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Discussion Starter #1
All the miriad ways a players can lose. Some losses really hurt. Some in retrospect, have to be filed under 'you can't win 'em all'. Just for laughs, I've identified four general categories of losses. These are subjective.

Losses - Any loss to a player at or around your level of ability historically and recently. Nothing fancy to it, 7-5, 6-4. That's just a loss.

  • S. Williams US '01

Bad Losses - A loss to player ranked way below you.

  • Seles - US '01

(G)losses - A loss to player ranked way ahead of you. Any loss to Venus or Jenn right now is a (g)loss. An unseeded player losing to a Top Tennner at a GS.

  • Clijsters - RG '01
  • Henin - WB '01
  • Capriati - US '01 - Any loss to Jenn or Venus is a (g)loss.
  • Hantuchove - OZ '01

Sore Thumbs - Big, glaring losses to much lower ranked players in tournaments where everyone knows you plan to do well.
Recent, big time Sore Thumbs:

  • Hingis - WB '99 1r
  • Williams - RG '01
  • Mauresmo - RG '01
  • Hingis - WB - '01
  • Testud - OZ '02
 

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Discussion Starter #3
VivalaSeles - Martina was #1 at the time. By definition it can't really be a 'Sore Thumb'. A 'Sore Thumb' is an inexplicable loss. That one was totally explicable. Martina was on. Monica was hurt.
 

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Nathalie Dechy is a former Top 20 player (and playing great atm) and always dangerous so I dont think that Testud match at OZ should be listed as a 'sore thumb' loss...it is January also, when many top players are caught off guard after a long break! Maybe it should be in the bad loss category instead?

Other than that, nice analysis!
 

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Clever post. The two biggest Sore Thumb losses I can think of other than the one's you mentioned are:

Venus - Stanford '01 (Shaughnessy)
Venus - AO '02 (Seles)


No Monica is not way lower, but until then Venus was undefeated against her and was riding on a serious winning streak against the remaining Top Ten. To me, just as any loss to Venus qualifies as a (g)loss for the loser, any win against Venus qualifies as a Sore Thumb loss for Venus.
 

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Bright Red - though I agree that losing to Meaghan on the hardcourt could be seen as a sore thumb loss, I totally disagree about Monica.

Yes, Venus had a great win streak against her, but Monica had won that slam 4 times before, only suffered two losses there before, and is one of the best players ever.

Losing to Monica on the rebound ace, wasn't a sore thumb loss. It was just a bad loss.

But I can agree to disagree :)
 

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Good points, Becca. We can both agree to disagree. I thought about those things. Monica has a great record there in large part because of her skills before the crazy Graf fan attacked her. She accomplished an amazing feat by winning 4 AO singles titles. But remember, 3 of those were before the attack. Since the attack, she has missed half of the last eight AO's that have been held and has lost 3 of the 4 she's been in, and her last victory was six years ago.

Because of Monica's post-attack record and the difference in her skill level since the attack, I no longer view her as being dominant on Rebound Ace so to me Venus should have won. Of course, Venus hasn't shown us all she can be on it. At least not yet.

Kudos to Monica for her great career record at Oz. Under Volcana's system, Venus is so good that anytime she beats another player (including Monica), that loss is a (g)loss for the defeated. My point is that under those rules (which I agree with btw), it might be reasonable to feel that Venus suffers Sore Thumb losses anytime she's beaten.
 

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Here we go again, VivalaSeles. As hard as I tried, I knew my comment would get under your skin.

Just kidding ;). I've been known to bend the rules before. I decided to do so in this "fun" thread. Truth be told, anyone of the professional tennis players or their fans would probably be insulted by being called Sore Thumb winners.
 

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VivalaSeles said:
" I no longer view her as being dominant on Rebound Ace so to me Venus should have won. Of course, Venus hasn't shown us all she can be on it. At least not yet. "

Exactly :) Even only taking Monica's results after the stabbing, she still has a more impressive record than Venus at the Australian Open.
I agree with this post 100% VivalaSeles. The only thing I might add is that the future looks somewhat brighter for Venus at the AO than for Monica, in my most humble opinion.

Now see, you and I have more in common than you thought!
 

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Aw shucks. Now I feel obliged to add a great big
GO MONICA!! I HOPE YOU HAVE YOUR BEST YEAR EVER IN 2002!!!!

And this is ABSOLUTELY sincere because Monica is one of my faves too.
 

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Don't mention it;)
 

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Nice topic and format, Volcana!
 
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