US Open 2004 - TennisForum.com
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 59 (permalink) Old Aug 20th, 2004, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
V.S.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 15,624
 
US Open 2004

US Open 2004: Previewing the Women
by Jason Brown, usopen.org
Wednesday, August 11, 2004

After two days at the 2004 US Open, half of the women’s field will be packing their bags and booking their flight reservations to their next destination.

But what makes this time of the year so special at the USTA National Tennis Center is that dream runs do happen in the most improbable scenarios, and even the best players’ nerves can falter before the tournament bends around the corner past Labor Day into the final week of play.

Adding to the spectacle are the night matches that are part of what makes the 2004 US Open so different from the other major events.

The 2004 US Open Women’s Singles Championship will be telecast live Saturday, Sept. 11, during prime time on CBS Sports for the fourth consecutive year.

In 2003, two Belgians -- top-seed Kim Clijsters and second-seed Justine Henin-Hardenne -- met in the evening spectacular, with Henin-Hardenne overcoming the leg cramps she incurred in the previous night’s semifinal to defeat her compatriot, 7-5, 6-1.

Clijsters has spent the majority of 2004 battling injury, but defending champion Henin-Hardenne returns, making her way back in her recovery from a nasty viral infection.

The women’s field gets a huge boost this year with the celebrated return of Serena and Venus Williams, both of whom missed the 2003 tournament due to injuries.

1998 US Open champion Lindsay Davenport is the hottest player over the hard-court season, winning three titles, dominating the new US Open Series and silencing any talk of an impending retirement from professional tennis.

American fan-favorite Jennifer Capriati, who played arguably the most memorable match of the 2003 US Open -- a thrilling three-set semifinal loss to Henin -- seeks redemption and an opportunity to win the first US Open of her career.

And 2004 has been the breakout year for Maria Sharapova, a 17-year-old Russian who shocked the tennis world, upsetting two-time defending Wimbledon champion Serena Williams in the ladies’ final at the All-England Club.

USOpen.org sizes up the title aspirations of a group of players capable of mastering the toughest two weeks of tennis in the world, the 2004 US Open Championships.

The Frontrunners

Lindsay Davenport – A season that was skeptically viewed as a possible beginning to an end of a stellar career has come full circle, as Davenport has become a renaissance woman, enjoying an illuminating summer run that has erased doubts about her health and age, while cementing her standing as one of the leading frontrunners to win the US Open.

One of the most consistent forces ever to grace the USTA National Tennis Center, the California native has reached the US Open quarterfinals or better every year since 1997. Owner of a 47-12 career singles record in Flushing, the most career singles wins of any Grand Slam event, Davenport’s precise, hard-hitting baseline game and menacing service compliment the fast hard courts of New York to a tee.

Davenport’s historic 1998 season draws intriguing parallels to the present. She won a tour-high six titles that year, including a clean sweep of the California circuit with wins at Stanford, San Diego and Los Angeles. This year, Davenport has swept those same events.

She finished 1998 ranked No. 1 in the world – Davenport currently rests as the second-ranked player in the world -- with an opportunity to improve on that with a continued strong run.

Davenport won the 1998 US Open, the first major of her career, defeating then-world No. 1 Martina Hingis in straight sets, 6-3, 7-5.

At the 2003 US Open, the third-seeded Davenport reached the semifinals, where she fell to top-seed Kim Clijsters, 6-2, 6-3, ending her run.

Maria Sharapova – Has made the leap from promising up-and-comer to full-fledged superstar in less than a year. Reaching the quarterfinals of the French Open was expected, but conquering Wimbledon over two-time defending champion Serena Williams put the 17-year-old on the cover of Sports Illustrated and turned her into the most valuable commodity on tour.

Veterans like Martina Navratilova applauded the Russian teen, stating that the 2004 ladies’ final at Wimbledon was one of the most significant events ever to happen in women’s tennis.

Sharapova’s coming-out party at Wimbledon also signaled a subtle changing of the guard on the women’s tour, a needed departure from the usual suspects – Serena, Venus, Clijsters, Henin-Hardenne and Davenport – in the limelight toward bringing fresh new faces to the winner’s podium.

Unseeded in her debut at the 2003 US Open, Sharapova reached the second round, falling to Frenchwoman Emilie Loit and disappointing those who had hoped for a dream third-round showdown against Jennifer Capriati.

Justine Henin-Hardenne – The 2003 US Open defending champion and year-end top-ranked player in the world, but in name only this year as she hobbles into the US Open. An unstoppable force over the course of a two-week run that ended with a convincing 7-5, 6-1 triumph over Kim Clijsters in the prime-time women’s final, only a serious viral infection could inhibit this great champion.

Just the ninth woman ever to win the French Open and US Open in the same season, Henin-Hardenne appeared well on her way to duplicating her best tennis yet in 2004, standing tall as the top seed in Melbourne, winning her first Australian Open title.

