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View Full Version : Women's tennis in great shape... Men's? Finally a real good post WIMBLEDON article!


Greenout
Jul 4th, 2005, 10:59 AM
Wimbledon goes back to the future


By Piers Newbery BBC Sport at Wimbledon



Venus Williams beat Lindsay Davenport in the final, Amelie Mauresmo blew a lead in her semi-final, the French Open champion made an early exit, the women were paid less than the men...

In some ways, Wimbledon 2005 was like stepping back in time.

But look a little deeper and there have been signs that the women's game is moving towards a bright future.

The subject of equal prize money has been a thorny one at the All England Club for many years.

And whatever the rights and wrongs, there has always been a strong argument that the men have served up greater quality, for longer, and more regularly.

That is a difficult line to take after the last two weeks.

While Roger Federer has made mincemeat of all-comers, the women produced the best three matches of the fortnight


Davenport against Kim Clijsters was a treat in the quarter-finals; Williams against Maria Sharapova was frightening both in terms of intensity and quality.

And the final? Davenport and Williams played the longest women's title decider in Wimbledon history, with drama every step of the way.

On the face of it, the fact that two players without a Grand Slam between them in four years made the final might be seen as a backward step.

On the contrary, the new-found depth in women's tennis has forced the 'veterans' to seriously raise their level.

Both Williams and Davenport have made much of the work they have put in at the gym and on court to keep pace with the new generation.

Indeed, it is now the turn of others to play catch-up.

Even Serena Williams' father admits she needs to take a leaf out of her sister's book and dedicate herself totally to tennis if she is to get back on top.

And while Sharapova looks set to be a Grand Slam contender for years to come, the likes of Anastasia Myskina, Elena Dementieva and Nadia Petrova have some way to go if the prophecy of Russian domination is to be fulfilled.

The Belgian pair of Justine Henin-Hardenne and Kim Clijsters have been hugely impressive on their return to action in recent months Henin-Hardenne, in particular, looks capable of threatening for the number one spot, but the question of fitness will hang over both of them for some time to come.

Some things never change, and the British effort this year was as woeful as ever.

Seven women were entered in the main draw, all as wild cards, and only Jane O'Donoghue made the second round, where she took just three games off 14th seed Nathalie Dechy.

There are signs of rankings improving but the harsh fact is that in the annual shop window for tennis in this country, the women have failed again.

Women's tennis as a whole has only benefited from this year's championships though.

The old guard are fighting back, the new generation remain a growing force, and the likes of Sesil Karatantcheva, Ana Ivanovic and Nicole Vaidisova are leading an even younger wave of talent.

And at the very top level, the return of a former champion has added yet another name to the contenders for next month's US Open.

Trying to make a case against Federer on the men's side is all but impossible.

But picking a winner from Venus, Serena, Davenport, Henin-Hardenne, Sharapova, Clijsters, Kuznetsova and Mauresmo is just as difficult.

SilK
Jul 4th, 2005, 11:03 AM
fucking finally somebody recognise all this :yeah:

Sam L
Jul 4th, 2005, 11:11 AM
Women's tennis is like the Reconstruction years after the American Civil War. You have the stubborn Old Guard (in the veteran players) and you have the carpetbaggers (in the rising teenage stars).

Whereas men's tennis is like England at that same period. You have the dignified monarch Queen Victoria (that is, Roger Federer) sitting on the throne and nothing much exciting (at least in terms of politics) happening for the next few decades.

And yes, excellent article!

Women's tennis is, indeed, better than men's tennis right now and will be for the next few years.

Those who are claiming that men's tennis is better and wants to watch it (only) must have their biases.

Women's tennis is definitely hot.

lucashg
Jul 4th, 2005, 11:27 AM
I'm sorry, but it's for nothing when all these contenders and rivalries end up in crap matches. Drama, choking and screaming add to entertainment but not exactly to quality. Davenport vs Clijsters doesn't even come close to the men's final or any of Federer's previous three matches. And though the quality of the women's final was great, Federer's display of tennis was just as good.

Depth in both men's and women's tennis are different. In men's tennis you have Federer dominating, with a few others (Hewitt, Roddick, Safin and Nadal) who can win an occasional big title - but you have great depth when it comes to 6-30 in the rankings. Just look at their points right now. While in women's tennis you have the top10 that barring injuries will always be there at the end of the tournaments.

Lady
Jul 4th, 2005, 11:34 AM
Depth in both men's and women's tennis are different. In men's tennis you have Federer dominating, with a few others (Hewitt, Roddick, Safin and Nadal) who can win an occasional big title - but you have great depth when it comes to 6-30 in the rankings. Just look at their points right now. While in women's tennis you have the top10 that barring injuries will always be there at the end of the tournaments.

But #2 Hewitt and #4 Roddick haven't won any big title in the last 52 weeks. It's only been Roger, Rafa (on clay) and Marat (indoors + AO). That's all!
3 players.
And you always know who will win if Roger is playing. :shrug:

Roger ( :worship: ) lost only 4 matches in the last 52 weeks, Justine is even better with only 3 losses in the last 52 weeks, but she didn't play that many tournies! ;)
I know the tennis is exiting for you cause Roger is winning (and doing it's in style), but no matter how unexpected a women's winner is, they still cry for lack of depth.

