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GogoGirl
Mar 16th, 2003, 04:30 PM
The thrill may be gone to Charles - but it is not gone for many others. Someone needs to step up and give him a thrill if the Sisters don't do for him. Otherwise - he needs not watch the finals they may appear in together. It is that simple - IMO.


ttp://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/tennis/sfl-brickten16mar16,0,7650706.column?coll=sfla%2Dsport s%2Dtennis


Charles Bricker


The thrill is gone
Published March 16, 2003


There are those who probably never will be bored watching a Williams sisters Grand Slam final, even if Serena and Venus stretch their streak of showdowns to five at the French Open, to six at Wimbledon and to seven at the U.S. Open.

Those are fans with the sophistication to bypass the window dressing that goes with every Williams-vs.-Williams final and focus on the nuances in each match.

But there is a larger segment of the tennis-watching public that is going to start tuning out if Venus doesn't win at Paris or if Kim Clijsters or Jennifer Capriati or someone else doesn't step up soon and make this into more than a two-woman tour.

Tennis is a lot like other second-level sports in this country. There is a hard-core fan base that is able to get deep inside the game, and there is a more fluid, fickle constituency that requires personality and other external factors to hold their interest.

The problem for television is that we've now had the Williams sisters in four consecutive Slam finals, and the novelty is wearing thin for the less-than-devout.

What began in 1999, when they played in the Key Biscayne final, as a fascinating and controversial matchup, has lost a lot of luster for casual fans. To those who know the game, there are significant differences in how they play, and the contrast enhances their matches.

To the rest, the Williamses seem to be mirror images -- just a couple of slammers.

The matchup no longer fascinates those who once thought father Richard Williams controlled the outcomes or that the sisters were too reluctant to play their best tennis against each other.

Serena changed all that at Key Biscayne in 2002. Where Venus once professed to hate being on court against her sister, which only fueled the fix theorists, Serena doesn't care who's on the other side of the net. She is relentless in pursuit of victory.

Venus, on the other hand, plays hard in these finals, but you get no passion from her before the match. There is no, "I can't wait to get even with little sister," which would give us the fire every rivalry needs.

Also, Serena vs. Venus would be more captivating to everyone if Venus would win here and there. But she has lost their past five meetings and has taken only one set, at the Australian Open. You can't have a real rivalry when one player wins all the time.

The last time we had this sort of domination by two women was in the 1980s with Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova. They played 14 Grand Slam finals against each other, including three in a row and five out of six during a stretch in 1984-85.

Navratilova beat Evert three times in a row at the French, Wimbledon and U.S. Open in 1984 before Evert won the 1985 French. Then Navratilova beat her at Wimbledon a few weeks later.

Yet no one was ever bored by Evert vs. Navratilova because their personalities were different, their styles of play were different and because you knew that come the French Open, Evert would get her revenge.

It felt like a real rivalry. It looked like a real rivalry. What you get with Serena vs. Venus in a Grand Slam final now are by far the two best female players in the world. If you can enjoy for the quality of play, fine. But for the casual fans, the novelty has worn off and the thrill is gone.

persond
Mar 16th, 2003, 07:30 PM
[QUOTE='GogoGirl']The thrill may be gone to Charles - but it is not gone for many others. Someone needs to step up and give him a thrill if the Sisters don't do for him. Otherwise - he needs not watch the finals they may appear in together. It is that simple - IMO.


ttp://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/tennis/sfl-brickten16mar16,0,7650706.column?coll=sfla%2Dsport s%2Dtennis


I guess people "expect" them to "let" others beat them just so they don't meet in the finals of the events they play together!!! :rolleyes: :rolleyes: Well, I hope they continue to meet in the finals, and that the haters get "bored" out of their simple little minds.!!!

"There's just no pleasing some folks" :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

harloo
Mar 16th, 2003, 08:45 PM
Typical bricker article. Does he ever have anything good to say about anyone? He's such an idiot. As long as the sisters keep winning I'm happy, even if both don't make the slam finals I would hope one wins all the time. Now I bet that still would be boring to some people, but you just can't please everyone I guess. :rolleyes:

Janet
Mar 16th, 2003, 09:17 PM
You said it, those people who write these article has nothing else to bicker about more than the williams sister but I guess we can look at it in a good way at least they talk about the williams then any other player on the tour! and I guess that is good.........but still the writers are just pour jealousy and for that they can go to (HELL)!!!

Infiniti2001
Mar 16th, 2003, 09:20 PM
I hope the Williams sisters continue to make "these" people miserable . :fiery: Have you noticed that the more they complain the harder the sisters work to annoy them???

Volcana
Mar 16th, 2003, 09:21 PM
Actually, he's about 100% right.

"There is a hard-core fan base that is able to get deep inside the game, and there is a more fluid, fickle constituency that requires personality and other external factors to hold their interest."

That's true

"To those who know the game, there are significant differences in how they play, and the contrast enhances their matches.

To the rest, the Williamses seem to be mirror images -- just a couple of slammers."

Again, true

"What you get with Serena vs. Venus in a Grand Slam final now are by far the two best female players in the world."

True

"But there is a larger segment of the tennis-watching public that is going to start tuning out if Venus doesn't win at Paris or if Kim Clijsters or Jennifer Capriati or someone else doesn't step up soon and make this into more than a two-woman tour"

IS that segment larger? That's the only controversial thing in the article. Venus and Serena are my two favorite players, and I never get tired of watching them play each other. But there IS a segment of population that will tune things out if someone else doesn't start winning a little. Watrching Serena play exhibitions that are called finals is not going to hold the avergae viewer. OTOH, Serena's opponents inthe OZ semis and finals made it rather interesting.

Don't bag the guy for pointing out, IN A FAIR WAY, why there may be disadvantages, from a marketing perspective, to the current situation. If you read what he wrote, he is nothing but complimentary to Venus and Serena in this article. And not a little complimentary either.

He points out that they're the two best in the world, mkaes clear thay both play hard and both play to win, and he points out that their games are very different, but also points out that people who don't appreciate the nuances of tennis often don't see that. Surely you've noticed the truth of THAT statement just from reading posts around here. A lot of posters here can't see the nuances of the game. Surely that would go past the caual fan too.

decemberlove
Mar 16th, 2003, 10:00 PM
i agree with the article.

i dont really have a problem with the two playing each other all the time... but atleast make it interesting. its boring when you already know the result. venus needs to seriously step up and stop letting her little sister piss all over her.

c2
Mar 16th, 2003, 10:05 PM
good points, volcana

tennisIlove09
Mar 16th, 2003, 10:11 PM
That's the difference right there:

Serena doesn't care who she plays, and goes for everything.
Venus DOES care, and doesn't go for everything.

