Mary Carillo answers questions
Carillo: Kuerten hasn't been tested yet
By Mary Carillo
Special to ESPN.com
Ask the expert
There's no way that all of your questions could be answered on air, so ESPN analyst Mary Carillo is checking in from Paris, to lend her expertise.
What do you thing about the tennis that Gustavo Kuerten is playing in this Major? In fact, does he has good chances to get the top? well, I'm talking from Brasil, and here we don't have access to your transmission, then if possible, please send the answer to my e-mail, ok? I'm glad to you, and wait the answer
Raimundo de Q M Júnior, São Paulo (Brasil)
Today, he was barely tested. It was a dog match. It's hard to gauge how's he playing. But every match will help. He certainly hasn't expended a lot of energy going into the third round. I wouldn't put him in the first cluster of favorites, but I wouldn't mind seeing him employeed on the second week. He's more simpatico than anyone else who is playing tennis these days.
Do you think that Venus needs to get another coach to help her get reenergized and remotivated so that she can regain the number 1 ranking and her confidence so that she could not only defeat Serena but any other player on the tour? And also have someone focus on her 2nd serve. I know it's a liability and I am just a spectator but I've heard so many people talk about the 2nd serve and it just seems like it should be a focus for whoever is working with her. I admire Venus quite a bit and she is my niece's favorite. I really want her to get back on top. She is a tremendous athlete and also a great role model to any kid who may need to overcome obstacles and pursue a dream to become the best.
Felicia Richardson, Greenville, SC
Venus is so fiercely loyal to her father that I'm just not sure that she'd ever step away from that situation. She's had all kinds of coaching from other people, but at the end of the day she'll say it's still her mother and father who are her coaches. She sticks the forehand. She's worked on her technique on her volleys, and the second serve is an incredible liability. She's not even going for her big first serves anymore, I think, because she knows she doesn't want to deliver a second serve.
She is obviously suffering a crisis of conscience. But that she's also suffering in fitness is a concern. The question is, can she compete against her sister Serena, who loves being the No. 1 player. Serena thrives in that atmosphere.
Did the Williams sisters invent the swinging volley? I do not recall seeing this shot before they played it and it certainly was not how the classic volley was taught 2nd: Re that drop volley that Serena played in her first round match which was described by Pam and Mary Jo as awkward looking, why did they not recognize that all Serena was trying to do was to disguise the drop shot until the last moment. Serena held the two handed backhand until the last moment then flattened the racquet. A drop shot is more effective if there is the element of surprise. Do you agree?
Stewart Spencer, Kingston, Jamaica
No. If I had to credit the swinging volley to anybody Carling Bassett at Nick Bollettieri in Bradenton, Fla. She was very aggressive by nature but was a baseliner. Any time she had a chance to break open a point -- she was so little, she'd put two hands on the racket -- she'd throw herself into these big two-handed swinging volleys. A lot of players these days use it. For a lot of baseliners it's their idea of a transition volley -- they're so far back on the baseline that when they come in they take a really long cut at the ball. For my money, the first person doing a swinging Volley was Carling Bassett.
I know that you all must be sick of the Venus/Serena questions, but I have to wonder what is really going on with so many tennis journalists. Is it just me or are most journalists upset that the sisters may be able to meet again in a Grand Slam final? One would assume that all tennis fans want to see the best two players of the tournament square off in the final, but with the Williams sisters the opposite is true. I don't buy the "this isn't exciting for the fans argument" either. Is this, as Richard Williams has called it, racism that has folks reacting to the dominance of these two women so negatively?
Heath Martin, Houston, Texas
Richard Williams uses very broad strokes -- kind of a habit of his. He sees racism in an awful lot of things. I'm not saying that this sport or any other part of the world is without racism.
I'm not one of those who minds watching the Williams sisters play. Besides championships, I've not seen a great match between the two. So far in their rivalry, they have not brought out the best in each other.
My sense of things is that if journalists bemoan the fact the Williams sisters dominate tennis it's because for so long they've been head and shoulders above every one else in the pack. They've been so dominant for so long. Now that seems to be changing a bit as the depth increases among the other women.