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Clijsters or Henin?

Who has more overall talent and will have a better career? Please give your opinions.

[ November 11, 2001: Message edited by: SerenasBoobs4President ]</p>
 

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Henin has more talent as a shotmaker, Kim is stronger physically, has softer hands and head&shoulders above in gamesmanship department (acting talent).
 

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I think Kim is better than Justine even though Justine is one of my favorites. I have to admit that Kim better. She hits it with more power and has more winners, plus her serve doesn't let her down on crucial matches. But that's just my opinion. <img src="smile.gif" border="0">
 

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Kim has a very slight advantage on Clay Courts because she's mentally and physically tough, but Justine is the better player suited for Grass. Just a nice game. Hard Court, it seems even. If i had to rate more potential than the other, i'd say Justine because she has great variety to throw players off.
 

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Justine!
 

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Justine! <img src="graemlins/wavey.gif" border="0" alt="[Wavey]" />
 

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Kim has heaps of talent, but Justine slightly more if that's the only barometer you want to go on.

Kim has more power, better shot selection, and at this moment in time is the better player. Justine has every shot and is wonderful at them, but goes for the wrong option more often than Kim does.

Post-USO Kim has been second in the world behind Lindsay (though I guess Monica might have something to say about that after what she did in Asia).

But on talent alone, Justine.

[ November 12, 2001: Message edited by: thefreedesigner ]</p>
 

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Since you are talking about talent it's Justine, no doubt about that. But Kim has lots of talent too, and she's stronger then Justine.

Kim can win matches just because of her power, that's why she's higher ranked now. I think talented players like Justine need more experience to win easy matches...
 

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Tennis ability - Justine has all the shots. I like her movement and general overall game. Serve needs more consistency. Could become the next great serve and volleyer.

Serve and Power - I like Kim..she kind of reminds me of Serena. Good ground strokes. Hit shot for shot with Lindsay at Munich. Not many can say that.

Overall, I think Kim will win more. Power now is the name of the game. Physically she is better.
 

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Talent: Justine

That's probably irrational. I have trouble thinking clearly about Justine. I still can't get over her matching running games with Serena at Sanex. Even VENUS doesn't try that against Serena.
 

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Power can win you lots of matches these days, while Kim overpowers alotta girls, Justine gets overpowered by the top girls. Kim handles playing the top girls better. Kim beat Lindsay and Hingis on hardcourts, one of their best surfaces. Justine beat Venus on clay {Venus worst surface} and Capriati on grass {Jens worst surface}.

I think Kim will have the better career, unless Justine can beef up her serve. Plus Justine squanders leads all of the time while Kim stays on you like a pit bull. Lindsay hat to hit her way out of trouble against Kim, Kim didn't choke.

[ November 12, 2001: Message edited by: Serena_TheBody_Williams ]</p>
 

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Brief assessment:

Forehand - Kim's is better, although Justine's is also pretty good. This side is a weapon for both players, although Kim's is more effective.

Backhand - Kim's backhand is pretty good, but it's not as attacking as Justine's. It's difficult for Kim to hit as many winners off her backhand side as her forehand whereas Justine can hit winners off both sides.

Groundstrokes generally - Justine has the edge on the variety front because she can hit winners from both wings and the singlehanded backhand gives her more angle on that shot. But Kim is more consistent at the moment, whereas Justine hits too many unforced errors.

Volleys - I would say about even. Kim has more confidence at net, but she's still a little heavy handed with her volleying whereas Justine has better touch.

Serve - at the moment Kim's is much better. Justine's main problem isn't her serve intrisically so much as the fact that her 1st serve percentage isn't high enough. When her serves go in, she almost always wins the point.

Concentration/mental toughness - this is tricky. Justine is a great fighter - she often loses the first set but wins the match, great comeback against Conchita in Fed Cup, numerous other examples. But Kim tends not to get in that kind of position in the first place. She rarely has to "fight back" because she hasn't let the match get away from her to start with. Justine loses consistency under pressure, whereas Kim doesn't. So on balance, Kim wins this one.

Overall, I think that Justine's groundstrokes are slightly better (although there's not much in it, as Kim's forehand is gorgeous), Kim's concentration & mental toughness is better than Justine's, and that at the moment Kim serves better than Justine. If Justine improves her first serve percentage, cuts down on her unforced errors, and comes to net more (especially on grass), she'll be better than Kim. If Justine plays up to her full potential, she'll be better than Kim.

Having said that, I think that one of Juju's problems is that she has to play her A-game in order to win matches against top 20 players whereas Kim can overpower a lot of players and only really needs to exert herself against the top 4. But, on balance, Justine does have more than Kim in the sense that her A-game is better.
 

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Like Volcana, I'm probably incapable of marking unbiased assessments on Justine Henin's abilities. Before the fall indoor season I was going on about how much more "Slam capable" Henin was...but now I'm inclined to think that Clijsters is the more capable player.

Here I go anyway:

On actual tennis skills, Henin is more talented. She has more weapons than she knows what to do with. The only shot that's seriously lacking compared to the rest is her serve...and I'm not sure that it's the serve itself but her nerves at work. I'll put her "tennis abilities" this way: given her natural disadvantage (size), she'd have to be that much more talented to hang in the top ten.

On physical attributes, Clijsters wins by a landslide. She's not much taller but she's a lot more "built." She's a bit "genetically gifted" being the daughter of an international footballer and a gymnast. Sometimes I see her do things on a court that I know would "break" all the other top ten players. And Justine gets injured what seems like every other month.

