Poll

Which is more likely: Justine winning Wimbledon or Venus winning the French?

Venus winning the French
9 (75%)
Justine winning Wimbledon
3 (25%)

Total Members Voted: 12

Voting closed: November 04, 2005, 03:17:25 PM

Author Topic: Which is more likely?  (Read 5892 times)

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Offline BitterBlueBong

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Which is more likely?
« on: November 04, 2005, 03:17:25 PM »
I'm hijacking this topic from another board, and we already had something similar on the men's side. Which do you think is more likely -- Justine Henin-Hardenne winning Wimbledon or Venus Williams winning the French?

Justine has reached the finals of Wimbledon, falling to Venus 1-6, 6-3, 0-6.
Venus has reached the finals of the French, falling to Serena 7-5, 6-3.

There are many factors that could be considered, such as Justine having a slightly better record at Wimbledon (16-5, .762) than Venus at the French (27-9, .750), or Venus being second only to Justine in the best clay court record among active players. Who would Venus have to go through to win the French? Who would Justine have to go through to win Wimbledon?

Discuss.

Offline Tennis4you

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« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2005, 03:20:59 PM »
I am thinking Justine has the better chance.  Venus is just too inconsistant and the clay will expose that in her shots.  Although mad props to her for winning Wimbedon, that surface suits her game well.  If she was still playing ta her best and the field was as weak as it was 4 years ago, I would say Venus has a good shot at it.  I think her shot at winning the FO is come and gone.  The field is too strong and her shots are too inconsistant.  I would love to be wrong though.

Justine hasn't been herself for a long time, but I see her getting back on track and staying there more so than I can ever see Venus do it.  Maybe because Venus hasn't been able to for a long time where as Justine has been out sick or injured, I think she will be back and swinging strong soon enough.

Just my thoughts.
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Online Babblelot

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« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2005, 03:31:36 PM »
I loved Justine "pre-illness." Since, I've been very concerned about her future. Having said that, I chose Venus.
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Offline BitterBlueBong

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« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2005, 09:04:25 PM »
I'm going to give my explanation soon.

Offline SerenaSlam06

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« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2005, 09:15:33 AM »
my reason for voting for venus mainly has to do w/ the fact taht henin cant handle alot of power on grass especially, this yr she drew a pretty decent lawnballer and look wat happend, at wimbledon sum1 like  hantuchova can take out justine
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Offline wilsonboy

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« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2005, 01:54:40 PM »
Venus definately has a better chance at winning the French b/c more people are better on grass than on clay. JHH would have a real hard time just making it to the 4th round.
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Offline kittens25

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« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2005, 03:29:05 PM »
First of all I am going to consider which is more likely if Justine regains her pre-illness form, and Venus continues to show the renewed confidence and commitment(although I do believe the commitment was there before Wimbledon this year, it was the former lacking)she showed in the second half of this year.    If Venus continues to show the form she showed Wimbledon onwards, and Justine does not regain her pre-illness form it is a no-brainer.    If both are able to play quite a few more years at full health, confidence, and peak form, it is something to think about.    
       
        Venus was the best clay courter in the World in 1999 going into the French Open.    Her impressive performances included titles at Hamburg and the Italian Open.    In the Hamburg final she defeated Mary Pierce, an excellent clay courter, 6-3, 6-0, in the Italian Open she beat then world #1 Hingis in the semis in 3 sets, and Pierce 6-4, 6-2 in the final.   She was the slight favorite over Hingis and Seles to win the French Open that year, but was shocked by a red hot Barbara Schwarz in the 4th round, one match before her expected meeting with Hingis in the quarters.    There are 5 high caliber tier 1 or 2 clay court events leading into the French Open each year, I consider them about equal in caliber of field and importance, to the point I have to remind myself which 3 are considered the tier 1s; Amelia Island, Charleston, Roma, Warsaw, and Berlin.  She never plays more than 3, usually 2, and won atleast one of those five tier 1/2 caliber clay court events in 1999, 2001, 2002, and 2004; was coming off a long injury layoff during the leadup tier 1/2 events in 2000, and was injured in 2003.   In short she has shown more promise on clay in the bigger pre-French Open tournaments than her French Open record-one lone final in 2002, and 3 other quarterfinals.    

       On grass there are fewer tournaments obviously, there is almost only Wimbledon to go by for the women, although some play Eastbourne, it is a less significant tournament than any of the 5 pre-French Open warmups for women.    Henin actually has a very good record at Wimbledon as BitterBlueBong pointed out.    A final, and two semis, in three years straight from 2001-2003, easily trumps Venus's best multi-year French Open run.     She also has a disaesterous first round loss as a top player, something Venus had in 2002 at the French as the #2 seed as well.      So based on performances by Henin at Wimbledon vs Venus at the French, Henin has put together a multi-year run easily besting Venus at the French; but as I said Venus has shown more potential on clay than her French Open results have converted.

