Is the game REALLY more athletic now, or is this just a lie?
The game is now far more athletic: that's if you fully buy into the theory that the women's game is now the domain of fitter, faster players. Although true over all, I don't fully buy into it.
I see far more fat players at or near the top now than I did in c1999, or even in the top five in 1992.
Petrova at Eastbourne this year (successfully reaching the final) looked extremely flabby. Kuznetsova, for all her athleticism, has in recent years looked too flabby, and still reached the number two ranking. Marion Bartoli is a porker, as we know, and she reached the Wimbledon final. Serena Williams, no less, is nowhere near in optimum shape, and she's number one in the world. Only recently, Ana Ivanovic was too big, and she was top 15. Dinara Safina has been top ten with weight problems. Aravane Rezai reached the top 30 a couple of years ago whilst carrying far too much body mass.
Go back to 1999, or come to think of it, much earlier, and I can't think of as many players in the higher echelons who were overweight. Seles, maybe, Capriati, Davenport prior to 1997. Who else? <scratches head>
So where did this idea come from?
What posters on this board must realise is that when commentators or ex-players keep on saying the standard has gone up, the players are fitter, they hit harder, etc, they are selling women's tennis - it's either their job, or they feel duty bound, given the history of the game and how it is overshadowed by the men's game. So their views have no credibility because it's just rhetoric.