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Volcana
Mar 24th, 2009, 02:44 PM
Well, that supposes it's broken ....

The WTA's problem isn't one it can fix by itself. Here are the scores of the last ten women's finals

oz '09 6-0 6-3
us '08 6-4 7-5
wb '08 7-5 6-4
rg '08 6-4 6-3
oz '08 7-5 6-3
us '07 6-1 6-3
wb '07 6-4 6-1
rg '07 6-1 6-2
oz '07 6-1 6-2
us '06 6-4 6-4

One straight set win after another, most of them less competitive than the scoreline.

Here's what has been happening on the men's side in that period.

'06 RG 1-6, 6-1, 6-4, 7-6
'06 WB 6-0, 7-6, 6-7, 6-3
'07 RG 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
'07 WB 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 2-6, 6-2
'08 RG 6-1, 6-3, 6-0
'08 WB 6-4, 6-4, 6-7, 6-7, 9-7
'09 OZ 7-5, 3-6, 7-6, 3-6, 6-2

One of the greatest rivlaries in the history of the sport. Connors-Borg stuff. It's the reverse of 2002-3, when men's tennis was blase, and women's tennis was about to be the next BIG sport. This isn't something you 'fix'. You can't MAKE two players of differing styles and abilities be basically equivalent, and better than everybody else. All you can do is hope.

The marketing department can't fix this.

ViennaCalling
Mar 24th, 2009, 02:53 PM
http://www.marktkreisel.ch/fun/002/frames/alarm/help.gif

goldenlox
Mar 24th, 2009, 02:57 PM
Vera is 18-2 in 2009 with no 3 setters in 20 matches.
That's not so strange. Very few players fight back.
Justine won 2 majors in 2007 without losing a set. Then Maria won the AO in 2008 without losing a set, and average match lost 5 games that tournament.

The women rarely fight back. One of the reasons the 2007 YEC final was great is because after Maria won the 1st set, Justine fought back

BlameSerena
Mar 24th, 2009, 03:14 PM
The thing is that if we're going to measure the success of the WTA by what the men have done or are doing, then we will never be satisfied.

I admit that I was bored during IW (big surprise), but the truth is the best rivalries on the women's side of active players are Serena/Venus.

They have met in one of those 10 finals, and it was a competitive and intense match.

Fed/Nadal have met in all but one of the last 10 men's finals if I'm not mistaken.

Ryan
Mar 24th, 2009, 03:24 PM
Every sport goes through ups and downs, and the WTA is unfortunately in a "down" period right now. As much as I enjoyed the first half of 2008 because my favorites were winning, the tennis wasn't all that competitive.

Women's tennis was probably in a funk from what, 1994-1998 maybe? Then 1998-2003 was when ratings skyrocketed, prize money went up, the quality of tennis got amazing. Now, it's kind of tapered off a bit (with a few exceptions, Wimby 05 being the biggest one) because the game has evolved (or devolved, depends).

Right now the women are in a stage where they're trying to come to grips with hitting the ball with so much pace, trying to keep it in play, and win all at the same time. 1998-2003 was the perfect combination of power, topspin, variety, and fitness to me. Right now the emphasis is more on crushing the ball, than learning how to play TENNIS, which is a game that involves much more than spanking a ball.

Thats why Venus and Serena, show to me, that hopes for tennis getting "fixed" is not dead. In 1997 they were the two spanking the ball with little thought...only three years later they showed how much they had progressed and evolved their games. So as bad as it looks now, I think the younger generation has lots of potential/promise to develop their games, add a little more safety, and still hit hard.

I dunno.

AndrewMarshall
Mar 24th, 2009, 03:28 PM
One of the main reasons I tihnk womens matches often have more one sided scorelines than mens matches is serve. An ATP player with a big serve could loose 6-4 6-4, when in reality he has been outplayed. A match of the same one sided nature in womens tennis might end 6-2 6-2.