<br />Who will have the better career?

Kim is all set for success but it's far too early for me to make a call on Justine. Kim has results over the past couple of years that you could put on a chart and follow easily. Justine had some awful injuries...and under the old divisor scoring system she wouldn't have been ranked so low last year. Try to put her achievements in a chart and you get all different sorts of answers. She's like a high-risk stock! It's quite likely that Henin could fall big-time next year. (Weight of expectation does her head in.) If Kim slips far down the rankings I will be shocked!

Kim wins on mental strength...but Justine is shorter on big-time match experience than her compatriot. In fact, she's the shortest on match experience out of the whole top 10.

Right now, I'd have to say that Kim will be the more successful player. She's the more successful player now, ranking and title-wise at least. But Justine's game is very much still under development...much more so than Kim's because she's more finesse-based than power-based. I think finesse games take longer to develop...and at this time in the women's game it will be interesting to see if finesse could survive the power onslaught.

If not, I might stop watching.

I'd like to see someone make an argument for Justine as being the more successful player in future. Anyone out there? (Or should I play Devil's Advocate?)
 

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I'm definitely in agreement with the last two assessments by sk and cynicole.... good work ppl!!

I'm a big fan of both girls and I'm really happy that Belgium won the Fed Cup. However, I would like to see Justine go further just because I think the WTA needs to see more of the variety of game at the top.

I do think that Kim will probably continue to be the better player throughout the years, which is fine.... just as long as both are doing well and maintaining spots in the Top 10, it's all good
 

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I'd disagree with the statment that Justine has to play her A-game to beat Top 20 players.

I don't think we've really seen Justine's A-game!!!!

The way she played in sets 2 and 3 against Capriati at Wimbledon is getting very close, and that's probably the best I've seen her this year. Primarily because Capriati was most definitely in fom and the player to beat.

Oh, and Volcano was it looking for a reason why Henin could be the more successful player?

Henin's game will last longer than Kim's, which is kind of vogueish. Henin's will also improve with time (more so than I think Kim's might).

But that's just me playing Devil's Advocate!
 

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You're perfectly right. But I didn't mean it quite like that. What I meant was that Justine always has to work harder to beat good players than Kim does. This takes its toll on her body, it also makes it less likely that she'll get to the last rounds of a big tournament because whereas Kim can have an off-day and still win, Justine can't. Well, she can but not as often.

The main reason for me that Kim is likely to be more successful, is that Justine is so physically frail. The way that she plays, she is inevitably going to pick up injuries and wear herself down on surfaces. But, she might well end up with a better win-loss record than Kim and perhaps a better slamswon-slamslost record. It's just that she's unlikely to be able to play as much.
 

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Justine has more natural talent than Kim. In fact, pound for pound, I think Henin is the most talented player in women's tennis. But Kim is the better player because she is much bigger and stronger than Justine. Kim wore Justine down in their 2001 French Open semifinal. Kim also plays great defense. Kim is also stronger mentally than Justine. Add all that up and Kim is the better player. But Justine is more talented. They both are fabulous all court players with great futures.

P.S. - Ys, why did you come up with the gamesmanship department for Kim? Is that really fair? Are you still mad at her because she is dominating Demetieva now, and beats the Russian girls left and right?
 

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It will be interesting to see how Justine's game develops over the coming year(s). I think what we're seeing with Kim is what we're going to see from her for years to come...except that she will most likely win more times than not.

I don't think Justine will excel or last playing from the baseline. As nice as her groundstrokes are, they take a lot of work from her and will wear her down. I'm not saying that she should become a serve-and-volleyer but she should find her way up to the net more. She's a pretty good net player (imagine that aspect of her game improving!) and perhaps it will relieve her of some physical stress.

The game Henin is playing now is NOT going to last longer than Ciljsters'...and sadly it's because of her physical stature. Henin's "potential" game might.

Perhaps I'll compile their 2001 losses...so we could see if we can infer anything from them? It might be interesting.
 

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LOSSES

None of this really tells us anything about talent. And perhaps it doesn't tell us anything about their future success either. But here's a comparison of their losses (NOTE: Ranks used are "year-end"):

Kim Clijsters<br />Total Losses: 19<br />3-Set Losses: 7<br />2-Set Losses: 11<br />Walkovers: 1<br />Losses to the Top 10: 11 (1 w/o)<br />Losses Outside the Top 25: 4 (53-Diaz-Oliva, 33-Kremer, 69-Gagliardi, 30-Sugiyama)<br />Tie Breakers Won in Losses: 0<br />Tie Breakers Lost in Losses: 1<br />Median Rank Lost To: 7

Justine Henin<br />Total Losses: 18<br />3-Set Losses: 12 (1 ret.)<br />2-Set Losses: 6 (1 ret.)<br />Walkovers: 0<br />Losses to the Top 10: 10 (1 ret.)<br />Losses Outside the Top 25: 2 (26-Serna; 90-Garbin)<br />Tie Breakers Won in Losses: 2<br />Tie Breakers Lost in Losses: 5<br />Median Rank Lost To: 10

Additional Notes:<br />- Both players have "out of top 25" losses to a doubles partner (Sugiyama and Serna).<br />- 3 of Kim's "out of top 25" losses were on clay.

<br />Conclusions? I think there's at least one very glaring number in there. Do you see it?

[ November 14, 2001: Message edited by: cynicole ]</p>
 
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