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Discussion Starter #1
In the Career Grand Slam thread, people keep confidently predicting Venus to win Roland Garros and saying what a great clay court player she is. Well, I looked up the stats and it's rubbish!<br />While she doesn't have a terribly clay court record, it's certainly nothing in comparison to many other players on tour. E.g. Hingis, Seles, Henin, Mauresmo, ASV, Martinez et cetera.

I'm not saying that she won't win RG at some point, but to suggest that she's a serious contender this year is ridiculous. Her clay game needs an awful lot of work & until she takes the clay season as seriously as she does the hard-court tournis it's not going to happen.

<br />2001 record is:

Betty Barclay Cup Clay 1 Bye <br /> 2 Gala Leon Garcia W 6-1, 6-2 <br /> QF Silvia Farina Elia W 6-1, 6-1 <br /> SF Jelena Dokic W 6-3, 6-1 <br /> F Meghann Shaughnessy W 6-3, 6-0

German Open Clay 1 Bye <br /> 2 Karina Habsudova W 6-3, 6-3 <br /> 3 Justine Henin L 1-6, 4-6

French Open Clay 1 Barbara Schett L 4-6, 4-6

and 2000 is:

Betty Barclay Cup Clay 1 Bye<br /> 2 Irina Spirlea W 5-7, 6-2, 6-2 <br /> QF Amanda Coetzer L 3-6, 4-6

<br />Tennis Masters Series Clay 1 Bye <br />-- Roma 2 Chanda Rubin W 6-1, 6-2 <br /> 3 Jelena Dokic L 1-6, 2-6

<br />French Open Clay 1 Jana Kandarr W 6-0, 6-3<br /> 2 Tamarine Tanasugarn W 6-2, 6-2<br /> 3 Emilie Loit W 6-2, 6-2<br /> 4 Anke Huber W 7-6, 6-2<br /> QF Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario L 0-6, 6-1, 2-6
 

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Hmmm I don't know I think she's unpredictable on clay. For instance in 1999, which you forgot to include, she won Betty Barclay and Italian Open over Pierce in both events! <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0">
 

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Oh and 2000, she was just coming off her injury if that means anything, don't know. I stand by the fact that she's unpredictable. Like in 1999 losing to Schwartz after having match points! <img src="frown.gif" border="0">
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Actually, I just didn't bother to look up 1999 as it seemed too long ago to be relevent given how much she's improved since.

But we may as well have them anyway.

1998:

Italian Open Clay 1 Yayuk Basuki W 6-2, 6-3<br /> 2 Maria Sanchez Lorenzo W 6-1, 6-4<br /> 3 Alexandra Fusai W 6-1, 6-1<br /> QF Serena Williams W 6-4, 6-2<br /> SF Arantxa Sanchez Vicario W 6-3, 2-6, 7-5<br /> F Martina Hingis L 3-6, 6-2, 3-6

French Open Clay 1 Tamarine Tanasugarn W 6-3, 6-1<br /> 2 Ai Sugiyama W 6-0, 6-2<br /> 3 Alexia Dechaume-Balleret W 6-2, 6-1<br /> 4 Henrieta Nagyova W 6-1, 6-3<br /> QF Martina Hingis L 3-6, 4-6

and 1999:

Bausch & Lomb Clay 1 Bye<br />Championships 2 Sonya Jeyaseelan L 4-6, 6-7<br />--------------------------------------------------------------------------------<br />Betty Barclay Cup Clay 1 Bye<br /> 2 Magui Serna W 6-3, 6-1<br /> QF Amanda Coetzer W 6-4, 6-3<br /> SF Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario W 6-1, 6-3<br /> F Mary Pierce W 6-0, 6-3 <br />--------------------------------------------------------------------------------<br />Italian Open Clay 1 Bye<br /> 2 Gala Leon Garcia W 7-5, 4-6, 6-4<br /> 3 Anna Kournikova W 6-2, 6-2<br /> QF Dominique Van Roost W 7-6, 6-2<br /> SF Martina Hingis W 6-4, 1-6, 6-4<br /> F Mary Pierce W 6-4, 6-2

French Open Clay 1 Alexandra Fusai W 6-1, 6-1<br /> 2 Natasha Zvereva W 7-6, 6-0<br /> 3 Alicia Molik W 6-3, 6-1<br /> 4 Barbara Schwartz L 6-2, 6-7, 3-6
 

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Well, I don't think you can say that Venus is a threat on clay as she played well on this surface only 3 weeks (in a row) in 4 years!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
But the point is that clay is not a surface you can afford to be unpredictable on. You need patience and consistency on clay which Venus hasn't yet developed. As I said before, I'm sure she'll get there if she wants to, but she's definitely not there now.
 

