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tennisIlove09
Jun 2nd, 2004, 06:23 AM
By Greg Garber
ESPN.com

PARIS -- It was merely a single point among 120, but it revealed Venus Williams' tenuous state of mind.



http://espn.starwave.com/media/ten/2004/0601/photo/s_venus_i.jpgAt one point, Venus Williams said, indecision forced an error.



Anastasia Myskina had just stroked a ball that was hurtling on the fly past Williams, who was standing just behind the baseline. Williams reached down, almost absent-mindedly, and backhanded the ball -- headed at least two or three feet long -- all the way over Myskina's baseline. Venus, what happened?



"I couldn't decide," she said later. "So when in doubt, you have to hit it."



Indecision and doubt -- not the things you want running through your brain when you're in a Grand Slam quarterfinal -- especially for a ball that was clearly out.



And that's where Venus and her younger sister Serena find themselves with respect to the 2004 French Open.



"We're going to pack our bags and leave," Venus said. "There's nothing left for us here anymore."



Minutes after Jennifer Capriati had knocked Serena, the No. 2 seed out of the tournament 6-3, 2-6, 6-3, Myskina took out No. 4-seeded Venus, 6-3, 6-4. It was the first time in their careers that the sisters lost on the same day.



And it isn't often that you will see the sisters drawn and quartered before they reach the semifinals. The last time they both played a Grand Slam event and one of them failed to make at least the semifinals was the 2001 French Open. Certainly, clay does not become their powerful games, but they both reached the 2002 final here, with Serena winning the title.



Venus was in the second set with Myskina on Court Suzanne Lenglen when Serena lost to Capriati on Court Philippe Chatrier. Did she see the score?



"I try not to look at the scoreboard," Venus said, who seemed close to tears.



So she didn't see the score?



"That didn't mean I didn't, no," she said, smiling.



What?



"I saw the score periodically, but I tried to pretty much focus on my match," she said.



"Even I couldn't focus enough today."



Precisely.



Before she sprained her ankle in the semifinals at Hamburg three weeks ago, Venus was the favorite for the French title. She won on the clay in Charleston and Warsaw, but defaulted before her German Open final with Mauresmo. Before the tournament began, Venus -- who missed five months last year with a torn abdominal muscle that she played with here at the French and at Wimbledon -- admitted the ankle still bothered her and left her tentative in her footing. Serena, who missed eight months following knee surgery, was physically healthier but hadn't played many matches.



"I think both of us would have liked to have had a better preparation for the event," Venus said. "I feel like I was fortunate that I was able to play because I had so many issues before. It's a shame that two years in a row I've had these conditions.



"Absolutely, I don't think she beat me today. Normally, against this kind of game, I'm going to really do well against her because she couldn't really hurt me."



Venus' ankle didn't seem to be a factor in her first four matches, all straight-sets affairs, leaving her with a streak of 19 consecutive wins on clay. Myskina, who had lost both previous matches against her, was not impressed. It was 4-0 before Williams broke Myskina's serve to climb temporarily back into the match.



Myskina, an exotic-looking Russian with a cool demeanor, never wavered. She held her last two serves to take the first set and broke Williams at 3-all in the second for the decisive advantage.



To underline Myskina's accomplishment: consider that Williams has been to a dozen Grand Slam semifinals, while this was the 22-year-old's first. Her best previous results were quarterfinal appearances in last year's Australian Open and U.S. Open and this year's Australian Open.



"I think Venus not really right now in her best level," Myskina said. "I knew that I can beat her. Usually, Venus like to make winners; today was much more unforced errors."



Myskina had 13 unforced errors, while Williams had 43.



The Williamses, for their part, head home for Florida. They have three weeks to prepare for Wimbledon, where they both reached the final last year.



The inactivity due to her abdominal injury dropped Venus out of the top 10 last season for the first time since 1998. And now Serena, due to her long period of inactivity, will fall out for the first time since 1999.



"For me, losing matches is not normal," Venus said. "So I'll just move on to the next tournament and get back to what's normal for me, which is winning matches."



Greg Garber is a senior writer for ESPN.com.

Jackson.
Jun 2nd, 2004, 06:26 AM
"Absolutely, I don't think she beat me today.''

