Pam Shriver (2:58 PM)
Hello everybody from Los Angeles and my maternity leave. I'm watching the French Open like you from my couch.
Collette Dillon, Hollywood , FL
Do you think that the Williams sisters are going to be able to recapture their Wimbledon titles after what took placed at the French open. Do you think that they also may need new coaches?
Pam Shriver (3:01 PM)
Serena recovered beautifully last year from an even more devasting loss to Justine Henin-Hardenne at Wimbledon to beat Venus in the final. Grass is completely different and they have almost 3 weeks -- more than enough time to recover. Everyone always asks the coach question when they have tough losses, but to me, their track record with their parents has been unbelievable except when there are injury issues. Today, the dampness of the court made it the worst possible option on clay.
With the sisters eliminated today how do you see Capriati's chances of reclaiming the title? I feel as though tennis commentators and sports writers keep seeming to give up on her and never extend quite the same respect to her as the Williams--why is that, while I credit both Williams with superior power and athletisism, as far as ball striking ability, I feel they pale in technique and cleaness of Jennifer and Lindsay. What's your take?
Pam Shriver (3:05 PM)
Jennifer is the only one who has won majors before of the four semifinalists. She's seems to have another rebirth on her hands. I think she's the fav to win another French Open, but after the surprises of today, who knows? Jennifer and Lindsay are two of the best ball-stikers in women's tennis, but when you combine the whole package that makes a tennis player great, the WS with their movement, power and all-court ability have won them a combined 10 Grand Slam titles. Tennis is more than how you just strike the ball or your technique.
Chris (Mckinney, TX)
What's your take on your former doubles partner Martina playing singles again after several years off? Can she be competitive? She is in great shape but sometimes the age difference is 2X or more.
Pam Shriver (3:08 PM)
I think clearly doubles has been a great thing for her and she belongs right there near the top of women's doubles. Singles, especially on clay is a totally different matter. When I spoke to her about it six weeks ago, she seemed to feel it would really help her doubles. That was her main motivation. But I think she really loves a physical challenge, and clay is that. I'll be interested to see if she wants a wild card into Wimbledon, where she can do a lot more damage on the grass.
Hi Pam, I'm a big fan of yours,as both a player & commentator. Since you were an attacking player what do you think of Henman? can he go all the way?
Pam Shriver (3:10 PM)
Any semifinalist is playing well enough to go all the way, but playing Coria right now on clay is the ultimate test. But I think Henman's game will be totally different for Coria to face, as well. Coria will be heavily favored, but when an agressive serve and volleyer is on his game, he's difficult to beat on any surface.
Hi Pam, Congrats on your baby. Who does George think should be the next 007? Moya looks good in a tux.
Pam Shriver (3:11 PM)
Maybe Tim Henman with about 10 extra pounds of muscle might be the best Bond, particularly if he wins the French or Wimbledon. Otherwise, I like your idea of Moya, but George is confident enough he still thinks he could play it.
denver brown - morehead, kentucky
'how strongly do you believe that capriati wants to commit herself to getting back to no. 1? can she do it, in your opinion? more tour doubles in your future -- pam/martina in a wimbledon return?!
Pam Shriver (3:15 PM)
I don't think Capriati would have hired Heinz Gunthardt if she wasn't totally committed to getting back to the top of women's tennis. The two wins over Serena in the past couple of weeks have been crucial because of all the painful three-set losses she's had to Serena and many other top players . Winning her fourth major would signify another rebirth. She could make another run at No. 1, with the hard court season coming up, but she might need until 2005. As far as my doubles, I'm content with playing singles in my back yard and beating my husband when I'm 8&frac12; months pregnant.
I love women's tennis, but I think its a little unfair that the men are being ingnored by espn. what do you think?