In February, Henin-Hardenne contracted an upper respiratory illness, an afterthought at the time, but an omen of troubled health for the majority of the spring and summer. Henin-Hardenne managed to defend her title at Doha and captured Indian Wells, but missed three clay-court tune-ups because of low blood sugar and a viral infection.

A shadow of her former self, Henin-Hardenne’s defense at Roland Garros was brief, stunned by 86th-ranked Italian Tathiana Garbin in the second round. A testament of dominance, Henin-Hardenne has continued her standing as the top player in the world, a run that is nearing 40 consecutive weeks.

Henin-Hardenne’s epic three-set US Open semifinal match against Jennifer Capriati, by most accounts the match of the tournament, with searing images of the Belgian crumpling to the ground between points, clutching the back of her cramped legs and still finding a way to win, makes Henin-Hardenne a favorite to repeat.

Serena Williams – The only thing scarier than staring down Serena Williams on the other side of the net is going to battle against a motivated Serena Williams with something to prove.

Figure on the latter this year from the two-time US Open champion (1999, 2002), over a year removed from her last Grand Slam title and making a celebrated return to Flushing after missing her favorite event last year because of injury.

Knee surgery on Aug. 1, 2003, kept Williams out of the limelight of the USTA National Tennis Center, but she is sure to be back with a vengeance, as she has lost the world No. 1 ranking, valuable playing time and much of the aura that had accompanied her whenever and wherever she played.

Winner of 24 career singles titles and six major championships, with a breathtaking 26-3 singles record at the US Open, Williams is a looming threat to capture a third US Open title.

The Contenders

Jennifer Capriati – Valiantly lost the most remembered match of the 2003 US Open to eventual champion Justine Henin-Hardenne in the semifinals, a crushing 4-6, 7-5, 7-6, three-hour-plus test of will and might that saw the American get within two points of her first US Open final a remarkable 10 times.

With a 30-12 record over her career at the US Open, Capriati has four first-round losses, but none since 1999). She has reached three semifinals (1991, 2001 and 2003).

This year, Capriati has been up and down because of nagging back and hamstring injuries. In the semifinals of Roland Garros, favored against Russian Anastasia Myskina, Capriati again squandered a match point serving at 5-4 in the third set.

After withdrawing from hard-court events in Los Angeles and San Diego, Capriati played at the Rogers Cup in Montreal and was beginning to round into form that could bode well for her chances in New York.

Amelie Mauresmo – She came close this year at the Australian and French Opens (quarterfinals), came closer at Wimbledon (semifinals), and what lies ahead for the steady Frenchwoman with the picture-perfect backhand in Flushing is anyone’s guess.

Mauresmo has been a model of consistency in recent years at the US Open, reaching the quarterfinals in 2003, the semifinals in 2002 and the quarterfinals in 2001, with an overall singles record of 18-5.

Last year, in excellent shape having not dropped a set through her four rounds, Mauresmo was stung by top-seed Kim Clijsters in the quarterfinals, 6-1, 6-4, leaving lingering question marks about her aptitude in the pressure-packed matches that separate Grand Slam champions from also-ran’s.

Mauresmo is the winner of two WTA Tour events in 2004, Berlin and Rome, but has been troubled by recurring muscle strains in her back.

Anastasia Myskina – The reigning French Open champion, Myskina is beginning to separate herself from the myriad of talented Russian players on the tour. She defeated countrywoman Elena Dementieva in the Roland Garros final, as her opponent wilted under the spotlight while she rose to the occasion, boding well for her chances in New York.

Opponents will key in on her weak service game, but what Myskina lacks in that department, she more than makes up for with punishing forehands and backhands, to complement exceptional **** and movement.

Her best result at the US Open to date, Myskina reached the quarterfinals in 2003, but was worn down by the time she played Henin-Hardenne after playing three consecutive three-set matches in the first week of the tournament.

Venus Williams – A two-time US Open champion (2000, 2001), Williams hasn’t won a Grand Slam event since September 2001. But few players have a better track record in New York than Venus, an outstanding 35-4 in her singles career at the US Open, including six straight results in the semifinals or better.

Like her sister Serena, Venus was forced to withdraw from the 2003 US Open. After leading the U.S. Fed Cup Team to a clean sweep of the Czech Republic, Venus traveled to Warsaw, Poland, where she reached the final, but not before suffering an abdominal strain that would eventually put an end to her season.

A welcome sign has been Venus’ hard-court season – two finals results in Stanford and Los Angeles, both losses to Lindsay Davenport.

The Sleepers

Karolina Sprem – As raw and as talented as they come on the women’s tour, Sprem is a giant-killer, a gutsy teen capable of toppling a superstar on any given day.

