Clijsters has been so strong on Deco-Turf this year there almost isn't a #2. I can't recall an instance where a player was this strong on this particular
surface (Deco-Turf II), yet I just didn't believe in her when the slam came around.
When Venus, Serena, Davenport, Hingis, Graf, Seles, etc dominated the summer hardcourts, you expected a US Open win. And, barring injury, it almost always happened. But this time, that dominant player is one I've seen repeatedly have braincramps in finals. Double-faults in tie-breakers, bad decisions, sudden outbreaks of poor execution. I can see her beating Serena in a QF, because Serena, to my eye, injured, overweight and not match tough.
But a night match in prime time vs Venus? No way. But it IS a F, and she beat VEnus a month ago. (Fatigue! Fatigue! Yada yada yada I know already.)
If Clijsters plays Sharapova she'll beat her, but Henin-Hardenne or Davenport? In a final? A slam
final? No. My betting hand won't put down money on that. But who else can you pick to win the tournament? (I know, I know. Venus is going
to win the tournament, but let's pretend we're using reason here.
) Clijsters entered six of the nine tournaments played on this surface. She won five of them. Including three of the four Tier I's. If Venus had that record, I'd be inviting all my friends over for the coronation.
How do you know when a player has learned to play her best when the lights are brightest?
How do you know if
a player has learned to play her best when the lights are brightest?
There's a reason to question every other contender. The only reason to question Clijsters is her past performance in slam finals. Is the incredibly impressive performance she's put on in tournaments with the same surface as the US Open enough to put that aside?