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Volcana
Sep 12th, 2007, 07:21 PM
Well, I'm finally over it. I HATE when Venus loses, but this one affected me a little differently.

First off, Henin played very well. She earned that win. (And she didn't look at Carlos every point, and I didn't see him doing any coaching.)

Looking forward, I have to ask myself if Venus is going to beat Justine Henin if Henin plays like that, which she will. And I don't like the answer much. I see three needful changes for Venus to beat Henin if Venus isn't at the absolute top of her game.
1) Better footwork on serve recieve. Venus has trouble with fast serves into her body.

Odds of Venus working on this? Very high. She's commented on it.

2) Develop a first serve that goes in consistently. Being able to serve 125 mph is nice, but if you're only winning 39% of your second serve points, you have to have a high first serve percentage. 110 mph with a 80% first serve percentage is better than 125 mph and a 60% first serve percentage if the opponent wins 60% of the time on your second serve. Maybe she's GOT such a serve, and just doesn't use it.

Odds of Venus working on this? Not that high.

3) Serve recieve. BACK UP. This is how Venus lost slam final after slam final to Serena. She stands on the baseline and challenges the server. And Henin won something like four service games at love. Yes Venus broke her serve three times, but that's only useful if Venus is holding her own serve.

Odds of Venus working on this? Well, has Hell frozen over yet?
So what do I see going forward? Henin winning more Venus when they go head-to-head. I don't like it, and I think Venus has the necessary shots and athleticism, but I don't see her changing how she recieves serve, and I don't really see her changing how she serves. That was the kind of loss that can convince you that the only thing wrong was that you didn't play better. I don't see it that way. I think Venus needs to be a bit more willing to change how she plays.

She can do this. She didn't used to come to net at all. Against Jankovic, she came to net 55 times in 213 points. One out of every four, basically. But that change was a long time comin'.

Will she do it? I really don't think so. Especially where serve-receive is concerned. I think Venus is going to beat Henin when Venus is playing her very best, and Venus is going to lose all the other times.

I'm sure this has all been discussed to death, but I haven't been able to bring myself to read any of the threads. This is just getting the match off my chest, so to speak.

Anyway, guess I'll be marking time til OZ. Congrats to Henin.

Haute
Sep 12th, 2007, 07:27 PM
3) Serve recieve. BACK UP. This is how Venus lost slam final after slam final to Serena. She stands on the baseline and challenges the server. And Henin won something like four service games at love. Yes Venus broke her serve three times, but that's only useful if Venus is holding her own serve.

Odds of Venus working on this? Well, has Hell frozen over yet?

It seemed like the games where she did break Henin, she had finally realized to back up a bit, and the commentators did say something about this. She knows how to do it, just a matter of doing it consistently.

Donny
Sep 12th, 2007, 07:35 PM
There was no sight more frustrating that Venus hovering at the baseline to return Justine's serve, only to have a serve come right at her body, with her mishitting or shanking. If these were 120 mph serves, that be understandable- but she was dumping makeable returns into the net.

And as for the serve- she should work on the technique. On first AND second. Getting only about half of your first serves in simply is not good enough for someone 6' 1". Especially considering she's managed getting up close to eighty percent at Wimbledon.

But I think the main reason she lost is that she wasn't hitting hard enough. In her matches at Wimbledon, her groundstrokes were like laserbeams. She put far too much spin on her shots- yet somehow, made lots or errors.

Marshmallow
Sep 12th, 2007, 07:35 PM
That's NOT what i like to hear. I'm a little more optimistic. I thought Venus' return of serve was improving throughout the match, mostly because she was starting to read it better. She was having trouble at the start.

Focusing on that first set, she needs to improve her net skills. Time after time she left some balls that fell in, did not do enough with her volleys when she could have, even smashed the ball soft to Henin - then you look at Henin's smash.

I don't feel there was a huge gulf between the two of them, they went toe to toe for the most part. It was 7-6 in that first set after all. I think the most important thing for Venus is to play more matches. It's nice to have 2/3 good runs in the year, but if she can get more match tight - she'll be less likely to start off so tentative as she did (getting broken after spraying errors).

I think we have to wait for their next encounter. They haven't played each other so long, you need time to get a feel for the opponent and their new game. I think we should only really start losing sleep about it, if Venus loses 3 times in a row on different surfaces like she did against Jelena.

But we'll see.

Marshmallow
Sep 12th, 2007, 07:38 PM
Also, i guess then people agree that Sharapova's win over Henin last year was a fluke - it must be, because she was able to over power Henin, playing the way i'm acustomed to watching Venus play. :shrug:

Of that match, Justine stated that Maria served well and that was the key factor. Justine returns well, but Venus can serve better than she did.

Slutiana
Sep 12th, 2007, 07:43 PM
Well, I'm finally over it. I HATE when Venus loses, but this one affected me a little differently.

First off, Henin played very well. She earned that win. (And she didn't look at Carlos every point, and I didn't see him doing any coaching.)


Looking forward, I have to ask myself if Venus is going to beat Justine Henin if Henin plays like that, which she will. And I don't like the answer much. I see three needful changes for Venus to beat Henin if Venus isn't at the absolute top of her game.1) Better footwork on serve recieve. Venus has trouble with fast serves into her body.


Odds of Venus working on this? Very high. She's commented on it.


2) Develop a first serve that goes in consistently. Being able to serve 125 mph is nice, but if you're only winning 39% of your second serve points, you have to have a high first serve percentage. 110 mph with a 80% first serve percentage is better than 125 mph and a 60% first serve percentage if the opponent wins 60% of the time on your second serve. Maybe she's GOT such a serve, and just doesn't use it.


Odds of Venus working on this? Not that high.