Still dosn't explain why there hasn't been a 3 set grand slam final in so long. Maybe the men are stronger mentally. Of course a womens grand slam match is over at 2-love, whereas a mens can still turn around. If the wimbledon final was best of three, Nadal would've won in strainght sets. Wouldn't be called one of the great matches of all time then.

BlameSerena
Mar 24th, 2009, 03:33 PM
One of the main reasons I tihnk womens matches often have more one sided scorelines than mens matches is serve. An ATP player with a big serve could loose 6-4 6-4, when in reality he has been outplayed. A match of the same one sided nature in womens tennis might end 6-2 6-2.

Still dosn't explain why there hasn't been a 3 set grand slam final in so long. Maybe the men are stronger mentally. Of course a womens grand slam match is over at 2-love, whereas a mens can still turn around. If the wimbledon final was best of three, Nadal would've won in strainght sets. Wouldn't be called one of the great matches of all time then.

My feelings as well.
Different format. Men have more time to get into it. Although, I'm not sure how many of the two out of three matches go three sets on the men's side. That would be a more fair comparison than the slams.
But even still...
Different sex.
Different styles.
Different players.
It's really hard to compare with such differences.
For example, I think the USO 08 final for the women was better than the AO 09 final for the men, but how can you really compare that? It's just preference.

ETA
You wouldn't compare Annika Sorenstam to Tiger Woods nor would you compare Mia Hamm to Cristiano Ranaldo or Lisa Leslie to Michael Jordan as individuals, nor would you compare their sports to the other. I don't think we should do it for tennis.

amnorge
Mar 24th, 2009, 03:34 PM
The US08 womens final was certainly better than the mens the next day.

sipnsurfMurph
Mar 24th, 2009, 03:43 PM
Guess you could "fix" it so competitive finals were always guaranteed. Just follow pro wrestling's lead.....

Marshmallow
Mar 24th, 2009, 03:43 PM
IMO the lack of quality Slam finals is merely a symptom of a bigger (more worrying issue). I think on the ATP, were are just witnessing the natural course of things. Sampras retired, some players played exceptional tennis and picked up slam, then Federer emerged to dominate, and now Nadal like Seles has come along. This is how it should be, but this is not been able to happen on the WTA primarily I think, because of the inability of the top women players to stay consistently healthy and match fit. Looking specifically at this generation, I think by natural order we should be watching the tail end of WS V Belgians (that was the main rivalry of now – maybe add Hingis to that, and Amelie…). Just starting to rise up to take over should be Sharapova, Kuzzy, Ivanovic and Jankovic.

But what’s happened? WS have been hampered by injury and health concerns (Knee, abnominal injuries, weight issues (after ankle injury) and anemia [perhaps relating to murder of sister]). Kim complained of her injuries and said they were a factor in her retirement, as well as over excited ovaries, and Justine who was probably the only one who managed her body well, needed knee surgery after retirement and not to forget 2004 (although some like Lei Clijsters implied that was a steroid let down I think). Also, Sharapova and her Shoulder.

The inability for the top players to stay healthy consistently has disallowed the natural order to flow. Had it been allowed I think we could been enjoying competitive slam finals. But looking at the WTA now specifically, this health problem meant that once Justine retired (the most physically reliable one) – there was no-one on the tour to play a Federer role… to keep the youngsters in check, thereby pushing them to grow mentally tougher, so they don’t crumble when the pressure is on. [That takes time, Djokovic for instance choked at the USO 2007, Murray was Sub-par to in his first final]. I think it shows in the particularly easy score lines – total mismatches.

In this case, the only people who can fix the WTA are the top players by getting their fitness and scheduling correct and looking after their bodies so that they can stay in the sport and compete. Maybe just Maybe racquet manufacturers and the WTA should come together and design women’s racquets. Now… rationale here is that the power ready racquets available are pushing the women’s game to become a power based game – imitating the ATP… thereby straining their bodies in the process (according to sex biology) and being injured all the time. So you change the racquet you dissuade power centred plays and force the WTA into adapting into a style or level that is more suited to their bodies. [I know this is flawed because it’s based on several assumptions that haven’t all been substantiated but there might be something in it].


