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View Full Version : Questions from a new-ish JJ fan


bluehaze
Mar 26th, 2008, 04:13 AM
I've only been following JJ's career since Australian Open, so I don't know too much about her career before that. Was she a better player this year than the same time last year? How was she viewed within the tennis community? It seems she was at least considered a contender to win the French Open or Wimbledon. From what I've read recently though (in GM), people don't seem to have much confidence in her ability to a GS. What changed between then and now?

Thanks!

redsonja
Mar 26th, 2008, 05:06 AM
I think the major thing that changed between this time last year and now is that she played 2394820352 tournaments last season and completely wore herself out. Then she had surgery over the off-season and no time to get trained for the new season because of the recovery time. Then she pulled her ass (I guess it would be more ladylike to say "buttocks" or "gluteus maximus" :p) at Hopman Cup and refused to pull out to give herself time to heal. So she went into the AO untrained and injured. She's spent pretty much the entire season so far trying to catch up from all that.

(She's in much better shape now than she was at the AO, but she'll still probably play a bajillion tournaments. One thing you'll learn is, girlfriend is bugnuts crazy. :p)

I'm sure there's a more technical analysis to be had, though. :D

Bruno71
Mar 26th, 2008, 08:04 AM
I think the major thing that changed between this time last year and now is that she played 2394820352 tournaments last season and completely wore herself out. Then she had surgery over the off-season and no time to get trained for the new season because of the recovery time. Then she pulled her ass (I guess it would be more ladylike to say "buttocks" or "gluteus maximus" :p) at Hopman Cup and refused to pull out to give herself time to heal. So she went into the AO untrained and injured. She's spent pretty much the entire season so far trying to catch up from all that.

(She's in much better shape now than she was at the AO, but she'll still probably play a bajillion tournaments. One thing you'll learn is, girlfriend is bugnuts crazy. :p)

I'm sure there's a more technical analysis to be had, though. :D

Well, that sounds as good as any. :lol:

According to someone on GM, she's played "zombie tennis" since last summer. This sounds about right to me. Panting, sniffling, getting sick, looking lackluster, looking perturbed and/or resigned and/or pissed off. But still fighting, she's always good at that.

After 3 semi appearances in slams and her 2 biggest tourney victories coming only on clay, people (including myself) have questioned her ability to win a slam. She just hasn't asserted herself yet. Hope she does, but if she doesn't, that's fine, too. I just enjoy her personality and watching her play.

bluehaze
Mar 26th, 2008, 01:20 PM
Thanks for the analysis, redsonya. Wish she would take some time off!

Bruno, I wish I had your attitude. When I root for someone, I want them to win it all and I don't want anyone else to win! Which is unfortunate for me since thats not how tennis works :help: :tape:

дalex
Mar 26th, 2008, 01:32 PM
Bruno, I wish I had your attitude.

Ooh, don't go there. :lol:
I wish I am on lithium every time I read Bruno's objective but rather pessimistic posts. :haha:

Bruno, ;)

Wayn77
Mar 26th, 2008, 01:46 PM
Hope she does, but if she doesn't, that's fine, too. I just enjoy her personality and watching her play.

BINGO .... :)

Without wishing to sound pompous: trying to find that final piece in your game to win big is the daren trickiest part of them all. A conundrum that has defeated many potential great champions over the years. I'm convinced JJ has got it, hope she finds it... If not .... so be it.

Bruno71
Mar 26th, 2008, 08:29 PM
Ohmigod I didn't mean to mislead anyone. I'm happy that JJ is playing and giving us such great chat fodder off the court as well. But I bang my head so figuratively forcefully when she loses a match dumbly, too. I just have to try & get over it :lol:

If I could get one small wish for her play (which has, strangely, seemed to come true *so far* this year), it's for her to not keep losing these leads and "choking." That'd be a nice first step.

terjw
Mar 26th, 2008, 09:50 PM
I've only been following JJ's career since Australian Open, so I don't know too much about her career before that. Was she a better player this year than the same time last year? How was she viewed within the tennis community? It seems she was at least considered a contender to win the French Open or Wimbledon. From what I've read recently though (in GM), people don't seem to have much confidence in her ability to a GS. What changed between then and now?
Thanks!

bluehaze - this is just the way I see it. Others here will know more than me:

I think she has slipped back a bit from how she was playing a year ago - but some of this was inevitable. One major problem has been as has beeen mentioned - Jelena exhausted herself towards the end of last year overplaying.

But in GM I think there's a temptation to hype up a player to ridiculous extremes when they win and to denigrate a player saying they should retire when they lose. It would be lovely if Jelena could win a slam. But I don't think anyone would have believed the improvement she has made since winning Rome in 2006 back then. And now they are slating her for not having a slam. I don't think it's likely she'll win a slam right now. There are a few players better than her. But I didn't think she'd win a slam last year either - players then that were better than her. But what I don't do is forget the fantastic improvement she has made in the last 2 years to get up to #3.

She did have breathing problems last year - and that has set her plans back a bit this year. It really was a must to get that fixed so she had surgery on her nose at the end of 2007 in the off season. But that's put her back for this year - 2008. First it meant she had no preparation. And then she got injuies right left and centre on all parts of her anatomy as well. She did amazing as it was to make the semis - beating Serena - at the AO with her injuries.

So far in 2008 - she hasn't had much rest to get over them like we've been wanting her to do. She had a break for a couple of weeks - but that was about it. But she says she's over them now. There's a bit of a dilemma because she's been saying some of her bad results are because she's not fit enough with the time she's lost. And so she needed to add a tournament to get fitter. On the other hand - that seems dangerous with her injuries and her overplaying last year. Nevertheless she was smiling a lot at IW and played much better there beating opponents in the early rounds much more easily.

Her loss against Ana - if you read her interview afterwards - she's spot on as to why and what she needs to improve: Serve and return in 2nd set and stop being completely erratic in tie breaks. She also knows (and can take heart in) she had the better of it if she got into rallies. With working on those areas and if she could get a coach she got on well with (and she's looking really hard) - there really is room for her to get better.

But right now - I'm not too upset if she loses to Ana. She's not expected to win and Ana is the better player right now. Not many other players are better. I'm hoping that's something that will change for Jelena. But I'm looking for small steps at a time. The Marion's and Anna's and Na Li's who have been beating her lately. She's better than them. And after IW I really would like to see herself establish herself over players like these.

In summary - yes I think she's gone back a bit. But I am hopeful she'll get better. But I'm not getting my hopes up for spectacular improvements - just steady progress.

дalex
Mar 26th, 2008, 10:22 PM
But even though JJ's form wasn't that great this year I actually think she gained more ranking points this year compared to the same period in 2007. Am I right about this?
True question is whether she'll be able to defend all those big titles from last year and, why not, win some more...

Bruno71
Mar 26th, 2008, 11:38 PM
But even though JJ's form wasn't that great this year I actually think she gained more ranking points this year compared to the same period in 2007. Am I right about this?
True question is whether she'll be able to defend all those big titles from last year and, why not, win some more...

She has garnered more ranking points this year to this point as compared to last, mainly due to the AO & IW semis. I think she's been fighting through some matches a little bit better this year, despite not being in as good a form. For instance, kind of choking away a bit the Sydney final to Clijsters last year, and falling flat on her face in 4R of the AO against Serena. It's much harder to dispatch her now, mentally, though Ana seemed to do a good job of that and she's had lapses against Chinese players.

bluehaze
Mar 27th, 2008, 02:32 AM
terjw, that was great. It does give me some hope that although she is not playing her best, she has still reached QF and higher at every tournament she has played this year. And I'm happy that she seems to understand what she needs to work on in order to improve. I hope she finds a permanent coach soon!