3) Serve recieve. BACK UP. This is how Venus lost slam final after slam final to Serena. She stands on the baseline and challenges the server. And Henin won something like four service games at love. Yes Venus broke her serve three times, but that's only useful if Venus is holding her own serve.


Odds of Venus working on this? Well, has Hell frozen over yet?
So what do I see going forward? Henin winning more Venus when they go head-to-head. I don't like it, and I think Venus has the necessary shots and athleticism, but I don't see her changing how she recieves serve, and I don't really see her changing how she serves. That was the kind of loss that can convince you that the only thing wrong was that you didn't play better. I don't see it that way. I think Venus needs to be a bit more willing to change how she plays.

She can do this. She didn't used to come to net at all. Against Jankovic, she came to net 55 times in 213 points. One out of every four, basically. But that change was a long time comin'.

Will she do it? I really don't think so. Especially where serve-receive is concerned. I think Venus is going to beat Henin when Venus is playing her very best, and Venus is going to lose all the other times.

I'm sure this has all been discussed to death, but I haven't been able to bring myself to read any of the threads. This is just getting the match off my chest, so to speak.

Anyway, guess I'll be marking time til OZ. Congrats to Henin.

You seem to be really negative about this whole thing. Sure, venus came into wimbledon and played some of the best tennis she's ever played but you can't expect her to do exactly the same thing. Grass is the only surface where she knows she is waay better than the rest, even serena. On hard, shes not done much since 02 due to injuries and stuff. She started to get confidence and since wimbledon, shes played her best hardcourt tennis since 01. Sure, she should have beaten chakvetadze and if she'd played as well as she knows she could, she would have beaten her as well. Venus didnt play a terrible match, She didnt play well but it would have been enough to beat the 126 other players in the draw that day. Henin is the number one player and on fire too. Henin was on fire and even though she was playing a venus who wasnt playing to well, was it one sided? no. Did henin overpower Venus? no. In the end it came down to confidence and match play. As long as venus stays healthy, come AO, she will have more confidence and will be more match tough. This is venus. I believe she is a better player than henin and even serena (sorry serena!) I'll never forget the things that martina said about venus' game. Venus can do anything. Sure henin is quite a complete player and same with serena but venus is just a bit more complete imo. Im glad she's started to show it. Believe in venus, you saw how venus was unexpectedly happy after that match. Why? Because she knows that big things will come in the near future. So do I. Prepare for Venus to take the world by storm in the end of 07 (YEC) and 08. 08 could be the year that people think of HER as the GOAT. I really hope so.

Slutiana
Sep 12th, 2007, 07:46 PM
That's NOT what i like to hear. I'm a little more optimistic. I thought Venus' return of serve was improving throughout the match, mostly because she was starting to read it better. She was having trouble at the start.

Focusing on that first set, she needs to improve her net skills. Time after time she left some balls that fell in, did not do enough with her volleys when she could have, even smashed the ball soft to Henin - then you look at Henin's smash.

I don't feel there was a huge gulf between the two of them, they went toe to toe for the most part. It was 7-6 in that first set after all. I think the most important thing for Venus is to play more matches. It's nice to have 2/3 good runs in the year, but if she can get more match tight - she'll be less likely to start off so tentative as she did (getting broken after spraying errors).

I think we have to wait for their next encounter. They haven't played each other so long, you need time to get a feel for the opponent and their new game. I think we should only really start losing sleep about it, if Venus loses 3 times in a row on different surfaces like she did against Jelena.

But we'll see.

agreed. You summed it up perfectly. :worship:

Marshmallow
Sep 12th, 2007, 07:53 PM
Also, consider Venus is not as match tight as Henin. Henin's been playing and beating the top players consistently for a LONG while now. Her results in 2006 and 2007 speak for themselves. Til recently, Venus could barely get a top 10 win. She's now juts gotten back some good form, and hopefully she can start to build up that big match tightness.

I think the nerves she had at the start may have cost her big. She played one bad game at the start and was on the back foot and had to work so hard to get back into it and compete, expending losts of energy. She then had chances in that second to go up 4-3 with a break, but then there was dizziness and Anemia woes.

I don't think she's in too much of a dilema.

Marshmallow
Sep 12th, 2007, 07:54 PM
agreed. You summed it up perfectly. :worship:

No you :worship: :lol: I was just about to good rep you for you post above, i agreed totally.

DA FOREHAND
Sep 12th, 2007, 07:56 PM
One match will not make or breaf Venus' career, or her career outlook. When Venus gets her anemia under control she will be just fine.

Justine was playing sterling tennis until she got Bartoli'd.
Maria dropped just 3 games or something like that before getting bounced by a relative unknown.


All this Justine is going to run away w/the tour stuff is much ado about nothing.

AcesHigh
Sep 12th, 2007, 07:59 PM
I think it's harsh to say she'll lose whenever she's not playing her best. Depends on the surface also. I think Venus doesnt need to be at her best on grass to beat Henin. On hardcourt, I think if Henin is at her best and Venus at her best, it's a coin toss.

The difference is Henin seems to be able to raise her level whenever she wants or needs to. She's amazingly consistent which is why she will most likely catch and surpass Serena and why she has been putting up Federer-like numbers. Venus doesn't seem to be able to summon that level She's too inconsistent and I dont know what would cure that. More match play?

woosey
Sep 12th, 2007, 08:16 PM
venus is gonna be fine.

QUEENLINDSAY
Sep 12th, 2007, 08:16 PM
The way to beat Henin is if someone does'nt think(no pressure) and consistently hit a hard groundstroke deep. Nothing More. Henin can get toe for toe to anything except for hitting groudstrokes deep and hard in the baseline.

DA FOREHAND
Sep 12th, 2007, 08:36 PM
I think it's harsh to say she'll lose whenever she's not playing her best. Depends on the surface also. I think Venus doesnt need to be at her best on grass to beat Henin. On hardcourt, I think if Henin is at her best and Venus at her best, it's a coin toss.

