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View Full Version : Thought on Serena as we approach the Spring


OsloErik
Jan 31st, 2010, 05:25 AM
Having watched the women's final in entirety now, I have only one thought:

The quality of tennis Serena played, in terms of solid and consistent aggression and sheer focus, control, and court-sense gives me every indication that she is gunning for a 2nd French Open title, and she's preparing for the way she has to play on clay.

All tournament long, Serena maintained laser-sharp focus. The only times she looked out-of-sorts were the first set and a half against a very 'on' Azarenka, and about four games against a very 'on' Henin. And rather than up the aggression, she took a very practical route and went with the smarter shot, the steadier weapon, the holding pattern rather than the air strike. And as she found her range, she turned it around. That's the kind of tennis she is capable of, but we haven't seen THAT kind of tennis from Serena, conistently, in a very long time. This makes three straight matches (or at least 6.5 straight sets) of extremely thoughtful tennis with the gear always set to 2nd or 3rd, with the ability to kick it into 4th (and, for Serena, untouchable) gear when the cylinders are firing.

Part of what, I think, Serena has suffered from on clay in the past five years is a tendency to think she can blast her way past anyone. And that is true against almost anyone on grass, most players on hard courts, and many players on clay, but the threshold is lower. Serena has rarely needed to play thoughtful tennis because her devastating best is too much for anyone to handle. But (in many ways) since Sharapova showed that a determined, focused, and on-fire player can withstand the barrage and throw it back at her, Serena has had to adapt. Seeing her adjust her tactics against Azarenka, and especially seeing her come into the final with a gameplan I never would have expected from her, I am convinced she has learned something about maintaining that steady level and letting the opportunity present itself rather than forcing it and risk opportunity arriving on her opponent's doorstep.

Admittedly, there are still technical things that will always make clay a tougher ask, but seeing her play this past week...I think she's looking more capable as a slow-court player than she has at any point in her career. And as someone who relishes clay tennis as the ultimate expression of the sport, I'm excited to see the best of her generation bring it on clay with the proper attitude and mindset, as well as skills, to be the best.

ireneteri
Jan 31st, 2010, 06:07 AM
there is no excuse for serena not to play great on clay and winning rolland garros after what she showed us the whole australian open. i expect her to win rolland garros, after all, she is the best of this generation and the legend.

woosey
Jan 31st, 2010, 07:07 AM
she actually did mention trying to take the french title. i think it may have been after an interview with pam shriver or some other off moment. i remember hearing her say something about that.

The Kaz
Jan 31st, 2010, 07:10 AM
:secret: Its Autumn in the southern hemisphere, not spring

woosey
Jan 31st, 2010, 07:17 AM
well, the tour is heading back to the northern hemisphere where spring approaches.

azinna
Jan 31st, 2010, 07:23 AM
If she could improve her movement and footwork to at least May 2008 level, then she'd be good to go.

Tennisstar86
Jan 31st, 2010, 07:24 AM
well. she said after her interview with pam that "now i need to figure out a way to win the French Open" Shes been gunning for that 2nd French Open title. Anyways I dont think she'll win it, because her ground game is just not that solid these days and the clay will suck up her serve... She'll have as good a chance as any to win the french open cause lets face it noone knows how to play on it, but what the clay does is take Serena from a great player to just a good one. anyways clay sucks...

My fav was bud collins line after Lindsay said during her comeback she wouldnt play the French Open "I wouldnt go play on that stuff either if i were her.. its hot and dirty"

BuTtErFrEnA
Jan 31st, 2010, 09:15 AM
the clay can work with her serve if she's going for placement and kick instead of power...

i agree with the OP though and one thing i'd like to point out is how much serena has been working points and opening up the court which helped her last year...her only problem is believing in herself on clay....serena has been known to play flat qf matches (quarterena) but being up 4-2 40-0 on her serve and choking to lose 5-7, admitting she choked and got tight, is not something you'd see often from serena in GS play on faster surfaces...if she can find the confidence she needs (and hence the patience) to win on clay, i think she can do it

Arnian
Jan 31st, 2010, 09:27 AM
she actually did mention trying to take the french title. i think it may have been after an interview with pam shriver or some other off moment. i remember hearing her say something about that.