One last thing though… the best of 3 set V the best of 5 set thing plays a role too. If the men played best of 3 sets, it’s highly likely that last years ‘amazing wimbledon final’ would have been a shameful straight sets beating (Rafa was much better than Fed in those 2 sets). In fact the score lines would be:

'06 RG 1-6, 6-1, 6-4,
'06 WB 6-0, 7-6,
'08 RG 6-1, 6-3,
'08 WB 6-4, 6-4,
Add to that the USO final scores...
Basically more like the ATP maters final results which really aren’t all that good.

Just a thought.

BlameSerena
Mar 24th, 2009, 03:49 PM
^^I agree Marshmallow.I think health is another factor that needs to be taken into consideration. Great post all around.

AndreConrad
Mar 24th, 2009, 03:58 PM
I am not convinced about the crisis of WTA. The straight set wins are not proving much. In fact if there was a rule to win 3 sets in WTA at a GS, there would be more chances to disrupt straight set wins. I think the abundance of young promising players is in fact a good thing going for WTA. We cannot expect that the teenagers are going to be immediate stars, because if they did become the stars I don't believe that their bodies would sustain it for a long time even though women develop a little faster than men. Nevertheless I think there is a lot of young talent here. Check out the iWatch thread.

Don't get me wrong I don't think that WTA is perfect. There is a lot of things that should be changed or improved, however it is not as bad as some of the posters would make us believe.

Sean.
Mar 24th, 2009, 04:04 PM
Don't fix it if it aint broke :rolleyes:

Marshmallow
Mar 24th, 2009, 04:24 PM
One of the main reasons I tihnk womens matches often have more one sided scorelines than mens matches is serve. An ATP player with a big serve could loose 6-4 6-4, when in reality he has been outplayed. A match of the same one sided nature in womens tennis might end 6-2 6-2.

Still dosn't explain why there hasn't been a 3 set grand slam final in so long. Maybe the men are stronger mentally. Of course a womens grand slam match is over at 2-love, whereas a mens can still turn around. If the wimbledon final was best of three, Nadal would've won in strainght sets. Wouldn't be called one of the great matches of all time then.

I like that. Wanted to be the first to mention it in the thread :(

My feelings as well.
Different format. Men have more time to get into it. Although, I'm not sure how many of the two out of three matches go three sets on the men's side. That would be a more fair comparison than the slams.
But even still...
Different sex.
Different styles.
Different players.
It's really hard to compare with such differences.
For example, I think the USO 08 final for the women was better than the AO 09 final for the men, but how can you really compare that? It's just preference.

ETA
You wouldn't compare Annika Sorenstam to Tiger Woods nor would you compare Mia Hamm to Cristiano Ranaldo or Lisa Leslie to Michael Jordan as individuals, nor would you compare their sports to the other. I don't think we should do it for tennis.

I like that, especially the first parts. Male players do have more time to get into it in best of 5, classic example being last years Wimbledon Final. It was close to be straight sets then rain delay/Federer's serve and forehand started to fire. Best of 3 could have given that "greatest match of all time" a very different complexion. Similarly had the indian wells mens final been best of 5 sets, it could have been different too - considering the emotions of a player down a set and break in a best of 5 set match will feel and respond differently, to a player in the same situation in best of 3. The Men's Miami final of 2005 was a good example too. Federer didn't get a handle on Rafa's game til the third set. *waffle* :unsure:

The US08 womens final was certainly better than the mens the next day.

I agree. Jankovic also gave a better first slam final performance than Murray did.

Helen Lawson
Mar 24th, 2009, 04:39 PM
Straight sets aren't necessarily a bad match. They are when it's two sucky players or one chokes. I thought Serena played fantastic against Maria in the '07 Australian final. If you want to see total dominiation on serve and return of serve, that match is gold, even though it did not last long. Maria did not choke, just had nothing to stop Serena that day.