The Croat showed those instincts at Wimbledon this year, where she scored the greatest win of her fledgling career, a shocking upset of two-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams in the second round. Sprem parlayed that win with two more upsets over seeded players Meghann Shaughnessy and Magdalena Maleeva en route to her first-ever Grand Slam quarterfinal appearance.

Incidentally, Sprem lost to Shaughnessy in the first round of the 2003 US Open during her first main draw in Flushing.

Tatiana Golovin – Another exciting youngster with remarkable physical tools. The emerging Frenchwoman by way of Moscow, Russia, is 22-9 in singles this season, and has rapidly ascended through the WTA Rankings.

Golovin’s career-high singles ranking of No. 38 is buoyed by fourth-round results at the Australian Open and Wimbledon, including three wins over seeded players (Anna Smashnova-Pistolesi, Lina Krasnoroutskaya and Francesca Schiavone), making her one of the least-desired non-seeds to play in the early rounds of a major.

She also won her first Grand Slam title, a French Open mixed doubles championship with fellow French prodigy Richard Gasquet. Golovin will be making her US Open debut, so be sure to seek out her first-round match on the daily draw-sheet, and make it a must-see.

Daniela Hantuchova – Following a lost 2003 campaign in which her star dulled from a career-high ranking of fifth at the start of the season to the fringes of the top 20, with a season-ending ranking of 19th, Hantuchova has quelled her physical demons and found a semblance of inner peace, beginning to look and act like the player that many fans thought was on the cusp of one day winning a major.

Streamlined and explosive with a top-flight forehand, Hantuchova has notched impressive upsets this season over Maria Sharapova, Amelie Mauresmo, Ai Sugiyama and Alicia Molik.

But it will not be until she has a breakthrough major result (Hantuchova is a discouraging 3-3 in Grand Slam tournaments in 2004), like she did reaching the quarterfinals of the US Open in 2002, that she can reclaim her standing as one of the most feared players on tour.

The Official Fashionista of the Royal Court
V.S. is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 59 (permalink) Old Aug 25th, 2004, 12:22 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
V.S.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 15,624
 
Serena Williams in the boots that Nike specially designed for her.

FRONT ROW

Hard Courts: A Queens Catwalk
By THE NEW YORK TIMES
Published: August 24, 2004

very year in early September, two fashion spectacles play out in New York City: one at the tents in Bryant Park, which makes use of models with limbs as delicate as candlewicks; and another across the river in Flushing, Queens, at the United States Tennis Association's National Tennis Center, which showcases men and women with biceps and triceps as big as Evian bottles. The long, slow democratization of tennis has resulted in looser dress codes, which have arguably made the sport much more fun to watch and turned the Open into another big American runway event.

And this brings us to the question: what will Serena wear? Serena being, of course, Serena Williams, the court's most ardent advocate of outré personal styling.

In conjunction with Wilson Smith, Nike's footwear designer for tennis, Ms. Williams, currently the eighth-ranked woman in the association, will wear, among other looks, a pleated skirt of denim with "moisture management properties," as Nike's corporate press material describes it; a black double-layer mesh dress; and a bra in a color to match her skin tone. More remarkably, Ms. Williams, during practice at least, will be taking to the courts in boots.

"Whenever we got together, I noticed that Serena always wore boots," Mr. Wilson said. So he designed her a pair of sneakers with a removable sleeve that attaches at the foot and climbs up to the knee. The sleeve, Mr. Smith explained, offers extra support for weary calf muscles. The boots also look as if they had been spun from the imagination of a designer named Hans with ateliers in Antwerp and Berlin.

"I thought they were going to be hot," Ms. Williams exclaimed from a car on her way back from practice yesterday. At first glance, she also deemed them "nonsexy." She has found them to be quite comfortable, though, and is now thinking about wearing them during the actual tournament as well as during practice.

The Nike shoe-boot represents a departure from the more feminine looks Ms. Williams has championed in recent tournaments. "I've been in love with pink this year," she said. "I wore pink to the French Open."

And what of the denim?

"Serena fondly remembered how in the 90's we put Agassi on the court in denim," Mindy Grossman, the Nike vice president for global apparel, said. "It was acid denim, actually, which many of us would wish to forget." **GINIA*BELLAFANTE

A Custom Fit, Off the Rack

For most European designers, the pinnacle of glory is having their own maison de haute couture, establishing them in the loftiest echelon of art and craft de la mode.

Which is just one of the reasons Helmut Lang moved to New York. Mr. Lang has no interest in haute couture. "It's not what I want to do," he said flatly.

Even so, the designer is softening his stance somewhat: this fall, he is offering a kind of not-quite-ready-to-wear, or half-couture, as he calls it. "It's more modern to do it this way," he said. Six evening dresses from this fall's collection, hand-pleated in silk, chiffon and crin (horsehair to you), will be made to measure at the Helmut Lang boutiques in New York, Paris and Milan, with a choice of details and colors — blue, green, red, white or nude — for about $8,000.

