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View Full Version : Are Venus and Henin conserving their energy/best play?


AcesHigh
Jan 21st, 2008, 04:47 AM
This AO, it seems that the two best players from the last slam(USO) are playing some of the worst tennis among the top contenders. Meanwhile, Serena and Sharapova who didn't play too well at USO are on fire.

To be honest, I have only seen very small bits and pieces of Henin's matches, while I have seen most of Venus's. Still, Henin's stats appear to be levels below her slam play in 2007. Venus just appears to be lethargic at times.. disinterested even.. and just doing enough to win.

It makes me think... is Venus possibly saving up her energy and play because of this anemia issue? Maybe so she can save her best for the harder opponents at this slam she's done so poorly at?

And same for Henin, is she saving her best for the very tough opponents she'll have to take down. probably 3 in a row?

I'm just wondering what everyone.. especially Henin and Venus fans think.

Wannabeknowitall
Jan 21st, 2008, 04:52 AM
They played two qualifiers in the round of 16, do you really expect them to peak for that match? :lol:

How are Justine's stats levels below her slam play last year?
She's won almost all of her slams serving aroud 50% on first serve.

Bruno71
Jan 21st, 2008, 05:16 AM
I dunno, they're playing fairly solid matches for the most part and neither's dropped a set. They don't look as dominant as Serena or Maria, but that's not really a requirement, just need to get the job done and move on.

Tennisstar86
Jan 21st, 2008, 05:29 AM
They're all doing that though... Serena's just serving big....nothing else too special... she played better her last match, but she def. had the hardest round of 16....

This is a normal trend... The older more mature players do enough to get through (serena/ Venus/ Henin) The new comers try and KO as much as possible to "send" a message.... (Ivanovic/ Sharapova....) maybe it'll work out better for them this time around....

virtue05
Jan 21st, 2008, 05:34 AM
You have a point, but I think a lot of it has to deal with pressure also, despite what others may think Venus and Henin were the two best players towards the end of last year.

VeeReeDavJCap81
Jan 21st, 2008, 05:39 AM
Venus has been looking pretty lethargic in her singles matches this tournament. However, she is getting through the draw and that's all that matters at this point. I'm sure she will step it up throughout the rest of the tournament, Venus has been in the 2nd week of a slam more times than everyone else she knows what she's doing.

Ntour
Jan 21st, 2008, 05:41 AM
justine will pick it up

mankind
Jan 21st, 2008, 05:43 AM
Will the Williams' continue to play doubles throughout? That's got to wear you down a little bit, even if they are breezing through their doubles opponents.

DimaDinosaur
Jan 21st, 2008, 05:43 AM
from watching on tv, justine sucks so far

Junex
Jan 21st, 2008, 05:55 AM
Justine always only plays to the level of her opponents.

But she is also prepared to play and brings her best when she is in a revenge mode; play the opponent who had beaten her in their last meeting.

Dawn Marie
Jan 21st, 2008, 05:59 AM
I think Henin came off a terrific year and we all expect her great play to continue. Top players have bad spells even when winning.
Venus is in a funky mood this tourney. I do think she will pick it up. I also feel that she is conserving her energy for the latter rounds. With all due respect I think this is the first time in a long while that Vee feels that she can beat all her opponents being 70% before going into the match. So why serve hard and exert all this energy.

supergrunt
Jan 21st, 2008, 06:34 AM
my god I hope so because Venus looks terrible :unsure:

Hingiswinsthis
Jan 21st, 2008, 06:42 AM
Venus looks thin and fragile at this AO. When she won Wimbledon in 2005 and 2007, she was toned, muscular and fit! I ain't feeling that this time, she's not as fierce as last year at Wim and USO.
Justine on the other hand: Let's not forget, it's been a one year anniversary since her divorce. Could this be why her mind seems to be somewhere else during this AO? Her game looks labored and she is not showing the same flight, freeness, and enjoyment as she did in winning RG and USO last year. At the end of the day, its about the X's and O's in a tennis match, but I think Justine is bothered by something whether its that knee or remembering PY. Good luck to Justine and Venus for the rest of the tournament.

Tennisstar86
Jan 21st, 2008, 07:13 AM
Venus looks thin and fragile at this AO. When she won Wimbledon in 2005 and 2007, she was toned, muscular and fit! I ain't feeling that this time, she's not as fierce as last year at Wim and USO.
Justine on the other hand: Let's not forget, it's been a one year anniversary since her divorce. Could this be why her mind seems to be somewhere else during this AO? Her game looks labored and she is not showing the same flight, freeness, and enjoyment as she did in winning RG and USO last year. At the end of the day, its about the X's and O's in a tennis match, but I think Justine is bothered by something whether its that knee or remembering PY. Good luck to Justine and Venus for the rest of the tournament.

thin and fragile? you're joking right? she looked way more thin and fragile at Wimbledon last year....

