Is Serena that good? Or is the tour that bad? Wertheim opines - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 222 (permalink) Old Mar 3rd, 2007, 05:11 AM Thread Starter
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Is Serena that good? Or is the tour that bad? Wertheim opines

From Wertheim's 'Mailbag'
Quote:
Have you been threatened by the women's tour? Not a single comment in your post-Aussie mailbag on the defining aspect of the current tour -- a total lack of talent except for Serena. I cannot recall the No. 1 player in the world ever being humiliated so badly in a championship match in any sport and yet you avoid comment like Donald Trump avoids good taste? Long live Justin Gimelstob.
-- Mike, San Diego

Go ahead and accuse me being bribed by the WTA. But "Long love Justin Gimelstob?" Heaven help us all. Actually, Justin and I have been debating this issue over e-mail.
I see his point and agree that it doesn't help the credibility of the WTA when a player with very little preparation swoops in and beats five seeds, including a blow-out of the world's top player. But it's not like we're talking about Marion Bartoli or Sybille Bammer here. Serena Williams is -- to use an indelicate phrase -- a freak, a one-in-four-billion talent who also happens to compete like no other player.

Let's remember, too, that Serena had won seven Grand Slams previously. Michael Jordan comes out of retirement and still puts up 30 points a game. Ted Williams interrupts his baseball to fly fighter jets and returns to lead the league in batting. Some players just have it.
To me, the storyline is about the strength of Serena, not the weakness of the rest of the field. Also, I think you have to look at this qualitatively. Had Serena been spraying balls and limping around the court and still won, well, that would have been one thing. But that match against Maria Sharapova was an absolute clinic in aggressive tennis. (Note her winners-to-errors count.) Serena looked every bit like the world beater she was in 2002, not the gimpy, bored hack she was in '06.
Intersting comment, and it may denote a subtle sexism. As Wertheim notes, when Michael Jordan came back from two years off and started winning titles again, that was considered a credit to Jordan, not an inditement of basketball. Ditto Ted Williams. His winning the batting title after a break to fight in a war wasn't considered an inditement on the poor quality of baseball. It was an exhibition of the greatness of Ted Williams.

Then again, maybe I've got the wrong 'ism'. When Monica Seles won the 1996 Australian Open, that was considered as a credit to her greatness, not an indication of the weakness of the tour. So it's not about people's refusal to give women credit.

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post #2 of 222 (permalink) Old Mar 3rd, 2007, 05:19 AM
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Re: Is Serena that good? Or is the tour that bad? Wertheim opines

Similar to Federer.

In so much as, the continual griping of some in the game and media seemingly want to slight their awesome accomplishments and their obvious talent and will by denouncing their competition.
However, as soon as they lose, those things go out the window.
Then, you get, "Is the gap closing".
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post #3 of 222 (permalink) Old Mar 3rd, 2007, 05:20 AM
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Re: Is Serena that good? Or is the tour that bad? Wertheim opines

I'd say it's both.




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post #4 of 222 (permalink) Old Mar 3rd, 2007, 05:25 AM
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Re: Is Serena that good? Or is the tour that bad? Wertheim opines

Quote:
Originally Posted by Volcana View Post
From Wertheim's 'Mailbag'

Intersting comment, and it may denote a subtle sexism. As Wertheim notes, when Michael Jordan came back from two years off and started winning titles again, that was considered a credit to Jordan, not an inditement of basketball. Ditto Ted Williams. His winning the batting title after a break to fight in a war wasn't considered an inditement on the poor quality of baseball. It was an exhibition of the greatness of Ted Williams.

Then again, maybe I've got the wrong 'ism'. When Monica Seles won the 1996 Australian Open, that was considered as a credit to her greatness, not an indication of the weakness of the tour. So it's not about people's refusal to give women credit.
Thanks for posting this. The whole damn thing. Wertheim AND your observations. Right on the money!!! Spot on!


Quote:
But it's not like we're talking about Marion Bartoli or Sybille Bammer here. Serena Williams is -- to use an indelicate phrase -- a freak, a one-in-four-billion talent who also happens to compete like no other player.

Let's remember, too, that Serena had won seven Grand Slams previously. Michael Jordan comes out of retirement and still puts up 30 points a game. Ted Williams interrupts his baseball to fly fighter jets and returns to lead the league in batting. Some players just have it.
To me, the storyline is about the strength of Serena, not the weakness of the rest of the field.
I've been arguing this same point. The problem is, people don't want to acknowledge Serena's greatness! Period! Once they do, everything else falls in place. People just dislike Serena so much they'd rather malign the WTA and the quality of the players than simply recognize her greatness! As Wertheim said it- her "one-in-four-billion talent."

Thanks for posting this and your keen observations along with it.

Gotta spread some rep before hittin' you up with it again!

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post #5 of 222 (permalink) Old Mar 3rd, 2007, 05:30 AM
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Re: Is Serena that good? Or is the tour that bad? Wertheim opines

that "Serena is a freak" comment is funny
go head gurl, get cho freak on
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post #6 of 222 (permalink) Old Mar 3rd, 2007, 05:34 AM
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Re: Is Serena that good? Or is the tour that bad? Wertheim opines

It's funny how from 2004-2006 the sisters were losing because the tour was better and stronger according to many analyst. Serena comes virtually out of no where and wins the AO and now the tour sucks. Such a double standard.

Really, don't even look at me...
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post #7 of 222 (permalink) Old Mar 3rd, 2007, 05:34 AM
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Re: Is Serena that good? Or is the tour that bad? Wertheim opines

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paneru View Post
...However, as soon as they lose, those things go out the window.
Then, you get, "Is the gap closing".
don't forget, the ol' the rest of the tour has caught up and the game has moved on.

Serena is simply a once in a generation athlete. I know it hurts to hear that for some, but she's made it very obvious.

Credit Wertheim for being one of the first WELL KNOWN tennis pundits to say it.

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post #8 of 222 (permalink) Old Mar 3rd, 2007, 05:35 AM
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Re: Is Serena that good? Or is the tour that bad? Wertheim opines

I don't think Serena being that good has to equal the tour being that bad.

Cuz, old news, Serena can be just that good.

And so is Venus

The only ones who need to feel dumb are those who proclaimed that the tour was so vastly different/improved/advanced that Serena couldn't just show up and string a few matches together and walk away with a Slam.

She can, end of story.

And so can Venus.

If your fave's coach isn't Richard Williams, that's just her first problem...

I was there when the ALL BLACKS won the World Cup in 2011!!!

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post #9 of 222 (permalink) Old Mar 3rd, 2007, 05:39 AM
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Re: Is Serena that good? Or is the tour that bad? Wertheim opines

LOL y cant ppl just accept that Serena played like perhaps she has never played before and she will never play again @ the aus open - she came in under done and low on confidence and played her way into champion form.. she deserves respect and not criticism

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Sharapova Dokic Wozniacki Delaqua Molik Kirilenko Dementieva Na Dani Kvitova
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post #10 of 222 (permalink) Old Mar 3rd, 2007, 05:43 AM
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Re: Is Serena that good? Or is the tour that bad? Wertheim opines

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Originally Posted by austennis View Post
LOL y cant ppl just accept that Serena played like perhaps she has never played before and she will never play again @ the aus open - she came in under done and low on confidence and played her way into champion form.. she deserves respect and not criticism
Actually, Serena simply played like she did back in '02. Even Wertheim now seems to acknowledge that. Anyone who goes back and reviews zoning, peaking '02 Serena knows that that's a level she's accustomed to playing at.

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post #11 of 222 (permalink) Old Mar 3rd, 2007, 05:43 AM
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Re: Is Serena that good? Or is the tour that bad? Wertheim opines

I think this question will be answered once and for all when the rest of the tour decides to show up playing anywhere near to decent tennis at the next slam. Would Serena still dominate then? We'll see at Miami.




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post #12 of 222 (permalink) Old Mar 3rd, 2007, 05:59 AM
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Re: Is Serena that good? Or is the tour that bad? Wertheim opines

the article is pointless. serena, maybe the best athlete in the wta, has won one tournament in how many months or even years? the tour did have something to do with that, regardless of what serena says. who say serena should never win another tournament. no doubt the quality of play at the AO was horrific. high seeds losing in early rounds or barely surviving against unknows, henin a no show. nearly every match looked like an error filled chokefest. serena had the experience to take advantage of her opportunity. how good the tour or serena is will have to be seen over a several month period.
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post #13 of 222 (permalink) Old Mar 3rd, 2007, 06:02 AM
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Re: Is Serena that good? Or is the tour that bad? Wertheim opines

Quote:
Originally Posted by driger View Post
the article is pointless. serena, maybe the best athlete in the wta, has won one tournament in how many months or even years? no doubt the quality of play at the AO was horrific. high seeds losing in early rounds or barely surviving against unknows, henin a no show. nearly every match looked like an error filled chokefest. how good the tour or serena is will have to be seen over a several month period.
I don't think Miami will prove anything, because Serena was a proven champion coming INTO the AO. To add to the fact Serena beat 5 players who had the best seasons of their career in '06 at the AO. So suddenly '07 comes and they just suck? Or does it have to do more with the amazing champion that is Serena Williams?

Really, don't even look at me...
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post #14 of 222 (permalink) Old Mar 3rd, 2007, 06:03 AM
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Re: Is Serena that good? Or is the tour that bad? Wertheim opines

Quote:
Originally Posted by driger View Post
the article is pointless. serena, maybe the best athlete in the wta, has won one tournament in how many months or even years? no doubt the quality of play at the AO was horrific. high seeds losing in early rounds or barely surviving against unknows, henin a no show. nearly every match looked like an error filled chokefest. how good the tour or serena is will have to be seen over a several month period.
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post #15 of 222 (permalink) Old Mar 3rd, 2007, 06:03 AM
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Re: Is Serena that good? Or is the tour that bad? Wertheim opines

Serena is just that damn good.

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