BBC Home

Explore the BBC

Browse: Tennis

49 comments

user rating: 4 star

Anyone for women's French Open predictions?

comment on the article

The second Grand Slam of the year in Paris is fast approaching and many of the world's top female stars are tuning up on the green clay at Amelia Island.

Top seed Maria Sharapova leads the Florida field but says she is struggling with her heavy schedule.

Lindsay Davenport is continuing her good run of form while Amelie Mauresmo might just be finding hers at last after a difficult 2008.

What are your thoughts on the action in Amelia Island so far and can we make any early predictions for the French Open title?

Latest 10 comments

Read members' comments or add your own
comment by olebell (U8061660)

posted Apr 12, 2008

Does anyone else think the standard in the womens game has dropped in the last few years - there is no outstanding player at the minute and the way Lyndsay Davenport has been able to come back quite successfully even though she is over 30 and was out for quite a while is quite surprising. Lyndsay was a great player but she reached her peak a long time ago.

I also think it is less exciting now - no rivalries like Seles & Graf, or Hingis & the Williams sisters.

Maybe its something to do with the money now - players seem to lose their hunger a lot quicker now and its hard to see anybody coming along in the near future and winning 10+ slams in their career.

As for the French Open - a fit Henin will win it - Sharapova doesn't have the footwork for clay, neither does Davenport, the Williams sisters may not be in the mood (Venus seems to save herself for Wimbledon nowadays); Mauresmo, Ivanovic and Jankovic don't seem to have it mentally and I can't see any of the others challenging.

One last question - what has happened to the Americans - can't seem to produce the players now - maybe they were just spoiled for a while with Sampras, Agassi, Capriati, Venus & Serena, Davenport, Seles (for a while). Some would argue Roddick but I wouldn't put him in the same class as these.

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Apr 12, 2008

I have been watching Sharapova playing at Amelia Island and I think that she is getting better on clay. She hit 11 aces and although she had 8 double faults, there were signs of a good clay court player.

I think that she will win Amelia Island.

Going into Charleston, she has a good chance as Henin and Venus have pulled out.

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Apr 12, 2008

I disagree OleBol, it is much harder to be a top 10 player now than even 5 years ago when Serena was number 1.

Now we have a top 10 all of whom are capable of beating each other at any point ad there are people in the top 20 who can upset top 5 players on their day (Radwanska, Zvonareva, Schiavone, Szavay, Peer etc.)

I believe the women's game has never had more strength in depth and that the battle for ultimate supremacy as a top 5 player is harder than ever.

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Apr 12, 2008

Davenport has given Sharapova a walkover into the final...

I really wanted to watch this match sadface

add comment | complain about this comment

comment by cogent53 (U212222)

posted Apr 12, 2008

Some really interesting analyses of the main contenders for the RG title. Tipping a winner looks trickier than it has for a while this year. I am a huge Henin fan, but her lack of confidence is alarming. Someone (sorry didn't note the username) pinned it down - her lack of winners and unforced error count is worrying.
However, the clay court season hopefully will see a return of confidence - form is temporary, class..blah blah..!

Of the others, I think Kuznetsova should have the best chance of winning on her form this year, but how often has she failed at the crucial moment. (is it 7 or 8 losses in finals now?) She's a very complete player with a great game for clay, but can she make the mental breakthrough?
Watching Sharapova on clay is like watching a giraffe ice skate! She was fortunate to make the semis last year (BTW, how come she got so omany favorable drawn last year? WTA must have had a hand!!)
Ivanovic has improved her movement, but I am not totally convinced. Serena looked majestic in Florida, but can she maintain that form on a surface that isn't her favourite and could expose her fitness. Jankovic has promised a big win for a while, but I don't see enough in her game to make her stand out about the others.
Venus' form is patchy, Chavetadze has the game but the nerves of a petulant child. I'm a big Dementieva fan, and she's improved that woeful serve. She has great movement, and didn't she make the final here a few years back? I'd like to see her do well.

Henin hasn't had an easy draw in a slam for ages - quarters have been Serena/Serena/Serena/Maria on her last 4. Wonder how the draw will pan out this time?