The difference is Henin seems to be able to raise her level whenever she wants or needs to. She's amazingly consistent which is why she will most likely catch and surpass Serena and why she has been putting up Federer-like numbers. Venus doesn't seem to be able to summon that level She's too inconsistent and I dont know what would cure that. More match play?

put the pipe down

Venus beats Henin on any surface when both are at or near their best. French Open would be only place i'd give Justine an edge.

AcesHigh
Sep 12th, 2007, 08:38 PM
put the pipe down

Venus beats Henin on any surface when both are at or near their best. French Open would be only place i'd give Justine an edge.

:confused: And what evidence points to that?

Tennisstar86
Sep 12th, 2007, 08:50 PM
Did you watch the match? once Venus moved back on the return of serves she was taking it to henin.... Had Venus started that match behind the baseline instead of in front of it she prolly would have taken the 1rst set easily........ Fatigue still may have set in in the second... So.... How does Venus beat henin? Move behind the baseline....get her anemia figured out.....

Marshmallow
Sep 12th, 2007, 08:57 PM
I think it's harsh to say she'll lose whenever she's not playing her best. Depends on the surface also. I think Venus doesnt need to be at her best on grass to beat Henin. On hardcourt, I think if Henin is at her best and Venus at her best, it's a coin toss.

The difference is Henin seems to be able to raise her level whenever she wants or needs to. She's amazingly consistent which is why she will most likely catch and surpass Serena and why she has been putting up Federer-like numbers. Venus doesn't seem to be able to summon that level She's too inconsistent and I dont know what would cure that. More match play?

As of now? I think Venus does need to build the kind of big match tightness/rhythm that justine has. She's in form now and confident, so the magic key will be to sort out the Anemia, stay healthy and play more matches.

She hasn't done this, in this form since 2003.

DavidEllul
Sep 12th, 2007, 09:00 PM
put the pipe down

Venus beats Henin on any surface when both are at or near their best. French Open would be only place i'd give Justine an edge.


Justine was no where near her 2007-level in those years, 2001- early 2003, when she continuously lost to venus williams. sorry

AcesHigh
Sep 12th, 2007, 09:00 PM
Also, if anyone remembers back to 1997-2003 when she was consistently top 10 then top 5 then top 3...she was playing more tournaments. She had one leadup tournament to USO 2007 and only one or two to USO 2005. A good run in Cali or New Haven could do wonders for her USO performance. I remember when Venus dominated the summer hardcourts. I think she needs to get a better schedule, get used to playing tougher opponents on the big stage..and then I think we'll see better form from her.

Volcana
Sep 12th, 2007, 09:30 PM
I wish I shared a lot of the optimism in this thread. And I certainly hope you all are right, and I am wrong. However, I stand by one thing. If Venus makes no changes to her game, she's going to lose to Henin more than she wins. Sure she played Henin better than anybody else in the tournament, but a straight set loss is, in the end, a straight set loss. Even the 7-6 first set was deceptive, in that the tie-breaker wasn't close. When you've got the biggest serve on the tour, AND you're the fastest player on the tour, you shouldn't lose tie-breakers 7-2.

Ah hell, I'm nitpicking. I won't be happy (tennis-wise, anyway) til Venus wins another slam, or at least Miami. Ah well, I'm sure this is how Davenport fans felt after the 2004 US Open semis.

Havok
Sep 12th, 2007, 09:43 PM
What does Venus do now? PLay more matches, that's all. Venus doesn't need to change her game because she can beat loads of people even when she's shitty (I think she's past all those horrible losses starting from the beginning of 2004). She'll only lose to the top players who are on their games when Venus isn't playing particularly well. More match play makes you more used to tight situations, you have more wins, experience and confidence under your belt. That's all that Venus needs. This late in her career she isn't gonna start to tinker with a game that has made her who she is today. No she won't fix her serve so it's always reliable match in match out. She won't change her forehand technique, which can break down easily; seems less and less now though, seeing as her confidence is coming back strong. More matches, and on a more consistent basis is going to help her. Also it won't hurt Venus to hit the gym and get back her strength. Claims of dizziness and stuff during a semis of a Slam is quite pathetic for a top athlete. It's not like she played 5 straight marathon matches beforehand :o.

CJ07
Sep 12th, 2007, 10:36 PM
Venus needs to learn how to hit a kick serve and an aggressive lob. She won't, particularly the first, so she's going to have problems. Its really as simple as that.

PreOp
Sep 13th, 2007, 12:38 AM
I am an old timer and big fan of Venus.

I scarcely watched the Jankovic quarterfinal match live. I could not comprehend how Venus, who in form, as she seemed to be, has one of the greatest return games in the history of women’s tennis, was not able to punish the Jankovic serve, weak even by the low standards of women’s tennis. That Venus played some unbelievable points, and competed magnificently hardly mitigated the pain I felt.

The Venus vs. Henin semis was another matter. Henin technically and mentally played at the highest level. Though thoroughly outplayed Venus’s competitive grit made for perhaps the greatest contested women’s match ever. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Winning is hardly everything even in sports. I was in awe of Justine, and was proud for Venus.

Note the stats. Venus got a thorough beat down. Never-the-less, miraculously, she put herself in position to win both sets.

