I was just rewatching the SF between Justine and Venus and the first point at 3-2 Justine in the first set I think perfectly encapsulates how Justine took Venus' game away from her.
On her first stroke after the return, Venus hits an approach shot deep to the corner and immediately starts coming forward; Justine counters with a defensive slice right under Venus' feet, forcing her to back up a step or two from the net to position herself for a backhand; Justine then hits a forehand deep crosscourt to Venus' forehand, which forces her all the way back behind the baseline...right where Justine wants her.
A few strokes later Venus hits a better approach and starts forward again; this time Justine, who is not in a good position to pass, simply carves out a slice with sidespin, forcing Venus to attempt a difficult volley which sails wide.
If you remember the QF between Venus and Jankovic, Venus was viciously attacking the net with great success. Occasionally Jankovic was able to come up with a pass, but she lacks the variety of shot to surgically place the ball where Venus is forced to back up, as Justine can and did.
As I watched this point unfold, my eyes went
, or perhaps eur
I could actually see
the genius behind Justine's countermoves to Venus' agressive play. Johnny Mac serendipitously compared Justine to a chess player immediately after that very point.
WOW, Johnny...you can say THAT