Archive for the ‘Justine’ Category

Bloody Belgian Battle

Posted by Brodie under: Justine, Kimmy, SW19

28 Jun 2010

While a Maria/Serena match is guaranteed to be competitive and fierce (and filled with lots of strange noises) and Kim/Justine match is about as certain to have equal amounts of weirdness. In both meetings this year (Brisbane and Miami) Kim won in the third set tiebreak in matches filled with wild consistency and random spurts of brilliance.

Today was just as strange. Justine game out, working that psycho killer game, hammering forehands, backhands, coming to the net. It kept Kim off balance, hitting tons of errors, missing first serves. And Kim just kept being Kim, driving us all nuts by playing at the speed of light and sticking in a totally crap rhythm. First set Justine, 6-2, in the blink of an eye (under a half hour).

The turning point, however, was early in the first set, where Justine slipped coming to the net, lost her racquet, and fell awkwardly on her arm. She got treatment for it twice, once during the first set and once after it. All of a sudden, the backhand started going. Makes sense, it’s tough to hit a one handed backhand if your arm is hurting. It was in her head.

And just like that, Kim flipped the switch. More first serves, cracking the forehand. Looking fearless. And into the magical Kim rhythm. She took the second set easily, 6-2, and then the third set 6-3.

Q. How much did it bother you after it happened?
JUSTINE HENIN: Well, it’s very hard to say. I mean, of course, it’s been mentally not easy to deal when I fall down on the court and the few games after. It was mentally not easy.
But after that, I mean, it was warm, and I could play. I don’t really now how it affected it. So we’ll see in the next few days.

Q. Was there a particular shot that it bothered you on the most?
JUSTINE HENIN: On serve and backhand a little bit. But we’ll see.

BG said it best when he said “she’s trying to play a bigger game than her size.” Especially when the backhand isn’t work… indeed.

23 Jun 2010

Q. John and Mahut are in an incredible marathon. You had your marathon last year. What happens when you get deep into a fifth set and it just goes on and on? Do you go to a different place? Is it harder to focus?

ANDY RODDICK: I played a couple. Obviously last year, Davis Cup with Tursunov, the El Aynaoui match way back when.
It’s so important to stay there mentally, especially on grass. You know, you got to harp on those first points of every service game, try to get that. Love‑15, 15‑30, that starts becoming dicey. So they’re doing a pretty good job of putting themselves in good position as far as serving with a lead.
Beyond that, you know, you always kind of try to convince yourself it’s only going to be another 10 or 15 minutes, even if you might not believe it at the time.

Q. What’s given you that better attitude on grass than you had earlier?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I don’t know. I think probably the biggest difference that I can think of is in the past, uhm, obviously I was probably playing the French Open, you know, about two weeks before or a week before I was starting on grass. And I think the adjustment was something that took me a little bit longer. By the time that I felt that I was, you know, feeling comfortable on clay, you know, we were moving on to different surface, grass. I think maybe it took me a little bit longer.
I think now, not being in Paris, was frustrating, but I think maybe it’s helped me to adjust a little bit faster on grass.

Q. Having that in mind, do you think it does make some sense to have a fifth set tiebreak like the US Open?
ROGER FEDERER: I think it’s perfect the way it is. It’s unfortunate these guys are going to be a little bit tired tomorrow and the next day and the next week and the next month. I’ve been following this as closely as I could. I walked on court at about 11 All in the fifth. They’re still going. This is absolutely amazing, yeah.
I mean, in a way, I wish I was them, in some ways I wish I wasn’t them. So this is a very special match. I hope somehow this is going to end. I don’t know. They’ll be fresh again tomorrow, I guess. If they have to come back, it’s unbelievable. I don’t know what to say.

Q. Kim says she likes being at Wimbledon because you can set up a family home and go around.
JUSTINE HENIN: Yeah. Yeah, I love. But I see this differently than in the past. I don’t know. It’s like I really open my eyes now. In the past, after the French, usually I’ve played well at the French, and emotionally I was coming here with a lot of pressure. I was No. 1 also at that time.
Now I see really things differently. I mean, I’ve played on Court No. 2. I thought it’s beautiful court and a lot of things have changed. But the atmosphere is just fantastic. You really feel the passion of the game.
It’s true, being at home, that gives something different. At the middle of the season, that’s what you need because it’s already a few tournaments behind you. It’s good that you feel, yeah, with my family also. My sister arrived today, so it’s a nice feeling.

5. Justine Henin

Posted by Brodie under: Justine, SW19

20 Jun 2010

Weapons: Playing crazy aggressive, perfect on grass this year, returned for this tournament.
Weaknesses: Crazy aggressive style a bit out of her comfort zone, lacks a bit on the power side, second serve an asset.

There were a lot of questions for Justine when it came to Roland Garros. Just how far was she going to go? The fact of the matter was that she didn’t return to win that tournament. She returned for this one. Her crazy aggressive style has been effective at times, and out of her comfort zone at others. Regardless, she’s proven herself on grass this year and in years past, and still remains a front runner for her one elusive slam.

19 Jun 2010

It was bound to happen. JuJu played a smaller clay tournament to get ready for RG. So she played a smaller grass tournament to get ready for Wimbledon. And she won them both. Perhaps the crazy psycho killer game style is starting to pay off.

Shoulders played a fantastic first set. Simply overpowering Justine and hitting through her, she also used angles to hit powerful return winners. She even found herself up 3-0 in the third, but unfortunately collapsed mentally as Justine refused to give up. Now she gets Serena in the second round of Wimbley. Crap stuff.

I still don’t think Justine has a legit shot at Wimbledon this year because of the huge hitters in her draw. She’s going to be overpowered sooner than later. It’s going to be interesting to see though, for sure.