       It is interesting to look at how each did against other top players on the surfaces.    Venus's past meetings with Henin on clay make me think rather little of her chances vs Henin on clay on a typical day, in a year both are healthy and confident.   Yes their head to head is 1-1, but she lost the first meeting 6-4, 6-1 in 2002; and was down 6-2, 4-0 in their second meeting before according to all reports Henin choked big time, something she was liable to do pre-2003, but a win is a win.     Yet she has never lost to her on any other surface, although all their meetings were in 2001-early 2003.    As well Henin in 2001-2002 was not near the player of 2003-2004, so all indications would be Henin is not a good matchup for her on clay, unless she is in red hot form and making almost no UEs.       Of course Venus with her game style could probably still win if she were clicking on all cylinders, but that is what would be neccessary for her to beat Henin on clay I believe.
Against Clijsters her only meeting on clay was a 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 loss, going on one match is not as good an indicator as two matches, especialy if it close, it is quite conceivable a player had an off day, or it was an minority outcome, or some other variable.     Clijsters, like Henin was not nearly the player in 2001-2002 she was in 2003-2005, but given that it was only one match, I wont read much into it, and since Venus won the first set 6-1, she probably really should have won the match that day.   Very impressive too is a 3-0 vs Mary Pierce on clay, all those matches when Pierce was established as a top 5/top 10 player over a substained period of many years, not a surprise contender like this year; keep in mind Pierce is now a 3-time French finalist, a French Open Champion in 2000, a many time tier 1 event winner on clay, and she is much more of a specialist on slower surfaces than faster ones.     She never finished a match vs Mauresmo on clay, retiring with an injury while down in the 3rd set of one, a legit injury IMO, not much to go by at all there.     She is 0-1 vs Serena on clay, losing in the 2002 French final, during a string she lost 6 straight times to Serena on a variety of surfaces anyway; and 0-1 vs Davenport on clay, their only meeting ever in the Amelia Island quarters, a 3 set win for Davenport during a period she won 4 straight times over Venus on a variety of surfaces anyway as well.     She smoked Dementieva in their one meeting on clay in Fed Cup this year.     She has never played Sharapova on clay.     She beat Kuznetsova convincingly in the 2004 Warsaw final, and Kuznetsova had match points on the eventual champ in the last two French Opens.   I would say there is little evidence how she fares vs Davenport, Serena, Mauresmo, Sharapova or Clijsters.    Indications are Henin has a clear advantage over Venus in a head to head on clay, but Venus having an obvious advantage vs Pierce, Dementieva, or Kuznetsova.      All in all she seems able to hold her own vs any of the top players on clay, except for Henin, so far.

        Just for what its worth it is interesting to look at how she did vs some past quality contenders on clay, which are meaningless as far as her opposition to a French title now, but interesting for whatever influence they have on your accessment of the degree of her clay court ability.    Against Hingis she is 2-2 on clay, very impressive considering Hingis despite not winning the French Open was considered a quality clay courter, better than Venus on clay in some peoples eyes.     She is 1-0 vs Seles on clay, beating her 6-4, 6-3, when Seles had upset her in the Australian Open quarters that same year.     She is also 1-0 vs Martinez on clay, a 3 set win over aging Martinez last year in the Charleston final, not much to tell there.   She is 2-2 vs Sanchez Vicario on clay, extremely impressive vs one of the great clay court players of the last 15 years, who was still a contender on tour during those years.      Her head to heads vs past quality clay courters is quite good as well.

         Justine on the other hand is 0-1 vs Serena on grass, a 6-3, 6-2 thumping a month after her win over Serena in the French Open semis.       She is 0-2 vs Venus on grass, a 6-3, 6-2 thumping in the 2002 Wimbledon semis, when she had taken Venus to 3 sets in 4 of their last 5 meetings; and a 6-1, 3-6, 6-0 loss in the 2001 Wimbledon final, and believe me that match was not close in the least, despite Henin winning the 2nd set, Henin looked pretty severely overmatched the whole way, and used some bold net approaches that surprised Venus and a bit of a loss of focus from Venus to take that 2nd set.     She has never played Davenport on grass, nor Sharapova.     Her best wins on grass are a win over Capriati in the 2001 Wimbledon semis, a 3-setter, after Capriati had beaten Serena in the previous round, and after Capriati had won the first 2 slams of the year; and a win over Monica Seles, who she had lost to 4 times in a row and had never beaten at that time, in the 2002 Wimbledon quarters.      Ability to fare well vs the leading contender on grass I would say is minimal so far, and far less than Venus on clay.     She has not been around long enough, or been ranked that highly for enough years, to find any head to heads vs the last generation of top players either.

