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Old Jun 5th, 2008, 08:55 AM   #16
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Re: Interesting Articles/News about Justine

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Originally Posted by j-fan View Post
Thanks. I was using the old www.henin-hardenne.be. I guess they finally drop that.

Old times.
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Old Jun 9th, 2008, 07:54 PM   #17
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Re: Interesting Articles/News about Justine

The following is an article I think we can all relate to.




Ivanovic boring but effective in winning French Open - Charles Bricker
Sports Columnist
12:03 PM EDT, June 7, 2008
PARIS

She's good. She's very good. She is -- what more evidence is required? -- a Grand Slam champion at age 20.

But the panache is in the photo-friendly face and bronzed skin, not in her game.

So here's to Ana Ivanovic, whose victory over Dinara Safina produced her major No. 1 to go with the No. 1 ranking she will officially embrace on Monday morning.

But if it's artistry and flash you want with your tennis, she's not going to provide it. She's a faster and earlier blooming version of Lindsay Davenport, who won her first Slam at the U.S. Open at 22.

Ivanovic has carefully trained technique off both the forehand and backhand side and potentially the best serve in women's tennis. As did Davenport.

She has excellent court composure and understands the nuances of constructing points. So did Davenport.

But, like Davenport, she will not deliver that special flair and quick-twitch foot movement the world got from that 5-foot-5 over-achiever Justine Henin, who retired and turned her No. 1 ranking over to the next French winner.

Or the riveting brute strength of Serena Williams. Or the ability of Venus Williams to leave you gasping as she turned defense into offense with one stretching shot from the corner. Or the sleek beauty of Steffi Graf running from Point A to Point B.

All those special qualities that cannot be taught.

Which is fine. Ivanovic can be deeply appreciated for what she is and she could remain at No. 1 for some time because (a) she has a powerful game that can excel on all surfaces and (b) there's still upside to her game. The ground stroking can be more consistent.

Eventually, however, she will be replaced by the next great athlete because strength alone is not enough to retain a crown in tennis. Henin has already proved that.

As finals go, this one was merely OK. There were two players on the Philippe Chatrier stadium with mirror-image games, swapping flat, powerfully-struck ground strokes with each waiting for an open court into which to fire a winner.

But it seemed as if 75 percent of the best shots were followed immediately by double faults or shanks.

The closest we got to sheer athletic brilliance came in the sixth game of the opening set, when Ivanovic made a great run to a wide ball and, from two feet outside her forehand double sideline, gently touched a short-angle crosscourt winner to save a crucial break point.

That was a delicate piece of work, though one sensed, watching it, that Henin would have gotten to the ball quick enough to mull over five options in her mind before making her play.

There's nothing to dislike about Ivanovic. She's fashionable and made every lensman happy by wearing a peach-colored bubble dress for all seven matches.

Although she doesn't, like Serena Williams, produce primal screams loud enough to be heard five courts away, she has her pump-up moments on court.

Several times during this match, she could be hear telling herself, "eide, eide" (eye-duh), which means, "let's go" in Serbian. And then she'll clench her left fist, never shaking it, or clench it, pull it into her chest and do a half-pirouette.

She's come a long way since she embarrassed herself, nervous and shaken in her first Grand Slam final a year ago in a one-hour and five-minute final here won by Henin 6-1, 6-2. But you knew she would be all right.

The great players learn from their big-match jitters and Ivanovic, from the opening point Saturday, was steely and resolved in this match. Her tennis wasn't consistent, but it was good enough, and give Safina some credit for disrupting her game.

OK, she's not the greatest athlete to be No. 1. But women's tennis needs Ivanovic now with Henin's retirement and the constant injuries to the Williams sisters and Maria Sharapova.

They say winning that first Grand Slam changes the way you think about yourself as a player. With Wimbledon beginning in two weeks, Ivanovic has an opportunity to put a hammer lock on that No. 1 spot and do something not just for herself but for women's tennis as well.

Charles Bricker can be reached at cbricker@sun-sentinel.com
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Old Jun 9th, 2008, 08:27 PM   #18
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Re: Interesting Articles/News about Justine

In other words, we miss Justine lots
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Old Jun 9th, 2008, 09:54 PM   #19
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Re: Interesting Articles/News about Justine

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Originally Posted by vejh View Post
In other words, we miss Justine lots
Sure do! However, I do think Ana is a better athlete than the writer gives her credit for. Also, I think her more compact power game is likely to cause her fewer injuries than Maria and the Williams sisters have endured lately. Time will tell!
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Old Jun 10th, 2008, 12:53 AM   #20
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Re: Interesting Articles/News about Justine

I thought he summed up why we miss Justine on clay pretty well. It was a boring match, not the gifted artistry that Justine brought. Power and finesse, will we ever see that again. I would like to think yes, but I think I might be too old to appreciate it when it rolls around again. This was a once in several decades player, our Justine. That is what hurts the most. To know that I saw it, got used to it, witnessed something special - and then it ended all too soon.
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Old Jun 10th, 2008, 10:12 AM   #21
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Re: Interesting Articles/News about Justine

I am with you shell. I have the same feeling. I don't understand how this could happen, but it happened.
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Old Jun 11th, 2008, 01:15 AM   #22
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Re: Interesting Articles/News about Justine

From SI - Jon Wertheim:

• I was surprised by how outwardly cavalier that WTA seems to be about the retirement of Justine Henin. Asked whether Henin's absence created even greater pressure to win, Maria Sharapova sniffed that the question was "pointless." Likewise, WTA execs claim they "aren't losing any sleep" over the sudden loss of a seven-time Grand Slam champ. Everyone's protesting too much.