But most of the rest sucked. The part about fighting for a match is key, few of these girls have that in their minds these days, most are happy to have made a final and won't fight like hell to win it if it will require that. The "greats" of this generation like Serena, Maria, Justine, Venus, yes, they will fight like hell if they want the win, but who else can you really say this about today? I can't think of anyone, or at least anyone who has decent enough game to win big. I don't know whether it's they can get fabulously wealthy making finals only, or what, don't get it. Apart from money and ranking points, you have to want to shove it in the other girls' faces that you're better and you want your name on that trophy, and I see few girls who value those anymore. Any other thoughts?

Pete Sampras' book, he talked about mentality of a champion a lot, and what pulled him through some tight ones was his mentality, that "I'm Pete Sampras, and you're not." I have no doubts the 4 I identified above think that quite a lot, but you think Sveta or Dinara think the same? I doubt it, not sure if they need mental coaches or what.

BlameSerena
Mar 24th, 2009, 04:51 PM
^^Well...Dinara has improved her mentality. I think if you work on it, it can become better. For some I don't think it's necessarily a problem "fighting for a match" as much as it is dealing with pressure. It's not easy to do.

From what I remember of the AO, there were some matches that showed fight, from Safina, Dokic, Kleybanova, Ivanovic.

I think that in general women do fight for it, but if you're not the better player on that day, then you're just not the better player. It doesn't mean you didn't fight, but maybe that you don't have the necessary tools to win, whether it be mental or physical. But you could have still fought hard and loss in straights.

I think the girls deserve more credit because they do work hard and it can all take a toll on them. Saddling them with high expectations that have been bought about, because the men's game is at a high right now, doesn't help either.

Helen Lawson
Mar 24th, 2009, 04:57 PM
Maybe that's the big issue, pressure in final v. giving up. I just feel, they get to these finals and then give up when the going gets rough. I can't totally trash on Dinara, I do think she was just physically and mentally tired in the French final, really disappointed in AO, though, Serena didn't look that great to me the whole tournament, I think she could have done bettter than 0-6, 3-6.

BlameSerena
Mar 24th, 2009, 05:14 PM
Maybe that's the big issue, pressure in final v. giving up. I just feel, they get to these finals and then give up when the going gets rough. I can't totally trash on Dinara, I do think she was just physically and mentally tired in the French final, really disappointed in AO, though, Serena didn't look that great to me the whole tournament, I think she could have done bettter than 0-6, 3-6.


Well this is where we defer. While I do think Dinara could have played better, I believe that she by no means gave up. I think she did fight. Obviously the scoreline may indicate something different, but I felt as if she was trying. Could be the only one though :lol:

It's interesting b/c at the FO she lost 3 and 4, right...or something like that, and people say she was tired from the previous match. Couldn't the same be said for the AO? She had some close calls in her prior matches. Serena wasn't playing great in the early rounds but certainly nor was Dinara. Fortunately, Serena has the ability to turn it on.

It's no surprise that GoatRena:hearts: handled her in that way. Serena is the type of player that can not only up her on the "fighting spirit," but in the game department as well.

miffedmax
Mar 24th, 2009, 07:05 PM
Well, that supposes it's broken ....


The marketing department can't fix this.

Of course it can, given a sufficiently massive budget entrusted to an awesome creative and marketing guru such as myself.

Volcana
Mar 24th, 2009, 10:53 PM
Of course it can, given a sufficiently massive budget entrusted to an awesome creative and marketing guru such as myself.I tried that line on them. Didn't work. Perhaps you'd be more persuasive.
I strongly disagree with the idea that the most of the female players don't 'fight'. But it's like a brawler fighting a highly trained Karate-ka. A karate-ka who 30 kilos heavier. And faster. And has a wider variety of shots. All the 'fight' in the world won't overcome those disadvantages. All the fight on the world isn't going to allow Maria Kirilenko to beat Venus Williams if Venus gets her down. Too much disparity in talent, skills, and athletics. The elite players, the multi-slam winners, they can come back. But that isn't being a superior fighter. It's having superior tools to fight with.

