Justine Henin: Fourth Best, or Best of the Rest? - TennisForum.com

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post #1 of 47 (permalink) Old Feb 22nd, 2003, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
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Justine Henin: Fourth Best, or Best of the Rest?

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Is Justine Henin the fourth best tennis 
player on the tour?   Or is she occupying 
the #4 spot because of the vagaries of 
the ranking system?  
If you look at the rankings, 
the numbers tell a story.

There's a top four

7273 WILLIAMS, SERENA  
5096 WILLIAMS, VENUS  
3958 CLIJSTERS, KIM  
3283 HENIN-HARDENNE, JUSTINE  

Then a 400 point gap.

Then eight player withion 700 points of each other.

2897 HANTUCHOVA, DANIELA  
2790 CAPRIATI, JENNIFER  
2698 MAURESMO, AMELIE  
2534 DAVENPORT, LINDSAY  
2353 DOKIC, JELENA  
2241 MYSKINA, ANASTASIA  
2202 SELES, MONICA  
2127 RUBIN, CHANDA  

Then a 400 point gap.

Then everybody else

1711 SCHNYDER, PATTY
1627 MALEEVA, MAGDALENA  
1536 PISTOLESI, ANNA  
1499 DANIILIDOU, ELENI  
1493 BOVINA, ELENA  
1455 DEMENTIEVA, ELENA  
1400 DECHY, NATHALIE  
1322 FARINA ELIA, SILVIA 

Simple numbers say Justine is fourth best.

But numbers are never the whole story.  
And on any given day, any player in that middle group 
can beat any other player in that middle group.  
Is Justine clearly better than that group? 
Or just one of the better members OF that group?
Her rate of success against the current top three 
has not been great of late.  But if you drop Venus, 
Serena and Kim from consideration, and look at just wins 
over top players and losses, patterns emege.
its kind of interesting.

Clay court season last year, Justine was one of the better 
member of the group, but she still lost to other players 
in the #4-#12 range.

08 Apr 2002 Amelia Island      SF W Jelena DOKIC         
30 Apr 2002 Hamburg            QF L Jelena DOKIC          
06 May 2002 Berlin             SF W Jennifer CAPRIATI     

THen came the disaster at Roland Garros

27 May 2002 Roland Garros     128 L Aniko KAPROS       

This loss seemed to send Justine into a tailspin.  
Her results were below par (for top ten player) til after 
the US Open.

17 Jun 2002 's-Hertogenbosch   SF L Eleni DANIILIDOU   
24 Jun 2002 Wimbledon          QF W Monica SELES       
22 Jul 2002 Stanford           32 L Marissa IRVIN      
12 Aug 2002 Canadian Open      QF L Jennifer CAPRIATI  
19 Aug 2002 New Haven          16 L Anastasia MYSKINA  
26 Aug 2002 U.S. Open          16 L Daniela HANTUCHOVA 
23 Sep 2002 Leipzig            QF W Daniela HANTUCHOVA 
07 Oct 2002 Stuttgart          16 L Myriam CASANOVA    
14 Oct 2002 Zurich             SF L Lindsay DAVENPORT  

THen, right at the ned of last year, she got it all together.
SHe hasn't lost to any of the current top 12 since. 

21 Oct 2002 Linz               SF W Chanda RUBIN       
13 Jan 2003 Australian Open    16 W Lindsay DAVENPORT  
17 Feb 2003 Dubai              QF W Anastasia MYSKINA  
17 Feb 2003 Dubai              SF W Jennifer CAPRIATI  
17 Feb 2003 Dubai              FR W Monica Seles

She's beaten everyone ranked below #4 that she's faced 
since Linz.  Pretty respectable.  Considering Amelie 
and Jenn haven't been much available to be played, and
Jelena took Australia off.

For her to be considered above that group., she'd pretty 
much have to beat them every time.  Well since Linz, 
she's done that.  But ....

Last year she stunk out the joint at Indian Wells and Miami.
A similiar performance this year, and who knows what might 
happen in the rankings?  Certainly Lindsay is closing fast.
But they played at OZ, not so long ago.  Justine won.  
Give the girl her due.

She's not just one of the pack.  She's a clear level above.

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post #2 of 47 (permalink) Old Feb 22nd, 2003, 11:02 PM
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Well, now the gap between Justine and Jennifer is over 700 points.

Justine has made semis or better since Zurich last year (quarters in LA but it's a different format with only four rounds).

She hasn't lost to a player not named Williams or Clijsters since Zurich.

She is clearly behind the top 3 atm but I think she is ahead of the rest.
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post #3 of 47 (permalink) Old Feb 22nd, 2003, 11:19 PM
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since that justine-lindsay match at the oz open lindsay has won a title and we don't know what she's going to do. will she continue to have mentaly problems or has the title win helped her get over these problems or have they just started her on her way in which case she will take a bit more time to catch justine and will have a few more obstacles to overcome.

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post #4 of 47 (permalink) Old Feb 23rd, 2003, 12:18 AM
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Um justine deserves her spot but considering that jenn does not even have a tournament win under her belt her ranking should give juju some concern. A win here and there and jen will be in contention for the fourth and third spot. Lindsay is still making up on lost time so I think she will be top five soon. So the question is are justine and kim better than jen and lindsay? Time will tell shortly.

Yes and I know justine just beat jen and lindsay recently but come on thats her first time ever beating jen and lindsay!

