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tennisIlove09
Apr 19th, 2004, 03:46 PM
Venus is back in big-stroke way
'For me itís very unusual to come to a place and really everyone
is just showing a lot of support'

By Ron Cioffi
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http://www.********************/tr.net_photos_art/VENUS-_rc_fcc_04_relief_230.jpg
Ron Cioffi/tr.net
Venus Williams seems relieved about winning her first tile in
14 months.http://www.********************/tr.net_photos_art/MARTINEZ_rc_fcc_04_highbh.jpg

FROM THE FAMILY CIRCLE CUP IN CHARLESTON - Venus Williams faced a clay-court expert on the green clay here and proved that power can always rule on any tennis court.

A week ago, the struggling Williams was being overlooked as a top contender for this title, but on Sunday she smashed her way to a 2-6, 6-2, 6-1 victory over Conchita Martinez. It was her first title after a 14-month drought.

Venus beamed a brilliant smile, but despite a large amount of crowd support, is still wincing that she isn't the biggest crowd favorite. "A lot of times I can be playing somewhere and it's right in the United States and I can be playing someone who I don't even know how to pronounce her name and the crowd is very much rooting for the other player," she said. "For me it's very unusual to come to a place and really everyone is just showing a lot of support."

At week's outset, the tournament looked it would showcase a final round match-up between No. 1 Justine Henin-Hardenne against he bitter rival, former No. 1 Serena Williams. Henin-Hardenne defeated Serena in last year's final, which snapped Serena's '03 undefeated streak and the Belgian began her run to the top.

Looming in the background as this year's favorites were Amelia Island champ Lindsay Davenport and finalist Amelie Mauresmo. But Henin-Hardenne dropped out because of a virus and Mauresmo didn't play due to continuing soreness in her back. Serena won her first match but withdrew with a sore knee injury, the same injury that sidelined her from July '03 until last month. Davenport cruised into the quarterfinals before losing to Patty Schnyder. Even former Roland Garros champ Jennifer Capriati was supposed to have an impact, but she was upended by Petra Mandula.

Considering her slow, uneven return to the tour after last year's abdominal injury and given that this was her first tournament on clay since '03 Roland Garros, Venus didn't appear to have the match toughness to be considered a force.
But she got a good measure of revenge of Zvonareva in the quarters, knocked out rising Croat Jelena Kostanic in the semis and against Martinez, blasted 37 winners and a displayed a 71 percent success rate at the net.

After an uneven first set, Venus began the delivering the power tennis that won her two Wimbledons and two US Opens.

"[In] the first set I wasn't moving forward enough, and I just really was making too many mistakes and just that second set from the first point I wanted to turn it around. I really just started moving in and coming to the net," Venus said.

Williams, who is known for having a fantastic yet spotty first serve but has been burdened with an undependable second serve since 2001, said she is beginning to ratchet up the speed on her second balls."I don't like to see any of my second serves in the 70s. I like to make my second serve an asset instead of a liability. This week has actually been a very good week for my whole serve game," she said.

CONCHITA LOOKED TIRED
Martinez, who turned 32 during the tournament, seemed to lose her energy as the match progressed.

"I couldn't play with her like five or six shots. I wasn't patient enough or tried to do whatever I do best, so I was maybe a little too rushed or something," the Spaniard said.

Martinez added that Venus' balls can be deceiving. "She's really tall and so the ball comes a little different. I didn't feel like I was in a rhythm today."

Martinez exploited her use of spin, drop shots, lobs and punishing forehand in the first set. But, as the match progressed, she couldn't combat Venus' arsenal.

Williams will head to Slovenia on Monday and hopes to lead the US Fed Cup team to Fed Cup victory on red clay.

Dr.Phil
Apr 19th, 2004, 03:47 PM
thanks for the article

Kart
Apr 19th, 2004, 03:50 PM
FROM THE FAMILY CIRCLE CUP IN CHARLESTON - Venus Williams faced a clay-court expert on the green clay here and proved that power can always rule on any tennis court.



That's a bit harsh, they make it sound like she just kept blasting away. She did construct her points and place the ball well from what I saw of the match which was as important as the power.

Dr.Phil
Apr 19th, 2004, 03:55 PM
That's a bit harsh, they make it sound like she just kept blasting away. She did construct her points and place the ball well from what I saw of the match which was as important as the power.

true. I wish the myth of the Williams sisters only hitting with power should die a painful death :D .

CanadianGuy
Apr 19th, 2004, 04:30 PM
That's a bit harsh, they make it sound like she just kept blasting away. She did construct her points and place the ball well from what I saw of the match which was as important as the power.
I'm sure he was refering to Venus' serve﹐ you have to admit though, talking about contructing points, Conchita is the one that does it better. There is no shame in winning with power, as long as it is not ugly.

joao
Apr 19th, 2004, 04:41 PM
I think what made a difference in that match was Venus at the net. Conchita was actually surprised more than once to see Venus sneaking to the net while she was sending one of her zillions floating cross-court backhands back at Venus. And most of the times, Conchita didn't know when Venus was coming to the net ...

Knizzle
Apr 19th, 2004, 05:12 PM
I'm sure he was refering to Venus' serve﹐ you have to admit though, talking about contructing points, Conchita is the one that does it better. There is no shame in winning with power, as long as it is not ugly.
Why is Conchita better at constructing points??

CanadianGuy
Apr 19th, 2004, 05:19 PM
Why is Conchita better at constructing points??
Simple, because she knows the art of playing on the dirt.:) I mean, Venus can of course volley anywhere. She can also pull it off with strength and speed. But being an all court player, Venus chose to volley, on clay? It can add surprise elements into her game, but how it that exactly a good strategy. I like watching Conchita doing her stuff, maybe I'm old fashioned. But I do like counter-punching more and Conchita adds variety to her counter-punching, not just push the balls back like Anna SP. But not to take anything away from Venus. Venus is one of the most talented all court type players I have seen. However when it comes to point construction, she does not think as much as Conchita:).