Serena wins before stepping on court - TennisForum.com
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old Jun 4th, 2003, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
tennisIlove09's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 44,073
                     
Serena wins before stepping on court

Serena wins before stepping on court
By Greg Garber
ESPN.com


PARIS -- Three weeks earlier, Amelie Mauresmo had actually beaten Serena Williams, but that was merely a semifinal at the Italian Open. On Tuesday, it was a Grand Slam quarterfinal and, well, it wasn't pretty.


Even Serena's opponents aren't sure they can beat her the way she's playing this week.


In fact, it was gruesome. Williams torched the tortured French woman 6-1, 6-2 to stay on track for her fifth consecutive Grand Slam singles title.

So, Amelie, is Serena the favorite?

"Well, she hasn't won a Grand Slam for some time," Mauresmo said, smiling. "Obviously, she is the favorite. But Kim (Clijsters) is playing very well. Justine (Henin-Hardenne) is playing very well. (Nadia) Petrova, I think, is dangerous. Serena can win, of course, but there could be a surprise, as well. I don't know."

Williams, the No. 1 seed, meets No. 4-seeded Henin-Hardenne in Thursday's French Open semifinal; No. 2 seeded Clijsters faces the unseeded Petrova.

Mauresmo's public optimism -- some would call it whistling past the graveyard -- also has been advanced by some of the other participants. Henin-Hardenne is buoyed by the fact that she, too, beat Williams earlier this year, in straight sets in the finals at Charleston.

"Last time, I won," said Henin-Hardenne after beating Chanda Rubin in the quarters. "I know what all the strengths and weaknesses of Serena are. I'm quite aware of them. Serena will tell you she played very badly in Charleston; this is what she thinks. I have nothing else to add."

Indeed, Williams claims she played poorly there and, by her standards, she did.

She blew through her first three matches here, losing only eight games in six sets (do the math), but struggled a bit against Ai Sugiyama in the Round of 16, falling behind 2-4 in the opening set before rallying to win 7-5, 6-3. Williams was not happy with her result and came out smoking against Mauresmo.

The look on Williams' face -- there was a dangerous, smoldering intensity in her eyes -- bordered on frightening. It was a window to her enormous desire to win here again.

What happens when the sport's best player -- quite possibly the world's best athlete in relation to her peers -- is also the one who wants it most?

What happens is 33 consecutive Grand Slam singles match victories, the sixth-longest streak in modern times. When was the last time she felt that kind of juice?

"I guess it's been a while," Williams said. "Maybe at Wimbledon, actually, against Amelie Mauresmo at Wimbledon in the semifinals. I was petty determined then, as well. When you get that far in a tournament, you definitely want to go to the next level."

ESPN analyst Mary Carillo was asked if she had ever seen Williams so locked in.

"Yeah," she said. "Certainly, at Wimbledon. You don't see it anywhere but the majors.

“ At that point, it's just my desire. I think no one can put one -- no one can say to someone else, you know, 'You have to do this. Go, go, go.' You have to say it to yourself so you can be motivated./b> ”
— Serena Williams

"That game face was hilarious. What was great was that it wasn't even sinister, so calm and focused. I've seen her do sinister, but she was beyond that. On changeovers, with her eyes closed ... whether they were open or closed, you knew how present she was on the court."

Last year, on the way to her first French Open title, she played the minimum 14 sets in seven matches and was forced to only three tiebreakers. This year, she has gone through five matches in 10 sets -- with no tiebreakers. She has lost only 19 games and spent an efficient five hours and 14 minutes on the court.

"I think if you're a betting person," said Chanda Rubin, who lost to Henin-Hardenne in the quarterfinals, "you'd have to bet on her again.

"She obviously wants it again this year. That's the biggest thing on clay. Who wants it the most? Who's willing to pay the price?"

And while this is Williams' eighth Grand Slam semifinal, she still feels the tingle.

"It doesn't feel routine at all," Williams said. "I feel very pumped up to be in the semifinal, and I want to go ahead and win a few more matches here.

"There just comes a time in everyone -- they just have to stop and just get serious. Usually, the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam is usually when I put in a new gear and I usually say to myself, 'I have a chance to win this tournament. I've gotten this far, maybe I can go another couple steps.

"At that point, it's just my desire. I think no one can put one -- no one can say to someone else, you know, 'You have to do this. Go, go, go.' You have to say it to yourself so you can be motivated."

