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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, I'm crazy. But boy they were SO good today. Sure Venus is as fast as them, and Lindsay hits the ball as well but Serena and Justine look soooooo good running. And Justine just RIPS that backhand. And they look so good running.

Serena was so in control of herself today.

At 2-2 in the second set, second serve Henin break point. The second serve isn't that deep.

Serena DOESN'T kill it. She hits it deep with topspin and rallies for the break. She did that all day. Instead of trying to just hit hard, she kept trying to move Justine around and hit winners behind her. Which of course, is what Justine was trying to do to Serena.

That was only the second break point against Henin til then. Serena converted both of them. This was a goood match.

Henin is totally aggresive now. Serena is only coming to net on short balls, and Justine won't give her any. Justine is moving in on everything and taking HUGE backhand cuts at the ball.

(You want a finesse player? THIS is a finesse player. She's using her WHOLE BODY on the backhand and she's painting the lines. THAT'S control. Half the tour can hit the lines it when they don't have to hit it hard. This Henin is taking BIG cuts at it. Sorry. Pet peeve.)

So they whack away at each each other, diving, leaping, running and basically making me think I'd died and gone to athlete heaven, til 4-3 in the second set tie-break. (Justine getting a little assistance from as Wild Thing makes a nostalgic appearance.)

Then, Greek tragedy.

4-3 Henin Double Fault<br />4-4 Henin Double Fault<br />5-5 Nasty Willaims backhand winner. Road Rash Henin.<br />6-5 Williams breaks string somehow control ball four two more groundstrokes, get to net, volleys deep twice, then hits a leaping, twisting, flying backhand short angle volley winner.

Justine Henin loses the 2nd set and the match by losing her mental focus for 15 seconds.

Wow.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
A lot of other matchups are just as competitive, but these two look so damn good doing it.
 

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You actually think so??

They can do much better, both of them..<br />Justine's backhand was excellent today, her forehand was not that good and her serve was terrible.

Just imagine what will happen when she starts practising that serve!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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Well just imagine if Serena played more than 9 tournaments in a year. (And she's playing like this after a two month lay off)

Just incredible.
 

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Man, Volcana, you said it! I love posting responses to yours. It's such a relief after being at an annoying board where Williams and Henin fans couldn't get along. <img src="cool.gif" border="0">

Anyway, I think generalized finesse vs. power match-ups make for the best entertainment and I'm so glad that Henin broke out this year since Hingis has sadly forgotten how to play tennis. <img src="mad.gif" border="0">

The thing that makes this Serena vs. Justine match-up so interesting is that Serena can do a bit more touch than the other big girls and Justine hits with tons more power than the other featherweights. And they're both so damn fast!

Hopefully, Serena can rack up enough points here so that she and Justine can't possibly meet in the 4th Round of the Australian Open. These are two players who deserve the opportunity to duke it out in a final...especially if they play like this...or better.

And per4ever is right. They both can play better than this. I mean, you could see areas where they have the potential to vastly improve! The rest of the tour should be shaking in their boots.

I love these two!

[ November 02, 2001: Message edited by: cynicole ]</p>
 

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Well said everybody. This was a good match to watch. I liked Justine from the the first time I saw her---a little person with so much power and quickness (her backhand is awesome!) and I acknowledged early on that if she ever gets her serve working, she is going to be someone to reckon with.

I love me some 'Rena, but I must admit that Justine serve was her undoing (not 'Rena's play) that kept this from going to a 3rd set, and who's to say what would have happened if it had gone that far.

Anyway, we'll take the win. Next....

(ps. Hope Justine's is okay after that nasty fall. It seems to me that Serena asked her if she was okay at the end of the match, but then again, I'm not much of a lip reader.)
 

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It was definitely a good match to watch. Serena was indeed not rusty at all, she waited for her chances and then *bang* hit the winner or forced the error. I was glad that Justine coul break back in the second set and I was hoping she would win the tiebrek but those 2 successive double faults killed her. If her serve had been working better, like against Huber we might have seen a third set.

Good luck for next season Justine! <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0">

Congrats to Serena! <img src="wink.gif" border="0">
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Martina, Venus, Lindsay, Jenn, Amelie, Monica, Jelena, they are all fine players, even great players some of them.

But they just don't move like these two. Justine and Serena are both good a looking good when they hit the ball. Especially on the run. Justine Henin hitting a topspin backhand on the run is the most perfect pice of sports body mechanics I've seen since the SkyHook. Only she's a blur doing it.<br />And Serena looks like Grey's Anatomy come to life.

And they played so WELL today, especially the first two thirds. THIS is the quality of match I wanted to see at the USOpen final.

Justine attacked relentlessly.<br />Serena remained under control.<br />And they both tried every trick in the book.

All at about a thousand miles per hour.

Lindsay vs Venus will NEVER look like this.<br />Martina vs Jenn? No way.

Were they perfect? No. (Scary) But I think I saw the future of tennis.

Finesse at 1000 mph.

And they aren't even top five players right now.

If you didn't see this match, try to get a tape.

Oooee.
 

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Serena-Justin match was the best by far.nice game. <img src="graemlins/wavey.gif" border="0" alt="[Wavey]" />
 

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Volcana, you're a poet <img src="smile.gif" border="0"> ... and you're right !
 

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I wish there were more people like you on this board, Volcana.

