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View Full Version : does a good run up to RG lead to success at rg?


baleineau
Apr 13th, 2003, 06:29 PM
with the Aus Open and Wimbledon, the run up period is so short that the winner of Sydney or Eastbourne is not normally considered to be a strong contender for the slams that follow. the clay season is quite long (2 months long) and there's a lot of opporunity to assess the form of players. but does a good run on clay reflect at roland garros? i seem to recall that clay was dominated by sabatini/martinez/asv between 89-93 but only once did one of them trumph (ASV 89). Between 95-97, ASV, Martinez and Hingis were doing great on the clay but didn't win. Majoli seemed to spring from nowhere. Same last few seasons too. Mauresmo and Henin have done well, but then come up short at RG, whilst Capriati, Kim, Venus and Serena have been the main contenders. Rather like how Graf and Seles were in the early-mid 90s - they's get some clay in, but save their best effort for RG (and usually win).

Does anyone else think a good long run on clay statistically reduces your chances of winning. The long streak of conchita in 95 springs to mind, winning Hilton Head, Amelia, Rome and Hamburg, then getting all the way to the semis before folding to a fresh Graf.....

I think venus might be following this strategy of resting and saving herself.

Rtael
Apr 13th, 2003, 06:32 PM
Nah...last year before RG Serena Won a Tier I and Made the final of a Tier I, and then won RG, so I don't think your theory really holds water =P

Jarrett
Apr 13th, 2003, 06:37 PM
No remember Ameile in 2001? and Justine, Kim last year.

irma
Apr 13th, 2003, 06:42 PM
in 90 monica was undefeated on clay
in 91 monica won 1 tournament (steffi and sabatini two)
in 92 monica won two (steffi and sabatini too)
in 93 steffi won two(asv 3 I think)
in 94 asv won two (steffi 1, not sure about conchita)
in 95 steffi won one (was sick and injured otherwise, conchita won 5 or so)
in 96 steffi won one (don't know about the rest)
in 97 majoli won 1

asv won no title in 98 and steffi did neither in 99

in 2000 pierce won hilton head
in 2001 cappy won hilton head
and last year serena won rome

so most winner except in 98 and 99 won at least one clay title pre french open

Kart
Apr 13th, 2003, 06:50 PM
I don't think a good run on clay means anything unless your name is Thomas Muster. The difference between winners of the lesser clay tournaments and the French open is the supreme self belief we've seen from almost all the RG winners over the last few years in their matches - Pierce, Majoli, Serena, ASV, JenCap etc.

That 1995 clay season of Martinez was spectacular, but she only really had one big win IMHO, which was over ASV in Rome.

Steffi didn't play at all I think on clay until RG that year and, from what I remember of that match she cruised through the first set before Conchita offered any resistance. I don't think that was tiredness as much as it was mental on Conchita's part.

Venus is one of those people I think needs a good clay season, just to build her self belief. Last year, in spite of her final appearance I think she looked underconfident at all times when compared with Venus on a hardcourt.

And I think Hingis should have won the French open in 1997 - I don't mean she was the better player on the day by any means (in fact, Majoli thrashed her) but she looked to me like she came out thinking she had won the match before it even started (because of that semi three set win over Monica) which of course was her downfall. Sort of like her final appearance in Oz 2001.

darren cahill
Apr 13th, 2003, 09:17 PM
i think it all depends on the player...i think too much gets made of the 'she did or did not play enough warm up events' it all depends on each individual. How often did Graf play any warm up to wimbledon and won the thing 7 times. Navratilova always played warm ups, sometimes both Wimbledon tune ups and she won Wimbledon 9 times...so go figure. Martina surely didnt HAVE to, she would have probably won anyways...if you are good enough you dont need to play all the tune ups...you'll rise to the occasion.

GoDominique
Apr 13th, 2003, 10:32 PM
Well, Steffi played like shit before RG 99 and won.
Kim won Hamburg last year and played like shit at RG.

I don't think good runs are a real indicator.

baleineau
Apr 13th, 2003, 10:53 PM
it seems we have some consensus - that most winners of slams usually get in some preparation beforehand (like playing 1-2 clay events), usually win a tune-up, and then win a slam. what i'm really concerned with, though, are those that play 4-5 clay events before roland garros and do well in them.....and still have the energy to win roland garros. i was thinking the paths of sabatini and martinez have been followed by henin and mauresmo in the last few years. and serena williams, capriati and pierce have followed more closely the graf and seles route, playing 1-2 clay tune-ups, doing well in them, and then arriving at rg fresh and title worthy.

i pick the clay example rather than the grass because the clay season is 2-3 times as long. it's not really possible to get burnt out by playing lots of grass and then be tired for wimbledon (unless, of course, you have a good run on clay)........

baleineau
Apr 13th, 2003, 10:54 PM
dinner time BTW ;)

Asmus
Apr 13th, 2003, 11:58 PM
There are many examples of players playing great in the pre-RG season and then bombing at RG.

2002: Henin-Hardenne won Berlin, finals of Amelia Island and Rome, and lost first round at RG.
2001: Mauresmo won Berlin and Amelia Island, finals of Rome, and lost first round RG.
Venus won Hamburg and lost first round of RG.
1999: Venus won Hamburg and Rome and lost in the round of 16 at RG.
Pierce reached the finals of Hamburg and Rome and lost in the second round of RG.
1998: Pierce won Amelia Island and lost in the second round of RG.

Robbie.
Apr 14th, 2003, 12:12 AM
There are many examples of players playing great in the pre-RG season and then bombing at RG.

2002: Henin-Hardenne won Berlin, finals of Amelia Island and Rome, and lost first round at RG.
2001: Mauresmo won Berlin and Amelia Island, finals of Rome, and lost first round RG.
Venus won Hamburg and lost first round of RG.
1999: Venus won Hamburg and Rome and lost in the round of 16 at RG.
Pierce reached the finals of Hamburg and Rome and lost in the second round of RG.
1998: Pierce won Amelia Island and lost in the second round of RG.

1997 Pierce wins Rome, makes the finals of Amelia Island and Berlin then loses 4th round at RG

Sam L
Apr 14th, 2003, 12:15 AM
It can work in two ways and like someone said it depends on the player.

1/. Success on the clay leading up to RG can build your confidence so much that you feel invincible.

2/. Too many matches on the clay can tire you out physically that you have nothing left come RG.

It's how you handle the success physically and mentally.