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Volcana
Feb 15th, 2010, 02:46 AM
People commonly group her with Henin (mostly for purposes of comparing the Belgians t the Williams sisters). How accurate a comparison is that?
Total titles 41 vs 35. Pretty close.
H2H - 12 vs 11
Slam singls titles 7 vs 2
Henin is a historical player. Easily one of the twenty singles players in the history of the women's game. Clijsters is ..... not Virginia Wade. (3 slam singles titles, 55 total titles). Half the board just went 'Who the hell was Virginia Wade?' which is kind of the point.

One could argue that Clijsters is closer to Svetlana Kuznetsova then Justine Henin. Not really a comparison either. Kuznetsova, despite her multiple slam singles titles, has only twelve total tour singles titles, compaed to Clijsters 33. Clijsters is two years older, but unless Kuzzy starts winning ten tournaments a year, that gap isn't going to close much.

Clijsters is obviously capable of beating anyone on a given day. But two slam singles titles and four finals .... isn't .... the kind of career you talk about ten years later. It's nice. Amelie Mauresmo ha a nice career too. Not quite as good as Clijsters, but ... nice.

Bluntly, I think Clijsters is over-rated. That's not a knock on her. It's a knock on the people doing the rating.

Tennisstar86
Feb 15th, 2010, 02:49 AM
She really is on par with them..... If she wasnt such a head case when playing Justine she'd have more majors and Justine would have less....

Donny
Feb 15th, 2010, 02:57 AM
She really is on par with them..... If she wasnt such a head case when playing Justine she'd have more majors and Justine would have less....

Well, yes. Mental ability is a large part of what makes players great.

treufreund
Feb 15th, 2010, 03:03 AM
Maybe very slightly overrated but still extremely skilled and tough player. I put her ahead of Sharapova despite having fewer slams and less variety of slams.. but I will admit that my putting her ahead of Maria is pretty subjective.

OsloErik
Feb 15th, 2010, 03:03 AM
I don't buy the "if she wasn't a headcase" argument, and here's why: she doesn't have one consistent big weapon. The other Big Four members had a go-to weapon; Clijsters didn't. She was the most consistent of them in terms of not losing to players she shouldn't lose to (check her record from 2001-2006 against non-top 10 and non-top 20 players; it's scary). Her forehand is her best weapon, and it isn't a knock-your-socks-off shot like Graf's, or even similar-pathed players like Kuznetsova and Ivanovic. It's also her less-reliable shot. Of the four, she was probably the best defender, and she probably had the only game on tour where you couldn't REALLY target something (what are you going to attack? Her serve is the only thing that jumps to mind, and that's a tough ask). In a clutch situation, though, the other three have something they can go to. Clijsters doesn't, really. And this is coming from a big fan.

In short, I think Clijsters is probably up there with Davenport, but she's certainly not in Serena land, and she's not even yet in Henin-Venus land. It doesn't have to do with titles, either. Her game simply isn't as penetrating and consistently deep as her top 10 peers, and that's a problemt. She's a tough player to rate, because some people dwell on the mental and show that as a sign of being over-rated, and others as a sign of being under-rated. I'd say she's probably a modern-day ASV-caliber player, but more dominant a force because there is no modern-day Graf to contend with.

Chakvenus
Feb 15th, 2010, 03:11 AM
I don't buy the "if she wasn't a headcase" argument, and here's why: she doesn't have one consistent big weapon. The other Big Four members had a go-to weapon; Clijsters didn't. She was the most consistent of them in terms of not losing to players she shouldn't lose to (check her record from 2001-2006 against non-top 10 and non-top 20 players; it's scary). Her forehand is her best weapon, and it isn't a knock-your-socks-off shot like Graf's, or even similar-pathed players like Kuznetsova and Ivanovic. It's also her less-reliable shot. Of the four, she was probably the best defender, and she probably had the only game on tour where you couldn't REALLY target something (what are you going to attack? Her serve is the only thing that jumps to mind, and that's a tough ask). In a clutch situation, though, the other three have something they can go to. Clijsters doesn't, really. And this is coming from a big fan.

In short, I think Clijsters is probably up there with Davenport, but she's certainly not in Serena land, and she's not even yet in Henin-Venus land. It doesn't have to do with titles, either. Her game simply isn't as penetrating and consistently deep as her top 10 peers, and that's a problemt. She's a tough player to rate, because some people dwell on the mental and show that as a sign of being over-rated, and others as a sign of being under-rated. I'd say she's probably a modern-day ASV-caliber player, but more dominant a force because there is no modern-day Graf to contend with.

BEAUTIFULLY said!

quy555888
Feb 15th, 2010, 03:13 AM
I put her slightly behind henin, but in the same line with venus. Titles do not determine everything

Volcana
Feb 15th, 2010, 03:17 AM
She really is on par with them..... If she wasnt such a head case when playing Justine she'd have more majors and Justine would have less....But she wasn't a head case vs Henin. The H2H is 11 vs12. And Henin won the first two times they played.
1998 RAMAT HASHARON .... Henin ... 6-1 7-6
1999 REIMS ............. Henin ... 6-4 6-4
2001 INDIAN WELLS ...... Clijsters 1-6 6-4 6-3
2001 FRENCH OPEN ....... Clijsters 2-6 7-5 6-3
2001 'S-HERTOGENBOSCH .. Henin ... 6-4 3-6 6-3
2002 SYDNEY ............ Clijsters 7-6 6-2
2002 AUSTRALIAN OPEN ... Clijsters 6-2 6-3
2002 ROME .............. Henin ... 7-5 6-2
2002 YEC ............... Clijsters 6-2 6-1
2003 SYDNEY ............ Clijsters 6-2 6-3
2003 ANTWERP ........... Clijsters 6-2 7-6
2003 BERLIN OPEN ....... Henin ... 6-4 4-6 7-5
2003 FRENCH OPEN ....... Henin ... 6-0 6-4
2003 S'HERTOGENBOSCH ... Clijsters 6-7 3-0
2003 SAN DIEGO ......... Henin ... 3-6 6-2 6-3
2003 US OPEN ........... Henin ... 7-5 6-1
2003 FILDERSTADT ....... Clijsters 5-7 6-4 6-2
2004 AUSTRALIAN OPEN ... Henin ... 6-3 4-6 6-3
2005 TORONTO ........... Clijsters 7-5 6-1
2006 FRENCH OPEN ....... Henin ... 6-3 6-2
2006 EASTBOURNE ........ Henin ... 6-3 5-7 6-1
2006 WIMBLEDON ......... Henin ... 6-4 7-6
2010 BRISBANE .......... Clijsters 6-3 4-6 7-6

brickhousesupporter
Feb 15th, 2010, 03:19 AM
I put her slightly behind henin, but in the same line with venus. Titles do not determine everything
http://i989.photobucket.com/albums/af19/rudeboy77/Gifs/2llkcxl.gif

Volcana
Feb 15th, 2010, 03:20 AM
I put her slightly behind henin, but in the same line with venus. Titles do not determine everythingSubjectly, that's fine. And you have every riht to your opinion. But I could just as easily say Clijsters is on the same level as Elena Bovina. IF ....'Titles do not determine everything.' But, IMHO, they sure are helpful in determining who's better.

Tennisstar86
Feb 15th, 2010, 03:21 AM
But she wasn't a head case vs Henin. The H2H is 11 vs12. And Henin won the first two times they played.
1998 RAMAT HASHARON .... Henin ... 6-1 7-6
1999 REIMS ............. Henin ... 6-4 6-4
2001 INDIAN WELLS ...... Clijsters 1-6 6-4 6-3
2001 FRENCH OPEN ....... Clijsters 2-6 7-5 6-3
2001 'S-HERTOGENBOSCH .. Henin ... 6-4 3-6 6-3
2002 SYDNEY ............ Clijsters 7-6 6-2
2002 AUSTRALIAN OPEN ... Clijsters 6-2 6-3
2002 ROME .............. Henin ... 7-5 6-2
2002 YEC ............... Clijsters 6-2 6-1
2003 SYDNEY ............ Clijsters 6-2 6-3
2003 ANTWERP ........... Clijsters 6-2 7-6
2003 BERLIN OPEN ....... Henin ... 6-4 4-6 7-5
2003 FRENCH OPEN ....... Henin ... 6-0 6-4
2003 S'HERTOGENBOSCH ... Clijsters 6-7 3-0
2003 SAN DIEGO ......... Henin ... 3-6 6-2 6-3
2003 US OPEN ........... Henin ... 7-5 6-1
2003 FILDERSTADT ....... Clijsters 5-7 6-4 6-2
2004 AUSTRALIAN OPEN ... Henin ... 6-3 4-6 6-3
2005 TORONTO ........... Clijsters 7-5 6-1
2006 FRENCH OPEN ....... Henin ... 6-3 6-2
2006 EASTBOURNE ........ Henin ... 6-3 5-7 6-1
2006 WIMBLEDON ......... Henin ... 6-4 7-6
2010 BRISBANE .......... Clijsters 6-3 4-6 7-6

except she lost when it mattered in the finals of the grand slams in the pressure situations...

Volcana
Feb 15th, 2010, 03:24 AM
except she lost when it mattered in the finals of the grand slams in the pressure situations...Reminds you of Seles vs Graf, in slam finals.

DefyingGravity
Feb 15th, 2010, 03:28 AM
I feel as though saying Kim doesn't have a weapon. She's definitely a stronger version of Aranxta Sanchez Vicario to me, and she definitely has a walloping forehand WHEN SHE WANTS TO HAVE ONE. I've seen her hit forehands so much harder than she does now, but she'd rather try and draw errors out of women instead, and that will work on more. If she had the balls to step up and hit her forehand like she did in 2001, she would have had many more majors, and would be on par with Justine completely in terms of majors, IMO, even with her head. She works her way into the big moments. She didn't blow Pierce away in 2005 until about 3-3, and didn't blow away Wozniacki at all.

Short version: If she would hit her forehand like she had a pair, she'd have more slams. That's really all she needed in the long run.

Apoleb
Feb 15th, 2010, 03:30 AM
She's good enough to beat anyone on hard courts, and with Sharapova/Justine/Venus/Serena, she's in that upper tier; higher than Mauresmo. And I disagree with Oslo-Erik, she hits a heavier ball and on average a more penetrating ball than Justine. SHe just doesn't have her mental strength, and that makes all the difference when it comes to the tight situation in a GS.

tennnisfannn
Feb 15th, 2010, 03:31 AM
She is what we call on thisboard an amazing pusher!

Tennisstar86
Feb 15th, 2010, 03:38 AM
She's good enough to beat anyone on hard courts, and with Sharapova/Justine/Venus/Serena, she's in that upper tier; higher than Mauresmo. And I disagree with Oslo-Erik, she hits a heavier ball and on average a more penetrating ball than Justine. SHe just doesn't have her mental strength, and that makes all the difference when it comes to the tight situation in a GS.

I was gonna say.... whats all this clijsters has no big weapon? she has bigger weapons than Justine....when she wants to...

moby
Feb 15th, 2010, 03:46 AM
A big difference between Justine and Kim is that Justine fights her natural tendencies and tries to be aggressive.
Kim doesn't. She's usually happy (pre-comeback) rallying 10 feet behind the baseline.
Part of it is her mentality, but the other part is that she can lose her rhythm and start spraying balls when she tries to be too aggressive.

The other thing is this that Kim doesn't hit hard enough to be in the league of Venus or Serena, and she doesn't have enough variety to compensate for it like Justine.

Historically, in terms of accomplishments, I'd place her in the mold of Davenport.
But gamewise, they couldn't be more different. Lindsay wishes she had Kim's natural athleticism.

trufanjay
Feb 15th, 2010, 03:46 AM
I think the lack of mental strength is what really holds her back. As far as accomplishments she is not on the same boat with Justine and the Williams sisters but Clijsters, when at her best, is hands down one of the most talented players of this generation. I think that is where the conversation comes from when we talk about "The Williams sisters and the Belgians." Clijsters hits a heavy ball and is extremely fast at the same time. I love her game but throughout the years she has lacked mental toughness. But otherwise, she is in the upper tier of players.

Donny
Feb 15th, 2010, 03:49 AM
She's good enough to beat anyone on hard courts, and with Sharapova/Justine/Venus/Serena, she's in that upper tier; higher than Mauresmo. And I disagree with Oslo-Erik, she hits a heavier ball and on average a more penetrating ball than Justine. SHe just doesn't have her mental strength, and that makes all the difference when it comes to the tight situation in a GS.

You could say the same exact thing about Kuznetsova- that she has the game to beat anyone (which she's proven) but falls short mentally.

Apoleb
Feb 15th, 2010, 03:53 AM
I was gonna say.... whats all this clijsters has no big weapon? she has bigger weapons than Justine....when she wants to...

That's a tough call. Justine can play Federer-like sometimes (USO 07, 2nd set AO final) but she can't sustain that form. Kim though has naturally bigger and heavier shots than Justine (which is why the h2h is so close), except she doesn't seem as willing to nurture her aggressive tendencies, like moby said. It's like they're opposites: Kim has the naturally bigger game but Justine is more willing to play that game. Oh well. When she resorts to running down balls and sliding, she's usually losing.

Apoleb
Feb 15th, 2010, 03:55 AM
You could say the same exact thing about Kuznetsova- that she has the game to beat anyone (which she's proven) but falls short mentally.

Kuznetsova has shitty technique. Her ground strokes are some of the most unstable in the top 10. SO it has less to do with her head than with her technique, imo. I mean she's just SHitlana. When has she beaten someone big outside clay? I forgot, sorry.

Volcana
Feb 15th, 2010, 04:03 AM
with Sharapova/Justine/Venus/Serena, she's in that upper tier; higher than Mauresmo.I feel like Ronald Reagan debating Walter Mondale. 'There he goes again'. The 'eyeball test' is what it is. What does 'in that upper tier' mean? Yu can't just mean recently, cause Sharapova's rectn performance has been far from 'upper tier'.

Slam winner right now? Doesn't include Sharapova or Henin. Or in the last eight slams.
Total slam titles? Sharapova isn't in the Henin, Venus, Serena class.
Slam finals? Why Sharapova and not Safina?
2010 OZ Serena ...... def Henin
2009 US Clijsters ... def Wozniacki
2009 WB Serena ...... def Venus
2009 RG Kuznetsova .. def Safina
2009 OZ Serena ...... def Safina
2008 US Serena ...... def Jankovic
2008 WB Venus ....... def Serena
2008 RG Ivanovic .... def Safina
I don;t know what Clijsters is. She's either a Venus/Henin class physical talent, but a chronic under-achiever, or she's at best, a Davenport/Capriati type.

Let's take a dividing line player. Is she on a par with Hingis? And if you say she is, where's the evidnce to support that opinion?

NOTE: You grouped her with Serena. Acceptable on it's face, cause she beat Serena in a slam in the last six months. But if take that evidence conclusive in and of itself, then isn't Nadia Petrova, having beaten Clijsters 6-1 6-0 three weeks ago, on he same level as Clijsters?

VivalaSeles
Feb 15th, 2010, 04:06 AM
Well, there are two YEC one should consider as well.

Volcana
Feb 15th, 2010, 04:07 AM
Kuznetsova has shitty technique. Her ground strokes are some of the most unstable in the top 10. SO it has less to do with her head than with her technique, imo. I mean she's just SHitlana. When has she beaten someone big outside clay? I forgot, sorry.Davenport 2004 US Open SF ( a Mickey Mouse tournament, but still ...)


Unless you meant the last couple years2008 IW ..... Sharapova ... 6-3 5-7 6-2
2008 Miami .. Venus ....... 6-4 6-4
2009 Miami .. Wozniacki ... 6-4 6-7 6-1
2009 YEC .... Dementieva .. 6-3 6-2

Donny
Feb 15th, 2010, 04:09 AM
Kuznetsova has shitty technique. Her ground strokes are some of the most unstable in the top 10. SO it has less to do with her head than with her technique, imo. When has she beaten someone big outside clay? I forgot, sorry.

She beat Sharapova in Indian Wells in 08 (becoming the first person to do so, after Sharapova basically laid waste to the rest of the tour in the beginning of the season); she beat Venus in the quarterfinals of Miami that year. She beat number 2 in the world Jankovic in Tokyo that year too. And she beat Dementieva at last year's Championships.

When has Kim last beat someone big (at a big stage) outside of the USO?

VivalaSeles
Feb 15th, 2010, 04:10 AM
I feel like Ronald Reagan debating Walter Mondale. 'There he goes again'. The 'eyeball test' is what it is. What does 'in that upper tier' mean? Yu can't just mean recently, cause Sharapova's rectn performance has been far from 'upper tier'.

Slam winner right now? Doesn't include Sharapova or Henin. Or in the last eight slams.
Total slam titles? Sharapova isn't in the Henin, Venus, Serena class.

Slam finals? Why Sharapova and not Safina?2010 OZ Serena ...... def Henin

2009 US Clijsters ... def Wozniacki

2009 WB Serena ...... def Venus

2009 RG Kuznetsova .. def Safina

2009 OZ Serena ...... def Safina

2008 US Serena ...... def Jankovic

2008 WB Venus ....... def Serena

2008 RG Ivanovic .... def SafinaI don;t know what Clijsters is. She's either a Venus/Henin class physical talent, but a chronic under-achiever, or she's at best, a Davenport/Capriati type.

Let's take a dividing line player. Is she on a par with Hingis? And if you say she is, where's the evidnce to support that opinion?

NOTE: You grouped her with Serena. Acceptable on it's face, cause she beat Serena in a slam in the last six months. But if take that evidence conclusive in and of itself, then isn't Nadia Petrova, having beaten Clijsters 6-1 6-0 three weeks ago, on he same level as Clijsters?
As much as I love Clijsters, she is obviously not on par with Hingis.

Donny
Feb 15th, 2010, 04:14 AM
Another thing: This 'nerves' thing does disservice to the opponent. Maybe the other top players simply played BETTER than they usually do at the big moments? I know Serena does. I have no reason to believe that Henin doesn't. Maybe the elite players simply find a a gear Clijsters doesn't have?

Nicolás89
Feb 15th, 2010, 04:17 AM
She is in the same level with Henin, her play is sublime her lack of slams titles is due to her nervous mind. History doesn't make a good player either nor being remembered.

AcesHigh
Feb 15th, 2010, 04:19 AM
In achievements, she's a class below.

In physical ability and talent, I think she could go toe-to-toe with Henin, Clijsters, Venus etc.

She has had problems pulling it together when it matters most, and I disagree with Oslo for once that she really has no go-to weapon and that being the major problem. That forehand can be an incredibly dangerous shot and every facet of Kim's game seems to be very solid. She can boss anyone around the court and with her coverage and incredible movement and footwork, it's really tough to blow her off the court.
The problem is in the biggest moments, she just hasnt shown up.. and then after her USO win she kind of mailed it in.

If anything, I think Kim is UNDERRATED.

Volcana
Feb 15th, 2010, 04:23 AM
She is in the same level with Henin, her play is sublime her lack of slams titles is due to her nervous mind. History doesn't make a good player either nor being remembered.Forgive me, but did you actually mean that?

If someone is mentally stronger than you under pressure, you are NOT 'in the same level'. Anna Kournikova was an extremely physically gifted player. Add in the mental part, and she's not even Silvia Farina Elia.If anything, I think Kim is UNDERRATED.Would you, (and I'm not agreeing with you here, just trying to follow your reasoning) agree with the idea that's over-rated based on her actual accomlishments, but under-rated based on her physical ability?

Sort of like Boise St, if that reference means anything to you.

Apoleb
Feb 15th, 2010, 04:32 AM
:happy: @ Dementieva, Wozniacki and Jankovic being "big." It's not what I meant exactly, actually. Unfortunately, wins over Venus don't count lately. Maybe I can rephrahse that and say in a slam. I just don't see the comparisons here between her and Clijsters. Clijsters is the better player, at least because of her ability to put the ball in play when she needs to (didn't do that though against Petrova, so she might slowly be transforming into a Shitlana). As big as all the talk of Kuznetsova having "every shot in the book," she's unable to keep the ball in play when she's not timing it well; because that's how rough her shotmaking is.

When has Kim last beat someone big (at a big stage) outside of the USO?

You realize though that the USO is a slam? That already establishes a huge difference.

