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Fingon
Aug 5th, 2003, 03:35 AM
I'll commit a terrible sin, I will talk about tennis

This is what I think are the chances of the top 10 for the US Open. They are of course my opinions, feel free to have yours (that actually would be interesting, it's called debating and confronting different opinions :)

Obviously, I am talking about the top ten that are playing, with Serena out I am adding current # 11 Maggie Maleeva and I am assuming that Venus is playing.

Kim Clijsters
She surely has the game to win it and hardcourts is her best surface. She is motivated and cannot be ruled out.

three things stand on her way:
her problems closing out big matches (FO final, Wimby semis, Aussie semis).
Her fitness, don't take me wrong, she is one of the fittest players on tour, but she is maybe playing too much, that can be a factor as according to her was in San Diego.

the preasure of being # 1, she nearly must win it and that can affect her negatively.
Justine Henin-Hardenne

to be honest, a week ago I would have said her chances were near zero, but of course the San Diego win changes perspectives.

I never doubted her ability to win on hardcourts, but she seemed not to like it and hadn't had any results to back it up.

She has all the shots in the book, she is strong, physically and mentally, she is motivated and she knows that without Serena this is her best chance.

Against her: one word Venus, she's lost to Venus the last 7 times and I don't care too much for past statistics but she did say Venus is the one player she doesn't like to play against, Venus is the only player that intimidates her, however, see my comment on Venus below.

Lindsay Davenport

Lindsay without a doubt has the game, and this is her best surface, she's won it and she's been in the final but...

since she came back from injury she seems troubled in big matches, that can change but based in recent results she seems unable to beat Kim or Venus, and her level goes down in finals, nearly all of them.

Venus Williams

THE favourite, without Serena, there isn't other player at her level on hardcourts. She is mentally tough, and has the weapons and her game is especially suited for hardcourts, she's been in the past 3 finals.

the only doubt is her health, she's been injured since Warsaw and hasn't played since Wimbledon, I haven't heard/read anything on her current condition.

Amelie Mauresmo

I do think Amelie has the game to win a grand slam, but unfortunately I don't think she has the mental strenght required, plus, she's been out long due an injury and she normally takes time to come back

Jennifer Capriati

sorry Jennifer fans but I just don't see her as a candidate. she peaked at the beginning of 2001 until the FO but since them she hasn't been the same player. She's challenged other top players (Kim, Justine, Serena) but she just doesn't beat them

Chanda Rubin

another player with the talent, but mentally not there, I don't see her winning 7 matches

Daniela Hantuchova

in her current form? third round would be a bonus

Anastasia Myskina

no chances

Maggie Maleeva

no chances.

DA FOREHAND
Aug 5th, 2003, 03:45 AM
Kim didn't come close to closing out a match in the semis of Wimbledon this year. Have you forgotten the scoreline?

6-4 3-6 1-6

Gandalf
Aug 5th, 2003, 08:58 AM
OK, I'll make an analysis too:

Kim Clijsters

I think she's going to feel the pressure of wanting to win a GS to back up her number 1, and to win a GS the same year as Justine. This said, I think she would beat everyone but Venus and Justine.

Justine Henin-Hardenne

I don't know what she did last Christmas, but mentally she looks like a different person this year. After winning in San Diego, she seems as confident as she can be. She could lose to Kim, would probably lose to Venus and may lose to Davenport, but the rest of the top 10 would have to be VERY inspired to beat her.

Lindsay Davenport

I love Lindsay, but she needs a big performance prior to the US'Open to be a contender. I favour her against Justine, but Kim and Venus are a mental block for her.

Venus Williams

The big favourite-even when she's injured, 90% of the players find a way to choke against her. Justine is confident against everyone but her, and if Kim had to face her in the final she would probably unfold. However, if she's half injured and plays Chanda or Jen before the semis, she may go out.

Amelie Mauresmo

She wasn't playing bad at Fed Cup, but I don't see her pulling it together at this US'Open. She may cause some upsets, but not win it all.

Jennifer Capriati

Sometimes you 're too motivated for winning, and this is one of them. I expect her to lose in a close thriller-as usual.