Match Summary
Henin(BEL) Williams(USA)

1st Serve % 41 of 70 = 59 % 48 of 81 = 59 %
Aces 2 4
Double Faults 4 4
Unforced Errors 22 35
Winning % on 1st Serve 27 of 41 = 66 % 29 of 48 = 60 %
Winning % on 2nd Serve 18 of 29 = 62 % 13 of 33 = 39 %
Winners(Including Service) 29 26
Receiving Points Won 39 of 81 = 48 % 25 of 70 = 36 %
Break Point Conversions 4 of 7 = 57 % 3 of 6 = 50 %
Net Approaches 11 of 17 = 65 % 23 of 35 = 66 %
Total Points Won 84 67
Fastest Serve 117 MPH 122 MPH
Average 1st Serve Speed 106 MPH 108 MPH
Average 2nd Serve Speed 90 MPH 88 MPH

I don’t think there is any need for a fan of Venus to be pessimistic about her future versus Justine. Venus lost simply due to the fact that Justine most likely played at the highest level she is capable of. While Venus had a loss of conditioning (see her post match interview), which clearly affected her serve, and led to the difficultly she had with her foot work, especially her inability to get out of the way of shots to her body.

Henin coming down a notch or two or three, which she has done often enough in big matches would mean victory for Venus. And it is unimaginable that Justine, no matter how well she played, could beat a well conditioned Venus serving well. If you listen to Venus it always comes down to her health. Just listen.

Jem
Sep 13th, 2007, 01:13 AM
This is venus. I believe she is a better player than henin and even serena (sorry serena!) I'll never forget the things that martina said about venus' game. Venus can do anything. Sure henin is quite a complete player and same with serena but venus is just a bit more complete imo. Im glad she's started to show it. Believe in venus, you saw how venus was unexpectedly happy after that match. Why? Because she knows that big things will come in the near future. So do I. Prepare for Venus to take the world by storm in the end of 07 (YEC) and 08. 08 could be the year that people think of HER as the GOAT. I really hope so.

OK -- this is coming from a non-Serena, non-Venus fan. At their absolute best and in top physical condition, I think both Serena and Venus would overpower Justine. Problem is that neither one can sustain that level. And that's not unexpected. In more than 35 years of watching this game, it's been rare to see two top players bring their very best to the court -- at the same time. All that to say that where my opinion differs from you substantially is the idea that Venus is a more complete player than Serena. On forehand, backhand and serve, Serena is technically better than Venus, more explosive off the ground and more consistent. Serena's serve also is superior to the Venus serve. Venus might hit it harder on occasion, but shot for shot on the first serve, Serena has more power and placement on a consistent basis. As for second serves, there's no comparison: Serena's can be a weapon and rarely a liability. I see the opposite of Venus: her second is rarely a weapon and sometimes a liability. As for the volley, it's a close call. Venus' wingspan gives her an advantage, but Serena is a better volleyer. Lobs and drop shots -- again, the edge goes to Serena. Where Venus wins out -- and it's a big area -- is mobility and court coverage, especially since Serena has rarely been in shape and fit since her knee surgery. When Serena dominated, it was because of her fitness. She was amazing. Mental tenacity; now it's a close call, but you sense that Serena would win a real fight between the two. I think her will to win might be a tad better. Either way, it's saying something.

Vlover
Sep 13th, 2007, 01:50 AM
I too felt disappointed with the lost but I'm still encouraged. If she is blessed with good health next season she will be a contender once again. I will only lose faith if Venus stops believing in her self then I will know its all over. I didn't get a chance to read her post match interview but that is where I get a sense of what to expect from her.

Still I'm very proud of her achievments so far considering she couldn't play last year or the begining of the year therefore she can certainly build on a Wimbledon win and USO semis. I just wish she has a healthy season next year and I'm positive she will get better.

harloo
Sep 13th, 2007, 02:00 AM
Venus should just throw the towel in and surrender to Justine. As a matter of fact Serena should also because Justine is the greatest player that ever played the game. This girl is amazing and she will beat the William sisters forever.

The End.:wavey:

Rtael
Sep 13th, 2007, 02:28 AM
Can someone say anemia one more time for me please? I don't think I've heard it enough yet. :)

Nicolás89
Sep 13th, 2007, 02:40 AM
:confused: And what evidence points to that?

its his favorite, what other evidence do you want :rolleyes:

xr6turbo
Sep 13th, 2007, 05:42 AM
She just needs to get this anemia under control, then she can add a little more weight and her energy problems should get better. I think she will be fine :) Go Venus

hingisGOAT
Sep 13th, 2007, 05:56 AM
I really don't understand this "at Venus' best" nonsense. So you think she would beat Justine in a fantasy match where she doesn't make unforced errors? Okay... but the fact is that Venus' was playing her best hardcourt tennis in at least five years, throwing her entire all-court aggressive game at Justine, and still lost in straight sets. :shrug:

Paneru
Sep 13th, 2007, 06:01 AM
I think some just overreact far
too much and far too often.

Venus will be just fine.

Her game is there much more consistently. Not as consistently
as she'd like, but moreso than at the beginning of the year
even before the effects of the anemia began to show. She's
beaten everyone in the top ten atleast once so far this year,
outisde of Henin & Serena.

Venus will get her health issue's under control and will
be right back to continue what has been one of her better
season's all around in the last four years.

Queen V is like The Phoenix ,
she always rises again. :cool:

Paneru
Sep 13th, 2007, 06:03 AM
Oh, my bad! I forgot where I was for
a moment! This is Venus we are talking
about on a wtaworld GM board.

Can't have a positive thread regarding her.

Where is my head at! :smash:

Rtael
Sep 13th, 2007, 06:09 AM
She just needs to get this anemia under control, then she can add a little more weight and her energy problems should get better. I think she will be fine :) Go Venus

Thanks.

darrinbaker00
Sep 13th, 2007, 06:21 AM
What does Venus do now? She gets her health issues under control (preferably without the use of EPO, of course), she gives back the Bangkok appearance fee and plays Moscow instead, and she goes to Madrid to get another crack at Justine. THAT'S what Venus does now. ;)

darrinbaker00
Sep 13th, 2007, 06:23 AM
Oh, my bad! I forgot where I was for
a moment! This is Venus we are talking
about on a wtaworld GM board.

Can't have a positive thread regarding her.

