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What does Maria need to do?
Mashafan124
#1 Posted : Monday, September 27, 2010 10:41:52 PM(UTC)
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If you were her coach, what advice would you give her about her service motion, her groundstrokes. How she cam improve her image by the 2011 season?

COUNT_ZERO
#2 Posted : Tuesday, September 28, 2010 1:52:03 AM(UTC)
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[quote user="Mashafan124"]

If you were her coach, what advice would you give her about her service motion, her groundstrokes. How she cam improve her image by the 2011 season?

[/quote]

 The First thing there needs to be done is to adjust her toss, and i mean throw the ball lower. She's tossing the ball too frickin' high and it looks like she wants to play tennis with Jesus. Most of the time her elbow is not up early enough to hit the ball correctly, which is why so many double faults. So with a weakened serve, opponents can exploit the 6-foot-2 Masha's limited mobility, especially on fast courts. When you're that tall, unless you're super-athletic (as Caroline Wozniacki is) , if you don't have that weapon in the serve like you had before, you're not going to have all those free points that you need. Once the ball is in play five, six, or seven times, the tide begins to go against her So i think starting to change the toss will help her a lot in improving :).... Now abt her ground strokes they are looking pretty good, i mean they are fine but again once the points are longer she starts having problems in getting the point.. so we go back to having a better serve will help her deal with this problem as well. And what i think abt her image for 2011, trust me she will be back on track ... she just needs this season to be over .... mentally and physically  :) .... hope u got some of your questions answered 


 

fking_crazy
#10 Posted : Tuesday, September 28, 2010 8:12:56 AM(UTC)
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I would tell her to get back to her old habits, such as tweaking her hair where there is no hair to tweak before tossing the ball. That would make her confident.
paul_pipkin
#20 Posted : Tuesday, September 28, 2010 11:48:08 AM(UTC)
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I would get to the bottom of a PATTERN clearly visible in the loss to Kimiko (once I got to see it when TennisTv.com showed the TBS replay of the first set & the second half of the third.) Masha lost this match at three critical points:


1st set, level 5-5, 11th game: Maria nets a ball, then DFs, then errors long. Kimiko meets the opportunity with good returns & point construction to break. That was the tilting point of what had been a close set.


3rd set, 6th game: Maria ahead & serving 3-2 40-40, THEN: DF, long ball, another DF, another long ball & Kimiko breaks to level 3-3.


3rd set, 8th game: Maria up 30-15, THEN: net ball, DF, long ball & Kimiko breaks to 3-5. A netted return & a couple of wide errors & that was that. (There were other errors, yeah: wide balls & wild returns, but those were more diffused & didn't lose the match--this above really stood out.)


See the pattern associating specific errors with the DFs? At critical junctures, her double faults tend to follow net balls--and tend to be followed by a long ball.


 

"That's the way the world works... right now." --Maria Sharapova at 17
TTIMJ
#30 Posted : Tuesday, September 28, 2010 3:10:08 PM(UTC)
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retire
giane
#13 Posted : Wednesday, September 29, 2010 7:29:28 AM(UTC)
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^ not now..
Philli
#23 Posted : Wednesday, September 29, 2010 9:37:30 AM(UTC)
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Paul, Maria had been struggling with Kimiko's 'unconventional' game for the whole match.  She couldn't cope with those low balls that she was returning.  Moving off her slamming spot, right or left, she had to duck down to get underneath those returns with were barely clearing the net.  Maria said she had never played a player like her before and wasn't prepared for it.  Well, Duhhh.-  Doesn't she ever look at videos of players who she has never played before to see what to expect?  Another comment from Maria..'she is incredibly fit'  To that I can only say...'Well my dear, for a person of 23, you, too, SHOULD be incredibly fit ENOUGH to take care of such a player.


After serving up those 2 DFs in the 3rd set,  A voice in Maria's head said..'You are going to lose this match', and from the look on her face, that is precisely what she knew she would do.  There was no fight left in her, she gave up.


She neither has the Stamina or the willpower to cope with difficult players.  Once a match turns against her and she gets stubborn resistence, she falls to pieces. We have seen it all season...in 3 finals and countless other losses.  She can give the Press all the BS she likes about being dedicated, but in truth, she can only play well against players who are way below her league, and as regards stamina, she doesn't have the fitness to carry her through one week of intensive tennis in any tournament....she is burned out by the fifth match (final) if she makes it that far.