:haha:

Venus :scared:

;)

Jackson.
Jun 2nd, 2004, 06:27 AM
But seriously, can't she give Anastasia some credit? It's not like Myskina didn't have a say in the outcome..

treufreund
Jun 2nd, 2004, 06:30 AM
venus :fiery: yes, hon, she BEAT you. she withstood all you had and gave it back in spades and you could not handle it. so, yes, she BEAT you!

tennisIlove09
Jun 2nd, 2004, 06:30 AM
It's all truth. And normally Venus gives players credit.

Diesel
Jun 2nd, 2004, 06:30 AM
It's not out of the realm of possiblity that people can beat themselves by not doing what they need to do. Venus didn't do that, she's saying as much. Doesn't mean Myskina didn't play well, and I don't think Venus means it in that way. If Myskina beats Venus on the same level that Myskina is playing, Venus can say Myskina beat her. But if Venus is playing like crap because of her own issues, then it's logical to state that Venus helped beat herself. Nothing hard about that :scratch:

LindsayRocks89
Jun 2nd, 2004, 06:38 AM
Venus gives it to you straight up, that was a great article, and i wish the sisters the best of luck at wimbledon, and like 09 said, she usually gives her opponents credit, but she knew she should have won this match, but she couldnt find a rhythm and she made 40 something errors

Rocketta
Jun 2nd, 2004, 07:02 AM
But seriously, can't she give Anastasia some credit? It's not like Myskina didn't have a say in the outcome..
We don't know if she did or didn't this isn't her entire interview after the match. :confused:

Jericho
Jun 2nd, 2004, 07:08 AM
Myskina, an exotic-looking Russian with a cool demeanor,
:tape:

Anyways Venus did really beat herself :o just like last years French Open...but credit to Myskina for simply putting the ball over the net :lol: , of course she played better than Venus...she got more balls in!!! :lol:

LucasArg
Jun 2nd, 2004, 09:32 AM
I agree with Venus, Myskina didnīt beat her.

When I was watching this match I though, Gosh, Myskina is playing so conservative, just returning the ball in. And Venus didn't move well, didn't hit well either.

Vass22
Jun 2nd, 2004, 09:42 AM
"Absolutely, I don't think she beat me today.''

Venus

;)
That should have been said by Myskina : I didn't beat her today. And Nastya did.
Venus didn't mention Myskina :o

Vass22
Jun 2nd, 2004, 09:44 AM
I agree with Venus, Myskina didnīt beat her.

When I was watching this match I though, Gosh, Myskina is playing so conservative, just returning the ball in. And Venus didn't move well, didn't hit well either.
All the other players in her case say " she was playing wil a lot less errors than me today" , or similar... She said the truth, but this truth is icky.

azza
Jun 2nd, 2004, 09:51 AM
both Williams are pathetic when they have just lost a match excuses excuses excuses :shout: :rolleyes:

justine&coria
Jun 2nd, 2004, 10:59 AM
I saw the end of the match, and I have to tell that Myskina wasn't doing anything : Myskina wasn't even running, she was walking and just trying to put the ball in ! Her match against Chladkova was a lot lot lot lot more great to watch.
On the other hand, Venus was clearly hitting it and trying to move Myskina ! But she made too many UE !

Of course, Myskina's horrible way of playing shouldn't have disturbed Venus, but yesterday it did ! But, Myskina definitely didn't beat her !

There was a great difference yesterday between Myskina who was only waiting for Venus to do the error and Dementieva who defintely did everything to beat Mauresmo !

arn
Jun 2nd, 2004, 11:20 AM
Saying Venus should have won because Myskina didn't do anything with the ball is bs. Why should Myskina do anything with the ball if her opponent makes the mistakes? For Myskina is was like playing a 70-ranked player, just play on the save side. Myskina HAD a gameplan before she got on court, she just didn't have to use because after the first stroke of her gameplan, Venus already mist! Who knows against a healthy Venus her gameplan would have been succes (I still believe Venus would have won, but that's beside the point).

Freewoman33
Jun 2nd, 2004, 11:44 AM
This is just an excerpt of the interview. I haven't read the full interview so I don't know wether or not she gave Myskina credit. And, people should not assume that she didn't just to have a reason to tear her apart.

Lay off Venus already. She lost! You guys got what you wanted.

