Justine Henin and the tournament in Rome - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old May 28th, 2012, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
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Justine Henin and the tournament in Rome

A few days ago a list of past winners of the clay court tournament in Rome was shown but I did not notice Justine Henin's name on the list. I would have thought with her dominant clay court game that she would have won this tournament many times over. I am wondering did she skip this event in the past or just not do well in it? This tournament seems to kinda be a jinx as Serena has been the only one in the past 10 years to win this tournament and go on to win Roland Garros
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old May 28th, 2012, 10:59 PM
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Re: Justine Henin and the tournament in Rome

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This tournament seems to kinda be a jinx as Serena has been the only one in the past 10 years to win this tournament and go on to win Roland Garros
oh now I get Aga's strategic tank!
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old May 29th, 2012, 01:51 AM
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Re: Justine Henin and the tournament in Rome

well, the stat is really misleading if you consider Justine only played Rome once. The year Serena won the french open and she lost to Serena. And then you consider 4 of the subsequent years she won the french open without playing Rome. so 5 of the last 10 (since they say in the last ten years noone has won but serena)

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old May 29th, 2012, 01:54 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Justine Henin and the tournament in Rome

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well, the stat is really misleading if you consider Justine only played Rome once. The year Serena won the french open and she lost to Serena. And then you consider 4 of the subsequent years she won the french open without playing Rome. so 5 of the last 10 (since they say in the last ten years noone has won but serena)
Do you know why she skipped Rome?
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old May 29th, 2012, 02:23 AM
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Re: Justine Henin and the tournament in Rome

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Do you know why she skipped Rome?
No idea, if I had to guess I would say it was because she wanted to win Wimbledon? and Rome/ French Open/ Wimbledon would have been a lot of tennis so she was resting herself?

I mean why do you think Serena pulled out of Rome? You dont really think her Back was hurting do you?

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old May 29th, 2012, 02:26 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Justine Henin and the tournament in Rome

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No idea, if I had to guess I would say it was because she wanted to win Wimbledon? and Rome/ French Open/ Wimbledon would have been a lot of tennis so she was resting herself?

I mean why do you think Serena pulled out of Rome? You dont really think her Back was hurting do you?
LOL... But isnt Rome clay the closest to RG? I would have thought she would have pulled out before the Semi but Flavia did quit so...
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old May 29th, 2012, 03:10 AM
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Re: Justine Henin and the tournament in Rome

Back then there was Berlin and Hamburg.

And Justine got her feet wet on green clay almost every year as well. That's a lot of tennis when you go far/win each tournament, and I believe Rome has always been last. Justine also likes to play a grass warmup, which adds to an extremely packed schedule.

I'm not sure if she has anything against the tournament. I'd like to know as well.

Justine's warmup schedule.
I included Fed Cup each time it occured because it was always on clay, and it is an "event".
2002: Amelia Island, Fed Cup, Hamburg, Berlin, Rome
2003: Charleston, Amelia Island, Fed Cup, Berlin
2004: Amelia Island - OUT
2005: Charleston, Warsaw, Berlin
2006: Charleston, Fed Cup, Berlin
2007: Warsaw, Berlin
2008: Berlin, OUT
2010 Stuttgart, Madrid
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old May 29th, 2012, 03:37 AM
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Re: Justine Henin and the tournament in Rome

I always got the impression Berlin was the "big" warmup tournament; most top players tried to play both, but since Justine played 2 green clay tourneys sometimes, plus Fed Cup, and she liked Warsaw, she picked one of the Tier 1's, and must have liked the conditions in Berlin better.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old May 29th, 2012, 05:00 AM
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Re: Justine Henin and the tournament in Rome

Warsaw (and often Fed Cup), Berlin and Rome were back to back for the main part of Justine's career. She could only play two of them realistically and chose Warsaw and Berlin even though Warsaw was always much less prestigious. I think she didn't want to repeat the 2002 burnout she had after playing too many events too close to Roland Garros. Skipping Rome gave her two weeks to recover and prepare for RG. Justine also often skipped Miami after IW, probably for a similar reason. Interestingly, because of Serena's issues at RG and Justine's skipping of Rome, I don't think any player has done the Berlin-Rome-Paris triple since Seles. Serena was a couple of games away in 2002, but couldn't do it.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old May 29th, 2012, 05:20 AM
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Re: Justine Henin and the tournament in Rome

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Warsaw (and often Fed Cup), Berlin and Rome were back to back for the main part of Justine's career. She could only play two of them realistically and chose Warsaw and Berlin even though Warsaw was always much less prestigious. I think she didn't want to repeat the 2002 burnout she had after playing too many events too close to Roland Garros. Skipping Rome gave her two weeks to recover and prepare for RG. Justine also often skipped Miami after IW, probably for a similar reason. Interestingly, because of Serena's issues at RG and Justine's skipping of Rome, I don't think any player has done the Berlin-Rome-Paris triple since Seles. Serena was a couple of games away in 2002, but couldn't do it.
yep, I mean the only time she played Rome she lost in the first round at Roland Garros.