Berlin/Rome 2002. Serena and Henin met in both tournaments, each winning one. But the reason those matches stand out is that both players changed tactics during the matches, trying to find advantage. This particularly stood out with Henin, because at Berlin, she challenged Serena's running game, going for wide angles, then made the match much narrower, taking place between the doubles alleys. And she won in a third set tie-breaker. The next week, Serena didn't let her make the match narrow. She forced the running game, and won in straight sets.

But these are two of the fifteen best players of women's tennis EVER, even compensating for differing eras. The difference between Henin and Safina isn't physical. And it isn't 'fight'. Henin had WAY more tools.

Sammm
Mar 24th, 2009, 11:42 PM
My feelings as well.
Different format. Men have more time to get into it. Although, I'm not sure how many of the two out of three matches go three sets on the men's side. That would be a more fair comparison than the slams.
But even still...
Different sex.
Different styles.
Different players.
It's really hard to compare with such differences.
For example, I think the USO 08 final for the women was better than the AO 09 final for the men, but how can you really compare that? It's just preference.

ETA
You wouldn't compare Annika Sorenstam to Tiger Woods nor would you compare Mia Hamm to Cristiano Ranaldo or Lisa Leslie to Michael Jordan as individuals, nor would you compare their sports to the other. I don't think we should do it for tennis.


:shrug:
I think it's almost a privilege, a mark of respect that the women are compared to the men. Women's tennis is the biggest women's sport in the world.

I would love to see some higher quality play, some really smart play and I would definitely love to see a three set slam final - or at the very least a tie-break! - but to call the whole thing broken is verging on hyperbolic.

shell
Mar 25th, 2009, 12:29 AM
Of course it can, given a sufficiently massive budget entrusted to an awesome creative and marketing guru such as myself.

I can just see the BANGS campaign rolled out as mandatory on the tour. Or MOMMY KNOWS BEST :) :devil:

Rollo
Mar 25th, 2009, 12:48 AM
What worries me more than one-sided slam finals is the almost total lack of contrast in playing styles. Not a single top ten female has a net game to speak of (I might make an exception in Venus' case) and none of them has a one-handed backhand.

Sean.
Mar 25th, 2009, 12:53 AM
What worries me more than one-sided slam finals is the almost total lack of contrast in playing styles. Not a single top ten female has a net game to speak of (I might make an exception in Venus' case) and none of them has a one-handed backhand.

Aga plays slightly different to Serena though :p

I agree in principle however. Which is why I don't understand people hating on Anna, Alizé & Aga so much - variety is good for the game!

(Ana has 1/2 a net game :lol:)

HippityHop
Mar 25th, 2009, 01:11 AM
One of the main reasons I tihnk womens matches often have more one sided scorelines than mens matches is serve. An ATP player with a big serve could loose 6-4 6-4, when in reality he has been outplayed. A match of the same one sided nature in womens tennis might end 6-2 6-2.

Still dosn't explain why there hasn't been a 3 set grand slam final in so long. Maybe the men are stronger mentally. Of course a womens grand slam match is over at 2-love, whereas a mens can still turn around. If the wimbledon final was best of three, Nadal would've won in strainght sets. Wouldn't be called one of the great matches of all time then.

Exactly. Whenever I make this point, some genius always tries to say it's not a fair point (usually in relationship to the equal pay dead horse).

The fact remains that in the slams, the men can come out and round ass for one or even two sets and still have at least a look at staying in the match. If a woman round asses in the first set, she must win the second or that's all she wrote.

Volcana
Mar 25th, 2009, 01:15 AM
Rather too much emphasis on the actual final..

Sucky, one-sided anti-climatic finals are almost accepted as a given - stretching right back to Navratilova's era. It goes with the territory: nerves are on edge, there is a lot at stake. We hope for a great match on a high-profile occasion, rarely happens. Most finals tend to be ifs, buts and maybe's. A best of five sets (just for the final) is an experiment worth trying.

