Peter bodo: Don't discount Jelena just yet - TennisForum.com

 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 8th, 2008, 12:12 AM Thread Starter
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Peter bodo: Don't discount Jelena just yet

Sorry if this was already posted.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/blog/...ame=bodo_peter

Don't discount Jelena just yet

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Posted by Peter Bodo, TENNIS.com

You could be forgiven for wondering if Jelena Jankovic took Saturday's rainout of the U.S. Open women's final less as a chance to get an extra day's rest than as a stay of execution. After all, her opponent in Sunday's final -- Serena Williams -- has been on her game and looking to win her first U.S. Open title in six years.

Six years? How did Serena go six years without winning a U.S. Open singles title? It seems impossible. And therein lies Jelena's problem. Serena is such a towering and imposing figure, that even when she hasn't been winning squat, she seems to be one of, if not the, major presence on the women's tour. And it only gets worse, when she is winning matches, like at this U.S. Open. She's lost just 19 games (if you discount her win over her sister Venus) in this tournament and no sets (even when you include her 7-6 (6),7-6 (7) quarterfinal with Venus). Jelena lost that many in her first two matches.

But I'd dampen down the expectations if you're thinking blowout when the match gets underway because Jelena has never been an easy win for Serena. Their head-to-head is tied at three wins apiece. The most recent of those clashes occurred in the final of Miami in April, on a similar court, and while Serena jumped out to a huge lead on that occasion, Jelena battled back with nerve and verve to make Serena fully earn her 6-1, 5-7,6-3 win. Serena beat Jelena, giving up just five games, in the 2007 Australian Open, but the following year Jelena gave Serena just seven games in the same tournament one round later, in the quarterfinals.

So here's a little secret: if you discount members of the Williams family, Jelena Jankovic may be Serena's most formidable -- and dangerous -- rival. The reason is simple, and it's become more obvious now that Serena is a fully developed 26-year old (Jelena is 23). Jelena is one of the very few players on the tour who can counterpunch and retrieve at the level demanded by Serena's power and shotmaking ability.

So the key issues in the final will be, in this order:

• Will Jelena be able to hold serve? This is a big issue because her serve is attackable and Serena is the kind of player who isn't afraid to return aggressively. It doesn't matter how well Jelena retrieves or how many crowd-pleasing gets she makes (ending with her trademark split). If she can't hold serve, the pressure will be too much.

• Will Jelena be able to keep pace and run down Serena's blazing groundies? As we saw in Jelena's semifinal win over Elena Dementieva, nobody can make you hit the extra ball to win a point better and more threateningly than Jankovic.

• Will Serena's mobility and fitness hold up under the pressure of Jelena's retrieving ability, and the clever strategy in which she happily embraces the chance to play mouse to her opponent's cat?

• Can Jelena deal with the occasion -- this is her first Grand slam final, and a battle for the No. 1 ranking is on the line as well -- without having one of those curious emotional meltdowns she can be prone to when things aren't going her way?

• Can Serena serve big enough to keep Jelena from turning the point into track meets? If Serena can take care of her serve without expending too much energy, she can put extra effort into breaking Jelena -- as well as take more risks against Jelena's serve.

Serena, denied the Wimbledon crown by Venus, seems especially motivated at this event. But Jelena has demonstrated that anyone -- including Serena -- needs more than motivation and a solid game to beat her.

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 8th, 2008, 12:14 AM
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Re: Peter bodo: Don't discount Jelena just yet

Trying to make drama.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 8th, 2008, 12:32 AM
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Re: Peter bodo: Don't discount Jelena just yet

Bodo is like one of the only tennis writers giving Jelena even a chance to win. Everyone else makes it sound like tonight's match will be a massacre with Serena wielding the machete. I too think Serena has the distinct advantage, but I think all the counting out of Jankovic is off the mark. Jelena (like Serena) finds ways to win when it seems like she can't.

I'm looking forward to a great match.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 8th, 2008, 12:37 AM
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Re: Peter bodo: Don't discount Jelena just yet

Well, in any match you play you have a chance. So that goes without saying.

It'd be stupid to discredit Jelena, even if she is playing against Serena Williams.

The same thing happened at Wimbledon 2004. But I fear if Jelena beats Serena today, then Serena's going to have Jelena on her bitch list just like she has Maria. And we all know how Serena plays against Maria these days.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 8th, 2008, 12:38 AM
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Re: Peter bodo: Don't discount Jelena just yet

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Originally Posted by Equipped View Post
Bodo is like one of the only tennis writers giving Jelena even a chance to win. Everyone else makes it sound like tonight's match will be a massacre with Serena wielding the machete. I too think Serena has the distinct advantage, but I think all the counting out of Jankovic is off the mark. Jelena (like Serena) finds ways to win when it seems like she can't.

I'm looking forward to a great match.
Totally agree with you. I'm also expecting a great match. Jelena is one of those opponents who just refuse to go away. She also has a game that is less prone to be affected by nerves as she plays high percentage tennis. I still think this is in Serena's racquet.. but Jelena may take advantadge of her opportunities if Serena is not on her game.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 8th, 2008, 01:04 AM
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Re: Peter bodo: Don't discount Jelena just yet

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Originally Posted by Equipped View Post
Bodo is like one of the only tennis writers giving Jelena even a chance to win. Everyone else makes it sound like tonight's match will be a massacre with Serena wielding the machete. I too think Serena has the distinct advantage, but I think all the counting out of Jankovic is off the mark. Jelena (like Serena) finds ways to win when it seems like she can't.

