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CanIGetAWhat
May 29th, 2004, 11:15 PM
Capriati pushing edge too often
By Pam Shriver
Special to ESPN.com

It's unusual to have so many dramatic upsets of top players -- including the defending champions losing to unknown players -- on both the men's and women's side of the draw.

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In the case of Justine Henin-Hardenne, Tathiana Garbin is a good player, but the Belgian's loss was a product of a lack of match play in the past seven weeks. She simply was not confident in either her physical or mental capabilities to get through a tough match.

With the bad, we've also seen some good -- like the unique sight of Martina Navratilova playing singles. It's something I never expected to see again. It's also good to see the return of the Williams sisters, Jennifer Capriati and Amelie Mauresmo. Finally, most players (not the Belgians) are healthy again.

Plus, there's the emergence of new stars like Maria Kirilenko of Russia, who pressed Serena Williams in the second-round. Serena won 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, but we'll be talking about this 17-year-old for the next 10 years.

Here's a look at the fourth-round matches scheduled to be played on Sunday:

Jie Zheng, China, vs. Paola Suarez (14), Argentina
Suarez has been to the quarterfinals at Roland Garros before, when she defeated Mauresmo in the round of 16 two years ago -- so Suarez is comfortable in the bigger matches at the majors. Although Zheng seems to be the best women's Chinese player ever, it's hard to know how good she'll be in this situation. Until Zheng proves she can handle such a big moment, you have to give the edge to Suarez.
Pick: Suarez

Maria Sharapova (18), Russia, vs. Marlene Weingartner
Although Sharapova is probably the youngest player left in the draw, she's one of the most mature. She gained valuable experience at Wimbledon last year and is starting to come into her own.

Weingartner easily beat Nadia Petrova on clay to get to this round and she defeated Capriati at the Australian Open, so she's had a couple of decent wins. Sharapova, though, is too good. She's got the confidence she needs to win.
Pick: Sharapova

Amelie Mauresmo (3), France, vs. Magdalena Maleeva (21), Bulgaria
Mauresmo seems finally to be learning how to live with the great pressure of the French Open. Now, that's not saying she's ready to win the whole thing, but she's too good an all-court player to lose in this round to Maleeva. Although Maleeva looked OK against Shaughnessy, Maleeva's never been that comfortable on clay. Pick: Mauresmo

Elena Dementieva (9), Russia, vs. Lindsay Davenport (5), United States
Davenport has had some awkward times with her very peculiar serve. It's the marquee matchup, with the highest seeds against one another. Davenport has had her best season ever on clay coming into this major. However, this will be her first big-time matchup of the tournament, and beating Dementieva is not that easy on clay.

It's a close match that really depends on how Davenport reacts to Dementieva's weak, slowly spinning serve, which sometimes throws the power players off. On paper, you'd think Davenport would be too good to fall here, but Dementieva also has a good shot.
Pick: Davenport

Anastasia Myskina (6), Russia, vs. Svetlana Kuznetsova (11), Russia
These two players are the closest in rankings in the fourth round.

There's a lot of tension among the Russian players at this event with the Olympic spots up for grabs. The Olympics, which are in Athens, Greece, in August, hold so much prestige for the Russian players that they are fighting to be part of the team.

These two are pretty evenly matched. Myskina has the edge in rank, but she called the trainer out to the court the other day calling her physical readiness into question. Aside from that, based on their head-to-head record, with Myskina leading 2-1 after winning their two most recent matches, the pick here should be Myskina. But this match could easily go either way.
Pick: Myskina

Fabiola Zuluaga (23), Colombia, vs. Venus Williams (4), United States
You can't take for granted any match on clay -- even if you, like Venus, have a win streak going. When you play a clay-courter, you have to be ready for a challenge. Venus has had the best clay-court spring of her career. She should know, though, that she needs to concentrate because she's not playing on a surface where you can have a drift in concentration.

Zuluaga had a breakthrough at the Australian Open earlier this year, as she reached the semifinals of a major for the first time. So, she knows the pressure you can face in a round-of-16 match against a player like Venus. That's all the more reason for Venus to get down to business early and not let up.
Pick: Venus

Jennifer Capriati (7), United States, vs. Francesca Schiavone (17)
There's potential for an upset here because Schiavone is tough on clay and doesn't make many unforced errors. Also, she's had some pretty good wins in the past 12 months, which is why her rank is the highest of her career. Additionally, despite some success against Serena Williams in Berlin, nothing has been easy for Capriati recently -- at some point that will catch up to you.
Pick: Schiavone

Shinobu Asagoe, Japan, vs. Serena Williams (12), United States
Like her sister, Serena needs to come in focused and end this match quickly. She can't stumble through a match the way she did in the second round.