Chanda Rubin

Last year she had her chances against Venus, but this summer she's not playing that well. If she plays someone on a bad day she may take her chances, but she would need a lot of players to be on a bad day to win.

Daniela Hantuchova

She needs the year to end as soon as possible. No chance.

Anastasia Myskina

No chance.

Maggie Maleeva

Fourth round would be a success.

Brian Stewart
Aug 5th, 2003, 09:02 AM
What's interesting about this Open is that there are so many questions surrounding the contenders. You could take any of the top 8 and make a compelling argument why they would or wouldn't win.

Kim- in the first line of favorites, Serena or no Serena. The odd thing about sports is its procreative nature. Winning begets winning, losing begets losing... and choking begets choking. The worst thing about freezing up a couple of times is, not only do you know it can happen, your opponent does too. It gives them the confidence that if they hang in there, you'll fold. If anything goes wrong, bad call, bad bounce, lucky shot from opponent, it triggers a "oh no, here we go again" feeling. Kim should have the #1 ranking by the USO. Will that cause less pressure, or more? Will she feel pressure to justify it? I still list Kim as the slight favorite, but not by the margin of a few weeks ago. Would help her cause if she could either avoid Justine and Venus, or beat them in a warmup tournament.

Justine- a week or so ago, I would have put her much further down the list of contenders. Now, I think she's right in the mix of the favorites. Needs to be aggresive. The "I'm so small" motivation seems to help her.

Lindsay- First, the foot has to hold up. Then, the shoulders do. Can't get down on herself. Can beat anyone, and win it. But, I think when she faces the big gals in the latter stages, she's going to have to get ahead early, and win the first set. She's always been a terrific frontrunner. But lately, it seems her confidence goes downhill much quicker when she gets behind.

Venus- The big keys will be if she gets healthy, and does so quickly enough to get at least one warmup tourney in. Ordinarily, playing warmup tournaments isn't as big a deal for either Williams. But that's when they have each other to practice against every day. Without Serena, it's more important than ever that Venus face "live ammo" before the USO. Her success will hinge on confidence. If someone can pound on her forehand and second serve, like last year, she's vulnerable. If all of the parts of her game hold up, she should win. That's the big question.

Momo- I don't have as many questions about her mental state. I think it's more a question of if she plays well in the tuneups. The Momo that played the 2002 US Open could win this one. Will she have that form?

Jen- shouldn't have much trouble reaching the quarters. But it's there that things will get interesting. Has a habit of winning the first set against other top players, losing a close second, then going down in the third. She needs to be healthy, and could use a win over a top player before the USO as a confidence booster. Big plus- not afraid of anyone. She doesn't get blown away by other top players. They have to step up and beat her.

Chanda- has all the tools to beat anyone, anywhere. Like Jen, not afraid of anyone. Biggest problem is she sometimes gets passive in big matches. If she plays passive at any time in the second week, she won't win. If she's aggressive, she tends to win the points. This is true even for matches she's lost. Like Momo, Chanda's 2002 USO form could win this.

Daniela- despite her insistence otherwise, doesn't have the stamina to go the distance. She points to the long matches she's played. But she usually loses them, and when she doesn't, goes down badly in the next match. Needs to have a nice talk with Martina N about increasing caloric intake when one increases workout levels, in order to keep strength up. Could pull an upset in the second week, if she gets there. But if someone takes her the distance in week one, she's toast.

Anastasia- if the top players play well, they'll beat her. But if not, she's good enough to make them pay. Probably looking at R16, give or take a round. Can't see her winning it, but she can keep someone else from winning.

Maggie- Maggie and the big stage just don't seem to be on good terms. She's beaten many of the top players on a variety of surfaces. But at the slams, it seems she can't bring out her best stuff. Might make the quarters if things go well.

skanky~skanketta
Aug 5th, 2003, 09:03 AM
good reviews. i really wonder how justine would fare against venus.

villa
Aug 5th, 2003, 12:59 PM
Henin is a good matchup for venus unless its on clay- Venus always looks in controll of their matchups simply because she can overpower her- unless venus is making errors she'll beat henin comfrotably but serena is the same apart from clay aswell...