Carillo read the quote off an interview transcript and laughed.

"Serena says, 'Going, going gone,' " Carillo said. "Venus, hopefully, will get that back. You know, Serena learned that from her sister."

And that is the irony here. Venus, the No. 1 player for three different periods of 2002, is sliding down the rankings. She will be No. 4 next week, supplanted by Justine Henin-Hardenne. It was Venus, who by example taught her younger sister how to fight, how to believe in herself.

Some people here believe that Henin and Clijsters have a chance against Williams.

"I think Justine is very capable," Mauresmo said. "She's beaten her this year once. I think it will be an interesting match."

Clijsters has generated similar numbers to Williams. She's lost only two more games (21) and actually spent three fewer minutes on the court. She, too, lost only three games in her quarterfinal match. Of course, Conchita Martinez, Clijsters' quarters opponent is not nearly the player Mauresmo is.

Can Clijsters beat Williams if they both advance to the final?

"No one beats her when she plays like that," Carillo said. "She can try to create ways to get Serena out of that, but nobody beats a Serena of that stripe. I've said it for years, Venus and Serena ... the only person who can beat her when she plays like that is herself."

Williams has had only a few nervous moments in her Grand Slam run. She lost the first set to Jennifer Capriati in last year's semifinal here and the second set went to a tiebreaker. Williams won the breaker 7-2 and the third set 6-2.

At this year's Australian Open, Clijsters led her in the third set of their semifinal match by a 5-1 count -- and lost, 7-5.

"She just raised her level so much higher," Clijsters said. "In the beginning, she was making a lot of mistakes. I don't think I did anything differently from 5-1 to when she won that match. She just didn't make any mistakes any more. She was hitting winners on my first serves and things like that.

"That's why she's so mentally strong, because she goes and can make her level go higher during a match."

Could she, would she, should she have done anything differently?

"No," Clijsters said. "I didn't have that in my hands, I think."
tennisIlove09 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old Jun 4th, 2003, 08:32 PM
Senior Member
 
DA FOREHAND's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Washington D.C.
Posts: 8,945
                     
Very telling comments from Kim, and Momo in the last few days.

Justine only one of the players still talking smack.

"Hatred is the coward's revenge for being intimidated" - George Bernard Shaw




"And for the best of the teen-agers who followed her, and who occasionally referred to her as over the hill, Graf had a ready answer: against top-ranked Martina Hingis, Graf wound up 7-2. Graf's stirring 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 throttling of Hingis at the French Open final this June was perhaps the most emphatic parting shot the game has ever seen. "


DA FOREHAND is offline  
post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old Jun 4th, 2003, 08:42 PM
Team WTAworld
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Day-Dreaming
Posts: 7,810
                     
Quote:
Originally Posted by DA FOREHAND
Very telling comments from Kim, and Momo in the last few days.

Justine only one of the players still talking smack.


Well, except for Serena of course.....


"You Worry About Your Jump Rope and Yourself!" -Coral on Battle of the Sexes 2




Running for the cliff again...
Rtael is offline  
post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old Jun 4th, 2003, 08:42 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 527
                     
Justine's a fighter... I'll be rooting her on early tomorrow morning. I can't believe I'm going to wake up at 7:30 on a summer morning to watch tennis--wait, yes I can.

That being said, GO BELGIUM! I wanna see an all Belgian final, complete with some waffles in the pre-match warmup.

-- Chris -- AIM: dieudevin -- Keeper of Henin's awe inspiring backhand, Davenports's three majors (and wins over the Williamses!) and Harkleroad's upsets.

Lindsay Davenport is god.


Proudly cheering on Davenport, Capriati, Shaughnessy, Golovin, Sprem, Dementieva, Clijsters, Henin-Hardenne, Rubin, Washington, Uberoi, Petrova, Zvonareva, Kuznetsova, Fernandez, Schnyder, Rodionova, Morariu, Kirlenko, Sharapova, Mauresmo, and Frazier!
i heart backhand is offline  
post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old Jun 4th, 2003, 08:43 PM
country flag ans
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Belgium
Posts: 4,992
                     
I can imagine Justine being disappointed in Serena.
Interview on the Belgian television with a completely uninterested Serena packing her bag after practice:

reporter: Aren't you a bit afraid of Justine 'cause she beat you at
Charleston?
Serena : OOOOh, did she? I thought I beat myself there.

and Serena is off.
ans is offline  
post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old Jun 4th, 2003, 08:43 PM
country flag SJW
Senior Member
 
SJW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Allez
Posts: 11,016
                     
"Smackdown" is the best wrestling program to watch

Amelie is spot on (basically).....Kim is spot on....

