How would Azarenka have matched up against Henin? - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 458 (permalink) Old Dec 22nd, 2011, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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How would Azarenka have matched up against Henin?

I'm curious about this, they sadly never got to play before Henin retired. I feel like the consistent depth on Azarenka's shots would be able to pin Henin back behind the baseline just enough, to prevent her from taking charge of the rallies and that Azarenka's return would put a lot of pressure on Henin's wonky serve. Azarenka would of course struggle on her own service games, but I think she is able to place her second serve well enough into the Henin BH which is Henin's weaker return stroke, much like she does to the Ivanovic BH to prevent Anci's hyperagressive FH return.

Comparing the parts of their game...
FH: Henin
BH: equal, perhaps the edge for Azarenka as she is not limited in her return like Henin is because of her one-handedness (and height).
Serve: Peak Henin defo has the better serve, but in her last years her serve was extremely inconsistent so I would say they're mostly equal on a consistent basis.
Netplay: Henin is notorious for her good volleys so I would give the edge to her, but Azarenka is very underrated when it comes to her net skills.
Defense: Henin, her BH slice from a defensive position is extremely effective against player like Sharapova, who Azarenka is oftenly compared to as a weaker version. That said, Azarenka is way better at dealing this sort of junk than Sharapova thanks to her better movement and footwork (see Pova's and Aza's match against Stosur in YEC, Pova struggled immensely with her new BH slice while Azarenka cleaned up on them).

I would say Azarenka would be able to snatch one or maybe a couple of wins from her, similarly to her H2H with Clijsters, but in the end Henin would win most matches between the two of them. Thoughts? I really wanted this match to happen.
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post #2 of 458 (permalink) Old Dec 22nd, 2011, 01:50 PM
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Re: How would Azarenka have matched-up against Henin?

I think it would be like the Jankovic H2H, Jelena played some amazing matches against Justine, but in the end, Henin won them all.
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post #3 of 458 (permalink) Old Dec 22nd, 2011, 01:53 PM
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Re: How would Azarenka have matched-up against Henin?

like Maria
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post #4 of 458 (permalink) Old Dec 22nd, 2011, 01:54 PM
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Re: How would Azarenka have matched-up against Henin?

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BH: equal, perhaps the edge for Azarenka as she is not limited in her return like Henin is because of her one-handedness (and height).
That's just not true. I guess you haven't seen Justine killing Maria and Serena's second serve with her one hand backhand when she's really feeling the ball. And PID doesn't have anything near those serves.

Anyway, this is a no-brainer. Justine will clean the court with her. Azarenka is a sad caricature of Maria, and has NOTHING to hurt Justine.

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I think it would be like the Jankovic H2H,
Not even. JJ had the athleticism to defend very well and stay in the rallies. Azarenka is a pretty horrendous athlete, I'd say. No chance once she's a little late to the ball.

Overall, this is a pretty bad matchup for her.
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post #5 of 458 (permalink) Old Dec 22nd, 2011, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How would Azarenka have matched-up against Henin?

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Originally Posted by Apoleb View Post
That's just not true. I guess you haven't seen Justine killing Maria and Serena's second serve with her one hand backhand when she's really feeling the ball. And PID doesn't have anything near those serves.

Anyway, this is a no-brainer. Justine will clean the court with her. Azarenka is a sad caricature of Maria, and has NOTHING to hurt Justine.
I'm not saying she isn't able to kill second serves, the thing is second serves (which are usually more brushed with topspin) jump up higher which makes it tougher for Henin to get her timing right on the one-handed BH. For example Federer has the exact same problem when he's playing Nadal, his topspin-oozing strokes are constantly aimed towards the Federer BH to draw the error. Not only that, Henin's height makes this even tougher. The fact that Henin is able to kill second serves like Peak Rena's and Peak Pova's is very impressive and speaks volumes about her talent. All I'm saying is that it makes it tougher for her, which could result in a lot of errors on a bay day so I don't think it's entirely impossible for Azarenka to snatch a W.
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post #6 of 458 (permalink) Old Dec 22nd, 2011, 02:02 PM
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Re: How would Azarenka have matched-up against Henin?

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like Maria
wut. Just cuz dese 2 grunt real loud duz not mean they have the same game lul. Sharapova had a serve, bigger groundies and likes to end points early. Azarenka has technically unsound serve and likes to grind more.