Henin did really well to beat clijsters at san deigo however venus is a compeltly different kettle of fish compared to kim, venus serves harder, hits harder, has better defence and attack than kim and would win in straightsets....

bandabou
Aug 5th, 2003, 02:17 PM
There´s only one fav for the Open now that Serena´s out: Venus! This is THE hardcourt player of her generation! Look at her record at this tournament: 35-4!!Four finals, the last three in a row, has never lost before the semi´s. If she´s healthy and can play at least a tune-up she will have a great chance of winning. There´s no one close to her level on hardcourts if she plays her best. In fact the last two players to beat Venus at the tournament won´t be playing: Serena and Hingis. Lindsay beat her once there, but that was during Lindsay´s best years. Kim isn´t ready yet to win and anyone who actually think Justine does stand a CHANCE against Venus on hardcourts, well....

Cybelle Darkholme
Aug 5th, 2003, 02:38 PM
I'm taking a different look. I'll focus on what I think will be the quarterfinal matchups if the draw falls like I think it will.

Kim Versus Amelie Mauresmo

Rematch of last years quarters which was a thriling match that we were denied the pleasure of watching on television. IF momo comes into this like last year she will find kim that has changed for the better and worse. kim is stronger but momo has guile and more shots than even justine. If momo is healthy she wins this.

Justine Versus Jennifer Capriati

If jen's shoulder has healed then this will be her big run to the title. She will face a new and improved justine who benefits from added confidence and a new found athleticism that jen lost. This will be fierce but jen can win if she guts it out in two sets. IF not justine will win in three.

Lindsay Versus Meghann Shaughnessy

yes meg will be the suprise quaterfinalist. She will try to run lindsay ragged and if she does will slightly edge her. However I think lindsay will bang the ball relentlessly and have her serve on for this match. She doesn't fear meg and I think that will play into a positive attitude. lindsay should win this.

Venus Versus Chanda Rubin

another rematch. Chanda was crushed after last years quarter versus venus convinced that she should have won that match. I think that match threw her because her results dipped afterwards. Venus is in her head and chanda will throw everything but the kitchen sink to beat her and in the end only beat herself. Venus in two.

Albireo
Aug 5th, 2003, 04:50 PM
Daniela- despite her insistence otherwise, doesn't have the stamina to go the distance. She points to the long matches she's played. But she usually loses them, and when she doesn't, goes down badly in the next match.

Rubbish. Through Wimbledon, Hantuchova was 8-4 in three-set matches this year; only four players in the Top Twenty (JHH, Serena, Rubin, and Myskina) have a better 3-set winning percentage. And three of her four losses were by 6-7, 7-9, and 10-12 scores; two of those matches went for three hours. (And I didn't factor in the three-setter at San Diego.)

And Hantuchova was also 4-4 in matches immediately after a three-setter-- not very good, but not nearly as dire as people imagine. (Again, not factoring in San Diego.)

Hantuchova's in a horrific slump, and her physical condition is of great concern. But her stamina is hardly the biggest of her problems. (The fact that she's getting into three-set matches against players she would normally beat fairly easily is of much greater concern-- but that's a mental issue.)

Hate to argue with you on this, Brian, but from a statistical standpoint, the claim that Hantuchova has no stamina is absolutely groundless.

bandabou
Aug 5th, 2003, 04:52 PM
Rubbish. Through Wimbledon, Hantuchova was 8-4 in three-set matches this year; only four players in the Top Twenty (JHH, Serena, Rubin, and Myskina) have a better 3-set winning percentage. And three of her four losses were by 6-7, 7-9, and 10-12 scores; two of those matches went for three hours. (And I didn't factor in the three-setter at San Diego.)

And Hantuchova was also 4-4 in matches immediately after a three-setter-- not very good, but not nearly as dire as people imagine. (Again, not factoring in San Diego.)

Hantuchova's in a horrific slump, and her physical condition is of great concern. But her stamina is hardly the biggest of her problems. (The fact that she's getting into three-set matches against players she would normally beat fairly easily is of much greater concern-- but that's a mental issue.)

Hate to argue with you on this, Brian, but from a statistical standpoint, the claim that Hantuchova has no stamina is absolutely groundless.

No, the problem is that she was OVERRATED in the first place! That´s all!

