Well, I'm finally over it. I HATE when Venus loses, but this one affected me a little differently.
First off, Henin played very well. She earned that win. (And she didn't look at Carlos every point, and I didn't see him doing any coaching.)
Looking forward, I have to ask myself if Venus is going to beat Justine Henin if Henin plays like that, which she will. And I don't like the answer much. I see three needful changes for Venus to beat Henin if Venus isn't at the absolute top of her game.
1) Better footwork on serve recieve. Venus has trouble with fast serves into her body.
Odds of Venus working on this? Very high. She's commented on it.
2) Develop a first serve that goes in consistently. Being able to serve 125 mph is nice, but if you're only winning 39% of your second serve points, you have to have a high first serve percentage. 110 mph with a 80% first serve percentage is better than 125 mph and a 60% first serve percentage if the opponent wins 60% of the time on your second serve. Maybe she's GOT such a serve, and just doesn't use it.
Odds of Venus working on this? Not that high.
3) Serve recieve. BACK UP. This is how Venus lost slam final after slam final to Serena. She stands on the baseline and challenges the server. And Henin won something like four service games at love. Yes Venus broke her serve three times, but that's only useful if Venus is holding her own serve.
Odds of Venus working on this? Well, has Hell frozen over yet?
So what do I see going forward? Henin winning more Venus when they go head-to-head. I don't like it, and I think Venus has the necessary shots and athleticism, but I don't see her changing how she recieves serve, and I don't really
see her changing how she serves. That was the kind of loss that can convince you that the only thing wrong was that you didn't play better. I don't see it that way. I think Venus needs to be a bit more willing to change how she plays.
do this. She didn't used to come to net at all. Against Jankovic, she came to net 55 times in 213 points. One out of every four, basically. But that change was a long time comin'.
she do it? I really don't think so. Especially where serve-receive is concerned. I think Venus is going to beat Henin when Venus is playing her very best, and Venus is going to lose all the other times.
I'm sure this has all been discussed to death, but I haven't been able to bring myself to read any of the threads. This is just getting the match off my chest, so to speak.
Anyway, guess I'll be marking time til OZ. Congrats to Henin.