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View Full Version : Have we seen the best results of Venus?


"Topaz"
Jun 1st, 2003, 11:48 PM
This is almost a taboo issue among Venus fans. Yet one must face reality. She was the virtual #1 in 2001 and actually achieved it in February last year. Then her sister literally relegated her to the #2 position for the rest of the year. This year, the onslaught goes on; after being pushed to #3 by Kim, she's being challenged to relinquish even more ground to the likes of Justine et al. God knows where the end lies.

I believe there is a pattern in women's tennis whereby, by the time you're 21, your style is set, as well as your strengths and weaknesses. It's almost your tennis DNA that is revealed. You may achieve some improvements here and there but your profile is set. Such a statement, of course, is meant to be general as you will be able to find a few rare late bloomers (Martina N. may be one).

This being said, what we've seen so far from Venus is of a level high enough to keep her in the top contenders club for years. In her match against Vera today, she displayed the usual high UE's and double faults, but also the usual heavy groundstrokes and the fine serves. What we didn't see was the vast range of her defensive game. She may have been hampered somewhat. Nonetheless, her known offensive and defensive skills are well entrenched. Come fast courts, we should see a triumphant Venus again. She probably will never be a dominant clay-courter, but with proper scheduling, she can circumvent that and stay within the top 2 positions for some years.

The mission for her is to get back to that best, hone it and maintain it. In due time, she should resolve or at least manage the Serena challenge as well.

What do you think?

disposablehero
Jun 2nd, 2003, 12:00 AM
A thirty-odd match winning streak including 2 Slams? No, I don't think Venus will top that.

starr
Jun 2nd, 2003, 12:06 AM
I agree, disposablehero. That doesn't mean that she can't still post some very fine results though.

I'm reminded of what Agassi once said. If you aren't getting better all the time in tennis you are going downhill because everybody else is getting better.

Sam L
Jun 2nd, 2003, 12:16 AM
I think it's a question of 'heart'. Maybe it was her stomach or maybe something else but she didn't look right during this tournament. I think if she can regain that fire in the belly, we will see better results yet.

TonyP
Jun 2nd, 2003, 12:17 AM
There's no such thing as the virtual number one. The rankings are what they are. Had Venus played more, she might have been number one, or she might have lost more.

At any rate, she may regain her form, but right now, it doesn't seem as if she is very motivated to do so. I continue to maintain she is not very happy in tennis.

*JR*
Jun 2nd, 2003, 12:23 AM
I will again predict that if she wins (now Wimby or the USO) this year she may retire; a Slam next year probably, 2 definitely; by the end of '05 regardless. The above assumes Serena being in good playing condition. Not only is Venus a businesswoman @ heart who happens to play pro tennis, she wouldn't want to cut Serena's chances to get up into the teens or better in career Slam wins, IMO.

Bezz
Jun 2nd, 2003, 12:24 AM
I think we are too quick to jump all over tennis players backs. Venus is reminding me a little of martina Hingis before she got her injury. Martina was world no.1 for a long time but only manged to make it the finals and semi's of GS and then losing, venus has reached the last four slam finals-- she is still better than a lot of players out there when she wants to be. Maybe she is just fed up of tennis and the expectation, and could do with some time off. The longer she goes without a slam the worst it will get. I reckon if she put her mind to it there is no reason why she cant gt back to winning GS's and world no.1- she has done it before with playing a little amount of tourneys she can do it again.

heninrules
Jun 2nd, 2003, 12:25 AM
i think the other women are catching up to her. unlike the likes of mauresmo, henin and clijsters and even serena to some extent have been improving year after year but i think she has stood still and have not added anything new to her game. also the new generation of tennis players may be able to cope with venus' power and zvonareva may be the start of a new crop who play the same style of game which can overcome venus' game.

maybe she has reached her peak already. if thats the case i won't be surprised if she retires in a few years time.

Cybelle Darkholme
Jun 2nd, 2003, 12:28 AM
This is almost a taboo issue among Venus fans. Yet one must face reality. She was the virtual #1 in 2001 and actually achieved it in February last year. Then her sister literally relegated her to the #2 position for the rest of the year. This year, the onslaught goes on; after being pushed to #3 by Kim, she's being challenged to relinquish even more ground to the likes of Justine et al. God knows where the end lies.

I believe there is a pattern in women's tennis whereby, by the time you're 21, your style is set, as well as your strengths and weaknesses. It's almost your tennis DNA that is revealed. You may achieve some improvements here and there but your profile is set. Such a statement, of course, is meant to be general as you will be able to find a few rare late bloomers (Martina N. may be one).

