Sports Illustrated article on Venus and Serena's decline - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 68 (permalink) Old May 11th, 2006, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
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Sports Illustrated article on Venus and Serena's decline

Sister act goes Hollywood
Venus, Serena are choosing red carpet over tennis
Posted: Thursday May 11, 2006 11:09AM; Updated: Thursday May 11, 2006 11:30AM



Venus and Serena Williams seem to be known more for their celebrity appearances than their tennis these days.


Move over, Paris and Nicky -- there's a new sister act in Tinseltown. In case anyone missed the press release, Venus and Serena Williams, the sports world's favorite sister act, have officially gone Hollywood. That's right, Hollywood: lights, camera, paparazzi!

You see, just like being a champion, becoming an illustrious VIP on the Celeb-O-Meter is all the rage among today's athletes, and the Williams sisters are no exception.

Gone are the days when Venus and Serena's first priority was to slay the competition on the hard courts with their jaw-dropping 100-mph serves and killer baseliners. Gone are the all-Williams finals and their sheer dominance. Venus and Serena have traded in their tennis rackets to become Hilton-esque socialites of their sport.

One minute they're partying with Jay-Z and Beyonce at the 40/40 club in New York City, the next they're hanging with British billionaire Richard Branson at Club Bed in South Beach. At times when they should be practicing, they're designing clothes and and making guest appearance on prime-time shows such as ER and Law & Order: SVU. They even had their own six-episode reality show last summer, Venus & Serena: For Real, on the ABC Family channel.

Sure, they may have picked up a racket along the way, but let's face it: Venus and Serena both know that tennis gets you no respect in Hollywood. After all, who outside of the tennis world gives a hoot about the likes of Lindsay Davenport?

Actually, this shift in careers for Venus and Serena should be of little surprise to tennis purists. After all, proud Papa Richard did warn us that both girls would retire by age 25. And it was Serena who, following her 2004 Wimbledon final loss to Maria Sharapova, was asked how, as a tennis superstar, she would respond to the challenge from the Russian teenager.

"A tennis superstar?" Serena replied. "I'm not a tennis superstar. I'm a superstar. Period. Like Britney Spears."

I guess tennis superstars may be born on the court, but they live and die in Hollywood.

What is surprising is the way in which Venus and Serena have chosen to make the transition from tennis into their next phase of life. Instead of retiring at the top of their game and bowing out gracefully like Chris Evert or Pete Sampras, the Williams sisters have elected to keep one foot on the court and one foot on the red carpet. They give lackluster performances in one tournament over here and then paint the town red over there for the next two months.

These days, when the sisters show up to play, they are often injured, ill-fit and unprepared. They take the court only to get clobbered by the Russians, the Belgians or some cute kid from Slovakia and then bark at anyone who dares suggest they aren't dedicating enough time to their sport.

At this year's Australian Open, Venus' game was so sluggish and error-filled that she was bounced in the first round by some Bulgarian whose name I can't remember. Not to be outdone, Serena crashed and burned in the third round and was dogged in the press about her constant wheezing between points and her rapid weight gain. What happened to the Williams' pride? Their champion swagger? It seems that has all been replaced by the "Party Over Here" attitude.

Venus recently competed in only her second tournament of 2006 (she lost in the quarters of Poland's J&S Cup) while Serena hasn't played in a tournament since the Aussie Open in January. Both pulled out of matches at Indian Wells, the NASDAQ-100 and the Family Circle Cup, citing a host of injuries. Then, last week, Serena announced that she would also miss this year's French Open and Wimbledon because of her ailing knee.

In the meantime, both have been back and forth to Los Angeles and Miami several times to frolic with the stars. They were in L.A. for the Vanity Fair Oscars party in March. They were seen carousing with rappers Pharrell Williams and Busta Rhymes at Miami hot spot Mansion. Then they were with Lydia Hearst at club Opium and later Paris Hilton at The Fifth on South Beach. Last weekend Serena was decked out in the finest at Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby. With a bevy of events like these on their social calendar, who has time for that little thing called tennis?

Through it all Venus has somehow managed to maintain a reputable No. 12 ranking (thanks to her surprising Wimbledon victory last year). But Serena is now ranked a laughable 105th in the world. At the rate they're going, they'll be known more for being ridiculous Hilton wannabes than for the tennis greats they once were.