As far as justine... she hasnt been playin well for awhile, thing is she:
A) has intimidation factor going for her. B)knows how to fight and win....

ZeroSOFInfinity
Jan 21st, 2008, 07:22 AM
Henin has (well, relatively) easy matches before the QF... Morigami, Olga and Su-Wei Hsieh are players you expect her to beat, while Francesca is a much tougher opponent, but still beatable without going at 80% or more.

As for Venus, her results might seemed a bit concerning (especially Pin, Sania and now Marta), but you do have to remember she also play doubles with her sister. She doesn't need to go up to 5th gear to win her matches, only what is needed to progress.

kjn
Jan 21st, 2008, 10:11 AM
There's no such thing as conserving best play... I mean what's the use if you can play much better and win the match faster you would definitely benefit more in the later rounds than trying to play poor and prolong the matches because you're fresher.

sorceress
Jan 21st, 2008, 10:14 AM
Yeah I think they're being conservative because of their individual taboos with this tournament,y'know playing it safe.

RenaGOAT
Jan 21st, 2008, 10:21 AM
It's unlikely that at this level any serious competitor would hold anything back... the talent gap simply isn't that big, regardless of what appearances are. People get spoiled when their faves are rolling, so even when they are only having minor struggles, people want answers. The answer is easy; your fave (and everybody else's fave) is going to have off games, and they are rarely going to play their best game possible. When you see one, be happy you saw it and don't try to hold your fave up to that standard everytime they play. It's like those annoying threads where people base opinions of greatness on "when so-an-so is playing their best game"... you can't judge it by that. you have to go by their average (the standard they usually play to, give or take) to determine how good they are.

go hingis
Jan 21st, 2008, 10:33 AM
I think if Venus wanted to save energy she would be focussed and finishing her matches quicker. New season they're just playing into form.

Apoleb
Jan 21st, 2008, 12:24 PM
No, they aren't conserving energy. Justine has been playing crap since last week. Maria will go into the match a slight favorite IMO, but I'd never rule Justine out, even when she's playing crap. She's that mentally tough that she can find something out of nowhere when she needs it most, and when her game is mostly lacking. That's what she did against Ivanovic and Kuznetsova last week, and against Maria in Madrid.

I don't beleive Serena is "on fire." Her serve has been extremely impressive like it was in the USO and Wimbledon running up to the QF. Her groundstroke game however is still shaky, except on the return. The only real progress I saw from last year is her defensive play. She's able to put a few more shots in when she's on the defense. I think she's certainly beatable by Justine, if Justine plays on par.

Destiny
Jan 21st, 2008, 03:14 PM
I think the more aggressive players they meet the more better they will play
i think this more for Venus

Tennisstar86
Jan 21st, 2008, 03:35 PM
It's unlikely that at this level any serious competitor would hold anything back... the talent gap simply isn't that big, regardless of what appearances are. People get spoiled when their faves are rolling, so even when they are only having minor struggles, people want answers. The answer is easy; your fave (and everybody else's fave) is going to have off games, and they are rarely going to play their best game possible. When you see one, be happy you saw it and don't try to hold your fave up to that standard everytime they play. It's like those annoying threads where people base opinions of greatness on "when so-an-so is playing their best game"... you can't judge it by that. you have to go by their average (the standard they usually play to, give or take) to determine how good they are.

Sadly...the talent gap between Vee, Ree, henin, Sharapova, and Jankovic is that BIG.... from the rest of the field....
Check her last match 6-4,6-4 is fairly routine victory in the round of 16... watching the match it seemed closed, but you notice when venus needed to she picked it up a bit... had she felt real danger shed have stayed at that level a long time....

Same with Henin IMO.....
As someone else on this board said, once the younger players realise its not about outhitting their opponent the wta might actually become competitive...
I guess most of you didnt read Venus post match interview against Sania... They asked her if she thought sania was out hitting her and her reply was along the lines of "I mean i could kick it up a notch if i wanted to, but against other players you have to have different tactics..." Aka... shes gonna miss alot and my defense is the best in the world

dya74
Jan 21st, 2008, 03:50 PM
don't worry, justine is on top when it needs to. just wait and see!

supergrunt
Jan 21st, 2008, 03:52 PM
No, they aren't conserving energy. Justine has been playing crap since last week. Maria will go into the match a slight favorite IMO, but I'd never rule Justine out, even when she's playing crap. She's that mentally tough that she can find something out of nowhere when she needs it most, and when her game is mostly lacking. That's what she did against Ivanovic and Kuznetsova last week, and against Maria in Madrid.