WorldWar24
Jun 2nd, 2004, 11:45 AM
Just coz Myskina wasn't going for winers doesn't mean she wasn't smarter or that she didn't deserve to win the match. Venus was riding a 19-0 clay domination, Myskina certainly was smarter yesterday, otherwise it would have been 20-0 now for Venus

spencercarlos
Jun 2nd, 2004, 12:09 PM
:tape:

Anyways Venus did really beat herself :o just like last years French Open...but credit to Myskina for simply putting the ball over the net :lol: , of course she played better than Venus...she got more balls in!!! :lol:
Actually and despite all of the errors from Venus, Myskina did a great job of running down many balls, allowing not too many winners for Venus (that would have been winners against some) and was consisntently hitting down the middle and with a good depth, that made Venus job more difficult.
And basically not giving credit to Myskina is just a tipical Venus remark, i made errors= i lose... Myskina, not a clay courter, played smarter tennis and beat her plain and simple.

V-MAC
Jun 2nd, 2004, 02:06 PM
By Greg Garber
ESPN.com

PARIS -- It was merely a single point among 120, but it revealed Venus Williams' tenuous state of mind.



http://espn.starwave.com/media/ten/2004/0601/photo/s_venus_i.jpgAt one point, Venus Williams said, indecision forced an error.



Anastasia Myskina had just stroked a ball that was hurtling on the fly past Williams, who was standing just behind the baseline. Williams reached down, almost absent-mindedly, and backhanded the ball -- headed at least two or three feet long -- all the way over Myskina's baseline. Venus, what happened?



"I couldn't decide," she said later. "So when in doubt, you have to hit it."



Indecision and doubt -- not the things you want running through your brain when you're in a Grand Slam quarterfinal -- especially for a ball that was clearly out.



And that's where Venus and her younger sister Serena find themselves with respect to the 2004 French Open.



"We're going to pack our bags and leave," Venus said. "There's nothing left for us here anymore."



Minutes after Jennifer Capriati had knocked Serena, the No. 2 seed out of the tournament 6-3, 2-6, 6-3, Myskina took out No. 4-seeded Venus, 6-3, 6-4. It was the first time in their careers that the sisters lost on the same day.



And it isn't often that you will see the sisters drawn and quartered before they reach the semifinals. The last time they both played a Grand Slam event and one of them failed to make at least the semifinals was the 2001 French Open. Certainly, clay does not become their powerful games, but they both reached the 2002 final here, with Serena winning the title.



Venus was in the second set with Myskina on Court Suzanne Lenglen when Serena lost to Capriati on Court Philippe Chatrier. Did she see the score?



"I try not to look at the scoreboard," Venus said, who seemed close to tears.



So she didn't see the score?



"That didn't mean I didn't, no," she said, smiling.



What?



"I saw the score periodically, but I tried to pretty much focus on my match," she said.



"Even I couldn't focus enough today."



Precisely.



Before she sprained her ankle in the semifinals at Hamburg three weeks ago, Venus was the favorite for the French title. She won on the clay in Charleston and Warsaw, but defaulted before her German Open final with Mauresmo. Before the tournament began, Venus -- who missed five months last year with a torn abdominal muscle that she played with here at the French and at Wimbledon -- admitted the ankle still bothered her and left her tentative in her footing. Serena, who missed eight months following knee surgery, was physically healthier but hadn't played many matches.



"I think both of us would have liked to have had a better preparation for the event," Venus said. "I feel like I was fortunate that I was able to play because I had so many issues before. It's a shame that two years in a row I've had these conditions.



"Absolutely, I don't think she beat me today. Normally, against this kind of game, I'm going to really do well against her because she couldn't really hurt me."



Venus' ankle didn't seem to be a factor in her first four matches, all straight-sets affairs, leaving her with a streak of 19 consecutive wins on clay. Myskina, who had lost both previous matches against her, was not impressed. It was 4-0 before Williams broke Myskina's serve to climb temporarily back into the match.



Myskina, an exotic-looking Russian with a cool demeanor, never wavered. She held her last two serves to take the first set and broke Williams at 3-all in the second for the decisive advantage.



To underline Myskina's accomplishment: consider that Williams has been to a dozen Grand Slam semifinals, while this was the 22-year-old's first. Her best previous results were quarterfinal appearances in last year's Australian Open and U.S. Open and this year's Australian Open.



"I think Venus not really right now in her best level," Myskina said. "I knew that I can beat her. Usually, Venus like to make winners; today was much more unforced errors."



Myskina had 13 unforced errors, while Williams had 43.



The Williamses, for their part, head home for Florida. They have three weeks to prepare for Wimbledon, where they both reached the final last year.



The inactivity due to her abdominal injury dropped Venus out of the top 10 last season for the first time since 1998. And now Serena, due to her long period of inactivity, will fall out for the first time since 1999.



