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Steffica Greles
Dec 17th, 2005, 10:54 PM
Lindsay Davenport

Will she play the whole season? It's difficult to say. I can't help but feel Lindsay just isn't tough enough to win another major. She's had her chances; losing that Wimbledon final from being in a leading position the whole way through was not purely bad luck. And against Serena in the final of Melbourne last year she was simply pathetic. Like she'd been fearing Serena producing her best form all match, so she tried to take advantage of Serena's drama and poor shots while she had a chance. As soon as Serena started producing, Lindsay threw in the towel - as if she'd already decided she didn't have a chance.

Pierce and Sharapova's recent victories over her also cast doubts over whether she's still the best baseliner. I think she is, but does Lindsay? Davenport's a top professional, so I think she'll see out the year, or at least the summer if she's fit. But I don't rate her chances of adding another slam to her haul. There seems to always be one more player in the draw who's not more talented, as much as more willing to produce that little bit extra that's a requisite in heavy competition. She could already have won 7 or 8 slams had she produced her best form in more of those crucial matches; she's one of the best hitters since new rackets came into use, in my opinion. And that will be her legacy: a great professional, a wonderful hitter, incredible longevity - and 3 grandslam titles.

Kim Clijsters

I think the only thing that could prevent Kim from winning another slam is her schedule. She plays far too often. I predict more injuries -- serious injuries -- unless she takes longer breaks and prepares for slams more astutely. But Clijsters is an athletic phenomenon, and if only she can avoid injuries I think she's going to be in the latter rounds of all the slams next year. Her game has no glaring weaknesses, and too many strengths for 90% of the tour.

Maria Sharapova.

I'm completely ambivalent about the girl. On one hand I can't bear the diva attitude to the sport that she adopts, a la Venus, Serena, Anna. "They're lucky to have me anywhere near their courts, let alone playing on it". That attitude is part of what's ruining the game.

But on the other hand, however much off-court posing she's done, she does seem to have the scruples to know that her young body needs to be preserved. Think of Hingis, Kournikova, the Belgians, and even the Williams sisters - all played too often as teenagers. And all are either finished or constantly worrying whether they'll be able to play again. In addition to Austin, Jaeger, and countless others, these injuries have blighted women's tennis for over 20 years now, and have been a major factor holding women's tennis back from being recognised as competitive.

Yet Maria is a player who won't be pressurised into anything; she's stubborn, and willing to take tough decisions that piss people off in order to do what she thinks is best. More than her playing style, that single-minded drive is what reminds me most of all of a young Seles.

I think Sharapova has every chance to win another slam next year. She's one of my main picks.

Amelie Mauresmo

Well Novotna's 97 Chase victory followed by Wimbledon 98 is what first springs to mind. Mauresmo needs to play more aggressively than I've seen if she's to win a slam. I actually argued over the last few years that her inability to win slams was rooted in her innocuous game rather than her mentality per se: her game undermines her mind, rather than vice versa as is commonly assumed.

If she swings a bit more, as she did in 1999 and 2000, she'll win her first slam.

What do people think of Henin, or Pierce, or even Vaidisova, Hingis, Capriati?

vogus
Dec 17th, 2005, 11:32 PM
Lindsay Davenport

Will she play the whole season? It's difficult to say. I can't help but feel...


thanks for making an appearance and reminding me why you made it onto my "The 50 Most Influential wtaworld Posters" list.

Paneru
Dec 17th, 2005, 11:43 PM
Maria Sharapova.

I'm completely ambivalent about the girl. On one hand I can't bear the diva attitude to the sport that she adopts, a la Venus, Serena, Anna. "They're lucky to have me anywhere near their courts, let alone playing on it". That attitude is part of what's ruining the game.


Please! :rolleyes:

Runing the game, they are the one's
that generate the most interest in
the game! :p

The WTA is lucky to have them!
Deal with it!

