Why Kim can't win (and other tales)
The title isn't really appropriate. You CANNOT get to #1 without being able to win. But it comes close to rhyming, and our cat has disapppeared, so f*ck with me over that and I'll get nasty.
I'm minded to compare Capriati and Clijsters against Williams (2x) and JH2.
Capriati and Clijsters are both 'low risk' offense players.
They hit HARD, but they don't go for the lines. They depend on returning everything, and giving the opponent moderately difficult (as in, 95% of the tour can't return them) balls to hit. They both can hit winners, but those winners usually go to an open court off a weak return. The only thing they do that puts pressure on the opponent is hit with pace. That's great against 99% of the tour. Against Venus or Serena it isn't enough, and it usually isn't enough vs Justine.
Williams (2x) and JH2, OTHO, are 'high-risk' offense players.
They hit hard, AND they go for the lines. This means more UEs, but it puts the opponent under an ENORMOUS amount of pressure. It's not just that any weak shot comes back as a winner. Any shot that isn't above average comes back as a winner. Sometimes it takes a shot longer in Justine's case, mostly because of the length of her stroke, but the result is the same.
When Venus or Serena or Justine plays Jenn or Kim, V-S-J gets to set up for almost every shot. K-J usually hits three or four feet from the sidelines. Combine that with the fastest players on the tour chasing, and not many balls get by.
K-J, OTOH, despite their incredible defense, DO lose points for not being fast enough. Because their shots are further form the sideline and baseline, giving V-S-J sharper angles to hit, and EASIER shots to hit.
The advantage for K-J used to be more UEs by the V-S-J crew (Players with more high-risk offense). Those players are gaining more control and making smarter choices. That means less UEs, which takes away the advantage the low-risk offense players had.
Which is one reason the 'high-risk' players have won the last 7 GS titles in a row, and 9 of the last 10.
Proud to be an American
Not blind. Not uninformed. We are party to atrocities. But the response of the world after 9/11 is worth noting. Even our most dire enemies offered aid. We should all be so lucky.