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View Full Version : 'Just Give Venus the Trophy' vs 'The Old Order Changeth'?


Volcana
Jan 22nd, 2008, 02:54 PM
Up til yesterday, if Maria Sharapova, Jelena Jankovic, Venus Williams, Ana Ivanovic, Daniela Hantuchova, and Agnieszka Radwanska are the last six players in a non-clay court slam, I'd say 'just give Venus the trophy'. She beat all these players the last time she played them.

2007 Wimbledon R16 def SHARAPOVA 6-1 6-3
2007 Wimbledon SMI def IVANOVIC 6-2 6-4

2007 SAN DIEGO R16 def HANTUCHOVA 6-0 6-3
2007 U.S. Open R16 def IVANOVIC 6-4 6-2
2007 U.S. Open QTR def JANKOVIC 4-6 6-1 7-6(4)

As for Radwanska ... oops....

2006 Luxembourg R16 A. RADWANSKA def Venus 6-3 6-0

Still, Venus is a prohibitive favorite. Of course she is. I mean, let's be realistic. Six GS singles titles and a daunting advantage head-to-head. Hantuchova and Ivanovic have never beaten her. Jankovic is injured. Radwanska's a baby. Sharapova's game is tailor-made for Venus. Right? So why do I have this nagging doubt?

If you had told me before yesterday that Ivanovic, Jankovic and Sharapova were playing Venus, Serena and Henin, I'd have bet real money on two out of three wins for the old guard. I certainly would NOT bet on ALL the GS title holders from 2007 losing in the first slam of 20078 in the same 28 hour period. But after watching Serena and Henin lose, and lose convincingly, in matches that were not even competitive, now I have .... doubts. It's not like Venus has using the roadgrader offense. She's hasn't dropped a set, but she hasn't had any easy sets either. Meanwhile Ivanovic seems to be at the top of her game.

The changing of the guard that began in 1997 wasn't done until 2002, Capriati being the last slam winner from the 'pre-Williams' generation. Are we looking at the end of the change that began in 2004? This generation of players produced quite a few slam winners. Serena, Venus, Henin, Hingis, plus a one-offs for Myskina and Clijsters. Four players within a couple years of age of eash other with five or more slam singles titles is golden age stuff. But sooner or later, that sort of run comes to an end.

This tournament saw quite a few 'Old School' vs 'New Age' matches
Davenport vs Sharapova
Dementieva vs Peer
Dementieva vs Sharapova
Venus vs Ivanovic
Serena vs Jankovic
Henin vs Sharapova
Hantuchova vs Radwanska
Petrova vs Radwanska
Venus vs Domachowska
And as we stand here now, New Age is kicking Old School's collective ass. There are six women left in the tournament. Only one is over age 25. The rest? 24, 22, 20, 20 and 18. Youth will be served. Mere mortals cannot hold back the tides, especially the tides of history.

Tonight, we will see what a goddess can do.

But regardless of the outcome, the sound of the inevitable is quite loud now. 'Generation Sharapova' is on the march. The only question is do the best of the current generation 'go gently into that good night'? Or 'rage, rage against the dying of the light'?

Destiny
Jan 22nd, 2008, 03:03 PM
Giveth it to Venus
she's goin to win it anyway

Uranium
Jan 22nd, 2008, 03:05 PM
Giveth it to Venus
she's goin to win it anyway

:worship::lol:

Dave.
Jan 22nd, 2008, 03:11 PM
What this Australian Open proves is that the 'Big 3' or whatever it was is complete rubbish. Any excuse to talk about Serena or Venus as if they were dominant last year. Yes, they had good years and were among the best in the world, but Jankovic and Ivanovic and Sharapova are all part of the group that is chasing Henin for the number 1 spot. It's not just Serena and Venus.

