Ol' Mats is at it again!

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by TheTruth, Feb 25, 2007.

  1. TheTruth

    TheTruth G.O.A.T.

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    Did anyone hear the commentators repeat what Mats supposedly said about Sharapova. I'm paraphrasing. "She's a one-dimensional ball-basher not capable of rivaling the likes of Mauresmo and Justine with their variety and finesse."

    Now, I am by no means a Sharapova fan, but give me a break. It's one thing for us (nobodies) to spout an opinion, but it's another one for him to put some garbage like that in print. I've never been a Wilander fan. Never even seen him play, thank goodness, but if I had been a fan, he would have really turned me off by now. Haven't heard a word from him in 20 years, now every time I turn around he's spouting vitriol left and right. Go crawl back into your hole, Mats. Your fifteen minutes are up!
     
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  2. Andrew

    Andrew Rookie

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    And what would you call Sharapova's game, if not a ball basher?
     
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  3. Alexandros

    Alexandros Professional

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    Which part of what he said was untrue? Also, I think even Sharapova would admit that she will never rival Mauresmo and Henin-Hardenne in variety and finesse. It doesn't necessarily make her a lesser tennis player, her strengths lie elsewhere - mental strength, power and so forth.
     
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  4. Polaris

    Polaris Hall of Fame

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    Your paraphrasing might be interpreted wrongly. Mats didn't bring up JH and AM when he mentioned that Sharapova is a one-dimensional ball basher. He was comparing women's tennis to the men's game and mentioned that the men's game had been down that road (of 1-D ball bashing) before.

    In the *next* question, he was asked about JH and AM. That was when he mentioned something about these two being ahead in the finesse and variety departments. He didn't say anything about Sharapova not being able to rival Henin and Mauresmo game-wise.

    In this instance, I quite agree with him. JH and AM definitely play with more variety and finesse than MS. And if Shara is not a one-dimensional ball basher, what is she? Her ball-bashing is good enough to garner victories against almost everyone. She is an easy target for criticism because she is the most visible of tennis players. Besides, she has the almighty shriek to go along with the ball-bashing. Wilander made the right call there.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2007
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  5. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

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    The truth, The Truth, is that Mats spoke...the truth. I believe he used the word "thoughtless" as in thoughtless ball basher-in Tennis Magazine.
     
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  6. jmsx521

    jmsx521 Hall of Fame

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    "She's a one-dimensional ball-basher not capable of rivaling the likes of Mauresmo and Justine with their variety and finesse."

    She is one dimensional, but sure she has the game to beat Mauresmo and Justine... just not in terms of 'variety and finesse,' for which empires don't give better scores.
     
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  7. snapple

    snapple Rookie

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    As usual Mats is right on the money. Just wish we had the chance to hear Mats do tennis commentery here in the states.
     
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  8. breakfast_of_champions

    breakfast_of_champions Banned

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    its the word "thoughtless" that is out of line. you don't become #1 by being thoughtless. and why does he single out sharapova? what are serena, venus, lindsay, and kim? i guess because maria dwarfs him in earnings. or maybe because mats was a pusher.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2007
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  9. Andrew

    Andrew Rookie

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    Maybe it's because Sharapova is #1 in the world right now and thus it would make logical sense to mention her?
     
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  10. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

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    I think what he meant by "thoughtless" is one-dimensional, kinda mindless and unthinking. Come to think about it, he meant thoughtless! The women that you named, although also "bashers" have somewhat more variety to their games. I don't think it's jealosy on Mats' part-he just calls them as he sees them, and doesn't always coat it in diplomatic niceties.
     
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  11. breakfast_of_champions

    breakfast_of_champions Banned

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    connors and agassi played very similiar games to sharapova, powerful flat shots, in the corners, and on the lines. not an easy game to execute, but very effective when its on.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2007
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  12. THUNDERVOLLEY

    THUNDERVOLLEY G.O.A.T.

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    Mats is correct. Sharapova is hopelessly one-dimensional; i'll add that Davenport is damn near the same. Both are rather graceless and have clear difficulty with lateral movement/basic running.
     
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  13. Alexandros

    Alexandros Professional

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    Venus, Serena and Kim can play from all parts of the court, actually defend exceptionally well (Sharapova's defense is so-so), can hit a slice backhand (I swear that I only recall two times I've seen Sharapova attempt a slice, at the Aussie Open in 2006 - the only reason I remember is because one bounced before the net and the other landed at the bottom of it - and these weren't particularly difficult shots, she was stationary for both of them as I recall and not stretched out wide) and are proficient volleyers.
     
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  14. Nick Irons

    Nick Irons Semi-Pro

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    I agree with Mats completely

    (And I'd love to have his 7 Grand Slams, er, 15 Minutes)
     
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  15. breakfast_of_champions

    breakfast_of_champions Banned

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    maria occasionally slices, like the others i mentioned, in every match. maria wins many points a the net as well, only with a swinging volley. basher yes, thoughtless no. your don't win from the baseline by being thoughtless.
     
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  16. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

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    Sure you can-in the WTA in 2007. If a player is big enough and strong enough and hits the ball hard enough, and really wants it bad enough, they can win. Maria's a thoughtless basher.
     
