I don't think that it is a fluke to reach three slam finals in a year. Ana definitely benefited from Justine's retirement and from facing Dinara in a slam final and few would argue that she was ever the absolute best player on the tour but she was a solid top five player, maybe even top three, before she collapsed.
Her time near the top of the game was brief but the fact that she has fallen (permanently?) out of the top ten does not negate her accomplishments circa 2007-2008.
Well,I almost never quote your posts,for obvious reasons,but you explain yourself semi-well here.
As even Serb diehards realize,it would've only been TWO Slam finals,both decisive losses,had Justine not retired,as the two would've been slated to meet in the SFs of RG 2008.As I explained to our Magic Mushroom-using Belgian
,playing fringe Top-15 tennis for seven-plus years defines who you are.It's not as if she even played 12 straight months of top-caliber tennis.She had a 3-month stretch,that I outlined on the previous page...plus a good AO '08 and RG '08.The rest of that Spring '07-Spring '08 she produced LOTS of crap tennis.W/o the confidence boost she got from Henin's retirement,she likely wouldn't even have reached the semis to face her.There's a difference between 4 months of great tennis and being a truly great Slam champion
There are countless other examples,such as Roger Maris' 61-homer season that I cited earlier;Mark Gastineau collecting 22 sacks back in 1981(or thereabouts);bush-league Quarterback Scott Mitchell throwing for more than 4,000 yards in 1995 with an elite corps of wide receivers PLUS Barry Sanders at Running Back;journeyman hockey players who racked up 40 goals one season and never more than 20 in any others;and NBA players who eclipsed 20 points per game one year and then didn't even reach double digits in the remainders of their careers.It doesn't mean that all of those players SUCKED,only that their production,over the course of an entire season,was a fluke.Likewise,only a mindless hater would assert that Caroline wasn't a fine tennis player,but knowledgeable sports fans could provide plenty of arguments--such as the athletes above--that Caro's #1 run was a fluke and that she was merely top 10 caliber......As I've said,I'm disinclined to accept that,yet that's largely based on my fanship of Caroline
Don't be scared to open the door, Serena. It's not the Land Shark, it's only the doping agency
Propaganda Director for the Olympic Slam Queen
aboard SS Dementieva
Ste. Kim, we didn't have you for long enough, but we appreciate what you gave us