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View Full Version : Will Venus and Serena lose a step?


Steffica Greles
May 10th, 2004, 08:47 PM
I've always been intrigued by players losing their court coverage. Sometimes it's the result of surgery, sometimes it's simply old age, sometimes it's psychological, or sometimes all three.

I tend to think that with a lot of players, the loss of foot speed is purely psychological. Look at Jana Novotna, between winning Wimbledon 1998 and the following spring, she'd apparently lost a step. I think she was simply feeling fulfilled. There was no longer the desire to make that extra leap. The same goes for Sanchez-Vicario. I feel in 2001/2002 she was simply playing for enjoyment, and no longer wanted to drive opponents crazy retrieving.

You've got to think about Venus and Serena. The reason they're so often injured is BECAUSE of their athleticism. No sooner is Venus back to winning ways, she sprains an ankle. Serena's year has already been stop-start.

Will these injuries, and let's not forget they've been happening for years, begin to take their toll psychologically? Will we see them taking fewer risks with their limbs and giving the other girls half a chance?

Incidentally, I think Steffi Graf was amazing for her ability to come back from so many surgeries, as nimble as ever. It was such a tall order, but she was lighter-footed than the Williams'. Her body didn't take such a pounding.

darrinbaker00
May 10th, 2004, 09:01 PM
When you're three or four steps ahead of everybody else, you can afford to lose one or two..... ;)

MrSerenaWilliams
May 10th, 2004, 09:01 PM
If you look at Serena in Miami this year, she had some problems getting her 2003 Wimbledon form back (as far as movement was concerned). I think that her ONLY problem was that she thought she was FREAKIN' SUPERWOMAN and played three weeks in a row. If she passed up Amelia and just played Charleston, she would have been alright, but she wanted to play, so she re-injured her knee. I think that Rome will be the test of whether she really got her step back. Even Venus, when she came back, she won (I think) 5 consecutive matches (Waterman's Challenge and 1st and 2nd Oz Open Rounds), but in her first round match with Harkelroad, she injured her ankle by landing on it the wrong way which hampered her movement and hindered her again Raymond (Venus lost 4-6 6-7). I think that if Venus takes these few weeks before the French off and evaluates herself and realizes that she can't OVERDO IT, then she'll be alright. The same goes with Serena.

bandabou
May 10th, 2004, 09:03 PM
Maybe, maybe....but they were so above the field in that department that even with the loss of a step they are still gonna be at the top of the field.

tennisIlove09
May 10th, 2004, 09:08 PM
They probably will....in 4 or 5 years (or longer). Right now no.

bandabou
May 10th, 2004, 09:12 PM
They probably will....in 4 or 5 years (or longer). Right now no.

If even then....:lol:

Steffica Greles
May 10th, 2004, 09:15 PM
Ah, well that's where I'd disagree. Surely nobody can dispute that Ve&Se are the fastest two players on the tour. Who is the fastest of the two, I really can't decide, but that's all moot.

But when seeing either of them play Capriati, Clijsters, Henin, Dementieva, Myskina, Mauresmo, it's clear that speed is not where those players are overwhelmed. I'd say Venus and Serena are only marginally quicker than those players.

And people sort of missed my point a little bit...:)

People are looking at their injuries in the short-term. Continuous injuries are disheartening and it's not as if the Williams' don't have distractions. How much longer are they going to be prepared to lunge all over the place for shots then take a month, two, three or six out and have to start from scratch.

I think it's highly possible that eventually, and in not too long, we'll see them taking fewer risks. They'll still be phenomenally quick, not to mention powerful, but unfortunately I can only now see Venus and Serena beginning to slow down.

They just can't continue getting injured like this and expect to have full-time careers.

bandabou
May 10th, 2004, 09:21 PM
Ah, well that's where I'd disagree. Surely nobody can dispute that Ve&Se are the fastest two players on the tour. Who is the fastest of the two, I really can't decide, but that's all moot.

But when seeing either of them play Capriati, Clijsters, Henin, Dementieva, Myskina, Mauresmo, it's clear that speed is not where those players are overwhelmed. I'd say Venus and Serena are only marginally quicker than those players.