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  17. Young Pete

    Young Pete Professional

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    The Truth just got OWNED!
     
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  18. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    Mats is right about Sharapova doesn't have the skills that Henin and Mauresmo possess but she is much better looking :)
     
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  19. omniexist

    omniexist Semi-Pro

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    Heh. You are soooo right. Woof woof!

    And so is Matts. Shriekapova does seem more mindless then even the Williamses. Damn, women's tennis needs to change.
     
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  20. TheNatural

    TheNatural Legend

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    she is a relatively thouhtless ball basher. I like her backhand, but I dont like the rest of her shots. Besides that shes a good runner and fighter. I think her athleticism and determination are her biggest strengths. SHe has a very positive attitude on court.

    Davenport had a way more rounded game than Sharapova, but Davenport could sometimes get that hangdog look and give up against people like Serena Williams.

    I'd favour an athletic ball basher like sharapova over Mauresmo most of the time.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2007
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  21. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    I want people in tennis to say more "provocative" things, not less. If the players and commentators are too worried about fines, retaining access, and endorsement dollars to express themselves, well, that sucks, but I hope retired players and other tennis insiders don't feel the need to make sure they don't offend every wackjob out there with nothing better to do than get pissed at people on TV before they offer their well informed opinions.
     
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  22. bluegrasser

    bluegrasser Hall of Fame

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    She thinks = bash the serve, bash the forehand, bash the bkhnd. I much rather watch Henin or AM. Maria just took the book from the William sisters, heck, it works, but not good TV.
     
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  23. caulcano

    caulcano Hall of Fame

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    Bashing will get you so far. hopefully it's only a matter of time before someone else really dominates the WTA, a female version of FED?
     
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  24. Warriorroger

    Warriorroger Hall of Fame

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    Agree with him or not, Matt should look at his own game. For us 30 somethings, we had the misfortune of seeing him play. Those rallies at Roland Garros, BORING. BORING BORING.
     
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  25. THUNDERVOLLEY

    THUNDERVOLLEY G.O.A.T.

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    The sisters certainly move around the court more than Sharapova ever has, and are never afraid to approach and win points at the net. As mentioned earlier, Sharapova is like Davenport, where her shockingly bad movement forces her to bury her feet at the baseline and hardly advances through the course of a match.
     
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  26. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Mats is jealous that Maria is good enough now to beat him in his prime.
     
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  27. snapple

    snapple Rookie

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    Originally Posted by sureshs
    Thank you for adding your insight.
     
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  28. wildbill88AA

    wildbill88AA Banned

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    Right, if you can hit laser beams to the corners consistently and you'll win. And its such as easy game to execute. And to think in Mats era when women were pushing the ball around the court waitng for someone to miss. Now that was exciting tennis. Mats is now officially a grumpy old man.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2007
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  29. snapple

    snapple Rookie

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    Originally Posted by wildbill88AA
    Mat's era featured Navratalova, Graf, Madlikova, Sukova, all players with more variety to their games than 99% of the current field. Also, he never said that Maria's game was easy to execute, just that it is one dimensional and lacks finesse, which of course is the truth.
     
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  30. wildbill88AA

    wildbill88AA Banned

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    martina was like a man playing against women, coming to the net on everything, mandilikova managed only one slam. sukova? maybe novotna, who was more of a one dimensional s and v'er. the rest were the everts, austins, and jaegers. graf stayed on the baseline mostly. most of the points were won from the backcourt in long, slow rallies. points were rarely finished at the net. more points are finished in todays game at the net by the clisters, hingis, petrova, sharapovas than were in earlier generations.

    mats seems to think the women are all suppose to play like rod laver, when the men can't even do that.

    maria takes the ball early, dictates, consistently hits the ball deep with power, near the lines, and has power and variety on her serve. she also finishes a lot of points at the net with a swinging volley. and thats why shes a champion at 19. not that she doesn't have work to do, but why start hitting dinks, drops, moonballs, and slices, when power is her game.

    mats is just jealous because she hits the ball harder than he does.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2007
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  31. bluetrain4

    bluetrain4 Legend

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    Check the record books. Mandlinkova won four slams and made some other finals.
     
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  32. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I made a joke post about it in this thread, but now I am thinking it is correct. This guy has a major ego problem. First, he picked on Federer. Now he has turned to the women.

    I think he has the same problem as many of the male posters here who complain about the women's game - he secretely knows he would get beaten by any modern woman player even if he plays like in his prime. Great players like Laver don't insult current players, but instead are always studying the game. Mats comes across as a pissed-off has-been who is looking for publicity.
     
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  33. wildbill88AA

    wildbill88AA Banned

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    i guess its just that her uso win over martina stands out, and that two of her slams are aussies. no doubt she was a talented allcourt player.
     
