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tennisIlove09
Jan 22nd, 2003, 07:32 AM
Serena is playing better than Clijsters

Pam's Picks


MELBOURNE, Australia -- It's the semifinals that everyone thought was going to happen and the one everyone wanted to see. It's sisters against the whole country of Belgium here. I think Justine Henin-Hardenne and Kim Clijsters are two of the only players who have the athleticism and movement to stay competitive with the Williams sisters. They also are the only ones who have the mental attitude to stay with them.

Each player has wins over both Venus and Serena. Despite that, the favorite pick going in is to have our fourth straight sister final -- which is an incredible accomplishment.

Serena Williams (1), United States, vs. Kim Clijsters (4), Belgium
These two played each other down here at the Hopman Cup in mixed team competition two weeks before the Aussie. After the first set, which was close, Serena pulled away. She just closed the door on Clijsters. Serena at her best is still better than Clijsters.

The big difference in Melbourne from the WTA Championships in L.A. is that Jennifer Capriati kept Serena out on the court for two hours the day before their final with Serena barely beating Capriati. Clijsters and Serena don't get a day off between the quarters and semis this time, but they both had easy quarterfinal matches. Serena, especially, was a very comfortable winner over Meghann Shaughnessy.

Serena's serve has been spectacular in a couple of matches here. That's the shot we highlighted throughout her quarterfinal victory against Shaughnessy. If Serena can keep that dominating service effort up, she's going to be very difficult to beat.

From Clijsters' standpoint, she's had the easiest path through to the semifinals by far. Against Myskina, however, Clijsters had a lot of unforced errors especially in the second set. But as far as confidence, Serena just has it right now, and I think she's going to win.
Pick: Serena

Justine Henin-Hardenne (5), Belgium, vs. Venus Williams (2), United States
Henin-Hardenne had the most dramatic match of the tournament two rounds ago beating Lindsay Davenport 9-7 in the third set. The schedule worked out because Henin-Hardenne was able to have time to rest up -- easily winning her quarterfinal and then just practicing lightly Wednesday. Physically, I think she's recovered from her match with Davenport.

It's also good for her to have some play against a player like Davenport, who hits so well from the baseline, coming into her match with Venus. Henin-Hardenne is moving well, she's coming to the net very effectively and her forehand has improved. Everyone has talked about her beautiful backhand, but she's improved her forehand. She belted Davenport's second serve and that's a weaker shot for Venus. But Henin-Hardenne needs to really punish Venus' second serve as well as do everything else at a high standard to win.

Venus is playing pretty well. She and Clijsters are the two that have come through to this round without losing a set. Venus is not in her highest gear -- she's not playing her best tennis yet -- but she's playing well. Venus always plays well in semifinals, so I still favor an all-sister final at the end of the day.

Also, we'll see if Venus breaks her new tournament record of 125 mph on her serve. Suddenly, she's been leaning into her serve. Even Serena began to hit 120 mph today, so maybe there's a little competitiveness between the sisters. Venus' speed was highlighted on the back page of one of the paper's here today, so everyone was aware that she set a new record.
Pick: Venus

BasicTennis
Jan 22nd, 2003, 07:34 AM
I hoped she picked the Belgians....Pam's beginning to be like Chris Evert these days.:eek:

TeeRexx
Jan 22nd, 2003, 08:43 AM
BT - Are you nervous? :)

BasicTennis
Jan 22nd, 2003, 08:48 AM
that's a nervous question from you TeeRexx.:D

1jackson2001
Jan 22nd, 2003, 08:58 AM
Good choices Pam. ;)

Katrien
Jan 22nd, 2003, 09:04 AM
What's new :rolleyes:
What else can Pam Shriver say?

Scorch
Jan 22nd, 2003, 10:40 AM
Shriver did not give nearly enough credit to either of the sisters. How dare she even hint that Kim or Justine might even win a point against Serena or Venus?

"Serena's serve has been spectacular in a couple of matches here. "

"If Serena can keep that dominating service effort up, she's going to be very difficult to beat."

Like we believe those complements. God Pam is so insincere. I think that she secretly has no respect or admiration for Serena's ability. "A couple of matches" hah, she is revealing her true feelings. Serena's serve is the best, always. And about Venus:

"Venus always plays well in semifinals"

Well whoop de doo. Common Pam you can do better than that.

disposablehero
Jan 22nd, 2003, 04:24 PM
As a Kim fan, I suppose I should see Pam as racist and biased for picking against her. Maybe I just don't care enough to make that accusation. I'm a bad fan for not making baseless accusations.

Uxobi
Jan 22nd, 2003, 06:01 PM
A couple of weeks ago, Venus wasn't even considered a threat...

lizchris
Jan 22nd, 2003, 06:08 PM
Originally posted by Uxobi
A couple of weeks ago, Venus wasn't even considered a threat...

Good point.

I thought about that too this morning when I read her article. But to be fiar to Pam, she was basing it on the fact that Venus was the only top ten player (other than Jelena Dokic) who didn't play a warmup tournament prior to the AO and after she walked of the court in LA injured, she was a question mark for the beginning of 2003. But her mind was changed when she saw Venus play.

Her picks shouldn't be considered the kiss of death for a player becasuse if that was the case, none of the four players playing tonight would be playing.

victory1
Jan 22nd, 2003, 06:29 PM
Maybe Pam picks her Because Serena is 5-1 agaisnt Kim and is world #1 and has won, the last 3 slams !!

lizchris
Jan 22nd, 2003, 06:37 PM
Originally posted by victory1
Maybe Pam picks her Because Serena is 5-1 agaisnt Kim and is world #1 and has won, the last 3 slams !!

Actually 6-1. The Hopman Cup win is considered a victory for Serena and a loss for Kim because it is an ITF sponsored event.

Tatiana Panova
Jan 22nd, 2003, 06:42 PM
She's got it spot-on. I mean as much as it would be nice to see a Williams against a Belgian in the final, logically thinking Venus and Serena are still better than Justine and Kim and so should win.

Fingon
Jan 22nd, 2003, 07:06 PM
Originally posted by Scorch
Shriver did not give nearly enough credit to either of the sisters. How dare she even hint that Kim or Justine might even win a point against Serena or Venus?


:rolleyes:

CJ07
Jan 22nd, 2003, 09:11 PM
Serena, Venus lose?!?!

What?!?!