What a lot of us would prefer are more competitive, higher-quality matches over the two weeks. Competitive, quality matches equals more excitement. Grand Slam week one's are better than they used to be (on the women's side at least) but that first week can still be a soporific affair... ATP is unbearably predictable. I would reduce the main field slightly. Have an extra qualifying round and then 3 main-draw matches to the quarters, instead of the current four. Rounds 1 and 2 would certainly have a lot more eye-catching encounters. What about going back to 16 seeds instead of 32? Quality over quantity. Or over-ambitious?16 seeds? Yes.

And while I agree that competitive matches early are better than one good match late, a LOT more people see that late match. Those one-sided finals are fan-killers. Cause so many people see them.

RFSTB
Mar 25th, 2009, 01:18 AM
The trouble is the WTA is dominated by emotionally unstable headcases. The only true competitors in the last 12 years have been Henin, Sharapova, Serena and Venus.

Br'er Rabbit
Mar 25th, 2009, 01:25 AM
^ I agree 100%, maybe it will change in the years to come as players learn to deal with the pressures and nerves of playing in the big matches, If we look at the top 10 besides the WS, Elena and Kuzy, their all relatively new. So there's ton of potential these girls have, I think everyone should just give them some time.

veryborednow
Mar 25th, 2009, 01:27 AM
The trouble is the WTA is dominated by emotionally unstable headcases. The only true competitors in the last 12 years have been Henin, Sharapova, Serena and Venus.
Hingis and Capriati weren't playing in those 12 years were they not?

RFSTB
Mar 25th, 2009, 01:31 AM
Hingis and Capriati weren't playing in those 12 years were they not?

I thought of including Hingis, but it's like which Hingis? Hingis v1 is a lot better than Hingis v2. Hingis v1, in the mid 90's, was an amazing competitor, but Hingis v2, the one who came out of retirement, was pretty much worthless.

Capriati was pretty much worthless her whole career. A couple of slams doesn't a career made. She's just another Mauresmo.

Volcana
Mar 25th, 2009, 02:47 AM
The trouble is the WTA is dominated by emotionally unstable headcases. The only true competitors in the last 12 years have been Henin, Sharapova, Serena and Venus.Davenport, Graf, Seles, Sanchez-Vicario, (Hingis and Capriati havig already been mentioned). For that matter, Myskina was a great competitor She just didn't have the physical talent of some other players. Same with Chanda Rubin. Can you really point to a lack of competitiveness in Amanda Coetzer?

Volcana
Mar 25th, 2009, 02:52 AM
Capriati was pretty much worthless her whole career. A couple of slams doesn't a career made. She's just another Mauresmo.'Just another Mauresmo'. 25 titles, 2 slams, and the #1 ranking.

Why are you HERE? Seriously. To you, being a multiple slam winner is 'pretty much worthless'. 25 titles, which only puts you in the top 1% of all WTA players all time, is 'pretty much worthless'. So, again, going by your words, women's tennis has VERY few players who rise ABOVE 'pretty much worthless'.

So why are you wasting your time?

switz
Mar 25th, 2009, 06:23 AM
It's George Bush's fault. Everything is his fault. Obama will make it right :)

switz
Mar 25th, 2009, 06:24 AM
I thought of including Hingis, but it's like which Hingis? Hingis v1 is a lot better than Hingis v2. Hingis v1, in the mid 90's, was an amazing competitor, but Hingis v2, the one who came out of retirement, was pretty much worthless.

Capriati was pretty much worthless her whole career. A couple of slams doesn't a career made. She's just another Mauresmo.

you must have a very high sense of worth :o

QUEENLINDSAY
Mar 25th, 2009, 07:37 AM
WTA is doing just fine!

MyskinaManiac
Mar 25th, 2009, 08:02 AM
To be honest, I think we'd be seeing better tennis from the ladies if there was a player/s that placed fear in the chasing pack. The Williams sisters aren't doing that any longer. All the top players have had wins over the Williams sisters at some stage over the last 3 years. The greatest era's or periods were when there was two dominant players i.e Evert - Navratilova, Hingis - Davenport, Seles - Graf.

