Chat with Pam Shriver
Welcome to The Show!. On Friday, tennis legend Pam Shriver will drop by to take your questions about the 2006 Australian Open and the upcoming tennis season.
After turning professional in 1978, Shriver earned 22 career Grand Slam championships. She teamed with Martina Navratilova to win 20 Grand Slam doubles titles, including a record 109 consecutive doubles matches from April 1983 to July 1985. Shriver also excelled individually, reaching a career high No. 3 in world singles rankings six separate times from 1984 to 1988.
Send your questions for Pam now and join The Show on Friday at 2 p.m. ET.
Click here for ESPN.com's complete tennis coverage
The ShowGirl: (1:54 PM ET ) Pam will be here shortly, send in those questions now!
Pam Shriver: (2:04 PM ET ) Hey everybody, first time for me that I'm saying hello from the United States during the Aussie Open. I had my twins a few months ago so I'm taking a nice extended maternity leave and get my family of 5 now up and running . ... That means I'm watching a lot of ESPN!
pranaya (Nepal): The Aussie Open draw is out. Don't you think the top half is too crowded with every top players, former world no.1's GS winner there. whereas the lower half seems wide open. There's Clijsters who'll come out from there is she stays healthy, i could say Pierce is there, but she'll meet Kim in quarters. Don't you think Venus vs. Henin and Serena vs. Sharapova is a matchup that deserves a semifinal. How fair is it? It happens in most of the GS draws, what do you ahev to say about it? For you after the darw isn out who do you think should win the title. and I have predicted Vaidisova wil reach semifinals beating Maureshmo on her way.
Pam Shriver: (2:07 PM ET ) Well, both Williams sisters are in the top half as well as all the top seeds that should be there -- Davenport, Henin-Harden, Shapova -- depending on everybody's health, it is top heavy, but on the bottom half, if Maurismo and Clijsters stay healthy and Pierce continues to play to her form, that half can play tougher than it looks. ... Hingis is in that half too, but she has a tough road.
Kevin (Minneapolis MN): Do you see Martina Hingis getting past Zvonareva in the 1st round?
Pam Shriver: (2:08 PM ET ) It's certainly a test right away. Zvonareva's ranking has slipped from two years ago, but she is tough. It's probably 50-50 in that match. It's still so early in Hingis' comeback. She's gotten Henin-Hardenne and Zvonareva in back to back first rounds. I have a feeling that Hingis will find a way to win that match as long as she is not still carrying the injury from the Gold Coast.
David, New York: What does Martina Hingis have to do to really make a comeback and be a contender -- not just in Australia, but on the tour in 2006.
Pam Shriver: (2:10 PM ET ) I think that having patience with this comeback is really important. She'll have to play for several months before she has any gauge. Her talent will take her back, not to No 1 but in the Top 10 by the end of the year. She can't get discouraged early on. She needs to stay healthy and have fun. I think everybody is hoping for a successful comeback.
Joe (Hays KS): Where's Capriati?
Keith--Texas: Hi Pam, I am a big fan of yours on and off the court! What is going on with Jennifer Capriati? I thought she was coming back for the Aussie Open and now not a word??(not in the draw) What gives??
Pam Shriver: (2:12 PM ET ) I just know that Jen is not ready to play yet. There's not even a date for her to start playing again says the Women's Tennis Tour. I think she will come back one more time though ... unlike Monica Seles who I think has played her last.
Brian Doyle New York , New York: I am a huge fan of Lindsay Davenport and hope she does well but I have a beef with you guys at espn. I keep hearing that Davenport just ran out of steam at the 05 aussie open due to her doubles commitments. I must disagree. I feel it was in the second set after Davenport failed to convert on a number of break points and then was up in her own service game. Serena hit a net cord and there was plenty of time for Lindsay to hit a winner. She unfortunately hit it out and then she got mad at herself and it was all downhill from there. I think we should all be honest and say that Davenport (as much as we love her) totally choked. Where as in the Wimbledon Final she did not choke and totally had presence of mind, she just lost to the better player. After all of this, the question is... what do you think Davenport can do to control her emotions better this time around.