The idea was not born out of creative restlessness but because certain dresses cry out to be individually fitted. "The pleated parts have to exactly fit the anatomy of the body," Mr. Lang said. "We learned it after we fitted the dresses here, and they looked beautiful. Then everything went to Paris, and we fitted them onto the models there. Every dress had to be adjusted."

It seems a natural step for the designer to take. Mr. Lang has been making made-to-measure suits for men for years and has made special dresses for that runway of the West, the red carpet. Still, he is not yet sure he will roll out the half-couture concept as part of every collection. "We will know after one season," he said drily. **DAVID*COLMAN



The Official Fashionista of the Royal Court
V.S. is offline  
post #3 of 59 (permalink) Old Aug 25th, 2004, 06:42 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
V.S.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 15,624
 
Wednesday, August 25

Serena might want to rethink her outfit
By Ray Ratto

Special to ESPN.com

I believe Serena Williams to be a bold and bright woman. She knows her power, she knows her skill level, she knows her influence with the youth of America. If she smoked, the world would offer her a light.

Perhaps Serena has had a little too much time off between matches.So she won't think us impertinent asking the musical question, "At what point did she think her fashion future lay in Nancy Sinatra impersonations?"

Serena has decided, with the help of Nike's "Hey, Why Don't Make Knockoff Doc Martens?" division to wear boots. Well, not boots exactly, but sneakers with an outer sleeve that give the impression that she is wearing boots.

And not just regular old boots. Not work boots, Wellingtons or hip-waders. Go-go boots. Yes, she has decided that as her fashion statement for the U.S. Open, she wants to look like the most unsettling Nixon campaign volunteer ever.

Nike also sent in its press release a list of her other U.S. Open accoutrements, information on a pleated skirt (Catholic schoolgirl look), a black double-layer mesh dress (Halle Berry meets Natalie Wood), and a bra that matches her skin tone (don't want to think of a corollary there, thank you very much indeed).

Apparently when she first tried them, they deemed them (oh, Jesus, when did my career descend to this) "nonsexy," and complained to The New York Times' Ginia Bellafante, "I thought they were going to be hot."

But she decided they were too comfortable not to wear (Nike claims they offer extra support for calf muscles, which sounds like marketspeak arglebargle of the first water), and now, she is thinking about wearing them in actual matches.

Only, however, if Justine Henin-Hardenne wears five-inch pumps, and Amelie Mauresmo wears lead clogs.

But that's another story, and hopefully for somebody else. This one landed here only because I was alive the last time go-go boots were in fashion, and when I say fashion, what I mean is, "bleargghhh."

Go-go boots were supposed to be a symbol of innocent sexuality, but given that they were part of a full-vinyl-ensemble fetish, what they mostly did was make women look like freshly waxed kitchen floors. Which is fine, if your perfume choice is Mr. Clean.

But as a style advancement, they were something of a detour into a ditch, and one that helped the burgeoning plantar fascitis detection industry gain its hold on the American public.

Now in fairness, Williams' boots may be more along the line of boxers' boots, although they still borrow as liberally from Lennox Lewis as Laila Ali. But they still have that essential go-go boot look to them, and one of the ways Serena passes her time between tournaments is deciding how she wants to look in those tournaments. This stuff is important to her, and well, all well and good. Everyone should have interests outside the job.

But go-go boots? Frankly, we think someone from The Dave Clark 5 or another of those second-tier British pop bands coat-tailing The Beatles in the mid-'60s got to her, smothered an ether-soaked rag over her nose, and brainwashed her into thinking that Carnaby Street is making a comeback.

(Oh, and if at any time these obtuse '60s pop references become too dense to penetrate, you can always duck out to the Obstinate Cheaters And Idiot Gasbag Officials section of the Web site, under the heading, "2004 Olympics.")

But give her this: she has moved the bar with this one, and though it seems to be an idea whose time came and went, it does make you think what avant/retro/outre/what-the-hell-is-THAT idea she might come up with next year:

<LI>The Patrick Macnee Avengers Look: A three-piece button-down suit with a bowler hat and a flower for the lapel.



<LI>The Dean Martin Perpetually Half In The Bag Look: A tuxedo with the high undone, and a glassy stare that looks like the brandy fairy came to visit and ended up staying the winter.



<LI>The Tim Leary/Wavy Gravy/Rummage Sale/Meets/Paint Box Look: Tie-dye, head to foot. Yes, yes, I know. Feh.



<LI>The Muriel Humphrey Sunday-Go-To-Meeting Look: Matching coat and skirt, a hat that looks like a nacho bowl, and sensible low-heel shoes. Uncomfortable, yet dull.



