Venus can learn from loss - By Pam Shriver - TennisForum.com

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post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old Jan 24th, 2004, 04:39 AM Thread Starter
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Venus can learn from loss - By Pam Shriver

MELBOURNE, Australia -- An awful start for No. 3 Venus Williams led to an awful finish, as she fell to No. 25 Lisa Raymond 6-4, 7-6 (5) in the third round on Saturday.

Williams' serve broke down early with lots of double faults. Right away, Raymond forged ahead with confidence as she had two breaks under her belt. Then, thanks to brave play -- big forehands, coming to the net with efficiency and attacking up the center to really go after Williams' second serve -- Raymond beat Williams for the first time ever.
Raymond pushed Williams around the court. It was shocking, really, that Williams seemed to let Raymond dictate play. The first two matches here turned out to be false security on Williams' readiness to play. When you look at it, though, from July to January, three matches of competitive tennis and two exhibition matches are just not enough to make you match tough. When she was tested for the first time, she couldn't consistently raise her level. You need match play to be able to do that -- even if you're Venus Williams.
In the second set against Raymond, Williams' second serve was good enough to send her to a possible third set, but her ground strokes couldn't back it up. She just couldn't put her game together all at once. Sometimes when you don't play for a while, you don't think through the problems as they are happening on the court. It seemed like that might have been the case for Williams here. Plus, because she started off serving so poorly, it put her out-of-sorts.
And Raymond was waiting for that opportunity. She was in place and prepared for the forehand on the returns. Raymond played the best match of her career. She held herself together and maintained a confidence as if she had beaten Venus before, when in fact she'd never even won a set.
It seems that doubles partner Martina Navratilova's influence is only positive for Raymond, who has struggled staying upbeat on court. There's no one more positive, who would make sure you turn over every stone to play your best, then Martina Navratilova. Some of that will rub off on Raymond, even at age 30.
Where does Williams go from here? It would have been good if she could have played a bit more tennis before this event. She needs more match play, although she was trying not to injury herself by playing too much before this event.
Still, it's a victory if she's able to play three matches injury-free. She even served one in at 120 mph in this match, something she's been unable to do since first suffering this abdominal injury. It's her job, now, to get as many positives out of this experience as she can.
She can still have a good season, but there are holes in her game that she needs to work on. Her second serve isn't any better under pressure; it's flawed technically. There's no way an athlete like Williams should have her head going off to the left during her service motion. Sometimes she's not even looking at the ball when she strikes it. It allows opponents to really attack her second serve.
Also, Venus Williams might never again have that aura about her. It's something every champion risks losing. That Raymond came on court without intimidation indicates that the whole locker room no longer feels in awe. And you win a lot of matches through bluff and intimidation.


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post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old Jan 24th, 2004, 04:42 AM
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Originally Posted by ghosts
Also, Venus Williams might never again have that aura about her. It's something every champion risks losing. That Raymond came on court without intimidation indicates that the whole locker room no longer feels in awe. And you win a lot of matches through bluff and intimidation.
Well said !
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post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old Jan 24th, 2004, 04:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Diya
Well said !
I doubt that is true at all...if you think about it....Venus lost to 5 grands slams to her sister only....meaning that she could have beaten anyone else on the WTA tour....i mean...its only common sense to see that she was not at her best..being that she was out for over 6 months..to come to a grand slam and loose to someone that has never one A MATCH everytime they played....i guess all ya'll williams haters can have ya'll temporary fun.....since ya'll never really had the change while the Williams were dominating the WTA...Venus AND Serena will be back....time will tell.

Venus and Serena ....Often imitated NEVER duplicated!!!!!!!
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post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old Jan 24th, 2004, 04:51 AM
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The aura may be gone but it goes for every champion. Now the real test is to get back to the top.

Martina Hingis couldn't do it. Slam draught after the 99 aussie and then retirement.

Lindsay couldnt do it. Slam draught after 2000 aussie open. though her opportunity is right here and now to grab.

Jennifer couldn't do it. Slam draught after her 2002 aussie open. Now she is injured.

Venus you do not want to follow in these footsteps. Its okay imo if you lose after six months off and frankly im surprised and pleased she did so well in her matches and clawed her way back into the lisa match with opportunities to send it to a third. With more match play she probably would have sent it to a third so well done.

Now we will see how long serena and justine hang on to their aura of invicibility. They have each won two of the last four slams. How long will their aua intimidate the field?

