As with any era of total domination there are always going to be aspersions over the quality of opposition. And in years to come people will surely ask the question of the sisters opposition. Just as we downgrade the opposition of Martina Nav and Chris Evert, the adversaries of Seles and Graf and Hingis, today's players will too be dragged over the coals for not taking the challenge up to the sisters - and the achievements of the sisters will be tainted in the process.
People will point to the fact that the only 3 active champions other than the Williams' were MIA or below par. That Hingis was burnt out. That Davenport was injured and unable to recapture her form. That Seles was 5 years past her use by date. They will say that Jenn, another great player of their era, was struggling with being the best (once dysfunctional, always dysfunctional, right?
) and was effected by her eyes. They will say that dual grandslam winner Pierce was MIA.
As for the up and comers well the Williams can't win. If the likes of Henin, Clijsters and Hantuchova don't kick on and become Grand Slam champions detractors will point to the absence of a GS title in their resumes and say - "see no competition whatsoever, the best young players were not even GS material". If the aforementioned trio do become Grand Slam champions and end the William's domination of majors we will hear "The Williams' got lucky in 2002-2003, not only were Hingis, Davenport, Seles and Capriati past it but Henin, Hantuchova and Clijsters weren't fully developed yet, they weren't ready. See, as soon as they matured, the Williams domination ended "
Don't think it won't happen. Slot different names in and we have all been witness to eerily similar tripe about Hingis, 1997-1999.
Of course, we all know different and I don't buy any of it. Just as I don't buy the rhetoric about the lack of competition presented to former champions. Serena and Venus are both one in a million players. Any player who wins 4 majors is one in a million. All that matters is at this present time, they are head and shoulders above the rest. We all know the callbire of tennis they play. We all know the amazing tennis we have seen from them. I personally remember how brilliant Hingis was in her dominant years and I am certainly not going to taint her GS titles with hypothetical rhetoric - I have always spruiked this point of view. I am certainly not going to apply a double standard to the Williams' just because they are not my faves. The respective strength of each champions era is far to subjective standard to apply as a measure of greatness. Much easier to look at cold hard facts.