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tennisbum79
Jan 29th, 2010, 12:56 AM
Following a dismal performance at AO 2010, does this become a turning point for Venus Williams?

There is no question that Venus is stuborn and reluctant to get out of her comfort(should we say discomfort now) zone and make some serious decision about her future.

I am no pshycologyst or psychiatrist, but I don't think athletes who have been at the top of their sport, are content to continue their career as journeymen (journeywomen).
It is that fear of anonymity and "blandness" that drove them to strive to be the best in the first place.

Either Venus decides to overhaul her game and approach to tennis
Or she retires and dedicates herself to her company or other social causes.

Of course having been a fan of hers from the start, I would like her to follow Agassi's example and retool her game for a last hoorah.
The question is, this requires dedication and commitment, can she do it?
Unlike Andre, Venus has her sister as support and role model. It would be up to her to start the ball rolling


I realize Venus does not read this forum, so please refrain from make comment like do you really think Venus would listen to you?
This is just an exercise to engage all posters( fans or detractors alike) to give their 2 cents.
I am convinced many of you have something to say after Venus participation in this tournament.

For me, my concerns go back to couple of years, but I could not make a dent in bringing it up into the open. It was always dead on arrival. Many claiming there was "nothing wrong with Venus Willians", "she has always been like that..."

Now the inevitable has occured, maybe this can be discussed openly now.

I know it is tempting, but please refrain from the usual drive by posting, looking for a fight.

Pureracket
Jan 29th, 2010, 01:05 AM
I agree with most of what you said, but look @ the big picture: She lost in three sets in the quarters of the same Slam she lost @ in the 2nd rd last year. Is that really all that dismal?

tennisbum79
Jan 29th, 2010, 01:10 AM
I agree with most of what you said, but look @ the big picture: She lost in three sets in the quarters of the same Slam she lost @ in the 2nd rd last year. Is that really all that dismal?
Yes, I believe it was dismal, but I am not going to push that point.

It is not how far she went in the tournament, it the drip-drip effect that finally culminated in losing there for the taking. Her out pouring of negative emotions, even when leading, was just hard to watch live

Wannabeknowitall
Jan 29th, 2010, 01:19 AM
Yes, I believe it was dismal, but I am not going to push that point.

It is not how far she went in the tournament, it the drip-drip effect that finally culminated in losing there for the taking. Her out pouring of negative emotions, even when leading, was just hard to watch live

Well this is the most consistent I've seen Venus at a slam outside of Wimbledon in almost two years.
She didn't seem to have any injuries.
Her groundstrokes were consistent for her.
There was a lot of positives she can take from this tourni.
Although I believe that Kim and Justine will find their way into the top 5 by the end of the year, I don't see Venus leaving the top 10 because of it.
I expect Venus to be the most consistent she's been in all of the tournis (ITF and WTA) in years.

Wawrinka's ass.

shap_half
Jan 29th, 2010, 01:21 AM
I obviously haven't followed the Venus saga for as long as many posters here, but if there is a problem with Venus's game (and there obviously is), she may be more reluctant to face up to them when she's still reaching Wimbledon finals, winning Wimbledon, winning the YEC, reaching the YEC finals. While the last couple of years may not have been great for her, let's remember that for from 2002 to 2004, despite showing some great tennis, she didn't win a slam. Of course, you have Serena in the way, but I guess the point is she was still playing much better tennis during that stretch in 2002 and 2003 than she is now.

It hasn't all been bad. I thought her HC game in 2007 USO series was some of the best HC tennis we've seen from Venus since she won in 2001. She was aggressive, she was hitting with conviction and she was mostly positive about where her game could take her. And she made it to the USO SF that year -- her first no Wimbledon final four since the 2003 Australian Open. To be honest, she's been bringing it in the USO -- she's only lost to the eventual champion the last 3 years.

Even before all of this started happening, Venus has only really done well in Wimbledon and the USO. She has never really been a threat in the beginning of the year, not at the French and until recently not at the end of the year, either.

spencercarlos
Jan 29th, 2010, 01:24 AM
I agree with most of what you said, but look @ the big picture: She lost in three sets in the quarters of the same Slam she lost @ in the 2nd rd last year. Is that really all that dismal?
Did not you see the match :o I mean Venus choked tremendously to lose that match against a player she should have beeaten, 16 seeded player.

Do you think overcoming a second round from the previous year is a great achievement for a player of the caliber of Venus :rolleyes:

I donīt think so...

The rare thing is that Venus looked pretty good on her first three matches, rock solid against troublesome players, and then it all started against Schiavone, until finally losing to Na Li in one of the worst matches of the tournament @+110 unforced error fest match.

That being said i saw Venus with phisical problems, she looked exhausted vs Na... any words on that ?

tennisbum79
Jan 29th, 2010, 01:28 AM
Even before all of this started happening, Venus has only really done well in Wimbledon and the USO. She has never really been a threat in the beginning of the year, not at the French and until recently not at the end of the year, either.
In one year, she did reach both RG and Wimbleon, both won by Serena.
Even though that was one, early she was very competitve on Clay and excellent palyer on hard court.
So I do not accet your contenton she has only been good on grass.

But we are talking now..

sorceress
Jan 29th, 2010, 01:29 AM
I don't know, it's as if she's lost patience, granted she didn't do bad in that she lost a 3-setter deep in the tournament but by Venus and her fans' standards that is poor.
The problem is Venus doesn't always produce what she's capable of and that's very frustrating for fans of hers.

She doesn't seem to have belief in her shots anymore, you know I don't play tennis but I can view that if you want something to be effective, it needs to be perfected and tried over and over again.
This isn't really a rock bottom in terms of what Sharapova is facing but I think this game is probably one of her worst and definitely will require some sort of change.

Pureracket
Jan 29th, 2010, 01:32 AM
Did not you see the match :o I mean Venus choked tremendously to lose that match against a player she should have beeaten, 16 seeded player.

Do you think overcoming a second round from the previous year is a great achievement for a player of the caliber of Venus :rolleyes:

I donīt think so...

The rare thing is that Venus looked pretty good on her first three matches, rock solid against troublesome players, and then it all started against Schiavone, until finally losing to Na Li in one of the worst matches of the tournament @+110 unforced error fest match.

That being said i saw Venus with phisical problems, she looked exhausted vs Na... any words on that ?Dude, the OP asked for you not do this. Your whole identity on this board is based on your hatred of Venus, even down to your pic. The OP is trying to have a serious discussion. Your trolling and baiting of her threads is one of the great mysteries of this board. That's all I'm going to say to you here.

skanky~skanketta
Jan 29th, 2010, 01:37 AM
Well, with Venus it's truly a mystery. I have never understood how she can never perform well at the Australian Open. Some of her losses have come against top players, but that was when she was at hear peak (loss to Hingis 6-1 6-1 and to Seles the next year). But following that, her losses have been quite baffling, I mean, she's been choking to MUCH lower ranked players after that.

IMO with Venus, it's a very intrinsic thing. She needs to feel somewhat connected to the tournament to have that rush of confidence. That's why she plays well at Wimbledon and at the Us Open. When she's connected, she's confident. Otherwise, as stoic she she may appear on the outside, she's probably a crumbling hot mess on the inside. She needs to understand that the name "Venus Williams" does not hold the same intimidating power it used to have in the past. She needs to know that it is Serena that people "fear".

As for her game, the problem is that Venus and Serena truly brought power hitting to a whole new level. Yes, Monica, Lindsay and Mary were power hitters, but they were nowhere near as quick around the court. Venus had it all, power, speed and fearlessness. The problem is that the generation that followed modeled their games around this as well. Serena pushed on but Venus just stopped, seemingly happy with what she had thinking that it would be enough. But when players started getting consistent with their strokes and started adding variety to their games, what Venus had wasn't enough.

Now, Serena may have regressed in her speed, but she's still pretty damn fast and her serve now is better than it has ever been. Venus is still quick and nimble and has a terrific net-game, but her strokes and her serve have almost gotten to become second rate.

Can she turn this around? I really hope so. Age is catching up and I have a feeling that Venus has too much pride to actually remodel her game. Doing that would tell everyone that she thinks something is wrong with her game. Still, I'm hoping she takes a page out of Serena's book and does what she needs to to make a push for true greatness.

shap_half
Jan 29th, 2010, 01:49 AM
In one year, she did reach both RG and Wimbleon, both won by Serena.
Even though that was one, early she was very competitve on Clay and excellent palyer on hard court.
So I do not accet your contenton she has only been good on grass.

But we are talking now..

I never said she was only good on grass. I know that Venus is very good on hard courts, and noted it as such. But other than during the Serena Slam stretch, Venus wasn't really competing for the Australian Open or the French Open in the same way she was in Wimbledon and the USO. And yes, she has built a strong clay court resume, but really her French Open background is not impressive at all for a top player.

Venus's strength is between Wimbledon and the USO. It has always been that way and it has remained that way. If anything, we have seen improvement in her post-USO results the last couple of years.

Again, I'm not saying her game doesn't need improvement. I'm saying, if she's showing signs of progress in her results, I can understand why she would reluctant to make changes in her game.

tennisbum79
Jan 29th, 2010, 01:50 AM
Well, with Venus it's truly a mystery. I have never understood how she can never perform well at the Australian Open. Some of her losses have come against top players, but that was when she was at hear peak (loss to Hingis 6-1 6-1 and to Seles the next year). But following that, her losses have been quite baffling, I mean, she's been choking to MUCH lower ranked players after that.

IMO with Venus, it's a very intrinsic thing. She needs to feel somewhat connected to the tournament to have that rush of confidence. That's why she plays well at Wimbledon and at the Us Open. When she's connected, she's confident. Otherwise, as stoic she she may appear on the outside, she's probably a crumbling hot mess on the inside. She needs to understand that the name "Venus Williams" does not hold the same intimidating power it used to have in the past. She needs to know that it is Serena that people "fear".

