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spiceboy
Jul 6th, 2008, 10:39 PM
Navratilova verdict on women's final



http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/44808000/jpg/_44808578_nav_55.jpg
http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/o.gif By Martina Navratilova
Nine-time Wimbledon champion


In beating her sister Serena, Venus Williams has joined the small group of women to have won a Grand Slam tournament five times, but she has been a great champion for a long time.

For me, what sets this triumph apart is that Venus, the reigning champion, defended her title when really it looked like her career was over.

A couple of years ago you thought to yourself, 'she's finished; maybe Serena can make a comeback but Venus is probably going to focus on her fashion interests or do something else'. But here she is winning back-to-back Wimbledon titles. Despite what many detractors have said, it's obvious that both girls are still enjoying the game and want to get back to the top, which breathes new life into the women's game.


Things on the women's side have been a bit strange recently because Justine Henin was the favourite in every match she played but suddenly she retired and there was a hole.

Sharapova played great at the Australian Open but she's been stagnating. Ana Ivanovic won the French Open but then totally deflated here at Wimbledon.

But the all-Williams final shows women's tennis is looking in good shape because we've got two superstars back in the fold and they could end up number one by the end of the year.

The women's game is wide open now and whoever is going to be a Grand Slam champion will have to play great tennis and earn it rather than win by default because somebody else is not playing well.

The final itself was an exhibition of fantastic tennis. None of the six Grand Slam finals Venus and Serena had previously contested had been great matches but I had a feeling they were finally going to play a good final and that's what we got.

At the beginning you could only see there being one winner. Serena came out hitting the ball so hard, the pace on her shots was unbelievable and we thought 'if she keeps this up the match is over' but she couldn't.

There was a very gusty wind on Centre Court but Venus figured out how best to handle it.
The harder she hit the ball and the harder she served, the more Serena liked it but when she combined spin with the bounce and the wind it was much more effective and that's when she turned the match around.

The key thereafter was consistency. Serena hit more winners but Venus kept the ball in play better and, as her sister began to get down on herself mentally, she remained very calm and focused throughout.


Another massive difference was the percentage of points won on the second serve - Serena finished with a shocking 23% compared to Venus's 56%. And break-point conversion - two out of 13 for Serena compared to four of seven for Venus - was also key.

Comparing the sisters, I felt Serena was a little too negative; she chose not to come to the net as much as Venus, who when she did, volleyed better.

You can't afford to be negative, especially in a final, because the slightest bit of negativity can be enough to lose you the match and that's exactly what happened for Serena.

In the first set Venus was struggling but for some reason Serena stopped moving forward - it was like there was a wall on the baseline and she didn't want to step over it. She started reaching forward for it and hitting the net.

Venus kept her head, didn't let anything bother her and just kept thinking about the next point. She began to impose herself more and more, allowing her technique and belief in her ability to pull her through.

But what was clear was that both players are still very much a force - they can lift their games for the big occasions and that's what makes a champion a champion.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/tennis/7491766.stm

Marshmallow
Jul 6th, 2008, 10:58 PM
Despite what many detractors have said, it's obvious that both girls are still enjoying the game and want to get back to the top, which breathes new life into the women's game.

But the all-Williams final shows women's tennis is looking in good shape because we've got two superstars back in the fold and they could end up number one by the end of the year.


The final itself was an exhibition of fantastic tennis.

But what was clear was that both players are still very much a force - they can lift their games for the big occasions and that's what makes a champion a champion.

Some very nice statement from Martina.

Optima
Jul 6th, 2008, 11:01 PM
Regardless of the praise she gives both sisters, some people will still turn this into a OMG SHE HATES THEM! thread.

vadin124
Jul 6th, 2008, 11:28 PM
nice article from Martina...

i soo wish the final had gone to 3 sets though...it had the potential to be one of the all-time great women's matches, which the men's turned out to be! :sad:

FoxyliciousKhat
Jul 7th, 2008, 12:18 AM
All I want is Martina and others to is STOP ACTING AS IF OUTSIDE INTEREST IS WHAT MAINLY AFFECTED VENUS AND SERENA. Would it kill them to stop lumping both sisters together and to acknowledge that they both dealt with their share of injuries.