BONES08
Dec 18th, 2005, 12:04 AM
Henin- she always has a chance, but I saw something very different at the U.S. OPEN. That serve can really help her, or really let her down. It was sad, but on clay she can hide that.

Pierce-has those groundstrokes, relatively nothing to defend at the A.O OPEN, so she could keep going up. It's all about how she feels about herself, and right now she feels pretty good.

Hingis-We hear she's hitting the ball very well. I think she can cope with power because she has that great, take it early backhand. She is no dummy, she has not just been in Switzerland. She did 3 days with Robert Lansdorp, and she did 4 days at Bolleterris. She will be ready, but I think we all need to see her play to be sure.

Capriati-I saw some pictures of her from the beach, let's just say she lost some weight. Unless she was sucking it in, all her fans will be happy to know that there was not even a little bit of gut. She has an awesome forehand, and is very eager to show that she still has the goods. Should do pretty good.

Vaidisova- My favorite behind Vee,Ree,and Monica. All I can say is a STAR. She will be better than Maria in my view. I've seen her play live, and on T.V.
She sent my school FTS tickets for her matches at the open, because our spanish club voted her best player. We sent IMG a big tape on her, and she loved it. She has some serious game. A Venus like backhand, and if you lokk at the 1999 Venus, her serve is just like that but more consistent. Nick knew what he was doing. Her forehand is very good. With her groundstrokes and serve, she can hide her movement. I was told that in Florida, they had her working on it. Last time I was at the Academy, I talked to her. She doesn't like to spend 4 hours on court, Nicole wants tp put in 16-18 hours a day. She wants the trophies, and with due time she will be holding the big ones!!!

Steffica Greles
Dec 18th, 2005, 12:37 AM
I worry a little bit that Vaidisova's going to be another one who tries a little too hard to win trophies...and at age 18/19 will come the spate of injuries.

We'll see.

BONES08
Dec 18th, 2005, 12:42 AM
That is so true :Steffica Greles.
But after speaking with her, and knowing her team around her, they are so positive, and her stepdad is a very smart man so I don't see that happening. But that was great that you brought that up.

KimC&MariaSNo1's
Dec 18th, 2005, 01:49 AM
yeh i can see vaidisova being burnt out in 5 years or so

BONES08
Dec 18th, 2005, 02:51 AM
I can tell you're a Maria Fan.

Steffica Greles
Dec 18th, 2005, 09:09 PM
That is so true :Steffica Greles.
But after speaking with her, and knowing her team around her, they are so positive, and her stepdad is a very smart man so I don't see that happening. But that was great that you brought that up.

There's only ever so much that can be done to protect young players. As in any walk of life, eventually they have to make their own decisions.

People said Melanie Molitor was smart because she didn't teach her daughter a full service action in order to protect her back. Yet Hingis still quit with injuries, arguably because she'd spent too long chasing after bullet-like returns against stronger, more physical players. You see - you can't win.

Vaidisova needs to develop more slowly, in my opinion. Her body is far from developed, looking at her. She'll be afflicted with injuries by the end of 2007 unless she takes it easier on herself. That's my prediction.

Zauber
Dec 18th, 2005, 10:50 PM
wow nice beginning post.
I almost agree with everything.
wow that is scary.
Justin Henin needs to have her body very healthy and in full condition.
Then she can again surpass everyons expectations.
Her win at the olympics was shear willpower.
The time has passed Pierce and Capriati by. Although Pierce got lucky and took advantages of some draws.
Hingis is the real wildcard.
Probably she will beat the players ouside the top ten.
However how she wil do against the top ten, probably poorly.
But there is that uncertainty that she has an outside chance.
I think I be able to tell after seeing her play 3 or 4 times the top players.

I think the real new revelation will be Nicole Vaidisova.
Her mental fire will work out in a positive way. As it did for connors and Mcenroe.
She has a great all around game with plenty of power.
I just hope she does not get too big so that her movement remains real athletic like that of Clijsters rather than Sharapova.
I hope its a good short healthy competitive season.