There is no doubt that in the 2nd last year of the decade, a new generation is beginning to fully take over, but I think the old generation still has a couple of good years left. Obviously Venus and Serena are still at the top, Davenport perhaps later in the year, Seles is talking about a comeback, Capriati, Pierce haven't said they're retired, Mauresmo. I think Venus and Serena will be the last ones remaining, but if we could get the others I just mentioned back healthy in the next year or so, they will still have some wins left in them.

Then we have this sort of 'middle group' with Henin, Kuznetsova, Hantuchova, Myskina, Dementieva who only really got to their best in 2003-2004 so we can't say they are old or new. Obvously Henin isn't going anywhere and Hantuchova is playing well again. They are still very prominent in today's game.

So my answer is the older group of players can have a couple of good years if they get back fit and healthy. However, the younger generation are definetely taking over as we can see with this slam.

eugreene2
Jan 22nd, 2008, 03:13 PM
Here we go again ... yesterday, it was Serena who would def win. You people are hilarious

venusdemilo
Jan 22nd, 2008, 03:16 PM
^ That's why they have to play the matches. It's fun to sit on here and speculate as to what will happen, but we don't actually know what'll happen until the balls are struck. :)

HippityHop
Jan 22nd, 2008, 03:18 PM
^ That's why they have to play the matches. It's fun to sit on here and speculate as to what will happen, but we don't actually know what'll happen until the balls are struck. :)

Indeed.

Marshmallow
Jan 22nd, 2008, 03:21 PM
Too soon to tell either way.

If Venus doesn’t win this slam I don’t think it’ll be indicative of a changing of the guard. Justine and Serena were not beaten convincingly, while playing as well as they can play consistently on the tour. Henin had chances to get it back to 5-5 in the first (which could have altered the complexion of that match…) but I digress. I think it’ll take more than a couple of upsets in one tournament to give a clearer picture. [Lets not forget, just week ago we were hearing people speak of Justine as unbeatable!]

Nothing would make me happier than Venus winning this slam but her form has been as patchy as anyone. She should be able to thump the remaining field, but she hasn’t look unbeatable out there yet – and she can play better.

But in the remaining field, for Venus – Aga is the only player that really worried me, because that’s is NOT a game style Venus likes.

Volcana
Jan 22nd, 2008, 03:33 PM
Then we have this sort of 'middle group' with Henin, Kuznetsova, Hantuchova, Myskina, Dementieva who only really got to their best in 2003-2004 so we can't say they are old or new.I went with age over 'when they got good'. You pretty much have to group Henin, Dementieva and Myskina in with Venus, Serena and Hingis. The six were born within two years of each other.
Jun 17, 1980 Venus
Sep 30, 1980 Hingis
Jul 08, 1981 Myskina
Sep 26, 1981 Serena
Oct 15, 1981 Dementieva
Jun 01, 1982 Henin
Just as Sharapova, Ivanovic, Peer, Chakvetadze, Golovin, Safina, Szavay, Azarenka, Kirilenko, Vaidisova, Radwanska and Safarova are all with two years of age of each other. The players who fall in between groups are Hantuchova, Clijsters, Kuznetsova, Jankovic and Bartoli.

There's a tight grouping of players age 25-27, who've accomplished quite a bit. And there's a tight grouping of players age 18-20, who are just starting to accomplish a lot. Sharapova is out ahead of her cohort just as Martina Hingis was out ahead of her's.

Wuornos
Jan 22nd, 2008, 03:40 PM
Too soon to tell either way.

If Venus doesn’t win this slam I don’t think it’ll be indicative of a changing of the guard. Justine and Serena were not beaten convincingly, while playing as well as they can play consistently on the tour. Henin had chances to get it back to 5-5 in the first (which could have altered the complexion of that match…) but I digress. I think it’ll take more than a couple of upsets in one tournament to give a clearer picture. [Lets not forget, just week ago we were hearing people speak of Justine as unbeatable!]

Nothing would make me happier than Venus winning this slam but her form has been as patchy as anyone. She should be able to thump the remaining field, but she hasn’t look unbeatable out there yet – and she can play better.