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post #7 of 458 (permalink) Old Dec 22nd, 2011, 02:08 PM
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Re: How would Azarenka have matched-up against Henin?

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I'm not saying she isn't able to kill second serves, the thing is second serves (which are usually more brushed with topspin) jump up higher which makes it tougher for Henin to get her timing right on the one-handed BH. For example Federer has the exact same problem when he's playing Nadal, his topspin-oozing strokes are constantly aimed towards the Federer BH to draw the error. Not only that, Henin's height makes this even tougher. The fact that Henin is able to kill second serves like Peak Rena's and Peak Pova's is very impressive and speaks volumes about her talent. All I'm saying is that it makes it tougher for her, which could result in a lot of errors on a bay day so I don't think it's entirely impossible for Azarenka to snatch a W.
I just don't see how that could be problematic with Azarenka's serve. Does she even have a kick serve to speak of? IMO, even Shittine will probably manage to win like 64 75. An on form Henin should be able to get in there 64 63 quite comfortably. Azarenka just doesn't have anything to kill off a point against her.
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post #8 of 458 (permalink) Old Dec 22nd, 2011, 02:18 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How would Azarenka have matched-up against Henin?

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I just don't see how that could be problematic with Azarenka's serve. Does she even have a kick serve to speak of? IMO, even Shittine will probably manage to win like 64 75. An on form Henin should be able to get in there 64 63 quite comfortably. Azarenka just doesn't have anything to kill off a point against her.
You do have a point, back in 2009 people were saying Azarenka's second serve was better than her first serve. I do think she can inject some topspin on her second serve but not nearly as much and effective as Serena or Peak Martha. So yeah, you are right that handling Azarenka's serve wouldn't be that problematic. I agree with the scores you listed there, I think they would have a lot of close matches actually. Just that Henin would come out on top like 80% of the time.
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post #9 of 458 (permalink) Old Dec 22nd, 2011, 02:20 PM
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Re: How would Azarenka have matched up against Henin?

Shittine

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post #10 of 458 (permalink) Old Dec 22nd, 2011, 02:29 PM
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Re: How would Azarenka have matched up against Henin?

Justine would win 3 and 3. If Justine is off or Vika competes like she did against Serena in the second set of the USO this year, she might be able to sneak a set.

Justine is arguably the most dynamic player on the women's side in recent tennis history. She would absolutely kill Vika. Zvonereva is the closest approximation in my mind.

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post #11 of 458 (permalink) Old Dec 22nd, 2011, 02:32 PM
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Re: How would Azarenka have matched up against Henin?

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Shittine
Is your comment as stupid as it looks, or are you kidding? Whatever, Justine would rarely lose to Azarenka, if ever.
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post #12 of 458 (permalink) Old Dec 22nd, 2011, 02:34 PM
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Re: How would Azarenka have matched up against Henin?

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I think they would have a lot of close matches actually. Just that Henin would come out on top like 80% of the time.
Justine very rarely puts in demolition jobs, just because of the nature of her game (it takes a lot out of her for her to able to consistently get on top of the ball), and she'll turn it when it matters the most. So that is hardly complimentary for Vika. And the thing is even a Justine that is only hurrying and scurrying might able to get away with the win, because Azarenka doesn't get any free points to speak of, especially when she has to face such a good defender (and don't forget, Justine at her very worst never loses her defense).
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post #13 of 458 (permalink) Old Dec 22nd, 2011, 02:44 PM
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Re: How would Azarenka have matched up against Henin?

Henin would wipe the floor with Azarenka. Vika would be one of her 'rivals' with a 1-6 record or something.
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post #14 of 458 (permalink) Old Dec 22nd, 2011, 02:47 PM
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Re: How would Azarenka have matched up against Henin?

Some matches would be close but peak Henin would win almost all of them. At this point in her career Vika is not strong enough (yet) to contend consistently with the absolute top.
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post #15 of 458 (permalink) Old Dec 22nd, 2011, 02:47 PM
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Re: How would Azarenka have matched up against Henin?

please don't compare their 2 backhands as equal or give the edge to vika, it is insulting! henin could actually slice and had amazing angles with it as well as rip it DTL (i cant recall vika ever hitting hers DTL ever).

there is no part of the game vika comes close to henin in and if you think vika is a competitor then you should watch old henin vids when she gets the bit between her teeth.

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