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View Full Version : Did Justine Play Follow Her New Game Plan?


tennisbum79
Jun 28th, 2010, 01:46 PM
We all know Justine has retooled her game in order to increase her chance at Wimbledon.

I know she did lost today, but did she execute the new game plan?
If not, how far is she?

Is the new agression stance back firing in errors?
Or the hard fall had a major impact in this match?

tonybotz
Jun 28th, 2010, 01:47 PM
if her new game plan was to not hit winners, miss over heads, and allow her opponent to dictate, then today was a smashing success.

twight6
Jun 28th, 2010, 01:48 PM
Justine's game just doesn't work. It's like she's being more aggressive, but all it has done is add errors to her game :shrug: This was a terrible match from both :help:

eck
Jun 28th, 2010, 01:48 PM
Not to mention, be inconsistent.

RenaSlam.
Jun 28th, 2010, 01:49 PM
It's terrible. She doesn't utilize her variety whatsoever anymore. She barely hit any slice backhands and stopped coming to the net after the first set. :help:

twight6
Jun 28th, 2010, 01:50 PM
It's terrible. She doesn't utilize her variety whatsoever anymore. She barely hit any slice backhands and stopped coming to the net after the first set. :help:

That's exactly right. It's like she took all of the variety out of her game to try to be more aggressive, and it doesn't work :help:. Replace the variety with inconsistency

eck
Jun 28th, 2010, 01:51 PM
She's playing the game Kim has perfected.
It wasn't long before Kim would obviously take control.

LightWarrior
Jun 28th, 2010, 01:51 PM
Lindsay mentioned that she doesn't use her sliced backhand like she did before she retired. That would have been very effective on grass. Makes sense.

eck
Jun 28th, 2010, 01:54 PM
She sacrificed variety for power, which is a shame and makes her overshadowed by people who can do much better.

edificio
Jun 28th, 2010, 01:55 PM
Might want to throw the new game plan on the scrap heap with Jelena's overly pumped-up body that didn't work.

Dawson.
Jun 28th, 2010, 01:57 PM
Her 'new game plan' sucks. Where was the serve/volley play of her 2006 run or the slice backhand? She really should have won today. I hope it doesn't dishearten her too much.

doktor
Jun 28th, 2010, 01:58 PM
if her new game plan was to not hit winners, miss over heads, and allow her opponent to dictate, then today was a smashing success.

that missed overhead in the third set was :help:

tennisbum79
Jun 28th, 2010, 02:02 PM
She sacrificed variety for power, which is a shame and makes her overshadowed by people who can do much better.
I think going in, they knew they would be some tradeoff.
Sacrificing variety and feel for sustained power and aggression.

If they still believe in this, they can say it is still work in progress and we have to perfect it.
So they will give another year of stay the course.

tennnisfannn
Jun 28th, 2010, 02:03 PM
More and more it is beginnning to seem like kim came back coz she was disatisfied with her achievement, with her game 1GS was never ging to be neough. Justine on theother hand seemsto have comeback because of Kim's success.
That asie, Justine's pre retirement game was good enough to win wimbled, though she didn't. If Amelei could so could she, she needs her old game back!

mdterp01
Jun 28th, 2010, 02:05 PM
if her new game plan was to not hit winners, miss over heads, and allow her opponent to dictate, then today was a smashing success.

:rolls:

Polikarpov
Jun 28th, 2010, 02:10 PM
She's still inconsistent. She executed well in her last match, but not today. I think her game will settle with more tournaments.

eck
Jun 28th, 2010, 02:11 PM
I think going in, they knew they would be some tradeoff.
Sacrificing variety and feel for sustained power and aggression.

If they still believe in this, they can say it is still work in progress and we have to perfect it.
So they will give another year of stay the course.

Yeah, it takes time to perfect sure. Her mentality and etc etc. But she also needs to consider that she is a. no longer as fast as she was, and b. not as powerful as she was, and c. not as mentally tough as she was.

