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lizchris
Sep 9th, 2007, 05:43 PM
Apparently, Tracy forgot that Serena has 8 GS singles titles:rolleyes: . Plus, why is it always about Venus and Serena with her? Didn't Justine win last night?



Venus, Serena still capable of catching Henin

But U.S. Open champion not about to easily hand over No. 1 spot

http://msnbcmedia2.msn.com/j/ap/spanuso24209090044.hmedium.jpg (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20665842/displaymode/1176/rstry/20666448/)
U.S. Open champ Justine Henin has grown as a player in part because she has matured off the court, msnbc.com contributor Tracy Austin writes.



OPINION
By Tracy Austin
MSNBC contributor
Updated: 3:36 a.m. ET Sept 9, 2007
http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/i/msnbc/Components/ColorBoxes/Styles/img/byline_msnbcDotCom.gif

http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/j/msnbc/Components/Bylines/mugs/NBC%20Sports/nbcsports_tracy_austin.thumb.jpgTracy Austin


NEW YORK - Justine Henin has established herself as the top player in women’s tennis as she did not lose a set en route to her second U.S. Open title and seventh major of her career. She also became the first woman to beat Serena and Venus Williams (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20666448/#) in a major event, and then go on to win the title.

But both sisters are still capable of taking over at No. 1 if they are healthy and playing regularly on the WTA Tour.

No-Williams final
It was simply too bad that neither one of the sisters was playing in the final for the fifth straight year. Remember, Serena prevailed against Venus in the 2002 final. During the first set of Henin’s 6-1, 6-3 victory in Super Saturday’s final vs. 22-year-old Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20666448/#), a fan cried “Let’s go Venus!” :haha: :haha:

Venus — who played well, but lost to Henin in the semis here — was allegedly:rolleyes: (why didn't she just accuse the Williams family of lying) found to have anemia after she emerged at Wimbledon and won as the No. 23 seed. Oracene Price, Venus’s mother and coach said following the Henin loss that matter was serious enough for Venus to visit the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota this week.

Serena, on the other hand, lost to Henin in the quarterfinal of a major for the third straight time. After that match, Serena said she needs to go back and “figure out” how to beat the Belgian. But keep in mind that Serena came to the Open having not played since her loss to Henin at Wimbledon due to a thumb injury. Does she know how to beat Henin? Yes! She did just that in a remarkable three-set triumph at the Key Biscayne event in March.

Champ deserves credit
Henin has held the No. 1 ranking for 81 weeks since she last won the U.S. Open in 2003, and relinquished the top spot for all but six weeks this season. Against Kuznetsova, the 2004 Open champ, Henin captured the first set by breaking Kuznetsova’s first serve before winning four straight. It was almost typical of the dominant run during the fortnight by Henin, who did not lose a set despite playing in the top-heavy portion of the women’s draw.

At 5-foot-5, Henin’s game certainly is not flashy or powerful. She did not lead the women’s draw in any statistical category, and had just 17 aces going into the final with her fastest serve clocked at 117 m.p.h. But make no mistake: Henin is a smart, crafty player, who clearly understands exactly how to hit a wide variety of shots and use all areas of the court.

Henin a changed woman
Henin has long had a reputation on the women’s tour for being an aloof, sometimes cold player. But she certainly showed more personality following her victory in the final. She ventured into the stands to hug her long-time coach Carlos Rodriguez (whom Henin thanked for making her a better person and player), and smiled broadly throughout the on-court ceremony.

Henin missed the Australian Open in January after separating from her husband. After that, she reconciled with her brothers David and Thomas and father Jose after David was in a car accident, which left him in a coma.

Rodriguez claims Henin has matured off the court. And I couldn’t agree more.

Nerves hamper Kuznetsova
Kuznetsova simply made too many mistakes — 29 unforced errors — and looked nervous throughout the match. Before the match, I felt the only way Kuznetsova had a chance was if she was able to break Henin’s serve early in the first set. Obviously, that did not happen. And afterwards, Kuznetsova seemed embarrassed after losing to Henin for the 15th time in 17 career matches. Her four games were the fewest by a U.S. Open runner-up in 31 years.

Kuznetsova is hardly a no-name player. Remember, she did win the title here in ’04 and was the runner-up at the 2006 French Open (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20666448/#), where she lost to Henin. And Kuznetsova, as a result of her showing at the Open, will rise to No. 2 in the next tour rankings.

Obviously, that’s a plus.



© 2007 MSNBC Interactive

Marshmallow
Sep 9th, 2007, 06:03 PM
Surprised that i'm agreeing with Tracy, but i share her opinion in the first 2 paragraphs. Venus and Serena can replace Justine at the top of the game, IF the get fit, and play more. But Credit to Justine to proving that she will not be dominated by them anymore.

Venus+Serena#1fan
Sep 10th, 2007, 03:05 AM
I agree w/Austin. Clearly For Venus and Serena to be at the top they need to be 100% healthy, 100% fit (serena isnt yet) and match tough.

I think the major thing for SErena other than being fit and healthy is to play more tournaments. Truth is, during big matches, particularly against Justine she is SO TIGHT, like the woman can't move or relax, or hit the ball like she can because she is SO nervous. Reminds me of her mental jinx against Capriati in 00, 01.....But then she broke through and the rest is history, so hopefully she will do it again.

Brooklyn90
Sep 10th, 2007, 03:09 AM
I agree. Serena really needs to dedicate herself.

Savior
Sep 10th, 2007, 03:11 AM
Holy crap. Even when people praise Venus and Serena, people act like they're being attacked. Sheesh. Calm down.

danieln1
Sep 10th, 2007, 03:15 AM
I like Tracy comments, except the Radwanska ones...
Also she looks much better nowadays, in the late seventies she was ugly

Ntour
Sep 10th, 2007, 03:51 AM
thats a huge IF

i don't think they will ever play lots of tournaments again, which means they will have to practically clean up a;; the slams to have a shot at number 1, whihc i'm sure justine will have something to say about

i mean serena with the AO title and justine only playing three slams this year is over double serenas ranking points
that means she needs the equivalent of 2.5 slam wins to catch her

RJWCapriati
Sep 10th, 2007, 03:53 AM
Tracy is a moron

woosey
Sep 10th, 2007, 03:57 AM
right now, venus and serena are the only wons who believe in themselves enough to beat henin.

jankovic may be able to henin, but she does not have believe when she steps out there against henin.

Jakeev
Sep 10th, 2007, 04:00 AM
Apparently, Tracy forgot that Serena has 8 GS singles titles:rolleyes: . Plus, why is it always about Venus and Serena with her? Didn't Justine win last night?



Venus, Serena still capable of catching Henin

But U.S. Open champion not about to easily hand over No. 1 spot

http://msnbcmedia2.msn.com/j/ap/spanuso24209090044.hmedium.jpg (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20665842/displaymode/1176/rstry/20666448/)
U.S. Open champ Justine Henin has grown as a player in part because she has matured off the court, msnbc.com contributor Tracy Austin writes.



OPINION
By Tracy Austin
MSNBC contributor
Updated: 3:36 a.m. ET Sept 9, 2007
http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/i/msnbc/Components/ColorBoxes/Styles/img/byline_msnbcDotCom.gif

http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/j/msnbc/Components/Bylines/mugs/NBC%20Sports/nbcsports_tracy_austin.thumb.jpgTracy Austin


NEW YORK - Justine Henin has established herself as the top player in women’s tennis as she did not lose a set en route to her second U.S. Open title and seventh major of her career. She also became the first woman to beat Serena and Venus Williams (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20666448/#) in a major event, and then go on to win the title.

But both sisters are still capable of taking over at No. 1 if they are healthy and playing regularly on the WTA Tour.

No-Williams final
It was simply too bad that neither one of the sisters was playing in the final for the fifth straight year. Remember, Serena prevailed against Venus in the 2002 final. During the first set of Henin’s 6-1, 6-3 victory in Super Saturday’s final vs. 22-year-old Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20666448/#), a fan cried “Let’s go Venus!” :haha: :haha:

Venus — who played well, but lost to Henin in the semis here — was allegedly:rolleyes: (why didn't she just accuse the Williams family of lying) found to have anemia after she emerged at Wimbledon and won as the No. 23 seed. Oracene Price, Venus’s mother and coach said following the Henin loss that matter was serious enough for Venus to visit the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota this week.

Serena, on the other hand, lost to Henin in the quarterfinal of a major for the third straight time. After that match, Serena said she needs to go back and “figure out” how to beat the Belgian. But keep in mind that Serena came to the Open having not played since her loss to Henin at Wimbledon due to a thumb injury. Does she know how to beat Henin? Yes! She did just that in a remarkable three-set triumph at the Key Biscayne event in March.

Champ deserves credit
Henin has held the No. 1 ranking for 81 weeks since she last won the U.S. Open in 2003, and relinquished the top spot for all but six weeks this season. Against Kuznetsova, the 2004 Open champ, Henin captured the first set by breaking Kuznetsova’s first serve before winning four straight. It was almost typical of the dominant run during the fortnight by Henin, who did not lose a set despite playing in the top-heavy portion of the women’s draw.

At 5-foot-5, Henin’s game certainly is not flashy or powerful. She did not lead the women’s draw in any statistical category, and had just 17 aces going into the final with her fastest serve clocked at 117 m.p.h. But make no mistake: Henin is a smart, crafty player, who clearly understands exactly how to hit a wide variety of shots and use all areas of the court.

Henin a changed woman
Henin has long had a reputation on the women’s tour for being an aloof, sometimes cold player. But she certainly showed more personality following her victory in the final. She ventured into the stands to hug her long-time coach Carlos Rodriguez (whom Henin thanked for making her a better person and player), and smiled broadly throughout the on-court ceremony.

Henin missed the Australian Open in January after separating from her husband. After that, she reconciled with her brothers David and Thomas and father Jose after David was in a car accident, which left him in a coma.

Rodriguez claims Henin has matured off the court. And I couldn’t agree more.

Nerves hamper Kuznetsova
Kuznetsova simply made too many mistakes — 29 unforced errors — and looked nervous throughout the match. Before the match, I felt the only way Kuznetsova had a chance was if she was able to break Henin’s serve early in the first set. Obviously, that did not happen. And afterwards, Kuznetsova seemed embarrassed after losing to Henin for the 15th time in 17 career matches. Her four games were the fewest by a U.S. Open runner-up in 31 years.

Kuznetsova is hardly a no-name player. Remember, she did win the title here in ’04 and was the runner-up at the 2006 French Open (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20666448/#), where she lost to Henin. And Kuznetsova, as a result of her showing at the Open, will rise to No. 2 in the next tour rankings.

Obviously, that’s a plus.



© 2007 MSNBC Interactive

And you are moaning about what liz?

switz
Sep 10th, 2007, 04:01 AM
Tracy Austin: "Venus and Serena are perfect. I love them so much and worship them like a god".
lizchris: "They are gods :rolleyes: You're such a hater Tracy. Bitch!"

lucashg
Sep 10th, 2007, 04:25 AM
:lol:

Well, Venus and Serena could still be #1, but I doubt they will ever play enough to do so. They play few tournaments and for half of them, their preparation is not what should be and they lose rather early or pull out, not helping their rankings.

If someone's to replace Justine in #1 spot, it'll be someone consistent who plays a lot of tournaments and is able to step up to the task of winning majors. Probably Jankovic, Ivanovic. Kuznetsova and Sharapova have a say in that as well, and I'd like to still include a fit, motivated Mauresmo in the mix.

JustineTime
Sep 10th, 2007, 06:50 AM
"and relinquished the top spot for all but just six weeks this season."

*corrects Tracy's atrocious grammatical error.* :o

spencercarlos
Sep 10th, 2007, 07:03 AM
Surprised that i'm agreeing with Tracy, but i share her opinion in the first 2 paragraphs. Venus and Serena can replace Justine at the top of the game, IF the get fit, and play more. But Credit to Justine to proving that she will not be dominated by them anymore.
Big If´s :lol:

Marshmallow
Sep 10th, 2007, 01:42 PM
Big If´s :lol:

But moreso for Serena than Venus i think. So long as this Anemia crisis doesn't take too long, Venus has shown she has the desire.

After Miami Serena's level dropped off a little and she did have hamstring complaints - but she loves proving people wrong... but we'll see.

:D

MistyGrey
Sep 10th, 2007, 02:18 PM
Why are you complaining?? seems like Williams fans just like to complain and moan about one thing or another :shrug:

stickwitju(ju)
Sep 10th, 2007, 02:40 PM
Why are you complaining?? seems like Williams fans just like to complain and moan about one thing or another :shrug:

And they seem so greedy, too, like Serena Jameka Williams and Venus Ebonee Star Williams are journeywomen who barely win matches...

:dance:

spencercarlos
Sep 10th, 2007, 02:52 PM
But moreso for Serena than Venus i think. So long as this Anemia crisis doesn't take too long, Venus has shown she has the desire.

After Miami Serena's level dropped off a little and she did have hamstring complaints - but she loves proving people wrong... but we'll see.

:D
I would be very surprised if Venus puts up another year similar to 2004 in the amount of events played. We´ll see.

V-MAC
Sep 10th, 2007, 02:58 PM
I would be very surprised if Venus puts up another year similar to 2004 in the amount of events played. We´ll see.

Hardly now as her anemia problem has put paid to that :sad: I hope Vee can get the better of it but seeing that it saps her energy, she'll probably have to be even more selective about what tournaments she plays in the future, a bit like Henin actually when she was suffering from that mystery virus a while back.

RenaSlam.
Sep 10th, 2007, 03:05 PM
:lol: Tracy..

Martian KC
Sep 10th, 2007, 03:09 PM
I disagree about Justine's game not being flashy. WTF?!?!?!

DemWilliamsGulls
Sep 10th, 2007, 03:38 PM
Well shit ...we all know that Venus and Serena can beat Justine...its just going to depend on how much they want to play and train. When they dominated Justine all they played was tennis and they played much better. As you can see, both has a new clothing line, Venus has interior decorating...and they both won grand slams this year. I think Henin fans and the media..just blown Henin beating them out the water because Venus and Serena are still the measuring stick of womens tennis REGUARDLESS of Henin being #1. But anyway...HELL YEAH Venus and Serena can beat Henin..and you better believe they will now that Henin beat both of them and won the US Open...I can guarantee that ;)

Apoleb
Sep 10th, 2007, 03:40 PM
Tracy's articles are just as tepid and boring as her commentary.

She only can say the obvious, and repeat it at that.

tennisIlove09
Sep 10th, 2007, 03:45 PM
Venus doesnt need to play more. She just needs to become consistent in her results. She's playing about the same number of events as Henin.

Serena needs to play more and stay fit. She seems to through stages of being super fit, and then lacking. In today's game you always need be to 100%.

Most importantly, both sisters need to stay healthy.

stickwitju(ju)
Sep 10th, 2007, 04:16 PM
Most importantly, both sisters need to stay healthy.

How can they when they have a life outside of tennis?

:rocker:

plantman
Sep 10th, 2007, 06:26 PM
Yes she is so deluded! Doesn't she hear the 'ooohs' and 'aaahs' in the crowd every time Justine unleashes her fabulous backhand, nails a stinging forehand or hits an unbelievable shot that NO ONE on the tour can make? She has it all! Power, touch, speed and willpower! Even McEnroe is so in awe! Everyone that knows anything about tennis in fact. Hitting the ball as hard and flat as possible from the baseline like a ball-machine as so many of the Russian girls do is NOT flashy play Tracy! Tracy must have been hit on the head with a tennisball one too many times.

Every year I hear her commenting on the BBC during Wimbledon. I understand that she, as an American, roots for the American girls. But please Tracy keep it real! Justine is one of the flashiest players out there!


Tracy also has a problem with Justine saying "Allez"....as she made very apparent when commenting with Courier earlier about professional tennis etiquette. While watching the young player standing way inside the baseline to return Maria's serve/drawing double faults, Courier said that's just not done in professional tennis and Tracy went off on Justine......
It was'nt how Tracy felt about the "Allez", it was the way in which she said it. Almost hatred in her facial expression!

plantman
Sep 10th, 2007, 06:34 PM
Yes she is so deluded! Doesn't she hear the 'ooohs' and 'aaahs' in the crowd every time Justine unleashes her fabulous backhand, nails a stinging forehand or hits an unbelievable shot that NO ONE on the tour can make? She has it all! Power, touch, speed and willpower! Even McEnroe is so in awe! Everyone that knows anything about tennis in fact. Hitting the ball as hard and flat as possible from the baseline like a ball-machine as so many of the Russian girls do is NOT flashy play Tracy! Tracy must have been hit on the head with a tennisball one too many times.

Every year I hear her commenting on the BBC during Wimbledon. I understand that she, as an American, roots for the American girls. But please Tracy keep it real! Justine is one of the flashiest players out there!

Would'nt it be electrifying if Carlos (with Justine's approval) took on Martina Hingis as his part-time pupil and added his expertise to Martina's already flashy game! The two top women players could be two of the shortest! It's not that far fetched......could happen!!:)

QUEENLINDSAY
Sep 10th, 2007, 07:30 PM
I dont get anything interesting and something that I dont know already from Tracy!

Everybody knows that!!! BIG IF!!!!

But there are a lot of IF's!!!

IF JUSTINE keeps improving, she will be unbeatable
IF SERENA is dedicated/healthy, etc...
IF VENUS etc....
IF KIM did'nt BURNT out- there will be more compettition at the top
IF Maria- add more variety..etc..
IF LINDSAy could improve her movement

WE ALL KNOW THAT!!!!

These are the IF's for years now.

plantman
Sep 10th, 2007, 07:30 PM
Did Tracy say that? What about her absolute favourites Venus and Serena? They grunt and scream so loud an opponent can't hear herself think! And the look in their eyes says: 'I'm going to kill you,cook you and devour you!' Talking about hatred in facial expressions! Furthermore, Serena murmurs 'bitch' to her opponent and is too miserable a person to be gracious in defeat! And what about Maria? My god! She makes more noise than a departing fighter plane! I think that Justine's 'Allez!' is not so bad then and certainly not unfair or against etiquette.

If that stupid cow Tracy saw me now, she would see hatred in my facial expression. (I'm murmuring 'bitch' now just as Serena did in the quarters);)

She did! And yes I agree with all you said. Tracy's just a flip/flopper commentator at best!

Donny
Sep 10th, 2007, 07:33 PM
Tracy also has a problem with Justine saying "Allez"....as she made very apparent when commenting with Courier earlier about professional tennis etiquette. While watching the young player standing way inside the baseline to return Maria's serve/drawing double faults, Courier said that's just not done in professional tennis and Tracy went off on Justine......
It was'nt how Tracy felt about the "Allez", it was the way in which she said it. Almost hatred in her facial expression!

....You DO realize that Austin was defending Justine's right to do that, saying it was acceptable behavior?

Forehand_Volley
Sep 10th, 2007, 07:35 PM
Well shit ...we all know that Venus and Serena can beat Justine...its just going to depend on how much they want to play and train. When they dominated Justine all they played was tennis and they played much better. As you can see, both has a new clothing line, Venus has interior decorating...and they both won grand slams this year. I think Henin fans and the media..just blown Henin beating them out the water because Venus and Serena are still the measuring stick of womens tennis REGUARDLESS of Henin being #1. But anyway...HELL YEAH Venus and Serena can beat Henin..and you better believe they will now that Henin beat both of them and won the US Open...I can guarantee that ;)

Where there is Venus and Serena named, replace with Chris Evert
Where there is Henin named, replace with Martina Navratilova

Reread.

Think back to 1982-1983 of the discussion going on in women's tennis. Chris has dominated Martina for the most part early in Navratilova's career. Then Navratilova turned it completely around at age 26.

Its not too unthinkable that a tennis player who was dominated early in their career could turn that scenario around. Especially when you saw it unfold before your eyes.

plantman
Sep 10th, 2007, 07:42 PM
....You DO realize that Austin was defending Justine's right to do that, saying it was acceptable behavior?

I didn't see it that way! Her expression said it all no matter what her stand on it may or may not have been!

Donny
Sep 10th, 2007, 07:45 PM
Where there is Venus and Serena named, replace with Chris Evert
Where there is Henin named, replace with Martina Navratilova

Reread.

Think back to 1982-1983 of the discussion going on in women's tennis.

Martina Navritolova had won the career slam by 1983.

That alone cemented her position among the greatest ever.

So I wouldn't call that analogy particularly apt.

Donny
Sep 10th, 2007, 07:47 PM
I didn't see it that way! Her expression said it all no matter what her stand on it may or may not have been!

Sigh...

Courier was attacking Agnes, saying that her dancing around while Sharapova was about to serve is not proper etiquette. Austin said that times have changed, and that many things that weren't acceptable twenty years ago, like Henin saying "allez" all the time, are now acceptable.


You heard and saw what you wanted to hear and see.

SerenaAndTheVee
Sep 10th, 2007, 07:49 PM
"Courier was attacking Agnes, saying that her dancing around while Sharapova was about to serve is not proper etiquette."

I was surprised that Sharapova didn't give right back to her. It's not against the rules,

Donny
Sep 10th, 2007, 07:51 PM
"Courier was attacking Agnes, saying that her dancing around while Sharapova was about to serve is not proper etiquette."

I was surprised that Sharapova didn't give right back to her. It's not against the rules,

She did. During the last game of the match. Sharapova was feet inside the baseline to return. Of course, this is because she had already given up, and was intent on hitting the ball as hard as she could, whether they were in or not...

Forehand_Volley
Sep 10th, 2007, 08:07 PM
Martina Navritolova had won the career slam by 1983.

That alone cemented her position among the greatest ever.

So I wouldn't call that analogy particularly apt.
Navratilova was 26 when she accomplished her career slam and it was at the 1983 US Open.

Justine will turn 26 during the French Open next year, right before Wimbledon.

Tennis history has shown that Navratilova who was largely overshadowed and beaten by Evert early-on in their career was able to turn that around. It began when Navratilova was 26 and cemented by her 27th birthday, later in 1983.

Henin has gotten a very good start turning her personal history with the Williams Sisters around. 2007 (4-0).

I think the analogy is very apt.

Donny
Sep 10th, 2007, 08:20 PM
Navratilova was 26 when she accomplished her career slam and it was at the 1983 US Open.

Justine will turn 26 during the French Open next year, right before Wimbledon.

Tennis history has shown that Navratilova who was largely overshadowed and beaten by Evert early-on in their career was able to turn that around. It began when Navratilova was 26 and cemented by her 27th birthday, later in 1983.

Henin has gotten a very good start turning her personal history with the Williams Sisters around. 2007 (4-0).

I think the analogy is very apt.


You said the discussion during 1982-1983 is comparable to the one being had now regarding Henin and the WS.

Martina, in 1983, had cemented her position as a cotender for GOAT in the Open Era.

She had also beaten Evert in the finals of FIVE of the slams she had won up until that point.

Martina of 83 =/= Henin of 2007.

friendsita
Sep 11th, 2007, 05:23 AM
I agree with Tracy.