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anybody can look up old facts and say that this person is not good on clay because results say this but we'll never know this unless that player actually goes out and plays,those results were from last year this is a new tennis season and anything is possible,once again we have to look at jennifer,she lost in the first round in 2000 and i'm sure nobody thought she would anything in 2001,but she ended going from losing in the first round in 2000 to the winner in 2001,so we can only say so much from old facts,also we don't know what kind of training venus has done to help herself on clay,until we know this we can't judge her or anyone else on there clay ability,i'm not automatically saying that venus will win the french open but no matter what the results she always be considered a favourite just because she is one of the higher ranked players.
 

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Bad stats does nothing when it comes to Venus. <img src="tongue.gif" border="0"> <img src="wink.gif" border="0">

Venus came from nowhere to win the Wimbledon. She has shown her ability to play on clay. So it is all a matter of putting in the work and the commitment, getting the timing right. Mostly, getting the mental approach right. Once that is set, I think Venus has a great chance of winning the RG one day <img src="smile.gif" border="0">
 

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<img src="rolleyes.gif" border="0"> The regular season is barely upon us, but here "we" are talking about what Venus Williams can and cannot do. <img src="rolleyes.gif" border="0">

<br />
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Actually, I wouldn't say that Venus came out of nowhere to win Wimbledon. I always thought her game was well suited to grass, and I think a lot of people did the same.

With clay, it's a matter of putting in the work & effort. At the moment I get the impression that the clay season and RG isn't as important to Venus as the big hardcourt tournis and the U.S.Open. But, of course, if she does decide that she really wants to win RG she could do not. Not this year, and I don't think she could ever dominate RG but I wouldn't bet against her winning it at some point.
 

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most of those people who you have named as having better records than Venus on clay, have been playing much longer than she has. The only 2 who have played less that have better records are Henin and Mauresmo. So if that's your argument for Venus not winning RG its a little wobbly.

She's won titles on clay in 2 out of the last 3 years, and she made it to the quarters of RG in 2000 after being out for 6 months. She lost to ASV in 3 sets who is no slouch, so as far as I'm concerned that was a good showing.

Venus has the game for clay. Her chances for winning RG THIS COMING YEAR are just as good as anyone of the people you mentioned earlier.

If Jennifer Capriati and Mary Pierce can win it, then certainly Venus can.

btw--if Venus wins Oz, look for her to complete the slam.
 

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I love digging up stats as much as the next person. But I do think that Venus' chances of winning RG is a lot better than her stats say.

She tore through the draw at Hamburg. She's beaten players like Hingis on clay.

And look at Clijsters. She made a semifinal on clay and then lost 3 straight times on the surface and then made the RG final, and got to 2 points from winning the thing. And I think she lost first round in 2000.

And look at Henin's grass stats prior to this year. They were crap. I'm a huge Henin fan but I wouldn't read much into her clay stats either. Who did she beat on clay? Venus and who else? Who has Venus beaten? I think over the years she's gotten the better of Hingis, ASV and Pierce. Not bad there. She's won Hamburg and Rome. What does Henin have? Tier IV Antwerp.

Not counting Fed Cup, Clijsters doesn't even have a clay title.

I wouldn't read much into the stats.

I don't think that there really are any players particularly honed to clay. They just can't afford to be. So I don't think that there's any current player now who will dominate RG. Not Venus, not anyone. But I think they all pretty much have a shot at winning it...except for maybe Lindsay for attitude reasons (she just doesn't seem to like the stuff).
 
