Venus, where is yours? Successful tennis management includes:
1- general coaching
2- targeted coaching
3- physical training and nutrition
4- scouting the competition before each match and determining game plans based on the opponent's weaknesses
5- short, mid and long term goals
6- tournament selection with adequate preparation
7- public relations (PR
) and capitalization on stardom
Venus, can your mother do all that? I'm sure some people are helping here and there, but item 4 certainly was not looked after regarding Molik yesterday. Point in case, her weak point, the backhand, was left alone. Concentration on that could have turned 1-of-7 breakpoint conversions into 3-of-7, or more.
Venus's plan as per her post-match interview:
... I'll just go home and work a little harder, ask my mom what I was doing wrong out there today.
Huh! Hopefully, there is more to it than that. This a beaten and tired subject anyway. Venus's parents were fundamental to her development and did a fantastic job in the past. After 10, 15 years, things do change and management must either adapt or be revamped.
Let's look at it from another angle, that is, Venus's own judgment.
Q. When was the last time you felt you were playing consistently well?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Third round.
Well, let's take a look at 3rd and 4th round stats.
3rd round - Match Summary
Smashnova (ISR) Williams (USA)
1st Serve % 24 of 38 = 63 % 34 of 52 = 65 %
Aces 0 3
Double Faults 3 1
Unforced Errors 17 26
Winning % on 1st Serve 10 of 24 = 42 % 25 of 34 = 74 %
Winning % on 2nd Serve 6 of 14 = 43 % 8 of 18 = 44 %
Winners (Including Service) 3 24
Receiving Points Won 19 of 52 = 37 % 22 of 38 = 58 %
Break Point Conversions 1 of 3 = 33 % 5 of 9 = 56 %
Net Approaches 1 of 3 = 33 % 19 of 25 = 76 %
Total Points Won 35 55
Fastest Serve 159 km/h 191 km/h
Average 1st Serve Speed 144 km/h 167 km/h
Average 2nd Serve Speed 138 km/h 133 km/h
4th round - Match Summary
Molik (AUS) Williams (USA)
1st Serve % 41 of 84 = 49 % 43 of 73 = 59 %
Aces 7 2
Double Faults 2 4
Unforced Errors 26 28
Winning % on 1st Serve 33 of 41 = 80 % 31 of 43 = 72 %
Winning % on 2nd Serve 22 of 43 = 51 % 12 of 30 = 40 %
Winners (Including Service) 24 25
Receiving Points Won 30 of 73 = 41 % 29 of 84 = 35 %
Break Point Conversions 2 of 4 = 50 % 1 of 7 = 14 %
Net Approaches 12 of 16 = 75 % 16 of 25 = 64 %
Total Points Won 85 72
Fastest Serve 193 km/h 181 km/h
Average 1st Serve Speed 172 km/h 165 km/h
Average 2nd Serve Speed 152 km/h 135 km/h
Winning % on 1st and 2nd serve are about the same
Average speeds on 1st and 2nd again are about the same
Net approaches are exactly the same: 25
The other figures are mostly due to different opponents.
So, how could the 3rd round be better than the 4th? Molik was just better than Smashnova, while Venus remained the same.
In the medical field, it is requested of doctors (not just recommended) that they not be their own doctors or be doctors of family members. Lawyers follow similar rules if they want to win. Accountants generally never take good care of their own affairs. Why should it be any different for tennis players? Look where Hingis ended up, with her mother at the helm. I'm not advocating outright rebellion against parents. Their views are highly valued, but their judgments are severely and unwittingly compromised by the relationship.
Vee, take heed, you have my eternal love and I wish you all the best.