"For me, losing matches is not normal," Venus said. "So I'll just move on to the next tournament and get back to what's normal for me, which is winning matches."



Greg Garber is a senior writer for ESPN.com.

:mad: :o What a stupid plonker who wrote this article.Venus "close to tears". :o :rolleyes: She was anything but that. I saw the 2nd set of the match on Eurosport and when Venus was walking off the court after the match,she waved and gave a warm smile to the crowd.she didn't look like she was about to burst into tears. :o :rolleyes: Talk about over-dramatising situations. :rolleyes:

DA FOREHAND
Jun 2nd, 2004, 03:17 PM
:mad: :o What a stupid plonker who wrote this article.Venus "close to tears". :o :rolleyes: She was anything but that. I saw the 2nd set of the match on Eurosport and when Venus was walking off the court after the match,she waved and gave a warm smile to the crowd.she didn't look like she was about to burst into tears. :o :rolleyes: Talk about over-dramatising situations. :rolleyes:


LOL

IT WAs an overly dramatic article...especially when he said Myskina was an "exotic looking russian" :tape: :lol: :rolleyes: :eek:

CoryAnnAvants#1
Jun 2nd, 2004, 11:57 PM
Myskina beat Venus, and that's coming from a fan of Williams. A lot of the unforced errors Venus was making came in the 20th stroke or more of the rallies, especially towards the end of the match. Anastasia knew Venus wasn't feeling confident going for her shots, so she played a conservative match, hit a lot of shots down the middle and waited for Venus to miss. She gave V a lot of mid court balls on purpose as well, basically inviting Venus to take a whack at it (which she never did). Why would you be hitting for the lines when your opponent is going to hand you 43 errors in two sets? That would have been silly on Myskina's part.

She had to work very hard for those points regardless, Venus handed nothing to her. Myskina was running all over the court and came up with some incredible forehands on the run. Her second serve wasn't too much of a liability either because they were landing deep in the box. Hitting only 12 errors in two close sets, especially given how tight the match was because of the circumstances make it all the more impressive.

Anastasia has the kind of game Jennifer hates and she whacked the crap out of her in Dubai, so she has got a very good shot to reach her first slam final.

Jericho
Jun 3rd, 2004, 12:07 AM
It's one thing to say that Myskina beat Venus, which duh she did...but to say that she outplayed her is hilarious. All she did was get some balls back and wait for Venus to hit the error...60% of the points she won was off of Venus' errors!

What Myskina did was let Venus self-destruct, so she let Venus beat herself!

All the matches Venus lost this year were because she was outplayed, but not this one.

Ballbuster
Jun 3rd, 2004, 12:18 AM
You CANNOT beat a Williams.

They BEAT themselves. Period. (wow, I should use that as a signature)

WF4EVER
Jun 3rd, 2004, 12:26 AM
I think if the sisters are going to keep beating themselves they need to leave tennis to players who want to beat the opponent on the other side of the net. If after a loss we're always gonna say they beat themselves maybe they shouldn't show up for matches at all.

There are numerous factors that cause players to lose: having a bad day, meeting a hot opponent, illness or injury, etc. But regardless how we fans feel about our fave losing the bottomline is that they're not the ones in the next round.

Since we fans know the sisters keep beating themselves maybe we need to let them in on this little secret so it won't happen anymore. Otherwise just handle it, you know, everyone loses, even the best of them.

fammmmedspin
Jun 3rd, 2004, 12:29 AM
you have to ask why Venus self destructed and was indecisive. The answer is either she is injured which makes all this bravura about Wimbledon dubious but understandable; or it means she is badly in need of match play - in which case going home won't help; or she couldn't cope mentally with Myskina's variety, consistency, depth and occasional power or the fact that myskina wisely worked out Venus's weaknesses. In the last case, she ought to start thinking about how to play players who she can no longer serve/knock of court and how she can endure long matches without cracking up. The answer to Venus is to contain her long enough until she breaks - its nor clear yet if Myskina had a good day or served notice hings have changed.