She's been talking about how she wants to win another French Open for several years now, she had her best chance against Kuznetsova in 09.

She just doesn't play well on the red clay.

tennnisfannn
Jan 31st, 2010, 09:56 AM
I guess she will be gunning for the FO the same way Justine will be gunning for wimbledon!

Golovinjured.
Jan 31st, 2010, 10:06 AM
there is no excuse for serena not to play great on clay and winning rolland garros after what she showed us the whole australian open. i expect her to win rolland garros, after all, she is the best of this generation and the legend.

You can't say her being the best of this generation, and a legend, means she should win Roland Garros. There's a reason why she hasn't been past the SF since 2003.

I agree with the OP. She may be planning her assault on RG, because what I saw from Serena (for the most part) this fortnight was controlled aggression, and generally smart tennis. The only time she broke that mould was when she had to against Azarenka where she, and this is where I disagree with the OP, went for broke, blow after blow, when she was down and out. But only when she really needed to.

One thing that needs to improve for RG is her footwork, but as it is she's still obviously one of the favourites.

dscho99
Jan 31st, 2010, 10:23 AM
Having watched the women's final in entirety now, I have only one thought:

The quality of tennis Serena played, in terms of solid and consistent aggression and sheer focus, control, and court-sense gives me every indication that she is gunning for a 2nd French Open title, and she's preparing for the way she has to play on clay.

All tournament long, Serena maintained laser-sharp focus. The only times she looked out-of-sorts were the first set and a half against a very 'on' Azarenka, and about four games against a very 'on' Henin. And rather than up the aggression, she took a very practical route and went with the smarter shot, the steadier weapon, the holding pattern rather than the air strike. And as she found her range, she turned it around. That's the kind of tennis she is capable of, but we haven't seen THAT kind of tennis from Serena, conistently, in a very long time. This makes three straight matches (or at least 6.5 straight sets) of extremely thoughtful tennis with the gear always set to 2nd or 3rd, with the ability to kick it into 4th (and, for Serena, untouchable) gear when the cylinders are firing.

Part of what, I think, Serena has suffered from on clay in the past five years is a tendency to think she can blast her way past anyone. And that is true against almost anyone on grass, most players on hard courts, and many players on clay, but the threshold is lower. Serena has rarely needed to play thoughtful tennis because her devastating best is too much for anyone to handle. But (in many ways) since Sharapova showed that a determined, focused, and on-fire player can withstand the barrage and throw it back at her, Serena has had to adapt. Seeing her adjust her tactics against Azarenka, and especially seeing her come into the final with a gameplan I never would have expected from her, I am convinced she has learned something about maintaining that steady level and letting the opportunity present itself rather than forcing it and risk opportunity arriving on her opponent's doorstep.

Admittedly, there are still technical things that will always make clay a tougher ask, but seeing her play this past week...I think she's looking more capable as a slow-court player than she has at any point in her career. And as someone who relishes clay tennis as the ultimate expression of the sport, I'm excited to see the best of her generation bring it on clay with the proper attitude and mindset, as well as skills, to be the best.


Serena has ZERO chances of winning the FO.
Her last clay court title was almost EIGHT years ago.

G1Player2
Jan 31st, 2010, 10:48 AM
Serena has ZERO chances of winning the FO.
Her last clay court title was almost EIGHT years ago.


Who cares? She's already won it. :nerner: And, her last claycourt title was actually in 2008. When Henin wins Wimbledon, then get back to me. :lol:

Matt01
Jan 31st, 2010, 10:59 AM
First of all she needs a proper clay court schedule, but since she doesn't have that this year, her chances to win another RG title are very slim.


Who cares? She's already won it. :nerner: And, her last claycourt title was actually in 2008. When Henin wins Wimbledon, then get back to me. :lol:


What does Henin have to do with this thread again, troll?

BuTtErFrEnA
Jan 31st, 2010, 11:01 AM
She's been talking about how she wants to win another French Open for several years now, she had her best chance against Kuznetsova in 09.