Who knows, maybe they grew tired of the pressures and the scrutiny of being No. 1. Maybe they got sick of the excruciating matches, the six- to eight-hour days of nothing but PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE or being coached by that bumbling Papa Richard. If that's the case, you can't really blame them for turning to the lure of Hollywood for comfort.

Whatever the cause of their discomfort, it's time to clean up this mess that they have made all over themselves. If they're sick of tennis and want to party, they should retire now while people still remember their greatness. Take a bow and make a stylish exit before the Williams name is forever tarnished and associated with the term "has-been."

No one will blame them. In fact, I'd like to think we'd all be grateful. Lord knows it's been painful watching their listless performances tournament after tournament, wondering if we'll ever again see the athletic greatness that allowed us all to fall in love with them in the first place.

They should save their good name while they still have the chance before they truly become the laughingstocks of their profession, much like the real Paris and Nicky.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/200...tion=si_latest
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post #2 of 68 (permalink) Old May 11th, 2006, 05:42 PM
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I don't see that this writer has any other article in her archive. It seems that anyone who wants to make a name for themselves just have to write an article on the Williams Sisters.
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post #3 of 68 (permalink) Old May 11th, 2006, 05:43 PM
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They didn't pull out of Indian Wells...they were never entered. God, Sports Illustrated isn't a bastion of tennis knowledge that's for sure.

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post #4 of 68 (permalink) Old May 11th, 2006, 05:46 PM
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Goddamn there's too many of these articles!

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post #5 of 68 (permalink) Old May 11th, 2006, 06:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrandSlam05
Goddamn there's too many of these articles!
I was thinking the same thing. It's gotten out of hand. Venus is back playing tournaments and training... so you would think some of it would stop.
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post #6 of 68 (permalink) Old May 11th, 2006, 06:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SI
Venus recently competed in only her second tournament of 2006 (she lost in the quarters of Poland's J&S Cup) while Serena hasn't played in a tournament since the Aussie Open in January.

Lord knows it's been painful watching their listless performances tournament after tournament
If neither of them have been playing, what 'listless' performances has the author been watching? Venus' only 2005 losses post-Wimbledon were both to Kim Clijsters. I should think the author would be more cheerful. They don't want to see Venus or Serena playing, and they haven't been.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SI
Through it all Venus has somehow managed to maintain a reputable No. 12 ranking (thanks to her surprising Wimbledon victory last year).
It's really not surprising that a player who's been in four of the last five finals should win a tournament.

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post #7 of 68 (permalink) Old May 11th, 2006, 06:05 PM
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Who's this trick?
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post #8 of 68 (permalink) Old May 11th, 2006, 06:06 PM
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Laughable is the article.

They'll be back.
I wonder when Venus wins Wimbledon again this year and Serena wins the Us Open, what articles will be written then.

Venus is doing fine I think. Serena on the other hand needs to rededicate herself solely to tennis. Being a professional athlete is so much more than performing, it's the hours and hours of preparation each day. Waking up early and running, then hitting the tennis court, then the gym, and then the tennis court once again. Serena used to run at 5am in the morning. That's what I read in an article and her neighbor said her saw her each morning jogging.
So hopefully Serena will dedicate herself once her knee is better, because with her knee not being good, it's questionable if Serena will win anything at all on the WTA level.
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post #9 of 68 (permalink) Old May 11th, 2006, 06:12 PM
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This looks to be her first article for SI:



Archive

More SI.com WritersKelli AndersonLars AndersonRick ArnettChris BallardDon BanksMark BechtelMark BeechAlex BelthTom BowlesMarty BurnsLuis BuenoStephen CannellaBob CasperBrian CazeneuveJeffri ChadihaAlbert ChenSeth DavisFrank DefordRichard DeitschNunyo DemasioJohn DonovanKelly DwyerDarren EliotFarrell EvansMichael FarberPaul ForresterLewis FranckReuben FrankJonah FreedmanDan GeorgeJustin GimelstobRichard HofferAdam HofstetterSteve HofstetterDave HollanderPeter KingAndrew LawrenceTom LaybergerTim LaydenChris LewisFranz LidzJacob LuftStewart MandelChris MannixGabriele MarcottiArash MarkaziMike McAllisterJack McCallumCory McCartneyPete McEntegartGene MenezAllan MuirAustin MurphyRichard O'BrienDrew PackhamAndrew PerloffJames QuintongRick ReillyJohn RolfeSteve RushinDavid SabinoB.J. SchecterTracy SchultzRicardo SetyonAlan ShipnuckGregory SicaMichael SilverRob StangerE.M. SwiftBill SykenPhil TaylorIan ThomsenJimmy TrainaTim TuttleGary Van SickleTom VerducciGrant WahlJohn WaltersMatt WaxmanJon WeismanJon WertheimLang WhitakerLuke WinnAlexander WolffScott WraightMark ZeskePaul Zimmerman

Elizabeth Newman: Sister act goes Hollywood (05/11/2006)
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post #10 of 68 (permalink) Old May 11th, 2006, 06:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meesh
This looks to be her first article for SI:
And hopefully her last if this
is any indication of things to come.

Faulty info. and a topic
that has been beaten like a dead horse.
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post #11 of 68 (permalink) Old May 11th, 2006, 06:23 PM
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The article couldnt be any more anti williams, it wouldnt suprise me if the same person who wrote this article was a williams hater when they were at there best, any he must not watch too much tennis if he aint heard of Pironkova, she is an up and coming star, i dnt think his opinionshould be counted in the slightest

Grassonkova.
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post #12 of 68 (permalink) Old May 11th, 2006, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrandSlam05
Goddamn there's too many of these articles!
Totally agree. Both won a Grand Slam last year. Sharapova and everyone else, apart from Kim and Justine, didn't. So what do we call all the other players if Venus and Serena are has beens?
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post #13 of 68 (permalink) Old May 11th, 2006, 06:36 PM
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oh Venus, just win the French Open and shut them up!!!

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post #14 of 68 (permalink) Old May 11th, 2006, 06:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meesh
This looks to be her first article for SI:



Archive

More SI.com WritersKelli AndersonLars AndersonRick ArnettChris BallardDon BanksMark BechtelMark BeechAlex BelthTom BowlesMarty BurnsLuis BuenoStephen CannellaBob CasperBrian CazeneuveJeffri ChadihaAlbert ChenSeth DavisFrank DefordRichard DeitschNunyo DemasioJohn DonovanKelly DwyerDarren EliotFarrell EvansMichael FarberPaul ForresterLewis FranckReuben FrankJonah FreedmanDan GeorgeJustin GimelstobRichard HofferAdam HofstetterSteve HofstetterDave HollanderPeter KingAndrew LawrenceTom LaybergerTim LaydenChris LewisFranz LidzJacob LuftStewart MandelChris MannixGabriele MarcottiArash MarkaziMike McAllisterJack McCallumCory McCartneyPete McEntegartGene MenezAllan MuirAustin MurphyRichard O'BrienDrew PackhamAndrew PerloffJames QuintongRick ReillyJohn RolfeSteve RushinDavid SabinoB.J. SchecterTracy SchultzRicardo SetyonAlan ShipnuckGregory SicaMichael SilverRob StangerE.M. SwiftBill SykenPhil TaylorIan ThomsenJimmy TrainaTim TuttleGary Van SickleTom VerducciGrant WahlJohn WaltersMatt WaxmanJon WeismanJon WertheimLang WhitakerLuke WinnAlexander WolffScott WraightMark ZeskePaul Zimmerman

Elizabeth Newman: Sister act goes Hollywood (05/11/2006)

LIZ NEWMAN looks HAAAAWWTT!!!!!
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post #15 of 68 (permalink) Old May 11th, 2006, 06:44 PM
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"Venus and Serena are damned if they do and damned if they don't" I guess when they are injured they are supposed to sit at home on their a$#es and watch their dogs play. Won't these writers, write about the Belgians and the Russians, why the hell are the Williams sisters on their pee brain minds anyway. Both Venus and Serena have risked their bodies in the past to play tennis, Serena was still injured when she played Wimbledon last year, and she still doesn't get credit for trying to compete while she was hurt. I noticed how the reporter failed to mention Venus' gritty win over Hingis at J&S cup she only mentioned the lost. Venus is playing tennis again, and Serena will be back when she has healed what more do they want? They want the sisters to sell their souls to the devil to get back on top, but that aint gonna happen. They will come back strong when the time is right.
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