Will Mauresmo and Blake be factors in N.Y.?
By Matthew Cronin
Whether Amelie Mauresmo's strategy of bailing on most of the summer hard court season will pay off when the U.S. Open begins next week is still debatable, but there's little question that her fresh legs and renewed vigor paid off in Montreal. That's where she punched out a wild Jennifer Capriati 6-4, 6-1 in the final of the Rogers AT&T Cup.
The match did have its similarities to their Wimbledon quarterfinal, which the Frenchwoman won in a rout. Like in London, Mauresmo was able to move Capriati around from the baseline with big topspin forehands, and both topspin and underspin from her backhand side. On many occasions, she attacked the net once she got the American out of position and, on most occasions, she was successful.
"I just wanted to play a few matches and get my game in order and see how I'm doing against the best players," said Mauresmo, who beat Daniela Hantuchova in the semis. "I guess it went pretty well. The main thing is to be ready for the U.S. Open."
It's easy to be taken in by Mauresmo's potential and athleticism, especially now that she's discovered a Gaby Sabatini-like net game. She certainly has enough muscle to bang with anyone when she's on. But there is a reason why Serena Williams blew her out in the Wimbledon semis: Mauresmo's groundies often fall in mid-court, which isn't going to cut it against the Williamses, who bury short balls with gusto.
Amelie has won eight titles now, but hasn't reached a Slam final since the '99 Australian Open. But it's possible she's peaking and if Serena's knee makes her less than 100 percent for the Open, than it's not far fetched to say that Mauresmo (with Kim Clijsters) will be one of Venus' main contenders.
WHAT HAPPENED TO JENNIFER?
For her part, Capriati played strategically vacant match, frustrated by the wind and never able to dictate play from well behind the baseline. As was the case in her previous hardcourt losses to Jelena Dokic in San Diego and Ai Sugiyama in L.A., Capriati served erratically, rarely came to net and wasn't aggressive enough with her returns of serve. Capriati became upset with a few calls late in the first set and from then on, looked like the player who has had little impact on tour since early June. If Jennifer doesn't find her focus and some direction in her game this week, she'll have no chance to realize her dream to win her first Open.
"I got upset and maybe it was a downward spiral from there," Capriati said. "Everything felt like it wasn't going my way, no matter what I tried to do. I didn't find a rhythm and with the wind, it was a mess out there."
Aug 20th, 2002, 03:20 PM
Thanks saff76ar and dhenni! :D
Aug 20th, 2002, 03:36 PM
Thanks Saff76ar! :D Yes, shame they haven't posted the video interviews for the 17th and 18th! :(
Aug 20th, 2002, 03:38 PM
Oh yes, and dhenni! :D (But I thanked you before at Gerd's! ;) )