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Old Nov 29th, 2005, 07:10 PM   #1
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Thumbs up "Claudine Schaul plans to get back to Top 100!"

3000th post!!!

The best opportunity to celebrate this 3000th post is the following article from Luxembourger Wort of today about Claudine Schaul! It is a great article looking back at her most beautiful successes, her feelings during her slump and her new ambitious with her new coach!
It took me two hours to translate the whole article from German to English but it was worth it. I have furthermore scanned two pics accompanying this great article about nice Claudine Schaul! Enjoy!

Ambitious Claudine Schaul wants back into Top 100!
With new self confidence in season 2006!



After a difficult season, Claudine Schaul would like to attack again in the upcoming year in order to enter the Top 100 again.

In the year 1998, the woman from Garnich served for the first time in an ITF-tournament, in Denain (FRA). A year later the talented Luxembourgian stood in two semifinals in Challenger-tournaments and appeared on the 30 August for the first time, as number 718 in the WTA world rankings. At the Seat Open 2000 in Kockelscheuer, 1.69 meter tall player celebrated its premiere in a WTA tournament. The first participation in a qualification of a Grand Slam in Wimbledon followed in 2001. The upwards trend continued and in the following twelve months, she decided the Challenger-tournaments in Petingen (LUX) and Vaihingen (GER) to her favours.

A successful career developed itself. At the US Open 2003 Claudine Schaul was standing in the main draw and surprised in the first round by beating Anna Smashnova (17 of the world at the time). Due to her third round, her best result in a Grand Slam, the right handed advanced on place 75 of the world rankings. In 2004, the large breakthrough seemed to happen. At the „Internationaux de Strasbourg“ Schaul won her first title by beating nobody else than the current number one of the world, Lindsay Davenport (USA) in the final, jump up to career high rank 41.

A lot of pressure

The past season wasn’t optimal at all for the player of the TC Arquebusiers. The defeats heaped and the disappointment was large too. The 22-year-old divides the dreadful season in three phases. At the beginning of the year, it wasn’t running promising for the young player of Garnich. The youngest Indoor-country master of all times had many points to defend and the pressure was weighting on her shoulders. A year after the tournament victory in Strasbourg, Schaul was in a slump and gave away many world rankings places
„Subsequently it should have gone better, because the pressure faded, however one does not come out of such a, hole‘ from today on tomorrow.“From the qualification to the US Open onwards she performed a lot better:„I didn’t play good tennis to be honest, but I nevertheless fought, could win again two games in a row and gave myself confidence again. It was important to play again several games in the so called challenger tournaments. I played the best tournament of the year in Pittsburgh where I reached the quarterfinal. This was a successful year end and that made me courage for the future.“
On the sporting downward trend, the separation of her coach Norbert Palmier followed in March. First of all the player from Garnich believed , the Frenchman could help her to get out of her slump, but then the collaboration worked out no longer: „I believed firmly that we could come together out of the crisis and many people think, I should have separate earlier from Palmier. I don’t think so and believe to have met the decision in the correct moment.”

New coach

While as Norbert Palmier tried to change her game a bit, the new coach Simon Walsh would not like to shift the game, but rather file at its qualities. Walsh should arrange it now and lead Schaul back to where she had been already once. „Palmier wanted to diminish my mistake quota and wanted to give my game more security.
Thus my game became more defensive and I acted no longer with pressure. Walsh would like to retain to my natural type of play. I should continue acting aggressively and try furthermore to dominate the game.“
Claudine Schaul has already worked on her serve, that is often criticized,: „I have practiced serve games an hour per day a week. I have to work regularly on that now, so that my service isn’t only the start of a rally, but rather a weapon, with which I can get the control over the game, to point subsequently.“
Schaul obligated with Walsh a coach whom she knew for some time before. At the US Open as well as the tournament in New Haven in the year 2003 the Australian had looked after the Luxembourger already. „At that time I have worked only three weeks with Simon and nevertheless he was able to give me some good advices. We have the same ideas and are lying on a wave length. I had a good feeling and knew that the collaboration actually would have to work out. It was simpler to obligate a trainer, who I know than living in uncertainty.“ The former number 41 of the world denies the rumors, that she wanted to retire, vehemently: „if it does not run so well, during a period one thinks certainly over many scenarios. I however never thought of retiring, because I spent my entire life with tennis and it made me pleasure.“
Claudine Schaul found courage by thinking at the past, in which she proved, that she knew how to play great tennis.
As many athletes in difficult phases also Schaul sought advice at a psychologist,
who mentally should help her: „You must be convinced that someone can help you. This person gives you only the means, the impulse has to come from yourself.“



Important phases

Only mental training isn’t helping : „There are phases in which one needs different methods. Now a training phase is forthcoming. The next five weeks will be decisive for the upcoming season, because during the season, one has not much time to shift around something at its game“, so the ambitious athlete of the year 2003. If she would have prepared herself for the upcoming season rather in Luxembourg, Claudine Schaul sees many advantages to travel prematurely to Australia: „We have optimal prerequisites there. A condition trainer is on the spot, we do not need to set ourselves shortly before the tournaments to the climate and the time difference and this saves me the transposition between open air and indoor courts , what caused me previously always problems.. I would like to train where the best conditions are ruling
for my tennis and my season.“ It is the first time that Claudine Schaul ventures this step and the Luxembourgian tries everything to improve her shape.. After the training units, follow three tournaments in Australia (Gold Coast, Canberra as well as the Australian Open). After that Paris and Antwerp should follow, depending how the WTA ranking looks like. „One has to look then whether it is better to start in main draws of little tournament or in the qualification of big tournaments. That has to be decided first to the respective moment.

Overall the level in the women tennis field has improved , explains Claudine Schaul: „There are the top 15, that drop itself more or fewer ahead. Behind there are many players who stand on one level are following. This is especially noticeable in the challenger-tournaments where each game represents a high hurdle. Moreover there are many younger players who have established in the field.“
As by January 2006 there are no more quality points in WTA-tournaments. Previously the players, who won against an opponent who was better placed in the world rankings, were rewarded, with such bonus points.
To enter top 100 again, is a first goal for the coming season. After that Claudine Schaul, who is actually on position169, would like to get back to her high ranking (Top 50),: „this time I would like to remain also over a longer period on a front position“, noticed the ambitious Luxemburger.



PS: Her former coach Norbert Palmier is now coaching Luxembourg's number 1 in men tennis Gilles Muller (the guy who destroyed Andy Roddick at US Open in first round ). Her new coach Simon Walsh is coaching the Slovak Jarmila Gajdosova too.
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Old Nov 29th, 2005, 07:48 PM   #2
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Muller didn't 'destroy' Roddick. A 7-6, 7-6 win is only a matter of a few points.

Schaul does nothing for me, she has no weapons & I don't see her ever being in the top 100 again.
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Old Nov 29th, 2005, 08:00 PM   #3
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[quote=MisterMan]Muller didn't 'destroy' Roddick. A 7-6, 7-6 win is only a matter of a few points.

Schaul does nothing for me, she has no weapons & I don't see her ever being in the top 100 again.[/QUOTE]

Rude comment! A girl who has beaten Davenport has NOTHING to you!

Claudine will prove you wrong!

I hope some others will reply in here! :
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Old Nov 29th, 2005, 08:02 PM   #4
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You don't think she beat a healthy, in shape Davenport do you ?
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Old Nov 29th, 2005, 08:15 PM   #5
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Claudine Schaul is a good player. She just needs consistency as she can go from performing extremley well in tournaments to pretty bad in the next one.
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Old Nov 29th, 2005, 08:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MisterMan
You don't think she beat a healthy, in shape Davenport do you ?
Oh come on! It doesn't matter if Lindsay Davenport was playing 100%, it was a huge performance from Claudine to beat Lindsay and that's the main thing for me. (I know players who lose even to an injured Lindsay in two straight sets! )

Claudine Schaul has a new coach now and has finally found back her self confidence (this was the reason for her slump!) and I'm really happy for that. It is really dreadful seeing your favourite player going down the rankings like this (knowing that she is much more talented)!

We aren't spoiled from successes in Luxembourg; our national football team is a disaster (10 years without a victory! ), basketball and volleyball is bad too, and the only sports we can compete with the big nations are tennis and cycling. In tennis Anne Kremer's (former top 18) career is visibly destroyed by a very bad injury from 2003 and Claudine Schaul was slumping lately. This is really sad if you like sports and the different sport players.

We only have few moments of joy in sports in Luxembourg and thus these rare moments are sooo important for us (Claudine winning Strasbourg, Gilles Muller beating Andy Roddick or Rafael Nadal, or Kim Kirchen being 6th at Olympic Games in cycling). Everybody is talking about a certain Josy Barthel winning a Gold medal in Helsinki in athletism in 1952 (in the United States he would have been nearly forgotten already).

I hope you understand a little bit my point of view here. Lindsay Davenport has won so many tournaments, has had so many success but Claudine's biggest success was this Strasbourg title. Maybe I'll have to wait 10 more years before a new Luxembourg title...

By the way I am still watching every match of Luxembourg's national football team although I konw that they will lose again and again. (In bigger nations everybody would laugh at them )... and will be as happy by seeing them marking a goal against England as other nations are happy if they qualify for the world championships.