As for her game, the problem is that Venus and Serena truly brought power hitting to a whole new level. Yes, Monica, Lindsay and Mary were power hitters, but they were nowhere near as quick around the court. Venus had it all, power, speed and fearlessness. The problem is that the generation that followed modeled their games around this as well. Serena pushed on but Venus just stopped, seemingly happy with what she had thinking that it would be enough. But when players started getting consistent with their strokes and started adding variety to their games, what Venus had wasn't enough.

Now, Serena may have regressed in her speed, but she's still pretty damn fast and her serve now is better than it has ever been. Venus is still quick and nimble and has a terrific net-game, but her strokes and her serve have almost gotten to become second rate.

Can she turn this around? I really hope so. Age is catching up and I have a feeling that Venus has too much pride to actually remodel her game. Doing that would tell everyone that she thinks something is wrong with her game. Still, I'm hoping she takes a page out of Serena's book and does what she needs to to make a push for true greatness.
Very good insight.
Especially the bit about connection to a tournament playing a big role in Venus disposition to do well.

Nobody has yet touched on the possibility of bringing in a new voice in Venus camp.
Frankly, alhtough Oracene and Richard have done a good job, I think famirity has set in an atmosphere of plateau. In addition, I am not sure how hitting partners have benefited Venus Williams.


Someone like Etchvery, who in addition to on court technique, is also credited for working on player's psychological mindset during matches.
I know this is the last thing Venus wil accept, she is so loyal.
Sometimes to her detriment. But is worht exploring for the sake of discusision

tennisbum79
Jan 29th, 2010, 01:59 AM
I never said she was only good on grass. I know that Venus is very good on hard courts, and noted it as such. But other than during the Serena Slam stretch, Venus wasn't really competing for the Australian Open or the French Open in the same way she was in Wimbledon and the USO. And yes, she has built a strong clay court resume, but really her French Open background is not impressive at all for a top player.

Venus's strength is between Wimbledon and the USO. It has always been that way and it has remained that way. If anything, we have seen improvement in her post-USO results the last couple of years.

Again, I'm not saying her game doesn't need improvement. I'm saying, if she's showing signs of progress in her results, I can understand why she would reluctant to make changes in her game.
Point well taken

tennisbum79
Jan 29th, 2010, 02:13 AM
Where is Volcana?

thrust
Jan 29th, 2010, 02:15 AM
I obviously haven't followed the Venus saga for as long as many posters here, but if there is a problem with Venus's game (and there obviously is), she may be more reluctant to face up to them when she's still reaching Wimbledon finals, winning Wimbledon, winning the YEC, reaching the YEC finals. While the last couple of years may not have been great for her, let's remember that for from 2002 to 2004, despite showing some great tennis, she didn't win a slam. Of course, you have Serena in the way, but I guess the point is she was still playing much better tennis during that stretch in 2002 and 2003 than she is now.

It hasn't all been bad. I thought her HC game in 2007 USO series was some of the best HC tennis we've seen from Venus since she won in 2001. She was aggressive, she was hitting with conviction and she was mostly positive about where her game could take her. And she made it to the USO SF that year -- her first no Wimbledon final four since the 2003 Australian Open. To be honest, she's been bringing it in the USO -- she's only lost to the eventual champion the last 3 years.

Even before all of this started happening, Venus has only really done well in Wimbledon and the USO. She has never really been a threat in the beginning of the year, not at the French and until recently not at the end of the year, either.

Great post! I still think her 2007 USO semi against Justine was one of the finest women's matches I have ever seen, and I have been watching tennis for over 50 years now.

skanky~skanketta
Jan 29th, 2010, 02:40 AM
I never said she was only good on grass. I know that Venus is very good on hard courts, and noted it as such. But other than during the Serena Slam stretch, Venus wasn't really competing for the Australian Open or the French Open in the same way she was in Wimbledon and the USO. And yes, she has built a strong clay court resume, but really her French Open background is not impressive at all for a top player.

Venus's strength is between Wimbledon and the USO. It has always been that way and it has remained that way. If anything, we have seen improvement in her post-USO results the last couple of years.

Again, I'm not saying her game doesn't need improvement. I'm saying, if she's showing signs of progress in her results, I can understand why she would reluctant to make changes in her game.
Probably because she fucks up so much early in the season, she has so much energy left at the end of it! ;)

skanky~skanketta
Jan 29th, 2010, 02:42 AM
Very good insight.
Especially the bit about connection to a tournament playing a big role in Venus disposition to do well.

Nobody has yet touched on the possibility of bringing in a new voice in Venus camp.
Frankly, alhtough Oracene and Richard have done a good job, I think famirity has set in an atmosphere of plateau. In addition, I am not sure how hitting partners have benefited Venus Williams.


Someone like Etchvery, who in addition to on court technique, is also credited for working on player's psychological mindset during matches.
I know this is the last thing Venus wil accept, she is so loyal.
Sometimes to her detriment. But is worht exploring for the sake of discusision
Exactly! Venus is loyal to a fault and as I mentioned earlier, there's only so much your current coach can do. Justine has been with Carlos for eons, but Etcheberry (sp?) definitely gave her that final nudge that she needed. Hasn't Serena worked with others as well?

DragonFlame
Jan 29th, 2010, 02:48 AM
To be honest I think the early season slump has gotten in Venusīs head now... She hasnīt had many succes in the early season for arguably 6-7 years now and even said last year that for her itīs all about the summer. This besides the obvious aging.

I donīt think thatīs the right attitude to take, the determination isn't there.
When she talks about another slam she talks about another wimbledon. She never mentions a french or australian open at all and says she doesnīt really care about it.
I would like to see her determination and actually SAY she wants one & GO FOR IT.

Obviously the slower courts of AO and FO suit her game less but there's definetly a mental part to it with all these undescribable losses she's had.
Somehow you just feel like sheīs fine with casually going out against non-contenders each year if she's doing fine in the summer, at least to me. :shrug:

tennisbum79
Jan 29th, 2010, 03:07 AM
So far, posters have risen to the occasion to add very rich and insightful comments to this thread.

shap_half
Jan 29th, 2010, 03:22 AM
To be honest I think the early season slump has gotten in Venusīs head now... She hasnīt had many succes in the early season for arguably 6-7 years now and even said last year that for her itīs all about the summer. This besides the obvious aging.

I donīt think thatīs the right attitude to take, the determination isn't there.
When she talks about another slam she talks about another wimbledon. She never mentions a french or australian open at all and says she doesnīt really care about it.
I would like to see her determination and actually SAY she wants one & GO FOR IT.

Obviously the slower courts of AO and FO suit her game less but there's definetly a mental part to it with all these undescribable losses she's had.
Somehow you just feel like sheīs fine with casually going out against non-contenders each year if she's doing fine in the summer, at least to me. :shrug:

Venus had a strong 2008, when she won two big titles (her first since 2001, no?). After winning the YEC, she mentioned she wanted to win three slams the following year. So obviously the desire is still there to build her legacy, but obviously these losses are just a bit disheartening.

I don't really know if her parents are feeding her the same old line. I think the bottom line is the same for everyone. They want slams. I don't know if they are really getting to the meat of the problem. We've all heard everyone talk about how Venus should be playing these matches: serve well, keep UEs down, finish points at the net. But whose goal isn't to serve well and keep their UEs down?

I do agree that someone needs to come in and reevaluate the direction of her career. Venus has said she wants to play through the next Olympic games, and that's still a long ways away. If she's really looking to stay in the hunt for major titles until then, she's going to need to address whatever it is that's leading her to lose to lesser players after holding such leads. If Venus had just held the fort down against Na Li; she could potentially be playing in tomorrow's final. And she would have reached the SF of another slam not named Wimbledon.

DragonFlame
Jan 29th, 2010, 03:31 AM
Venus had a strong 2008, when she won two big titles (her first since 2001, no?). After winning the YEC, she mentioned she wanted to win three slams the following year. So obviously the desire is still there to build her legacy, but obviously these losses are just a bit disheartening.

When she seriously talks about it itīs always about Wimbledon. I want to see her saying i want an australian open! And actually train hard for it and play a REAL warm-up.(brisbane/auckland)

But no, she's said she's not gonna change that preperationroutine. Well, this one ain't working! So why not try and change it, what's there to lose? :shrug:

It's not her draws that have kept her from performing well there, it's been herself. And obviously if she doesn't make some changes she won't be performing any differently then in the last 5 years.

The same can be said for Kim Clijsters on clay.

tennisbum79
Jan 29th, 2010, 03:38 AM
When she seriously talks about it itīs always about Wimbledon. I want to see her saying i want an australian open! And actually train hard for it and play a REAL warm-up.(brisbane/auckland)

.
skanky~skanketta made this very point as well.

matty
Jan 29th, 2010, 03:56 AM
I don't think she will retire--she said she wants to play at least until the next olympics.

new-york
Jan 29th, 2010, 03:56 AM
That being said i saw Venus with phisical problems, she looked exhausted vs Na... any words on that ?

She needs to stop playing HK and get used to the australian conditions.

She always look incredibly flat footed there, like she has nothing left in the tank.

I think it's partly due to that.

Venus was SO tight in the key moments.
Na was playing her first SF, but Venus, as she likes to say, has been there and done that.

It didn't show.

tennisIlove09
Jan 29th, 2010, 04:26 AM
She hasn't changed in years, I can't see her changing now. She had needed to work on her forehand for years and never has. She has been saying for years that she needs to come in more, but never really does (outside of Wimbledon). If she WANTS to get to double digits in the Slams, she could. Tragically, it seems like she is content only performing well at Wimbledon and being runner up to Serena.

tennisbum79
Jan 29th, 2010, 04:32 AM
She hasn't changed in years, I can't see her changing now. She had needed to work on her forehand for years and never has. She has been saying for years that she needs to come in more, but never really does (outside of Wimbledon). If she WANTS to get to double digits in the Slams, she could. Tragically, it seems like she is content only performing well at Wimbledon and being runner up to Serena.
I understand your frustration as many Venus fans are.

