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Wimbledon 2013
Dartagnan
#162 Posted : Tuesday, June 25, 2013 7:39:16 PM(UTC)
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Sharapova's Master Plan To Beat Serena



 


                     


Wimbledon, England



When Maria Sharapova plays her second-round match at Wimbledon this week, people will marvel at her power, gawk at her good looks and perhaps crack a few jokes about her shrieks. But they'll ignore the real Sharapova entirely.


Of all the women on the tour today, none has done more to adapt to the sport's evolution, and her own physical gifts and liabilities, than Sharapova.



There was the unexpected growth spurt and the need to add muscle to her lean frame, which cost her some speed. And the shoulder surgery that forced her to retool her serve, which robbed her of an essential weapon for several years. As tennis shifted from the power era of Venus and Serena Williams and Lindsay Davenport, to the über-athlete era of Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters, and finally to today's game, where spin and depth are increasingly blended with power, Sharapova has adjusted her approach to keep pace.


"Everyone thinks Maria is just a ball basher, but I don't care who you are, you don't have the career she's had by just hitting the ball and not thinking," said Michael Joyce, her former coach.


In the last few months, Sharapova has hired a video-analysis expert to help her solve the enduring riddle that is Serena Williams, who has beaten her 13 straight times since 2005, most recently in the French Open final. It's an investment in technology that few top tennis players have made, despite advances in the field.



"She still has a mission to beat Serena," said Thomas Högstedt, her current coach, after the French Open final. "She knows what she has to do, but she still has to believe a little bit more in it."



Sharapova's rivalry with Williams picked up intensity last week, after a Rolling Stone article quoted Williams talking critically about a top-five player and her boyfriend, a couple the article's writer guessed was Sharapova and Grigor Dimitrov. In a pre-Wimbledon news conference, Sharapova responded with comments on Williams's presumed relationship with her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou. Sharapova declined to speak further about the spat after her first-round victory Monday. "I've said everything that I wanted to say about the issue," she said.


Before the French Open, Craig O'Shannessy, a coach based in Austin, prepared video clips and a report on Williams for Sharapova's camp, at its request, he said. After the French Open final, he followed up with more clips and analysis. "The game evolves, opponents evolve and the game plan must evolve," O'Shannessy said.


O'Shannessy's videos show patterns that work—and fail—against Williams. He calls the open court "an illusion," because Williams excels at being aggressive while moving to the open court. The solution: Hit behind Williams as often as possible, forcing her to move in one direction, reset her feet, and then go back in the other direction.


Opponents look to attack Williams's forehand crosscourt, since that's where she makes most of her errors. Still, Sharapova too often takes risks down the line, O'Shannessy said, especially from defensive positions. And she hits too many backhands from the middle of the court, when she has time to sidestep and hit forehands.


This isn't the first time Sharapova has relied on video. At the 2006 U.S. Open, she went into the final against Justine Henin having lost their last four matches, including their semifinal at that year's Australian Open. Joyce's father, a former photography director for television shows such as "Little House on the Prairie" and "CHiPs," scoured Henin video to suggest tactics for Sharapova.


"Henin had extreme grips," Joyce said. "My dad said, 'If Maria can hit down the middle and make her switch grips as often as possible, she'll get more errors.'" Sharapova won, 6-4, 6-4.


While Williams poses a bigger challenge than Henin, Sharapova's toughest opponent has been her own body. When she beat Williams in the 2004 Wimbledon final, the 17-year-old Sharapova wasn't as tall, and she was rail thin. "She was a little girl," Joyce said.


She was more aggressive than Williams, too, and had a stronger serve. Sharapova's second serve averaged 97 miles per hour in that match, compared to 86 mph for Williams. She slugged second serves and won 71% of those points, and she hit startling winners on the run. Sharapova is now taller, and heavier by necessity: It takes muscle to stay healthy and maintain power. She can't hit on the run quite as well.


"I don't think she's every going to defend as well as she did when she was 17 or 18, because her body won't allow it," Joyce said.



The same goes for her serve. Back then, Sharapova had a lower toss and a more violent motion with a deeper knee bend; she didn't hit up and out on the ball, as the best servers do. She just attacked it straight on, which put stress on her shoulder. Her current serve is modeled on the "shoulder over shoulder" technique that has spared many shoulders from injuries. But she doesn't hit it with as much abandon since she had surgery in 2008.


Since Sharapova began working with Högstedt, she has improved her footwork and fitness, and worked on taking control of points as soon as possible so there's less running to do.


