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View Full Version : Favorites for AO: Justine, Lindsay, Masha...Venus is the darkhorse


Kunal
Jan 12th, 2006, 03:21 AM
The way things are going it looks like there are a few players that will be at the fore for the australian open..

Justine is getting back into form at the right time..

Lindsay is always a threat....unless she also gets injured

Maria....(i dont think she is injured)

The reason why i dont have Kim is cuz....shes injured.

Venus could be the darkhorse in this tourney..

Pierce...is never talked about that much, but seems to make it a habit to go deep into slams these days.

I'd love to see Serena do well and win it like last year...but her fitness seems much worse than last year.

Billabong
Jan 12th, 2006, 03:26 AM
It's a shame, because Kim would have been one of the favorites for sure:( But still, if it's only a strain (which we all hope), she could be ready for AO and be among the top favorites:)!

junlee_vee
Jan 12th, 2006, 03:29 AM
I don't see how Venus is the dark horse...Maria has nothing on her, and Justine...please.

lucashg
Jan 12th, 2006, 03:33 AM
It's a shame, because Kim would have been one of the favorites for sure:( But still, if it's only a strain (which we all hope), she could be ready for AO and be among the top favorites:)!

I agree with that. Kim was surely the favorite before her injury, I hope she can play in a healthy state and do well.

Venus and Maria don't seem too bothered by their recent injuries? If not, they're real threats to the title. But Lindsay has to be the main favorite now, and as a Justine fan, it's so exciting to see her playing well again and getting her top form back it's hard not to count her as one of the favorites.

I'd love to see Amelie living up to the expectations after her YEC win and do some real damage in the Open. Actually, I'll be rooting for her next to Justine to win this slam, but after losing to Ivanovic again, I don't know. :o

Mary can reach the final, but will she win it? :p

pcrtennis
Jan 12th, 2006, 03:33 AM
Venus Williams cannot be a darkhorse...that's rediculous....Venus has to be one of the favorites...

Marshmallow
Jan 12th, 2006, 03:34 AM
Amelie has to be in there somewhere. Perhaps not the people's choice, but she is a strong contender. She just won the YEC Championships for heaven sake. That's the next biggest tournament outside the majors.

She'll stun all doubters this year at a slam, like she did at the YEC after losing to Srebotnik and Schiavone in first/second rounds. She also lost a close Wimby Semi to Lindsay after losing second round to Dushevina (first match) in Eastbourne.

She believes in herself now - and when her game is on, she is tough to beat.

Marshmallow
Jan 12th, 2006, 03:35 AM
Venus Williams cannot be a darkhorse...that's rediculous....Venus has to be one of the favorites...

That too.

tennisrox
Jan 12th, 2006, 03:42 AM
Venus the dark horse,and maria a favourite?? :rolleyes:

I'd put my money on venus 9 times out of ten,over maria.IMO Maria is more of a dark horse,and she has had this injury for months.

Kunal
Jan 12th, 2006, 03:43 AM
i tagged her as the darkhorse cuz she is still not all the consistent..

if everything clicks for her then she will no doubt be one of the favs..

but the question is, will things fall into place at the right time

Szymanowski
Jan 12th, 2006, 03:46 AM
I don't see how Venus is the dark horse...Maria has nothing on her, and Justine...please.
Don't make me laugh!

Ok, no way is she 'The dark horse'...At least not since wimbledon last year where she showed she can pull it big time once again, but saying Maria + Justine have nothing on her! Perleese!

Berlin_Calling
Jan 12th, 2006, 03:48 AM
Venus and Pierce both have a better chance of winning this tournament than Lindsay does.

K-Dog
Jan 12th, 2006, 03:53 AM
Women's field wide open in AustraliaBy Mary Joe Fernandez
Special to ESPN.com


(ESPN tennis analyst Mary Joe Fernandez looks at the world's top-five players and how they will fare at the 2006 Australian Open)


1. Lindsay Davenport
Her goal is to win another Grand Slam event before she retires. (Davenport has three career Grand Slam victories, but none since the 2000 Australian Open). She came so close last year in the finals at Australia and Wimbledon and just wasn't able to close it out. For some reason, it becomes a mental battle for her once she gets to that final stage. Davenport is a smart player and doesn't get enough credit for that. I saw her in December, and she's in extremely good shape. You have to like her chances to win in Australia.