Stamp Paid
Feb 15th, 2010, 04:32 AM
That's a tough call. Justine can play Federer-like sometimes (USO 07, 2nd set AO final) but she can't sustain that form. Kim though has naturally bigger and heavier shots than Justine (which is why the h2h is so close), except she doesn't seem as willing to nurture her aggressive tendencies, like moby said. It's like they're opposites: Kim has the naturally bigger game but Justine is more willing to play that game. Oh well. When she resorts to running down balls and sliding, she's usually losing.http://i33.tinypic.com/5duzxx.jpg

I am so glad Justine came back....:lol:

Donny
Feb 15th, 2010, 04:34 AM
:happy: @ Dementieva, Wozniacki and Jankovic being "big." It's not what I meant exactly, actually. Unfortunately, wins over Venus don't count lately. Maybe I can rephrahse that and say in a slam. I just don't see the comparisons here between her and Clijsters. Clijsters is the better player, at least because of her ability to put the ball in play when she needs to (didn't do that though against Petrova, so she might slowly be transforming into a Shitlana). As big as all the talk of Kuznetsova having "every shot in the book," she's unable to keep the ball in play when she's not timing it well; because that's how rough her shotmaking is.



You realize though that the USO is a slam? That already establishes a huge difference.

So is the French Open. But you disregard that result for some reason because it's on clay.

And if Dementieva and 08 Jankovic don't count, and Venus doesn't count, then who DOES count as a top player from that period? Serena and her shadow?

Apoleb
Feb 15th, 2010, 04:43 AM
So is the French Open. But you disregard that result for some reason because it's on clay.

Umm, because I want to make a point about her level of play outside of clay? She's easily one of the best clay court players of this generation. But you have to wake me up when she manages to beat Justine in RG.


And if Dementieva and 08 Jankovic don't count, and Venus doesn't count, then who DOES count as a top player from that period? Serena and her shadow?Serena in a slam counts. Venus in Wimbledon/USO counts. Pre-shoulderspova counts. Anyway, I don't see what's your point. You have this habit of drawing analogies left and right. Clijsters has proved to be the more able player on anything but clay, and it's not because of Kuznetsova's head. It's because Kuznetsova has rougher technique. Clijsters has 30+ titles, 5 slam finals, victories over Serena and Venus in the USO and an 11/12 h2h against Justine while Kuznetsova has a 2/16 h2h.

Nicolás89
Feb 15th, 2010, 04:46 AM
I don't buy the "if she wasn't a headcase" argument, and here's why: she doesn't have one consistent big weapon. The other Big Four members had a go-to weapon; Clijsters didn't. She was the most consistent of them in terms of not losing to players she shouldn't lose to (check her record from 2001-2006 against non-top 10 and non-top 20 players; it's scary). Her forehand is her best weapon, and it isn't a knock-your-socks-off shot like Graf's, or even similar-pathed players like Kuznetsova and Ivanovic. It's also her less-reliable shot. Of the four, she was probably the best defender, and she probably had the only game on tour where you couldn't REALLY target something (what are you going to attack? Her serve is the only thing that jumps to mind, and that's a tough ask). In a clutch situation, though, the other three have something they can go to. Clijsters doesn't, really. And this is coming from a big fan.

In short, I think Clijsters is probably up there with Davenport, but she's certainly not in Serena land, and she's not even yet in Henin-Venus land. It doesn't have to do with titles, either. Her game simply isn't as penetrating and consistently deep as her top 10 peers, and that's a problemt. She's a tough player to rate, because some people dwell on the mental and show that as a sign of being over-rated, and others as a sign of being under-rated. I'd say she's probably a modern-day ASV-caliber player, but more dominant a force because there is no modern-day Graf to contend with.

You have to clarify that, huh?

I don't agree one bit with what you say there, coach. Clijsters' forehand is a way more reliable shot than lets say Venus' and Sharapova's, definitely more fluid than Serena's and bigger than Henin's, but you still want to call the forehand "her less reliable shot" and "not a big weapon", although you do find the forehand her best shot you call it a not reliable one, way too contradictory to make sense, Maria's serve is an un reliable shot.

Continuing with the "big shot" take, you rate Clijsters right there with Davenport, whom I believe had the best ground strokes ever and also had, at one point during her career, the best serve on tour, practically big weapons in all parts of her game, then why you rank her with Clijsters if it doesn't have to do with titles either?

To conclude, her mental weakness have proven again and again that a terrific player like her won't always win the big titles, in her four losses at slams in 2003 you could see that she should have won 2 of them and the other at least finish it in a more fashionable way, a more tough minded player would be able to do that.

Volcana
Feb 15th, 2010, 04:47 AM
Maybe I can rephrahse that and say in a slam. I just don't see the comparisons here between her and Clijsters.Davenport 2004 US Open. I thought I wrote that before. My bad.You realize though that the USO is a slam?Yes.

As for the comparison with Clijsters, Clijsters is better, I agree. But in terms of physical-mental-emotional ability, (a composite best, though not solely, measured by total slam singles titles) she's much closer to Kuznetsova than Clijsters. Kuzzy has 12 total titles. Clijster has 35. Near triple. But they both have two slam titles, and Kuznetsova is two years younger. Plus, Kuznetsova has won on slams on different surfaces. Is Kuznetsova over-achieving, or Clijsters under-achieving?

Clijsters is a difficult player to find an equivalent to. She's the best of the two-slammers, but not demonstrably better than any of the three-slammers.

Dunlop1
Feb 15th, 2010, 04:50 AM
Kuznetsova has shitty technique. Her ground strokes are some of the most unstable in the top 10. SO it has less to do with her head than with her technique, imo.

Kuznetsova actually has very good technique on ALL her strokes. Your statement is incorrect.
What you see manifested by her bursts of randomly spraying shots is a lack of discipline in her shot selection.

spiritedenergy
Feb 15th, 2010, 04:50 AM
better than Sharapova but not as good Henin, I would say between Davenport and Mauresmo

AcesHigh
Feb 15th, 2010, 04:51 AM
Would you, (and I'm not agreeing with you here, just trying to follow your reasoning) agree with the idea that's over-rated based on her actual accomlishments, but under-rated based on her physical ability?

Sort of like Boise St, if that reference means anything to you.

Somewhat. I think we all have the tendency to look at just slams.. but that doesn't really give the entire picture here. She's achieved A LOT in a short period of time in terms of wins, titles won, etc.
So she's far and away above a Svetlana Kuznetsova or even Amelie Mauresmo IMHO but below a Lindsay Davenport in terms of achievements. I'd even put her above Capriati.

Donny
Feb 15th, 2010, 04:51 AM
Umm, because I want to make a point about her level of play outside of clay? She's easily one of the best clay court players of this generation. But you have to wake me up when she manages to beat Justine in RG.

Serena in a slam counts. Venus in Wimbledon/USO counts. Pre-shoulderspova counts. Anyway, I don't see what's your point. You have this habit of drawing analogies left and right. Clijsters has proved to be the more able player on anything but clay, and it's not because of Kuznetsova's head. It's because Kuznetsova has rougher technique. Clijsters has 30+ titles, 5 slam finals, victories over Serena and Venus in the USO and an 11/12 h2h against Justine while Kuznetsova has a 2/16 h2h.

Kuznetsova beat Serena at the French Open last year. She served for the match against her at the AO last year. She beat Sharapova at Indian Wells in 08 when Sharapova was unquestionably the best player on the tour. She had match point (I think?) against Henin at RG one year. Kuznetsova is capable of beating the top players and has victories to prove it.

There is no reason, from an ability standpoint, why Kuzzie is perpetually owned by the top players. If you try to explain away Clijster's failings at the big moments away to nerves, then you can do the same with Kuznetsova.

This is what I think is going on: Kuznetsova's wins against top players are seen as flukes, while in Clijster's case, they are seen as affirming how good a player she is. It's a double standard.

Apoleb
Feb 15th, 2010, 04:57 AM
Kuznetsova actually has very good technique on ALL her strokes. Your statement is incorrect.
What you see manifested by her bursts of randomly spraying shots is a lack of discipline in her shot selection.

Shot selection is a huge part of it, but it's not the only story. Time and time again she attempts to put the ball in court, but her ball hits the bottom of the net/is miles out/kills a ball boy. Can you explain that to something besides technique? It could be lack of focus, or whatever. But ultimately, she has issues with maintaining a solid striking ability from the back of the court. It always ends up all or nothing for her with not much middle ground, and I'm thinking a lot of it has to do with technique. Players with solid technique don't commit these sort of errors as often.

Kuznetsova is capable of beating the top players and has victories to prove it.Yes, but not nearly as well as Kim, and the stats validate that (# of titles won, h2h, wins in slams..etc). So no I don't have to use the same criteria.

moby
Feb 15th, 2010, 05:01 AM
This is what I think is going on: Kuznetsova's wins against top players are seen as flukes, while in Clijster's case, they are seen as affirming how good a player she is. It's a double standard.I don't see Svetlana's wins as flukes. I just see that as part and parcel of her unstable game which has lots of peaks and lots of valleys.

Svetlana can lose to the most random player, outside top 50, outside top 100 whatever. That almost never happens to Kim.
And what about Svetlana's horrendous record at the YEC, where she finishes 0-3 even with people like Hantuchova in her group. :help:

So I simply cannot interpolate from her existing wins, and try to read even more victories into her career.

Shot selection is a huge part of it, but it's not the only story. Time and time again she attempts to put the ball in court, but her ball hits the bottom of the net/is miles out/kills a ball boy. Can you explain that to something besides technique? It could be lack of focus, or whatever. But ultimately, she has issues with maintaining a solid striking ability from the back of the court. It always ends up all or nothing for her with not much middle ground, and I'm thinking a lot of it has to do with technique. Players with solid technique don't commit these sort of errors as often.Yes.

Nicolás89
Feb 15th, 2010, 05:04 AM
Kuznetsova has shitty technique. Her ground strokes are some of the most unstable in the top 10. SO it has less to do with her head than with her technique, imo. I mean she's just SHitlana. When has she beaten someone big outside clay? I forgot, sorry.

That's so not true, Kuznetsova is got the best technique in the top 10 and I even dare to say tha not even Henin is got better technique (her forehand is a big fail IMO), none of her groundstrokes are unstable as you say and if they were it would have much to do with the footwork than with the stroke itself, and she is beaten EVERYONE outside of clay including Serena and Henin (minus Clijsters).

moby
Feb 15th, 2010, 05:11 AM
That's so not true, Kuznetsova is got the best technique in the top 10 and I even dare to say tha not even Henin is got better technique (her forehand is a big fail IMO), none of her groundstrokes are unstable as you say and if they were it would have much to do with the footwork than with the stroke itself, and she is beaten EVERYONE outside of clay including Serena and Henin (minus Clijsters).7Yil9oRJd0E

I can't think of anyone else who would dump that kind of shot into the bottom of the net down match point (7:00 ish)
Her timing of shots can be very hit and miss, and maintaining a consistent contact point is part and parcel of good technique.

Another example:
66DYMGjyiAc

Matchpoint for Azarenka. Routine backhand where Svetlana is not even trying to go for a winner. Hits the net.

And lest you say it's because she's nervous down matchpoint... She does this kind of nonsense all the time.

Dunlop1
Feb 15th, 2010, 05:13 AM
Shot selection is a huge part of it, but it's not the only story. Time and time again she attempts to put the ball in court, but her ball hits the bottom of the net/is miles out/kills a ball boy. Can you explain that to something besides technique? It could be lack of focus, or whatever. But ultimately, she has issues with maintaining a solid striking ability from the back of the court. It always ends up all or nothing for her with not much middle ground, and I'm thinking a lot of it has to do with technique. Players with solid technique don't commit these sort of errors as often.

Yes, but not nearly as well as Kim, and the stats validate that (# of titles won, h2h, wins in slams..etc). So no I don't have to use the same criteria.

Again, there is absolutely nothing wrong with Svetlana's technique. She is one of the most technically sound players on tour.
Stop saying she has bad technique when you don't even know this to be true. Her game is technically sound from all areas of the court.
I would go into her technique shot by shot, but that's just boring.

A couple questions for you:

- What are the technical aspects of Kuznetsova's shots that are her undoing?>
- Can a player with good technique make a lot of errors if they play the wrong shot at the wrong time?

Apoleb
Feb 15th, 2010, 05:14 AM
That's so not true, Kuznetsova is got the best technique in the top 10 and I even dare to say tha not even Henin is got better technique (her forehand is a big fail IMO), none of her groundstrokes are unstable as you say and if they were it would have much to do with the footwork than with the stroke itself, and she is beaten EVERYONE outside of clay including Serena and Henin (minus Clijsters).

Umm, they ARE unstable. Like, a lot. If it's not technique, then I'm waiting for the reasons that explain that instability. Why can't she maintain consistency from the back of the court, even when she isn't going for outright winners? I think in general it's hard to separate the stroke from the footwork that make it possible. Graf's exection on the forehand would not have been possible without her superior movement around the ball.

Nicolás89
Feb 15th, 2010, 05:16 AM
Umm, they ARE unstable. Like, a lot. If it's not technique, then I'm waiting for the reasons that explain that instability. Why can't she maintain consistency from the back of the court, even when she isn't going for outright winners? I think in general it's hard to separate the stroke from the footwork that make it possible. Graf's exection on the forehand would not have been possible without her superior movement around the ball.

Timing.

AcesHigh
Feb 15th, 2010, 05:17 AM
I think we have to separate stroke production from timing and shot selection.

moby
Feb 15th, 2010, 05:18 AM
I think we have to separate stroke production from timing and shot selection.I consider timing part of technique.
What's the point of technique if it only looks good when you're swinging your racket in empty air and not caring about hitting the ball?

Donny
Feb 15th, 2010, 05:19 AM
Umm, they ARE unstable. Like, a lot. If it's not technique, then I'm waiting for the reasons that explain that instability. Why can't she maintain consistency from the back of the court, even when she isn't going for outright winners? I think in general it's hard to separate the stroke from the footwork that make it possible. Graf's exection on the forehand would not have been possible without her superior movement around the ball.

Federer's forehand can and does go on horrible in long patches. For stretches in 07-09, his FH looked HORRIBLE during matches. Unable to land a FH in the court horrible. This does not mean his technique is bad. I think Kuznetsova just goes into mental lapses during matches. That video moby posted is a good example of that- she was striking the ball superbly in the first set.

Volcana
Feb 15th, 2010, 05:20 AM
Can a player with good technique make a lot of errors if they play the wrong shot at the wrong time?I don;t know about 'a lot of errors', but I recall in the 2010 OZ final that Serena, by her own admission, ht a first ere so errent, it almost hit Justine, on the fly.

And no one would argue that Serena's serve technique was bad.

DefyingGravity
Feb 15th, 2010, 05:20 AM
How did this get on Kuznetsova?

Anyway, as I said earlier, I feel like Clijsters just gets too satisfied letting women hit errors, and when they have the games that can hit harder, she just defends more and more when she isn't motivated. She can hit her forehand very big. When she was 18 in 2001, she had the ability to hit many more clean winners off the wing than now. She uses early ball striking as her pace now, and I feel she should add that flat forehand back into her rep now. It's as if she's gotten chicken (or complacent) and will hit that heavy rallying ball. She does have a killer forehand in her somewhere, I've seen it come out on occasion, but it hasn't shown up really IMO since that 2004 AO final against Justine.

Donny
Feb 15th, 2010, 05:22 AM
I consider timing part of technique.
What's the point of technique if it only looks good when you're swinging your racket in empty air and not caring about hitting the ball?

This then biases evaluations 'technique' towards players with mediocre rackethead speed and conservative court positioning. Some players have technique and court positioning that takes very very good timing to hit well.

Dunlop1
Feb 15th, 2010, 05:22 AM
I can't think of anyone else who would dump that kind of shot into the bottom of the net down match point (7:00 ish)


Based on this example I will offer a possible explanation for that error:
She had played a long point and Wozniacki kept retrieving and getting the ball back, thus putting pressure on Sveta. Woz played a high looper that Sveta tried to hit aggressively and take it on the rise, so as to take time from Woz who was behind the baseline retrieving.
Hitting aggressively a ball that is really going to bounce high, on the rise, requires perfect timing.
Then add in the pressure of trying to make this shot when down matchpoint in a Grand Slam final. Not so hard to understand the error.

This is just my explanation.

The bottom line is your point does nothing to justify her technical abilities.
Players with good technique make errors. You can have average technique on a shot, but have the muscle memory of the shot so ingrained that it is hard for an opponent to break it down.

If you say Sveta has bad technique, show us where in the stroke, the technique fails.
People can show the Venus 2nd serve and show you its failings. Same with the Ivanovic backhand. Do so with Sveta.
Thanks.

Apoleb
Feb 15th, 2010, 05:24 AM
I consider timing part of technique.
What's the point of technique if it only looks good when you're swinging your racket in empty air and not caring about hitting the ball?

:lol:

I'm all down with calling her hand-eye coordination shitty. It's just not only an issue of shot selection. I always thought though players that can execute shots with good technique have naturally better hand-eye coordination.

Federer's forehand can and does go on horrible in long patches. For stretches in 07-09, his FH looked HORRIBLE during matches. Unable to land a FH in the court horrible. This does not mean his technique is bad. I think Kuznetsova just goes into mental lapses during matches. That video moby posted is a good example of that- she was striking the ball superbly in the first set.It's not nearly with the same frequency. Not at all. Kuznetsova's problem is that she has no middle ground with her shotmaking. When the good big hitters find themselves that they aren't timing it extremely well, like Serena, they can get back to a lower gear but that can assure them solid play from the back.

cellophane
Feb 15th, 2010, 05:25 AM
Those comparisons are so boring... she has obviously shown she is on par with the very best when she plays well enough... don't really care where/who she is behind some of them in achievements. Comparing people on the basis of the number of slams is just stupid... she is cuts above Kuznetsova and Mauresmo, even though they all have the same number of slams.

Nicolás89
Feb 15th, 2010, 05:26 AM
I consider timing part of technique.

No, because we are talking about strokes and timing is most of the time affected by footwork.

Donny
Feb 15th, 2010, 05:29 AM
Those comparisons are so boring... she has obviously shown she is on par with the very best when she plays well enough... don't really care where/who she is behind some of them in achievements. Comparing people on the basis of the number of slams is just stupid... she is cuts above Kuznetsova and Mauresmo, even though they all have the same number of slams.

If a player isn't consistently able to play good tennis in the biggest tournaments, then she's not a great player.

DefyingGravity
Feb 15th, 2010, 05:30 AM
If a player isn't consistently able to play good tennis in the biggest tournaments, then she's not a great player.

But see, she did play consistently at big events, draw willing, since about 2005 till the AO 2007.

moby
Feb 15th, 2010, 05:32 AM
OK, I guess we just disagree on what technique is. So perhaps Svetlana doesn't have poor stroke production.

However:
1) She definitely has timing issues.
2) She's awful at adjusting (to shots from her opponent). It's easy to get her to make UEs, so much so that I don't know if I would even call them unforced.
3) Hitting hard flat angles is a sure way to get Svetlana to start spraying her shots.
4) She just doesn't have very good control of depth.

All this does not change the fact that when I see Svetlana hit the ball with her apparently flawless technique, I cringe a little because I wonder where the ball is going, and not because of good disguise on her shots.

Dunlop1
Feb 15th, 2010, 05:32 AM
I consider timing part of technique.


I agree. I consider technique to be the sum of your footwork, body positioning, stroke mechanics and timing.

And Kuznetsova has great technique.

DefyingGravity
Feb 15th, 2010, 05:32 AM
I'm sorry if I'm trying to harp on a point, but this is a thread about Clijsters.


FOCUS ON CLIJSTERS

Volcana
Feb 15th, 2010, 05:45 AM
Those comparisons are so boring... she has obviously shown she is on par with the very best when she plays well enough... Every player on tour who ever beat a top player has shown 'she is on par with the very best when she plays well enough'.
don't really care where/who she is behind some of them in achievements. What seperates a Petrova, an Oudin, a Hantuchova, from a Henin, a Venus, a Sharpaova, if not achievements?

