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post #1 of 59 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 2004, 01:07 AM Thread Starter
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Venus at FCC: A completely biased analysis

First, congrats to my fave for her first tour win in far too long.

Now to the fun stuff.

First, this was far from 'vintage Venus' but I view that as a good thing. Venus herself has said that back in 2000, she won matches by 'hitting the ball as hard as I can, every shot'. This was very different.

She went to the one handed backhand a lot, and won a few points with it. Granted, Conchi was forcing this with great shotmaking of her own, but four years ago, Venus takes those two-handed and tries to return them as power shots.

She went to net what qualifies as a lot these days, Nav would laugh at that, of course, but Venus had gone to net over 20 times by the end of the second set. I don't know the total, but when Venus was winning slams, she rarely went to net more than five or six times a match. If that. She showed a lot of confidence in her volley, even when Conchi was passing her, or when she missed a volley or two. And she missed very few of them.

While I am blissfully ectastic tha Venus won this title, it has to be acknowledged that she didn't beat any top ten players to do it. Did she beat any of the top ten CLAY COURT players? Probably two of them. But the rankings don't go by surface.

Venus accepted certain risks that maybe I wouldn't. Even when it became apparent that Conchi was having a good serving day, Venus took every first serve standing on the baseline. She took every second serve three feet inside the baseline. That meant giving up some service winners to Conchi.

Most of Venus' double faults were long. She was going for what I would have considered ridiculous depth on her second serve. Then again, to beat Serena, she's going to have to have consistent depth on her second serve. If you go for that kind of depth on a second serve, you're going to have double-faults.

Another word or two on volleys. First, Venus ought to move Conchi into her home, and practice against her every day. What a nightmare array of passing shots! Offensive lobs, slices, topspins, floaters, crosscourt, DTL. Venus is not going to play anybody else this year with more ways to beat an opponent at net. But Venus won the battle. That crosscourt drop volley winner was Hingis-esque. And Venus got consistent depth on her approach shots, and consistent depth on her volleys.

This tournament was far and away the best net display I've seen from Venus.

Is the nuclear devastation of 2000-1 back? I think not. But I also think Venus had taken that as far as she could.

A couple months ago I called Serena the Death of the Power Baseliner. I think that still holds. She's unbeatable by anyone playing that style. But Justine proved that if a) you aren't giving Serena too big an edge on pace, b) you get some free points of your own on serve, c) you throw a lot variety at her, and d) you're playing on clay, Serena can be taken.

Venus can do a) and b), doesn't have to worry about d) and is clearly working on c). ('Digs C & W and R & B and me and the chimpazee agree that one day soon she'll be, a celebrity.')

Venus the power baseliner was as good as she'd ever be.

Venus the all-court net-rusher has room to grow. A LOT of room.

You notice in her post match TV interview, when they asked her about going to net so often, she replied, "Well, I guess Billie Jean can be happy now. And Zina. And my Mom and Dad." Get the idea that the coaches are unified in the idea that she get her bony ass to net?

I see this tournament as a sign that Venus has decided to become a better tennis player, not just a winning one. She can still blast 99% of the tour off the court. But she won't become the best she can be that way.

The win was nice. The way she played was nicer.

Proud to be an American
Not blind. Not uninformed. We are party to atrocities. But the response of the world after 9/11 is worth noting. Even our most dire enemies offered aid. We should all be so lucky.

Last edited by Volcana; Apr 19th, 2004 at 01:15 AM.
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post #2 of 59 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 2004, 01:19 AM
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Well said I also think she sent the clear message that her forehand is not something to look to as a way to attack her any longer.
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post #3 of 59 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 2004, 01:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Volcana
First, congrats to my fave for her first tour win in far too long.

Now to the fun stuff.

First, this was far from 'vintage Venus' but I view that as a good thing. Venus herself has said that back in 2000, she won matches by 'hitting the ball as hard as I can, every shot'. This was very different.

She went to the one handed backhand a lot, and won a few points with it. Granted, Conchi was forcing this with great shotmaking of her own, but four years ago, Venus takes those two-handed and tries to return them as power shots.

She went to net what qualifies as a lot these days, Nav would laugh at that, of course, but Venus had gone to net over 20 times by the end of the second set. I don't know the total, but when Venus was winning slams, she rarely went to net more than five or six times a match. If that. She showed a lot of confidence in her volley, even when Conchi was passing her, or when she missed a volley or two. And she missed very few of them.

While I am blissfully ectastic tha Venus won this title, it has to be acknowledged that she didn't beat any top ten players to do it. Did she beat any of the top ten CLAY COURT players? Probably two of them. But the rankings don't go by surface.

Venus accepted certain risks that maybe I wouldn't. Even when it became apparent that Conchi was having a good serving day, Venus took every first serve standing on the baseline. She took every second serve three feet inside the baseline. That meant giving up some service winners to Conchi.

Most of Venus' double faults were long. She was going for what I would have considered ridiculous depth on her second serve. Then again, to beat Serena, she's going to have to have consistent depth on her second serve. If you go for that kind of depth on a second serve, you're going to have double-faults.

