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View Full Version : Venus Williams - Over the last five years, the best clay court player in the world


Volcana
Mar 31st, 2003, 03:11 PM
I've been having a look at the tenniscorner.net archives. I noticed something that makes me think that our biases (and her ability on hardcourts and grass), have led us to under-estimate Venus Williams as a clay court player. Since she made the U.S.Open final in 1997, Venus Williams has been the best clay court player in the world.

Whoa. WHOOOAA!!! Obviously, I wouldn't have said anything like that without some data to back it up. Below are the finalists of the six biggest clay events since Venus made the US Open final.

If you look, you'll see that Venus had made a Tier II clay final or better four out of those five years. No one else has done that. Besides Venus and the much missed Martina Hingis. Monica, Amelie and Mary Pierce have all made clay finals three of those five years. So who's WON the most Tier II or better clay tournaments since Venus made the '97 US Open final?

Martina Hingis. But she's no lnoger an active player. Among the 'actives'?

Venus Williams. At four wins.

Again, this is Tier II or better. The Sarasotas, Estorils and Madrids of the world I'm not counting. That's too much ananlysis of fields. Tier II or better on clay is Roland Garros, Rome, Berlin, Charleston/Hilton Head, Hamburg and Amelia Island.

1998 Hilton Head Coetzer def. Spirlea
1998 Amelia Island Pierce def. Martinez
1998 Hamburg Hingis def. Novotna
1998 Rome Hingis def. V.Williams
1998 Berlin Martinez def. Mauresmo
1998 Roland Garros Sanchez-Vicario def. Seles

1999 Hilton Head Hingis def. Kournikova
1999 Amelia Island Seles def. Dragomir Ilie
1999 Hamburg V.Williams def. Pierce
1999 Rome V.Williams def. Pierce
1999 Berlin Hingis def. Halard-Decugis
1999 Roland Garros Graf def. Hingis

2000 Amelia Island Seles def. Martinez
2000 Hilton Head Pierce def. Sanchez-Vicario
2000 Hamburg Hingis def. Sanchez-Vicario
2000 Berlin Martinez def. Coetzer
2000 Rome Seles def. Mauresmo
2000 Roland Garros Pierce def. Martinez

2001 Amelia Island Mauresmo def. Coetzer
2001 Charleston Capriati def. Hingis
2001 Hamburg V.Williams def. Shaughnessy
2001 Berlin Mauresmo def. Capriati
2001 Rome Dokic def. Mauresmo
2001 Roland Garros Capriati def. Clijsters

2002 Amelia Island V.Williams def. Henin-Hardenne
2002 Charleston Majoli def. Schnyder
2002 Hamburg Clijsters def. V.Williams
2002 Berlin Henin-Hardenne def. S.Williams
2002 Rome S.Williams def. Henin-Hardenne
2002 Roland Garros S.Williams def. V.Williams


Now, name the RG winners since Venus made the US open final?
Oops.
Okay, maybe she's not the best.
But she performed more consistently, at a high level, on clay, than anyone else on tour for the past five years. Among the active players. Gotta give it up for Martina Hingis.

TeeRexx
Mar 31st, 2003, 03:17 PM
That is good news to hear about the Goddes and it gives me hope for this year's RG event as well. :)

spencercarlos
Mar 31st, 2003, 03:30 PM
Hingis reached finals of Tier I or II in 98,99,2000 and 2001 4 out of 5 years. Last year she could only play one event. Hamburg semis losing to Venus. So Martina has acomplished the same feat as Venus.

I dont think doing Tier II or even Tier I finals on clay events means that you are the best clay court player.
Grand slams are the events that count the most.

Anyway Venus reached finals of RG last year so a win could be no longer away from her in the future.

King Lindsay
Mar 31st, 2003, 03:45 PM
Volcana, I get Hingis with five Tier II or better clay titles to Venus' four. 2 in 1998, 2 in 1999, 1 in 2000.

Volcana
Mar 31st, 2003, 04:02 PM
petosp, King Lindsay - You're both right, and appropriate corrections were made to the initial post. I could have tried to weasel out and say I meant active players, but I didn't. I just couldn't seem to see 99 Hilton Head. (I think Anna's name in Tier I final wierded me out.) I've kinda given up hope, but I wish Martina would return. Healthy and in 1998 form.

King Lindsay
Mar 31st, 2003, 04:03 PM
if Capriati can, maybe Martina can too. It's too early to give up hope.

yukon145
Mar 31st, 2003, 04:06 PM
Last year she really proved to alot of people that she can have really great results, but if she was the greatest the last five years, wouldn't she have on the French in one of those five years? Plus she lost in the first round of the French in 2001, in straight sets too. So I say she has been really good the last five years, but not the best.

Volcana
Mar 31st, 2003, 05:02 PM
yukon145 - Note the last few lines of the initial post.

Now, name the RG winners since Venus made the US open final?
Oops.
Okay, maybe she's not the best.
But she performed more consistently, at a high level, on clay, than anyone else on tour for the past five years. Among the active players. Gotta give it up for Martina Hingis.

It was just a lead in to some facts of interest to Venus fans.

Isn't it interesting though, that the two players who've won the most big tournaments on clay the past five years have both failed to win RG, and both have made the final?

yukon145
Mar 31st, 2003, 05:10 PM
Volcana, I'm not bashing Venus at all. I enjoy watching her play most of the time and cheer for her when she's not playing one of my favs. I'm just stating my feelings about her as a clay court player.

Dava
Mar 31st, 2003, 05:16 PM
Hi there, does anyone remember Jelena Dokic? Barbara Schett???

Cariaoke
Mar 31st, 2003, 05:19 PM
interesting, indeed, and hopefully success on clay will continue with a RG win in the near future.

Volcana
Mar 31st, 2003, 05:43 PM
dava_russianrule - Name two players who's previous results indicate GS winning talent, but who through, stubborness, lack of discipline or sheer cussedness, are languishing and losing on tour.

Dava
Mar 31st, 2003, 05:56 PM
You're looking for Jelena Dokic and Barbara Schett aren't you. What I meant was those are the players who quite easily beat Venus in RG, thats all.

King Lindsay
Mar 31st, 2003, 06:00 PM
i don't recall the Roland Garros where Venus lost to Dokic. Must've missed that one.

Valda Lake
Mar 31st, 2003, 06:00 PM
Talk about "Double Jeopardy"! lol

azinna
Mar 31st, 2003, 06:10 PM
You're looking for Jelena Dokic and Barbara Schett aren't you. What I meant was those are the players who quite easily beat Venus in RG, thats all.

Very wrong about Dokic. She beat V at Hamburg or Berlkin. In 2000. V's 1st or 2nd match after a 6-7 month break from tennis.

I'm not sure what bringing those two names adds to the conversation. Both are underachieving, on any surface.

King Lindsay
Mar 31st, 2003, 06:14 PM
actually, azinna, she beat Venus in the fourth round of the 2000 Roma tournament, and did so to the tune of 6-1 6-2. It was Venus' second tournament back from her long layoff, the first being Hamburg, where she lost in the quarters to Amanda Coetzer, 6-3 6-4.

Dava
Mar 31st, 2003, 06:26 PM
Sorry the Dokic thing was in Rome wasnt it.

Volcana
Mar 31st, 2003, 06:38 PM
dava_russianrule - We clearly agree that Dokic and Schett both have ability. Howerver, there have been SIXTY spots in finals of those six clay tournaments in the last five years. Dokic's name appears once, and Schett not at all. I'm not saying Babsi is Klara Koukalova, but one 1st round match does not clay excellence make.

Dava
Mar 31st, 2003, 06:39 PM
Im not saying that Barbara is about to set the world alight, I am saying for all her talent Venus should not have LOST to a player like Babsi in a GS, thats what I was trying to say, I did'nt put myself very well.

Dawn Marie
Mar 31st, 2003, 08:17 PM
Now I know someone did not bring up Babsi and Jelena just cause they beat Venus on clay..(people do lose matches.. and point being?)

Well dayum let me bring up players who have beat Jelena and Babsi... ROTFLMAO!

NEXT!

Dava
Mar 31st, 2003, 08:19 PM
Once again someone fails to see my point.I do not think Babsi and Jelena are the best thing on the red stuff since Queen Bee, not do i think Venus is the best player on clay in the last 5 years. I think either Graff, Capriati or Rena are more deserved of the title.

Hurley
Mar 31st, 2003, 08:21 PM
petosp, King Lindsay - You're both right, and appropriate corrections were made to the initial post. I could have tried to weasel out and say I meant active players, but I didn't. I just couldn't seem to see 99 Hilton Head. (I think Anna's name in Tier I final wierded me out.) I've kinda given up hope, but I wish Martina would return. Healthy and in 1998 form.

Just a sidebar cos I feel like pointing it out ;): Anna Kournikova has made THREE Tier I finals (Miami 1998, Hilton Head 1999, Moscow 2000).

Volcana
Mar 31st, 2003, 08:34 PM
dava_russianrule - I believe Barbara Schett herself said it best in her post match. Its been a few years, but she said something like "Was she playing her best? Of course not. But I'll take it." That about sums it up.

I'm sure Martina, Amelie, Justine, Lindsay, Kim, Chanda, Jelena, oh hell, let's face it. Every player in the top ten except Serena has lost in the first round during or after the 2000 season. And when you get down to it, NONE of them should have lost the matches they lost.

The list of the players who beat them is a real 'Who's Not?' of tennis.

Dava
Mar 31st, 2003, 08:39 PM
But thats not my point. I think that Jennifer, Steffi and Serena are much better clay court players then V. They have won RG within the last 5 years and thats the one that matters!

SueBarker
Mar 31st, 2003, 08:42 PM
Clay! I love clay! I won the French Open you know? I'm the 1976 French Open champion.

Dava
Mar 31st, 2003, 08:43 PM
AHHH but you did'nt win Wimbledon, and you hate Virginia for it dont you!!! It should have been you that year and you know it.

Helen Lawson
Mar 31st, 2003, 08:45 PM
Sue, Chris came to one of my shows last month and told me that the only reason you won the 1976 French Open was because she was playing Team Tennis or something. She noted that Mima's and Virginia's wins were not at "flukey" because they made later French Open finals (where Chris destroyed them, Chris was pretty clear on that point). Is Chris high on dolls or does she make a good point?

Ryan
Mar 31st, 2003, 09:21 PM
But thats not my point. I think that Jennifer, Steffi and Serena are much better clay court players then V. They have won RG within the last 5 years and thats the one that matters!


Yes, winning RG is important. Still though, it doesnt automatically MAKE you better then someone on it. I'd rate Venus better on clay then both Serena and Jennifer, ditto for Martina.

CJ07
Mar 31st, 2003, 10:53 PM
Wow, I didnt know that

but also, did you know that Monica has lost LESS matches on clay in her 15 + year career then Jelena lost matches last year?