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Shark Alert 09/08/2006 - 4:58 PM

2006_09_08_jankovic Up a set with a point for 5-2. . .

The difference between winning that point (not that it was Jelena Jankovic's only chance to seal the deal, either) and losing that point is the difference between being a legitimate Grand Slam contender and just another good two-handed backhand on a pleasant run in the last major of the year.

Far be it from me to rain on anyone's parade (you may now stop rolling your eyes), but Jankovic took the wrong fork in that road, and it led to the cul de sac called "losing semifinalist." Granted, it's pretty nice to have a Grand Slam semi on the resume, but not when you could just as easily have made it final or, dare we think it, a title. But you can't expect to get Anastasia Myskina every year, can you?

Jankovic has really lit this joint up over the last week with her smile and guile; she's also shown, right up until second set meltdown today, a welcome ability to keep the business at hand (tennis) from bumping her off mission. That, in this case, was an objective with two parts: winning the biggest match of her young life while also savoring, enjoying, and communicating her sheer delight with the position in which she had landed with infectious bonhomie. For her wins here weren't just Jankovic's wins, they were ours, too, and that's as fine a gift as any player can give the fans.

But. . .

For all the hyperbole and new-toy wonder displayed by the tennis punditocracy, the biggest statement Jankovic made today was that she's not really ready for this level of competition, nor does she consider herself especially entitled to act as if she is. You just don't have a top player on the ropes the way she had Justine Henin-Hardenne and then waste a potential career moment on the last person you, me, or anyone else wants to hear from, or who ought to be heard from -  the chair umpire.

Oh, you can say, as John McEnroe did, that the chair umpire (Enric Molina) should not have made those provocative comments about "not being a machine." His job, as McEnroe said, is to help keep the players calm and focused, and exchanging barbs with them is  now way to accomplish that. Still, my overall impression was that Jankovic, while utterly enjoying her Big Moment (and the replay of each of her incremental, smaller moments that added up to it), let it slip through her fingers. In fact, her emotional meltdown at the critical stage of the match suggested that she jammed that sucker down through her digits.

Part of this, of course, was because of the line-call controversies that served to highlight the most valid criticism of the Hawkeye instant replay challenge system: the impact it has on an umpire's view of his own job. The temptation is for an umpire to avoid risking controversy by refusing to overrule bad calls, operating on the (faulty) premis that, because of the challenge system, this is now the player's job.

"I think the umpire has to be involved in the match, He has to make his calls, too, It shouldn't all be on us because we have only two challenges," Jankovic said in her presser. "He isn't just there to call out the score."

But what really happened was that Jankovic got carried away by the powerful undertow that threatens any inexperienced player's confidence and composure in a big match, and in no time she was bleeding and drifting far offshore, mere shark bait. You could see H-2's dorsal fin slicing the surface from a mile away.

"I lost my concentration and I gave her that match," Jankovic admitted, with refreshing bluntness.

And she displayed that same welcome frankness in criticizing H-2 for playing up her back injury.

I was looking at her and she was, Oh, I have pain in my back, or whatever she was doing. I don't know. That's the time when she was losing. Then, when she is winning, all of a sudden she's hitting the biggest serves ever and all that. I'm like, Now your back doesn't hurt???

. . .From my point of view, you should play fair. And if you have pain, you have pain. But then when you - if you have rally pain, then you gonna have pain when you're winning as well. But then how come when she's winning she serves like 120-mile serve, and then when she's loving, she barely pushes it back? Just to kind of say, oh, that's why I'm losing. . . or something.

For me, that's not quite fair play,. I'm a quite fair player. I give credit to all the players, it's okay I lost this match, but. . .

Okay, Tribe, fire up the comments!

Given Jankovic's charm and willingness to engage an audience (both on the court and in the press room), I hope she uses this run as a stepping stone to bigger and better things. But unlike some pundits, I'm not entirely convinced this was anything more than a surprise run by a player on a good roll. She has a terrific backhand, for certain. She also has a shaky serve. She has great quickness and retrieving ability, but so do 25 other guppies in the great WTA fishbowl.

But she also let her emotions and anxieties get the better of her, which is the difference between a player who gets within four points of contesting a Grand Slam final, and just another girl on a good run at a big event.

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Posted by Jen 09/08/2006 at 05:16 PM

I have to admit I was thinking the same thing as Jelena.
When JHH was losing I was thinking, when's she gonna call the trainer?

Posted by mri 09/08/2006 at 05:16 PM

Hmmm, interesting presser from Jankovic. But I think, of the lastest pack, I havent seen anybody play with utter mental tenacity on the big stage than Sharapova when she sealed the deal against serena in that 04 Wimby final. But then again after that she hasnt done much and choked inthe French against Safina.
I think JHH is defintely tougher than any players out there.

Posted by Samantha 09/08/2006 at 05:28 PM

Jelena is full of it. She didn't "give" Justine anything. Justine beat her because she's the best player. Period. The alien needs to learn to lose gracefully.

Posted by Allez 09/08/2006 at 05:32 PM

Jankovic is an arrogant bitch and a bad loser. I am very glad that she lost.

First, i think it's normal when you're one set down and 2-4 in the second that you're feeling your injuries quite more then when you're winning and coming back. That's called adrenaline(By the way jankovic weren't you also complaining about your back in the third when you were losing?).

Two, she only won one set because H-H played terribly bad in the first two.

Third, jankovic was looking too much to the screen looking how nice she was playing and what an ugly head she has. Not very professional and very egocentric. She is like you said pete, just another girl on a good run at a big event ( for me the new Myskina)


Posted by ndk 09/08/2006 at 05:34 PM

Justine may be the "best player," have a lot of mental tenacity but Jankovic gave "the little backhand that quit" the match!!!!!!

Posted by ndk 09/08/2006 at 05:43 PM

On a different note, just watched the on court interview with sharapova. When people ask sharapova to analyze her game or I read her interview transcripts, there is no real depth there. Meanwhile, you ask agassi, davenport, hewitt, federer, even crazy safin to analyze a match or someone's game, and you really see they are true students of the game of tennis. Any thoughts?

Posted by Sahadev 09/08/2006 at 05:46 PM

I find Jelena throughly unpleasant. She throws the match away, and then all she can do is talk about Justine's alleged injury-faking? Hope we don't see much of her after this...

