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Blondes Away! 10/30/2010 - 11:09 PM

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by Pete Bodo

As Caroline Wozniacki prepares to play for the WTA Championships title (a win there would be Wozniacki's most significant title to date), we're entitled to wonder: Is she the next dominant WTA champion, plucking titles off the Grand Slam tree as if they were low-hanging fruit (see "G" for Graf, or "S" for Serena), or the next...Elena Dementieva?

Dementieva stole some of Wozniacki's thunder this week, choosing to retire from tennis at the same time that Wozniacki sewed up the year-end No. 1 ranking. So one blonde is out, one blonde is in, maintaining a tradition while also paring it down. Wozniacki, of course, has already surpassed Dementieva's career-high ranking of No. 3. But can she build a comparable resume, which includes two Olympic medals (including a gold in singles at the 2008 Beijing Games), nine semifinal—or better—finishes at Grand Slam events, and a 22-5 singles record in Fed Cup?

Two of those Fed Cup wins came in the 2005 final against a strong French squad. Dementieva put on a master class. She beat Mary Pierce and Amelie Mauresmo in singles, and partnered with Dinara Safina to win the critical fifth doubles (defeating the same two women Dementieva subdued in singles) in one of her career-best moments. And it was a championship tie played away from Dementieva's Moscow home, at the home of the French Open, Stade Roland Garros. In a way, that performance is emblematic of the realities that govern the WTA (as well as ATP): If you're not winning majors, you're chopped liver, at least as far as broad acclaim goes. But really, there's a lot more to having as long and rich a career as was Dementieva's.

A player like Dementieva—ask the next cab driver you hail if he recognizes the name—wins an awful lot of tennis matches. Many of those wins are resonant and certainly deeply satisfying. Kind of like writing a novel that's highly praised by your peers, and the most discerning of critics, but fails to crack the all-important best seller list, or attract a big, fat option deal from some movie producer. Why not me?, you may find yourself wondering. To which the only real answer is, Who knows? The prize-money check may balm what wounds a Slamless pro sustains, as does the respect of her peers and the cognescenti. But there's a bigger prize out there, and everyone knows it.

But it's easy to place so much emphasis on the majors, especially when it comes to players not our own. As important as the majors are, they're also to some degree a least-common denominator, universally used to judge players in who we don't necessarily have some vested interest. When you judge a player by her success at the majors—and it's not as if Dementieva has been a total Grand Slam flop—it's a little bit like adopting money earned as a baseline measure of success in business. (Or in the arts, although we're not supposed to say that. But would you really love, say, a Julian Schnabel—or even know who the hail he is—if his work wasn't going for $5 million a pop?) Or put it this way: If that cabbie to whom you put that question about Dementieva picked you up in Moscow, I'd bet dollars to donuts that he or she certainly would recognize her name and her accomplishments. But would he know the name Francesca Schiavone, or Gaston Gaudio?

Wozniacki in some ways has a tougher row to hoe than did Dementieva, despite having jumped out to a significantly better start. Dementieva, who's 29, didn't hit her career-high ranking until last season; Wozniacki, ranked No. 1, is all of 20. With 12 singles titles to her credit, Wozniacki is already just four short of Dementieva's career haul (16). And despite their age difference (even top players are generally thought to need a significant period of apprenticeship before ascending to No. 1, even if they win majors long before), Wozniacki has a winning head-to-head record against Dementieva (4-3).

Those statistics are prohibitively positive for Wozniacki. Yet somehow if I ask myself, Will Wozniacki have a better career than Dementieva?, I find myself balking at making what would be the obvious reply, and why that's so is a question that's more easily answered than the original one.

Dementieva had the misfortune to be a contemporary of Venus and Serena Williams. She played Serena surprisingly close, finishing 5-7 (and who can forget that epic Wimbledon win by Serena, 8-6 in the third, in last year's semis?), but had more trouble with Venus (3-9). Dementieva played Martina Hingis well seven times (3-4), but she was generally crushed by Lindsay Davenport (5-11). Against other Grand Slam champs or No. 1 players, Dementieva was 3-7 against Jelena Jankovic, 4-2 versus Ana Ivanovic, and 6-5 against Dinara Safina. Dementieva was hammered 11-3 by Kim Clijsters and even more savaged by Justine Henin, 11-2. She struggled against Svetlana Kuzentsova (4-7) but fared slightly better against Mauresmo, going 6-10.

By my unreliable math, Dementieva was 44-74 against the best players of two generations. Just for kicks, I checked to see if she'd ever played Steffi Graf, and came up blank. I don't have the patience to add up all the Grand Slam titles accounted for by the women represented in this head-to-head, but suffice it to say that it's mildy surprising that a woman who has a better than .500 record against the cream of the crop didn't hit paydirt on at least one occasion at a major.