DA FOREHAND
Aug 5th, 2003, 04:53 PM
Kim:

Good consistant deep groundies, great defense, footspeed and footwork, good at the net, so why is she behind the baseline. Defense can win on the gridiron, but at the US Open ofense is what takes you to the final round.

justine:

Improved serve, and forehand, good defense, but she still hits the ball too short in the court, and the backhand is easily overpowered on hardcourts. Good net game, but her shots fall too short for her to take advantage often enough. Still has Venus on the brain.

Lindsay:

Great serve(best in tournament), great groundies, sub-par movement. Needs an attitude adjustment, and a shot of confidence. Knows what it takes to win, and seems to be attacking the net more often. Unless she has a flare up we'll see her in the second week.

Venus:

Best hardcourt player around. Awesome record at the Open, confidence is always high @ flushing meadows. Big serve, her groundies are devasting on these courts, needs to take advantage of her growing net game, and go for her second serves. Is she healthy? Does she have to be fully fit to win?

Jennifer:

Great groundies, improved serve. Fitness? Attitude? Needs to get out of Hingis mode. Putting the ball back in play will not help you hoist this trophy. If she believes in herself, and her chances she can make the semis.

Chanda:

May be a spoiler for one of the top players.

The rest of the top ten will simply be also rans.

CapFan#1
Aug 5th, 2003, 05:05 PM
I'm taking a different look. I'll focus on what I think will be the quarterfinal matchups if the draw falls like I think it will.

Kim Versus Amelie Mauresmo

Rematch of last years quarters which was a thriling match that we were denied the pleasure of watching on television. IF momo comes into this like last year she will find kim that has changed for the better and worse. kim is stronger but momo has guile and more shots than even justine. If momo is healthy she wins this.

.


MOMO played Cappy in the Qf last year, not kim. :confused:

Chance
Aug 6th, 2003, 05:11 AM
interesting thread...

I'm not sure where we stand with Venus and Amelie, but after CO we should have a better idea.

Hingiswinsthis
Aug 6th, 2003, 05:48 AM
NEVER count out a Williams, even if they didn't play any warm-up events. I still put Venus slightly above Justine......and Justine above Kim. Those are my top three.

Although, it would be fun to see the new and improved hard court Justine Henin-Hardenne vs. Venus;)

Rollo
Aug 6th, 2003, 05:51 AM
Good thread and comments so far.

My two cents.

One of 3 will take it-

1. Clijsters: Yes-she chokes. She also overplays. But so far this year she's remained consistent and healthy. Just by hanging arounf in the latter stages Kimmie may win this.

Negative: Goes wacko on her forehand. And Forehand is right-she's not at net nearly as much.

Trivia bonus: Every woman to win a WTA final without having a slam went on to win a slam within two years:)


2. Venus-Best argument is her serve and hard court record. I love how she comes in and wacks those swinging volleys. Yet she's vulnerable on her second serve and forehand. And that defeat to Shaughnessy at Miami sticks with me.

3. Henin-IF confidence can win it, she can take this. Her serve needs to hold up.

One of those 3 will win it with 95% certainty. If one side of the draw opens up JCap or perhaps Momo could come through and win over a choky waffle in the final, but I'd not bet on it-that's the 5%.

The good thing is this should settle who the true #2 is. Clijsters can make her #1 semi-legit. A Henin win will make her #1 on the computer by years end , and a Venus win would prove she's still got it.

I can't wait.

Sam L
Aug 6th, 2003, 05:59 AM
I'll give movie-like ratings of their chances. It's out of 4 stars.

Clijsters ***
Henin-Hardenne ***
Davenport **
V.Williams ***1/2
Mauresmo **
Capriati **
Rubin *1/2
Hantuchova *
Myskina *
Maleeva *

Rollo
Aug 6th, 2003, 06:10 AM
You're kind with those stars Sam:)

Aliens will land and do a jig on my nose before Maleeva or Myskina EVER wins a slam. Daniela could win slam in future-but her chances at the Open are as slim as she is.....

Rubin just can't do it.
Davenport isn't fit enough these days.

Outside of the big 3 only Jen and Mauresmo have a prayer. Jen needs to exercise more off the dance floor/discos and I don't think Momo has what it takes.