Posted by temes 09/08/2006 at 05:49 PM

I bet if Jankovic would have had more experience in this kind of situations, she would have taken the opportunity and without a doubt, be in the US final. She just totally unneededly started whining about a first serve call on a crucial point and lost concentration and it was just downhill from that point on. No doubt Justine is a better player but if Jankovic had more experience and brains she would have won, would have taken the opportunity Justine gave her.

Posted by Samantha 09/08/2006 at 05:50 PM

Allez, you're right. What an arrogant little witch. She's nothing but a sore loser who needs to learn to lose with a little grace and humility. Where are the people to criticize her? She needs to shut her mouth because she is just making a fool out of herself with her comments. I hate to say this, but she's UGLY on the inside and outside. How dare the alien accuse Justine of not being injured. Is she in Justine's body? Justine played that match fairly, raising the level of her game when she had to and the ugly alien is just mad she lost to a better player. Go Justine, you're a true champion and a warrior on the court.

Posted by James 09/08/2006 at 05:51 PM


Try to see throught those JHH colored glasses and realise the JJ has a point about JHH and the injury bit. Perhaps JJ could have not pointed this out at all, but she is only saying what all the players and fans already know. I do not have a problem with JHH myself, but I also have to look at the reality of all the JHH drama. It is what it is, like her or not.

Posted by Samantha 09/08/2006 at 05:54 PM

Also, I want to add, the alien is the most unpleasant girl in tennis. She's constantly yelling at the umpire and remember when she tried to hit Serena with the ball. In all of tennis, I've never seen such a sore loser. She needs to take her beating and stop crying. She didn't lose that match because of Justine's back, but because of her backhand and sheer determination. Two qualities the alien will never have.

Posted by temes 09/08/2006 at 05:57 PM

The alien is fine. Samantha, haven't you noticed, that when women engage in a tough, tough survival competition, they become more or less b*****. That just how life goes. You can't blame them. Justine's a b****, Serena is a b****, Jankovic's a big b****. Lindsay was the only exception, only tiny tiny b****. I'm sure they're all more or less charming off this heat.

Posted by Mark 09/08/2006 at 06:03 PM

Well I for one hope she sustains the breakthrough. Players from ex-Yugoslav countries always seem to tell it like it is, which is an antidote to the Henins of this world. I also think it's fun to watch players who have a conundrum to solve which is uniquely their own i.e., how to bring that backhand into play when most people enjoy teeing off on their forehands. I imagine it poses almost the same problems for her opponents as playing a left-hander.

Oh deear. I fear Sharapova may now win, which is hardly good for the sport. I detest what she stands for, but she's young yet and may grow up.

Posted by Allez 09/08/2006 at 06:04 PM

Samantha you are my queen,

JJ had no respect for justine and the umpire. A poor loser like you said. I hope i have to watch her never again. And James i don't agree with you saying that JHH is playing drama on the court all the time. You just don't like her admit it.

JHH will win the final in three sets of Sharapova because Sharapova can not handle the variety of HH's game with her onedimensional flat game.

Go Justine, you are my true champion

Posted by L. Rubin 09/08/2006 at 06:06 PM

Samantha: Easy, Tiger!

BTW: You've maanged to make it impossible for me to watch Jelena without my expecting her to point to the sky and emit a "Go hoooome." Shame on you!

Posted by Tanya 09/08/2006 at 06:09 PM

Jelena is a great player and fun to watch, but her comments about "fair play" are ridiculous. Justine hardly made any gestures about her back and did not take an injury time out. Jelena was the one fooling with HER back.... Jelena has a mouth full of sour grapes, she lost, she was beaten by the better player in a fair match. Grow up baby Jelena.

Posted by Luke 09/08/2006 at 06:10 PM

That time when JJ hit Serena with the ball is the most overblown claim I've heard this year. Having seen the point(s) in question, I can say that anyone who thinks there was any malicious intent behind this needs to get a grip. Oh, and this may be blasphemy here, but GO MARIA!!!

Posted by temes 09/08/2006 at 06:10 PM

I definitely think Sharpie has a big chance to win, the way Jankovic pushed JHH today.

Posted by Ian K. 09/08/2006 at 06:11 PM

I didn't see the match, so I don't know what happened with JHH's injury. But in reading Jankovic's (Weird Al's sister?) comments about JHH's back injury, my reaction is to say "So what?" Why is it that so many players, even at the pro level, get so wrapped up in their opponent's histrionics? Just play the game. If you beat her, it isn't an issue. The real champions (Borg, Sampras and Evert come to mind) had this "I don't give a crap what kind of tantrums or BS you're pulling, I'm going kick your ass" attitude. Clutching for your back, or whatever JHH was doing, may be melodramatic and unnecessary, but it isn't unfair in that it doesn't make JHH play any better. I mean, it's not cheating. Put the shoe on the other foot, and I doubt JHH would give a flying forehand whether JJ was faking an injury or not. Just shut the f--- up and play already! Maybe if she wasn't so worried about what her opponent was doing between points she would have won.

Posted by Sherlock 09/08/2006 at 06:12 PM

Samantha, I don't mean to jump in here and be rude, but if I could offer one suggestion, I would ask that we drop the use of the phrase, "the alien." I understand the passion you have and the desire to use a term like that, but when we resort to that level, it lowers the quality of the entire discussion. If she looks odd to some, it's certainly not her fault. And I've had so much of the "pretty" crap lately with Maria's unending marketing campaign, I'm ready to be sick.

Posted by Luke 09/08/2006 at 06:12 PM

If JHH plays a couple bad sets the way she did today, Sharpie won't let her off the hook as easily as Jelena did. She may not play as well overall, but she'll probably play with much more intensity on the big points.

Posted by Ian K. 09/08/2006 at 06:17 PM

I'm no JJ fan, but I will say that I saw the point in question with Jelena and Serena, and it was clear that Jelena was NOT trying to hit Serena. She wasn't looking toward her when she hit the ball, and it would be pretty difficult to hit a ball more SOFTLY than JJ hit that one. That whole thing was a non-event. Forget about it.

Posted by Orion 09/08/2006 at 06:18 PM

I think Jankovic handled herself very well. She didn't pull an "I don't care what people think" or for that matter withdraw from the match when she was getting schooled in the third set. And that's where the class comes in. When I was 21, there's no way I would have screened out emotion, and in her case, it seems INCREDIBLY likely that the emotion is justifiable.

You can call Justine's remarkable back recovery adrenaline or anything, but if we get into a war of who is the worse loser, do you really want to have all the instances of Justine's career of questionable behavior dragged out again?

