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A few months ago, I wrote on this Forum that I was worried about the emphasis on service power that Justine was trumpeting as the Pathway To Success in her comeback. I strongly argued that she’d be better off with less rather than more power if she wanted to hold her serve consistently. I also insisted that the constant tinkering with her service-action was going to cost her: instead of achieving the consistently repeatable delivery that only comes from sticking with a single action and making it habit, she’d be stuck with an erratic, brittle serve that would fold under pressure – simply because it wasn’t habitual and was all-too-self-conscious.

And so it’s turned out.

What do you mean, I can hear some of you say? She made the Final at only her second tournament back, didn’t she? Aren’t you satisfied? Her serve’ll get better and she’ll give Roland Garros and Wimbledon a real shake.

Well, no, I’m not satisfied. She should – with a modicum of strategic sense – have won the entire thing. In fact, she is so gifted that she should never lose a single match and she certainly shouldn’t be playing long matches against opponents with only a fraction of her abilities. But she – unlike Federer and Serena – squanders her talents.

The thing is that Justine is - in essence - playing with one hand tied behind her back. She loses about a third of her service games despite having a powerful delivery and great backup in her groundies, net-game, and court-speed. And this is due to one thing that should be obvious to anyone – and even more so to herself and the people surrounding her: she serves the ball too fast, misses too many first serves with the result that she has to serve too many second serves which leads to clusters of DF’s which leads to…………dropped service-games.

And yeah, I’ve bored you with this one over the past few months. And yeah, you know all about it…...and yeah, Justine and Carlos must know what they’re doing….and yeah if you know so much why aren’t you out there coaching?

OK. Touche! But I’ll just ask you to think about this one. Justine is overall winning well over 50% of points on her serve and yet she’s losing around 30% of her service-games. How can this be? As I’ve repeated ad nauseam this is because overall doesn’t count! What counts with this scoring-system is game-by-game! Justine was congratulating herself on her first-serve percentage against Wickmayer but she still lost her serve…..how many times? Against Flipkens she only lost 13 points on serve in nine service-games but – with near mathematic incredibility – she still managed to lose her serve TWICE! In other words, she lost eight out of the thirteen points in just two games and the other five points spread across the other seven games! This is almost a textbook case in anti game-theory! How to lose a match when you’re dominating! Well, of course she won that one but then her opponent was only Flipkens and she could break a couple of times a set with ease.

But what happens when she’s playing someone who’s serving great and she can’t break the two or three times she needs to to overcome her own dropped service-games? Ah, there’s the rub! That’s what happened against Shara in the 2006 USO Final and what is increasingly going to happen to her unless she finds a way to hold her serve in the way she should.

And that way is….....abracadabra!…………..slowing her first serve down to 150-155 KPH, getting 70% in, concentrating on placement and variation, and only bringing out the 180 KPH screamer to keep ‘em honest!

But she won’t, of course. She’ll continue to blast away, she’ll have patches where she’s serving brilliantly but it won’t matter, because in slams you have to win seven matches and she ain’t gonna do that because in one of those matches that serve is going to desert her……

But I’ll finish with a few predictions (and bear in mind that I’m a Natural Born Pessimist so you may take them with a grain of salt with my blessing)……..

1. This may be as good as it gets. Of course, everybody is absolutely sure Justine is going to get better because this is only the early stage of her comeback and she’s bound to get better….isn’t she? Here we have just one more example of people unwilling to actually put their theoretical conceptions to the test! The truth is……pretty well every comeback has been at its peak very early on and has declined thereafter. Check out Seles, Hingis, Davenport, and possibly even Clijsters. First Slam back?:Won. Second Slam back?: Beaten resoundingly in Round Three. Thank you very much.

I’m predicting that Justine doesn’t win a Slam this year. Needless to say (so why am I saying it?), I hope I’m embarrassingly wrong!

2. The serve is not going to get better. Oh, it’ll have good days, but when the pressure mounts that toss is going to go this-a-way and that-a-way and they’ll tinker some more and some more and when the pressure mounts……

3. They’re going to be so obsessed with getting the serve right that they’re going to neglect the rest of her game. How much time are they practicing those BH down-the-lines these days? Remember when that “signature-shot” was almost infallible? Don’t you hold your breath now when she attempts it because you ain’t so sure any more? Pancho Gonzales insisted that you should concentrate on practicing your strengths: they’re what got you to where you were. Does Justine practice her BH or does she just take it for granted?

