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Old Apr 10th, 2004, 09:24 PM   #1
Steffica Greles
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Lindsay and Clay: The relationship

Everybody talks as if Davenport has some phobia of clay, particularly the European stuff, in the same way Muster hated grass. Worst of all, and much to my bemusement, so does Lindsay.

When did Lindsay's relationship with clay hit the rocks?

Well, she did well in '98. She reached the semis at Roland Garros, beating two handy clay courters along the way. Similarly, in 1999 she only lost out to Graf, if you ask me, because, as in so many of Davenports defeats, her belief deserted her. In the 3rd set she seemed awed, and happy that she'd taken a Great to a final set on her "worst" surface.

It was a great shame that she lost so early in 2000 when she was barely prepared after an injury. That's probably when her phobia began.

But let's get this right, Davenport has a VERY solid record at Roland Garros, with the exception of 2000. I remember in 1996, when she reached the quarter finals, she said, "I love this surface, the ball sits up and you can nail it," or something to that effect.

I agree with what she herself said. I think Lindsay's shots can do as much damage on clay as on any other surface. True, she has to hit more balls and cover more court, but the great benefit is she has more time to do so.

The nature of grass court play is that players REACT to balls, such is the pace of the surface. There's no time to think - just move. Hard courts are also ideal for those with fast reflexes. Davenport is not one of those people.

With a more positive attitude to clay, I think Davenport could have had far more success at Roland Garros. She's also been extremely unlucky with injuries in the run-up to that tournament, but I do think in the last few years she'd decided it's the Slam she's least likely to win.

I think she should open her eyes. And that "one more slam" she's hoping to win, well, wouldn't the Lenglen trophy contrast well with those other three trophies in her garage?
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Old Apr 11th, 2004, 12:50 AM   #2
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I agree. Lindsay has big swings and the clay gives her time to set up and "nail it." Plus the ball bounces higher on the clay than other surfaces, and that's right in her strike zone. We all know how much she hates to bend her knees at times on surfaces like grass. She doesn't know how to slide effectively, but she still moves about as well as she does on a hard court.

Of course, the one own-side of clay for her is the slow speed.

P.S. I wouldn't say Lindsay's reflexes are that horrible. She can hit some pretty amazing winners off of half-volleys from the baseline (ala Monica and Andre) and has great quick reactions at net.
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Old Apr 11th, 2004, 04:58 PM   #3
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I have to disagree on a clay court players have more time to get to Lindsay`s lethal shots which in other surfaces are or would have been winners. Also another factor is that Lindsay has never been a player with PATIENCE as one of her qualities, its understandable of course because the longer the point goes, the worst of Lindsay`s chances are.
Right now Lindsay`s case is even worse because she has had those injuries over the years and she seems (at least to me) she is moving a lot more slower than she used when she was at her best during 98-2000 period.
In order for Lindsay to win or even get far in Roland Garros is that she has to take control of every point, and it seems the only way to do so would be to hit everyshot as a winner, i doubt a player can win a match like that.
Even more if Lindsay has not been able to "dominate" like she used to in surfaces like Hardcourts, Indoors, Rebound ace, her chances on clay are a lot less factible.
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FWTT Hard 111(111 + ny)Carpet 104(104 + ny)Clay 107(107 + 4) Grass 100(100 ny)
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Old Apr 11th, 2004, 05:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo_DFP
I agree. Lindsay has big swings and the clay gives her time to set up and "nail it." Plus the ball bounces higher on the clay than other surfaces, and that's right in her strike zone. We all know how much she hates to bend her knees at times on surfaces like grass. She doesn't know how to slide effectively, but she still moves about as well as she does on a hard court.

Of course, the one own-side of clay for her is the slow speed.

P.S. I wouldn't say Lindsay's reflexes are that horrible. She can hit some pretty amazing winners off of half-volleys from the baseline (ala Monica and Andre) and has great quick reactions at net.
High balls are not Lindsay`s strike zone... then u`ll find out why she had so many troubles with Conchita Martinez`s game. Sure Lindsay can attack high balls, but when you do that you take the risk, its easier to hit a high ball back than smack (attack) those high balls.
A good example for you could be waitching that 98 Roland Garros semifinal Arantxa would hit a high ball, to move Lindsay to throw Lindsay off, eventually Lindsay would hit shorter so Arantxa could get back into the point.
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18 Grand Slam SF´s, Won 27 titles, 1 GS Sin, 1 GS in Dubs,2 Masters
Sabatini vs Martinez ?
Seasons in the top ten: Sabatini 10 Conchita 9
Straight Seasons in the top ten: Sabatini 10 Conchita 6
Seasons in the top 5: Sabatini 6 Conchita 5
Straight seasons in the top 5: Sabatini 6 Conchita 4
Tier II and above titles
Sabatini 24 Martinez 17
Record at the Masters
Sabatini has 2 titles 2 Runner up and 3 SF
Martinez has 0 titles, 0 RU, and 0 Sf
Record against the best players
Sabatini 40% Martinez 21%
Head to Head
Sabatini leads 9-6 over Martinez
FWTT Hard 111(111 + ny)Carpet 104(104 + ny)Clay 107(107 + 4) Grass 100(100 ny)
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Old Apr 11th, 2004, 06:34 PM   #5
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i think lindsay and clay work well together espec as shes just won amelia island yaaaaaaay
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Old Apr 12th, 2004, 11:37 PM   #6
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I think she has had some pretty good results on clay and also has been very unlucky with injuries leading up to Roland Garros. As for the 1999 French Open, Steffi was destined to win that one regardless of any resolve of Lindsay's. I don't see why Lindsay should not do well at this year's French Open providing she is fully fit, injury free and above all positive. Congrats on your great Amelia island win Lindsay.
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