Aside from Justine, Ivanovic is probably the only player who COULD have pulled that off thats won Roland Garros.

Kuznetsova is a mental case, Li, Schiavone, Myskina, just no.

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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old May 29th, 2012, 07:33 AM
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Re: Justine Henin and the tournament in Rome

The true heydey of Rome as the premium Roland Garros lead-in actually ended in the early 80s with Chris Evert. Navratilova had limited success, and in the latter part of her career (late 80s-90s) didn't play on clay at all, but the real death blow was provided by Steffi Graf, who preferred to play the lead-ins in Hamburg and Berlin.
Monica Seles actually did compete in Rome, but it was the one tournament where she lost to Sabatini a whole bunch of times. With Arrangsta Sanchez also opting to play the German events in conjunction with the tournament in Barcelona, the Italian Open was dominated by the likes of Martinez and Sabatini, who while good players, were never really viable GS threats.
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old May 29th, 2012, 07:52 AM
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Re: Justine Henin and the tournament in Rome

In the last 25 years, the Rome final has had at least one of the RG finalists 9 times. I think it's been skewed because of Steffi's and Justine's absences. Otherwise it's not that bad.
1987 Steffi Graf Gabriela Sabatini 7–5, 4–6, 6–0
1988 Gabriela Sabatini Helen Kelesi 6–1, 6–7(4–7), 6–1
1989 Gabriela Sabatini Arantxa Sánchez Vicario 6–2, 5–7, 6–4
1990 Monica Seles Martina Navrátilová 6–1, 6–1
1991 Gabriela Sabatini Monica Seles 6–3, 6–2
1992 Gabriela Sabatini Monica Seles 7–5, 6–4
1993 Conchita Martínez Gabriela Sabatini 7–5, 6–1
1994 Conchita Martínez Martina Navrátilová 7–6(7–5), 6–4
1995 Conchita Martínez Arantxa Sánchez Vicario 6–3, 6–1
1996 Conchita Martínez Martina Hingis 6–2, 6–3
1997 Mary Pierce Conchita Martínez 6–4, 6–0
1998 Martina Hingis Venus Williams 6–3, 2–6, 6–3
1999 Venus Williams Mary Pierce 6–4, 6–2
2000 Monica Seles Amélie Mauresmo 6–2, 7–6(7–4)
2001 Jelena Dokić Amélie Mauresmo 7–6(7–3), 6–1
2002 Serena Williams Justine Henin 7–6(8–6), 6–4
2003 Kim Clijsters Amélie Mauresmo 3–6, 7–6(7–3), 6–0
2004 Amélie Mauresmo Jennifer Capriati 3–6, 6–3, 7–6(8–6)
2005 Amélie Mauresmo Patty Schnyder 2–6, 6–3, 6–4
2006 Martina Hingis Dinara Safina 6–2, 7–5
2007 Jelena Janković Svetlana Kuznetsova 7–5, 6–1
2008 Jelena Janković Alizé Cornet 6–2, 6–2
2009 Dinara Safina Svetlana Kuznetsova 6–3, 6–2
2010 María José Martínez Sánchez Jelena Janković 7–6(7–5), 7–5
2011 Maria Sharapova Samantha Stosur 6–2, 6–4
2012 Maria Sharapova Li Na 4–6, 6–4, 7–6(7–5)

I think because of its position as the final big leadup, Rome winners have tended to face a lot of pressure and crumbled at RG.
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old May 29th, 2012, 08:09 AM
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Re: Justine Henin and the tournament in Rome

Venus Williams mostly plays Rome back then...
maybe thats why...

Isn't Rome the fastest RC before?
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old May 29th, 2012, 08:18 AM
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Re: Justine Henin and the tournament in Rome

Didn't Rome come a week before RG?
She tends not to play the week before RG...
And yet she chooses to play Eastbourne and Sydney

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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old May 29th, 2012, 08:24 AM
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Re: Justine Henin and the tournament in Rome

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Didn't Rome come a week before RG?
She tends not to play the week before RG...
And yet she chooses to play Eastbourne and Sydney
Playing Eastbourne was an obvious choice. There are only two weeks between Roland Garros and Wimbledon. For a player who was an almost perpetual RG finalist it was better to take the week off, adjust from clay to grass and then play a warm-up rather than try to play Birmingham a couple of days after the RG final.
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