If they both had Serena's attitude, I think the matches would be great. However, I also think if their matches ALL become like the Aussie, the audience will get more into it. IMO, there's not much that seperates Venus and Serena. Meaning, almost all of their matches should be 3 set thrillers [sort of like Jen/Serena]. If that happened, and it was more equal balance [say they play 5 times in a year, one winning 3, the other winning 2], fans would also stay interested.

TSequoia01
Mar 16th, 2003, 11:03 PM
Serena vs. Venus would be more captivating to everyone if Venus would win here and there. But she has lost their past five meetings and has taken only one set, at the Australian Open. You can't have a real rivalry when one player wins all the time.

:rolleyes: Yeah right, if Venus and Serena took turns winning ole Charlie would be the first one crying fix. :fiery:

Volcana
Mar 16th, 2003, 11:12 PM
"The matchup no longer fascinates those who once thought father Richard Williams controlled the outcomes or that the sisters were too reluctant to play their best tennis against each other."

"Venus, on the other hand, plays hard in these finals, but you get no passion from her before the match. There is no, "I can't wait to get even with little sister," which would give us the fire every rivalry needs."

You know, after re-reading it, this may be the best article on this topic I've ever read. He really hits almost every issue. Note what he said about Venus and passion BEFORE the match. Anyone who saw the OZ final saw passion and emotion form Venus DURING the match. Maybe more than we've ever seen before. But he's right. She started out like she wasn't going to show so much as an eye-blink.

TSequoia01
Mar 16th, 2003, 11:45 PM
"Venus, on the other hand, plays hard in these finals, but you get no passion from her before the match. There is no, "I can't wait to get even with little sister," which would give us the fire every rivalry needs."

Venus at the US Open was as intense before their finals match as I have ever seen her. She was determined to win. Venus has been varying her strategy since the French Open. She tried taking pace off of her first serve at Wimbledon inorder to serve at a high percentage. Did not work. She tried to bomb Serena out at the Open. Did not work. She tried to flat out take it to Serena. Could have worked but didn't. Sorry Charlie, Serena has just been better. :cool:

Brian Stewart
Mar 16th, 2003, 11:56 PM
Well, judging by the TV numbers, people aren't getting tired of the sisters just yet. The only ones who are getting tired of it are tennis writers, and they were tired of it after the first one.

The casual fan isn't as clueless as made out to be. They can see that the matches between the sisters are getting closer, and getting better. You don't need to understand the nuances to see that. I know very little about the nuances of figure skating. A lot of the couples look very similar in performance. But then, when I saw Torvill and Dean, I knew there was something different about them. Something special.

The public has this sense of history. They can sense when something important goes on. And they know every match between Venus and Serena is historic. They are witness to something unique, which will probably not pass this way again in our lifetimes.

It was only a year ago that the question was if Serena would ever beat Venus in a match of consequence. She hasn't lost since. However, unlike the previous one-sided nature of their meetings, Venus is more competitive, and getting closer to winning with each match.

That's the funny thing about tennis. Eternities aren't as durable as they are in the real world. What's absolutely inconceivable now becomes the reality 3 months, 6 months, a year from now. In March, 2004, we could be asking "who can stop Schnyder?" Unthinkable? Now, perhaps. A year from now? We don't know. In life's ultimate paradox, the only thing constant is change.

From the time the sisters emerged as the primary contenders for slams, the tennis media has gone out of their way to tell the public why they should not watch. It was one reason after another. First, it was because Venus always won. Then it was the alleged lack of quality in their play. Then it was the supposed lack of competitiveness of the matches. What next?

If anyone follows golf, tell me, do the golf writers spend all of their time writing about how bad it is to have Tiger at the top dominating the game? Or do they praise his talent, and the interest he generated?

The history of sports has shown that having great players/teams that stand out is a good thing. What put women's tennis on the map in the first place? A bunch of competitive finals between quality players? No, it was the emergence of Lenglen, who dominated the game. Tiger Woods has elevated golf to new levels. Jordan did it with the NBA. And despite what the NFL tries to feed you abt the "excitement" generated by cap-induced parity, the reality is that TV ratings for the NFL keep getting lower. The sport was most popular when you had teams that were consistently good year in and year out.

The odd thing is, for all of the luster that these all-Williams clashes are supposedly losing, the subject is sure getting a lot of ink. It's looking more like they're not really gauging public opinion, but trying to influence it. I wonder if this discussion would be taking place if it were the Williams brothers atop the men's tour?

harloo
Mar 17th, 2003, 12:03 AM
Actually, he's about 100% right.


Don't bag the guy for pointing out, IN A FAIR WAY, why there may be disadvantages, from a marketing perspective, to the current situation. If you read what he wrote, he is nothing but complimentary to Venus and Serena in this article. And not a little complimentary either.

He points out that they're the two best in the world, mkaes clear thay both play hard and both play to win, and he points out that their games are very different, but also points out that people who don't appreciate the nuances of tennis often don't see that. Surely you've noticed the truth of THAT statement just from reading posts around here. A lot of posters here can't see the nuances of the game. Surely that would go past the caual fan too.


I'm bagging on Bricker because he has remained consistent with his criticism of the Williams. Every article I read it's some negative element to his writing. You can OVER ANAYLYZE each one of his paragraphs if you wan't to, but my opinion shall stay the same.

As far as looking from a marketing standpoint, I can understand the concern but wasn't women's tennis dominated by a few before the sisters? I think the "fans are board" routine from the tennis community and commentators applies only when a certain few are dominating. I will continue to point out Jen's rise to the top, and her quest for the Grand Slam. Nothing but praise for Jen, I did not hear or read anything about her making the game boring. The only thing I heard was that she can get the grand slam, and that it would be so great for tennis. So why the sudden change? Also, didn't Martina play in 6 straight AO finals winning 3? I mean, no complaints their. It's ironic that when the sisters get on top, everyone from tournament officials, ballboys, ex tennis stars, critics, tennis fans, and writers have something negative to say.

angele87
Mar 17th, 2003, 12:10 AM
Great posts in here Volcana. I think too many people think that if somebody's opinion differs from theirs, they aren't allowed to express it. I'm read some articles on this topic that seemed to be a biased or unfair but this one is not one of them and you can see that from the opening line : There are those who probably never will be bored watching a Williams sisters Grand Slam final. I think this writer did a good job of looking at different points of view instead of just taking the "Sisters are boring" route. There is nothing/nobody that can please everybody so just because you may love watching the sisters play doesn't mean that I or anyone else think the same thing and my opinion would just be different, no better, no worse. My favorite ( Lleyton ) is by no means a crowd favorite but I've gotten over it. A lot of people find his game boring but I don't... different strokes for different folks. If somebody wants to write about how having Hewitt at the top is boring well good for them, I disagree but they have the right to express their opinion.

harloo
Mar 17th, 2003, 12:19 AM
That's the difference right there:

Serena doesn't care who she plays, and goes for everything.
Venus DOES care, and doesn't go for everything.