Asagoe is a good fighter and tends to compete well. Asagoe has won some close matches in Grand Slam tournaments, so she's a danger.
Pick: Serena

ESPN tennis analyst Pam Shriver won 21 singles and 112 doubles crowns, including 22 Grand Slam titles.

GermanBoy
May 29th, 2004, 11:23 PM
Jen loses? :confused: Did Pam make a drug test? :cuckoo: :cuckoo: :cuckoo:If so she must have failed... :o

tenn_ace
May 29th, 2004, 11:25 PM
wow that takes a lot of guts to make THOSE predictions.... :rolleyes: what a waste.

ttaM
May 29th, 2004, 11:28 PM
Schiavone defeated Monica at the Hopman Cup in '02, and pushed Monica 4 and 4 a few weeks later at the Open where Monica reached the Semis that year. I wouldn't rule Shiavone out, especially since Capriati seems to be struggling against her other opponents.

I'm not sure what the Head-to-Head is for Myskina/Kuznetsova...but I would pick Kuznetsova in this match. Have these two played each other on clay?

Martian KC
May 29th, 2004, 11:29 PM
I would give Fabiola a better chance at an upset rather than Francesca.:o

GermanBoy
May 29th, 2004, 11:50 PM
Pam is wrong twice: Jen and Kuznetsova will win! :cool:

Mase
May 30th, 2004, 12:00 AM
Yeah Im not agreeing with a lot of her predictions, but I guess thats what she's paid to do...We'll find out the real answers tommorow I guess.

JennyS
May 30th, 2004, 12:09 AM
I totally disagree with Pam's assement of Jen's play. Jen isn't playing poorly at all in this tournament and lost sets when her opponents played really well. I also disagree with her comment that "despite some success against Serena Williams in Berlin, nothing has been easy for Capriati recently -- at some point that will catch up to you." is totally bs. Since when is winning two three set matches bad for confidence? I think it will make her mentally sharp for her next match, wheras, last year she coasted through her first three matches and lost to Petrova. Also, how well was Jennifer playing in her early rounds at the 2002 Australian Open? And when has Jen ever been a player that performs based on her most recent matches?

Pam is really a bandwagoner. Last year at Wimbledon, Pam thought Jen had a great chance to go far in the tournament and then thought she would lose to Myskina just because she didn't have a great third round performance.

I think Jen will win because as good as Schiavone is on clay, this is a huge match and Jen's a former champ of this event.

Chunchun
May 30th, 2004, 12:10 AM
GGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO LenaDDDDDDD!!!!!!

Pintaled
May 30th, 2004, 12:10 AM
I am sorry Pam, Jennifer will win in 2 easy sets.

azinna
May 30th, 2004, 12:10 AM
What I'd give to get paid good money to come up with this stuff. Malivai is even less daring (and often wrong). On the other hand, I think Wertheim smokes a large blunt the day before each Slam.

These folks apparently earn enough to keep their families off the street. Gosh, once again, it's proven that I chose the wrong profession. What was I smoking when I decided to go the academic route?

fammmmedspin
May 30th, 2004, 12:47 AM
Francesca can break Venus and Serena and Kim so she stands a chance against Jennifer, Jennifer is a fighter but Fran's trade mark is held break points. If Jennifer plays poorly often enough and Francesca's serve is at 50% Pam could be right..

Venus Forever
May 30th, 2004, 01:23 AM
I would give Fabiola a better chance at an upset rather than Francesca.:o
Explain.

You would pick Zuluaga to upset Venus over Schiavone to upset Capriati??

First, Venus = undefeated on clay.

Second, Capriati = struggling in basically all of her matches.

Third, Schiavone = upset Mauresmo, the favorite a few weeks back.

Fourth, Zuluaga = upset no one.

I don't understand your logic.


Anyway, neither will be upset.

jrm
May 30th, 2004, 01:25 AM
I wish FRANCESCA would win

Berlin_Calling
May 30th, 2004, 01:42 AM
Jenn will win. She picks up her play when she needs to.

Eurotennisfan
May 30th, 2004, 01:58 AM
FRANCESCA does not make a lot of UFE? :eek: :eek: :eek:
Has Pam ever seen this women play? 6 times out of 10 it's an error fest!

tennnisfannn
May 30th, 2004, 02:31 AM
Franchesca is a scrambler and can rally all day and so can jen. Jen will have to dictate play from the get go. Fran could cause an upset for anyone not on tip toe, but so can Zuluaga, dementieva, maleeva, svetlana, asagoe etc. Hell even Tatiana Garbin did it, came to the FO for one reason alone ie to eliminate Justine.
The lower ranked players have been playing out of their minds no 6/1 6/0 scorelines for the top players like has been common in the past.

