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post #16 of 40 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 2007, 11:44 PM
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Re: Truth Serena did not believe she could defeat Justine

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Thnx, tho I'm seeing I may have to change it up come next week.
Your sig was answered with a perfect performance from Vee today..

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I think with her serve and her athleticism, her power, her court mobility, I just think when she’s on, she’s the greatest player we’ve ever seen, ever. Now, whether her record is the greatest remains to be seen because she hasn’t retired yet. But I think she is really the greatest player. I have seen Martina and Steffi at their best. There are little chinks in those players’ armor, but it was a different era, where you didn’t need to be the perfect player.
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post #17 of 40 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 2007, 11:49 PM
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Re: Truth Serena did not believe she could defeat Justine

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Originally Posted by DW--Serenafan View Post
Your sig was answered with a perfect performance from Vee today..
Indeed

But I need to hear that reply for 3 more matches. Till then I'll keep my sig on repeat.

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 #18 of 40 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 2007, 11:51 PM
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Re: Truth Serena did not believe she could defeat Justine

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Serena without those injureis probably would have polished Justine off quite comfortably...but ehre we are...another injury filled season seemingly.
It's hard to disagree with this, considering Serena was injured and still won a set and kept the match competitive throughout. But I do know one other thing...that was far from Justine's best level either. I don't know if it was nerves or an ankle injury or the wind or what, but Justine played like someone scared to win...which is not how she looked at RG and not how she normally looks. No excuses there either, but this match did nothing to help me gauge what the two of them at their best would look like on grass in 2007.
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post #19 of 40 (permalink) Old Jul 5th, 2007, 12:13 AM
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Re: Truth Serena did not believe she could defeat Justine

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two things. You can't discount the injuries. Yes she chose to play. But to say or assume they had no effect on her game is ridiculous. She just wanted to give it a shot. That's her own words. She would feel bad if she didn't at least try. Serena's injuries affect her shot selection.
And lastly, Henin doesn't match Serena in power off the ground or the serve. But she did for the majority of this match (off the ground that is). That's why I think Serena's problem is in her head. Her tactics are off. She trying to play more carefully with more spin but at the expense of power. Her shots are not flying through the court like they normally would. THis is fine if she is feeling unsteady about her shots but against Henin she can't keep playing like this. She negates one of the biggest advantages she has, which is the ability to overpower Henin. A lot of her groundstrokes were relatively slow and just sat up for justine to whack away at. She's done this 3 times against Henin so far this year. That's why, to me, it seems like a mental block she has against Henin. Cuz if you watch her Miami 4R, QF, SF, she was clearly hitting the ball much harder. Also, she was hitting it much harder in her Sequera match. in the 2nd set at least. In the first set she was rallyign with sequera She can and should use her power more instead of reigning it in so much. Watch AO 3R against Petrova. And you will see the night and day differences that Serena can play. IMO she's been way too passive lately. That's not her game.

ohhh and regaining her mobility wouldn't help either.
You've brought up some other examples of Serena not playing the hard-hitting power tennis...I think Molik would be another good example. That's why I don't know if I think it's a mental block specifically against Henin...it seems to me she's just chosen to play more high % tennis in general. Obviously, this wasn't true against Sharapova or in parts of a few other matches.
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post #20 of 40 (permalink) Old Jul 5th, 2007, 12:23 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Truth Serena did not believe she could defeat Justine

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You've brought up some other examples of Serena not playing the hard-hitting power tennis...I think Molik would be another good example. That's why I don't know if I think it's a mental block specifically against Henin...it seems to me she's just chosen to play more high % tennis in general. Obviously, this wasn't true against Sharapova or in parts of a few other matches.

You have made a point I was trying to make. Serena's game is an overpowering serve and a confidence diminishing return. Against Justine her serve is reduced due to justine standing 6 ft behind the baseline. Serena for whatever reason could not attack Justines second serve. So Serena tried to devise a play to defeat Justine. She tried to negate Justine's slice with her own. Did not work, She tried to hit high topspin shots to her backhand which also did not work consistently. What would have worked is coming in behind her booming serves. All out power and hard topspin shots against the slice while remaining low. With 2 games left to defeat Serena knew what to do, but why wait 2 games before defeat?