On another note, I think the next two tournaments for Jankovic will be very telling; if she's a one semi-wonder (Stevenson, Fernandez, etc.) this will be a momentum killer rather than a builder. It's the same thing Mauresmo suffered from after the Aussie final in '99, she didn't build on results, she dwelled on missed chances. Granted, Mauresmo sorted things out eventually, but some never do. Jankovic seems like she can, just because she doesn't seem to need intense focus like Sharapova or either Williams, and that backhand is so freaking sweet, and we've seen players come into the games spotlight with a game built around one shot. I wish her luck, it's nice to have someone to speak so frankly now that Davenport is effectively on her way to the glue factory.

Posted by Allez 09/08/2006 at 06:21 PM

You're right Luke. JHH can't play like the first two sets against JJ. But if HH plays at her highest level, Sharapova will not have a chance to win the final. Like i said her game is too onedimensional.


Posted by Ian K. 09/08/2006 at 06:22 PM

I haven't seen any schedule yet, but I am assuming Fed-Davy is at 11 or 11:30 tomorrow followed by Roddick-Youzhny. Anybody know?

Posted by windbag 09/08/2006 at 06:22 PM

I thought it was perfectly obvious that each player's injuries were aggravated by nerves. Justine said she was nervous at the beginning of the match and so she was probably in more pain then. Jankovic was grabbing her own back in the 3rd set - I wonder why? Isn't it common sense that mental attitude and tension affect how you're feeling physically?

Jankovic has no place to talk here - I like her, but she was the drama queen on the court. I hope she learns a lesson from this and has her breakthrough sometime soon. JHH is right - she got lucky today.

Posted by Luke 09/08/2006 at 06:24 PM

Sharapova's game may be one-dimensional, but interestingly enough, that seems to be the dimension that works best.

Posted by Allez 09/08/2006 at 06:27 PM


I was only saying that if people are losing they feel injuries more then when they are winning. There was no back recovery at all. And for me it was still jelena fooling with the back in the third set and HH didn't give comments on that.


Posted by Sam 09/08/2006 at 06:28 PM

Fed-Davydenko is on around 12:20 EST, followed by Roddick-Youzhny.

Posted by Allez 09/08/2006 at 06:30 PM


HH-Sharapova= 4-1 (only win when justine was just back from an injury) She simply does not have a plan B.

Now it's your turn


Posted by temes 09/08/2006 at 06:33 PM

I couldnt care less who wins tomorrow. Flat minds, flat game, flat chests. Oh Serena, Venus, I need youuuu... Oh I could just die right now. I need to find a bosom to shove my head into. *weep weep

Posted by Luke 09/08/2006 at 06:37 PM

Ooh, yay, my turn to pull out irrelevant stats. If I'm not mistaken, Sharapova and JHH have NOT met at the US Open or on any similar surface (If you want to talk about H2H, we can effectively remove the two JHH victories which came on clay, leaving Justine with a slim 2-1 lead on hard courts, which I think were fairly slow). The two times Maria and Justine have played this year, Maria has had good leads before letting Justine back in the match. That being said, I just think the faster surface would favor a flat ball striker (Sharapova) more than someone with a variety of spins (Henin-Hardenne). Save the "variety" for the French Open.


Posted by Bob 09/08/2006 at 06:41 PM

This whining about Justine rubbing her back is ludicrous. Jankovic was doing the same thing, and Justine didn't delay play by that. That's nothing but immature sour grapes.

It's evident we need unlimited challenges. That would solve all the problems. No looking at the umpire. Just "I challenge" immediately, and the problem is solved.

Jankovid played well, but the reality is that Justine's 12 double faults in two sets and about 43% serving in those sets were what lost her that first set and got her in trouble in the second. It had nothing to do with any amazing play by Jankovic, though she was playing well and with confidence.

Poor serving was what made Federer tight on his groundstrokes, and it did the same thing to Justine, who was afraid to hit out on the ball until the third set. I got so tired of her missing first serves that I was groaning. Winning a slam semi with 12 doubles in two sets and that horrible first serve percentage is an incredible achievement. Any other player would have been out in straight sets.

Hopefully they will go to unlimited challenges, to avoid all these umpire-player conversations and looking at coaches. I thought the umpire's remarks were very appropriate. Challenge it or shut up about it. He's not a machine. We have a "machine" in the form of instant replay, to take care of the problem.

Jankovic played some terrific tennis, but the it's hard to rate her performance, because of the terrible serving and tennis Justine was playing. We'll see what happens next year. Her wins against top ten players this year has been pretty impressive, however. She does need a bit more mental maturity, but she's young, so her remarks are understandable, especially after a bagel blowout in the final set.

Posted by Luke 09/08/2006 at 06:42 PM

Oh, and by the way, I'm tired of people predicting the winner of a match based on head-to-head records. Past performance IS NOT AN INDICATION of future results (Hewitt-Federer, anyone?)

Posted by Allez 09/08/2006 at 06:43 PM


HH won this year two times of Sharapova (Australian open and Dubai). And this are still hard courts. And you know why Sharapova will never win on clay. The reason is, like i said before, she only has her one-dimensional flat game. And when that doesn't work she is in big trouble. I agree maria will have more chances on faster surfaces but still if HH plays her best, it is impossible for Maria to beat her.


Posted by Dunlop Maxply 09/08/2006 at 06:44 PM

As the issue of mental fortitude has been raised a bit with regard to the men's quarters and women's semi's, consider this: sometimes, in a close match, you are actually forget you are playing the opponent and play against yourself. Anyone who has played any amount of competitive tennis knows how this goes. You're in the middle of the match, and you miss a few first serves in a row. "What this?" you ask yourself. "Too much spin? Not enough? Where's the toss supposed to go?"

I selected the serve because obviously, the serve provides the most possiblity to think about what you are going to do, but the concept applies to any shot. It may be a couple of points, games or who knows how long before you remember that your job is not to figure out what is wrong with any particular shot, your job is to win the points and the match.

The pros are hardly exempt from this thought process, although most fight it well. We've seen a couple of examples of this in the last two days:

1. Safins' match and press conference. Scroll back if you don't remember. What Marat talks about in his presser is the fact that the very top players tend not to get distracted during matches. They tend to focus on the match at hand, do not overly obsess about their own shotmaking, and as a result play at a high, consistent level, match by match. How many times have you been watching Safin play, seen him blast one wide, and think "how come he just didn't give the other guy a chance to lose this one?"