It's tough because she's also getting older, which is not helping her cause. I get why she's going the power play route because she is not getting younger, but she needs to find a balance, not just HAMMER everything down, especially when she's not playing well.

treufreund
Jun 28th, 2010, 02:12 PM
Not really.. She wavered between ballbashing and pushing.

spencercarlos
Jun 28th, 2010, 02:28 PM
Not really.. She wavered between ballbashing and pushing.
I saw the first set and she played great agressive style. Of course her serve followed her like 70% of the time.

But that 6-2 had the same smell of what she did against Stosur. Henin really needs to get consistency on her game back. She is just too inconsistent to play a ballbashing game, and when that does not work, she tries to push, but that is not really her game either so she ends up in the middle of nowhere. An all court game should be better for her IMO, not this disaster mix of power and puff balls..

I am glad Kim won. She´s really the only one that has shown that she can beat both Venus and Serena in grand slam/big events as of late...

tennisbum79
Jun 28th, 2010, 04:46 PM
I saw the first set and she played great agressive style. Of course her serve followed her like 70% of the time.

But that 6-2 had the same smell of what she did against Stosur. Henin really needs to get consistency on her game back. She is just too inconsistent to play a ballbashing game, and when that does not work, she tries to push, but that is not really her game either so she ends up in the middle of nowhere. An all court game should be better for her IMO, not this disaster mix of power and puff balls.....

2010 Transition Year = Still work in progress

_Cell-chuk
Jun 28th, 2010, 05:22 PM
What Justine needs is Clijsters to get pregnant again and the WS to quit the game.

Then she has a chance to win something big as of late. This is a fan speaking.

And for your question.

YES, she did follow her new game plan which is to bash the returns as hard as she can. Justine's new game plan is to hit the returns uber aggressive on first and second serves. She followed this plan against Serena in the Aussie final, against Clijsters in Brisbane when she was 3-0 up in the final set, against Stosur at the French when she was up a break in the final set and today against Clijsters when she was up 5-1 in the first and also 0-30 up in the first game of the second set.

Nothing more to say really.

tennisbum79
Jun 28th, 2010, 06:28 PM
What Justine needs is Clijsters to get pregnant again and the WS to quit the game.

Then she has a chance to win something big as of late. This is a fan speaking.

And for your question.

YES, she did follow her new game plan which is to bash the returns as hard as she can. Justine's new game plan is to hit the returns uber aggressive on first and second serves. She followed this plan against Serena in the Aussie final, against Clijsters in Brisbane when she was 3-0 up in the final set, against Stosur at the French when she was up a break in the final set and today against Clijsters when she was up 5-1 in the first and also 0-30 up in the first game of the second set.

Nothing more to say really.
You obviously do not like the course they are pursuing now.

Would rather they dial back and change their approach because you don't see it yieding good results?

Now do you think if they keep the same course, justifying arguing that they are not yet where they want to be; it might look shaky now, but once everything is in place, that is when Justine fully embraces sustained power and aggression and de-emphasises touch, feel & variety, everything should be fine.

oddkayla
Jun 28th, 2010, 07:15 PM
Primarily because she is getting older, the new game was never going to be as successful at the old game. The pre-retirement game worked becuase of variety, her ability to move the ball and opponents around. She had just the right amount of aggression. Turning her into a power player to win wimbledon was never going to work, because there are a lot of people who are better than her in that department. And it is such that her focus on power play means that she has not practiced and mastered her sublime game so she cannot resort to it in moments of doubt and desperation.

n1_and_uh_noone
Jun 28th, 2010, 07:15 PM
You obviously do not like the course they are pursuing now.

Would rather they dial back and change their approach because you don't see it yieding good results?

Now do you if they keep the same course, justifying they are not yet whre they want to be.
It might look shaky now, but once everything is in place. Rhat is when Justine fully embraces sustained power and aggression and deemphasises touch, feel & variety, everything should be fine.

That would be a disaster. If her goal was to turn into Kim Clijsters, 1. it ain't gonna happen 2. she is going to struggle to achieve anything meaningful in her short time back.

I think she expects to marry this aggressive mentality with her all-court game, but it is all muddled right now.

Her game exactly as it was back when she left, would have been good enough to win a Slam or two now.

The Witch-king
Jun 28th, 2010, 07:22 PM
She is too short to play the ballbashing game of Kim. You could just see her being outmaneuvered in those baseline exchanges because of her shorter legs. It actually made me wonder how this chick ever won a slam :o

tennisbum79
Jun 28th, 2010, 07:27 PM
Her game exactly as it was back when she left, would have been good enough to win a Slam or two now.

Remember this new game plan was brought about to win Wimbledon.
Not just any GS, but Wimbledon.

I think, in her come back, they made their analysis and came to the conclusion if she was going to win Wimbledon with her old game, she would already have done that.
That fact she did not, means that old game plan is not enough to win Wimbledon.
Hence the new approach: sustain power, aggression, look to shortening the point to the detriement of deliberate look for variety, feel, patience, that are for the other surfaces, not Wimby.

G-Ha
Jun 28th, 2010, 07:35 PM
I, for one, never thought Justine needed a re-tooled game in order to win Wimbledon. She has won on grass and is a 2-time finalist at Wimbledon, having reached the finals for the first time very early on in her career, long before she won her first slam. So, clearly she's capable. I think Justine's biggest obstacle there is not technical, but mental. Being a natural claycourter, she's never appeared fully comfortable at Wimbledon, even when in winning positions.

Being more aggressive and looking to more forward are always good, and should be the ongoing gameplan, but the tinkering with her technique and actual re-tooling of shots was unnecessary and even detrimental.

Throwing variety out the window for constant, often ill-advised aggression is obviously not the way to go. Her variety is what allowed her to compete with girls who are bigger and hit harder, by first out-maneuvering them and then going for the kill shot. Constantly coming over the backhand even when in defensive positions, particulary on grass, just results in a mid-pace shot that sits up - even the most average big-hitter will easily put it away. The slice not only gave her more time to get in position, but is much harder to attack and pound for a winner.

The re-tooled forehand has been most disasterous. Early in her career, the forehand was a liability and eventually she turned it into a weapon. The new technique has resulted in the shot reverting back to a liability. Sure, she can still hit some flashy winners with it, but far too often, it falls short in the court and has become more attackable. Pre-retirement, particularly in '07, that shot consistently landed deep in the court or was angled out wide, when it wasn't an outright winner.

Justine's only been back half a year, but the "new" gameplan doesn't appear to be working...

n1_and_uh_noone
Jun 28th, 2010, 07:35 PM
Remember this new game plan was brought about to win Wimbledon.
Not just any GS, but Wimbledon.

I think, in her come back, they made their analysis and came to the conclusion if she was going to win Wimbledon with her old, she would already have done that.
That fact she did not, means that old game plan is not enough to win Wimbledon.
Hence the new approach: sustain power, aggression, look to shortening the point to the detriement deliberate look for variety, feel, patience, that are for the other surfaces, not Wimby.

Wrong. It is true that ballbashing is effective on grass, because the ball shoots through the court. However, when she made the finals/semis before, she used her usual game better, standing closer to the baseline, serving with accuracy and utilizing slices and angles. Also coming in when the opportunity was there. I don't think anyone would call Federer a ballbasher, because he does all these things on grass. Also, look at Nadal. He does well on grass with a few adjustments (NOT by hitting flat and serving 140 MPH bombs) which Justine was already doing previously on grass.

It definitely helps to shorten SOME points, but she is woefully off getting the balance right. Hitting from the baseline with Kim/Serena/Venus is a lost cause.

She was so good in her 2007 QF against Serena, using her skills fully instead of ready-aim-fire tennis.

tennisbum79
Jun 28th, 2010, 07:42 PM
Wrong. It is true that ballbashing is effective on grass, because the ball shoots through the court. However, when she made the finals/semis before, she used her usual game better, standing closer to the baseline, serving with accuracy and utilizing slices and angles. Also coming in when the opportunity was there. I don't think anyone would call Federer a ballbasher, but he does all these things on grass. Also, look at Nadal. He does well on grass with a few adjustments (not by hitting flat and serving 140 MPH bombs) which Justine was already doing previously on grass.

It definitely helps to shorten SOME points, but she is woefully off getting the balance right. Hitting with Kim/Serena/Venus is a lost cause.
So why do you think they decided to give all that up?
I repeat, I think they believe even though they come close, had they met a WS with that kind of game plan, they would have lost.
So, they decided to go for a drastic overhauling which is going to not only get them through the early rounds, but they will be confident with that game plan plan if they were to play a WS, in the semi or final.

Later on, they could fine tune it by adding elemenst of her old game, but they want the core plan of the new approach to be uncompromisely power/aggression and short point driven.

Volcana
Jun 28th, 2010, 07:49 PM
More and more it is beginnning to seem like kim came back coz she was disatisfied with her achievement, with her game 1GS was never ging to be neough. Justine on theother hand seemsto have comeback because of Kim's success.[quote]I disagree with that. I think Clijsters came back because she WAS happy. Sort of like Kimiko Date. It's almost like she's on vacation. She's already talking about how this is temporary, and she's going to have more kids.

I think Henin, OTOH, was disatisfied with where her life was. She came back because she was UN-happy.[quote=tennnisfannn;18064102]If Amelei could so could she, she needs her old game back!In practice, that just doesn't hold up. It's like saying Hingis was good enough to win Roland Garros, or Venus was good enough to win OZ. Sure, except they didn't.

n1_and_uh_noone
Jun 28th, 2010, 07:50 PM
So why do you think they decided to give all that up?
I repeat, I think they believe even though they come close, had they met a WS with that kind of game plan, they would have lost.
So, they decided to go for a drastic overhauling which is going to only them through th early rounds, but they will be confident with tha game plan plan if they were to play a WS, in the semi or final.

Later on, they could fine tune it by adding elemenst of her old game, by they want the core paln of the new approach to be uncompromisely power/aggression driven.

Well, it's failed thus far, and she has massive ups-and-downs even against scrubs. I am of the opinion her game itself is not different (or the forehand etc.). I imagine Carlos makes her repeat a 1000 times daily 'I will be more aggressive' :lol:. Just not her natural instinct.

I sincerely hope you are right about adding elements of her old game, because if that doesn't happen soon, it is hard to imagine her posing a serious threat at the latter stages of Slams. The power-hitters have played one way throughout their careers, and have their natural power to keep it simple. I hope Justine really does only need a few more tournaments to sort her game out.

new-york
Jun 28th, 2010, 07:53 PM
I don't know why Carlos felt the need to change her game like that.

She would have been able to win with the adjusted previous game.

n1_and_uh_noone
Jun 28th, 2010, 07:55 PM
If Amelei could so could she, she needs her old game back!

She always says the 2006 final was her biggest chance, because she wouldn't have had to face a WS to win, which I always considered a monumental mental block for her (that she was intimidated by them - and it pissed me off). Amelie fully deserved that win, though :hearts:

tennisbum79
Jun 28th, 2010, 07:57 PM
I sincerely hope you are right about adding elements of her old game, because if that doesn't happen soon, it is hard to imagine her posing a serious threat at the latter stages of Slams. The power-hitters have played one way throughout their careers, and have their natural power to keep it simple. I hope Justine really does only need a few more tournaments to sort her game out.

I think they would do that only if they feel Justine has totally embraced the new plan and it working.
Then as bell and whistles to the new completed plan, they will add elements of her old game.

It is an ambitious and high risk adventure.
High reward, but also bitter disappointment await.
Which it would be?
Let's wait and see.

NeoZod19
Jun 28th, 2010, 09:13 PM
Jelena....again different tournemant but same problems!:sad:

hurricanejeanne
Jun 28th, 2010, 09:23 PM
What won Justine 7 slams was her old pre-retirement game. Not this. If I'm her (and Carlos), I go back to the old game. It's what's going to get her back to the top ten.

Apoleb
Jun 28th, 2010, 11:05 PM
I, for one, never thought Justine needed a re-tooled game in order to win Wimbledon. She has won on grass and is a 2-time finalist at Wimbledon, having reached the finals for the first time very early on in her career, long before she won her first slam. So, clearly she's capable. I think Justine's biggest obstacle there is not technical, but mental. Being a natural claycourter, she's never appeared fully comfortable at Wimbledon, even when in winning positions.

Being more aggressive and looking to more forward are always good, and should be the ongoing gameplan, but the tinkering with her technique and actual re-tooling of shots was unnecessary and even detrimental.

Throwing variety out the window for constant, often ill-advised aggression is obviously not the way to go. Her variety is what allowed her to compete with girls who are bigger and hit harder, by first out-maneuvering them and then going for the kill shot. Constantly coming over the backhand even when in defensive positions, particulary on grass, just results in a mid-pace shot that sits up - even the most average big-hitter will easily put it away. The slice not only gave her more time to get in position, but is much harder to attack and pound for a winner.

The re-tooled forehand has been most disasterous. Early in her career, the forehand was a liability and eventually she turned it into a weapon. The new technique has resulted in the shot reverting back to a liability. Sure, she can still hit some flashy winners with it, but far too often, it falls short in the court and has become more attackable. Pre-retirement, particularly in '07, that shot consistently landed deep in the court or was angled out wide, when it wasn't an outright winner.

Justine's only been back half a year, but the "new" gameplan doesn't appear to be working...

:worship:

Spot on. She's trying to develop a bulldozer game, but she's not anywhere close. The changes on the forehand were totally disastrous. Needs to stop messing with it immediately, but she's probably now way too ahead.

Sad thing is that her game was working better in the early part of the season.

debby
Jun 28th, 2010, 11:09 PM
Yes, she had no serve, and still she made it competitive (Brisbane and AO), then had a better serve but her FH and BH fell apart :unsure:

Have you noticed also how her BH was marvelous at Australia, but not anymore? I don't get it. It's her main weapon. How did it disappear like that? If only it was today, but it has been the case for a few months on different surfaces :help:

tennisbum79
Jun 28th, 2010, 11:29 PM
To EVERYONE who has strong objection to the NEW game plan.

When did you start having reservation to this new approach?
During or after the AUS'10?
During or atfer RG '10?

After RG, Henin has said this year was a transition period.
Which means it is a work in progress.
Now I could be mistaken, but I think I may have heard her hinting they could make some assessment along the way, make necessary adjustment when need be.

In your estimation, what adjusments would you like to see?

Or would you rather they scrap the whole thing and go back to her old game, using the old game as foundation and build on it.

debby
Jun 28th, 2010, 11:37 PM
Old game + build on it, a bit like in 2007. She can mistiming most of balls but still playing like before, she would have won some matchs she lost this year, maybe Brisbane or Miami ;) or even RG.
At RG, from 4-4 , third set against Stosur, Henin hit 7 UES out of 8 points (no deuce game),and I remember at 4-3 0-30 , she blasted these returns uber aggressively.

tennisbum79
Jun 28th, 2010, 11:50 PM
Old game + build on it, a bit like in 2007. She can mistiming most of balls but still playing like before, she would have won some matchs she lost this year, maybe Brisbane or Miami ;) or even RG.
At RG, from 4-4 , third set against Stosur, Henin hit 7 UES out of 8 points (no deuce game),and I remember at 4-3 0-30 , she blasted these returns uber aggressively.
So when did start having reservation about the new approach?