Wozniacki is 0-2 against Serena Williams, and 0-4 against Serena's sister Venus. She won the only match she played against Mauresmo, lost her only match with Kim Clijsters (whom she'll face today) as well as her one encounter with Henin. She's 1-2 vs. Ivanovic and 0-4 vs. Jankovic. Davenport won the only time she played Wozniacki, and Hingis crushed her twice. Safina won her only match against Wozniacki. Wozniacki is 3-2 against Kuznetsova. All told, by my count, she's 5-19 against the best players she's faced, and two of those players (Jankovic and Safina) have, like Wozniacki, failed thus far to win a major.

106307504 Five of 24 is a far cry from 44-74, but it's also true that Wozniacki is at the very beginning of her career; I doubt that Dementieva's winning percentage was much higher against the best players at a comparable age. But the critical detail is that Dementieva was nowhere near the No. 1 ranking when she was 20 (she finished 2001 ranked 15th, and actually fell back four places the following year). So what we have in Wozniacki is the apprentice in charge of the workshop, and we'll just have to wait to see how that all works out. It's absurd to challenge or attempt to discredit that No. 1 ranking. It's a fact, although we can while away hours discussing how it came to pass. But the burdens that are passed along to the player who's no. 1 are not to be dismissed.

The great advantage Wozniacki enjoys, which Dementieva never had, is that she's free to write her personal history on what looks more and more like the proverbial tabula rasa. Her path isn't exactly strewn with roadblocks. Three of her main rivals—Jankovic, Ivanovic and Safina—have one major between them. Maria Sharapova hasn't been the same since her shoulder injury of over a year ago, and the Williams sisters are banged up, their future uncertain. Clijsters returned, but has put up exactly the kind of results you can expect from a part-time employee who's secure—she appears to be working only because she needs to fill her days and the money, which after all, is pretty darned good. Henin has retreated to lick the wounds inflicted during her brief return to the fray. Hail, even Kuznetsova's future is clouded, although I imagine Wozniacki wouldn't mind battling her, given how Sveta has provided Caro with more than 50 percent of her wins over top players.

Dementieva is a superior athlete to Wozniacki, but then tennis isn't a game ruled by athleticism, even if it's the value-added element that tends to lift great champions above merely good ones. That raises an interesting point: Was Dementieva a better "athlete" than "tennis player?" And if so, does it mean that Wozniacki, who's clearly more tennis player than athlete, ought to fare better in the long term?

Wozniacki hasn't exactly lit it up at the majors (the U.S. Open excepted), but she's demonstrated a great deal of consistency—more than was ever shown by Dementieva. In tennis, winning begets winning; it's a simple as that. And Dementieva's failure to win a major is less of a comment on her athletic abilities than on some flawed component of her make-up as a tennis player—a shortcoming she was able to overcome on only a few occasions, like the Beijing Olympics, or in that Fed Cup final against France. Call it choking, call it falling prey to a bad day on an important day, or call it the quality of competition—it amounts to the same thing: An inability to raise her game and tighten down the mental screws when it most counted. The failure of a habitual consistency.

So there is Wozniacki's position in a nutshell. The WTA is there for the taking, and Wozniacki has shown signs of being the kind of player who can put the hammer down on her rivals, week-in, week-out. But she has yet to prove herself by the most reliable measure of all, winning the biggest of titles. The opportunity for her is enormous, partly because at the moment there is a surprising lack of potential resistance. And until we see a player whose combination of desire, dedication, fitness and talent exceeds that of Wozniacki's present rivals, it's her game to lose.


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Posted by Jamaica Karen (dem a go tired fi see mi face - Bob Marley) 10/31/2010 at 12:04 PM

So Caro hits a short angle CCFH. Instead of coming in behind it and putting pressure on Kim to make the pass, she stays back.

Posted by Jamaica Karen (dem a go tired fi see mi face - Bob Marley) 10/31/2010 at 12:06 PM

NB, Kim has not played a match since the USO. Caroline on the other hand has had only one week off since the USO. She has played 4 consecutive tournies this fall while Kim has not played any. I think that may contribute to what we are seeing right now. However, Woz is just being hit off the court by the depth of shot that she just cannot defend against.

Posted by Jamaica Karen (dem a go tired fi see mi face - Bob Marley) 10/31/2010 at 12:07 PM

Look at where Woz's forehand shots drop and look at where Kim's drop. Kim's are closer to the baseline while Woz is just beyond the service line.