I'm looking forward to a great match.
Absolutely agree. Although I think Serena deserves to be recognised as the favourite I don't see this as a fait accompli.

I think one interesting thing to look at over the last two rounds (the semis and the quarters) is how in most of the matches the winner was the player who hit the fewest winners. But how can that be? Simply because most of these matches were won not by the player who hit the most winners and had the most power but by the player who was most effective keeping the ball in play, keeping it deep and not making errors. The only match in fact where where the winner made more errors than the loser was the Safina v Pennetta match. But all the other matches were basically decided by who was the steadier player. If the final is decided in the same manner then Jankovic would seem to have an excellent shot.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 8th, 2008, 01:09 AM
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Re: Peter bodo: Don't discount Jelena just yet

I think Jelena will be too nervous to make it a match. But I hope she wins.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 8th, 2008, 01:13 AM
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Re: Peter bodo: Don't discount Jelena just yet

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bijoux0021 View Post
Sorry if this was already posted.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/blog/...ame=bodo_peter

Don't discount Jelena just yet

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Posted by Peter Bodo, TENNIS.com

You could be forgiven for wondering if Jelena Jankovic took Saturday's rainout of the U.S. Open women's final less as a chance to get an extra day's rest than as a stay of execution. After all, her opponent in Sunday's final -- Serena Williams -- has been on her game and looking to win her first U.S. Open title in six years.

Six years? How did Serena go six years without winning a U.S. Open singles title? It seems impossible. And therein lies Jelena's problem. Serena is such a towering and imposing figure, that even when she hasn't been winning squat, she seems to be one of, if not the, major presence on the women's tour. And it only gets worse, when she is winning matches, like at this U.S. Open. She's lost just 19 games (if you discount her win over her sister Venus) in this tournament and no sets (even when you include her 7-6 (6),7-6 (7) quarterfinal with Venus). Jelena lost that many in her first two matches.

But I'd dampen down the expectations if you're thinking blowout when the match gets underway because Jelena has never been an easy win for Serena. Their head-to-head is tied at three wins apiece. The most recent of those clashes occurred in the final of Miami in April, on a similar court, and while Serena jumped out to a huge lead on that occasion, Jelena battled back with nerve and verve to make Serena fully earn her 6-1, 5-7,6-3 win. Serena beat Jelena, giving up just five games, in the 2007 Australian Open, but the following year Jelena gave Serena just seven games in the same tournament one round later, in the quarterfinals.

So here's a little secret: if you discount members of the Williams family, Jelena Jankovic may be Serena's most formidable -- and dangerous -- rival. The reason is simple, and it's become more obvious now that Serena is a fully developed 26-year old (Jelena is 23). Jelena is one of the very few players on the tour who can counterpunch and retrieve at the level demanded by Serena's power and shotmaking ability.

So the key issues in the final will be, in this order:

• Will Jelena be able to hold serve? This is a big issue because her serve is attackable and Serena is the kind of player who isn't afraid to return aggressively. It doesn't matter how well Jelena retrieves or how many crowd-pleasing gets she makes (ending with her trademark split). If she can't hold serve, the pressure will be too much.

• Will Jelena be able to keep pace and run down Serena's blazing groundies? As we saw in Jelena's semifinal win over Elena Dementieva, nobody can make you hit the extra ball to win a point better and more threateningly than Jankovic.

• Will Serena's mobility and fitness hold up under the pressure of Jelena's retrieving ability, and the clever strategy in which she happily embraces the chance to play mouse to her opponent's cat?

• Can Jelena deal with the occasion -- this is her first Grand slam final, and a battle for the No. 1 ranking is on the line as well -- without having one of those curious emotional meltdowns she can be prone to when things aren't going her way?

• Can Serena serve big enough to keep Jelena from turning the point into track meets? If Serena can take care of her serve without expending too much energy, she can put extra effort into breaking Jelena -- as well as take more risks against Jelena's serve.

Serena, denied the Wimbledon crown by Venus, seems especially motivated at this event. But Jelena has demonstrated that anyone -- including Serena -- needs more than motivation and a solid game to beat her.
This is a spot on analysis by Bodo. What's even more interesting is that Serena has been a great counter puncher in her last two matches. Will she try to make Jelena the more aggressive one in rallies. There's a lot of questions surrounding tonight's match.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 8th, 2008, 01:17 AM
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Re: Peter bodo: Don't discount Jelena just yet

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This is a spot on analysis by Bodo. What's even more interesting is that Serena has been a great counter puncher in her last two matches. Will she try to make Jelena the more aggressive one in rallies. There's a lot of questions surrounding tonight's match.
Yeah, I have thought about that too. It might not be a bad tactic actually. Serena has definately won her last two matches doing that.

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 8th, 2008, 01:35 AM
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Re: Peter bodo: Don't discount Jelena just yet

That's right, JJ for the title
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 8th, 2008, 01:36 AM
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Re: Peter bodo: Don't discount Jelena just yet

Serena is already making waaaay too many unforced errors.. She seems more nervous than Jankovic. Jelena definitely has a big chance here.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 8th, 2008, 01:37 AM
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Re: Peter bodo: Don't discount Jelena just yet

Great start from jelena, she impressed me these first 3 games

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 8th, 2008, 01:38 AM
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Re: Peter bodo: Don't discount Jelena just yet

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Great start from jelena, she impressed me these first 3 games
Yes! She seems to be enjoying the ocasion!
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 8th, 2008, 01:42 AM
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Re: Peter bodo: Don't discount Jelena just yet

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Yes! She seems to be enjoying the ocasion!
i wish i never said it, she gave away a 40-0 gamelead and will go down *2-3 now

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