Serena vs. Jennifer -
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old Mar 31st, 2002, 12:57 AM Thread Starter
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Serena vs. Jennifer

To be honest, both players dissapointed me. I watched the match because I thought Serena was at her very best and it would be interesting to see that. (Normally I don't watch a match between two power players).

First, let me clarify something, even though I don't like Serena's style, I do recognize that she is one of the most, probably the most dangerous player in the tour.

I've seen some Serena's matches where you really had to wonder what the other player was doing there. Some times, playing Serena must be really frustrating and discouraging.

I've seen Serena punishing every serve, even first serves. I've seen Serena hitting 2 aces per service game. I've seen Serena getting to any single ball, I've seen Serena hitting unbelieavable groundstrokes, both because of the power and the placement. I've seen Serena hit winners from virtually anywhere.

I thought that would be the Serena I would see today, I was wrong.

I have to commend her for her fighting spirit, she never gave up and fought until the last ball. Physically she looked well, fast, getting to every ball.

Her serve was just ok, I think she hit like 5 aces that for Serena isn't too much, but most of the times, Jennifer was able to control the serve well, Serena was broken many times and that wouldn't happen if she is serving well, even against a great returner as Jennifer.

The return of serve wasn't what I am used to see in Serena, some good ones, but missed a lot and many were just normal returns.

Some very good groundstrokes, but I didn't see the power I've seen before, and not as many as I have expected.

The net game wasn't good, she was too far from the net and wasn't able to volley properly, her overheads were as good as usual though.

Jennifer didn't impress me either, not punishing the ball enough, not going for the angles that are the strong part of her game, she was just hanging up there and power to power, I don't think she can beat Serena that way.

Don't get me wrong, I am judging Serena with probably too high standards, she was IMO not more than 70% of her potential, and still won the tournaments, beating # 1, 2 and 3 of the world in the process, you could think if she keeps improving she will be unbeatable.

maybe, I think on hardcourts, it's veyr difficult to beat Serena if she is really on, she wasn't really on today, maybe it's partly Jennifer's merit, but I think at her current form (at least judging for this match) she is very dangerous, but perfectly beatable, I think Jennifer didn't use the right strategy against her.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old Mar 31st, 2002, 01:25 AM
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Thanks Fingon, for a good assessment on the match. I'll watch the match later, then comment on it

Lindsay Jelena Maria

Mary : Monica : Svetlana : Sania : Jennifer : Amelie
Roddick : Grosjean : David : Djokovic
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old Mar 31st, 2002, 02:03 AM
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Fingon - On maybe 30% of her grounstrokes, Serena tried to do something other than hit the ball as hard as she could. To me, that's a victory in and of itself. She may not do a lot of those things well yet, certainly not all the time, but she's trying to do them in important matches now, even if she's losing.
Another couple years to learn how to really use a slice, and how to set up an approach shot,and when to use that looping topspin, and she could really do some damage, eh?
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old Mar 31st, 2002, 02:11 AM
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I really think Serena was suffering from PVS (Post-Venus-Syndrome) today. In her mind I'm sure she felt she had just beat the greatest player on the court today (Venus). Serena was coming down off of a real high. This had to be a let-down for her and maybe her game suffered because of it ... but baby girl dug in and pulled through.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old Mar 31st, 2002, 02:18 AM Thread Starter
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Volcana, I do think Serena has the best serve in the game, the best return of serve and also, that she is the best striker of the ball.

She is very fast and very aggressive, and has a great timing.

But she is not perfect, I don't believe she will develop a good slice, she is not that style of player, come on. She has a two handed backhand, and I really can't picture Serena hittting a slice approach to come to the net.

Plus, the approach is only part of it, as good as Serena is on the baseline, I don't see her that skilled at the net. She surely can put away a ball after she blew her opponent off the court with her serve or groundstrokes, but from that to be a good net player there is a big difference. She doesn't have the touch at the net and IMO, it isn't something you can lear at the stage she is now.