Pam Shriver (3:18 PM)
I agree, people want to see a balance of men's and women's matches. At the majors or at the Pacific Life Open and Miami. Because of a week women's draw at the Pacific Life Open, I didn't work until the fifth show and the same thing happened at the French to the men once Roddick lost. ESPN is committed to showing tennis that will get the highest ratings and they feel that the U.S. stars male or female will get the highest ratings. But those of us who are committed tennis fans and followers want to see as much live tennis as possible and a variety of men's, women's and doubles.
Hey Pam! Congrats on your baby! Is it a boy or girl or do you know???
Pam Shriver (3:18 PM)
It's a boy.
Corey (New York)
Why does ESPN decide to show replays of women's matches (williams' and capriati) while men's matches that have yet to be seen are never shown. I know ESPN likes to show the American's but c'mon already. Replay the same match 3 times in 2 days when new matches, sometimes live, are going on.
Pam Shriver (3:19 PM)
See my previous response to Jennifer. At a recent ESPN tennis summit data shows that different audiences tune in at different times, so the network feels a need to replay the most in-demand matches. It's only a small group of us, who watch all day.
Greg, San Francisco, CA
Can any of the Russian ladies win a Grand Slam event in the next 2 years and who has the best chance?
Pam Shriver (3:21 PM)
The Russians have just been a huge story for the last two years, climbing each and every month, as a group getting better, stronger and feeding off one another. You could have an all-Russian final, Myskina against Dementieva. You might not have to wait two years, you might just wait two days. Sharapova is a future major winner, Myskina, Kuznetsova and Dementieva, if her serve doesn't crumble and maybe even Petrova if she gets on a run.
I know you can beat George in your backyard, but what about Helena Sukova?
Pam Shriver (3:22 PM)
In my current state, George is my limit. So even though I have a lifetime winning record against Sukova, not now.
Sebastian, Córdoba, Argentina
Hi Pam, what do u think about tomorrow's match between Guga and Nalbandian? Give your pick, thanks
Pam Shriver (3:23 PM)
Guga brings out magic here at the French Open. On paper and on their last two years of play, you would pick Nalbandian. But there's something about the FO and Guga that makes you think the crowd, his past history might make him win. So it's his current form and the intangibles. Sentiment is pulling hard. Nalbandian will be playing with the French crowd against him.
neil - new york, new york
Do you think Seles will make another comeback? Or she will soon announce her retirement?
Pam Shriver (3:26 PM)
It's important for Seles to retire under her own terms. She's been out 2&frac12; years before and come back. But being around 20 years of age and 30 years of age is a big difference. I tried to call her two weeks ago. Left a voicemail and didn't hear back. The last time I spoke to her she was a little more hopeful that her foot was healing and she'd be able to play again this summer. One of the softest surfaces would be better. Grass would be best because hard courts are brutal on foot problems. I think everyone would love to see her come back and leave how she wants to leave. As great an overall ball-striker that Seles is, I think she could step back in and after a month or two be back at the top 15 level.
Deron(Studio City, CA)
Do you think the parity in Women's tennis is a threat to its popularity? The men's game seems to suffer because anyone can win on any give day. Do we really want a Suarez/Myskina final?
Pam Shriver (3:28 PM)
We didn't have much parity in the majors until this French Open. Since the French Open two years ago, we've only had two different winners at a major and two weeks does not make parity. The men's game has been fascinating at times and people thought Federer was on the edge of dominating, but with one loss we're back to parity. If you don't like what's happening, wait two weeks. I think we just need to enjoy the results and the run-up events to see who is getting their act together for the majors. Bottom line, there should be nothing wrong with parity.
Josh (Los Angeles)
Pam, Will Justin Henin be a serious factor in Wimb? People often talk how her game best suits the clay but I think she is as effective on grass. why her terrific slices and great volley techniques haven't caused much problems in Wimb for williams? Will she ever win a Wimb title?
Pam Shriver (3:30 PM)
She should be a factor at Wimbledon, but it's the first major that she ever got to the final in '91. Her game is all-court, she can serve-volley, she can approach and attack second serve. She has the game that's good on grass, including an agressive second serve. To me, it's her fitness coming off this virus. Will she get it back in time? But certainly in her career, she can win a Wimbledon title.
