins against Jankovic and Bartoli, and I felt I was on my way back up.

"Eric and I understand each other perfectly. He's not only helping me become a better player physically, but he's teaching me how to think better on the court and look for the right situations, instead of just going for winners all the time."

The fall of 2007 brought Kirilenko her second Tour title at Kolkata and 2008 has seen her win another two - both on clay - at Estoril and Barcelona. She also reached her first Grand Slam second week at the Australian Open. And on June 16, she triumphantly returned to the Top 20, surpassing her previous high.

"I was really happy with how I played on clay this year; now I have to say my favorite surfaces are hard AND clay; although grass still doesn't work that well for me! But overall my game has changed a lot, and I feel like I'm still improving all the time. I'll learn how to do well on all surfaces."

Although she has since dipped just outside of the world's 20 best again, Kirilenko is already looking towards a higher milestone.

"If I can play my best more consistently from tournament to tournament, I think I can make the Top 15 soon, at least that's my goal. I'm still a bit up and down, but we're working on that. I feel like I can be in the Top 10 one day, too."
 

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Best form this season? Aside from the Australian Open and a couple of clay court tournaments, she hasn't played particularly well.

Maybe it's just me, but this article seem to be painting too rosy a picture. :shrug:
 

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Aww Nikkie :hug: This thread is a good idea!

Yes it's all "Maria's so hot I want her babies :drool: :lick: :hearts:" before a match then in GM afterwards it's like "OMG!!!!111 Maria Overratedlenko shudn't b playing tenizzzz!!!111. Go back to modelling gurl!!!! :rolleyes:"

In GM they all forget Maria is a good tennis player, not just looks, she just doesn't have the consistency yet and that's really frustrating :(
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Not just in GM. :eek:

Anyways I just wanted to post this as its good to hear her admit those things about herself and see how serious she takes this.

Thanks. :hug:
 

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I guess theres no point posting positive things in here. The only activity in this forum is to drool over her looks. :rolleyes:
I'm surprised to hear you say that. I think most people on this board want to see her win, but if she's not playing well, we might as well look on the bright side :hearts:
 

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Thx for posting the article. I liked it. :p Won't bring in a Pulitzer in investigative reporting, of course, but that's not what I was looking for either.

Anyway, it's always interesting to hear what she has to say herself about her game and her career.
 

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Oh man I have never seen an article so in favor of her. Nice to read.

Her game does seem to be getting better over time, and I'll take any title. As far as I can tell she has been having one of her best years yet. She just needs to ride with the momentum better, and do something about being so streaky during matches. Playing like a goddess and then losing so many points in a row isn't so good.

I love her with her current coach, I think they can get it done and get her into the second week of a slam.

Mmmm optimism is fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Oh man I have never seen an article so in favor of her. Nice to read.

Her game does seem to be getting better over time, and I'll take any title. As far as I can tell she has been having one of her best years yet. She just needs to ride with the momentum better, and do something about being so streaky during matches. Playing like a goddess and then losing so many points in a row isn't so good.

I love her with her current coach, I think they can get it done and get her into the second week of a slam.

Mmmm optimism is fun.
Anyway, it's always interesting to hear what she has to say herself about her game and her career.
:worship: Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Some nice words from Flavia.

One of Pennetta's friends and regular doubles partners is Maria Kirilenko, who also broke back into the world's Top 20 recently. The Italian is hoping she and the Russian can continue to play well together and apart, and keep on moving up.

"Maria and I are trying to take the same steps. We've both been playing well for four or five years now, and this is the right time. We're friends, we play doubles together - it'll be fun if we can take these steps at the same time."
 
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