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Hi!

I've been thinking about this for a while. Last year, Elena really did have the advantage over Jelena but this year, Jelena's seemed to have skipped past Dementieva and they aren't really in the same league.

This got me thinking. Why did things change so drastically? What's the difference between the two players?

I've been lucky enough to witness two of the matches this year between Elena and Jelena. The one at Hong Kong, I believe was the turning point between these two players.

In the first set, Elena was playing awesome and Jelena was very frustrated with the way things were going. She just couldn't seem to find her rhythm and it was really sad to watch. Elena was really starting to play well and was even laughing at some of Jelena's shots. What kind of got me was that Jelena was able to sense that Dementieva was relaxing and Jelena pounced, recovering from 3-6 0-2 to win 3-6 6-3 6-4.

I think that it was the key.

Elena had all the opportunity to win against Jelena at New Haven but once again, Jelena had the better mental state and pounced and in the end, there was that thrashing at the Kremlin Cup which showed the clear difference between the two players.

The main difference in my opinion is their approach to the game. Jelena recognises she needs to improve however Elena doesn't seem to know that she needs to work on certain things.

While Elena is saying she can beat Venus if they were both at their best, Jelena is saying that the Williamses and Davenport are the best and that Jelena still has to improve to get to their level.

During their Kremlin Cup match, the difference was really noticeable. Jelena was very aware and focused mentally. When pushed out wide and forced to scramble, Jelena would throw a deep ball, while Elena would try and smack the ball back with little success. While Elena's stood behind the baseline for Jelena's 2nd serves, Jelena was a foot inside the baseline for her 2nd serve. Their long rallies were quite good however, at some crucial stages, it was Jelena who took the initiative and came in.

In terms of strokes, serve and volleying, Dokic is a class ahead of Dementieva. The one advantage Dementieva had was her speed however even Dokic has bridged the gap.

While Jelena is saying that she needs to add variety and improve her serve (which is what she is currently doing), I have yet to hear anything from Elena.

Does anyone know anything of what Elena's doing?

<br />What do you think is the difference between the two?

<br />Also, no hate responses, just some logical ones.

Thanks
 

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Jelena is way more consistent than Elena now. Elena just hits every ball as hard as she can, and with little sucess at times. It goes long and wide too. Jelena has learned how to hit angles very well, and is more consistent too but Elena hits with less accuracy. That is a problem for Elena, too many unforced errors.

The serve is bad for both players, but Jelena's is more consistent. She wins more points on serve than Elena.

So I guess with more improvements to her game, Elena can go up the rankings too <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0">
 

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Jelena really has improved a lot in the last 6 months, playing regularly was a big factor as well as her hard work ethic and ability to listen and focus on parts of her game that were seen as weaknesses.

As I said last year and now, Dementieva has never in my opinion been a true top 10 player. Last year (2000) she had a year like Schett did in 1999! A lot of very kind draws with a few easy wins over an out of form Pierce as well as that lucky draw at the US Open and Olympics which to her credit she took full advantage of.

Dementieva is still very talented but has always been a top 15 not really a top ten. This year was like Schett in 2000, it will be interesting to see if she continues to be a 10-20 ranked player or if she can really start to take her game to a higher level of play to that of the top 10.
 

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First off, ILUVJELENA, everything you wrote seems square on. Taking nothing away from Jelena, I wonder about the current Russian tennis system. There are eight Russians in the top 100, quite a respectable number.

15 ELENA DEMENTIEVA<br />34 LINA KRASNOROUTSKAYA<br />36 ELENA LIKHOVTSEVA<br />39 NADIA PETROVA<br />40 TATIANA PANOVA<br />49 ELENA BOVINA<br />59 ANASTASIA MYSKINA<br />75 ANNA KOURNIKOVA

Between them, they have 3 TWA tour wins. Two by Likhovtseva, one by Myskina. Is it possible that thr Russian system is better a producing good tennis players than winning ones? Does that question even make sense?
 

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wow!

and i thought the difference was just a J... <img src="tongue.gif" border="0">
 

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Don't be a lame bitch <img src="tongue.gif" border="0">
 

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Hello

I think both gals are great, they play well and are definitely part of the future of tennis..

They both are power hitters, especially Dementieva!