Posted by Master Ace 10/31/2010 at 12:09 PM

40-40 Caroline FH long as she serves at 3-5
A-40 Kim nets FH
40-40 Kim BH DTL got weak reply from Caroline FH
A-40 Kim FH return long
*Caroline 0-8 against WS and Belgian ladies*
40-40 Caroline nets BH
A-40 Kim nets volley as Caroline hit BH passing shot long after Kim came forward after starting pt with good return
40-40 Caroline CC FH wide
40-A Caroline BH wide as Kim BH hit the baseline
Kim 2/6 BP(Caroline 1/3)
40-40 Kim FH long
A-40 Kim nets FH - Last 2 pts Caroline put some mphs on BH
40-40 Kim BH winner
40-A Caroline nets FH after Kim hit BH DTL
40-40 Kim BH DTL wide
40-A Kim BH passing shot winner as Caroline came forward behind weak FH
Kim takes the set 6-3 as Caroline FH sails wide

Kader Nouni is the chair umpire

Posted by Northernboy 10/31/2010 at 12:09 PM

First time I've ever seen Caro catch her service toss. Good aggression, set point #1 saved. Wicked BH from Kim to take it back to deuce.

Caro's higher bouncing shots are right in Kim's wheelhouse. Woz has been doing a good job keeping her shots a little lower and deeper but they crept up on her there.

Wooo... Kim went for it on that DTL BH - was going to end the point one way or another. Set point #2. Nope...Kim went for far too much there. She had control of the rally and could have afforded a little more patience.

Bad approach from Woz and Kim makes a clinical DTL BH pass look easy. Set point #3.

And Caro shanks a tired FH wide. First set 6-3 to Kim

Posted by tennisesq. 10/31/2010 at 12:09 PM

Caro is no match for Mother Superior, Patron Saint of Hardcourts, atm.

Posted by Jamaica Karen (dem a go tired fi see mi face - Bob Marley) 10/31/2010 at 12:09 PM

Kim with the first set. Woz looks like she is just done already. Poor thing. I really feel for her because if she loses this match there will come once again the talk that she is not a deserving No. 1 and I absolutely believe that she is.

Posted by london 10/31/2010 at 12:10 PM

where is there a link to this match?

Posted by yello fuzzy 10/31/2010 at 12:10 PM

hey ho folks
I'm trying to follow both the Luby, Monfils matchs and Caro and Kim via internet streams since Espn and TTC thought a tape delayed final would be good enough

Posted by Ross (FOE, even Gael) 10/31/2010 at 12:11 PM

"Kim was this really nice girl who was to be applauded because she is so nice, hence the name Champagne Kimmie."

I enjoy your posts, JK, but my recollection about this is different. I believe Champagn Kimmie was a derogatory nickname that Pete Bodo came up with.

Posted by yello fuzzy 10/31/2010 at 12:11 PM

Kim just wore Caro down and that last game of the set.

Posted by manixdk - Caro: is she starting to find her game? 10/31/2010 at 12:12 PM

Caro seems to be hesitating

Posted by Jamaica Karen (dem a go tired fi see mi face - Bob Marley) 10/31/2010 at 12:12 PM

See what I am talking about. Talking about what Kim is going to say to her daughter because she is not there for her on the first day of school. give me a break already.

Posted by yello fuzzy 10/31/2010 at 12:13 PM

london
both finals can be found here
www.livescorehunter.com

Posted by MikeDC 10/31/2010 at 12:14 PM

London... I went to livescorehunter.com thanks to JK's suggestion above. Kind of annoying that I had to download some software (which I hate doing).

But quality is good. I cannot believe ESPN and TTC have conspired to not show this live... so sad.

Posted by Northernboy 10/31/2010 at 12:14 PM

Jamaica K - it's certainly possible that's a contributing factor, but I just don't think it's likely. Caro is young I think the schedule over the last week is much more relevant than the last two months.

Kim just has a much more focused look about her these days when she reaches a final.

lol Caro lookign hilarious with a massive icebag as a chapeau.

***To me the biggest test so far of Caro's career comes right here. She played extremely well for most of the opening set, even controlled more of the rallies, and still lost. To me, if Caro is truly to be a worthy top player, she has to dig in here and mke it a dogfight even if she loses. If she loses focus and bails the way Sam and Vera did yesterday, and as she just did now with that very sloppy opening return game, my respect for her diminishes.

She's certainly shown she's capable, as when she beat Dementieva to win Tokyo and Vera to beat Beijing.

Posted by Jamaica Karen (dem a go tired fi see mi face - Bob Marley) 10/31/2010 at 12:15 PM

@Ross, LOL, I think Pete gave her the name after she bought champagne for everyone at a tournament at which she was playing. LOL

Posted by yello fuzzy 10/31/2010 at 12:15 PM

good serving by Monfils is keeping him ahead in the match

Posted by temes 10/31/2010 at 12:16 PM

I just new the first set was gonna be 6-3...and the second probably 6-4. For Kim of course.

Posted by tennisesq. 10/31/2010 at 12:16 PM

Ugh, like most of the matches Kim was a party to, this one blows.

Posted by Jamaica Karen (dem a go tired fi see mi face - Bob Marley) 10/31/2010 at 12:19 PM

NB, I disagree. I think the way how Caro has been playing the last couple of months should define her career. I admit that there is a lot that needs improving in her game. Same could be said of Venus, Serena, Clijsters, Justine, Sharapova early on in their games. Everyone has to improve at some point. The worst thing that could happen to Wozniacki is that she is holding the No. 1 ranking at a time when there are so many great players still competing.