But please, follow the expression your frustration with some constructive comments.

That is the intentions of the thread.

tennisIlove09
Jan 29th, 2010, 04:43 AM
^ well constructive comments is this: if you're a Venus fan you sort of have come to terms with her. She is who she is. She is very happy and content with her career. Does she still want to win? Of course she does. Still, she is going to play the game HER way. Win or lose. She's not the younger eager girl to do it all anymore. Constructive comments would be for the fans: stop putting expectations on her because you will continue to be upset and "devastated" by her loss and up and down play.

tennisbum79
Jan 29th, 2010, 04:58 AM
^ well constructive comments is this: if you're a Venus fan you sort of have come to terms with her. She is who she is. She is very happy and content with her career. Does she still want to win? Of course she does. Still, she is going to play the game HER way. Win or lose. She's not the younger eager girl to do it all anymore. Constructive comments would be for the fans: stop putting expectations on her because you will continue to be upset and "devastated" by her loss and up and down play.
I see your point but I don't agree.

It is too fatalistic, and I believe people can do things they are willing.

I gave the example of Agassi.
But even closer is Henin. She decided that in order to win Wimbledon, she has to retool her game to be competitive. Once she commited to it, she went to work, and it is already bearing fruit.

Yes, yes, I know Venus and Henin are different, they may approach thinsg differently.
But it all starts with deciding, committing and doing it.

Volcana
Jan 29th, 2010, 05:01 AM
Venus intends to play in another Olympics. That means she can't retire for another couple years. And if Venus and Serena are as serious as they sund about slam doubles titles, do you really see another USA doublesteam supplanting them in the next two years?

Will Venus re-tool? I doubt it. If that was coming, she would have already done it.

Venus is getting old. Let's face it. She turns 30 this year. When you get old, you fade in third sets, you have seemingly inexplicable breakdowns in form. I love Venus, but I've been down this road. This is what I went through with Nav.

Venus is a superior fast court player. She's a very good slow court player. But 'very good' only gets you to the QFs of a slam. You need to be either inspired, lucky, or just plain damn better than every else, to get further than that. She's reached the 'fun' part of her career. As in, she's only going to play as long as its still fun.

tennisIlove09
Jan 29th, 2010, 05:04 AM
I see you oint but I don't agree.

It is too fatalistic, and I believe people can do things they are willing.

I gave the example of Agassi.
But even closer is Henin. She decided that in order to win Wimbledon, she has to retool her game to be competitive. Once she commited to it, she went to work, and it is already bearing fruit.

Yes, yes, I know Venus and Henin are different, they may approach thinsg differently.
But it all starts with deciding, committing and doing it.

Henin took 20 months off the tour to re-tool her game. Venus will not do that. Venus has had *years* to make small adjustments in her weaknesses. If you still believe that she WILL do that in the twilight of her career, then you can. After years of her not changing her forehand or game plan, I'm choosing to believe that the pattern will continue.

tennisbum79
Jan 29th, 2010, 05:10 AM
Henin took 20 months off the tour to re-tool her game. Venus will not do that. Venus has had *years* to make small adjustments in her weaknesses. If you still believe that she WILL do that in the twilight of her career, then you can. After years of her not changing her forehand or game plan, I'm choosing to believe that the pattern will continue.
I don't think Henin took the full 20 months to retool her game.
As I understand it, she started training when she decided to un-retire.

DragonFlame
Jan 29th, 2010, 05:24 AM
Henin took 20 months off the tour to re-tool her game.

Justine has changed her technique many times during her career, not just the last few months. I thought that's been pretty noticable? Both the forehand and serve have gone through many different fases.

She's 1 of the few players who's been succesfull in making drastic changes to her game though. It's very tricky cause it can shake the foundation of your game if you do it wrongly. The serbians being the best example of this right now.

It isn't cut out for any player and it definetly requires talent and feel. I think venus should have what it takes to make some changes to some aspects though.

You always wonder why someone with such a good first serve can have such an attackable second serve. There must be something that can be done about it. Like skanketta said a new voice in the camp might do venus really good.

skanky~skanketta
Jan 29th, 2010, 06:30 AM
I see your point but I don't agree.

It is too fatalistic, and I believe people can do things they are willing.

I gave the example of Agassi.
But even closer is Henin. She decided that in order to win Wimbledon, she has to retool her game to be competitive. Once she commited to it, she went to work, and it is already bearing fruit.

Yes, yes, I know Venus and Henin are different, they may approach thinsg differently.
But it all starts with deciding, committing and doing it.
I think that with Henin and Agassi (and Navratilova), what they have a bit more than Venus is ambition. Their lives are/were committed fully to tennis. I mean, if Venus had the similar dip in form that Agassi had, I seriously doubt she'd go and play challengers. The problem or maybe even blessing with Venus is that she is passionate about fashion/interior design as well.

If we look at it objectively, it may be easy to be passionate about many things. But it's difficult to focus on every one of them. Venus as I know has a clothing line, an interior design company and obviously, tennis. Earlier before her clothing line and her interior deco company she was focused fully on tennis. Unfortunately, plenty of times she was injured. Now that she's all well, she's got so many other things going on for her she probably feels that what she has is enough.

Justine throughout her career has made so many adjustments in her game. From tweaking her service motion a million times to bulking up and losing the bulk and getting to the net more, she's been focused because she wants to win. Because as she has said herself, tennis is her life. Compare her with Serena, yes, Serena has other interests but for Serena, she has so much pride that she wants to win the big ones. Her competitive spirit is undying.

Venus, not so much. Sometimes I feel that it's such a waste because if you can win slams with a horrendous technique, it tells you a lot about the natural talent that you have.

Still, I'm hoping she comes to a realization that tennis has been first in her life and that she's sacrificed a lot to be where she is and decided to rededicate herself. This will naturally give her that hunger and fire to succeed.

DOUBLEFIST
Jan 29th, 2010, 07:39 AM
Nice Thread TB79
Nobody has yet touched on the possibility of bringing in a new voice in Venus camp.
Unfortunately, it hasn't come up much lately because it was brought up so many times, so often in the past and Venus hasn't done it. I just think (and this of course is complete speculation) that she feels like she's somehow betraying family by bringing in a guru. I see no other logical explanation. I said this in a different thread regarding this subject, but I suppose it bears repeating here. There are really only two possibilities. Either Venus CAN'T change or DOESN'T WANT to change. I'm thinking the latter, but as time goes by it will become or has become the former. :shrug: It is utter inexplicable to me why this is the case. She had/has more upside than ANY player I can think of. I've always felt that Venus, developed to her FULL potential, beats EVERYONE. She simply hasn't done it and it can only be for one of the two aforementioned reasons.
She turns 30 this year. When you get old, you fade in third sets. I disagree. I think Agassi proved that with the right amount of physical dedication and commitment, stamina can be an ALLY even at thirty.

~Eclipsed~
Jan 29th, 2010, 10:13 AM
I think that with Henin and Agassi (and Navratilova), what they have a bit more than Venus is ambition. Their lives are/were committed fully to tennis. I mean, if Venus had the similar dip in form that Agassi had, I seriously doubt she'd go and play challengers. The problem or maybe even blessing with Venus is that she is passionate about fashion/interior design as well.

If we look at it objectively, it may be easy to be passionate about many things. But it's difficult to focus on every one of them. Venus as I know has a clothing line, an interior design company and obviously, tennis. Earlier before her clothing line and her interior deco company she was focused fully on tennis. Unfortunately, plenty of times she was injured. Now that she's all well, she's got so many other things going on for her she probably feels that what she has is enough.

Justine throughout her career has made so many adjustments in her game. From tweaking her service motion a million times to bulking up and losing the bulk and getting to the net more, she's been focused because she wants to win. Because as she has said herself, tennis is her life. Compare her with Serena, yes, Serena has other interests but for Serena, she has so much pride that she wants to win the big ones. Her competitive spirit is undying.

Venus, not so much. Sometimes I feel that it's such a waste because if you can win slams with a horrendous technique, it tells you a lot about the natural talent that you have.

Still, I'm hoping she comes to a realization that tennis has been first in her life and that she's sacrificed a lot to be where she is and decided to rededicate herself. This will naturally give her that hunger and fire to succeed.

Her technique is flawed on her serve, but I don't believe that the rest of her technique is "horrendous". She's just so inconsistent, that you never depending on the tournament and or surface her execution is there or it isn't. I think it's all about her confidence too. In the early rounds of this tourney she was doing pretty much everything well until 2nd set against Dellacqua. Her level really dropped then. I'd have to agree with Pam, it seems like at tournaments like this Venus actually gets worse as it goes on.

The 2nd Law
Jan 29th, 2010, 10:27 AM
I understand the OP's concern, but dismal? I wish Ivanovic could have had an equally 'dismal' performance :lol:

Jaffas85
Jan 29th, 2010, 10:53 AM
Wimbledon is the only major where Venus may win once or possibly twice more (she becomes incredibly confident and motivated at the all England club, unlike the other majors notably Aussie and French).

She only has a slight outside chance of winning a third US Open (possible but mostly improbable)

She will never win the Australian Open or French Open (both tournaments are too slow for her and the aus open too early in the year for her it seems).

Wimbledon is the only major where we should expect to find her in the semis and final and I hope this year we get to see a Venus vs. Justine final.

bandabou
Jan 29th, 2010, 11:32 AM
I think the frustrating part isn't that Vee lost, it's the manner that she lost. She totally had the match in her bag. Let Na Li come back into it and then couldn't hold serve for the whole 3rd set, except for the first game. Constantly giving back leads.

For any other player that's called CHOKING. And it's worrisome if this becomes a constant thing.

bandabou
Jan 29th, 2010, 11:57 AM
I think because seemingly Venus hasn't lost her athletiscism she hasn't been forced to adapt her game.

Serena obviously has lost some of her speed...so she retooled her game. Plays smarter, lobs and drops have improved greatly. Picks her spots to when to go all-out and of course: the serve. Rock rock solid most of the time.