But in the remaining field, for Venus – Aga is the only player that really worried me, because that’s is NOT a game style Venus likes.


I agree almost completely with this comment. Its, just one tournament. Yes it's the AO, but opinions of standards need to be defined over a reasonable sample of performances, not one event. Going into this event I thought Justine Henin, Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams and Venus Williams were the true top 4 players in that order. Based on what I have seen the only change I would make to this is I might put Venus ahead of Serena. Maria has had a good win, but she needs to beat or out perform Justine consistently to be considered above her.

The only bit of the above quote I disagree with is 'Nothing would make me happier than Venus winning this slam', and that's because I would like to see Jelena Janković win it. Not for any logical reason but because I have soft spot for her. Although if I retain my objectivity I know the chances of that are fairly remote.

In my humble opinion Maria probably has the best chance now, followed by Venus and Ana Ivanović.

Regards

Tim

QUEENLINDSAY
Jan 22nd, 2008, 03:43 PM
Again?

vwfan
Jan 22nd, 2008, 03:49 PM
Too soon to tell either way.

If Venus doesnít win this slam I donít think itíll be indicative of a changing of the guard. Justine and Serena were not beaten convincingly, while playing as well as they can play consistently on the tour. Henin had chances to get it back to 5-5 in the first (which could have altered the complexion of that matchÖ) but I digress. I think itíll take more than a couple of upsets in one tournament to give a clearer picture. [Lets not forget, just week ago we were hearing people speak of Justine as unbeatable!]

Nothing would make me happier than Venus winning this slam but her form has been as patchy as anyone. She should be able to thump the remaining field, but she hasnít look unbeatable out there yet Ė and she can play better.

But in the remaining field, for Venus Ė Aga is the only player that really worried me, because thatís is NOT a game style Venus likes.same here. i hope daniela can take her down.

Ova
Jan 22nd, 2008, 03:54 PM
Venus has a snowball's chance in hell to win the AO this year.

Venus is up against Ivanovic in just a short while here. While I believe wholeheartedly that Ana is going to send her packing, if she does not, then either Hantuchova or Radwanska will. I personally believe Hantuchova will defeat Radwanska, however. If by some miracle Venus makes it to the final she will be swiftly and completely sent to the showers crying by Sharapova, who in my opinion is unquestionably going to be crowned the winner, and who has played a more solid and complete game than anyone on the field so far.

Warrior
Jan 22nd, 2008, 04:01 PM
RADWANSKA will take it! :lol:

vwfan
Jan 22nd, 2008, 04:07 PM
Venus has a snowball's chance in hell to win the AO this year.

Venus is up against Ivanovic in just a short while here. While I believe wholeheartedly that Ana is going to send her packing, if she does not, then either Hantuchova or Radwanska will. I personally believe Hantuchova will defeat Radwanska, however. If by some miracle Venus makes it to the final she will be swiftly and completely sent to the showers crying by Sharapova, who in my opinion is unquestionably going to be crowned the winner, and who has played a more solid and complete game than anyone on the field so far.perhaps, but lots of matches to be played.

Venus is clearly not playing the best that she can. If she somehow turns her game on though, she is the best among the remaining field.

Venus just beat Maria two weeks ago in the Hong Kong exhibition. she was playing well there and matched up well, even though it was an exhibition. I don't think Venus is worried about Maria. She is focused on Ana and after the upsets of last night, I don't expect her to take the match for granted even though Ana has never taken a set off of her. Most of all, she is and should be focused on her own game.

Tech1
Jan 22nd, 2008, 04:07 PM
Good Luck Venus!

