(1) Martina's return has to influence her...afterall they were rivals for a time and the last time they played in Australia...Martina slaughtered her in the semis. (How cool would a V. Williams vs. Hingis first-round match be!!!!) :drool:
(2) She had an very credible second half of the season last year...while she was healthy. She won Wimbledon and barely lost to Clijsters in New York and Stanford.
(3) I've always thought she should play better on rebound ace...with her height.
(4) By all reports, she's looked really good on tour with her sister this winter. I think she's won almost all of her matches. Given the tour, and the exhibition she's playing in Hong Kong...she should come into the Aussie fairly match tough. I mean...she's been on tour playing the defending champion all winter...and winning against her.
(5) She has proven, time and again, that she can come out of nowhere and grab a slam or a major title (like Key Biscayne etc...) with little to no match play.
(6) Little pressure...she has very few points to defend.
I have a feeling that her name should be included in the favorites this year. To me the favorites are...Venus, Kim, Lindsay, Mary and Amelie.
I think a lot depends on the draw she gets...given the fact that her ranking will be so low she may end up with a really tough 4th round match.
Just my opinion.
Dec 30th, 2005, 02:43 AM
Venus should be relaxed; have a confidence boost at the Wimbledon win; be rested and ready for play! This should be her year.
She will have a tough QF if the seeds hold, because she will have to players ranked/seeded 1-4. Right now that is Davenport, Kim, Mauresmo, and Maria. She had lose to all of them this year. R16, she will face either Pierce, Justine, Dementieva, Schynder. Some good matchups, but she has beaten each of them year and owns Justine in general, but particularly on hard courts.
Dec 30th, 2005, 04:10 AM
Venus versus top seeds:
Davenport - (Davenport leads 14-13) but Venus leads 7-4 since 2000. Most of the recent matches have been three sets. I think Venus has a slight edge on her movement wise. I think Davenport is one of the players who can really threaten Venus with power. These matches often come down to who serves better. If Venus is in form...she wins.
Clijsters - (Venus leads 6-4) but Clijsters won the last two meetings. Venus did have a win over her in 2005 though...in Kim's home country at Antwerp. Their matches at the end of the year (particularly New York) were some of the best of the year. Venus came close to winning against Kim in New York, and I think it would be a great match in Australia if they played. They've never played on rebound ace courts. Kim (like Lindsay) is a challenge for Venus.
Mauresmo - (Venus leads 5-4) but Mauresmo has won the last four meeting...but one was a walkover and the second was the match where Venus injured herself at Warsaw in 2003. The two most recent wins were three sets. Amelie likes to take control of the net...and Venus hits the best and most solid passing shots in the women's game (save Capriati). I think Venus still controls this match-up, at least while she's healthy.
Sharapova - (Sharapova leads 2-1) and both of her wins were on their hard court meetings. I think Sharapova and Venus have very similar games...but Maria is still streaky in her youth. I haven't been impressed with Sharapova of late...and I think Venus is playing better. Venus moves a little better and hits well on the run. Venus also has a superior net game. As long as Venus' second serve holds up, she can handle Maria.
Pierce - (Venus leads 7-3) and Venus has only lost to Mary once since 1998 (Venus' second year on tour)...at the Athens Olympics. Basically, Mary hits laserbeams from the baseline, but Venus is one of the only players on tour who can chase them down. Pierce's movement isn't sufficient to handle Venus. Would be a fun match to watch.
Henin-H. - (Venus leads 7-1) and has won the last seven matches in a row. Justine isn't the player she used to be. Nuff said.
Dementieva - (Venus leads 4-2) and her most recent loss in 2004 was when she was coming off an injury. The only other loss was in a Fed Cup match. Dementieva has powerful groundstrokes, but Venus can chase most down. Venus will dominate on rebound ace. And then there's Elena's serve...
Schnyder - (Venus leads 6-0) I love Patty...but there's no chance. Her moon balls do bother Venus from time to time, and can be particularly troublesome on rebound ace...but Venus will kill her.
Dec 30th, 2005, 01:37 PM
If Vee plays the way she did at the WIMBIes last year then no ONE can come nearer... not even Serena...
Dec 30th, 2005, 07:46 PM
I don't think Serena should even be considered a threat to Venus.
Dec 30th, 2005, 09:51 PM
ya im feeling really good about AO this year. i truly think this is her year to win Australia! I would prefer she draws Dementieva as her 4th round match and either Amelie or Maria as her QF match.
Dec 30th, 2005, 10:14 PM
I agree with the Maria/Amelie selection...but I'd rather see her draw Henin or Schnyder in the round of sixteen. I think Dementieva's been a little more solid of late. Venus owns Justine and I don't think Patty can hurt her.
I'm always more afraid of Venus playing the players in the 50-20 ranking range...for some reason she seems to be more likely to lose those matches that when she gets into the show court battles in the later stages of the tournament.
Dec 31st, 2005, 07:44 PM
true but Patty has been very solid in her last two appearences at Australia so i think we could compromise on Henin-Hardenne ( i dont think she would make it to the round of 16 anyways)
Jan 2nd, 2006, 09:27 PM
Even if 2005 didn't end in the way V fans would have wanted, i genuinely believe Venus has some much needed, solid confidence back. If i think to the AO 2005, Antwerp and Amelia Island even, while Venus showed glipses of her best, i think she wanted to prove so badly that she was still a force, she overcooked it - and lost matches she could have won.
With her Wimbledon Crown, she's still glowing. She doesn't have to prove a thing, she won something big (a long time coming). She's a player that people are afraid to play again. I think, the only problem before was confidence, and now that she has it - i predict she'll be holding another slam crown this year.
The draw doesn't really matter, i think Venus can beat them all, whatever the order. I predict she'll win either the AO or the FO. [Hey i predicted Amelie would win big soon - and hey presto - YEC! I know these things].
The Wimby - USO trend is broken. Venus is the top contender for the AO.
Jan 2nd, 2006, 09:28 PM
Meh - i just want her to win so bad :P
Jan 3rd, 2006, 10:26 PM
I agree Marshmallow. Women's tennis has changed. Grand slam tournaments are no longer dominated by a single player as they once were. Now there is a small cadre of women who are contenders. Venus has moved to the top tier of that list (in my opinion she's up with Clijsters, Maria, and Lindsay... above the rest). She has strong weapons (backand, first serve, movement and net play). She has few weaknesses (second serve and injury prone).
I'm hopeful she doesn't run into a tough draw too soon, but I think she can handle almost every woman on the tour...and all of them on a good day.
Jan 4th, 2006, 05:05 AM
I think she's a favorite along with Venus, Kim, and Lindsay. i think the draw does matter somewhat because I think venus plays better when she has a really tough player in the earlier rounds. it's almost like she works out her game then and doesn't have to worry about it much the rest of the tournament, I think that's what petrova in Wimbledon '03 was for her and what Sprem should have been in Wimbledon '04. If she's confident only 2 or 3 players cna hope to beat her, if she's playing her best, then the crown is hers.