Who's better on clay: Clijsters or Safina? - TennisForum.com

View Poll Results: Who's better on clay: Clijsters or Safina?
Kim 35 42.68%
Safina 47 57.32%
Voters: 82. You may not vote on this poll

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post #1 of 86 (permalink) Old May 3rd, 2011, 03:45 AM Thread Starter
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Who's better on clay: Clijsters or Safina?

In terms of their careers.

Roland Garros Finalist: Clijsters 2, Safina 2
Tier I&PM&P5 Titles/Finalist: Clijsters 1/1, Safina 3/0

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post #2 of 86 (permalink) Old May 3rd, 2011, 04:31 AM
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Re: Who's better on clay: Clijsters or Safina?

I think it's hard to say

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post #3 of 86 (permalink) Old May 3rd, 2011, 04:34 AM
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Re: Who's better on clay: Clijsters or Safina?

On pure ability, you would of course have to go with Kim. However, as we've seen, mental ability counts just as much as physical ability. Perhaps the 12-10 final scarred Miss Fiona but she has never been able to piece together her game on the clay even though it fits the surface perfectly. Safina FTW. Easily.
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post #4 of 86 (permalink) Old May 3rd, 2011, 05:01 AM
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Re: Who's better on clay: Clijsters or Safina?

Kim, 4 sure
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post #5 of 86 (permalink) Old May 3rd, 2011, 05:10 AM
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Re: Who's better on clay: Clijsters or Safina?

I actually think on clay Safina 08/09 would win. Clijsters would struggle with heavy balls Safina produces and would get impatient trying to hit through Safina who actually has good defense on clay.
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post #6 of 86 (permalink) Old May 3rd, 2011, 05:44 AM
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Re: Who's better on clay: Clijsters or Safina?

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post #7 of 86 (permalink) Old May 3rd, 2011, 06:34 AM
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Re: Who's better on clay: Clijsters or Safina?

Clijsters easily. She reached 2 French Open finals and won mostly similar level of clay court events in a much tougher era than Safina. Kim was unlucky to play her best clay court tennis in the era of Henin, and before that as an up and comer against Capriati, Serena, and again Henin. Had Kim peaked on clay when Safina did she would have easily won a French, probably multiple.

Does anyone think if Kim and Safina had ever played in a French Open final (which would neccesitate both being near their peaks) that Kim wouldnt have destroyed Safina. It is laughable to suggest Safina is a better player than Kim at her best on any surface.
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post #8 of 86 (permalink) Old May 3rd, 2011, 06:37 AM
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Re: Who's better on clay: Clijsters or Safina?

Quote:
Originally Posted by justineheninfan View Post
Clijsters easily. She reached 2 French Open finals and won mostly similar level of clay court events in a much tougher era than Safina. Kim was unlucky to play her best clay court tennis in the era of Henin, and before that as an up and comer against Capriati, Serena, and again Henin. Had Kim peaked on clay when Safina did she would have easily won a French, probably multiple.

Does anyone think if Kim and Safina had ever played in a French Open final (which would neccesitate both being near their peaks) that Kim wouldnt have destroyed Safina.
I agree with most of your post but I doubt Peak Kim would Destroy Peak Safina. Kim would win but only because she is mentally stronger. Dinara has the better clay game but that doesn't mean she is better when playing on the surface. She should be but she isn't because of her weak mentality.

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post #9 of 86 (permalink) Old May 3rd, 2011, 06:39 AM
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Re: Who's better on clay: Clijsters or Safina?

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Originally Posted by JankoGOAT View Post
I agree with most of your post but I doubt Peak Kim would Destroy Peak Safina. Kim would win but only because she is mentally stronger. Dinara has the better clay game but that doesn't mean she is better when playing on the surface. She should be but she isn't because of her weak mentality.
What is stronger about Safina's game on the surface though. What does she do better. Does she have better groundstrokes (I dont think so), better defense (FOR SURE not, despite that her defense is pretty good on clay and Kim's not as great as on hard courts), better serving or returning (no), better point construction (no), better finesse shots for the clay (no), better angles (no), better consistency (no), better abiilty to grind (no), more patience (no), more use of spin (meh, maybe a tiny bit at most).
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post #10 of 86 (permalink) Old May 3rd, 2011, 06:49 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Who's better on clay: Clijsters or Safina?

You're missing the point. Peak Kim on clay would not destroy Peak Safina, as you stated. I know I didn't specify that in the original post, but in terms of career achievements, you can't just chuck Safina's out the window because she sucks now.

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post #11 of 86 (permalink) Old May 3rd, 2011, 06:50 AM
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Re: Who's better on clay: Clijsters or Safina?

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Originally Posted by justineheninfan View Post
What is stronger about Safina's game on the surface though. What does she do better. Does she have better groundstrokes (I dont think so), better defense (FOR SURE not, despite that her defense is pretty good on clay and Kim's not as great as on hard courts), better serving or returning (no), better point construction (no), better finesse shots for the clay (no), better angles (no), better consistency (no), better abiilty to grind (no), more patience (no), more use of spin (meh, maybe a tiny bit at most).
Safina's serve in 2008 to early 2009 was actually pretty good to be honest. It was at the very least reliable. I would argue that on clay she also has better groundstrokes. The spin and extra heft she places on the ball, her height, and large back swings means that her ground strokes are suited to clay more than any other surface. Dinara's defence on the surface is hardly as big of a flaw as you make it out to be. She's certainly no Davenport.

In case you haven't been watching so far this year, Kim's service has been far from the benchmark. Her game is pretty vanilla really. Her style works reasonably well on nearly all surfaces.

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at this point even Jesus might lose a poll against Kim
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post #12 of 86 (permalink) Old May 3rd, 2011, 06:55 AM
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Re: Who's better on clay: Clijsters or Safina?

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Safina's serve in 2008 to early 2009 was actually pretty good to be honest. It was at the very least reliable. I would argue that on clay she also has better groundstrokes. The spin and extra heft she places on the ball, her height, and large back swings means that her ground strokes are suited to clay more than any other surface. Dinara's defence on the surface is hardly as big of a flaw as you make it out to be. She's certainly no Davenport.

In case you haven't been watching so far this year, Kim's service has been far from the benchmark. Her game is pretty vanilla really. Her style works reasonably well on nearly all surfaces.
If we are talking about their respective bests on clay though Kim of today doesnt matter either. That would be 2001-2003 period roughly for Kim, 2008-2009 roughly for Safina. Heck we both agree in other discussions Kim isnt even playing her best ever tennis on hard courts, just getting the best results.

I did not realize I made Dinara's defense out to be a big flaw on clay. I actually acknowledged she had pretty good defense on clay, the only surface that is true on really, while Kim's is not as great as on hard courts. Despite that though it would be pretty ridiculous to suggest a mediocre mover like Safina is better defensively on any surface than Kim, one of the very best defenders of the last decade.

You have a point about the groundstrokes on clay and might well be right. Still in the back of my mind I cant really see Safina going toe to toe with peak Capriati from the baseline like Kim did in the 2001 French Open final.

I never found Safina's serve reliable. She had trouble with double faults and getting first serves in under pressure even in 2008-2009.

I am not one of those Kim worshippers who have been popping up with her latest success. Still I have a hard time seeing Safina being favored over her at their mutual best on any surface, although clay is clearly the only surface Safina could even have a hope.
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post #13 of 86 (permalink) Old May 3rd, 2011, 06:55 AM
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Re: Who's better on clay: Clijsters or Safina?

Quote:
Originally Posted by justineheninfan View Post
What is stronger about Safina's game on the surface though. What does she do better. Does she have better groundstrokes (I dont think so), better defense (FOR SURE not, despite that her defense is pretty good on clay and Kim's not as great as on hard courts), better serving or returning (no), better point construction (no), better finesse shots for the clay (no), better angles (no), better consistency (no), better abiilty to grind (no), more patience (no), more use of spin (meh, maybe a tiny bit at most).
Better serve, yes. More spin, heavier pace shots, yes. Finesse shots, yes. Consistency, debatable: Kim can consistently defend while Dinara can consistently hit the shit out of the ball, I'd give Dinara the edge. Better point construction, yes. Dinara's pace and spin would keep Kim on the move, defending. Composure is the defining attribute, Kim has it, Dinara doesn't.

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post #14 of 86 (permalink) Old May 3rd, 2011, 07:03 AM
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Re: Who's better on clay: Clijsters or Safina?

Finesse shots, seriously!?! This is Safina you are talking about right. Not that Clijsters is great at those either, but Safina doesnt have the slighest bit of ability to hit with feel or finesse. I dont think I have ever seen her attempt a drop shot that wasnt a laugher. And her so called majorly overpowering game couldnt even hit through 40 year old Date (yeah I know she wasnt at her best anymore, but still seriously).

I admit I am probably not the best one to get involved in a debate on this with though as I genuinely was never that impressed with Safina period, even when at her best in 2008-2009. I am of the large school who believes she was a hugely bogus #1 who got there by accident for a bit during the trainwreck of the WTA tour. She was a good solid player, and on clay which is by far her best surface a very good player, but not someone who ever belonged at such a place. And I am one who will give due credit to even players I dont like (eg- Serena, Seles, Sharapova). I know there are some who rate her abilities more highly than I do though, so to each their own in this case.
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post #15 of 86 (permalink) Old May 3rd, 2011, 07:34 AM
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Re: Who's better on clay: Clijsters or Safina?

Safina df. Henin Berlin R3 5-7, 6-3, 6-1.

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