The WTA Women of Wonder Featuring....The Goddess: Venus Williams The Glamazon: Serena Williams The Lioness: Jennifer Capriati The High Priestess: Monica Seles The Saint: Kim Clijsters The Phoenix: Chanda Rubin The Bon Vivant: Amelie Mauresmo The Titan: Lindsay Davenport The Courtesan: Anna Kournikova The Exile: Martina Hingis The Sorceress: Anatasia Myskina The Minx: Maria Sharapova
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post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old Jan 24th, 2004, 04:52 AM
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i understand how losing your aura could be bad in theory, but in reality I don't get it. I mean yeah I'm sure that helps, but Venus still has the ability to beat anyone on the court. Her game is what ultimately speaks in a win or loss not her having or losing her aura.
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post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old Jan 24th, 2004, 04:53 AM
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Originally Posted by DemWilliamsGulls
I doubt that is true at all...if you think about it....Venus lost to 5 grands slams to her sister only....meaning that she could have beaten anyone else on the WTA tour....i mean...its only common sense to see that she was not at her best..being that she was out for over 6 months..to come to a grand slam and loose to someone that has never one A MATCH everytime they played....i guess all ya'll williams haters can have ya'll temporary fun.....since ya'll never really had the change while the Williams were dominating the WTA...Venus AND Serena will be back....time will tell.
Never pay attention to anyone who says that being in five grand slam finals and yes losing them is a poor performance. Anyone who says that is an idiot and doesn't know what the heck they are talking about. No you dont win being runnerup but you sure as heck did better than the other 126 players who lost before you did.

One thing is for certain anyone with a brain would rather lose in the final and have a chance at the title than lose in the first round and have no chance at all.

The WTA Women of Wonder Featuring....The Goddess: Venus Williams The Glamazon: Serena Williams The Lioness: Jennifer Capriati The High Priestess: Monica Seles The Saint: Kim Clijsters The Phoenix: Chanda Rubin The Bon Vivant: Amelie Mauresmo The Titan: Lindsay Davenport The Courtesan: Anna Kournikova The Exile: Martina Hingis The Sorceress: Anatasia Myskina The Minx: Maria Sharapova
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post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old Jan 24th, 2004, 04:59 AM
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Great article by Pam, level headed analysis. How can anyone go into a slam after 6 months off and get into the semis ? No way Jose. At that level the girls mean business. As much as I like Venus for her grace on and off the court, she just doesnt look like she can hack it the same way she used to. Hopefully she has the motivation to get back in...maybe this loss would provide the motivation?
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post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old Jan 24th, 2004, 04:59 AM
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Originally Posted by VW#1
i understand how losing your aura could be bad in theory, but in reality I don't get it. I mean yeah I'm sure that helps, but Venus still has the ability to beat anyone on the court. Her game is what ultimately speaks in a win or loss not her having or losing her aura.

The aura really says more about the weak willed and weak kneed players who let the aura of another player psyche them out. Those players are pathetic and need a sports psychologist.

anyway venus has a career the majority of palyers would kill for. what gets me is that someone who has been in so many recent slam finals is talked about as being "finished' then what does that say about the other elite grandslam winning players who have yet to see a slam final in years.... jennifer, lindsay, monica, martina..

Venus will turn things around hopefully as will lindsay and the others.

The WTA Women of Wonder Featuring....The Goddess: Venus Williams The Glamazon: Serena Williams The Lioness: Jennifer Capriati The High Priestess: Monica Seles The Saint: Kim Clijsters The Phoenix: Chanda Rubin The Bon Vivant: Amelie Mauresmo The Titan: Lindsay Davenport The Courtesan: Anna Kournikova The Exile: Martina Hingis The Sorceress: Anatasia Myskina The Minx: Maria Sharapova
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post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old Jan 24th, 2004, 05:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Diya
Well said !
Don't get it twisted Dimya. Intimidation came from incredible performances. Getting to the finals of the US Open in her debut performance had nothing to do with intimidation and everything to do with skill. You are another one of those pathetic people who haunt this board not to support your fave but to support the defeat of your targeted "enemies". There are far too many people like you in the world. Venus is way too much for you to take on. Give it up. If you live for moments like these then you are going to have a very disappointing year
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post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old Jan 24th, 2004, 05:08 AM
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It seemes as though Pam finally go ther wish... to put to pen and paper the demise of Venus Williams. And I love how she just glows in the statement of how Venus has lost her aura as a champion and threat, even the whole locker oom knows this fact blah blah blah...

Crow now you green eyed envious hater but Venus will return..

Did she state all of this when Davenport had her slow comeback, hmmm....
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post #11 of 37 (permalink) Old Jan 24th, 2004, 05:27 AM
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All I'll say is that her press conference interview looked as if it was some kind of act.
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post #12 of 37 (permalink) Old Jan 24th, 2004, 05:31 AM
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Originally Posted by jojoseph
All I'll say is that her press conference interview looked as if it was some kind of act.
It always seems that way when a Williams' loses...
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post #13 of 37 (permalink) Old Jan 24th, 2004, 06:08 AM
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Classy comment, jojo. Very classy.

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post #14 of 37 (permalink) Old Jan 24th, 2004, 06:41 AM
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Um Venus hit a higher ration of winners to unforced errors than she has in almost any loss she's played. So let's stop pretending she played poorly, Pam, because she didn't.

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post #15 of 37 (permalink) Old Jan 24th, 2004, 06:54 AM
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Good comment RoddickTease. The reality may not be reflected in the match stats, but Venus hit almost as many winners as errors and had twice the number of aces as she had double faults. Credit goes to Raymond-and while Venus may not have been at her best she certainly wasn't at her worst.


Pam is dead right on the second serve however. Venus needs to get some lessons from the best (sister Serena) to fix it!
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