Kudos to Serena to accept her reality..and vee? It's not too late yet.

VishaalMaria
Jan 29th, 2010, 02:19 PM
It's all focus, she needs to focus but her memory and attention span is that of a goldfish.

The AO Doubles final proved it, Venus was prepared to win an extra couple of games.

She doesn't concentrate and hits away.

tennisIlove09
Jan 29th, 2010, 02:38 PM
What else is completely funny is how dominate her serve has been through out the doubles AO title run, but in singles she struggled mightly. Serena, on the other hand, was the complete opposite. her serve was a weakness (a minor one at that) in the dubs, but has been her go-to shot in the singles. Venus needs to bring that serve to her singles game.

SoClose
Jan 29th, 2010, 03:09 PM
I don't think Venus will/should retire this or the next year ;) I mean she reached the QFs this year and lost a match she had almost won, but still it is a QF not 2nd round like last year :D:D Yes, I am disapointed she lost but I am used to her losing matches like this one( Bartoli-Stanford, Navarro-AO, Dementieva- YEC, Kvitova-Memphis 2008, Jankovic-Stuttgart 2008, Cibulkova-Doha 2008, Chakvetadze-San Diego 2007, etc.) I mean this is Venus she will lose when nobody expects her to lose and win when nobody expects her to win...And now just because she lost a match, she should have won, AGAIN...this doesn't mean that she should consider retiring lmao Furthermore, she has said that she will play the next Olympics and I'm completely sure she will do it , and until then I believe that she will have lost a couple of matches like this one but this doesn't mean that everytime this happens we should bring the same old topic back again :)

Monirena Wiles
Jan 29th, 2010, 07:38 PM
Nice Thread TB79
Unfortunately, it hasn't come up much lately because it was brought up so many times, so often in the past and Venus hasn't done it. I just think (and this of course is complete speculation) that she feels like she's somehow betraying family by bringing in a guru. I see no other logical explanation. I said this in a different thread regarding this subject, but I suppose it bears repeating here. There are really only two possibilities. Either Venus CAN'T change or DOESN'T WANT to change. I'm thinking the latter, but as time goes by it will become or has become the former. :shrug: It is utter inexplicable to me why this is the case. She had/has more upside than ANY player I can think of. I've always felt that Venus, developed to her FULL potential, beats EVERYONE. She simply hasn't done it and it can only be for one of the two aforementioned reasons.
If it was just about talent then I would agree with you 100%. But in tennis talent comes second to mental strength. You can not teach someone to be mentally strong or to have courage on big points. This is what seperates great players from great champions. I think Venus used to be more mentally strong, but Serena has damaged her mental strength through the years. Bad technique happens more when she's nervous. Maybe there is not anything more that can be done.

tennisbum79
Jan 29th, 2010, 10:04 PM
If it was just about talent then I would agree with you 100%. But in tennis talent comes second to mental strength. .
Agree there. And early Venus was the personification of this.
She was stoic, focussed. fearless, impossing.
Dick Engberg, even stated onr time, by looking at venus, you wouldn't thinks she is leading the match by a wide margin
Back then, she was criticized for not enjoying herself, so conummeded she was by her focus and concentration.

Now, she is totally the opposite, her emotion so easy to reach, it is not funny.

You can not teach someone to be mentally strong or to have courage on big points. This is what seperates great players from great champions. I think Venus used to be more mentally strong, but Serena has damaged her mental strength through the years. Bad technique happens more when she's nervous. Maybe there is not anything more that can be done.

Yes you can teach it.
That is there are sport pychologysts.

Especailly for a player like Venus, who was once identified with mental strength.
It is still there, someone needs to reactivate it.

...but Serena has damaged her mental strength through the years. Bad technique happens more when she's nervous. Maybe there is not anything more that can be done
I don't know about that.

eshell
Jan 29th, 2010, 11:52 PM
Billie Jean King made an interesting comment when asked about Venus on one of the telecasts. BJK said that she didn't see any joy for Venus. That comment may have summed it up. Perhaps Venus is tired and nearing the end of her illustrious career.

tennisbum79
Jan 30th, 2010, 12:10 AM
Billie Jean King made an interesting comment when asked about Venus on one of the telecasts. BJK said that she didn't see any joy for Venus. That comment may have summed it up. Perhaps Venus is tired and nearing the end of her illustrious career.
I saw that.
But I think it is just a symptom, not the cause.

If she is tired, she would not have commited to play the 2012 Olympic.
As talended as Venus is on grass, she can't take if for granted.

tennisbum79
Feb 5th, 2010, 10:56 PM
After a coolingoff period , time to revisit this thread.

Same edicates stated in OP apply

mauresmofan
Feb 5th, 2010, 11:30 PM
Venus = Wimbledon so as long as she' battling for the title there she'll stay playing and in 2 short years she'll be playing at Wimbledon twice in a season.

dscho99
Feb 5th, 2010, 11:34 PM
Following a dismal performance at AO 2010, does this become a turning point for Venus Williams?

There is no question that Venus is stuborn and reluctant to get out of her comfort(should we say discomfort now) zone and make some serious decision about her future.

I am no pshycologyst or psychiatrist, but I don't think athletes who have been at the top of their sport, are content to continue their career as journeymen (journeywomen).
It is that fear of anonymity and "blandness" that drove them to strive to be the best in the first place.

Either Venus decides to overhaul her game and approach to tennis
Or she retires and dedicates herself to her company or other social causes.

Of course having been a fan of hers from the start, I would like her to follow Agassi's example and retool her game for a last hoorah.
The question is, this requires dedication and commitment, can she do it?
Unlike Andre, Venus has her sister as support and role model. ...


A wife called Steffi Graf is definitely a better support and role model than a sisters called Serena Williams ...

tennisbum79
Feb 5th, 2010, 11:43 PM
A wife called Steffi Graf is definitely a better support and role model than a sisters called Serena Williams ...
Serena not Stephanie Graff.
Agassi did not have to compete against Graff.

Don't underestimate Serena just because of her public persona, I am sure she will help her sistser if Venus wants or needs help.

Nickk
Feb 5th, 2010, 11:47 PM
No matter what happens, Venus has had a wonderful career and nothing can change this.

No one should worry about her future but herself. She wouldn't keep playing if she didn't enjoy it anymore.

I hate her losing, too. It annoys me as hell. But at the end of the day, it's just tennis. I think Venus has loads of perspective and knows what matters in life. At this stage of her career, and her life, I don't think she still worries to much about this kind of loss which doesn't mean she doesn't care.

She's grown up and even if her best years are behind her, she can still do great things on and off the court!

Sam L
Feb 5th, 2010, 11:47 PM
Well, with Venus it's truly a mystery. I have never understood how she can never perform well at the Australian Open. Some of her losses have come against top players, but that was when she was at hear peak (loss to Hingis 6-1 6-1 and to Seles the next year). But following that, her losses have been quite baffling, I mean, she's been choking to MUCH lower ranked players after that.

IMO with Venus, it's a very intrinsic thing. She needs to feel somewhat connected to the tournament to have that rush of confidence. That's why she plays well at Wimbledon and at the Us Open. When she's connected, she's confident. Otherwise, as stoic she she may appear on the outside, she's probably a crumbling hot mess on the inside. She needs to understand that the name "Venus Williams" does not hold the same intimidating power it used to have in the past. She needs to know that it is Serena that people "fear".

As for her game, the problem is that Venus and Serena truly brought power hitting to a whole new level. Yes, Monica, Lindsay and Mary were power hitters, but they were nowhere near as quick around the court. Venus had it all, power, speed and fearlessness. The problem is that the generation that followed modeled their games around this as well. Serena pushed on but Venus just stopped, seemingly happy with what she had thinking that it would be enough. But when players started getting consistent with their strokes and started adding variety to their games, what Venus had wasn't enough.

Now, Serena may have regressed in her speed, but she's still pretty damn fast and her serve now is better than it has ever been. Venus is still quick and nimble and has a terrific net-game, but her strokes and her serve have almost gotten to become second rate.

Can she turn this around? I really hope so. Age is catching up and I have a feeling that Venus has too much pride to actually remodel her game. Doing that would tell everyone that she thinks something is wrong with her game. Still, I'm hoping she takes a page out of Serena's book and does what she needs to to make a push for true greatness.

I agree completely. I definitely think that she has some Wimbledons and US Opens left in her. I expect her to have 10+ slams. But I think I'm giving up on OZ and the French. It's not even about her game, it's all mental. Like you said she needs that connection, which she's not likely to have.

mboyle
Feb 5th, 2010, 11:48 PM
Sigh. I wish people would leave Venus alone. I don't think losing in the quarter-finals to a player who pushed Serena to two tiebreaks is anything to be ashamed of. She should have won, yes, but it wasn't abysmal. Heck she's almost 30. I don't think most people thought Venus would still be around at 30.

Szavay #1
Feb 5th, 2010, 11:50 PM
the op said venus was stubborn and ita. she doesn't readjust and the ue's just keep piling up. i know she still has a wimby or two in her but it would be awesome to see her win one of the other slams.

AnnaK_4ever
Feb 5th, 2010, 11:59 PM
After all those years is it still that hard to accept Venus is just not good enough to be a true contender in Melbourne and Paris? :shrug:
QF is an excellent result for her at both Australian and French Opens.

DOUBLEFIST
Feb 6th, 2010, 12:05 AM
After all those years is it still that hard to accept Venus is just not good enough to be a true contender in Melbourne and Paris? :shrug:
QF is an excellent result for her at both Australian and French Opens.
It is for me. Because she has the PHYSICAL tools to contend (ie, finalist) in both. She made the finals in them in '02 and '03 when she was playing her best tennis.

DOUBLEFIST
Feb 6th, 2010, 12:06 AM
I agree completely. I definitely think that she has some Wimbledons and US Opens left in her. I expect her to have 10+ slams. But I think I'm giving up on OZ and the French. It's not even about her game, it's all mental. Like you said she needs that connection, which she's not likely to have.

I LOVE the photo in your sig'.

Don't be surprised if you see it around. :devil:

AnnaK_4ever
Feb 6th, 2010, 12:26 AM
It is for me. Because she has the PHYSICAL tools to contend (ie, finalist) in both. She made the finals in them in '02 and '03 when she was playing her best tennis.

And how many times did she fail to make it past QF at those tournaments? It's like saying Myskina was always a contender at RG or Thomas Johansson was always a contender at the Oz only because they once fluked out the wins there.
Just look at how Venus get to the finals in Melbourne and Paris (i.e. who she beat en route) and then look at who she lost to in the countless QFs she played at the AO and RG. A true contender doesn't surrender to the very first tough opponent he/she meets.

tennisbum79
Feb 6th, 2010, 12:47 AM
And how many times did she fail to make it past QF at those tournaments? It's like saying Myskina was always a contender at RG or Thomas Johansson was always a contender at the Oz only because they once fluked out the wins there.
Just look at how Venus get to the finals in Melbourne and Paris (i.e. who she beat en route) and then look at who she lost to in the countless QFs she played at the AO and RG. A true contender doesn't surrender to the very first tough opponent he/she meets.
As DOUBLE says, Venus has all the tools to win Assie Open.
She just does not seem to get up for it.
As someone already mentioned, she does not have or make the same connection she has with Wimbledon. She comes at Aussie Open( most of the times ill) prepared.

I want to keep this thread on track and not drift to lala land, but I have to day this.
Johansson and and Myskina, with all due reespect, Myskina and Johansson were overachievers.
Nobody has ever said that about Venus Williams
If anything, most observers thinks she has not realized her full potentials, even at her current age of 30.

AnnaK_4ever
Feb 6th, 2010, 01:10 AM
As DOUBLE says, Venus has all the tools to win Assie Open.
She just does not seem to get up for it.
As someone already mentioned, she does not have or make the same connection she has with Wimbledon. She comes at Aussie Open( most of the times ill) prepared.

I want to keep this thread on track and not drift to lala land, but I have to day this.
Johansson and and Myskina, with all due reespect, Myskina and Johansson were overachievers.
Nobody has ever said that about Venus Williams
If anything, most observers thinks she has not realized her full potentials, even at her current age of 30.

Venus would've overachieved had she won AO or RG. But she didn't hence nobody calls her an overachiever.
And I don't buy all this "she didn't care enough" nonsense. She has never adjusted her one-dimensional game for Melbourne and Paris courts simply because she is not able to do this. Venus is great at bashing the ball and finishing the point at the net but these ablilities are not sufficient to win the slower surfaces slams.

tennisbum79
Feb 6th, 2010, 01:20 AM
Venus would've overachieved had she won AO or RG. But she didn't hence nobody calls her an overachiever.
And I don't buy all this "she didn't care enough" nonsense. She has never adjusted her one-dimensional game for Melbourne and Paris courts simply because she is not able to do this. Venus is great at bashing the ball and finishing the point at the net but these ablilities are not sufficient to win the slower surfaces slams.
I am tempted to respond, but I will abide by my own guildelines in the OP and let go

Slutiana
Feb 6th, 2010, 01:35 AM
After all those years is it still that hard to accept Venus is just not good enough to be a true contender in Melbourne and Paris? :shrug:
QF is an excellent result for her at both Australian and French Opens.
I think we all know it's more than a question of being "not good enough". :lol:

Slutiana
Feb 6th, 2010, 01:37 AM
Venus would've overachieved had she won AO or RG. But she didn't hence nobody calls her an overachiever.
And I don't buy all this "she didn't care enough" nonsense. She has never adjusted her one-dimensional game for Melbourne and Paris courts simply because she is not able to do this. Venus is great at bashing the ball and finishing the point at the net but these ablilities are not sufficient to win the slower surfaces slams.
But melbourne is hardly a "slower surface" now. :lol:

And it's really silly you say this considering the final just two years ago was between Sharapova and Ivanovic. Sure she can be too aggressive/too stubborn/too erratic but when Venus is on she is on and when everything is working she is great on any surface. She has won countless titles on clay and hardcourt of varying pace and she certainly isn't the type of player who just gets nervous and just completely bottles it, which altogether suggests that it is more than simply "not being good enough".

sky20748
Feb 6th, 2010, 03:25 AM
Venus was tired and she did choke.I dont care what anyone says because I am a true Venus fan.she didnt even look happy on the court but on the doubles she was like a little giddy kid.I dont know but hopefully she will pull it together.We can only hope.

Stamp Paid
Feb 6th, 2010, 04:24 AM
She is too stubborn and prideful to make the necessary adjustments to win a slam on anything other than grass.
She can squeak out a USO victory but it will take her consistently playing the best tennis that she has since coming back from injury in 2003 and a favorable draw.
Its not too late for her, she is 29 and physically, she is still the best athlete on tour. But shes satisfied with playing "her game" and reaping the results, whatever they may be. Not to mention her mental frailty, how many matches has Venus lost over the past few years where she was up and dominating and a game or two from winning, and then she just falls apart? How many matches has she lost by being totally passive and allowing the girl across the net to be aggressive. Venus Williams passive? I didn't even know that was a possibility before the last few years.
Theres no reason why she shouldn't have won the Australian Open in her career. I think someone asked Venus about playing a warm up after her loss to Na, and she was like 'Oh no, NEVER. I will never play a warm up event the week before a grand slam event.' Like Brisbane was just out of the question. And after all those years she played Pilot Pen and won the USO? Just stubborn for no reason, often times to her own detriment.
Whatever, shes getting out of the game what shes willing to put into her own game. :lol::lol::lol:

trufanjay
Feb 6th, 2010, 04:29 AM
I don't expect anything with Venus anymore. I just sit back and watch. I will only be upset if she loses to someone other than Serena at Wimbledon.

Venus has made an improvement so far but the same problems that have been following her since 2004 are still there. I just watch, maybe she's not tired of playing below her potential.

tennisbum79
Feb 6th, 2010, 11:55 PM
She is too stubborn and prideful to make the necessary adjustments to win a slam on anything other than grass.
She can squeak out a USO victory but it will take her consistently playing the best tennis that she has since coming back from injury in 2003 and a favorable draw.
Its not too late for her, she is 29 and physically, she is still the best athlete on tour. But shes satisfied with playing "her game" and reaping the results, whatever they may be. Not to mention her mental frailty, how many matches has Venus lost over the past few years where she was up and dominating and a game or two from winning, and then she just falls apart? How many matches has she lost by being totally passive and allowing the girl across the net to be aggressive. Venus Williams passive? I didn't even know that was a possibility before the last few years.
Theres no reason why she shouldn't have won the Australian Open in her career. I think someone asked Venus about playing a warm up after her loss to Na, and she was like 'Oh no, NEVER. I will never play a warm up event the week before a grand slam event.' Like Brisbane was just out of the question. And after all those years she played Pilot Pen and won the USO? Just stubborn for no reason, often times to her own detriment.
Whatever, shes getting out of the game what shes willing to put into her own game. :lol::lol::lol:
We have not always agreed when it comes to Venus based your posts from the past.
But I must say this was an excellent post.

Great contribution to this thread.

PlayByPlay
Feb 7th, 2010, 02:34 AM
Venus does have her times when she performs well. I don't know what happened this year. At the end of the day though she did win doubles slam with her Sister Serena. It shows she still has it in her.

Midnight_Robber
Feb 7th, 2010, 09:59 AM
Nice thread tennisbum79. But this is one of those instances where you come so late into a very good discussion, that it's hard to add anything new to what has already been said.

Love her to death, and she's a wonderful athlete with great potential (even at 29) but she's painfully inconsistent. As a fan it was really hard to watch her getting progressively worse in each round of the AO, only to finally choke her way out of it altogether - and I'm one of her fans who has honestly never really cared whether she won the AO or not. (She always looks uptight and unhappy at the Oz to me, as if she doesn't want to be there and seems to live only for Wimbledon.) I think she does care which is why these losses continue to erode her confidence (and probably sting her pride), but she doesn't seem to care *enough* to make any of the necessary and lasting changes that will yield better results. For me, I'd rather see Venus lose while playing well (AO '05 4th round, against an opponent who is also playing well and deserves to win) rather than what happened against Li. It was just a dismal match from both players.

What interests me is that in any given tournament (or in her doubles) you'll see her practicing or experimenting with shots. Her fans get excited and start to think that she's going to permanently incorporate it in her game - but it never quite happens. Once things get tight in an important match, she just camps behind the baseline, and at this particular tournament pushed and hoped. It's too bad, because she's capable of so much more.

On the upside she got further than most people expected her to, but what was of concern to me was the tight, passive play from her and the lack of quality opposition. There was no inspiration, no raising the level of her game, no urgency.

We got the exact opposite in doubles - she was focused, eager, bold, enthusiastic, moved forward and seemed to be enjoying herself and clearly wanted to do well there. Even when her serve threatened to get out of control, she reigned it in, fired herself up and forced herself to go for it on her second serves. I saw none of that in her singles performance, most of which were flat(-footed) matches against inferior opponents, or opponents who were off their game (Safarova). What worried me even more is the new tendency to hit everything tamely cross-court straight into her opponent's hitting zone with no ambition beyond keeping the ball in play. Don't know if that's Venus, or Witt or both of them but ugh. I wish it would stop. People talk about her lack of patience on slow surfaces, but I don't think that's what hurt her this time around. She didn't go for her shots, didn't close, and lacked aggression or any killer instinct. When I think about how she burst on to the scene, it's not something that I thought I'd ever be writing about her, but oh well. :shrug:

Anyway to me, her inability to stay focused and maintain her intensity across 2 (consecutive) sets is what is killing her. Most of her fans already know that she'll stutter or choke after blitzing her opponent in the first set. We've been over it time and time again with a fine-tooth comb. I have no idea what the answer is outside of a sports psychologist which she will probably never see.

Anyway, it's all up to her and I'll always hope that she does well, but if she refuses to seriously change anything then, as Bon Vivant notes, she'll only get as much as she puts in.

tennisbum79
Feb 7th, 2010, 08:49 PM
Nice thread tennisbum79. But this is one of those instances where you come so late into a very good discussion, that it's hard to add anything new to what has already been said.

Love her to death, and she's a wonderful athlete with great potential (even at 29) but she's painfully inconsistent. As a fan it was really hard to watch her getting progressively worse in each round of the AO, only to finally choke her way out of it altogether - and I'm one of her fans who has honestly never really cared whether she won the AO or not. (She always looks uptight and unhappy at the Oz to me, as if she doesn't want to be there and seems to live only for Wimbledon.) I think she does care which is why these losses continue to erode her confidence (and probably sting her pride), but she doesn't seem to care *enough* to make any of the necessary and lasting changes that will yield better results. For me, I'd rather see Venus lose while playing well (AO '05 4th round, against an opponent who is also playing well and deserves to win) rather than what happened against Li. It was just a dismal match from both players.

What interests me is that in any given tournament (or in her doubles) you'll see her practicing or experimenting with shots. Her fans get excited and start to think that she's going to permanently incorporate it in her game - but it never quite happens. Once things get tight in an important match, she just camps behind the baseline, and at this particular tournament pushed and hoped. It's too bad, because she's capable of so much more.

On the upside she got further than most people expected her to, but what was of concern to me was the tight, passive play from her and the lack of quality opposition. There was no inspiration, no raising the level of her game, no urgency.

We got the exact opposite in doubles - she was focused, eager, bold, enthusiastic, moved forward and seemed to be enjoying herself and clearly wanted to do well there. Even when her serve threatened to get out of control, she reigned it in, fired herself up and forced herself to go for it on her second serves. I saw none of that in her singles performance, most of which were flat(-footed) matches against inferior opponents, or opponents who were off their game (Safarova). What worried me even more is the new tendency to hit everything tamely cross-court straight into her opponent's hitting zone with no ambition beyond keeping the ball in play. Don't know if that's Venus, or Witt or both of them but ugh. I wish it would stop. People talk about her lack of patience on slow surfaces, but I don't think that's what hurt her this time around. She didn't go for her shots, didn't close, and lacked aggression or any killer instinct. When I think about how she burst on to the scene, it's not something that I thought I'd ever be writing about her, but oh well. :shrug:

Anyway to me, her inability to stay focused and maintain her intensity across 2 (consecutive) sets is what is killing her. Most of her fans already know that she'll stutter or choke after blitzing her opponent in the first set. We've been over it time and time again with a fine-tooth comb. I have no idea what the answer is outside of a sports psychologist which she will probably never see.

Anyway, it's all up to her and I'll always hope that she does well, but if she refuses to seriously change anything then, as Bon Vivant notes, she'll only get as much as she puts in.
No need to apologize for being late in this thread.
Your post brought new perspectives not touched on before.

I created this thread because I am not one of those fans who have resigned themselves to the fatalistic view that whatever Venus does, it is ok, because that is how she is and will never change.

I could accpet it had I not seen earlier Venus, The F*%@#king Venus Williams be the opposite of what she is now.
She was stoic, unflappable, powerful, intimitading, with controlled agression.
Did I mention stoic and unflappable ? Because this is where she has lost her edge the most.
It could be the symptom of losing confidence in her game, but this is the most visible and painful aspect of watchingher these days. Especially in this Aussie Open.

Now she is frail, fragile, easy to show negative emotion, all with higher level of frequency than before, against opposition she would have crashed easily few years ago.

I cannot accept it because as a number of posters have eloquently noted in their own unique ways, Venus has all the tools to easilty get out this predicament.
What worried me even more is the new tendency to hit everything tamely cross-court straight into her opponent's hitting zone with no ambition beyond keeping the ball in play. Don't know if that's Venus, or Witt or both of them but ugh. I wish it would stop.
I have also been thinking about this but relcutant to bring up for fear of crowding Venus problems by appearing to pin them on her hitting partner.
My concern with a hitting partner playing a signficant and permanent role in Venus preparation is that by the very nature of his position and balance of power in their relationship, he is not empowered enough to point out what is eroding Venus game and take necessary corrective (bold or gradual) to bring her on the right track and restore her confidence.

From what I have seen, David Witt cares enough to be frustrated with Venus for not following whatever they have praticed. It is obvious Venus is not listening to him.

It appears to me that an easy and involuntary feeling complacensy has set in this realthionship, and no one dares (or has the courage) to find a way out.

Midnight_Robber
Feb 7th, 2010, 09:42 PM
I'm certainly not saying anything that hasn't been said before by other posters, or that I haven't already said in her forum before, but maybe this thread is a better venue.

Anyhow, I take your point about Witt, although some of the things that he has reportedly said about women's tennis in general makes me wonder about him. (That's why I said that I'm not sure if it's her or him or both). I still remain undecided. More importantly though it seems to me that whether or not it's his "fault" or her fault, sometimes a change of pace and perspective is necessary. Sveta got rid of her coach and won RG. JJ has apparently just left her coach.

Like you, I'm not fatalistic about her game. Most other fans seem to at least want their favorite players to improve and do better, and live up to their potential irrespective of whether or not it ever eventuates. Sure, it may never happen but you tend to want the best, don't you? It's so funny to me that in this thread it's casual fans, Serena fans and even non-fans who want and expect her to do better in relation to her talents and who want to figure out why this isn't the case and what she could do about it. I agree that the main thing that seems to be missing is confidence in her game, her shots and herself, and the 'calm composure' is just a facade these days. Raising her level on the big points and being bolder - she hasn't seriously done this in a while. But to me it's nothing that can't be overcome, providing she's willing of course. I think this is the part that needs the most work.

Dragonflame made a very memorable post regarding Ana Ivanovic stating that he/she felt that her coach was going in the wrong direction by trying to improve her weaknesses rather than getting her to play to her strengths (her forehand etc.) and it was turning her into an average player and a headcase. For sometime now, that's exactly what I've felt about Venus whenever I see the tame crosscourt forehands and cross-court returns or watch her play percentage tennis on slower courts. (Maybe she thinks that's what it takes to win on that type of court, but...obviously not.) It's what I feel when I see her forehand become the go-to shot in her game as she struggles on the backhand, when she no longer plays the length of the court (off both wings) or when her footwork is non-existent and she's lunging at the ball. Looks to me like a lot of the compromises that she made at the AO to make her game 'safer' weren't worth it. Controlled aggression isn't the same thing as a lack of aggression. Unlike a lot of people I think that her fundamental game - big and risky and dictating play - is good enough to win more than Wimbledon - providing that she actually plays it with authority and confidence and doesn't falter when it gets tight. I'm not sure though, what it takes to regain that type of fundamental confidence.

Sure I agree about the forehand and the serves needing work, or that more variety wouldn't hurt. Adding more is good. But you can't fundamentally overhaul a player's game so much that it ignores their strengths. A Venus without fierce groundstrokes, a killer backhand as the lynchpin of her game that can be directed to any part of the court, feet in motion, first strike returns, utter confidence playing down the line, unorthodox shot-making and forward momentum (and not just in terms of going to the net but leaning into her shots) - is a player who is NOT playing to her strengths and is unlikely to win slams. I think it's more a case of going back to basics and doing what she does well, but on a more consistent basis.

bandabou
Feb 8th, 2010, 07:51 AM
Uhum....and that killed her against Ni La. Venus was soooooo passive. Was kinda sad to see.

vwfan
Feb 10th, 2010, 03:54 PM
To be honest I think the early season slump has gotten in Venusīs head now... She hasnīt had many succes in the early season for arguably 6-7 years now and even said last year that for her itīs all about the summer. This besides the obvious aging.

I donīt think thatīs the right attitude to take, the determination isn't there.
When she talks about another slam she talks about another wimbledon. She never mentions a french or australian open at all and says she doesnīt really care about it.
I would like to see her determination and actually SAY she wants one & GO FOR IT.

Obviously the slower courts of AO and FO suit her game less but there's definetly a mental part to it with all these undescribable losses she's had.
Somehow you just feel like sheīs fine with casually going out against non-contenders each year if she's doing fine in the summer, at least to me. :shrug:Well, I agree. There are definitely dimensions of her game that she can improve. No doubt about it. and I agree that she does seem to lack the old killer instinct.

But Venus has been playing without confidence (except Wimbledon) since coming back from her ab injury in 2003. She probably came back too early from that injury and the loss of her sister, then suffered some bad losses. She gained her footing again on clay in 2004, then INJURY. She slowly rebuilt her game and confidence and won Wimbledon in 2005, then ANEMIA. 2006 was a bust. Game came back in 2007 and 2008 playing fairly well winning two Wimbledons, YEC, and losing to the eventual champion in QF and SF of U.S. Open. Had a good start to 2009 season, and then knee INJURY that plagued her for the rest of 2009.

She has had to come back from injury so many times after playing well. She probably comes back too early and then suffers bad losses, loses confidence, and the cycle continues. It must be hard to play at the top of the game with so many recurring injuries.

Not making excuses. Staying injury free is part of being a professional tennis player. That is the responsibility of her and her team. Making good decisions is also a part of being a professional tennis player: like why in the heck would you play singles and doubles in U.S. Open on a bum knee! :tape::help:

Anyway, love her to death. Hopes she has another resurgence, but if not a few more Wimbies and I'm good! ;)

vwfan
Feb 10th, 2010, 04:07 PM
If it was just about talent then I would agree with you 100%. But in tennis talent comes second to mental strength. You can not teach someone to be mentally strong or to have courage on big points. This is what seperates great players from great champions. I think Venus used to be more mentally strong, but Serena has damaged her mental strength through the years. Bad technique happens more when she's nervous. Maybe there is not anything more that can be done.I agree, unfortnuately.:sad: She woke up too late to the reality that Serena was no longer going to crumble and that she had better be prepared to fight for every point until she hears game, set, match.

She didn't get it until Miami 2005(five slam finals later to boot): the only way to beat Serena is to step to the scratch line and not back down until it is absolutely ova. if she had won even two of those slams we'd be singing a different song.:o

vwfan
Feb 10th, 2010, 04:25 PM
Nice thread tennisbum79. But this is one of those instances where you come so late into a very good discussion, that it's hard to add anything new to what has already been said.

Love her to death, and she's a wonderful athlete with great potential (even at 29) but she's painfully inconsistent. As a fan it was really hard to watch her getting progressively worse in each round of the AO, only to finally choke her way out of it altogether - and I'm one of her fans who has honestly never really cared whether she won the AO or not. (She always looks uptight and unhappy at the Oz to me, as if she doesn't want to be there and seems to live only for Wimbledon.) I think she does care which is why these losses continue to erode her confidence (and probably sting her pride), but she doesn't seem to care *enough* to make any of the necessary and lasting changes that will yield better results. For me, I'd rather see Venus lose while playing well (AO '05 4th round, against an opponent who is also playing well and deserves to win) rather than what happened against Li. It was just a dismal match from both players.

What interests me is that in any given tournament (or in her doubles) you'll see her practicing or experimenting with shots. Her fans get excited and start to think that she's going to permanently incorporate it in her game - but it never quite happens. Once things get tight in an important match, she just camps behind the baseline, and at this particular tournament pushed and hoped. It's too bad, because she's capable of so much more.

On the upside she got further than most people expected her to, but what was of concern to me was the tight, passive play from her and the lack of quality opposition. There was no inspiration, no raising the level of her game, no urgency.

We got the exact opposite in doubles - she was focused, eager, bold, enthusiastic, moved forward and seemed to be enjoying herself and clearly wanted to do well there. Even when her serve threatened to get out of control, she reigned it in, fired herself up and forced herself to go for it on her second serves. I saw none of that in her singles performance, most of which were flat(-footed) matches against inferior opponents, or opponents who were off their game (Safarova). What worried me even more is the new tendency to hit everything tamely cross-court straight into her opponent's hitting zone with no ambition beyond keeping the ball in play. Don't know if that's Venus, or Witt or both of them but ugh. I wish it would stop. People talk about her lack of patience on slow surfaces, but I don't think that's what hurt her this time around. She didn't go for her shots, didn't close, and lacked aggression or any killer instinct. When I think about how she burst on to the scene, it's not something that I thought I'd ever be writing about her, but oh well. :shrug:

Anyway to me, her inability to stay focused and maintain her intensity across 2 (consecutive) sets is what is killing her. Most of her fans already know that she'll stutter or choke after blitzing her opponent in the first set. We've been over it time and time again with a fine-tooth comb. I have no idea what the answer is outside of a sports psychologist which she will probably never see.

Anyway, it's all up to her and I'll always hope that she does well, but if she refuses to seriously change anything then, as Bon Vivant notes, she'll only get as much as she puts in.as per usual, I agree with your post. She cannot stay focused and maintain intensity and then wakes up, gets tight, and often can't recover. sooooooooooo frustrating. . .but as both you and Bon Vivant note: she will get the results she deserves. :rolleyes:

thank God, there's Wimbledon. because she has all that: determination, confidence, aggression, forward movement, and warm feelings. and bam: 5 Wimbledon titles and eight finals!

Vlover
Feb 10th, 2010, 04:33 PM
She has had to come back from injury so many times after playing well. She probably comes back too early and then suffers bad losses, loses confidence, and the cycle continues. It must be hard to play at the top of the game with so many recurring injuries.
This is not excuses but the true reality of Venus' career. It is hard for me to recall Venus going through a whole season without part of her body not wrapped or hurting.:sad: She has been plagued with unfortunate ailments of some sort throughout her career which has been a set back. Most times she tries to mask it and still press on even when advised by Richard not to play. I think she has been trying to adjust her game so as not to put as much pressure on her body parts as she is getting older.

Anyway I still Veelieve she is capable of winning majors even if it is "only" Wimbledon as some characterize it, I couldn't care less. For most players if they were going to win only one major, I'm sure they would rather be able to win Wimbledon, the most coveted trophy than any other. Go Venus keep strong!:hearts:

vwfan
Feb 10th, 2010, 04:42 PM
This is not excuses but the true reality of Venus' career. It is hard for me to recall Venus going through a whole season without part of her body not wrapped or hurting.:sad: She has been plagued with unfortunate ailments of some sort throughout her career which has been a set back. Most times she tries to mask it and still press on even when advised by Richard not to play. I think she has been trying to adjust her game so as not to put as much pressure on her body parts as she is getting older.

Anyway I still Veelieve she is capable of winning majors even if it is "only" Wimbledon as some characterize it, I couldn't care less. For most players if they were going to win only one major, I'm sure they would rather be able to win Wimbledon, the most coveted trophy than any other. Go Venus keep strong!:hearts:of and I forgot the wrist injury and subsequent surgery. :sad:

hingis-seles
Feb 10th, 2010, 07:01 PM
With Venus and the Australian Open, you can't help but seperate her results into pre and post ab injury.

1998: QF (loss to Davenport)
1999: QF (loss to Davenport)
2000: DNP
2001: SF (loss to Hingis)
2002: QF (loss to Seles)
2003: F (loss to S.Williams)

*ab injury*

2004: R3 (loss to Raymond)
2005: R4 (loss to Molik)
2006: R1 (loss to Pironkova)
2007: DNP
2008: QF (loss to Ivanovic)
2009: R2 (loss to Suarez Navarro)
2010: QF (loss to Na)

Before the operation, she always made it to atleast the QF or better. The losses were only to elite players. After the surgery, the early round losses come in to no-names. Moreover, she only manages 2 QF's.

The surgery really took a lot of momentum away from her. Very few players have the ability to come back and start winning right away. Even in 2000, when Venus came back from her wrist injury, she had horrendous losses to Coetzer and Dokic in Hamburg and Rome, well before her 35-match winning streak.

In The Zone
Feb 10th, 2010, 07:03 PM
The ab injury argument not only applies to the Australian but to Venus' entire career. Great point.

Infiniti2001
Feb 10th, 2010, 07:13 PM
With Venus and the Australian Open, you can't help but seperate her results into pre and post ab injury.

1998: QF (loss to Davenport)
1999: QF (loss to Davenport)
2000: DNP
2001: SF (loss to Hingis)
2002: QF (loss to Seles)
2003: F (loss to S.Williams)

*ab injury*

2004: R3 (loss to Raymond)
2005: R4 (loss to Molik)
2006: R1 (loss to Pironkova)
2007: DNP
2008: QF (loss to Ivanovic)
2009: R2 (loss to Suarez Navarro)
2010: QF (loss to Na)

Before the operation, she always made it to atleast the QF or better. The losses were only to elite players. After the surgery, the early round losses come in to no-names. Moreover, she only manages 2 QF's.

The surgery really took a lot of momentum away from her. Very few players have the ability to come back and start winning right away. Even in 2000, when Venus came back from her wrist injury, she had horrendous losses to Coetzer and Dokic in Hamburg and Rome, well before her 35-match winning streak.

This :wavey:

Stamp Paid
Feb 10th, 2010, 09:30 PM
With Venus and the Australian Open, you can't help but seperate her results into pre and post ab injury.

1998: QF (loss to Davenport)
1999: QF (loss to Davenport)
2000: DNP
2001: SF (loss to Hingis)
2002: QF (loss to Seles)
2003: F (loss to S.Williams)

*ab injury*

2004: R3 (loss to Raymond)
2005: R4 (loss to Molik)
2006: R1 (loss to Pironkova)
2007: DNP
2008: QF (loss to Ivanovic)
2009: R2 (loss to Suarez Navarro)
2010: QF (loss to Na)

Before the operation, she always made it to atleast the QF or better. The losses were only to elite players. After the surgery, the early round losses come in to no-names. Moreover, she only manages 2 QF's.

The surgery really took a lot of momentum away from her. Very few players have the ability to come back and start winning right away. Even in 2000, when Venus came back from her wrist injury, she had horrendous losses to Coetzer and Dokic in Hamburg and Rome, well before her 35-match winning streak.Venus also played a warm up tournament every year (doubles at Sydney 2001) before the Australian Open except 2003. I think that played an important role in her success in Melbourne. And I dont know how much the ab injury had to do with her losses to Pironkova, Suarez Navarro, and Li, especially considering she was in a winning position in all three of those matches and then fell mentally/lost focus.

Yeah Venus has sustained bad injuries over the years and had to have surgery, but so have all the top players. (Serena, Kim, Justine, etc.) Since the ab injury, she has not played even 1 warm up event before the Australian Open other than those few exhibitions. Its obvious that Venus needs time to fine tune her game, she rarely comes in firing from all cylinders from the very beginning. She needs to establish a rhythm of playing well, if only for her own confidence. With this in mind, its mind boggling why she wont play Brisbane at the very least. Venus hasn't done well in Australia because she hasnt really wanted to put in the work to do well. Same with Roland Garros. She doesnt take the tournaments seriously.

new-york
Feb 10th, 2010, 10:18 PM
i'm not sure about not taking RG seriously but Venus def needs to play a warm up before the AO.

She said that she would not, though. :(

Someone convince her. :o

new-york
Feb 10th, 2010, 10:21 PM
She is too stubborn and prideful to make the necessary adjustments to win a slam on anything other than grass.
She can squeak out a USO victory but it will take her consistently playing the best tennis that she has since coming back from injury in 2003 and a favorable draw.
Its not too late for her, she is 29 and physically, she is still the best athlete on tour. But shes satisfied with playing "her game" and reaping the results, whatever they may be. Not to mention her mental frailty, how many matches has Venus lost over the past few years where she was up and dominating and a game or two from winning, and then she just falls apart? How many matches has she lost by being totally passive and allowing the girl across the net to be aggressive. Venus Williams passive? I didn't even know that was a possibility before the last few years.
Theres no reason why she shouldn't have won the Australian Open in her career. I think someone asked Venus about playing a warm up after her loss to Na, and she was like 'Oh no, NEVER. I will never play a warm up event the week before a grand slam event.' Like Brisbane was just out of the question. And after all those years she played Pilot Pen and won the USO? Just stubborn for no reason, often times to her own detriment.
Whatever, shes getting out of the game what shes willing to put into her own game. :lol::lol::lol:

^^^!!!

