Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: always on the move
First, before her first serious injury, in 1998, Kournikova played like Top 5, possibly Top 3 player ( if you'd extrapolate her results for that up to thumb injury for the rest of year, she'd be Top 5 or even Top 3 ).
Second, in times of Katarina Witt, there was no Soviet skaters of similar class. Vodorezova, Kondrashova and Ivanova were second-stringers at best. Unlike Slootskaya or Butyrskaya, who are world class.
Third, it is not mental toughness that is a problem for girls. I think it is rather injuries. Kournikova was incredibly tough mentally up to thumb injury. Dementieva of last year was a symbol of mental toughness. Sometimes it was so convincing, that I would refuse to believe that she would lose at all. USO match vs Davenport was an amazing. As well as her match at Chase. Clijsters, Dokic, Huber, all had very tough matches against her, still no matter how close it was getting, I was always feeling that her confidence would pull her thru. The problem is that the first serious injury combined with grown expectations robs them of their confidence,and that confidence seems to go for good. She is playing better than she played last year. But
without that confidence they can't win. I think that it can be fixed. I thought that Seles who had similar thing, lack of confidence against major competitors, wouldn't be able to fix it. But after three years of agony, Seles seemed to finally overcome it.
"..just knowing that as long as i choose life, there is hope."
Je ne suis pas charlie