31 May 2010

Insanely impressive win today for Superhero as she knocks out Justine, 2-6, 6-1, 6-4. Sam was broken in the opening game of the match, and was broken again with a couple points that she should have won. All set long you got the sense that she was slowly chipping away at Justine, and was hitting some ridiculous Rafa-like run around forehand winners. the scoreline of the first set really doesn’t reflect exactly what was going on.

Sam carried the momentum into the second set and that’s when things got messy. Sam started using the kick serve to her advantage, using her power and topspin and the errors from Justine came out in full force. As did the second serves, which Sam jumped all over and was winning most of. It felt like it was only a matter of time.

Justine wasn’t going to give up that easily, however, and came out fighting. The errors came back, though, and Sam got the early break to go up 3-2. Arms and legs of steel, nerves of… back to back double faults. Couple of errors, and Justine got things back on serve. But Sam kept pumping herself up, kept using the forehand, kick serves, and keep Justine off balance on her forehand and eventually broke at 4-all and then closed it out.

It was super impressive stuff from Sam, who really used momentum and kept her compusure when serving for the match. Justine is still playing for broke and isn’t employing a whole lot of variety. I really only remember her using the drop shot twice, and she was void of solutions for the epic Superhero serves.

Next up is Serena, which is going to be quite the battle on clay, especially because the kick serve is working, and it should be effective in throwing off Serena’s power as well. Bring it.

30 May 2010

Holy friggin’ epic quote from Justine after beating Masha.

She has beautiful qualities on clay because she plays kind of a man’s tennis. I mean, she has very heavy balls. She is a very powerful girl.

Unfortunately the part isn’t caught in the video, which is short but… JAYSUS. “She has very heavy balls”?! You can’t even claim a translation error, the thing was in English. Sweet Sven, Justine, you know a lot of things, don’t you?

Thanks to Rich for posting this hilarity.

Mashed Potatoes

Posted by Brodie under: Justine, Masha, Roland Garros

30 May 2010

Masha and Justine finished up their silliness today with a pretty unsurprising result. Justine took it 6-3.

The most surprising thing was the start. It looked like a continuation of the second set with Maria blasting and playing a more straight forward power game. She was up 0-2, 0-40 with Justine serving, got another break point at Ad, but couldn’t convert. Justine would take the game, break, hold, and then break again and that was pretty well it.

Not much to say. Crap conditions, and even crappier play. Justine was getting balls deep and Masha seemed like she was over compensating a bit and the forehand got hella wild. Still, the play from the other side of the net wasn’t exactly overwhelmingly kickass, but she definitely flipped it up another knotch after the first couple of games. She’ll take on Superhero Sam in the fourth round, which should be a hell of a match.

The Sunday Showdown

Posted by Brodie under: Justine, Masha, Roland Garros

29 May 2010

Weird match. Very weird. Called after a set apiece, Justine and Masha will finish up business tomorrow.

It was a pretty interesting outcome considering the conditions. Justine got off to a quick start, used the angles, and controlled the first set all the way through.

The second set was a different story. Dark, cold and wet, Masha somehow managed to turn the match into her style of game. How, I haven’t a bloody clue. She started hammering the return, being patient with balls in the middle of the court, and basically waiting for Justine to make a move so it could create an opening for her forehand, which was soon dictating play.

The odd thing was the resistance from Justine; there wasn’t much. Instead of attempting to slice or mix it up, she was content with bashing the backhand, and often found herself the victim of dropshots. This led to her being broken and gave her few openings on the Masha serve.

So we’ll finish it off tomorrow. Predictions? Tough to know with the WTA right now, but I expect a brutal battle, especially if Masha can keep that forehand working and the double faults low.

Fine. “Welcome Back”

Posted by Brodie under: Justine, Rome, Superhero

2 May 2010

Whether you like her or not, it’s definitely official. Justine is back, and she’s here to fuck shit up. Biga time.

Justine pulled out the three set win over Superhero winning her first title since returning to the tour. This is her third final in five tournaments since her return and her first clay tourney.

First off, props to Superhero, who has had an insanely awesome couple of week, with a championship and a final. Hello points, and hello awesome French Open ranking. She clearly outplayed Justine in the second set, and honestly thought she had the match under her belt. Unfortunately the concentration went out the window and before she knew it the match was over.

And yup, props to Justine, who is the overwhelming French Open favourite in my eye. Last year, Dinara/Kuz just seemed inevitable after drawing opposite to each other, but Dinara is still coming back and Kuz has been, well, down right useless this year (sorry to jurdge you girl, but I gotta). And Serena, who normally would fill that gap (even on clay) has been MIA since the Australian. Oh, and no Kim or Masha. Ick. Superhero, we need you in a big way. Unless you’re a Justine fan. Then get excited. Very excited.

Turn And Run

Posted by Brodie under: Dina, Justine, Stuttgart

29 Apr 2010

What happens when you get a whole bunch of top players and stick them in a tiny-ass draw? One of those weeks, my friends, one of those weeks.

Only Sven knows what the hell is going on in Stuttgart right now. Caro’s ankle is still messed, loses to Lucie. Vika wants to go shopping, loses to Lapuschenkova (who?). Justine beats Wicky, who just beat Franny easily a day before. JJ and Sam win, fine, but… Dinara returns, drops the second set to Agi, all seems surely lost. And then she serves a bagel. A BAGEL. She even served 64% in the first set that she won in a tiebreak. Oh Dinara, you’re the icing on the cake of this crazy week. And you even frickin’ won. Love it.

Mind The Racket Podcast:

Episode 7 – US Open Week 2 Wrap-Up