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post #1 of 69 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 2005, 02:47 PM Thread Starter
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Peter Bodo blog on Venus-Sharapova match at Nasdaq-100

http://www.tennis.com/ME2/dirmod.asp...E82099367F4312

Friday, April 1, 10 A.M.
The Goddess of Grunt and the Queen of De-Nile


Maria Sharapova made a powerful statement yesterday in the NASDAQ-100 semifinals. Let me translate it for you:

“If you want to be back on top of this game, Venus, you’d better find and bring your A-game and stop pretending that the helter-skelter stuff you’ve lapsed into is good enough to win at the highest level.”

If you watched the match, you saw Sharapova, a dedicated, disciplined, no-nonsense tennis player, rip the façade off a game in neglect. It wasn’t so much that Maria routined Venus (4 and 3), because in all fairness there were some great rallies and wonderful points that brought out the best in both players. It was more that, in contrast to a very on-message Maria, Venus was sloppy and unfocused, a moving portrait of indiscipline punctuated every few strokes by one of her signature splits as she attempted to wallop a winner. It all amounted to a statement of her own. Let me translate:

“I’m a player adrift, hoping that my athleticism and reputation will see me through when I have neither a disciplined game, nor a clear game plan, nor the steady, quiet confidence that comes from loving what I do and having done the homework it asks of me.”

Of course, this is the Queen of De-Nile, so when I asked her after the match if all the errors she made (the ones that she said cost her the match, as if Sharapova’s highly disciplined, cool play had nothing to do with the outcome) might be markers of underlying fitness or focus issues, she lamely replied: “No, no, I don’t think so. The thing in tennis is that you always have another match.”

Right. But guess what, Venus. That next match won’t be Saturday’s women’s final. It will be a first-rounder, wherever you choose to play next. And if you’re content with that, ’nuff said.

Here’s the thing that really gets me; it’s one thing to be in denial about why you’re losing (to paraphrase a famous line, “Great players can’t handle the truth!”). It’s quite another to insult your opponent (not to mention the intelligence of every sentient being even remotely interested in you) by declaring, “It was just a match that was all about the errors I was making.” As truisms morphing into rationalizations becoming excuses goes, this is about as good as it gets. But here’s something else: Want to know what Venus’ response was when asked if she stuck to a practice/training schedule?

“Well, I hit in the morning, I try to train in the afternoon,” she said. “But some days I take it easy, too. So it’s a cycle. Like, my life is really unpredictable, so I don’t know what the next day will bring.”

Want to know what Maria said when the same kind of question was put to her?

“Well, I think it’s an individual’s decision. It’s either you want tennis to be your number one priority and, you know, you set other things aside, or you prefer doing other things than playing tennis,” she said. “I think that’s what really motivates me. When I have five days off and I’m doing shoots or I’m doing whatever, I’m really hungry to get back on the court. Because that’s where I feel, ‘This is what I do, this is my job, and I love doing it.’ ”

And you wonder why Venus is waning and planet Maria’s star is waxing?

Okay, I’ve been pretty tough on Venus and Serena, the reluctant champions, lately. I’ve even gotten emails accusing me of being a racist. So here’s an observation touching on race:

One of the great things about the match was that there was little discernible difference—athletically—between the African-American woman and the blond-haired, blue-eyed Russian girl. This was not a battle of stereotypes between the cool, strategic, consistent white girl and the explosive, spontaneous, athletic black girl. This was about two great female athletes going toe-to-toe, and it was decided by the blandest but perhaps most powerful of factors—the discipline that provides a springboard for every über-athlete, from Jerry Rice to Roger Clemens to Michael Jordan—and now Maria Sharapova.

The irony is that I’ve always defended the flaky or flawed competitor’s right to waste his or her career, buck the system, or otherwise refuse to be a cog in the big, commercial wheel. I’ll say it again: If Venus wants to be the neo–flower-child of tennis, fine. But she should cowboy up and say something like, “I can’t beat the top players with the game I have now and I don’t care. More power to them, but life’s too short and I’ve got to many other fish to fry.”

But these tired lines—“It’s all about my errors”, or, “On my best day, I’m the greatest ever” are not only arrogant, empty boasts, they’re a form of theft. They’re stealing the credit that should go to that poor, one-dimensional, unimaginative, uncool, uninteresting soul to whom diligence, discipline, and tradecraft are of paramount importance.


Interesting read. I have to agree with him on many points, though this seems to me to be a case of tough love for Venus.

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post #2 of 69 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 2005, 02:57 PM
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good article.

"Hatred is the coward's revenge for being intimidated" - George Bernard Shaw




"And for the best of the teen-agers who followed her, and who occasionally referred to her as over the hill, Graf had a ready answer: against top-ranked Martina Hingis, Graf wound up 7-2. Graf's stirring 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 throttling of Hingis at the French Open final this June was perhaps the most emphatic parting shot the game has ever seen. "


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post #3 of 69 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 2005, 03:04 PM
 
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It's ok to give your criticism, but why the attacks? It's highly unprofessional and who gives a fuck about Peter Bodo?


Quote:
Originally Posted by AcesHigh
I'll say this in public once. I miss serena so much. Fed is my favorite player but no one does it like her.

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post #4 of 69 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 2005, 03:04 PM
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Funny how he didn't mention AT ALL that this is the best Venus has played in a while, and that she just beat her sister ranked at #4 in the previous round. So yeah, you are biased Peter Bodo. You mention what you want to mention without bringing all the facts in. Plus... the only reason why Venus lost the first set 6-4 is because she was making errors on her service game serving at 4-5 to get broken. So yes, at times it WAS about her errors. Maybe you should watch matches before you make comments about them idiot.

Really, don't even look at me...
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post #5 of 69 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 2005, 03:08 PM
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Exclamation

Quote:
Originally Posted by harloo
It's ok to give your criticism, but why the attacks? It's highly unprofessional and who gives a fuck about Peter Bodo?


This writer has always been touugh on Venus. He said in a documentary about them that Venus would rather be somewhere else than play tennis. And he has been saying that since 2000-2001.
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post #6 of 69 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 2005, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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This is NOT an article. The link I have provided is to his blog on the Tennis Magazine website.

FUCK YOU, SEWTA.
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post #7 of 69 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 2005, 03:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lizchris
This writer has always been touugh on Venus. He said in a documentary about them that Venus would rather be somewhere else than play tennis. And he has been saying that since 2000-2001.
Does he know Venus?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AcesHigh
I'll say this in public once. I miss serena so much. Fed is my favorite player but no one does it like her.

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post #8 of 69 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 2005, 03:14 PM
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Peter Bodo, I agree.
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post #9 of 69 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 2005, 03:31 PM
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Wow he called her a thief.

That is beyond outrageous. If what venus says is what she believes then what are you going to do? Its like they dont want her to truly answer what she thinks they want a pre rehearesed answer that THEY THINK she should give which in reality is no answer at all if that is not what she thinks.

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 #10 of 69 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 2005, 03:31 PM
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As much as I love Venus Williams, I do feel that she doesn't have that burning desire anymore...we see flashes, but she's obviously not putting in the work.

"Hatred is the coward's revenge for being intimidated" - George Bernard Shaw




"And for the best of the teen-agers who followed her, and who occasionally referred to her as over the hill, Graf had a ready answer: against top-ranked Martina Hingis, Graf wound up 7-2. Graf's stirring 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 throttling of Hingis at the French Open final this June was perhaps the most emphatic parting shot the game has ever seen. "


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post #11 of 69 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 2005, 03:36 PM
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No she is not the same player she was in 2000 2001. That player did not have an interior design firm. That player had the motivation of a grandslam winning sibling.

I find it funny though that people want her to bow down and praise Maria or any opponent. Maybe Maria should get her praise from her parents or fans not competitors. Its silly.

DId you see Muhammad Ali praising his competitors?

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 #12 of 69 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 2005, 03:39 PM
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Venus is in denial.
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post #13 of 69 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 2005, 03:40 PM
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hard words, and I can understand why Venus fans will get mad. I agree with what he is saying, Venus is not playing her best for whatever reason, but it really seems like Venus is not putting in her best effort. Hopefully she will do well on clay like she did last year.
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post #14 of 69 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 2005, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harloo
It's ok to give your criticism, but why the attacks? It's highly unprofessional and who gives a fuck about Peter Bodo?

Typical.

I'd expect nothing less from him and
many of these so-called professionals when it
comes to anything and everything Venus does
and says.

As far as race, IMO.

It comes down to the media's double standard and the perpetuation by
the media that causes some people to feel the racial undertones!

Strong, intelligent, and opinionated black women are found intimidating by a certain section of the masses, which is even more magnified in such a high profile sport that has historically been seen as "lilly white".

When the Sisters have been boastful, unabashed, and seen as arrogant, the media was forever taking them to task on their attitudes and personalities so much so that you never saw it with their white counterparts or the media coverage of them overshadowed what ever may have been reported of their counterparts.

The impressions for many black people and people of color especially in America with racial issues that are as still hot today as they ever were, (even if people don't want to admit it) is that if they where blonde haired, blue-eyed, and white and had their same type of success, it would be more widely accepted and not made a big an issue.

IMO, their are still many people in tennis and outside who find them intimidating because they are black, but also because they speak their minds and don't hold back and women historically are called, "bitches" and such and ostrasized for being in places of power doing nothing more or less than their male counterparts! Being black in this case is like a double whammy!

You don't see all this drama on the men's side and I
doubt you ever would under any circustances at this point.

Also, over the years we've seen and heard many people comment negatively on the sisters appearance, because of their muscle and build. When it was simply nothing more than genetics and yet it was another thing they had to endure.

So, when you're coming to the table having dealt with these issues and them hitting you in the face and what not, it's not hard to see why many people would call him a "racist" or bring race into it.


Now, this is just my take and for me, don't know about others, but I've always sensed the racial undertones in the tennis world ever since I started following tennis which was on like 4 years ago. Issues that are their but people pretend like they aren't.


So, I always come into these articles and what not being quite sinical unless or until I read and then form an opinion simply because I feel what's their but not being said.
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post #15 of 69 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 2005, 03:47 PM
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well this is certainly hard-hitting. I must admit though I reluctantly found some truth in what he was saying even if he was way too harsh. Still love Venus though
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