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Re: Wuhan'15 - Time to try eastern hard

The woeful season continues. I'm really sad that her match had to end this way, she was playing some beautiful tennis in that first set to be honest. This surely must go down as one of Maria's shittiest seasons to date. What a disappointment health wise. I just hope she at least gets to play in Singapore, she looks done for Beijing!
 

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Perhaps with one exception, it always took Maria some time coming back from injuries to display some good tennis (unlike, for example, Kim Clijsters). So my expectations for this tournament were rather low.
Nevertheless, I did not expect such a painful setback.
I hope Maria makes the right choice for the remainder of the season and that today's injury does not turn out to be a serious one.
Get well soon, Maria.
 

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The older a player gets, the more the nagging injuries pop up. As she approaches 30, it's hard to imagine her ever having another clean season health-wise. And in Maria's case, she's the kind of player that needs matches and tournaments to build momentum with her game. She can't just show up at a tournament after a long layoff and excel, so all of this stopping and starting will get her nowhere.

So even if she shows up in Singapore, it will be a short stay for her. And as for Fed Cup, with her rust and health issues, she's probably the weak link on the team now. She'd be foolish to play another set of tennis this year, even though she'll be under pressure to play Fed Cup for Olympic reasons and patriotic reasons.
 

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I'm not too worried about this injury, she played some great shots, movement was very good, just a bit rusty or could have closed it in two easy sets.

I genuinely believe it's just a minor injury, and she was taking a precaution. Wouldn't be at all surprised if she plays Beijing, obviously depending on Test results to see it isn't serious.
 

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In a way it's not that bad when we look at it this way. Now is she gonna go back to the States and train at least indoor for Singapore? Clearly last year spending time in that outdoor Thai resort didn't help at all? Or will she stay in Asia? Such a long trip to Asia for ONE incomplete match but I also feel for her. Must be very disappointing and it shows on her face. Her forehand was fantastic best in this year to be honest and it was still great only the left arm was the problem. But she does seem very fit and prepared in this match. Such a shame.
 

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I'm still getting used to this forum, at least it is a little bit like the original now. I miss the old version.
Anyway, Maria's injury filled season continues. Hoping this season ends like 2007, similar year (1 GS final at AO, another GS Semi-final), injury plagued year) and she makes a great run at the YEC and wins the AO next year....?
 

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Hi guys, just got up after a day spent at the Optic Valley Tennis Center in Wuhan completely exhausted from yesterday. It's been such a bittersweet day for me here in the scorching heat of central China. Buzzing with excitement eagerly awaiting to see her majesty, I got my wish granted around 5 pm after waiting for her to finish her warm up practice session before her match with Barbie later in the evening. She came out of the practice court dripping in sweat, but smiling and in good spirit, ready to give us a minute of her busy schedule. She is really a stunner in person, even moreso than on TV. The hordes of fans she has here in China is mind-blowing. Sharafamily was extremely well prepared with a huge banner and tons of other posters, cards, cut-outs and whatnot and everybody was hoping that they will get Maria's signature. On my way up to the Center Court earlier in the day I bought a Wilson ball and had a good feeling that I'll have it signed by the end of the day. Didn't want a signature from anyone else, but Maria. One thing lead to another and before I could realize what was going on, she was standing within an earshot of me. I put my brand new Wilson ball as near to her hands as possible, and she signed it. It felt surreal, like it wasn't happening to me. I was only reading about similar experiences here on this forum, but never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd be the chosen one (along with a few others). I was over the moon and couldn't wait to see her on court in a proper tennis outfit. Just like all of you, I've missed her so much since Wimbledon. The day session was pretty ordinary with basically empty stands for the Serbian sisters matches (and even less for the Errani - Garcia match) at the majestic tennis stadium that can host up to 15000 spectators. As the night was slowly settling in, and Garcia finally solved the Italian riddle, and the streams of people started flocking into the tennis center and you could hear "Sharapova" (Sha-la-po-wa) uttered in Chinese from basically everywhere. She really draws huge crowds here and is such a great ambassador for the sport in Asia. As we were waiting in line for the gates to open, I realized I had lost my night session ticket and quickly went to buy a new one from the office ticket that is a few flights of stairs away from the Center court. That was a bummer, but I was not going to let it define one of the greatest days of my life to date. I quickly returned just in time Maria hit her first serve after a 3 months hiatus. She was holding serves with ease and from the first few games I saw, I knew the shoulder was not the reason for her absence. She was playing great during that first set often times leaving the crowds amazed by her ball-striking. The forehand was on fire, the first serve was regularly hit above 160 km/h, sometimes even in the 170s, and she rarely faced break points. Had Maria been match tough, this would have been over in two routine sets, but it was not meant to be this time. Barbie stood her ground, hung in there and was running like crazy around the court. At one point in the second set, I saw Maria flexing her left wrist and had no idea whether that was the same one that was taped before the USO. As the match went on, she stopped hitting her backhand, was running around it to hit a forehand or was just spinning the backhand back in court. I knew something was up. She looked dejected and worn out and I knew that she might retire from this match if it went the distance. Given the warrior that she is, she kept on fighting, but eventually decided to pull the plug. Shook hands with Barbie, waved to the massive crowd, signed a few balls for the fans, and graciously left the court. I was shattered at that moment and thought I brought her bad luck. It was such a great day at the Wuhan tennis grounds up to that point. I hope this retirement is a blessing in disguise, but as many of you here I think it might be wiser for Maria to just shut down her season and start afresh in Australia. Here's hoping for a speedy recovery.
The crowd quickly left and Venus and Aga, though they displayed great tennis of contrasting styles, played almost in an empty court.

I am going back to the courts in a few minutes, but this time without the excitement factor from yesterday. I'll just sit back, watch and enjoy. I'll post pics later guys.
 

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She was playing pretty well considering first match since June/July .. Serve was good :(
serve is the only part that works all year, apart from 1-2 bad match.

Not sure about the rest, the brainfarts and crybaby faces under the smallest pressure instantly when she was up a break and wasting 6 SP on serve with insane UEs...
Her baseline game was problematic the say the least even before the injury.
Speaking about injury, her backhand was non-existent all year, one thing that would suggest this injury isnt even that new.


Anyway, apart from some flashy "VARIETY!!!111" she brought this year, I'm not sure what they do with Svengali because she is not healthy, has no mental power at all and has no serious baseline game left.
 

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^ She'd said as much. Said she was looking forward to being ready for the YEC and Fed Cup.
 

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Anyway, apart from some flashy "VARIETY!!!111" she brought this year, I'm not sure what they do with Svengali because she is not healthy, has no mental power at all and has no serious baseline game left.
All those things are related IMO. No health, no confidence, no serious baseline game. How to build any rhythm, catch any confidence, anything if constantly something bothers you?

Just check this match - she was making ridiculous decisions in crucial points, completely unnecessary pulling the trigger from unprepared positions. That's how she wasted multiple set points while serving for 1st set. Whenever she was patient, she was hitting juicy winner, mostly from forehand wing. :drool: :drool: Point construction, maybe that's what Sven is trying to force as her main gameplan? Less power, more patience?
Also, I'm all for that variety she tries to implement. Whatever saves her shoulder, I'll go for it.

Jesus Christ, this year is such a mess, yet she still made slam final, two titles, Wimbledon SF... Just some health... :sad: :sad: Health and matches... she's not familiar with situations under pressure, no wonder she's blowing leads...

Or maybe I sound crazy?
 
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