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View Full Version : So how well is Ashley ACTUALLY playing?


Jakeev
Apr 11th, 2003, 11:09 PM
Alright Ashley Harkleroad is in the semifinals in the biggest tournament of her career. And she has gotten there by easily handling three great powerful players, losing only 11 games between the three of them.

But I am not seeing many comments about how she is playing these matches. Did she dictate the points? Did the other players basically unhinge? What's the scoop guys?

ANd do we have to call her Pebbles? Ugh...........(sorry getting cranky again)

Mr. Man
Apr 11th, 2003, 11:11 PM
Well the FCC site sucks ass, no match summarys. So I have no idea, I bet pretty damn good though. She demolished Dani like she was injured. dayum. Ashley :lick:

AjdeNate!
Apr 11th, 2003, 11:11 PM
Well, Pebs only hit 2 unforced errors the entire match against Bovina. That goes to show good control and not hitting wild shots. I haven't seen her play this week, but to beat those she has and by the scores she has.... she must be doing something right. :)

Mikey
Apr 11th, 2003, 11:12 PM
Yes, please don't call her Pebbles :p

One match, I can see it being some half and half: she plays well, her opponent plays poorly. Two matches, I start to think that the girl must be playing some good tennis. Three matches and I think that she might as well be Ashley Williams (ok, not really, but you get my point ;) ).

But then again, I really have no idea as I haven't gotten a chance to watch her, so I didn't really answer your question.

Ill shut up now :p

AjdeNate!
Apr 11th, 2003, 11:13 PM
http://www.pressomatic.com/familycirclecup/upload/4Ashley-Harkleroad-celebrat.jpg

Jordan.
Apr 11th, 2003, 11:15 PM
LOL, theres gonna be alot of bandwagon jumpers this week....... ;) Go Ashley!

Jakeev
Apr 11th, 2003, 11:15 PM
Well she does look a lot fitter than I remember. Great thing about clay is that playing defensive tennis can win matches for you. So she must be playing awesome defense.

mishar
Apr 11th, 2003, 11:16 PM
There's an article on another thread in which a reporter describes her game as "Agassi-like". Whether its true or not, I don't know. But I suppose she must be doing something right.

AjdeNate!
Apr 11th, 2003, 11:19 PM
LOL, theres gonna be alot of bandwagon jumpers this week....... ;) Go Ashley!
Who, moi?!? :)

Keith
Apr 11th, 2003, 11:20 PM
I guess she will be a msytery until we all see her...but I remember Chris Evert describing her and she said her game was a lot like Martina Hingis' game.

Jakeev
Apr 11th, 2003, 11:23 PM
I only saw her play once and that was against Meilen Tu at the 2001 U.S. Open. The only thing i remembered is she had a similar game to Meilen. Mostly defensive play and not a lot of power.

Now she was younger then and I thought she did not have the game to be a bigger tennis star. But if someone is suggesting she is Agassi-like, then perhaps she has become a more powerful slugger.

Just wondering.

Jordan.
Apr 11th, 2003, 11:23 PM
If she does play like Martina, I'm definately a fan...

I guess I'll see on Sunday.. :)

WtaTour4Ever
Apr 11th, 2003, 11:28 PM
Whats wrong with Pebbles, I think its cute, esp since shes from Flinstone :-)

Anyway...she looks more grown up then last year at the OPEN. Normally I would want to see Serena/Lindsay (assuming), but I really hope to see what all the fuss is about :-)

mishar
Apr 11th, 2003, 11:29 PM
Here is the article TennisILove09 posted from the Charleston newspaper, in which Ashley is compared to Agassi. I remember Hingis used to compare herself to Agassi as well, which made sense to me. Agassi may be able to strike some great winners, but he wins most of his points by speed, fitness, consistency, and an ability to use the angles of the court to move the opponent around until a) they make an error or b) there's an opening for a winner. Which is also what Hingis could do at her height. Very different from the defensive play of someone like Coetzer I think.