4. Justine will get so obsessed with winning Wimbledon that she won’t get much sleep and will play well below her best there. She’ll also play Eastbourne, have a couple of long three-setters and be exhausted by the time the second week of Wimbledon comes around.

Sorry to depress you. I’m praying I’ll be thinking what an idiot I was in a year’s time.
 

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Serena's serve and Justine serve's was a deciding factor in the final. Both players played some great shots and silly errors, not a great final as compared to Brisbane final. Also, too many bad line calls in that match which i think is critical.

I agree with you she has to have much more confidence in her serve esp when pressure is up on important points. I will leave this to his coach.

I also agree Roland Garros, Eastbourne then Wimbledon is too much for her physically and mentally . Wanting to win wimbledon badly doesnt do her good.

Good Luck to her in her second career
 

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Brilliant post by Terpsichore. :p
I'm also annoyed because she showed yesterday that even with an inferior serve, and even hitting the ball far from her best as she did yesternight, she could have taken yesterday's match with a better strategic sense.

I'll keep adding to this later.

I totally agree that Justine loses a shocking number of service games for the percentage of service points she wins.
She breezes through some service games and absolutely collapses in others. I want her to add a kicking serve to her arsenal, especially on the second serve.
And height is no excuse for not being able to hit a kicker, cause a kicker has high clearance over the net.

However 150-155kph is way too slow. I don't care what your percentage or variation is. That's Martina Hingis standard, and it's not quite good enough. Maybe she can afford to bring it down from 169 to about 160-165-ish.

What she has to do is WORK on that second serve so that she can go for the first with abandon (a little more variation wouldn't hurt though) and not worry that if she misses the first, she's going to get burnt on the second.

Why is Serena so confident on serve? Because she has the best FIRST and SECOND serve in the game. She knows she can go for broke on the first everytime, because her second serve is difficult to attack. And you know what? Serena's average second serve speed is 134KPH, compared to Justine's 144KPH! But what variation on Serena's second serve!

1. This may be as good as it gets. Of course, everybody is absolutely sure Justine is going to get better because this is only the early stage of her comeback and she’s bound to get better….isn’t she? Here we have just one more example of people unwilling to actually put their theoretical conceptions to the test! The truth is……pretty well every comeback has been at its peak very early on and has declined thereafter. Check out Seles, Hingis, Davenport, and possibly even Clijsters. First Slam back?:Won. Second Slam back?: Beaten resoundingly in Round Three. Thank you very much.
Yes, I considered this myself, and I think it's true for most comebacks. But I truly think Justine falls completely outside this model. How many players have consistently remodelled the fundamentals of their strokes so often and so successfully at the peak of their games? How many dared to? How many could?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
She tried to slow down her serve to get 1st serves in, but I recall her losing points :tape:
Her average first serve speed was 169 KPH while her fastest serve was 179 KPH. This suggests she blasted nearly every first serve.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
However 150-155kph is way too slow. I don't care what your percentage or variation is. That's Martina Hingis standard, and it's not quite good enough.
Don't have time to argue this right now but I analyzed her matches in this tournament and in most of them (including the Final) she won a comparable (or greater) percentage of points with the second serve than the first (when she got it in: the official stats are misleading because thhey include DF's in the second serve winning percentages).

This suggests that even at 140 KPH Justine's second serve is as effective as her 169 KPH first-serve.
 

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I mean not in this match, but in her other matches. I think when she was playing against Wickmayer, she tried to serve slower, but Yanina had some answers.
But I see what you mean, because sometimes I wished she sacrificed speed for some sort of consistency.
 

