View Full Version : French Open Breakdown

May 21st, 2002, 10:54 PM
PARIS, May 21 (Reuters) - Following is a brief rundown of the strengths and weaknesses of the top 16 seeds in the French Open women's singles draw. Prefix denotes seeding:

1-Jennifer Capriati (U.S.). Always a fierce competitor, the defending champion has been consistent throughout the claycourt season with three semifinal appearances. She can knock most opponents off on her day and is a good bet to retain title.

2-Venus Williams (U.S.). Doubts remain about the American's fitness after she suffered a freak wrist sprain last week but she will be keen to avoid a repeat of her first round exit last year. Having already bagged a claycourt title this year, a fully fit Williams is likely to destroy opponents with her powerful groundstrokes.

3-Serena Williams (U.S.). The athletic American has been in tremendous form in the run-up to the French, reaching two finals in the last two weeks. After claiming her first claycourt title at the Italian Open on Sunday, she is one of the favourites to lift the Roland Garros crown.

4-Kim Clijsters (Belgium). Runner-up last year, she will be attempting to go one better this time round. A gritty baseliner, her Hamburg final victory over Venus Williams proved she has the tools to go all the way. A sore shoulder, however, could lead to an early downfall.

5-Justine Henin (Belgium). She can outwit most opponents with her lethal one-handed back hand shot and, along with Serena Williams, Henin is the in-form player in the run-up to the French. Triumphed at the German Open and was runner-up to Serena in Rome. Has all the weapons to succeed on clay.

6-Monica Seles (U.S). Three times champion but never the same force after she was stabbed in Hamburg in 1993. Now aged 28, she will find it difficult to last the distance.

7-Jelena Dokic (Yugoslavia). Dokic has put in the hours on court to make a serious bid to win her first grand slam title. Winner at Sarasota, she has the temperament to go all the way.

8-Sandrine Testud (France). Has never fulfilled her potential at Roland Garros and has been in indifferent form all season. Will be lucky to survive the first week.

9-Silvia Farina Elia (Italy). The 30-year-old achieved her best grand slam result by reaching the fourth round at Roland Garros last year. Not expected to improve on that showing.

10-Amelie Mauresmo (France). The baseliner lost in the first round last year to the dismay of the home fans. Although Mauresmo grew up on clay, she has only once made it past the second round in seven attempts.

11-Daniela Hantuchova (Slovakia). The promising 19-year-old has been making inroads all year and claimed her first title with a shock victory over Martina Hingis at Indian Wells. Consistently reaching the quarter-finals on clay, could be the surprise package of the tournament.

12-Meghann Shaughnessy (U.S). Having reached the fourth round last year, she has not achieved any result of note in her French Open build-up. Likely to be an early casualty.

13-Elena Dementieva (Russia). The 20-year-old has failed to live up to potential following her semifinal appearance at the 2000 U.S. Open. Not expected to make waves this year having failed to play impressively on clay so far.

14-Iroda Tulyaganova (Uzbekistan) - Tulyaganova lost in the first round on her Roland Garros debut last year but has steadily climbed up the rankings. However, she could be an early casualty because of her lack of big-match experience.

15-Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario (Spain). Three times former champion, she says she still enjoys being on the tour despite turning 30 last year. But her game is on the decline and she is unlikely to be able to keep pace with the young pretenders.

16-Barbara Schett (Austria). Dumped the mighty Venus Williams out of the 2001 French Open in the first round. Having reached the fourth round in the last two years, her two-handed backhand shot could see her through to the second week.
05/21/02 16:29 ET

I will make my own breakdown after I see the draw! :cool:

May 21st, 2002, 11:07 PM
Overall, a middling assessment, unfrotunately the writer seems like more of a casual fan than the average person on thisboard. I don't think anyone who has watched Jelena Dokic's experiments in masochism these past 3 months thinks this is her time.

May 21st, 2002, 11:16 PM
He is a little hard, and very hung up about age. So Monica is 28, so what? Jennifer is 26 not a whole lot of difference there. I think Monica could actually do very well here. Also I don't agree with what he said about Sandrine, her results this year have been good.

On the whole the analysis is fair though.

May 21st, 2002, 11:19 PM
Originally posted by disposablehero
Overall, a middling assessment, unfrotunately the writer seems like more of a casual fan than the average person on thisboard. I don't think anyone who has watched Jelena Dokic's experiments in masochism these past 3 months thinks this is her time.

I agree, it was a kinda middle of the road approach. But it was pretty clear that he felt only Venus, Jen, Serena, and Justine had a real chance to win. He also made "lil v" the dark horse. :cool:

Bright Red
May 22nd, 2002, 01:21 AM
I pretty much agree with his assessment, although much depends on the draw. We'll see.

May 22nd, 2002, 02:07 AM
thse assessments are completely incorrect and without merit... sound too much like someone who watches a match every grand slam and forget what happens at the other tournaments.

May 22nd, 2002, 02:53 AM

May 22nd, 2002, 02:55 AM
this person's assessment is correct to some extenet, but he favors the more well-known players. serena is explainable, but daniela? yeah, maybe she's had good results on clay so far. and he comments on venus as if she's the anti-favorite to win it, just b/c she lost to clijsters (maybe) a couple weeks ago. dokic, i don't know where that came from. i don't really think she's ready yet. and i dont like his hang-up w/ age, like you guys said.

interesting perspective - thanx for posting this :wavey:

May 22nd, 2002, 08:45 AM
I also think that those who count Monica out are forgetting about a certain Miss Capriati. Monica achieved more in the early 90s than Jennifer, and the only thing that could stop her acheiving what Jennifer has achieved in the 2000's is those non-stop injuries that seem to bother her.

May 22nd, 2002, 01:35 PM
Jelenas been 'ready' for quite a while in having the 'temperament', the most necessary ingredient to go all the way.!!! As disposable highlighted tho, her sadomasochism(hey she hasnt ONLY kicked her own butt on clay this season :P) could potentially be her downfall or maybe fatigue..

Monica deserves more credit..sure shes not getting younger but and her chances are diminishing with each attempt,but 1998 was not eons ago..if she does well in Madrid, the fact shes rested well lately could help her kick some butt big time!

Myskina has been ommited from that list..she may not be in the top 16, but certainly is playing better than lots of the players from that list