2. Kim Clijsters
She could be Davenport's biggest challenge because of her speed (although a hip injury suffered this week has her status for the Open in question). Clijsters has given Davenport a lot of trouble in the past, but Davenport beat her at the French Open and Wimbledon last year.

Clijsters had an amazing comeback in 2005. She didn't play in Australia last year, so she should be looking forward to playing Down Under. (Clijsters advanced to the final in 2004, the semifinals in 2002 and 2003.) When Clijsters is playing well, she's such a complete player because she plays the best defense of anyone and also can be aggressive and consistent at the same time. The Rebound Ace courts will suit her game.


3. Amelie Mauresmo
She thinks this could be her year to win a Grand Slam event. Mauresmo ended 2005 by winning the WTA Championships, and that was a huge breakthrough


AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez
Amelie Mauresmo is the best active player who has yet to win a Grand Slam event.for her. It also was the biggest event she has won because she had to beat players she hadn't fared well against in the past. Mentally, that will help her a lot.

Mauresmo finally figured out that she has to use her variety because she's one of the most talented players on the tour. She's the best player never to win a Grand Slam event, and Australia is where she made her breakthrough, reaching the finals in 1999 (the only time she advanced to a Grand Slam final). I'm a big believer that you play well where you have good memories.


4. Maria Sharapova
She has had to deal with health problems; that's No. 1 right now. Sharapova struggled at the end of 2005 with a pectoral strain and didn't play much in the second half of the season. That's really the only thing holding her back.

I love her game and attitude. She is starting to become more of a complete player and is looking to be more aggressive. Let's see how she is healthwise because, if healthy, she will be one of the players to beat because she has such big belief in herself.


5. Mary Pierce
She was a great comeback story in 2005. After last year's French Open, I didn't think Pierce was going to be able to keep it up but she played even better. Until the final of the WTA Championships, she played better than everybody else.

Pierce has been serving huge and winning her service games easily, which allows her to really swing freely in her return game. She's fit and healthy, and you can see she's enjoying herself on the court.


Grand Slam Champs Worth Watching


Justine Henin-Hardenne
She's another one with question marks because of her health. Last year, whenever Henin-Hardenne played, she played really well. (She won four straight


A knee injury forced 2004 champ Justine Henin-Hardenne to miss last year's Australian Open. titles, highlighted by beating Pierce at the French Open.) We'll see how she is physically. Mentally, she is very strong, and -- like Mauresmo -- has the most variety on the tour, including the one-handed backhand that separates them from everybody else.


Serena and Venus Williams
Injuries are a concern for both. It's such a vicious cycle for Serena. She plays and gets hurt. If she can get herself fit again, there's no reason Serena can't get back to winning majors and being the threat she was.

I thought Venus would get a boost last year after winning Wimbledon, but she had injuries as well. When Venus is healthy, her best is better than everybody else's. But again, because of the injuries and the amount of time the sisters have had off, other players are not as intimidated anymore and believe they can beat the Williamses.


Martina Hingis
She was the queen of the Australian for a while. She's one who outsmarts her opponent and uses strategy to her advantage. It's as though you are watching a chess game with Hingis. I really think she'll do well. Playing in Team Tennis got her fighting spirit back, and she obviously missed tennis enough to give it another try.

The shot that let Hingis down was her serve, so let's hope she has worked on and improved that area of her game. Her head is so good that I think she still can play with the top players.


Pay Attention To …

Elena Dementieva is one you have to beat because she won't go away. Her serve has prevented her from winning the big one, and I don't know whether she can overcome that because it has become so mental. If she can do so, then Dementieva becomes a contender because she hits the ball so fast and so well off the ground. Despite her serve, she's always around and competing into the late rounds.

Ana Ivanovic's fitness was one of the things she needed to work on, but she hits the ball really cleanly and is dangerous.

Svetlana Kuznetsova: I always thought she and Sharapova were the best of the young Russians. She's such a good athlete, but she really struggled last year.