If they both had Serena's attitude, I think the matches would be great. However, I also think if their matches ALL become like the Aussie, the audience will get more into it. IMO, there's not much that seperates Venus and Serena. Meaning, almost all of their matches should be 3 set thrillers [sort of like Jen/Serena]. If that happened, and it was more equal balance [say they play 5 times in a year, one winning 3, the other winning 2], fans would also stay interested.


Sorry but IMO Venus goes for everything, it's just the fact that Serena has managed somehow to flip the mental aspect of her game. In the AO, Venus was in their right with Rena but Rena just did not want to lose. I was hoping Vee could pull it off, but Rena was too mentally strong IMO.

I feel as though now Rena is calling Venus out. IMO, the sisters are dependent on each other when it comes to motivation. When Rena won US open 1999, then Venus got tired of losing those close matches and went buck wild winning 2 US OPens and 2 Wimbys. Rena was sitting on the sidelines and got tired of choking and was inspired by Venus's will to not lose, and went on a hot streak winning all 4 majors. Now, Serena is calling out Venus and I hope it will make her improve her serve so she can win some of these match ups.

Anyways, if Venus was to win some of the matchups it will still be considered boring to tennis fans. The only way they wouldn't be board is if both sisters went out early in the slams. Now that would be exciting tennis for them. :rolleyes:

angele87
Mar 17th, 2003, 12:30 AM
If anyone follows golf, tell me, do the golf writers spend all of their time writing about how bad it is to have Tiger at the top dominating the game? Or do they praise his talent, and the interest he generated?



I follow golf and from what I've seen, the writers have not been critizing Tiger at all, they rather love him. But I think the William Sisters being compared to Tiger Woods isn't really a fair comparison. When Tiger won his 4 majors in a row it was new, it was exciting. No golfer before has ever won all majors in a calender year nor has any golfer ever held the four majors at the same time so Tiger doing it was exciting to see, if only because we got to witness something great happening for the very first time. The fact that Tiger was the first to do it makes his achievement special. Sure Serena holding onto the 4 majors was special but was it anymore special than Graf having all the titles in a calender year? Even during his run at the majors Tiger was beatable in the other tournaments. What was Serena's tournament record last year? Something like 8/5?? Tiger didn't even come close to winning half his tournaments last year...At the PGA last year he was beaten by one stroke in the final round by Rich Beem. That would be like something ranked 30+ beating Serena in a slam final 7-5 in the third. Also there's the element of :eek: when watching Tiger. He's something that's never been seen before and it's obvious to everybody, not just intense golf followers. He pulls of shots that are amazing and that you can't even imagine somebody being able to do. Serena hits an amazing angled cross court winner but it doesn't quite have the same effect. Tiger is setting records everytime he steps on the golf course it seems... lowest score in relation to par, youngest to win so and so tournament, first player to win the same touranament 3 years in a row, only player to have won all the World Golf Championships etc.. Serena is a great player, definetly, and so is Venus but they don't have the same effect as Tiger. With Venus and Serena there's also the "not this again" feel when watching. It's always those two fighting it out for the majors and that gets boring. You don't have the same intense rivalry that you would have between say, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. You don't hear Venus bad mouthing Serena in the press do you?

I think just because they're all black and dominating their sport that they are always compared even though their cases aren't all that similar. You wouldn't see Lance Armstrong and Ian Thorpe compared because they're both dominant and white so I don't think it's fair to compare Tiger , Venus and Serena!

angele87
Mar 17th, 2003, 12:32 AM
Anyways, if Venus was to win some of the matchups it will still be considered boring to tennis fans. The only way they wouldn't be board is if both sisters went out early in the slams. Now that would be exciting tennis for them. :rolleyes:

Are there any players you'd like to see go out in the early rounds??

tennisIlove09
Mar 17th, 2003, 12:39 AM
Sorry but IMO Venus goes for everything, it's just the fact that Serena has managed somehow to flip the mental aspect of her game. In the AO, Venus was in their right with Rena but Rena just did not want to lose. I was hoping Vee could pull it off, but Rena was too mentally strong IMO.

I feel as though now Rena is calling Venus out. IMO, the sisters are dependent on each other when it comes to motivation. When Rena won US open 1999, then Venus got tired of losing those close matches and went buck wild winning 2 US OPens and 2 Wimbys. Rena was sitting on the sidelines and got tired of choking and was inspired by Venus's will to not lose, and went on a hot streak winning all 4 majors. Now, Serena is calling out Venus and I hope it will make her improve her serve so she can win some of these match ups.

Anyways, if Venus was to win some of the matchups it will still be considered boring to tennis fans. The only way they wouldn't be board is if both sisters went out early in the slams. Now that would be exciting tennis for them. :rolleyes:


If you believe that, nothing I'll say with change your mind. But IMO, if you have seen ANY Venus match, there is a CLEAR difference between Venus playing Serena and Venus playing any other player on the WTA tour [especially Miami; Roland Garros; US Open]

harloo
Mar 17th, 2003, 12:43 AM
Sorry Angele but Tiger has his fair share of critics who are tired of his domination. The PGA even changed the course to prevent him from winning. However, you are right because you can't compare tiger to the Williams. The big difference is that Tiger personality is bland, and he is a coporate puppet.

Serena getting her Serena Slam was a great accomplishment. It hadn't been done since 94, which means none of the players after that point could do what Serena did. Hingis came close, but no cigar. It was overshadowed by the Super Bowl, but it still goes down in the record books.

joaco
Mar 17th, 2003, 12:49 AM
couldn0't agree more with the article....
AND with Volcana ;)

Joaco

harloo
Mar 17th, 2003, 12:56 AM
If you believe that, nothing I'll say with change your mind. But IMO, if you have seen ANY Venus match, there is a CLEAR difference between Venus playing Serena and Venus playing any other player on the WTA tour [especially Miami; Roland Garros; US Open]

I have seen and taped all the Venus and Serena matches I can because I love them both, so this is what I see:

Venus's serve let her down in most of those matchups. I don't really enjoy watching sister matches over, but Wimby was the best one. In those matches Serena's serve was outstanding. IMO, their is not too much that separates the sisters. I do feel Venus is better at the net, and adjusting her game when she's losing. However, I feel that Serena has a better serve and it's one of the best I've seen. IMO, if Venus can work on that serve, she can overcome Serena. She got close at the AO. She brought her level up. I just think Venus is proud, and like she said she doesn't want to get a new coach but she could benefit from working with a serve coach.

