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I f you don't win a GS title, it's an off year

823 Views 6 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  thefreedesigner
Lindsay, Jenn, Venus, Martina and Monica all fall into this category.

They are multiple GS winners who can beat enough elite players that they caould win a GS title in 2002. Obviously, based on 2001, and Lindsay's health status, Venus and Jenn are more likely to win GS titles than Lindsay, Martina and Monica.

Serena Williams is one of those cases. Like Conchi or Mary Pierce. They win one. Then #2 is a long time coming. If it comes at all. Had Serena lost the 1999 USOpen final, she'd be considered the oldest of a group of good young players who hadn't broken through to the highest level. When you first look at Serena's draw in the 1999 USOpen, it looks awful.

128 W Kimberly PO-MESSERLI (USA) 6-1 6-0
64 W Jelena KOSTANIC (CRO) 6-4 6-2

The first two rounds were as expected, but then it looks like Murderer's Row.

32 W Kim CLIJSTERS (BEL) 4-6 6-2 7-5
16 W Conchita MARTINEZ (ESP) 4-6 6-2 6-2
QF W Monica SELES (USA) 4-6 6-3 6-2
SF W Lindsay DAVENPORT (USA) 6-4 1-6 6-4
FR W Martina HINGIS (SUI) 6-3 7-6

But is it?

32 Kim CLIJSTERS - The 15 year old Kim Clijsters. Who if I recall, came closer than anyone else to putting Serena out of this tournament.
16 Conchita MARTINEZ - Conchi's junkball game is near suicidal against Serena if she 'on'. Serena pace completely counteracts the spin on the ball.
QF Monica SELES - Conditioning told in this one. Monica was the better player in the first set. But from a conditioning standpoint, Serena was Monica of 1991 that day.
SF Lindsay DAVENPORT - She had just won Wimbledon. But this was while Serena was beating Lindsay five times in a row. Lindsay wasn't playing against Serena like she's played since.
FN Martina HINGIS - We didn't realize at the time that Martina would never win another GS title. So in some ways, this result is the first big loss to a 'power player'.

All I'm saying is, as bad as that draw looks, it's a very good draw for Serena at the time. So to me, Serena can have a very good year and not win a GS title. Well, put it this way. IMHO, Serena is a little more likely to win a GS title than Kim Clijsters this year. But not a LOT more likely. Two GS titles (and health) says a lot that one GS title doesn't. Jennifer Capriati CAN'T have a successful year without a GS title.

Serena, Kim, Justine, Amelie and Jelena could have highly successful years losing a GS final and winning three Tier I events. Well, Serena needs a career high year end ranking, which means top three.

Expectations are funny things.

Some of these players won't react well to higher expectations.
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I'm not sure I agree with your assessment of Serena or Monica.

Much as I love Monica Seles and want her to win all the grand slams this year, I also accept that it has been three years since she reached a grand slam semi final. Any of the top players can reach a quarter final with an easy draw but to push that little bit further is a huge step that she hasn't taken for some time. Of course, I think we all acknowledge that she is in the latter half of her career which is probably why everyone seems to have this sense of urgency when referring to her chances of winning a slam again. Her last grand slam win was six years ago and she has been injury plagued since so I think it would be fairer to say that if she starts reaching semis or finals it will have been a good year.

As for Serena, I think that she belongs in the group that will have an off year if they don't win a grand slam. When she won the US open, I think that everyone began to think that she was going to win more soon. Unfortunately, for whatever reasons, she has only played a handful of tournaments in the last couple of years. We all saw what she was still capable of at US this year, but she should have gone further at tournaments like the French open (and indeed Wimbledon when she should have beaten Capriati) - something she probably would have done if she had played more in the clay season. I understand that this year she has said that she intends to play a lot more and has committed to much more as well. Assuming she stays injury free and plays all those tournaments, if she still doesn't win a grand slam this year it will be an off year unless her sister wins them all.
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I'm with Kart on Serena. Comparing her to Mary Pierce and Conchita Martinez isn't quite a fit, because Serena has the ability to win against the very best(except for Venus), a trait Conchi lacks; as well as the consistency Mary Pierce has never found.
My expectations are high for little sister.

