The Thrill is Gone - Because of the Sisters? - TennisForum.com

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post #1 of 50 (permalink) Old Mar 16th, 2003, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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Smile The Thrill is Gone - Because of the Sisters?

The thrill may be gone to Charles - but it is not gone for many others. Someone needs to step up and give him a thrill if the Sisters don't do for him. Otherwise - he needs not watch the finals they may appear in together. It is that simple - IMO.


ttp://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/tennis/sfl-brickten16mar16,0,7650706.column?coll=sfla%2Dsport s%2Dtennis


Charles Bricker


The thrill is gone
Published March 16, 2003


There are those who probably never will be bored watching a Williams sisters Grand Slam final, even if Serena and Venus stretch their streak of showdowns to five at the French Open, to six at Wimbledon and to seven at the U.S. Open.

Those are fans with the sophistication to bypass the window dressing that goes with every Williams-vs.-Williams final and focus on the nuances in each match.

But there is a larger segment of the tennis-watching public that is going to start tuning out if Venus doesn't win at Paris or if Kim Clijsters or Jennifer Capriati or someone else doesn't step up soon and make this into more than a two-woman tour.

Tennis is a lot like other second-level sports in this country. There is a hard-core fan base that is able to get deep inside the game, and there is a more fluid, fickle constituency that requires personality and other external factors to hold their interest.

The problem for television is that we've now had the Williams sisters in four consecutive Slam finals, and the novelty is wearing thin for the less-than-devout.

What began in 1999, when they played in the Key Biscayne final, as a fascinating and controversial matchup, has lost a lot of luster for casual fans. To those who know the game, there are significant differences in how they play, and the contrast enhances their matches.

To the rest, the Williamses seem to be mirror images -- just a couple of slammers.

The matchup no longer fascinates those who once thought father Richard Williams controlled the outcomes or that the sisters were too reluctant to play their best tennis against each other.

Serena changed all that at Key Biscayne in 2002. Where Venus once professed to hate being on court against her sister, which only fueled the fix theorists, Serena doesn't care who's on the other side of the net. She is relentless in pursuit of victory.

Venus, on the other hand, plays hard in these finals, but you get no passion from her before the match. There is no, "I can't wait to get even with little sister," which would give us the fire every rivalry needs.

Also, Serena vs. Venus would be more captivating to everyone if Venus would win here and there. But she has lost their past five meetings and has taken only one set, at the Australian Open. You can't have a real rivalry when one player wins all the time.

The last time we had this sort of domination by two women was in the 1980s with Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova. They played 14 Grand Slam finals against each other, including three in a row and five out of six during a stretch in 1984-85.

Navratilova beat Evert three times in a row at the French, Wimbledon and U.S. Open in 1984 before Evert won the 1985 French. Then Navratilova beat her at Wimbledon a few weeks later.

Yet no one was ever bored by Evert vs. Navratilova because their personalities were different, their styles of play were different and because you knew that come the French Open, Evert would get her revenge.

It felt like a real rivalry. It looked like a real rivalry. What you get with Serena vs. Venus in a Grand Slam final now are by far the two best female players in the world. If you can enjoy for the quality of play, fine. But for the casual fans, the novelty has worn off and the thrill is gone.

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post #2 of 50 (permalink) Old Mar 16th, 2003, 07:30 PM
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Exclamation SOS (Same ole Shit)...!!!

[QUOTE='GogoGirl']The thrill may be gone to Charles - but it is not gone for many others. Someone needs to step up and give him a thrill if the Sisters don't do for him. Otherwise - he needs not watch the finals they may appear in together. It is that simple - IMO.


ttp://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/tennis/sfl-brickten16mar16,0,7650706.column?coll=sfla%2Dsport s%2Dtennis


I guess people "expect" them to "let" others beat them just so they don't meet in the finals of the events they play together!!! Well, I hope they continue to meet in the finals, and that the haters get "bored" out of their simple little minds.!!!

"There's just no pleasing some folks"
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post #3 of 50 (permalink) Old Mar 16th, 2003, 08:45 PM
 
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Typical bricker article. Does he ever have anything good to say about anyone? He's such an idiot. As long as the sisters keep winning I'm happy, even if both don't make the slam finals I would hope one wins all the time. Now I bet that still would be boring to some people, but you just can't please everyone I guess.
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post #4 of 50 (permalink) Old Mar 16th, 2003, 09:17 PM
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You said it, those people who write these article has nothing else to bicker about more than the williams sister but I guess we can look at it in a good way at least they talk about the williams then any other player on the tour! and I guess that is good.........but still the writers are just pour jealousy and for that they can go to (HELL)!!!
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post #5 of 50 (permalink) Old Mar 16th, 2003, 09:20 PM
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Thumbs down

I hope the Williams sisters continue to make "these" people miserable . Have you noticed that the more they complain the harder the sisters work to annoy them???

"I love the game, I love the thrill, I love the "Go Venus`."
"It takes a lot of work to get to this level, so while I can play I'm going to play."

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post #6 of 50 (permalink) Old Mar 16th, 2003, 09:21 PM
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Actually, he's about 100% right.

"There is a hard-core fan base that is able to get deep inside the game, and there is a more fluid, fickle constituency that requires personality and other external factors to hold their interest."

That's true

"To those who know the game, there are significant differences in how they play, and the contrast enhances their matches.

To the rest, the Williamses seem to be mirror images -- just a couple of slammers."

Again, true

"What you get with Serena vs. Venus in a Grand Slam final now are by far the two best female players in the world."

True

"But there is a larger segment of the tennis-watching public that is going to start tuning out if Venus doesn't win at Paris or if Kim Clijsters or Jennifer Capriati or someone else doesn't step up soon and make this into more than a two-woman tour"

IS that segment larger? That's the only controversial thing in the article. Venus and Serena are my two favorite players, and I never get tired of watching them play each other. But there IS a segment of population that will tune things out if someone else doesn't start winning a little. Watrching Serena play exhibitions that are called finals is not going to hold the avergae viewer. OTOH, Serena's opponents inthe OZ semis and finals made it rather interesting.

Don't bag the guy for pointing out, IN A FAIR WAY, why there may be disadvantages, from a marketing perspective, to the current situation. If you read what he wrote, he is nothing but complimentary to Venus and Serena in this article. And not a little complimentary either.

He points out that they're the two best in the world, mkaes clear thay both play hard and both play to win, and he points out that their games are very different, but also points out that people who don't appreciate the nuances of tennis often don't see that. Surely you've noticed the truth of THAT statement just from reading posts around here. A lot of posters here can't see the nuances of the game. Surely that would go past the caual fan too.

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post #7 of 50 (permalink) Old Mar 16th, 2003, 10:00 PM
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i agree with the article.

i dont really have a problem with the two playing each other all the time... but atleast make it interesting. its boring when you already know the result. venus needs to seriously step up and stop letting her little sister piss all over her.


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post #8 of 50 (permalink) Old Mar 16th, 2003, 10:05 PM
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good points, volcana
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post #9 of 50 (permalink) Old Mar 16th, 2003, 10:11 PM
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That's the difference right there:

Serena doesn't care who she plays, and goes for everything.
Venus DOES care, and doesn't go for everything.

If they both had Serena's attitude, I think the matches would be great. However, I also think if their matches ALL become like the Aussie, the audience will get more into it. IMO, there's not much that seperates Venus and Serena. Meaning, almost all of their matches should be 3 set thrillers [sort of like Jen/Serena]. If that happened, and it was more equal balance [say they play 5 times in a year, one winning 3, the other winning 2], fans would also stay interested.
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post #10 of 50 (permalink) Old Mar 16th, 2003, 11:03 PM
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Quote:
Serena vs. Venus would be more captivating to everyone if Venus would win here and there. But she has lost their past five meetings and has taken only one set, at the Australian Open. You can't have a real rivalry when one player wins all the time.
Yeah right, if Venus and Serena took turns winning ole Charlie would be the first one crying fix.

Beat'em down Ms Williams, beat'em down!
SERENA PRINCESS OF POWER

Victoria Duval - coming to a slam near you
Françoise Abanda definitely a future #1 --- Taylor Townsend devastation on the march
Venus and Serena ferocious grannies --- Kimiko Date Krumm great granny still doing her thing.
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post #11 of 50 (permalink) Old Mar 16th, 2003, 11:12 PM
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"The matchup no longer fascinates those who once thought father Richard Williams controlled the outcomes or that the sisters were too reluctant to play their best tennis against each other."

"Venus, on the other hand, plays hard in these finals, but you get no passion from her before the match. There is no, "I can't wait to get even with little sister," which would give us the fire every rivalry needs."

You know, after re-reading it, this may be the best article on this topic I've ever read. He really hits almost every issue. Note what he said about Venus and passion BEFORE the match. Anyone who saw the OZ final saw passion and emotion form Venus DURING the match. Maybe more than we've ever seen before. But he's right. She started out like she wasn't going to show so much as an eye-blink.

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post #12 of 50 (permalink) Old Mar 16th, 2003, 11:45 PM
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Quote:
"Venus, on the other hand, plays hard in these finals, but you get no passion from her before the match. There is no, "I can't wait to get even with little sister," which would give us the fire every rivalry needs."
Venus at the US Open was as intense before their finals match as I have ever seen her. She was determined to win. Venus has been varying her strategy since the French Open. She tried taking pace off of her first serve at Wimbledon inorder to serve at a high percentage. Did not work. She tried to bomb Serena out at the Open. Did not work. She tried to flat out take it to Serena. Could have worked but didn't. Sorry Charlie, Serena has just been better.

Beat'em down Ms Williams, beat'em down!
SERENA PRINCESS OF POWER

Victoria Duval - coming to a slam near you
Françoise Abanda definitely a future #1 --- Taylor Townsend devastation on the march
Venus and Serena ferocious grannies --- Kimiko Date Krumm great granny still doing her thing.
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post #13 of 50 (permalink) Old Mar 16th, 2003, 11:56 PM
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Well, judging by the TV numbers, people aren't getting tired of the sisters just yet. The only ones who are getting tired of it are tennis writers, and they were tired of it after the first one.

The casual fan isn't as clueless as made out to be. They can see that the matches between the sisters are getting closer, and getting better. You don't need to understand the nuances to see that. I know very little about the nuances of figure skating. A lot of the couples look very similar in performance. But then, when I saw Torvill and Dean, I knew there was something different about them. Something special.

The public has this sense of history. They can sense when something important goes on. And they know every match between Venus and Serena is historic. They are witness to something unique, which will probably not pass this way again in our lifetimes.

It was only a year ago that the question was if Serena would ever beat Venus in a match of consequence. She hasn't lost since. However, unlike the previous one-sided nature of their meetings, Venus is more competitive, and getting closer to winning with each match.

That's the funny thing about tennis. Eternities aren't as durable as they are in the real world. What's absolutely inconceivable now becomes the reality 3 months, 6 months, a year from now. In March, 2004, we could be asking "who can stop Schnyder?" Unthinkable? Now, perhaps. A year from now? We don't know. In life's ultimate paradox, the only thing constant is change.

From the time the sisters emerged as the primary contenders for slams, the tennis media has gone out of their way to tell the public why they should not watch. It was one reason after another. First, it was because Venus always won. Then it was the alleged lack of quality in their play. Then it was the supposed lack of competitiveness of the matches. What next?

If anyone follows golf, tell me, do the golf writers spend all of their time writing about how bad it is to have Tiger at the top dominating the game? Or do they praise his talent, and the interest he generated?

The history of sports has shown that having great players/teams that stand out is a good thing. What put women's tennis on the map in the first place? A bunch of competitive finals between quality players? No, it was the emergence of Lenglen, who dominated the game. Tiger Woods has elevated golf to new levels. Jordan did it with the NBA. And despite what the NFL tries to feed you abt the "excitement" generated by cap-induced parity, the reality is that TV ratings for the NFL keep getting lower. The sport was most popular when you had teams that were consistently good year in and year out.

The odd thing is, for all of the luster that these all-Williams clashes are supposedly losing, the subject is sure getting a lot of ink. It's looking more like they're not really gauging public opinion, but trying to influence it. I wonder if this discussion would be taking place if it were the Williams brothers atop the men's tour?
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post #14 of 50 (permalink) Old Mar 17th, 2003, 12:03 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Volcana
Actually, he's about 100% right.


Don't bag the guy for pointing out, IN A FAIR WAY, why there may be disadvantages, from a marketing perspective, to the current situation. If you read what he wrote, he is nothing but complimentary to Venus and Serena in this article. And not a little complimentary either.

He points out that they're the two best in the world, mkaes clear thay both play hard and both play to win, and he points out that their games are very different, but also points out that people who don't appreciate the nuances of tennis often don't see that. Surely you've noticed the truth of THAT statement just from reading posts around here. A lot of posters here can't see the nuances of the game. Surely that would go past the caual fan too.

I'm bagging on Bricker because he has remained consistent with his criticism of the Williams. Every article I read it's some negative element to his writing. You can OVER ANAYLYZE each one of his paragraphs if you wan't to, but my opinion shall stay the same.

As far as looking from a marketing standpoint, I can understand the concern but wasn't women's tennis dominated by a few before the sisters? I think the "fans are board" routine from the tennis community and commentators applies only when a certain few are dominating. I will continue to point out Jen's rise to the top, and her quest for the Grand Slam. Nothing but praise for Jen, I did not hear or read anything about her making the game boring. The only thing I heard was that she can get the grand slam, and that it would be so great for tennis. So why the sudden change? Also, didn't Martina play in 6 straight AO finals winning 3? I mean, no complaints their. It's ironic that when the sisters get on top, everyone from tournament officials, ballboys, ex tennis stars, critics, tennis fans, and writers have something negative to say.
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post #15 of 50 (permalink) Old Mar 17th, 2003, 12:10 AM
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Great posts in here Volcana. I think too many people think that if somebody's opinion differs from theirs, they aren't allowed to express it. I'm read some articles on this topic that seemed to be a biased or unfair but this one is not one of them and you can see that from the opening line : There are those who probably never will be bored watching a Williams sisters Grand Slam final. I think this writer did a good job of looking at different points of view instead of just taking the "Sisters are boring" route. There is nothing/nobody that can please everybody so just because you may love watching the sisters play doesn't mean that I or anyone else think the same thing and my opinion would just be different, no better, no worse. My favorite ( Lleyton ) is by no means a crowd favorite but I've gotten over it. A lot of people find his game boring but I don't... different strokes for different folks. If somebody wants to write about how having Hewitt at the top is boring well good for them, I disagree but they have the right to express their opinion.

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