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View Full Version : This is Serena's biggest opportunity to finish what she started...


AcesHigh
Apr 18th, 2008, 08:46 PM
..back in 2002-2003. Henin is struggling, Ivanovic and Jankovic havent fully matured. Venus hasn't shown the form she needs to win tournaments again although she's slowly getting there. And she has the advantage over Sharapova on all surfaces.

This is Serena's chance to start collecting titles and slams again. It won't be as easy, but this is the perfect opening with the young players not developed yet and the older ones declining.

It won't be as easy as before, but looking at the field, Serena has a small window. Her body won't hold up forever and in a few years, she'll no longer be the dominant force she is now. That fear factor she had before can be regained. If she can intimidate Maria, she can intimidate anyone..and when an opponent steps onto the court believing you are better, believing you have the ability to pummel them, half the fight is won.

Anyway, I'm interested to hear what you think

Expat
Apr 18th, 2008, 08:48 PM
good point
she better start it by winning the FO

her body isnt what it used to be
having said that i find it hard to believe that she will win more than 1 slam this year
anyway she has to beat jelena first here

The Daviator
Apr 18th, 2008, 08:49 PM
Despite the bizarre AO loss, this has been an amazing start to the season for Serena, she's beaten every top 5 player already except Ana and it's only April, I'd be shocked if she didn't pick up at least 1 Slam this year.

LightWarrior
Apr 18th, 2008, 08:50 PM
She intimidates Maria. But apparently she doesn't intimidate Jankovic.
But I agree, this is the first time in years she's 100% both fit and focused on tennis. Now there's the chance !

Olórin
Apr 18th, 2008, 08:50 PM
I definitely agree. With Henin have other "interests" and form problems, Venus not the same, and others not quite there yet, Serena has a great chance to bump her numbers up, she just needs to stay healthy.

If she can continue moving and playing well I would expect a lot from her. Plus I think she is slowly getting that intimidation factor back. 2005/6 she'd lost it against the elite, but she's starting to regain that aura now.

Expat
Apr 18th, 2008, 08:51 PM
Despite the bizarre AO loss, this has been an amazing start to the season for Serena, she's beaten every top 5 player already except Ana and it's only March, I'd be shocked if she didn't pick up at least 1 Slam this year.
unfortunately that was the most important match she lost this year:sad:
i still cant understand what happened to her serve that day

Olórin
Apr 18th, 2008, 08:52 PM
She intimidates Maria. But apparently she doesn't intimidate Jankovic.


Did you not hear Jelena's interviews after the Miami final. She commented how intimidating it was when Serena was playing well against her in the first set, she said she felt like a feather weight playing a heavy weight; then she made a joke about how Serena was being nice to her by losing the second set.

I think she would have more confidence on clay though. She's beaten an awful lot of good players on it.

LudwigDvorak
Apr 18th, 2008, 08:53 PM
Let's see if she wins Charleston. She was supposed to be doing this after Miami last year, but it didn't happen. If she gets Charleston, it's a great start, winning three titles in a row. She hasn't done that since early 2003, right?

She said she's going to try and play both red clay TI events, right? Even if she doesn't, if she wins Paris...and does well in Wimbledon...well, we'll have to see. First, Charleston. Beating Jankovic, Schnyder, or Dementieva in the final would be BIG for her. Then go on from there.

Olórin
Apr 18th, 2008, 08:53 PM
unfortunately that was the most important match she lost this year:sad:
i still cant understand what happened to her serve that day

Well that loss will make her all the more motivated at the other slams :shrug:

DOUBLEFIST
Apr 18th, 2008, 08:53 PM
..back in 2002-2003. Henin is struggling, Ivanovic and Jankovic havent fully matured. Venus hasn't shown the form she needs to win tournaments again although she's slowly getting there. And she has the advantage over Sharapova on all surfaces.

This is Serena's chance to start collecting titles and slams again. It won't be as easy, but this is the perfect opening with the young players not developed yet and the older ones declining.

It won't be as easy as before, but looking at the field, Serena has a small window. Her body won't hold up forever and in a few years, she'll no longer be the dominant force she is now. That fear factor she had before can be regained. If she can intimidate Maria, she can intimidate anyone..and when an opponent steps onto the court believing you are better, believing you have the ability to pummel them, half the fight is won.

Anyway, I'm interested to hear what you think

Excellent observation. And I agree that the window is much smaller now, but it's still there!!