We have multiple Grand Slam champions who are still playing and right now her statute pales in comparison to the others but I believe she will get there. She just needs to add a little more oomph to her game and try not to rely on her dad so much.

Posted by london 10/31/2010 at 12:20 PM

thanks guys!!

Posted by manuelsantanafan 10/31/2010 at 12:20 PM

According to the WTA website, S.Williams is 29 and Clijsters is 27.

Immediately prior to this tournament, Clijsters had played a few more matches than Williams and had 476 singles wins to S.Williams' 474 singles wins.

Clijsters had won 39 WTA tournaments to S.Williams' 37 tournaments.

So, if Clijsters is "poaching," does one apply "super-poaching" to S.Williams' approach to professional tennis?

Posted by temes 10/31/2010 at 12:20 PM

If I was Woz I would fire my dad.

Posted by Jamaica Karen (dem a go tired fi see mi face - Bob Marley) 10/31/2010 at 12:22 PM

People forget that in her first career Kim was nowhere the player that she was then that she is now. Give the rest of her generation a chance to get used to the new and improved Clijsters and we will perhaps see her reverting to her previous role. I think also one of the reasons why she has been performing so well is that she is playing with absolutely no pressure. Why should she feel pressured when all she wanted was a husband and family. She does not have the same ingrained belief in tennis like the others of her generation, like say a Justine who is back because of Wimbledon.

As far as Kim is concerned she has a husband, a child and if she goes out there and wins matches so much the better. The thing about that though is that if you look at it most of her efforts are spent on a surface that suits her game. The question to be asked is whether she is willing to put herself on the line on her weaker surfaces to try and get titles on those. I think not

Posted by Northernboy 10/31/2010 at 12:23 PM

Jamaica Karen - I agree the commentators spend too much time talking about Kim's mommie toils, but I don't think Kim herself is as guilty. It's not like it's a factor in this match.

I agree also that Caro needs to continue to work in this match - even a hard fought loss will make the pressers for her in the next year a lot easier.

What's amazing me most is that Caro is getting some SEVERE angles on her BH crosscourt especially, but whether it's her slight disadvantage in pace, the slow court, or just the amazing athleticism of her opponent, it isn't paying dividends for her the way it would against anyone else.

I do feel bad for her because I can tell just how much she wants to win this. But I also have mad respect for Kim and the superior player she is in her return to tennis - she has the killer instinct she lacked prior to her time off. ACtually now that I think about it she's 8-0 against the other Big 4 - 3 wins against V, 3 against Henin and 2 against Serena (though the 2nd Serena win shouldn't hold weight as it was the Belgian exhibition and we know Serena probably shouldn't have played that match with her cut foot).

Posted by Carol 10/31/2010 at 12:24 PM

Hi everybody

I think at the present Clijsters is the best player in the women circuit. Serena has more power (almost like a man) but Clijsters is better player.

Posted by tennisesq. 10/31/2010 at 12:24 PM

Serena maintains a 7-2 lead in the H2H with Champagne Kim.

13 slam titles vs. 3.

I could go on and on.

There's no use comparing Serena (or Justine & Venus) with Clijsters.

Posted by temes 10/31/2010 at 12:26 PM

Caro's game is just too soft...it just does not work against the best. She will be forever runner up until she develops some weapons.

Posted by Northernboy 10/31/2010 at 12:26 PM

lol Manueltennisfan, great post.
However, even as a Clijsters fan I should point out how Kim really used to be the JJ or Caro of the tour - in 2003 I believe she was the first player in over a decade to play more than 100 matches in a year. From 2001-2005 she played like a demon on speed, and hence why, combined with her super athletic style, had numerous injuries. So she accumulated a LOT of wins during that time.

That's also why I believe Caroline should use Kim as a cautionary tale - her game demands a lot of running and she needs to pace herself if she wants the long career she deserves.

Clijsters finally hitting her swinging volleys to Caro's FH. Does Caro really not have a FH winner? It seemed like she was playing much better than that, at least in the 1st set.

Come on Caro, dig in and make this a match. Clijsters is known for 2nd set lulls, but you have to fight to earn them.

Posted by Jamaica Karen (dem a go tired fi see mi face - Bob Marley) 10/31/2010 at 12:27 PM

@Carol, I really hate when people come here and post derogatory things about players. How is it contributing to the really wonderful tennis discussion by comparing one of the greats of tennis to a man. I know for a fact that you do not like when people speak derogatively about Nadal, so please respect the feelings of other fans here. Thanks

Posted by Carol 10/31/2010 at 12:27 PM

Kim deserves a lot of credit been a mom and playing like she's playing

Posted by Jamaica Karen (dem a go tired fi see mi face - Bob Marley) 10/31/2010 at 12:29 PM

@tennisesq, thanks for the stats on Clijsters and Serena. Sometimes it is good to put things in perspective and numbers usually say it best.