Where is my head at! :smash:
You don't really want me to answer that question, do you? :devil:

Calypso
Sep 13th, 2007, 06:59 AM
She needs to sort out her health issues first. A healthy Venus is a handful for anyone.

It was sad to see her fade away physically in the 2nd set against Henin, and only her
fighting spirit made the 2nd set score look respectable.

If she can't keep up with Justine (and any other top player) physically, no amount of
tweaking her game will make any difference. Venus with all her 'flaws' pushed Justine
more than any other player at the open, with Justine consistantly playing at or near
her best.

There's no doubt in my mind that Venus, and Serena, when fit and with enough match-play,
can score wins over Justine again.

Callystarr
Sep 13th, 2007, 07:34 AM
I really can see the Henin/Venus matchup being a good one. But Venus needs consistency in her serves. As I said again. The first set was a good one. But Venus serving in the 2nd set was HORRIBLE I remember a commentator saying she was only getting 15% of her serves in in the 2nd set. Venus can beat her on a good day, and lose to her on a bad day. Venus played her well..just didn't have the serving she needed to do it. I hope Venus plays her more in the future.

Juju4ever
Sep 13th, 2007, 08:56 AM
I think Venus is playing well, to beat Jelena these days it's not an easy task. Obviously she needs to keep working on her game. The 1st serve is great, the 2nd is not so much. Great idea to approach to the net with the slice, if she keeps improving on that department, she'll get a lot of easy volleys, and overall she'll have more options. I think she'll be a contender for a while now, she's playing well and can become even better.

new-york
Sep 13th, 2007, 09:14 AM
i really feel like the return of serve cost her the match.
she's strong enough to back up and give a very strong return.
that would give her more time, more perspective.

V-MAC
Sep 13th, 2007, 10:11 AM
Well at least Vee comes away from the US Open being the second best player on tour at the moment (official rankings aside of course) so it aint all bad :shrug:

Steffica Greles
Sep 13th, 2007, 12:56 PM
Good thread. Volcana may be acerbic but she clearly has a brain <I've noticed before now>.

I just think that Venus, and to an even greater extent, Serena, have always had the wherewithal to smash all opposition. Their problem is perhaps that they are too acutely aware of this fact. A little more neuroses, just a smidgen, and they might become more disciplined, driven, focused athletes. I'm sick of all their excuses for a start. Justine is half their size, her mother died when she was a young child, she has an ongoing respiratory illness which sometimes leaves her physically unable to get out of bed, which still has to be monitored, and yet rarely does Justine read from the litany of tired excuses which Venus and Serena bring regularly to press conferences. The Williamses have themselves endured more than their fair share of life's woes, most recently when their sister was shot dead, but they should take a leaf out of Justine's book, else it's time for them to either put up or shut up. Venus felt sickness in that match because she was rocked by just how competitive Justine had been in that first set, when she raised her level to fifth gear expecting to smash through the Belgian. And when it came to the crunch, Venus was the player who was spent, who couldn't compete at the level she normally imposes on others. I too was shocked - we all were. It was as if Justine had just unveiled her very own tank warfare.

The Williams sisters are the only players who could raise their level a few cm above the game Justine brought to the court in the second week of the US Open. However, it's the first time I am able to say since Graf retired, or more arguably since Capriati exited the game, that somebody is able to compete almost equally with Venus and Serena even when they play at full steam. Venus and Serena have the scope to improve even above Justine's level at present, but they will have to work incredibly hard, and accept that, at the moment, she is a better player than they. So, a little neuroses is required on their part.

As for Justine, that performance has elevated her, in my esteem, to the pantheon of the likes of Graf, Seles, Navratilova, Evert, Venus, Serena, all of whom I've witnessed at their highest levels.

Doc
Sep 13th, 2007, 01:11 PM
Justine has simply raised her game that extra notch this year, that is all. Perhaps the ending of her marriage gave her that little bit of extra focus and determination not to let up at crucial points in her matches.

The stats also show that Justine has developed enormous power for someone her height. Her average 1st serve speed was 2 mph less than Venus. her 2nd serve was 2 mph more.

spencercarlos
Sep 13th, 2007, 02:12 PM
I think it's harsh to say she'll lose whenever she's not playing her best. Depends on the surface also. I think Venus doesnt need to be at her best on grass to beat Henin. On hardcourt, I think if Henin is at her best and Venus at her best, it's a coin toss.

The difference is Henin seems to be able to raise her level whenever she wants or needs to. She's amazingly consistent which is why she will most likely catch and surpass Serena and why she has been putting up Federer-like numbers. Venus doesn't seem to be able to summon that level She's too inconsistent and I dont know what would cure that. More match play?
I did not see a coin toss on hardcourts at the Usopen, just a straight sets win by Henin, which in fact could have been easier than the end score. Go figure.

As for playing more, well i really doubt it she must preserve her fitness more now, she is not getting any younger, she won´t be able to maintain harcourt schedules ala 2000-2002.

spencercarlos
Sep 13th, 2007, 02:19 PM
Good thread. Volcana may be acerbic but she clearly has a brain <I've noticed before now>.

I just think that Venus, and to an even greater extent, Serena, have always had the wherewithal to smash all opposition. Their problem is perhaps that they are too acutely aware of this fact. A little more neuroses, just a smidgen, and they might become more disciplined, driven, focused athletes. I'm sick of all their excuses for a start. Justine is half their size, her mother died when she was a young child, she has an ongoing respiratory illness which sometimes leaves her physically unable to get out of bed, which still has to be monitored, and yet rarely does Justine read from the litany of tired excuses which Venus and Serena bring regularly to press conferences. The Williamses have themselves endured more than their fair share of life's woes, most recently when their sister was shot dead, but they should take a leaf out of Justine's book, else it's time for them to either put up or shut up. Venus felt sickness in that match because she was rocked by just how competitive Justine had been in that first set, when she raised her level to fifth gear expecting to smash through the Belgian. And when it came to the crunch, Venus was the player who was spent, who couldn't compete at the level she normally imposes on others. I too was shocked - we all were. It was as if Justine had just unveiled her very own tank warfare.

The Williams sisters are the only players who could raise their level a few cm above the game Justine brought to the court in the second week of the US Open. However, it's the first time I am able to say since Graf retired, or more arguably since Capriati exited the game, that somebody is able to compete almost equally with Venus and Serena even when they play at full steam. Venus and Serena have the scope to improve even above Justine's level at present, but they will have to work incredibly hard, and accept that, at the moment, she is a better player than they. So, a little neuroses is required on their part.

As for Justine, that performance has elevated her, in my esteem, to the pantheon of the likes of Graf, Seles, Navratilova, Evert, Venus, Serena, all of whom I've witnessed at their highest levels.
Despite many (Williams fans) don´t want to admit Venus lost because of one Justine Henin. This time they can´t throw the 50-70+ unforced errors theory for losing the match, and neither the "all the oponnent had to do was to put the ball in play", because Henin was the more agressive player during this match, that was why she ended up with more winners.

What should Venus do? we´ll see, but im will go that if Henin is able to maintain that kind of level (which is definetly a question to be answered next year), Venus won´t buy a win against Henin.

Serena for her part chances are if she gets commited and gets healthy, i can see her definetly beating and having a competitive head to head against an in form Henin.

Williams Rulez
Sep 13th, 2007, 02:57 PM
Venus's failure to adjust during the match cost her the match. I felt tt if she had made some adjustments on her return of serve, moving back a couple of steps, making more returns, she would probably have taken it to a 3rd set.

It may have been a straight sets loss, but i do not think it is such a big deal. Justine played a really good match, no shame in losing to a player on fire. If Venus plays at tt level for the next year, i can easily see her picking up a few more titles.

Williams Rulez
Sep 13th, 2007, 03:00 PM
Despite many (Williams fans) don´t want to admit Venus lost because of one Justine Henin. This time they can´t throw the 50-70+ unforced errors theory for losing the match, and neither the "all the oponnent had to do was to put the ball in play", because Henin was the more agressive player during this match, that was why she ended up with more winners.

What should Venus do? we´ll see, but im will go that if Henin is able to maintain that kind of level (which is definetly a question to be answered next year), Venus won´t buy a win against Henin.

Serena for her part chances are if she gets commited and gets healthy, i can see her definetly beating and having a competitive head to head against an in form Henin.I don't think that Venus can't beat Justine even if Justine plays at tt same level. It was quite a close match, and as well as Venus played in that match, there were definitely areas that Venus could have improved.

In fact, I feel its more difficult for Serena to beat Justine, simply because she lacks the movement that Venus has.

Dawn Marie
Sep 13th, 2007, 04:33 PM
Venus is fine. Infact her confidence is up. Jelena Jankovic played a tough match and it took some wind out of Vee's sails. Venus will not win them all.

Venus also knows how to play Justine. Infact Justine played pretty much 100% and barely beat Venus. Venus didn't play her best during the big points. Infact if Venus ame out playing her best tennis she would have won it in straight sets.

Anyway, where does Vee go from here?? Well it isn't the end of her world. Infact I think everrything is fine. She just has to keep training hard and play her game.

I don't get why everytime Venus or Serena loses that people act like their game is on the outs and that SOMETHING MUST BE DONE ASAP?

Venus will NEVER win em all.

littlebin
Sep 13th, 2007, 04:51 PM
A lot of "If", if this, if that... if she play her best....
Her best is only in your dreams!

The problem is, Venus just could not play as some fan expected, she just could not control her unforced errors. She just committed errors after errors following a winner.

DA FOREHAND
Sep 13th, 2007, 05:06 PM
Venus is fine. Infact her confidence is up. Jelena Jankovic played a tough match and it took some wind out of Vee's sails. Venus will not win them all.

Venus also knows how to play Justine. Infact Justine played pretty much 100% and barely beat Venus. Venus didn't play her best during the big points. Infact if Venus ame out playing her best tennis she would have won it in straight sets.

Anyway, where does Vee go from here?? Well it isn't the end of her world. Infact I think everrything is fine. She just has to keep training hard and play her game.

I don't get why everytime Venus or Serena loses that people act like their game is on the outs and that SOMETHING MUST BE DONE ASAP?

Venus will NEVER win em all.

Exactly.

What does Venus do now? Same as it ever was.

roarke
Sep 13th, 2007, 05:10 PM
A lot of "If", if this, if that... if she play her best....
Her best is only in your dreams!

The problem is, Venus just could not play as some fan expected, she just could not control her unforced errors. She just committed errors after errors following a winner.

Yep. I agree. Venus is error prone. As long as she plays sloppy tennis she will always lose to the player who is more careful with their returns and serves. While I hope she could have played a cleaner match I am disappointed in her game plan. Venus has been playing tennis for too long has had too many opportunities for her to be still making those rookie mistakes with her service and return of serve shots.

I do however dislike immensely how the non-fans have mocked her, her sister and her coaches. It is uncouth and unnecessary to gloat! They are behaving like school yard bullies!

tennisIlove09
Sep 13th, 2007, 05:18 PM
I too was pretty upset with the loss. Venus seemed so focused and determined to win the US Open, I thought she was going to.

I think she played very well though. I think the key moment in the match was at 6-7 3-3; 0-40. Had Venus won that game on those break points, I think she would have won the match. She would have really taken charge and the lead and Henin I dont think would have recovered.

To me, her energy just dropped so much in the second set (part of the illness?) and that also hurt her. Tatically I dont think she did much wrong. I think she could be more aggressive off the return of serve, especially the second serve. But I liked that she came in so often. That worked against Jankovic and it worked a lot against Henin.