Tennisstar86
Apr 18th, 2008, 08:53 PM
I dont know if Serena has the motivation to dominate like she did... I think she really wants the french open.... so she will have won each slam twice and by doing so cemented her place as the best of the generation regardless of what henin does (cause i doubt Henin will ever win wimbledon once let alone 2 times.... but after that who knows....

The US is a toss up really IMO it seems peoples bodies have been giving up by that tournament fatigue etc... and Serena is no exception.

As far as Wimbledon goes its the only surface Venus has the edge over her. she had trouble beating a crimpled venus in 03. so If Venus doesnt find her form (which is possible, but as you said shes slowly finding it) then yes Serena has a great chance there.

That said i dont think 04 Wimbledon was a fluke for sharapova, and theres a rason she dominated her there because i believe on grass Sharapova also has the advantage over Serena just like Venus.... of course now its a mental game for her after the thrashings shes recieved...

Demska
Apr 18th, 2008, 08:55 PM
:yawn:

In The Zone
Apr 18th, 2008, 08:55 PM
Serena Slam, Version 2.0 beginning at RG 08 with the Gold Medal this time! :D

Dave.
Apr 18th, 2008, 08:55 PM
Good call. I agree. Serena did extremely well in 2007 to get her career back on track. Her 05-06 were awful seasons for her, so it was great to recover. For the first time since 04, she was a genuine top player. It's great to see she has built on her 2007 season and seems to be getting even better this year. If she continues getting these results and plays enough, she can definetely get back to the top 5.

Olórin
Apr 18th, 2008, 08:58 PM
I dont know if Serena has the motivation to dominate like she did... I think she really wants the french open.... so she will have won each slam twice and by doing so cemented her place as the best of the generation regardless of what henin does (cause i doubt Henin will ever win wimbledon once let alone 2 times.... but after that who knows....

The US is a toss up really IMO it seems peoples bodies have been giving up by that tournament fatigue etc... and Serena is no exception.

As far as Wimbledon goes its the only surface Venus has the edge over her. she had trouble beating a crimpled venus in 03. so If Venus doesnt find her form (which is possible, but as you said shes slowly finding it) then yes Serena has a great chance there.

That said i dont think 04 Wimbledon was a fluke for sharapova, and theres a rason she dominated her there because i believe on grass Sharapova also has the advantage over Serena just like Venus.... of course now its a mental game for her after the thrashings shes recieved...

She was not playing nearly as well as she did in the quarters and semis though. I think a part of her didn't want to beat Venus that day. However, I agree that she would need to be at her best to beat Venus on grass.

LightWarrior
Apr 18th, 2008, 09:02 PM
Did you not hear Jelena's interviews after the Miami final. She commented how intimidating it was when Serena was playing well against her in the first set, she said she felt like a feather weight playing a heavy weight; then she made a joke about how Serena was being nice to her by losing the second set.

I think she would have more confidence on clay though. She's beaten an awful lot of good players on it.

Please, this is just talk, blah blah, politically correct talk, phony talk from Jankovic, which is what she does best. The fact remains that Serena has troube playing Jankovic. She runs down everything, which Serena hates, and which makes her choke at times. I'm a big Serena admirer, but let's be honest here...

beriadan
Apr 18th, 2008, 09:05 PM
In Jankovic magically improves her serve soon, I can see her stopping Serena. But I think this is a good opportunity for Serena, although she seems to have strange mood swings on the court. She'll be lethargic one moment, and raring to go the next. Sometimes I think that she loses games and sets on purpose, because being on the edge of defeat really seems to motivate her.

spartanfan
Apr 18th, 2008, 09:06 PM
To be honest I think if her contract with Nike is up for renewal this year, that is also a great motivation we're talking 10's of millions of dollars on the line. But she seems to really want to be there when she steps out on the court, so I'm thinking she's really commited this year. And I don't mind that Anotherpova took her to three sets today. I think it gets her up there and prepared for battle and the long hard grind that comes along with winning the FO.

Dodoboy.
Apr 18th, 2008, 09:07 PM
There is no doubt Jelena is intimidated by Serena. She just handles it differently than the rest. She starts to play WELL.

spartanfan
Apr 18th, 2008, 09:07 PM
In Jankovic magically improves her serve soon, I can see her stopping Serena. But I think this is a good opportunity for Serena, although she seems to have strange mood swings on the court. She'll be lethargic one moment, and raring to go the next. Sometimes I think that she loses games and sets on purpose, because being on the edge of defeat really seems to motivate her.
I totally agree with you on Serena's mood swings, but I think the greatest motivator for Serena is the threat of losing, especially to someone she's lost to before.

Olórin
Apr 18th, 2008, 09:07 PM
Please, this is just talk, blah blah, politically correct talk, phony talk from Jankovic, which is what she does best. The fact remains that Serena has troube playing Jankovic. She runs down everything, which Serena hates, and which makes her choke at times. I'm a big Serena admirer, but let's be honest here...

Politically correct talk from Jankovic?

Which planet are you from? :lol:

Jankovic probably doesn't know what the phrase PC means! (much like Serena) But she like anyone else knows that when Serena is on her game, which she was for a good part of the match, they're toast. I am being honest and logical here. Of course she has trouble playing Jankovic, she had trouble playing Capriati too, but she managed to beat her 8 times in a row. Of course Serena isn't in Jelena's head or anything, but to say she doesn't intimidate her when she's playing well is absurd.

Olórin
Apr 18th, 2008, 09:09 PM
In Jankovic magically improves her serve soon, I can see her stopping Serena. But I think this is a good opportunity for Serena, although she seems to have strange mood swings on the court. She'll be lethargic one moment, and raring to go the next. Sometimes I think that she loses games and sets on purpose, because being on the edge of defeat really seems to motivate her.

I know, I'm starting to think she loses sets on prupoise as well :lol:

Tennisstar86
Apr 18th, 2008, 09:09 PM
To be honest I think if her contract with Nike is up for renewal this year, that is also a great motivation we're talking 10's of millions of dollars on the line. But she seems to really want to be there when she steps out on the court, so I'm thinking she's really commited this year. And I don't mind that Anotherpova took her to three sets today. I think it gets her up there and prepared for battle and the long hard grind that comes along with winning the FO.

Well, IMO the reason it went three was Serena was trying a few things cause like i said she really wants a 2nd French open... she tried to mix it up move her around creating angles; however, once Sharapova got that second set she just did what she knows best cause she knows it'll work on the green, not so much on the red though(however, with the power she was hitting with it might work on the red as well)

bandabou
Apr 18th, 2008, 09:14 PM
With that serve...Wow, but yeah...she sure seems focused right now. Jankovic seems to be in Serena's head right now, but yeah. match by match..

beriadan
Apr 18th, 2008, 09:17 PM
I know, I'm starting to think she loses sets on prupoise as well :lol:

Is that sarcasm I sense there?

frontier
Apr 18th, 2008, 09:17 PM
Serena is different physically from pova or other European players,she is strong and because she has never really played a lot between 2004 and 2007 she has probably lengthened her career plus she doesnt play week in week out like some players.I dont see her losing to say Dinara five years from now.I see her winning slams this year not a slam.....

Mina Vagante
Apr 18th, 2008, 09:22 PM
Serena needs to be careful not to play too many tournaments and risk being injured for the FO and Wimbledon, but yes this is the time for her to add titles;)

LightWarrior
Apr 18th, 2008, 09:44 PM
Politically correct talk from Jankovic?

Which planet are you from? :lol:

Jankovic probably doesn't know what the phrase PC means! (much like Serena) But she like anyone else knows that when Serena is on her game, which she was for a good part of the match, they're toast. I am being honest and logical here. Of course she has trouble playing Jankovic, she had trouble playing Capriati too, but she managed to beat her 8 times in a row. Of course Serena isn't in Jelena's head or anything, but to say she doesn't intimidate her when she's playing well is absurd.


I think Jelena was mostly impressed by the racquet smashing...When Serena is at her best she can beat anyone. Agreed. However anyone, including Serena can have letdowns during any given match. Serena always says tennis is 90% mental. Now you tell me why she lost in straight sets at the OA. Why she wavered in the second set in the Miami final while she was on a roll. Why she squandered 8 match points. It's all in the head. For some unknown reason Serena is always going to fear Jankovic at any given time for the time being, which she isn't against Sharapova. Until she solves it.

Volcana
Apr 18th, 2008, 09:52 PM
I don't think Serena needs a 'fear factor' to win. She needs to stay healthy, keep her weight down, and play regularly. Something like 12-14 tournaments a year. I don't expect to see a repeat of 2002, but four to six more slams is quite a reasonable expectation.

kwilliams
Apr 18th, 2008, 09:59 PM
Let's see if she wins Charleston. She was supposed to be doing this after Miami last year, but it didn't happen. If she gets Charleston, it's a great start, winning three titles in a row. She hasn't done that since early 2003, right?

She said she's going to try and play both red clay TI events, right? Even if she doesn't, if she wins Paris...and does well in Wimbledon...well, we'll have to see. First, Charleston. Beating Jankovic, Schnyder, or Dementieva in the final would be BIG for her. Then go on from there.

I agree that if she wins Charleston that would get the wheels in motion. It would be huge for her confidence and it would also add to her fear factor amongst the other players. Beating JJ in the final would be best for Serena. If she can do that on green clay she can do anything.

50Sense
Apr 18th, 2008, 10:01 PM
Serena needs to keep winning matches, keeping building steam, keep getting fitter. I think the reason she si doing well right now is because she's not overwhelming herself with talk of some kind of string of Grand Slams or something. She's staying focused and improving slowly. Serena still needs to test herself on Red Clay.

Olórin
Apr 18th, 2008, 10:04 PM
I think Jelena was mostly impressed by the racquet smashing...When Serena is at her best she can beat anyone. Agreed. However anyone, including Serena can have letdowns during any given match. Serena always says tennis is 90% mental. Now you tell me why she lost in straight sets at the OA. Why she wavered in the second set in the Miami final while she was on a roll. Why she squandered 8 match points. It's all in the head. For some unknown reason Serena is always going to fear Jankovic at any given time for the time being, which she isn't against Sharapova. Until she solves it.

She doesn't fear Jankovic. Firstly there were two different problems in her matches against Jankovic this year, at the AO her problem was physical, for whatever reason, not mental. Her serve simply wasn't on, and her average speed was about 15-20 mph slower than her previous rounds. Nothing mental there, she just didn't have the game to beat Jelena that day.

And as for the Miami Final, well she seems to get nervous in Miami finals, she played a medicore first set against Justine last year and nearly lost, and played lacklustre tennis in the first set against Capriati in 03 as well. I don't think it particlarly matters that it was Jelena on the other side of the net, she was basically an irrelevance as the match was Serena's to win or lose.

thrust
Apr 18th, 2008, 10:25 PM
Let's see if she wins Charleston. She was supposed to be doing this after Miami last year, but it didn't happen. If she gets Charleston, it's a great start, winning three titles in a row. She hasn't done that since early 2003, right?

She said she's going to try and play both red clay TI events, right? Even if she doesn't, if she wins Paris...and does well in Wimbledon...well, we'll have to see. First, Charleston. Beating Jankovic, Schnyder, or Dementieva in the final would be BIG for her. Then go on from there.

Serena^s best chance at winning a Slam would be Wimbledon, then USO. Rome would be her best chance in winning on red clay, as the courts there are supposed to be faster than Paris or Berlin. She beat Jusine in the Rome final after losing to her in Berlin final in 2003.

starin
Apr 18th, 2008, 10:35 PM
yeah Serena kinda faded last year so it's too soon to know what to expect from her. Especially since she is so injury prone and her knee could flare up again. And imo when Serena is playing her best noone can stop her (except maybe a healthy and non UE machine Queen VEE;) Anyways it was never really about the competition it was about getting physically fit and focused on tennis. And I still think Serena can get fitter so she still has room for improvement.

Kunal
Apr 18th, 2008, 10:56 PM
yea stay focussed and start winning the big ones

Thanx4nothin
Apr 18th, 2008, 11:01 PM
I doubt it hugely, because i wont allow myself to believe it, I know in my heart of hearts that if Serena could just play like she has been this year or her best tennis she could end the year with 11 slam, dont see it though. I'd be quite surprised if she even won one for some reason I just dont see it, she keeps having bad losses in slams.

RenaSlam.
Apr 18th, 2008, 11:31 PM
Let's do it, Serena.

The power lies within you. No one on tour can match your power, ferocity, grit and mental fortitude when you are focused even 80%.

ALLEZ!

BuTtErFrEnA
Apr 18th, 2008, 11:50 PM
I think Jelena was mostly impressed by the racquet smashing...When Serena is at her best she can beat anyone. Agreed. However anyone, including Serena can have letdowns during any given match. Serena always says tennis is 90% mental. Now you tell me why she lost in straight sets at the OA. Why she wavered in the second set in the Miami final while she was on a roll. Why she squandered 8 match points. It's all in the head. For some unknown reason Serena is always going to fear Jankovic at any given time for the time being, which she isn't against Sharapova. Until she solves it.

:weirdo: she doesn't fear jj...she got nerves (tell me who wouldn't while trying to tie the great Graf)...jj did absolutely nothing to get into serena's head in that match...it doesn't matter that jj is a good runner because serena was thrashing her before nerves got the better of her...she thrashed her at last year's open and this year's AO was a strange match where she didn't even show up except for in body...

darrinbaker00
Apr 19th, 2008, 02:18 AM
I don't think Serena needs a 'fear factor' to win. She needs to stay healthy, keep her weight down, and play regularly. Something like 12-14 tournaments a year. I don't expect to see a repeat of 2002, but four to six more slams is quite a reasonable expectation.
That's a part-time schedule, my friend.

LUIS9
Apr 19th, 2008, 02:56 AM
She was not playing nearly as well as she did in the quarters and semis though. I think a part of her didn't want to beat Venus that day. However, I agree that she would need to be at her best to beat Venus on grass.
I don't know how much of an advantage Venus has over her on grass, but she does have one thing or at least until recently, I always thought Venus was the better mover. Venus has been overall the best mover side to side the game has seen since Graf. Serena was quick when she was at her best, but Venus always had the extra reach, has always been better at defending and moves a lot more effortlessly than Serena.

austennis
Apr 19th, 2008, 04:18 AM
whilst i think that this is a distinct possiblilty.. i kinda hope it dosnt happen.. whilst being great for serena fans it would make the WTA return to being too predictable.. we need to have ana , justine , maria, jelena, venus, serena, elena, sveta all at their best and pushing for GS not just 1-2 players

homogenius
Apr 19th, 2008, 05:05 AM
It won't be easy at all.Henin won't suck eternally, Sharapova will manage to win a match against her at some point and Jankovic give her a lot of problems.Venus could beat her in USO or Wimbledon.Kuznetsova can beat her on a good day.Some young players will manage to get her too.
All in all, I think she's winning because she's focus on tennis and has something to prove to herself.The losses against Heninlast year were maybe a good thing finally.She's fitter but it's not that great and she is far from playing stellar tennis or trashing opponents (Venus had matchpoint in Bangalore, she barely won against Penetta, Kuzne or Srebotnik the few last weeks).She's doing very well this year (except AO) but I can't see her dominate the tour like she did once.

Direwolf
Apr 19th, 2008, 05:21 AM
nah...!!!

she'll get to the finals atleast...
she should win about 1 slam

DemWilliamsGulls
Apr 19th, 2008, 05:47 AM
I think Serena wasnt the gold metal this year to complete all of her single slams. I want Serena AND Venus to dominate..moreso Venus to get the French because its the hardest slam on that messy ass clay. She hsa the potential to do it..but Venus is too patchy. I think she will eventually get the Australian if she trains the hardest...but either way..I want a WILLIAMS to win..I dont care who it is..i love both of em!

Renalicious
Apr 19th, 2008, 05:52 AM
I totally agree. When I was matching her match against Masha yesterday it hit me how BACK Serena is. I mean, she's totally back! I actually think some of the shots she hit were better than those of 02-03. She's almost back up to that level. She just needs to work on movement now. Her serve was amazing, she served 11 aces. I really do home she becomes dominant again.

pepaw
Apr 19th, 2008, 06:01 AM
It's her best opportunity yes, but she won't take it. Venus, Ivanovic, Sharapova, Henin and Jankovic will all beat her this year.

Alex72
Apr 19th, 2008, 07:11 AM
Her body won't hold up forever and in a few years, she'll no longer be the dominant force she is now.

You present an interesting topic, but this is where I think you went wrong. Serena has had a couple of good tournaments the last few weeks, but it took getting through two very tough 3 setters to earn the Miami title. She just dropped 12 games to Sharapova, the so called "cow on ice" on clay. What matters is the slams. Serena has won two AOs since `05, good, but hardly "dominant." Now you can talk of talent and ability, but this doesn`t establish dominance, consistent results in the majors does. There has been no real dominance in 5 years. Now there is certainly nothing wrong with looking ahead with optimism, but there is no gaurantee that Henin will keep slumping, or that even Maria won`t find a way to get past Serena part of the time on fast surfaces. Nor is there any guarantee that Serena will maintain her present interest, fitness, or form. Or that the up and comers won`t make real strides this year. It will all be very interesting to see how it pans out.

Mikey B
Apr 19th, 2008, 08:18 AM
whatever happens, this year i want to see a sharapova-serena rivalry pick up properly.. so that means maria will have to win a few matches against her, but they've been the best players of 08 so far, i would love them to pick up their rivalry where it left off back in jan 05.. where it was a pretty decent one!

i think serena learnt a lot from last year, after the AO she expected to win everything in the same manner, with little preperation coming in.. i think she now understands that her win at the AO was so incredible that it wont happen every time she plays a slam, and i dont think she expects that to happen either, but i think now she's played herself into good form is getting better and better and is really playing tennis for titles... getting early prep for the french, and will probably do the same for the us open... injuries aside i think this will be serena's fullest year on tour since 02 probably...