Tennis Forum banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,730 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Women's Look Forward: Week of May 26
Posted on 5/25/2003 at 1:35 PM

Women's Look Forward: Roland Garros

And so they dodge the bullet: Venus and Serena Williams will not be meeting in a Slam semifinal. At least, not this week; there is always Wimbledon.

Not that that translates into easy draws for either woman. In fact, if we were Serena, we might prefer facing Venus in the semifinal to this draw, especially Amelie Mauresmo in the quarterfinal.

It will, perhaps, tell us something about the last twelve months that, going into Roland Garros 2002, the leading contenders were generally thought to be Venus Williams, Jennifer Capriati, and Justine Henin-Hardenne. Then came the Serena Williams onslaught, and a year later, our best bets are Serena, Henin-Hardenne, Amelie Mauresmo, and Kim Clijsters, with Venus at #5. Thus only one top threat of 2002 is still considered a top threat this year.

Those five really do seem to be the strong favorites, though. Lindsay Davenport is no threat on clay. Jennifer Capriati has won exactly one title in the past two years, and that was the 2002 Australian Open. Nothing in the sixteen months since. Chanda Rubin and Daniela Hantuchova and Jelena Dokic have yet to achieve consistent results at Slams. The Russians are falling apart -- Elena Dementieva and Elena Bovina are just coming off injuries, Tatiana Panova and Anna Kournikova are out, Anastasia Myskina isn't going deep in the big events. That leaves Vera Zvonareva as their top contender, but she's still not Top 20 -- and she has played a fairly full schedule in the past year, so her ranking isn't artificially low, either. Mary Pierce is perpetually troubled by injuries, Iva Majoli is a mess, Monica Seles has a bad foot. Who's left? Nobody that we can think of.

In the interest of doing something a little different, let's try a new way of looking at what the more noteworthy players face in the draw

Serena Williams
How She's Been Doing Lately: Brilliantly, of course -- except on clay. There was a rumour in our paper today that she's out of shape. Our guess is that it's from one of those non-tennis journalists who doesn't know how Serena is built. It seems unlikely, given Serena's work habits. What she doesn't have is clay habits. After winning all her matches on hardcourts and indoors, she's gone nothing-for-two in clay events. Biggest Problems in this Draw: Her early rounds are pretty tough: Barbara Rittner, her first opponent, likes clay, and she faces a solid young player in the second round in Marie-Gaianeh Mikaelian. In the third, she could face last year's semifinalist Clarisa Fernandez (who, however, hasn't looked that good lately) or Barbara Schett or Mary Pierce. The Round of Sixteen is easy. But then comes Mauresmo, then Henin-Hardenne. Realistic Expectations: Serena is surely the most determined player out there right now, and that's worth a lot. If she can get to the final, she should win. But can she beat both Mauresmo and Henin-Hardenne, the two players with wins over her this year, to get to the final?

Clarisa Fernandez
How She's Been Doing Lately: Poorly. Expect her to drop fast, and not regain ground away from clay. Biggest Problems in this Draw: In order, Mary Pierce, Barbara Schett (who beat her at Madrid), and Serena. Realistic Expectations: If she gets to the third round match with Serena, she'll have done well.

Meghann Shaughnessy
How She's Been Doing Lately: After a terrible 2002, she seems to be close to her 2001 form. But not on clay. Biggest Problems in this Draw: Svetlana Kuznetsova in the first round. Realistic Expectations: If she can make it past the young Russian, she could well reach the Round of Sixteen against Serena.

Svetlana Kuznetsova
How She's Been Doing Lately: She's slowed down a little since her big results last year, but she's definitely a danger and looking to climb. Biggest Problems in this Draw: Her own inconsistency. She may well be the best clay player in her sixteenth. Realistic Expectations: Good chance to make the Round of Sixteen. Probably not ready to beat Serena yet.

Ai Sugiyama
How She's Been Doing Lately: Having a banner year, and posted her best-ever clay result at Rome. But that seems more likely to be fluke than trend. Biggest Problems in this Draw: Clay, first and foremost. Virginia Ruano Pascual is a tough first round opponent. Realistic Expectations: A first round loss is possible. Reaching the Round of Sixteen would be a surprise

Daniela Hantuchova
How She's Been Doing Lately: Poorly. She's officially healthy, but she's clearly playing below her abilities. And clay is her worst surface. Biggest Problems in this Draw: She'll face Ashley Harkleroad in the second, then Anna Pistolesi or Magui Serna in the third. Realistic Expectations: A loss in the second round would be a surprise, but not a stunning one; a loss in the third would be no surprise at all; a win over Amelie Mauresmo in the Round of Sixteen seems almost impossible.

