Originally Posted by alfajeffster
I think it definitely comes down to mental toughness. To her great credit, Amelie has worked very hard to become the most consistent player on the tour right now. That said- it does come down to mental toughness, and Gaby was a tougher match player than Amelie (so far). Let's hope Mauresmo improves in this department, because I would love to see her finally turn that around.
I totally agree: Gaby wasn't a choker. If she could have had the flexibility of Mauresmo's game, she'd have been quite an entity to take on. Mauresmo can't close, and she knows it, and Capriati is another confirmed choker, who thankfully wasnt there to clutter the field with any more inefficient energy to embarrass the women's pro circuit.
I also agree with the original post that in both Serena's victories, she came from behind a set and a break because her opponent didnt have any balls to put the match away. There is a mental fragility in this generation that is unreal. Even a Bonnie Gadusek knew how to close out a match in greater style than these wimpy performances we saw from Mauresmo & Myskina (with Myskina being somewhat of a modern version of manuela maleeva; more hard hitting and precise but with a game built around making someone else mentally tire, play poorly, and self-destruct...), and it only highlights why the men have stolen the show in recent years. Serena won because, even though she is playing VERY sloppy, sluggish, all-arm tennis, she isn't AFRAID to go for her shots (even if she is missing quite often), and once she senses the fear, I do see her gain a bit of confidence that, even though she is stinking in her play, she is at least adult enough to close a simple match. I'll give her that.
Sharapova will not be as kind in terms of chickening out, so we may well see a repeat of the wimbledon final...not in score, but in result.
And really, Henin-Hardenne is sorely missed in bringing some class, heart, and fight to the championships. At least with Justine, when she 'shrinks' it occurs off-court and results merely in default.