She just doesn't play well on the red clay.

incorrect...but i wouldn't expect any different from you :lol: the fact that she gave kuzzy her biggest challenge last year shows she can play on clay...the fact that she beat jh on clay shows she can play on clay...her only issue on clay is the confidence that she has on faster surfaces...it's amazing how you write off serena's chances on clay for winning RG

G1Player2
Jan 31st, 2010, 11:02 AM
First of all she needs a proper clay court schedule, but since she doesn't have that this year, her chances to win another RG title are very slim.





What does Henin have to do with this thread again, troll?

The poster I was replying too is a big Justine fan. He tried to attack Serena for her shortcomings at the FO, a title she has won already, yet his fave is yet to win the biggest title in tennis and never will. :rolleyes: :lol:

Olórin
Jan 31st, 2010, 11:04 AM
Serena has ZERO chances of winning the FO.
Her last clay court title was almost EIGHT years ago.

How much BS can one person talk on this forum - do your research, troll.

Anyway, I think as OsloErik said Serena's problem in the past has been that rather than to stick to whatever gameplan she had, she has reverted to ball blasting. In 2008 she ball bashed her way out in the third round when she had been playing such measured tennis in Berlin and Charleston, she choked in 2009 - she's had so many disappointing losses in recent years alone.

I think she just puts too much pressure on herself - I mean she's already talking about the French, she never does that with any of the other Grand Slams, even back in 2005 after she won the AO she was talking about targetting the French. I hope she turns up healthy with good match prep, ready to play her best in each and every match - because if she does she can do it.

Matt01
Jan 31st, 2010, 11:07 AM
The poster I was replying too is a big Justine fan. He tried to attack Serena for her shortcomings at the FO, a title she has won already, yet his fave is yet to win the biggest title in tennis and never will. :rolleyes: :lol:


And that's why you were bringing Henin into this thread to start a fight? That's very mature of you :yeah:

You're even worse than the poster you were replying, too.

VishaalMaria
Jan 31st, 2010, 01:24 PM
I think she has to get her movement sorted and her footwork to be honest.

hacberto
Jan 31st, 2010, 01:42 PM
People saying she doesn't have a proper clay schedule this year are nuts. Last year she didn't win a match on clay coming to Roland Garros and she was one of the favorites while she was in it but she shocked against Svetlana something we don't see often with Serena.

Galsen
Jan 31st, 2010, 02:43 PM
First of all she needs a proper clay court schedule, but since she doesn't have that this year, her chances to win another RG title are very slim.





What does Henin have to do with this thread again, troll?

what do you think her schedule should be?

VishaalMaria
Jan 31st, 2010, 02:47 PM
Her Schedule last year was horrendous.

Thank god that was 2009 and it's 2010.

She should get some preparation and then she'll be fine.

thierry
Jan 31st, 2010, 03:20 PM
I think she has to get her movement sorted and her footwork to be honest.

You hit the nail on the head right there. Look at these highlights and watch how many 'little' steps she takes between points. Such pretty tennis on clay from Serena.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7ehIQWdXjI

Imo,clay is the best surface to play tennis on because it neutralises power.Serena is currently playing the smartest tennis of her career so that bodes well for her. She's hitting behind her opponents more,the forehand down the line has improved greatly but for it to be a consistent weapon, her movement and footwork need to improve because you really need to be balanced to hit that shot. Also serve down the tee a lot because her pace will make it routinely impossible to return and if returned the reply will be weak and from a flailing racket.
It strikes me that patience and point construction(and therefore fitness and conditioning) play the greatest part in winning matches on clay. She has to go in with that mentality.The tour is too good for bang bang tennis to be enough to prevail any more, esp on clay.

I LOVE watching Serena on clay more than any other surface but i also hate watching her on clay more than any other surface coz it's THAT much easier for her to lose.

Her schedule will also be important. Imo she should ditch charleston even though it's a Tier 1 and stick with Marbella/Stuttgart/Madrid coz the surface is slow and shat should prime her for Roland Garros.

Lastly,she has to get help from the draw. There's got to be some luck involved there. I wouldn't mind this headline during Roland Garros 'Henin ousted in shock upset'. Yeah i def wouldn't mind waking up to that sometime during that tournament.