Another word or two on volleys. First, Venus ought to move Conchi into her home, and practice against her every day. What a nightmare array of passing shots! Offensive lobs, slices, topspins, floaters, crosscourt, DTL. Venus is not going to play anybody else this year with more ways to beat an opponent at net. But Venus won the battle. That crosscourt drop volley winner was Hingis-esque. And Venus got consistent depth on her approach shots, and consistent depth on her volleys.

This tournament was far and away the best net display I've seen from Venus.

Is the nuclear devastation of 2000-1 back? I think not. But I also think Venus had taken that as far as she could.

A couple months ago I called Serena the Death of the Power Baseliner. I think that still holds. She's unbeatable by anyone playing that style. But Justine proved that if a) you aren't giving Serena too big an edge on pace, b) you get some free points of your own on serve, c) you throw a lot variety at her, and d) you're playing on clay, Serena can be taken.

Venus can do a) and b), doesn't have to worry about d) and is clearly working on c). ('Digs C & W and R & B and me and the chimpazee agree that one day soon she'll be, a celebrity.')

Venus the power baseliner was as good as she'd ever be.

Venus the all-court net-rusher has room to grow. A LOT of room.

You notice in her post match TV interview, when they asked her about going to net so often, she replied, "Well, I guess Billie Jean can be happy now. And Zina. And my Mom and Dad." Get the idea that the coaches are unified in the idea that she get her bony ass to net?

I see this tournament as a sign that Venus has decided to become a better tennis player, not just a winning one. She can still blast 99% of the tour off the court. But she won't become the best she can be that way.

The win was nice. The way she played was nicer.
Hear, Hear!
I am especially glad to see that she is finally taking her net game seriously. As you said, she's no Marti Nav in terms of getting there, but she is beginning to get there. And once there, she clearly can handle her business
Methinks that this bodes well for her fans and it bodes ill for the rest of the tour.

They're Baaaaaaaaacccccck!
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post #4 of 59 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 2004, 01:25 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sportfan
Well said I also think she sent the clear message that her forehand is not something to look to as a way to attack her any longer.
As opposed to her backhand? Better near-certain death than certain death.

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Not blind. Not uninformed. We are party to atrocities. But the response of the world after 9/11 is worth noting. Even our most dire enemies offered aid. We should all be so lucky.
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post #5 of 59 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 2004, 01:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Volcana
First, congrats to my fave for her first tour win in far too long.

Now to the fun stuff.

First, this was far from 'vintage Venus' but I view that as a good thing. Venus herself has said that back in 2000, she won matches by 'hitting the ball as hard as I can, every shot'. This was very different.

She went to the one handed backhand a lot, and won a few points with it. Granted, Conchi was forcing this with great shotmaking of her own, but four years ago, Venus takes those two-handed and tries to return them as power shots.
I agree with this. I noticed there were some shots she used to hit two handed and would miss, but now she is slicing them and staying in the rally

Quote:
She went to net what qualifies as a lot these days, Nav would laugh at that, of course, but Venus had gone to net over 20 times by the end of the second set. I don't know the total, but when Venus was winning slams, she rarely went to net more than five or six times a match. If that. She showed a lot of confidence in her volley, even when Conchi was passing her, or when she missed a volley or two. And she missed very few of them.
You're wrong about the net thing. When Venus was winning slams she WAS going to the net alot. Not as much as she did in her matches this week, but she would be there alot.

Quote:
While I am blissfully ectastic tha Venus won this title, it has to be acknowledged that she didn't beat any top ten players to do it. Did she beat any of the top ten CLAY COURT players? Probably two of them. But the rankings don't go by surface.
Venus' confidence doesn't come with who she is beating, but rather how she is playing and where she feels her game is. She beat Vera this tourney in 2, but wasn't totally happy because her she didn't think she played that well. So this doesn't really matter in Venus' case. I agree some players do get confidence from who they beat, but not Venus.

Quote:
Venus accepted certain risks that maybe I wouldn't. Even when it became apparent that Conchi was having a good serving day, Venus took every first serve standing on the baseline. She took every second serve three feet inside the baseline. That meant giving up some service winners to Conchi.
Venus stands on the baseline for everyone's serve, even Serena's. Nothing new there. Richard taught them to do that from seeing Monica Seles do it.

Quote:
Most of Venus' double faults were long. She was going for what I would have considered ridiculous depth on her second serve. Then again, to beat Serena, she's going to have to have consistent depth on her second serve. If you go for that kind of depth on a second serve, you're going to have double-faults.
I agree with this, it's better to go for it than to hit the second serve into the net.

Quote:
Another word or two on volleys. First, Venus ought to move Conchi into her home, and practice against her every day. What a nightmare array of passing shots! Offensive lobs, slices, topspins, floaters, crosscourt, DTL. Venus is not going to play anybody else this year with more ways to beat an opponent at net. But Venus won the battle. That crosscourt drop volley winner was Hingis-esque. And Venus got consistent depth on her approach shots, and consistent depth on her volleys.

