Re: Truth Serena did not believe she could defeat Justine
As a Serena fan one who has followed her since 1999 and rooted for her every step of the way including today. I can say Serena did not have total belief she coud defeat Justine today, nor at Roland Garris. Injuries aside, and I do believe she was injured, her approach to defeating Justine proved to me she did not have a formulae. She searched for one, she diced, she sliced, she looped, and tried power. But in the end was out of answers and knew it. I knew she would have trouble when Justine could not get a lst serve in to save her life and still won over 70 percent of the points. Second the key to defeating Justine was to come to net after her big serves, to punish Justine for standing 6 ft behind the baseline. Never happened. Most of Serena volleys were hit directly back to Justine...mentally not into it. Serena adjusted to Justines game not the other way around...she danced to Justines music well until the last two games. Serena in that 3rd set did not attempt to win until the match was over...shades of Jennifer Capriati. That tells me pressure kept Serena contained. It may seem I am as a fan being a bit critcal and probably so, but injuries are not the only things responsible for the loss today. Justine to her credit has simply outworked Serena and gotten better. Rena is probably the most talented tennis player ever, if she wants to get back to the top it is up to her. But not playing, showing up at slams may get her by everyone else, but not Justine.
I think there's a much easier answer: Serena hasn't yet found her full groundstroke game. Really, it's not like she played much better in the earlier rounds. She was rallying with Sequera for Christ's sake, and was spinning and slicing a lot. The Serena that won two Wimby's didn't play like that. She punnished everything at first sight. I knew she was going to have trouble against Justine, because Justine's defense is great and can get everything. The only way to beat her was to be a lot more aggressive and atm she's missing that game. If you count down winners besides aces, Justine got 24 and Serena got only 12.
Her injuries certainly didn't help her today, but I think she put probably her best performance in this tourney.