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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Guys!

I think every week we should assess a player!

This week, I would like to assess my fave, Jelena Dokic.

<br />This year, Jelena has had a solid year. At one stage, she was outside the top 30 but next week she'll be at number 8, ahead of Monica Seles and Serena Williams.<br />It's been a good year for Jelena and she has improved in all aspects of her game.<br />Here we look at the parts of her game:

<br />Serve: This is maybe the weakness in the Dokic game. It's a big serve, it's got good power to it and she can do a lot with it but sometimes, it folds under pressure. Jelena has been trying to change, working on a new technique that gives her more power. She's still nto used to it and that explains her low 1st serve percentage lately. If you look at the stats from her matches lately, some of them she wins like 90% of pts on 1st serve, that's a huge stat. She's still a little uncomfortable with it and over the off-season she should work on it.

<br />Stroke: Now, this is where Dokic is just as good or better than 90% of tour. Her strokes are beautiful to watch. Flowing and powerful, driving opponents around the court. One thing I like from Jelena this year is that she's always looking to move up the court, to hit the swinging volley or something like that. Last year, you would not see Jelena Dokic go to the match once in 3 sets of tennis. Now she tries to get there a smuch as possible, always looking to move forward and take times away from her opponents. She's got punishing groundstrokes and that's why she's top 10.

<br />Volley: I actually don't think Dokic is a bad volleyer. In fact I think she's a very good volleyer but lacks confidence sometimes. She's a lot better than a Dementieva for example. She hits that beautiful swinging volley and she can hit some good solid volleys and it explains her results in the doubles. 1 thing Jelena has done this year is incorporate a smash into her game. Last year, she would let the ball drop but this year she's confident of taking it in the air.

<br />Movement: This is a big improvement from Dokic. I've always felt that Jelena's speed would hamper her career but this year, she's improved by leaps and bounds. She fantastically quick side to side and lately, very quick back to front. I think she is deceptively fast and can match most players in terms of speed. She's got her own personal trainer working with her now, Mike Nishihara and he trains her at every event.

<br />Mental: Jelena has always been one of the toughest players on tour however lately, we've seen a lot more fight from her. She had some awful losses 6-0 in the 3rd where she didn't try but against Krasnoroutskaya, Tulyaganova, Majoli she's shown that mentally she's very tough and full of confidence. Jelena is just relentless in her hitting and play and the appetite to win is absolutely insatiable from Jelena. I think she's very good mentally.

<br />Court Smarts and Repertoire:<br />Jelena has expanded this by a great margin this year. In previous years, a lob would be unheard of from Jelena, nor a backhand slice. She's also played the dropshot with some success this year and I think she's a lot smarter than people think. She'll throw up a high loopy one when she's in trouble instead of trying to smack it and that kind of unsettled Dementieva. She could be better though

<br />A lot of people underestimate Jelena. They think she's rubbish. She's improved tremendously this year. People call her "one dimensional" but what she is trying to move up the court and attack. If they think just because she's a baseliner she's one dimensional, then how about Monica, Lindsay, Jennifer, Kim? When they're in trouble, they have no Plan B, they hit it harder and most of the time it works.

I just hope she keeps playing like she is and porves all her doubters wrong.

How would you assess the Dokic game?
 

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Serve - powerful , erratic , but improving and she's working on it. Perhaps , a little too flat.

Stroke - great groundies , great timing , great depth , great consistency. Shouldn't fix something if it isn't broken.

Volley - solid , nothing spectacular and you won't see Jelena play many conventional volleys. She usually uses the swinging volley to drive the ball away as she prefer to use the net only to shake hands.

Movement - very strong ,fast and fit...she works hard on fitness.

Mental - probably one of the best here, even tho she did choke at Roland Garros and had an easy draw...she seems to have overcame that now.

Court smarts and repoirtre - good enough to get the job done , but when put under heavy pressure she has been prone to play wild at times. Its an area along with her serve that i'd love to see improved in 2002. She seems to be improving this area like her serve , all the time.

if Jelena can gradually imporve her serve , and court smarts , no reaosn why she can't make the jump to the top 5 IMO.
 

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She has definitely improved this year, gotten a lot more consistent especially towards the end of the season. I think she's got even more belief in herself - she's always had that, but now I think she really feels she can seriously hang with the elite. She has really consolidated her game and that is why she will be #8, I think the biggest improvements have been the serve and her fitness.
 

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Yes, fitness has been a HUGE improvement from Dokic.

Last year she played a tremendous amount of tennis in the latter stages and she completely folded.

This year, a lot of jealouse people were criticising her schedule pre-US Open and she's played even more tennis and just get's better and better.
 

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Don't want to be a party-pooper iluvjelena, because overall I think you have an excellent assesment of where Jelena is right now.

But there are a couple of things I couldn't let by.

1) "A lot of people underestimate Jelena. They think she's rubbish." Now I don't know if you're using psychology to bolster the 'element' of surprise when Jelena does win (like trying to make her the underdog in every match she goes into), but I've not heard anyone call her rubbish. And no-one seems to under-estimate her either!!! Chill out with that stuff already.

2) "...then how about Monica, Lindsay, Jennifer, Kim? When they're in trouble, they have no Plan B, they hit it harder and most of the time it works."

Sounds to me like a tacit admission that Jelena is too one-dimensional, but that it doesn't matter because so are Lindsay (who isn't anyway imo), Kim (who isn't either) and Monica (who is a far better player than perhaps Jelena will ever be? and should you really be trying to compare Jelena with Monica?).

Face it, you may like to believe that Jelena's OK with "no Plan B" (your words), but wouldn't it make Jelena a better player, and give her more chances against the creme players, if she did?

But apart from that, you've sorted her game reallly well. And yes, I do like Jelena a lot, just think you could make it appear less like its Jelena and you against everyone else. She has a lot of admirers on this board. <img src="smile.gif" border="0">
 
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