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Have to say I'm disappointed. Justine isn't taking the next step. Everytime she plays another elite payer, she loses. Sure Clijsters, Seles, and Williams are tough, but if Justine wants to be more than 'noble oppostion', she has to find the thing that BEATS top players, not just makes it hard for them.

Justine is a fighter, she tough and competitive as hell. But that isn't getting it done.

Sydney AUS

WT 06 Jan 2002 - 12 Jan 2002 Hard (O)
Entry: DA Seed: 5
32 W Barbara SCHETT (AUT) 7-6(3) 6-3
16 W Conchita MARTINEZ (ESP) 6-0 6-3
QF L Kim CLIJSTERS (BEL) 6-7(6) 2-6
Period W/L: 2 - 1


Australian Open AUS

GS 14 Jan 2002 - 27 Jan 2002 Hard (O)
Entry: DA Seed: 6
128 W Anna KOURNIKOVA (RUS) 6-2 7-5
64 W Marta MARRERO (ESP) 6-3 3-6 6-1
32 W Nicole PRATT (AUS) 6-4 6-0
16 W Elena DEMENTIEVA (RUS) 6-0 6-3
QF L Kim CLIJSTERS (BEL) 2-6 3-6
Period W/L: 6 - 2


Paris FRA

WT 05 Feb 2002 - 10 Feb 2002 Carpet (I)
Entry: DA Seed: 2
32 B BYE
16 W Nathalie DECHY (FRA) 6-4 3-6 7-6(8)
QF L Monica SELES (USA) 4-6 3-6
Period W/L: 7 - 3


Antwerp BEL

WT 11 Feb 2002 - 17 Feb 2002 Hard (I)
Entry: DA Seed: 2
32 B BYE
16 W Els CALLENS (BEL) 6-1 6-4
QF W Magdalena MALEEVA (BUL) 7-6(1) 6-1
SF W Patty SCHNYDER (SUI) 1-6 6-3 6-4
FR L Venus WILLIAMS (USA) 3-6 7-5 3-6
 

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I think she is going along quite nicely..

I realise she hasnt won any of her big matches so far this season, but remember Justine has changed her service motion to add more power, and when you are going through a transition period like that, I think you have to patient want wait for the hard work to pay off...
'

I believe Justine knows she needs to add more to her game to regularly beat the top players, and Im hapy she is changing hr serve to try and get more on it...It at least shows she is self-analytical and willing to go through some hard yards for the bigger picture...

Anna K could take a leaf out of her book...

I think in 6 months time, the "Im disapointed" comment would be fair if she continued to beat players ranked below but none above her, but at this early stage (its not even March yet!!), I think its too soon to be disapointed in Justine.
 

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I thought she was doing good.Yes,she needs to improve,but time will tell.:)
 

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Give her a year or more, and maybe she will get better. I just hope her quest to add more power doesn't increase her injuries. She is so small something is bound to get injured. Well, I can truly say that she has to stop playing one good set against the top players in order to beat them. Winning one set is no good, but with more experience she will learn how to pull it out.
 

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Two weeks ago maybe I would of agreed with Volcano, and I do in the sense that her record against Top Ten is at something like 0-10 at the moment.

But I'm just waiting for that serve to start working, because when it does you are going to see Justine beating these top players more often - I'm sure of it.

Justine can consistently break the serve of anybody (Venus, Lindsay, Serena, Kim)... but her own is so vulnerable.

Maybe the serve will never kick in, and if it doesn't then she's always going to put herself at an immediate disadvantage against Top Ten players.

That might be over simplicity (of course there are the 'mental' issues with Monica and Kim.... perhaps even Serena), but I'm now content to be a lot more patient in waiting for Justine to make 'the final step'. Of course, she's not there yet.
 

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I agree with most of the responses here.

Justine is changing her serve; she does it TOTALY different than last year, a whole new motion. Give her some time and she'l get there.

I've seen the match Justine vs. Venus at Antwerp. It was the first time I saw those players in real and I expected to see a big difference between the power of those two girls. But the fact was that Justine broke Venus five times and was able to win some long rally's from the baseline. Justine is really good. If her serve settled down, she's gonna beat those top players FOR SURE ;) .