_Cell-chuk
Jun 28th, 2010, 11:59 PM
The 2007 Justine was so good in every department.

Even though Serena served 20 aces today, the 2007 Justine would have challenged her.

Whatever she and Carlos are transitioning, today's loss against Pigsters on grass is unacceptable.

debby
Jun 29th, 2010, 12:12 AM
So when did start having reservation about the new approach?

At the AO, I thought she had been doing a very good job, because Serena served so well, and was hard to break. I didn't like how Justine played these 2nd serve from Serena because IMO, Serena served great but her ROS was not good at all.
I thought, Justine lacked of matchs practise, I mean, to figure out how to return Serena's serve, it's not easy after two years off from the tour.
But she kept playing like that, I started to wonder what was wrong with her at IW. Then she played better in Miami.... I'd say Madrid actually. Before, I was doubtful, and starting from Madrid, I knew it was not going to be pretty to watch :tape: and the lack of easy wins against scrubs (à la Clijsters, at least it shows she didn't lose nothing )

Leo_DFP
Jun 29th, 2010, 12:22 AM
Treufreud and spencercarlos nailed this one: Justine is confused on the court and is going back and forth between ballbasher and pusher modes. What used to make her so intimidating and so excellent was how fluidly she transitioned between offense and defense. No more.

She needs a consistent serve back. If she can't time her serve well match after match or tournament after tournament, she will continue to struggle. Lindsay Davenport has many times spoken to the importance of a reliable serve. It's critical.

debby
Jun 29th, 2010, 12:24 AM
Not really. Actually, she had a very good second serve in the past, I mean, when she didn't double faulted :lol: She saved so many breakpoints on 2nd serve, because she was confident on her, and knew how to win the rallye therefore.
She never had an unbelievable serve and still she won so many slams. And she reached AO final with a terrible serve.

moby
Jun 29th, 2010, 12:25 AM
Might want to throw the new game plan on the scrap heap with Jelena's overly pumped-up body that didn't work.Sums it up. We always expect players to make improvements in their games by making changes and tinkering with their games. Particularly with Justine, we've seen her alter her games and stokes so often in the past, and she's succeeded every time. Expect this time. Sometimes it just doesn't work.

Her game now is an elevated version of Razzano's or Safarova's - those wildly inconsistent games that can be amazing for games at a stretch when it all comes together, even for the occasional match. But match in match out, just too inconsistent to rake up wins and titles. The smallest things will knock those games off-balance. I blame the trading in of control (topspin) for pace (flat).

n1_and_uh_noone
Jun 29th, 2010, 12:27 AM
To EVERYONE who has strong objection to the NEW game plan.

When did you start having reservation to this new approach?
During or after the AUS'10?
During or atfer RG '10?

After RG, Henin has said this year was a transition period.
Which means it is a work in progress.
Now I could be mistaken, but I think I may have heard her hinting they could make some assessment along the way, make necessary adjustment when need be.

In your estimation, what adjusments would you like to see?

Or would you rather they scrap the whole thing and go back to her old game, using the old game as foundation and build on it.

Clearly, the early success made her attack with confidence. Made for some great shots, but she was serving poorly in an attempt to generate pace, not mixing things up enough, and not pressuring opponents enough on return games (missing half the returns in the net), which used to be one of her strong suits. She looked great against Dementieva because Elena is not a true ballbasher, and when she plays someone with variety, she starts to rally, allowing Justine to dominate many rallies. I actually thought that match was a decent mixture of the old and the new.

As a fan, I hoped she would get around to finding a good balance, but she just went headlong into the clay season and after an up-and-down Stuttgart, collapsed at RG.