The key to Dementieva actaully pushing her game forward is firstly to get a full time coach, its worth investing in...

A coach will be able to help identify any weaknesses in her game, which she can then improve on..

Jelena accepts that there are aspects to improve in her game which is a huge step, Elena hasnt taken that step yet for herself.

Also her game is to hit every ball hard as she can, mixing it up, especially the pace and choice of shots would really help her.

She is adding variety, but not enough!

But she has a lot of things in her favour, she hits the ball hard, is speedy, can keep up with the big gals, has a good first serve (2nd is very suspect though!) and NO...she didnt have any kind draws, she beat Martinez and Huber at the Open, then defeated Jelena and sum1 else at the Olympics and knocked out defending champion Lindsay at the Chase.....hello these people are world class players!

And she has dropped due to injuries and confidence (a coach would help that!!)

She also beat Hingis, ASV and Mauresmo (on clay)...

She is a top 10 player, she just needs to improve her game, get a coach, add variety, spice up that secong serve and stay looking as beautiful as she does <img src="wink.gif" border="0">

Anyone agree???
 

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Agree with ya DEETHELICK

Elena needs a full-time coach who is with her all year around.

Elena is a Top 10 player IMO but you can only have 10 top 10 players.

So when Anna and Pierce come back fit who of the 10 will drop out then ????
 

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How's Dementieva mentally? Is she a good tactical player? Does she change during a match if her strategies aren't working? Under pressure, do her nerves negatively impact her performance?

Can she hit hard near the lines?<br />Can she hit hard on the run?

Egg had the right of it. Elena is a top ten player, but unfortunately we have about 16 of those, counting Anna and Mary.
 

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I think the discussion would have been relevant some monthes ago. All said above could be applicable to season past. But now it is not. It will be very different in new season. I noticed it a long time ago, that between two players of similar caliber tendencies rarely stay from year to year. Dementieva has a good mind, she seems to be very dedicated to the game, I am sure she'll come up with something to catch up.
 

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Well, although nicely worded, this post has several factual errors.<br />
<br />I've been lucky enough to witness two of the matches this year between Elena and Jelena. The one at Hong Kong, I believe was the turning point between these two players.<hr></blockquote><br />Hong Kong is an exhibition, I wouldn't base my analysis in an exhibition, or in one single match. If that's the case, I saw Jelena against Petrova in a REAL tournament, and if I was to judge for one math I would say Jelena isn't even a top 100 player, of course I think she is a top 10 player, but you can't judge based on one match and specially if it's an exhibition.

Elena laughing at Jelena's shots???, I really don't think so, she might have been smiling or laughing because it was an exhibition, I have never seen Elena making fun of other players.

What the analysis omits is the fact that Elena was injured for quite a long time, she got injured at Amelia Island and returned in the French Open, missing the entire clay season. Coming back in a GS is not easy and then she played Wimbledon which is her worst surface, not really a confidence booster.

In Kremlin's Cup, Elena was exhausted after beating Martina Hingis, and playing with the burden of being in front of her local crowd.<br />It's important to notice that Elena, unlike Jelena, has strong national ties, she really loves her country (and knows which country it is <img src="wink.gif" border="0"> ) and feels delighted to play and win for and in Russia. Notice that Elena still lives in Moscow, and has said that winning the Olympics for her country is more important than winning a Grand Slam. I don't necessarily agree with her on that but it's her position and I think it must be respected and praised for that.

Maybe Jelena has an edge on strokes (accuracy) and serve, and surely mental strenght (at the moment), but volley???, of course Jelena volleys better than Elena, even my 2 years old niece does!!!, but I wouldn't count volleys among Jelena's strength certainly, that's if you really know what a volley is...

Respect to what somebody said that Elena really got to the top 10 thanks to easy draws... excuse me?, is Lindsay Davenport an en easy draw? is Kim Clijsters an easy draw?, Anke Huber, Conchita Martinez, etc.

And it's really ironic that this points comes here, when you really can see that Jelena was so succesful precisely because she got very easy draws: Brazil, Tokyo (she beat Kim here, I give her that), Moscow, Zurich, Linz. In all those tournaments, as soon she faced a top player she lost without a decent fight: Davenport 3 times, Monica, Hantuchova, Hingis, etc.<br />Not putting Jelena down, but you can't use that argument on Elena to say why Dokic is better, Jelena is young and learning, but she isn't ready for the top players and advanced in the rankings playing like mad and getting easy draws.
 