Justine remains her biggest obstacle to win the French. If this were a 'How justine can win wimbledon thread'...i would hope a Justine fan would point out that Serena is her biggest obstacle to win that tournament.

But first things first. There's three months of tennis to be played still.

bandabou
Jan 31st, 2010, 03:23 PM
Kinda agree with Oslo.Serena's playing very smartly these days. If she can get some clay wins before RG, she could do damage. Will always be her weak surface, so it's gonna take a brilliant effort. Specially now with Juju back in the mix.

VishaalMaria
Jan 31st, 2010, 03:28 PM
That's fucking funny in the clip. Serena slides, falls on her arse, Aga drop shots, Serena gets up and hits it for a winner.

kiwifan
Jan 31st, 2010, 03:42 PM
After Kuzzie, Serena was probably the second best player at the French Open last year ;)...

...and so many posters act like she's never won it :weirdo:..

...G-d people are so negative :lol:

AcesHigh
Jan 31st, 2010, 04:30 PM
She can win it... I just doubt she will. Her footwork and movement are exposed on clay. On all these other surfaces, she doesnt really need to do much in that department.
Also that serve and first-strike tennis are neutralized.

I just don't like her chances with Henin and Clijsters back, not to mention Kuznetsova and a Safina without all the pressure over her head.

Timariot
Jan 31st, 2010, 06:00 PM
Serena has almost no chance to win the FO, unless there is a tons of injuries and absentees amongst the top players. Her present strengths are her first serve and ferocious returning, both of these advantages are much negated on clay. Serena's current form of baseline play simply isn't up to snuff anymore.

friendsita
Jan 31st, 2010, 06:03 PM
She's been talking about how she wants to win another French Open for several years now, she had her best chance against Kuznetsova in 09.

She just doesn't play well on the red clay.

damn yes.. she was sooo close

VishaalMaria
Jan 31st, 2010, 06:12 PM
Serena needs to work on alot of things, her movement, foot-work, ground strokes.

I think she has the will to beat most players barr Justine.

I think if Serena wants to do well on clay she has to beat Justine because she's going to face her either way if Serena wants to add to her Roland Garros tally from now on.

Matt01
Jan 31st, 2010, 06:54 PM
what do you think her schedule should be?


First of all she need to skip either Marbella or Charleston. The best clay court schedule to be successful at RG would be IMO (after Miami):

Marbella (to get a first feeling for red clay)

(Few weeks off to practice at home on clay)

Rome
Madrid
(one week off)
RG


Her current schedule is Miami, Marbella, Charleston, then some weeks off and then Madrid, RG. She probably won't have much success with that kind of scheduling.

Arnian
Feb 1st, 2010, 01:15 AM
incorrect...but i wouldn't expect any different from you :lol: the fact that she gave kuzzy her biggest challenge last year shows she can play on clay...the fact that she beat jh on clay shows she can play on clay...her only issue on clay is the confidence that she has on faster surfaces...it's amazing how you write off serena's chances on clay for winning RG

I'm not writing her off, she just doesn't play her best tennis on the clay, especially the red clay. She can play sometimes really well on the clay, but she can also look like a fish out of water too. I think she has her chances, it's just not the best surface for her. :shrug:

spartanfan
Feb 1st, 2010, 03:52 AM
The best thing Serena can do in prep for the clay season is to stay healthy and get some matches under her belt. Last year was just a prime example of what happens to her for far too many years: she plays balls out in Miami, does not take the time to transition onto clay and usually suffers some sort of injury between Miami and Rome and does not get enough matches in on the red clay. Serena (and Venus) just needs to skip the green clay here in the States, rest and practice and focus entirely on the red clay tournaments, big and small. Look at what happened to her last year: how many matches did she actually win heading into Paris? One? Or was it two? But look at what she actually did at RG. I think if she had just skipped the Spain tournament last year after Miami and gotten back healthy and really dug out some matches on the red stuff she would have won RG last year. Let's hope she stays healthy and plays a full season on clay.

spartanfan
Feb 1st, 2010, 03:55 AM
I think she has to get her movement sorted and her footwork to be honest.
This is true. And the best way for her to do this is thru plenty of red court matches and for her to be healthy going into the clay season. More years than not she's injured at some point going into Paris and never gets in enough matches.