IMO, when Venus was dominating her 2nd serve was still a liability. She didn't need to improve it, but I hope losing too much makes her work on it. So, in all these matchups I felt that's basically what it came down too and the fact that after Rena got that win over her in Miami she never looked back and the mental block had vanished.

angele87
Mar 17th, 2003, 01:00 AM
Sorry Angele but Tiger has his fair share of critics who are tired of his domination. The PGA even changed the course to prevent him from winning. However, you are right because you can't compare tiger to the Williams. The big difference is that Tiger personality is bland, and he is a coporate puppet.


Of course some people are tired of Tiger winning all the time. I'm a huge Tiger fan and I love him to death but I can totally understand how some people are sick and tired of him. Makes sense imo even though I don't agree with it. However, I haven't read too many articles about how Tiger's domination is boring and how it's bad for the sport. Another thing that I didn't write in my earlier post is that even if Tiger is dominate, the PGA tour isn't just Tiger. Tune into the final day of the Masters and you won't just see Tiger. You might see more of Tiger than anybody else but you won't just see him. You'll see all the players on the first couple of pages of the leaderboard plus some popular ( usually older) players that are struggling but that people are still interested in. Of course none of that is the fault of Serena or Venus but like it or not, if you aren't interested in two those and they're playing in the final there's no point in turning the tv on. If you don't like Tiger you can watch and still see Ernie Els, Phil Mickelson, Davis Love III, David Toms etc... As for the changing the golf course thing well *shrug* there's not much to say I guess... players get better and technology makes equipement better so it would be foolish for golf courses to stay the same. And I don't believe they are changing it so Tiger will lose because if they are they are taking the totally wrong approach. Tiger is a long hitter so making golf courses longer will only eliminate the shorter hitters from competition.



Serena getting her Serena Slam was a great accomplishment. It hadn't been done since 94, which means none of the players after that point could do what Serena did. Hingis came close, but no cigar. It was overshadowed by the Super Bowl, but it still goes down in the record books.

It hasn't been done since 1994 but it's been done before. In Tiger's case it had never ever happened before... there is a huge difference. There's also the fact that in regards to Tiger, it had never been done before so there was no precident to mesure it up to where as with Serena, the four majors thing has been done before and it's been done all in the same calender year. I know people will argue that the calender year vs. non calender year doesn't make any difference but there's still the fact that it's been done before so it takes away the :eek: factor which is a bit part of sports. People want to see new things, they want to be able to say that they witnessed such and such historical event. And I expect to hear that two african americans at the top or two sisters at the top is a historical event and it is but it terms of action, performance, it's not. If somebody turned on a Venus vs. Serena match and didn't know they were sister, it wouldn't look like anything out of the ordinary. Casual fans want to be interested in the actual playing of the sport, not the stories behind them so ultimately, yeah having sisters at the top is new and important but there's still something missing.

tennisIlove09
Mar 17th, 2003, 01:02 AM
I have seen and taped all the Venus and Serena matches I can because I love them both, so this is what I see:

Venus's serve let her down in most of those matchups. I don't really enjoy watching sister matches over, but Wimby was the best one. In those matches Serena's serve was outstanding. IMO, their is not too much that separates the sisters. I do feel Venus is better at the net, and adjusting her game when she's losing. However, I feel that Serena has a better serve and it's one of the best I've seen. IMO, if Venus can work on that serve, she can overcome Serena. She got close at the AO. She brought her level up. I just think Venus is proud, and like she said she doesn't want to get a new coach but she could benefit from working with a serve coach.

IMO, when Venus was dominating her 2nd serve was still a liability. She didn't need to improve it, but I hope losing too much makes her work on it. So, in all these matchups I felt that's basically what it came down too and the fact that after Rena got that win over her in Miami she never looked back and the mental block had vanished.

I agree that Serena has a better serve. But the Australian proved that Serena's serve can be attacked just as much as Venus. Clijsters, Daniilidou, and Loit all challenged her second--and in some instances--her first serve. I haven't seen Venus be aggressive [on a consistent] basis against Serena's serve since US Open 2001.

I personally don't think Venus ever had a chance to win the Australian. Why? I don't think it had anything to do with the game. I just don't think Venus had the heart--whether she knew it, or it was subconscious--to prevent Serena from that kind of history.

Miami, Roland Garros--I don't want to go there. I think most people know that I think those are plan tanks. But I think the REASON Venus "gave" those to Serena is because she thought she would win Wimbledon. But 2 things prevented that from happening.
1-Serena was unbelievable. She has never played that level of tennis again--and it would be scary for the rest of the tour if she did

and
2-Venus had the mysterious shoulder injury that prevented her from serving well. Had Venus been healthy, the match could have been BETTER [Davenport and Henin talked for the past 2 years--Lindsay 00/01; Henin 01/02 bout how hard it was to get back the 120 plus serves on a consistent basis]

Rollo
Mar 17th, 2003, 01:51 AM
I agree with a lot of what Brinker said. He's wrong on one point though-a lot of people WERE "bored" or "tired" of Chris-Martina in the mid-80s.
They were much more appreciated once it became clear their dominance was over.

And the other side of casual fans tuning out is they would tune in for Chris vs. Martina in they same way a lot of non-tennis fans will watch the sisters.

tennischick
Mar 17th, 2003, 02:01 AM
But there is a larger segment of the tennis-watching public that is going to start tuning out if Venus doesn't win at Paris or if Kim Clijsters or Jennifer Capriati or someone else doesn't step up soon and make this into more than a two-woman tour.

i agree with this. and as Rollo points out, this is also true of other dominating rivalries.

it's kinda ironic that good rivalries are what have allowed tennis as a sport to survive, but after a while, the same repetitive rivalry threatens to kill it off. and this existed long before Richard Williams conceived of the idea of siring two more daughters to dominate the sport.

Volcana
Mar 17th, 2003, 03:20 AM
harloo - he didn't write one single negative thing about Venus or Serena in that article. EVERYTHING he said about either of them was positive!

In fact he says nice things about WIlliams fans, AND takes shots at their detractors.

"There are those who probably never will be bored watching a Williams sisters Grand Slam final, even if Serena and Venus stretch their streak of showdowns to five at the French Open, to six at Wimbledon and to seven at the U.S. Open."

Those are fans with the sophistication to bypass the window dressing that goes with every Williams-vs.-Williams final and focus on the nuances in each match."

And how about

"To those who know the game, there are significant differences in how they play, and the contrast enhances their matches.

To the rest, the Williamses seem to be mirror images -- just a couple of slammers."

Is this insulting?

"Serena doesn't care who's on the other side of the net. She is relentless in pursuit of victory.

If you're going to call this CRITICISM, then your idea of a compliment must involve the gift of diamonds.

1jackson2001
Mar 17th, 2003, 06:12 AM
"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder".

Some people will always like watching the sisters playing slam finals. Some will always find it boring and mundane.