Havok
Feb 15th, 2010, 05:52 AM
I would place her with the likes of Capriati and Davenport. Jen was good enough to win her 3 GS titles but you knew that once Serena settled into her own and the next wave of talent was coming up, that she wouldn't add anymore Slams to her resume. Davenport and Clijsters were able to own the tour in regular tournaments, hence their ridiculous titles count, though simply didn't have the mettle when it came to Grand Slams. However, both should have won more Slams, somewhere within the vicinity of 4-6 each. Place them in any tournament bar Grand Slams and they are a sure bet to win the title. Once a Slam is on the line, both shrivel up and cave.

Volcana
Feb 15th, 2010, 05:57 AM
I'm sorry if I'm trying to harp on a point, but this is a thread about Clijsters.


FOCUS ON CLIJSTERS
My bad for bring Kuznetsova into the thread. I'm tryig to find the playe closest to Clijsters, and it's hard. If you want to compare Venus to somebody, it's easy. Just singles, she and Henin have the same number of slam singles titles, and total singles titles. Overall, there's Hingis and Serena.

Clijsters is like Wade or Davenport. Lotta tournament wins, but not so many slams. She's the only active player with tht kind of record right now. Sharapova, for example, has almost the same same-per-tournament -win rate as Venus/Henin. About 1 to 6. Clijsters is 1-17. That doesn't come around that often. (Kuznetsova is also 1 to 6, but that's less impressive when you only have tow slams.)

LeonHart
Feb 15th, 2010, 05:57 AM
Clijsters was mentally weaker than Venus / Serena / Henin for the most part. She should have won many more matches against them in GS's. Off the top of my head she should have won at least 2, against Venus Wimbledon in 2003 and Serena Aus Open 2003.

moby
Feb 15th, 2010, 06:00 AM
This then biases evaluations 'technique' towards players with mediocre rackethead speed and conservative court positioning. Some players have technique and court positioning that takes very very good timing to hit well.Ultimately all judgments of stroke production must also come down to the player's ability to execute it with positive results. Maybe a lot of players would have better stroke production, would swing their racket faster, if they didn't care about keeping the ball in play. Kinks in stroke mechanics are sometimes a player's way of adjusting a swing to their own limitations, so that they can time and actually hit the ball better than they would have otherwise. It may not be optimal, but it is "as good as it gets" for that player.

Tennisstar86
Feb 15th, 2010, 06:05 AM
I feel like Ronald Reagan debating Walter Mondale. 'There he goes again'. The 'eyeball test' is what it is. What does 'in that upper tier' mean? Yu can't just mean recently, cause Sharapova's rectn performance has been far from 'upper tier'.

Slam winner right now? Doesn't include Sharapova or Henin. Or in the last eight slams.
Total slam titles? Sharapova isn't in the Henin, Venus, Serena class.
Slam finals? Why Sharapova and not Safina?
2010 OZ Serena ...... def Henin
2009 US Clijsters ... def Wozniacki
2009 WB Serena ...... def Venus
2009 RG Kuznetsova .. def Safina
2009 OZ Serena ...... def Safina
2008 US Serena ...... def Jankovic
2008 WB Venus ....... def Serena
2008 RG Ivanovic .... def Safina
I don;t know what Clijsters is. She's either a Venus/Henin class physical talent, but a chronic under-achiever, or she's at best, a Davenport/Capriati type.

Let's take a dividing line player. Is she on a par with Hingis? And if you say she is, where's the evidnce to support that opinion?

NOTE: You grouped her with Serena. Acceptable on it's face, cause she beat Serena in a slam in the last six months. But if take that evidence conclusive in and of itself, then isn't Nadia Petrova, having beaten Clijsters 6-1 6-0 three weeks ago, on he same level as Clijsters?

Except Davenport is the queen of the underachievers and Capriati could barely win a title... Dont link them together jsut because they each have 3 slams... Capriati has 14 titles...Lindsay has like 55......

OZTENNIS
Feb 15th, 2010, 06:58 AM
1) Serena
2) Henin
3) Venus

That's how I rate the top players of this generation.

Kim is not up there with Serena, Justine and Venus (yet) and I doubt she will get up there either. She is in the second tier along with Sharapova in my books

bandabou
Feb 15th, 2010, 08:07 AM
Kim is just the Davenport of her generation. Awfully consistent, never loses to people she shouldn't lose to..but put her in big match and then she folds like crape paper.

Prove consistent: OFFENSE beats DEFENSE all the time (except in Baskebtball..:lol:)

Betten
Feb 15th, 2010, 08:43 AM
Prove consistent: OFFENSE beats DEFENSE all the time

You can hardly call Davenport a defensive player.

But I agree that if you're going to compare Clijsters with someone else, Davenport seems the best choice. They're both mums. They're both good at singles and doubles (they have been no.1 in both rankings) and have won a lot of tournaments but buckled at the Slams. They are generally very nice and seem to have a lot of friends on the tour, but lack that killer drive that pushes players like Williams and Henin to greatness.

Raiden
Feb 15th, 2010, 08:56 AM
What level player is Clijsters, really?The 4th best player of the decade that just ended (the noughties). She's ahead of everyone except her compatriot plus the W-sisters.

Yes even ahead of Pova cuz:
Kim's won dozens more titles (incl tier 1s).
Kim scores better than Pova in head-to-head matchesshe also scores better in win/lose totals.Kim stood more weeks at N°1 than Pova.Although Kim had one less slam win, she has a better overall grand slam record than Pova(more finals & semis)To make a long story short: there is no contest. If Kim'd had the kind of easy, cakewalk (read: rigged) draws that Pova constantly got at especially the US open, then Kim would have had lots more slams in her pocket by now.

bandabou
Feb 15th, 2010, 09:01 AM
You can hardly call Davenport a defensive player.

But I agree that if you're going to compare Clijsters with someone else, Davenport seems the best choice. They're both mums. They're both good at singles and doubles (they have been no.1 in both rankings) and have won a lot of tournaments but buckled at the Slams. They are generally very nice and seem to have a lot of friends on the tour, but lack that killer drive that pushes players like Williams and Henin to greatness.

Nah, Linds wasn't a defensive player. Was meant more for Kimmy..and the rest of her clones: Jankovic, Wozniacky..

ZODIAC
Feb 15th, 2010, 10:01 AM
flukish...her win at the Open has a big asterisk

FrOzon
Feb 15th, 2010, 10:23 AM
Reminds you of Seles vs Graf, in slam finals.

Actually they are tied in slam finals, aren't they?

Uranus
Feb 15th, 2010, 10:33 AM
A few very nice posts in here.

Tough to call. I also believe her lack of mental toughness, in comparison with the true greats, was the main reason she didn't do as well. Because she had the game. And was literally unbeatable on a given day. Remember her IW-Miami 2005 streak, especially in Miami. That was utterly impressive.

1r def. #150 Kloesel 60 61
2r def. #27 Frazier 62 63
3r def. #14 Dechy 60 62
4r def. #6 Myskina 63 64
QF def. #5 Dementieva 62 61
SF def. #2 Mauresmo 61 60
F def. #3 Sharapova 63 75 - great match from both.

I could add that 2005 summer or the 2002 YEC.

I also believe she had some complex against Justine in GS finals. The matches weren't amazing quality, although with such players, they really could've been. It also was a tough era. So many greats playing at the beginning of the 00s.

In terms of talent and skills - but coming from a fan, maybe a little subjective -, I'd put her slightly ahead of Capriati/Sharapova/Davenport/Sanchez (of course the has pretty much the same achievements). But behind Williams/Henin/Hingis/Graf. Closer to Davenport, let's say, though they're very different players. But so many things in common.
I'd say Kim didn't have that fierce champions have. She truly underachieved, imo.

Btw, one big difference with Sveta is that Kim has proved herself to be a queen of consistency, while Sveta regularly suffers random losses - way too often, actually.

Awh and I read some post in the previous page - yeah, thinking about it, she should've defeated Serena at the AO (64 36 *5-1 final set, 2 MPs) and injured Venus at Wimbledon (64 3-1*, then Kim suddenly disappears and manages to lose 11/12 games) in 2003. That was choking at its best.

Hardiansf
Feb 15th, 2010, 10:57 AM
The level of this generation players:

THE GOAT :worship:
1. Serena Williams
2. Justine Henin
3. Venus Williams

THE GREAT :worship:
1. Martina Hingis
2. Lindsay Davenport

SHOULD BE ON THE GREAT CLUB but not yet :o
1. Kim Clijsters
2. Jennifer Capriati
3. Maria Sharapova
4. Mary Pierce

NOT ON THOSE CLUBS ABOVE yet but maybe a HOF locked :cool:
1. Svetlana Kuznetsova
2. Amelie Mauresmo

NOT ON THOSE CLUBS ABOVE yet also, I'm not sure about the HOF :angel:
1. Anastasia Myskina
2. Iva Majoli
3. Ana Ivanovic
4. Dinara Safina
5. Elena Dementieva
6. Jelena Jankovic

the others...

The Witch-king
Feb 15th, 2010, 11:07 AM
I put her slightly behind henin, but in the same line with venus. Titles do not determine everything

are you dumb

DOUBLEFIST
Feb 15th, 2010, 11:12 AM
are you dumb

:spit: "in the same league as Venus." :help:

Cookie Power
Feb 15th, 2010, 11:15 AM
I put her in the Kuznetsova, Mauresmo category.

Maybe very slightly overrated but still extremely skilled and tough player. I put her ahead of Sharapova despite having fewer slams and less variety of slams.. but I will admit that my putting her ahead of Maria is pretty subjective.

That's not saying much.

Matt01
Feb 15th, 2010, 11:38 AM
flukish...her win at the Open has a big asterisk


Yeah right :lol:

sammy01
Feb 15th, 2010, 11:42 AM
Again, there is absolutely nothing wrong with Svetlana's technique. She is one of the most technically sound players on tour.
Stop saying she has bad technique when you don't even know this to be true. Her game is technically sound from all areas of the court.
I would go into her technique shot by shot, but that's just boring.

A couple questions for you:

- What are the technical aspects of Kuznetsova's shots that are her undoing?>
- Can a player with good technique make a lot of errors if they play the wrong shot at the wrong time?

sveta's has some big problems with her technique. her contact point of the forehand is all over the place, she can take it way too late a lot of the time. she often comes up the back of the ball on the forehand way too much.

the reason kim is seen as way ahead of sveta is kim has under performed in slams, sveta has over. in regular tournaments theres no comparisson.

Vanity Bonfire
Feb 15th, 2010, 11:49 AM
sveta's has some big problems with her technique. her contact point of the forehand is all over the place, she can take it way too late a lot of the time. she often comes up the back of the ball on the forehand way too much.

the reason kim is seen as way ahead of sveta is kim has under performed in slams, sveta has over. in regular tournaments theres no comparisson.

The forehand is her only big technical problem, though.

Morrissey
Feb 15th, 2010, 02:01 PM
Clisters is BELOW the Williams Sisters and Henin and the proof is slam titles. People can talk about the regular WTA titles all they want but the GRAND SLAMS separate the women form the girls. I think Clijsters is a level below like with Capriati and Davenport. Henin, Venus and Serena are superior they have 7 slams or more that's special they are all time greats. Clijsters is very OVERRATED she had a fluke win at the US OPEN last year. However, Clijsters loss to Petrova proves the flake that she is.

thrust
Feb 15th, 2010, 02:09 PM
SLAMS H-H: Justine-6, Kim-2. I would rank Kim with Mauresmo, jsut behind Davenport. True Lindsay has just 3 Slams, but she has many more tour wins, weeks @ number one and YE at number one. There is Serena, then Justine-Venus, then Lindsay, then Maria- Kim- Amelie.

sammy01
Feb 15th, 2010, 02:15 PM
kim has time to pick up another slam or 2. when you think she is the youngest of the big 4, and the likes of vika and caro have already came up short against her, she could very find a gap in womens tennis in a couple of years for her to fill.

heck if shes fit, she is the fave for the us open, she is on a 14 match win streak there, and the court is perfect for her.

Sombrerero loco
Feb 15th, 2010, 02:56 PM
when kim has a good day, she can defeat anyone, just as seen in the last us open

miffedmax
Feb 15th, 2010, 03:09 PM
I've been hinting around at this in some other threads, and I'm going to come out and say it in this one.

The way the game is played now, the old standards have gone out the window. Slam counting used to be a nice, shorthand way of measuring a players worth, but if you go back and look at the pre-21st Century, the fact is that nearly all your big-haul slam winners in both the women's and men's games also had massive collections of tour wins, tour trophies, weeks in the Top 10 and weeks at #1. But, in those good old days, the tour was largely confined to North America and Europe (Australia was either ignored for a vast part of that time by large numbers of players, or constituted such a small part of the season that it wasn't really relevant).

That's all changed. Players like Sampras and the Williams sisters admit and plan their whole season around gunning for slams and slams only. Given the way the season now includes stops in Asia--and the fact that there's no longer any semblance of a continental season, with players going from Australia to Paris to Dubai, for example, instead of say Australia to Paris to Munich, like it might have been in the old days, I think a player almost has to make a choice. Do I play week in and week out to rack up tour victories, or do I rest up and only play slams?

Depending on a player's physical and psychological strengths, either can be a reasonable choice. My prediction is that if thing stay the way they are, we're going to see a lot more slamless #1s in the coming years, and a lot more multi-slam winners with embarrassingly low total tour wins compared to their sisters from earlier eras. Pre-retirement Justine and Vee may go down as the last of the truly complete players (especially Vee, given her doubles accomplishments).

It's really turning into a two track system, with players like Serena, post-retirement Justine, and Kim (again, post-retirement) on the "slam" track and players like Safina, Dementieva, JJ, and Wozniaki on the "tour track." (Ana, btw, might want to consider the "slam track").

IMHO, it's all the result of an overextended tour, a messed up ranking system, a media that continues to use slam-counting as a crutch instead of actual research and analysis of what's changed about the game in the last 15 years, the more physical demands of the game and some other factors that I'm probably to dumb to figure out.

But the increasing divergence between tour accomplishments and slam accomplishments that's taken place in the last tennis generation concerns me, because it means one or the other is going to start to lose traction. In the long run, that won't be good for a game that has to compete in an ever-more crowded sports landscape for dollars, talent and fans.

cellophane
Feb 15th, 2010, 03:15 PM
People really concentrate on numbers too much... ask yourself who are the main rivals to Serena (French Open aside) right now... it's Kim and Justine... and Venus at Wimbledon(and elsewhere, in theory). If Kim isn't in the same league as these 3 (and she isn't achievements-wise) as a player, why would you even put her name on that list?

Slutiana
Feb 15th, 2010, 04:11 PM
I just multi-quoted so many posts - too many posts, so i'll just start from scratch. :lol:

Regarding Kuznetsova, from a coach's standpoint she is technically one of the best players on tour. Her main problem is the contact point on the forehand which can sometimes be so late, but I think a lot of it has to do with her head. Time and time again i've seen her rush shots or else deliberate between doing x, y and z. It's like her variety is often a burden because she just simply doesn't know what to do with herself most of the time and that causes indecision and results in some of the most 'WTF' shots ever seen. This is why it was so refreshing to watch her at the French Open and throughout the CC season last year. I hate it so much that Sveta gets NO credit for the French Open because of Safina's little melt-down. But I myself had so much respect for her because her play and gameplan was just so simple. She was solid, she stayed back, used her great defensive skills but whever anything was CLOSE to short, she would just pounce on it and put it away. It really highlighted how secure her game and technique is when she just has her head screwed on. I'm not saying she should ditch her variety altogether but I think that is the way she needs to play day in, day out. Sure if she encounters a huge challenge then she should look to step upto it and take her more aggressive and complete game to that player, but with Sveta it is often the case of her having too much going on in such a simple, little brain. :lol:


As for Clijsters, there is no doubt that she is a great player. She is one of the few complete or at least close-to complete players of this generation along with the Williams Sisters, Henin and indeed Kuznetsova but just like Kuznetsova (although obviously not to the extent of Kuzzy) her head has held her back. Frankly, the mental side of tennis is EVERYTHING and I reckon the only person who really should be spared the "What-ifs" is Monica, therefore i'd say it should go

Serena > Venus + Henin > Hingis (God knows what generation she's in > Clijsters + Davenport + Capriati > Maria and the rest.

I agree with Max that it has to be looked at with subjectivity because of the many different variables involved. I also believe that Doubles is undoubtebly part of a player's legacy :cool:

madmax
Feb 15th, 2010, 04:24 PM
She has two slams, so she's on the level of Mauresmo and Kuznetsova...Serena, Venus, Justine and Maria are all superior players to her ability and domination wise

The Dawntreader
Feb 15th, 2010, 04:51 PM
The thing that irks me most about Clijsters, is when everyone lauds her great 'ball-striking ability'. She isn't a natural looking ball-striker at all, with MAJOR technical glitches in that forehand. The amount of extension on that rightt arm is just fug-ugly to watch at times, unable to hit through the ball with an adequate enough follow-through and having to wrestle the ball. This is why it annoys me so much when people say Venus, Sharapova etc have poor technique, when it's obvious that Kim's forehand and serve can break down in an almost impromptu manner.

I've never bough the debate that Kim lose those Slam finals and semis to 'nerves' and 'tension'. The fact is, Venus, Serena, Henin, Sharapova etc etc, all have shots that were sustainable and effective enough in clutch moments.

There's nothing that suggests to me that Clijster's tecnique hasn't been one of her most major liabilities. Everyone can get nervous, but you can still have the shots to override this.

ZODIAC
Feb 15th, 2010, 05:10 PM
Kim can fall pregnant anytime and retire again,remember she is a married mother her child can get sick during a slam or her husband breaks up with her or cheats with the nanny anything to distract her from staying long on tour.Her win at the Open had that Maradona in Mexico world cup feel to it...like she had a helping hand.

Svetlana)))
Feb 15th, 2010, 05:14 PM
She has two slams, so she's on the level of Mauresmo and Kuznetsova...Serena, Venus, Justine and Maria are all superior players to her ability and domination wise

Let's not get carried away....... Maria has 1 more slam than her but to say she's superior in terms of ability and domination... NOT COOL.

And to Apoleb's examples of Kuznetsova's bad technique, the same could be same about Clijsters. During her AO match against Petrova, no one would've known she had won 2 slams.

Dave.
Feb 15th, 2010, 06:06 PM
Actually cringing at people putting Clijsters, Capriati and the like in the same "group" as Davenport. Ughhhhh. :scared: *shiver*

ZODIAC
Feb 15th, 2010, 06:12 PM
Actually cringing at people putting Clijsters, Capriati and the like in the same "group" as Davenport. Ughhhhh. :scared: *shiver*
Clijsters has a history of choking otherwise she would be in the same league as Henin,she might never win a slam again and retire with her two hardcourt slams.The way Petrova dismantled her clearly showed that she is not that good as was hyped beginning of the year and as the players get used to her play they will punch holes in her game...she didnt have a plan B against Petrova.

Steffica Greles
Feb 15th, 2010, 06:13 PM
At her highest level, she's pretty much as good as any player has been. Or, she's in that bracket. That's why she's rated so highly.


In terms of career achievements, however, you'd place her above the likes of Sabatini, Pierce, Mauresmo, probably Capriati and Sharapova, and debatably, Davenport, but below Sanchez-Vicario.

ZODIAC
Feb 15th, 2010, 06:24 PM
At her highest level, she's pretty much as good as any player has been. Or, she's in that bracket. That's why she's rated so highly.


In terms of career achievements, however, you'd place her above the likes of Sabatini, Pierce, Mauresmo, probably Capriati and Sharapova, and debatably, Davenport, but below Sanchez-Vicario.
so with her two slams she is better than pova:confused:remember who was beating Kim at big events before her retirement...pova plus she is younger and has a chance to add to her tally.I see pova with more slams than Kim when its all said and done..

DefyingGravity
Feb 15th, 2010, 06:29 PM
If I had to order the iconic players of the 1999-2009, it would most likely be:

1. Serena
2. Venus and Henin
3. Davenport
4. Clijsters and Capriati
5. Maria and Kuznetsova Mauresmo
6. Jankovic, Ivanovic, and others including Dementieva and Myskina

In terms of Clijsters game alone, she's always been able to beat the top players, and I feel as though as I've said multiple times, if she would just GROW A PAIR AND HIT HER FOREHAND, she'd be alright. I've seen her hit some incredibly flat and hard forehands before and I know she's capable of it. She is a great rallying player, but I feel as though if she would step up and hit more controlling forehands against the top players, she'd have more slams. Example....she had Jennifer for a set and a half at Roland Garros 2001 only because Capriati handed her mistake after mistake. Once she even had a semblance of form, Clijsters didn't dictate. It takes too much of the other player donating for Kim to want to hit her forehand, but SHE CAN HANDLE PACE and DISH IT BACK so well. If she would just get slightly more aggressive, she has the tools to do it, but no guts, and that is why she stands with only 2 majors instead of 3 (counting RG 2001). Hell, she could have had the AO 2004 where it not for that overrule making her go chicken again.

