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Old Jul 4th, 2007, 10:03 PM   #1
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Truth Serena did not believe she could defeat Justine

As a Serena fan one who has followed her since 1999 and rooted for her every step of the way including today. I can say Serena did not have total belief she coud defeat Justine today, nor at Roland Garris. Injuries aside, and I do believe she was injured, her approach to defeating Justine proved to me she did not have a formulae. She searched for one, she diced, she sliced, she looped, and tried power. But in the end was out of answers and knew it. I knew she would have trouble when Justine could not get a lst serve in to save her life and still won over 70 percent of the points. Second the key to defeating Justine was to come to net after her big serves, to punish Justine for standing 6 ft behind the baseline. Never happened. Most of Serena volleys were hit directly back to Justine...mentally not into it. Serena adjusted to Justines game not the other way around...she danced to Justines music well until the last two games. Serena in that 3rd set did not attempt to win until the match was over...shades of Jennifer Capriati. That tells me pressure kept Serena contained. It may seem I am as a fan being a bit critcal and probably so, but injuries are not the only things responsible for the loss today. Justine to her credit has simply outworked Serena and gotten better. Rena is probably the most talented tennis player ever, if she wants to get back to the top it is up to her. But not playing, showing up at slams may get her by everyone else, but not Justine.
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Old Jul 4th, 2007, 10:08 PM   #2
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Re: Truth Serena did not believe she could defeat Justine

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Originally Posted by TSequoia01 View Post
As a Serena fan one who has followed her since 1999 and rooted for her every step of the way including today. I can say Serena did not have total belief she coud defeat Justine today, nor at Roland Garris. Injuries aside, and I do believe she was injured, her approach to defeating Justine proved to me she did not have a formulae. She searched for one, she diced, she sliced, she looped, and tried power. But in the end was out of answers and knew it. I knew she would have trouble when Justine could not get a lst serve in to save her life and still won over 70 percent of the points. Second the key to defeating Justine was to come to net after her big serves, to punish Justine for standing 6 ft behind the baseline. Never happened. Most of Serena volleys were hit directly back to Justine...mentally not into it. Serena adjusted to Justines game not the other way around...she danced to Justines music well until the last two games. Serena in that 3rd set did not attempt to win until the match was over...shades of Jennifer Capriati. That tells me pressure kept Serena contained. It may seem I am as a fan being a bit critcal and probably so, but injuries are not the only things responsible for the loss today. Justine to her credit has simply outworked Serena and gotten better. Rena is probably the most talented tennis player ever, if she wants to get back to the top it is up to her. But not playing, showing up at slams may get her by everyone else, but not Justine.
I think there's a much easier answer: Serena hasn't yet found her full groundstroke game. Really, it's not like she played much better in the earlier rounds. She was rallying with Sequera for Christ's sake, and was spinning and slicing a lot. The Serena that won two Wimby's didn't play like that. She punnished everything at first sight. I knew she was going to have trouble against Justine, because Justine's defense is great and can get everything. The only way to beat her was to be a lot more aggressive and atm she's missing that game. If you count down winners besides aces, Justine got 24 and Serena got only 12. Her injuries certainly didn't help her today, but I think she put probably her best performance in this tourney.
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Old Jul 4th, 2007, 10:28 PM   #3
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Re: Truth Serena did not believe she could defeat Justine

I agree with mantaee...whenever a player is injured..I dont think they will feel too confident about beating thier opponent...a tough opponent at that. We all know Serena can beat Justine because she did it this year! But in order for Serena to beat Justine without a struggle like she use to..she needs to work on some things..such as movement, she needs to loose the slice..cuz its not working against Justine, work on her shots down the line *which she's done so well in the past* and her net game. Serena DID have that same problem with capriati..until she told herself "I'm tired of loosing to players I know I can beat" and thats when she went on a winning streak against Capriati. I agree with TSequia too...you HAVE to come ready...you cant rely on pure ghetto strength *which she used again Hantochova lol* to get past people who eat sleep and breath tennis like Justine. I'll give Serena until the US Open to get revenge on Justine...she will have time to work on what she needs to work on..till then..I'm 110% behind big Sister Venus..ole girl played some damn good tennis today! I still love Serena though she did what she could despite her injuries...she could have left the tournament after playing Hantuchova...Serena still gets mad respect!
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Old Jul 4th, 2007, 10:48 PM   #4
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Re: Truth Serena did not believe she could defeat Justine

I think the truth is that if a player steps onto the court, they're saying they're well enough to play and confidant enough to win. Henin just outplayed Serena when it counted.

At 5-3 at I believe 30-30 Serena hit a cross court shot that for anyone else would have been a winner, and Justine sledgehammered it back, and Serena made a surprised little scream that it came back before hitting long. To me, this said that on this day, Serena's best just wasn't as good as Henin's best. Whatever Serena's ailments, she canNOT come into a major championship and expect to win unless she's in tip top mental and physical form, or Henin WILL take her down (as she did).

Yeah, I could see that Serena had a let down in the final set, and no player can do that against Henin, the way that she's playing now. Serena's shot selection was also NOT up to form in that final set. In that last game (I believe it was the last), she went to net and volleyed right to Henin. And it wasn't a powerful shot that would be difficult to return. Of course Henin responded with a beautiful pass. I couldn't believe it was Serena hitting a shot that poor at one of the most critical points in the match!

Serena hardly plays anymore, and in my opinion, she's gotta find a way to get healthy and play some more matches. There's too much pressure to always "play into form" at the big events. I think it hurts her. The big events should be more about playing into even MORE peak form after working out the problems in one's game at the warm up tournaments. Serena has the opposite problem of Jelena. Jelena plays too much and Serena too little.

YESSS, I know that Serena has been injured. If that is true, then I agree with what Richard William's said on ESPN, they should have "stayed home and got well!" Forget the past, if they chose to handle how they prepare this way in the present, they've gotta expect this kind of result as Henin has gotten stronger and more lethal with her game.

I'm feeling high on Venus. She didn't look injured at all against Shrieky, but then, in my opinion Shriek has a lousy grass court game. The balls bounce higher on the grass than in the past (due to slower form of grass and heavier balls) possibly making moving in more difficult, but still Shriek has hardly any ability at net.

At 1-1 in the second set, Shriek had two short balls that brought her in that she didn't even seem to consider following up at net. She found herself moving backwards (and Venus winning both points). When I saw that, I knew that Venus was gonna take her.
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Old Jul 4th, 2007, 10:57 PM   #5
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Re: Truth Serena did not believe she could defeat Justine

It is really not that serious.
If Serena hadn't sprained her thumb, she wouldn't have been forced to that awkward backhand slice and she would have been in a better position to win this match.
Thats all.
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Old Jul 4th, 2007, 11:04 PM   #6
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Re: Truth Serena did not believe she could defeat Justine

Serena:
Quote:
Considering my circumstances, my leg, and most of all having no backhand and no shot, I think I did pretty well. I think it's just if I'd have been healthy, I think I would have won, a hundred percent.
Rena knows her truth better than any fake psychic.
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Old Jul 4th, 2007, 11:09 PM   #7
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Re: Truth Serena did not believe she could defeat Justine

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Originally Posted by King. View Post
It is really not that serious.
If Serena hadn't sprained her thumb, she wouldn't have been forced to that awkward backhand slice and she would have been in a better position to win this match.
Thats all.
I agree with this. That was tough luck, but again, it wasn't all.

Justine was matching Serena for power, speed. movement, and making even better shot selections. I still believe its because Serena hadn't played enough and wasn't as "match tough" (as they used to say back in the day) as Henin. It showed during the key points in that final set.
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Old Jul 4th, 2007, 11:10 PM   #8
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Re: Truth Serena did not believe she could defeat Justine

i agree, serena was trying to hard, they just have to accept that justine is at par with them now. or even better.to beat justine serena has to be 100 percent, not just in health, but you know, she has to play her best and even if shes playing her best, she cant blow justine off the court anymore like she used to against any other player because justine can handle her.
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Old Jul 4th, 2007, 11:15 PM   #9
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Re: Truth Serena did not believe she could defeat Justine

Agree with King: she lost control of several important rallies due to that slice. And two of her most crucial backhand shots were missing: the down-the-line and the sharply angled cross-court. Both would have given Justine more trouble more often, though it wouldn't necessarily have guaranteed a win.

But I agree with most others that, in general, Serena needs to (a) play more to improve shot selection, (b) improve her movement, (c) improve her net game, and (d) get back to the punishing but controlled aggression she's capable of. I'm not sure all this was needed to win against Justine today, but I'm hoping that this loss motivates her to work even harder on the little things over the summer.
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Old Jul 4th, 2007, 11:19 PM   #10
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Re: Truth Serena did not believe she could defeat Justine

I notice as of late Serena seeming like she's trying to incorporate something else in her game. She's been using more spins, more touch etc. and it's not working out that much. But she still is moving full steam ahead with it. The first few games of the match I was surprised with all the touch etc. but it worked then.lol. I think Justine was surprised as well.
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Old Jul 4th, 2007, 11:21 PM   #11
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Re: Truth Serena did not believe she could defeat Justine

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Agree with King: she lost control of several important rallies due to that slice. And two of her most crucial backhand shots were missing: the down-the-line and the sharply angled cross-court. Both would have given Justine more trouble more often, though it wouldn't necessarily have guaranteed a win.

But I agree with most others that, in general, Serena needs to (a) play more to improve shot selection, (b) improve her movement, (c) improve her net game, and (d) get back to the punishing but controlled aggression she's capable of. I'm not sure all this was needed to win against Justine today, but I'm hoping that this loss motivates her to work even harder on the little things over the summer.
lmao @ your sig
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Old Jul 4th, 2007, 11:23 PM   #12
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Re: Truth Serena did not believe she could defeat Justine

Serena's body didn't cooperate. It wasn't her spirit or sense of belief.
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Old Jul 4th, 2007, 11:25 PM   #13
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Re: Truth Serena did not believe she could defeat Justine

Quote:
Originally Posted by vejh View Post
I notice as of late Serena seeming like she's trying to incorporate something else in her game. She's been using more spins, more touch etc. and it's not working out that much. But she still is moving full steam ahead with it. The first few games of the match I was surprised with all the touch etc. but it worked then.lol. I think Justine was surprised as well.
yes, for sure.
well one thing any sane wtaworld poster knows is that serena is a champion. and she'll probably keep on working on her game, and so will the youngsters and Justine.
To me, thé most important is Serena's movement, it's the base of everything.
Maybe some Serena fans will shoot me for this, but even today I felt like she was moving better (especially towards her FH) than in Australia. She is definetly improving, and with more matchplay she will only get better.
Justine is a player who has "several options". Feeding Serena a lot of "junk", sometimes trying to outhit her, sometimes volley, ...
If both play their best their matches will always be super tight and just super sine plus.
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Old Jul 4th, 2007, 11:43 PM   #14
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Re: Truth Serena did not believe she could defeat Justine

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lmao @ your sig
Thnx, tho I'm seeing I may have to change it up come next week.
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Old Jul 4th, 2007, 11:43 PM   #15
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Re: Truth Serena did not believe she could defeat Justine

Serena without those injureis probably would have polished Justine off quite comfortably...but ehre we are...another injury filled season seemingly.
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