GogoGirl
Mar 17th, 2003, 01:45 PM
Well if one agrees w/Bricker - then one must agree w/all the players (men and women) that said the Sisters winning is bad for tennis. What???!!! They are not bad for tennis IMO. If they make a final - then guess what - they deserved to be there.

So the writer's point is: he does not want to see a Sisters' final - because it would be too boring. So's he doesn't strain his brain and heart too much when they both do make it to a final - he need not watch them.

There are many fans that the thrill hasn't gone for. Matter-of-fact - they are thrilled when the Sisters are in the final - because they just love watching them play period - and regardless of who they are playing.

Dava
Mar 17th, 2003, 01:51 PM
Sure I think the matches are (mostly -AO and Wimby were good matches) boring, but people watch them play. This is great for tennis. Look more people watched the doubles final at wimbledon then the mens what does that say. Also when someone manages to break through Serena and win a slam, it would be so good, so much publicity would be happening.

To be hoest as well mens tennis is not as good as it was, I much prefer watching the womans at the momment.

Cariaoke
Mar 17th, 2003, 02:18 PM
A lot of the things this guy said is true, whether I like it or not. Hard-core tennis fans might not have a problem with them playing in the finals but your casual fan who doesn't really follow tennis might have a problem. But there are exceptions to every rule.

Nearly everyone I know only knows of Venus and Serena when I ask them about tennis. Even when I meet people, for instance the first day of class, I mention that I'm a tennis fan and the first thing they say is 'Wow, those William sisters are awesome, hunh?' *shrug*

I watched all of their GS finals this past week, hey I was bored, and I noticed the same play from both of them... Venus' pathetic serve, Serena's wild forehands... but I didn't really see that type of play in the SF's with the exception of Ree @ FO and AO and Vee at USO. I dunno whether they just go for so much or if it's nerves. But after thinking about it, I'd rather see closer scorelines than one of them clearly kicking the other's ass.

spartanfan
Mar 17th, 2003, 03:07 PM
With so called fans like this, I say good ridance. What an idiot. I think people like him are bad for the sport of tennis. When did it become a shame and disgrace for the best of any sport to do well and consistently rise to the top. I find the timing quite curious considering that Indian Wells just ended, why not write about that, or the up and coming players or Clijsters winning the title? I find it funny that certain people are ALWAYS trying to belittle their accomplishments not only the weeks that they play but also the weeks that they DON'T play. What is that saying about our society here in the US? And while I don't want to open this can of worms again. Does anyone out there know of any other sport, especially in the US, where the top players are so unappreciated by the mass media and so looked upon as being bad for the sport? Has Tiger, Michael Jordan or Wayne Gretzsky ever been thought so little of? I don't care how careful "they" are at trying to cover their trail, it smells to holy hell of RACISM. Pure and simple. Pete Sampras has won 14 Grand Slam titles and finished as the number 1 players 6 (six) years in a row and I have yet to ever hear one word that HIS (note that Pete is a white American male) dominance was bad for the sport and is still viewed just short of being a god in the world of tennis. Makes you wonder if the masses and the media would feel the same way if Pete was a black man. From all these articles that I read, I doubt it.

Pamela Shriver
Mar 17th, 2003, 03:33 PM
Pfffffffft. Rubbish. The thrill in tennis went a helluva long time ago. About the same time I retired I think...

spartanfan
Mar 17th, 2003, 03:41 PM
Pfffffffft. Rubbish. The thrill in tennis went a helluva long time ago. About the same time I retired I think...


No sweetheart, it actually got A LOT better. By the way don't you have some old geezer rich husband you need to be tending to and feeding?

gweeny
Mar 17th, 2003, 03:52 PM
I still don't understand why these writers keep on writing articles like this. You will not tell a genius to dumb himself or herself down, just because. Nor will you tell Tiger to start playing to the level of the other golf players. So why complaining all the time. Venus and more especially serena cannot help being good. (And it's not just power, because watching Indian wells, Jen, Kim and Lindsay have the same power). The other players have to IMPROVE. Kim is still developing her game, Jen and venus can improve their serves and Lindsay can improve her mobility and her attitude. So untill these tennis players improve, you have to get over the fact that venus and serena will be in more finals.

And to say they don't have different personalities is bogus. One williams is brash, loud and the other is cool and quiet.

Anyway I still think people are watching these finals even though each grandslam final some posters claim that they will not watch another williams-williams final.

harloo
Mar 17th, 2003, 03:55 PM
harloo - he didn't write one single negative thing about Venus or Serena in that article. EVERYTHING he said about either of them was positive!

In fact he says nice things about WIlliams fans, AND takes shots at their detractors.

"There are those who probably never will be bored watching a Williams sisters Grand Slam final, even if Serena and Venus stretch their streak of showdowns to five at the French Open, to six at Wimbledon and to seven at the U.S. Open."

Those are fans with the sophistication to bypass the window dressing that goes with every Williams-vs.-Williams final and focus on the nuances in each match."

And how about

"To those who know the game, there are significant differences in how they play, and the contrast enhances their matches.

To the rest, the Williamses seem to be mirror images -- just a couple of slammers."

Is this insulting?

"Serena doesn't care who's on the other side of the net. She is relentless in pursuit of victory.

If you're going to call this CRITICISM, then your idea of a compliment must involve the gift of diamonds.

I will state again that Bricker has been consistent with his no-nonsense ramblings about the Williams as well as other players. I find the overall tone of the article to be negative, now whether you agree with me or not is up to you. I expressed my opinion on this article and shall stand by my original post.

Bricker is like a heavyweight boxer. He dances, then takes a jab, pulls back then goes for the uppercut all with precision and calculation. IMO, he has made a career off of the backs of creating negative articles about tennis players. Surely, Bricker has a right to his opinion but I have a right to disagree with him.

harloo
Mar 17th, 2003, 04:09 PM
I agree that Serena has a better serve. But the Australian proved that Serena's serve can be attacked just as much as Venus. Clijsters, Daniilidou, and Loit all challenged her second--and in some instances--her first serve. I haven't seen Venus be aggressive [on a consistent] basis against Serena's serve since US Open 2001.

I personally don't think Venus ever had a chance to win the Australian. Why? I don't think it had anything to do with the game. I just don't think Venus had the heart--whether she knew it, or it was subconscious--to prevent Serena from that kind of history.