It seems every other players injuries get highlighted but with Venus and Serena it's outside interest. I hate the hypocrisy!

Foxy

supergrunt
Jul 7th, 2008, 12:20 AM
:)

RenaSlam.
Jul 7th, 2008, 12:21 AM
Nice words.

Congrats, WS.

CrossCourt~Rally
Jul 7th, 2008, 12:23 AM
Nice words from the great one:bounce:.

hankqq
Jul 7th, 2008, 12:33 AM
Nice article by Navratilova.

friendsita
Jul 7th, 2008, 12:43 AM
gOOD aRTICLE

vettipooh
Jul 7th, 2008, 12:57 AM
Good on her finally giving them their props! :yeah: And she wants to make sure Vee gives her a shout out next time. :lol:

Denise4925
Jul 7th, 2008, 01:07 AM
nice article from Martina...

i soo wish the final had gone to 3 sets though...it had the potential to be one of the all-time great women's matches, which the men's turned out to be! :sad:

Some great, well-deserved and long overdue comments from Martina Nav. I too wish the final had gone to three sets and found myself cheering for Vee in the first set and for Serena in the second, wishing for a third and just enjoying the great tennis from both. But, two good sets is better than three bad ones. Great Wimbledon from the women and the men, folks and we are all blessed to have been able to see it all. :D

Tennisstar86
Jul 7th, 2008, 01:10 AM
My analysis..... Serena needs to learn to hit a decent volley then maybe she can actually come into net....

Martina is just trying to be nice to Venus for once so that next year when venus gets #6 she'll actually mention her...

Denise4925
Jul 7th, 2008, 01:11 AM
Good on her finally giving them their props! :yeah: And she wants to make sure Vee gives her a shout out next time. :lol:

:rolls: :rolls: :rolls:

comfortably.numb
Jul 7th, 2008, 01:19 AM
Regardless of the praise she gives both sisters, some people will still turn this into a OMG SHE HATES THEM! thread.
I'm sorry but:
In beating her sister Serena, Venus Williams...is...a...has been...for a long time.

For me...Venus... career...over.

...you thought to yourself,she's finished...is probably going to focus on her fashion interests or do something else... both girls are...a bit strange.

Sharapova played great...Williams...could end...by the end of the year.

The women's game...is not...well.

The final itself was...none...contested. Another...negative...final.
That's just rude.

Craig.
Jul 7th, 2008, 01:21 AM
Some great, well-deserved and long overdue comments from Martina Nav. I too wish the final had gone to three sets and found myself cheering for Vee in the first set and for Serena in the second, wishing for a third and just enjoying the great tennis from both. But, two good sets is better than three bad ones. Great Wimbledon from the women and the men, folks and we are all blessed to have been able to see it all. :D

Amen.

sipnsurfMurph
Jul 7th, 2008, 01:27 AM
Too little, too late.

Infiniti2001
Jul 7th, 2008, 01:57 AM
Surprisingly balanced.

serenafann
Jul 7th, 2008, 02:45 AM
All I want is Martina and others to is STOP ACTING AS IF OUTSIDE INTEREST IS WHAT MAINLY AFFECTED VENUS AND SERENA. Would it kill them to stop lumping both sisters together and to acknowledge that they both dealt with their share of injuries.

It seems every other players injuries get highlighted but with Venus and Serena it's outside interest. I hate the hypocrisy!

Foxy

Well said,:yeah:I totally agree.