The girls haven't been set a bench mark, so they just play at their same ordinary level. The top ten sucks - no depth. Having Clijsters back will keep the top players honest.

southern star
Mar 25th, 2009, 09:24 AM
It is weird. It's not as though a single player is dominating. Each of the four Grand Slam women's singles tournaments in 2008 was won by a different player (Sharapova, Ivanovic, VW and SW).

Ellen Dawson
Mar 25th, 2009, 09:33 AM
Well, that supposes it's broken ....

The WTA's problem isn't one it can fix by itself. Here are the scores of the last ten women's finals

oz '09 6-0 6-3
us '08 6-4 7-5
wb '08 7-5 6-4
rg '08 6-4 6-3
oz '08 7-5 6-3
us '07 6-1 6-3
wb '07 6-4 6-1
rg '07 6-1 6-2
oz '07 6-1 6-2
us '06 6-4 6-4

One straight set win after another, most of them less competitive than the scoreline.

Here's what has been happening on the men's side in that period.

'06 RG 1-6, 6-1, 6-4, 7-6
'06 WB 6-0, 7-6, 6-7, 6-3
'07 RG 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
'07 WB 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 2-6, 6-2
'08 RG 6-1, 6-3, 6-0
'08 WB 6-4, 6-4, 6-7, 6-7, 9-7
'09 OZ 7-5, 3-6, 7-6, 3-6, 6-2

One of the greatest rivlaries in the history of the sport. Connors-Borg stuff. It's the reverse of 2002-3, when men's tennis was blase, and women's tennis was about to be the next BIG sport. This isn't something you 'fix'. You can't MAKE two players of differing styles and abilities be basically equivalent, and better than everybody else. All you can do is hope.

The marketing department can't fix this.

Agreed in general. However, the thing about the men's finals (regardless of year) is that more times than not, they should be straight set affairs. There's clearly a dominant player (usually) but knowing that they have 5 sets allows for a comeback. Truth be told, many of the ATP matches at the Grand Slams are regularly longer than they need to be. It APPEARS to be compelling tennis when in most cases it is not. The ATP player in the lead chokes (like clockwork almost) and his opponent makes this seemingly impossible comeback. If the women were forced to play 5 sets, the same thing would happen.

southern star
Mar 25th, 2009, 09:50 AM
Heck, is there any good reason in the world why women can't play best of five?

Ellen Dawson
Mar 25th, 2009, 10:01 AM
Heck, is there any good reason in the world why women can't play best of five?

Yes. We'd all be complaining that so and so only won because the match was 5 sets and the person who was leading the whole way got tired. :angel:

veryborednow
Mar 25th, 2009, 01:12 PM
Capriati was pretty much worthless her whole career. A couple of slams doesn't a career made. She's just another Mauresmo.
We're talking about mentality, not career. She was not one to buckle under pressue. She has produced two of the most competitive finals in recent memory (Aus '02, RG '01), not to mention multiple semi-finals at the US Open ending 7-6 in the third.

Gautier
Mar 25th, 2009, 01:16 PM
I know a man who fixed about 300 matches (football and other sports) and have never been to prison.

Volcana
Mar 25th, 2009, 01:51 PM
Agreed in general. However, the thing about the men's finals (regardless of year) is that more times than not, they should be straight set affairs. There's clearly a dominant player (usually) but knowing that they have 5 sets allows for a comeback. Truth be told, many of the ATP matches at the Grand Slams are regularly longer than they need to be. It APPEARS to be compelling tennis when in most cases it is not. The ATP player in the lead chokes (like clockwork almost) and his opponent makes this seemingly impossible comeback. If the women were forced to play 5 sets, the same thing would happen.I disagree.