Pam Shriver: (2:14 PM ET ) I do agree with you, Brian. SHe was up a set in a break against SErena and she should have had the energy to finish. ... But, you do collapse more easily when you are tired and I think her doubles play could have contributed to that fatigue. But, in a Grand Slam final, you have to find a way to win.
Pam Shriver: (2:16 PM ET ) Speaking from experience, I was at times my own worst enemy because of my emotions. As much as you try to put your most positive foot forward, some times your true colors and old habbits come out. For Davenport, her biggest liability is probably her negative mentality. Improving the mental side of things is more complicated than improving the physicals. Sometimes, Lindsay has it together, other times, it is really painful to watch her. So, all we can do is hope that in Aussie '06, the positive and composed Lindsay shows up.
Jay: Hi Pam! First off, I just love your analysis on the game. My question is about Kim Clijsters. Barring any injury do you see her winning more than one slam this year and dominating the game especially now that she has a grand slam under her belt?
Pam Shriver: (2:18 PM ET ) I don't htink anyone can dominate the game, there is too much parity and injuries are such a huge part of things. Everybody has them, you have to just wait your turn and that's what Kim did. I'm eager to see how Kim handles her first major after winning the OPen ... there's also pressure to go to Australia for the first time since breaking up with Hewitt. She was always popular there because she was Lleyton's girlfriend. It will be interesting to see if her popularity has waned in light of that. I'd say, no, Kim won't dominate, but I think she will win another major this year.
Maria: Hi Pam, congrats on your twins. Girls, boys? What are Mauresmo's chances in Oz? Did Testud make a comeback after her baby. Is she still on tour?
Pam Shriver: (2:20 PM ET ) Thanks! One of each! Like Clijesters, everybody is just waiting for Mauresmo to win her first major, but she is several years old and the harder it gets to win a major. She did win the WTA Championship and that may give her the added confidence that she needs and the Aussie Open may be her best shot at one. ... Testud played a little bit last year. I think it was just doubles. I saw her play in France. She looked like a very happy mother. I'm not sure what her plans are for '06.
Corey (Cary, NC): If you were to pick a Williams sister to win a grand slam this year, which sister and which grand slam would you pick?
Dave (Phila, PA): You know Venus Williams probably better than a lot of people (you being her mentor) how do you think she is approach this major? can she Win in your opinion?
Pam Shriver: (2:22 PM ET ) The first one is easy. Venus. Wimbledon!
Pam Shriver: (2:24 PM ET ) Venus could win the Aussie. I'm too far out of the circle to know if Venus is in better shape than Serena. I believe Serena is still not in the kind of physical condition to win a major. It would shock me if she defends her title. Venus is always capable of winning. Wimbledon is still her best chance, i like her on grass, but she is such a big tournament, pressure match type player. She is not afraid of winning.
Henry (NY): A question about the Men's draw. Given that Safin and Nadal are out, is there really anyone that can challenge Federer in this field. I doubt that Roddick can take him if they meet in the finals.
Pam Shriver: (2:25 PM ET ) Well, I think Federer has to lose berfore the Final. It's been YEARS since he lost and YEARS since Roddick has beaten him. Nobody is an automatic win, not ever Roger Federer. You still have to play the matches.
Nick (MI): Hi Pam, I am a huge Dementieva fan. I was wondering, if she fixed her second serve, what kind of serve should it be? (Ex: Slice, kick, etc.)
Pam Shriver: (2:29 PM ET ) I think you'll have to suffer through a few more service yips. I don't think she's got it fixed, but I don't think it is as bad as it was a few years ago of four-straight double faults. She gets very tense, I think it's mental. But, she's still fun to watch, she's very attractive and I can understand why you want her to serve better, Nick!
