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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Serena Williams
Venus Williams
Justine Henin
Jennifer Capriati
Lindsay Davenport
Monica Seles
Mary Pierce
Jelena Dokic?
Daniela Hantuchova?
Elena Dementieva
Maria Sharapova
(I'm sure there are at least 6 more with at least a question mark to add to the list.)

No, this list does NOT denote the players I condiser to be better all-round players than Kim Clijsters. In fact, only Serena, Venus and Justine (Monica and Lindsay in years gone by) have styles more effective than Kim's, in my opinion.

What I am listing is the sizeable group of players who take on a mid court ball with far more venom and intent than Kim Clijsters does. The amount of short balls I see Kim fire into mid court, often even from the backhand side, leaves me incredulous.

For a player who's topped the rankings, this is very worrying. People should stop kidding themselves. Kim has blown leads against Serena and Venus this year, and she's been comprehensively beaten by Justine in both grandslam finals. But the problem was not Kim's nerves, it was the fact that on each of those occasions those players stepped up a gear, moved into the court, and hit Kim (built like a shot putter) off the court.

I'm sorry, but Kim's style of play is not only severely dull (the reason, I feel, why the splits draw such excitement...the first time its seen) but it is ineffective in championship matches against champion players, and it's no surprise that she's already looking like to be a bridesmaid.

The problem, in hindsight, was evident two years ago in Paris when she was without a weapon to counter Capriati's forehands at just two points from victory. Kim must develop a game less reliant on counter punching against power hitters with slow reflexes and reluctant volleys. The elite in women's tennis can attack furiously and fearlessly, without the flaws Kim exposes so well.

The necessity for Clijsters to develop more of an edge to her game will be the difference between one lone slam win - of which I've no doubt she is capable and worthy - and a string of successes.

We all wish her luck. She's a nice girl, and too fine an athlete to let it all go to waste.
 

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Pretty good assesment. Kim needs to get over her allergies regarding the net. She's a fine doubles player what gives?
 

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Good analysis and you nailed the problem perfectly! There should be noway that Justine should be dictating the match against Kim on hardcourts, hell on any surface! A player of Kim´s build should be the one dictating play and standing insided the baseline,pushing Justine around.

Kim´s roughly the same size as Serena but the difference in their games couldn´t be more punctuated! Even in her losses against Justine this year Serena was ALWAYS the one who was pushing play...if you wanna lose, then go down swinging. Either you hit or you miss. Don´t wait for the opponents to beat themselves.
 

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irma said:
yeah they play a match, give kim a lead then start to play and win

that's dumb ;)

guess it was the same with novotna and steffi;)
:lol: Good one! I had that feeling too with Serena at the Oz...I was like: Girl, stop toying with her and finish her off!
 

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Kim makes people run from one side to the other, that's her strenght offensive wise. And it works because she's at #1 :) Every player has his/her own way of playing tennis.

And I don't agree with the loss of Serena against Justine at RG. They were eaqualy agressive.
 

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arn said:
Kim makes people run from one side to the other, that's her strenght offensive wise. And it works because she's at #1 :) Every player has his/her own way of playing tennis.

And I don't agree with the loss of Serena against Justine at RG. They were eaqualy agressive.
She´s no.1?! Only when playing tier III´s!! :haha:

On the slow surface of course Justine could do some dictating, but on hardcourts and grass....you won´t see her dictating against Serena. Re-watch the Wimbledon semi´s.
 

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bandabou said:
She´s no.1?! Only when playing tier III´s!! :haha:

On the slow surface of course Justine could do some dictating, but on hardcourts and grass....you won´t see her dictating against Serena. Re-watch the Wimbledon semi´s.
I agree with you on wimbledon :) But I also think Justine learned from that match and will at least try to be more agressive next time they meet on a faster surface.

And just take a look at the ranks and tell me who is at #1. Kim must be doing something right to get so high??

It's VERY easy to say to attack those shorter balls from Kim. But then Kim's defensive skills come in the way. there are not a lot of people who can hit constantly outright winners against her. Just look at Lindsay for example. She attacks all the time ans still she loses easily against Kim because at the right time Kim WILL play the ball very deep or play a slice in the feet of the one coming in. It's all easier said than done...
 

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arn said:
I agree with you on wimbledon :) But I also think Justine learned from that match and will at least try to be more agressive next time they meet on a faster surface.

And just take a look at the ranks and tell me who is at #1. Kim must be doing something right to get so high??

It's VERY easy to say to attack those shorter balls from Kim. But then Kim's defensive skills come in the way. there are not a lot of people who can hit constantly outright winners against her. Just look at Lindsay for example. She attacks all the time ans still she loses easily against Kim because at the right time Kim WILL play the ball very deep or play a slice in the feet of the one coming in. It's all easier said than done...
Don´t even come with Lindsay, because all the others are beating Lindsay too! We all know that there´s a top four who´s above the rest of the field in both defense and offense....and against the top four Kim just doesn´t stack up all that well! Kim can play defense?! So can Justine, so can Serena and so can the best defensive player of them all: Venus. The thing´s the others have offense too. Justine has offense, Serena IS offense, Venus is offense. Kim?! uhmm.... and that´s why she is losing all the time against them.
 

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I feel like Jenny doesn't appropriately punish short balls all the time either...
a number of times in her match vs. justine at the open she had a short ball and hit back a shot, not nearly as aggressively as she could have, and then retreated back to the baseline.....