Miami, Roland Garros--I don't want to go there. I think most people know that I think those are plan tanks. But I think the REASON Venus "gave" those to Serena is because she thought she would win Wimbledon. But 2 things prevented that from happening.
1-Serena was unbelievable. She has never played that level of tennis again--and it would be scary for the rest of the tour if she did

and
2-Venus had the mysterious shoulder injury that prevented her from serving well. Had Venus been healthy, the match could have been BETTER [Davenport and Henin talked for the past 2 years--Lindsay 00/01; Henin 01/02 bout how hard it was to get back the 120 plus serves on a consistent basis]

I guess since you seem to favor Venus more, then you have come to this conclusion. I take that nothing anyone says will change your mind. However, I just feel that Rena stepped it up last year. It won't mean that she will win all the slams this year or even in 2004.
I think the wins caught most of the fans who like Venus, but don't prefer Serena by suprise. Venus was really invincible before Serena decided to step up IMO. Noone could stop her, but it will come one day that someone will stop Serena. You have to realize that tennis goes in cycles, and Venus and Serena will not play at a certain level forever someone might slip in and really challenge them.

But the question I would like to ask is this:
Why would you question Venus's integrity by accusing her of tanking because of Serena? Do you not have faith in her to overcome Serena again?

Why did Serena go from losing all those close matches to winning them?
Especially against Capriati, because we all know what use to happen with her and the capster.

Just thought I would throw out a few questions for you, of course since you seem to prefer Venus more I expect you to respond with a answer geared towards your preference.

tennisIlove09
Mar 17th, 2003, 04:15 PM
But the question I would like to ask is this:
Why would you question Venus's integrity by accusing her of tanking because of Serena? Do you not have faith in her to overcome Serena again?

Why did Serena go from losing all those close matches to winning them?
Especially against Capriati, because we all know what use to happen with her and the capster.

Just thought I would throw out a few questions for you, of course since you seem to prefer Venus more I expect you to respond with a answer geared towards your preference.

I don't understand why saying Venus "tanked" is a bad thing. I certainly don't view it that way. I think she felt sorry for Serena [which she admitted before the French final :o ] for not winning a Slam since 99. Is that bad? or is it being a loving sister?

I'm not saying Serena didn't step it up...it's obvious she did. But step it up enough to beat Venus 5 straight times? I think the sisters are too close in talent and ability that one shouldn't dominate the other. Realistically if they played 10 times in one year, the H2H for the year should be 5-5; 6-4. I just think the first two matches especially last year were pretty obvious. Has Venus ever served worse in her career then those two matches?

Volcana
Mar 17th, 2003, 04:20 PM
Gogogirl - writes - "Well if one agrees w/Bricker - then one must agree w/all the players (men and women) that said the Sisters winning is bad for tennis."

No. Why on earth would I have to do that? All the guy said was the portion of the tennis public that doesn't know enough about the game to appreciate it at the highest level might be tired of seeing the same players in the finals. That's true of any sport. But its not an indictment of the players, it's an indictment of know-nothing fans.

There's only one sentence in the whole article that's off-track.

[i]"But there is a larger segment of the tennis-watching public that is going to start tuning out if Venus doesn't win at Paris or if Kim Clijsters or Jennifer Capriati or someone else doesn't step up soon and make this into more than a two-woman tour."

He gives no evidence of that segment being larger. If that sentence had instead read, 'well there's the ten percent of fans who are going to start to tune out....', we wouldn't be having this conversation. He's nothing but flattering to Venus and Serena and us Williams fans. And he claerly appreciates the differences in, and the nuances of, their respective games. What does he have to do, fall at their feet and lick their shoes? How many times around here have we read 'all they do is hit the ball hard' and 'they're boring', inthe same post. The man is right. There IS a part of the tennis fan base that doesn't know enough about the game to appreciate Venus and Serena. Pointing that out is not criticizing the Williams sisters.

I might add, I have both a hair trigger and a nasty streak when it comes to defending Venus. I saw nothing in this article that was in any way an attack.

harloo
Mar 17th, 2003, 04:23 PM
Of course some people are tired of Tiger winning all the time. I'm a huge Tiger fan and I love him to death but I can totally understand how some people are sick and tired of him. Makes sense imo even though I don't agree with it. However, I haven't read too many articles about how Tiger's domination is boring and how it's bad for the sport. Another thing that I didn't write in my earlier post is that even if Tiger is dominate, the PGA tour isn't just Tiger. Tune into the final day of the Masters and you won't just see Tiger. You might see more of Tiger than anybody else but you won't just see him. You'll see all the players on the first couple of pages of the leaderboard plus some popular ( usually older) players that are struggling but that people are still interested in. Of course none of that is the fault of Serena or Venus but like it or not, if you aren't interested in two those and they're playing in the final there's no point in turning the tv on. If you don't like Tiger you can watch and still see Ernie Els, Phil Mickelson, Davis Love III, David Toms etc... As for the changing the golf course thing well *shrug* there's not much to say I guess... players get better and technology makes equipement better so it would be foolish for golf courses to stay the same. And I don't believe they are changing it so Tiger will lose because if they are they are taking the totally wrong approach. Tiger is a long hitter so making golf courses longer will only eliminate the shorter hitters from competition.



It hasn't been done since 1994 but it's been done before. In Tiger's case it had never ever happened before... there is a huge difference. There's also the fact that in regards to Tiger, it had never been done before so there was no precident to mesure it up to where as with Serena, the four majors thing has been done before and it's been done all in the same calender year. I know people will argue that the calender year vs. non calender year doesn't make any difference but there's still the fact that it's been done before so it takes away the :eek: factor which is a bit part of sports. People want to see new things, they want to be able to say that they witnessed such and such historical event. And I expect to hear that two african americans at the top or two sisters at the top is a historical event and it is but it terms of action, performance, it's not. If somebody turned on a Venus vs. Serena match and didn't know they were sister, it wouldn't look like anything out of the ordinary. Casual fans want to be interested in the actual playing of the sport, not the stories behind them so ultimately, yeah having sisters at the top is new and important but there's still something missing.

But angele you forgot to add that the course at the Masters wasnt changed until Tiger started dominating, and my take is that it would of never happened if he wasn't playing. What a shame, because that course has been the same for so many years. I guess the change is not because of domination, but because of WHO'S DOMINATING.

Also, NOTHING you say can diminish what Serena accomplished. It has not been done since 94, and comparing Tiger and her accomplishments is pointless. It amazes me that people will try to discredit this accomplishment, but let it be Capriati or even Kimmy.

As a matter of fact, the Capster was on her way to winning the GRAND SLAM and we heard NOTHING BUT PRAISE. No boring talk, no she is bad for tennis, none of that bullshit. You know what, I don't prefer Capriati, but if she would of won the slam I still would of given her props. It's a shame that others cannot do that without attempting to take away credit, or coming up with flawed logic to slight the accomplishment. :rolleyes:

victory1
Mar 17th, 2003, 04:23 PM
tennisIlove09 you are an idiot, someone just told me you are Dallas from the Venus&Serena board, he's an idiot too!!! ;)

harloo
Mar 17th, 2003, 04:36 PM
I don't understand why saying Venus "tanked" is a bad thing. I certainly don't view it that way. I think she felt sorry for Serena [which she admitted before the French final :o ] for not winning a Slam since 99. Is that bad? or is it being a loving sister?

