Tennis Week article on Serena's withdrawal - TennisForum.com
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 93 (permalink) Old May 20th, 2005, 11:19 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 336
                     
Tennis Week article on Serena's withdrawal

Serena Withdraws From French Open


05/20/2005

Serena Williams started the season with a spirited sense of closure. Digging down deep to summon the competitive character she showed in dominating tennis, Williams fought back from deep deficits in the semifinals and final to claim her seventh career Grand Slam championship at the Australian Open. Since that stirring triumph, the former No. 1 has struggled to finish what she starts.


Now, the woman who has created so many compelling championship climaxes won't be around to begin the season's second Grand Slam. The fourth-ranked Williams withdrew from Roland Garros today citing the sprained left ankle she sustained in the Amelia Island quarterfinal against Silvia Farina Elia on April 8th. Since retiring from that match, Williams has played once — suffering a 7-6(2), 6-1 loss to Francesca Schiavone in Rome last week in a defeat she declared was her "worst loss."

"I just guess I had a really bad day today," Williams said after the match. "Just one of those days that just wasn't going to work. I made too many errors maybe, and I just didn't feel anything today. I mean, nothing came from my legs, or from my arms."

If Williams' body felt numbed by Novocain her will to win appeared euthanized by expectations. The most surprising development in Williams' season since she stretched her Melbourne winning streak to 14 matches is not the lack of a title, it's the fact that the woman who was once tennis' fiercest fighter has been so willing to toss in the towel.

Serena has played 13 matches since claiming the Australian Open crown and has either retired or conceded a walkover in three of those encounters.

The inferno of intensity that once burned within, sometimes seems flicker like the flame of a match-head in Serena, who seems to struggle to find motivation in non-majors lately.

The 2002 Roland Garros champion owns a 25-5 record on the red clay and has been both triumphant and tearful in Paris. In her victory over Venus in the 2002 final, Serena spoke a few words in French in her victory speech prompting a receptive roar from the crowd. The following year, six points separated Williams from her fifth consecutive Grand Slam as the defending Roland Garros champion stepped up to serve holding a 4-2 lead in the third set of her compelling clash with Justine Henin-Hardenne, a singles semifinal showdown suddenly got very crowded.

Jeering Williams' correct questioning of inaccurate line calls and cheering her errors, some French fans forced their collective will on the match and Williams could not stand up to a stadium. Unnerved by the hostile howls echoing in her ears, Williams concentration cracked, her level of play dipped and she bowed 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 to eventual-champion Henin-Hardenne.

Tournament play has not always been a prerequisite for success for Williams.

Serena has shown up at the Australian Open — this year — and at Wimbledon in her two title triumphs without playing a single warm-up event and still went on to win those majors. The problem is crafting clay-court success demands more than desire, grit and guts — qualities Serena exuded as easily as perspiration pouring from her pores Down Under — it takes a willingness to work and grind through points, rallies and matches and with only four clay-court matches to her credit this year Serena has to know she's simply not prepared to make any push in Paris even if her ankle was not an issue.

Her strength of spirit as become a parachute Williams has relied on to bail herself out of tight spots, but some observers believe it's time to cut that cord and commit herself to the off-court work necessary to fuel her full flight in tournament play.

"I guess what I'm worried about is she's grown too reliant upon that (fighting spirit)," ESPN tennis analyst Mary Carillo said in a conference call with the media earlier this week. "All right, 'If I want it enough, that should do it!" I think you can only go to that well so many times. That well runs dry on you. You cannot fake the funk on clay — you just can't. It's gotten to the point with the Williams sisters where I listen to what they say and then watch what they do."

When she's fit and fully focused, the 23-year-old Williams brings more than championship credentials to the game, she brings one of the most explosive and entertaining styles to the sport, she brings athleticism and she brings an abundance of attitude. At her best, Serena competes with the ruthlessness of a hard-core competitor shooting for a shutout. Clearly, she hasn't been at her best this year. She didn't play her top tennis in Australia, but she fought harder than everyone she faced.

Since then, Serena seems to be fighting herself more than the opposition.

The three-time Key Biscayne champion arrived at the Nasdaq-100 Open seeking to add seventh Key Biscayne crown to the Williams sisters collection, but instead looked distracted, unsettled and unfocused in yelling at herself and tossing her racquet around before falling to Venus for the first time since the since the 2001 U.S. Open final.

Since that March match, Serena's played only four times. Despite her Roland Garros withdrawal, Serena will retain her top 10 ranking following the French fortnight. She insists tennis is still her top priority, she just doesn't play enough to prove it.

