Martina N's-Interview in the NY Times - TennisForum.com

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post #1 of 83 (permalink) Old Aug 26th, 2003, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
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Martina N's-Interview in the NY Times

All for Partners
Interview by DEBORAH SOLOMON


Diane Von Furstenberg is designing outfits for Venus Williams and turning the tennis court into a fashion runway. Has any designer approached you?

Let's not go there. No designers have approached me. I can't even get an endorsement for wearing clothing. Once you hit 30, they don't want you.

You just won your 20th Wimbledon title at 46. And we're looking forward to watching you in the U.S. Open in the coming weeks.

Forty-six is ancient for an athlete. You'd think advertisers would want me because they would be trying to hit the middle-age market. Women my age are the ones who are buying clothes -- they have the money and the kids. But I guess the advertisers haven't figured that out.

It's true. You've become an American symbol of staying power and middle-aged glamour. But you know advertisers: they're not exactly free thinkers. They're probably terrified of your public statements about your life as a lesbian.

Actually, I do have one big deal. I am still a spokesperson for Subaru. I also have a deal with Prince rackets. But let's put it this way: Wheaties hasn't called.

Would you like to see the United States legalize same-sex marriages?

It's just a matter of time until it happens. The right wing, the Christian right, is saying that the majority of people are against gay marriage. But since when has any social issue been pushed forward by popularity, by a majority?

The Vietnam War was probably the last time dissenters formed any kind of majority in this country. So many distinguished priests were part of the antiwar movement.

And look at them now! You see the Catholic Church denouncing gay marriage when they have been doing worse in their own church. And never mind how they behaved during World War II! The Holocaust didn't bother them. But gay marriage bothers them. I think they should clean their own house before telling me how to clean mine.

You speak about the church with the fervor of a lapsed Catholic.

I'm not any religion. I don't know if my mother is Catholic or not. But I believe in the existence of a higher power. I believe there is one big God out there. I don't go to church. It's how you behave in life, not whether you go to church and pray, that makes you a worthy human being.

Do you think you are worthy?

Only the greater power can judge. When people say, ''You are going to hell for this,'' I think, let whoever is up there decide.

You've played the Williams sisters in doubles matches and lost. Do you think you can beat them at doubles?

I would love to play them again. Of course I know I could beat them.

Can you disclose your battle plan? Are you hiding any weapons?

Venus and Serena are great singles players, but at doubles they are not so great. They don't volley as well as other players, and that's something you can exploit in a doubles match. The hardest part is getting to that volley, because they hit such hard serves. They are so powerful it is hard to get into a rally with them.

Some people say athletes are overpaid.

With tennis, it isn't like baseball where the money is guaranteed. You have to win matches to get paid. And then you have to pay your own way. Hello! You pay your airfare. You pay your coach. What do we get at Wimbledon? Two hundred dollars per diem. It doesn't even cover your hotel.

The British are so cheap.

Even here, tennis players do not make great money. If you give lessons, you earn $100 an hour, and you make more money as a teaching pro than as the 50th-best singles tennis player in the world.

You teach? Where can I sign up for a lesson?

No, I don't teach. I have made enough money so that I don't have to work the rest of my life. But I'm still playing. I spend eight or nine months of the year on the road.

Do you find it lonely living out of hotel rooms?

Not really. I have a dog in my life right now, a traveling dog, Chloe, a Chihuahua. And I travel with my own soft pillow. So at least my head is on the same pillow every night of the year.
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post #2 of 83 (permalink) Old Aug 26th, 2003, 01:06 PM
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She's starting to sound bitter...

"Hatred is the coward's revenge for being intimidated" - George Bernard Shaw




"And for the best of the teen-agers who followed her, and who occasionally referred to her as over the hill, Graf had a ready answer: against top-ranked Martina Hingis, Graf wound up 7-2. Graf's stirring 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 throttling of Hingis at the French Open final this June was perhaps the most emphatic parting shot the game has ever seen. "


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post #3 of 83 (permalink) Old Aug 26th, 2003, 01:08 PM
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Gee, I guess winning every slam and Olympic gold means your not a good doubles player. Navritalova, go get a fucking life
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post #4 of 83 (permalink) Old Aug 26th, 2003, 01:12 PM
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Well didn't you read her explanation? She said because they are so strong they make the "good" dobules players submit.

"Hatred is the coward's revenge for being intimidated" - George Bernard Shaw




"And for the best of the teen-agers who followed her, and who occasionally referred to her as over the hill, Graf had a ready answer: against top-ranked Martina Hingis, Graf wound up 7-2. Graf's stirring 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 throttling of Hingis at the French Open final this June was perhaps the most emphatic parting shot the game has ever seen. "


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post #5 of 83 (permalink) Old Aug 26th, 2003, 01:14 PM
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oh ok, so there's only a proper way to play doubles... right... whatever Nav. She's just mad that she lost a tournament while playing with Serena.

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post #6 of 83 (permalink) Old Aug 26th, 2003, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DA FOREHAND
She's starting to sound bitter...
starting?

In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
Through the desert of the truth
To the river so deep
We all end in the ocean
We all start in the streams
We're all carried along
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In the middle of the night
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post #7 of 83 (permalink) Old Aug 26th, 2003, 01:16 PM
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sorry I could not resist

In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
Through the desert of the truth
To the river so deep
We all end in the ocean
We all start in the streams
We're all carried along
By the river of dreams
In the middle of the night
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post #8 of 83 (permalink) Old Aug 26th, 2003, 01:20 PM
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I understand, but as a former fav. of mine I was trying to cut her some slack, you're right this aint her first helping of sour bitter.

It's sad when she keeps harping on the same thing time and again. I wish I could give her a hug and heal her need for approval from the masses.

"Hatred is the coward's revenge for being intimidated" - George Bernard Shaw




"And for the best of the teen-agers who followed her, and who occasionally referred to her as over the hill, Graf had a ready answer: against top-ranked Martina Hingis, Graf wound up 7-2. Graf's stirring 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 throttling of Hingis at the French Open final this June was perhaps the most emphatic parting shot the game has ever seen. "


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post #9 of 83 (permalink) Old Aug 26th, 2003, 01:23 PM
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that said I agree with her about the church thing though!

In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
Through the desert of the truth
To the river so deep
We all end in the ocean
We all start in the streams
We're all carried along
By the river of dreams
In the middle of the night
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post #10 of 83 (permalink) Old Aug 26th, 2003, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DA FOREHAND
Well didn't you read her explanation? She said because they are so strong they make the "good" dobules players submit.
Leave it to her wrinkly ass and the Williams are the Incredible Hulk of the tennis world
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post #11 of 83 (permalink) Old Aug 26th, 2003, 01:28 PM
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She does sound bitter, but hey is that new? I'm sure Irma knows a bit about it!
But she's right on the Catholic chruch issue IMO.
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post #12 of 83 (permalink) Old Aug 26th, 2003, 01:30 PM
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There was actually disbelief on Serena's face when Paula Zhan mentioned Martina's comments last night on CNN. (maybe it's because she's played doubles with Martina before)-- but she had the perfect response . She said they've won all the doubles slams already, so they have nothing more to prove.

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post #13 of 83 (permalink) Old Aug 26th, 2003, 01:33 PM
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LOL, everyone looks for something to pick on, then latches on to that one thing like leeches, ignoring the rest.

As for me, I am thrilled that Martina is still out there. I always enjoy reading her remarks even when I don't agree with them; it's a lot better than reading the clichés spewed out by most athletes. And it's a real shame no clothing company has offered to sponsor her.
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post #14 of 83 (permalink) Old Aug 26th, 2003, 01:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by janie
LOL, everyone looks for something to pick on, then latches on to that one thing like leeches, ignoring the rest.

As for me, I am thrilled that Martina is still out there. I always enjoy reading her remarks even when I don't agree with them; it's a lot better than reading the clichés spewed out by most athletes. And it's a real shame no clothing company has offered to sponsor her.
Janie, what if Serena said the same thing about Martina? For example, if Serena said that "Martina is a great singles player but she was not very good on grass" Thats a slap in the face to Navratilova, who has 9 Wimbeldon titles. IMO she is implying that Venus and Serena arent good doubles players and thus were lucky to win their titles. BULLSHYT. They mustve done something right to win 2 Austrailians, 1 French 2 Wimbeldons and 1 US Open.
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post #15 of 83 (permalink) Old Aug 26th, 2003, 01:38 PM
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The amazing part is how absolutely right she is about so much

"Forty-six is ancient for an athlete. You'd think advertisers would want me because they would be trying to hit the middle-age market. Women my age are the ones who are buying clothes -- they have the money and the kids."

Untapped market! Untapped market! Untapped market!

"... since when has any social issue been pushed forward by popularity, by a majority?"

Certainly slavery would not have ended in the USA in 1865 if it was up to a majority of voters.

"It's how you behave in life, not whether you go to church and pray, that makes you a worthy human being."

"When people say, ''You are going to hell for this,'' I think, let whoever is up there decide."

That's that.

"I would love to play them again. Of course I know I could beat them."

And we wonder where Venus gets that from?

"Venus and Serena are great singles players, but at doubles they are not so great."

If you watched the last Williams 2X vs Suarez-Ruano Pasqual you'd draw the same conclusion. They are certainly better strategic and tactical singles players than they are doubles players.

"The hardest part is getting to that volley, because they hit such hard serves. They are so powerful it is hard to get into a rally with them."

Bear in mind this is the greatest doubles player in history talking. The hardest thing for HER is is getting to the volley, because SHE can handle the sheer absence of time playing the WIlliams sisters involves. Most doubles teams simply can't execute fast enough to beat Venus and Serena. What martina needs is the other martina as a partner.

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