I view this entire event as a positive. She stormed through the draw until the quarters (including a dominate performance over #5 Ana Ivanovic), and she beat Jankovic (whom she had struggled with the last 3 times) and played a great match against Henin. Nothing to be that upset about. Right now, I am more concerned about her healthy actually.

Olórin
Sep 13th, 2007, 06:33 PM
Venus and Henin were 50/50 in that match. The Venus haters should stop harping on about a straight sets loss and Venus being outplayed. They should accept like Venus has, that she lost a very close match, to someone who was just too good on the day. The key thing it that match was Venus coming out a tad slower than Justine, she lost her serve in the first game, and was always on the back foot after that.

I don't think Venus was playing as near her best as Justine was, but that's a moot point really, she was playing well enough to win or lose, and she lost.

I think Steffica Greles made a brilliant point. Justine fought as much as she ever had and really must have felt like she had a lot to prove. And this shell-shocked Venus to a certain extent, someone was matching her point for point both in tennis and mentally. Justine has raised her own personal bar now, I don't know if she will play in such a determined way in every match she plays against the sisters now. But both have a lot of work to do before they are beating her in back to back matches again.

winone23
Sep 13th, 2007, 06:58 PM
Venus goes on to win other things

AcesHigh
Sep 13th, 2007, 07:16 PM
Venus and Henin were 50/50 in that match. The Venus haters should stop harping on about a straight sets loss and Venus being outplayed. They should accept like Venus has, that she lost a very close match, to someone who was just too good on the day. The key thing it that match was Venus coming out a tad slower than Justine, she lost her serve in the first game, and was always on the back foot after that.

I don't think Venus was playing as near her best as Justine was, but that's a moot point really, she was playing well enough to win or lose, and she lost.

I think Steffica Greles made a brilliant point. Justine fought as much as she ever had and really must have felt like she had a lot to prove. And this shell-shocked Venus to a certain extent, someone was matching her point for point both in tennis and mentally. Justine has raised her own personal bar now, I don't know if she will play in such a determined way in every match she plays against the sisters now. But both have a lot of work to do before they are beating her in back to back matches again.

I agree. Justine had something to prove and I think everyone was shocked at how high her level was, how consistently she sustained that level, and how she remaind mentally and physically strong throughout the entire match.

Whoever said Venus won't be able to buy a win from Justine maybe should get his head checked :weirdo: Venus's game, when executed, will ALWAYS be tough for Justine. Venus just has found a situation she hasn't faced in a long time: she's met a player that can match her point for point on a consistent basis without the result of the match resting on her racquet.

If Venus wants to return to the top of women's tennis, she'll have to make some changes. If she doesn't(which is what I see happening... I can only see her making minor adjustments) she'll win some against Justine and lose some against Justine, but never remain as consistent(partly b/c of health issues).

new-york
Sep 13th, 2007, 07:21 PM
I really don't understand this "at Venus' best" nonsense. So you think she would beat Justine in a fantasy match where she doesn't make unforced errors? Okay... but the fact is that Venus' was playing her best hardcourt tennis in at least five years, throwing her entire all-court aggressive game at Justine, and still lost in straight sets. :shrug:

yay?

tennisbum79
Sep 13th, 2007, 07:34 PM
I have noticed that, for quiet sometime now, whenever Venus form is questioned, we hear this these 2 typical responses:
Venus will be fine
There is nothing wrong with Venus.

Volcana's conclusions are based on past history. But posters who give the typical answer above rarely back them up with any argument to support their contention.

tennisbum79
Sep 13th, 2007, 07:40 PM
A lot of "If", if this, if that... if she play her best....
Her best is only in your dreams!

The problem is, Venus just could not play as some fan expected, she just could not control her unforced errors. She just committed errors after errors following a winner.
I am one those fans.
Why Venus, at this point in her career, is not able to adjust her forehand or/and increase on her first serve percentage.

We are not talking about one match, we are talking about consecutive matches where Venus displays the same lack of adjustment.

Onyxangel
Sep 13th, 2007, 09:08 PM
It seems most people on here are assuming that Ju has peaked, and is now playing at 100% of her potential... as a fan, she still seems to be improving to me, and I'm not all that positive she's done yet.

Olórin
Sep 13th, 2007, 09:40 PM
It seems most people on here are assuming that Ju has peaked, and is now playing at 100% of her potential... as a fan, she still seems to be improving to me, and I'm not all that positive she's done yet.

She's far from "done", however it's difficult to see her playing significantly better than she did this USO, I mean she was getting in more first serves than normal, hitting more winners than normal, thinking as clearly as ever...what could she do? She has no weaknesses really, apart from being over powered, but there are very few people who hit with more pace than Justine.

The Crow
Sep 13th, 2007, 09:46 PM
She's far from "done", however it's difficult to see her playing significantly better than she did this USO, I mean she was getting in more first serves than normal, hitting more winners than normal, thinking as clearly as ever...what could she do? She has no weaknesses really, apart from being over powered, but there are very few people who hit with more pace than Justine.

I think there are still areas to improve. She still didn't play dominant enough to my liking. And she was tight in some occasions (first set against Serena and Venus).

But okay I kinda agree as well, I've never seen her serve and forehand that good. Especially the forehand :eek:

Olórin
Sep 13th, 2007, 09:48 PM
I think there are still areas to improve. She still didn't play dominant enough to my liking. And she was tight in some occasions (first set against Serena and Venus).

But okay I kinda agree as well, I've never seen her serve and forehand that good. Especially the forehand :eek:

Yeah, but no-one can not have any lapses for a match that lasts over an hour...you just have to deal with them and overcome them, which she did. :)

QUEENLINDSAY
Sep 13th, 2007, 10:14 PM
Here's my analysis:

Justine is the same player of the same caliber who won 3 slams in 2003. However, her mindset is a lot better now and she believes and proves that she is the number one player in the world right now.

