Originally Posted by Jonty
So who's gonna earn Grand Final births.
Paola and Elena are both aiming for their first Grand Slam final, and will be extremely nervous with just hours to go before they begin the match of their lives. Both have played extremely well with Paola not dropping a set and Elena after some shakey performances agianst Jurgic-Salkic and Smashnova in the early rounds has been at the top of her game to knock off Davenport and Mauresmo who was the pre-tournament favourite.
In big match experience the edge goes to Paola, with 5 Grand Slam doubles titles( w/ Viginia Ruano-Pascual, 8 (perhaps 9) consecutive Grand Slam Doubles finals and numerous clutch victories (Canberra saved 5 match points to win, 2001 Fed Cup 14-12 last rubber over Huber and just yesterday saved 2 match point sin the second set versus Husarova and Martinez. If the match gets tight, the Argentine's chances get better.
Dementieva possesses a sheer power advantage, but Paola has better consistency and placement. Both will have vastly different stategies with Elena just trying to hit winners at every opportunity whereas Suarez will be content to rally whipping her topspun forehand and backhand deep into the court from corner to corner, trying to draw the error or work into a position to end the point with an outright winner. Suarez has very solid groundstrokes that look so natural and great to watch, Dementieva will rip it for winners and if she's on may blow away her opponnent.
The weakness of both players. Dementieva's second serve is at times quite pathetic. She serves up to twenty double faults a match and will need to serve better to avoid Suarez teeing off on the return and dictating the point. Suarez has a solid serve but will not serve Dementieva off the court. Paola is proned to the odd double fault hersqelf but has a far more reliable technique under pressure.
Both possess excellent returns of serve. Many breaks will occur and it may come down to who can hold the most service games.
All in all, it takes grit and detremination to make a Grand -slam semi final and it will the career highlight for either player to make the 2004 Roland Garros decider. Expect a few early nerves from both players on the big occasion. An intriguing math-up of Dementieva's power versus Suarez's clay-court savvy. Both have an air of destiny about their Roland Garros run. Suarez has battled hard and is set to reach number 10 and Dementieva is set for a career best ranking of seven. But both players will not be thinking about their ranking when they take the court for the biggest match of their lives. I would love to see Paola's guile and her determined, dogged never-say-die nature shine through, but my head says Dementieva. Nevertheless I'll tip Paola to win in an epic three setter.
Her final opponent I couldn't give a crap, so I'll tip the underdog Myskina to win in three.
What do you guys think.
Paola will try to do what she did in the Sharapova-match.
As you said: waiting for the UEs of her opponent. But will she have the time to measure the court ? I guess not. Alyona has gained much confidence in her last match. She hit her forhands very long and with a good precision so Mauresmo hasn't been able to develop her own play. In tight situations Alyona suddenly pulled out powerful 1st serves - a real wonder. Thr 2nd serves she played with kick outside to the forhand - and it was successful cause their length only have been answered with weak passive returns. I guess Paola won't be able to rattle Alyona's serving.
So much will depend on Paola's serving games. If she can't handle Alyona's returns the Russian will give her pressure from the beginning of each run. I can't see long rallies cause Alyona will use Paola's weaker serve - what Sharapova missed to do or overpowered on good occasions.
So what about Alyona overpowering Paola's high jumping topspins ? This will be the deciding momentum. And here I saw Alyona patient enough in her last two matches to use not the 1st chance but to outplay her opponent in the right moment.
So all in all I guess the Russian will reach the final - in 3 simple sets, maybe 6-2 3-6 6-3.
The Capriati/Myskina match will much depend on JenCap's amount of UE ...
But I give a slight edge to the US-girl as much as I want Nastya to win the encounter.
Go Nastya, take your chances, Alyona !