On the other hand, why would she do that?, she has the most powerful baseline game, and a fantastic serve. Steffi Graf, Monica Seles dominated the tour from the baseline, neither was a great volleyer and Steffi won Wimbledon 7 times. Not because Serena is great in some aspects of the game that means that she can do anything, I think she will never be a volleyer, at least what I understand as a volleyer, which of course won't prevent him from winning GSs and eventually getting the # 1 ranking (if she plays more).
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old Mar 31st, 2002, 07:44 AM
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Well what I notice is that the two never seem to play a clean match against each other. Just don't know what it is.

I mean this particular match Serena had to have been in control just by the fact she only allowed Jennifer 11 winners.

But like the previous Scottsdale match, it was yet another unforced error festival.

I think Jennifer defends against Serena better than any player out there but I just can't understand why she lately cannot capitalize on her opportunities.

Oh well onto the clay-court season.......
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old Mar 31st, 2002, 07:55 AM
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Serena is allowed to have a bad day once in a while, it`s scary though for the wta that even then she still beats the number 1 in two sets

In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
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To the river so deep
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We all start in the streams
We're all carried along
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In the middle of the night
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old Mar 31st, 2002, 07:59 AM
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Well I agree with one thing.............Serena had a bad day concerning her 1st-serve .... she barely played above 50%!!!!!! This Serena against Venus wouldn't have been 100% sure to be in the finals today!!!
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old Mar 31st, 2002, 04:25 PM
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Jennifer impressed me more than Serena, mainly because her retrieving was amazing - although Serena had the get of the match on that JenCap volley at set point .

I think that Serena did not play as well as she has because JenCap was testing her more than Venus or Martina ever did - getting the ball back with pace and frustrating her into errors.

JenCap today, although she lost, exposed all the (relative) weaknesses in Serena's game, ie. her volleys and maybe even her conditioning - I don't think I've ever seen Serena be made to move so much and she did look a little more out of breath than I've seen her.

Of course, Serena's serve under pressure and retrieval were fantastic which is what won her the match in the end. She's still probably the best player on the tour when she's in form .
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old Mar 31st, 2002, 04:34 PM
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Re: Serenas returning - Sam Smith was saying that jen's 2nd serve is unlike any other gils on the tour. The slice on it means than if you don't get a good hold on it, it'll be an UE --> could explain something.

Though Jen's serve is her weakness, it's definately improved, 76% first serve against Seles is a definate improvement

and where they produce desolation, they call it peace
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old Mar 31st, 2002, 08:31 PM
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Serena's game is still evolving, which is scary cause she is beating players at love and in straight sets with her already deadly current game. Actually Serena's game impressed me more because she was committed to going into the net. Something she is still not comfortable with yet. BUT she made herself go in. THAT IS KEY. Serena also showed weakeness in Jennifer's game. Mainly the second serve. I mean Serena saved 7 set points. She also showed that if Jennifer argues a line call that it gets to her head. She made 3 errors after she argued a call. Serena or calls clearly rattled Jennifer. I also think alot of Serena's errors were at net, and that when she gets more comfortable with her volleys that she is really going to be unbeatable. She set up imho some nice approach shots, something that Hingis needs to work on also. Also Serena is relaxing on the court more often, she is working the points more, I noticed. She is not all bang bang winner/error. This whole tournament showed how her consistancy is getting better.

You know the scary part (being a Serena opponent) is that Serena actually is still new to the tour somewhat. She has played less amount of tourneys since she started on the tour. Anyway the scariest thing is that Serena's game is improving, especially her mental toughness.

Anyway Jennifer and Serena play each other tough, just like Serena and Lindsay. Venus/Hingis, this match is no different, and I am not surprised that Serena didn't steamroll over Jennifer. Afterall Jennifer came back from a 4 match points on Hingis,, so we all know she can be tough to beat at a huge tournament.

Look out for SERENA!

Only after the last tree has been cut down
Only after the last river has been poisoned
Only after the last fish has been caught
Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten. "Cree Native American Prophecy"
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