Awhile back there was a thread about favorites going into RG the past 5 years and what they actually did at the French. I did some fact finding about the past 5 years in that thread and found that out of the top 5 favorites nearly every year 3 or 4 of them did really well and one of them won most of the time. Unfortunately, I can seem to find the thread now. (if anyone can find it it would be appreciated)
Well there is only 2 weeks left before RG starts, but really only one important week and tourney remains(Rome). Let's see how the big clay tournies have panned out.
Amelia: Davenport def Mauresmo (Momo def Henin in semis)
Charleston: V Williams def Martinez
Warsaw: V Williams def Kuznetsova
Berlin: Mauresmo def V Williams (walkover)
Rome: Mauresmo def Capriati (Capriati def Serena in semis)
Now that the leadup season has been completed(big tourneys at least) let's see who the top 5 favorites are. This year is tough because of injury/illness. On form, Mauresmo and Venus are the top favorites, but Justine is the defending champ and is most comfortable on clay. Serena won 5 out of the last 6 slams she played in so she is automatically a fave. Capriati has shown that she can be a contender in the second week of RG. Davenport showed good form early, but hasn't played since Charleston and hates RG. So the five favorites I think going into RG are Mauresmo, Venus, Justine, Serena, and Capriati. Time will tell how they will do.
Last edited by Knizzle; May 16th, 2004 at 04:42 PM.
Rome still has to be filled in so I will bump this thread after the tourney is over.
Judging by the responses, I think you should have waited till Rome is over before launching this thread.
No harm done though. We live and learn.
** TP for Topaz or TennisPower **
"Playing aggressive tennis ... that's always the way to go, if you ask me." - Venus Williams, May/2002
"Some shots I will hit hard but not every ball. I'm not just using my power." - Serena Williams, Oct/2002
Back to the focus of the thread. There have been posters (namely fammmmedspin) who say that being a favorite for RG doesn't mean much for winning the title. I have some info here about the last 5 RG that I will post illustrating the relation between being a fave and fulfilling potential at RG.
Here is 1999:
1999 clay titles Tier 2 and higher
Hilton Head: Martina Hingis def Kournikova
Amelia Island: Monica Seles def Dragomir Ilie(Seles lost only 14 games)
Hamburg: Venus Williams def Mary Pierce(Venus lost only 18 games)
Rome: Venus Williams def Mary Pierce(beat Hingis along the way)
Berlin: Martina Hingis def Halard-Decugis
Top favorites going into RG 99 were obviously Hingis and Venus, with Seles and Pierce also making some noise.
Now let's see how they did in RG:
Pierce: seeded 8th, lost to Conchita Martinez in 2nd rd in 3 sets
Seles: seeded 3rd, lost to Graf in SF in 3 sets
Venus: seeded 5th, lost to Barbara Schwartz in 4th rd in 3 sets
Hingis: seeded 1st, lost to Graf in F
Hingis was one of the top favorites and fulfilled that by making the Final while the other top favorite Venus lost in the 4th. The 3rd fave Seles made it to the SF and did well, but Graf played the spoiler for the whole tourney beating Seles and Hingis. Pierce lost to a good clay courter in Conchita. So in 99 the favorites did good, but not great.
I will follow with 2000-2003 in separate installments.
Amelia: Seles def C. Martinez (Seles didn't drop a set, CM didn't until the final)
Hilton Head: Pierce def Vicario(Mary lost 12 games and beat Seles in SF)
Hamburg: Hingis def Vicario
Berlin: C. Martinez def Coetzer(CM didn't drop a set, beat Hingis in SF)
Rome: Seles def Mauresmo
Top favorites here were Seles, C.Martinez, and Pierce. Hingis and Vicario are outside faves.
Let's see how they did:
Hingis: seeded #1 lost in SF in 3 sets to Pierce
Vicario: seeded #8 lost in SF in 2 sets to C. Martinez
Pierce: seeded #6 won RG def C. Martinez in final in 2 sets
C. Martinez: seeded #5 lost in F to Pierce in 2 sets
Seles: seeded # 3 lost in QF to Pierce in 3 sets
Well in 2000 those who were called favorites leading into RG were indeed the top 5 performers in the tourney. They only lost to each other and 4 of them were in the semis. I wasn't sure I would come across a RG were all the faves did basically as well as they could and fulfilled their status as a favorite. I wonder if this is a rare occurence in RG or slams in general.
Mauresmo and Capriati are obviously the top faves here. Outside faves were Venus and Dokic(yes Dokic). I think Hingis should be thrown in too although she didn't win a title she did pretty well and was #1.
Let's see how they did:
Hingis: seeded #1, lost in SF to Capriati in 2 sets
Dokic: seeded #15, lost 3rd round to Mandula in 3 sets
Venus: seeded #2, lost 1st round to Schett in 2 sets
Capriati: seeded #4, won RG over Clijsters in 3 sets
Mauresmo: seeded #5 lost 1st round to Kandarr in 2 sets
This year, one of the top faves(Capriati) won the title, but the other crashed out in the first round. Hingis was the best of the outside faves making the SF, but Venus and Dokic disappointed with their 1st and 3rd round losses, respectively.