As for Venus lost, its very simple. She did'nt do what would hurt Henin's game. And that is consistently hitting hard and deep on the baseline. Venus is trying to bring the match into angles/running game which she will definitely in advantage but it did'nt happened, Henin keep hitting hard on the middle and when she is in off position, she hits a lot of topspin which Venus is prone to make errors than winners. Its true! Venus loses mostly because of her errors, but that is part of her game and if you actually look at it, Justine forces her to commit those errors.

This strategy of Henin will be proven if we are going to review Lindsay-Justine Match and Justine-Venus Match.
Both players tend to overpower Justine.
Justined mastered the art of frustrating Lindsay to go for more and she can hit angles when she had the chance to make Davy run. Lindsay was able to keep their matches close though due to her consistent hard hitting strokes at the baseline that can overpower Justine.

Now with Venus, Justine cant do a beating Davenport tactics due to venus superb movement. What she does is play with Venus hard hitting game and to wait for opportunity. Venus want's a running side-to-side game but it did'nt happen. Rather, Venus made errors to force a corner to corner hitting game.

This is why Linds-Venus is pretty match even in their head to head. There's no more strategy involve in their match up but rather execution.

If Venus only has Lindsay shot consistency and also if Lindsay only have Venus movement, They will be unbeatable.

venus_rulez
Sep 13th, 2007, 10:20 PM
I'm confused by all the posters saying that Justine played at a consistently high level. She definitely came out at a high level and maintained in the first set, I felt in the first, Venus elevated her game towards the end to get it to the tiebreak. However, in the second from 0-3 up, to me it was quite obvious that Justine was very nervous and thinking about the fact that she was close to beating Venus. To me it showed in the way that she played, Venus, for whatever reason whether it was anemia, dizziness, or just simple not being able to elevate her game a notch, wasn't able to take advantage. That in my opinion has been Venus' biggest issue since '04. Her break point conversion rates have been very low. In almost every match she's lost since then, there's always opportunities for her to get back in a match and she's not been so keen to take them. In the end, she lost and it'll happen again in the future, because you lose more than you win most of the time in tennis and in sports in general, but her game is fine. It's gotten her where she is today, no reason to change it now.

jujufreak
Sep 13th, 2007, 11:03 PM
Good thread. Volcana may be acerbic but she clearly has a brain <I've noticed before now>.

I just think that Venus, and to an even greater extent, Serena, have always had the wherewithal to smash all opposition. Their problem is perhaps that they are too acutely aware of this fact. A little more neuroses, just a smidgen, and they might become more disciplined, driven, focused athletes. I'm sick of all their excuses for a start. Justine is half their size, her mother died when she was a young child, she has an ongoing respiratory illness which sometimes leaves her physically unable to get out of bed, which still has to be monitored, and yet rarely does Justine read from the litany of tired excuses which Venus and Serena bring regularly to press conferences. The Williamses have themselves endured more than their fair share of life's woes, most recently when their sister was shot dead, but they should take a leaf out of Justine's book, else it's time for them to either put up or shut up. Venus felt sickness in that match because she was rocked by just how competitive Justine had been in that first set, when she raised her level to fifth gear expecting to smash through the Belgian. And when it came to the crunch, Venus was the player who was spent, who couldn't compete at the level she normally imposes on others. I too was shocked - we all were. It was as if Justine had just unveiled her very own tank warfare.

The Williams sisters are the only players who could raise their level a few cm above the game Justine brought to the court in the second week of the US Open. However, it's the first time I am able to say since Graf retired, or more arguably since Capriati exited the game, that somebody is able to compete almost equally with Venus and Serena even when they play at full steam. Venus and Serena have the scope to improve even above Justine's level at present, but they will have to work incredibly hard, and accept that, at the moment, she is a better player than they. So, a little neuroses is required on their part.

As for Justine, that performance has elevated her, in my esteem, to the pantheon of the likes of Graf, Seles, Navratilova, Evert, Venus, Serena, all of whom I've witnessed at their highest levels.

great post :)

jujufreak
Sep 13th, 2007, 11:10 PM
Here's my analysis:

Justine is the same player of the same caliber who won 3 slams in 2003. However, her mindset is a lot better now and she believes and proves that she is the number one player in the world right now.

As for Venus lost, its very simple. She did'nt do what would hurt Henin's game. And that is consistently hitting hard and deep on the baseline. Venus is trying to bring the match into angles/running game which she will definitely in advantage but it did'nt happened, Henin keep hitting hard on the middle and when she is in off position, she hits a lot of topspin which Venus is prone to make errors than winners. Its true! Venus loses mostly because of her errors, but that is part of her game and if you actually look at it, Justine forces her to commit those errors.

This strategy of Henin will be proven if we are going to review Lindsay-Justine Match and Justine-Venus Match.
Both players tend to overpower Justine.
Justined mastered the art of frustrating Lindsay to go for more and she can hit angles when she had the chance to make Davy run. Lindsay was able to keep their matches close though due to her consistent hard hitting strokes at the baseline that can overpower Justine.

Now with Venus, Justine cant do a beating Davenport tactics due to venus superb movement. What she does is play with Venus hard hitting game and to wait for opportunity. Venus want's a running side-to-side game but it did'nt happen. Rather, Venus made errors to force a corner to corner hitting game.

This is why Linds-Venus is pretty match even in their head to head. There's no more strategy involve in their match up but rather execution.

If Venus only has Lindsay shot consistency and also if Lindsay only have Venus movement, They will be unbeatable.

nice analysis, I'm looking forward to new Justine - Lindsay matches :hearts:

and to Justine - Venus matches too, thb :drool: