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brickhousesupporter
Oct 16th, 2001, 05:50 PM
Venus Watches Capriati Take Top Ranking
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Reuters Photo
Venus Williams


By Pritha Sarkar

LONDON (Reuters) - Jennifer Capriati (news - profile - photos) completed one of sport's greatest comebacks when she became world No. 1 on Monday but she earned the top ranking almost by default.

Although the 25-year-old Capriati won the Australian and French Open (news - web sites) titles this year, Venus Williams (news - web sites) is undoubtedly the best women's player in the world.

Wimbledon (news - web sites) and U.S. Open (news - web sites) champion Williams would probably have grabbed the No. 1 spot from Martina Hingis (news - profile - photos) months ago but her reluctance to play as many tournaments as the rest of the top players has cost her dear.

While Hingis and Capriati have played 18 and 15 tournaments respectively -- winning three titles each -- Williams has won six out of the 12 events she has played this year.

Capriati, who dropped out of the tour in the mid 1990s after being arrested for shoplifting and possession of marijuana, outlined the secret of her new-found success on Sunday.

``Obviously I have been more committed to the sport in the last few years ... it's every kid's dream to be No. 1 and it feels great.''

It is a feeling Williams has yet to experience and she will need to focus on her career more if she is to achieve it.

Under the guidance of her eccentric father and coach Richard, world No. 4 Venus and her sister Serena are both encouraged to pursue goals outside tennis to develop their all round skills.

FASHION DEGREE

This year Venus has successfully combined a studying for a degree in fashion with her exploits on court.

``I'm just trying to set goals for myself for after tennis,'' Venus said during August's Pilot Pen tournament in New Haven, Conn.

``I eventually want to be a designer and have my own little line.

``Tennis is what I've worked toward but if I could get my diploma, it would be a dream come true.''

But in her pursuit of the elusive ranking, Venus had entered more tournaments than she had last year -- she played 10 events in 2000 -- in the run up to the season-ending championships in Munich.

After winning the 2000 Wimbledon crown, Venus said: ``I really want to be No. 1. Definitely it's a personal goal.

``I want to get all I can and I can beat all the players out there, I'm really greedy.''

However, the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington have put paid to those plans as she decided to stay with her family in Florida rather than travel to Europe for the events.

In fact Venus and Serena are the only Americans still refusing to travel to Europe and have pulled out of several tournaments over the last month.

With Venus's reluctance to commit herself to a full playing schedule, she can blame no one but herself for her current situation.

While Hingis irritated many by topping the rankings for 73 consecutive weeks despite failing to win a Grand Slam title since the 1999 Australian Open (news - web sites), at least she earned valuable ranking points by consistently reaching the latter stages of the numerous tournaments she entered.

So while Venus continues to stay home and Hingis recuperates from having surgery on damaged ankle ligaments -- after twisting her ankle in Filderstadt last week -- Capriati is almost certain to end the year at the top.

Tratree
Oct 16th, 2001, 06:20 PM
I'm getting really tired of articles like this. If and when Venus decides to play more than 13 tournaments a year, she will probably get the #1 ranking. I by no means endorse the Hingis free-for-all 22 tournaments or whatever she played, but at least the minimum 17 and then lets see who is #1. Yes, Venus won 6 of 12 events played, but she also lost first round in a slam, and that hurt her BIG time. Note that I have no issues with Venus being #1...she's undoubtedly playing the best tennis on the planet, but she doesn't have the points to be #1 yet. I do think it will happen soon, but until then it is really unfair to call Jennifer #1 by "default" as so many articles are doing.

HAIL-VENUS
Oct 16th, 2001, 06:42 PM
Thanx for the article. I'm so tired of people rationalizing that Venus doesn't play enough. I just don't see where Jennifer winning 2 GS and maybe one other tournament caused her to take the #1 ranking. She's had a very good year. Venus has had 2 very good years. In Jen's case it seems that quality of play, compared to last year won out. Venus has had another good year only to drop in ranking. Her 2000 season, which is much better than Jennifer's 2001 season, didn't get her anywhere in the rankings. This year, Jen has played 15 tourneys to Venus' 12. Jen has won only 3 out of 15 tourneys while Venus has won 6 out of 12. Venus had no points to defend at the beginning of the year which should have given her more points. Neither has played as many tourneys as Hingis, though they are close.