<LI>The Janis Joplin Look: Insufficient sleep and lots of Bushmills over corn flakes give this ensemble that slept-in-shoved-in-a-bag-and-pulled-out-when-the-tour-bus-reaches-Lubbock statement.



<LI>The Gene Roddenberry Look: In which everyone ends up looking like William Shatner, even if they look like Nichelle Nichols.

That's the beauty of Serena Williams. She is not only the best women's tennis player on the planet, but she is bold, unafraid, willing to take a fashion right in Turn Three at 140. It's just that not all nostalgia is good nostalgia. Time marches on, you see, mostly to get the hell away from the bad ideas of yesteryear.

Ray Ratto is a columnist with the San Francisco Chronicle and a regular contributor to ESPN.com






The Official Fashionista of the Royal Court
V.S. is offline  
 
post #4 of 59 (permalink) Old Aug 25th, 2004, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
V.S.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 15,624
 
Serena Williams seeded No. 3 at Open, sister Venus seeded No. 11
HOWARD FENDRICH Canadian Press


Tuesday, August 24, 2004
NEW YORK (AP) - Serena Williams got a boost in the U.S. Open seedings Tuesday. Her sister Venus did not.

Serena was seeded third behind Belgium's Justine Henin-Hardenne and France's Amelie Mauresmo for the year's last Grand Slam tournament -eight spots above her No. 11 ranking. That's thanks to the "protected ranking" the WTA Tour gave both Williams sisters in January, taking into account their performances before long injury absences.

At Wimbledon this year, for example, 10th-ranked Serena was given the top seeding, while eighth-ranked Venus was seeded No. 3.

But Venus' special ranking expired recently, so she was seeded 11th for the Open. Ranked 12th, she jumped one slot because 2003 runner-up Kim Clijsters of Belgium is out after wrist surgery.

"We just elected to follow the tour's lead on this," U.S. Tennis Association spokesman David Newman said.

While the tour does set guidelines for its events, the major tournaments aren't required to go along with them. So the U.S. Open seeding committee did have the options of giving Serena less of a bump or lifting Venus a bit.

Each Williams has won the Open twice. Venus also was the runner-up twice, Serena once.

"The tour has given Serena a special seeding and ranking that we use at WTA Tour events. But Grand Slams are free to follow along or seed players however they wish," tour spokesman Darrell Fry said. "They don't have to follow what we do at our events. It's totally up to them."

Otherwise, the men's and women's seedings match the rankings, with No. 1s Henin-Hardenne and Switzerland's Roger Federer leading the way. The draw is Wednesday morning.

Defending men's champion Andy Roddick of the U.S. was seeded No. 2, followed by Carlos Moya of Spain, 2001 champ Lleyton Hewitt of Australia, England's Tim Henman, and two-time winner Andre Agassi of the U.S..

Olympic gold medallist Nicolas Massu of Chile is seeded No. 10.

Henin-Hardenne, who beat No. 2 Mauresmo in the women's final at the Athens Games, will be defending her first Open title. French Open champion Anastasia Myskina of Russia was seeded fourth, followed by 1998 U.S. Open champion Lindsay Davenport of the U.S., Elena Dementieva, Wimbledon winner Maria Sharapova of Russia, and former No. 1 Jennifer Capriati of the U.S.

The Official Fashionista of the Royal Court
V.S. is offline  
post #5 of 59 (permalink) Old Aug 26th, 2004, 11:58 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
V.S.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 15,624
 
Serena Williams Debuts Custom US Open Nike Apparel That Pushes On-Court Cool
Thursday August 26, 3:22 pm ET


NEW YORK, Aug. 26 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- In stark contrast to New York City's heat and humidity, Serena Williams will be comfortable and cool at the US Open. Utilizing the latest in cooling technologies, Serena will unveil her custom apparel collection at a special event at NIKETOWN on Friday, August 27. The collection features proprietary four-way stretch denim with moisture management properties created specifically for Serena's US Open appearance. Nike designers also built cooling details into the rest of the multi-piece collection -- from moisture-wicking fabric that pulls moisture away from Serena's body to Dri-FIT mesh designed to be breathable and to help keep her dry on court.
(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20040826/NYTH111 )
Serena will also debut a new groundbreaking shoe and boot with Nike Shox technology -- marking the first time the technology is being applied to tennis footwear. The highly anticipated shoe will be available in August 2004.

The collection designed by Nike with Serena, reflects her strength, irreverence and femininity while celebrating a passion for iconic American styling with the use of fabrics like leather and denim.

"For the US Open, we wanted to keep Serena cool and comfortable in the August heat. We built in many cooling details into the overall collection and are introducing a new performance denim," said Mindy Grossman, Vice President of Global Apparel for Nike. "At the same time, our designers took inspiration from Serena to create an exciting, edgy New York City look especially for her."

