Venus Williams vs. Kim Clijsters: Match break-down
OK, you're right. Fine, you can say it. "THIS IS TOO EARLY!" Yes, there are still six girls left in the draw that can beat one or both of these players.
But let's throw dreams and aspirations named Pisnik out the window, and get realistic: Venus and Kim will be playing in the final of the Diamond Proximus games.
It's an anticipated match-up. Venus has skunked Kim twice. Kim was in the process of doing the same to Venus once. Kim has won one close battle against Venus. Venus has won one close battle against Kim.
Kim has been the better player since after the US Open. Venus, however, remains the #2 ranked player in the world.
What do they have in their games that will make this an interesting match-up?
Venus has the second-best serve on tour, and always serves as well as anyone when she plays a top-player. It is rarely her weakness. Kim has an excellent serve: good percentages, nice pace, nice spin, and a good second serve with few double faults. But even though Kim's serve is one of the best overall on tour, there is a difference between solid and explosive.
Kim's return game is impeccable. She breaks the Williams sisters numerous times every time they play. She takes the ball early and attacks the second serve. Venus also has a very aggressive return, but it isn't as dangerous as it used to be. Giving a second serve to Venus used to be death, but no more.
Kim's forehand is deadly. She unleashes and explodes. However, much like Venus, when the match gets tight, so does her forehand. But when Venus and Kim are both having good forehand days, Kim's is better.
Venus' backhand remains solidly consistent and amazingly powerful. Kim's backhand is consistent and powerful and very underrated. Both players can redirect the ball, and neither have a weak backhand. But given a short ball, I'll take ol' faithful.
Both are very fast. Unbelievably fast. Venus has better reach. Kim has the time-saving slide. I don't know. You make the call.
Kim is mentally tough, but that loss to Serena...
My prediction? Kim in two. Her newfound consistence is the key.