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Tennis Fool
Apr 14th, 2003, 01:00 AM
***And many of you think Pam doesn't like Serena???

Serena gets first loss behind her

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
By Pam Shriver
Special to ESPN.com


CHARLESTON, S.C. -- It was a strange match in the Family Circle Cup championship on Sunday as Serena Williams' perfect run ended with a loss to Justine Henin-Hardenne 6-3, 6-4.

Serena Williams started off looking good with a 3-0 lead and then lost six games in a row. She only won a handful of points in those six games. I just don't remember her doing that -- especially since she's started this great run.

Henin-Hardenne just sat back waiting for Williams to make errors. After the way Williams played against Lindsay Davenport the day before, I would never have picked Williams to lose today. She can lose to Justine Henin-Hardenne, but not the way she did today.

The word is that Williams was pretty dismissive of the loss in the press conference afterward -- acting like it wasn't a big deal.

But the win does boost No. 4 Henin-Hardenne to even a slightly higher level though her rank stays the same. The Belgians continue to climb. Kim Clijsters is projected to replace Venus Williams as the No. 2 player when the rankings come out on Monday. Henin-Hardenne did what no one has done since fellow Belgian Clijsters last November. As a matter of fact, Williams' only losses in the past six months have been to Clijsters and Henin-Hardenne.

It's good for Serena Williams to get the pressure off instead of going into the French Open and Wimbledon season with a long undefeated run. Once she's dealt with the loss, she'll need to keep focused on staying healthy and strong. She's prone to problems with knee tendinitis. She just needs to be sure not to give any hungry opponents an opportunity to beat her by letting her conditioning slip.

And although this is a Tier I tournament, she'd much rather have the first loss of the year here than a few other places on the tour like the Australian or French Open.

Pamela Shriver
Apr 14th, 2003, 01:05 AM
I'm such a great writer. Literary genius really.

JenCpLvr
Apr 14th, 2003, 01:12 AM
I was at the tourney and actually spoke to Pam!!! She was nice to me, although most people there were saying she was a complete b*tch and wouldn't sign any autographs.. I did see her give an evil eye to a few people..

Mary Jo was much more gracious I must say.

Mr. Man
Apr 14th, 2003, 01:15 AM
Watch Pam contradict herself later on. Let's not hope so.

Dava
Apr 14th, 2003, 01:22 AM
Well Serena herself said it was a good time to loose, and she needs to lose sometimes. I think it will tell Serena where she is at on clay this season. I can point out already she needs to get better movement on clay, be more patient and perhaps slide a bit more then she does on the clay. The she will be invincible!!!

Dawn Marie
Apr 14th, 2003, 01:24 AM
Even though Pam is a horrible and bias commentator, I completly agree with this point of view. I think the same thing. The pressure is off of Serena now.

Lisbeth
Apr 14th, 2003, 02:21 AM
Hmmm, "the pressure is off"? Pammy doesn't think maybe having won the last 4 slams creates more pressure than merely being undefeated in a handful of 2003 tournaments?

I agree the loss won't hurt Serena chances though and could be motivating.

Leena
Apr 14th, 2003, 02:27 AM
I think it's bullshit... Serena won't have any more/less pressure at RG if she won or lost here. I hate when people write diatribes on how players think coming into tournaments, because it's all bullshit.

kell
Apr 14th, 2003, 02:29 AM
I think it's bullshit... Serena won't have any more/less pressure at RG if she won or lost here. I hate when people write diatribes on how players think coming into tournaments, because it's all bullshit.

Exactly! 'Experts' really piss me off sometimes.

Greenout
Apr 14th, 2003, 02:33 AM
I don't know...this still comes off like
a biased report to me. Is there ever a
good time to lose? Pam's just trying to
play down the fact that the "streak" is
over. If Serena won Pam would've said
something on the lines of ....

Serena will obviously go into the clay
court season again to win the majority
of the tier 1's , and defend her Roland
Garros crown because she's just better
than everybody else hands down. This
match was so one-sided.

LOL.

Chance
Apr 14th, 2003, 02:35 AM
does anyone have any stats for this match?

Hulet
Apr 14th, 2003, 02:44 AM
I think it's bullshit... Serena won't have any more/less pressure at RG if she won or lost here. I hate when people write diatribes on how players think coming into tournaments, because it's all bullshit.
Okay, that seem a bit contradictory to me; on one hand, you claim that people can't tell about the thinking of players going into the tournament, but you have no problem claiming, on the other hand, that serena will not be pressurised more or less b/c of this loss going into FO.