NIKE, Inc. based in Beaverton, Oregon is the world's leading designer, marketer and distributor of authentic athletic footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories for a wide variety of sports and fitness activities. Wholly owned Nike subsidiaries include Converse Inc., which designs, markets and distributes athletic footwear, apparel and accessories; Bauer NIKE Hockey Inc., a leading designer and distributor of hockey equipment; Cole Haan®, which designs, markets, and distributes fine dress and casual shoes and accessories; and Hurley International LLC, which designs, markets and distributes action sports and youth lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories.

The Official Fashionista of the Royal Court
V.S. is offline  
post #6 of 59 (permalink) Old Aug 27th, 2004, 12:41 AM
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 503
                     
Go Serena!Just can wait to see MS.SERENA WILLIAMS .My Diva.Love you Serena Venus WILLIAMS.
pisces is offline  
post #7 of 59 (permalink) Old Aug 27th, 2004, 12:38 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
V.S.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 15,624
 
U.S. Open women's seed report

Expect Davenport to hoist championship trophy over her head


Posted: Thursday August 26, 2004 3:48PM; Updated: Thursday August 26, 2004 3:48PM

window.onerror=function(){clickURL=document.locati on.href;return true;} if(!self.clickURL) clickURL=parent.location.href;


Women's report (Nos. 1-16)






1. Justine Henin-Hardenne, Belgium: The defending champ answered a lot of questions in Athens, and she doesn't face a top-100 opponent until the Round of 32. But after battling a virus for much of the year, is she ready for seven matches under these conditions?

2. Amelie Mauresmo, France: Were Mauresmo to slay her mental demons and win her first Slam, it would make for a heart-warming story. (She sure can't complain about her draw.) But, alas, we still cringe at the prospects of her serving at 4-4 deep in the third set of a high-stakes match.

3. Serena Williams, United States: It's her last chance to salvage a forgettable year. Both the seedings folks and draw deities smiled on her, but can she keep the ball in the court for two weeks?

4. Anastasia Myskina, Russia: It will be interesting to see how the highest ranking Russian recovers from her Athens disappointment. She's a skilled hard-court player, but you wonder how she will fare against Lindsay Davenport or Venus Williams when the crowd is against her.

5. Lindsay Davenport, United States: She got a raw deal from the seedings committee, but if she stays healthy it won't matter. In what may well be her final Slam, we're guessing she extends her current 17-match win streak to 24.

6. Elena Dementieva, Russia: Former semifinalist should cruise through her first week. But achieving much more? Not ... with ... that ... serve.

7. Maria Sharapova, Russia: She probably wishes she could hit the "delete" key on her post-Wimbledon results. But is there any doubt she can hold her own on the big stage? A potential quarterfinal showdown against Henin-Hardenne could be a gem.

8. Jennifer Capriati, United States: The Capster hasn't been the same since last year's Open. She comes in playing solidly and shouldn't face much resistance early.

9. Svetlana Kuznetsova, Russia: She still has a low profile but is hailed by many as the best of the Russians.

10. Vera Zvonareva, Russia: She has put together a nice summer and plays well on hard courts. Now if she could improve her on-court demeanor.

11. Venus Williams, United States: With both her confidence and aura in a free fall, the two-time champ is desperate for a strong tournament. Potential showdown against Davenport in Round 4 could be a de facto final.

12. Ai Sugiyama, Japan: A deceptively tricky draw, but this Japanese veteran plays well on hard courts and has improved her ability to close out matches.

13. Paola Suarez, Argentina: A surprise quarterfinalist last year, but will she be able to beat Myskina in the Round of 16?

14. Nadia Petrova, Russia: Her game seems to have stagnated a bit. She ought to live up to her seeding, but it's doubtful she'll defeat JH-H.

15. Patty Schnyder, Switzerland: Same old story: long on natural talent, short on mental fortitude.

16. Francesca Schiavone, Italy: Feisty, swashbuckling baseliner, who can make life tough for the right foe but still lacks the necessary weaponry to slay bigger players.

Seeds to watch (Nos. 17-32)

17. Alicia Molik, Australia: Hard-serving Aussie, who was the surprise bronze medalist in Athens, has been hot all summer and is due for a good showing in a Grand Slam. She could face Serena in a heavy-hitting fourth-round match.

18. Karolina Sprem, Croatia: The player to watch. She is still waiting for a breakthrough on this continent, but as we saw at Wimbledon, the power is there.

20. Chanda Rubin, United States: She's not the player she once was, but she is a tough matchup early in the tournament.

21. Amy Frazier, United States: North of 30, the American veteran has had a terrific year, and she plays her best on asphalt.