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  34. snapple

    snapple Rookie

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    So you'd rather him just offer the same old phony platitudes, a la Laver and the like, rather than his honest commentary as a former world's number one (who has no reason to be jealous of the women players...geez)
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2007
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  35. wildbill88AA

    wildbill88AA Banned

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    was a funny comment. didn't mats also tell safin he would be better off losing to fellow swede johanssen in the 2002 AO final, prior to the match. seems mats has made a few comments over the years that may be a little off base.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2007
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  36. breakfast_of_champions

    breakfast_of_champions Banned

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    critisizing is the easiest thing in the world to do. maria plays to her strengths, like henin and mauresmo do. maria was not born with there athletic abilty. there are always going to be different styles in tennis. saying shes "thoughtless" is a little more insulting, and just plain wrong. fact is she has proven herself, and is one of tennis's biggest stars ever,
     
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  37. Budgerigar

    Budgerigar Rookie

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    protect poor maria, thoughtless is so insulting an adjective.
     
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  38. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Honest and insulting are two different things.

    And why would Laver's comments be phony? You can also claim Mats comments are nothing more than sensational comments designed to gain attention.
     
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  39. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Specially on this board - 3.5 players criticizing a USO and Wimby winner!
     
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  40. Kevo

    Kevo Hall of Fame

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    I wouldn't say Maria's game is thoughtless. I bet she's thinking that if she can hit hard off both wings and go for lines then she will win. And she does win quite a lot. If Steffi Graf had been able to hit a two hander like Maria would she have done it, or would she have worried about her game becoming one dimensional? Of course Maria may be thoughtless, and it's just her father telling her how to play with lots of power so she can win, but I would gladly play a thoughtless game like that if I could win all that prize money. ;-)
     
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  41. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    i am so with u on that one. Maria's got a new nickname - BAM BAM...
     
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  42. snapple

    snapple Rookie

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    Hate to belabor this point to death, but what Mat's was observing, as have many others regarding the women's game in general, is that when their game's are off, the ladies (ie. Maria) typically have no plan B to fall back on. Thus, the thoughtlessness comment refers to a lack of ability to improvise an alternative winning strategy when plan A is failing.
     
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  43. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    The big babes of the tour just hit as hard as they can. It's been discussed on air by coaches and commentators. The thinking is they'll use a big racket, and just hit very flat balls, willing to make unforced errors knowing that because they're stronger and more powerful than their opponents, they can almost hit through them, and draw errors. It's a calculated risk, to hit very flat powerful shots knowing that in the end, they'll get easy putaways and such even if they might miss some easy balls every so often. This is pretty much how Serena, Venus, and Sharapova play.
     
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  44. jjames

    jjames Banned

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    Maria is actually quite nifty at dictating points, hitting angles, moving her opponents around, opening up the court, and then going for the winner up the line, or crosscourt. Tennis is really not that complicated.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2007
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  45. The Gorilla

    The Gorilla Banned

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    she is like agassi once the point begins.
     
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  46. TheTruth

    TheTruth G.O.A.T.

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    Ha ha ha! That's funny. Whatever it means!
     
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  47. TheTruth

    TheTruth G.O.A.T.

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    That's my point! No matter how "well informed" the opinion, why offer it? It does who any good? A retired male player talking about the state of a particular woman's game speaks to jealousy. Why would Graf come out and talk about Roger in a negative light? Wouldn't make sense to me, and neither does this.
     
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  48. TheTruth

    TheTruth G.O.A.T.

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    It's really not about platitudes, it's about the fact that his comment is unnecessarily cruel and vicious. As much as I hate platitudes, I'll take them over such harsh criticism any day!
     
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  49. VikingSamurai

    VikingSamurai Banned

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    Your reply to that original Suresh quote is in my mind just the blind following the blind.

    For Suresh to say Laver didnt do this or that is like saying that Mats as an individual doesnt have the right.. Laver has been out of the spotlight for many years, and you simply dont know what he thinks or what he has said over the course of 30-40 something years. I also believe that given the chance he would give his opinion "honestly" and so would be interpreted by a person with any sense the way it was meant to be. Honest.. He seems to be talking about Laver like he knows him or is someone that would know?

    For my thinking. Mats Wilander was a great player that almost won the year Grand Slam, and plenty of slams in general on every surface.. He has beaten some of the best, and been classed as one of them. So I think he deserves to be able to say what he thinks "honestly" and I think anyone with any sense hasn't taken this to be him being old and bitter. What he has says isn't all that hard to understand, and I for one agree..

    I was lucky enough to get the 2007 Australian Open mens final on disc, and it was actually the first time I have had the opportunity to listen to Mats Wilander commentate.

    I have to say that it was the most entertaining and interesting look at the game of tennis, from a former player that obviously has less to do with promoting himself than others that get about the place.. Mats comes across as a little bit crazy, and loving what he is doing, and also seems to try and get into the players brains and help the viewer understand what they are thinking and planning..

    I loved him as a player, watched him all those years back, but never really knew alot about him.. Although not the greatest final in Melbourne. I will be keeping this one for the fact that Mats was commentating it.. Just wished we could get Eurosports here in Japan.
     
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  50. breakfast_of_champions

    breakfast_of_champions Banned

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    well maybe mats was being complimentary. maybe mats meant she was playing thoughtless, as in unconcious, in a zone.
     
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