Ashley Harkleroad
How She's Been Doing Lately: Definitely turning into a force on clay, though she still has to win a big one. Biggest Problems in this Draw: Can she do well for two consecutive weeks? She'll have to face very different opponents in Hantuchova and then Pistolesi or Serna. Realistic Expectations: Should win her opener. Might win the second round. Third will be harder, and she doesn't appear to have a chance against Mauresmo yet.

Magui Serna
How She's Been Doing Lately: Solid clay results, but still notorious for her inconsistency. Biggest Problems in this Draw: Serna's problem in every round is that she's Magui Serna. Realistic Expectations: If she plays her best, she has a real chance to reach the Round of Sixteen.

Anna Pistolesi
How She's Been Doing Lately: Not nearly as well as in 2002, when she played more weak tournaments. But she likes clay. Biggest Problems in this Draw: Magui Serna. Daniela Hantuchova. Amelie Mauresmo. Realistic Expectations: She should win her opener. Anything after that is a bonus.

Fabiola Zuluaga
How She's Been Doing Lately: Becoming a real threat on clay again; could make the Top 40 here. Biggest Problems in this Draw: She should beat Tamarine Tanasugarn, and has a real chance against Emilie Loit or Elena Likhovtseva. Realistic Expectations: Good chance to reach the third round.

Lina Krasnoroutskaya
How She's Been Doing Lately: Improving, though probably not back to her late 2001 form. Biggest Problems in this Draw: Amelie Mauresmo in the second round. Realistic Expectations: Second round.

Amelie Mauresmo
How She's Been Doing Lately: Other than Henin-Hardenne, probably the best clay results of anyone this year. Biggest Problems in this Draw: She's stuck in Serena's quarter. Realistic Expectations: Certainly ought to make the quarterfinal. Could go deeper; she has a real, though slight, chance to win the whole thing.

Justine Henin-Hardenne
How She's Been Doing Lately: Has won both of the clay Tier I events she's played. Has only one clay loss. Has had two weeks to rest. Looks very solid. Biggest Problems in this Draw: She should cruise to the semifinals. Realistic Expectations: At least the semifinals, and could win the whole thing -- especially if she's lucky enough to face Kim Clijsters, rather than Venus Williams, in the final.

Alexandra Stevenson
How She's Been Doing Lately: Poorly. Biggest Problems in this Draw: Clay. Realistic Expectations: If she can win even one match, it's a gain.

Patty Schnyder
How She's Been Doing Lately: Not as well as she should be doing. Biggest Problems in this Draw: Herself. Realistic Expectations: It should be easy till she hits Eleni Daniilidou in the third round. Could well make the fourth round, though she also could shoot herself in the foot. Unlikely to hurt Henin-Hardenne.

Eleni Daniilidou
How She's Been Doing Lately: Has cooled off a bit after posting solid results early in 2003. Biggest Problems in this Draw: Patty Schnyder could pick on her serve and her movement -- or could go away. Realistic Expectations: Should make third round, and has a shot at the fourth. She has beaten Henin-Hardenne ('s-Hertogenbosch 2002), so she might do better -- but it doesn't seem very likely.

Anastasia Myskina
How She's Been Doing Lately: Inconsistent, even though she's back in the Top Ten. Biggest Problems in this Draw: Opens against Dinara Safina, then clay-loving Petra Mandula or Marta Marrero. Third round might actually be easier. Realistic Expectations: Decent shot at the quarterfinal. Also a decent shot at a first round loss.

Iva Majoli
How She's Been Doing Lately: Catastrophically. Can't win, even on clay. Biggest Problems in this Draw: She may look at her list of opponents and start partying again. They're all good players on hardcourts -- and crummy on clay, even if Laura Granville has just reached the Top 30. Realistic Expectations: If she really applies herself, she should make the third round.

Chanda Rubin
How She's Been Doing Lately: Just won her first clay title, but suffered two bad clay losses before that. Biggest Problems in this Draw: Henrieta Nagyova, her first opponent, used to be good, but is in horrible shape right now. Myriam Casanova in the second might be a little more of a threat. Realistic Expectations: Ought to make it at least to the Round of Sixteen, and has a good chance at the quarterfinal. Not much hope after that.