LightWarrior
Feb 1st, 2010, 04:02 AM
First of all she need to skip either Marbella or Charleston. The best clay court schedule to be successful at RG would be IMO (after Miami):

Marbella (to get a first feeling for red clay)

(Few weeks off to practice at home on clay)

Rome
Madrid
(one week off)
RG


Her current schedule is Miami, Marbella, Charleston, then some weeks off and then Madrid, RG. She probably won't have much success with that kind of scheduling.

She doesn't play Rome this year.
She could have won RG last year but was still unfit from the Miami injury. I believe that she can win RG if she's super fit. That means probably not play doubles, not caring about these stupid "zero pointers". More than ever she's playing for the slams. Fuck the wta's stupid rules. Even playing Dubai doesn't make sense, don't even get me started about Marbella. Miami and Madrid is enough at this point in her career. Being injury-free should be her only concern at this point.

spartanfan
Feb 1st, 2010, 04:12 AM
If I could dictate Serena's schedule I'd have her skip Paris indoor and Dubai and play: Monterrey-Miami-Barcelona-Stuttgart and Madrid. Serena does not ususally do well when she plays back to back tournaments- she usually gets injured. I think when she goes straight from Miami onto the clay she doesn't transition her game well enough and still plays a hard-court game. Monterrey (I think thats on clay) will get her feet wet on clay and then the rest of the schedule doesn't have her playing back to back tournaments.

sorceress
Feb 1st, 2010, 04:15 AM
I think she probably had her best chance in 09 against Kuznetsova but if you schedules on similar surfaces to RG and really concentrates on her footwork, you can see she's got it in her sights because I've seen her change her style slightly as well but besides the obvious in Justine there's Clijsters to watch out for in the FO.

Donny
Feb 1st, 2010, 04:27 AM
She can win it... I just doubt she will. Her footwork and movement are exposed on clay. On all these other surfaces, she doesnt really need to do much in that department.
Also that serve and first-strike tennis are neutralized.

I just don't like her chances with Henin and Clijsters back, not to mention Kuznetsova and a Safina without all the pressure over her head.

This is what people said of the AO. Lo and behold, Clijsters didn't even get past Petrova, and Henin wasn't even Serena's stiffest challenge.

RVD
Feb 1st, 2010, 04:32 AM
Having watched the women's final in entirety now, I have only one thought:

The quality of tennis Serena played, in terms of solid and consistent aggression and sheer focus, control, and court-sense gives me every indication that she is gunning for a 2nd French Open title, and she's preparing for the way she has to play on clay.

All tournament long, Serena maintained laser-sharp focus. The only times she looked out-of-sorts were the first set and a half against a very 'on' Azarenka, and about four games against a very 'on' Henin. And rather than up the aggression, she took a very practical route and went with the smarter shot, the steadier weapon, the holding pattern rather than the air strike. And as she found her range, she turned it around. That's the kind of tennis she is capable of, but we haven't seen THAT kind of tennis from Serena, conistently, in a very long time. This makes three straight matches (or at least 6.5 straight sets) of extremely thoughtful tennis with the gear always set to 2nd or 3rd, with the ability to kick it into 4th (and, for Serena, untouchable) gear when the cylinders are firing.

Part of what, I think, Serena has suffered from on clay in the past five years is a tendency to think she can blast her way past anyone. And that is true against almost anyone on grass, most players on hard courts, and many players on clay, but the threshold is lower. Serena has rarely needed to play thoughtful tennis because her devastating best is too much for anyone to handle. But (in many ways) since Sharapova showed that a determined, focused, and on-fire player can withstand the barrage and throw it back at her, Serena has had to adapt. Seeing her adjust her tactics against Azarenka, and especially seeing her come into the final with a gameplan I never would have expected from her, I am convinced she has learned something about maintaining that steady level and letting the opportunity present itself rather than forcing it and risk opportunity arriving on her opponent's doorstep.

