TennisForum.com  

TennisForum.com (http://www.tennisforum.com/index.php)
-   General Messages (http://www.tennisforum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=12)
-   -   Nick Bollettieri's Roland Garros Preview (http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?t=343416)

tennisIlove09 May 23rd, 2008 05:45 AM

Nick Bollettieri's Roland Garros Preview
 
Nick is teaming up with Tennis Week to bring you in-depth coverage and analysis of the 2008 French Open. As part of Tennis Week’s coverage they are hosting a Bracket Challenge for both the men and the ladies brackets!! Nick will also be playing along, and is challenging anyone to try an beat him!! Click the links above to register and follow along as the tournament progresses. You will be able to see Nick’s bracket when the tournament begins! So put on your prediction hat and try your best to beat the master!!


2008 French Open Preview - Women

May 22, 2008 • 4 Comments Nick’s Picks will have complete coverage of the 2008 French Open, and will be coming to you live from Paris for part of the event!! Also, Nick is teaming with Tennis Week to provide in-depth analysis of the French Open and many more exciting features to come in the next few days!
Nick’s breakdown of the top women in the field and others to watch out for…
Top 10 Seeds
Maria Sharapova (RUS)
Height: 6′2″
Weight: 130 lbs.
D.O.B: 04/19/1987
Turned Pro: April 2001
Current Ranking: 1
Plays: Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
2008 Titles: Australian Open, Doha, Amelia Island
2007 French Open: Semifinals
Nick’s Thoughts:
Clay has never been Sharapova’s best surface but she seems to find a way to grind through to the later rounds. Her movement is a major weakness on the dirt because her power is somewhat diminished, making it easier to move her around, but her competitive fire is the equalizer, and you never want to count this girl out.
Ana Ivanovic (SRB)
Height: 6′1″
Weight: 152 lbs.
D.O.B: 11/06/1987
Turned Pro: August 2003
Current Ranking: 2
Plays: Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
2008 Titles: Indian Wells
2007 French Open: Finals
Nick’s Thoughts:
Ivanovic is big, strong, hits hard and flat, relies on her serve in sticky situations and is not the best mover on the tour. You wouldn’t think this young Serb would be as much of a threat on the clay at Roland Garros, but she is a threat on any surface, against anyone. With Henin now retired, the door is open wide for her first Grand Slam title. Also, if we get another Sharapova/Ivanovic final (see Australia) you can count on the flashbulbs going crazy!
Jelena Jankovic (SRB)
Height: 5′9″
Weight: 130 lbs.
D.O.B: 02/28/1985
Turned Pro: 2000
Current Ranking: 3
Plays: Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
2008 Titles: Rome
2007 French Open: Semifinals
Nick’s Thoughts:
This could be Jankovic’s best shot at a Grand Slam title. The clay suits her game perfectly. She is a magnificent mover, is very patient and can outlast just about anyone. Her lack of a big weapon is not as damaging here as it is on other surfaces. Her consistency and patience become her weapons on the slow dirt in Paris. Also, let’s not forget about her two-handed-backhand-down-the-line-passing-shot. She hits that shot better than anyone on the WTA Tour, and she is able to get so low to the ground that her knees actually scrape the surface. She is also the best at entertaining the fans, so you know the Parisians will be rooting her on! The only question is, does she believe she can win it all?
Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS)
Height: 5′8″
Weight: 161 lbs.
D.O.B: 06/27/1985
Turned Pro: 2000
Current Ranking: 4
Plays: Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
2008 Titles: None
2007 French Open: Quarterfinals
Nick’s Thoughts:
Kuznetsova’s eyes must have gotten as large as beach balls when she got the news about Henin’s retirement just before the French Open. Henin has beaten her 16 of 18 times, and twice at the French. Kuznetsova does very well on every surface because of her strong athletic foundation. Her balance on contact is fantastic, and she stands fairly close to the baseline making early contact with the ball. She must be patient on the clay and not look ahead, because when she loses her focus she is beatable.
Serena Williams (USA)
Height: 5′9″
Weight: 150 lbs.
D.O. B: 09/26/1981
Turned Pro: September 1995
Plays: Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
Current Ranking: 5
2008 Titles: Bangalore, Miami, Charleston
2007 French Open: Quarterfinals
Nick’s Thoughts:
Serena has not played theFrench Open in three out of the last four years, and has played a limited schedule thus far in ‘08. But, we all saw what she did in Melbourne in ‘07 after not playing a whole lot and coming in unseeded. She has won this title before, and has a win in Charleston on Har-Tru Clay this year. Her serve will get her out of a lot of trouble, and she can run down almost anything. Serena must also get some easy first round wins to save herself for the second week. She had to withdraw in Rome, and if she isn’t 100% healthy that could be a problem. The key for her is to limit her unforced errors and keep a high first serve percentage. If she can accomplish those two things, then she becomes a favorite.
Anna Chakvetadze (RUS)
Height: 5′7″
Weight: 128 lbs.
D.O.B: 03/05/1987
Turned Pro: 2003
Current Ranking: 6
Plays: Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
2008 Titles: Paris
2007 French Open: Quarterfinals
Nick’s Thoughts:
Chakvetadze is coming off her best year as a pro. She made two quarters and a semi in the Slams last year and her confidence went through the roof. This year has been a different story however. She has not made it past the third round in three tries on clay so far, and her clay-court record for ‘08 stands at 1-3. She is patient and keeps a lot of balls in play for someone that plays so flat off the ground, but it seems as if other players are now starting to figure her out. If she continues to hit flat, she must come in on defensive returns. Chakvetadze also must maintain her focus and not get emotional like she did in Miami.