An assessment is highly appropriate, because she doesn;t have forever to keep experimenting. Maybe play a few tournaments with no expctations and consciously work on methodically putting together the basics. It is going to be a challenge, because she cannot play as much at her age, and needs the matches to build her confidence and game up. She was always a consistent performer, unlike some others who can suddenly catch fire and perform superbly. Time is definitely at a premium for her.

hablo
Jun 29th, 2010, 12:35 AM
It's terrible. She doesn't utilize her variety whatsoever anymore. She barely hit any slice backhands and stopped coming to the net after the first set. :help:

That's exactly right. It's like she took all of the variety out of her game to try to be more aggressive, and it doesn't work :help:. Replace the variety with inconsistency

:drool:

Leo_DFP
Jun 29th, 2010, 12:37 AM
Not really. Actually, she had a very good second serve in the past, I mean, when she didn't double faulted :lol: She saved so many breakpoints on 2nd serve, because she was confident on her, and knew how to win the rallye therefore.
She never had an unbelievable serve and still she won so many slams. And she reached AO final with a terrible serve.

Thanks for helping to prove my point. When she was achieivng her best moments, her serve was much more reliable. Of course the Justine of the past used to have some bad patches on serve. Her last of those periods being all of 2008, really. And that's natural given her height. She tries to serve like a bigger girl, achieving the placement, pace, and spin of much taller girls. But amazingly she could do it, and arguably she still can, but not consistently at all. She hasn't strung together several matches or tournaments of clean serving with easy holds of serve.

She had her serve in place so well against Nadia Petrova, and what followed with it was beautifully timed and struck groundstrokes and forays to the net. Her win over Petrova was easily her best match since the Stuttgart final against Stosur, and so much better than her victory over Nadia in the AO. She had that intimidating presence reminiscent of the 2007 Justine, and it made me change my mind and think that she was going to beat Kim today.

What's happened in her last two losses in GS R16s is that she's won the first set both times playing fairly aggressively and dictating from the baseline, before having her opponents turn the tables. Both Sam and Kim ferociously (and with good reason) attacked Justine's second serves and took control of the baseline exchanges. And the result is Justine going back and forth between over-aggression and pushing, resulting in balls that fly wide or float into the middle of the court, ripe for her opponents to take one easy step to their left and smack an untouchable forehand winner. If Justine could find the groove on her serve, she'd be holding more easily and playing less anxiously on the return. She's confused on the court.

Leo_DFP
Jun 29th, 2010, 12:40 AM
And to add, I believe Justine's other serious issue is fitness. It was obviously lacking when she first came back in January, but it still seems lacking. Carlos admitted to her being a bit burnt out at this point in the season.

In the middle of the third set today, you could hear Justine frantically panting as she struggled to stay in rallies. I heard it loudest in the seventh game, and when she lost that, she then donated her serve in the very next game with shanked shots. It's like she hadn't caught her breath/gotten her lungs back. That's not going to hold up against Kim who is just super fit and never seems tired, not even in the longest of 3-setters.

moby
Jun 29th, 2010, 12:42 AM
And the result is Justine going back and forth between over-aggression and pushing, resulting in balls that fly wide or float into the middle of the court, ripe for her opponents to take one easy step to their left and smack an untouchable forehand winner. If Justine could find the groove on her serve, she'd be holding more easily and playing less anxiously on the return. She's confused on the court.I agree that a big part of it is her mentality. She just seems unsettled and ill-at-ease, and never really grasps the dynamics of the match, when the big points are, and how to play them. Too panicky.

I'd argue that if she played her return games more intelligently and force her opponents to make the play on big points and allowing them the opportunity to get tight, instead of going for her do-or-die winners, she'd be breaking more often. Instead her opponents get comfortable thinking - alright Justine is going to go for a crazy shot regardless of what happens - so all I have to do is to make her hit low percentage shots and I don't have to be overly-aggressive.

This would put less pressure on her service games, which have never been a solid part of her game. So it really is a vicious cycle.

Leo_DFP
Jun 29th, 2010, 12:58 AM
I just don't really see her forehand and return game looking better until her serve does. Again I cite the recent Petrova match. (Also, interestingly, her best performance on serve and return came on CC. I think she felt snubbed this tournament being put twice on Court 2.)