Admittedly, there are still technical things that will always make clay a tougher ask, but seeing her play this past week...I think she's looking more capable as a slow-court player than she has at any point in her career. And as someone who relishes clay tennis as the ultimate expression of the sport, I'm excited to see the best of her generation bring it on clay with the proper attitude and mindset, as well as skills, to be the best.Interesting that you should mention this, because during the AO Finals, I was screaming at Serena through my monitor to stop acting like this was clay. :lol: Having said that, she has already improved her net game, has implemented the slice that was sorely missing from her repertoire of weapons; and is now very patiently awaiting her chance to strike at any given moment.

Many here believe Henin is a lock for another FO title. I believe that they are in for a HUGE surprise. And if Serena can hone her footwork just a little bit more, she'll be a major untouchable force at the FO.
I can't wait!! :bounce:

kiwifan
Feb 1st, 2010, 04:41 AM
ps. Clay is the most boring surface to play on... its for old people with bad knees and players who are scared to "go for it".

Serena should play as little on the dirt as possible and save herself for stuff that really matters. ;)

She's already won the French Open so she has nothing to prove...now Venus might want to put in more time in the dirt. :shrug:

sorceress
Feb 1st, 2010, 05:32 AM
Venus may want to put more time in everything........bar Wimbly!

Arnian
Feb 1st, 2010, 06:14 AM
ps. Clay is the most boring surface to play on... its for old people with bad knees and players who are scared to "go for it".

Serena should play as little on the dirt as possible and save herself for stuff that really matters. ;)

She's already won the French Open so she has nothing to prove...now Venus might want to put in more time in the dirt. :shrug:

:lol::lol:

:cuckoo:

AcesHigh
Feb 1st, 2010, 06:31 AM
This is what people said of the AO. Lo and behold, Clijsters didn't even get past Petrova, and Henin wasn't even Serena's stiffest challenge.

:confused: Serena was the heavy favorite for AO. Plus, she had already won it 4 times.

She hasnt been to the semi's of RG since 2002 and she has one title there for a reason.

Arnian
Feb 1st, 2010, 06:57 AM
:confused: Serena was the heavy favorite for AO. Plus, she had already won it 4 times.

She hasnt been to the semi's of RG since 2002 and she has one title there for a reason.

since 2003*

Dorcas Monjimbo
Feb 1st, 2010, 07:13 AM
Yes Serena really did play wel and deserves to lift up the trophy. Yes she says her French Open trophy is lonely as she's got only one and will like to add another one to her list. She is a real champion and can do it.

Dorcas Monjimbo
Feb 1st, 2010, 07:13 AM
Yes Serena really did play well and deserves to lift up the trophy. Yes she says her French Open trophy is lonely as she's got only one and will like to add another one to her list. She is a real champion and can do it.

bandabou
Feb 1st, 2010, 08:00 AM
it's gonna be a huge challenge, no doubt. We will see..it's a long way till the French.

dsanders06
Feb 1st, 2010, 11:13 AM
I highly doubt it's going to happen. Her movement is terrible on clay, and Henin, Kuznetsova, Safina and Ivanovic (if she gets her shit together) are simply much better players than her on that surface, whether she's at her peak or not. The ONLY possible way I see it happening is if she has a GREAT lead-up. That means playing atleast two of Stuttgart, Rome and Madrid, and putting in a full effort there. A crappy little tournament like Marbella or green clay won't do squat.

It's ridiculous to say it was only Serena's choking that stopped her winning RG09. Firstly, don't forget she was about six points away from losing in the first round. Secondly, Kuznetsova served for their QF match at 5-3 in the second set, before playing one of the worst service games I've ever seen, no joke. So if we're structuring arguments round an alternate universe where choking doesn't happen, then we'd have to say Kuznetsova should have won the match in straight sets. Since that's not a logical argument, we can only go on what DID happen, which is Kuznetsova won and Serena lost.

bandabou
Feb 1st, 2010, 11:23 AM
'05 RG..of course then it was a great fightback for Juju, huh?

