> And yet, many of your postings seem to suggest Clijsters was not remotely
> close to winning her sf at this year's AO against SW, even though *she*
> held a match point.
what i stated was that clijsters did not generate her own offense; she relied
upon serena hitting a lot of unforced errors. when serena stopped hitting the
unforced errors, the match was pretty much over for clijsters.
was clijsters close to winning the match? yes. is clijsters close to being
as good a tennis player as serena? no.
> > loss #3: she lost to henin in a third set tiebreak. again, a
> > last set tiebreak doesn't guarantee a win, but it
> > suggests that serena came close to winning.
> It does to me. But not to people like Whisper, who think that Seles's
> winning 10-8 in the 3rd at the FO is evidence that Graf was the better
the problem with this kind of analysis is that serena puts forth a consistent
level of effort to win each point in a match. from what i can tell, that is
not the way that serena tends to play, she seems to be drift in and out,
having stretches of brilliant play, and stretches of unfocused play. at the
critical points, however, she is fairly consistent in stepping up the level
of her game.
by contrast, clijsters seems like a player who goes flat out, playing
consistently throughout the match. thus, clijsters can rip through the field
in a tournament, defeating opponents by 6-0/6-1 scores but then lose to serena
in straight sets later in the tournament.
> Seriously, what it does suggest to me is that SW was not quite
> the mental force then that she is now -- rare for her to lose the big
> points now.
last year serena was putting away the matches in which she was in a position
to win. i think that she entered 2002 with the mindset that she wasn't going
to lose matches in which she had 8 match points.
i think that the outcome of this match was partly influenced by the fact that
it was played on clay. keep in mind that at the time the conventional wisdom
was that serena couldn't play on clay. granted, she had a determination to
prove the naysayers wrong, but that kind of thing can influence a person
nonetheless, particularly given the fact that she had lost to schyder in her
but i also think that even though she lost this match, it gave her enough
confidence to run the table in the rest of her matches on clay.
> > loss #4: serena lost to rubin in a match where she had a
> > 4-1 lead in the third set. serena generally closes
> > those matches out these days, but in this case she
> > didn't.
> But Rubin also played exceptionally well.
yeah, but serena is an exceptionally good tennis player, so regardless of how
well an opponent plays, if she gets a 4-1 lead, that opponent is still going
to need some help from serena to pull out the win.
> Yes, I've got that. But it's still *five* losses. The pattern is there.
that was what i was commenting on; the pattern; not the result, which was
five losses. what the pattern suggests is that if she got to play these
match situations over again, the outcomes would have been different and she
would have won. even in the match that she lost against clijsters, she was
serving for the set in the first set.
what the pattern suggests is that serena is going to be every match with a
chance to win. under those circumstances the odds are always going to be
in serena's favor.