Haute
Jul 7th, 2008, 03:26 AM
Good on her finally giving them their props! :yeah: And she wants to make sure Vee gives her a shout out next time. :lol:

I was thinking the same thing, she wants to get some Venus love for next year's Wimbledon speech. :angel:

fammmmedspin
Jul 7th, 2008, 05:04 AM
Its just not true.
A whole string of finals since 1996 have been won by players who had been written off - the problem has been how they played before to make people think that and what that has done to the game.
The game isn't in good shape. Rerunning the period from 1999 to 2003 is hardly breathing new life into the game - especially when even the sisters are less good than the first time around,
Anyone can win not because its wide open but because an awful lot of people at random can play abysmally. That is why the Williams sisters had such an easy run - no one else might have beaten them but no one else showed up to try .
Anyone of seven or eight people could be number one by year end - its unlikely to be a sister unless they start playing full time and get enough points or the others continue to play so badly.

A

kwilliams
Jul 7th, 2008, 05:18 AM
Good on her finally giving them their props! :yeah: And she wants to make sure Vee gives her a shout out next time. :lol:

I thought the same thing as well. She doesn't want to be blanked next year. That must've been embarrassing for her!

vwfan
Jul 7th, 2008, 12:55 PM
Good on her finally giving them their props! :yeah: And she wants to make sure Vee gives her a shout out next time. :lol:funny. . .you're too cynical.:lol:

surprisingly complimentary article from Martina. it shows that she's a true Champion too. Good for her!

Hazel
Jul 7th, 2008, 01:03 PM
Its just not true.
A whole string of finals since 1996 have been won by players who had been written off - the problem has been how they played before to make people think that and what that has done to the game.
The game isn't in good shape. Rerunning the period from 1999 to 2003 is hardly breathing new life into the game - especially when even the sisters are less good than the first time around,
Anyone can win not because its wide open but because an awful lot of people at random can play abysmally. That is why the Williams sisters had such an easy run - no one else might have beaten them but no one else showed up to try .
Anyone of seven or eight people could be number one by year end - its unlikely to be a sister unless they start playing full time and get enough points or the others continue to play so badly.

A


I couldn't agree more. The women's game is in DIRE circumstances. Players are either injured, distracted, caved in, coming to an end, or all 4. I first got into the game when there was Capriati and Hingis and Capriati and Serena rivalries. Plus all the other great players such as Clijsters, Henin, Mauresmo and Davenport on form.

Mauresmo is fading fast, Clijsters and Henin retired well before they should and Capriati is injured probably beyon repair for a return. The Wimbledon results for the women do not reflect the true current generation given that Clijsters and Henin gave in before they should have.

Destiny
Jul 7th, 2008, 01:09 PM
:hearts:

thrust
Jul 7th, 2008, 02:18 PM
I'm sorry but:

That's just rude.

Try reading the complete article from start to finish, perhaps then, you will understand what Martina is saying.

starred06
Jul 7th, 2008, 03:04 PM
wow this is like the first time ever i heard nvaratilova saying the existence of the WS is good for woman tennis!

:worship::worship::worship::rocker::rocker:

Philbo
Jul 7th, 2008, 03:08 PM
I thought the same thing as well. She doesn't want to be blanked next year. That must've been embarrassing for her!

I was there live and I can tell you, noone but a rabid Williams fan (living in a world of paranoia and 'siege mentality') even noticed the IMAGINED insult.

You really think Martina, a woman who came out of the closet at the peak of her career, costing herself millions of dollars in endorsements really cares whether Venus and her are close friends? Bit presumptive IMO.

Martina is a strong, secure woman and all this hoo-ha about Venus not giving her a shout out is somethng that only gets noticed by rabid fans who have nothing better to do with their time...

VenusSerenaBlvd.
Jul 7th, 2008, 03:33 PM
I don't think Venus cares if she was friends with Martina N. either. I think Venus was simply just giving a shout out to BJK because she admires what she has done for Women's Tennis. I think it's great Martina gave the Williams Sisters credit. I think commentators really wanted so much for the Williams Sisters and they had to learn that the Williams Sisters do things their way. They've made an impact on tennis in a different way.

sweetpeas
Jul 7th, 2008, 04:06 PM
Thanks Naratilova....

MrSerenaWilliams
Jul 7th, 2008, 05:05 PM
Nice Read :) and VERY fair and accurate analysis