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Another thing, Elena Dementieva didn't play worse than an year ago, even result-wise, in regular season she earned even more points than last year, apart from Championships , of course. It's just that the point distribution is very different this year. I remember that in 2000 players have played in Chase ( even as alternates ) with somewhat like 1200 points in a season.

I disagree with Fignon on one thing, Elena Dementieva is quite a competent volleyer, I saw her playing doubles, she has no problems there. Her volleys do tend to degrade in tight situations, but whose ones wouldn't..

I expect a lot of good things for Elena. She and Marat had their sophomore slump year in 2001. Now it is time to strike back.
 

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ys, I actually saw an entire doubles qualifying match at the Canadian Open. Elena was playing with Lina against I think Elena Bovina and Alicia Molik. Elena clearly felt uncomfortable at the net, walking always back and trying to play from the baseline.

I don't think she feels comfortable at all at the net, she likes to play from the baseline and is very good hunting down balls and returning a winner.
 

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I saw the same doubles qualifying match! <img src="redface.gif" border="0"> lol

Indeed Elena did look very uncomfortable playing the net, and it cost them in the end. Bovina and Molik hadn't played all that amazing through doubles qualifying together despite both being decent doubles players really, yet they were still able to edge out Elena and Lina in the end.

I think right now Jelena is slightly ahead of Elena, she's starting to develop more and improve her weaknesses, and I think Elena has yet to really do that. However as mentioned, Elena also did have quite a few injuries, so I think that obviously it was going to be hard for her to improve when most of the season looked to be a battle between her and her confidence level.
 

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The match that I saw was against Sidot/Loit at US Open. Sidot/Loit is not a bad team, yet Dementieva/Husarova outplayed them handily, with Elena doing everything right, at net, with sharp angled returns. I was very impressed. Needless to say, she and Myskina made to the final of Kremlin Cup where it took SG to stop them..
 

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ys .... she made KC final with Lina <img src="smile.gif" border="0">

She is only a part-time doubles player though as well.
 

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The differnce is Dementieva was coming off an injury and Dokic was not, but Dokic has improved. Dementieva struggled at Wimbledon and then was creamed by Huber, whom she usually beats. Any player coming off an injury will struggle with their form for awhile and Elena clearly did to me. The answer to who is better can be answered next year if they are both injury free.
 

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I like Elena a lot, but I do wonder about some of her tennis decisions, at least if they have been correctly reported. For example, at last year's Australian Open we were told that Elena was having trouble adjusting to a new racket. Really, is a Grand Slam the best time and place to test yourself with a new racket??? It doesn't make sense.

As for the crowds fighting for places in the top 10, I see both Dementieva and Dokic probably floating around #8 to #15. I picture Kournikova more floating between #10- #18 or so once she gets back in gear. The reason is that the very top group is much, much stronger than before -- which of these 3 do you see beating Serena, Venus, Jennifer, Lindsay or even Monica regularly in 2002? Right now I don't see any of these 3 reaching #7 or above for any sustained period of time.<br />And don't forget that even younger players, and late bloomers such as Shaughnessy, will be battling this group to reach that level too.
 

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Both Jelena and Elena are talented and attractive. And likable. But the main difference between Jelena and Elena is mental. Jelena is a conqueror! Elena is conquered! At the 2001 Kremlin Cup final, Dokic's surperior mental toughness came into play. Both girls were tired. But Jelena got pumped up to play Elena in her hometown. Jelena pumped her fist and yelled "come on" a few times during the match. That only pumped up Jelena and deflated Elena. At first I was surprised how easily Jelena cut up Elena in the Kremlin Cup final. Then I got to thinking. Jelena is mentally tougher than Elena. She also has more variety in her game. But the biggest difference is that Jelena has cunning court qualities and a killer instinct. Elena doesn't. But Jelena will have alot of pressure on her next year. Let's see how she handles that.

P.S. - I'm starting to worry about Elena. She still refuses to leave Russia for greener pastures, and greater training facilities. I get the impression that Elena, and some of the other Russian girls are content with making some money and being a good player. But I think Elena can still be a very good player. I just hope it matters to her.
 
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