I've seen topics like this come up before on this board and I find them incredibly insulting. For the record, I don't think Errani meant to offend Serena and taken at face value her comment is complimentary.
Did you read what she said in context?
That being said, I feel like it's ultimately a cop out.
Except that it wasn't a cop out at all. She said that male tennis players bitch about women's tennis (factual observation), that Serena hits harder than any men she practices with (complimentary joke) and that it would be interesting to see Serena play a top-500 ranked man (which it would be. Especially if a spectacle was made). She made no excuses for getting beaten.
When someone beats you 1 and 2 and all you can do is sit there and contemplate who would be stiffer competition for her says something about you.
And saying someone said something that they actually didn't says something about your readong comprehension.
It's not Serena's fault that she seems to beat players so handily as of late. She's playing with a renewed purpose in the twilight of her career and it is truly a thing of beauty to see. The women simply need to get better to catch up with her, that's the bottom line.
Riiight, it's not Serena's fault that she's the best player on tour. She deserves no praise for being the dominant player when she's on form. Nope, it's everyone else's fault for not being good enough and stepping up.
The idea that Serena should play against men is ridiculous and it's just another dig at her.
No, it's not. It's Errani saying something that's been taken out of context such that it looks like a dig at Serena. Not everything is an insult.
Was anyone having this conversation when Justine was decimating players left and right or when Azarenka had that impressive run at the start of the year?
For Henin, probably in the same way that people do now about Serena (read: never seriously and with the overwhelming majority saying she'd get creamed). For Azarenka, she was content to say she'd like to play with herself.
The minute Serena strings together some wins and utilizes her power game and godly serve all of a sudden she's too much for her contemporaries and would be better suited playing men, why is that?
Because you're taking a quote out of context literally.
She has the same tools every other player on the WTA tour has, so why does this conversation come up?
Because Serena's the most powerful, dominant player on tour. The latter mostly because of the former.
I don't want to think that there is a deeper rooted issue as to why she is always thrown into this conversation but ultimately there is. All these scenarios taking men's ranking and surface into account and saying she might win a few games are insane. Serena is a woman and plays woman's tennis. That is why there's 2 different tours, there's no grey area.
Yes, and the reason there are two separate tours (other than the political/financial/historical reason) is the fact that physically, men are better suited for sports such as tennis. They are able to move faster, hit the ball harder and with more spin. The people saying Serena would struggle to win points and games are right. For better or for worse there's not a relevant man on the ATP tour that wouldn't dominate Serena.