I will always support Claudine Schaul even if she wouldn't get out of her slump. I will be happy for her what she reached. She has shown some great results in the past (beating Bovina and Smashnova apart from Davenport) and was number 9 of the juiors ranking. She is only 22 and she can still have some beautiful tennis years.
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Old Nov 29th, 2005, 10:33 PM   #7
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Very nice article, thanks for posting! I saw Claudine play in Birmingham v Mirza where she had very little confidence, so it's great to see her getting things back together!
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Old Nov 30th, 2005, 08:44 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonny84
Claudine Schaul is a good player. She just needs consistency as she can go from performing extremley well in tournaments to pretty bad in the next one.
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Old Nov 30th, 2005, 08:47 AM   #9
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Going to read the article again in more detail, Love Claudine though, one of my faves. Apart from being absolutely adorable, she seems to be a quite nice person - even afforded an interview with my tennis fan group 'le boulets de Tennis Francais". gotta love Claudine.
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Old Nov 30th, 2005, 08:56 AM   #10
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I really think that she is a nice lady, but in Luxembourg she was really, really weak... She must improve that again if she even wants to remain at her current ranking. A quarterfinal of a challenger is a pretty bad highlight even for a player on her ranking position. Hope you get it...
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Old Nov 30th, 2005, 09:02 AM   #11
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I saw Claudine playing many times this year and of course the season was not super but she didn't give up. In the last weeks i saw her fighting and playing very well .
She just needs to be more consitent but it takes time.
Her talent is always there .
She is going to do a big preparation in Australia with her new coach and a physical trainer.
And it's true that she is a nice person. I know her and she is always friendly with me. She is a little angel and she diserves respect.
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Old Nov 30th, 2005, 09:07 AM   #12
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She did bagel Davenport at Strasbourg in her 2-6 6-0 6-3 victory. how many have done that! - Not Clijsters, Sharapova or anyone in the top 10 - Go Claudine
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Old Nov 30th, 2005, 09:13 AM   #13
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[quote=Drimal]
Quote:
Originally Posted by MisterMan
Muller didn't 'destroy' Roddick. A 7-6, 7-6 win is only a matter of a few points.

Schaul does nothing for me, she has no weapons & I don't see her ever being in the top 100 again.[/QUOTE]

Rude comment! A girl who has beaten Davenport has NOTHING to you!

Claudine will prove you wrong!

I hope some others will reply in here! :
The guy is just jealous 'cuz super Gilles beat Roddick
Claudine is so cool
Next year her confidence will be back and she will do good(why not great?) results again
Come on Clau, you rock
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Old Nov 30th, 2005, 11:24 AM   #14
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Claudine will always be my #1 player.
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Old Apr 27th, 2006, 03:29 PM   #15
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The article in post 1 was kindling hope for better times for Claudine Schaul at the end of 2005.

"- To enter top 100 again, is a first goal for the coming season. After that Claudine Schaul, who is actually on position169, would like to get back to her high ranking (Top 50),: „this time I would like to remain also over a longer period on a front position“, noticed the ambitious Luxemburger. -"

She sounded really optimistic that season 2006 would be a better year and seemed to have made a good choice by chosing the Australian coach Simon Welsh who is also coaching Jarmila Gajdosova.


5 months later Claudine Schaul has probably reached a new low of her career; she lost 6:1 6:7(6) 3:6 in the first round of the 25k challenger Torrent to Paula Garcia who hasn't done that great in the past!

Her ranking declined to position 182 (she has even been out of top 200 a few weeks ago) instead of the expected rise to the top 100!

Obviously she has some problems off court which could be an explanation :

- with her coach: Simon Welsh isn't the best coach for Claudine Schaul as it seems; he is traveling with Jarmila Gajdosova and neglecting Claudine Schaul and she is thinking about separation (I got this news from an article of Luxemburger Wort two months ago but haven't heard anything about that recently)
- with Luxembourg's Olympic Comittee COSL: she was deleted from the A list, the list which should support players for the next Olympic Games but Anne Kremer, Mandy Minella and Lynn Philippe are figurating on that list

In my eyes it's really dreadful to show that less support to a player who is going through a difficult time!

It's tough to imagine that less than two years ago Claudine Schaul won a singles title, a doubles title and beat some top 50 players and now she is suffering early outs in challenger tournaments! Last year everybody said that she was under pressure to defend all these points from Strasbourg but this year she could play free because she doesn't have many points to defend ...

What should she do for a turning point in her career? Should she change her coach again, or taking a break from tennis for some time?

What do you think?
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