I love your second post..that one is completely correct!!!!!!! Those girls are the future, if they get even better we will see magnificent finals later!
 

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It was a great match, too bad we only got two sets of such tennis. Henin's serve (certainly in the first and in the tiebreak) could be a lot better but her backhand and other strokes were terrific today. She showed again that she can tennis at the highest level which is set by the Williams sisters today. Serena's game is going better also, she showed that not only power makes up her game but also technique and tactics. I hope she will get to the top 8, it would be bad if Justine and Serena have another fourth round match at the AO.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
XMan - You're so right. I really hope they can avoid each other at OZ til at least the semis.
 

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It was a great match, and a great match-up!

Volcano those 2 posts were great, and its great to feel your enthusiasm coming out in those posts. Having seen 2 match-ups now, I think this will probably produce better tennis than Venus-Henin. Serena is soo good. There's really nothing that she can't do on a tennis court, and that compliments Justine really well. It also seemed like Justine was dealing with the power from Serena really well - and her returning got better and better.

I'm so pleased that these two were able to bring out the great tennis brain that they both have! I agree that both of them have played better, although I don't recall seeing Justine as aggressive as she was today.

I would have loved to have seen a third set, but from Justine's point of view though, if you serve 2 successive double-faults in a tiebreak, I don't really think you deserve to win it! But I've said it before, Justine learns from everything and secretly I think she'll be greatly encouraged by how she played.

<img src="smile.gif" border="0">
 

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The Serena-Henin match was fabulous. I woke up early to see it, and it sure was worth it!

While we're on the topic, I'll mention that I'm don't understand how an "in-form" Venus has needed three sets to beat Henin, while Serena has twice defeated Henin in straight sets, and most recently after not having played for two whole months.

Venus has all of the strengths that Serena has and more. Could it be that Henin fears Venus' game so much more than Serena's that Henin tries that much harder against Venus and alternatively, somewhat "underestimates" Serena?

Note: Henin obviously respects Serena's game, too. I use the term "underestimate" loosely and more so in a relative sense.
 

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TBP

Interesting question. I'll speculate and pray that no one jumps me on this one. There are so many different ways to look at it. It's going slightly off topic so please forgive me but you all should know by now that I can't resist these sorts of questions.

Here's a fact though: Henin won more games against Serena in this match than she won against Venus at Wimbledon.

Timing maybe? Throw out the rain delay part because you'd expect Venus to blitz anyone. Venus was incredibly "in-form" there while Henin had those blisters and possibly more (she ended up missing five weeks after that with injury).

Then again, Venus has historically had problems with smaller players. And when she came out after relatively no match play at the AO she had three three-setters (against Maria Jose Martinez, Mauresmo and Coetzer) and was humiliated by Hingis. She's also been pulled to three by Cara Black.

And look at the list of people they've lost to and how many sets it took.

Venus:<br />Hingis (2)<br />Maleeva (2)<br />Henin (2)<br />Schett (2)<br />Shaughnessy (3)

Serena:<br />Hingis (2, 3)<br />Capriati (2, 3, 3)<br />Seles (3)<br />Venus (2)

Who has had "better" losses?

Or the factor could entirely be Henin. She did serve rather badly the two times she's played Serena. Then again, Venus broke her more times at Berlin (it just happened that Henin broke Venus a whole lot more) than Serena did today. Is Serena's serve more dependable than Venus'?

Not only do these girls play awesome. They also have fun-looking stats!

[ November 02, 2001: Message edited by: cynicole ]</p>
 

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Triple Break Its just a matter of match ups. Serena for the most part may make fewer ue's. Her forehand is a little bit more consistent. Plus Serena generally serves at a little higher percentage. Venus sometimes in the second set of matches loses focus and then comes back strong in the 3rd.
 

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Great analysis, cynicole. It's quite insightful--especially the stats showing "losses" suffered by the Sisters. For me, those stats reinforce my belief that Serena "shakes the rust off" better than Venus.

But I'm still puzzled with regard to the "in-form" Venus against Henin and needing three sets. And when you consider that on both occasions when Venus beat Henin, Venus had swept through all of her other matches (against tall and short players) in straight sets, it seems that either Henin has a special ability when playing Venus or that Venus has a certain weakness when playing Henin.

Maybe it is all Henin. Maybe Henin has a Hingis-style game that Venus finds problematic but that Serena doesn't. Whatever the case may be, Henin vs. either Williams is sure to be an enjoyable match.
 

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Thanks TSequoia

I had overlooked the mental lapse as a possible cause. But then again, I tend to give Venus the edge over Serena as far as mental lapses go (especially since Serena was choking during key second set points this season).

Maybe you're right, though. I don't have match stats, but if Venus had gotten off to a good start against Henin during the three-setters, Venus could've had a lapse thinking she'd finish Henin off using the same amount of effort. Henin could have raised her game at that point and taken Venus by surprise.

We'll never know, but it does remain a puzzle.
 

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Triple Break Serena does not have lapses in the same sense as Venus. Venus sometimes loses focus. While Serena sometimes suffer from panic. She hates to lose and the very thought sometimes causes her to tighten up. While Venus basically does not believe she will lose, regardless of the circumstances. I have noticed lately though, that Serena is dealing with these high stress moments better. Really, it just is a matter of experience.
 
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