Posted by tennisesq. 10/31/2010 at 12:30 PM

Puh-lease. Clijsters doesn't deserve any more credit than any other mom out there. It's ridiculous the way that woman exploits the mother angle.

Posted by Jamaica Karen (dem a go tired fi see mi face - Bob Marley) 10/31/2010 at 12:30 PM

Anyway, I have had enough of this. Really sad that Wozniacki not able to make this match, especially the second set, a little bit more competitive. I just hate what the media is going to do to this young woman come Australian Open time when she goes in as the No. 1 seed. Such a pity.

Posted by ripped off 10/31/2010 at 12:31 PM

I watched WTA champs all week and now?
Its almost over but can't see it.
Do you think I am going to watch it after
the final score is known? IN THE FINAL ??

I'm through with tennis. Take it and shove it!

Posted by temes 10/31/2010 at 12:31 PM

Serena hits hard, but I think the only shot she hits harder than many other women players is the serve. And I don't see the logic in saying Kim is the better player when Serena has been having better results in past and present but to each their own I guess.

Posted by tennisesq. 10/31/2010 at 12:32 PM

JK,
When you include Serena's doubles slam championships (with Venus), grand slam mixed, and her Olympic gold medals, there really is no comparison with that Belgian.

Posted by Independent411 10/31/2010 at 12:34 PM

@Carol: "...almost like a man"?

Totally INAPPROPRIATE.

TOTALLY S.T.O.P.

Posted by manixdk - Caro: is she starting to find her game? 10/31/2010 at 12:35 PM

Super important hold for Caro now

Posted by Carol 10/31/2010 at 12:35 PM

JK, what is wrong with you???? When I said that Serena is strong almost like a man, I don't think is something incorrect . She is very strong player and it's giving to her advantage
I hate when some posters take comments in the WRONG way

Posted by Northernboy 10/31/2010 at 12:35 PM

tennisesq - disagree with you there. Kim actually have more titles (40 if she wins tonight, compared to 37 for Serena) than Serena, and only a few less than Henin and Venus, who both have 43. She has a winning record against Henin. We've just spent the past 2 days talking about how much there is to accomplish outside of JUST the slams with Demmy's retirement. Really the only thing they have that Clijsters doesn't is an Olympic medal.

ugh here's that 2nd set lull from Kim. Blech. Aw Kim you knew that Woz was going to take that short slice Xcourt, could have been there. It's like she suddenly ran out of breath.

Posted by Jamaica Karen (dem a go tired fi see mi face - Bob Marley) 10/31/2010 at 12:35 PM

@temes, when they did the power rankings sometime ago, we saw for ourselves that unlike what people usually thought, Serena never even made the top 10 of players who hit hard. There were many others who out powered Serena, yet people still insist that she hits hard.

People need to go back and watch matches of Serena and watch how she plays tennis. They might be pleasantly surprised. I watched the Wimbledon 2009 semis and saw at 6-5 in the third set, Elena played a nice slice backhand drop volley shot and Serena rather than ripping it for a winner played a very delicate CCFH passing shot that just dipped by Elena for the winner. There was absolutely no power on the shot.

Posted by manuelsantanafan 10/31/2010 at 12:36 PM

Anyone who has followed Clijsters' career knows that she isn't the greatest closer in big matches.

So, I'm not sure why some people thought this match was over after Clijsters got up only one break in the second set.

By the way, was somebody arguing that Clijsters is a better player or has had a better career than S.Williams?

Posted by downtheT 10/31/2010 at 12:36 PM

what is up with Tennis Channel, its listed in the guide as supposed to be on. they are starting to get annoying with their lack of proper programming. i cant find a stream... had one but got cut off. Caro is taking a beating though from what i did see and probably match over anyway and not worth wasting time watching the rest. was pretty subpar tennis all around in what i saw.

Posted by manixdk - Caro: is she starting to find her game? 10/31/2010 at 12:37 PM

Well well 4-4

Posted by Northernboy 10/31/2010 at 12:37 PM

Kim just needs to settle and finish this off.

Posted by Northernboy 10/31/2010 at 12:39 PM

Wow WTH Kim.....just terrible drop shot... where did all her energy go? It looks like she's hit a wall or something. Spaying shots wide now. Caro isn't really playing much better other than returning to the level of the first set.

Kim let herself get complacent and suckered into a lower level.

Posted by tennisesq. 10/31/2010 at 12:40 PM

Northern Boy,
There's no point in debating Serena, Venus, Justine with Kim. It's really a foregone conclusion.

