Author Topic: Early predicted slam winners, runner ups, and semifinalists.  (Read 7236 times)

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Offline kittens25

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Early predicted slam winners, runner ups, and semifinalists.
« Reply #60 on: February 10, 2005, 10:32:33 AM »
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This is not Monica and Steffi, which is a totally different case. But I don't think there's any denying that Steffi capitalized on Monica's hiatus. However, it doesn't mean she wouldn't have won plenty of grand slams even with Monica there. That is not the case with Justine and Serena -- at least not to this point. If Justine comes back and wins anything other than the French, I'd be surprised.


        Actually had Monica not been stabbed, I personaly feel Steffi may well have never won another slam outside Wimbledon.   Monica was over four years younger than Steffi, had won every Australian, French, and U.S open, for 2 plus years; and their 93 Australian match was far more lopsided than their prior-none grass meeting at the 92 French Open.   She had been dominant for over 2 years which puts her dominance at a different level than Serena, Venus, or Hingis have yet proven to have(
well of course Hingis never will).

        As for Justine ever winning a slam outside the French, it wouldnt
surprise me if she did.   After all Sharapova and Kuznetsova managed to do it in the last year, and I dont consider Henin inferior to them at this point, especially Kuznetsova.   I certainly am not going to draw the conclusion Serena will win every non-French slam just because she returned to the grand slam winners circle again.

        Back to the Venus and Henin French Open debate here are my final two statements on that.   Your initial point was that I was wrong in saying the thought of Venus winning the French this year being laughable, based on Venus's succes on clay last year.   My main point, which I may have gotten away from somewhat, is that Venus had her clay court streak last year without facing any one of Henin, Clijsters, Serena, Capriati, Davenport, Mauresmo, or Myskina.   My point is her streak without facing a single one of those players does nothing to make the thought of her winning the French this year, at this point in time anyway, when she is losing in 4th rounds of slams on her favorite surfaces, anything but laughable.   As for my statements on Henin I never said she was a goddess on clay.   However while your feel her 4 clay court wins doesnt make her the best, from my perspective her 4 clay court wins in the last 3 years, combined with her French title and other semi showing in the last 4 years, gives her the best record on clay of any of the women in that recent period.   Even with her two French Open flameouts, only Serena has had a better showing the last 4 years, but Serena has won only 2 clay court tournaments I believe.   So I feel justified in my belief she is the best clay courter when she is healthy and playing well.

Offline BitterBlueBong

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« Reply #61 on: February 10, 2005, 12:51:01 PM »
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Back to the Venus and Henin French Open debate here are my final two statements on that.   Your initial point was that I was wrong in saying the thought of Venus winning the French this year being laughable, based on Venus's succes on clay last year.


My point was based not only on her success last year, but her overall record on clay. Furthermore, I didn't say you were wrong -- I simply had another opinion. And since last year was her "slump" (too soon to tell this year), it makes it that much more ironic that her best results came on her weakest surface (actually, I'd call indoor or carpet her weakest surface but I digress). Anyway, as I've said before, my point is not that Venus will win the French. I just think she can't be counted out. We will agree to disagree on this.

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However while your feel her 4 clay court wins doesnt make her the best, from my perspective her 4 clay court wins in the last 3 years, combined with her French title and other semi showing in the last 4 years, gives her the best record on clay of any of the women in that recent period.


Let me draw a parallel. Look at Venus' hardcourt record from 2000-2002 -- an excellent record and numerous titles. I could easily say "when she's healthy and playing well" that she'd be one of the most difficult women to beat on the surface. But since she really hasn't been showing that same prowess, it's a different story (actually, 3 of her 4 losses during the hardcourt season in 04 were to Davenport, so...). We don't know how Justine will come back from injury (other than those exhibition losses), so while her previous clay court record might be impressive (to some), I wouldn't immediately expect her to go back to her winning ways.

Offline kittens25

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« Reply #62 on: February 12, 2005, 12:13:13 PM »
Fair enough.   I think we understand each others view better now.
Just one more question though.   Earlier you stated Henin doesnt have the best record on clay of the current player.

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I think Henin being the best clay court player has yet to be seen. She doesn't have the best record on clay (compared to other players), she really hasn't won that many titles on clay, and really hasn't done anything to make her eminent from the rest of the pack on clay.


       Without discussing further her chances at the French this year, after her layoff, who do you believe of the current women has a better record on clay, all factors considered?   Mauresmo probably has the best outside
the French but her failure to reach a French semifinal even is a grey spot.
Serena arguably has the best overall French Open record, but her overall tournament record on clay is inferior to some including Henin.   I am just curious who exactly you consider that has a better clay court record than Henin when you stated this.

Offline BitterBlueBong

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« Reply #63 on: February 12, 2005, 12:30:00 PM »
When I said that I was thinking about career percentages compared to other "clay courters," though looking at it now it sounds like I meant current players. Out of the current crop of players, no one has a better record -- but I'm not sure she has the best record at the French (and I don't feel like looking it up LOL). Mauresmo seems to do well on clay except when it's the actual slam (Venus basically fits in that category too).

Offline kittens25

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« Reply #64 on: February 12, 2005, 02:44:54 PM »
You are right though that she did bomb out at the French twice supposably in "her prime" losing to Kapros and Garbin.    I guess I just diminished those losses in my mind since she was very injured for one, and very ill for the other.   However I guess if I were being fair I would have to go over other top players and pick out which losses they were "injured" as well(rarely does a top player actually get "ill").  
Venus's loss to Zvonareva was injury-related but her losses to Schwartz and Schett were not, Schwartz on her day is more dangerous than her ranking suggests though, she is just very erratic, Schett of course spent most of her career on the cusp of 15-20 range.

Offline BitterBlueBong

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« Reply #65 on: February 12, 2005, 03:10:44 PM »
They've both had some strange losses at the French (same with Clijsters a couple years back).

Ooh, you know when Serena was asked a little while ago (circa 2003) about what match she wish she could have back/should have won/etc, she said the French Open match in 98 against Sanchez-Vicario (which I hear was a bitter match). Since Aranxta was the eventual winner, I wonder how that might have changed Serena's fortune on clay.

Offline kittens25

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« Reply #66 on: February 12, 2005, 03:15:13 PM »
The 98 tournament was so wide open.   Anything could have happened had she won that match I believe, she could easily have lost in the next round or won the whole thing.    I really dont know.  If she did go on to make the semis or finals even though, she probably would be even more scary today on clay.  I am sure the other woman are relieved she is a bit more "vurnerable" on clay though.    It is the one place they feel they have a bit of breathing room when she is in top form.

Offline kittens25

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« Reply #67 on: February 12, 2005, 03:18:25 PM »
It was a bitter match in a sense since she tried to blast Sanchez Vicario with a ball when she had a floater near the net, and she aimed right at her body.   Sanchez Vicario, as you might expect, did not see the humour and was very b*&chy afterwords.    Sanchez Vicario also installed her usual tactics of questioning calls, rushing at times, stalling at times, hitting moonballs, in her desperation when she was down 6-2, 5-2, 30-0.
I think this annoyed Serena, while Serena's shot at the net peeved Sanchez Vicario of as well.   The match itself was a blatant choke on Serena's part though, she could barely keep a ball in court the last set and a half.