Sam L
Jul 4th, 2005, 11:35 AM
And though the quality of the women's final was great, Federer's display of tennis was just as good.


Wow! Why don't we just watch Federer hitting the ball against a wall then? :rolleyes:

selestribe
Jul 4th, 2005, 12:10 PM
I'm sorry, but it's for nothing when all these contenders and rivalries end up in crap matches. Drama, choking and screaming add to entertainment but not exactly to quality.

Exactly ! That's why the French Open was a nightmare in terms of tennis level quality.
Fortunately, women's matches were far better in Wimbledon. IMO, there's a lack of mental toughness in many Wta top players, that's why we're getting all these crap matches, especially in the latest rounds, but I guess this lack of mental toughness also exists in men's tennis :shrug:

sadsmiley
Jul 4th, 2005, 12:23 PM
:yeah: Good Article

I think the Women's definitely was more competitive and exciting this year. Just shows the argument against equal prize money to be fatally flawed in my opinion :) .

spudrsca
Jul 4th, 2005, 12:25 PM
I don't agree, the first set of the women's final was crap, unforced errors and unforced errors.
There were many bad games, just a few really good game between very bad games by one of the opponent.

Roddick-johansson semi-final was for me the best match of wimbledon.

SM
Jul 4th, 2005, 02:53 PM
Wow! Why don't we just watch Federer hitting the ball against a wall then? :rolleyes:
u cracked me up sam LOL

But anyway. Other than Wimbeldon, Roger has been challenged and beaten in the other slams. The tennis when someone has beaten Roger has been incredible.

Nonetheless, even if he begins dominating and i mean dominating BIG time i wont complain! his game is beautiful and altho the matches arent too dramatic i just love watching him period!!!!!! roger :hearts:

SM
Jul 4th, 2005, 02:56 PM
the aussie commentators , i think it was newk, actually mentioned they enjoy watching roger PRACTICE :o.....he is just that great and awesome to watch

ToeTag
Jul 4th, 2005, 03:06 PM
:rolleyes:
Whatever.
I'm not a fan of boys tennis, I rarely watch it. However, why is it that the media, especially male journalists, insist on comparing the two tours? Considering the women had a great Wimbledon, I knew some yahoo would aggressively or mildly try to pit one tour against the other.

Its old!! Knock it off!!

TonyP
Jul 4th, 2005, 03:29 PM
I believe that men's tennis is far more consistantly well played than women's tennis. Federer is NOT dominating the sport completely. He won the third of three slams this year, not even getting to the finals of the other two. Yes, he is clearly almost unbeatable on grass, but just as clearly beatable on clay.

(In fact, I will not consider him the best of all times until he wins the French Open. That's the same criteria I set for Sampras and I won't hold Roger to anything less, even though I like Roger more as a person and really like his game much more than Sampras')

But to claim that women's tennis is better than men's is to just ignore the facts. Sharapova is one of the best fighters in the women's game today. But her loss to Venus pointed out the big weakness in her game. She's a baseline power player and right now, little else. She is a product of the Bollittieri/Landsdorf school of big serves and big forehands and when that isn't enough to win, she hasn't got a clue as to what to do.

Watch Federer. He hits winners from every part of the court. Get a short ball? Come to net and put it away. You're opponent coming in, hit winning passing shots off either wing.

Sharapova doesn't have an alternate strategies.

mboyle
Jul 4th, 2005, 03:53 PM
Okay guys listen: Obviously the quality of a men's tennis match is going to be better than a women's match 9 times out of 10. Men have the capacity to be 10% stronger than women. Men have bigger feet (and therefore better stability and better movement) than women. Men are generally taller and more athletic than women. Obviously men are going to produce better points and rallies.

But is sport just about quality? I would assert no, it is not. If it were, Pete Sampras would be the tennis icon of the past ten years, not Andre Agassi. Sampras was unquestionably the better tennis player, but Agassi was colorful, bold, and daring, and so the people loved him. If sport were just about quality, regular season football and baseball games would often be better remembered than Superbowl and World Series games.

However, people don't watch sports to see how good athletes are. People watch sports to see drama, tension and competition. Men's tennis offers none of those. On clay, Rafael Nadal wins. Off of clay, Roger Federer wins unless Marat Safin keeps his head screwed on properly. Hell, we even know that Lleyton Hewitt is going to be in the finals when he plays, and Roddick is going to lose a dramatic SF match to Lleyton. That means we know 3 of the 4 semi-finalists before the tournament has even begun, unless we are on clay. There is no drama or tension. Yes, the points are spectacular, and the athletics astounding, but why did no one care when the dominator was Serena Williams? Wasn't men's tennis better then as well, for the reason that anyone could win?:rolleyes: And THAT was when we had a bunch of bland Spanish/South American claycourters dominating the men's field:o .

Pureracket
Jul 4th, 2005, 04:25 PM
Wow! Why don't we just watch Federer hitting the ball against a wall then? :rolleyes:Hilarious!

Infiniti2001
Jul 4th, 2005, 04:33 PM
Good article but why Kim and Justine's fitness questionable when Maria looks set to be a contender for years to come?? :shrug: I mean she won Wimbledon last year and if the reference to fitness refers to injury, let's remember Maria hasn't been down this road--- but happens to all top players :o