This tournament was far and away the best net display I've seen from Venus.

Is the nuclear devastation of 2000-1 back? I think not. But I also think Venus had taken that as far as she could.

A couple months ago I called Serena the Death of the Power Baseliner. I think that still holds. She's unbeatable by anyone playing that style. But Justine proved that if a) you aren't giving Serena too big an edge on pace, b) you get some free points of your own on serve, c) you throw a lot variety at her, and d) you're playing on clay, Serena can be taken.

Venus can do a) and b), doesn't have to worry about d) and is clearly working on c). ('Digs C & W and R & B and me and the chimpazee agree that one day soon she'll be, a celebrity.')

Venus the power baseliner was as good as she'd ever be.

Venus the all-court net-rusher has room to grow. A LOT of room.

You notice in her post match TV interview, when they asked her about going to net so often, she replied, "Well, I guess Billie Jean can be happy now. And Zina. And my Mom and Dad." Get the idea that the coaches are unified in the idea that she get her bony ass to net?

I see this tournament as a sign that Venus has decided to become a better tennis player, not just a winning one. She can still blast 99% of the tour off the court. But she won't become the best she can be that way.

The win was nice. The way she played was nicer.
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post #6 of 59 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 2004, 01:30 AM
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Great analysis. I don't think it is biased at all. You hit the nail on the head.

Venus and Serena are sitting on top of the WORLD

~Venus and now Serena are the worst thing to ever happen to the crow~

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post #7 of 59 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 2004, 01:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Volcana
Get the idea that the coaches are unified in the idea that she get her bony ass to net?

The way she played was nicer.
That ass is no where near bony. (you may need to adjust your glasses) That is a fat ass. She maybe have long legs and a slender trunk, but that ass is PHat! - Please beliveve.

And watching her play today was a breath of fresh air. She displayed the old-aggressive, determined, on-point, "I'm winning this no matter what" Venus.

It is only up from here.
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post #8 of 59 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 2004, 01:41 AM
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In a way, I think clay helped her. I am still convinced that she is much slower than she used to be. Her shotmaking is very good, as good as it has ever been. But not footspeed. And slow surface, comparing to hardcourts, gave her those few precious extra fraction of seconds that she needed to be able to get into the hitting position.

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post #9 of 59 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 2004, 01:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ys
In a way, I think clay helped her. I am still convinced that she is much slower than she used to be. Her shotmaking is very good, as good as it has ever been. But not footspeed. And slow surface, comparing to hardcourts, gave her those few precious extra fraction of seconds that she needed to be able to get into the hitting position.
She is having ankle issues, but is moving better with each match. She'll get her movement back. She never was the best mover on clay anyway.
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post #10 of 59 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 2004, 01:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ys
In a way, I think clay helped her. I am still convinced that she is much slower than she used to be. Her shotmaking is very good, as good as it has ever been. But not footspeed. And slow surface, comparing to hardcourts, gave her those few precious extra fraction of seconds that she needed to be able to get into the hitting position.
You NEED to be analyzing Russians and finding out why THEY can't make it to the winners circle.
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post #11 of 59 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 2004, 02:05 AM
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Knizzle said: "Venus' confidence doesn't come with who she is beating, but rather how she is playing and where she feels her game is. She beat Vera this tourney in 2, but wasn't totally happy because her she didn't think she played that well. So this doesn't really matter in Venus' case. I agree some players do get confidence from who they beat, but not Venus."

Never a truer statement IMO. As long as Venus is satisfied with her own game she thinks she can beat anybody. That's why she says she doesn't worry about her opponent's game; her own confidence is what enables her to play well.

YS said: "In a way, I think clay helped her. I am still convinced that she is much slower than she used to be. Her shotmaking is very good, as good as it has ever been. But not footspeed. And slow surface, comparing to hardcourts, gave her those few precious extra fraction of seconds that she needed to be able to get into the hitting position."

I absolutely agree. Whereas I thought clay would hurt Serena (I was right) I knew it would help Vee. I wonder if that's because she has a better understanding of what is required of her. But as far as her being slower than usual, hopefully by the time the clay season is over she should be totally back, shouldn't she? I sure hope so.
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post #12 of 59 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 2004, 04:11 AM Thread Starter
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Is she really playing Fed Cup Warsaw AND Berlin? Isn't that excessive?

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post #13 of 59 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 2004, 04:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Volcana
Is she really playing Fed Cup Warsaw AND Berlin? Isn't that excessive?
That's what I thought too.. Venus playing 4 weeks in a row is unheard of..

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post #14 of 59 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 2004, 04:14 AM
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good analysis volcana!
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post #15 of 59 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 2004, 04:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Volcana
Is she really playing Fed Cup Warsaw AND Berlin? Isn't that excessive?
Fed cup is only two matches since she isn't playing doubles. 3 clay tournys before RG ain't too much really. I hope she stays healthy and gets her clay feet on.
Otherwise Volcano love to read your analysis of Venus. Every match she plays is gonna do her a world of good. Shake some rust off.

Rena- a tennis great! 22 at striking distance.
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