Martian KC
May 30th, 2004, 03:13 AM
Explain.

You would pick Zuluaga to upset Venus over Schiavone to upset Capriati??

First, Venus = undefeated on clay.

Second, Capriati = struggling in basically all of her matches.

Third, Schiavone = upset Mauresmo, the favorite a few weeks back.

Fourth, Zuluaga = upset no one.

I don't understand your logic.


Anyway, neither will be upset.

Umm.....let's see.

Jen's record against Schiavone.

2001 Wimbledon 64 Grass (O) J.CAPRIATI 6-3 6-1
2003 Berlin 32 Clay (O) J.CAPRIATI 6-4 6-4
2003 U.S. Open QF Hard (O) J.CAPRIATI 6-1 6-3

Jen has not been struggling with her play. She's had very tough competition. venus might look like she's cruising, but her play is far from average.

Fabiola taking venus to three sets earlier this year on clay in Warsaw.
Fabiola having a great year so far including semifinals at Aussie Open.

Seems more than logical to me. :rolleyes:
Notice I didn't say she WILL upset? I said she has a better chance at upsetting.

lizchris
May 30th, 2004, 03:19 AM
I would give Fabiola a better chance at an upset rather than Francesca.:o
The only problem is that Venus has beaten Fabiola on red clay this year and can do it again.

lizchris
May 30th, 2004, 03:30 AM
Umm.....let's see.

Jen's record against Schiavone.

2001 Wimbledon 64 Grass (O) J.CAPRIATI 6-3 6-1
2003 Berlin 32 Clay (O) J.CAPRIATI 6-4 6-4
2003 U.S. Open QF Hard (O) J.CAPRIATI 6-1 6-3

Jen has not been struggling with her play. She's had very tough competition. venus might look like she's cruising, but her play is far from average.

Fabiola taking venus to three sets earlier this year on clay in Warsaw.
Fabiola having a great year so far including semifinals at Aussie Open.

Seems more than logical to me. :rolleyes:
Notice I didn't say she WILL upset? I said she has a better chance at upsetting.True, Fabiola has taken Venus to three sets, but if memory serves me correctly, Venus still won the match. In addition, she has never lost to Fabiola either. Not boding well for Fabiola is that Venus' ankle is getting better and better with each match and she seems to be serving better.

Getting back to Jennifer, she has not been playing as well as you might think. This is a woman who struggled againt a quailifier in the first round and was three games away from being knocked out in that round. In addition, of her three matches in week 1, two have gone to three sets. Venus on the other hand, has not faced a played ranked below 60 and has beaten them all in straight sets. Seems to me taht the person who is more likely to be upset tomorrow is Jennifer, not Venus, but anything can happen.

joao
May 30th, 2004, 03:41 AM
Jennifer had to work hard in all her matches to get through to the next round ... and it wasn't even against good clay court players. Schiavone is a stricky player who has been in the top20 already this year, has had good results on clay and is playing well in Paris ... so I won't be surprised if Capriati doesn't make it to the QF! Having said that, I still think Jennifer will win in 3 sets.

Venus Forever
May 30th, 2004, 03:44 AM
Umm.....let's see.

Jen's record against Schiavone.

2001 Wimbledon 64 Grass (O) J.CAPRIATI 6-3 6-1
2003 Berlin 32 Clay (O) J.CAPRIATI 6-4 6-4
2003 U.S. Open QF Hard (O) J.CAPRIATI 6-1 6-3

Jen has not been struggling with her play. She's had very tough competition. venus might look like she's cruising, but her play is far from average.

Fabiola taking venus to three sets earlier this year on clay in Warsaw.
Fabiola having a great year so far including semifinals at Aussie Open.

Seems more than logical to me. :rolleyes:
Notice I didn't say she WILL upset? I said she has a better chance at upsetting.
Let's see....

Venus going to three, but winning the last 12 of 14 games of the match...

...or Capriati struggling against someone not in the top 100, someone who is unranked, and someone who has not had ONE good tournament this year and is severely slumping. Not to mention that two of the three matches were a LOT tougher than the Venus vs. Zuluaga match AND against lower ranked players.

