Friday, June 7, 2013

French Open--what they said

It’s my biggest win to date. I don’t know how I’ve managed to train, work and play at the same time through these past few weeks, but right now it feels great!
Sabine Ellerbrock

Maria is way too predictable against Serena. She never serves at her body anymore and plays her forehand way too much. She never hits hard down the middle anymore. It’s not a good match-up for her no matter what. Serena is just much better, but Maria has got to give herself a shot.When Maria she was 17 and 18, she was two or three steps faster and defended much better. She may never be able to do that again. Of course when you lose to someone for almost 10 years in a row it’s going become a little mental, but I think most of the mental is because Serena is the only player she can’t dictate to and play the way she wants all the time.
Michael Joyce

Despite that record and despite me being unsuccessful against her, I believe that I'm happy to be setting up chances to be going out and facing her, someone that's been playing and dominating tennis for almost a year now. Her success has been incredible. But going into a French Open final, that doesn't matter. It all starts from zero. You've got to play until the last point and believe in yourself.
Maria Sharapova

It was also very special to reach the final today because Ekaterina has a birthday today. It's very difficult to play on your birthday. Most of the players lose on that day, except Rafa of course, so it was some more pressure on me, but we played very well and we're really happy we won today.
Elena Vesnina

It feels good to hit volleys. I'm not a player that runs to the net all the time, so it feels really good to be able to hit some good volleys. Sometimes I'm surprised--I'm like, '"Is that me?" You know, I used to hit a lot of drop shots when I was younger. I'm just going back to the young days, I guess.
Serena Williams


Doug Messenger said...

Thumbs up to what Michael Joyce's analysis. Hitting AT Serena is a good idea. She gets her feet tangled if balls hit right at her are hard and deep. Serena is a fantastic retriever, something lost on everyone of whom I can think except Diane. She hits BETTER on the run. So, Michael's advice is right on. If anything is going to go away, it's Serena's forehand. In 2004, Maria hit AT her and alternated that with pounding Serena's backhand. Sounds simple but is not...
I still don't understand why Yuri and Michael did not stop Maria from delivering the service toss ridiculously high. It cost her a shoulder. Jes' sayin'...

Doug Messenger said...

Kindly omit 'what' from the first sentence.

Doug said...

My age is catching up to me... I meant to write that in 2004 Maria alternated hitting AT Serena with attacking her forehand, deep and not too angled. It worked.

Eric said...

I was watching Eurosport and Mats Wilander did the post-match analysis. I was amazed/impressed by what he said.

He said that if he was going to teach anyone to serve (boy or girl), he would tell them to emulate Serena Williams.

He also noted how her serve speed is as fast as Novak/Rafa/Roger...and faster than when Mats himself was 20 km/hr.

Serena Williams - breaking down barriers and redefining beauty just by being who she is. LOVE IT.

Eric said... worked...but I also think Serena was off that day in 2004. She was VERY tight. She was coming back from injury and wanted it too much. She's talked about how that loss taught her a lot about being the favorite in a match.

Also, you're right about trying to get her feet tangled. Actually Lindsay Davenport often tried that tactic too.

Eric said...

I just read the Joyce quote...

Do people really think Maria is slower now? I guess I hadn't noticed since I tend to think of her movement as being vastly improved. Her footwork and lateral retrieving is very solid. I'm going to have to look at some video to compare...altho I know that's not very empirical. There's no way to really measure with out having a time trial. :)

Be interested to hear others' takes.

Eric said...

Nice coverage Diane! :)

Diane said...

Thanks, Eric!

I don't think Maria is slower, but I think Michael Joyce is--well, Michael Joyce :)

Karen said...

Michael Joyce really needs to have a seat somewhere and disappear. I do think that Pova's movement is much better than it used to be. However, her speed is only magnified on clay. On hard courts and grass where the other women are just as fast if not faster and have better movement, she does look exceptionally slow and her movement issues are glaring.

For whatever reason clay is friendly to her. She seems to have embraced the surface and her game seems tailor made for it.

I absolutely enjoyed how both women played during the tournament. They both moved exceptionally well but Serena was just that much better.

A lot of commentators are now saying how beautiful and compact Serena's service motion is. I wish the other women on Tour, especially the juniors would look at her game and try to emulate it. It disturbs me when I hear them talk about watching the men and getting tips from them. I want to hold them and shake them and say look at the woman who holds the No.1 ranking on your Tour and emulate her. Just argggggh