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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old May 29th, 2004, 11:15 PM Thread Starter
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Arrow Pam Shriver's 4th round predictions

Capriati pushing edge too often
By Pam Shriver
Special to ESPN.com

It's unusual to have so many dramatic upsets of top players -- including the defending champions losing to unknown players -- on both the men's and women's side of the draw.


In the case of Justine Henin-Hardenne, Tathiana Garbin is a good player, but the Belgian's loss was a product of a lack of match play in the past seven weeks. She simply was not confident in either her physical or mental capabilities to get through a tough match.

With the bad, we've also seen some good -- like the unique sight of Martina Navratilova playing singles. It's something I never expected to see again. It's also good to see the return of the Williams sisters, Jennifer Capriati and Amelie Mauresmo. Finally, most players (not the Belgians) are healthy again.

Plus, there's the emergence of new stars like Maria Kirilenko of Russia, who pressed Serena Williams in the second-round. Serena won 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, but we'll be talking about this 17-year-old for the next 10 years.

Here's a look at the fourth-round matches scheduled to be played on Sunday:

Jie Zheng, China, vs. Paola Suarez (14), Argentina
Suarez has been to the quarterfinals at Roland Garros before, when she defeated Mauresmo in the round of 16 two years ago -- so Suarez is comfortable in the bigger matches at the majors. Although Zheng seems to be the best women's Chinese player ever, it's hard to know how good she'll be in this situation. Until Zheng proves she can handle such a big moment, you have to give the edge to Suarez.
Pick: Suarez

Maria Sharapova (18), Russia, vs. Marlene Weingartner
Although Sharapova is probably the youngest player left in the draw, she's one of the most mature. She gained valuable experience at Wimbledon last year and is starting to come into her own.

Weingartner easily beat Nadia Petrova on clay to get to this round and she defeated Capriati at the Australian Open, so she's had a couple of decent wins. Sharapova, though, is too good. She's got the confidence she needs to win.
Pick: Sharapova

Amelie Mauresmo (3), France, vs. Magdalena Maleeva (21), Bulgaria
Mauresmo seems finally to be learning how to live with the great pressure of the French Open. Now, that's not saying she's ready to win the whole thing, but she's too good an all-court player to lose in this round to Maleeva. Although Maleeva looked OK against Shaughnessy, Maleeva's never been that comfortable on clay. Pick: Mauresmo

Elena Dementieva (9), Russia, vs. Lindsay Davenport (5), United States
Davenport has had some awkward times with her very peculiar serve. It's the marquee matchup, with the highest seeds against one another. Davenport has had her best season ever on clay coming into this major. However, this will be her first big-time matchup of the tournament, and beating Dementieva is not that easy on clay.

It's a close match that really depends on how Davenport reacts to Dementieva's weak, slowly spinning serve, which sometimes throws the power players off. On paper, you'd think Davenport would be too good to fall here, but Dementieva also has a good shot.
Pick: Davenport

Anastasia Myskina (6), Russia, vs. Svetlana Kuznetsova (11), Russia
These two players are the closest in rankings in the fourth round.

There's a lot of tension among the Russian players at this event with the Olympic spots up for grabs. The Olympics, which are in Athens, Greece, in August, hold so much prestige for the Russian players that they are fighting to be part of the team.

These two are pretty evenly matched. Myskina has the edge in rank, but she called the trainer out to the court the other day calling her physical readiness into question. Aside from that, based on their head-to-head record, with Myskina leading 2-1 after winning their two most recent matches, the pick here should be Myskina. But this match could easily go either way.
Pick: Myskina

Fabiola Zuluaga (23), Colombia, vs. Venus Williams (4), United States
You can't take for granted any match on clay -- even if you, like Venus, have a win streak going. When you play a clay-courter, you have to be ready for a challenge. Venus has had the best clay-court spring of her career. She should know, though, that she needs to concentrate because she's not playing on a surface where you can have a drift in concentration.

Zuluaga had a breakthrough at the Australian Open earlier this year, as she reached the semifinals of a major for the first time. So, she knows the pressure you can face in a round-of-16 match against a player like Venus. That's all the more reason for Venus to get down to business early and not let up.
Pick: Venus

Jennifer Capriati (7), United States, vs. Francesca Schiavone (17)
There's potential for an upset here because Schiavone is tough on clay and doesn't make many unforced errors. Also, she's had some pretty good wins in the past 12 months, which is why her rank is the highest of her career. Additionally, despite some success against Serena Williams in Berlin, nothing has been easy for Capriati recently -- at some point that will catch up to you.
Pick: Schiavone

Shinobu Asagoe, Japan, vs. Serena Williams (12), United States
Like her sister, Serena needs to come in focused and end this match quickly. She can't stumble through a match the way she did in the second round.

Asagoe is a good fighter and tends to compete well. Asagoe has won some close matches in Grand Slam tournaments, so she's a danger.
Pick: Serena

ESPN tennis analyst Pam Shriver won 21 singles and 112 doubles crowns, including 22 Grand Slam titles.


