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View Full Version : Miami QF: (WC) Justine Henin def. (2) Caroline Wozniacki 67(5) 63 64!


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TennisFan66
Apr 1st, 2010, 03:23 PM
I really like and respect Caro's game. She is not a fluke and really knows haw to play the game for her age. I didn't understand people complaints about her "moonballing". From what i saw Caro hit "moonballs" when she was stretched out wide and needed time to get back into the points. A wonderful tactic and it sure beats trying a crazy, low percentage shot from a bad position. I have really reached a new low of respect for some of you supposed fans on this forum who heap scorn on this girl. If this girl is a "pusher", than so was Hingis. This girl can play, and has earned respect. Bartoli too, btw.

A sane person on TF. :D

fantic
Apr 1st, 2010, 03:43 PM
What we saw here was a rather interesting matchup between a defensive/consistency based grinder and an aggressive strike player. Matches with grinders are often not that interesting unless they come up against an attacking player, and then it becomes very very interesting to watch.

Caro did quite well handling the fast rushing pace of Justine's early balls. Justine was attacking her right away in every point, from the return to serve, and Caro did better than most would have done. She was, however, forced to hit harder than her comfort zone in order to prevent being completely overwhelmed by Justine's attacks. Justine's return of serve in particular was very aggressive and was bothering Caro a great deal.

Justine did not play particularly well, but since she was the active one making all the choices in point development, the match was in her hands. She obviously wanted to have the match entirely in her hands, so that it was just down to her own execution. In this kind of match up, so long as the strike player makes successful attacks slightly more than half the time, they will win. And Justine did just that. She was rushing her attacks and at certain moments seemed to rush herself into errors or even outposition herself. Playing this style will tend to increase not only your own winners but also the opponents, since you take risks from out of court positions and sometimes find yourself stranded. But it was just enough. Caro has shown that she is a pretty tough opponent for the wta players. She puts the ball into the court reasonably deep, sometimes loopy, mostly crosscourt but sometimes up the middle, and asks the opponent: try to hit the winner more times than you miss. If you are good enough- and Justine was just good enough today- then you will win. Most of the wta is not good enough to pass the Wozniacki test however, and it's not that surprising since Justine's B game was only barely enough, and her B game is much better than most of the tour.

Caro is proving to be a very tough, but fair test on the tour. I liken matches with her to a competition of making more money. Two players are each given a sum of money, the challenge is to make as much money as possible with it in a year. Caro takes the money to the bank and gets a good interest rate. There's a limit to how much she can make, but she's setting a decently tough mark to surpass. An opponent who takes calculated business risks and makes smart choices will be able to beat her, but most people don't seem to be able to do it. In fact it seems that many of the current wta players, when given the opportunity, will self destruct and do the tennis equivalent of losing money instead of making it in their ventures. Today JH took huge risks, almost went bankrupt, and then got it together and beat her.

Third set was pretty solid though, Justine was holding very strongly and Caro's chance of winning went down to almost zero. One thing that changed during the match was the way Justine was timing the backhand. Justine has an excellent backhand, but sometimes the production becomes inconsistent- the swing path is not always smooth and it can become a quick and jerky push rather than the smooth whip it should be. Her head jerking down and the follow through shortening is usually a sign she is not positioning herself quite properly and tends to cause needless errors- for instance, like the one that ended the first set. On the forehand, there were times when Justine succumbed to her tendency to muscle the ball too much instead of freely swinging and lost control. Towards the end however, Justine was swinging smoother on both wings and timing the ball in front.

I expect Justine to play a little calmer against Caro next time. She was obviously very amped up to beat her, and although this helped her play with a lot of energy, it was affecting her decision making. Quite a few times when Justine should have gone up the line near the net, she went cross court to where Caro was still waiting. And the premature "allez" was another sign of being a little too amped up to make calm decisions. So I think next time they meet Justine will play calmer, better, and win a little more solidly.
:worship:

Dandy_Warhol
Apr 1st, 2010, 04:20 PM
i feel so late but...

http://i39.tinypic.com/ak8nlg.jpg

stangtennis
Apr 1st, 2010, 04:52 PM
Caro won first set. Caro had break point for 4-3 in second set. And third set ended 6-4 which is only one break difference.

And I said "fairly close"

I'm not saying it was a 76 67 67 thriller.
There was also only one break in the second set. 6-3 looks like a big difference on paper, but it actually only takes a single break to win a set 6-3 when the winner of the set serves the first game of the set.
In the 3rd set Caro served the first game and there was only one break in this set too. But the score was 6-4 instead of 6-3 because Caro stared serving in he 3rd set.

Corswandt
Apr 1st, 2010, 10:26 PM
Surprisingly clueless performance from Henin, particularly after her rock solid shotmaking display against Zvonareva in the previous round. At times she looked like a young, talented headcase just taking her first steps on the Tour.

Initial game plan seemed to be "No rallies - me hit big winner now". And Henin tried to blitz Sunshine for about 3 games or so, but soon realized that the timing of her shots was pretty much off. Panic ensued. Henin became hesitant and tentative in her shot selection (usually her biggest strength), and let herself get dragged into neutral rallies - near fatal when she clearly didn't have much confidence in her own shots. She tried to break the stalemate usually by hitting her FH as hard as possible, placement and angles be damned. Her ROS made prime Ivanovic's look tame in comparison. But this isn't her game, and the results weren't pretty. This went on halfway into the 2nd set - which Henin seemed to be on the verge of losing, at least for a couple of points, before turning it around with some solid play.