Posted by Jamaica Karen (dem a go tired fi see mi face - Bob Marley) 10/31/2010 at 12:42 PM

NB, saying that the only thing Serena has that Clijsters does not have is an Olympic medal is to put it mildly, nonsense. Are you serious? Serena has won majors on every single surface. Every surface. She got her career slam before many others before her who people say have more talent than her.

Clijsters is not even in the same category of thought as Serena. Serena has a positive h2h with almost every single player present and past. Clijsters can lose to anyone even on a good day (Petrova is a good case in point). Anytime you can show me where Clijsters has changed the face of a game by pulling out a win when she should have lost, I will put her in the same category as Serena, but until then Serena stands alone, even above her sister, Venus.

@Carol, I have seen you rip people apart because they said something really innocent about Nadal, so please do not bother to tell me about taking things the wrong way. Comparing a female to a male is in my view insulting.

Posted by Northernboy 10/31/2010 at 12:43 PM

Jamaica K I agree - to me the one thing Serena doesn't get enough credit for is her versatility, especially her lethal approach and net game. She is the one player, male or female, that I see completely comfortable with rushing the net to hit a defensive return with a swinging volley.

It's that shot that could have won Soderling his French Open this year, or could have enabled Sharapova to beat Henin at the French. Against great defenders you NEED to be able to close and finish confidently. Henin does it equally effectively with slice putaways.

Posted by temes 10/31/2010 at 12:43 PM

Jamaica Karen, absolutely. This is nothing new for Serena fans, she plays very smart tennis and racks up the power in the moments where it's likely to do most damage. I never understood why people insist she is a brutal ballbasher, I guess her on court presence gives some that impression. lol

Posted by Jamaica Karen (dem a go tired fi see mi face - Bob Marley) 10/31/2010 at 12:45 PM

temes, LOL

NB, believe me I wish I could say differently about Serena, because I love Venus more, but it is the truth.

Posted by manixdk - Caro: is she starting to find her game? 10/31/2010 at 12:46 PM

Never ever count Caro out

Posted by Jamaica Karen (dem a go tired fi see mi face - Bob Marley) 10/31/2010 at 12:46 PM

Caro being very attacking. Good to see. See, when you come up and put away the ball you will win the point. Come on girl, at least take this to a breaker.

Posted by temes 10/31/2010 at 12:47 PM

Well Woz is making this a match, nice.

Posted by manixdk - Caro: is she starting to find her game? 10/31/2010 at 12:48 PM

Oh no! Oh yes!

Posted by Jamaica Karen (dem a go tired fi see mi face - Bob Marley) 10/31/2010 at 12:48 PM

What a rally. Nice. Come on Woz. Wow, what a point

Posted by Jamaica Karen (dem a go tired fi see mi face - Bob Marley) 10/31/2010 at 12:48 PM

Where is Woz No. 1 fan? She is never here when Woz is playing

Posted by tennisesq. 10/31/2010 at 12:49 PM

There is one thing Kim great at, and can do better than Serena, Venus & Justine . . . choke. The story of her career.

Posted by Northernboy 10/31/2010 at 12:50 PM

Whoa Jamaica Karen what's with the hyperbole? I never said anything of the sort. Serena is in a different league than Venus, Justine and Kim all of them. She's up there with Graf, Court and Navratilova as the best to ever play the game.

What I was disagreeing with was discounting Kim from the 'Big 4' group solely on her GS record, and pointing out that by other measures she's just as good.

And come on, obviously Kim's play when she lost to Petrova was not Kim 'on a good day' it was in fact the worst day of her career. Serena has had losses just as out of character, except they aren't against players as talented but headcsey as Petrova.

To me it's Venus who has always benefitted from being lumped in with Serena. Venus and Justine are the most comparable s they have the exact same # of overall titles and GS titles (43, 7) and each has a favorite slam, with Venus a 5 time Wimby champ and Henin 4 times victor at the French). Even though Kim and Sharapova have the same # of slams, I don't think anyone would dispute Kim is the better player.

tennisesq - 'because I said so' isn't much of an argument

Posted by downtheT 10/31/2010 at 12:50 PM

what are you all watching this on? tennis channel isnt showing it despite being on their onscreen guide.

Posted by yello fuzzy 10/31/2010 at 12:50 PM

downtheT
www.livescorehunter.com

Posted by Jamaica Karen (dem a go tired fi see mi face - Bob Marley) 10/31/2010 at 12:52 PM

Come on Woz, break

Posted by tennisesq. 10/31/2010 at 12:52 PM

Northern Boy,
That wasn't my argument. It would take too long for me to list the Big 3's accomplishments vs. Kim's.

Posted by Northernboy 10/31/2010 at 12:52 PM

Ugh - some reaaally uncharacteristic left balls from Clijsters. And there's the signature swing volley shank. Ugh Kimmy...how many BH dtl savior shots are you going to have to hit?

