Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: aka TennisPower
Have we seen the best results of Venus?
This is almost a taboo issue among Venus fans. Yet one must face reality. She was the virtual #1 in 2001 and actually achieved it in February last year. Then her sister literally relegated her to the #2 position for the rest of the year. This year, the onslaught goes on; after being pushed to #3 by Kim, she's being challenged to relinquish even more ground to the likes of Justine et al. God knows where the end lies.
I believe there is a pattern in women's tennis whereby, by the time you're 21, your style is set, as well as your strengths and weaknesses. It's almost your tennis DNA that is revealed. You may achieve some improvements here and there but your profile is set. Such a statement, of course, is meant to be general as you will be able to find a few rare late bloomers (Martina N. may be one).
This being said, what we've seen so far from Venus is of a level high enough to keep her in the top contenders club for years. In her match against Vera today, she displayed the usual high UE's and double faults, but also the usual heavy groundstrokes and the fine serves. What we didn't see was the vast range of her defensive game. She may have been hampered somewhat. Nonetheless, her known offensive and defensive skills are well entrenched. Come fast courts, we should see a triumphant Venus again. She probably will never be a dominant clay-courter, but with proper scheduling, she can circumvent that and stay within the top 2 positions for some years.
The mission for her is to get back to that best, hone it and maintain it. In due time, she should resolve or at least manage the Serena challenge as well.
What do you think?
** TP for Topaz or TennisPower **
"Playing aggressive tennis ... that's always the way to go, if you ask me." - Venus Williams, May/2002
"Some shots I will hit hard but not every ball. I'm not just using my power." - Serena Williams, Oct/2002