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PLP
May 25th, 2006, 11:23 PM
I don't usually post other's blogs, but I thought this was an interesting read on Hingis in Paris...it also deals with Kim and Justine>P

'The Firekitten in France

By Peter Bodo

Posted 5/24/2006 @ 4:13 PM
http://www.peterbodostennisworld.com/

I’ve been accused of neglecting Martina Hingis this week. I understand the sentiment, although my colleague, Pennsyltucky’s own Steve Tignor, dedicated The Wrap to Hingis’s win in Rome.

In any event, the biggest question developing on the women’s side of the draw as Roland Garros looms is: Can Hingis win? Think what a story this would be: in 1997, Hingis comes within one stinking match (yes, I thought about the adjective) – the French Open final - of becoming just the sixth player in the entire history of the game, and the first woman since Steffi Graf in 1988, to complete a Grand Slam.

Granted, a win in the Roland Garros final would not have ensured a Slam; the pressure on Hingis with a potential Grand Slam in the offing at Wimbledon and especially the the U.S. Open would have been unbelievable, and its effect unpredictable. . . Still. . .

I’m more sanguine about Hingis’s chances than many of you appear to be, for a variety of reasons. One of them is that Justine Henin-Hardenne, she of the mystery virus, seems to be writing off her own chances - and in her own diary ( http://www.henin-hardenne.be/bin/articles.asp?lang=en ), no less! (Samantha: you touch that keyboard and I shoot the dog!).

It’s funny, earlier today I thought about posting this diary entry as a breathtaking example of the fine art of using a remarkable number of words to say absolutely nothing. But then it struck me: there’s a vein of negativity a mile wide in here, even though it couldn’t be presented in a more inchoate, abstract way.

I think The Little Backhand That Quit is preparing her fans for the worst. This is noteworthy, because I decided while writing my last post (“A Tin of Caviar and a Good Book”) that Henin-Hardenne, on form, probably has the best (and certainly the most attractive) clay-court game of this era. She is the closest thing the women have to a Gustavo Kuerten, in the sense that she also has these three key clay-court assets: liquid, seemingly effortless movement, tremendous stroking versatility, and a physical, well, can we agree to call it “lightness”, or is that too obtuse?

Now, who is the next most famous player who has those three qualities?

I know what some of you are thinking and let me ask you this: if size is so important, why did I have to put in so much time being bored to tears watching Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario at Roland Garros? Clay is the surface on which size matters least. That Hingis, four times a semifinalist and twice in the final, never won in Paris is nothing less than an unfortunate, historical aberration, like Bjorn Borg never having won the U.S. Open.

So, with Henin-Hardenne showing signs of physical as well as psychological fragility, Venus Williams looming lean as a human question mark, Amelie Mauresmo haunted by her fickle French fantoms, Mary Pierce off the radar, Elena Dementieva having to serve and Petrova sailing into uncharted psychic territory – well, why not?

I can think of only two words: Kim Clijsters.

If Not So Li’l Kim is firing on all cylinders, she can really rough up the Firekitten. Her sheer physicality is a powerful advantage, and she has the strokes and clay-court savvy to dictate the tempo of the match, and also to bring stamina and power into the equation. But that’s about it. She’s the only woman I can see neutralizing Hingis’s strategic and shotmaking abilities.

So Hingis is well-positioned to make a strong run in Paris. While everyone else has been struggling with injury, and grappling with personal drama or Hamlet-esque ambivalence, Hingis has piled a lot of match capital into her account. Her game is very squared away; she knows who she is, and she knows exactly what she’s doing with her life, and why.
Plus, she brings both a boatload of experience and a lingering aura of unifinished business to Paris.

I see only one question that has nothing to do with an opponent’s game hanging over Hingis’s status as a contender: will she have the patience to grind, if grind she must?

For to me, one of the areas in which Hingis was relatively weak is patience; she doesn’t really like to sit back and wait out an opponent the way you sometimes must on clay. This is great for spectators, because she really forces the action and creates compelling strategic and shotmaking situations. But it - and has - caused problems for her, on days when she may not be completely on top of her game.

But if she can show a little more Sanchez-Vicario – when required – Hingis can win it.'

raquel
May 25th, 2006, 11:28 PM
Arantxa bored Bodo? I love her more than ever! :devil:

Kudos to him though for that grudging bit of ASV respect at the end ;) Although considering ASV has the 3rd best RG record in Open Era (after only Evert and Graf), she deserves it.

And he's right I think. Hingis has the ability to grind it out when she is not playing well - and she would get unforced errors.

~Cherry*Blossom~
May 25th, 2006, 11:35 PM
So, with Henin-Hardenne showing signs of physical as well as psychological fragility, Venus Williams looming lean as a human question mark, Amelie Mauresmo haunted by her fickle French fantoms, Mary Pierce off the radar, Elena Dementieva having to serve and Petrova sailing into uncharted psychic territory – well, why not?

I found this humorous

Danke Anke
May 26th, 2006, 01:40 AM
I love watching Sanchez on clay actually... I'd watch her vs a power player at Roland Garros over, say, Henin-Hardenne vs Petrova any day.

*JR*
May 26th, 2006, 01:45 AM
(quoting Bodo)
I think The Little Backhand That Quit...
Will this guy ever just go fuck off? :rolleyes:

Dawn Marie
May 26th, 2006, 02:57 AM
ASV was never a BORING player.

CrossCourt~Rally
May 26th, 2006, 03:01 AM
Arantxa bored Bodo? I love her more than ever! :devil:

Kudos to him though for that grudging bit of ASV respect at the end ;) Although considering ASV has the 3rd best RG record in Open Era (after only Evert and Graf), she deserves it.

And he's right I think. Hingis has the ability to grind it out when she is not playing well - and she would get unforced errors.

Eaxactly! ASV was always exciting to watch. In her prime she was a joy to watch as she raced down every ball from side to side..NEVER GIVING UP :worship: She was NEVER boring. :bounce:

crazyroberto6767
May 26th, 2006, 03:01 AM
"For to me, one of the areas in which Hingis was relatively weak is patience; she doesn’t really like to sit back and wait out an opponent the way you sometimes must on clay."

Isn't this just what people were criticizing her for a few weeks ago? Blah, some of this piece doesn't totally suck, but he's pretty repetitive and unneccessarily rude.

PLP
May 26th, 2006, 03:19 AM
"For to me, one of the areas in which Hingis was relatively weak is patience; she doesn’t really like to sit back and wait out an opponent the way you sometimes must on clay."

Isn't this just what people were criticizing her for a few weeks ago? Blah, some of this piece doesn't totally suck, but he's pretty repetitive and unneccessarily rude.
Actually, I thought this was a very astute observation...Some of the matches she has lost at RG, incl the 2000 & 2001 semis was partly because she got impatient and would make an error or hit a bad shot, plus Pierce and Capriati both played well in those matches and went to to win their titles, so not bad losses at all, but his point is true, she can't get uberimpatient and win, especially if she is not at 100% as in those matches>P

crazyroberto6767
May 26th, 2006, 03:23 AM
Actually, I thought this was a very astute observation...Some of the matches she has lost at RG, incl the 2000 & 2001 semis was partly because she got impatient and would make an error or hit a bad shot, plus Pierce and Capriati both played well in those matches and went to to win their titles, so not bad losses at all, but his point is true, she can't get uberimpatient and win, especially if she is not at 100% as in those matches>P
I was speaking more about this year. I agree though, especially that 2001 semi. That was pretty ugly tennis by Martina (of course Jenn played well too).