Nadia Petrova is another player who is dangerous, and it's just consistency that's missing in her game. She did win her first tournament in 2005, which should give her some confidence.

Patty Schnyder always plays well in Australia. I used to play against her, and she was known for how unpredictable she was; but now, it's just the opposite. Schnyder uses her spin and is left-handed (the only lefty ranked in the top 30), which gives players trouble.

Nicole Vaidisova is young (16), and she had a terrific 2005 season. She's tall and strong, and she moves well. She still needs some maturing, but that will come with time. Vaidisova can provide a huge scare at any moment.


Mary Joe Fernandez won 7 singles and 17 doubles titles during her 15-year career on the WTA Tour. She is providing ESPN.com with analysis throughout the Australian Open.


-Mary Jo says that Venus and Justine are champions to look for. Maria has been injured just as much and been off the court doing as much stuff as Venus or Serena. She is so biased "I love Maria's game." Yeah that statement pretty much takes all her credibility on that pick away. I'll telling you, Venus is going to win this one. If not her, Justine will pick up this title.

aholloway
Jan 12th, 2006, 03:55 AM
Don't make me laugh!

Ok, no way is she 'The dark horse'...At least not since wimbledon last year where she showed she can pull it big time once again, but saying Maria + Justine have nothing on her! Perleese!

Maria has not wo a slam, and went down to Venus all of last year. Justine has never dominated a Williams. It is okay to have your favorites, but keep it real, lol.

SAEKeithSerena
Jan 12th, 2006, 03:57 AM
venus is a favorite, NOT a darkhorse. i'd consider sveta, dementieva, ivanovic, vaidisova, etc. etc. darkhorses

Szymanowski
Jan 12th, 2006, 04:11 AM
:rolleyes: Maria has not wo a slam, and went down to Venus all of last year. Justine has never dominated a Williams. It is okay to have your favorites, but keep it real, lol.
:rolleyes:

Yes Maria has won a slam :rolleyes:


And she would probably have won another if she'd beaten Serena in the semi at the Aus open. She also got to the semis at all the slams. Not bad, methinks. I think she's gonna be a serious contender.

venus_rulez
Jan 12th, 2006, 04:11 AM
I do agree with Mary Jo's statement that venus' best is better than everyone else's. When she's at her best she serves big, comes to the net, hitting shots all over the court. it's beautiufl to watch. But really it's hard to pick a favorite considering everyone is either suspect because of an injury, lack of match play, or they need help with the draw to win it. Though I'd be surprised if someone outside of Kim, Justine, Lindsay, or venus won this thing.

Rub
Jan 12th, 2006, 04:17 AM
too bad for kim!

Haute
Jan 12th, 2006, 04:21 AM
I'd rather have Venus be a darkhorse, because it makes her wins that much sweeter. ;)

Kunal
Jan 12th, 2006, 05:02 AM
I'd rather have Venus be a darkhorse, because it makes her wins that much sweeter. ;)


very true...i mean last year wimby...nobody gave her a chance...and she played amazingly well.

I hope she can win this one!

Fingon
Jan 12th, 2006, 05:08 AM
Maria has not wo a slam, and went down to Venus all of last year. Justine has never dominated a Williams. It is okay to have your favorites, but keep it real, lol.

I didn't know that dominating the Williams was a condition to win a GS, specially with their current form.

Knizzle
Jan 12th, 2006, 05:18 AM
Serena and Venus Williams
Injuries are a concern for both. It's such a vicious cycle for Serena. She plays and gets hurt. If she can get herself fit again, there's no reason Serena can't get back to winning majors and being the threat she was.

I thought Venus would get a boost last year after winning Wimbledon, but she had injuries as well. When Venus is healthy, her best is better than everybody else's. But again, because of the injuries and the amount of time the sisters have had off, other players are not as intimidated anymore and believe they can beat the Williamses.


I don't necessarily agree when it comes to Serena, but MJF is SPOT on when it comes to the rest of the tour. Venus > WTA tour players without the initials SJW.

Knizzle
Jan 12th, 2006, 05:19 AM
I didn't know that dominating the Williams was a condition to win a GS, specially with their current form.