The WTA Women of Wonder Featuring....The Goddess: Venus Williams The Glamazon: Serena Williams The Lioness: Jennifer Capriati The High Priestess: Monica Seles The Saint: Kim Clijsters The Phoenix: Chanda Rubin The Bon Vivant: Amelie Mauresmo The Titan: Lindsay Davenport The Courtesan: Anna Kournikova The Exile: Martina Hingis The Sorceress: Anatasia Myskina The Minx: Maria Sharapova
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post #5 of 47 (permalink) Old Feb 23rd, 2003, 12:20 AM
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In defense of Justine she WAS sick at RG last year...it's a big chance for her to gain on #3 at RG this year =P


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post #6 of 47 (permalink) Old Feb 23rd, 2003, 12:26 AM
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Justine is not playing at Indian Wells this year. Maybe something about it just doesn't suit her?
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post #7 of 47 (permalink) Old Feb 23rd, 2003, 12:32 AM
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The rankings it is true tell one story and reflect a mixed 12 months. The other question is to look at current ability in so far as you can and J H2 is pretty clearly playing to her ranking. She seems to have sorted out her serve ( look what happened when she had multiple match points on Capriati and served) and she is getting very tough in tight finishes.

Its true she has a problem with the top 3 (she is best of the rest in that sense) but the the number 3 has a problem with the top 2 and the number 2 is pretty hopeless against the number one too so I can't really see it as an important problem.
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post #8 of 47 (permalink) Old Feb 23rd, 2003, 12:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by cybelledarkholmexx
Um justine deserves her spot but considering that jenn does not even have a tournament win under her belt her ranking should give juju some concern. A win here and there and jen will be in contention for the fourth and third spot. Lindsay is still making up on lost time so I think she will be top five soon. So the question is are justine and kim better than jen and lindsay? Time will tell shortly.

Yes and I know justine just beat jen and lindsay recently but come on thats her first time ever beating jen and lindsay!

That was NOT her first win againt cappy, their head to head is 3-2 I believe =P


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post #9 of 47 (permalink) Old Feb 23rd, 2003, 12:47 AM
 
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For me, Justine's wins over Lindsay, JenCap and Monica this year speak volumes. These are three players against whom she has a losing record and this year has beaten both of them. Not thrashed them by any means, but in tight matches which arguably says more about how she's progressed mentally.

I think she deserves her no.4 spot, and judging by the way she played today I think she can challenge for no.3. If she could only get over her problems playing Kim.
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post #10 of 47 (permalink) Old Feb 23rd, 2003, 12:53 AM
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Quote:
it's a big chance for her to gain on #3 at RG this year
Justine is now only 350 odd behind Kim after winning in Dubai, but Kim is playing Scottsdale and IW which Henin isn't and you are right that Henin can gain points at RG but so can Kim as she only has 88 to defend there and at Wimbledon Henin has a semifinal to defend while Kim has absolutely nothing for the entire grass season!

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post #11 of 47 (permalink) Old Feb 23rd, 2003, 12:56 AM
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I was thinking before the final that if she could win, it would really put the stamp on her #4 ranking. And I think it does. remember, she does not have a good record against Seles. She got her first win over Monica last year at Wimbledon, on grass. Now they play on outdoor hard, a surface that would favor Monica more, and Justine saves a matchpoint and somehow survives an incredibly tough contest. for a player who has been knocked so often for being mentally weak, this is very big indeed.

Yeah, she has problems with clijsters and the Williams. who doesn't?

She's looking good so far, we'll see how she deals with the pressure of defending her big clay points.
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post #12 of 47 (permalink) Old Feb 23rd, 2003, 12:57 AM
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Justine had a monster clay season. Kim had no appreciable clay season. The top 4 are likely going to be in the exact same order after Roland Garros. Unless Kim has a huge couple of months and Venus really skids.

You have to answer for Santino, Carlo.
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post #13 of 47 (permalink) Old Feb 23rd, 2003, 01:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by disposablehero
Justine had a monster clay season. Kim had no appreciable clay season. The top 4 are likely going to be in the exact same order after Roland Garros. Unless Kim has a huge couple of months and Venus really skids.
Actually I don't agree, I do think Kim will be ahead of Justine, Justine can still win big point at RG, and FCC, but Kim has nearly nothing to defend until after FO except Hamburg.

But I do think Kim can get over Venus. Kim is now about 900 points behind, but Venus is not defending Amelia Island, that would make a gap of around 600 points.

I think Kim has a fair chance of winning Indian Wells, about 400 points, plus what she can get in Scottsdale and Miami. Then it's Warsaw but I think Venus is not going to play there. So, if Kim keeps playing like she has been until now she has a shot at the # 2 before RG, and even more after.
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post #14 of 47 (permalink) Old Feb 23rd, 2003, 01:22 AM
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As I said, Kim over Venus is the more likely scenario. And it gets even better at Wimbledon. I am trying to do a points analysis, but that website that breaks down each players results is famously slow loading. To save me some time, how many points did Justine get this week?

You have to answer for Santino, Carlo.
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post #15 of 47 (permalink) Old Feb 23rd, 2003, 01:45 AM
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Well, Justine has certainly improved this year...hope that it keeps that way. She really is trying her best to do well in matches.

Even if she does not catch up with Kim, I'm positive she's more contented with her no.4 spot & wishes to try to keep that as much as she can! Of course if she can catch up with Kim, she will indeed want to challenge that when the points gets closer.

To me she's the fourth best, & the best of the rest!
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