Will Venus and Serena lose a step? - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old May 10th, 2004, 08:47 PM Thread Starter
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Will Venus and Serena lose a step?

I've always been intrigued by players losing their court coverage. Sometimes it's the result of surgery, sometimes it's simply old age, sometimes it's psychological, or sometimes all three.

I tend to think that with a lot of players, the loss of foot speed is purely psychological. Look at Jana Novotna, between winning Wimbledon 1998 and the following spring, she'd apparently lost a step. I think she was simply feeling fulfilled. There was no longer the desire to make that extra leap. The same goes for Sanchez-Vicario. I feel in 2001/2002 she was simply playing for enjoyment, and no longer wanted to drive opponents crazy retrieving.

You've got to think about Venus and Serena. The reason they're so often injured is BECAUSE of their athleticism. No sooner is Venus back to winning ways, she sprains an ankle. Serena's year has already been stop-start.

Will these injuries, and let's not forget they've been happening for years, begin to take their toll psychologically? Will we see them taking fewer risks with their limbs and giving the other girls half a chance?

Incidentally, I think Steffi Graf was amazing for her ability to come back from so many surgeries, as nimble as ever. It was such a tall order, but she was lighter-footed than the Williams'. Her body didn't take such a pounding.
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post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old May 10th, 2004, 09:01 PM
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When you're three or four steps ahead of everybody else, you can afford to lose one or two.....

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post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old May 10th, 2004, 09:01 PM
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If you look at Serena in Miami this year, she had some problems getting her 2003 Wimbledon form back (as far as movement was concerned). I think that her ONLY problem was that she thought she was FREAKIN' SUPERWOMAN and played three weeks in a row. If she passed up Amelia and just played Charleston, she would have been alright, but she wanted to play, so she re-injured her knee. I think that Rome will be the test of whether she really got her step back. Even Venus, when she came back, she won (I think) 5 consecutive matches (Waterman's Challenge and 1st and 2nd Oz Open Rounds), but in her first round match with Harkelroad, she injured her ankle by landing on it the wrong way which hampered her movement and hindered her again Raymond (Venus lost 4-6 6-7). I think that if Venus takes these few weeks before the French off and evaluates herself and realizes that she can't OVERDO IT, then she'll be alright. The same goes with Serena.

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post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old May 10th, 2004, 09:03 PM
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Maybe, maybe....but they were so above the field in that department that even with the loss of a step they are still gonna be at the top of the field.

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post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old May 10th, 2004, 09:08 PM
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They probably will....in 4 or 5 years (or longer). Right now no.
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post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old May 10th, 2004, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by tennisIlove09
They probably will....in 4 or 5 years (or longer). Right now no.
If even then....

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post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old May 10th, 2004, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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Ah, well that's where I'd disagree. Surely nobody can dispute that Ve&Se are the fastest two players on the tour. Who is the fastest of the two, I really can't decide, but that's all moot.

But when seeing either of them play Capriati, Clijsters, Henin, Dementieva, Myskina, Mauresmo, it's clear that speed is not where those players are overwhelmed. I'd say Venus and Serena are only marginally quicker than those players.

And people sort of missed my point a little bit...

People are looking at their injuries in the short-term. Continuous injuries are disheartening and it's not as if the Williams' don't have distractions. How much longer are they going to be prepared to lunge all over the place for shots then take a month, two, three or six out and have to start from scratch.

I think it's highly possible that eventually, and in not too long, we'll see them taking fewer risks. They'll still be phenomenally quick, not to mention powerful, but unfortunately I can only now see Venus and Serena beginning to slow down.

They just can't continue getting injured like this and expect to have full-time careers.
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post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old May 10th, 2004, 09:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steffica Greles
Ah, well that's where I'd disagree. Surely nobody can dispute that Ve&Se are the fastest two players on the tour. Who is the fastest of the two, I really can't decide, but that's all moot.

But when seeing either of them play Capriati, Clijsters, Henin, Dementieva, Myskina, Mauresmo, it's clear that speed is not where those players are overwhelmed. I'd say Venus and Serena are only marginally quicker than those players.

And people sort of missed my point a little bit...

People are looking at their injuries in the short-term. Continuous injuries are disheartening and it's not as if the Williams' don't have distractions. How much longer are they going to be prepared to lunge all over the place for shots then take a month, two, three or six out and have to start from scratch.

I think it's highly possible that eventually, and in not too long, we'll see them taking fewer risks. They'll still be phenomenally quick, not to mention powerful, but unfortunately I can only now see Venus and Serena beginning to slow down.