Venus WILL take down JHH in Oz. I know it.

junlee_vee
Jan 12th, 2006, 05:25 AM
Oh come on Alkan, can we be serious with this? Justine can't hold a candle to Venus...maybe only if Venus plays like she did at the French last year. I'm not saying Justine isn't great because she obviously is (love the backhand), but come on. And anything Maria can do....it's a proven fact that Venus can do it better.

VeeReeDavJCap81
Jan 12th, 2006, 05:33 AM
Venus WILL take down JHH in Oz. I know it.

Don't jinx Vee....I jinxed her at the US Open when i proclaimed she'd beat Kim easily.

Lindsayfan32
Jan 12th, 2006, 05:34 AM
Venus and Pierce both have a better chance of winning this tournament than Lindsay does.

Make me laugh that Venus has a better chance than Lindsay. didn't Lindsay beat Venus last week and she's says she's injured. Yeah right its just an excuse so when someone beats her. I think it will a good open for both the sisters if they get to the 4th round on thier current form. Mary has an equal chance of winning.

VeeReeDavJCap81
Jan 12th, 2006, 05:37 AM
Make me laugh that Venus has a better chance than Lindsay. didn't Lindsay beat Venus last week and she's says she's injured. Yeah right its just an excuse so when someone beats her. I think it will a good open for both the sisters if they get to the 4th round on thier current form. Mary has an equal chance of winning.


Spewing venom yet again I see.

esquímaux
Jan 12th, 2006, 05:42 AM
Venus is the darkhorse
Is there a pun intended??? :bs: *DEAD* j/k :p

junlee_vee
Jan 12th, 2006, 05:48 AM
Lindsayfan...instead of bragging about an exhibition match, shouldn't you be bragging about that time she beat Venus at Wimble....wait....nevermind.

Knizzle
Jan 12th, 2006, 05:49 AM
Lindsayfan...instead of bragging about an exhibition match, shouldn't you be bragging about that time she beat Venus at Wimble....wait....nevermind.

:lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:

dreamgoddess099
Jan 12th, 2006, 05:55 AM
How many times last year did the so-called favorites when the slams? The whole list is pointless and so is caring who's listed as a fav.

G1Player2
Jan 12th, 2006, 05:58 AM
I am Not making any predictions until the draw is released...This DRAW will be absolutely brutal! There will be SO many heavy hitting eraly round matches so I will wait until the draw is released before I make my case...JHH is looking very HAWT right now but there is a big possibility that she can draw Hingis again, have a TOUGH 4th round battle )possibly Venus, Serena, Demntieva) followed by a tough quarter (Sharapova, Davenport, Clijsters) a tough semi, and this is ALL before reaching the final..I think this would be a near impossible task for anyone, so i will wait for the draw before I make my judgements..

Kunal
Jan 12th, 2006, 06:25 AM
Is there a pun intended??? :bs: *DEAD* j/k :p

c'mon yo....no pun whatsoever....jus an honest opinion.

nex time you want me to call ivanovic, the whitehorse of the tourney??

LucasArg
Jan 12th, 2006, 06:48 AM
Venus is not a darkhorse here, for me she is one of the TOP contenders.

Sam L
Jan 12th, 2006, 06:56 AM
Lindsay is NOT a threat, hasn't been for like 5 years. I meant for winning the whole thing.

Miranda
Jan 12th, 2006, 07:21 AM
i like lindsay, but sorry i don't think she will ever win another slam, losing the wimby final when she had the chance to serve, held one match point, was hard to take, unless she plays an unexperienced player in the final, i don't think she can win :wavey:

Kunal
Jan 12th, 2006, 07:57 AM
i beg to differ.....despite the heart wrenching defeats in the finals i still think lindsay has got some sort of a chance....the fact that she is good enough to reach the slam finals....suggests that jus a lil bit more will help her in getting there.

the opponents that she played in the finals were playing so damn well....i think against any other opponents she would have won!

vwfan
Jan 12th, 2006, 02:56 PM
When Venus is healthy, her best is better than everybody else's. Finally, something that Mary Jo said that I can agree with. :lol:
And if Venus stays aggressive and heads to the net, Serena is included with everybody else. and Serena said as much. There are only so many times you can come up with passing shots that Venus won't be able to get to!

vwfan
Jan 12th, 2006, 02:58 PM
i beg to differ.....despite the heart wrenching defeats in the finals i still think lindsay has got some sort of a chance....the fact that she is good enough to reach the slam finals....suggests that jus a lil bit more will help her in getting there.

the opponents that she played in the finals were playing so damn well....i think against any other opponents she would have won!I'd like Lindsay to win another slam too, but if she is facing Serena, Venus, or Kim in a final, she will go down. She might be able to beat Henin on hardcourts, but if Justine is in any shape to fight, even that one is questionable.

lindsayno1
Jan 12th, 2006, 03:36 PM
She also lost a close Wimby Semi to Lindsay after losing second round to Dushevina (first match) in Eastbourne.

She believes in herself now - and when her game is on, she is tough to beat.


lindsay played like a retard that match thou. she owns amelie

Kunal
Jan 12th, 2006, 03:44 PM
she does own amelie......the other day i saw her check in amelie with the rest of her luggage.

Ryan
Jan 12th, 2006, 04:01 PM
And here the claws come. First of all, people can have their own personal favorites. I like MJF, but that article was a piece of shit. I understand that Williams fans think Venus and Serena should be favorites (I have Venus in my top 3 to win), but not everyone else will. Some of the statements in here are pure garbage. Venus' best is better than the WTA, sure. But you can say the same for the top 5 IMO.

volta
Jan 12th, 2006, 04:14 PM
drama :drool:

calabar
Jan 12th, 2006, 04:43 PM
What's all the fuss about? Venus IS a dark horse, and a fine looking filly she is. Just the way I like 'em.

Knizzle
Jan 12th, 2006, 04:53 PM
And here the claws come. First of all, people can have their own personal favorites. I like MJF, but that article was a piece of shit. I understand that Williams fans think Venus and Serena should be favorites (I have Venus in my top 3 to win), but not everyone else will. Some of the statements in here are pure garbage. Venus' best is better than the WTA, sure. But you can say the same for the top 5 IMO.

How can you say the same about the top 5?? The point was that Venus' best > everyone else's best. I don't agree when it comes to Serena, but for the rest of them yeah I think Venus' best is better than theirs.

Knizzle
Jan 12th, 2006, 04:54 PM
Don't jinx Vee....I jinxed her at the US Open when i proclaimed she'd beat Kim easily.

That was YOU, this is me. :angel:

Knizzle
Jan 13th, 2006, 03:37 AM
Venus WILL take down JHH in Oz. I know it.

The stage is set now Venus.......deliver. ;)

ClaudiaZ-S
Jan 13th, 2006, 04:11 AM
Maria favourite :haha: :devil:

selking
Jan 13th, 2006, 04:14 AM
can't wait for that JHH VW match. Should be amazing

Rexman
Jan 13th, 2006, 05:00 AM
How many times last year did the so-called favorites when the slams? The whole list is pointless and so is caring who's listed as a fav.

Serena was the favorite in Australia.

JHH was the favorite in Paris

Clijsters was the favorite in New York...

Knizzle
Jan 13th, 2006, 05:32 AM
Serena was the favorite in Australia.

JHH was the favorite in Paris

Clijsters was the favorite in New York...

Serena was not the fave in OZ, Lindsay was and after her Maria.

Billy Moonshine
Jan 13th, 2006, 02:37 PM
The Williams sisters are not the favorites because, as they have shown time and time again, they do not always bring their best game to the important matches.
It´s all very well proclaiming them to be the best, but unless they start winning more tournaments and recovering successfully from their injuries then they will not be favorites.

tennisluver99
Jan 13th, 2006, 02:48 PM
GO KIM, VENUS, SERENA and AMELIE!!!!!!!!!!!!! :devil:

Kunal
Jan 15th, 2006, 08:39 AM
i said venus would be the dark horse.....after lookin at her pics, and readin her quotes....she gives me more confidence. maybe darkhorse is not the right status for her for the AO's

maybe rena? or Ivanovic?

i wanna see kirelenko play....gawd shes good to look at

Kunal
Jan 16th, 2006, 08:07 AM
nevermind, venus was the darkhorse

selesbooz
Jan 16th, 2006, 08:12 AM
I don't see how Venus is the dark horse...Maria has nothing on her, and Justine...please.