Volcana
Jan 22nd, 2008, 06:02 PM
Venus is up against Ivanovic in just a short while here. While I believe wholeheartedly that Ana is going to send her packing, if she does not, then either Hantuchova or Radwanska will. I personally believe Hantuchova will defeat Radwanska, however. You are, no doubt correct. However, Hantuchova and Ivanovic are 0-9 and 0-4 respectively against Venus.If by some miracle Venus makes it to the final she will be swiftly and completely sent to the showers crying by Sharapova, who in my opinion is unquestionably going to be crowned the winner, and who has played a more solid and complete game than anyone on the field so far.Exactly what was said before the last time Venus and Sharapova played.

Dodoboy.
Jan 22nd, 2008, 06:28 PM
i really don't like radwanska anymore...

hingis-seles
Jan 22nd, 2008, 07:05 PM
I still honestly believe this is Venus' tournament to lose. She's always had trouble in Australia, but the draw is wide open for her.

I just hope someone can stop her.

V-MAC
Jan 22nd, 2008, 07:15 PM
I still honestly believe this is Venus' tournament to lose. She's always had trouble in Australia, but the draw is wide open for her.

I just hope someone can stop her.

Why? Would it be so terrible if she won?:)

Tennisstar86
Jan 22nd, 2008, 07:26 PM
Why? Would it be so terrible if she won?:)

seriously... she clearly works hard and is often overshadowed by Serena who had 1.5 good years... where as Venus had 3 years of solid play.. (2000-2003) I think itd be great if she won and gave a real challenge to the "best" of the generation talk between Henin and Serena right now....

SharapovaFan16
Jan 22nd, 2008, 07:33 PM
I don't mind Venus winning even if she beats my girl to do it. I thought she was always the better Williams sister and I hope she wipes the floor with Ivanovic.

Seriously if Ivanovic beats Venus the winner of the Pova/Jelena match shouldn't have to play in the final. That's how much of a joke it would be. Pulling for a Venus & Maria final. I want to see the fireworks! Bring em on!

felipe2004
Jan 22nd, 2008, 07:38 PM
Justine had defeated everyone who is in the quarters as well the last time they played on hard. It didn't prevent her from losing 6/4 6/0. ;)

felipe2004
Jan 22nd, 2008, 07:39 PM
Add to that, Henin only had lost once in a GS QF before, even tough she has played MANY of them.

<Sven>
Jan 22nd, 2008, 07:47 PM
perhaps, but lots of matches to be played.

Venus is clearly not playing the best that she can. If she somehow turns her game on though, she is the best among the remaining field.

Venus just beat Maria two weeks ago in the Hong Kong exhibition. she was playing well there and matched up well, even though it was an exhibition. I don't think Venus is worried about Maria. She is focused on Ana and after the upsets of last night, I don't expect her to take the match for granted even though Ana has never taken a set off of her. Most of all, she is and should be focused on her own game.

I agree with what you're saying, but i want to make one comment though...
Last year Clijsters won the Hong Kong final against Sharapova, without a lot of difficulties if i remember correctly
But that didn't stop Sharapova from beating her in the semis of the AO...
I wouldn't compare Sharapova's game in an exhibition event to her game when it really matters

Nemo_Kool
Jan 22nd, 2008, 07:52 PM
Its an interesting subject and whilst i feel we have a wealth of young talent in the game i still feel as if whenever a slam comes around the experienced players are going to win. I think it's too early especially as we are not even past the AO to speculate as to whether the youth is staring to take control of the tour because for them to do that they have to consistently beat the top players regardless of the astonishing scoreline achieved today. Personally albeit with bias still feel as my signature shows that 2008 will be the more experienced players year and i fully believe in Venus. for the title.
O and as many people have questioned Venus' 'form' when has you associated the word consistency and form with Venus she comes out of nowhere to shock the field as she did in Wimbledon when she met the seeds. Venus reacts to the player you put in front of her and she thrives under the pressure of a challenge her ability to lift her level is what like Justine and Serena have to seperate them from the youth of todays game.

new-york
Jan 22nd, 2008, 07:55 PM
I don't mind Venus winning even if she beats my girl to do it. I thought she was always the better Williams sister and I hope she wipes the floor with Ivanovic.