I'm not saying Serena didn't step it up...it's obvious she did. But step it up enough to beat Venus 5 straight times? I think the sisters are too close in talent and ability that one shouldn't dominate the other. Realistically if they played 10 times in one year, the H2H for the year should be 5-5; 6-4. I just think the first two matches especially last year were pretty obvious. Has Venus ever served worse in her career then those two matches?

Maybe it's just me, but I say it is a bad thing to say Venus tanked knowing the type of champion she is. Maybe you are basing this on you love for Venus and your wanting her to win, but I still feel it is not right to question either of the sisters integrity. JMO.

Also, I remember a time when Venus would beat Serena everytime. Serena has just grown into a different player, now I expect Venus to fight for her the spot now.

In you saying that Venus tanked and gave it to Serena, the same can be said when Rena was losing to Venus. However, it's nothing more than an assumption that is a falsehood. As far as your answer to:

Has venus ever served worse in her career then those two matches?

Now really do you really believe that, because their are many matches where Venus has served worser. I have them on tape. The best match where Venus served outstanding was at Acura Classic 2002 against Moncia, and in the semis against Lindsay. Venus serve has always broken down in matches, but she is still able to win. When someone challenges her second serve then that puts her under pressure. Serena has did this in 2002, and again that's why she won those trophies. Everything else IMO is just speculation.

Sanneriet
Mar 17th, 2003, 04:40 PM
Personally, I am finding everything more interesting. Will any of the other girls be able to gain the confidence and consistency they need to really challenge the sisters? Venus and Serena really seem to be developing along different paths. What will the next year hold for them?

The predictability of the finals may be "boring" but the dynamics aren't.

angele87
Mar 17th, 2003, 08:26 PM
But angele you forgot to add that the course at the Masters wasnt changed until Tiger started dominating, and my take is that it would of never happened if he wasn't playing. What a shame, because that course has been the same for so many years. I guess the change is not because of domination, but because of WHO'S DOMINATING.


I was never really too bothered by the golf course changes so I've never paid much attention to the issue so I'll have to take your word on the whole changes to Augusta thing but if it is the first time they've made changes imo that's just a bigger compliment to Tiger. In the past there was Jack but there was also Arnold and Lee Trevino and all the other players from that generation who have a multitude of majors but now, it's pretty much Tiger WAY above the rest. Sure others have won majors but nobody is really a constant threat week in and week out. Heck even Tiger isn't a threat week in and week out so hard for the others to be. But like I said earlier, lengthening ( sp?) golf courses just gives Tiger the upper hand anyway so if they were trying to stop Tiger from winning their plan majorly backfired :D


Also, NOTHING you say can diminish what Serena accomplished. It has not been done since 94, and comparing Tiger and her accomplishments is pointless. It amazes me that people will try to discredit this accomplishment, but let it be Capriati or even Kimmy.


I'm in no way trying to diminish Serena's accomplishement because it is a great achievement, regardless of if it's been done before. I'm not the one who brought up Tiger Woods in this thread but when it was brought up I just wanted to point out the differences between the two. Not sure what you were saying about Jen and Kim :confused:

As a matter of fact, the Capster was on her way to winning the GRAND SLAM and we heard NOTHING BUT PRAISE. No boring talk, no she is bad for tennis, none of that bullshit. You know what, I don't prefer Capriati, but if she would of won the slam I still would of given her props. It's a shame that others cannot do that without attempting to take away credit, or coming up with flawed logic to slight the accomplishment. :rolleyes:

You absolutely cannot compare Jennifer and Serena. Jennifer's two slam wins were part of an amazing comeback which deserved to be praised and that's where I think most of the praise came from rather than from the actually winning of the slams. I don't know if you were talking about me with the whole bit with the :rolleyes: but if you were, I don't know where my flawed logic came into place and I wasn't slighting the accomplishment. All I said that the fact that she wasn't the first to do it made it less exciting to watch and like it or not, that's true. If nobody had done it before there would of been more excitement in the air during the Australian Open. Yes, people were excited but not the general public. When Tiger won the Grand Slam in golf ( meaning having won the four slams in the span of a career) it was exciting and special to me because I'm a huge fan but the excitement wasn't the same as it could of been because that feat had already been achievement so, as I've said before, the :eek: factor wasn't really there and I understand that.

Serena's accomplishement is as good and grand as anybody else's but as far as media attention and praise you have to understand that it's not as special/exciting as the very first grand slam was. I don't think that's taking anything away from Serena's victories!

tennisIlove09
Mar 17th, 2003, 09:04 PM
In you saying that Venus tanked and gave it to Serena, the same can be said when Rena was losing to Venus. However, it's nothing more than an assumption that is a falsehood. As far as your answer to:

Has venus ever served worse in her career then those two matches?

Now really do you really believe that, because their are many matches where Venus has served worser. I have them on tape. The best match where Venus served outstanding was at Acura Classic 2002 against Moncia, and in the semis against Lindsay. Venus serve has always broken down in matches, but she is still able to win. When someone challenges her second serve then that puts her under pressure. Serena has did this in 2002, and again that's why she won those trophies. Everything else IMO is just speculation.

I haven't seen all of the sister match ups, so I can't say about Serena "tanking" to Venus. The from the ones I have seen, I don't think Serena has. The US Open perhaps, because I've personally never seen her play so bad.

It's not just Venus' level of play that I am getting my theories from. It's from quotes as well. The entire Oprah show was filled with "confirmation", IMO. From Oracene talking, to Venus talking. IMO, it all adds up.

Serving wise...The only match I can think of where Venus served worse then Miami and Roland Garros would be the AO 01 semis against Hingis--but to me that was more UFE then anything.

Rollo
Mar 17th, 2003, 10:13 PM
While most of the sister matches have been patchy I think it's unfair to them to expect the same level they show vs. others. I wouldn't want to smash my brother or sister to pieces-would you? Other sib vs. sib matches (like the Maleeves) were sheer hell on them.

harloo
Mar 17th, 2003, 10:25 PM
I was never really too bothered by the golf course changes so I've never paid much attention to the issue so I'll have to take your word on the whole changes to Augusta thing but if it is the first time they've made changes imo that's just a bigger compliment to Tiger. In the past there was Jack but there was also Arnold and Lee Trevino and all the other players from that generation who have a multitude of majors but now, it's pretty much Tiger WAY above the rest. Sure others have won majors but nobody is really a constant threat week in and week out. Heck even Tiger isn't a threat week in and week out so hard for the others to be. But like I said earlier, lengthening ( sp?) golf courses just gives Tiger the upper hand anyway so if they were trying to stop Tiger from winning their plan majorly backfired :D
Well, have no argument their but I'm just highly suspicious why the lengthened the course. The didn't lengthen it when Jack Nickalus was winning. Makes me wonder.