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I'm with you Moon. Venus has a chance. I think Venus has a Steffi Graf-like clay mentality which I think means she will need to be much more patient on clay and not try to go for as many winners. Venus has played badly on clay and she has played great on clay. The matches she won and lost have been posted already.

I think Venus' main problem in Paris is she thinks she has improved her forehand so now she can win it b/c her strokes are consistent so she gets overconfident. She needs to take each player seriously and not think she is going to cruise through. She should realise that she is a huge target especially on clay b/c her serve and fast game is slowed down some.
 

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Interesting that Venus played my Arantxa at least once every year from 1998-2000. But I think 2000 was somewhat of a fluke. She SHOULD have beaten Jelena and Amanda. Not so sure of the French Open though. <img src="wink.gif" border="0">
 

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Actually, I just didn't bother to look up 1999 as it seemed too long ago to be relevent given how much she's improved since. <hr></blockquote>

<br />heeeheeeeee... but you managed to LOOK UP the year 2000 results right? The year Venus was OUT injured for months, then came back, right at the clay court season. 1999 is "too long ago" to be relevant, but THE VERY NEXT FOLLOWING YEAR IS?
 

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I find this an interesting topic - I think that Venus will one day win Roland Garros, maybe even this year.

I think that what she needs to do is play a full clay court season - to give her as good a chance as possible - the most important thing being to build up her confidence.

Her mental attitude is not as strong as on other surfaces I feel - I have seen it quoted that her ambition is to win the French open so she perhaps seems less confident on clay than on other surfaces.

In 2001 in France it looked to me that she was struggling for answers when in the tight match situation - and she looked underprepared against Schett who is an excellent player with the abilities to capitalise. When Venus gets into that situation she normally finds a way out but that day she didn't look like she believed she could.

Of course she could just turn around and win it with no warm up as she has a tendency to do, but I would like this year to see her fully committed and build herself up to peak there which depends on playing more clay matches than last year and not getting injured.
 

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Kart,<br />I agree with most of your synopsis in your topic. However, I think Venus was very prepared for the clay season in 2001. She played the proper amount of warmup tournaments (one tourney she actually didn't lose a set). In another, she lost to a hot Henin who was too much for Venus on that day (what do you do in a situation like that?).

Even as we saw the draw, we knew that Venus would have an interesting match against Schett. We knew that if Venus were not on the top of her game that day, then an upset was inevitable. Well, that's exactly what happened. To me, though, she looked like she was in wonderful physical condition, and in the match, she ran down every ball. Schett was wonderful and was not intimidated by the big match situation. I believe that if Venus would have gotten through Schett in that first round that she could have done some serious damage at the 2001 French.
 

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clocker <img src="smile.gif" border="0">

I agree - if she had beaten Schett she would have gone a long way.

Last year though Venus was entered for the Italian open but then pulled out through injury - meaning that she only really played six clay matches before, when she was planning to play more.

This year I'm hoping that she'll play the full three warm-ups instead of the two last year and I think that will improve her chances of playing more matches - assuming dhe doesn't run into players playing as well as Henin that day (although I didn't see it I heard she was very good).
 

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"But I think 2000 was somewhat of a fluke. She SHOULD have beaten Jelena and Amanda."

On talent alone, perhaps she should have won those matches. However I see that she lost both in straight sets, and was crushed by Jelena.<br />In which cause she shouldn't have won, since the match was never in her grasp anyhow. Though I think you were just referring to my first sentance anyhow, in which case I already agreed.

" The regular season is barely upon us, but here "we" are talking about what Venus Williams can and cannot do. "

Well seeing as there are about 5 or 6 threads devoted to Jennifer Capriati's demise, I think its a legitimate topic. YOu might note that SK never said that Venus wouldn't win ROland Garros - she just said she wasn't picking her this year.

Furthermore, as a top player, Venus is open to analysis. I don't give a crap WHO she is - no top player is imune to it.

Heavy Hitta: I have a feeling sk only included the last 2 years, cause she didn't think about the year 200 injury. To be honest, when I read the stats, I didn't think about it either.

Beleive it or not, not EVERYONE is just trying to make Venus look bad. They were just stats - no reason to get all worked up about it <img src="tongue.gif" border="0">

[ December 29, 2001: Message edited by: Becca ]</p>
 
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