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Of course, everybody is absolutely sure Justine is going to get better because this is only the early stage of her comeback and she’s bound to get better….isn’t she? Here we have just one more example of people unwilling to actually put their theoretical conceptions to the test! The truth is……pretty well every comeback has been at its peak very early on and has declined thereafter. Check out Seles, Hingis, Davenport, and possibly even Clijsters. First Slam back?:Won. Second Slam back?: Beaten resoundingly in Round Three. Thank you very much.



very very true...i thought about that too...hmm...
but the thing is that Justine retired at her peak, and it was solely a decision of her own, there's no other factors (like Kim, Seles...)...

ugghh...tryin to be optimistic...:|
 

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Hello, I've been a lurker for quite some time now in this forum and I get the fact that she had her chances but didn't capitalise on it the most, but the very good thing about this is a loss can make you stronger and hungrier to win if taken in a positive way... that's what i feared in the first place, that if she'd win in her first GS and won the next 2 or 3 she might run out of motivation again... i need her to play tennis more you know... so in reference to her serve, I think it's very good thing that she's so stubborn and making matters to her own hand, she may over-play or be over aggressive right now but in the long run it will benefit her... she wants to stay for 3 to 4 or 5 years on tour you know... ;)

It's been on her personality to always improve her game, so why back-down now... she always incorporate something new co'z she'll get bored with tennis again....:tape: she'll get those first serves you want in no time before RG... :rolleyes: :;)


Hey Terpsichore, i really loved reading your analysis/rants :kiss: about Justine's game but one thing I mostly disagree with is this: 4. Justine will get so obsessed with winning Wimbledon that she won’t get much sleep and will play well below her best there. She’ll also play Eastbourne, have a couple of long three-setters and be exhausted by the time the second week of Wimbledon comes around.


I definitely want her to be obsessed with Wimby because before, she isn't and it doesn't do her good results... I want her to want it more to win Wimby this year to believe that she's good enough for that title... to really chase it like it can't be chased...

I'm very sad that she lost that match :sad: so how do you guys cope with this, i hope i can survive another month of waiting... :help:
 

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Hey, don't worry you won't have to follow her awful tennis anymore.

**OFF THE RECORD.

Justine only plans to play to the end of 2010. It's not looking good sad to say. New revised agenda after the dismal failure as you noted of her AO performance.

Cheers,
 

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Hey, don't worry you won't have to follow her awful tennis anymore.

**OFF THE RECORD.

Justine only plans to play to the end of 2010. It's not looking good sad to say. New revised agenda after the dismal failure as you noted of her AO performance.

Cheers,
:weirdo:


@Beautytina : You know, Justine isn't as good as Clijsters is for making amazing comebacks but she is better on latter stages, because she handles better the pressure and also, her game needs to be tooled, she needs to find her rhythym. Nothing wrong with that. I think it is even worrisome for Serena because Justine isn't even serving well and still makes :tape: errors, and she could have won. Let's figure how she will play this year...
 

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I think it is even worrisome for Serena because Justine isn't even serving well and still makes :tape: errors, and she could have won. Let's figure how she will play this year...
Yes, that's right.

But on the other hand, Serena's not playing well either this time except serving. Think about what if she plays well next time? And If it happens in Wimby?

It may go either way.

I think though we should't be too pessimistic, we shouldn't be too optimistic.
All we can do is support and believe Ju and Carlos ,and wish her luck.
 

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I'm not pessimistic, but I agree on some Terpsichore's point.

Most of her fans(including me! of course) say it's the only second tournament, we are proud of her.. blah blah blah.. yes, she should be proud of herself for such a comback and these results.

Losing in both finals doesn't look good to me. Even though it was her first and second tournamnet, I think if you're in the final, no matter what happens, you should take it coz taking the title is another story. I mean, especially for the GS final, there's no more story about her comeback or anything. Only there's only all or nothing. Chances don't come along with ease.

Unfortunately, two cases went to nothing for her. Take a look at Clijsters. Clijsters first GS final and title attempt went to a runner-up. (of course same with Justine but she took it next) And then three-time clashes between Justine and Clijsters all went to Justine. Look over their paths. Clijsters with just two grand slam titles whereas Justine with 7 GS titles. I mean, the slightest changes and then results can determine their whole career.

But Justine's GS final stats also become concerned. 7 titles and 5 runner ups. I know taking the title is no picnic, truely harder than we can ever imagine. With Justine's talents, however, I actually think those runner-ups are not good enough. some of those should have been titles.

Nonetheless, I want to give her room. Not because was it only two of her tournaments after the comeback, but because there're still opportunities for her to determine her second career. It's too early to talk about her results. If she keeps facing these kind of situations, worries become serious.