         I would have to say overall Venus has the better chance to pull out a French Open than Justine the French even if Justine regains her pre-illness form.

Offline BitterBlueBong

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« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2005, 04:11:07 PM »
After Kitten's analysis, I might as well throw in the towel. Pretty well researched and reasoned...I really have nothing to add. Well, I agree that if both show the forms they displayed earlier this year (Venus @ Wimbledon, Justine @ the French), Venus winning the French is more likely, basically because she wouldn't have to go through many clay court specialists to get the title whereas Justine would have to go through a slew of players who do well on grass.

Venus' history on clay is interesting, to say the least. I can't seem to find the stats again, but I know as of last year Venus had the second best career clay court record out of active players. She's come into several FOs with titles in hand and a good shot at winning. But she's had some strange losses there. I haven't seen all of her FO losses, but I suspect you'd have to go back to at least 2000 or 2001 to find a time where she didn't play badly and was simply outplayed. Her losses to Karantantcheva and Myskina were just error fests and it wasn't like either of those two played extremely well. In 2003 she was coming off the injury and looked shaky throughout the tournament. It didn't look like she even cared about losing in the 2002 final against Serena, but I would imagine she just got outplayed by either Schett (2001) or Aranxta (2000) -- although the scoreline of the latter doesn't look too good.

Offline Tennis4you

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« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2005, 04:37:21 PM »
I am still not 100% convinced.  They have both been to the finals of the tournament we are wondering if they can win.  But I think Venus' has seen her best days and has struggled to regain her form for a long time.  Although she has battled some injuries, I have been unimpressed (except for the Big W win) with her preformances.  I still have a feeling Henin can regain her form fairly fast and be a huge threat at any tournament.  Although as more time elapses, I start to wonder more and more about her making a full recovery to the top spot in tennis.
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Offline BitterBlueBong

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« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2005, 07:09:59 PM »
Quote from: "Tennis4you"
I am still not 100% convinced.  They have both been to the finals of the tournament we are wondering if they can win.  But I think Venus' has seen her best days and has struggled to regain her form for a long time.  Although she has battled some injuries, I have been unimpressed (except for the Big W win) with her preformances.  I still have a feeling Henin can regain her form fairly fast and be a huge threat at any tournament.  Although as more time elapses, I start to wonder more and more about her making a full recovery to the top spot in tennis.


Except on clay, Henin was, is, and will be a huge threat only if there's a depleted field. You've been unimpressed with Venus, so what do you think of Henin's year? She performed amazingly on clay and then nothing else -- lost in the first round of Wimbledon coming off that huge FO title, in fact. IMO, Venus on a good day is still better than every single woman in the field sans Serena, so I'd put her odds higher than Henin or any of the others. Neither Venus or Henin has done much this year outside of their respective slams. Add to that Henin has been knocked out of Wimbledon by a big hitter (read: Venus or Serena) the previous three times she played before this year, has not beaten a top player/big hitter on anything but clay since she beat Davenport at Indian Wells in 2004, and even at her "peak" was pummeled by Serena at Wimbledon, and you have me still not 100% convinced.

Offline Tennis4you

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« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2005, 08:20:29 PM »
I am not trying to convince anyone, just giving my reasons.  :)
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Offline BitterBlueBong

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« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2005, 08:41:17 PM »
Well I'd like to hear your reasons. What do you think about Henin's record against big hitters? What do you think about her year overall?

Offline Tennis4you

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« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2005, 09:02:06 PM »
Her year has been sub par, and she has been sick...  Yet she was able to pull two weeks together and win a slam.  I personally feel her chances of a full recovery are better than Venus' chances of being back on top of her game and consistant enough to win the FO.  Not to rag on Venus, but she has been struggling for so long now, I see no big reason to think she will ever win the FO.  Once again, I hope I am wrong.  

Justine was #1 in the world, I think she can handle the big hitters, hell so many of the players out there seem to be big hitters now.  Some of the big players are constantly injured and seem to be very often.  U can never bank on them all being at a slam and being on their game.

In the end, I do not think either of them will ever do it, but if I had to "vote" I would vote Justine.
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Offline BitterBlueBong

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« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2005, 10:32:54 PM »
Quote from: "Tennis4you"
Justine was #1 in the world, I think she can handle the big hitters, hell so many of the players out there seem to be big hitters now.  