We are not talking about tennis here...She needs to get her head screwed on right and forget about looking like a fashion model  and put on a good few pounds of muscle and improve her fitness and agility.

giane
#14 Posted : Wednesday, September 29, 2010 9:45:03 AM(UTC)
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[quote user="Philli"]

Paul, Maria had been struggling with Kimiko's 'unconventional' game for the whole match.  She couldn't cope with those low balls that she was returning.  Moving off her slamming spot, right or left, she had to duck down to get underneath those returns with were barely clearing the net.  Maria said she had never played a player like her before and wasn't prepared for it.  Well, Duhhh.-  Doesn't she ever look at videos of players who she has never played before to see what to expect?  Another comment from Maria..'she is incredibly fit'  To that I can only say...'Well my dear, for a person of 23, you, too, SHOULD be incredibly fit ENOUGH to take care of such a player.


After serving up those 2 DFs in the 3rd set,  A voice in Maria's head said..'You are going to lose this match', and from the look on her face, that is precisely what she knew she would do.  There was no fight left in her, she gave up.


She neither has the Stamina or the willpower to cope with difficult players.  Once a match turns against her and she gets stubborn resistence, she falls to pieces. We have seen it all season...in 3 finals and countless other losses.  She can give the Press all the BS she likes about being dedicated, but in truth, she can only play well against players who are way below her league, and as regards stamina, she doesn't have the fitness to carry her through one week of intensive tennis in any tournament....she is burned out by the fifth match (final) if she makes it that far.


We are not talking about tennis here...She needs to get her head screwed on right and forget about looking like a fashion model  and put on a good few pounds of muscle and improve her fitness and agility.

[/quote]

...your statements made me cry "a bit".. these are real facts that an avid fan can hardly accept!  i agree with you Phili.. this is something she should take seriously.. she should meditate herself looking backwards and reminisce those times that her capabilities and power were consistently high that no player can ever take in her..  [Y]

paul_pipkin
#21 Posted : Wednesday, September 29, 2010 2:40:44 PM(UTC)
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 First, let's take into account the exceptional characteristics of Kimiko. [8-|]


Beyond the obvious, players are confounded by "Dated" [;)] play. This is why it's not entirely an empty exercise to fantasize matches between Federer & Borg or Laver. Hey, Navratilova, duh. Very occasionally, players of the past return & blow away the best of the present with technique/style the new generation has not mastered. The conceit of the young--"Euw, we don't need THAT, that's OLD..." [:P] That's in any venue. Sh!t, in political life I ran acts that had moss on 'em, and they'd lap it right up.


Philli, you write: "(Masha) couldn't cope with those low balls that she was returning.  Moving off her slamming spot, right or left, she had to duck down to get underneath those returns with were barely clearing the net." Obviously, neither could Dani. Presumably, a fit player with powerful legs who easily returns from a crouch could. And Elena in fact did beat Kimiko at Stanford--but it wasn't easy 3-6 6-3 6-4. Still, you may be right that fitness is an issue.


But I still suspect we're all in error by seeking pat, generalized solutions. I really believe problems have to be addressed specifically. Any player can get put off when she can't break the cycle that's doing the damage. We see it all the time, inclusive of thrown-away third sets. Maria is not in any exclusive club there. It's especially acute with her because she's previously been able to overcome and come back from like 1-5 repeatedly.


I think, if you review a number of recent Sharapova matches, you're gonna see that cycle of net ball-DF-long ball in losses to various opponents--not just Kimiko. The QUESTION is, WHY does that cycle repeat? I'll repost my observation fo further reflection.


[quote user="paul_pipkin"]


I would get to the bottom of a PATTERN clearly visible in the loss to Kimiko (once I got to see it when TennisTv.com showed the TBS replay of the first set & the second half of the third.) Masha lost this match at three critical points:


1st set, level 5-5, 11th game: Maria nets a ball, then DFs, then errors long. Kimiko meets the opportunity with good returns & point construction to break. That was the tilting point of what had been a close set.


