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tennisIlove09
Jun 5th, 2003, 01:10 AM
Expect a Serena-Clijsters rematch
By Pam Shriver
Special to ESPN.com


PARIS -- Serena Williams' blowout of Amelie Mauresmo might have been the biggest surprise of the quarterfinals. Most people felt with Mauresmo winning the last time they met and Williams struggling some against Ai Sugiyama, that the match would be challenging.

Pam's Picks

Shriver
Former WTA Tour pro Pam Shriver is providing ESPN.com with in-depth analysis throughout the French Open. Shriver, a tennis analyst for ESPN, was ranked as high as No. 3 in singles play. She won 21 singles and 112 doubles crowns, including 22 Grand Slam titles.


But Williams had her full strut and full confidence on. Total belief and focus, that's what we've seen from her in the past 12 months in the majors. The purposeful walk. Eyes just staying right in the business of winning each point.

Based on that, Williams, despite losing two clay-court tournaments coming into this, is the clear favorite to win in Paris and take her fifth major title in a row.

The other player to have beaten Williams this year is her opponent in the semifinal, fourth-seeded Justine Henin-Hardenne of Belgium. She's a fit, feisty all-court dynamo with just enough weapons and clay-court savvy to win two in a row against Williams.

When they played at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston it was Williams' unforced errors that killed her and caused her to lose that match. Even though Henin-Hardenne played well it was much more Williams unraveling. I don't think that will happen here at the French Open, but it might be a three-set match.

Williams' opponents in these later rounds have seen her enough to know after the first two games finish which version of her is showing up. If Williams is on her game, there's a slight bit of panic and disorientation and asking "how can I do this?"

When Serena Williams is at her best, she's not easy to counter - you're more just trying to survive out there.

In the other semifinal, it's a big surprise to find the No. 76th-ranked player in Russian Nadia Petrova, who defeated Monica Seles and Jennifer Capriati to get here. Capriati should realize, though, that she fell to a player whose quality has been similar to that of any top five player here. Petrova's ranking is so low because injuries have kept her from playing a full schedule. But she's recovered and playing very well.

Her two-handed backhand is beautiful, and against Capriati she was consistent and lethal. That's not easy to do against Capriati. Petrova also has a huge first serve - the second fastest to Venus in the tournament. To beat No. 2 seed Kim Clijsters, she's going to need all of that.

Clijsters, also a Belgian, has been a little erratic at times during the tournament. She had one miserable set, 0-6, against Maggie Maleeva in the fourth round. Other than that she's kept her unforced errors down in order to not drop more than two games in any set.

After faltering in the semifinals in Australia against Williams, Clijsters is very hungry to get through to her second major final.

In two years, she's gathered a lot of experience late in the majors compared to Petrova, so Clijsters should win. But if Petrova plays like she did against Capriati, Clijsters is going to have to play a high-quality match.

Celeste
Jun 5th, 2003, 01:33 AM
And you people used to trash Christine Marie Evert? Pam's predictions are the same any bum off of the street could make. Toss Pam, she sucks. How this woman makes a living calling matches I will never know. Mary Joe sucks, too, in fact, the whole team on this tournament stinks, except for maybe Cliff. At least Chris used to say a bunch of dumb shit during the tournament that made it interesting and was funny in how bad it was. Pam says dumb shit that is not even entertaining.

TeeRexx
Jun 5th, 2003, 01:36 AM
Real newsflash Ms. Shriver. :rolleyes:

tennisIlove09
Jun 5th, 2003, 01:38 AM
And you people used to trash Christine Marie Evert? Pam's predictions are the same any bum off of the street could make. Toss Pam, she sucks. How this woman makes a living calling matches I will never know. Mary Joe sucks, too, in fact, the whole team on this tournament stinks, except for maybe Cliff. At least Chris used to say a bunch of dumb shit during the tournament that made it interesting and was funny in how bad it was. Pam says dumb shit that is not even entertaining.

I don't mind Mary Carillo...infact I like her very much

Hawk
Jun 5th, 2003, 01:40 AM
It may be obvious..but what do you expect? In all likelyhood that is what will happen.

Lisbeth
Jun 5th, 2003, 01:51 AM
I agree. I don't really like Pam's commentary but she can't be expected to predict the opposite of what she really thinks just because it's also what everyone else thinks!

Aussie_Kim
Jun 5th, 2003, 02:02 AM
C'mon Kim you have to win

Cybelle Darkholme
Jun 5th, 2003, 02:27 AM
Go Serena go Nadia!

lizchris
Jun 5th, 2003, 03:47 AM
I don't know why, but I think Petrova is going to win against Kim if she takes the first set. The only reason she dropped both of her second sets against Jennifer and Vera was because she couldn't hold serve. Since as some people say Kim has a similar game to Jennifer, then Nadia should be able to keep pace with her. I agree with Pam that Kim 's match against Maleeva wasn't impressive and to be honest with you, if Maleeva was a better player, she would most likely be playing Nadia tomorrow than Kim.

BTW, I think both matches will go three sets. (I am hoping tht Serena's ends in a straight set victory for her)

fammmmedspin
Jun 5th, 2003, 04:54 AM
I suppose Pam has to say Serena or she will be sent to Guantanamo Bay but there is no way of knowing how well Justine will do. Serena loses when she has an off day but she also loses when pressurized enough. Its just that few people can play with her head for long enough before she has won. Justine can do it. Question is whether she will.

Aussie_Kim
Jun 5th, 2003, 05:00 AM
I guess we'll find out on Saturday ;)
But, I don't think Serena has been playing well as Justine & Kim in the leadup to the FO.
I admit KIm didn't play well against Maggie but appart from that she has been playing pretty well especially in 1/4's.
Go Kim!! ;)

1jackson2001
Jun 5th, 2003, 05:40 AM
Playin' wit her head eh?