What I meant were top players who were big hitters -- namely Davenport, Sharapova, Venus and Serena. You could also throw Pierce and Kuznetsova in there. Justine reached #1 in the world in a time where there was literally no Venus and Serena (October 2003). Even when you factor in clay, she has a losing record to Davenport, Venus and Serena and lost her only non-clay meeting with Sharapova.

But don't take this personally LOL. You made your choice and I respect that. I just don't like Justine and love talking about her inflated abilities and accomplishments.

Offline Tennis4you

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« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2005, 10:51:15 PM »
lol, I cannot stand her myself, and I really do like Venus, a lot.  But she has been bumming me out too long.  I would love to think that this recent Big W win means great things to come, but I am just not so sure.  

I think Justine is getting what she deserves with this illness, OK, that was a little harsh, but if the WTA wasn't going to do something about her blatant cheating, it looks like God stepped up and did it for them.  But I still think she has what it takes to be a top player and even compete for the Big W.
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Offline Arcforce

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« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2005, 11:20:09 PM »
What interesting comments you guys...

I honestly think that despite her first round disaster this year, the Justine we've been seeing @ Wimbledon in the previous years has a much better chance of winning Big W than Venus winning the French Open. BUT I think that Venus is a much better clay courter than Justine is a grass courter. If there were an equal amount of grass tournaments as clay tournaments before each slam, I think Venus would win far more clay titles than Justine would Grass. For some reason, Venus can't ever pull it togethre at RG but she's better on the surface than her opposer in this argument.

I still voted for Venus tho simply bc I am ME and you all know I'd vote for her anyway.

Offline BitterBlueBong

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« Reply #16 on: November 06, 2005, 01:21:17 PM »
Love the clay court avatar, Arc :P

Offline kittens25

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« Reply #17 on: November 08, 2005, 08:48:08 AM »
Sorry tennis4you, but I have to agree with BitterBlueBong and others on this.     Henin in her best 12 months of tennis atleast could beat anybody on clay, including the Williams, and could beat everybody on non-clay surfaces except for Venus and Serena.   Even then she did not prove she could beat, or seriously challenge Venus or Serena on hard courts, let alone grass.     However she was atleast beating Davenport, Clijsters, and the other top players regularly on all surfaces.    Now the Williams are still there, and while arguably not as strong as then(especialy Serena), both have won a non-clay court slam this year, Venus of course Wimbledon on grass, with Venus having other strong results on hard courts, easily moreso than the best Justine has managed(reaching a final at the Canadian Open in a weak field, her biggest win being Mauresmo in the semis, and getting spanked by Clijsters in the final).      Davenport is a completely different player than she was in the 2003-early 2004 span; at that time she was almost a safe bet to lose to any of the other top players-Venus, Serena, Henin, etc....although she stayed near the top and was a contender, she appeared to be dragging along at that point in her career, stagnant, dulled; now she seems rejuvenated and much hungrier and more dangerous to anybody else at the top to play.     Sharapova wasnt around then, has already won her first meeting with Justine on hard courts though, that was Justine's first event back, but in retrospect it is probably one of the best events she has played on a non-clay surface this year.     Clijsters, after her U.S open title, now is confirmed as the dominant women player in 2005 on hard courts, and spanked Justine in their only meeting on the surface this year, I think that rivalry has taken a sharp turn, atleast for the time being.     As I have mentioned Henin herself is clearly not even the same player she was in 2003-2004, when even then she couldnt challenge Venus and Serena on anything but clay, her serve is the biggest drop off in her game I see, but also her groundstroke timing, her endurance, her concentration, her strength, all dont seem the same right now, and she is struggling just to regain her old form, let alone be able to tackle the biggest hitters.     Henin has a long way to go to regain any semblance of her old success on hard courts, let alone win Wimbledon, which is a big step up from her even from that, since she clearly prefers hard courts to grass; and Serena, Venus, Sharapova, and Davenport, at this point in their careers, arguably like grass even over hard courts.

Offline Arcforce

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« Reply #18 on: November 08, 2005, 01:49:19 PM »
Quote from: "BitterBlueBong"
Love the clay court avatar, Arc :P


Thanks to everyone who likes it.

Offline wilsonboy

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« Reply #19 on: November 08, 2005, 10:26:52 PM »
Quote from: "Arcforce"
Quote from: "BitterBlueBong"
Love the clay court avatar, Arc :P


Thanks to everyone who likes it.


I was actually jealous of it and went shopping for some more avatars of my own.
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