27. Mary Pierce, France: Fresh from beating Venus in Athens, this powerful ball-striker is always dangerous.

29. Eleni Daniilidou, Greece: It's disappointing that such a power player has yet to make the next jump. Maybe this is her time. But she's got a tough first match against Croatia's Silvija Talaja.

30. Tatiana Golovin, France: She's a future top-10 player, who is aided by a soft draw.

Dark horse nation

Mashona Washington, United States: A veteran comes in playing the best tennis of her career.

Jelena Kostanic, Croatia: She's another wily veteran, who won't knock off the heavy hitters but could beat Sprem early.

Marion Bartoli, France: Don't be surprised if she beats Meghann Shaughnessy right off the bat.

Jelena Dokic, Serbia: Sadly, a shadow of her former self, but you have to believe she'll turn things around eventually.

First round matches to watch

Maria Kirilenko vs. Elena Likhovtseva

Pierce vs. Emilie Loit

Laura Granville vs. Sharapova

Sprem vs. Kostanic

Daniela Hantuchova vs. Sandrine Testud

Semifinal matchups

Henin-Hardenne vs. Davenport

Mauresmo vs. Serena Williams

Final

Davenport vs. Williams

Winner: Davenport

Doubles winners: Rennae Stubbs and Cara Black

The Official Fashionista of the Royal Court
V.S. is offline  
post #8 of 59 (permalink) Old Aug 28th, 2004, 02:24 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
V.S.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 15,624
 
AP Interview: Williams puts herself at 90-95 percent heading to Open
HOWARD FENDRICH, AP Tennis Writer
Friday, August 27, 2004


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



(08-27) 17:13 PDT NEW YORK (AP) --

The first thing you notice is the scar.

It's a jagged 2-inch line running just above Serena Williams' left knee, a reminder of the surgery that sidelined her for the last half of 2003 and the start of this season.

She has another reminder: the pain in that knee, keeping her off the tour for the last month, forcing her to skip the Olympics, and seemingly making her as vulnerable as she's been in years heading to the U.S. Open, which starts Monday.

Don't be so sure about that last part, though. Asked how close she is to being all the way back, Williams said: "Probably about 90 percent right now, maybe 95."

"I've been able to prepare a lot. Once I realized I wasn't going to the Olympics, I've just been in the gym every day, twice a day. And then, finally, I've been spending some time on the court," she said in an interview Friday.

"It was a lot of work that I didn't necessarily want to do, but I had to do it because I wanted to be here. So I did it. And I'm here."

Williams wasn't able to defend her 2002 U.S. Open title; the Aug. 1, 2003, operation prevented that.

She returned to action in March at Key Biscayne, Fla., winning her first tournament -- her only title in the past 12 months. Her older sister Venus missed six months with an abdominal strain, then was hampered this season by other injuries.

Serena hasn't won a major in 14 months, Venus in three years.

"They've always been capable of turning it on. In this situation, it is a little bit different because when you've had injuries, and you're out for so long, the other players are not afraid of you. Their games are improving and they keep moving on," U.S. Fed Cup captain Zina Garrison said.

"Right now, it's gotten to the point the other players are not afraid of them. They don't have that dominance that they had before."

That might be true, but as Serena put it Friday after a 10-minute promotional appearance at Niketown, showing off bootlike sneakers she might wear to warm up on court at the Open: "I don't see anyone saying, 'Oh, I play Serena Williams! Yes!"'

The pleasure of facing Serena in the first round Monday night at Arthur Ashe Stadium goes to Sandra Kleinova of the Czech Republic, who's ranked 83rd and carries a 7-22 record in 2004.

Serena is 28-5 this season; her ranking fell out of the top 10. Not quite up to the unbelievable standards she set while reaching No. 1 in the rankings and winning six Grand Slam titles, including four straight.

She's 24-2 at the Open since 1999, including two titles. The only losses: to Lindsay Davenport in the 2000 quarterfinals, and to Venus in the 2001 final.

"I feel like I have nothing to lose. I really feel really, really relaxed, and that's the best feeling in the world," Serena said. "I've put a lot pressure on myself. I expected to win everything. But then I realized that you can't just come back where you left off, no matter how hard I tried."

Her path at the Open could include a quarterfinal against another former No. 1, Jennifer Capriati. When they played at that stage at the French Open, Capriati sent Serena to her earliest exit at a major in more than four years.

Then, at Wimbledon, Serena appeared to be at the height of her powers through six matches, dominating opponents right up until the final. That's where she ran into Maria Sharapova, the 17-year-old Siberian-turned-Floridian who won in straight sets.

That match came up this week, when Sharapova was asked about who could provide the strongest challenge at the Open.

"I think everybody can be a threat," Sharapova said. "I mean, I don't want to put out a name. You just never know. Sometimes you think somebody is going to be a big threat, like when I played in the final of Wimbledon, and then all of a sudden it turned around, and it seemed sort of easy."