I do think that certain players, like serena, venus and justine, really make you think HARD about each ball that you hit because you know its probably going to come back to you. Kim has the Defensive end of the problem solved, sort of. she is a great defender. she doesn't necessarily take those defensive shots and turn them into offense, though, as do Serena, Venus and Justine...(and Hingis of old..)
 

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RAA said:
I feel like Jenny doesn't appropriately punish short balls all the time either...
a number of times in her match vs. justine at the open she had a short ball and hit back a shot, not nearly as aggressively as she could have, and then retreated back to the baseline.....

I do think that certain players, like serena, venus and justine, really make you think HARD about each ball that you hit because you know its probably going to come back to you. Kim has the Defensive end of the problem solved, sort of. she is a great defender. she doesn't necessarily take those defensive shots and turn them into offense, though, as do Serena, Venus and Justine...(and Hingis of old..)
You got that one right. Jen sometimes didn´t hit out, specially in the end of the match.

You´re right about Kim. People go ooh and aah about her defense mostly because of her slides, but I think people are neglecting that Serena and Venus do more damage when they are on the defensive than Kim does. Kim slices it back, but Serena and Venus can hit WINNERS.
 

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An interesting point, yet I still feel its all mental with Kim.

Her mentality towards short balls may make her fell inhibited when punishing such short balls i.e. put them back in play and wait for an opportunity rather than try to blast an outright winner.

When you look at Justine and Serena (this years Slam winners) and Venus (the other Slams finalist) you can see how aggressively they hit the ball. Every shot is hit with pure venom, and is put in a place to make life difficult for the opponent.

Kim has the ability to hit winners from behind the baseline, yet never took that chance against Justine. Justine is quick, but does not have a huge wingspan that she can get EVERY ball back.

Like I said, its Kim's mentality towards playing aggressive that is holding her back. I think she is worthy of a couple of Slams, anything more than that will be just a bonus.

I predict right now, Justine will end the year No. 1 and that Kim will fall out of the Top 5 next year. Hold me to it :)
 

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With all the points Kim will have to defend, with her current game and attitude, I find it near impossible to see her actually improving on her already stellar results.

Unless her game improves and she is more mentally tough, the only way is down for Ms Clijsters.

I felt sorry for her at the USO, but when she said Justine played too good, I wondered if Kim actually looked at her tennis and realised why it went so wrong. Until she admits that maybe her 'best' tennis isn't showing up when it needs to (be it due to nerves or technique or whatever), she is hardly going to improve.

And I think its very bad news if an injured Venus Williams is able to take the third set of a match 6-1 in the Wimby SFs (where Kim had played so wonderfully to get to).

Kim has a lot of potential, I'm just not sure if she knows how tot REALLY harness it. Hopefully gaining World No. 1 won't make her too complacent and she comes out with an ass kicking game and loses a bit of the Lil Ms Sweetness.

The more girls in the mix, the better, but Kim has to show she can deliver when required. AO 2004 will be a major factor in determining Kim's Slam future for the year 2004.
 

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DEETHELICK said:
With all the points Kim will have to defend, with her current game and attitude, I find it near impossible to see her actually improving on her already stellar results.

Unless her game improves and she is more mentally tough, the only way is down for Ms Clijsters.

I felt sorry for her at the USO, but when she said Justine played too good, I wondered if Kim actually looked at her tennis and realised why it went so wrong. Until she admits that maybe her 'best' tennis isn't showing up when it needs to (be it due to nerves or technique or whatever), she is hardly going to improve.

And I think its very bad news if an injured Venus Williams is able to take the third set of a match 6-1 in the Wimby SFs (where Kim had played so wonderfully to get to).

Kim has a lot of potential, I'm just not sure if she knows how tot REALLY harness it. Hopefully gaining World No. 1 won't make her too complacent and she comes out with an ass kicking game and loses a bit of the Lil Ms Sweetness.

The more girls in the mix, the better, but Kim has to show she can deliver when required. AO 2004 will be a major factor in determining Kim's Slam future for the year 2004.
Yep, ´cause oz is a slow-hardcourts...maybe she can breakthrough there. She ain´t winning wimbledon and the Open and Justine´s too good on clay.
 

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DA FOREHAND said:
Pretty good assesment. Kim needs to get over her allergies regarding the net. She's a fine doubles player what gives?
i wish folks would stop saying this. Kim is NOT a fine doubles player. she plays the same defensive baseline game in doubles as she does in singles. she wins bec the other two women on the other side of the court are doing the exact same thing. women's doubles are not what it used to be. these women rarely approach the net and they rarely poach. watch Kim and Ai Augiyama. Ai stands catty corner at the net but she rarely intercepts ANY shots. she responds only to those shots directed at her. as for Kim, she rarely moves into the court but stays planted at the baseline. that is not doubles tennis. it's singles tennis with 4 players on a larger court. and it is very boring to watch.

as for the initial assessment of Kim, it is correct but incomplete. as far as i see, there were three deficits in Kim's game against Justine. the first is as Steffica Greles describes -- she hits too many mid-court balls that her opponents can crush. second, her game is very predictable -- she is going to try to hit behind you. so if you stay planted, you can be there to return her shot. that's what Justine did. in other words, Kim relied too much on Justine making the errors. she came out with a defensive gameplan; she should have come out with a plan to attack but that is not her game. finally, her problems are mental. she chokes under pressure. that cannot be denied.

i do like her too. she seems like a sweet girl. but Rollo said it best when he said that she needs to "Bit" up if she wants to win the majors.
 
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