I think the period from May to July suggests how her career would go. I just want to wait and see with patience till this time.
 

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Yes, that's right.

But on the other hand, Serena's not playing well either this time except serving. Think about what if she plays well next time? And If it happens in Wimby?

It may go either way.

I think though we should't be too pessimistic, we shouldn't be too optimistic.
All we can do is support and believe Ju and Carlos ,and wish her luck.

Serena never played that well against Justine since 2003, I do wonder why? Because Justine's game irritates Serena, she can't play her own game against her,only her serve can be clicking, and that's what happened yesterday.

It is all about tactics. I really think Justine used the wrong tactic against SW, if she changed her hitting to Serena's second serves, she would have won IMO, because she was returning really well her first serves, if she returned very well both serves, well, she would have broken more, and yesterday , she was really close (I don't care about the 6-2 scoreline, it doesn't reflect reality at all) of winning.

I hope she will watch the tape all over again to notice it, then she will beat Serena next time. Serena served really great yesterday, I am fed up with negative people who focus on Justine's weaknesses.

Justine was really good in rallies, but it is hard to retrieve Serena's big serves and to hold on a weak serve :tape: She needs some matchs, 2007 anyone? She was horrible at Paris, at Miami (but nearly beat Serena in finals), then she was back for clay season and destroyed everyone (except Sveta :lol: )... then that Brosnan loss ( :tape: ) and then an amazing half season :hearts:
 

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The best thing I can get out of this tournament is her ability to play at her best at clutch points..for the most part. We just need more of this for a long period of time in a match..and if she can sustain it, then I'd be happy regardless of the result.
 

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The best thing I can get out of this tournament is her ability to play at her best at clutch points..for the most part. We just need more of this for a long period of time in a match..and if she can sustain it, then I'd be happy regardless of the result.
:yeah:

I am so fed up with negative guys, because at the beginning, they were all like "omg what a terrible draw !! she won't win this for sure blablah" , and even before the year starts, they were like "Please Ju, enjoy yourself on the court, no matter if you win or not, you are back :yeah: "

and now, they are disgusted because she lost 2 finals ? I find amazing she managed to beat Petrova twice, Ivanovic, a red hot Dementieva, Wickmayer, Kleybanova (top 30 I believe), Zheng (she was really good), to fight like hell against Clijsters and Serena... She didn't fight like that in 2008, yeah I was disgusted in 2008, she was losing left and right because she didn't even try.
Now she tries, she gives all her heart, she really enjoys herself on the court, she really loves tennis, she will work harder, so I cannot be disgusted. :( It will pay off.

She has lost her first Slam final to Venus, she choked in a SF against Clijsters, but she turned everything on her side, she won 7 slams whereas KC (who made a slam final before Justine and all) only won 2 slams. So I don't buy the "omg she now has a terrible record in slam finals !!111 " 7-5 is still a great achievements. 7 wins !!!! Only Serena managed to have more.

What do you want more ?

I think you are right to criticize her tactics (I am same), her serve (I am same too) but not her fighting spirit, the whole final, to call her a choker, to think she will never win Wimbledon, blabla....

She should believe, Federer has won RG, yeah he was lucky and ??? Serena was lucky Justine wasn't there to win 5 slams, but nobody (except her biggest haters) talks about it. Justine can beat her at Wimbledon, and Venus won't win Wimbledon forever. See Kuznetsova, nobody thought she would win RG a day, and she did.
 

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debby, for defense, I'm not disgusted because she lost 2 finals :shrugs:
I just want this would not happen in the future or happen less times.
Still 7-5 GS final record is great, but assuming that she will be in the GS final, I hope most of times she could be the champion, not be the runner-up. I mean, She certainly has ability to be in the final many times until she retires, so these stats won't end at this stage.
 

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A few months ago, I wrote on this Forum that I was worried about the emphasis on service power that Justine was trumpeting as the Pathway To Success in her comeback. ......

Sorry to depress you. I’m praying I’ll be thinking what an idiot I was in a year’s time.