It's been quite some time since anyone spoke about a match against Serena Williams that way.

The Official Fashionista of the Royal Court
V.S. is offline  
post #9 of 59 (permalink) Old Aug 28th, 2004, 02:26 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
V.S.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 15,624
 





The Official Fashionista of the Royal Court
V.S. is offline  
post #10 of 59 (permalink) Old Aug 28th, 2004, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
V.S.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 15,624
 
[IMG]http://www.**************/GalleryListing.asp?navtyp=SRH&logsrch=1[/IMG]
Serena Williams and Venus Williams
WTA Glam Slam NYC 2004 Party
8/27/2004

[IMG]http://web.**************/images/thumbnail/3261846.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://web.**************/images/thumbnail/3261847.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://web.**************/images/thumbnail/3261850.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://web.**************/images/thumbnail/3262007.jpg[/IMG]

The Official Fashionista of the Royal Court
V.S. is offline  
post #11 of 59 (permalink) Old Aug 28th, 2004, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
V.S.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 15,624
 
[IMG]http://web.**************/images/thumbnail/3262032.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://www.**************/GalleryListing.asp?navtyp=SRH&logsrch=1[/IMG] [IMG]http://web.**************/images/thumbnail/3262030.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://web.**************/images/thumbnail/3262029.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://web.**************/images/thumbnail/3262028.jpg[/IMG]

The Official Fashionista of the Royal Court
V.S. is offline  
post #12 of 59 (permalink) Old Aug 28th, 2004, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
V.S.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 15,624
 
[IMG]http://web.**************/images/thumbnail/3262020.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://web.**************/images/thumbnail/3262014.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://www.**************/GalleryListing.asp?navtyp=SRH&logsrch=1[/IMG] [IMG]http://web.**************/images/thumbnail/3262008.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://web.**************/images/thumbnail/3262006.jpg[/IMG]

The Official Fashionista of the Royal Court
V.S. is offline  
post #13 of 59 (permalink) Old Aug 28th, 2004, 02:41 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
V.S.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 15,624
 
[IMG]http://web.**************/images/thumbnail/3262004.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://web.**************/images/thumbnail/3262003.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://web.**************/images/thumbnail/3262002.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://web.**************/images/thumbnail/3262001.jpg[/IMG]

The Official Fashionista of the Royal Court
V.S. is offline  
post #14 of 59 (permalink) Old Aug 28th, 2004, 02:46 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
V.S.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 15,624
 
Serena just about ready for U.S. Open
Aug. 27, 2004
SportsLine.com wire reports

NEW YORK -- The first thing you notice is the scar.

Advertisement


It's a jagged 2-inch line running just above Serena Williams' left knee, a reminder of the surgery that sidelined her for the last half of 2003 and the start of this season.

She has another reminder: the pain in that knee, keeping her off the tour for the last month, forcing her to skip the Olympics, and seemingly making her as vulnerable as she's been in years heading to the U.S. Open, which starts Monday.

Don't be so sure about that last part, though. Asked how close she is to being all the way back, Williams said: "Probably about 90 percent right now, maybe 95."

"I've been able to prepare a lot. Once I realized I wasn't going to the Olympics, I've just been in the gym every day, twice a day. And then, finally, I've been spending some time on the court," she said in an interview Friday.

"It was a lot of work that I didn't necessarily want to do, but I had to do it because I wanted to be here. So I did it. And I'm here."

Williams wasn't able to defend her 2002 U.S. Open title; the Aug. 1, 2003, operation prevented that.

She returned to action in March at Key Biscayne, Fla., winning her first tournament -- her only title in the past 12 months. Her older sister Venus missed six months with an abdominal strain, then was hampered this season by other injuries.

Serena hasn't won a major in 14 months, Venus in three years.

"They've always been capable of turning it on. In this situation, it is a little bit different because when you've had injuries, and you're out for so long, the other players are not afraid of you. Their games are improving and they keep moving on," U.S. Fed Cup captain Zina Garrison said.

"Right now, it's gotten to the point the other players are not afraid of them. They don't have that dominance that they had before."

That might be true, but as Serena put it Friday after a 10-minute promotional appearance at Niketown, showing off bootlike sneakers she might wear to warm up on court at the Open: "I don't see anyone saying, 'Oh, I play Serena Williams! Yes!"'

The Official Fashionista of the Royal Court
V.S. is offline  
post #15 of 59 (permalink) Old Aug 28th, 2004, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
V.S.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 15,624
 


Tennis star Tennis star Serena Williams models the new Nike Shox Boots in the Serena Collection by Nike at Niketown in New York on August 27, 2004. The clothes were designed for active use and Williams will be wearing the clothes during the U.S. Open starting on August 30, 2004

The Official Fashionista of the Royal Court
V.S. is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the TennisForum.com forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome