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PARIS -- The Serena Williams-Kim Clijsters final is still on track; Vera Zvonareva did what no one other player besides Serena had done in more than a year: beat Venus Williams in a major; the men's draw is typically wide open; Andre Agassi is in a groove; the other American men have plenty of time to watch the Stanley Cup and NBA finals; there was nearly a scalpers brawl outside the grounds.

Yes, sports fans, it was a wacky first week at Roland Garros. Herewith, our midterm grades. (A passing mark qualifies you for a basketball scholarship to St. Bonaventure.)

A

Serena Williams: Top seed has yet to drop a set in first four matches, setting up a likely final with ...

Kim Clijsters: No. 2-seeded Belgian had a fluky opening 20 minutes against Maggie Maleeva Sunday, losing the first set 6-0, but otherwise hasn't dropped more than two games in a set.

Juan Carlos Ferrero: The Mosquito was probably a slight favorite when the tournament commenced, and he has done nothing to change that perception.

Gustavo Kuerten: The resurgence of Uncle Gus. Entered the tournament as an also-ran but quickly has become a serious contender.

Vera Zvonareva: The future is now.

French fans: They come early, they stay late, they know their tennis, they have great cheers -- and they leave their damn cell phones off.

B+

Ashley Harkleroad: Continued her fine spring play before running out of gas against Magui Serna.

B

Albert Costa: Some grim math for the defending champ: Playing five-setters in his first three matches at almost age 28 = rough second week.

Parity: Yes, the men's draw is wide open. But by the third round, there were more seeded men (22) than seeded women (19) left in the draw.

B-

Venus Williams: In fairness, her strained abdominal muscle clearly was giving her problems. But her forehand broke down yet again as she was dealt her earliest Grand Slam defeat in two years. More important, her aura of invincibility has gone by way of the braids.

C

Lleyton Hewitt: We don't expect him to win big on clay. But neither do we expect him to lose six straight games in a fifth set, as he did Saturday against Spain's Tommy Robredo.

American men: Once again, the only Yank to make it to the middle weekend is Agassi. (On the plus side: Their results may be lagging, but James Blake has a spread in the current GQ and Men's Journal runs a nice feature on Andy Roddick.)

American women: With Venus and Jennifer Capriati losing on Sunday, Lindsay Davenport forced to retire because of injury, and Monica Seles' longstanding woes, only Serena and Chanda Rubin are left to hold down the fort in Week 2.

Daniela Hantuchova: Call it what you will, the fact remains that until she improves her physique she will continue her rapid descent.

Wild cards: Not a one wins a match.

C-

Roger Federer: One of the most talented guys around hasn't won a solitary set at Roland Garros since 2001. Calling Jim Loehr. Calling Jim Loehr. Do you read me? Roger.
 

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Kim...a fluke 6-0 first set. lol.
Sorry Jon, I don't think so. 4 double
faults on her own serve was pure
stage fright choke-a-ton time. Maggie just
had 7 UE's in that 6-0 basting.
 

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what, no f's... gawd, anyone could pass in his class... :rolleyes:
 

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I hate when players moan about their so called
injuries when they lose. It's only a minor
side note if they're winning. lol.
Again, sorry John. The Kid(vera) was better than
Venus yesterday. Quicker, sharper, mentally
stronger. I don't buy the stomach strain excuse.
She didn't seem to have trouble on her over heads.
 

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I hate when players moan about their so called
injuries when they lose. It's only a minor
side note if they're winning. lol.
hmmm... where did Venus say her injury caused her loss today? Jon is making the excuses here, not Venus. :rolleyes:
 

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DiVaMoNiCaSeLeS said:
It's not that she isn't worth mentioning... It's that the place he got all his information from for that article didn't mention her...
lol
 

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cariosity said:
hmmm... where did Venus say her injury caused her loss today? Jon is making the excuses here, not Venus. :rolleyes:
TY Cari


Damn, if you want to slam a player at least get your shit straight. Venus doesn't make excuses.....she could be carried off the court and say the other player played better than her on that day :)


You must be thinking of another Williams sister ...LOL :)
 

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Here's my report card.

A- Serena for doing her seeding
and #1 reputation just fine.

The Belgians Kim and Justine- grand
slams are just finger tips away.

Amelie- Getting beyond the 4th round in
first time in her career.

Argentine clay princes- Coria, Gaston, etc..
not household names yet; but here to stay.

Albert Costa- Refuses to become a one slam
wonder.

B- The new upstars in the WTA.
Ashley, Nadia, and Vera. Really tennis, real
heart, action, and a genuine love for the
big match.

Spanish clay courters- Their not dead yet.
JCF, Tommy, Conchita.

Agassi- He still players harder than most
guys 10 years younger.

C- Monica, LD, Wayne- The players from the
Pulp Fiction decade are having a bad time
with injuries. Have they played too many
matches, too many years, too many times?
It seems that having a long layoff during the
era like Maggie, and Chanda seems to be
the key for that generation of players.

D- Roger, Dani, Dokic, Dementieva, Paradorn,
Myskina etc.. bright lights on tour not up to
the task; and RG suffers from their charisma
and allure.


D- Michael Chang. Can you just say goodbye
already?

F- Hewitt- Not respecting clay enough to want to
become a champ at RG. Hey- it's no Aussie
lifestyle thing so why should he care?.

American men tennis hype- It was all hype,
and no delivery. More hot air, and worse
results.
 

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Kerrie,

You're a junior member, so letting you off lightly:

Please read the threads before you double-post the same topic!

Thanks.
 

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Greenout said:
D- Michael Chang. Can you just say goodbye
already?
LOL. Have you been hiding out with King Lindsay???
 

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cariosity said:
what, no f's... gawd, anyone could pass in his class... :rolleyes:
JW doesn't flunk people unless they refuse to participate in a Slam for nefarious reasons...

Guga and Costa flunked for not attending Wimbledon last year.
 

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kerrie1981 said:
B+

Ashley Harkleroad: Continued her fine spring play before running out of gas against Magui Serna.
:rolleyes: ran out of gas? She was outplayed. Serna's simply a better player than her - let's give her some credit.
 

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I think hes right about the WC's how some got in was unbeliable, and how others performed was even worse.
 

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Tennis Fool said:
JW doesn't flunk people unless they refuse to participate in a Slam for nefarious reasons...

Guga and Costa flunked for not attending Wimbledon last year.
I'd have flunked Federer... he may have been physically present, but (as ever in Slams) he was mentally vacant.

Nadia should be there, along with Vera. Otherwise, it's OK.
 

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Doris,

Jim Loehr is a sport psicologist. He treated Sabatini in '89 or '90 (before winning the US'Open), and also worked with Navratilova.
 
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