Justine Henin will NOT dominate the Sisters - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 272 (permalink) Old Sep 8th, 2007, 04:35 PM Thread Starter
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Justine Henin will NOT dominate the Sisters

First and foremost, Justine Henin is undoubtedly the best player of the moment and deserving number one. But isn’t it quite ridiculous how some people have been SERIOUSLY using recent stats and H2H to predict domination – or just How much better Justine is than the sisters GENERALLY?

I’ll start with Serena.

Serena: I’m not her biggest fan, and I know she let herself down with her comments – but lets talk about her tennis. Serena Williams has not been playing well in recent times. She had 3 really good matches at the AO (Against Santangelo, Petrova and Sharapova), and 3 in Miami (Final, Against Maria and against Safarova) – but her other matches this entire year have been pretty poor. She has struggled in the majority of them, particularly in her matches after Miami. She has had to will herself and scream her way to wins against sub-top 20 players because her game is just not in place. She was brought to tears by Pironkova and again almost, in her first round of Wimbledon. When Serena is playing well / Had she been in consistent good form – I’m sorry but it just wouldn’t be that way.

Some people got carried away after her 2 title wins and assumed she was back near her best, but she isn’t and was not. She’s on the right track, but has been patchy since AO 2005 or before. Yes she is older, but that’s no excuse for her poor footwork.

Venus: Venus was generally so bad that her Wimbledon 2005 win was called a fluke! Before then, and after then, Venus was in poor form due to lack of confidence and health issues. Even after wimbledon this year, was labelled a one court wonder which is not the case when Venus is in form. [For the record; some of her earliest titles came on clay]. In recent times she was barely able to compete against top 10 players, and lost most if not all encounters. That was until Wimbledon 4th round. Since then, bare one loss and 3 poor matches (linked with her AMENIA) she has started to find her consistent good form, and has beaten everyone in the top 10 except for Henin and Serena (who she has not played).

In focus
Her match with Henin was VERY close. One bad service game to start the match, but after that they went toe to toe (both could play better). I think her performance was summed up in that 3-3 game that she lost after having 3 break points in a row. On one of those points, she got on top in a rally and was left with an easy ball to put away. She could have hit it cross court, and it would have been a winner had she hit it in, but she hit it out. There were a number of times in the match when Venus just didn’t do enough with the ball to put it away (volley’s, smashes) and Henin took advantage. That’s a tactical error she can improve on for their next encounters, a kind of problem that could have seen a closer score line / a win for Venus. [Venus’ first serve percentage also plummeted in that final set].

Justine’s wins have come fair in square for the most part, like people say, if you’re good to go – you’re fit. But people overlook the fact that Serena is not in good form. At best all we can conclude is that Serena (and Venus) need to be in good form and to play well to beat Henin – but it’s OTT to suggest domination, that the WS are no longer factors.

Henin has been one of the most consistent players in recent years, because of hard work to her credit. But also don’t forget the WS have not been allowed to be consistent on the tour in general in recent times because of their sister’s murder, and serious injuries. They are still on the road back, and I imagine in 2008 will be playing better. Lets wait till then before talking about dominance.
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post #2 of 272 (permalink) Old Sep 8th, 2007, 04:41 PM
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Re: Justine Henin will NOT dominate the Sisters

Good post

At first I was one of those who assumed after Serena's excellent Miami form she was back near her best. She wasn't in her best shape then, and isn't now. She needs to excercise to get her movement back. I thought she had the desire back for the first time since 2003 also, but her two QF losses "sans coeur" have worried me a little. Justine has raised the bar to V&S this tournament. It's good for them in a way, they now know where they need to be for next year, not just better, they now know HOW much better they need to be.

This is a unique situation, back in the day, the sisters owned Justine, Justine as has been apparent has been getting over this syndrome all year, and looks more comfortable being number one than she has ever been. I think V&S and Serena in particular, now have the message that Justine is the world number one, the best player of the moment and that if they want to beat her again, they have to play her accordingly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alla Luce View Post
(1)A lot is being made of the record Serena has vs Sharapova. It is being used as THE reason she will win again lol. Good thing we have players like Tomas Berdych (who had an even worse record vs Nadal) to remind us of the fallacy of this nonsense logic.
(2)You stans may as well sleep well tonight because tomorrow the a replay of Lucie's winning moment over and over again will haunt your dreams for weeks to come
(3)The stars have aligned perfectly for the upset of the 21st century. All the best Garbine
(4) There is no path to victory for Williams.Keys wins in straight easy sets.
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post #3 of 272 (permalink) Old Sep 8th, 2007, 04:44 PM
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Re: Justine Henin will NOT dominate the Sisters

Everyone keeps talking about these three players like they're 22 years old and based on one tournament's form, will go onto dominate 2008.

What I know is that Justine plays at a high level all the time. She's been doing it week in and week out for the last 3 or 4 years. Justine can reproduce the tennis she used to beat the Williams sisters on any given day. I question whether either Williams has the tennis in them to put up as good of a consistent challenge to her as they did here at the US Open.

Venus is getting up there in age and has nagging injuries as well as anemia. She was dizzy after a set and a half on a fast hard court. I really can't see her winning anywhere but Wimbledon with those things working against her.

Serena is at times unstoppable but also has nagging injuries and issues with motivation. You can tell how upset she was after getting slapped around the court by Henin in 3 majors this year. I wonder how long it will take her to rebuild her confidence and play to Australian Open form. She's no spring chicken either. Very few players are winning majors after they turn 25. She's only been picking up a major every other year, and how long can that even last?
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post #4 of 272 (permalink) Old Sep 8th, 2007, 04:50 PM
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Re: Justine Henin will NOT dominate the Sisters

Quote:
Originally Posted by faboozadoo15 View Post
Everyone keeps talking about these three players like they're 22 years old and based on one tournament's form, will go onto dominate 2008.

What I know is that Justine plays at a high level all the time. She's been doing it week in and week out for the last 3 or 4 years. Justine can reproduce the tennis she used to beat the Williams sisters on any given day. I question whether either Williams has the tennis in them to put up as good of a consistent challenge to her as they did here at the US Open.

Venus is getting up there in age and has nagging injuries as well as anemia. She was dizzy after a set and a half on a fast hard court. I really can't see her winning anywhere but Wimbledon with those things working against her.

Serena is at times unstoppable but also has nagging injuries and issues with motivation. You can tell how upset she was after getting slapped around the court by Henin in 3 majors this year. I wonder how long it will take her to rebuild her confidence and play to Australian Open form. She's no spring chicken either. Very few players are winning majors after they turn 25. She's only been picking up a major every other year, and how long can that even last?
While I appreciate what you're saying about Serena no longer being 21. I think the thing is, Serena hasn't played much at all over the past 3/4 years, a lot of the time she was basically just turning up for the majors (which have been her last three tournaments). I think because of this taking time off, she will be able to play more tennis in her later 20's than she otherwise would have. I don't know though, she is so unpredictable. I certainly like to think she has 3/4 more seasons left though, and perhaps one final burst where she can be the best again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alla Luce View Post
(1)A lot is being made of the record Serena has vs Sharapova. It is being used as THE reason she will win again lol. Good thing we have players like Tomas Berdych (who had an even worse record vs Nadal) to remind us of the fallacy of this nonsense logic.
(2)You stans may as well sleep well tonight because tomorrow the a replay of Lucie's winning moment over and over again will haunt your dreams for weeks to come
(3)The stars have aligned perfectly for the upset of the 21st century. All the best Garbine
(4) There is no path to victory for Williams.Keys wins in straight easy sets.
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post #5 of 272 (permalink) Old Sep 8th, 2007, 04:51 PM
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Re: Justine Henin will NOT dominate the Sisters

I don't really see how NOT playing tennis would help her longevity when she turns up injured at every tournament she loses at....
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post #6 of 272 (permalink) Old Sep 8th, 2007, 04:52 PM
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Re: Justine Henin will NOT dominate the Sisters

I don't think those matches showed that Justine WILL dominate the Williams sisters. But what they certainly showed is that Justine has become (at least)in their caliber when it comes to fast courts. And that is a major point for her.