This being said, what we've seen so far from Venus is of a level high enough to keep her in the top contenders club for years. In her match against Vera today, she displayed the usual high UE's and double faults, but also the usual heavy groundstrokes and the fine serves. What we didn't see was the vast range of her defensive game. She may have been hampered somewhat. Nonetheless, her known offensive and defensive skills are well entrenched. Come fast courts, we should see a triumphant Venus again. She probably will never be a dominant clay-courter, but with proper scheduling, she can circumvent that and stay within the top 2 positions for some years.

The mission for her is to get back to that best, hone it and maintain it. In due time, she should resolve or at least manage the Serena challenge as well.

What do you think?

where were her usual double faults and high unforced errors in the match before this? I swear one match and people try to write you off. Didn't jen come back from tennis obscurity and win slams? Clay is by far the worst surface for venus and the best for her rivals like momo henin and kim.

venus needs to work on her serve first the rest would be fine if she had serena's service motion which astounds me she doesnt since they have the same coaches! it makes no sense.

TM
Jun 2nd, 2003, 12:34 AM
that was a disgusting display from venus!

re: forehand yuck!

player2
Jun 2nd, 2003, 12:35 AM
The mission for her is to get back to that best, hone it and maintain it. In due time, she should resolve or at least manage the Serena challenge as well.

What do you think?[/QUOTE]

Venus is a real talent but she seems to have lost her desire
for the game. Her demeanor on court was very passive; she lacked intensity and looked miserable and unhappy. I hope I'm wrong because Venus is such fun to watch. Perhaps the Serena slam was too much for Venus to take. Venus can still improve--2nd serve, forehand.
Nevertheless, even if she didn't improve her strokes one bit she
should always be a threat to win--even against Serena.
She and Serena are just that much better than the other
women.

I sense that Venus is more sensitive to public opinion than Serena.
People tend to love or hate the Williams sisters. Unfortunately, Venus
has not earned the affection of many fans so she doesn't get that
support from the crowd, i.e Seles. Hingis, I think, suffered from this
same fate. It made little difference (to them) when they were winning.
I sense that crowd support (or lack of) is a more powerful factor now.
Mental state becomes more fragile.
At any rate, I hope V. decides to really compete with her sister
and gets back to enjoying the game.

brickhousesupporter
Jun 2nd, 2003, 12:38 AM
where were her usual double faults and high unforced errors in the match before this? I swear one match and people try to write you off. Didn't jen come back from tennis obscurity and win slams? Clay is by far the worst surface for venus and the best for her rivals like momo henin and kim.

venus needs to work on her serve first the rest would be fine if she had serena's service motion which astounds me she doesnt since they have the same coaches! it makes no sense.

Richard has said that he allowed the Venus and Serena to develop their individual styles and swing patterns. If you notice, Venus and Serena have different stroke patterns of the forehand and backhand too.

An interestind side note I heard at a tennis club. Someone said that Venus game was made to beat everyone in the WTA while Serena's game was made to beat Venus and by doing so beat everyone else. That is why she is the "better" player.

Sam L
Jun 2nd, 2003, 12:44 AM
The only reason why Serena's game was built to beat Venus' is that 2nd serve. That's it. There's not much mystery to it. Put simply, that's why she beats the rest of the tour too.

Jericho
Jun 2nd, 2003, 01:03 AM
I am actually positive about venus' improvements unlike most people...mary carillo said that venus didnt start practicing for the french open until last monday, and i say thats pretty darn good, even for venus!

I do believe that to an extent that venus' injury was hampering her play. She really didnt have much of a warm-up going into the french so i reall didnt expect a lot from her. I actually think venus is better of losing early so she can rest for the grand slam she is most likely to win.

Bright Red
Jun 2nd, 2003, 01:28 AM
Venus has done so much that it would be hard to top. She seems out of it a little, but she's still capable of being the best player in the world. I think she's capable of matching what she's done in the past (i.e. winning Grand Slams and maintaining long winning streaks) but she'll have to put her heart back into the game.

"Topaz"
Jun 2nd, 2003, 01:49 AM
Good discussion thus far. By and large, it seems we would like to see the triumphant Venus again.

So, Cybelle, you see, people aren't writing Venus off. After all, with the set of skills she's displayed so far, it would be an inordinate mistake to do so.

As for Venus's demeanor, it's hard to gage during a match. Her game face is part and parcel of her make-up. Certainly, as her mom insinuated a few days ago, the recent string of defeats from Serena has taken a toll, which is understandable. I have the sense that the desire is still there, impalpable, exteriorized only briefly in a twirl after a win.