"Back in the day when Richard Williams was first introducing his daughters to us all he was always talking about how they were going to be rich and famous and they were gonna be No. 1," Carillo said. "He never talked about them being great. He talked about the money a lot. Maybe those two have reached all their dreams. Maybe I'm looking for something that maybe they're (not). That's fine. I've gotta deal with it. Maybe my expectations and desires is different from what they hold on to."

The fact that both Venus and Serena have been willing to sacrifice parts of their tennis seasons to pursue college educations and careers in fashion and acting is admirable. In a day when many aspiring junior players drop out of high school to attend tennis academies and pound the court for hours at a time, the Williams sisters have always been smart enough to see that there's much more to life than batting a ball over a net. It's quite possible that like Andre Agassi — who was notorious for taking every other year off from top-level tennis early in his career — the Williams sisters' interests outside of tennis may actually prevent burnout prolong their careers in the long run.

They've always played tennis on their terms, and while they were once ahead of the curve the Williams sisters are no longer first to the finish. The challenge Venus and Serena face now is that it's becoming increasingly more difficult to write your name on title trophies when you can't even make a mark in tournament draws.

To be fair, if should Serena regain her health, conditioning and sustain a consistent schedule, will still be one of the top contenders for Wimbledon and the U.S. Open this year. But playing part-time tennis no longer translates to full-time success on the tour and a sport which was once a two-player game with Serena and Venus facing off in six of eight Grand Slam finals in a period from the 2001 U.S. Open to the 2003 Wimbledon, the game has gotten more crowded and the sisters are struggling to survive the squeeze.

"They were divvying up the spoils all by themselves and that was only a couple of years ago. And now we're wondering..." Carillo said. "Serena keeps telling us tennis is her No. 1 priority and then they kind of sound like their father these days. Richard was always talking about how he wanted them out of the game in their 20s. I still think that they should dominate and that they can dominate. The big question mark is is that what are they thinking? I think at a certain point you've gotta decide do you pull up your socks or go home? I'd love to see them decide that's what they want more than anything else and do all the requisite work to get back there."

Serena often characterizes herself as an entertainer rather than an athlete. In the past, she's been able to turn it on like a star stepping onto the stage and shining beneath a bright spotlight. Now, you have to begin to wonder if she's getting sick of the show.
getright is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 93 (permalink) Old May 20th, 2005, 11:50 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 3,790
                     
So where is the lenghty tennis article on Lleyton Hewint and Taylor Dent withdrawing from the FO? Or is it that only Serena gets scrutinized for withdrawing?
spartanfan is offline  
post #3 of 93 (permalink) Old May 20th, 2005, 11:51 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: on a rock
Posts: 5,755
                     
Interesting article. Thanks for posting it.
starr is offline  
 
post #4 of 93 (permalink) Old May 21st, 2005, 12:11 AM
Senior Member
 
Diesel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 6,127
                     
Quote:
Originally Posted by getright
"Back in the day when Richard Williams was first introducing his daughters to us all he was always talking about how they were going to be rich and famous and they were gonna be No. 1," Carillo said. "He never talked about them being great. He talked about the money a lot. Maybe those two have reached all their dreams. Maybe I'm looking for something that maybe they're (not). That's fine. I've gotta deal with it. Maybe my expectations and desires is different from what they hold on to."
How disrespectful, but I didn't expect anything less. Definitely, Carillo needs to deal with it because what she's looking for is based on her own wishes that even if Serena reached them, wouldn't be good enough.

Regardless, missing this tournament can only have Serena be more hungry and motivated to recapture another slam and the place she feels is rightfully hers and that's the top.
Diesel is offline  
post #5 of 93 (permalink) Old May 21st, 2005, 12:12 AM
 
harloo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Wonderland Arts Society
Posts: 19,079
                     
Carillo is such a bitch in this article. I really was enjoying the article until I read her part. It would of been alright without her dumb a#@ commentary. She basically calls the sisters liars, and claim they are only about money.

I wish I could slap that silly ho!

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.

harloo is offline  
post #6 of 93 (permalink) Old May 21st, 2005, 12:17 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,634
                     
Quote:
Originally Posted by spartanfan
So where is the lenghty tennis article on Lleyton Hewint and Taylor Dent withdrawing from the FO? Or is it that only Serena gets scrutinized for withdrawing?
Thank you. We all know that Serena is a big crowd draw and she makes every tournament she plays in very exciting. Without her in a tournament it is as boring as hell. Any way your post is on target...like stinking shitrillo gives a damn about serena. She's a two-faced bitch...The way she talked about Serena at the AO she should never form her lips to mention Serena's name ever again. I have that old hag.
icequeen is offline  
post #7 of 93 (permalink) Old May 21st, 2005, 12:20 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,634
                     
Who the hell cares about shitrillo expectations certainly not Venus or Serena. How dear she talk about her expectations of them she can't stand their guts neither can she stand Richard....she should think about her son and her own expectations for him and leave V&S to hell alone. Does she realized that they do not pay her any attention..why would one keep harping on two young ladies who does not give a damn whether she lives or dies. That woman is truly an idiot.
icequeen is offline  
post #8 of 93 (permalink) Old May 21st, 2005, 12:22 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,634
                     
Quote:
Originally Posted by harloo
Carillo is such a bitch in this article. I really was enjoying the article until I read her part. It would of been alright without her dumb a#@ commentary. She basically calls the sisters liars, and claim they are only about money.

I wish I could slap that silly ho!

She's not even worth that slap harloo.
icequeen is offline  
post #9 of 93 (permalink) Old May 21st, 2005, 12:25 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,634
                     
Quote:
Originally Posted by harloo
Carillo is such a bitch in this article. I really was enjoying the article until I read her part. It would of been alright without her dumb a#@ commentary. She basically calls the sisters liars, and claim they are only about money.

I wish I could slap that silly ho!
If they were only about money they would be playing in a tournament every week. The woman is nothing but a dick.
icequeen is offline  
post #10 of 93 (permalink) Old May 21st, 2005, 12:51 AM
Senior Member
 
No Name Face's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: nYc
Posts: 12,821
                     
Carillo's a bitch...she's just pissed off that Serena can still beat Sharapova through her fighting spirit alone. Forgive the girls for wanting to be more than just tennis players. They've proved their greatness, which is more than can be said for the rest of the active WTA. When someone surpasses the amount of GS titles Venus has, then Carillo has the right to say about half of the stuff she said.

ROCK ON:
elena dementieva, serena williams, caroline wozniacki, ana ivanovic
david nalbandian, rafael nadal, andy murray, gael monfils, jo-wilfried tsonga
No Name Face is offline  
post #11 of 93 (permalink) Old May 21st, 2005, 01:02 AM
Senior Member
 
mykarma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 30,032
                     
Quote:
Originally Posted by harloo
Carillo is such a bitch in this article. I really was enjoying the article until I read her part. It would of been alright without her dumb a#@ commentary. She basically calls the sisters liars, and claim they are only about money.

I wish I could slap that silly ho!
Don't we all work for the money. I don't think her sorry azz is traveling all over the world for free.
mykarma is offline  
post #12 of 93 (permalink) Old May 21st, 2005, 01:03 AM
Senior Member
 
tennnisfannn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 9,308
                     
isn't she the same one who was quoted as saying that you can only win the FO if you understand the game, serena has already done that. So now she doesn't get it?
Serena is a seven time grand slam winner which makes her a real champion, she also understand you don't have to risk further injury at every single tourny. Look what myskina is enduring, is that bravery, playing alot of tennis with that shoulder and going nowhere, rather than resting it up so she can play the beautiful tennis we know she can.
If venus and serena were only after money and not greatness, they would be in every tourny singles and doubles, they would be having the kim sort of 2003 schedule.

Rena- a tennis great! 22 at striking distance.
tennnisfannn is offline  
post #13 of 93 (permalink) Old May 21st, 2005, 01:14 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 628
                     
Quote:
Originally Posted by icequeen
If they were only about money they would be playing in a tournament every week. The woman is nothing but a dick.
Any moderately intellegent person knows that the tournament prize money is peanuts compared to endorsement money from big houses like Adidas or Nike.So your arfgument actually sinks on its own weight and it actually corroborates what the great Maryu Carillo says.
Cris Senior
Cris Senior is offline  
post #14 of 93 (permalink) Old May 21st, 2005, 01:15 AM
Senior Member
 
RenaSlam.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 25,032
                     
Fuck you Carillo. What a bitch she was in this article!
RenaSlam. is offline  
post #15 of 93 (permalink) Old May 21st, 2005, 01:18 AM
 
harloo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Wonderland Arts Society
Posts: 19,079
                     
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cris Senior
Any moderately intellegent person knows that the tournament prize money is peanuts compared to endorsement money from big houses like Adidas or Nike.So your arfgument actually sinks on its own weight and it actually corroborates what the great Maryu Carillo says.
Cris Senior
Even though endorsement money far outweighs tournament prize money, who are you are Mary Carillo to make a false accusation based on a gut feeling? You or Carillo have no proof.

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.

harloo is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the TennisForum.com forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome