LOL...Davenport was injured in 2002 and only played a few tournaments.
Henin and Clijsters in 2002 were nowhere near the level Azarenka or Pova are in 2012 and Venus was always Serena's underling in Slam finals. In fact, one could argue that the competition in 2012 was stronger than it was in 2002 which is also why Serena didn't even get close to the #1 ranking in 2012 (unlike 2002).
Of course achievement-wise (unlike what RVD claims
), 2002 was a much better year for Serena since she won more Slams, was more dominant overall and was #1 for the most part of the year.
I've been watching more vids of 2002-2003 Serena and it's even harder now to decide which version of Serena is better.. There are 2 discussions going on in this thread.
1. Which season was better: 2002 or 2012?
- 3 slams
- Lost in Finals of YEC
- 8 tourneys won
- 56 wins 5 losses
- Won against: 5-0 Capriati, 4-0 Venus, 2-0 Mauresmo, 2-0 Hingis, 2-1 Henin, 1-1 Clijsters
- 2 slams
- 1 Olympic gold
- Won YEC
- 7 tourneys won
- 58 wins 4 losses
- Won against: 5-0 Azarenka, 3-0 Sharapova, 2-0 Radwanska, 1-0 Kvitova, 1-0 Li, 1-1 Kerber
It's REALLY CLOSE with these results, but I would pick 2002, because she got kicked out of AO 2012 and RG 2012 by much weaker players and in 2002 she didn't play AO at all. I think as an achievement a GS and Olympic Gold is equal. There is 1 extra round in a GS, but tougher oponents in Olympics from the start.
2. Which version of Serena is better 2002 or 2012 (peak)?
- Faster / better footwork -> returns more balls
- Slightly stronger mentally (did not cry or smash rackets)
- Improved serve
- Improved shot placement
- 10 more years of experience, more variety
This is so hard to decide, but I would have to pick 2012 Serena, because of the killer combination of her improved skills. It beats the 'faster/younger' Serena in my eyes.