Lulu.
Feb 1st, 2010, 11:35 AM
She had two great opportunities in 08 and 09 and blew them. :o

I still believe she can win RG again but it certainly won't be easy. We'll see what happens.

dsanders06
Feb 1st, 2010, 12:39 PM
'05 RG..of course then it was a great fightback for Juju, huh?

She won the tournament that year, yes... unlike Serena in 2009.

Renalicious
Feb 1st, 2010, 12:45 PM
Serena was so set to win RG in 2008. She blew it. Massively.

bandabou
Feb 1st, 2010, 12:48 PM
She won the tournament that year, yes... unlike Serena in 2009.

;) Ok..yet people talk about Azarenka choking at this Oz open as well.

dsanders06
Feb 1st, 2010, 12:59 PM
;) Ok..yet people talk about Azarenka choking at this Oz open as well.

Well I haven't.

bandabou
Feb 1st, 2010, 01:16 PM
Well I haven't.

:yeah: :cool:

Vlover
Feb 1st, 2010, 02:37 PM
First, Serena has to get healthy then all things will be possible with her. Knowing her, if she wants it desperately enough she will work and fight for the FO title. I think she will be very motivated especially when she is not the favorite and more pressure will be on Justine there because she will be the overwhelming favorite.

azinna
Feb 1st, 2010, 04:32 PM
Seems like '08 and '09 were about her thinking ahead and putting too much pressure on herself. Maybe with Justine and Kim around she can relax enough to do her best. Of course, it is that much tougher to win the damn thing with Justine and Kim around.....

Arnian
Feb 1st, 2010, 05:39 PM
I highly doubt it's going to happen. Her movement is terrible on clay, and Henin, Kuznetsova, Safina and Ivanovic (if she gets her shit together) are simply much better players than her on that surface, whether she's at her peak or not. The ONLY possible way I see it happening is if she has a GREAT lead-up. That means playing atleast two of Stuttgart, Rome and Madrid, and putting in a full effort there. A crappy little tournament like Marbella or green clay won't do squat.

It's ridiculous to say it was only Serena's choking that stopped her winning RG09. Firstly, don't forget she was about six points away from losing in the first round. Secondly, Kuznetsova served for their QF match at 5-3 in the second set, before playing one of the worst service games I've ever seen, no joke. So if we're structuring arguments round an alternate universe where choking doesn't happen, then we'd have to say Kuznetsova should have won the match in straight sets. Since that's not a logical argument, we can only go on what DID happen, which is Kuznetsova won and Serena lost.

Interesting point dsanders

I still think Serena had her best shot last year though, but i agree that I think it's doubtful.

trufanjay
Feb 1st, 2010, 06:09 PM
Who knows what will happen. I expect a typical hard court season with a couple of trophies (we all know Serena is primarily focused on grand slams).

The only way Serena will be a threat at the French Open is if she has a really good clay court season leading up to it. Serena can come into the US Open, Australian Open and Wimbledon with little practice and destroy the field but RG is a different ball game. Serena needs to be at 120% physically and be ready to hit a lot of balls and play her absolute best.

If Serena really wants to win RG then she can. But its going to take the amount of work that she has not put in since 2002. I wouldn't put anything past Serena.

Dunlop1
Feb 1st, 2010, 06:15 PM
An in-form Serena has 3 players that can trouble her on clay. An in-form Sveta, Kim and Justine.
Prior to Justine's comeback, I would have said that Serena simply cannot beat Justine on clay, because Justine has a natural clay game.
However, since Justine is intent on playing super-aggressive, I can't say that anymore.
If she still tries to go for SOOOO much on every shot, I don't see why Serena can't just out-rally Justine.

I hope that is not the way Justine intends to play at RG, but if she's gunning for Wimbledon, then she is probably going to stay with that approach.

For the record, I think that approach is not the right way to go, since her former game got her to 2 Wimbledon Finals but I'm not her coach.

2Black
Feb 1st, 2010, 09:19 PM
I still don't get all the people claiming Serena played so well the other night. To me, Serena nor Justine played great except for a couple of patches.

Now, in regards to the French Open, I agree with those saying Serena needs to be healthy (100%) & needs to work on footwork like crazy to have a shot. She's smart enough to do it but will she???