Venus and Serena: Good and bad for the game
Before I start, let me say I'm a fan of V and S, so let's clear that up before I'm called a racist, or a bad Seles fan, etc;
Venus and Serena are great for the good because they brought tennis to a market it had to be brought to: Young African-Americans, or African-Americans in general. The black players of recent years (Zina, Chanda, Lori), were all talented, but spoke well and acted in a proper way so as to not to be controversial. Venus and Serena's brashness, however much some might hate it, made people stand up and take notice. It looked silly when they were #200 in the world, but critics shut up when they began climbing the ranks. Their beauty made them marketable, and their marketability made them likeable to the ghetto thugs as much as the country club trust fund babies. They're good for the game because they are an inspiring story. Growing up in Compton, playing on courts ridden with weeds, no money, etc. They showed anything was possible with hard work and determination. They are also good for the game because they are making history. Imagine two black sisters from the ghetto, who didn't play junior tournaments, who never practiced for particularly long hours, rise to #1 and #2 in the world with such little effort that they can pursue acting and a degree in interior design.
But that's the problem. They've gotten to the top with such seemingly little effort that it's almost embarassing to the rest of the players. The fact they can take 10 months off from doubles and then pick it up again at Wimbledon and win the title speaks poorly for the other teams. The fact that the only way people can beat them is if they play the match of their life and V and S are way off (and even then it goes three sets), looks bad. Sure Martina, Steffi, Monica, Martina H all had periods of domination. But they couldn't reach 4 consecutive slam finals (and potentially win all 4), they couldn't be invincible on the doubles court w/anyone as a partner (Serena winning a Tier II with #200 Alexandra Stevenson). We've never had the #1 and #2 singles players play together and then be the world's best doubles team. It wouldn't be feasible either. Martina and Chris wouldn't be the world's best doubles team. Neither would Hingis and Seles, Graf and Seles, Vicario and Graf, Capriati and Hingis, Davenport and Hingis. It's almost like "give somebody else a chance to win." Their domination will cool down eventually, but they make the rest of the tour seem like a major undercard.