3rd set, 6th game: Maria ahead & serving 3-2 40-40, THEN: DF, long ball, another DF, another long ball & Kimiko breaks to level 3-3.


3rd set, 8th game: Maria up 30-15, THEN: net ball, DF, long ball & Kimiko breaks to 3-5. A netted return & a couple of wide errors & that was that. (There were other errors, yeah: wide balls & wild returns, but those were more diffused & didn't lose the match--this above really stood out.)


See the pattern associating specific errors with the DFs? At critical junctures, her double faults tend to follow net balls--and tend to be followed by a long ball.


[/quote]

"That's the way the world works... right now." --Maria Sharapova at 17
Philli
#24 Posted : Wednesday, September 29, 2010 4:08:39 PM(UTC)
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Paul, yes, there does appear to be a pattern emerging and it's getting more and more recurrent.  I go back to what I've said several times over the last few weeks...as a reminder.... I have the feeling that when she lets a first serve fly, she has no idea where it will go.  One reason could be that the shoulder doesn't want to do what her head wants it to do.  One cause could be a weak shoulder..a damaged shoulder...a fear it will hurt...a fear because it does hurt.  Whatever the reason, it frustrates her because she cant get it right.  DFs just make her more frustrated until finally she loses all confidence and goes into her shell  and watches the match slip away from her. 


Power is nothing without control... and she has no control over her serve power.  Hitting balls long or wide with such power...have become her hallmark.  Nobody can scream as loud as she does and slam a ball out like she does.


But, we are not talking about something new...we are simply addressing Maria's game for the past few years....since 2007, before the shoulder exploded.


I cant believe she is so dumb as to not know what is wrong, but she is dumb, and her team, for not trying to correct it. 

Dartagnan
#9 Posted : Wednesday, September 29, 2010 5:04:31 PM(UTC)
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[quote user="Mashafan124"]

If you were her coach, what advice would you give her about her service motion, her groundstrokes. How she cam improve her image by the 2011 season?

[/quote]

I don't think that you have to be a monster or a very strong person to be a
good tennis player. Of course you need to be a good athlete. But the victory should be
in your head. If you convince yourself that you are the best and you
work everyday to be the best finally you will be the best. But first
you have to convince yourself that you are the best and you have to work for that. 

If you convince yourself that you are not the best or you are ill and you play bad tennis, you won't be the best.

When Steffi Graf was 23 year old, she was the best. This age is a golden age for a tennis player. 

Steffi Graf is an excellent example. Her life is a victory. 

http://ep.imgci.com/PICTURES/CMS/200/255.2.jpg
"I'd love to open a tennis school for children in my hometown of Sochi." said Sharapova Maria.



katmilr
#16 Posted : Wednesday, September 29, 2010 6:55:27 PM(UTC)
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She needs her confidence back...and maybe she needs a new coach?  She returned May 2009??  2010 is almost over now. I would have expected her to be back in the top 10 by this point.
Mashafan124
#18 Posted : Wednesday, September 29, 2010 11:13:42 PM(UTC)
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I think that right know we just need to accept that Maria is not in grand slam shape, and we just have to keep our expectations low for now. Let's face it; unless she does something about her serve, she's not going to stop making all those DF's and her game is not going to stop falling apart after that. The only thing that she can do right know is get a new coach someone that will give her some good hints about her serve, and work hard on it in the offseason. She shouldn't waste her time doing other stupid non-tennis stuff because if tennis really as much to her as it seems to, she will realize that it needs serious help right know and she's the only one that can make that decision. She needs to decide whether she wants to be the same player that she was from 2004 - 2008, or she wants to continue down the same path that she's in right know which is lazing outside of the top 10, and when a grand slam comes around the corner will have to face Serena Williams earlier than the quarterfinals. She will never get the chance to build up momentum. It hurts, but I have to tell it like it is. I had high hopes this US Open but Maria is still a long, long way from the player that she was when she won it in 2006. She can reach that form again, but it's up to her how hard she wants to work for it. She is still so young, and has a lot of grand slams left in her, she just needs to work on her game and she will be a lot better by 2011.