Lindsay, South Boston, MA
I noticed that you selected both Schiavone and Serena Williams to defeat Jennifer Capriati; now that Jennifer is in the Semifinals at Roland Garros. With what appears to be a changed outlook to the game, that is similar to her dominance in 2001; is it fair to say Jennifer has the edge to win the French because of her grand slam experience and new outlook on the game?
Pam Shriver (3:32 PM)
For some reason, I felt Schiavone is a danger match for Capriati and Serena seldom loses to a player twice in a row. But we call know Capriati can surprise at anytime and anywhere. Women's tennis better now with her. I'm afraid if I pick her now, she might not win. I've never been 0-4 in the quarterfinals. Four years ago, I was in Alaska and I did much better. Yes, it's certainly fair to give Capriati the edge because she's the only one to have won a major before and she's won here.
Hey Pam---miss your commentary, as along with Mary Carillo and Johnny Mac, your my faves to listen to ...Will you be back for Wimbledon?
Pam Shriver (3:33 PM)
Thank you. I miss not working, but I'm so happy to have the opportunity to be a mom. I won't be at Wimbledon since the baby is due 10 days afterward. But I'll be fresher and fewer people will be sick of my voice when I come back late in the summer.
Marko, Helsinki, Finland
American tennis has been so so patriotic to a foreigner to observe. Has this got something to do with 9/11? Or is it just the national pride. I think tennis should create separate US and European tours to guarantee average Joe his dose of A-Rod and Williamses and no Hrbaty and Myskina or Screbotnik. How do you feel about this?
Pam Shriver (3:36 PM)
I think every country's host broadcaster. I've worked for the BBC at Wimbledon and Channel 7 in Australia as well as ESPN and CBS for American tennis. All three of those countries are very much biased to showing and promoting their home players. I don't think it's just Americans, and I dont' think that part changed with 9-11. I don't know in Helsinki, what network you're watching, but if you see Eurosport, you'll get to see totally different matches for viewing than in the U.S. You're right, it's fun to see a variety of talent and the greatest players in the world even if they're from Switzerland or Belgium. People like to see the best.
Terrell, Rocky Mount, NC
Will Hingis ever suit up again ?
Pam Shriver (3:37 PM)
Cliff Drysdale disagreees with me wholeheartedly. It might take a few years, but I think she'll suit up again and try. If she doesn't, she'll be one of the few early retirees, who doesn't give it a try, even if it's just doubles. I think it's hard to move on to the next stage of your live, until you get this aprt out.
What are the chances Paola Suarez can win this one?
Pam Shriver (3:39 PM)
Suarez is an underestimated player, who played an experienced match agaisnt Sharapova. If Dementieva's serve breaks down and feels the pressure of being a favorite. I think she'll take it. Trying to reach my record of mine and Martina's 11 straight doubles, she's been playing finals in majors for a couple of years now. It's only a matter of time when outsiders when majors in women's tennis, just like on the men's side and Suarez hopes now is the time.
Pam Shriver (3:41 PM)
This month in tennis is the biggest month of all because it's the only month with two majors and polar opposites in surfaces. So to see who can possibly succeed at both or who, like Roddick and Agassi, can recover, it's just a fun time in tennis. Hopefully, in between some of you can pick up a racket and get some exercise yourself and work on getting a higher first-server percentage. Bye for now.
Mike (Long Beach, CA.)
Hey Pam, how come Jennifer is seemingly so much better on clay than say, Lindsay or the Williams sisters-I mean, she seems to slide better, etc.? It seems to me that her game is better suited to grass and hardcourts, yet those are the 2 majors she hasn't won yet! Congrats on the baby-miss you with Mary Joe!
Pam Shriver (7:46 PM)
no I was ready to retire back in 1997 regardless of shoulder after 19 years on the tour but I do wish it hurt less so I could enjoy more tennis for fun without shoulder pain.
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