Anyways, I agree with Pam. Whether Serena admits or not, there was a big expectation she/others put on her to go undefeated the whole season. I think before every match, or even after, she might have felt this extra pressure on top of the regular pre-match jitters. But, now that she have lost, I think serena will play more relaxed unless she states that she will go the rest of the season undefeated.

Cybelle Darkholme
Apr 14th, 2003, 02:57 AM
I think it's bullshit... Serena won't have any more/less pressure at RG if she won or lost here. I hate when people write diatribes on how players think coming into tournaments, because it's all bullshit.


I disagree. Look at the AO 2003 before Serena was talking about there was no pressure then she started to struggle first round and then with kim and then with venus. Sorry but there was pressure and nerves and she admitted to it later eventhough beforehand and during she didn't.

I think serena will put this losss in perspective. She lost to justine last year at a tournament and then turned around and beat her in the next, ON CLAY. No one is unbeatable not serena and not justine and not kim.

selesfan
Apr 14th, 2003, 03:22 AM
***And many of you think Pam doesn't like Serena???

Serena gets first loss behind her

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
By Pam Shriver
Special to ESPN.com


CHARLESTON, S.C. -- It was a strange match in the Family Circle Cup championship on Sunday as Serena Williams' perfect run ended with a loss to Justine Henin-Hardenne 6-3, 6-4.

Serena Williams started off looking good with a 3-0 lead and then lost six games in a row. She only won a handful of points in those six games. I just don't remember her doing that -- especially since she's started this great run.

Henin-Hardenne just sat back waiting for Williams to make errors. After the way Williams played against Lindsay Davenport the day before, I would never have picked Williams to lose today. She can lose to Justine Henin-Hardenne, but not the way she did today.

The word is that Williams was pretty dismissive of the loss in the press conference afterward -- acting like it wasn't a big deal.

But the win does boost No. 4 Henin-Hardenne to even a slightly higher level though her rank stays the same. The Belgians continue to climb. Kim Clijsters is projected to replace Venus Williams as the No. 2 player when the rankings come out on Monday. Henin-Hardenne did what no one has done since fellow Belgian Clijsters last November. As a matter of fact, Williams' only losses in the past six months have been to Clijsters and Henin-Hardenne.

It's good for Serena Williams to get the pressure off instead of going into the French Open and Wimbledon season with a long undefeated run. Once she's dealt with the loss, she'll need to keep focused on staying healthy and strong. She's prone to problems with knee tendinitis. She just needs to be sure not to give any hungry opponents an opportunity to beat her by letting her conditioning slip.

And although this is a Tier I tournament, she'd much rather have the first loss of the year here than a few other places on the tour like the Australian or French Open.



I agree! I think it was a good time for her to lose. Hopefully she will train harder for the French. :)

BK4ever
Apr 14th, 2003, 03:23 AM
How messed up would it be if Serena went undefeated the rest of the season...she would forever think of that match ;)

selesfan
Apr 14th, 2003, 03:24 AM
I was at the tourney and actually spoke to Pam!!! She was nice to me, although most people there were saying she was a complete b*tch and wouldn't sign any autographs.. I did see her give an evil eye to a few people..

Mary Jo was much more gracious I must say.

I'm surprised, when I volunteered at a tournament, Pam was so nice and down to earth. She was waiting for someone to let her in and when I got up to hurry them along, she said don't bother I'll wait. She wanted us to treat her like everyone else and didn't want special treatment.

Leena
Apr 14th, 2003, 03:27 AM
I disagree. Look at the AO 2003 before Serena was talking about there was no pressure then she started to struggle first round and then with kim and then with venus. Sorry but there was pressure and nerves and she admitted to it later eventhough beforehand and during she didn't.

I think serena will put this losss in perspective. She lost to justine last year at a tournament and then turned around and beat her in the next, ON CLAY. No one is unbeatable not serena and not justine and not kim.
I understand that... but I think comes from the pressure of it being a Grand Slam, and that she wasn't on top of her game. I mean, seriously, during a match, Serena isn't going to think "OMG, I lost a match earlier this year! I suck!" or "I need to stay undefeated, I'm going to try even harder!".

JenCpLvr
Apr 14th, 2003, 03:57 AM
I don't understand all of this "it was a good time for her to lose" stuff.... How is it ever a good time to lose?? If Serena had won here and then followed it up by wins at the French and Wimbledon, there would have been no talk of a "good time for her to lose" It's all crap.. No reason to make excuses as if it were orchestrated... Justine simply outplayed Serena today!

Tennis Fool
Apr 14th, 2003, 04:11 AM
JenCpLvr:

I think whenever there is a dominating champion, the person across the next is just seen as an obstacle to their success.

Like when Martina lost the 97 French to Iva, Chris Evert constantly said Martina lost the match because she fell off her horse the week before and the injury finally caught up with her...

GoGoMaggie
Apr 14th, 2003, 04:43 AM
I think "it's a good time to lose" means if She was to lose somewhere, this was a good time and better than say, at a GS.
Of course nothing is better than to go undefeated the whole season.

Dawn Marie
Apr 14th, 2003, 05:18 AM
omg, i agree with gogomggie!

"faints"

Dawn Marie
Apr 14th, 2003, 05:23 AM
Really what Pam means is that it would be EVEN more pressure if Serena was on a winning streak going into RG! She can do without the added pressure.

Everyone was looking and following Serena's win streak putting the expectation on her to continue it.

Even I a fan was beginning to feel the pressure and wouldn't mind her losing. I mean for a minute ther the girl had me wondering if she were human? LOL

Like with every match it was getting more of a build up and a build up.

It's all good.


Congrats to Justine!

anton
Apr 14th, 2003, 05:25 AM
hey dawn, i missed the match. i was sleeping. but i thought serena would beat justine so this is a surprise.

did anybody record the match?

if so we can trade. i have tapes at LTMN.com thanks :wavey:

GoGoMaggie
Apr 14th, 2003, 05:27 AM
omg, i agree with gogomggie!

"faints"

Hi Dawn :wavey:
Once in every 1000 posts, I say something right, ain't I? :p

anton
Apr 14th, 2003, 05:29 AM
i hope venus watched the match :bounce:

Dawn Marie
Apr 14th, 2003, 05:38 AM
gogomaggie you are my friend tonight and of course you're right tonight!

Dawn Marie
Apr 14th, 2003, 05:40 AM
anton, I said Justine would lose before I saw her playing Ashley. After I saw her playing Ashley I knew Serena could lose a set. Justine looked sharp. I didn't think she would lose to her though.

Serena was and still is playing great tennis.. it really is no surpise though not in hindsight! Of course if Venus lost I would not even be posting right now!! Lmao

anton
Apr 14th, 2003, 05:49 AM
i saw a few points of justine-ashley and justine was playing well.

serena is really overdue for this loss. she doesnt like offpace stuff and hard down the center and everybody knows it.

i didnt see the match but i did see when justine played venus this same way a few years ago and justine won on clay so serena will not be able to get out of every whole, this is the key to the match it think:

win the first set and keep serena on the run. if you win the first set and mix it up serena will have a hard time getting into a groove.

Dawn Marie
Apr 14th, 2003, 06:05 AM
Justine did good, but Serena imho controlled the outcome. Sometimes they just don't go in.

Anton(U venus fan U) I think you need to watch the match again.

Richie77
Apr 14th, 2003, 06:09 AM
How messed up would it be if Serena went undefeated the rest of the season...she would forever think of that match ;)


Actually, if Serena did go undefeated the rest of the season, she'd be in good company. Martina Navratilova only lost one match in 1983, at Roland Garros. She finished the year with an 86-1 record :eek:

As for this match: Congratulations Justine! Very impressive win. Serena, meanwhile, will be fine. I agree with Pam and everyone else, it's better for her to lose now than to lose at Roland Garros.

anton
Apr 14th, 2003, 06:11 AM
Justine did good, but Serena imho controlled the outcome. Sometimes they just don't go in.

Anton(U venus fan U) I think you need to watch the match again.


i was sleeping when the match was on. :sad:

can you amil the tape to me?

spencercarlos
Apr 14th, 2003, 06:55 AM
Maybe the point Pam Shrives is trying to get out is that is better to lose here than in a Grand Slam Event.

rhz
Apr 14th, 2003, 07:11 AM
Pam rocks. she could be annoying sometimes, but her bitchiness is the most exciting thing to hear from her.

1jackson2001
Apr 14th, 2003, 07:14 AM
I'm sure if one is a Serena fan then he/she would rather have her lose here than @ RG....it's simple.

Midnite Surfer
Apr 14th, 2003, 07:53 AM
i saw a few points of justine-ashley and justine was playing well.

serena is really overdue for this loss. she doesnt like offpace stuff and hard down the center and everybody knows it.

i didnt see the match but i did see when justine played venus this same way a few years ago and justine won on clay so serena will not be able to get out of every whole, this is the key to the match it think:

win the first set and keep serena on the run. if you win the first set and mix it up serena will have a hard time getting into a groove.

Hey. I'm not knocking you or anything but when you say, "Win the first set". That's a pretty tall order.

doloresc
Apr 14th, 2003, 01:06 PM
shriver has the right attitude. better for serena to lose before roland garros to take the pressure off so she can go and defend her french open title. i can't believe she let a 3-0 lead slip away but it probably came as result of henin-hardenne's crafty play as well as serena feeling the pressure of being undefeated.

JenCpLvr
Apr 14th, 2003, 03:31 PM
Serena stated in an interview earlier in the week that it was important for her to win here.. She wanted to this title badly.. therefore, I think it would have been better for her to lose at another french warm-up than at FCC.

RAA
Apr 14th, 2003, 05:17 PM
Serena has been playing well this year, but clearly she has not been completely invulnerable (see E. Loit and K. Clijsters in Australia). In some ways, skirting on the edge of disaster (saving match points a lot) eventually can catch up to a player.

anyway, in some ways, it was a good time to lose. a bit of a wake up call for Serena. she admitted in her last tournament she hadn't been hitting the gym etc as much as she should. She knows what is on the line at RG and she'll ramp it up.

She got very impatient vs Justine which is something she has gotten better about recently, especially on clay. she hit some crazy shots that would have been outright winners on a hard or grass court, and Justine just got them back. The thing about serena is, give her 8-9 shots, and she'll make an error. the key for her opponent is to hope she doesn't make winner during those 8-9 shots..

anyway, i'm rambling because I'm still trying to digest the match yesterday and what it means. First off, it was a great match by Justine. Secondly, Serena's match vs. Lindsay was so awesome that my jaw was on the floor during most of the first set. I think maybe Serena had a bit of a let down vs. Justine, but full credit to justine for a well played match.

having said all that, I'd much rather her lose in Charleston than in paris.. so if that makes a "good loss", so be it...

PhoenixStorm
Apr 14th, 2003, 05:41 PM
I don't understand all of this "it was a good time for her to lose" stuff.... How is it ever a good time to lose?? If Serena had won here and then followed it up by wins at the French and Wimbledon, there would have been no talk of a "good time for her to lose" It's all crap.. No reason to make excuses as if it were orchestrated... Justine simply outplayed Serena today!


of course there is a good time to lose! I mean everyone loses who plays a sport, you just do, no one is the god supreme athlete! So would you rather lose in a warm up clay event or during the main even of roland garros? So wouldn't losing on the warm up be better than losing during roland? Of course it would.

Oh and I agree that justine ouplayed serena because serena played like crap.

spartanfan
Apr 14th, 2003, 05:46 PM
I think you really have to put this loss in perspective and look at what Serena said afterwards. Serena even said (USA Today) that sometimes you need to lose, and eluded to the fact that it just gives her modivation to train harder (which she said she had not been doing when she won Miami) and said that she can feel the modivation coming on.

I think the AO was different in that Serena and the media had put a lot of pressure on Serena to complete the Serena Slam (which she did) and since then for the most part has been looking great (See Paris and Miami). My impressions of the match yesterday was that Serena "just wasn't feelin it", especially after the first 3 games. Justine played a good and smart game, and you just have to really appreciate Justine hustle around the court and was scrambling to retrieve everything (and she just about did), but Serena rushed her game and did not play like she can/should on clay by constructing points and staying in the points.

But if you look at Serena's record over the past 12-18 months she has been using these few loses as modivation and has gone on a tear after each of them. So I do agree with Pam, now is the best time for Serena to lose, refocus and restart her modivation.

RAA
Apr 14th, 2003, 08:46 PM
one other thing..
Serena said after the match that she will use this loss as motivation.. which is the mark of a true champion.

It was one of the things that frustrated me about Hingis when she started losing to Venus and Lindsay and Serena. She didn't exhibit any FIRE in her belly to go after them and improve. a lot of players sort of shrug their shoulders after a loss and give platitudes and say basically to themselves, better luck next time. Serena isn't leaving it to luck, she's gonna dig deep and play better.
I admire that.

Pamela Shriver
Apr 14th, 2003, 08:51 PM
Even though Pam is a horrible and bias commentator

:sad: I'm not that horrible, honest! <just don't ask Chris Evert's opinion on the subject>