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Apr 13, 2008

As a Williams' fan, i would love to see either of them reach the RG final again for the first time since 2002, but honestly, Venus has had an awful year so far-(not won a title this year) and even then, her game isn't suited to clay, so i really dont see her posing a real threat at the FO.

However, Serena is 14-1 so far this year, and with the form that she showed in Miami, she is definitely capable of getting back to world number 1- and so, even though clay is her least favoured surface- she is capable of winning it. She was looking quite good on clay last year until she crumbled in front of Henin in the quarters. But this year,with a favourable draw, i can see her getting past the quarters (for the first time in 4 slams)- and maybe even into the final, and with a 8-2 record in GS finals, she would have an excellent chance to win it- so come on Serena!!!!!!!

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Apr 13, 2008

I must admit, it is difficult not to back the Williams sisters, especially Serena. However, i hope that we don't see any more of Serena's gamesmanship, such as taking a deliberately long bathroom break. As in any sport, a prolonged break decreases concerntration etc, and this can't ever be good. As long as this isn't repeated, i look forward to watching Serena play.

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Apr 13, 2008

I'm not quite sure I get the point your making sports_addict59, that gamesmanship shouldn't be used? Well, tennis isn't just about the shots that are played, but the 'mental game' is just as critical for success. So as you referred to the Wimbledon 07 4th round match between serena and hantuchova- serena was clearly injured that game, and because her game was clearly hindered i.e. she couldn't run, she had to get inside hantuchova's head and it worked fantastically- serena ran away with the third set as hantuchova completely crumbled under the pressure.So, so what if she used a little bit of gamesmanship- she had to in order to stay in the tournament. And it's not as if we havent seen gamesmanship from other players on the tour eg. henin and 'the hand' in the 2003 FO.

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Apr 13, 2008

Hey UncleToniisaGod,

The clay used at Roland Garros is not 'slow', by any means. It actually plays 'medium-fast' among the European red clay and American green [Har-tru] clay surfaces.

Har-tru (used on the American clay court season) plays faster than [most] European red clay. The view among the players is that the fine red clay that is used in Rome plays even faster, though.

The speed of red European clay can be markedly variable. The clay used
at Berlin, for example, has a very thick/'heavy' top-dressing, so plays very slowly - far slower than at Roland Garros. You need an enormous, heavy weight of shot (and good use of spin) to be successful on clay that slow. The clay used at Warsaw is a little faster, and
the clay used at Roland Garros is faster still (many players assert that the surface plays faster than many hardcourt surfaces, especially on a hot, dry day, for example).


The clay used at Rome plays the 'fastest', though. The ball can literally 'fly'
off the court at the Foro Italica.

However, the primary difference cf. to European clay is the bounce:
i can't quite explain the difference but i know [from playing on both] that green clay is far more coarser
and surface seems more 'granular' (in texture) to me. I know that this isn't a very scientific description! hehe ... but the ball comes off the surface quite differently.

...

comment by UncleToniisaGod (U9208721)

posted Yesterday

"(.)on a clay-court more similar to a slow HC rather than the slow clay of RG, doesn't bode well for her IMO. The problem she has is that if opponents keep going to her forehand, it has a tendency to break down in comparison to her more solid backhand wing".

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Apr 19, 2008

in reply to sports_fan's reply to me, do you honestly think gamesmanship has a place in sport...sledging is becoming part of the game of cricket, and look what its resulted in: Harbhajan Singh's racism, and Andrew Symonds constant sledging...no sport has place for this type of behaviour: delaying play due to breaks is cheating, as you are changing the flow of the match: you have had to resort to other tactics other than your own ability...gamesmanship is just a way for those who are either less-talented or performing worse to get an unfair upper-hand...

add comment | complain about this comment

Comment on this article

Sorry, you can only contribute to 606 during opening hours. These are 0900-2300 UK time, seven days a week, but may vary to accommodate sporting events and UK public holidays.

RATE THIS ARTICLE

Rate Breakdown

  • 5 46.15%
    6 votes
  • 4 23.08%
    3 votes
  • 3 30.77%
    4 votes
  • 2
    0 votes
  • 1
    0 votes

average rating:
4.15 from 13 votes