I agree with almost everything that you said. Some of the same depressing thoughts were also lurking in the back of my mind. The reason that I am so sad is that a win here in Melbourne could have wipe out all these negative thoughts - she does not have to win another title for 2010 to call it a good year. There will be much less pressure. But such is not life, you can't always get what you want. Here are just some thoughts I have to console myself:

  • The only way not to lose is not to play. Justine wants to play and I am glad she does so that I can watch those flashes of brilliance, not all the time but most of the time.
  • Being the perfectionist, Justine does not just want to win but she wants to win in her way. It's her right. Things may not work out but, if it does, Justine II will be even better than Justine I. The way I see it - she admires Federer, the GOAT. She plays her groundies like him now but she also wants to serve like him. If she can do it no one in the WTA can stop her anytime, anywhere. It is a big if but it is a risk she is willing to take.
  • Justine always surprises us. How many times people thought she would be devastated and never be able to come back? 01 RG SF lost to Kim, 04 sickness, 05 knee injury, 06 W lost to Amilie and USO F lost to Maria, and 07 divorce. Yet time and again, she does and reaches greater height. Would she do it as Justine II? No body knows but, I think, the odds are on her being successful.
  • My view is that she will review what she has done so far make adjustments. Next time, she will be better in some areas and worse in others. But she will be better overall and, hopefully, peak at RG and W.
 

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1. This may be as good as it gets. Of course, everybody is absolutely sure Justine is going to get better because this is only the early stage of her comeback and she’s bound to get better….isn’t she? Here we have just one more example of people unwilling to actually put their theoretical conceptions to the test! The truth is……pretty well every comeback has been at its peak very early on and has declined thereafter. Check out Seles, Hingis, Davenport, and possibly even Clijsters. First Slam back?:Won. Second Slam back?: Beaten resoundingly in Round Three. Thank you very much.

I’m predicting that Justine doesn’t win a Slam this year. Needless to say (so why am I saying it?), I hope I’m embarrassingly wrong!
Ok, let's imagine that Justine won't win a slam this year! So, your suggestions? What should Justine do? Retire? Stop playing? Fire Carlos and hire you?

What should Justine fans do? Stop supporting her right now, before all the heartbreak? Start numerous threads about how much she sucks, so then after we've been proven right, we can start another thread pointing out how much smarter we were then those naive Ju fans, who continued to believe in her success?
"And so it’s turned out."

Yes, let's imagine that she won't win RG this year! I'm already horrified imagining countless threads how awful she is, and no, not in GM, but here - in Justine's forum. If in previous years Justine winning RG was never good enough for some of her fans, what will happen if she won't manage even that?

Well, no, I’m not satisfied. She should – with a modicum of strategic sense – have won the entire thing. In fact, she is so gifted that she should never lose a single match and she certainly shouldn’t be playing long matches against opponents with only a fraction of her abilities.
Isn't that an awesome expectation of Justine? How dares she have bad days? How dares she lose matches? How dares she not be a robot?


You know what struck me? I went back (on Cynicole's suggestion) and read some threads from 2007-2008. And what do you know! Some Justine fans were never satisfied even back then! Justine won all tournaments after Wimbledon and then she lost in AO. 1 match in 6 months, and yep, according to Justine fans she immediately had to change everything about her.
All the posts were "Justine should be more aggressive", now, she comes back and she fails her fans again, now she needs to be more passive apparently. Never good enough for her fans, that Justine!


Reading back I also found one of the amazing posts, that we used to write about Justine "What I like about Justine":
http://www.tennisforum.com/showpost.php?p=11624731&postcount=30

I'm crazy about everything about this girl but my biggest thrill about Ju is that she always gets the upper hand. I mean there have been so many bad events I thought she'd never get over. I thought she'd be destroyed further to the slanderous campaign by Kim's father... I thought she'd be destroyed further to the virus. I thought she'd never get over the smearing campaign by the Anglo-Saxon media after the 2006 A0. I thought she'd be annihilated by her divorce. I thought the loss to Serena at Miami would undermine her confidence vs the Willies. And every single time she's proved me dead wrong. And boy, I love her so much for this. So now that I've learned from Belgian TV that she's got asthma, hence the breathing problems I'll try not to worry again(she said it herself, and with no drama mind you, just laughing about it: "just what I needed, hey? But don't worry we'll keep it under control.") This girl is stronger than anything.

Right now it feels that the only thing some fans like about Justine is winning matches.
 
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