Hi Bright Red! Good comment!

gweeny
Jun 2nd, 2003, 02:11 AM
I love Venus, but if I lost to my sister for 4 consecutive finals, my mental confidence will be so drained.
I don't even know if the second serve can be changed. I would think if her technique could be changed, she would have already improved it to compete with serena.
I hope she is able to win more grandslams, but I honestly think that at this rate, she will be a finalist to Serena for a long time

I hope I am wrong

starr
Jun 2nd, 2003, 02:58 AM
Cybelle, they may have the same coach but they have vastly different bodies. Venus has extremely long arms, long legs, and a relatively short torso. This makes the mechanics of the serve different for her than for Serena. She might do well to look at Richard Kraijek's serve. He has a similar body shape to hers.

Everyone talks about people getting new serves but it isn't that easy. If you look at the people who have retooled their serves, you will see that they had to go through a period of losing while they perfected it in match play. I still think this is the reason Martina didn't do more about her serve. Justine retooled her serve and she went through a bit of an ugly period while she was making it reliable.

BJK spoke about this problem and said that she could give lots of players better serves but it takes completly tearing down what they have and giving them a new motion, and most aren't willing to see their rankings take a nose dive while this is going on.

Venus doesn't have a horrible serve, but like her forehand... also not horrible... it isn't a technically sound motion and it breaks down when she is under pressure. As I understand it, one of Venus's problems on the serve is pulling her head down. She knows what fails her technically during matches, but sometimes it is easier to know what is going wrong than it is to fix it. Maybe she is practicing hard every single day; maybe she is injured. None of us knows, and she will either fix the problems or she won't.

Although I expect good things from her in the future, I don't think she will top that one run she had from Wimbledon through the USO. That's not to say she won't do well, but you know Graf only won one Grand Slam. Even she couldn't repeat that trick although at the time, it seemed that she might win two in a row.

Rollo
Jun 2nd, 2003, 03:06 AM
Sam L wrote:

The only reason why Serena's game was built to beat Venus' is that 2nd serve. That's it. There's not much mystery to it. Put simply, that's why she beats the rest of the tour too.

Perfectly put Sam.


Could there be some things in common between Venus and Hingis? Both did a lot at an early age-both then had to deal with injuries, and both have looked less than joyful on court the last year or two.

I'm not saying Venus will retire a la Martina-but on the hand hand it wouldn't shock me. I don't see the hunger for victory except in spurts.

"Topaz"
Jun 2nd, 2003, 03:52 PM
I'm not saying Venus will retire a la Martina - but on the other hand it wouldn't shock me. I don't see the hunger for victory except in spurts.Here is Venus's response to that, today in Paris, Rollo:

"I would love to win a major and I would love to finish number one... I suppose I'll just play more tournaments, play more matches. I think that will help me also to definitely get into the groove of things.

"What do I want to accomplish? Obviously a lot of tournament wins, all that good stuff.

"I don't think it will be extremely difficult because I've won majors before, I've won tournaments before.

"I feel like I have the experience to be successful and now I just have to go on and do it."

That's how the chief executive of V Starr Interiors, Venus Ebone Starr Williams, puts it, Rollo. Her company's Palm Beach Gardens headquarters in Florida may see less and less of her in the future.
Earlier this year, she said: "I go to the office, I pick out fabrics, I take telephone calls, I do all kinds of things." That will change somewhat.

DA FOREHAND
Jun 2nd, 2003, 04:01 PM
LOL, this was not a good tournament from an ill prepared, injurred Venus. She doesn't have to go back to the drawing board and retool her game. The game she brought to this years A.O. is good enough to beat all but Serena, and w/a few more net advances good enough to beat her too. This is the other top 5 players(except Serena) best or fav. surface, they are more match tough and it showed.

Venus had boat loads of pride, and will not just fade into the sunset.

SJW
Jun 2nd, 2003, 04:11 PM
nope, like the stubborn heifer she is she will rise out of the ashes

i mean...come on Venus when ur forehand aint working why do you INSIST on hitting everything on that wing???!

DA FOREHAND
Jun 2nd, 2003, 04:17 PM
Let alone attempting a fucking dropshot! Or hey here's a novel idea, why not hit forehand volleys?

SJW
Jun 2nd, 2003, 04:19 PM
cos they hit the fence :p

DA FOREHAND
Jun 2nd, 2003, 04:22 PM
No not swing volleys I mean reg. volleys. She had plenty of opp. to attack the net.