Harkleroad advances with her court savvy
By JAMES BECK
April 11 2003
The Post and Courier

What makes Ashley Harkleroad such a good, young talent?

It's as simple as understanding the dynamics of tennis and a tennis court. She works the court and her opponent, turning a rectangular patch of surface into her ally.

Harkleroad is years ahead of her 17 years and 11 months in tennis court maturity. She's a women's version of Andre Agassi.

This perky blonde from Florida is in today's quarterfinals of the Family Circle Cup. And, yes, she is capable of being in Sunday's final.

Harkleroad seems to absorb everything that is happening around her on a tennis court. It's as if she feeds that information into a computer, then delivers the strike that disarms her opponent, in this case, 11th-seeded Meghann Shaughnessy with ease, 6-2, 6-2.

But any plan is no better than its execution. Harkleroad has the tennis strokes to back up her smarts. She moves the ball around in Agassi fashion. She pulls her opponent farther and farther off the court, while always aware of the smallest opening and what it takes to put the ball in that unreturnable position.

Tall and thin Daniela Hantuchova will have her hands full with Harkleroad in the quarterfinals. The outcome will depend on how well Harkleroad handles the pressure of playing on the stadium court.

nikita771
Apr 11th, 2003, 11:32 PM
The only thing that I have heard about her tennis playing this week at FCC is that it has been clean. To take out the players that she had taken out, she has to be doing something right.

selesfan
Apr 11th, 2003, 11:39 PM
The only way we will get to see her play is if she makes the final. I'm sure ESPN will only show 1 match tomorrow and they must likely will show Linsday vs. Serena or Jelena.

1jackson2001
Apr 11th, 2003, 11:50 PM
I really would like to see her play. If she can keep this form up she will make the top 10 in no time.

CJ07
Apr 12th, 2003, 12:02 AM
if she handles Justine by a similar scoreline, then we'll talk top 5,but right now shes looking like a threat to the russians

because by my last count, none of them have produced such whippings thus far

SpikeyAidanm
Apr 12th, 2003, 12:06 AM
Harkleroad has been so quiet all year (I was like wondering where she was in Miami and Indian Wells), this has got to be one of the biggest surprises of the year.

I never knew Ashley was for real! ;)

WtaTour4Ever
Apr 12th, 2003, 12:07 AM
Tomorrows coverage is two hours so maybe, one can hope if the first match is short they will play the second in its entirety, but then again we've seen Davenport two days in a row, so they may just switch up.

CJ07
Apr 12th, 2003, 12:21 AM
also, people this is just ONE tournament
that doesnt make a career

can anyone say Anna Kournikova 1998 Lipton?
And she was hyped up (for her tennis) waay more than Ashley was.
All im saying is that while yes, this is a great achievement, a part of being a top 10 and top 5 player *cough* Jelena Dokic *cough* is CONSISTENTCY. Not just whipping people when your on, otherwise Mary Pierce would be #3 in the world.

Im still putting the Russians, and Bartoli ahead of Harkleroad, because while they have yet to have a 'breakout' tournament (as this obviously is for Harkleroad) they've been rather consistent, which for me, is more important than flashy wins

and also, she could be a Dementieva, when shes on, shes hot like fire, and when shes off, shes OFF

Volcana
Apr 12th, 2003, 12:29 AM
She beat three GOOD players. I wouldn't call any of them 'great' just yet. But I would figure Dani is the first top ten player she's beaten. Two top 20's and top ten for a player ranked as low as Ashley ain't bad.

Kinda like the 'Pebbles' nickname. It's so anti-glamour.

~ The Leopard ~
Apr 12th, 2003, 12:54 AM
Kinda like the 'Pebbles' nickname. It's so anti-glamour.

Volcana, don't you remember what Pebbles Flintstone looks like?

mmcdonald has a point. Still, this could be exciting for tennis. We'll see.