For the most though I agree with you Volcana, and agree or not ,your threads are always worth reading.
I like your posts too volcana....some good analysis ! i would rate you if i knew how to do it!!!

Anyway, Serena is one of the players I consider being top3 today. She's not there yet not because of her talent but as we all know because of her very limited schedule. Always one of the shortest each year (if not the shortest at all!). Think just where she might be with only 2 or 3 more tournaments....

I don't really think that a year without a GS would be a year off....all depends on what you accomplished besides that. In 2000, Serena won 2 tierI plus the Championships which are pretty much the equivalent of a slam (only the top16 plays), with 4 matches instead of 7! She made also the UO final whith the toughest draw I've ever seen (probably even tougher than in 99). She had to pass through Henin (#7) as soon as the round of 16, then Davenport (the year-end #1) and Hingis (the #1 at that time) to finally got beaten by big'Sis (probably the next "new" #1). That's 4 top10 players in a row, with 3 of them having a #1 player's strengh!!!!!.... I think the fact that she made it to the finals makes her all year worth it! How many players can beat 3 top10 players in a same tournament (besides Venus that actually can beat them in just 24h!!!:bounce: ) and make it look that easy? Sure, a win in the final would have made it sweater and probably made her performance even more unbelievable....but that was a hell good show! I had a great time i tell you! Not mentionning the fact that after that she takes 2 months-off and comes back like fire to win the Chase as if she hadn't stop her play!!! Wow Wow Wow!!!!

My point is Serena is right up there, with the elite, and she doesn't need a GS to prove it! I think, every single player thanks go each time they're in the opposite draw! Because they know that their road stops pretty much each time they had to play her!

Go Serena....Win Sydney and give us another all-Williams final at the AO!!!!!
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I don't think Serena needs to prove anything. Everyone respects her as one of the elite players. But I, like many others, thought after the 99 US open that she would be the next dominant player. Part of the reason she hasn't is because Venus got her head together, but I know Serena is very ambitious. She wants to win grand slam titles and I think she has to be disappointed if another year goes by without one. She may be the best player with the most pressure. The only way I can explain her losses in 2001 was that she buckled under the pressure, in fact.

Martina must feel a lot of pressure.
Monica doesn't need to feel pressure, because she's already achieved a huge amount, but I think she does want to win at least 1 more before the end.
(And btw, Volcana, I love Monica as much as anyone, but her conditioning was never that great. She was leaner in the way you can be when you're 17 or 18 without really trying. But people always used to think her conditioning would be her weakness. Her tremendous will made up for it.)

Jen will feel pressure because she has a lot of points to defend, but she's already so far exceeded anyone's expectations at this point that I think (if she's wise) she'll just be happy to be playing at this level.
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I think Serena must win a slam this year, if not it is going to be a really bad year for her :( She needs a slam again to boost her confidence. Well, I think that a player of Serena's calibre should win a slam every year for her year to be a good year. She has that ability, it is just her mental problems sometimes that get the better of her. The pressure of being compared to her elder sister.
Expectations are high, but on the players mentioned by volcana they are completely justified.

Multiple GS winner that she is, I don't think it will be a disappointing year if Monica fails to get a GS.

I believe that Serena has to deliver this year. It comes down to that word again - expectation. Everything about her game <i> demands </i> she be up there with Martina/Lindsay/Venus. In fact one will always include Serena in such conversations, despite her inferior GS record (yes she is the youngest, but, it's that word again!).

I do think it's slightly harsh though talk of 'if' Serena hadn't won US in '99. She did, and that's where the expectations that take her above Clijsters, Henin, Dokic and Dementieva in the minds of tennis analysts stem from. What Clijsters and Henin couldn't do last year, and what Dementieva and Dokic could only dream about after breakout GS S/F appearances, Serena did. But that victory in some ways has perhaps caused some of her problems.

Serena's form at Flushing Meadows and in Munich last year shows that she is harnessing her talent into something that could see her finally adding to her USO title.

Which is the more likely occurence in 2002: Serena wins a GS, or bags that career high year-end ranking? Depends on how much she plays, depends on how much others play. I'd say there's more chance of the GS win (I am yet to be fully convinced that Serena will be able to sustain the emotional consistency needed to come out on ahead of <i> one </i> of Venus, Lindsay, Martina/Jennifer.)
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