But Sunshine's relentless retrieving eventually took its toll on her, and in the 3rd set she was unable to contest every point the way she had been doing up until then (the final set wasn't as tight as the score may hint). Henin is quick to spot signs of weakness in her opponents and went in for the kill, blasting away both Sunshine's 2nd serve and her moonballs, and going for early winners that Sunshine was now unable to chase.

vejh
Apr 1st, 2010, 10:32 PM
You can't run like Caroline did for so long and make it to the end.lol. In the 2nd set I was just thinking (keep running, keep running because you ain't gonna make it.lol).

I agree Corswandt. Ju also implied that she was as confused as she looked in the first set and a half, and she just couldn't find the timing on her shots.lol.

Apoleb
Apr 1st, 2010, 10:37 PM
Surprisingly clueless performance from Henin, particularly after her rock solid shotmaking display against Zvonareva in the previous round. At times she looked like a young, talented headcase just taking her first steps on the Tour.

Initial game plan seemed to be "No rallies - me hit big winner now". And Henin tried to blitz Sunshine for about 3 games or so, but soon realized that the timing of her shots was pretty much off. Panic ensued. Henin became hesitant and tentative in her shot selection (usually her biggest strength), and let herself get dragged into neutral rallies - near fatal when she clearly didn't have much confidence in her own shots. She tried to break the stalemate usually by hitting her FH as hard as possible, placement and angles be damned. Her ROS made prime Ivanovic's look tame in comparison. But this isn't her game, and the results weren't pretty. This went on halfway into the 2nd set - which Henin seemed to be on the verge of losing, at least for a couple of points, before turning it around with some solid play.




Awesome. That's exactly how I saw it too. She's becoming so obsessed and engrossed in developing an ultra-aggressive game that she put her brain tennis on the side. It's like the only thing she could think of is how to hit hard and execute well. The part in bold is exactly why I thought her bh was the better shot in the match, because it's where she was able to construct points and pull Woz out of the court. And even for the "hitting hard" part, it does not work very well if it's not a mid ball court. A lot of those forehands were landing on the service line in the middle of the court. :tape: Had "Claytine" appeared, who used to construct points with angles and direction changes on both sides, the match would've been a lot easier imo. She doesn't need to hit through Woz. It's the tougher way.

LightWarrior
Apr 1st, 2010, 10:38 PM
I hate the pink too! It's kinda cute but too much. Maybe go a lighter shade? Or return to the blue, I like the blue as well. :)

Who cares about her outfits anyway ? It's always bland, just like her personality.

treufreund
Apr 1st, 2010, 10:47 PM
I can address the same question to you. Her backhand was dusted by Wozniacki in the first set and would never recover. Yes, Justine hit an awful lot of errors from her forehand but she also hit an awful lot of winners from that side whereas her backhand was MIA till the very end. It was a string of her forehand winners towards the end of the second set that decided the match in Henin's favor.

Her timing and balance are more natural on her backhand. She can create so many shots on that side... It's the shot that turned the match arounds. She stopped around her backhand and used it to open up the court to hit an easy forehand or easy backhand or get into the net. The forehand does have more pace on average but the backhand is still the more solid, more varied and useful shot and seems to be much harder for her opponents to read.

sammy01
Apr 1st, 2010, 11:16 PM
Surprisingly clueless performance from Henin, particularly after her rock solid shotmaking display against Zvonareva in the previous round. At times she looked like a young, talented headcase just taking her first steps on the Tour.

Initial game plan seemed to be "No rallies - me hit big winner now". And Henin tried to blitz Sunshine for about 3 games or so, but soon realized that the timing of her shots was pretty much off. Panic ensued. Henin became hesitant and tentative in her shot selection (usually her biggest strength), and let herself get dragged into neutral rallies - near fatal when she clearly didn't have much confidence in her own shots. She tried to break the stalemate usually by hitting her FH as hard as possible, placement and angles be damned. Her ROS made prime Ivanovic's look tame in comparison. But this isn't her game, and the results weren't pretty. This went on halfway into the 2nd set - which Henin seemed to be on the verge of losing, at least for a couple of points, before turning it around with some solid play.

But Sunshine's relentless retrieving eventually took its toll on her, and in the 3rd set she was unable to contest every point the way she had been doing up until then (the final set wasn't as tight as the score may hint). Henin is quick to spot signs of weakness in her opponents and went in for the kill, blasting away both Sunshine's 2nd serve and her moonballs, and going for early winners that Sunshine was now unable to chase.

good report. what i see from henin is a player who is trying to replicate her late 2007 form but slightly more aggresive. what she needs to be doing is building her game up around good shot selection and court craft, which has always been her trump card against todays players, and then the rest of her game will start to fall into place. right now shes forcing it which is making her pick the wrong shots. yep clisters came back with a bang but she is an incredible natural athlete, and her game is basic in it is based around great movement and early ball striking with the forehand. henin i feel needs to calm it down and start feeling her shots and then inject pace when she gets the right ball.

still henin landed a good few of the wild swings at the ball against caro at the crucial moments 2nd set, which shows why she is a 7 time slam champion as she was deffinately not feeling the ball as she gave herself no chance to with her winner at all costs appraoch.