I don't beleive Serena is "on fire." Her serve has been extremely impressive like it was in the USO and Wimbledon running up to the QF. Her groundstroke game however is still shaky, except on the return. The only real progress I saw from last year is her defensive play. She's able to put a few more shots in when she's on the defense. I think she's certainly beatable by Justine, if Justine plays on par.

and her footwork has improved a lot. if you rememeber, the reason behind why Serena said that Justine hit lucky shots at the USO was because she could not move, so her movement will play an important role in their match-up if they meet here.

slamchamp
Jan 21st, 2008, 04:01 PM
I'm not sure about justine, but she finds it difficult to close matches(Poutchkova, shieh) cause she gets a bit nervous towards the end. Venus doesn't look sharp at ALL. She gets broken plenty of times in each match, and her face expressions say that she's struggling a bit. I think Maria and Serena are the ones that are conserving their energies, cause they finish their matches faster:shrug:

Calypso
Jan 21st, 2008, 04:08 PM
I highly doubt it.
A better way of conserving energy would be to thrash their 'lesser' opponents in double quick time.
I think its too risky to play casually under the guise of conserving energy at this level!

Tennisstar86
Jan 21st, 2008, 04:12 PM
I'm not sure about justine, but she finds it difficult to close matches(Poutchkova, shieh) cause she gets a bit nervous towards the end. Venus doesn't look sharp at ALL. She gets broken plenty of times in each match, and her face expressions say that she's struggling a bit. I think Maria and Serena are the ones that are conserving their energies, cause they finish their matches faster:shrug:

:yawn: Wimbledon....:rolleyes:

Dodoboy.
Jan 21st, 2008, 04:16 PM
you up your game with better competitors.
Serena and Pova have had tough match-ups all the way to the Qtrs.
Serena from the first round was going to be tested.
Pova similarly.
Henin really hasn't had to play her best so i think they will both up their game.

slamchamp
Jan 21st, 2008, 04:20 PM
:yawn: Wimbledon....:rolleyes:
always bringing wimbledon, she had troubles with two matches..here she's struggling from the beginning. I'm being objective is not that I say those things because i hate her or something, but we'll have the answer in Qfs

vwfan
Jan 21st, 2008, 05:03 PM
you up your game with better competitors.
Serena and Pova have had tough match-ups all the way to the Qtrs.
Serena from the first round was going to be tested.
Pova similarly.
Henin really hasn't had to play her best so i think they will both up their game.I agree. The tournament begins in the second week for both.

Mightymirza
Jan 21st, 2008, 05:23 PM
Vee always plays better with harder opponent..:shrug: Good luck ana :o

harloo
Jan 21st, 2008, 05:27 PM
No, they just played bad tennis the first week of the AO.:lol: If they wanted to conserve energy getting off the court as fast as possible would be key. It doesn't matter anyways, those matches are over. It's time to look ahead.

Tennisstar86
Jan 21st, 2008, 06:06 PM
always bringing wimbledon, she had troubles with two matches..here she's struggling from the beginning. I'm being objective is not that I say those things because i hate her or something, but we'll have the answer in Qfs

Who has she struggled with? her matches have been pretty routine, she hasnt even dropped a set yet.... she had much more trouble @ Wimbledon, and if you watched her matches/ saw wimbledon, clearly she raises her level when needed....

SAEKeithSerena
Jan 21st, 2008, 06:10 PM
justine's amazing run ends tonight. and venus' will as well tomorrow vs. ana.


serena vs. ana final, baby :)

joćo.
Jan 21st, 2008, 06:20 PM
Hopefully, they are not.

iWill
Jan 21st, 2008, 06:57 PM
They played two qualifiers in the round of 16, do you really expect them to peak for that match? :lol:

How are Justine's stats levels below her slam play last year?
She's won almost all of her slams serving aroud 50% on first serve.

True but her main opposition is playing a lot better at this slam then they were at the two slams she won last year.
Shes put in quite a few double faults as well. She better raise her level tremendously if she wants to get past maria because Sharapova looks poised to make an upset IMO....

Foxy
Jan 21st, 2008, 07:18 PM
Venus has exerted less energy than the others.

Venus' opponents came out blasting the ball left and right. Oh boy, they were gonna take her down and be the talk of the AO.

But if you look at Sania and her last opponent, they came out firing and hitting winners left and right. And MJF and Carillo was really praising them and talking about Venus.

But Venus never flinched nor acted bothered by the fact that they were firing left and right.

That's all Venus did was hit the ball certain ways on the crucial points and caused them to error. And it was their errors that lost them the match.

Like BJK stated it you don't always have to play offense to win a game. You can cause your opponent to error at key moments and win the game that way. And that's just what Venus did.

So with all of their running and hitting every ball hard and making the shots and being fired up, it's Venus who came out with the win without really doing much.

Maria has been coming out firing left and right because she has to send a message to Justine, Serena and Venus that she's a force to reckon with. But she's no further in the draw than they are. She's to the quarters and so are they.

