Get Inside!

Welcome to Inside the Baseline, your place for all things WTA tennis. Check in for the latest information on your WTA stars, including tournament previews, results and season outlooks. All website content will be subject to the author's views and opinions, but debate and discussion are more than welcome on each post's comment boards. Enjoy.

For more information, be sure to follow us on TWITTER.
While you're at it, follow the blog author, Kedzie Teller as well.

To contact me directly, please feel free to email at
Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The WTA Holiday Wish List

'Tis the season.

With just over a month until the Australian Open, the ladies of the WTA are thinking about what it will take to have a stellar start to 2012. Whether it's a matter of technique, or an entire mental overhaul, here's a look at what our favorite players are wishing for this holiday.

Caroline Wozniacki wants a forehand.

She's young, she's beautiful and she's the "best" female tennis player in the world, so what more could Caroline Wozniacki want? How about the ability to use her forehand? Wozniacki might have the best defense in the WTA (though Radwanska would like to argue that) but her weakness is the most basic shot in the game. I'll give her credit where it's due: nobody can roll a ball over the net like she can... but at this stage in the game Wozniacki needs to be able to do more than push her way through matches. Her forehand often sits short in the court and let's big hitters find their range. Add some depth and maybe she won't need body armor when she faces people like Serena Williams.

Wozniacki's failing forehand lost her a few matches in the back half of the season. Watch it fall apart in this clip as McHale dismantles Caroline in Cincinnati.


Francesca Schiavone and Li Na want to win matches again. 

Plain and simple. These two are laying in bed at night thinking of that time they won a grand slam and saying, "What the hell happened since?" With Schiavone's shot-making and Li Na's stinging ground strokes, there is no reason they can't have a surge in 2012. They might be two of the oldest players in the draw, but old's the new young in the WTA.

Jelena Jankovic wants motivation.

Remember the days of the "Serbian Summer" There was a time when Jelena Jankovic walked on court with confidence and attitude, then backed it up with lethal skill. Now? She doesn't do much at all.

Jankovic's single chance at a title in 2011 came against Maria Sharapova in Cincinnati. For the first time all year it actually looked like JJ wanted to win. Too often she has looked slow, bored and entirely unmotivated. She lost the smile that made her famous and the impenetrable defense that made her great. Where's the blistering backhand? Where's the pinpoint accuracy? Someone give this lady some desire again.

Remember, Jankovic. You used to love this game.

Maria Sharapova wants a serve.

You might not like her screeching, but you can't deny Maria Sharapova's ability to clobber opponents. Ground-stroke to ground-stroke, there are few that can match Sharapova's power (I'm looking at you, Serena and Petra) and even fewer that match her go-for-broke guts. But what Maria needs to find in her stocking this Christmas is a new serve.

To understand just how severe her service problem has become, you only need to look at one match: her third round loss to Flavia Pennetta at the US Open. Serving at 4-5 in the third set, Sharapova struck two double faults (bringing her total to 12), skimmed a few lets and ultimately spun a head-scratching second serve on match point that Pennetta thrashed for a return winner. The look on Sharapova's face explains all.

Victoria Azarenka wants to beat Petra Kvitova. 

Azarenka finally overcame her quarterfinal curse at Wimbledon this year, but she has a new issue to deal with and her name is Petra Kvitova. Azarenka suffered three major losses to her Czech opponent including the finals of Madrid, the semifinals of Wimbledon and the finals of the year-end championship.

While Vika is undoubtedly one of the most fit and skilled players in the league, she is still one of the most underachieving. She has the speed, power and all-court game to hoist many slam trophies, but until she figures out if she wants to play offensively or defensively she's not going to succeed in clutch moments.

Serena Williams wants control over her temper.

Maybe Venus or Mama Oracene will get Serena a stress ball for the holidays. While Serena's attitude and fire are entertaining, I'd rather see her win the US Open than yell at a line judge... again...

-Kedzie Teller, Senior Editor


Post a Comment