The player leading two sets to zero isn't choking. The player trailing two sets to zero is desperate. The player down two sets HAS to sell out, play that set like it's his last, even if he knows that means he won't have the gas for the fourth (or fifth) set. The player in the lead, being human, coasts. No one, with serous competitve spirit, plays as hard to seal a win as they do to avoid a loss. (See Venus Williams vs Jennifer Capriati: Eight match points)

The same thing SHOULD show up more often on the ladies side, when the first set is lost. But it doesn't. Why? Dunno. But the fact that the player who won the first set isn't tired yet probably factors into it. Also, on the women's side, a player only has the one set to find a solution. The men have two. If Ana Ivanovic loses a first set, and she doesn't know why. she's screwed. Whereas is a guy has sufficient cardio, he has twice asmuch time to figure out how to win.

Obviously, this only effects players who think.

But after the first set of the OZ final, Dinara Safina either HAD to have already found a solution, or she was done. Cause Serena's forehand was workin'.

Lindsay Davenport, asked about men's vs women's tennis, replied "it's a different sport". This is never more true, on the pro level, than when a player is losing.

harloo
Mar 25th, 2009, 04:55 PM
To be honest, I think we'd be seeing better tennis from the ladies if there was a player/s that placed fear in the chasing pack. The Williams sisters aren't doing that any longer. All the top players have had wins over the Williams sisters at some stage over the last 3 years. The greatest era's or periods were when there was two dominant players i.e Evert - Navratilova, Hingis - Davenport, Seles - Graf.

The girls haven't been set a bench mark, so they just play at their same ordinary level. The top ten sucks - no depth. Having Clijsters back will keep the top players honest.

The problem isn't necessarily one top player dominating or not enough varied playing styles but the overall lack of consistent rivalries. Nadal and Federer have met in 9 slam finals which produced outstanding tennis. Where is this generations Martina N. vs. Chris Evert, Hingis vs. Venus, or Serena vs. Capriati? You don't feel that buzz these days and I'm not sure Clijsters returning will make much of a difference. Good rivalries were the driving force behind the boom in women's tennis. What made them more interesting than the average rivalry was the different personalities and off court drama.

It really puzzles me when posters pretend the WTA has always produced amazing slam finals. Even at the height of the WTA's popularity boom most finals were one sided error filled victories. Recently, I thought Wimbledon 2005/2006 were competitive and the US Open 2008 was very entertaining and a hard fought contest. Otherwise, the rest of the finals over the past 6-7 years were horrible.

You can only fix women's tennis by shortening the season, making sure the top players are taking care of their bodies, and hoping that a rivalry develops in some fashion. The WTA also needs to work on promoting the personalities of players rather than overemphasizing sex. The general public needs to be interested in the actual person rather than the tennis player in order for them to actually care about them. Tennis fans are different in that sense but if you're trying to reach casual fans then you need a superstar.

Ellen Dawson
Mar 25th, 2009, 09:58 PM
I disagree.

The player leading two sets to zero isn't choking. The player trailing two sets to zero is desperate. The player down two sets HAS to sell out, play that set like it's his last, even if he knows that means he won't have the gas for the fourth (or fifth) set. The player in the lead, being human, coasts. No one, with serous competitve spirit, plays as hard to seal a win as they do to avoid a loss.

This is precisely what people I know enjoy about the men's matches at the US Open. They know that even with Player A up 2 sets to none that it is long from over. For ME, it's infuriating because the match is only going longer because they play 5 sets. I'm actually mad at Player A for not ending it like he should have! But...as you said, the desperation of Player B prolongs the proceedings (the agony for me).

bobbynorwich
Mar 25th, 2009, 10:44 PM
It is weird. It's not as though a single player is dominating. Each of the four Grand Slam women's singles tournaments in 2008 was won by a different player (Sharapova, Ivanovic, VW and SW).

That's healthy for womens tennis and the WTA ... never know for sure who's going to win. Makes for much more exciting tournaments and matches. :hearts:

southern star
Mar 26th, 2009, 01:03 AM
"Capriati was pretty much worthless her whole career. "

Wow. Your standards must be pretty high. Not many worthless players get to No 1.