"The women's game has improved extremely in the last two years—not many realize," Hogstedt said, citing the general pace and intensity of rallies. "The one who controls the first shot almost all the time wins the point."


Right now, that woman is Williams, but don't bet that Sharapova can't adapt. She has been doing it for years.


 

"I'd love to open a tennis school for children in my hometown of Sochi." said Sharapova Maria.



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CROUCHING TIGER on 6/26/2013(UTC), Alireza on 6/26/2013(UTC)
Imnumber2
#165 Posted : Tuesday, June 25, 2013 9:13:25 PM(UTC)
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I have to admit that this is a facinating and interesting story I must say. Let the truth be told and realize for once until that day, Masha beating S.William.


It's clear that there is no love whatsoever between the 2 so bring it on Bitch (SW)!!!

Don't Give Up - Peter Gabriel
Imnumber2
#164 Posted : Tuesday, June 25, 2013 9:16:30 PM(UTC)
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midaso;324758 wrote:
If Maria loses to a mug like De Brito,tennis is officially dead. Pity Jie Zheng lost,a player who could have troubled the sweathog in round 2,but instead it will be Caroline Garcia. Still,could be tricky if Serena goes walkabouts...


 


totally agree with you!

Don't Give Up - Peter Gabriel
midaso
#166 Posted : Tuesday, June 25, 2013 9:46:46 PM(UTC)
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Well,I have to say even if she never beats Williams again,Maria deserves much respect for not giving in,not just with the SW problem,but with the shoulder injury and all. Even as big fans of hers,we know she's not the fastest or most naturally talented player out there. Of all the players to win a career grand slam,she is clearly the least talented(this is no knock on her though,but a testament to her sheer determination and hard work). She accepts her strengths and weaknesses,and adapts. There are so many times during 2009/10 when she could have easily thrown in the towel,she already had a pretty successful career,and enough money to never have to work again. To come back to the top after her critics were saying opponents had worked out her game shows true character. She's not just a brainless ballbasher as Joyce says,she'd never stand the test of time and be this successful otherwise. She'll always be 6'2",and those are where most of her problems lie these days,but we'll see what happens next...

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CROUCHING TIGER
#167 Posted : Wednesday, June 26, 2013 12:46:37 AM(UTC)
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Maria Sharapova and the Worst Grunts in Tennis Today

http://bleacherreport.co...-grunts-in-tennis-today

Noisy article:)


WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD
Tony Montana
#168 Posted : Wednesday, June 26, 2013 1:56:00 AM(UTC)
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Maria your doing great. Concentrate, practice and don't let the Williams sisters know were the ball will land. You will win many more matches. Aside from tennis try acting once no matter who you date. Acting can increase your confidence and self esteem. You will win. Go back to Alex.


 

clyde_aya@yahoo.com
#163 Posted : Wednesday, June 26, 2013 6:58:08 AM(UTC)
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Dartagnan;324767 wrote:


Sharapova's Master Plan To Beat Serena



 


                     


Wimbledon, England



When Maria Sharapova plays her second-round match at Wimbledon this week, people will marvel at her power, gawk at her good looks and perhaps crack a few jokes about her shrieks. But they'll ignore the real Sharapova entirely.


Of all the women on the tour today, none has done more to adapt to the sport's evolution, and her own physical gifts and liabilities, than Sharapova.



There was the unexpected growth spurt and the need to add muscle to her lean frame, which cost her some speed. And the shoulder surgery that forced her to retool her serve, which robbed her of an essential weapon for several years. As tennis shifted from the power era of Venus and Serena Williams and Lindsay Davenport, to the über-athlete era of Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters, and finally to today's game, where spin and depth are increasingly blended with power, Sharapova has adjusted her approach to keep pace.


"Everyone thinks Maria is just a ball basher, but I don't care who you are, you don't have the career she's had by just hitting the ball and not thinking," said Michael Joyce, her former coach.


In the last few months, Sharapova has hired a video-analysis expert to help her solve the enduring riddle that is Serena Williams, who has beaten her 13 straight times since 2005, most recently in the French Open final. It's an investment in technology that few top tennis players have made, despite advances in the field.



"She still has a mission to beat Serena," said Thomas Högstedt, her current coach, after the French Open final. "She knows what she has to do, but she still has to believe a little bit more in it."