I could say so many things about this right now. But i guess that the scorelines speck for them self :lol: :devil: :tape: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :bounce:

Kunal
Jan 16th, 2006, 08:26 AM
yes they do speck for themselves

junlee_vee
Jan 16th, 2006, 08:50 AM
I could say so many things about this right now. But i guess that the scorelines speck for them self :lol: :devil: :tape: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :bounce:

No you should say whatever you need to...because the FACT of the matter is that Justine can't beat Venus (unless of course she plays like she did today), and like I said...anthing Maria can do, Venus can do better. You can act like a giddy little school girl and laugh it up all you want, that still doesn't change the fact that those two are not better than Venus.

Brαm
Jan 16th, 2006, 05:02 PM
Venus WILL take down JHH in Oz. I know it.Well it won't be in 2006, I'm afraid :o

Allez-H
Jan 16th, 2006, 05:10 PM
No you should say whatever you need to...because the FACT of the matter is that Justine can't beat Venus (unless of course she plays like she did today), and like I said...anthing Maria can do, Venus can do better. You can act like a giddy little school girl and laugh it up all you want, that still doesn't change the fact that those two are not better than Venus.

I just can't believe you being so sure about yourself. Justine can be having a winningrecord of 60-0 against player X and I still wouldn't dare to say that players X can't beat Justine. But then again people think different :shrug: Still ever heard of bad karma?

junlee_vee
Jan 16th, 2006, 06:45 PM
If you honestly think Justine can handle Venus' game when she is playing her best, then I guess that is what you think. And I guess I shouldn't say "can't beat"...I should say she isn't better than Venus.

VeeReeDavJCap81
Jan 16th, 2006, 06:53 PM
Well it won't be in 2006, I'm afraid :o

Gee, I wonder how you came up with that conclusion :rolleyes:

Allez-H
Jan 16th, 2006, 07:23 PM
If you honestly think Justine can handle Venus' game when she is playing her best, then I guess that is what you think. And I guess I shouldn't say "can't beat"...I should say she isn't better than Venus.

How do you know what I think when I didn't say zilch about Justine's chances against Venus :confused: And I don't think we can judge whether one is better than the other or not. Atleast not after a few encounters on different surfaces

tennisluver99
Jan 16th, 2006, 07:34 PM
Venus :sad:

You deserved to lose last night :mad:

junlee_vee
Jan 17th, 2006, 06:50 AM
How do you know what I think when I didn't say zilch about Justine's chances against Venus :confused: And I don't think we can judge whether one is better than the other or not. Atleast not after a few encounters on different surfaces

You're not being honest with yourself.

Allez-H
Jan 17th, 2006, 09:27 AM
You're not being honest with yourself.
Oh I'm sorry for that Doctor Phil

shap_half
Jan 17th, 2006, 09:32 AM
It's alright Allez-HH don't sweat it. Venus and Justine have been seeded to butt heads in tournaments a few times now and so far it just hasn't happened. People will want to think that Venus's blistering H2H against Justine from the days of Venus's best against Justine's formative years is the be all of their future.

It's their opinion.

Kunal
Jan 17th, 2006, 10:34 AM
aneurysms.....what does that mean?

russophile
Jan 17th, 2006, 10:39 AM
davai to all russians!

Justineladivine
Jan 17th, 2006, 11:59 AM
aneurysms.....what does that mean?

aneurysm = bulge in a blood vessel

Kunal
Jan 17th, 2006, 05:08 PM
damn...we got some highly educated peeps down here...

or maybe just an ignorant person.

im wiser by a word now..

Justineladivine
Jan 17th, 2006, 05:45 PM
damn...we got some highly educated peeps down here...

or maybe just an ignorant person.

im wiser by a word now..

It was obviously used metaphorically.

(JLD's pedantic moment of the day, a metaphor is not the same as a metonymy)