She'll only grow in confidence after those matches. I expect her to be even more aggressive from now on.
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post #7 of 272 (permalink) Old Sep 8th, 2007, 04:53 PM
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Re: Justine Henin will NOT dominate the Sisters

If Justine wins today, she'll have as mnay US Open titles as Venus and Serena.

Then again, if Kuzy wins, so shall she
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post #8 of 272 (permalink) Old Sep 8th, 2007, 04:58 PM
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Re: Justine Henin will NOT dominate the Sisters

Quote:
Originally Posted by faboozadoo15 View Post
I don't really see how NOT playing tennis would help her longevity when she turns up injured at every tournament she loses at....
Well having time away from the game and then coming back helped Agassi play well into his 30's and compete with the young guys. I don't think he could have done that had he not gone on a walkabout and had all those tough losses 1995-1998. I think the mental break could help Serena in a similar way.

I see 2007 as the first year of the 2nd part of her career. 1999-2003 was the first part, 2004-2006 were the up and down years and 2007-9/10 is the second part. Serena has afterall only been defeated by the world number one this year at majors. While this could be construed as a case for her being dominated by Justine, I can't see how it can be a case for her not being a threat in general for a few more years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alla Luce View Post
(1)A lot is being made of the record Serena has vs Sharapova. It is being used as THE reason she will win again lol. Good thing we have players like Tomas Berdych (who had an even worse record vs Nadal) to remind us of the fallacy of this nonsense logic.
(2)You stans may as well sleep well tonight because tomorrow the a replay of Lucie's winning moment over and over again will haunt your dreams for weeks to come
(3)The stars have aligned perfectly for the upset of the 21st century. All the best Garbine
(4) There is no path to victory for Williams.Keys wins in straight easy sets.
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post #9 of 272 (permalink) Old Sep 8th, 2007, 04:58 PM
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Re: Justine Henin will NOT dominate the Sisters

Quote:
Originally Posted by faboozadoo15 View Post
If Justine wins today, she'll have as mnay US Open titles as Venus and Serena.

Then again, if Kuzy wins, so shall she
Says it all really

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alla Luce View Post
(1)A lot is being made of the record Serena has vs Sharapova. It is being used as THE reason she will win again lol. Good thing we have players like Tomas Berdych (who had an even worse record vs Nadal) to remind us of the fallacy of this nonsense logic.
(2)You stans may as well sleep well tonight because tomorrow the a replay of Lucie's winning moment over and over again will haunt your dreams for weeks to come
(3)The stars have aligned perfectly for the upset of the 21st century. All the best Garbine
(4) There is no path to victory for Williams.Keys wins in straight easy sets.
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post #10 of 272 (permalink) Old Sep 8th, 2007, 05:09 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Justine Henin will NOT dominate the Sisters

Quote:
Originally Posted by faboozadoo15 View Post
Everyone keeps talking about these three players like they're 22 years old and based on one tournament's form, will go onto dominate 2008.

What I know is that Justine plays at a high level all the time. She's been doing it week in and week out for the last 3 or 4 years. Justine can reproduce the tennis she used to beat the Williams sisters on any given day. I question whether either Williams has the tennis in them to put up as good of a consistent challenge to her as they did here at the US Open.

Venus is getting up there in age and has nagging injuries as well as anemia. She was dizzy after a set and a half on a fast hard court. I really can't see her winning anywhere but Wimbledon with those things working against her.

Serena is at times unstoppable but also has nagging injuries and issues with motivation. You can tell how upset she was after getting slapped around the court by Henin in 3 majors this year. I wonder how long it will take her to rebuild her confidence and play to Australian Open form. She's no spring chicken either. Very few players are winning majors after they turn 25. She's only been picking up a major every other year, and how long can that even last?
If Justine can produce this form at any given time, why did she only win one slam title last year? But I understand your point, and with the right scheduling she may be able to.

Lindsay should be an example to everyone, as well as Mary Pierce. 27 is not the new 50. My biggest worry with Venus is this Anemia and energy woes, but she has been complaining about them for AGES. I remember watching the AO 2005 and Venus was so thin, she looked like someone in Dafur. But this is something she has been working, and her fitness seems to be improving week after week. [Keep in mind she had a long struggle with Jelena before the SF (and less time to recover) which may have knocked more out of her than the first set against Justine would have otherwise].

With respect to Venus, i think the biggest positive from recent weeks is that she has managed to maintain good form for a longer period of time. She hasn't had a loss that should knock her confidence, and if she stays healthy and maintains her form (and there's not reason why she can't) she should be find.

Serena has lost the muscle definition she had in her legs, and until she gets those legs into better shape, she may just get dominated.

The most important thing is for the sisters to stay healthy and match fit. They really haven't been able to do so, and i haven't seen anything that suggest that if they do, Justine in good form will always get the upperhand.
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post #11 of 272 (permalink) Old Sep 8th, 2007, 05:13 PM
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Re: Justine Henin will NOT dominate the Sisters

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If Justine can produce this form at any given time, why did she only win one slam title last year? But I understand your point, and with the right scheduling she may be able to.
Well, Justine is one match away from going 2/3 at majors this year. She won the French, won Eastbourne, and was tired in her sixth match at Wimbledon. Who wouldn't be? That's 5/6 weeks. And that's Justine's only loss before the finals at a tournament this year. The fact is, she's been playing this well all along...
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post #12 of 272 (permalink) Old Sep 8th, 2007, 05:16 PM
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Re: Justine Henin will NOT dominate the Sisters

I would have agreed with you if Venus and Serena were in good health.
But it now seems they both have nagging health issues that will limit their
training to get into a form where theyr will be capable to challenge Henin.

Of course, Henin is not health trouble free, but it seems like that she has managed to overcome those issue.
At least lately

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post #13 of 272 (permalink) Old Sep 8th, 2007, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Justine Henin will NOT dominate the Sisters

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Originally Posted by Apoleb View Post
I don't think those matches showed that Justine WILL dominate the Williams sisters. But what they certainly showed is that Justine has become (at least)in their caliber when it comes to fast courts. And that is a major point for her.

She'll only grow in confidence after those matches. I expect her to be even more aggressive from now on.
For sure her confidence will rise. However from what i saw, she still found it / Finds it hard to be aggressive against the WS and to an extent Maria because they have as much power. She wasn't overpowering Venus in the second set as you would expect her to (going by how the match went against Serena). And venus had her chances too in that second set, but threw them away.

I still feel that fit and match ready Serena and Venus have an edge, but for the moment Justine is the best player.
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post #14 of 272 (permalink) Old Sep 8th, 2007, 05:17 PM
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Re: Justine Henin will NOT dominate the Sisters

She also lost in Open De gaz (her first tourny back) in the semis.

No, I don't think she'll dominate them. But she may very well win the other match-ups. Dominate is too strong a term. I doubt there are player who can dominate the sisters. Maybe she could 'dominate' them on clay. It is very hard to play them and beat them. And if she has to play 2 of them per non-clay tourny, then chances are she won't dominate.
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Re: Justine Henin will NOT dominate the Sisters

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I would have agreed with you if Venus and Serena were in good health.
But it now seems they both have nagging health issues that will limit their
training to get into a form where theyr will be capable to challenge Henin.

Of course, Henin is not health trouble free, but it seems like that she has managed to overcome those issue.
At least lately
I know what you mean, and that was my intended meaning. I don't see Justine dominating either, provided they are in better shape than now (especially Serena).

But if you look at Serena from 2006 ... she is in better shape, and there's no reason why she should become stagnant. She knows now that she needs to be in good shape to compete with Justine - something she didn't know when she won AO and Miami. I think she thought that formwas good enough then and was just expecting to reproduce her form in the AO final.
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