Rocketta
Jun 3rd, 2004, 12:53 AM
you have to ask why Venus self destructed and was indecisive. The answer is either she is injured which makes all this bravura about Wimbledon dubious but understandable; or it means she is badly in need of match play - in which case going home won't help; or she couldn't cope mentally with Myskina's variety, consistency, depth and occasional power or the fact that myskina wisely worked out Venus's weaknesses. In the last case, she ought to start thinking about how to play players who she can no longer serve/knock of court and how she can endure long matches without cracking up. The answer to Venus is to contain her long enough until she breaks - its nor clear yet if Myskina had a good day or served notice hings have changed.
She was indecisive because in the beginning she went for her shots and she missed everyone of them. Which was evidenced by the 0 winners and 10-15 ue's. I don't care what kind of game you are playing if Venus is on her game a little bit she is going to have some winners on her own serve. She was off and she couldn't find her range. Factor in wanting to do well and the pressure to get back to where she was pre-injury. A lot of things could've been effecting her game as well as her opponent.

bandabou
Jun 3rd, 2004, 01:19 AM
Plus all that rain really didnīt help either....but when you lose you get beaten Venus. Simple....

WF4EVER
Jun 3rd, 2004, 03:13 AM
I agree to some extent that Vee might have been apprehensive because she had to play on the same type of court on which she most recently sprained her ankle, wet and heavy, and she certainly would have wanted to be cautious since Wimby is just two weeks away; I would be too.

However I am a little upset with Vee for saying Myskina had nothing to hurt her; if Myskina did or din't wasn't really the point, she's in the next round, not Vee. She sounded kinda bitter in that quote but I can't say I blame her. I'm sure she thought she should have won, but she didn't do anything to win that match really.

I thought that having played on the wet clay in Berlin would have made Vee wiser on how to handle those conditions but instead it might have made her more fearful. She'll get over it; the future is still ahead. It's already time to begin to think about preparing for the next tournament.

Last year I said that if I didn't see an improvement in Venus' game at Wimbledon then I would be convinced she was ready to pack it in. She made the finals even tho she aggravated her stomach injury. This year I'm saying that if Wimbledon doesn't motivate/inspire Venus nothing else ever will.

My day was so dull without Vee playing today and even though I'm a lesser fan of Serena's it was painful to watch her lose her match. I'm really happy for the others to have a chance to win this Slam but I want the sisters to be back on the court asap. Two weeks will seem like ages, but hopefully it'll give them some good r&r before they head out to the Queen's Club. And Vee's got a boyfriend (hopefully someone she can talk to) so I hope he can help lift her spirits. At times I worried that her not being with Davide might have affected her but whoever this guy is I hope he's more a help than a harm.

Black Mamba.
Jun 3rd, 2004, 03:18 AM
If you play and you lost you got beat. It doesn't matter if you made lots of UEs and couldn't keep the ball in play, the bottom line is if you play and you lose you got beat.

cool bird
Jun 3rd, 2004, 04:04 AM
Dont all get on Venus back until you have read the question they asked her to get that qoute.
At the end of the day lets face it the girl is speaking the truth Myskina does not have anything to hurt Venus. So when they play it will always be about Venus her match to win or lose.

ys
Jun 3rd, 2004, 04:13 AM
LOL

IT WAs an overly dramatic article...especially when he said Myskina was an "exotic looking russian" :tape: :lol: :rolleyes: :eek:
Any Russian that is not blonde qualifies as "exotic"..

ys
Jun 3rd, 2004, 04:17 AM
Nastya beat her just like Hingis did many times - by very well-thought defensive plan that didn't let them win any cheap points and forcing them to go for low-percentage play. That match was absolutely Hingis-esque..

Kart
Jun 3rd, 2004, 04:23 AM
I'm a long term critic of Venus not giving credit to opponents - well in the old days because she's one of the most gracious players around now :worship:.

Still, in a way I find myself glad about what she said about Myskina not being able to hurt her - it shows her self belief is still there, and that's what won her so many major titles.

Good luck at Wimbledon Venus :hearts:.

Jericho
Jun 3rd, 2004, 05:11 AM
Plus all that rain really didnīt help either....but when you lose you get beaten Venus. Simple....
omg, you annoy the shit out of me...its so obvious that your happy Venus lost so that she wouldn't have gotten the chance to win a slam that Serena was in :rolleyes:

You are such a hypocrite, when Serena loses...oh its because Serena beat herself period :rolleyes:

thecatinthehat
Jun 3rd, 2004, 05:16 AM
Nastya beat her just like Hingis did many times - by very well-thought defensive plan that didn't let them win any cheap points and forcing them to go for low-percentage play. That match was absolutely Hingis-esque..

That is what I thought too!
and even their H2H was never a real blow-out either.