Tennisstar86
Feb 15th, 2010, 06:32 PM
so with her two slams she is better than pova:confused:remember who was beating Kim at big events before her retirement...pova plus she is younger and has a chance to add to her tally.I see pova with more slams than Kim when its all said and done..

Pova is having trouble finding her way into the second week these days......Time will tell, but i fear if she doesnt at least make a SF of a major this year....it wont ever happen again for her.... Pova said a couple years ago she did not see herself playing past 25. Of course once she realizes Serena and company are gone and if she gets her act together she mighht change her mind.

And yes right now Clijsters > than Pova.... shes needs more titles...Right now with that group

Davenport>>>>>>>>>>>>Clijsters>Sharapova>Capriati

Pova has yet to win 20 titles....of course Pova could pass Clijsters by the end of her career, but just because she COULD doesnt mean you go ahead and place her above now as far as accomplishments go. SHes got to earn it.

Tennisstar86
Feb 15th, 2010, 06:36 PM
If I had to order the iconic players of the 1999-2009, it would most likely be:

1. Serena
2. Venus and Henin
3. Davenport
4. Clijsters
5. Maria and Mauresmo
6. Kuznetsova and Capriati
7. Jankovic, Ivanovic, and others including Dementieva and Myskina



And I agree... just forgetting poor Momo

DefyingGravity
Feb 15th, 2010, 06:37 PM
And I agree... just forgetting poor Momo

OOPS, how could I forget her. Yes, of course!!

Edinboro
Feb 15th, 2010, 06:39 PM
Pova is having trouble finding her way into the second week these days......Time will tell, but i fear if she doesnt at least make a SF of a major this year....it wont ever happen again for her.... Pova said a couple years ago she did not see herself playing past 25. Of course once she realizes Serena and company are gone and if she gets her act together she mighht change her mind.

And yes right now Clijsters > than Pova.... shes needs more titles...Right now with that group

Davenport>>>>>>>>>>>>Clijsters>Sharapova>Capriati

Pova has yet to win 20 titles....of course Pova could pass Clijsters by the end of her career, but just because she COULD doesnt mean you go ahead and place her above now as far as accomplishments go. SHes got to earn it.


Maria won her 20th title at Tokyo last year. ;) Still 16 titles behind Kim though.

DefyingGravity
Feb 15th, 2010, 06:39 PM
And I agree... just forgetting poor Momo

I defend putting Capriati at 4th though and not with Kuznetsova because 3 slams and a number one trumps two slams and number two, IMO.

Tennisstar86
Feb 15th, 2010, 06:43 PM
I defend putting Capriati at 4th though and not with Kuznetsova because 3 slams and a number one trumps two slams and number two, IMO.

I just cant put her that high. she only won 14 titles....

sammy01
Feb 15th, 2010, 06:51 PM
capriati was an opportunist, she was obviously very good, but she picked off her 3 slams at the right time as hingis was losing her way and serena, henin and clijsters were yet to truely prove themselves. her lack of titles show that there was often a player playing better tennis than her, but if there wasn't capriati was there to pick it off.

chucktf
Feb 15th, 2010, 06:57 PM
Pova is having trouble finding her way into the second week these days......Time will tell, but i fear if she doesnt at least make a SF of a major this year....it wont ever happen again for her.... Pova said a couple years ago she did not see herself playing past 25. Of course once she realizes Serena and company are gone and if she gets her act together she mighht change her mind.

She also said that she will play as long as her body will allow her. Noone knows how long she will play, she sure got her chances to pass Clijsters, let's be honest. She is 22, 4 years younger and already got 1 more major.

Volcana
Feb 15th, 2010, 07:10 PM
In terms of career achievements, however, you'd place her above the likes of Sabatini, Pierce, Mauresmo, probably Capriati and Sharapova, and debatably, Davenport, but below Sanchez-Vicario.
'debatably, Davenport'? In terms of career achievements? Is there ANY measure of career achievemnets wheres Clijsters is ahead of Davenport?
slam singles titles Davenport 3, Clijster 2
total singles titles, Davenport 55, Clijsters 36
Season End #1, Davenport 3, Clijsters 0
And, just becasue they both played doubles
slam doubles titles Davenport 3, Clijsters 2
total doubles titles Davenport 37, Clijsters 11
The 'debatable' level is whether or not Clijsters should be rated ahead of Sharapova or Capriati. She's WAY behind Davnport.

Steffica Greles
Feb 15th, 2010, 07:18 PM
'debatably, Davenport'? In terms of career achievements? Is there ANY measure of career achievemnets wheres Clijsters is ahead of Davenport?slam singles titles Davenport 3, Clijster 2
total singles titles, Davenport 55, Clijsters 36
Season End #1, Davenport 3, Clijsters 0
And, just becasue they both played doublesslam doubles titles Davenport 3, Clijsters 2
total doubles titles Davenport 37, Clijsters 11
The 'debatable' level is whether or not Clijsters should be rated ahead of Sharapova or Capriati. She's WAY behind Davnport.

True. And I agree.


I was just thinking of all the times I saw Kim clearly outclass Davenport and really make her look rather silly. At her best, Kim was too quick for Lindsay. Davenport's best shots were returned down her flanks, which left her exposed because of her sluggish movement. So I find it tough to think of Davenport - who I've said many times had some of the best ground strokes I've ever seen - above a player who clearly had too much for her when she was playing at her highest level.

Volcana
Feb 15th, 2010, 07:21 PM
If I had to order the iconic players of the 1999-2009, it would most likely be:

1. Serena
2. Venus and Henin
3. Davenport
4. Clijsters and Capriati
5. Maria and Kuznetsova Mauresmo
6. Jankovic, Ivanovic, and others including Dementieva and MyskinaI don't think this was an oversite, because of the years you picked, but you can't leave Hingis off that list. Between 1999-2009, she won a slam, made five other slam finals, won 22 tournament and finished two years ranked #1. She won nine tournaments in 2000, including five Tier I's.

Can't put her with Mauresmo, but she's pushing Kuznetsova pretty hard, and she's clearly better than and the one slammers and no slammers you listed.

Dave.
Feb 15th, 2010, 07:34 PM
I was just thinking of all the times I saw Kim clearly outclass Davenport and really make her look rather silly. At her best, Kim was too quick for Lindsay. Davenport's best shots were returned down her flanks, which left her exposed because of her sluggish movement. So I find it tough to think of Davenport - who I've said many times had some of the best ground strokes I've ever seen - above a player who clearly had too much for her when she was playing at her highest level.

It's true Kim did at times make Lindsay look silly in that 2003 stretch but let's not pretend that was Davenport at her best (2003 was her worst season as a top 5 player). There was one point when Lindsay led the H2H 4-0 while playing some of her best. Kim was almost a spectator in both of their Wimbledon encounters.

The Witch-king
Feb 15th, 2010, 07:41 PM
She's the runt of the litter

Volcana
Feb 15th, 2010, 07:49 PM
I was just thinking of all the times I saw Kim clearly outclass Davenport and really make her look rather silly. At her best, Kim was too quick for Lindsay. Davenport's best shots were returned down her flanks, which left her exposed because of her sluggish movement. So I find it tough to think of Davenport - who I've said many times had some of the best ground strokes I've ever seen - above a player who clearly had too much for her when she was playing at her highest level.Memory can play tricks on you. The H2H is 9-8 Clijsters. But one of the Davenport wins is Fed Cup, and one is a walkover, so I'll throw those out. 9-6 Clijsters. But in the slams, the H2H is 5-1 .... Davenport. And that first Davenport win could be said to be against an immature Clijsters, in 2001 Clijsters made the RG final, and finished the year in the top five.2000 US OPEN ......... HARD .. R64 Davenport 4-6 6-2 6-2
2001 AUS OPEN ........ HARD .. R16 Davenport 6-4 6-0
2001 WIMBLEDON ....... GRAS .. QTR Davenport 6-1 6-2
2001 STANFORD ........ HARD .. FNL Clijsters 6-4 6-7 6-1
2001 YEC ............. HARD .. SMI Davenport 1-6 6-3 7-6
2002 STANFORD ........ HARD .. SMI Clijsters 4-6 6-4 6-2
2002 FILDERSTADT ..... HARD .. QTR Clijsters 4-6 6-3 6-4
2002 ZURICH .......... CARP .. QTR Davenport 6-3 7-6
_
2003 SYDNEY .......... HARD .. FNL Clijsters 6-4 6-3
2003 INDIAN WELLS .... HARD .. FNL Clijsters 6-4 7-5
2003 SAN DIEGO ....... HARD .. SMI Clijsters 6-3 6-3
2003 LOS ANGELES ..... HARD .. FNL Clijsters 6-1 3-6 6-1
2003 US OPEN ......... HARD .. SMI Clijsters 6-2 6-3
_
2005 INDIAN WELLS .... HARD .. FNL Clijsters 6-4 4-6 6-2
2005 FRENCH OPEN ..... CLAY .. R16 Davenport 1-6 7-5 6-3
2005 WIMBLEDON ....... GRAS .. R16 Davenport 6-3 6-7 6-3

The only reason this match-ups is favorable to Clijsters at all is 2003. She wiped out Lindsay that year 5-0. And all credit to Clijster for going scorched earthed on Davenport during a year Davenport finished in the top five. But even in 2005, with Davenport planning how to decorate the baby's room, and Clijsters winning Miami, Indian Wells, Eastbourne and the US Open, Davenport beat her at Roland Garros and at Wimbledon.

Maybe Clijsters was better at Clijsters hghest level. Maybe. But who was better in the biggest spots?

Dunlop1
Feb 15th, 2010, 08:36 PM
sveta's has some big problems with her technique.

No she doesn't.

her contact point of the forehand is all over the place, she can take it way too late a lot of the time.

Again, she doesn't. Her contact point is pretty steady. In matches, you are never going to hit all your forehands at the same contact point. It is your opponent's job to make sure of that.
Put it this way, on neutral balls her contact point is in the same place. (The same could not be said for Venus in 2004 for instance)

she often comes up the back of the ball on the forehand way too much.

Sveta plays with a modern forehand technique with a pull stroke and an educated wrist release. The result of this is increased racquet head speed and more spin on the ball.
There is nothing wrong with her technique.
If she decided to put more spin on the ball, which is achieved by swinging up and through the ball, that has to do with her shot selection not her technique.

Her technique is SOLID.

sammy01
Feb 15th, 2010, 08:55 PM
No she doesn't.



Again, she doesn't. Her contact point is pretty steady. In matches, you are never going to hit all your forehands at the same contact point. It is your opponent's job to make sure of that.
Put it this way, on neutral balls her contact point is in the same place. (The same could not be said for Venus in 2004 for instance)



Sveta plays with a modern forehand technique with a pull stroke and an educated wrist release. The result of this is increased racquet head speed and more spin on the ball.
There is nothing wrong with her technique.
If she decided to put more spin on the ball, which is achieved by swinging up and through the ball, that has to do with her shot selection not her technique.

Her technique is SOLID.

we are being ultra critical because it is comparing her to the likes of davenport, clijsters, henin ect. her forehand is solid, but there are much better out there. it is not totally secure and like clijsters it normally indicates her form, as the backhands of both are solid as a rock.

all you wrote you could say for caro about her forehand, yet it is not technically sound. sveta does come up the back of the ball sometimes too much, like serena, and loses all momentum through it. sveta is also pretty poor returning on the forehand, she dumps many ball in the net.

Midnight_Robber
Feb 15th, 2010, 09:10 PM
Serena

Seles

Venus + Justine

Hingis

Davenport/Capriati/Sharapova

Mauresmo/Kuznetsova/Clijsters/Pierce

Ivanovic/Myskina

Dememntieva/Safina

JJ/Wozniacki


I know, I know - slams aren't everything but they are one way of approaching this. For the longest time I think that Maria has been grouped with the WS on the basis of her style of play and her perceived potential rather than her actual achievements. And I've always said that Kim gets grouped in with Justine on the basis of a one-sided rivalry and the fact that they're both Belgian. Even the 'WS' tag has become misleading now. In '08 there may have been good reason to bracket them together pre-USO (7 slams vs. 8 and a tight H2H) But there's considerable distance 2 years down the track, and Serena is way out there on her own and that needs to be acknowledged more.

Basing it on slams would obviously put Kim in the Mauresmo, Kuznetsova, Pierce bracket - which I don't think is the great insult that some are making it out to be. :rolleyes: They're alll talented players with propensities for mentally collapsing on the big stage. Kim is no exception to this. Kim's non-slam achievements could make an argument for her being in the Sharapova, Capriati, Davenport range. And I know that most assume that she's going to win another slams so...

But while Justine's actually gotten the results both in and out of the slams (titles, no. 1, the Olympics), Kim gets a lot of the associated glory ("The Belgians"). Anyway you look at it, Kim either isn't as good a s people assume she is; and if her talent is comparable to Justine's then you have to conclude that she's an underachiever. The more I look at it, Kim is to Justine what Venus is to Serena.

ZODIAC
Feb 15th, 2010, 09:30 PM
Serena

Seles

Venus + Justine

Hingis

Davenport/Capriati/Sharapova

Mauresmo/Kuznetsova/Clijsters/Pierce

Ivanovic/Myskina

Dememntieva/Safina

JJ/Wozniacki


I know, I know - slams aren't everything but they are one way of approaching this. For the longest time I think that Maria has been grouped with the WS on the basis of her style of play and her perceived potential rather than her actual achievements. And I've always said that Kim gets grouped in with Justine on the basis of a one-sided rivalry and the fact that they're both Belgian. Even the 'WS' tag has become misleading now. In '08 there may have been good reason to bracket them together pre-USO (7 slams vs. 8 and a tight H2H) But there's considerable distance 2 years down the track, and Serena is way out there on her own and that needs to be acknowledged more.

Basing it on slams would obviously put Kim in the Mauresmo, Kuznetsova, Pierce bracket - which I don't think is the great insult that some are making it out to be. :rolleyes: They're alll talented players with propensities for mentally collapsing on the big stage. Kim is no exception to this. Kim's non-slam achievements could make an argument for her being in the Sharapova, Capriati, Davenport range. And I know that most assume that she's going to win another slams so...

But while Justine's actually gotten the results both in and out of the slams (titles, no. 1, the Olympics), Kim gets a lot of the associated glory ("The Belgians"). Anyway you look at it, Kim either isn't as good a s people assume she is; and if her talent is comparable to Justine's then you have to conclude that she's an underachiever. The more I look at it, Kim is to Justine what Venus is to Serena.
Venus is a very accomplished grass court player and has dominated that real estate in Wimbledon for a decade,she has been in 8 finals at Wimbledon in ten years something that Justine nor Kim have ever done.In fact she is the best grass court player of her generation bar none...the anology about the sisters and the belgians is a little off.Venus in her own right is much more accomplished than Kim will ever be,her resume is far lengthier than Kimmy s.Vee is the only player of this generation to defend USA Open and Wimbledon all in one year .Kim should not be in the same conversation as the sisters...or Vee for that matter:rolleyes:

moby
Feb 15th, 2010, 09:38 PM
Venus is a very accomplished grass court player and has dominated that real estate in Wimbledon for a decade,she has been in 8 finals at Wimbledon in ten years something that Justine nor Kim have ever done.In fact she is the best grass court player of her generation bar none...the anology about the sisters and the belgians is a little off.Venus in her own right is much more accomplished than Kim will ever be,her resume is far lengthier than Kimmy s.Vee is the only player of this generation to defend USA Open and Wimbledon all in one year .Kim should not be in the same conversation as the sisters...or Vee for that matter:rolleyes:Do you have trouble understanding what analogies are? :tape:
[The more I look at it, Kim is to Justine what Venus is to Serena.I disagree with this in that I think the relative gap between Justine and Kim is much wider than that between Venus and Serena. There's actually nothing of note that Kim has accomplished that Justine hasn't. Whereas Venus has that Wimbledon record and the Olympic Gold.

ZODIAC
Feb 15th, 2010, 09:45 PM
Do you have trouble understanding what analogies are? :tape:
I disagree with this in that I think the relative gap between Justine and Kim is much wider than that between Venus and Serena. There's actually nothing of note that Kim has accomplished that Justine hasn't. Whereas Venus has that Wimbledon record and the Olympic Gold.
Kim should not been in the same sentence as Venus,she has a long way to go before she can be in Venus class.Kim should be compared to the likes of Momo and Pierce or Sveta this is where she fits in she has a lot in common with these players...choking.

terjw
Feb 15th, 2010, 09:56 PM
Fourth best player of her generation.

Tennisstar86
Feb 15th, 2010, 10:03 PM
Fourth best player of her generation.

6th.....

1. Serena
2. Justine & Venus
4. Hingis
5. Davenport
6. Clijsters

Matt01
Feb 15th, 2010, 10:07 PM
Do you have trouble understanding what analogies are? :tape:
I disagree with this in that I think the relative gap between Justine and Kim is much wider than that between Venus and Serena. There's actually nothing of note that Kim has accomplished that Justine hasn't. Whereas Venus has that Wimbledon record and the Olympic Gold.


What Wimbeldon record does Venus have?

The Dawntreader
Feb 15th, 2010, 10:10 PM
What Wimbeldon record does Venus have?

I think Mobes means the track record;)

Olórin
Feb 15th, 2010, 10:14 PM
To be blunt the title does not fit particularly well with the OP and creates two discussions:
The OP talks about Clijsters from a historical perspective. The title implies her "level of play" so what does that relate to - the level of play she has demonstrated on average throughout her career, her current level of play...well one of those surely? In either case, on her day, she is right up there with Justine, Serena and Venus (obviously your Hingises, Davenports, Sharapovas, Mauresmos - depending on the timeframe). That's simply not a debate - Clijsters is a reigning slam champion who has beaten everyone there is to beat - she's not the dominant player on tour, but she is an elite, top-player.

As for her standing as a great in tennis history: she's a multi-slam champion, former world number one, who has had spurts of dominance over the tour during her illustrious career. That puts her in the Davenport, Austin, Mandlikova, ASV, Mauresmo, Sharapova tier - clearly short of the Venus/Henin/Bueno tier and not even comparable to the Serena/King/Lenglen tier. Likewise, she shouldn't be compared in historyto the slam winning non-number ones who have never had the spurts of dominance that she has (Kuznetsova, Pierce)and obviously not Jankovic or Safina.

Volcana
Feb 15th, 2010, 10:17 PM
1. Serena
2. Justine & Venus
4. Hingis
5. Davenport
6. Clijsters
Davenport isn't really the same 'generation'. She's seven years older than Clijsters. (Same birthday)

Olórin
Feb 15th, 2010, 10:18 PM
What Wimbeldon record does Venus have?

Most Wimbledon titles in the 3rd Millennium.
Keep up.

Matt01
Feb 15th, 2010, 10:19 PM
Most Wimbledon titles in the 3rd Millennium.
Keep up.


Wow. That's a great record considering that the 3rd Millennium has just started few years ago :lol:

Tennisstar86
Feb 15th, 2010, 10:23 PM
Davenport isn't really the same 'generation'. She's seven years older than Clijsters. (Same birthday)

I throw Davenport in their generation because Davenport is one of the rare late bloomers on tour..... while the other players in this generation were teen stars...Davenport was not a teen star...

Olórin
Feb 15th, 2010, 10:23 PM
Wow. That's a great record considering that the 3rd Millennium has just started few years ago :lol:

A record is a record. :)
In any case unless Serena catches up, I see it standing the test of time - Venus can still add to it as well. :)

Midnight_Robber
Feb 15th, 2010, 10:24 PM
I disagree with this in that I think the relative gap between Justine and Kim is much wider than that between Venus and Serena. There's actually nothing of note that Kim has accomplished that Justine hasn't. Whereas Venus has that Wimbledon record and the Olympic Gold.

So do I actually. :) I agree with you and should qualify what I said. It was a very rough, lazy, kind-of-provocative analogy framed by the number of slams.(i.e. Pretty much anyone could "easily" bring up the fact that both Venus and Kim are often compared to players that they both trail by 5 slams.)

So they're comparable insofar as being caught up in one-sided rivalries. They're comparable in terms of the role that they play in their respective rivalries (i.e. their perpetual runner-up status especially in slam finals.) But, I totally, utterly agree with Moby that the gap between Kim and Justine is greater than that between Venus and Serena. Sure Serena outranks Venus in most respects but Venus has still won the most Wimbledons of her generation (so far), she has the winning match streak of the last decade (I think?), she's the most decorated tennis Olympian and she also equals Serena in terms of women's doubles slams :) She also has more titles than her overall. Yet, at the USO last year one commentator was at least asserting that Venus wasn't fit to mentioned in the same sentence as Serena. That was his opinion - and that's fine. But yet the media thinks nothing of comapring Kim to Justine or either WS.:confused:

And yes, I know that Justine really does outstrip Kim in almost every respect.

Which is why I said from the start that Clijsters being placed in the Momo, Mary, Kuz bracket is actually pretty apt and not an insult. (But thanks for reiterating the point FinestHour, never mind that I'd already said that). It's not as if I'm trying to place Venus in that bracket. :rolleyes: Clearly she's in a different league to Clijsters. It's not a direct comparison of Venus to Kim in terms of achievements - :rolleyes: - it's my questioning why Clijsters then gets constantly (almost automatically)compared to Henin (most of all), Venus, and Serena as if she 'naturally' belongs up there, without question despite not having the achievments.

What Wimbeldon record does Venus have?

Fastest serve ever hit by a woman at The Championships?

Matt01
Feb 15th, 2010, 10:29 PM
A record is a record. :)


Yeah, it's a record. A totally meaningless one.

ZODIAC
Feb 15th, 2010, 10:33 PM
So do I actually. :) I agree with you and should qualify what I said. It was a very rough, lazy, kind-of-provocative analogy framed by the number of slams.(i.e. Pretty much anyone could "easily" bring up the fact that both Venus and Kim are often compared to players that they both trail by 5 slams.)

So they're comparable insofar as being caught up in one-sided rivalries. They're comparable in terms of the role that they play in their respective rivalries (i.e. their perpetual runner-up status especially in slam finals.) But, I totally, utterly agree with Moby that the gap between Kim and Justine is greater than that between Venus and Serena. Sure Serena outranks Venus in most respects but Venus has still won the most Wimbledons of her generation (so far), she has the winning match streak of the last decade (I think?), she's the most decorated tennis Olympian and she also equals Serena in terms of women's doubles slams :) She also has more titles than her overall. Yet, at the USO last year one commentator was at least asserting that Venus wasn't fit to mentioned in the same sentence as Serena. That was his opinion - and that's fine. But yet the media thinks nothing of comapring Kim to Justine or either WS.:confused:

And yes, I know that Justine really does outstrip Kim in almost every respect.

Which is why I said from the start that Clijsters being placed in the Momo, Mary, Kuz bracket is actually pretty apt and not an insult. It's not as if I'm trying to place Venus in that bracket. :rolleyes: Clearly she's in a different league to Clijsters. It's not a direct comparison of Venus to Kim in terms of achievements - :rolleyes: - it's my questioning why Clijsters then gets constantly compared to Henin (most of all), Venus, and Serena as if she 'naturally' belongs up there, without question despite not having the achievments.



Fastest serve ever hit by a woman at The Championships? Kim is simply overrated and overhyped by the tennis media,she has an extensive history of choking when it really counts ...last year she got lucky thats all:rolleyes:this year will yield mediocre results at slams for the mommy.

latte
Feb 15th, 2010, 10:38 PM
Interesting read. Thanks guys :hatoff:

Olórin
Feb 15th, 2010, 10:56 PM
Yeah, it's a record. A totally meaningless one.

Yeah, speaking of meaningless...

Chrissie-fan
Feb 15th, 2010, 11:00 PM
Yeah, it's a record. A totally meaningless one.
But nevertheless one that every other active player would love to have. ;)

Feyd
Feb 15th, 2010, 11:05 PM
But nevertheless one that every other active player would love to have. ;)

Yeah, one of them (Matt's favorite player) has come out of retirement just to have 1/5th of that record. Can you believe that?

Matt01
Feb 15th, 2010, 11:32 PM
Justine didn't come back to hold the "record of winning the most Wimbledon title of this Millennium" :lol:

AnnaK_4ever
Feb 15th, 2010, 11:35 PM
1. Serena
2. Venus
3. Henin
4. Hingis
5. Davenport
6. Clijsters
7-8. Sharapova/Mauresmo
9. Capriati
10. Pierce
11. Kuznetsova
12. Dementieva
13. Ivanovic
14. Safina
15-16. Myskina/Jankovic

That's what I got using my ranking system for the players of late 90s/2000s.

manu
Feb 15th, 2010, 11:59 PM
I don't agree with the people who are saying Kim is "just a great pusher" or a "modern ASV".

She's not a pusher. She's got the game to be agressive and dominant from the baseline. She has VERY penetrating shots when she wants to, several leagues ahead of what Sanchez-Vicario and other famous 'great' pushers could ever come up with.

The problem is that, especially on the big moments, she tends to adopt the MENTALITY of a pusher. And then her game transforms into a lackluster pusher-like version. A shame really. If she'd have a more fierce mentality, like the other 3, she would have been way more succesful, and would have had a very realistic shot at a Henin/Venus-like career.

manu
Feb 16th, 2010, 12:01 AM
1. Serena
2. Venus
3. Henin
4. Hingis
5. Davenport
6. Clijsters
7-8. Sharapova/Mauresmo
9. Capriati
10. Pierce
11. Kuznetsova
12. Dementieva
13. Ivanovic
14. Safina
15-16. Myskina/Jankovic

That's what I got using my ranking system for the players of late 90s/2000s.

Nice and pretty objective rating. I think I agree, although if not for her Slam count, I would put Hingis a few notches down game-wise. And might swap a few places in the lower ranges (love her, but Dementieva is a bit high for my taste). Overall, pretty accurate.

Donny
Feb 16th, 2010, 12:03 AM
Justine didn't come back to hold the "record of winning the most Wimbledon title of this Millennium" :lol:

You're right. She came back to hold the record of "tied for 3rd most Wimbledons this millennium".

trufanjay
Feb 16th, 2010, 12:06 AM
1. Serena
2. Venus
3. Henin
4. Hingis
5. Davenport
6. Clijsters
7-8. Sharapova/Mauresmo
9. Capriati
10. Pierce
11. Kuznetsova
12. Dementieva
13. Ivanovic
14. Safina
15-16. Myskina/Jankovic

That's what I got using my ranking system for the players of late 90s/2000s.
I don't think I could have made a better list :lol:
Very accurate, I agree with everything

Dunlop1
Feb 16th, 2010, 12:38 AM
As an aside, Kim's level the summer of 2005 culminating in the US Open was pretty amazing.
Here's a look at her USO 05 run. Some AMAZING WINNERS :eek::eek:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHg5SJYRHA0&feature=related

CrossCourt~Rally
Feb 16th, 2010, 12:40 AM
Grand Slam winner level :bounce:

Stamp Paid
Feb 16th, 2010, 12:47 AM
As an aside, Kim's level the summer of 2005 culminating in the US Open was pretty amazing.
Here's a look at her USO 05 run. Some AMAZING WINNERS :eek::eek:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHg5SJYRHA0&feature=relatedwth? :lol:

Volcana
Feb 16th, 2010, 01:00 AM
I throw Davenport in their generation because Davenport is one of the rare late bloomers on tour..... while the other players in this generation were teen stars...Davenport was not a teen star...Davenport was not a late bloomer. She made her first slam QF at sixteen ('93 OZ). She won her first tournament ('93 European Open) at sixteen. She won two more the following year, and when she won the Olympics at age 20, it was her sixth tournament win.

As for not being a teen star, being a star is, to a great extent, a function of looks, not achievements. Lindsay Davenport at 17 made Marion Bartoli look slender. That killed any chance of being a teen star. Daniela Hantuchova, for example, was made into a star without coming close to accomplishing what Davenport did younger.

NOTE: Davenport is actually closer (by about six days) to Steffi Graf in age than she is to Kim Clijsters.

DefyingGravity
Feb 16th, 2010, 01:00 AM
I don't think this was an oversite, because of the years you picked, but you can't leave Hingis off that list. Between 1999-2009, she won a slam, made five other slam finals, won 22 tournament and finished two years ranked #1. She won nine tournaments in 2000, including five Tier I's.

Can't put her with Mauresmo, but she's pushing Kuznetsova pretty hard, and she's clearly better than and the one slammers and no slammers you listed.

Right, I totally forgot Mauresmo the first time as well. I think she would be somewhere with at 4-7. I have to try again, haha. Massive fail.

Midnight_Robber
Feb 16th, 2010, 02:13 AM
Justine didn't come back to hold the "record of winning the most Wimbledon title of this Millennium" :lol:

Yeah, we know. As Feyd already clarfied she 'unretired' for a chance of 1/5th of that.

Won't deny that Kim can hit some amazing winners. But those amazing winners aren't her career, anymore than potential level/talent = actual career. Fact still remains that achievements-wise Kim trails Serena, Venus and Justine but is often spoken about and referrred to "as if" her career is on par with theirs - and of course as if she is the same calibre of player (the latter of which is more subjective). (Hence the OP)

ZODIAC
Feb 16th, 2010, 03:25 AM
I enjoyed the Ao10 because all the hype came to zero,same ate bagels others lost early and the list goes on and on even Huber joined in the hype saying Justine is going to win because she is the fittest...

PlayByPlay
Feb 16th, 2010, 03:55 AM
She does have skills on the court.

bandabou
Feb 16th, 2010, 07:11 AM
Big babe caliber but with pusher mentality..gets you about 2 majors.

The Witch-king
Feb 16th, 2010, 07:17 AM
Lowest level

OsloErik
Feb 16th, 2010, 09:01 AM
I step away from a debate I kind of like for just one day to watch X-country skiing, and it turns into something fun! I'll get to the rest in a bit, but as for now, the immediate first-two-pages responses:

She's good enough to beat anyone on hard courts, and with Sharapova/Justine/Venus/Serena, she's in that upper tier; higher than Mauresmo. And I disagree with Oslo-Erik, she hits a heavier ball and on average a more penetrating ball than Justine. SHe just doesn't have her mental strength, and that makes all the difference when it comes to the tight situation in a GS.

On hardcourts, definitely, I'd put her with Sharapova/Henin/Venus, although maybe not with Serena (BUT, she's the one I think really gives Serena the most run for her money on hardcourts, although I'll qualify that by saying it's a match-up thing rather than a greatness/level thing). And I'll give you that she hits a heavier ball (though NOT more penetrating) on average than Henin. She hits a big topspin forehand, and her backhand is a topspin-centric one as well. BUT...and here's where it gets a little hair-splitting...when she hits a short ball, she doesn't have a true decision in the matter. Henin has a handful of options when an opponent forces the short ball. Clijsters has the better defensive MOVEMENT (as does Venus, TBH) but Henin has the better defensive GAME. And for a player of Clijsters caliber (let's remember, she's considered one of the 4-5-6 greatest players of the past 10 years), she hits the ball short WAAAAY more than you'd expect, and definitely more than her other '00 peers in the 2+ slam category (maybe Kuznetsova and Mauresmo excluded, but they aren't really seriously in the same caliber as the other 5).

And I'd like to highlight something: SHe just doesn't have her mental strength, and that makes all the difference when it comes to the tight situation in a GS.[/B]

I was gonna say.... whats all this clijsters has no big weapon? she has bigger weapons than Justine....when she wants to...

In achievements, she's a class below.

In physical ability and talent, I think she could go toe-to-toe with Henin, Clijsters, Venus etc.

She has had problems pulling it together when it matters most, and I disagree with Oslo for once that she really has no go-to weapon and that being the major problem. That forehand can be an incredibly dangerous shot and every facet of Kim's game seems to be very solid. She can boss anyone around the court and with her coverage and incredible movement and footwork, it's really tough to blow her off the court.
The problem is in the biggest moments, she just hasnt shown up.. and then after her USO win she kind of mailed it in.

If anything, I think Kim is UNDERRATED.

Here's where it gets to the heart of what I'm saying. If you look at the top performers of the past decade (Serena, Henin, Venus, Sharapova, Clijsters, Mauresmo, and Kuznetsova), which of them are head cases? Clijsters, Mauresmo, and Kuznetsova. What is there problem? They don't "bring" their A-game in tight situations. What would their A-game mean? Going to their weapon (Clijsters and Kuznetsova's forehands, Mauresmo...well, I haven't a clue). Clijsters has a better forehand than at least 90% of the top 100; the trouble is, she doesn't go for it in important situations. Part of that is logical (it is also more likely to go out, after all),, and part of that is nerves, but if it were TRULY a go-to shot (Sharapova and Venus: backhand. Henin: forehand (if you want to argue this, be my guest). Serena: serve or return of serve.) and a shot she can count on in high-pressure moments, she would go to it. But it simply isn't the same caliber as the best shot in the game for the other top players. When she's dominating a match, it's a top 5 shot. But when she's struggling, any top 5 shot tops it. I think (the rather explanatory-named) dementievavenus sums it up properly:

I feel as though saying Kim doesn't have a weapon. She's definitely a stronger version of Aranxta Sanchez Vicario to me, and she definitely has a walloping forehand WHEN SHE WANTS TO HAVE ONE. I've seen her hit forehands so much harder than she does now, but she'd rather try and draw errors out of women instead, and that will work on more. If she had the balls to step up and hit her forehand like she did in 2001, she would have had many more majors, and would be on par with Justine completely in terms of majors, IMO, even with her head. She works her way into the big moments. She didn't blow Pierce away in 2005 until about 3-3, and didn't blow away Wozniacki at all.

Short version: If she would hit her forehand like she had a pair, she'd have more slams. That's really all she needed in the long run.

Unlike the other top players, Clijsters doesn't have a go-to SHOT in a tight spot. She has a go-to system, which is defense on crack (pardon the euphemism). She tracks down shots and hits them back hard, but rarely tries to control the rally. Part of it is mental, but part of it speaks to the quality of her shots: her forehand is big, but it isn't so big that she can turn around every point against every player with it, and she's (perhaps a little too) aware of it's limitations. She doesn't have the confidence in the shot, and I personally think she has justification to doubt it's potency; it's a very good shot, but it isn't a game-changer the way the other top players hit their shots. I don't deny it's a function of her mind, but I personally would argue that her mind has a pretty good point in this situation.

OsloErik
Feb 16th, 2010, 09:04 AM
Big babe caliber but with pusher mentality..gets you about 2 majors.

You know what just occurred to me when I read this? You could invert that, and you would get Mauresmo. Of the multi-slam champions this decade, Mauresmo had the least power (by a ways), but she never really seemed self-conscious about that. In fact, you might read some of her reactions to baffling losses as confusion (on her part) as to how somebody out-hit her. Especially when you consider how touted she was, physically, as a power player in 1999, I can imagine her thinking "I am a power player" even though she wasn't.

I'll mull some more. The Clijsters-Mauresmo paradox of the '00s will probably interest me until I stop posting on this ridiculous forum.

OsloErik
Feb 16th, 2010, 09:19 AM
I don't agree one bit with what you say there, coach. Clijsters' forehand is a way more reliable shot than lets say Venus' and Sharapova's, definitely more fluid than Serena's and bigger than Henin's, but you still want to call the forehand "her less reliable shot" and "not a big weapon", although you do find the forehand her best shot you call it a not reliable one, way too contradictory to make sense, Maria's serve is an un reliable shot.

You compared Kim's weapon (forehand) with Venus and Sharapova's inferior side (forehand). Compared to their backhands, it's a far less imposing stroke. And for the record, Maria's serve wasn't unreliable back when she was a top player.

Continuing with the "big shot" take, you rate Clijsters right there with Davenport, whom I believe had the best ground strokes ever and also had, at one point during her career, the best serve on tour, practically big weapons in all parts of her game, then why you rank her with Clijsters if it doesn't have to do with titles either?

Okay, this is where I made a rhetorical mistake: Clijsters isn't a lesser player than Henin/Venus/Serena just because of title counts, but she is a similar to player to Davenport BECAUSE of title counts. That was my fault for not being clear and then jumping ship for a day. I wouldn't compare Clijsters and Davenport, game-wise, on any level, but they have a strikingly similar set of accompishments (switch the extreme surface; Clijsters on grass is probably a smidge better than Davenport on clay).

To conclude, her mental weakness have proven again and again that a terrific player like her won't always win the big titles, in her four losses at slams in 2003 you could see that she should have won 2 of them and the other at least finish it in a more fashionable way, a more tough minded player would be able to do that.

I have a serious problem with writing off every loss a head-case player has in a big event to "she would have won if she weren't a head-case" syndrome, and here's why: there is (almost) ALWAYS a reason for a head-case being a head-case. I don't deny losing a (brutal) slam final at 17 did something to Kim's psyche, BUT...I think her default mode (defense, defense, defense) is her default mode for a reason. It's more reliable than drilling forehands. She hits most of her winners off the forehand side, but she also hits most of her errors off it too. And when she's gunning for a big shot, she can lose her timing and surrender control of the point. A player of her speed and steadiness (on defensive shots; unlike most players, Clijsters has a different approach to defensive and offensive shots, part of why I am a fan) can wait it out until she forces the error or gets an opening to switch to offense. But a player like Venus (who is a superior mover on the baseline) will decide to end it right there with a big shot. Why? Because she can with a higher % chance of winning the point. Clijsters has a better winning % playing steady defense, Venus a better winning % hitting a huge shot on defense. The problem, though, is that in bigger matches, the opposition is better. Clijsters playing steady has less a chance to beat Serena playing aggressive than Venus playing crazy-aggresive defense does against Serena playing aggressive. In any hypothetical match-up against the four 3+ slam champions of the past 10 years, the player who goes for the bigger, less-reliable shot will come out on top more often than the player who chooses to play steady.

And this is where I suppose we reach a disagreement, me and the posters who think Kim has a steadier weapon than I think she has: I believe Kim plays defense in those situations because it has a higher payoff for her on account of a less reliable kill-shot, you all think Kim plays defense because she's mentally fragile and unwilling to go for it on big points.

OsloErik
Feb 16th, 2010, 09:40 AM
flukish...her win at the Open has a big asterisk

...which of her 2 US Open titles has an asterisk next to it?

OsloErik
Feb 16th, 2010, 09:47 AM
I hate to post the 5th straight post in this thread, but I want to clarify something:

When I was still a tournament hitting partner in the 90's, I though Clijsters would be the next Graf. She was so athletic, and had a very good forehand, and just knew what to do on the court. I only hit with her about 30 minutes, once, but I could tell she was a top player in the making. The problem, though, is natural style. Kim is a naturally defensive player. She jumps on short balls, but other than that she plays rallies as a waiting game. Unlike the current players that people deride as 'pushers', Clijsters knew and knows how to take control of a point off the short ball. She is capable of doing it off the long ball, too, but it's a riskier prospect because her forehand is a little higher-risk a weapon than her peers. To be perfectly clear on that, the risk-reward is less clear-cut than Serena's serve, or Venus' backhand, or Henin's forehand. So in a close rally, she'll wait a few strokes longer. That's smart against mid-range opposition (which explains her ridiculous record against player ranked 11-20), but a little more problematic against top players or really, really hot POWER players, which explains her pedestrian (for a top 5 player) record against top 10 players. In a close rally, her default isn't control, but defense. Franky, it's possible that she plays those points at about the same ratio Graf did (offensive vs. defensive), but the game has changed enough that the top players can beat that situation in a best-of-10 situation, and a slam semifinal or final is pretty much determined by who wins the most in the 10 most important points.

Midnight_Robber
Feb 16th, 2010, 09:51 AM
You know what just occurred to me when I read this? You could invert that, and you would get Mauresmo. Of the multi-slam champions this decade, Mauresmo had the least power (by a ways), but she never really seemed self-conscious about that. In fact, you might read some of her reactions to baffling losses as confusion (on her part) as to how somebody out-hit her. Especially when you consider how touted she was, physically, as a power player in 1999, I can imagine her thinking "I am a power player" even though she wasn't.

I'll mull some more. The Clijsters-Mauresmo paradox of the '00s will probably interest me until I stop posting on this ridiculous forum.

This.

That really was the perception/meme regarding Mauresmo, wasn't it? This was probably compounded by Hingis' infamous remarks regarding her physical build and on how hard she hit the ball. Thing is, Mauresmo *looked* strong and powerful (especially her upper body) but I was often bemused by how short she hit the ball was or some of the downright loopy shots that she hit. But perception is a hell of a thing. I found Momo as mystifying as you seem to (I never really 'got' her game), but I'm assuming that most of her fans would tout her variety or her beautiful backhand as weapons though I could be wrong.

Clijsters doesn't have a go-to SHOT in a tight spot. She has a go-to system, which is defense on crack (pardon the euphemism). She tracks down shots and hits them back hard, but rarely tries to control the rally. Part of it is mental, but part of it speaks to the quality of her shots: her forehand is big, but it isn't so big that she can turn around every point against every player with it, and she's (perhaps a little too) aware of it's limitations.

Even at the USO and in the early rounds of Oz I saw her systemtatic defense in action. At the USO she played well enough to win but she wasn't brilliant. She's an aggressive, even attacking defender. Her match against Tammy was a perfect example of her defensive mindset and game-play. Tammy actually controlled the points and Kim was willing to sit back, rally and draw the error. I remember thinking at the time that it didn't bode well for later rounds... A very good forehand isn't the same as a forehand that is a real weapon. It certainly isn't a Serena forehand, or Ana's old forehand, a supreme Dav forehand or a even Kuznetsova's forehand which, I beleive would trump hers in terms of winners and aggression if they were both having a good day
She doesn' have an absolutely monster forehand with both weight and penetration - and that's even when she's hitting it at her hardest. I think even Venus and Sharapova can hit forehands with more power/speed and penetration if they can get past slamming into the net...

For a shot to be a go-to weapon it has to be considerably better than most if not all of the top players. It should be top 2 or 3 rather than top 5.

When Vee's backhand was dominant it was *the* best (at that time), period. The same is currently true of Serena's serve, or Dav's forehand. Same with Ju's backhand when she finally came into her own, or Hingis' lobs or dropshots and so forth. You never sat around thinking - "oh yeah - those shots are excellent - top five at least." (It was more like - those shots are sick!") And I think that's Clijster's problem - the sense that she's a jill of all trades, master of none. (Nobody is saying that her forehand isn't extremely good but is it really top 2 or 3?) One of the areas where she could be regarded as top two or three is in footwork and movement. But even there the WS would rival her in terms of pure speed, and it's debatable as to how much that stacks up compared to other arsenal.

OsloErik
Feb 16th, 2010, 11:05 AM
That really was the perception/meme regarding Mauresmo, wasn't it? This was probably compounded by Hingis' infamous remarks regarding her physical build and on how hard she hit the ball. Thing is, Mauresmo *looked* strong and powerful (especially her upper body) but I was often bemused by how short she hit the ball was or some of the downright loopy shots that she hit. But perception is a hell of a thing. I found Momo as mystifying as you seem to (I never really 'got' her game), but I'm assuming that most of her fans would tout her variety or her beautiful backhand as weapons though I could be wrong.

Firstly: this is the most convoluted thread I've read in awhile, at least that I've been interested in. We go from Clijsters to Kuznetsova to Venus/Henin to Mauresmo...funny stuff. And I'm at least partially to blame, :lol:.

Anyways, I was a big Mauresmo fan when she was active, and I'll tell you right off the bat: her dominant shot was the serve. 2006 marks the start of THE AGE OF THE SERVE. In Australia and through grass season, Mauresmo was the best server on tour. In the US Open series and early Fall, Sharapova was the best server on tour. From late 2006 through pretty much all of 2007, Henin was the best server on tour. In 2008, it goes Sharapova-Ivanovic-Venus/Serena-Serena, and then 2009 was basically all Serena (other than clay).

Mauresmo had a snappy, sharp, fast, and well-placed serve at her best. And she backed it up with a good forward-moving game. Her groundgame wasn't particularly impressive, even then, in terms of sheer power, but she played enough quality defense (I wonder if there's been as fit a player since Graf '95-96 as Mauresmo was in 2006) and could hold serve enough to win most of her matches. Her serve was the real weapon, and her volleys were the secondary weapons. Variety and backhand at baseline were tertiary.

Even at the USO and in the early rounds of Oz I saw her systemtatic defense in action. At the USO she played well enough to win but she wasn't brilliant. She's an aggressive, even attacking defender. Her match against Tammy was a perfect example of her defensive mindset and game-play. Tammy actually controlled the points and Kim was willing to sit back, rally and draw the error. I remember thinking at the time that it didn't bode well for later rounds... A very good forehand isn't the same as a forehand that is a real weapon. It certainly isn't a Serena forehand, or Ana's old forehand, a supreme Dav forehand or a even Kuznetsova's forehand which, I beleive would trump hers in terms of winners and aggression if they were both having a good day
She doesn' have an absolutely monster forehand with both weight and penetration - and that's even when she's hitting it at her hardest. I think even Venus and Sharapova can hit forehands with more power/speed and penetration if they can get past slamming into the net...

For a shot to be a go-to weapon it has to be considerably better than most if not all of the top players. It should be top 2 or 3 rather than top 5.

When Vee's backhand was dominant it was *the* best (at that time), period. The same is currently true of Serena's serve, or Dav's forehand. Same with Ju's backhand when she finally came into her own, or Hingis' lobs or dropshots and so forth. You never sat around thinking - "oh yeah - those shots are excellent - top five at least." (It was more like - those shots are sick!") And I think that's Clijster's problem - the sense that she's a jill of all trades, master of none. (Nobody is saying that her forehand isn't extremely good but is it really top 2 or 3?) One of the areas where she could be regarded as top two or three is in footwork and movement. But even there the WS would rival her in terms of pure speed, and it's debatable as to how much that stacks up compared to other arsenal.

I'd say attacking defender is the term to use, and that's a very unusual descriptor. The only other player I can think of is ASV, and maybe late-era Evert. There are marginal weapons in her game, but none that you'd figure can non-stop dominate a match against a top player.

Part of what Clijsters does that's so baffling is hit her level and stick it for a stretch. It's true of her US Hardcourt streak in '05, her indoor streak in '02...she's just an anomaly. I've thought about it a lot, and there's nothing in her game that's conducive to indoor courts. She can beat 95% of the tour non-stop for months on end, 100% of the tour for a week or two, and 90% for...well, her whole career. It's a very strange system. It doesn't exactly seem that she's lifting her game, but it's also not as though she's preying on slumps from better players. If anything, it's the perfect storm of her consistency and aggression merging, and it's a bizarre form of peak performance. For Serena, Henin, Venus, Sharapova (and even Mauresmo, Kuznetsova, and Ivanovic) the peak is the epitome of offense: they play their best offense, they play their best. With Clijsters, she plays her best mix of the two, she plays her best. And maintaining that balance, especially against the best players that push her towards defense, is a big ask.

bandabou
Feb 16th, 2010, 11:35 AM
This debate cleary shows: It ain't about GAME only, it's about...what's your MINDSET?

Champions don't have a defense default system. They GO for it. win or lose.

Cookie Power
Feb 16th, 2010, 11:38 AM
You're right. She came back to hold the record of "tied for 3rd most Wimbledons this millennium".

:lol: Matt01 never gets tired of being owned. What a poor, pathetic person....

duhcity
Feb 16th, 2010, 11:45 AM
I'd say she's maybe 6th or 7th best of the decade, after Jelena, Serena, Henin, Venus, Sharapova, Capriati, and Momo.

;)

_Cell-chuk
Feb 16th, 2010, 11:55 AM
Firstly: this is the most convoluted thread I've read in awhile, at least that I've been interested in. We go from Clijsters to Kuznetsova to Venus/Henin to Mauresmo...funny stuff. And I'm at least partially to blame, :lol:.

OsloErik, I just want to say that I love your insightful analysis about all the players mentioned.

I would like to hear what you would say about Capriati if we were to include her also in this discussion. A fit Jennifer of 2001-2002 is right up there with the top 5-6 (2xWilliams, Henin, Davenport, Clijsters)IMO. What do you think?

Thanks in advance.

BuTtErFrEnA
Feb 16th, 2010, 01:52 PM
can't quote all your posts olso but wow :lol: totally agree....and midnight used the same match i would use (tammy at the AO)

ZODIAC
Feb 16th, 2010, 02:21 PM
...which of her 2 US Open titles has an asterisk next to it?the most recent one:rolleyes:

The Witch-king
Feb 16th, 2010, 02:29 PM
the most recent one:rolleyes:

pshhh both of them

The Dawntreader
Feb 16th, 2010, 02:32 PM
I hate to post the 5th straight post in this thread, but I want to clarify something:

When I was still a tournament hitting partner in the 90's, I though Clijsters would be the next Graf. She was so athletic, and had a very good forehand, and just knew what to do on the court. I only hit with her about 30 minutes, once, but I could tell she was a top player in the making. The problem, though, is natural style. Kim is a naturally defensive player. She jumps on short balls, but other than that she plays rallies as a waiting game. Unlike the current players that people deride as 'pushers', Clijsters knew and knows how to take control of a point off the short ball. She is capable of doing it off the long ball, too, but it's a riskier prospect because her forehand is a little higher-risk a weapon than her peers. To be perfectly clear on that, the risk-reward is less clear-cut than Serena's serve, or Venus' backhand, or Henin's forehand. So in a close rally, she'll wait a few strokes longer. That's smart against mid-range opposition (which explains her ridiculous record against player ranked 11-20), but a little more problematic against top players or really, really hot POWER players, which explains her pedestrian (for a top 5 player) record against top 10 players. In a close rally, her default isn't control, but defense. Franky, it's possible that she plays those points at about the same ratio Graf did (offensive vs. defensive), but the game has changed enough that the top players can beat that situation in a best-of-10 situation, and a slam semifinal or final is pretty much determined by who wins the most in the 10 most important points.

All this. Terrific insight Oslo.

Clijsters can flatter to deceive with how how-risk her game actually is. People see risk as purely overt offensive, ie the Sharapova which rarely ever compromises on high-powered low % shotmaking, or the Serena ground-game which is very precarious by logic, wuth her committed philosophy of being as aggressive as she can in clutch moments.

But Clijsters also carries huge risk by how greatly her gamestyle can undulate on any given day. Clijsters can rarely be categorised as a 'ball-basher' because she doesn't attempt to ply in such a high-octane style all the time. She's probably the only top 5 player in recent years that i can think of, that hasn't got a trademark sryle of play that is applied match after match. Clijsters always has aggressive intentions but she cannot (due to technique, midset, circumstance) materialise this on a constant basis. That match you mentioned against Tanasugarn is a notable example of when Clijsters totally reverts to standard retreiving and becomes very calculated in her actions, foolishly so at times. Like you say against decent ball-strikers (Zvonareva, Azarenka, Bartoli etc, etc), she can afford to relent from a very explosive style of play. It's when she encounters constant, uncompromising power that she struggles. Contrary to what people may think, IMO Clijsters isn't able to go toe to toe playing aggressive baseline tennis in the ilk that Venus-Serena/Serena-Sharapova or even Serena-Justine can. It was obvious in her semi against Serena at the AO in '03, that when Serena had very flat-hitting spells through the match, Clijsters was unable to match and certainly not better that kind of style of play. Clijsters relies on a blend of intermittent aggression and stalwart defense. She's not a naturally good ball-striker, so is fortunate that she can compensate with her athleticsm.

Clijsters to me is the player who can beatv elite players, but not nessecarily through elite means. You feel that every part of her game needs to be honed and unfaltering to produce a consistently high level of tennis. To her credit, when she has won her Slams, this is what happens. However it cannot happen all the time, which is why she's never going to be a player who can win Slams on a regular basis.

pablin777
Feb 16th, 2010, 04:31 PM
I'd say she's maybe 6th or 7th best of the decade, after Jelena, Serena, Henin, Venus, Sharapova, Capriati, and Momo.

;)

wtf!? Seriously... is this a joke ?????

OsloErik
Feb 16th, 2010, 06:23 PM
the most recent one:rolleyes:

I'm curious how you can explain that. She beat the #2 and #3 players in the world, and additional top 10er in the final, and two top 20 players. That's a damned impressive tournament, and I can't think of a single reason I would put an asterisk next to it.

Yonexforever
Feb 16th, 2010, 06:34 PM
I have always thought of Kim like I do the rest of the baseliners.
How is she different from say Capriati?
She isnt.
Her mental "frailties" if you can call them that remind of something Nancy Leiberman said early on when she first started working with Navratilova, Martina likes Chrissie to much, so she couldnt apply the hammer while Chris had no problems doing it in return.
I say all this to say... part of Kim's reputation on tour of a "nice", likeable player problem gets in the way of that killer instinct when its most needed against her fiercest opponents(Justine).
She can have the occasional final where she hits freely(US OPen), but then you have a result like Oz when the pressure was really on to deliver.
Lets see how much she commits to the tour especially clay court season where Justine will be prowling.

BuTtErFrEnA
Feb 16th, 2010, 06:37 PM
there's no * next to her win for me either


but what i will say is she didn't play at this brilliant level that some here think she did...she out-steadied them all, and if that's all she had to do the kudos to her...:shrug: she didn't blast serena off the court as some here also propagate: some here would call me bitter but even the commentators who are usually waiting for serena to lose, acknowledged that playing that doubles match in that atrocious wind threw of all rhythm serena had gained (remembering that serena even body faulted in that match :tape: )...you'd think she blasted serena off the court and beat her at her own game: you'd even think she blasted everyone off court in that tournament :shrug:

Matt01
Feb 16th, 2010, 06:56 PM
I'm curious how you can explain that. She beat the #2 and #3 players in the world, and additional top 10er in the final, and two top 20 players. That's a damned impressive tournament, and I can't think of a single reason I would put an asterisk next to it.


Don't you see that it's obvious that if not for that horrible lineswomen's decision, Serena would have clearly beaten Clijsters in the semifinal (probably by giving her a bagle in the 3rd set before double bageling Pushniacki in the final)?

Duh!

Matt01
Feb 16th, 2010, 06:58 PM
:lol: Matt01 never gets tired of being owned. What a poor, pathetic person....


Already banned :lol:

Donny
Feb 16th, 2010, 07:03 PM
Don't you see that it's obvious that if not for that horrible lineswomen's decision, Serena would have clearly beaten Clijsters in the semifinal (probably by giving her a bagle in the 3rd set before double bageling Pushniacki in the final)?

Duh!

That's silly talk. We know Serena could never come back from match point down against Clijsters in a major semifinal.

Nicolás89
Feb 16th, 2010, 07:16 PM
Seriously, putting asterisks next to players' slams? That's so inmature. :spit:

OsloErik
Feb 16th, 2010, 07:19 PM
I want to get these two things out of the way and get back to watching the Olympics (biathlon: spandex-wearing Scandinavian women with guns? why hasn't America gotten on board? Plus, the Norwegian men should win at least one medal today in the pursuit...).

Kim is a naturally defensive player. She jumps on short balls, but other than that she plays rallies as a waiting game. Unlike the current players that people deride as 'pushers', Clijsters knew and knows how to take control of a point off the short ball. She is capable of doing it off the long ball, too, but it's a riskier prospect because her forehand is a little higher-risk a weapon than her peers. To be perfectly clear on that, the risk-reward is less clear-cut than Serena's serve, or Venus' backhand, or Henin's forehand.

So I said "To be perfectly clear" and then typed an incomprehensible statement. Let me break it down in a few more sentences.

For the amount of risk in Clijsters forehand (which isn't as risky as her peers' respective weapons, in straight-up terms consistency), there is a less significant payoff. The risk she takes in hitting big forehands in tight situations isn't always justified; she has a roughly top 5 forehand (certainly top 10, cusp of the top 5 I'd say), but it simply isn't so big that it's a gauranteed game changer the way Serena's serve (and return of serve, to be honest), or Venus and Sharapova's backhands, and even Henin's forehand, are. With those players, you figure if they go for their big shot, the point is almost certainly over, one way or the other, and they are probably the beneficiary of the point 6 or 7 times out of 10. With Clijsters, if she goes for her forehand, the point is possibly over, but not definitely, and if it is over, there's a 6 or 7 times out of 10 chance she wins it. If the point isn't over, she's just left the court open for her opponent to take control of the point, and virtually any power player can do it because her forehand just isn't quite huge enough to be unattackable, the way I'd describe her peers best shots. I think I'm no longer making any sense whatsoever. But it sounds good to me, so I'm going with it.

Two little things on the above post:

A caveat: Henin's forehand weaponry has less to do with pace, which I'd say is probably comparable to Clijsters', than it does with the angles she gets on it; she hits more impressive, powerful angles with her forehand than anyone else from an even or slightly defensive situation, and it's entirely a function of her footwork improving a top 5 shot to a top 3 shot).

An admission: I've known the word gaurantee for 20 years now and I still don't know if I've ever spelled it right.

I would like to hear what you would say about Capriati if we were to include her also in this discussion. A fit Jennifer of 2001-2002 is right up there with the top 5-6 (2xWilliams, Henin, Davenport, Clijsters)IMO. What do you think?

I'll preface this by saying: forgive the lapses in tense usage. Comparing a retired player to a not-retired player makes my (normally exemplary ;) ) English grammar collapse like a supernova.

NOW...I think Capriati is definitely a valid player to bring into the discussion, but I disagree about her place in the "at her best" discussion.

In some ways, Capriati is the most comparable player to Clijsters (in terms of game alone). They both have big forehands (I still say Capriati's forehand on the run is the best one in tennis, man or woman; deal with it, Nadal fans), they both have reliable backhands, they both make their hay at the back of the court with good defense, and they both knew how to attack a short ball.

BUT...Capriati isn't as good as Clijsters, and it's about history. Capriati was Seles-lite, with a forehand instead of a backhand (think Vaidisova being Sharapova-lite, with a forehand instead of a backhand), although both were deuce-side to deuce-side dominant hitters. Capriati had a very good, very powerful ground game for its time, but she never had an elite serve. She had a consistent serve (a la Evert), but not an impenetrable force. Capriati also doesn't have Clijsters hands (a big-time underrated part of Clijsters success is that she has terrific hands, I'd say equal to Henin, at net. Considering the inconsistent depth of her groundies, she has a tremendous ability to put away points in a variety of ways at net. She can do a conventional volley, a swing volley, a drop volley, or an overhead either cross court or inside out, which is critical). Back to Capriati, there are a few other things I want to point out: she was not fast enough to be a true defender the way Clijsters is. Part of it is height; Capriati is barely taller than Henin. Clijsters is a full two inches taller, and it's all in the legs. Capriati's defense gives way because she can't recover from the side-to-side as well, whereas Clijsters biggest defensive asset (the reason I'd rate her higher on defense than Henin) is her ability to recover from a shot-out-wide and get set for the next one. In short, Capriati couldn't extend rallies against opponents the way Clijsters can.

That explains Capriati's mediocre (for a world #1, three time slam champion) record against non-top 10ers during her stint as #1 and slam titleist, vs. Clijsters insanely good record against non-top 10ers. But I think Clijsters has a better record against top 10ers, too, (although I haven't done any of the research to know that), and there has to be another reason for that.

Now I'm going mostly off of memory, so bear with me: how often do you see Clijsters get overpowered, the way you sometimes see Henin's backhand get rushed or Serena's footwork get tangled? Being out-angled in a side-to-side defensive war isn't being overpowered, really. Of the Big Four, Clijsters is the toughest one to force into mis-hits or forced errors up the middle (she hits a lot of forced errors due to getting to a lot of impossible shots on side-to-side rallies). She knows how to step back for a shot and get set for continuing the rally (in some ways, that may be her undoing. She's willing to surrender the middle of the court, and while that wins matches against the mid-range players she has to beat to go deep in draws, it loses matches against the top players she has to beat to win slams). Capriati, by contrast, could be tripped up in the feet and forced into errors; she didn't always have the quickest feet on court, particularly on fast surfaces when she didn't have time to get out of the way. Capriati, if you ask me, was a more naturally aggressive player without enough raw power to swing it as one of the all-time hardest hitters off both wings (Serena, Venus, Sharapova, Davenport, Pierce, for example), and that aggressive mindset made her unwilling to cede ground against top players even when she couldn't win the fire-fight.

To sum it up, I guess, Capriati's mid-range serve and not quite top-range defense separates her from Clijsters, who has an upper-mid-range serve and top-range defense, in terms of beating lower-ranked players. But against top-ranked players, the footwork is what sets them apart.

Ironically, I think Clijsters success against top players is the same reason she also struggles against them: her willingness to step back and play five more shots. It can force her opponent into going for shots they don't have that day, or force them to go for angles that open up the court for Clijsters counter-attack, but it also leaves her vulnerable in situations where she needs to step into the fire-fight because the opponent is just too hot for Clijsters to weather out defensively alone, and Clijsters offense is good enough to disrupt rhythm and win points against a hot player.

I think I've gone astray from my original point of this Capriati discussion, but this is a thread about Clijsters after all, and I find her an endlessly interesting figure on the tour.

Steffica Greles
Feb 16th, 2010, 08:32 PM
I've always thought Kim's problem is more mental than about her game. In 2003, it might have been about her game. When Venus stepped up the pace in the 2003 Wimbledon semi-final, Kim had no reply. It was the same at Antwerp 2003 as well.

But bluntly, the standard of women's tennis is not as high as it was in 2002/2003, when it probably peaked. Kim can get away with playing as she does because Venus is more likely to get worn down.

Kim just doesn't have the mindset that HATES losing. She was determined in 2005, and revitalised in 2009 when she won her grandslams. But in all the other grandslam matches I've seen when it's got tough, Kim hasn't wanted it as much as her opponent. A little like Sabatini, or Davenport in that sense. I really don't think she can help it though - it's her nature.

Illusionist
Feb 16th, 2010, 08:57 PM
She's one of the best after WS and Henin. And with this comeback (USO title) she got even more credibility. Probably a head of the group in which I'd put Davenport and Hingis.

Volcana
Feb 16th, 2010, 10:00 PM
You know what just occurred to me when I read this? You could invert that, and you would get Mauresmo. Of the multi-slam champions this decade, Mauresmo had the least power (by a ways), but she never really seemed self-conscious about that. In fact, you might read some of her reactions to baffling losses as confusion (on her part) as to how somebody out-hit her. Especially when you consider how touted she was, physically, as a power player in 1999, I can imagine her thinking "I am a power player" even though she wasn't.Mauresmo WAS a much more powerful player in 1999. He forehand had such nice 'THUD' to it. Sort of sounded like Marat Safin's. But she injured her back, and completely re-invented her game. Which, when you consider it, is actually quite a feat. It' sort of like Maria Sharapova coming back as Patty Schnyder. And winning slams.

Dunlop1
Feb 16th, 2010, 10:10 PM
But she injured her back, and completely re-invented her game. Which, when you consider it, is actually quite a feat. It' sort of like Maria Sharapova coming back as Patty Schnyder. And winning slams.

HUGE feat indeed!

Volcana
Feb 16th, 2010, 10:20 PM
in all the other grandslam matches I've seen when it's got tough, Kim hasn't wanted it as much as her opponent.This is an arguement I've never really understood. How can you tell who actually 'wants it more'? There was a guard for the New York Knicks basketball team back in the ealry 90's. (I think it was Doc Rivers, current coach of the Boston Celtics.) He said this after losing a game to the Michael Jordan-led Bulls."I want to win just as much as he does. He's just more talented"Rivers was a player who nobody EVER questioned his passion or desire. But the talent wasn't there. Very often in these epic matches, it seems to me that it's the losing player who 'wanted it more'. That desire is what makes up for the difference in talent. One recalls Jimmy Connors, after losing to Bjorn Borg again ansering a reporters question with "I'll follow that son-of-a-bitch to the ends of the Earth". Borg was a more physically gifted player than Connors, with a smoother game and more variety of shot. But 'wants it more'? No way. Connors wanted , in a very very visceral way.


Look at Andy Roddick in last year's Wimbledon final. Losing 14-16 in the fifth. He wanted to win as much as Federer. That's what made the match competitve. But the talent gap there was just too great.


So what happens when the superior player wants it more? The 'Beatdown Down Under'.

Apoleb
Feb 16th, 2010, 10:21 PM
I hate to post the 5th straight post in this thread, but I want to clarify something:

When I was still a tournament hitting partner in the 90's, I though Clijsters would be the next Graf. She was so athletic, and had a very good forehand, and just knew what to do on the court. I only hit with her about 30 minutes, once, but I could tell she was a top player in the making. The problem, though, is natural style. Kim is a naturally defensive player. She jumps on short balls, but other than that she plays rallies as a waiting game. Unlike the current players that people deride as 'pushers', Clijsters knew and knows how to take control of a point off the short ball. She is capable of doing it off the long ball, too, but it's a riskier prospect because her forehand is a little higher-risk a weapon than her peers. To be perfectly clear on that, the risk-reward is less clear-cut than Serena's serve, or Venus' backhand, or Henin's forehand. So in a close rally, she'll wait a few strokes longer. That's smart against mid-range opposition (which explains her ridiculous record against player ranked 11-20), but a little more problematic against top players or really, really hot POWER players, which explains her pedestrian (for a top 5 player) record against top 10 players. In a close rally, her default isn't control, but defense. Franky, it's possible that she plays those points at about the same ratio Graf did (offensive vs. defensive), but the game has changed enough that the top players can beat that situation in a best-of-10 situation, and a slam semifinal or final is pretty much determined by who wins the most in the 10 most important points.

These are all great points, but I'm not sure where the head/technique balance goes in her game. The fact is that I've seen her hit her forehands and her baseline game big enough and more importantly consistently enough to tip the balance towards head. Those problems you speak about should be more apparent against the top, top rate big hitters such as Venus, Serena and Sharapova on a big day, but not against Justine. I totally agree that her natural tendency is not to be aggressive, but this is hardly an issue of technique and game, purely. In fact, Justine herself is not a naturally aggressive baseliner; far from it. She's a natural clay court player who, for the longest time, was not comfortable with attempting to boss the point from the first/second strike. But she has worked a lot on the mental approach so she can be more successful on fast courts. She's always mentioned how hard for her to keep an aggressive mentality; and when she's low on confidence, she plays her clay court game (i.e Bartoli), regardless of surface. At the end of it, we take for granted this separation of head/game, but it's not an easy line to draw at all. Your mentality shapes your game, and it goes the other way too. I think there's good enough reason to believe that the balance in Kim's case is slightly more geared towards the head part. I think the 05 USO QF is a great example. First set and a half, Kim was happy standing a meter or two behind the baseline, sliding and chasing away balls and then smiling afterwards because of how impressive her gets were. But the moment she decided to turn on a more aggressive approach, the match turned. But I disagree about Kim having the same ration of dense/aggression as Graf. It's slightly a surface thing, but on hard courts/grass, Graf was all about aggression. She's one of the most aggressively minded players in history. Even when she's out of position on the run, she attempts to play an aggressive shot, particularly on the forehand. She resorts to defense when she has no other option because she simply can't control the ball. And I don't think this is era-dependent, as evident from her 99 matches against Serena and Venus.

Donny
Feb 16th, 2010, 10:39 PM
This is an arguement I've never really understood. How can you tell who actually 'wants it more'? There was a guard for the New York Knicks basketball team back in the ealry 90's. (I think it was Doc Rivers, current coach of the Boston Celtics.) He said this after losing a game to the Michael Jordan-led Bulls."I want to win just as much as he does. He's just more talented"Rivers was a player who nobody EVER questioned his passion or desire. But the talent wasn't there. Very often in these epic matches, it seems to me that it's the losing player who 'wanted it more'. That desire is what makes up for the difference in talent. One recalls Jimmy Connors, after losing to Bjorn Borg again ansering a reporters question with "I'll follow that son-of-a-bitch to the ends of the Earth". Borg was a more physically gifted player than Connors, with a smoother game and more variety of shot. But 'wants it more'? No way. Connors wanted , in a very very visceral way.


Look at Andy Roddick in last year's Wimbledon final. Losing 14-16 in the fifth. He wanted to win as much as Federer. That's what made the match competitve. But the talent gap there was just too great.


So what happens when the superior player wants it more? The 'Beatdown Down Under'.

This is revisionism. Roddick outplayed Federer for most of that match. Federer played the two tiebreaks better, and managed to break Roddick when it mattered, but there wasn't a talent gap at all.

madmax
Feb 16th, 2010, 10:59 PM
This is revisionism. Roddick outplayed Federer for most of that match. Federer played the two tiebreaks better, and managed to break Roddick when it mattered, but there wasn't a talent gap at all.

yes there was a gap...Federer played a crap match by his standards - except his sublime serving his ground game and returns of serve were not working the way thay usually do in big matches. Roddick on the other hand played as well as he can based on his abilities and talent level, and he still could't get it done. That's a perfect example of talent gap between two players.

moby
Feb 16th, 2010, 11:07 PM
yes there was a gap...Federer played a crap match by his standards - except his sublime serving his ground game and returns of serve were not working the way thay usually do in big matches. Roddick on the other hand played as well as he can based on his abilities and talent level, and he still could't get it done. That's a perfect example of talent gap between two players.As someone said about the 2004 Wimbledon final: "For two sets, the world number one played his worst tennis, and the world number two his best - and there was nothing between them."

DOUBLEFIST
Feb 16th, 2010, 11:13 PM
This is an arguement I've never really understood. How can you tell who actually 'wants it more'? There was a guard for the New York Knicks basketball team back in the ealry 90's. (I think it was Doc Rivers, current coach of the Boston Celtics.) He said this after losing a game to the Michael Jordan-led Bulls."I want to win just as much as he does. He's just more talented"Rivers was a player who nobody EVER questioned his passion or desire. But the talent wasn't there. Very often in these epic matches, it seems to me that it's the losing player who 'wanted it more'. That desire is what makes up for the difference in talent. One recalls Jimmy Connors, after losing to Bjorn Borg again ansering a reporters question with "I'll follow that son-of-a-bitch to the ends of the Earth". Borg was a more physically gifted player than Connors, with a smoother game and more variety of shot. But 'wants it more'? No way. Connors wanted , in a very very visceral way.


Look at Andy Roddick in last year's Wimbledon final. Losing 14-16 in the fifth. He wanted to win as much as Federer. That's what made the match competitve. But the talent gap there was just too great.


So what happens when the superior player wants it more? The 'Beatdown Down Under'.

I think what's being conflated here is "want" and "will." There's a difference.

The fact is that not every player, with equal desire, has the equal strength of "WILL" carry out those desires. This is a distinction that allows for all other things being equal INCLUDING talent.

will
2  /wɪl/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [wil] Show IPA noun, verb, willed, will⋅ing.
–noun
1. the faculty of conscious and especially of deliberate action; the power of control the mind has over its own actions: the freedom of the will.

"Will" is the difference. Some players have a stronger strength of will than others. Unfortunately, "want," "desire" are often confused with "will."

Will - or the strength of it - is a force. It CAN be the result of "want," but not necessarily.

To say the Kim has, during the course of her career, LACKED WILL is entirely accurate.

ETA: Or to say that Andy Roddick's "will" was weaker than Federers that day is accurate as well.

Volcana
Feb 16th, 2010, 11:15 PM
This is revisionism. Roddick outplayed Federer for most of that match. Federer played the two tiebreaks better, and managed to break Roddick when it mattered, but there wasn't a talent gap at all.
yes there was a gap...Federer played a crap match by his standards - except his sublime serving his ground game and returns of serve were not working the way thay usually do in big matches. Roddick on the other hand played as well as he can based on his abilities and talent level, and he still could't get it done. That's a perfect example of talent gap between two players.
Donny - This may be a case where we mean different things by 'talent'. I'm not talking about how they played. I'm talking about their relative capabilities. I don;t agree with madmax that Federer played a 'crap match by his standards'. He played very well. But nowhere near the best I've ever seen Federer play. Whereas, that pretty much was the absolute top of Roddick's game.

'Talent' in this case, is what you're capable of at your best, not what you deliver on a particular day.

Donny
Feb 16th, 2010, 11:31 PM
Donny - This may be a case where we mean different things by 'talent'. I'm not talking about how they played. I'm talking about their relative capabilities. I don;t agree with madmax that Federer played a 'crap match by his standards'. He played very well. But nowhere near the best I've ever seen Federer play. Whereas, that pretty much was the absolute top of Roddick's game.

'Talent' in this case, is what you're capable of at your best, not what you deliver on a particular day.

Federer hasn't been at his best since early 2007. If you're comparing Fed of now to the Fed that was untouchable at 3 of the 4 slams, then no, he wasn't at his best.

If you're comparing him to the Fed that exists *now*, the one that's half a step slower and a little less focused, then I don't think he played far from his best. Fed's backhand is a liability; every time he meets a player who is hitting the ball well off of both wings and is serving well, he struggles. Djokovic, Davydenko, Nadal, Del Potro- if he's forced to get into backhand exchanges with someone who has a better backhand than his, he loses a large percentage of those rallies.

Roddick, for that single match, was hitting his backhand better than Federer has hit his backhand in the last three years. Deep, with pace.

But this is kinda off topic for a women's tennis forum.

Steffica Greles
Feb 16th, 2010, 11:44 PM
This is an arguement I've never really understood. How can you tell who actually 'wants it more'? There was a guard for the New York Knicks basketball team back in the ealry 90's. (I think it was Doc Rivers, current coach of the Boston Celtics.) He said this after losing a game to the Michael Jordan-led Bulls."I want to win just as much as he does. He's just more talented"Rivers was a player who nobody EVER questioned his passion or desire. But the talent wasn't there. Very often in these epic matches, it seems to me that it's the losing player who 'wanted it more'. That desire is what makes up for the difference in talent. One recalls Jimmy Connors, after losing to Bjorn Borg again ansering a reporters question with "I'll follow that son-of-a-bitch to the ends of the Earth". Borg was a more physically gifted player than Connors, with a smoother game and more variety of shot. But 'wants it more'? No way. Connors wanted , in a very very visceral way.


Look at Andy Roddick in last year's Wimbledon final. Losing 14-16 in the fifth. He wanted to win as much as Federer. That's what made the match competitve. But the talent gap there was just too great.


So what happens when the superior player wants it more? The 'Beatdown Down Under'.

There have indeed been players who've put so much pressure on themselves that they've imploded - Dementieva and Novotna spring to mind. The desire is there, the eagerness for success, but they just can't function under the stress they put themselves under. So they implode in the heat of the moment.

But Kim is one player, rather like Sabatini and Davenport who, to me, just doesn't quite have the killer instinct to win majors on a regular basis. You know, it's possible to think you 'want it', train to the maximum as if you 'want it', talk convincingly as if you 'want it', and play much of a three set match as if you 'want it'. But when it comes to it, when it really gets to the moment when one has to will victory more than the other, that player realises it didn't mean quite as much to them as they imagined. It might even be upsetting, that realisation. Maybe it's partly a physical thing? Maybe it's about contentment? It could even go all the way back to childhood. But you see it in sport.

This is one of my favourite films, and the quote at 11 seconds says it perfectly:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFOkEV_z62M

LightWarrior
Feb 17th, 2010, 12:01 AM
Clijsters is very similar to Davenport anyway. Both are mentally not there.

Steffica Greles
Feb 17th, 2010, 12:03 AM
I tend to think it's not so much that Clijsters is overrated as some of her peers are classed as being greater than they are.

She matches up well against current top players when she plays them.

I think that sums it up. She matches up to all the greatest players of the last ten years - Serena, Venus, Justine, Davenport, Hingis, Capriati, Mauresmo, Sharapova.

She's won some and lost some against all those players, but none of them would wipe the court with Kim even playing at their peak. She stands shoulder to shoulder with all of them in terms of the level she can play at.

Volcana
Feb 17th, 2010, 01:37 AM
She stands shoulder to shoulder with all of them in terms of the level she can play at.Except when the time comes to win slams.

Steffica Greles
Feb 17th, 2010, 01:46 AM
Except when the time comes to win slams.

Hasn't she won two?


In 05 she took out Venus, coming straight off her Wimbledon success. And last year she became one of an elite group (ASV, Graf, Hingis, Henin) to beat Venus and Serena in one tournament. Technically she did it at YEC02, but Venus retired clearly injured by the lopsided score, so I discount it like most would.


And that head to head list you gave me vs Davenport - Kim won 9 of their last 13 matches. She should really have won at RG05 as well because she was cruising, but mentally, well, she just didn't want it enough. Gave it to Davenport on a plate. Which is my argument - it's Kim's mentality which is lacking more than her game, although I'll agree she can sometimes play too defensively, but she's not the only one susceptible to that (even Henin has had that problem).

bandabou
Feb 17th, 2010, 07:04 AM
She won a grand slam beating two of the best players of recent times in back to back matches.

Shouldn't you be in bed ? :p

But come on..you can't really group Kim in the same group as Justine/Venus, let alone Serena, career-wise.

Sabatini could beat Graf too, but nobody would say she was as great as Graf.

Midnight_Robber
Feb 17th, 2010, 07:31 AM
But come on..you can't really group Kim in the same group as Justine/Venus, let alone Serena, career-wise.

Sabatini could beat Graf too, but nobody would say she was as great as Graf.

But that's just it, isn't it? Conflating talent/potential or specific instances/performances with an actual career. And Clijsters career and her results get glossed over so that she can be compared and at times equated to players who are far more successful than she is.

Miranda
Feb 17th, 2010, 08:15 AM
i think she is greater than Jennifer coz she has more titles :wavey:

bandabou
Feb 17th, 2010, 08:38 AM
:lol: I guess we can all live in a fantasy-world sometimes.

Matt01
Feb 17th, 2010, 01:02 PM
Donny - This may be a case where we mean different things by 'talent'. I'm not talking about how they played. I'm talking about their relative capabilities. I don;t agree with madmax that Federer played a 'crap match by his standards'. He played very well. But nowhere near the best I've ever seen Federer play. Whereas, that pretty much was the absolute top of Roddick's game.



If that was Roddick's "absolute top" of his game, he would not have missed that easy volley at setpoint. Obviously, Federer's game in general is more complete than Roddick's but on that day, it was the the mentality of the two players that was the difference (and the fact that that final was played on grass where a good serve doesn't hurt your chances helped also).


Clijsters is very similar to Davenport anyway. Both are mentally not there.


Grossly exaggerated and ridiculous statement.

laurie
Feb 17th, 2010, 02:18 PM
This is an interesting discussion which I've missed as I haven't been on this forum much these days.

My assessment is this, I certainly wouldn't call Kim Clijsters overrated - but I certainly say she is not in the truly great player status either. Kim will definitely get into the Hall of Fame when she retires like I expect Mary Pierce, Jennifer Capriati, Lindsay Davenport and Amelie Mauresmo. Kim has more time to win more slams though.

But I think the Australian Open match against Petrova shows how Kim is more vulnerable than other great players. Kim despite her relatively poor performance was unable to deal with the fact that Petrova was taking the net away from her throughout the match. I've also discussed how Mauresmo successfully used similar tactics against Kim in big matches, like the two Antwerp finals and the WTA Championships in Madrid. Nadia couldn’t do that in the next match against Henin because Henin has a lot of variety herself.

Kim is a very well rounded player, but she doesn't have that extra something that really makes the difference. The greatest players always have an extraordinary shot to complement their other “good” shots. An example, Pete Sampras had a very good backhand which might break down against the high ball or kick serve. However, his forehand was so world class that his backhand was always labelled the relatively weaker side, but it was more than good enough to keep him in rallies and hit great passing shots when attacked.

Graf’s forehand and movement was so good that it allowed her not approach the net as much she could have and not hit as many topspin backhands as she should have. Venus’ serve has allowed her to be superior on grass and Serena has technically the best serve in the business which can get her out of trouble at key moments. Clisjters’ doesn’t have any superior shot in that sense.

The bottom line is that Clijsters has a game which is not geared to dominate. There are plenty top class players like that over the years, decades in fact. No one should expect Clisjters to win 10 grand slam titles or be number 1 for weeks on end.

She has the possibility to win a collection of around 5 grand slam titles in her career I think.

Olórin
Feb 17th, 2010, 02:31 PM
Who said anything about career wise ?

There's no dispute that the others have won more. However, pit any of them up against Kim in a match and you wouldn't be surprised if Clijsters won. I'm not saying she's better at all but she is on the same level in terms of her tennis.

Which is why I don't think she's overrated, just a lot of talent wasted because of a lack of application.

Regarding Sabatini, it's not the same. Watch some of their matches. I love Gaby more than anyone but there's no doubt that on days when Steffi was connecting with that forehand, she could have blown her off the court.

The same does not apply to Kim - who can trade blows toe to toe with anyone.

I think it probably does - certainly to a degree. Sabatini could trade blows toe to toe with anyone, including Graf, Navratilova and Seles.

Just looking at her H2H with Graf, while Graf may have dominated the rivalry overall, due to her overall superior game and massively superior mentality - it was close for the most part, half of their 40 meetings went to three sets and Graf only managed about 5 beatdowns. I have watched their 1991 Wimbledon Final many times, it's one of my favourite matches and Graf's forehand was either on or only slightly misfiring for most of the match and as Im sure you know, it was very, very close. If it was simply matter of Steffi being on her game to dismiss Sabatini then I think that would be reflected to a greater extent in their matches. Sure Sabatini did lose many times in straights, but she had to be below par herself to simply get blown away.

Compare the equivalent rivalry with Kim and Serena. Of their 9 meetings nearly half (4) of their meetings went to three sets and Serena has managed a couple of beatdowns during their rivalry - and similarly to Graf and Sabatini has been beaten...but...has never in a blow away match. I.e. Kim can indeed go toe to toe often, but when below par just like Sabatini, she can be blown away.

Just my opinion: but I think Sabatini and Clijsters is actually a good analogy for the point that poster was trying to make.

2Black
Feb 17th, 2010, 04:10 PM
Kim has just never taken full advantage of all her talent ... It's a shame she never stepped up to take at least 1 of those slams from Justine.

thrust
Feb 17th, 2010, 05:01 PM
We'll have to agree to disagree but I don't want to argue because it will mean I have to criticise my beloved Gaby in the open forum ;).

However, to some extent, it's a bit beside my original point which was that Kim is capable of beating Serena / Venus / Justine / Maria etc any time, any place. Therefore I don't consider her overrated.

I agree with what you say about Kim, and Gaby too! If only Gaby had won that Wimbledon final, one of the saddest days of my life-LOL!!

irma
Feb 17th, 2010, 05:21 PM
I agree with what you say about Kim, and Gaby too! If only Gaby had won that Wimbledon final, one of the saddest days of my life-LOL!!

If only Kim had won the french open final 2001 :(

Olórin
Feb 17th, 2010, 05:32 PM
We'll have to agree to disagree but I don't want to argue because it will mean I have to criticise my beloved Gaby in the open forum ;).

However, to some extent, it's a bit beside my original point which was that Kim is capable of beating Serena / Venus / Justine / Maria etc any time, any place. Therefore I don't consider her overrated.

Ok then. I have always been a pseudo-fan of Sabatini btw I love her close matches with Graf like the 1988 US Open Final, Wimbledon Final and some of their other tour encounters. Sabatini could often disrupt Graf's rhythym it seemed, yet I felt she forced Graf to come to the net and play more of an all-court game then was her wont during the late 80's/early 90's.

BuTtErFrEnA
Feb 17th, 2010, 05:35 PM
i don't think you can put kim in the same group as serena/jh/venus :shrug: you wouldn't be surprised if any player stepped on court and won against them but that doesn't make kim part of that group...:shrug: just my opinion kart :p

Bezz
Feb 17th, 2010, 05:42 PM
I think on a given day 'this year' Kim goes into matches with justine, venus and serena as 50/50. She won her last match against these players and is still easily top 4 material. Her tendancy to go off the boil and play not as well as she could have is her down fall. She has had a lot of missed opportunities, but then so ahve alot of players, her ozzie performance was horrible againt petrova, but justine and venus have both had shocking results in the early rounds of Grand slams too.

Its hard to tell what kind of level she will bring in the last 3 grand slams, her next tournaments will be a good indication.

chucktf
Feb 17th, 2010, 05:44 PM
Serena


Henin
Venus

Sharapova
Clijsters



This level.

DontGetItTwisted
Feb 17th, 2010, 05:45 PM
Kim is NOT to be mentioned in the same book as Ree's, not in the same chapter as Justine's and Venus', not in the same page as Pova's.
She's OVERRATED, OVERHYPED.
GOT IT?

AcesHigh
Feb 17th, 2010, 06:01 PM
Serena is NOT to be mentioned in the same book as Ree's, not in the same chapter as Justine's and Venus', not in the same page as Pova's.
She's OVERRATED, OVERHYPED.
GOT IT?

Too much Serena on the brain? :help:

DontGetItTwisted
Feb 17th, 2010, 06:06 PM
Too much Serena on the brain? :help:

You're telling me that kind of typo never happened to you? If you get the substance of my post, why are bragging about meaningless things?

irma
Feb 17th, 2010, 06:10 PM
They had some good matches up until 1992 after which time Steffi owned Gaby.

I blame MJ Fernandez for that but that's another story.

You wouldn't be surprised if Serena lost to any player that stepped on court against her ?

HATER :p.

The 6:0 6:2 in Florida of all places was before MJ though ;) :p

BuTtErFrEnA
Feb 17th, 2010, 06:11 PM
They had some good matches up until 1992 after which time Steffi owned Gaby.

I blame MJ Fernandez for that but that's another story.

You wouldn't be surprised if Serena lost to any player that stepped on court against her ?

HATER :p.

let's put it this way: these days i'm surprised when she loses to certain players in slams...outside of slams she could probably have a losing h-2-h with almost everyone and it wouldn't surprise me :lol:

VishaalMaria
Feb 17th, 2010, 06:48 PM
Kim should not been in the same sentence as Venus,she has a long way to go before she can be in Venus class.Kim should be compared to the likes of Momo and Pierce or Sveta this is where she fits in she has a lot in common with these players...choking.

Kim has under-achieved. She should be in Venus' class because they've played some very nice matches.

Slutiana
Feb 17th, 2010, 06:59 PM
Kim has under-achieved. She should be in Venus' class because they've played some very nice matches.
:tape: If only life was that simple.

DontGetItTwisted
Feb 17th, 2010, 06:59 PM
Kim has under-achieved. She should be in Venus' class because they've played some very nice matches.

So what? Venus played some very nice matches with JJ but that broad still is a wannabe compared to her!

VishaalMaria
Feb 17th, 2010, 07:08 PM
I. don't. get. you. guys.

saki
Feb 17th, 2010, 07:43 PM
In terms of achievements, there is a clear gap between Clijsters and Serena, Justine and Venus.

Some would claim that Clijsters is just as talented, she has just underachieved, because she can go toe to toe with the other three. The thing is, though, that there have always been players at the level that Clijsters is at - where you wouldn't be surprised if they beat the top players in their generation but, at the same time, it's apparent that they aren't as good.

She's not even the only one at that level in this generation - I would say that Davenport, Capriati, Sharapova, Mauresmo, Kuznetsova were/are all at around the same level as Clijsters. You would not be surprised to see any player in this category beat Serena, Justine or Venus but, at the same time, they aren't as good and their achievements show that.

It's hard to say exactly what it is that Cijsters doesn't have in her game - she hits powerfully, she moves well - but she just doesn't have the extra thing that pushes players into greatness. It's not as simple as that she doesn't have the will to win or that she's intimidated by certain players. She often looks very annoyed at losing.

I don't think there's a clearcut answer but my personal opinion is that she's stubborn - she doesn't like to change what she's doing even when it's not working, she doesn't like to change anything about her game in practice. I think that's why you'll often see her lose in a more lopsided way than she should - e.g. she took Justine to three sets in San Diego in 2003 but shortly afterwards lost to her in the US Open in straights 1-6 in the final set - she just doesn't seem to know how to think on her feet and based on her comments a while after losing to Petrova, she doesn't know how to analyse a loss even after the event.

Justine is much better than average in terms of thinking on her feet, analysing her game and tinkering with it to make it better so that may not be a fair comparision, but it's clear that Serena does a much better job of this too. She got criticised for doing things like slicing when playing Justine in 2007 but it shows a lot more thought and courage than Clijsters generally shows and it's that attitude, apart from anything else, that makes Serena so successful.

You could claim that Clijsters has underachieved because she hasn't used her physical gifts to the full but your ability to analyse, change things up and risk take are part of your talent as a whole. So I would not say that she has underachieved.

bandabou
Feb 17th, 2010, 08:39 PM
Who said anything about career wise ?

There's no dispute that the others have won more. However, pit any of them up against Kim in a match and you wouldn't be surprised if Clijsters won. I'm not saying she's better at all but she is on the same level in terms of her tennis.

Which is why I don't think she's overrated, just a lot of talent wasted because of a lack of application.

Regarding Sabatini, it's not the same. Watch some of their matches. I love Gaby more than anyone but there's no doubt that on days when Steffi was connecting with that forehand, she could have blown her off the court.

The same does not apply to Kim - who can trade blows toe to toe with anyone.

Ok..I see your point. Well taken.

thrust
Feb 17th, 2010, 08:45 PM
Kim is NOT to be mentioned in the same book as Ree's, not in the same chapter as Justine's and Venus', not in the same page as Pova's.
She's OVERRATED, OVERHYPED.
GOT IT?

NONSENSE! Overall Kim is at least equal to Maria, unless Maria starts winning some important tournaments again. Memphis is NOT an important tournament.

Steffica Greles
Feb 17th, 2010, 08:51 PM
Regarding Sabatini, it's not the same. Watch some of their matches. I love Gaby more than anyone but there's no doubt that on days when Steffi was connecting with that forehand, she could have blown her off the court.


I'm not sure I agree with this. I think when Graf won hands down, it was mainly her serve as against Gabi's liability of a serve which was the key difference.

When I watch Graf and Sabatini's matches, I see a player who could take the sting out of the Graf forehand better than Seles or ASV ever could. Sabatini was actually stronger than Graf in the upper body and used her immense strength to lift those balls thrusted at her, with heavy topspin, back to Steffi's backhand. On green clay, where she won several times against Graf, she did this perfectly.

DontGetItTwisted
Feb 17th, 2010, 09:06 PM
NONSENSE! Overall Kim is at least equal to Maria, unless Maria starts winning some important tournaments again. Memphis is NOT an important tournament.

I'm talking about their whole respective careers, not the latest year or so. Maria's got 3 GS/ 1 YEC/7 tier one ouf of 20 tournaments won in much less tournaments played. Kim only has 2 GS/2 YEC/ 5 tier one out of 35tiles. The top ten wins in GS favors Maria too. And she actually beat Henin and Serena in GS finals, not scrubs like Kim does.

DOUBLEFIST
Feb 17th, 2010, 09:42 PM
Too much Serena on the brain? :help:
Wrong.

DGIT is absolutely right. Clear and simple. (except for she might be on the same page as Sha'po' - not necessarily equal - but on the same page.) Kim's GS accomplishments don't stand up otherwise.

Matt01
Feb 17th, 2010, 09:50 PM
And she actually beat Henin and Serena in GS finals, not scrubs like Kim does.


And on the way to those Slam finals, Kim beat players like Sharapova, Serena and Venus :p (ok, the latter is not that dificult to beat off grass ;).

DontGetItTwisted
Feb 17th, 2010, 10:00 PM
And on the way to those Slam finals, Kim beat Venus :p (ok, the latter is not that dificult to beat off grass ;).

Oh yeah, she has just two USO wins off grass (basically Kim's whole career). My bad.

Matt01
Feb 17th, 2010, 10:04 PM
Oh yeah, she has just two USO wins off grass (basically Kim's whole career). My bad.


Since according to you, Kim is not that good, Venus cannot be that good either (off grass).

TennisMindCamp
Feb 17th, 2010, 10:07 PM
Kim is still very talented. Didn't she just prove that a couple months ago? Ask her opponents and the other girls on tour this question haha.

DontGetItTwisted
Feb 17th, 2010, 10:14 PM
Since according to you, Kim is not that good, Venus cannot be that good either (off grass).
Yeah right, and Kim's miserable off hard. Oh my God your logic is so flawed!:help:

DOUBLEFIST
Feb 17th, 2010, 10:16 PM
As far as Kim's present "level" (which I assume that's what this is about - not her accomplishments compared to those others.), I don't think it can be accurately assessed by this comeback.

It seems that whenever players "comeback" off a relatively short amount of play (or, in Date's case, long), they're able to "sneak back up on" players, so to speak - much like the new kid on the block is able to do when they first break through. Then the other players get the range of her again, and reality sets back in. I don't think the "sample period" of Kim's return has been long enough to assess her actual level. If this last match against Nadia was any indication, however, reality may be right around the corner.

As much as I'd like to attribute that win to Nadia's tactical prowess, as LAURIE has, I think it just might have been Kim being streaky Kim. Even the best of tactics would've have needed some help from Kim to get a scoreline like that.

Steffica Greles
Feb 17th, 2010, 10:20 PM
As much as I'd like to attribute that win to Nadia's tactical prowess, as Steffica has, I think it just might have been Kim being streaky Kim. Even the best of tactics would've have needed some help from Kim to get a scoreline like that.

Is that a joke?


I think I said the opposite. I said it was inexcusable to lose to a player that out of shape by that kind of scoreline. It was shameful.

DOUBLEFIST
Feb 17th, 2010, 10:21 PM
Is that a joke?


I think I said the opposite. I said it was inexcusable to lose to a player that out of shape by that kind of scoreline. It was shameful.
:confused: Didn't you say something about Nadia taking away the net, etc, etc...?

My bad, if that wasn't you. Sorry. :shrug:

Steffica Greles
Feb 17th, 2010, 10:24 PM
:confused: Didn't you say something about Nadia taking away the net, etc, etc...?

My bad, if that wasn't you. Sorry. :shrug:


I said Nadia was a head case and a lump. Wasted talent on the way down.


Your bad :p:lol:

DOUBLEFIST
Feb 17th, 2010, 10:26 PM
I said Nadia was a head case and a lump. Wasted talent on the way down.


Your bad :p:lol:
:o Sorry.

Who the hell was that then. See, I knew I should've quoted them. Damn. I have to go back and find out.

ETA: It was Laurie. (I need some sleep.)

Matt01
Feb 17th, 2010, 10:30 PM
Yeah right, and Kim's miserable off hard. Oh my God your logic is so flawed!:help:


At least Kim is able to put together some decent tennis on clay :o

BuTtErFrEnA
Feb 17th, 2010, 10:48 PM
Oh yeah, she has just two USO wins off grass (basically Kim's whole career). My bad.

:lol:

DontGetItTwisted
Feb 17th, 2010, 10:49 PM
At least Kim is able to put together some decent tennis on clay :o

Is? She has no achievement whatsoever on clay since 2006, we are in 2010 so WTH are you talking about? I'm done with your little silly games. Bye

Steffica Greles
Feb 17th, 2010, 10:56 PM
:o Sorry.

Who the hell was that then. See, I knew I should've quoted them. Damn. I have to go back and find out.

ETA: It was Laurie. (I need some sleep.)


No worries. We all make mistakes. Nadia Petrova makes rather a lot, on a tennis court. I make rather more in life. Hey ho.

AcesHigh
Feb 17th, 2010, 11:06 PM
Wrong.

DGIT is absolutely right. Clear and simple. (except for she might be on the same page as Sha'po' - not necessarily equal - but on the same page.) Kim's GS accomplishments don't stand up otherwise.

:lol: Did you even see DGIT's original post? Kim wasn't even mentioned. My post was made jokingly.

Is? She has no achievement whatsoever on clay since 2006, we are in 2010 so WTH are you talking about? I'm done with your little silly games. Bye

:help: Of the "big 4", Kim and Justine are the only players to reach the RG semi's since 2003. She's also reached the final there twice.. more than Venus or Kim can say.

AcesHigh
Feb 17th, 2010, 11:09 PM
Let us also not forget that Kim's prime was cut short by (1)injury in 2004 and (2) her early retirement in 2007

pov
Feb 17th, 2010, 11:11 PM
Subjectly, that's fine. And you have every riht to your opinion. But I could just as easily say Clijsters is on the same level as Elena Bovina. IF ....'Titles do not determine everything.' But, IMHO, they sure are helpful in determining who's better.
Overall results are more indicative than titles. In an extreme example - it's very likely that a player who has made the finals of 15 majors is better than one who - within the same time-span - has made it 3 times and won titles twice.

DontGetItTwisted
Feb 17th, 2010, 11:23 PM
:help: Of the "big 4", Kim and Justine are the only players to reach the RG semi's since 2003. She's also reached the final there twice.. more than Venus or Kim can say.

We're talking about the present! And it's been years since Kim did something relevant on clay. What is so tough to understand?

AcesHigh
Feb 17th, 2010, 11:25 PM
We're talking about the present! And it's been years since Kim did something relevant on clay. What is so tough to understand?

So I guess Venus, Sharapova and Serena suck even more.. right??

dsanders06
Feb 17th, 2010, 11:56 PM
We're talking about the present! And it's been years since Kim did something relevant on clay. What is so tough to understand?

The last time she played a clay-court season (2006), she won a Tier II title and made the RG semis. Not too shabby.

On the other hand, Serena hasn't won any title on red clay or made the RG semis in 7 years.

DontGetItTwisted
Feb 18th, 2010, 12:09 AM
So I guess Venus, Sharapova and Serena suck even more.. right??

Yes, we could say that. :)

ZODIAC
Feb 18th, 2010, 12:19 AM
The last time she played a clay-court season (2006), she won a Tier II title and made the RG semis. Not too shabby.

On the other hand, Serena hasn't won any title on red clay or made the RG semis in 7 years.at the end of the day all the clay court events before RG are preparation to win RG and Serena has jumped that hump and Kim with her semis has not won a slam outside of New York.:rolleyes:

Robert-KimClijst
Feb 18th, 2010, 02:31 AM
I would not put Kim in the same level as Venus/Serena/Justine simply because of slams. Game wise she is up there, but titles don't lie. That being said, I would definitely say Kim has under-achieved (imagine if Kim had been able to pull it together in a couple of those four grand slams against Justine) and to insinuate that Kim has over-achieved and is over-hyped would be wrong, I think.

QUEENLINDSAY
Feb 18th, 2010, 05:50 AM
Slam Champion, Been number in singles and doubles. SHE IS AT PAR WITH ANYONE who have been at the top!!!!!

QUEENLINDSAY
Feb 18th, 2010, 05:52 AM
No need to discuss this if you are going to count Grandslams. If you know how to count, you already know who's at the top according to your criteria.
If we are all just counting the Grandslams, they you are just rubbing it in! we already know 12 is greater than 2, 7 greater than 2, etc.....

tennis-insomniac
Feb 18th, 2010, 06:01 AM
The level that can beat anyone's ass anytime

Clijsters ' game has a well-matched balance of aggression and defence and nowaday, none of top players possess such a feat....no, she doesn't have good mentality....but she will sure as hell be remembered as one of the greatest of all time

bandabou
Feb 18th, 2010, 07:00 AM
So I guess Venus, Sharapova and Serena suck even more.. right??

:lol: Ok...if we're going down that route. Explain to us since when Juju's become an all-surface player? Don't see no Wimbledon titles there. Serena has WON RG..who cares about semi's?

Volcana
Feb 18th, 2010, 07:30 AM
Hasn't she won two?Hasn't she lost thirty? Well, that;s a guess, and all players lose a lot of slams. BUt you're arguing she's the equal of Serena, when Serena is 12-3 in slams finals, while Clijsters is 2-4. That's a pretty radical difference.

You can't both be the equal of someone, and not deleiver most of the time when it counts, while they usually do. Venus is 7-7 in slam finals. Henin is 7-5. Hingis was 5-7. Aside from the fact that there's something to be said for getting to double digit slam finals, managing to win more or less half the time means you're at least competitive with the best of your era. Clijsters' record in slam finals calls to mind Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario. 4-8. Credit for getting there 12 times, but losing two thirds of the time argues a gap between you and the best......pit any of them up against Kim in a match and you wouldn't be surprised if Clijsters won. I'm not saying she's better at all but she is on the same level in terms of her tennis.Allow me to attempt to re-phrase your point.


Clijsters has, within her, the ability to play the same level of tennis as Venus, or Henin, or Hingis or Serena, but she doesn't have the ability to get that level of tennis out of heself as often.


Is that what you're saying? Or at least does that match up with what you're saying.