Maria basically plays like she is in all her grand slams, but it's when she meets a Williams sister or Justine then they bring her down to earth again. Especially Venus and Serena.

All that court antics and bravada of Maria is for her. Venus and Serena has no problems with her serve because it's the same serve they have a great read on and Maria is still slow.

Her feet are slight sloop footed and therefore, she will never be a fast runner. If she was she would already be there now. The girl is in her 20's and she won't get any faster.

Tennisstar86
Jan 21st, 2008, 07:34 PM
Venus has exerted less energy than the others.

Venus' opponents came out blasting the ball left and right. Oh boy, they were gonna take her down and be the talk of the AO.

But if you look at Sania and her last opponent, they came out firing and hitting winners left and right. And MJF and Carillo was really praising them and talking about Venus.

But Venus never flinched nor acted bothered by the fact that they were firing left and right.

That's all Venus did was hit the ball certain ways on the crucial points and caused them to error. And it was their errors that lost them the match.

Like BJK stated it you don't always have to play offense to win a game. You can cause your opponent to error at key moments and win the game that way. And that's just what Venus did.

So with all of their running and hitting every ball hard and making the shots and being fired up, it's Venus who came out with the win without really doing much.

Maria has been coming out firing left and right because she has to send a message to Justine, Serena and Venus that she's a force to reckon with. But she's no further in the draw than they are. She's to the quarters and so are they.

Maria basically plays like she is in all her grand slams, but it's when she meets a Williams sister or Justine then they bring her down to earth again. Especially Venus and Serena.

All that court antics and bravada of Maria is for her. Venus and Serena has no problems with her serve because it's the same serve they have a great read on and Maria is still slow.

Her feet are slight sloop footed and therefore, she will never be a fast runner. If she was she would already be there now. The girl is in her 20's and she won't get any faster.

Exactly... I havent seen Venus look this confident in a long time.... she doesnt even flinch when her opponents hit good shots....and at the end of every match she does scream "yes....." like some others... she just walks up shakes hands and does her little twirl...After her match against Sani she stated" I could pick it up if i wanted to, but theres different strategies for every player" and that says alot IMO...

And yes Maria has to send a message, her draw is hard. I think shes got a chance to upset Henin though..

BuTtErFrEnA
Jan 21st, 2008, 10:34 PM
conserving best play? maybe...but they can't be compared to how serena/masha are playing since they, especially serena from rd 1, had potential stumbling blocks if they weren't playing good enough...i guess we shall see with jh and masha tonight as well as serena and jj...who is up for the challenge and who raises their play...although its been said that jh hasn't been playing well since sydney...we will see

Mileen
Jan 21st, 2008, 10:43 PM
thin and fragile? you're joking right? she looked way more thin and fragile at Wimbledon last year....

As far as justine... she hasnt been playin well for awhile, thing is she:
A) has intimidation factor going for her. B)knows how to fight and win....

No, I agree with Hingiswinsthis, I think she did lose weight, look at her cheeks, I think she's very skinny in her face. As for Justine, I agree with Hingiswinsthis too, I worry about her health. She seems already tired at the start of the match, like she is missing strength or something. She is grunting from the start of the match like "o my gosh these balls are heavy and I feel so tired" and balls fall short. Also, usually the skin of her face is very smooth, but now it's not. I am wondering what's going too.

cartmancop
Jan 21st, 2008, 11:12 PM
Justine will pick it up when pushed. She hasn't played anyone to make her really sweat & always plays to the level of her opponents.

Venus hasn't been blasting people off the court, but she hasn't exactly been in any real trouble either. Not dropping a set early to a lesser player is always a good sign for Vee :)

RenaGOAT
Jan 22nd, 2008, 12:17 AM
Sadly...the talent gap between Vee, Ree, henin, Sharapova, and Jankovic is that BIG.... from the rest of the field....
Check her last match 6-4,6-4 is fairly routine victory in the round of 16... watching the match it seemed closed, but you notice when venus needed to she picked it up a bit... had she felt real danger shed have stayed at that level a long time....

Same with Henin IMO.....
As someone else on this board said, once the younger players realise its not about outhitting their opponent the wta might actually become competitive...
I guess most of you didnt read Venus post match interview against Sania... They asked her if she thought sania was out hitting her and her reply was along the lines of "I mean i could kick it up a notch if i wanted to, but against other players you have to have different tactics..." Aka... shes gonna miss alot and my defense is the best in the world

If the talent gap was that big, then none of these girls would ever lose to unranked foes for no particular reason... but they do from time to time. These girls have an "average" level of play that is high enough above most other girls that they will win the vast majority of the games they play against them, but the gap is still close enough that if one of these other girls brings their "A" game against one of the "big guns" playing average, they can still win.