Bah! Kim's let Caro back into the match

Posted by Christopher 10/31/2010 at 12:52 PM

tennisesq.-- Kim may be a better overall choker, but Justine's loss to Bartoli is the single greatest display of choking I've seen in over 30 years of watching tennis.

Posted by temes 10/31/2010 at 12:53 PM

Woz got more succesfully aggressive and Kim makes some nasty errors...I hope it goes in third.

Posted by downtheT 10/31/2010 at 12:53 PM

found another stream on fromsport, hope it holds. actually turned into a match.

Posted by manixdk - Caro: is she starting to find her game? 10/31/2010 at 12:53 PM

@Jamaica SamE has either classes, or is just to nervous :). Caro serving for the set

Posted by manuelsantanafan 10/31/2010 at 12:53 PM

Arguing that Clijsters has had as good a career as S.Williams would be as silly as arguing that S.Williams currently belongs in the GOAT discussion with Court, Graf, and Navratilova.

Of the three older players, Navratilova has the fewest majors singles titles, yet S.Williams doesn't come close to matching Navratilova's achievements:

Nav's Singles Wins on the Women's Tours: 968 More than S. Williams
Nav's Singles Titles on the Women's Tours: 130 More than S. Williams
Nav's Singles Majors on the Women's Tours: 5 More than S. Williams
Nav's Doubles Wins on the Women's Tours: 602 More than S. Williams
Nav's Doubles Titles (Non-mixed) on the Women's Tours: 157 More than S. Williams

Posted by Carol 10/31/2010 at 12:54 PM

JK, I know that you are mad with me and I know why. yeah, I didn't like that comment that you did and I responded to you, that's it. I forgot about that
But in this case I respect to Serena, she is a great player but I think her best weapon is her strength, her serve but ....may I say that I like Clijsters more than her?

Posted by Jamaica Karen (dem a go tired fi see mi face - Bob Marley) 10/31/2010 at 12:54 PM

Come on Woz, never a break until you consolidate.

NB, it may be hyperbole to you, but when you say that the only difference between Clijsters and Serena is an Olympic medal, come on. You just cannot say something like that and expect to be taken seriously.

I am not going to put Serena in the same conversation as Graf and Navratilova because by any stretch of the imagination those 2 women have accomplished more in tennis than Serena will ever accomplish. However, you have to see that in terms of Serena's era she stands alone.

I would not say that Clijsters is a better player than Sharapova actually. I think Sharapova at her best beats Clijsters at her best.

Posted by Northernboy 10/31/2010 at 12:55 PM

lol could this match be any more classic Clijsters, especially similar to her Henin matches this year? Up 4-1 in the 2nd and cracks.

Come on Kim, break to force the TB. Great start.

Posted by tennisesq. 10/31/2010 at 12:55 PM

LOL Christopher,
It wasn't Justine's fault. Pierce Brosnan has a way with woman, so Marion was a woman possessed that day.

Posted by london 10/31/2010 at 12:56 PM

looks like were headed to s third. who wouldve guessed after kim lead 4-1 in the second.

Posted by tennisesq. 10/31/2010 at 12:57 PM

MSF,
Different eras and all that. Serena, Venus, Justine, & Kim are contemporaries.

Posted by manixdk - Caro: is she starting to find her game? 10/31/2010 at 12:57 PM

I never get into GOAT discussions. It'll always be apples and oranges. Greatest in they're era? Which years define an era?

Posted by PapaQ 10/31/2010 at 12:57 PM

Well isn't that special...

Caro's back, kom så!

Posted by Northernboy 10/31/2010 at 12:58 PM

Jamaica K, really? Hrm, well we definitely don't agree on that point re: Sharapova v. Clijsters at their best. Even though Masha is also one of my favorite players.

Dang Kim played it too safe with that FH approach and WOz was able to pass. Kim saves set point #1. Needs to cover that wide serve though.

Match goes 3 sets. Damn Kim if you were tired at all you should have turned in a more concerted effort up 4-1 and you could have been packing to head home to Jada by now.

Posted by tennisesq. 10/31/2010 at 12:58 PM

Kom Sa, Caro!

Posted by Papo (Got Nadal?) 10/31/2010 at 01:00 PM

LOL, no offence, but the commentators are pushing this world number one thing.

"That's exactly what you would expect from the world number one."

I would expect the world number one to have won a major this year, hehe.

Posted by Jamaica Karen (dem a go tired fi see mi face - Bob Marley) 10/31/2010 at 01:00 PM

Carol, no it was not that you took me to task for something I said about Nadal. It is the fact that you constantly take offence at anything anyone says about Nadal.

I have taken people to task for saying the same things about Stosur, Venus, Schiavone etc. I have taken people to task for comparing how the women play like the men. I have also taken people to task for even comparing the men and the women. 2 different types of play and therefore should not be compared. Let the women stand on their own. They have a very diversified group and I would prefer if the women were compared to each other.

MSF does it all the time. He compares today's players to players of past eras, which is as it should be, even though I think you can only compare players playing in their own time rather than with players of the past, but there you go.

I think that a player holding 13 Grand Slams on all surfaces should stand alone as a great achievement but some people feel that it should be compared across Court's 1000, and Martina's 2,500 and Chris Evert's 6,502, but what do I know.

Posted by temes (Caroline, the beautiful and talented world's n.1) 10/31/2010 at 01:00 PM

I think if Caro pulls this off, all of TW should do to their moniker what I just did.

Posted by tennisesq. 10/31/2010 at 01:00 PM

Even though Shrieky & Kim have the same number of slams, I find Shrieky's accomplishment more remarkable because she achieved her feat at 3 different slam events.

DJ in Doha playing Rihanna's "Only Girl."

Posted by Northernboy 10/31/2010 at 01:01 PM

lol I had to grin when at 4-1 in the 2nd they said Woz had yet to hit a FH winner, and that 2nd set highlight clip was almost nothing but FH winners.

Credit to Caro for seizing the Clijsters lull, as all her opponents must do if they're to have a chance, and playing some sharp tennis to take this to 3.

Hoepfully Kim still has good energy. It really looked like she ran out of gas a bit

Posted by Northernboy 10/31/2010 at 01:02 PM

Ooph...Kim looks quite off balance hitting those BHs. Seems to me like her legs are feeling it - more than just mental fatigue.

Posted by tennisesq. 10/31/2010 at 01:04 PM

Where the hail did Caro steal this fh from? Or should I say who did she steal it from?

Posted by manuelsantanafan 10/31/2010 at 01:04 PM

Maybe, Clijsters has been distracted by sounds of distress from her young daughter.

Rumor has it that Belgian mothers can detect such sounds across thousands of miles and large bodies of water.

This is so pathetic.

Posted by Jamaica Karen (dem a go tired fi see mi face - Bob Marley) 10/31/2010 at 01:04 PM

Wow look at those numbers for Wozniacki. I think Woz has one of the best 3 set records on Tour this year. Maybe one of our experts can check to make sure

Posted by temes (Caroline, the beautiful and talented world's n.1) 10/31/2010 at 01:05 PM

I can't believe Caro just broke again. What universe is this? Oh yeah, Samantha's.

Posted by yello fuzzy 10/31/2010 at 01:06 PM

JK
no way Maria at her best beats Kim at her best. Kim has too much game for Maria. Even when Maria was serving well, she was still vulnerable off the 2nd serve return. her movement has always been her greatest weakness, not to mention the lack of variety in her game is pretty easy to exploit, especially if you have the wheels and the ability to approach and hit volleys. Kim has never been afraid of the net .Maria was a fool to think her game didn't(or wouldn't )need any upgrades, thats something Kim has done, made great improvements in the weakest areas of her game

Posted by tennisesq. 10/31/2010 at 01:08 PM

I agree with JK re: Shrieky vs. Kim.

At Shrieky's best, she can hit Kim off the court.

Posted by manixdk - Caro: is she starting to find her game? 10/31/2010 at 01:09 PM

Bad game by Caro, hitting too short

Posted by Master Ace 10/31/2010 at 01:10 PM

Jamaica Karen,
Think Caroline leads the WTA in % of winning the 3rd set. Numbers are not at my finger tips at the moment.

Posted by Northernboy 10/31/2010 at 01:11 PM

Sharapova's been to 4 slam finals (and 6 semifinals, though none since 2007) winning 3. Kim's been to 7 finals (and 7 semifinals) and won 3. Pretty comparable actually. I just think Kim's game is more diverse. Whereas Maria had a more diverse game and seems to have devolved into pure bashing recently. Maria has a better 1st and 2nd serve though.

Kim looks out of it. Yeesh - hopefully she can turn it around the way she did with Henin and Brisbane.

Yay Kim! back on serve and up 2-1!

Commentators also predicting an ELE (Extinction Level Event) in 2012 for the men's and women's tours.

Posted by Jamaica Karen (dem a go tired fi see mi face - Bob Marley) 10/31/2010 at 01:11 PM

YF, I just went and looked at the h2h and you are right, I had no idea that it was in Kim's favour. I know about the weaknesses in her game, but what surprised most when I looked at the h2h is that a lot of the matches were straight sets affair.

Posted by Andrew 10/31/2010 at 01:11 PM

Well, one of these young ladies is going to win, but I have no idea who. Sunday doubles coming up for me. May your favorite play well!

Posted by Pierre 10/31/2010 at 01:12 PM

Hey wait a minute, was that Danish he was speaking or Polish????

Posted by Papo (Got Nadal?) 10/31/2010 at 01:13 PM

The Doha crowd, to their delight, are getting to see a real three set battle.

The French crowd, to their consternation, are also getting a third set. Ljubicic won the second set to even the match vs Monfils.

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