Sharapova's rivalry with Williams picked up intensity last week, after a Rolling Stone article quoted Williams talking critically about a top-five player and her boyfriend, a couple the article's writer guessed was Sharapova and Grigor Dimitrov. In a pre-Wimbledon news conference, Sharapova responded with comments on Williams's presumed relationship with her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou. Sharapova declined to speak further about the spat after her first-round victory Monday. "I've said everything that I wanted to say about the issue," she said.


Before the French Open, Craig O'Shannessy, a coach based in Austin, prepared video clips and a report on Williams for Sharapova's camp, at its request, he said. After the French Open final, he followed up with more clips and analysis. "The game evolves, opponents evolve and the game plan must evolve," O'Shannessy said.


O'Shannessy's videos show patterns that work—and fail—against Williams. He calls the open court "an illusion," because Williams excels at being aggressive while moving to the open court. The solution: Hit behind Williams as often as possible, forcing her to move in one direction, reset her feet, and then go back in the other direction.


Opponents look to attack Williams's forehand crosscourt, since that's where she makes most of her errors. Still, Sharapova too often takes risks down the line, O'Shannessy said, especially from defensive positions. And she hits too many backhands from the middle of the court, when she has time to sidestep and hit forehands.


This isn't the first time Sharapova has relied on video. At the 2006 U.S. Open, she went into the final against Justine Henin having lost their last four matches, including their semifinal at that year's Australian Open. Joyce's father, a former photography director for television shows such as "Little House on the Prairie" and "CHiPs," scoured Henin video to suggest tactics for Sharapova.


"Henin had extreme grips," Joyce said. "My dad said, 'If Maria can hit down the middle and make her switch grips as often as possible, she'll get more errors.'" Sharapova won, 6-4, 6-4.


While Williams poses a bigger challenge than Henin, Sharapova's toughest opponent has been her own body. When she beat Williams in the 2004 Wimbledon final, the 17-year-old Sharapova wasn't as tall, and she was rail thin. "She was a little girl," Joyce said.


She was more aggressive than Williams, too, and had a stronger serve. Sharapova's second serve averaged 97 miles per hour in that match, compared to 86 mph for Williams. She slugged second serves and won 71% of those points, and she hit startling winners on the run. Sharapova is now taller, and heavier by necessity: It takes muscle to stay healthy and maintain power. She can't hit on the run quite as well.


"I don't think she's every going to defend as well as she did when she was 17 or 18, because her body won't allow it," Joyce said.



The same goes for her serve. Back then, Sharapova had a lower toss and a more violent motion with a deeper knee bend; she didn't hit up and out on the ball, as the best servers do. She just attacked it straight on, which put stress on her shoulder. Her current serve is modeled on the "shoulder over shoulder" technique that has spared many shoulders from injuries. But she doesn't hit it with as much abandon since she had surgery in 2008.


Since Sharapova began working with Högstedt, she has improved her footwork and fitness, and worked on taking control of points as soon as possible so there's less running to do.


"The women's game has improved extremely in the last two years—not many realize," Hogstedt said, citing the general pace and intensity of rallies. "The one who controls the first shot almost all the time wins the point."


Right now, that woman is Williams, but don't bet that Sharapova can't adapt. She has been doing it for years.


 



 


Definitely, Maria ahs the game to beat Serena. Believe me, she can match Serena ground to ground. And Maria's groundstrokes are the one that kept their match at RG Final really close. 


Just like what is written on the article, Maria seems not taking her opportunities against Williams when gets one. It was so evident during the RG final. She's having a hard time finishing the point against Williams. Let's just hope that she'll change things here in Wimby. Because I'm starting to see some chinks in Serena's game. 

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Alireza on 6/26/2013(UTC)
clyde_aya@yahoo.com
#169 Posted : Wednesday, June 26, 2013 7:04:16 AM(UTC)
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FLAVIA IS IN THE THIRD ROUND OF WIMBY WITH A WALKOVER FROM AZARENKA. KNEE INJURY.


Since Azarenka reached the semis here last year, she'll lose a LOT of points and by the end of the tournament, Maria might find herself back at the No. 2 spot. 


And the good thing is that, Maria will gain a lot of points if she'll do well during the summer hard court stretch prior to the US OPEN.

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CROUCHING TIGER on 6/26/2013(UTC), Alireza on 6/26/2013(UTC)
CROUCHING TIGER
#170 Posted : Wednesday, June 26, 2013 7:33:02 AM(UTC)
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Wimbledon 2013: Victoria Azarenka pulls out through injury !!!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/tennis/23067270

After Errani, Kirilenko, Azarenka the 3th TOP-10 ranked...NEXT ?


WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD
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Alireza on 6/26/2013(UTC)
Alireza
#172 Posted : Wednesday, June 26, 2013 7:41:39 AM(UTC)
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CROUCHING TIGER;324783 wrote:
Wimbledon 2013: Victoria Azarenka pulls out through injury !!!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/tennis/23067270

After Errani, Kirilenko, Azarenka the 3th TOP-10 ranked...NEXT ?


Oh my gosh! An other surprise! What a Wimbledon we have this year! Top players get out one by one! 


Nadal ,Errani ,Kirilenko and now Azarenka! Who's next? Serena? Roger or Novak?

Persian Gulf FOREVER -Arabs can not change the history, they can't cheat-
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frida on 6/26/2013(UTC)
clyde_aya@yahoo.com
#173 Posted : Wednesday, June 26, 2013 8:31:02 AM(UTC)
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Alireza;324784 wrote:


CROUCHING TIGER;324783 wrote:
Wimbledon 2013: Victoria Azarenka pulls out through injury !!!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/tennis/23067270

After Errani, Kirilenko, Azarenka the 3th TOP-10 ranked...NEXT ?


Oh my gosh! An other surprise! What a Wimbledon we have this year! Top players get out one by one! 


Nadal ,Errani ,Kirilenko and now Azarenka! Who's next? Serena? Roger or Novak?



 


Imagine if someone takes out Serena! Wimbledon draw will be wide open! And I can safely say that it's a lose for Sharapova if she won't be able tow in the tournament.

Imnumber2
#171 Posted : Wednesday, June 26, 2013 8:37:59 AM(UTC)
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CROUCHING TIGER;324783 wrote:
Wimbledon 2013: Victoria Azarenka pulls out through injury !!!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/tennis/23067270

After Errani, Kirilenko, Azarenka the 3th TOP-10 ranked...NEXT ?


 


Darcis who beat Nadal is also out due to shoulder injury! Isner as well !

Don't Give Up - Peter Gabriel
Imnumber2
#174 Posted : Wednesday, June 26, 2013 9:58:05 AM(UTC)
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Get your ear plug ready!


Best of lck Masha!

Don't Give Up - Peter Gabriel
Brebis
#175 Posted : Wednesday, June 26, 2013 12:05:22 PM(UTC)
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Did not even get the chance to see her dress, lol !! What happened ?? Too distracted by all the Serena shit or a bad day at the office ? Well, too bad Serena a winner once again . Not deserved at all. Bye , bye Wimbledon. Seen enough for this year.
CROUCHING TIGER
#176 Posted : Wednesday, June 26, 2013 12:05:31 PM(UTC)
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Permalink voor ingesloten afbeelding

Larcher de Britto stopped Masha in two straight sets...Masha had an injury at her hip,not too bad:)



WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD
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frida on 6/26/2013(UTC)
CROUCHING TIGER
#179 Posted : Wednesday, June 26, 2013 12:08:57 PM(UTC)
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Wimbledon 2013: Maria Sharapova and Ana Ivanovic beaten in second round...SURPRISES ALL AROUND !!!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/spo...&utm_medium=twitter

Yesterday Kiri, today Masha...SAD


WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD
frida
#177 Posted : Wednesday, June 26, 2013 12:13:09 PM(UTC)
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Maria Sharapova of Russia slips during her women's singles tennis match against Michelle Larcher De Brito of Portugal at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, in London


Oh my Gosh !!!! Injury ?? What happened??? Is she okay?? I hope it's not very bad :(

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Feyenoord on 6/26/2013(UTC), CROUCHING TIGER on 6/26/2013(UTC)
Imnumber2
#180 Posted : Wednesday, June 26, 2013 12:14:33 PM(UTC)
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My worst nightmare!!!!!!

Don't Give Up - Peter Gabriel
frida
#181 Posted : Wednesday, June 26, 2013 12:17:54 PM(UTC)
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What's going on about top seeds??? Sharapova, Kirilenko , Azarenka, Ivanovic , Errani !!! Really hope that damn Serena will join this list !!! I'm sorry :( :(
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Alireza on 6/26/2013(UTC), Brebis on 6/26/2013(UTC)
Imnumber2
#184 Posted : Wednesday, June 26, 2013 12:22:24 PM(UTC)
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There is no EXCUSE to lose badly in 2nd round!!! :((((

Don't Give Up - Peter Gabriel
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