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tennisIlove09
Apr 13th, 2003, 09:32 PM
Serena absorbs first loss of year in odd fashion

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Associated Press


CHARLESTON, S.C. -- So much for the thought that Serena Williams is unbeatable.


Justine Henin-Hardenne emphatically ended Williams' 21-0 start to the season by beating the world's No. 1 player 6-3, 6-4 Sunday for the Family Circle Cup title.


Perhaps what was most stunning was the way the momentum turned after Williams opened the final at the clay-court event by winning the first three games.

Her fourth-ranked opponent won six games in a row, taking 23 of the last 26 points in the first set. With Henin-Hardenne's smooth strokes right on target, she then overcame a 2-0 deficit in the second set.


The Belgian entered the match with a 1-4 career mark against Williams, who won a 'Serena Slam' by winning the last four major tournaments in a row: the French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open last year, and the Australian Open in January.


That streak led to talk on tour that Williams might be able to get through 2003 without a loss. But she repeatedly has said a perfect season was a lofty goal she never expected to reach.


"I think you guys dwelled on it more than I did,'' she said Sunday.

Williams showed some shakiness in the semifinals against former No. 1 Lindsay Davenport, blowing a big second-set lead.


Henin-Hardenne made Williams pay for errors Sunday, running down shots into the corners and forcing the American to go deeper into points than she wanted.


"I was a little bit nervous at the first,'' said Henin-Hardenne, who lost to Williams' older sister Venus in the 2001 Wimbledon final. "But then she began to make some mistakes.''


It's Henin-Hardenne's second title of the year and improved her match record to 21-4. She won a tournament on hard courts at Dubai in February, beating Jennifer Capriati and Monica Seles in consecutive matches.


On Sunday, Williams dropped her racket in frustration after putting a forehand into the net at 3-3 in the second set. She hit long two points later to fall behind 4-3. In the final game, Williams hit a lazy backhand approach into the net to end it.


The clay might have dulled her serve a bit, giving the swift Henin-Hardenne more of a chance to get to balls. Williams had nine aces against Davenport, zero Sunday.


"I think it's my best surface for sure,'' Henin-Hardenne said. "This should give me a lot of confidence for the rest of the season.''


Not to mention the rest of the tour.

yukon145
Apr 13th, 2003, 10:19 PM
"I think you guys dwelled on it more than I did,'' she said Sunday.

I think its funny how after Serena lost she trys to backpeddle and say she wasn't making a big deal about going undefeated. But really she said from the start of the season that was her goal, and then she said it again after the Nasdaq-100. Serena is an amazing player but at least she could admit that she really did make a big deal about the whole idea, :rolleyes: at Serena.

Venus Forever
Apr 13th, 2003, 10:22 PM
"I think you guys dwelled on it more than I did,'' she said Sunday.

I think its funny how after Serena lost she trys to backpeddle and say she wasn't making a big deal about going undefeated. But really she said from the start of the season that was her goal, and then she said it again after the Nasdaq-100. Serena is an amazing player but at least she could admit that she really did make a big deal about the whole idea, :rolleyes: at Serena.

But, if you also listened to Serena, she basically laughed everytime they mentioned it or she talked about it. Also, if you read any other transcripts from Serena she said she really didn't believe she was going to go the year undefeated, and that she though it was impossible. She just said that she just was shooting high and wanted to see what happened.

Some posters.:rolleyes:

:p

joao
Apr 13th, 2003, 10:26 PM
"I think you guys dwelled on it more than I did,'' she said Sunday.

I think its funny how after Serena lost she trys to backpeddle and say she wasn't making a big deal about going undefeated. But really she said from the start of the season that was her goal, and then she said it again after the Nasdaq-100. Serena is an amazing player but at least she could admit that she really did make a big deal about the whole idea, :rolleyes: at Serena.

Don't crucify Serena for setting really high goals! Each time she talked about remaining undefeated for a whole season, she also said that she wouldn't expect it to happen. She's a realistic girl and she knew the task was probably too tough! But she was going to try ...:rolleyes:

Glenn
Apr 13th, 2003, 10:28 PM
But, if you also listened to Serena, she basically laughed everytime they mentioned it or she talked about it. Also, if you read any other transcripts from Serena she said she really didn't believe she was going to go the year undefeated, and that she though it was impossible. She just said that she just was shooting high and wanted to see what happened.

Some posters.:rolleyes:

:p
I have to disagree, Serena WAS making a big deal out of it, and you don't know if she laughed the reporters' comments away, since most of the transcripts from the earlier rounds were never broadcasted!
Serena's just trying to make it look like she never actually meant it, which is cool, people do it all the time, and Justine proved today that Serena IS human. :)
Serena will probably beat Justine every time they play on hardcourt and grass, but she shouldn't have taken Justine this lightly today, not on clay. :)

Venus Forever
Apr 13th, 2003, 10:48 PM
Here is a respons by Serena:

Q. Serena, talk about the streak earlier on. You said you wanted to be undefeated for the entire year. Is that added pressure? Do you think about it throughout the course of the year or is it basically you made a statement and now you just go out and play?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I don't think it's really possible. I think it's a very hard goal to reach. I don't know. I don't think about it. I just go out and play, and if I lose, I lose. If I don't, I don't. But I don't necessarily think about I'm on this streak, because for an athlete, especially in a sport where I am, it's all about individualism. It's going to be tough to keep winning without having a teammate there to support you.

1jackson2001
Apr 13th, 2003, 10:56 PM
I think some of the posters here who love seeing Serena getting defeated are blowing up Serena's goal more than it really is.

1jackson2001
Apr 13th, 2003, 10:56 PM
I'm totally glad that Justine won, mind you. She's one of my fave players.

starr
Apr 13th, 2003, 11:04 PM
Lots of players set high goals for themselves, but they don't talk about it in the press. But I think from about the second week after she said it, she said that it was only a goal. I mean.... what was her goal for this year going to be that would knock the lights out of last year? I don't like Serena one bit, but I don't have any problem her setting a high goal.

I do think the way she dotes on herself sorta of adds to the glee when she loses. I know it does to mine. :)

Venus Forever
Apr 13th, 2003, 11:06 PM
How does she dote on herself?? They ask her the questions, and she answers them. It's not like she is asking the question to herself and answers it to make her look like a goddess.:rolleyes:

I really don't understand some posters thinking.:rolleyes:

WtaTour4Ever
Apr 13th, 2003, 11:07 PM
I remember her saying that she would shot for the sky and if she landed on the moon that would be fine.

Filip!
Apr 13th, 2003, 11:07 PM
I think some of the posters here who love seeing Serena getting defeated are blowing up Serena's goal more than it really is.

You have to be honest: Serena was saying now that it would be very difficult to stay unbeaten this year, but I'm very sure that it was her real goal!!!

Serena is a great champion, but this does not mean that she's unbeatable... Justine prooved it today, she deserves a lot of respect for this win!

Infiniti2001
Apr 13th, 2003, 11:16 PM
Much ado about nada. Venus put it best when said that Serena is all or nothing--- today she barely fought out there. she lost one match out of 22-- big friggin deal... She's right , the press has been making more of her going undefeated(Just listen to Pam Shiver) UGH!!!

starr
Apr 13th, 2003, 11:18 PM
Oh.... she dotes on herself without any questions being asked. Review her comments in Vogue.

I wasn't talking about her goal setting. I don't have any problem with that.

starr
Apr 13th, 2003, 11:19 PM
Wait a second! You are saying she tanked the match????

Wow. That's quite a charge.

TonyP
Apr 13th, 2003, 11:36 PM
While I am very happy Justine won, I don't think you can really slam Serena over the undefeated issue. Sure she made a big deal of it, but the press also made a big deal of it. But the streak(which by no means was the longest ever) is over and I don't expect Serena to hang her head over it.

I also say the press tends to elevate every hot player to greatness, because that's what the press does. Not long ago it was Venus who was unbeatable. Before her, Hingis.

No one is unbeatable.

The real issue in this match is, where did Serena's serve go. Because this match proves that, without a big serve to get some cheap points with, Serena is indeed beatable by a fast player with solid strokes.

And incidentally, did anyone notice how far behind the baseline Justine played. She had to cover a lot of ground, but she didn't find herself off balance too often in that match. She played smart clay court tennis.

Cybelle Darkholme
Apr 13th, 2003, 11:36 PM
You have to be honest: Serena was saying now that it would be very difficult to stay unbeaten this year, but I'm very sure that it was her real goal!!!

Serena is a great champion, but this does not mean that she's unbeatable... Justine prooved it today, she deserves a lot of respect for this win!
Hello its everyones goal to go undefeated! Do players go out and say OH im going to lose this match. whatever. anyone who says they dont want to go undefeated is lying.