Seriously if Ivanovic beats Venus the winner of the Pova/Jelena match shouldn't have to play in the final. That's how much of a joke it would be. Pulling for a Venus & Maria final. I want to see the fireworks! Bring em on!

the stats indicate that it would be much better for Jelena not to play Ana in the final.

Shvedbarilescu
Jan 22nd, 2008, 09:52 PM
Up til yesterday, if Maria Sharapova, Jelena Jankovic, Venus Williams, Ana Ivanovic, Daniela Hantuchova, and Agnieszka Radwanska are the last six players in a non-clay court slam, I'd say 'just give Venus the trophy'. She beat all these players the last time she played them.

2007 Wimbledon R16 def SHARAPOVA 6-1 6-3
2007 Wimbledon SMI def IVANOVIC 6-2 6-4

2007 SAN DIEGO R16 def HANTUCHOVA 6-0 6-3
2007 U.S. Open R16 def IVANOVIC 6-4 6-2
2007 U.S. Open QTR def JANKOVIC 4-6 6-1 7-6(4)

As for Radwanska ... oops....

2006 Luxembourg R16 A. RADWANSKA def Venus 6-3 6-0

Still, Venus is a prohibitive favorite. Of course she is. I mean, let's be realistic. Six GS singles titles and a daunting advantage head-to-head. Hantuchova and Ivanovic have never beaten her. Jankovic is injured. Radwanska's a baby. Sharapova's game is tailor-made for Venus. Right? So why do I have this nagging doubt?

If you had told me before yesterday that Ivanovic, Jankovic and Sharapova were playing Venus, Serena and Henin, I'd have bet real money on two out of three wins for the old guard. I certainly would NOT bet on ALL the GS title holders from 2007 losing in the first slam of 20078 in the same 28 hour period. But after watching Serena and Henin lose, and lose convincingly, in matches that were not even competitive, now I have .... doubts. It's not like Venus has using the roadgrader offense. She's hasn't dropped a set, but she hasn't had any easy sets either. Meanwhile Ivanovic seems to be at the top of her game.

The changing of the guard that began in 1997 wasn't done until 2002, Capriati being the last slam winner from the 'pre-Williams' generation. Are we looking at the end of the change that began in 2004? This generation of players produced quite a few slam winners. Serena, Venus, Henin, Hingis, plus a one-offs for Myskina and Clijsters. Four players within a couple years of age of eash other with five or more slam singles titles is golden age stuff. But sooner or later, that sort of run comes to an end.

This tournament saw quite a few 'Old School' vs 'New Age' matches
Davenport vs Sharapova
Dementieva vs Peer
Dementieva vs Sharapova
Venus vs Ivanovic
Serena vs Jankovic
Henin vs Sharapova
Hantuchova vs Radwanska
Petrova vs Radwanska
Venus vs Domachowska
And as we stand here now, New Age is kicking Old School's collective ass. There are six women left in the tournament. Only one is over age 25. The rest? 24, 22, 20, 20 and 18. Youth will be served. Mere mortals cannot hold back the tides, especially the tides of history.

Tonight, we will see what a goddess can do.

But regardless of the outcome, the sound of the inevitable is quite loud now. 'Generation Sharapova' is on the march. The only question is do the best of the current generation 'go gently into that good night'? Or 'rage, rage against the dying of the light'?

Thanks Volcana. Absolutely great post. I must admit I have sensed for some time that 2008 would be the year of the changing of the guard. I wasn't really expecting Sharapova to make such an emphatic start to the year and the way she has gone through the last four rounds has been like a statement of intent. I was rather hoping the changing of the guards would mean an assortment of younger players claiming big prizes, however at the moment it rather looks like the Maria Sharapova show. As I am not a Sharapova fan this isn't how I have wanted the year to turn out. But of course the year has just begun and hopefully there will be plenty of surprises to come.

The early 80's generation has been formidable. In the two Williams Sisters, Henin and Hingis it produced 4 genuinely great players. In addition to these 4, it also produce another half dozen or so very good players. None of the top 4 players from this generation have achieved as much as Graf or Navratilova or Seles or Evert but it would be hard to find another period in tennis that had four players of the stature of these four. Of the four Serena is certainly the one that had things gone differently, had her career not been derailed by a combination of family tragedy, knee injuries and motivational problems, could quite possibly have finished her career with roughly 15or slams rather than the still impressive eight she currently holds and I suspect won't add to.

This generation is contrast is just begining. Only two players (Sharapova with two and Kuznetsova) currently hold slam trophies. This inevidably will change. Over the next 5 years I suspect 16 to 18 of the slams handed out will be to players from this young generation. The old guard will still be there and I'm sure they will still get their share of wins but if one goes through the age in which players wins Slam titles of the last 20 or 30 years it is very clear that 27 is the age at which winning slams becomes a much more difficult endeavour.

Which brings us back to the Australian Open quarters. As you have pointed out this years quarters have provided us with 4 generational battles. The youngsters have taken the 1st two emphatically and we will she now how Venus and Daniela fend off Ana and Aga. To me both matches look 50-50 to me. I tend to in these generational battles root for youth to make their mark. But in these instances I find it hard to do so. I like both Venus and Ana. Neither is a favorite o f mine but my feelings towards both are favorable. Certainly of the big four of her generation, Venus would be my favourite.

This tournament probably marks Venus's last good shot at winning the Australian, she may have a couple more realistic shots after this but the odds will be longer for her every year from here on in. In contrast Ana has a good 7 years with which to win this and the other big titles. As Venus has never held this trophy it would be nice for her to have it and I'd be quite pleased to see her get it. Then again of those left in the draw I would be happy with anyone whose name isn't Sharapova getting it. Venus has a great record against Ana winning all four times they have played in straight sets. Venus might make it five today or she might not but it won't be long before Ana Ivanovic and others catches up with Venus as that is what happens in sport. Venus's challenge, like Henin's and Serena's will be to hold off these younger players for as long as she can. It will make for some good drama.

The bottom quarter has another similar battle between two of my very favorite players, one from the old guard and one from the new. And again it is hard to call. But the more I think about it the more I would really like Daniela to win this. She probably won't have many, perhaps none at all, chances at a Grand Slam semi left in her career whereas for Agnieszka an exciting career is only just beginning for her; she will have many more years to reach Grand Slam semis and hopefully win a few too.

It would be good to see the two veterans succeed tonight and make the quarterfinal generational battle even at two wins each. But it won't be long before Ana and Aga have the upper hand.

goldenboi356
Jan 22nd, 2008, 09:54 PM
give to venus. restore the order.

Sam L
Jan 22nd, 2008, 11:09 PM
With Serena and Justine both out, this is Venus's BIG chance for OZ. She MUST win this. Go Venus!

AcesHigh
Jan 22nd, 2008, 11:21 PM
I'm pulling for a Venus Williams win.. although I don't mind any of the players winning at this point. They are all likeable, hard-working players who each have their story of struggle and this AO would be a breakthrough for any one of them.

Obviously though, the win of greatest historical impact would be Venus winning and tying Henin's slam total, with 1 slam win short of her sister. Also, it will be her first AO trophy, her 3rd different slam win, and her first time holding two slams at the same time since USO 2001.

I don't think this tournament says much though. We thought there would be a changing of the guard after 2004 and that was an entire year of shocking wins. One slam does not tell the future.

Ova
Jan 23rd, 2008, 03:02 AM
Ivanovic just outplayed Venus. Period.

Marshmallow
Jan 23rd, 2008, 03:03 AM
You know Volcana... having just seen the Venus - Ivanovic match, it's clear that Venus will now have to play near her very best to beat Ana.

For this year at least I still give an edge to the old gals - but we need to start adapting the Big 3/4 concept. Venus, Serena, Justine and now Maria and Ana have a good chance to win each slam.

I also don't think Maria will dominate tennis for a long period if at all. I think once Ana breaks through and wins that first slam... i don't see any other player dominating while she's in the feild. [Kuznetsova will be there too... she's can throw in an odd match here and there, but she's coming of age].

[Excuse an errors - i'm typing this up tired!]

Volcana
Jan 25th, 2008, 03:04 AM
Ivanovic just outplayed Venus. Period.I completely agree.You know Volcana... having just seen the Venus - Ivanovic match, it's clear that Venus will now have to play near her very best to beat Ana.I think what we just saw is that the Venus 'C' game can't beat the Ivanovic 'B' game. Neither of them played their best.

OrdinaryfoolisNJ
Jan 25th, 2008, 03:12 AM
I truly thought Venus was going to win the AO. I was really let down. Now I'm rooting for Ivanovic. I just canNOT make myself like Shrieky.

mboyle
Jan 25th, 2008, 05:38 AM
Up til yesterday, if Maria Sharapova, Jelena Jankovic, Venus Williams, Ana Ivanovic, Daniela Hantuchova, and Agnieszka Radwanska are the last six players in a non-clay court slam, I'd say 'just give Venus the trophy'.

What? Venus has not won a title of significance off of a grass court since 2002--that's six years ago (she won Charleston in 2004, but she didn't beat top ten players to do so). Sharapova has never lost to Venus in a WTA match outside of Wimbledon. Jankovic has a good record against Venus on all surfaces. Venus is a huge threat to take Wimbledon everytime she plays. She's not the favorite anywhere else if Maria's in the draw. I don't have any idea why you would have suggested to give Venus the trophy when she'd have to face Maria or Jelena for the title, but I hope you learned your lesson lol.

mboyle
Jan 25th, 2008, 05:48 AM
You know Volcana... having just seen the Venus - Ivanovic match, it's clear that Venus will now have to play near her very best to beat Ana.

For this year at least I still give an edge to the old gals - but we need to start adapting the Big 3/4 concept. Venus, Serena, Justine and now Maria and Ana have a good chance to win each slam.

I also don't think Maria will dominate tennis for a long period if at all. I think once Ana breaks through and wins that first slam... i don't see any other player dominating while she's in the feild. [Kuznetsova will be there too... she's can throw in an odd match here and there, but she's coming of age].

[Excuse an errors - i'm typing this up tired!]


1. I agree with this point.
2. If Ivanovic beats Maria tomorrow or pushes her deep into a third set, maybe we can have a big five concept, but for now, it's still the Core Four (like the rhyming? hahaha I do.) It's always been the core 4. Justine, Serena, Maria, Venus. It was always stupid to leave Maria out when she's beaten both Serena and Justine in grand slam finals before, and when she has a winning record against Venus.
3. I haven't seen anything in the sisters' games this year to indicate that they'd be favored against Maria. Also, Maria showed the world that Justine can be overpowered, if only in certain circumstances. I'd still favor the old guard for now over Ivanovic, Vaidisova, Jankovic, Golovin et. al., but no longer against Sharapova, assuming she wins tomorrow (which is a big big assumption that I'm making only for the sake of argument.)
4. Maria will always be the best of her generation, in my opinion. She is the most mentally tough and the hungriest. Vaidisova gets scared and chokes. Kuznetsova is wildly inconsistent and always will be due to the way she produces her strokes, and Kuznetsova doesn't bring her A game when it matters. Ivanovic is the second best, in my opinion, but I think Maria does everything a little bit better. Will she dominate? Who knows...but if anyone from this generation is going to dominate, it's going to be Maria. Lindsay Davenport had the game to dominate, but not the mind. Hingis shouldn't have had enough game to dominate, but she did because of her mind.