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#1 Posted : Thursday, September 05, 2013 9:29:25 AM(UTC)
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Out of curiosity this morning, I thought about looking for news of Maria's shoulder issue.  I suspected arthritis and I was close.  Years ago when getting into tennis, I practiced my serve a lot with a wooden racquet using less than perfect technique to say the least.  This is what I suspect lead to spots of arthritis in my neck and degeneration in my shoulder which today are very manageable using better technique in the serve.  Maria's technique is ok but she doesn't have the best service style and motion for shoulder problems and I think now is the time to turn that style into a bigger weapon that takes stress off the shoulder and puts it on the opponent.  With her size and shape, this will be tricky because of balance issues but by keeping it simple with minimal motion, she should do ok.  She is very fexible when it comes to new technique from what I have seen.  She should toss more into the court and not go overhead.  Her motion should be more fluid and she should use the racquet power and her forearm more.  I hate to say it but she should get good at the serve an old tennis pro would use and they might be the best source of assistance. With today's equipment and her reach, it shouldn't be difficult to serve consistently over 100 mph with good stuff on it.  My pro asked me to try bringing my feet closer together and I ended up with a new style similar to Aggassi with a little knee bend and not much movement overall.  It leaves me ready for the return better than my Sampras type motion and I can be more accurate in placement.  Once the toss is in the right place, there is no problem with power and I can turn my shoulder on it nicely.  And it was nothing to change over to.  Maria is my favorite player to watch and I can see her loving the game enough to stick with it.  I would hate to see her having to cut her career short due to a bad toss.

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