Uranium
Feb 10th, 2010, 10:23 PM
i'm not sure about not taking RG seriously but Venus def needs to play a warm up before the AO.

She said that she would not, though. :(

Someone convince her. :o


Venus is stuck in the 70's when it comes to the Slams IMO. Wimbledon > USO > RG > Australian Open. I think she wants RG, she has a good amount of clay events most years and tries hard to get match play/clay practice and do her best and I doubt she puts in all that effort just to use Roland Garros as practice for Wimbledon or just to wind up losing. As for AO, with her comment about not playing the week before a slam and basically refusing to play a warm-up event, I don't know whether that's because she thinks she can win without it or whether she just doesn't care. I don't know.

All of this is just my personal opinion.

Olórin
Feb 10th, 2010, 10:33 PM
With Venus and the Australian Open, you can't help but seperate her results into pre and post ab injury.

1998: QF (loss to Davenport)
1999: QF (loss to Davenport)
2000: DNP
2001: SF (loss to Hingis)
2002: QF (loss to Seles)
2003: F (loss to S.Williams)

*ab injury*

2004: R3 (loss to Raymond)
2005: R4 (loss to Molik)
2006: R1 (loss to Pironkova)
2007: DNP
2008: QF (loss to Ivanovic)
2009: R2 (loss to Suarez Navarro)
2010: QF (loss to Na)

Before the operation, she always made it to atleast the QF or better. The losses were only to elite players. After the surgery, the early round losses come in to no-names. Moreover, she only manages 2 QF's.

The surgery really took a lot of momentum away from her. Very few players have the ability to come back and start winning right away. Even in 2000, when Venus came back from her wrist injury, she had horrendous losses to Coetzer and Dokic in Hamburg and Rome, well before her 35-match winning streak.

The ab injury argument not only applies to the Australian but to Venus' entire career. Great point.

Exactement. Ab-injury + Yetunde + coming back from both too early and having a miserable 2004 = Venus lead into a completely different second career, different attitude, different scheduling, different results, different games.

AkademiQ
Feb 10th, 2010, 11:19 PM
Venus hasn't done well in Australia because she hasnt really wanted to put in the work to do well. Same with Roland Garros. She doesnt take the tournaments seriously.

This.

VishaalMaria
Feb 11th, 2010, 12:26 AM
Deep down all she really cares about is Wimbledon and probably always will; despite her saying she'd like to win the AO or French, I mean who wouldn't?

She's in denial if she believes she takes the other slams as seriously as Wimbledon. She doesn't make the necessary changes, how many times has she lost at the AO without playing a warm up? I know in 03 she didn't play a warm up and achieved her best result, but times have changed and she needs match practice more than anything to fully succeed at the AO yet she still wont budge from her mentality.

When asked whether she'd like to win the AO or French, or a sixth Wimbledon without hesitation she said "Wimbledon". What you really want affects you sub consciously and you're mentally a lot more focused on that, like Venus is on Wimbledon.

I get the feeling Venus is just going to play the way she wants to; no warm up at the AO and ball bashing at the French in some hope that she may and can win. If it doesn't happen, she won't be too bothered. She's got Wimbledon, because year after year the same thing happens and it seems as if Venus hasn't learn. Which is probably because of the fact Venus just doesn't want to learn and will continue to be content with her results.

Uranium
Feb 11th, 2010, 12:41 AM
Since Venus' abdominal injury, she made it four Wimbledon finals, winning three. Also, her 2004 clay court season was arguably the best of her career and in the WTA, beating Kuznetsova (a French Open Champion) in the finals at the J&S Cup, winning the Family Circle Cup, until she withdrew from the German Open finals. She then went on to lose to the eventual French Open champion in the quarterfinals.

I don't think her abdominal injury affected her results at the Australian Open and French Open as much as her changed priorities. Her stellar 2004 clay court season was followed by a second round loss at Wimbledon. Because her priority has always been Wimbledon, I think she felt her lengthy clay court season affected her Wimbledon result that year and adjusted her schedule for that.

In years post-abdominal injury that Venus played an exhibition before the Australian Open, her results suffered. Again, I think scheduling had more to do with Venus' Australian Open results, than that of her 2003 abdominal injury.

As with any great champion, priorities change. I think Venus decided to put more energy and focus on her priorities and spend less in areas that detracted from them.

And she can do that, because she is the F'ing Venus Williams!

RG 2004:fiery:
19 Match win-streak on the dirt down the drain to Myskina.:mad:

Chakvenus
Feb 11th, 2010, 12:47 AM
oh, Vee...
i hope she can at least go deep at the French this year, and i would LOVE it if she could meet and beat Henin there...just LOVE it!!!

Olórin
Feb 11th, 2010, 09:59 AM
Deep down all she really cares about is Wimbledon and probably always will; despite her saying she'd like to win the AO or French, I mean who wouldn't?

She's in denial if she believes she takes the other slams as seriously as Wimbledon. She doesn't make the necessary changes, how many times has she lost at the AO without playing a warm up? I know in 03 she didn't play a warm up and achieved her best result, but times have changed and she needs match practice more than anything to fully succeed at the AO yet she still wont budge from her mentality.

When asked whether she'd like to win the AO or French, or a sixth Wimbledon without hesitation she said "Wimbledon". What you really want affects you sub consciously and you're mentally a lot more focused on that, like Venus is on Wimbledon.


Everyone must see there is some degree of truth in Venus caring far more about Wimbledon than any other tournament. But it still makes her fade in the second set against Serena all the more inexplicable. Looking back on Venus' 2009 that surely had to be the most disappointing set of tennis she played. If she had kept her serving up and taken it to a 2nd set tiebreak anything could have happened, we could have had a classic on our hands. When you lose 10-8 in the third in a tournament you have won so many times I don't think it would affect your confidence and mentality for the rest of the year as much as losing in straights.

hingis-seles
Feb 11th, 2010, 10:42 AM
When you lose 10-8 in the third in a tournament you have won so many times I don't think it would affect your confidence and mentality for the rest of the year as much as losing in straights.

It's far worse. When you lose 10-8 in the third, you tried everything and still came up short. What more could you have possibly done? Just ask Steffi Graf.

Olórin
Feb 11th, 2010, 10:49 AM
It's far worse. When you lose 10-8 in the third, you tried everything and still came up short. What more could you have possibly done? Just ask Steffi Graf.

From my own personal experiences and achievement I find it easier to let go of something when I know I've done my best and can chalk the "loss" or "failure" down to a life-experience...as opposed to when I fall short of my best I am left with constant nigglings for months - think I could have and should have done better.

I don't think there's any point in trying to second guess players, especially ones like Steffi - but from Venus' situation at Wimbledon where she had pride and her status as Wimbledon champion on the line - having not dropped a set for two years to dropping two in a row, in not that long a match - I don't really see how you can justify saying it would be worse to lose in a close match that you could easily have won, compared to losing convincingly in straights.

hingis-seles
Feb 11th, 2010, 10:51 AM
Venus also played a warm up tournament every year (doubles at Sydney 2001) before the Australian Open except 2003. I think that played an important role in her success in Melbourne. And I dont know how much the ab injury had to do with her losses to Pironkova, Suarez Navarro, and Li, especially considering she was in a winning position in all three of those matches and then fell mentally/lost focus.

Yeah Venus has sustained bad injuries over the years and had to have surgery, but so have all the top players. (Serena, Kim, Justine, etc.) Since the ab injury, she has not played even 1 warm up event before the Australian Open other than those few exhibitions. Its obvious that Venus needs time to fine tune her game, she rarely comes in firing from all cylinders from the very beginning. She needs to establish a rhythm of playing well, if only for her own confidence. With this in mind, its mind boggling why she wont play Brisbane at the very least. Venus hasn't done well in Australia because she hasnt really wanted to put in the work to do well. Same with Roland Garros. She doesnt take the tournaments seriously.

I agree with pretty much all that you have written. Just two points:

1) In 2001, she showed up completely unprepared and Hingis made her pay the price. But still, she managed a SF (defeating Mauresmo and Coetzer in three setters) - there was no freak loss to a Pironkova. But, once she came back from the ab injury, her record is covered with some outrageous losses. Even 2004 AO, when she still had her aura, Raymond took her out in straight sets. As far as the Australian Open goes, I think it's more than just her lack of preparation. Seles and Graf rarely played warm-ups for Melbourne, especially the years they won.

2) Roland Garros is just a poor Slam for Venus. In terms of her major rivals, Hingis took her out comfortably in their only meeting there (in what was hyped as the real final - even though Venus was playing only her second RG) as did Serena. The only impressive win she's had at that tournament is Monica in the 2002 quarters. Even before the injuries set in, she had the losses to Schett and Schwartz, decent opponents no doubt, but winnable matches for Venus.

hingis-seles
Feb 11th, 2010, 05:55 PM
From my own personal experiences and achievement I find it easier to let go of something when I know I've done my best and can chalk the "loss" or "failure" down to a life-experience...as opposed to when I fall short of my best I am left with constant nigglings for months - think I could have and should have done better.

I don't think there's any point in trying to second guess players, especially ones like Steffi - but from Venus' situation at Wimbledon where she had pride and her status as Wimbledon champion on the line - having not dropped a set for two years to dropping two in a row, in not that long a match - I don't really see how you can justify saying it would be worse to lose in a close match that you could easily have won, compared to losing convincingly in straights.

Fair enough; point taken. Although the reactions could also be interpreted as disgust and anger at losing to a kid in 1990 versus resigned to her fate by 1992. ;)