They just can't continue getting injured like this and expect to have full-time careers.
It ain´t about physical atributes alone, it´s about desire, heart and guts....and the Williamses are always gonna have that. As long as you have those things you´re always gonna give your all out, no matter what.

Plus...it ain´t like they are 17 or 18 anymore either. So it´s logical they´re gonna slow down sometime at some point.

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post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old May 10th, 2004, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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I'd strongly disagree on that, Bandabou

I've always thought the Williams' have very selective intensity. When they're trying, they're pretty terrifying. But there have been many occasions in the past when they've lost matches, I've felt, because they didn't really care a great deal. Venus 1-6 1-6 to Hingis in Australia? Serena has also had her fair share of losses for no other reason than she'd simply ran out of steam and hit the ball all over the place.

For that reason I never give much credence to their press conferences. I wait until I see them on the court. If they're not interested, you see Serena slouching around and cursing like Lindsay Davenport, and Venus seems to just look like she's daydreaming, in another world. And then sometimes they look mad dog mean.

So to relate this to their movement, I'd say their movement is very much linked to their desire.
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post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old May 10th, 2004, 09:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steffica Greles
I'd strongly disagree on that, Bandabou

I've always thought the Williams' have very selective intensity. When they're trying, they're pretty terrifying. But there have been many occasions in the past when they've lost matches, I've felt, because they didn't really care a great deal. Venus 1-6 1-6 to Hingis in Australia? Serena has also had her fair share of losses for no other reason than she'd simply ran out of steam and hit the ball all over the place.

For that reason I never give much credence to their press conferences. I wait until I see them on the court. If they're not interested, you see Serena slouching around and cursing like Lindsay Davenport, and Venus seems to just look like she's daydreaming, in another world. And then sometimes they look mad dog mean.

So to relate this to their movement, I'd say their movement is very much linked to their desire.
I´m sure that the same holds true for your own fav Steffi then too, no?! And after seeing Venus keep playing on even after twisting her ankle, I will never again question her desire. When it MATTERS they´re gonna be there.

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post #11 of 37 (permalink) Old May 10th, 2004, 09:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darrinbaker00
When you're three or four steps ahead of everybody else, you can afford to lose one or two.....
LOL. That's very true.
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post #12 of 37 (permalink) Old May 10th, 2004, 10:05 PM Thread Starter
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(Steffi Graf is not my favourite, for the record)

Yeah, all players have their off days. Graf against Aranxta at Roland Garros in 1991 was one of those days when she really looked like she didn't know why she'd gone on court. I just feel with Venus and Serena it's been a little more often, and that's when they're able to play....but we're diverging.

As far as I'm concerned, Venus and Serena can go one way or the other: continue leaping and diving, and playing more and more seldom. Or just slow up a tiny bit and look after their bodies. Either way, they'll end in the same place. They won't cover the court quite as quickly, and the other girls will be able to compete better. So it's somewhat of an inevitability.
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post #13 of 37 (permalink) Old May 10th, 2004, 10:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steffica Greles
(Steffi Graf is not my favourite, for the record)

Yeah, all players have their off days. Graf against Aranxta at Roland Garros in 1991 was one of those days when she really looked like she didn't know why she'd gone on court. I just feel with Venus and Serena it's been a little more often, and that's when they're able to play....but we're diverging.

As far as I'm concerned, Venus and Serena can go one way or the other: continue leaping and diving, and playing more and more seldom. Or just slow up a tiny bit and look after their bodies. Either way, they'll end in the same place. They won't cover the court quite as quickly, and the other girls will be able to compete better. So it's somewhat of an inevitability.

Please, please....don´t come with crap. Serena has only like 40 something losses in her career, so it ain´t like she´s been mailing it that often.

And of course the girls are gonna compete better with them. Nothing to do with them losing step, just with the field getting better and responding to the challengeo of the sisters. The same happened with Martina N with Steffi, Steffi with Monica, etc....just the way it is.

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post #14 of 37 (permalink) Old May 10th, 2004, 10:23 PM Thread Starter
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Hmmm...it always confuses me why people post on this board if they really want or expect people to correspond with them when they're so rude. I suppose it doesn't really matter, though.
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post #15 of 37 (permalink) Old May 10th, 2004, 10:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steffica Greles
Hmmm...it always confuses me why people post on this board if they really want or expect people to correspond with them when they're so rude. I suppose it doesn't really matter, though.
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