2. Roddick's "new" game. I'm not sure Roddick is really doing anything all that different technically. But someone has definitely reminded him that if he holds serve all the time, its the OTHER GUY'S problem to hold serve, not Roddick's problem to figure out what to do tactically or shot by shot. The difference between a Roddick who is worried that his gound game does not match up with Federer or Blake and a Roddick who walks into each three out of five match thinking "o.k., bud, I know I can hold serve 18 times in a row, can you?" is noticable.

3. Nadal's loss. For Nadal, the good old days of being the young underdog are clearly over. Its kind of a bitch having the entire tennis community figuring you are a lock for the final, and having your die-hard fans figure that Federer is "lucky" you aren't in his half. One of the problems of throwing down a 61 match winning streak is that when you are out there against Youzhny, and get behind, you're not only playing your opponent, you're playing your own memory of how well you've played in the past. Its especialy difficult for a primarily defensive player who builds up memory after memory of opponents bricking sitter shots to give you crucial points. Sooner or later you know they aren't going to brick those shots. Sooner or later you're going to have to bring the game to them. Sooner or later . . . damn, I'm down 2 sets to one and the guy's hitting every line!!!!

4. Federers' win last night. I'm not saying Nadal will not mature and progress, but Federer is already through that stage Nadal is going through now. Federer is now judged, not on how well he played vis-a-vis Blake, but how well he played in the past! Talk about tough competition. Can you imagine how easy it would be for Federer to say, "well, my serve is just for crap today, when I get it squared away I'll tune this guy up." Yet, he manages to bring his focus back around to the fact that it is not necessary for him to match his own level of play each match, just to beat his opponent.

5. Blake's loss. Blake is not even at the level Nadal is. This is basically about month 15 or so of the best 15 months he's ever played. He's still figuring out what his top gear is. Moreover, his lack of confidence is still purely situational. He's not missing because of some errant thought about his shot. He's missing because he's still not sure exactly how well he needs to play to win the U.S. Open. Remember the backhand he shanked off Federer's second serve last night at break-point at 5-4? That is a classic "I'm not quite sure what to do with this shot so I'll just hit it wide" miss. Everyone watching on T.V. and in the stadium noticed how tight Federer was on that point. Everyone, that is, except James Blake.

6. Jankovic. I didn't see today's match, but from the descriptions, just see my thoughts on Blake above. Same thing. As for Henin, see my thoughts on Federer.

Its tempting to take the analysis of a player's mental state too far. If you keep in mind that the fundamental rule of all tennis match play is that the first player to "go for too much" usually loses, much becomes clear.

What is fascinating is the follow up question: "given the situation and the player, how much is too much?"

That's the tough one to answer.

Posted by Patrick J. 09/08/2006 at 06:45 PM

Hey, how come everybody's picking JHH over Sharpie? What's this gibberish about a "one-dimensional game"? She pounded Mauresmo like round steak! It seems like lots of people don't like Sharpie (her "I feel pretty" ad gets old real fast), but she is playing really well. I predict that Sharpie will steamroll JHH. That little Belgian girl will be suffering every ache and pain imaginable after going a few rounds with Sharpie!

Posted by Luke 09/08/2006 at 06:45 PM

Forget challenges, just give the replay technology to the umpire and let him use it to make overrules. Enough with the "should I challenge?..." junk! The sport maintains the human element, and we get complete certainty that the match will be decided by the players alone.

Posted by Samantha 09/08/2006 at 06:47 PM

Sherlock, welcome back, but I don't recall you asking people who have called Justine, "Juicetine, demented dwarf, ugly" or various other names to stop. Also, I recall you thinking a poster, Ryan was "funny" when he was insulting other posters and received a warning by the moderator for doing so. In fact, you defended his actions and said he was being "tar and feathered for being funny" Fortunately, nobody agreed with you. If you're going to make "suggestions" please be consistent, and fair about it.I'm glad to see you're doing better and I hope you got my well wishes. Back to tennis, In watching the match, did anyone notice that Amelie failed to come to net? She tried to beat Sharapova at the baseline which is where she plays her best tennis. Justine will have to come to net alot because Sharapova's net game isn't very good. She loses most of the points when she tried to volley. If Justine tries to play her at the baseline, Sharapova will have the advantage. She has to use her variety, her volleys and slices to defeat her.

Posted by Allez 09/08/2006 at 06:50 PM

You don't understand one-dimensional because you know less about tennis. And by the way, why does won MOMO one set in todays semifinal against Sharapova. She had problems with the slices and the variety overal of MOMO.


Posted by Luke 09/08/2006 at 06:50 PM

How will Justine coming to net expose Maria's weak volley? Unless she hits the approach as hard as she possibly can, Justine will be getting passed right and left.

Posted by Luke 09/08/2006 at 06:52 PM

Oh my, I almost forgot:


Posted by Samantha 09/08/2006 at 06:54 PM

I also wanted to mention, I don't think it's fair for people to criticize Amelie because she was bageled twice. If you're fair, Amelie's had the best season of any player. She's the Wimbledon Champion, and AO Champion as well as the #1 player in the world. I think she's a great champion with a beautiful game. This just wasn't her day. It happen to all the great.

Posted by Patrick J. 09/08/2006 at 07:01 PM

Allez, I understand the concept of one dimensional play vice an all court game, I just question the importance some dilettantes attach to it.

Sharapova is certainly not a great volleyer, but so what? She has great ground strokes. She is mentally tough and executes well.

Not too many allez's were heard today and we probably won;t hear many tomorrow.

Posted by Bob 09/08/2006 at 07:04 PM

If Justine wins, she will have the best season. She's one of only handful of players to make all four slam finals in one year. She'll have two slams and be #1.

Maria is no great passer, and I expect Justine to hit to the corners and come in, or even hit right at her and come in. If Justine is hitting her groundstrokes, and gets short balls, she will easily hit winners against a tall player like Sharapova. She'll go at her backhand. Justine has lots of options, so long as she's playing like she's played every match in the past month except the one today.

When you rush Maria with deep balls, she's in trouble. The balls don't come up into her hitting zone. Justine can't do that high-ball rallying like she did today. Sharapova will take those high on the bounce and put them away.

Justine should also hit the short slice and bring her in. Jankovic was quick and dealt with those, but Sharapova won't. If Justine is on, it will be straight sets for her. She has too much talent and variety. If she's serving like today, then she'll never get on track and Sharapova will win.

Go Justine!

Posted by Luke 09/08/2006 at 07:05 PM

Not many allez's, but probably a lot of "vamos"s and "come on"s. Regardless of who wins, this should be an interesting match.

Posted by Brisdeservice 09/08/2006 at 07:07 PM

I think Jankovic acted poorly. She was all smiles when it went well for her but then turned into a monster when the momentum shifted in Justine's favor. In the first set and a half, Justine was obviously bothered by her physical condition and didn't play nearly as well as she normally does. Now, that Jankovic blames Justine with such bitterness is really "low class". Let's face it, in the end the best player won the match and that's how it should be. Jankovic wasn't even able to shake Justine's hand decently and she looked so sour & bitter.
Congratulations to Justine for making the final in the FOUR majors this year! Quite an exceptional accomplishment! Hope she wins the title. Justine's having a stellar year and she surely deserves it.

Posted by Luke 09/08/2006 at 07:07 PM

What indication is there that Justine will get (m)any short balls? I do, however, agree that movement might be an important (not critical) factor for Sharapova. It's all a matter of who hits to the corners first.


Posted by temes 09/08/2006 at 07:10 PM

God I love Debra Wilson...

Posted by Sherlock 09/08/2006 at 07:11 PM


Didn't take us long to get into it, did it? :)

First of all, thanks for your well wishes. I really do appreciate it.

As far as people calling Justine names, I would gladly call people out on that, but I guess I haven't seen it done consistently. Maybe I've missed that. I'm not going to jump on someone for a one-time shot at a player. Heck, we've probably all done that at times. And I hesitated even to say anything to you about the alien comments. But you used it several times, and I'm just getting touchy on anything to do with looks. It seems like we base so much on that nowadays. It gets depressing. Now if you want to make fun of Jankovic's whining, hey, I'm all for that. :)

As for the Ryan episode, that's still a sore spot with me, but that's just something I have to live with. I've noticed he hasn't been around here much lately, and I think that's a real shame. He's sharp as hell and has a great sense of humor. I think it's our collective loss.

As far as what I said about that episode, be careful when using quotes. I never said he was "tar and feathered for being funny". I used the phrase "tarred and feathered", but not as you quoted me. Let's be accurate when using quotes. If he was being as evil as you think, that's your right to think so. I disagree, and last time I checked, I have a right to feel that way.

Also, just for the record, I heard from people here that agreed with me about that episode, so maybe I wasn't totally off-base, eh?

Posted by Allez 09/08/2006 at 07:11 PM

I hope for you two,luke and patrick, that we won't hear a lot allez's. Maybe she even don't need them to win of Sharapova.


Posted by Svelte Rogue 09/08/2006 at 07:12 PM

i'm chipper today, vivien! momofan, you mentioned setting up that rafa/amelie support group some posts back (just caught up on the threads i missed --- my pc's back up and running whoopee yayay!)...

now it really has to happen, and you and daylily are co-presidents, is that ok? i've just sort of gotten over rafa's loss (kbomb, i can't be as calm as you when it comes to sports; it moves me so when a favourite "dies")... i was at the north station in brussels at 11 pm local time and frantically dialled my husband at home to demand the score of the amelie-maria semi. bageled in the first and 4-4 in the second. by the time i got in the train, a call home showed that they were in the third set, way to go, momo.

then i blew a mini fortune hiring a night taxi (which costs more boohooohoo), bursting into our apartment to see... shrieky serving for the match????????????

oh no. her body language was like rafa's in the fourth set.

now we really have to have that support group *wan smile*

justine-maria final. how ... engrossing *not!*


nancy j, i love you, i do, i do, so when you tease that jelena looks like an alien, how come i can take it??? but samantha, when you start throwing in your thoughts, it really rubs me the wrong way. i take offense at the alien comment.

i think jelena looks interesting for a serb... she definitely has chinese blood... and her breast pads show... reminds me of the breast pads i used when i was heavily lactating...

so if someone isn't the typical caucasian looking tennis player, she's an alien???

am i missing something here???

or am i just a bit emotional at all the twilight zone match ups for the women's final and men's semis???

i can't believe i might end up rooting for youzhny, the guy who beat ferrero, robredo, and rafa. *shadow crosses face* but i will.

roger plays beautifully. i'm glad he beat blake. i like it when he shuts down that rowdy, jologs crowd.

you can tell i've just been let loose on the keyboard after i picked it up from the shop earlier today. this will be one crazy weekend.

Posted by Bob 09/08/2006 at 07:16 PM

Luke: It all depends on how well Justine is hitting. She can blast balls into the corners from virtually anywhere, and Maria is a decent but not great mover. That will set up sitters or shorter balls. Justine almost never went for the corners today, until the third set. She had no confidence. She didn't do it against Lindsay much either, but Lindsay has harder, flatter groundstrokes than Sharapova does. I don't think Justine is afraid of Sharapova's groundstrokes like she is of Lindsay's. If Sharapova is really on, then I'll agree that her balls will be deep, and there won't be much Justine can do about them most of the time. Justine is a very different player from Amelie, however. Amelie doesn't have the weapons on the hard courts. That match was all about how well Sharapova was playing. Justine has weapons all over the place. It's just a question of whether she is hitting them, and she must serve better than today, and she will. No player of her caliber can possibly serve that horribly for two straight matches.

Posted by Svelte Rogue 09/08/2006 at 07:17 PM

i loved jelena's comment on justine: hey you ferret-like belgian, you are so full of excuses!!!! god what i would give to have kim clijsters in the final over you ANY DAY. after jelena took out one of my faves in sveta, i thought, "i don't hate her! i like her!" or maybe nancy j and her love for street fighting players influenced me much... at any rate...

the women's final will be more of a choosing the lesser evil choice for me, the lesser evil to the game of tennis... so i will go for the wallonian over the faux russian with the banana dad. temes, how could you miss the mine of phallic opportunities in that one???

momo, i know you're devastated right now. here's a hug back to you... thank you for the hug yesterday, only received it an hour ago... it's never too late for solace.

Posted by Patrick J. 09/08/2006 at 07:18 PM

I expect Maria to beat Justine by doing what she does best - hit groundies with authority and consistency, minimize errors and hang tough on crucial points. Which is what she did with Momo.
I admire the beauty of Momo's game, but she was simply outplayed today.

Sharpie is no Jankovic. If she gets JHH on the ropes she'll knock her block off.

Posted by Allez 09/08/2006 at 07:19 PM

Well put Bob...She's the best.


Posted by Jen 09/08/2006 at 07:22 PM

I agree with Bob, the difference between Amelie today and Justine tomorrow is that when Justine sees the slightest opportunity she will crack her groundies esp. forehand. Amelie was way to defensive and allowed Sharapova to hug the baseline. Her forehand was way too spinny and a liability out there today.

Posted by temes 09/08/2006 at 07:24 PM

I'm sorry that I wander of topic...but this kinda humor works for me lol

Posted by Allez 09/08/2006 at 07:25 PM


You simply don't understand. Maria has no chance to win. Even if she plays her bang bang groundstrokes to the perfection. You really don't understand the meaning of one-dimensional. She has no backup plan. HH will dismatle her and will win her sixth grandslam.


Posted by Svelte Rogue 09/08/2006 at 07:25 PM

sherlock, i am with you on the ryan issue. i thought he was funny and witty... and called samantha for being tactless and crude in her comments, which was quite a welcome breath of air at the time. yes, his not coming back is truly our collective loss. i'm glad you came back --- the boards are fun-ner when there's a lot of repartee among writers like you, ray s, bob, kbomb, matt z, nancy j, steggy, momofan, d-wiz, liron, temes, tim, etc etc etc!!! i am being remiss, i know, in skipping some venerable names like skip115, vanfan, sam... and others, i know you're out there... but seriously, where is juan josé????? he i miss A LOT.

it's 124 in the morning here. am tired tired tired. good night to y'all... rest easy...

momofan and other amelie fans, this, too, will pass. *big hug*

Posted by Patrick J. 09/08/2006 at 07:36 PM

Yes, JHH usually plays a very good all court game. She has very good ground strokes and attacks and volleys well.

Which is why I was surprised when I tuned into her match and watched Jelena ripping her apart. JHH couldn't buy a first serve and her much vaunted all court game was deflating faster than a cheap beach toy...

How Jankovic failed to finish her off is utterly amazing to me. She wins the first set and she's up 4-2 in the second and she starts arguing with the chair umpire? She lost focus and concentration because she decided to argue with a chair umpire in the most important trennis match of her life? Sheesh, it boggles the mind.

Sharpie will take it to JHH - mark my words.

Posted by Luke 09/08/2006 at 07:38 PM

Did Nike only get the rights to one song for their ads? Maria's ad campaign could have been so much better (and less "one-dimensional," if I do say so) if Nike could have employed some other songs from "West Side Story." One of the songs is called "Maria," for crying out loud! As it is, the whole "I Feel Pretty" thing is getting a little old. Sorry, random comment.

Posted by Luke 09/08/2006 at 07:41 PM

Getting back to business, if today is any indication, Sharapova will get plenty of opportunities against Justine. And, no disrespect to Jankovic, Maria is about 10000 percent more likely to take advantage of those opportunities and stay focused through the entire match.

Posted by Patrick J. 09/08/2006 at 07:44 PM


No, you don't understand. Saying Marie has no chance to win demonstrates not only arrogance but a fundamental flaw in understanding the game. You're obviously a JHH KAD. I will watch the match tomorrow and remember your inane comments when Sharpie lifts the trophy and poor little Justine bellyaches about some "injury".

Posted by temes 09/08/2006 at 07:48 PM

What yooo saying sorry for Luke???? No need to say sorry for that.
Hmmm Svelte, I guess I have to make some cheesy ass joke about that banana thing: I bet Maria was rehearsaling it for Andy...her father had to remind her from the stands to practice between changeovers since he was going to supervize the act on the folloving night, so that Maria does a clinical performance, as always. Davai Davai Maria! Ok that was the worst joke ever.

Posted by Allez 09/08/2006 at 07:55 PM


I hope for you you're right. I didn't say Maria have no chance in the final. I was saying that if Justine plays her best against Maria it will be difficult or better impossible to win for Sharapova. If Justine plays like today she probably loses but we'll see. You're just a poor HH-hater. I just gave an objective analysis between HH en Sharapova.


Posted by Luke 09/08/2006 at 07:59 PM

Since when is anyone on this site objective?


Posted by Sam 09/08/2006 at 08:01 PM

Svelte Rogue - Thanks for the shout out. I saw Juan Jose post on Tignor's blog today, and on the Fed-Blake thread yesterday. We do have a lot of good posters here and some interesting discussions.

Sherlock - From what I recall, I agreed with your stance on the Ryan issue and his posts (at least the ones I saw). Also, you have been balanced in your comments regarding players and fellow posters.

Posted by Samantha 09/08/2006 at 08:04 PM

Sherlock, you would have to be blind not to notice the names Justine has been called and most of those names are related to her looks which you claimed to be sensitive about. How you can say that you have never heard her called "ugly" is beyond me, because it is done quite frequently and I think you know that.Please check the recent blogs to verify what she has been called. The fact that Ryan hasn't been around much since that incident and the fact that he was reprimanded by the moderator pretty much says it all. He wasn't reprimanded for being "funny." It was because he was clearly in violation of the site rules. Also, when you make the claim that someone is being "tarred and feathered" when he admitted his purpose was to insult because he was "bored" with the tennis talk, then you're defending those actions. Perhaps like you said, it's a sore spot that you have to live with because you know in your gut that it was wrong. Period. No way around it. By telling someone who is clearly insulting other posters, they're "funny," you're encouraging their bad behavior. Perhap, you should have given Ryan the same advice you suggested to me. Again, be consistent and fair, or don't make "suggestions." I've to disagree with you, this site is better off without someone who was trolling for trouble and got just what he deserved on that night. I've have tremendous respect for posters like Liz, Ann, Ray Stonada and Steggy who acted like mature ADULTS and told him how unpleasant he was. I've very little respect for an adult who would encourage him, by telling him he was funny. Frankly, I would expect that from someone my age and not an adult. Sherlock, I want to use one of my favorite teacher's quotes, "never encourage bad behavior because when you do, you become part of the problem. Discourage it and you become part of the solution." Sherlock, you're never too old to learn even from a teenager. Again, I'm glad to see you're feeling better. Ciao, I'm late for a date!

Posted by temes 09/08/2006 at 08:05 PM

I'm sure that Ryan is a witty and funny guy but when he called me an obtuse idiot because of my opinions that was were the fun ended for me. But he should come back.

Posted by Patrick J. 09/08/2006 at 08:06 PM


Holy smokes, some people's kids! You did say that Marie had no chance to win. Okay, I did a cut and paste and this is what you said:

"You simply don't understand. Maria has no chance to win. Even if she plays her bang bang groundstrokes to the perfection."

Now you're qualifying your statements? Hmmm, I guess people like you are attracted to JHH. Maybe it's her whiny, bitchy nature. Maybe it's her silly gamesmanship. Either way, you're in for a beat down tomorrow.

Posted by Sherlock 09/08/2006 at 08:24 PM

Sam, thanks. You are too kind. I felt quite good after your note until I read Samantha's post. :)

Ah, Samantha, you do provide much amusement. You see, as an adult, I can read that and laugh it off because I realize just how much you don't know, despite that you think you know everything. But please understand, that if my teens ever talked to me as you just did, they wouldn't see the car or their friends for about a month. Remember the word respect, child. I'd appreciate it.

Temes, I totally agree that "obtuse idiot" is way wrong. In no way do I mean to imply that you deserved that. Not by any stretch. I think Ryan just got caught up in things that one night. He'd posted for quite a while and was always fine.

Posted by Ray Stonada 09/08/2006 at 08:27 PM

I dunno, I think temes is kind of an obtuse idiot.

JK! JK! JK! I love you, temes!

Posted by Samantha 09/08/2006 at 08:31 PM

Svelte Rogue, please read your own comments, and see if they make sense. Nancy, I don't mind it when you call Jelena an alien, but it bother me when Samantha does. That makes sense to you? Only if you have a huge double standard. Also, any adult who found Ryan funny should question their own maturity level. I'll let you think about that. Svelte Rogue, you have a good night.

Posted by Sam 09/08/2006 at 08:32 PM

Sherlock - I just call 'em as I see 'em. Regarding Samantha's gripes, Justine's looks have been attacked here numerous times, but I haven't heard as much of that lately. I have seen a fair amount of anti-Justine sentiment though.

Posted by Sam 09/08/2006 at 08:33 PM

temes - Didn't realize that Ryan called you an "obtuse idiot". That was out of line.

Posted by Sam 09/08/2006 at 08:38 PM

Justine has matched up well with Sharapova in their past meetings, including two wins this year (AO, Dubai). However, she cannot get away with playing as poorly as she did today. She did get lucky (as she acknowledged after the match), but keep in mind that she took advantage of the opportunity when Jankovic let her back in the match.

Assuming she plays more like herself tomorrow, I expect her to beat Sharapova in 3 sets.

Posted by temes 09/08/2006 at 08:40 PM

Find out what it means to me
Take care, TCB
Whoooooa yeaaaaa baby Samantha yoo!
Ray, I love you too. Now let's get high. lol I'm just joking around in a weird way. Crack is wack. Now I'm starting to wander off-topic again.

Posted by Sherlock 09/08/2006 at 08:41 PM

Samantha, for heaven's sake, can we make a distinction here? Did Ryan say maybe a couple things that were out of line? Probably. The "obtuse idiot" was definitely there. But good grief, you're painting him to be evil incarnate. Give me a bloody break. In every other post that I saw, Ryan was fine. And he really is funny, whether you agree or not. He wasn't to you that night because you too were battling it out, but as an outsider, yes, most of it was quite funny. And I noticed even that night that most of his subtle humor was going over your head. That's not his fault, for crying out loud.

Criminey, why am I getting so worked up over this? :)

Posted by Sam 09/08/2006 at 08:41 PM

temes - you're too funny.

Posted by Samantha 09/08/2006 at 08:45 PM

Sherlock, I have to run, but I wanted to reply to you. I didn't disrespect you, I simply pointed out to you, that it's wrong to encourage bad behavior and calling someone an "idiot" isn't "funny." I'm sorry you felt that I was disrespecting you, but I've a right to tell you when I think you're wrong. Sorry, I don't consider that disrespect. It's giving my opinion and no matter what my age, I've a right to do that. Sherlock, please have a good night and a speedy recovery from your recent illness.

Posted by steggy 09/08/2006 at 08:46 PM

Patrick: read the site rules, please. They're available on your right, at the bottom of the categories list.

Posted by steggy 09/08/2006 at 08:48 PM

Sherlock: You missed many, many comments which Ryan made which *weren't* fine (And were deleted), but I believe we've discussed this before.

Posted by Sherlock 09/08/2006 at 08:50 PM

Samantha, don't be nice now. That takes all the fun out of it. :)

I appreciate you saying that. Seriously, I do.

One thing I would say though. Yes, calling someone an idiot isn't right. I don't condone that, ok? But let's also get a bit real here. Getting caught up in the moment and doing that, in the grand scheme of things, really ISN'T that big a deal. If you had called me an idiot in your previous post, I probably would have responded back with something ultra-smart alec, but after that, I really wouldn't care. They're words. It's not like the words we're talking about cause permanent damamge or anything.

Anyway, that's all I'm trying to say. I thought that whole incident that night got blown so far out of proportion. I really didn't understand that.

I hope you have a good night out, Samantha. Don't be too late. You've got to be fit for Justine's match tomorrow night. :)

Posted by Bob 09/08/2006 at 08:50 PM

I just read the interviews and Jankovic was incredibly rude to the umpire and to Justine. I saw nothing Justine did except bend over and move her back around, not delaying anything. Jankovic's complaints about the umpire were absurd. She acts as if the failure to overrule that call cost her the match. It would only have given her another first serve; and Justine had no problems whatsoever with her first serves. The Umpire can't overrule unless a call is clearly erroneous, which that one was clearly not. It was close. Far too close to overrule. She had a challenge. Use it or shut up about it.

The umpire has no authority to challenge a call. He can only overrule a clearly wrong call. If he had, Justine would have challenged it, and if she lost, which is unlikely, it would merely have been a re-play of the first serve. By that time in the match, Justine was starting to play well, so that serve meant nothing.

Apparently Justine is in quite a bit of pain, and that may be part of the reason her serves and groundstrokes are off. If that's the case, she needs pain shots. She needs to be really hitting the ball tomorrow night. I tend to think it's nerves, more than pain, since she hit the ball and served well against Lindsay, after calling the trainer, and hit and served very well in the third set today.

As always, if she's serving and hitting her shots, she'll beat Maria in straight sets. Sharapova isn't going to play against Pong tomorrow night. She'll be on the run. Justine's serving is the critical thing.

The men's semis don't excite me much.

Posted by Ray Stonada 09/08/2006 at 08:53 PM

Temes, buddy, where were you when we were getting high? Someday you will find me, trapped beneath a landslide, in a champagne supernova in the sky. But the drugs don't work, they just make it worse.

OK, enough Britpop.

Posted by Samantha 09/08/2006 at 08:55 PM

Sam, just saw your comment, and your right, Justine has been attacked and called names. I don't see any outrage over this, so why the complaints about Jelena.Double standard? Many posters, not just me have said she looks like an alien. I don't see anyone complaining about them. Again, be consistent. Sherlock, it wasn't subtle humor, it was cruel humor, calling someone an idiot is cruel, not witty. Sherlock, let's agree to disagree. You think Ryan is funny. I think he cruel. Let's go back to tennis. Good luck to Justine in the final.

Posted by Tim 09/08/2006 at 08:59 PM

sorry but I thought the matches today stunk, and the state of women's tennis is awful right now...everyone is hurt, choking, falling apart, aching, etc. And the one that's not for a change is a Shrieking, banana eating robot who cant hit a volley to save her life...

very disappointed with Amelie today, and JHH should be out, JJ really gagged and turned from a smiling delight into a whining sourpuss...

going for JHH all the way in the final, at least she can hit all the shots in the book, even if she is physically an annoying fragile flower... but at least there should be some drama, and i dont see a blowout in either direction...
practice your darn serve, Justine!

how's that for a cranky post! lol

Posted by Samantha 09/08/2006 at 09:00 PM

Thanks Steggy, good point. God, I've probably miss half the movie. This board is addictive. Ciao! Everyone have a goodnight and keep those fingers crossed for Justine even if you don't like her. LOL!

Posted by steggy 09/08/2006 at 09:02 PM

Enjoy your movie Samantha, and don't stay out too late (don't want to get grounded again).

New post up.

Posted by kbomb 09/08/2006 at 09:04 PM

svelte -- check back with me when you're in your mid-40s and I'll bet good money that you're still not living and dying for a pro tennis match. Your plate will be even more full and rich and exciting than it already is! ;-) Coming here semi-regularly is evidence of how closely I still follow the game, 32 years after first picking up a racquet. But following the players ups and downs isn't as important to me as it was, say, during the Borg-McEnroe era. I'd mope around after Edberg and Rafter suffered tough losses, too, but you just learn to put in perspective. That said, thank god there's a new, younger generation of fans that replace the ol' fanatics and keep the crazy wild enthusiasm alive and well for this wonderful game. ;-)

Or, you can just do like so many of us and follow Federer -- you only get your heart broken about once a year at Roland Garros.

Posted by kbomb 09/08/2006 at 09:07 PM

Couldn't agree more with you, Tim. Today was a bust in terms of the quality of the matches, and it feels like we're going to have yet ANOTHER lousy women's final broadcast in prime time. I hope I'm wrong and that this long-anticipated Justine-Shriekpova duel lives up to its potential, but I'm not feeling good about what we may see tomorrow night.

I just hope the men's matches aren't total dogs, too.

Posted by Sam 09/08/2006 at 09:08 PM

Tim - You sound like you need some GE's!

Posted by Tim 09/08/2006 at 09:13 PM

the TW boards now are obviously very well run and professional and organized, but the more 'colorful' characters that showed up will often not survive as a result, this just goes with the territory .. as stegs said, been there, done that

Posted by Ruth 09/08/2006 at 09:17 PM

When I returned homearound 4 pm today, there was one message in my voice mail that went something like this..."Did you hear Justine during the little pre-match interview making her back up excuse about having problems with her back during the past few days? I cannot believe that girl (the caller didn't say 'girl') is still doing that nonsense (the caller didn't say 'nonsense')." The caller was one of my USO tennis buddy who, as many people here said, had dumped JHH as a fave after the AO incident. I was not surprised at all for the same reason that I think that my fellow Philadelphian Sam will be very disappointed if he thinks, as he posted on another thread, that behavior similar to the AO incident will "never" happen again.

However, I think that any player who, after three days :) on the Tour, doesn't expect or prepare for that kind of disgusting stuff from JHH and allows it to affect her mood and performance has only herself to blame. I said that after Serena dissolved into tears after the infamous FO hand incident, and I'll say it again today. It's sad...but that's the way it goes.

As for the comments about players' physical appearances, IMO Samantha is right on this one -- wrong, of course, about her own references to JJ's looks, but dead right about saying that some of us are being unfairly or strangely selective about when we think that it's OK to call someone ugly etc.

Posted by steggy 09/08/2006 at 09:24 PM

Tim: Oh, they could survive, as long as they followed the rules. Anyone is welcome, provided they follow the rules. Some simply don't *want* to follow the rules, and end up leaving through no fault other than their own. Pete and I don't like to see folks leave, but, if they cause problems, why should we let them stick around?

Ryan's case is a good example. Most of those who complain about his leaving and are crying "overmoderation" came late to the "party" and only saw 10% of what he posted that night. The other 90% had long since been deleted and sent onwards to Pete. Ryan himself said that he was unwilling to follow the rules and didn't mind if his comments were deleted. And, believe me, they were -- I spent a good hour and a half tracking the ones that fell short of the rules down and axeing 'em.

Ryan was a funny guy, yes, and he's welcome to come back as long as he plays nice in the sandbox. But neither Pete nor I are gonna put up with the kind of remarks he made towards others that night, no matter how witty the guy might be. Same goes for everyone else. *shrug*

Posted by Tim 09/08/2006 at 09:25 PM

in my book, Its never Ok to call someone ugly, thats in the eye of the beholder anyway...

Posted by Tim 09/08/2006 at 09:27 PM

Stegs thats the point, they CANT follow the rules, and they disappear! lol

Posted by Ray Stonada 09/08/2006 at 09:40 PM

As I recall, that night Ryan was crossing that faint-but-discernible line dividing humor. Even I felt I had to say something, and I'm no authoritarian. It was uncool, and uncharacteristic of him, but hey.

I understand where Sherlock is coming from, but that night, it was pretty clear to me that Ryan was out of order for sure. Wasn't cricket.

Posted by Sam 09/08/2006 at 10:12 PM

Ruth - I respect what you're saying, but I just don't see JHH retiring from a match like that again. She may do the other things you mentioned though.

Also, I watched the match from the middle of the second set on, and it was clear to me that JHH was affected by the back injury. She was not moving or striking the ball like she normally does. She was more like herself during the third set, but still didn't seem quite right. To me anyway.

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