Jennifer Capriati
How She's Been Doing Lately: Winning the matches she should win, but none of the others. Biggest Problems in this Draw: Few in the early going. Realistic Expectations: Given that her draw is Kruger, Bartoli, Schiavone, Seles (injured) or Coetzer, Venus, she really ought to make the quarterfinal. In a tougher section, she might not have been so lucky. Her odds of going deeper seem slight.

Amanda Coetzer
How She's Been Doing Lately: Much improved this year, but rather quiet lately. Biggest Problems in this Draw: Given Monica Seles's injury, her worst problem may be Katarina Srebotnik in the first round. Which shouldn't be a big problem. Realistic Expectations: Round of Sixteen

Monica Seles
How She's Been Doing Lately: Constantly injured. Biggest Problems in this Draw: Her foot. Not that Nadia Petrova would be a first round pushover even if Seles were healthy. Realistic Expectations: If she were healthy, at least a quarterfinal and maybe even a semi. She isn't healthy. If she plays, that's a minor miracle right there.

Elena Dementieva
How She's Been Doing Lately: Well until she hurt herself; nothing since. Biggest Problems in this Draw: She opens against Maria Sanchez Lorenzo, who just made the Madrid final, then Maja Matevzic, who made the Strasbourg semifinal. Realistic Expectations: Unless she can find a miracle cure, she will probably lose in the first two rounds. Almost certainly in the third, when she faces Vera Zvonareva.

Vera Zvonareva
How She's Been Doing Lately: Lost too soon at Strasbourg, but brilliantly otherwise. Biggest Problems in this Draw: Denisa Chladkova is a small threat in the second round. There are other threats in the third. Realistic Expectations: Given Dementieva's health, she ought to make it to the fourth round and a match with Venus Williams. And given Venus's health and Zvonareva's recent play, even that could be interesting.

Venus Williams
How She's Been Doing Lately: Mostly, she hasn't. She was playing the lightest schedule on the Tour even before she got hurt. Biggest Problems in this Draw: Injuries and lack of warmups. Realistic Expectations: The first seed she faces is Silvia Farina Elia, so she should be all right in the early rounds if she can stay healthy. The fourth round may be trickier. If Venus were healthy and in form, we'd say she's good at least for the semifinal. But we're not sure she's either.

Lindsay Davenport
How She's Been Doing Lately: Off-court, just fine. On court -- well, it's red clay season, and that means she hasn't been playing. Biggest Problems in this Draw: It's clay, and she's allegedly been injured, and Iroda Tulyaganova waits in the second round and Nathalie Dechy in the third. Realistic Expectations: If she's healthier than she said, maybe the quarterfinal. If she's really hurting, then she might go out in the second round.

Iroda Tulyaganova
How She's Been Doing Lately: Much improved, though perhaps still below her 2001 standard. Biggest Problems in this Draw: Faces Lindsay Davenport in the second round. Realistic Expectations: If Davenport is truly injured, she might make the Round of Sixteen or even the quarterfinal.

Nathalie Dechy
How She's Been Doing Lately: Very Dechy-like: Solid but without anything spectacular. She is the #2 Frenchwoman, though, which helps. Biggest Problems in this Draw: None until she faces Lindsay Davenport. Realistic Expectations: Third round certainly. Fourth is a possibility -- and, since she would face Dokic or Martinez there, maybe even a quarterfinal.

Conchita Martinez
How She's Been Doing Lately: Improving, but still not up to her standards. Biggest Problems in this Draw: She finally beat Jelena Dokic two weeks ago, but Dokic has been pounding her in most of their recent meetings. Realistic Expectations: Third round certainly, fourth possibly; faint chance at a quarterfinal.

Jelena Dokic
How She's Been Doing Lately: Badly. Biggest Problems in this Draw: No real threats before Martinez in the third round, though the way Dokic has been playing, that doesn't mean much. Realistic Expectations: A decent chance at the fourth round.

Magdalena Maleeva
How She's Been Doing Lately: This isn't indoors. How do you think? Biggest Problems in this Draw: See previous comment. Biggest test may be Alicia Molik in the first round. Realistic Expectations: Given the lack of clay players in her section, she has a chance at the fourth round. It's far from guaranteed, though.

Elena Bovina
How She's Been Doing Lately: Injured. Biggest Problems in this Draw: Lack of clay matches. No real threats from the field. Realistic Expectations: If she's healthy and has gotten in a lot of clay practice, the fourth round is reasonable.

Paola Suarez
How She's Been Doing Lately: Not as well as she should have. Biggest Problems in this Draw: Daja Bedanova seems to be in bad form, so the real problem will be Kim Clijsters. Realistic Expectations: Third round.

Kim Clijsters
How She's Been Doing Lately: Solid if not spectacular results. Biggest Problems in this Draw: Nothing much prior to the semifinal; the high seeds in her section are Davenport (no red clay matches), Dokic (dreadful slump), Maleeva (hates clay), and Bovina (just back from injury). Realistic Expectations: Should make the semifinal. And she'll be relatively rested, and she's probably healthier than Venus. This might be her best chance yet to go all the way.

The Rankings It's rather shocking to realize that the #1 ranking is actually in play this week -- but it's true. Barely. If Kim Clijsters wins Roland Garros, and Serena Williams loses early, Clijsters is #1.

Realistically, it won't happen. (Things will be more interesting at Wimbledon.) But it's almost certain that Clijsters will gain on Serena -- and also almost certain that she will increase her lead over Venus Williams. Clijsters lost early last year, and Venus made the final; chances are that Venus will no more than defend, and that Clijsters will gain.

Justine Henin-Hardenne could add still more to Venus's misery, since she has nothing to defend and Venus has those finalist points. Venus leads Henin-Hardenne in safe points, but not by all that much; if Venus does badly, she could easily end up at #4.

Or even, theoretically, #5, as Davenport and Mauresmo close in. Davenport has nothing to defend, but this is clay, so Mauresmo may actually be the bigger threat.

Jennifer Capriati, at #7 and with big points to defend, could easily fall, though she should stay Top Ten. Chanda Rubin and Daniela Hantuchova also look to be safe in the Top Ten, though we might see some changes in order.

The #10 spot, though, is wide open, with Anastasia Myskina and Jelena Dokic as usual slugging it out; Myskina is in the lead and with less to defend. But a surprise final could give it to Seles or Dementieva or Daniilidou or even Sugiyama or Maleeva or Coetzer. Anyone in the Top 25 could reach the Top Ten with a title.

Lower-ranked players whose rankings are at risk this week include Clarisa Fernandez, last year's semifinalist who has half of her points here; a first round loss would put her below #50. Paola Suarez could fall to around #50. Mary Pierce has over 200 points to defend, and could fall below #60. Silvia Farina Elia saved her Top 30 ranking once at Strasbourg, but she'll have to do it again this week. And Monica Seles is likely to fall out of the Top 15.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TheBoiledEgg

·
I'm so current, I'm tomorrow.
Joined
·
49,309 Posts
He's thinking Monica won't play, or that she won't win. But that's ok - no pressure, no expectations.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
16,998 Posts
nice look on vera lady--great chance for quarterfinal--maybe take out venus--maybe not--venus injured--vera has great chance--could tired for play alot--it might help confident
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
181,840 Posts
thanx TC :)

been waiting for this
certainly diff than his norm :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,358 Posts
Thanks TC! That was great to read! :D Was that Bob Larson?

There are 12 Russians in the women's draw. One of them has to do something. Right?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,094 Posts
WOW Iroda's prediction! :eek:

I hope shes right! I hope for a great second round match between them two with Iroda prevailing ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,730 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
yes it is Bob Larson's column. ;) check the Men's Tennis Forum (downstairs) for his views on the men's draw.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
16,998 Posts
iroda lady is very talent--match against lindsay was amaze--she played as top 5--too inconsistent--very hard hit--good speed and on the run shots--love attitude--very positive--great future if ever consistent
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,358 Posts
Yes ma'am! :worship:

I wish Maria Sharapova didn't draw such a good clay court player as Magui Serna in the first round. :mad: I wish she drew one of the 11 other Russians in the draw! :devil:

Well TC, I'm off to downstairs as you asked to check on the men's French Open outlook. :wavey:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,453 Posts
Hi TC!

Thanks for the article!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,730 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
TP!!!! :kiss: long time no see! good to see you back for RG. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,957 Posts
Yes good and fair outlook on the draw.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Beat

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,730 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
me too!!!! :eek:
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
16,998 Posts
why dont klara koukalova mentions--very big threat she iss--dont knoiw why not mention--quarterfinal predict i made
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,845 Posts
Seles said:
He's thinking Monica won't play, or that she won't win. But that's ok - no pressure, no expectations.
Rock on Seles!!!
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top