S.Williams vs V.Williams can be boring to somebody - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old Mar 19th, 2003, 08:55 PM Thread Starter
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Smile S.Williams vs V.Williams can be boring to somebody

Well I'm neva bored. I'm in heaven.


S.Williams vs V.Williams can be boring to somebody
Will anyone halt the Williams' reign?

By Rose Paton
Special to WTAFANS.COM

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.

It was cynical about the Williams final: but it was undoubtedly a competitive match, and the athleticism and shotmaking awesome. This is the way forward - and it's up to the rest of the ladies on the tour to get down the gym, get out to training and get to developing weapons to challenge the sisters' domination.

"The Williams sister are doing a great job, good for them. Tennis is a pleasure to watch when they are playing. One should realise it is not always easy to play against your sister or brother. Can one imagine the Klitchkow Brothers having to box each other?" A fan said

"The negative people should just find another sport to watch, if they find the Williams sisters dominance in the sport is boring them. Well done Serena and Venus keep on moving, do not look back!!" an expert said

Women's tennis has never been more exciting. It's up to the rest of the lagging pack of women in the tour to step up their play. They can't help that they're that good. It's good for the sport. Didn't Nicholas dominate golf? And it's good for the sport.

Women's tennis has never enjoyed better ratings as now. The field is grand, and has taken over the Men's field. Look at the ratings; as long as the Williams sisters are active, it makes the sport grander.

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

Yet no one was ever bored by @#%$ vs. Navratilova because their personalities were different, their styles of play were different and because you knew that come the French Open, @#%$ 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.

Judging from the draw (TENNISNEWS.COM)

Which is not exactly good news for Serena Williams. The #1 seed and defending champion has a very tough row to hoe. She starts with a first round bye, of course (since all 32 seeds get one), but then she faces either Francesca Schiavone (who is currently ranked above #32 seed Mikaelian; she would have been seeded if they had used this week's rankings) or upset artist Barbara Rittner, who last week beat Jelena Dokic. After that, it's probably Tatiana Panova, who has no offensive weapons but who can scramble enough that she just might draw some Serena errors. She hasn't any real chance to win, but she could tire Serena out. Then in the round of sixteen, Serena would face Elena Bovina, who is one of the few players really able to hit with Serena. Then either Lindsay Davenport or Monica Seles, and then Kim Clijsters, who is here with a shot at the #2 ranking.

Sister Venus may also open against an upset artist, since she'll face either the Upset Artist herself, Magui Serna, or Shinobu Asagoe. Things won't be too bad in the rounds after that: The rusty Mikaelian, then either Meghann Shaughnessy or Magdalena Maleeva (Maleeva is seeded higher, but Shaughnessy likes the surface better. Both have beaten Venus in the past two years -- but Shaughnessy did it on hardcourts at an event Venus wanted; Maleeva did it indoors at an event where Venus perhaps wasn't quite as interested in).

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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old Mar 19th, 2003, 09:11 PM
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Good articles gogogirl. I think I read this before, it sounds familiar. Serena has a tough draw, but I take that she will get through it regardless of what the report says.
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