Beat'em down Ms Williams, beat'em down!
SERENA PRINCESS OF POWER

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post #21 of 40 (permalink) Old Jul 5th, 2007, 12:26 AM
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Re: Truth Serena did not believe she could defeat Justine

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You have made a point I was trying to make. Serena's game is an overpowering serve and a confidence diminishing return. Against Justine her serve is reduced due to justine standing 6 ft behind the baseline. Serena for whatever reason could not attack Justines second serve. So Serena tried to devise a play to defeat Justine. She tried to negate Justine's slice with her own. Did not work, She tried to hit high topspin shots to her backhand which also did not work consistently. What would have worked is coming in behind her booming serves. All out power and hard topspin shots against the slice while remaining low. With 2 games left to defeat Serena knew what to do, but why wait 2 games before defeat?
Sometimes a player's back has to be against the wall before their mind goes on auto-pilot and they come up with better stuff. Similarly, Justine's serve improved in her final service game...obviously this would've been handy earlier in the match.
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post #22 of 40 (permalink) Old Jul 5th, 2007, 12:35 AM
 
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Re: Truth Serena did not believe she could defeat Justine

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I agree with this. That was tough luck, but again, it wasn't all.

Justine was matching Serena for power, speed. movement, and making even better shot selections. I still believe its because Serena hadn't played enough and wasn't as "match tough" (as they used to say back in the day) as Henin. It showed during the key points in that final set.
The problem is if Serena's movement wasn't limited she could of contended with Justine more and brought her game to a new level. To me she was sluggish and trying to get to balls while off balance. As much as people try to make it anything else the injuries prevented her from winning this match. Against someone like Justine you can't get away with playing at half speed. Serena tried everything in her power to hold on but from the beginning you could tell she wasn't in the proper condition to perform at her highest level.
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post #23 of 40 (permalink) Old Jul 5th, 2007, 12:36 AM
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Re: Truth Serena did not believe she could defeat Justine

About Serena needing to play lower percentage tennis: she needs to be consistently in position to unleash those big strokes with accuracy and success, off serves and in rallies. She needs to work very hard on her movement, footwork and anticipation. Right now, it's about perfecting the little things.

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

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post #24 of 40 (permalink) Old Jul 5th, 2007, 12:37 AM
 
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Re: Truth Serena did not believe she could defeat Justine

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It's hard to disagree with this, considering Serena was injured and still won a set and kept the match competitive throughout. But I do know one other thing...that was far from Justine's best level either. I don't know if it was nerves or an ankle injury or the wind or what, but Justine played like someone scared to win...which is not how she looked at RG and not how she normally looks. No excuses there either, but this match did nothing to help me gauge what the two of them at their best would look like on grass in 2007.
I believe Justine knows Serena is a possible threat everytime she steps on the court against her. So in turn that makes her a bit nervous and less confident in her game at times. It's an interesting dynamic but with the way Serena was moving during this match Justine should of dusted her off in two easy sets.
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post #25 of 40 (permalink) Old Jul 5th, 2007, 12:37 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Truth Serena did not believe she could defeat Justine

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Originally Posted by Bruno71 View Post
Sometimes a player's back has to be against the wall before their mind goes on auto-pilot and they come up with better stuff. Similarly, Justine's serve improved in her final service game...obviously this would've been handy earlier in the match.
I agree, it is easy for me to sit here and come up with solutions. But all it tells me is Serema had issues, issues her and Richard should have long worked out. Serena has to deal with her Justine issues and they are many make no mistake. Still she is the most talented tennis player ever and can do whatever she wishes.....just the way it is.