[ October 16, 2001: Message edited by: HAIL-VENUS ]

per4ever
Oct 16th, 2001, 06:51 PM
HAIL, have you noticed that you are a member now?

btw... Venus is still younger, her time will come. It's not only about winning: Capriati won two grandslams, and reached the semis in the other two. Venus won too, but didn't get far in the others (certainly not at RG).
So I can only say that Jennifer deserves this.

HAIL-VENUS
Oct 16th, 2001, 06:57 PM
Per, I guess I've been posting a lot lately huh?

I'm a member AGAIN! <IMG SRC="smilies/bounce.gif" border="0"> <IMG SRC="smilies/bounce.gif" border="0"> <IMG SRC="smilies/bounce.gif" border="0">

per4ever
Oct 16th, 2001, 07:02 PM
Again??? <IMG SRC="smilies/confused.gif" border="0">

You become a member when you have 50 posts... don't know how you could have been a member before <IMG SRC="smilies/confused.gif" border="0">

Big Lindsay
Oct 16th, 2001, 07:10 PM
Well Venus did reach the semis of the Australian Open, only her French Open Grand Slam result was a bad one. One thing that they are forgetting when they say that Jennifer is basically a shoe in to finish the year #1 is, if Lindsay wins her next couple of events and the season ending Championships? she could very well be #1 herself ... just food for thought. <IMG SRC="smilies/smile.gif" border="0">

HAIL-VENUS
Oct 16th, 2001, 07:29 PM
Per, I became a member a while ago. When I returned, I had to re-register under a new name, I was #500 something. Before, I was a member. I had forgotten my password. One day, I requested to have it e-mailed to me. Upon returning under my old password, I kept my member number(94), but I was a junior member again. I don't know how because I had well over 100 posts before. Maybe, because it had been so long since I posted? I don't know. Anyway, I hope that explains it for you.
<IMG SRC="smilies/talk.gif" border="0">

[ October 16, 2001: Message edited by: HAIL-VENUS ]

per4ever
Oct 16th, 2001, 07:33 PM
oh well... you are back here that's the only thing that matters!!!!!!! <IMG SRC="smilies/tongue.gif" border="0">

HAIL-VENUS
Oct 16th, 2001, 07:37 PM
I would like to add, getting back to the lecture at hand, that I am officially forbidding myself from making any more comments about this #1 ranking thing <IMG SRC="smilies/yawn.gif" border="0">. The fact is that Jennifer's #1 in the rankings. I'm glad that my favorite is feeling well and playing great and winning titles. <IMG SRC="smilies/cool.gif" border="0">

Crazy Canuck
Oct 16th, 2001, 08:35 PM
Hail Venus: just one thing I disagree with..
"Her 2000 season, which is much better than Jennifer's 2001 season"
Venus's 2000 season didnt really start untill the French Open in 2000, because she was out with injury for so long. It didn't REALLY start untill Wimbledon when she pulled off that 35 match streak. That 3 month period was certaintly more dominantly impressive than any individual part of Jenns season this year, but it was only three months.
Had Venus been healthy all year, we wouldn't even be havnig this discussion..she'd have been number 1 already.
However, I argue Jenns 2001 season is better than VEnus' 2001 season, only because she played ALL season, and had remarkable results at all the slams.
If i'm not correct, Jenn has the best slam record since Martina Hingis circa 1997.

Anyhow..I'm done rambling for the day <IMG SRC="smilies/smile.gif" border="0">

DavenFan
Oct 16th, 2001, 09:52 PM
CAPRIATI is number 1 period.........
She deserves it.

VENUS and LINDSAY still has plenty of rooms to catch up that number 1 ranking, period .....

HINGIS is OVER for NOW period.........
She might get revenge who knows, but not early next year