• Henin made no friends when she bailed on the black tie ITF dinner last week. Federer was playing a Grand Slam quarterfinal the next day and still managed to make an appearance. (Irony: turns out she was at a Yannick Noah concert that night.) On the other hand, she did return to present Ivanovic with the trophy on Saturday.

• More for plus side of the ledger, I hear that Henin was asked whether she wanted her name removed from the WTA rankings. It was explained that she might still be eligible for bonuses as long as she remained in the top ten. No, she said. She'd rather retire at No.1 and lose the money than watch her ranking inexorably slip.

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Old Jun 11th, 2008, 04:54 AM   #23
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Re: Interesting Articles/News about Justine

That's telling 'em, Ju.
Why be forced to go to a silly blacktie dinner(and gain nothing) when you got a music concert to go to?
Screw em all.
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Old Jun 13th, 2008, 06:47 PM   #24
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Re: Interesting Articles/News about Justine

Thought we should make a list of Justine's major accomplishments. Here is my start, please add and make any corrections to the following:

  • 7 Grand Slams including 3 consecutive RG
  • 1 Olympic Gold
  • 2 YEC
  • 1 FedCup Championship
  • 41 total tournament victories (#11 on all time list)
  • 121 weeks as #1 (#6 on all time list)
  • 3 year-end #1 (2003, 2006, 2007)
  • 25 match winning streak on Clay in 2005
  • 21 match winning streak at RG 2005-07
  • 17 match without losing a set at RG 2005-07
  • 35 match winning streak 2007-08
  • Win 1st match as a professional at Antwerp (anyone knows who else did this?)
  • 0 loss in finals as a junior
  • #5 on all time money list

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Old Jun 13th, 2008, 09:13 PM   #25
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Re: Interesting Articles/News about Justine

Quote:
Originally Posted by j-fan View Post
Thought we should make a list of Justine's major accomplishments. Here is my start, please add and make any corrections to the following:

  • 7 Grand Slams including 3 consecutive RG
  • 1 Olympic Gold
  • 2 YEC
  • 1 FedCup Championship
  • 41 total tournament victories (#11 on all time list)
  • 121 weeks as #1 (#6 on all time list)
  • 3 year-end #1 (2003, 2006, 2007)
  • 25 match winning streak on Clay in 2005
  • 21 match winning streak at RG 2005-07
  • 17 match without losing a set at RG 2005-07
  • 35 match winning streak 2007-08
  • Win 1st match as a professional at Antwerp (anyone knows who else did this?)
  • 0 loss in finals as a junior
  • #5 on all time money list

I'll have to dig around, but I think I read somewhere that Ju was only the second or third woman to win her first pro tourny outing. Quite a feat!
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Old Jun 14th, 2008, 12:11 AM   #26
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Re: Interesting Articles/News about Justine

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Originally Posted by shell View Post
I'll have to dig around, but I think I read somewhere that Ju was only the second or third woman to win her first pro tourny outing. Quite a feat!
Fifth.

1. Tracy Austin
2. 1 player whose name I can't remember (someone who has the official tour book can look this up)
3. Mirjana Lucic
4. Katarina Srebotnik
5. Justine (in the same year Srebotnik won hers: 1999)
---
6. Angelique Widjaja
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Old Jun 14th, 2008, 12:52 AM   #27
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Re: Interesting Articles/News about Justine

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Originally Posted by cynicole View Post
Fifth.

1. Tracy Austin
2. 1 player whose name I can't remember (someone who has the official tour book can look this up)
3. Mirjana Lucic
4. Katarina Srebotnik
5. Justine (in the same year Srebotnik won hers: 1999)
---
6. Angelique Widjaja
Thanks for doing the research for me! Still, an incredible feat for such a young player. And with the exeption of Tracy, the forecast was very telling in Justine's win. She, and Tracy, backed it up with an incredible future of great play. Well, I like Katarina too, but she is and was at a different level.
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Old Jun 14th, 2008, 01:40 AM   #28
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Re: Interesting Articles/News about Justine

I knew those off the top of my head. (I wish I could remember more useful things!)

The one I had to look up was Petra Langrova (and it was the only WTA singles title she ever won).
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Old Jun 14th, 2008, 12:48 PM   #29
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Re: Interesting Articles/News about Justine

Ok, not really a distinguish list. But I bet Justine is the only one who won her first and last title at the same tournament.

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Old Jun 20th, 2008, 02:23 PM   #30
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Re: Interesting Articles/News about Justine

"On the Baseline" reports a rumour that Anna Chakvetadze has started working with Carlos. If this is true then I'm glad because I like the way she plays.
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