Martian KC
May 30th, 2004, 04:58 AM
Why is this such an issue? I feel that Fabiola has a better chance at upsetting than francesca does.:confused: I didn't say she will though.:confused:

Buitenzorg
May 30th, 2004, 05:36 AM
Upsets prediction of Round of 16 are

* Zheng def Suarez
* Zuluaga def Venus
* Kuznetsova def Myskina

slice
May 30th, 2004, 06:34 AM
pfffff who cares about those predictions from pam :rolleyes: jen will beat schiavone!.... well, hopefully ;)

bandabou
May 30th, 2004, 06:37 AM
Of course Martian...if you donīt like a player, itīs easy to see her getting upset. Donīt bet your hose on it though..

FionaZiYi
May 30th, 2004, 06:40 AM
Serena performed not very consistent,maybe Shinobu will make the biggest upset? :cool:

esquímaux
May 30th, 2004, 06:46 AM
Pam is back to stir the pot? ;)

Martian KC
May 30th, 2004, 06:49 AM
Of course Martian...if you donīt like a player, itīs easy to see her getting upset. Donīt bet your hose on it though..

:rolleyes: I was wondering when you'd show up. :tape:

Once again, I never stated that Fabiola would beat venus. Is it really that hard to comprehend for willifans? :confused:

Where's your god now, bandabou? Where's your god now?

cheo23
May 30th, 2004, 07:00 AM
All I got to say is her comment about J.Crap's success against SERENA in BERLIn...is not true..lol..the location was the Italian OPEN! GET IT TOGETHER PAM! LOL

bandabou
May 30th, 2004, 07:03 AM
:rolleyes: I was wondering when you'd show up. :tape:

Once again, I never stated that Fabiola would beat venus. Is it really that hard to comprehend for willifans? :confused:

Where's your god now, bandabou? Where's your god now?

Of course you CANīT state that Fabiola is gonna beat Venus. Letīs just say that Venus is no Juju...

Martian KC
May 30th, 2004, 07:11 AM
:confused:

Wow, you really have a warped mind.

HectorMagnus
May 30th, 2004, 07:12 AM
Rome isn't Berlin, Berlin isn't Rome but Pam you're still a :cuckoo:

Jakeev
May 30th, 2004, 07:13 AM
All I got to say is her comment about J.Crap's success against SERENA in BERLIn...
I will assume you typing J. Crap was a typo on your part right?

geegables
May 30th, 2004, 07:57 AM
Pam was correct i reckon in all of it.

Schiavone will demolish Capriati.
Some of her predictions could go either way though
i.e Myskina vs. Kuznetsova
Zuluaga vs. Williams

SpikeyAidanm
May 30th, 2004, 08:02 AM
Last year this time:

Pam predicted Capriati to bt Petrova and Venus to bt Zvonareva.

magassi
May 30th, 2004, 11:03 AM
Pam's 1st prediction bites the dust as Linsday loses in straights. Funny, she doesn't even mention her knee. Was this sudden?

JennyS
May 30th, 2004, 01:23 PM
I wanted to add that even though Serena won in straight sets yesterday, her stats weren't that great. Jen had a much tougher opponent in her match. While I think any player could be upset on any given day, I think it's Pam's logic that doesn't make sense.

Pam is totally wrong that you have to play well in early rounds to get far. Remember how Pete Sampras struggled in early rounds at the 2002 US Open? He really didn't play superb tennis until the qf's. All of these players can flip the switch in the bigger matches because their concentration level goes up several notches.

The 2000 New York Yankees are another example. They lost something like 15 out of their last 17 regular season games (including several losses to the Orioles and Devil Rays) and went on to win the World Series.

So that's why I think it's hard to predict these majors, because no matter how a player has been playing in previous matches, it doesn't always have bearing on future matches.

jenny161185
May 30th, 2004, 01:47 PM
Another few ''daring'' predictions by Pam - I think Schiavone could be tough but I think Jen will pull through and I think its Kuznetsova into the quaters . :) is it still raining????

K-Dog
May 30th, 2004, 01:53 PM
Well Pam was wrong about Lindsay and Elena, although nobody knew that Lindsay's knee was that bad. Venus has a tough match, but if it comes down to a fight, i expect to see Venus winning it. Serena should cruise, but Serena has made some matches harder than they need to be recently, so I expect a 6-3, 6-3 type score on Serena's match. On Venus', I expect to see 6-4, 7-5 type of score in favor of Venus.

HectorMagnus
May 30th, 2004, 06:21 PM
:wavey: cheerings Pam.....

*abby*
May 30th, 2004, 06:25 PM
haha im loving pams jen-schiavone prediction
so accurate.......NOT!!!

JennyS
May 30th, 2004, 06:39 PM
The last two times Pam picked Jen to lose in the round of 16 at majors, Jen won in straight sets. Maybe it's good when she picks against her.