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Discussion Starter #1
With little argument I think we could mostly agree that Jennifer Capriati and Venus Williams were the two most impressive players of 2001. The question - Who is this year's 3rd Most Impressive player? (Thus far, anyway.)

Things to consider...

Kim Clijsters
- Started as no.18; now is no.5
- RG runner-up after having lost in the 1R the year before and after coming into the tourney on a 3 match losing streak.
- Oz R4 (Davenport)
- Wimbledon QF (Davenport)
- US QF (Venus)
- 1 Title - Stanford (d. Davenport)
- Made the finals of Indian Wells (lost to Serena) and Heineken Trophy (lost to Henin).

Lindsay Davenport
- Has never been ranked lower than no.4 this year.
- 4 Titles.
- Oz SF (Capriati)
- Wimbledon SF (Venus)
- US QF (Serena)

Justine Henin
- Started year as no.45; now no.8.
- Went from no.100 to no.5 in about one year.
- Wimbledon runner-up.
- Oz R4 (Seles)
- RG SF (Clijsters)
- US R4 (Serena)
- 3 Titles.
- Has wins over both Venus (Berlin) and Capriati (Wimbledon SF).

Martina Hingis
- Still manages to cling to no.1 (but for how much longer)
- 3 Titles.
- Oz runner-up.
- RG SF (Capriati)
- US SF (Serena)
- Plays more than almost everyone else and has the most consistent results.

Amelie Mauresmo
- no.6
- 4 Titles (clay and carpet).
- Had the longest win streak this year (17).
- Oz R4 (Venus)
- Wimbledon R3 (Tanasugarn)
- US QF (Capriati)

Serena Williams
- U.S. Open runner-up.
- Oz QF (Hingis)
- RG QF (Capriati)
- Wimbledon QF (Capriati)
- 2 Titles (Indian Wells and Toronto).
- Played so few tourneys but has been ranked the top 10 throughout.

[ September 20, 2001: Message edited by: cynicole ]
 

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Momomental
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Guess who I chose <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0">
 

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Serena,
She made it to at least the quaterfinals in all the slams and has won 2 tier 1 events. That is consistency also.
 

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None of the above. <IMG SRC="smilies/wink.gif" border="0">

Is Karen paterson in my view. how many of them ahve improved there ranking in both singles and doubles by 400 places in 8 months?

Paul
 

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3rd most impressive ...... on that list is Justine Henin , a brilliant start to the year , followed by Semis in Paris , Wimbledon final.
 

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I'd vote Amélie but my vote has to go to Serena! <IMG SRC="smilies/smile.gif" border="0">
 

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juju of course
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I put all those fancy-smancy stats up in my first post but I generally disregarded most of it when I made my vote.

I used the word IMPRESSIVE and not BEST because Best would've meant a vote for Lindsay Davenport.

For me, the match that will stand out is the Henin-Capriati match from Wimbledon. I don't think I could ever forget Justine Henin, choking away that RG semifinal and then returning to another semifinal, wincing in pain with those blisters and blowing Jennifer Capriati off the court after having been one set down. And it's always refreshing to see a small finesse featherweight do so well.

Using the same defininitions regarding Capriati and Venus Williams I would say that Capriati was the better player this year but Venus Williams impressed me a whole lot more, despite the comeback story.

The point that decided it for me?

When Capriati got mad she'd start going into near-tantrums and seriously lose her concentration. Whenever Venus appeared to get mad (yeah, she almost always looked cool) she'd crank her game up to an amazing level.

And there was no doubt how good a champion Venus was when she won Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. She truly dominated her opponents and played at a very high level. I personally think that Capriati was lucky to pick up that Roland Garros title. Clijsters gave it away on two unforced errors and, after seeing what happened at Wimbledon, I'm sure Henin would've walloped Capriati in the final had she not choked in the SF. (A bit WHAT IF if there ever was one.)

Another thing to be said for both Venus and Justine...

After that loss to Meghann Shaughnessy, Venus Williams defeated all comers, including Davenport (twice), Capriati (twice), Seles, Tauziat, Clijsters and little sis Serena in straight sets. The only one who wrestled a set away from her: Justine Henin (at New Haven).

[ September 21, 2001: Message edited by: cynicole ]
 

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Definitely Justine! She has been the biggest surprise this year. If you take Serena or Mauresmo, they had really great results, but it wasn't such a big surpise.
I hadn't even expected Justine to make it to the finals of Wimbledon.
 

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I'd probably go with Justine, as far as the most impressive. She started out the year really hot, had a good Australian Open, continued to stay steady to Roland Garros, imroved even more, amking the semis. After a tough loss, played amazing in the grass tuneup, then came to Wimbledon with a fantastic showing, ousting Capriati. Hardcourt season was also quite steady, and had a good US Open, but fell to Serena who was just too good that day really. Justine has climbed up the rankings, and not just with a few patchy inconsistent results. She proved her start to the year was no fluke, and that she is here to stay. Full credit has to go to her for maintaining such brilliant play all year long, and proving that even when she did come up with the short end of the stick, she's learned from the experiences, and clearly showed continued improvement.

Justine gets my vote <IMG SRC="smilies/smile.gif" border="0">
 

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Give me a minute - I'm having a hard time with the idea of voting Momo 3RD PLACE anything...
 

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Justine!
She climbed more than 40 positions in the ranking! No one ever expected that! <IMG SRC="smilies/tongue.gif" border="0">
 

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Absolutely Justine! <IMG SRC="smilies/bounce.gif" border="0"> <IMG SRC="smilies/bounce.gif" border="0"> <IMG SRC="smilies/bounce.gif" border="0"> <IMG SRC="smilies/cool.gif" border="0"> <IMG SRC="smilies/cool.gif" border="0">
 

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I am a biased Serena fan, but..

She won IW under tremendous pressure (boos).

She overcame tendency to choke and ended up beating Monica and Capriati to win her most recent title.

She beat Henin, Lindsay and Martina in the USOpen to win what may have been the toughest half draw we've seen in a long time!

No, she embarrassed the number one seed at the USOpen.

[ September 25, 2001: Message edited by: rmc ]
 

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I am surprised that Monica Seles isn't a candidate!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Yeah, I left Monica Seles off....but on purpose. She missed Roland Garros and Wimbledon this year and she got bounced by Daja Bedanova in the 4th round of the U.S. Open. None of those looked too good for her.

She has racked up some impressive wins though...but all on hard court it seems.

All but one of those I listed made at least the semifinals of a GS event. The exception, Mauresmo, has 4 titles, the long win streak of the year, and bounced back from injury to get back to her career high of no.6 in the world. Seles had started out the year as 4, I think....and now she's just fighting to stay in the top 10.

And if I listed Seles, what's to keep me from adding Jelena Dokic (2 titles now) and Meghann Shaughnessy (high climber in the rankings; beat Venus at Stanford). I had to draw a line somewhere.

As for Serena vs Justine...
The argument here is VERY CLOSE. They both had some physical and mental problems this year...and both overcame them somewhat. Too bad they both had to meet up with Venus in their respective finals.

I don't think we could read much into their U.S. Open encounter. Neither looked like they played all that well (to me anyway) and only Serena picked it up in the 2nd (obviously). It's Serena's favorite surface and Deco Turf doesn't seem to agree with Henin. Not yet anyway.

You could say that Henin was very lucky in some of her GS appearances this year. Venus and Hingis were taken out in her Round of 16s...but if you consider her form at that time and the fact that she had walloped Venus in Berlin and that Hingis had been losing to too many people, you had to like her chances.

If you ask me, I think Capriati was by far the luckiest this year.
 

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For me Justine would nab that spot, though Kim has consistency (which I'm not sure Justine quite has yet).
 

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I just have to vote for Amelie! <IMG SRC="smilies/smile.gif" border="0">
 
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