:fiery: @dani. Get your act together, girl.

vaiva
Apr 12th, 2003, 01:08 AM
It would be sad to see her following the footsteps of Patty - beating quality players on her way to the finals and then succumbing to her opponent in the finals (which is most likely to be SW, if Ashley could beat Juju, of course)

Hewitt225
Apr 12th, 2003, 02:02 AM
also, people this is just ONE tournament
that doesnt make a career

can anyone say Anna Kournikova 1998 Lipton?
And she was hyped up (for her tennis) waay more than Ashley was.
All im saying is that while yes, this is a great achievement, a part of being a top 10 and top 5 player *cough* Jelena Dokic *cough* is CONSISTENTCY. Not just whipping people when your on, otherwise Mary Pierce would be #3 in the world.

Im still putting the Russians, and Bartoli ahead of Harkleroad, because while they have yet to have a 'breakout' tournament (as this obviously is for Harkleroad) they've been rather consistent, which for me, is more important than flashy wins

and also, she could be a Dementieva, when shes on, shes hot like fire, and when shes off, shes OFF


I agree completely. I have seen ashley play a few times and i love her game. it is a lot like martina hingis' game. but she will have to have a few tournaments like this for me to believe....really believe that shes top 10 material.

vaiva
Apr 12th, 2003, 02:10 AM
Q just for the record: she is about 17?

tennnisfannn
Apr 12th, 2003, 03:36 AM
If Serena had beaten Bovina, Shaughnessy and Daniela by the same scoreline we would all be saying she was playing awfully well! Give Ashley her props, this is no mean fete she has accomplished this week! All the best Ashley but if you do meet serena in the finals you are on your own! ;)

ns_Henin
Apr 12th, 2003, 05:18 AM
She's the 2002 RG Junior Finalist..
I think she's the next big clay courter :)

BK4ever
Apr 12th, 2003, 05:28 AM
To answer the original question...

Ashley is a baseliner who depends on her court savvy more than power to win her matches. I havent seen her play since last summer, but at that time, she told me that she was working on getting more power...using her trunk and her shoulders more. She was also going to totally revamp her serve in the off season...She is not afraid to come to net...She has a nice backhand...I thought she could get more racquet head speed, but its obvious that she has worked on that as well.

She's had a slow start this year, but its all starting to come together for her

vogus
Apr 12th, 2003, 07:10 AM
Ashley has just TOTALLY TRASHED three of the tour's most solid Top 20 performers, none of whom are in a slump at the moment. Six weeks ago, it was anybody's guess whether Ashley could beat a player ranked 250 in the first round of Midland or St Paul challengers. I am astounded. I've seen this before in men's tennis but never in women's.

treufreund
Apr 12th, 2003, 07:15 AM
isn't funny how some don't want to give her credit? :rolleyes: And yes I love the name Pebbles. It's cute and like Volcana said it's anti-glamour. But btw who is Bam-bam?

catkey94
Apr 12th, 2003, 07:56 AM
I think that she is due a lot of credit for her accomplishment thus far. For her to beat the players that she did with the scorelines that she has is nothing to scoff at.

It's actually pretty exciting to see the new comers bringing so much game.

TonyP
Apr 12th, 2003, 01:43 PM
While the naysayers are correct in that one good tournament doesn't make a career, Harkleroad deserves full marks for what she has accomplished in this tournament. She has knocked three big players out in a row and barely broken a sweat in doing it.

Yes, we have seen flash in the pans before, Dementieva and perhaps even Hantuchova,but each player is unique unto herself and who knows where Ashley may go from here.

The big shame is, unless she beats Justine today, we probably will see none of her on TV, so it will remain hard for fans around the world to do more than guess about her game at this stage.

On the other hand, I see all the pressure being on Justine today, as she is expected to win, but knows she is playing a very hot opponent right now and that this will be a closely watched match. And that's just what happened to Justine at Indian Wells in 2002 when she met Hantuchova.

This will be a real test of Justine's metal and it is always tougher when you may not have played that person before.