There is off course the mental aspect, especially against Kim. Maybe she just needs one win against her to beat that mental problem. (Allthough, she did win last year in Rosmalen and that didn't do)
 

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I have the same feeling as many of the other posters here.
I saw the Venus-Henin match and it said enough to me. Maybe it looks as if Henin plays just enough to give only a "noble oppositions" to her big opponents, the reality is a lot different. This girl has the ability to break down the game of even the big Venus Williams. She just need a more stable first serve and a more consistent high level game. This depends on confidence, experience and exercise. She will and is improving on that.
 

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Justine is just fine. There is a big adjustment a player has to make when they suddenly (within a year) become famous and, as a top-10 player, are now expected to win.
Justine is handling this dramatic change very well; she is holding her own early this season, even with the brand-new serve and the increased emphasis on serve-and volleying she has been incorporating in her game.
Justine is not going to lose ground as so many players do in her situation, and given a little time, will gain ground.

But get used to that outfit, she may never change it! :hearts:
 

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janie said:
But get used to that outfit, she may never change it! :hearts:
LOL :D

I don't think there should be any cause to be concerned unless Juju goes through the clay season without any significant results. Clay is her best stuff...and grass may be her 2nd (there isn't enough of it to tell). And now there's North American hardcourts...on which Justine did rather horribly last year, losing to Serna, Clijsters and Garbin early on so there's some points she can pick up.

So far this year she's made quarters of every event she's entered. With the exception of Monica, she has only lost to players ranked ahead of her. (And she has a doubles title with her fellow "Thin" Meghann and in their other tourney together they lost to Hingis and Kournikova.)

And, as everyone has said, she's working on that serve and she's still gaining some much-needed experience.
 

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Freedesigner:

Hénin isn't 0-for against Top 10 players. She beat Venus at Berlin last year, and Capriati at Wimbledon.

And I think Clijsters was already Top Ten at 's-Hertogenbosch last year.

Be patient, everybody. Hénin will get to the point where she starts beating the Venus Williamses of the world closer to 50% of the time.

Now if Dementieva could learn from Hénin....

--Ted
 

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Sorry Ted, I meant in her last meetings against Top Ten players. ie since beating Capriati at wimbledon - to my knowledge - she hasn't beaten another player who was Top Ten at the time she beat them.

Off the top of my head she's lost to:

Venus: (4) Wimbledon, Conneticut, Canberra, Antwerp
Clijsters: (2) Sydney and Oz
Seles (2) in Toronto and Paris
Lindsay (1) Filderstadt
Serena (1) Sanex Championships
 

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There are many factors to consider.

The serve is certainly a major issue, with that low percentage of 1st serves and all those double faults she is bound to get broken.

However Volcana, I thing your analysis is simply based on statistics and not actually on the game. Tennis is much more than numbers, they only tell you part of the true but they don't give yu the whole picture.

I saw some of the matches Justine lost to Venus, or Serena, or Monica, despite the final score the points was that against those 3 player, in moments when Justine was focus, confident and playing aggressively she was in fact dominating.

the question is when she will be able to keep that level througout the whole match, that's the reason why Justine has some times problems against low ranked player (eg Marrero in Australia, Boogert in Wimbledon), some times she just loses concentration, or gets too anxious and starts making errors, against a low ranked player she can get her acts together and beat them but against someone like Venus it's not something you can do.

So, it's more a mental than a pysical or technical problem, being able to keep a high level during an entire match, or tournament, that's cetainly something that can be done and only needs some time for it.

Remember that Justine's first full year in the court was 2001, that's last year, in 1999 she only played a bunch of tournaments and in 2000 she was injured most of the year, she started the year like # 90 and got to the semis of one GS and to the finals of another, I think it was too much to digest in such a short time. Although Kim is younger, she has more experience than Justine even with the age restrictions.

I think we shouldn't look that much into numbers, and rather into the game itself, I've heard many times that a certain player has a great future just because the numbers look good, but the numbers don't tell the whole story, you have to analyze the game to see where, when and how much it can improve and if the player is heading that way, there are players that don't have the potential to go too far, there are others that have that potential and need time and work to develop it, no matters what the numbers say.

BTW, even I am not a Venus fan, I recognized before that Venus was the best player at the moment, even if others had "better numbers", most Venus fans, rightfully said the rankings ("the numbers") didn't reflect the reality, well, that applies to all players not only Venus and is still valid even if now the numbers do say Venus is # 1.
 
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