Justines spots.....ahem never mind
SJW is offline  
post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old Jun 4th, 2003, 08:45 PM
Team WTAworld
Senior Member
 
per4ever's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Belgium
Posts: 41,228
                     
exactly Justine believes in herself and she's a fighter. She has the winner's spirit..and you need to have that if you want to be the best
per4ever is offline  
post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old Jun 4th, 2003, 08:51 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 845
               
I just read somewhere where Justine said she will be nervous tomorrow. You never let your apponent know that. That was not very smart of her to say that.
leslie is offline  
post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old Jun 4th, 2003, 08:53 PM
Senior Member
 
DA FOREHAND's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Washington D.C.
Posts: 8,945
                     
leslie, I don't think that gives anything away. Every player is nervous before matches, especially big matches. Stating that your opponent has the match in thier hands is not wise.

"Hatred is the coward's revenge for being intimidated" - George Bernard Shaw




"And for the best of the teen-agers who followed her, and who occasionally referred to her as over the hill, Graf had a ready answer: against top-ranked Martina Hingis, Graf wound up 7-2. Graf's stirring 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 throttling of Hingis at the French Open final this June was perhaps the most emphatic parting shot the game has ever seen. "


DA FOREHAND is offline  
post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old Jun 4th, 2003, 09:55 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 264
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ans
I can imagine Justine being disappointed in Serena.
Interview on the Belgian television with a completely uninterested Serena packing her bag after practice:

reporter: Aren't you a bit afraid of Justine 'cause she beat you at
Charleston?
Serena : OOOOh, did she? I thought I beat myself there.

and Serena is off.
I don't know why the Belgian reporters are so stupid. The other time
one was dismissed for calling Venus a monkey. they asked that similar
question when Venus and Justine were about to play in the final of
Wimbledom in 2001: Do you think you will win against Justine today
because her technique is good and beat you the last time. Venus told
them to come and watch the match. What happened? Justine was
bargeled in that match.
hinquit is offline  
post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old Jun 4th, 2003, 10:04 PM
Senior Member
 
DunkMachine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 2,187
                     
I am SO hoping for Justine to get bagelled. I like her tennis but she needs an old fashoned whoopin'.

Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
DunkMachine is offline  
post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old Jun 4th, 2003, 10:08 PM
Senior Member
 
irma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: the netherlands
Posts: 13,635
 
If I was justine I would be fired up so much tomorrow. I would look more evil then serena ever could

In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
Through the desert of the truth
To the river so deep
We all end in the ocean
We all start in the streams
We're all carried along
By the river of dreams
In the middle of the night
irma is offline  
post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old Jun 4th, 2003, 10:14 PM
Senior Member
 
TartarVicario's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: In Love
Posts: 2,814
                     
Quote:
Originally Posted by DunkMachine
I am SO hoping for Justine to get bagelled. I like her tennis but she needs an old fashoned whoopin'.
I couldn't agree MORE
TartarVicario is offline  
post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old Jun 4th, 2003, 10:53 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Mars
Posts: 1,058
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hinquit
I don't know why the Belgian reporters are so stupid. The other time
one was dismissed for calling Venus a monkey. they asked that similar
question when Venus and Justine were about to play in the final of
Wimbledom in 2001: Do you think you will win against Justine today
because her technique is good and beat you the last time. Venus told
them to come and watch the match. What happened? Justine was
bargeled in that match.
hinquit don't listen to those idiots
actually serena didn't say that.
She was with jacky (her dog) and said to the
reporter that she doesn't like to be on tv cos
she doesn't wanna be a star

ignore dummies like ans

VENUS and SERENA 4 ever
*************************
Playa is offline  
post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old Jun 4th, 2003, 11:46 PM
Senior Member
 
jenny161185's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 4,880
                     
she does nt wanna be a star? what about wanting to go to hollywood????

Anyone do you guys want Henin to say Yes I have no chance tomorrow I hope Serena gets injured? She's not going without a fight either way
jenny161185 is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the TennisForum.com forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Image Verification
Please enter the six letters or digits that appear in the image opposite.

Registration Image

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome