What makes Justine such a good clay courter? - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 72 (permalink) Old Feb 16th, 2004, 07:47 PM Thread Starter
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What makes Justine such a good clay courter?

I always wanted to know what makes some players better at clay than others. It seems that Justine is the favorite to win any clay tournaments she is entered into this year. My question is why? I have seen Kim play on clay as well, and I still think Kim is the better clay courter. Kim seems to have very fluid movement. She moves well from side to side. Justine is fast but she doesn't move with the ease and naturallness that Kim does. Why doesn't anyone think Kim is more of a threat to take the most clay court titles this year? Taking into consideration that Justine is a power hitter and her groundies won't penetrate the clay any better than Kim's. Isn't clay all about movement and defense?
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post #2 of 72 (permalink) Old Feb 16th, 2004, 07:51 PM
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Her movement is better than most, she is extremely patient, and she has more variety. And when it comes to Kim I think most people are picking Justine because of the mental advantage Justine has over her right now.

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post #3 of 72 (permalink) Old Feb 16th, 2004, 08:01 PM
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yeah i dont know why either. i plan on seeing her at roland garros live this year, i went 4 times last year. she moves really well and is patient. and she plays so confidently it seems. i

Quote:
Originally Posted by henree
I always wanted to know what makes some players better at clay than others. It seems that Justine is the favorite to win any clay tournaments she is entered into this year. My question is why? I have seen Kim play on clay as well, and I still think Kim is the better clay courter. Kim seems to have very fluid movement. She moves well from side to side. Justine is fast but she doesn't move with the ease and naturallness that Kim does. Why doesn't anyone think Kim is more of a threat to take the most clay court titles this year? Taking into consideration that Justine is a power hitter and her groundies won't penetrate the clay any better than Kim's. Isn't clay all about movement and defense?
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post #4 of 72 (permalink) Old Feb 16th, 2004, 08:02 PM
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Time and experience.

Time to set up her shots that the faster surfaces don't afford her, and lots of experience on the surface on which she grew up.

She slides like a Michele Kwan on the dirt!

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post #5 of 72 (permalink) Old Feb 16th, 2004, 08:07 PM
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because she can put a lot of spin on her balls, look at the spaniards on the men's side.
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post #6 of 72 (permalink) Old Feb 16th, 2004, 08:10 PM
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justine can do a lot of things to that ball that kim can't. the thing is that against most player, justine can slice, top spin, blah blah blah blah that kim can't do as well. kim can do the slice and can do the top spin but not as confidently and as assertively as Justine. and just has good net play (better than Kim) that allows her to take advantage of her movement. And just has good anticipation that Kim doesn't have.
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post #7 of 72 (permalink) Old Feb 16th, 2004, 08:15 PM
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Because she grew up on clay and her game is clay-friendly really.

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post #8 of 72 (permalink) Old Feb 16th, 2004, 08:22 PM
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Kim grew up on clay too

Kim already goes on clay with the thought that it is not her best surface. That's not a good attitude, but I raised that subject before (when not about Kim)

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post #9 of 72 (permalink) Old Feb 16th, 2004, 08:27 PM
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the one thing that Justine really really does well on clay is retrieve. She did this very well at FCC last year against Serena. She was like 2 or 3 yards behind the baseline just retrieving. She knows Serena's dropshots are horrible (sorry rena, but they really are ) so it's not a problem.
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post #10 of 72 (permalink) Old Feb 16th, 2004, 08:53 PM
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I think Justine is only considered such a good clay courter by default. I personally think that she is a better grass court player than she is a clay court player. But people focus on her being a clay courter because that is the only surface where the Williams sisters can't overpower her, so it allows her to play her game more. No one in the world is better on grass than Henin Hardenne except for the Williams sisters. I think her game is better suited for grass, but because there are better players than her on that surface, people label her a clay courter.
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post #11 of 72 (permalink) Old Feb 16th, 2004, 08:58 PM
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cuz she plays good squash shots
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post #12 of 72 (permalink) Old Feb 16th, 2004, 09:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmcdonald
the one thing that Justine really really does well on clay is retrieve. She did this very well at FCC last year against Serena. She was like 2 or 3 yards behind the baseline just retrieving. She knows Serena's dropshots are horrible (sorry rena, but they really are ) so it's not a problem.
Yeah, I think if Serena could work on those....sheŽd be an even bigger threat to Justine for the mantle of best clay-courter.

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post #13 of 72 (permalink) Old Feb 16th, 2004, 09:05 PM
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She is technically sound off both sides-meaning she can keep the ball in court when she has too. Both Clijsters and Venus break down off the forehand. I would say Serena is technically sound off both sides too, but Henin is a bit more patient and grew up on the stuff.

Capriati is also helped on the surface by her solid groundies.
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post #14 of 72 (permalink) Old Feb 16th, 2004, 09:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VW#1
I think Justine is only considered such a good clay courter by default. I personally think that she is a better grass court player than she is a clay court player. But people focus on her being a clay courter because that is the only surface where the Williams sisters can't overpower her, so it allows her to play her game more. No one in the world is better on grass than Henin Hardenne except for the Williams sisters. I think her game is better suited for grass, but because there are better players than her on that surface, people label her a clay courter.

I agree with VW#1 in that Justine is a superior grass court player. If Venus and Serena are not back to 100% by Wimbledon, I reckon Justine will win the Championships.

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post #15 of 72 (permalink) Old Feb 16th, 2004, 09:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rollo
She is technically sound off both sides-meaning she can keep the ball in court when she has too. Both Clijsters and Venus break down off the forehand. I would say Serena is technically sound off both sides too, but Henin is a bit more patient and grew up on the stuff.

Capriati is also helped on the surface by her solid groundies.
It's what's brought her to the #1 spot. Justine used to make quite a few errors off that forehand wing, and she's made the adjustments, and now it's a technically sound shot that she can rely on, and hit winners when in position. I like watching her positioning on a clay court- it's still much better than the other surfaces for her- where she scrambles so much more.

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