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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old May 29th, 2004, 11:23 PM
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Jen loses? Did Pam make a drug test? If so she must have failed...

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lol Alex, you're so goddamn demanding


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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old May 29th, 2004, 11:25 PM
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wow that takes a lot of guts to make THOSE predictions.... what a waste.

Vassilissa is my girl............
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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old May 29th, 2004, 11:28 PM
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Schiavone defeated Monica at the Hopman Cup in '02, and pushed Monica 4 and 4 a few weeks later at the Open where Monica reached the Semis that year. I wouldn't rule Shiavone out, especially since Capriati seems to be struggling against her other opponents.

I'm not sure what the Head-to-Head is for Myskina/Kuznetsova...but I would pick Kuznetsova in this match. Have these two played each other on clay?
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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old May 29th, 2004, 11:29 PM
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I would give Fabiola a better chance at an upset rather than Francesca.

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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old May 29th, 2004, 11:50 PM
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Pam is wrong twice: Jen and Kuznetsova will win!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Avid Merrion
lol Alex, you're so goddamn demanding


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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old May 30th, 2004, 12:00 AM
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Yeah Im not agreeing with a lot of her predictions, but I guess thats what she's paid to do...We'll find out the real answers tommorow I guess.

Come back EVENTUALLY Cappy!! Ok this clearly was written back in a day when I still had faith..


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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old May 30th, 2004, 12:09 AM
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I totally disagree with Pam's assement of Jen's play. Jen isn't playing poorly at all in this tournament and lost sets when her opponents played really well. I also disagree with her comment that "despite some success against Serena Williams in Berlin, nothing has been easy for Capriati recently -- at some point that will catch up to you." is totally bs. Since when is winning two three set matches bad for confidence? I think it will make her mentally sharp for her next match, wheras, last year she coasted through her first three matches and lost to Petrova. Also, how well was Jennifer playing in her early rounds at the 2002 Australian Open? And when has Jen ever been a player that performs based on her most recent matches?

Pam is really a bandwagoner. Last year at Wimbledon, Pam thought Jen had a great chance to go far in the tournament and then thought she would lose to Myskina just because she didn't have a great third round performance.

I think Jen will win because as good as Schiavone is on clay, this is a huge match and Jen's a former champ of this event.

Last edited by JennyS; May 30th, 2004 at 12:19 AM.
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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old May 30th, 2004, 12:10 AM
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GGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO LenaDDDDDDD!!!!!!

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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old May 30th, 2004, 12:10 AM
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I am sorry Pam, Jennifer will win in 2 easy sets.
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post #11 of 43 (permalink) Old May 30th, 2004, 12:10 AM
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What I'd give to get paid good money to come up with this stuff. Malivai is even less daring (and often wrong). On the other hand, I think Wertheim smokes a large blunt the day before each Slam.

These folks apparently earn enough to keep their families off the street. Gosh, once again, it's proven that I chose the wrong profession. What was I smoking when I decided to go the academic route?

Someone is quietly turning back the clock...to them bulldozer dayz...

Always on the lookout for a great tennis match.
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post #12 of 43 (permalink) Old May 30th, 2004, 12:47 AM
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Francesca can break Venus and Serena and Kim so she stands a chance against Jennifer, Jennifer is a fighter but Fran's trade mark is held break points. If Jennifer plays poorly often enough and Francesca's serve is at 50% Pam could be right..
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post #13 of 43 (permalink) Old May 30th, 2004, 01:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martian KC
I would give Fabiola a better chance at an upset rather than Francesca.
Explain.

You would pick Zuluaga to upset Venus over Schiavone to upset Capriati??

First, Venus = undefeated on clay.

Second, Capriati = struggling in basically all of her matches.

Third, Schiavone = upset Mauresmo, the favorite a few weeks back.

Fourth, Zuluaga = upset no one.

I don't understand your logic.


Anyway, neither will be upset.

QUEEN VEE


Good Luck: RENA, MATTEK, HAYNES, GULLICKSON, HARKLEROAD, RUBIN, GRANVILLE, LEE-WATERS, SCHNYDER, JACKSON, PERRY, KING, SUGIYAMA, PIERCE, TULYAGANOVA, IVANOVIC, KUZNETSOVA, MOLIK, DANIILIDOU, MEDINA GARRIGUES, PETROVA, PENNETTA, GOLOVIN, PEER, LI, SCHIAVONE, RAZZANO, ZVONAREVA, SPREM, SREBOTNIK, VINCI, & SAFINA
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post #14 of 43 (permalink) Old May 30th, 2004, 01:25 AM
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I wish FRANCESCA would win

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post #15 of 43 (permalink) Old May 30th, 2004, 01:42 AM
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Jenn will win. She picks up her play when she needs to.

azarenka - pavlyuchenkova - li - jankovic
garcia - bencic - paszek - rus - kanepi - kuznetsova - stephens
bouchard - karatantcheva - larcher de brito - voegele - lim - mladenovic

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