Matthew, San Francisco : Hi Pam! It seems odd to me that now the men's game is being dominated by one man and the women's games seems to be up for grabs. Are injuries more a factor in this or is it simply because Federer is so much better or a combination of the two?
Pam Shriver: (2:32 PM ET ) I think it's more that Federer just has the most complete game -- physically, mentally, emotionally -- moreseo than anyone in tennis, men's or women's. The year Henin-Hardenne won three majors I never would have expected it. The point is sometimes dominance can surprise you, othertimes, it just leaves you wondering how long it will last.
David (Montreal, Canada): Hey Pam, I just wanted to ask you what your thoughts are on the Jelena Dokic return to Australia. I think it was a good decision on her part and it should give her some hope for the future. Her draw is pretty soft, with a struggling Razzano in the first round and a potentially winnable second round as well. Make sure ESPN shows some of her match(es), her comeback is getting lost among all the other storylines! Keep up the great work on ESPN.
Pam Shriver: (2:34 PM ET ) Well, I don't like when I see a player serve 28 double faults. Mentally, she is very fragile. Dokic will have a ton of pressure and press playing again in Australia -- that's a recipe for a poor result. I'm glad she is back, but I'd be very surprised if she does anything special at the Australian.
Mark, Austin: Pam..did you ever play against your co-worker Mary Joe Fernandez? If so, how did it go?
Pam Shriver: (2:36 PM ET ) Yeah, we played many times! She's a lot younger than me, I did a lot better early on. She has an edge in head-to-head but we've both beaten each other a few times. My favorite time was playing WITH Mary Jo at the US Open doubles in 89. I had just been dumped by Martina and Mary Jo was very young. We came within a few points of beating Martina. Mary Jo and I have been good friends for, gee, almost 20 years now!
Drew (FL): How much different would it be for Roger if he was american. I'm an avid tennis fan and for the last 2 yrs i've been telling everyone he's the best i've ever seen, and 40% of the population doesnt even know his name
Pam Shriver: (2:38 PM ET ) Well, I think Federer is starting to transcend tennis and is really crossing over into the main sports fans' realm. The US Open Final against Agassi was a big boost. I has been slow, you're right, but he's too likable not to make it into the mainstream. It's typical U.S. mentality. Becker grabbed a hold. I think Federer will do all of that by the time he is finished and I think he is starting to now.
Sacha (Tampa, Fl): James Blake is such a more confident player now. I think he has a better game to compete against Roger Federer then Andy Roddick. Andy's game relays mostly on his serve, while James is a all-court player. A less confident James has lost to Federer twice before. Do you think James now with his game has better chance to beat Federer then Andy?
Pam Shriver: (2:43 PM ET ) I think James Blake showed toward the second half of last year how special he can be when he believes in himself and when he is healthy. He has the weapons. Blake is the kind of dangerous opponent that can cause an early upset.
Jeremy: Hi Pam - Will Shot Spot be used at GS's pretty soon and can they still be infallible?
Pam Shriver: (2:46 PM ET ) My understanding is that they are trying to refine all of these line-calling technologies so that they are as close to perfect as possible. If you take away the human element, you better have a machine that is working correctly. It's been a great television enhancement. It's been fun for us. But, depending on the conditions, it's accuracy can be affected, though I think the game is certianly creeping towards electronic line calling.
Pam Shriver: (2:51 PM ET ) Alright folks, despite all the injuries on both sides, there is nothing like a Grand Slam where men and women compete in the first major of the year. There is always unexpected drama at this one! Roddick round one a few years ago, Serena, Capriati ... you name it! Some of the best interesting results come from play in Melbourne every year! I'm looking forward to it. I've never watched any Aussie Open from home in the States in my life, so this will be new and different seat from me. I hope they do it right out there!
I'll be watching just like you guys. Thanks everybody. We'll chat again next Thursday. See you then!