Elena Dementieva (RUS)
Height: 5′11″
Weight: 141 lbs.
D.O.B: 10/15/1981
Turned Pro: August 1998
Plays: Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
Current Ranking: 7
2008 Titles: Dubai
2007 French Open: 3rd Round
Nick’s Thoughts:
Dementieva looks to be feeling comfortable on the clay thus far in ‘08. She played two events, reaching the semis and the finals respectively. She hits hard and flat and is an average mover on the clay. Many of her opponents think that by attacking her serve they will win the match. I have seen this tactic tried numerous times and often it doesn’t work. Her serve has gotten better, and overall, isn’t as bad as everyone thinks. If she keeps a high first serve percentage and handles balls hit above her shoulder, she could do some damage.
Venus Williams (USA)
Height: 6′1″
Weight: 160 lbs.
D.O. B: 06/17/1980
Turned Pro: October 1994
Plays: Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
Current Ranking: 8
2008 Titles: None
2007 French Open: 3rd Round
Nick’s Thoughts:
Clay is obviously not Venus’ favorite surface. In fact, she has played in only clay-court event this year. She has made it past the quarters only once in 11 tries at Roland Garros, but one thing I have learned in all my time with Venus is that she can do just about anything when she sets her mind to it. To win here, she must come in 100% injury free, serve big and be prepared to play some long points (attack, attack, attack!!). The forehand consistency has haunted Venus over the course of her career and she must be prepared for her opponents to test her there early in the tournament.
Marion Bartoli (FRA)
Height: 5′6″
Weight: 128 lbs.
D.O. B: 10/02/1984
Turned Pro: February 2000
Plays: Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
Current Ranking: 9
2008 Titles: None
2007 French Open: 4th Round
Nick’s Thoughts:
So far in 2008, we have not seen thisWimbledon finalist continue the form that brought her to the brink of the top 10. Thus far in ‘08 she has a match record of 8-11, and she has not made it out of the third round on clay. She is two fisted on both sides which makes her a little suspect if you can stretch her out and get her to take one hand off the racket. Before ‘07 she had never made it past the second round in Paris in six tries. Last year she lost to Jankovic in the fourth round, but she did beat Dementieva in the third round.
Daniela Hantuchova (SVK)
Height: 5′11″
Weight: 137 lbs.
D.O.B: 04/23/1983
Turned Pro: May 1999
Plays: Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
Current Ranking: 10
2008 Titles: None
2007 French Open: 3rd Round
Nick’s Thoughts:
Clay is not Hantuchova’s best surface, as exemplified by the fact that she has never been past the 4th round in Paris. Daniela has always been a favorite of mine; dating back to the time she spent at the Academy as a teenager. I am very pleased to see her physically stronger, which well help her in Paris. She hits quite flat, and has a beautiful two-handed backhand down the line passing shot. She must come in to the net more often, especially when controlling play.
Others to Watch
Nicole Vaidisova (CZE)
Height: 6′1″
Weight: 139 lbs.
D.O.B: 04/23/1989
Turned Pro: 2003
Plays: Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
Current Ranking: 16
2008 Titles: None
2007 French Open: Quarterfinals
Nick’s Thoughts:
Since the Australian Open Vaidisova has a record of 3-5, and three of those losses were to players ranked #48 or below. She has one week to refocus herself and put her nose to the grindstone or it will be a short trip to Paris for her. The biggest thing for her is that she has to believe in herself, and not play with any doubt. When she is hitting her big serves and using those aggressive groundstrokes to control play she is one of the best in the world. She is a former semifinalist here, and if she is able to get her game going she can make some noise.
Alize Cornet (FRA)
Height: 5′8″
Weight: 132 lbs.
D.O.B: 01/22/1990
Turned Pro: 2006
Plays: Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
Current Ranking: 20
2008 Titles: None
2007 French Open: 1st Round
Nick’s Thoughts:
After qualifying for the event, Cornet was a surprise finalist at Rome, and she benefitted by the withdrawal of Serena Williams. She is an extremely talented young French girl whose movement is top-notch. She has a solid two-handed backhand, and has the ability to change the pace very well. I believe this girl has a lot of the qualities to be a top player.
Caroline Wozniacki (DEN)
Height: 5′10″
Weight: 128 lbs.
D.O.B: 07/11/1990
Turned Pro: 2005
Plays: Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
Current Ranking: 34
2008 Titles: None
2007 French Open: 1st Round
Nick’s Thoughts:
Like Cornet, Wozniacki is also very talented. After watching her play live at the Sony Ericsson Open, I came away thoroughly impressed with her game. Her movement and strokes are really solid and she is a smart player for a 17-year old. If she gets a good draw, watch out!
Sabine Lisicki (GER)
Height: 5′9″
Weight: 141 lbs.
D.O.B: 09/22/1989
Turned Pro: 2004
Plays: Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
Current Ranking: 84
2008 Titles: None
2007 French Open: Didn’t play
Nick’s Thoughts:
Sabine came through the program at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy, and she has had a breakthrough year on the Tour. She reached the third round at the Aussie Open (beat Safina), she defeated Davenport in the Fed Cup, and she reached the fourth round in Miami (beating Chakvetadze along the way). Her game is all about controlling the points by making early contact with the ball. For a big girl, she moves extremely well. It’s amazing to witness her powerful groundstrokes and relentless pounding of the ball. If she can get past the serve jitters, and realize that she just needs to get the ball in the box, she will be a player.
P.S. Sometimes Sabine over-hits, rather than hitting one or two more balls in a rally.


All times are GMT. The time now is 05:13 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.