A lot of negative stuff is written about Jennifer Capriati and her manners, etc. (most of which I agree with). However, anyone else think that Serena Williams is the most ungracious loser of the lot? Every time she loses, which admittedly is not often, she always comes up with an excuse rather than praise for her opponent. The latest: "My whole game was like 9,000 notches down." Another time I heard her quoted as saying, "She played some of her best tennis and I played OK." Venus, on the other hand, I find very complimentary about opponents who have beaten her. For me, Venus may not be the better of the tennis sisters at the moment, but she's certainly more graceful and humble and I find that ultimately more admirable.
—Stephen, Munich, Germany
Stephen, you pretty much answered your own question. It's hard to be considered an ungracious loser when you lose so infrequently. But you're point is well taken. When your opponent scores one of the biggest wins of her career and beats you in a tight three-setter, it's generally bad form to stress that you stunk worse than a frat-house basement. Serena is also notorious on tour for blaming defeats on assorted injuries and ailments. (Who can forget the infamous "There should be a picture of me [in the dictionary] next to the word hypochondriac" remark at Wimbledon a few years ago?) It's probably unfortunate that we reflexively compare Serena to Venus and vice versa. But for the record, you're right. Venus usually shows a great deal of poise and grace in defeat.