Re: My Philosophy on Lena's Grand Slam success
Just to get it out of the way: I think it's horrific she's halted so often at the fourth round mark. The worst one, to me, was the Australian Open one in '05. She had SUCH a good chance at making the quarters, at the very least. But ah well.
As much as I love Elena, I just don't see her winning a Slam next year. Henin-Hardenne, Sharapova, Kuznetsova, Mauresmo, Clijsters (only for 2007 though, at least), Petrova, her records are so shakey against these players, and she's bound to meet one when she gets to the quarters or better at a Slam. She can usually get a three set victory against a slightly rusty player, but when she makes it to the bigger stages in a tournament, she chokes. Having won six titles, defeated world number 1 players, led Russia singlehandedly to Fed Cup victory, finals of two Slams, whatever else you can name, you'd figure she wouldn't get scared in semifinals and finals. She has the talent to defeat "better" players, but it's so rare. I guess it's because of the serve (when you double fault as often as her, I guess it's inevitable you get broken). But all that's in her mind. She gets nervous, and a lot of players can take advantage of it.
Now, with that said, you can never tell with her. She's just as likely to lose in the first round or win the entire shebang. So hopefully I'm eating my foot next year, but more than likely, the same players will be winning the Slams as always. Especially if Venus and/or Serena are back in full force.