Beat'em down Ms Williams, beat'em down!
SERENA PRINCESS OF POWER

Victoria Duval - coming to a slam near you
Françoise Abanda definitely a future #1 --- Taylor Townsend devastation on the march
Venus and Serena ferocious grannies --- Kimiko Date Krumm great granny still doing her thing.
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post #26 of 40 (permalink) Old Jul 5th, 2007, 12:44 AM
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Re: Truth Serena did not believe she could defeat Justine

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I think there's a much easier answer: Serena hasn't yet found her full groundstroke game. Really, it's not like she played much better in the earlier rounds. She was rallying with Sequera for Christ's sake, and was spinning and slicing a lot. The Serena that won two Wimby's didn't play like that. She punnished everything at first sight. I knew she was going to have trouble against Justine, because Justine's defense is great and can get everything. The only way to beat her was to be a lot more aggressive and atm she's missing that game. If you count down winners besides aces, Justine got 24 and Serena got only 12. Her injuries certainly didn't help her today, but I think she put probably her best performance in this tourney.
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post #27 of 40 (permalink) Old Jul 5th, 2007, 12:44 AM
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Re: Truth Serena did not believe she could defeat Justine

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I believe Justine knows Serena is a possible threat everytime she steps on the court against her. So in turn that makes her a bit nervous and less confident in her game at times. It's an interesting dynamic but with the way Serena was moving during this match Justine should of dusted her off in two easy sets.
That's how I felt too...actually not so much about Serena's movement specifically but the general level of play. It bore out the logic that the fit player often is thrown off by the injured player for multiple reasons. I didn't expect that of Justine, and maybe that's why I'm disappointed in her play. I have to give credit to both players for toughing out an unusual match situation.
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post #28 of 40 (permalink) Old Jul 5th, 2007, 12:49 AM
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Re: Truth Serena did not believe she could defeat Justine

But Justine was nervous. She's a smart girl; she knows how good Serena is on a non-clay surface. She'd never beaten her on anything other than clay. She respects Serena. So today she cameout, she was as nervous as the #1 player playing a Serena would be. She came out less nervous in Miami. Maybe this time around she cared just a bit more.
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post #29 of 40 (permalink) Old Jul 5th, 2007, 12:52 AM
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Re: Truth Serena did not believe she could defeat Justine

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But Justine was nervous. She's a smart girl; she knows how good Serena is on a non-clay surface. She'd never beaten her on anything other than clay. She respects Serena. So today she cameout, she was as nervous as the #1 player playing a Serena would be. She came out less nervous in Miami. Maybe this time around she cared just a bit more.
All true...but to me, if I have to be honest, that doesn't bode well for her in the final should she make it. You just have to overcome these nerves to win slams, and she seems to only be able to do that at the French lately. I'd like to see Justine come out swinging in the final.
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post #30 of 40 (permalink) Old Jul 5th, 2007, 01:02 AM
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Re: Truth Serena did not believe she could defeat Justine

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Originally Posted by manatee View Post
you do know she was only slicing so much cuz she couldn't hit her backhand consistently. Serena wasn't hitting that hard. Too much spin.
And to Bruno:
yes she was playing like that against Molik, etc. But to me she was doing that cuz she was not confident in her ground game and she doesn't need to hit the ball that hard to beat Molike & co. But against the better players she has repeatedly stepped it up. Hit harder/flatter with her balls flying through the court. She did it against Petrova when her back was against the wall. She did it against Jankovic/Sharapova AO and Vaidisova/Sharapova/Peer Miami. But against Justine she hasn't, she's continued to play safer. That has try not to lose mentality feel about it. That's also something she did against Vaidisova in their AO SF. I give her a pass today cuz she was bunting her backhand and/or slicing it all the time. And the few times she hit out on her backhand she clearly hurt her left hand doing so.
Yeah, everything you said is correct. It's interesting to note how differently she played against Vaidisova & Peer at AO than in Miami. She just looked like a more confident player against those 2 the second time around. She did look tentative against Justine in Miami and certainly at RG...I think today was her most attacking attempt, (the return on Justine's very first service point was pretty unbelievable) but her body just wouldn't let her accomplish that gameplan.
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