View Full Version : Kim d Serena

Nov 12th, 2002, 09:53 PM

Nov 12th, 2002, 10:01 PM
Not me. Kim was the in form player. Although I never count a Williams out, it was obvious she had not prepared for this tourney. She made choices, other things must have took precedent. It was just not Kim, who played well, but her match with Smashnova, Dokic, and Capriati were subpar as well. :cool:

Nov 12th, 2002, 10:47 PM
courtesy Bob Larson...

Women's Match of the Day
Los Angeles - Final
Kim Clijsters (5) def. Serena Williams (1) 7-5 6-3

Watching her semifinal against Jennifer Capriati, we thought Serena Williams was suffering from pains in her arms. Against Kim Clijsters, it seemed even more clear.

And Clijsters brought at least two things to the table that Capriati didn't: Great indoor results (she came into this final with two indoor titles this year and a seven match winning streak) and a game plan: Get to balls, get them back, go for a lot but not so much as to make errors. It worked. Clijsters had hardly any winners -- but with Serena hitting about three or four errors per game, she didn't need to. It was just wait -- and then celebrate.

Clijsters has done a good job of that this year; she has four titles in 2002 (trailing Venus and Serena; tied with Anna Smashnova for #3 on the Tour). This is the second tournament where Clijsters was helped by a retirement (Clijsters hardly had to play in the semifinal against Venus Williams); she had two opponents retire at Hamburg!

This is, of course, the biggest win of Clijsters's career; it's also the fifth-most points recorded by any player this year, and the most by a non-Slam winner. It continues a steady progress for the Belgian: in 1999, she won one title (Luxembourg). In 2000, it was two (Hobart, Leipzig). She won three in 2001 (Stanford, Leipzig, Luxembourg). This year, it's four: Hamburg, Filderstadt, Luxembourg, and the Championships. And with titles on every surface but grass, she's clearly shown herself an all-court player. By reaching the final, she made herself the year-end #4. By winning, she is a strong #4; she's likely to get back to her career high of #3 at the Australian Open.

For Serena, the loss ended her winning streak at 18 -- and leaves her still without an indoor title above the Tier II level. Still, there were only seven 10-match winning streaks recorded on the Tour this year -- and Serena had three of them! (21 straight at Rome, Roland Garros, Wimbledon, and Los Angeles; this 18-match string at the U. S. Open, Princess Cup, Leipzig, and Los Angeles; and a 12-match string at Scottsdale, Miami, and Charleston; the other streaks: Venus had a 19-match streak at Stanford, San Diego, New Haven, and the U. S. Open; Martina Hingis won 10 at Sydney and the Australian Open; Iva Majoli won 10 at Charleston and Bol; and Anna Smashnova had 10 at the Tier V events at Auckland and Canberra). This also means, amazingly enough, that Serena did not defend a single title this year; there were only six defences this year (two by Venus and one each by Hingis, Capriati, Clijsters, and Farina Elia). Clijsters couldn't quite make it to ten straight, but she does end the year with eight straight wins -- and she's also on a four-match doubles streak.

Under our own "majors" ranking, based on results at the ten toughest tournaments on the WTA Tour (the four Slams, the Championships, Miami, Rome, Sydney, San Diego, Filderstadt), Clijsters ends up #3 in the world with 13 Majors Points (trailing Serena, with 29 and Venus with 16; Jennifer Capriati is #4 with 11, Martina Hingis a surprisingly strong #5 with eight, and no one else earned more than four points; only fifteen players earned Majors ranking points at all: Those five plus Henin, Dokic, Hantuchova, Mauresmo, Shaughnesy, Davenport, Seles, Dementieva, Clarisa Fernandez, and, believe it or not, Anna Kournikova). We don't know who will get Player of the Year nominations (though we'd bet a lot that Serena will win) -- but Clijsters, from where we sit, looks like at least as strong a candidate as Jennifer ("My Only Title In A Year and a Half is the Australian Open") Capriati.

We will add one irritated footnote: Several news reports have harped on the fact that Clijsters is the first player since Martina Hingis at the 2001 Australian Open to beat both sisters in one event. True, of course -- but the opportunities for that are pretty slight. In 2002, they only played five of the same events (Miami, Roland Garros, Wimbledon, U. S. Open, and now the Championships). Serena won the first four of those, beating Venus each time. In 2001, they played six of the same events: Australian Open, Indian Wells, Miami, Roland Garros, Wimbledon, and the U. S. Open. Venus bailed out of Indian Wells (won by Serena), and won Miami, Wimbledon, and the U. S. Open (beating Serena in the latter). So chances are not that bad, if you can beat either one, you can beat them both. The real trick comes in beating the first one at a tournament where they both play....


Nov 13th, 2002, 04:49 AM
Why shocked? Kim has been hunting Serena for 3 years.

Nov 13th, 2002, 08:24 AM
Larson's analysis sounds good to me. Amazing what good results Kim had in a year where she was not fully operational due to her injury. Imagine how it would have been with a healthy Kim! I think (and hope) that we will see this in 2003!

Nov 13th, 2002, 11:23 AM
Why shocked? :p I am pleased and very happy. Well done Kim! :kiss:

Nov 13th, 2002, 11:26 AM
Originally posted by Oizo
Why shocked? :p I am pleased and very happy. Well done Kim! :kiss:

Yes indeed... I am also very happy for Kim. She really deserved it after those years. It was about time that she finally showed Serena that she CAN win!