On a positive note however, her year hasn't been that bad. She lost to the Queen of Roland Garros at the French Open, and an-inform and eventual champion Serena at Wimbledon, and a red-hot Wozniacki at the USO. So at least she's not losing to mediocre players like Kirilenko or Oudin anymore, but high-calibre players. And she won titles in Memphis and Strasbourg, and reached the final in Birmingham (something she hasn't managed to do since 2007) and reached back-to-back finals in Stanford and Cincinnati, and held match points against Kim before eventually losing before of the rain delay which made Maria lose all her focus, and took all the momentum away from her. But look, this year has been dissapointing but we have to move on. Maria needs to prepare herself for next year. I suppose if she doesn't do well in China, it won't be a disaster. I just wanna see her back to her best next year.

sunstreet
#29 Posted : Wednesday, September 29, 2010 11:20:46 PM(UTC)
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Well Philli i agree with you on this, she is throwing away matches when she faces a df on crucial moments, but to go out and say that she has done so, more or less all the time since 07´that is not fair. I remember one of her best matches ever, for me it is the best tennis match i´ve ever seen, namely the matchs between Maria and Schnyder. She never gave up or gave in, it was brutal out there, the audience.... everything and she dug deep and won it. Another example, the match against Henin later that year was awesome, she gave it all there too. Doha against zvonareva, she landed that one too. My point is, be fair.


Maria deserves that.


If i´m not wrong, and i don´t clain to know Maria inside and out, but this bothers her like hell to, that´s for sure. I don´t know if bringing daddy Yuri into the mix right now will help her confidence, but if it helps Maria to get the results she needs to end this season on a high note, which hopefully will bring the last piece of confidence back into her, before the begining of next season, then i´m all for it.


I think it´s good we have these discussions, after all it´s also a sign that a lot of people in here care about Maria, and want´s to see her do well, and fullfill her potential. That´s not a bad thing. And yes it´s way easier do to so when everything are red roses, baloons and champagne.


This week it hasn´t been like that, and Maria suffers to, we all know that. So let´s use this energy to help build up Marias confidense, and see what happens out there next week.


After all, changing coaches and all the other things which has been suggested in here the last couple of days ( or months i might add) doesn´t happen in between to tournaments, so let´s calm down for now, and show Maria our support.


For when everything is said or written, we all wan´t her do great out there, so let´s help her do just that.


[:D]

fking_crazy
#11 Posted : Thursday, September 30, 2010 6:40:09 AM(UTC)
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Listening to you guys I have the feeling to attend a tennis expert conference. [:S]


It's pathetic the way everyone wants to give advice to Maria. The girl isn't a kid; she knows for sure what she's doing and she's fucking well surrounded by specialists, including faked specialists. So let's leave her alone and she will do what she gotta do. The only advice I agree with is Maria should take care of her physique. She looks more and more anorexic.

CROUCHING TIGER
#3 Posted : Thursday, September 30, 2010 7:04:23 AM(UTC)
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I don't agree with that, crazy. This IS the official "Sharapova-site" and it's forum after all. It's obvious Masha is still not "back", has "serve-shoulder"-problems and mentally under "pressure". Nothing more normal the ppl who are here to support her talk, discuss and come foreward with some "solutitions". That's the reason of the existence of this forum, no?


WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD
robb
#27 Posted : Thursday, September 30, 2010 11:44:19 AM(UTC)
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TBH if she's losing to a 40 year old, there MUST be serious issues with Maria's tennis.
paul_pipkin
#22 Posted : Thursday, September 30, 2010 12:16:47 PM(UTC)
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[quote user="robb"]TBH if she's losing to a 40 year old, there MUST be serious issues with Maria's tennis.
[/quote]


But Kimiko ain't your grand-dad's "forty". [;)]


 

"That's the way the world works... right now." --Maria Sharapova at 17
CROUCHING TIGER
#4 Posted : Thursday, September 30, 2010 12:23:35 PM(UTC)
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LOLOL...[:P]


WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD
Mashafan124
#19 Posted : Thursday, September 30, 2010 8:51:07 PM(UTC)
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Well, it's not like Maria's gonna read this forum, right? She reminds me of Federer on the women's side. Too stubborn to change anything about her game and her serve even when she knows it's not helping her get back to the player that she was, and changes need to be made.
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