Does anybody know why Maria pats her left thigh -- 2Xs usually, I think -- when she's waiting to receive a serve? Has she ever made mention of it, and if so, what did she say? I figure it's to get her psyched up for the return, or maybe it's gone to sleep or isn't paying attention, and she's trying to wake it up. I don't listen to the commentators, so if they have ever said anything about it I wouldn't know.
Usually they were always there, you just didn't notices them. Nadal is a prime example. Watching him
before a serve is enough to drive you crazy.
Maria has them too. Among other things, she doesn't walk on lines, she always turns her back to the
court after a point to focus and yes, adjust her strings. After a win she always goes back out on the
court and throws a kiss and waves to each quadrant as she acknowledges the audience. Azerenka later
stole this unique touch from Maria because she had no identity of her own, she had no respect for other
players and she generally portrays herself as one of entitlement. Maria's fist-pump and "YAAAH!!!"
scream after an important point are generally used around the circuit. The pounding of the her thigh
(oh, stop my pounding heart) as she readies herself to receive a serve is, I believe, unique to Maria and
seems to be meant to help her focus.