I'm in no way trying to diminish Serena's accomplishement because it is a great achievement, regardless of if it's been done before. I'm not the one who brought up Tiger Woods in this thread but when it was brought up I just wanted to point out the differences between the two. Not sure what you were saying about Jen and Kim :confused:

Well again I will say that you cannot really compare Tiger too Serena. I do feel for the most part Serena's star is everywhere, so her Serena Slam is garnering praise. I will explain Jen and Kim next paragraph.


You absolutely cannot compare Jennifer and Serena. Jennifer's two slam wins were part of an amazing comeback which deserved to be praised and that's where I think most of the praise came from rather than from the actually winning of the slams. I don't know if you were talking about me with the whole bit with the :rolleyes: but if you were, I don't know where my flawed logic came into place and I wasn't slighting the accomplishment. All I said that the fact that she wasn't the first to do it made it less exciting to watch and like it or not, that's true. If nobody had done it before there would of been more excitement in the air during the Australian Open. Yes, people were excited but not the general public. When Tiger won the Grand Slam in golf ( meaning having won the four slams in the span of a career) it was exciting and special to me because I'm a huge fan but the excitement wasn't the same as it could of been because that feat had already been achievement so, as I've said before, the :eek: factor wasn't really there and I understand that.

I was not referring to you angele, but my opinion differs on Jennifer. Jennifer was recieving praise for her comeback story which was well deserved IMO. When she won the AO and French, the tennis community, commentators, and reporters were all talking about the Grand Slam. It's amazing the way noone said anything about Jen's possiblity of winning all 4 would become boring or not being anything special. You just did not hear anything but praise. And maybe you didn't pay attention to that, but it is the truth.

Serena's accomplishement is as good and grand as anybody else's but as far as media attention and praise you have to understand that it's not as special/exciting as the very first grand slam was. I don't think that's taking anything away from Serena's victories!

True, but I will have to say that Rena's everywhere so she is getting the attention. Some of it is negative, but that's life. :D

harloo
Mar 17th, 2003, 10:36 PM
I haven't seen all of the sister match ups, so I can't say about Serena "tanking" to Venus. The from the ones I have seen, I don't think Serena has. The US Open perhaps, because I've personally never seen her play so bad.

It's not just Venus' level of play that I am getting my theories from. It's from quotes as well. The entire Oprah show was filled with "confirmation", IMO. From Oracene talking, to Venus talking. IMO, it all adds up.

Serving wise...The only match I can think of where Venus served worse then Miami and Roland Garros would be the AO 01 semis against Hingis--but to me that was more UFE then anything.

I saw and taped the Oprah special also, and maybe you are hallucinating. I didn't see what statements Venus and Oracene made on Oprah that suggested she tanked those matches with Serena.

tennislove, Venus has played many matches when her serve was off. She still is able to win, and it shows what an amazing player she is. Maybe in your mind Venus serve is not a problem at times, but the reality is that the second can break down because of the way she serves at times. She doesn't keep her head up to allow a fluid motion. I still feel if she gets that kink out, she will beat Serena because that's the difference IMO.

ico4498
Mar 17th, 2003, 11:35 PM
Well, judging by the TV numbers, people aren't getting tired of the sisters just yet. The only ones who are getting tired of it are tennis writers, and they were tired of it after the first one.

The casual fan isn't as clueless as made out to be. They can see that the matches between the sisters are getting closer, and getting better. You don't need to understand the nuances to see that. I know very little about the nuances of figure skating. A lot of the couples look very similar in performance. But then, when I saw Torvill and Dean, I knew there was something different about them. Something special.

The public has this sense of history. They can sense when something important goes on. And they know every match between Venus and Serena is historic. They are witness to something unique, which will probably not pass this way again in our lifetimes.

It was only a year ago that the question was if Serena would ever beat Venus in a match of consequence. She hasn't lost since. However, unlike the previous one-sided nature of their meetings, Venus is more competitive, and getting closer to winning with each match.

That's the funny thing about tennis. Eternities aren't as durable as they are in the real world. What's absolutely inconceivable now becomes the reality 3 months, 6 months, a year from now. In March, 2004, we could be asking "who can stop Schnyder?" Unthinkable? Now, perhaps. A year from now? We don't know. In life's ultimate paradox, the only thing constant is change.

From the time the sisters emerged as the primary contenders for slams, the tennis media has gone out of their way to tell the public why they should not watch. It was one reason after another. First, it was because Venus always won. Then it was the alleged lack of quality in their play. Then it was the supposed lack of competitiveness of the matches. What next?

If anyone follows golf, tell me, do the golf writers spend all of their time writing about how bad it is to have Tiger at the top dominating the game? Or do they praise his talent, and the interest he generated?

The history of sports has shown that having great players/teams that stand out is a good thing. What put women's tennis on the map in the first place? A bunch of competitive finals between quality players? No, it was the emergence of Lenglen, who dominated the game. Tiger Woods has elevated golf to new levels. Jordan did it with the NBA. And despite what the NFL tries to feed you abt the "excitement" generated by cap-induced parity, the reality is that TV ratings for the NFL keep getting lower. The sport was most popular when you had teams that were consistently good year in and year out.

The odd thing is, for all of the luster that these all-Williams clashes are supposedly losing, the subject is sure getting a lot of ink. It's looking more like they're not really gauging public opinion, but trying to influence it. I wonder if this discussion would be taking place if it were the Williams brothers atop the men's tour?

Great post!

There's no proof that the sister/sister contests don't sell. I'm wondering if Nostradamus mentioned something in his chronicles? Or did Miss Cleo, prompted by her recent federal woes, take up sport journalism?

angele87
Mar 18th, 2003, 01:27 AM
I was not referring to you angele, but my opinion differs on Jennifer. Jennifer was recieving praise for her comeback story which was well deserved IMO. When she won the AO and French, the tennis community, commentators, and reporters were all talking about the Grand Slam. It's amazing the way noone said anything about Jen's possiblity of winning all 4 would become boring or not being anything special. You just did not hear anything but praise. And maybe you didn't pay attention to that, but it is the truth.


Fair or not, I think people in general were so captivated by Capriati's comeback that they didn't even think that it might be boring. Also, to be fair, Jen only had half the grand slam won, not the whole thing, not even three quarters. Had she gotten the third slam or the grand slam might the situation of been different? Maybe, maybe not. I could pretend to be naive and say people would of gotten bored as well but in reality, I don't think they would of. I think Jen's whole comeback story would of, perhaps unfairly, made her grand slam ( had it happened) more special than Serena's. Do I think that's true? No... results are results... one grand slam does not merit more than another but unforetunately that's not the way most people see things.