And people sort of missed my point a little bit...:)

People are looking at their injuries in the short-term. Continuous injuries are disheartening and it's not as if the Williams' don't have distractions. How much longer are they going to be prepared to lunge all over the place for shots then take a month, two, three or six out and have to start from scratch.

I think it's highly possible that eventually, and in not too long, we'll see them taking fewer risks. They'll still be phenomenally quick, not to mention powerful, but unfortunately I can only now see Venus and Serena beginning to slow down.

They just can't continue getting injured like this and expect to have full-time careers.

It ain´t about physical atributes alone, it´s about desire, heart and guts....and the Williamses are always gonna have that. As long as you have those things you´re always gonna give your all out, no matter what.

Plus...it ain´t like they are 17 or 18 anymore either. So it´s logical they´re gonna slow down sometime at some point.

Steffica Greles
May 10th, 2004, 09:30 PM
I'd strongly disagree on that, Bandabou :)

I've always thought the Williams' have very selective intensity. When they're trying, they're pretty terrifying. But there have been many occasions in the past when they've lost matches, I've felt, because they didn't really care a great deal. Venus 1-6 1-6 to Hingis in Australia? Serena has also had her fair share of losses for no other reason than she'd simply ran out of steam and hit the ball all over the place.

For that reason I never give much credence to their press conferences. I wait until I see them on the court. If they're not interested, you see Serena slouching around and cursing like Lindsay Davenport, and Venus seems to just look like she's daydreaming, in another world. And then sometimes they look mad dog mean.

So to relate this to their movement, I'd say their movement is very much linked to their desire.

bandabou
May 10th, 2004, 09:43 PM
I'd strongly disagree on that, Bandabou :)

I've always thought the Williams' have very selective intensity. When they're trying, they're pretty terrifying. But there have been many occasions in the past when they've lost matches, I've felt, because they didn't really care a great deal. Venus 1-6 1-6 to Hingis in Australia? Serena has also had her fair share of losses for no other reason than she'd simply ran out of steam and hit the ball all over the place.

For that reason I never give much credence to their press conferences. I wait until I see them on the court. If they're not interested, you see Serena slouching around and cursing like Lindsay Davenport, and Venus seems to just look like she's daydreaming, in another world. And then sometimes they look mad dog mean.

So to relate this to their movement, I'd say their movement is very much linked to their desire.

I´m sure that the same holds true for your own fav Steffi then too, no?! And after seeing Venus keep playing on even after twisting her ankle, I will never again question her desire. When it MATTERS they´re gonna be there.

Kart
May 10th, 2004, 09:53 PM
When you're three or four steps ahead of everybody else, you can afford to lose one or two..... ;)
LOL. That's very true.

Steffica Greles
May 10th, 2004, 10:05 PM
(Steffi Graf is not my favourite, for the record)

Yeah, all players have their off days. Graf against Aranxta at Roland Garros in 1991 was one of those days when she really looked like she didn't know why she'd gone on court. I just feel with Venus and Serena it's been a little more often, and that's when they're able to play....but we're diverging.

As far as I'm concerned, Venus and Serena can go one way or the other: continue leaping and diving, and playing more and more seldom. Or just slow up a tiny bit and look after their bodies. Either way, they'll end in the same place. They won't cover the court quite as quickly, and the other girls will be able to compete better. So it's somewhat of an inevitability.

bandabou
May 10th, 2004, 10:11 PM
(Steffi Graf is not my favourite, for the record)

Yeah, all players have their off days. Graf against Aranxta at Roland Garros in 1991 was one of those days when she really looked like she didn't know why she'd gone on court. I just feel with Venus and Serena it's been a little more often, and that's when they're able to play....but we're diverging.

As far as I'm concerned, Venus and Serena can go one way or the other: continue leaping and diving, and playing more and more seldom. Or just slow up a tiny bit and look after their bodies. Either way, they'll end in the same place. They won't cover the court quite as quickly, and the other girls will be able to compete better. So it's somewhat of an inevitability.


Please, please....don´t come with crap. Serena has only like 40 something losses in her career, so it ain´t like she´s been mailing it that often.

And of course the girls are gonna compete better with them. Nothing to do with them losing step, just with the field getting better and responding to the challengeo of the sisters. The same happened with Martina N with Steffi, Steffi with Monica, etc....just the way it is.

Steffica Greles
May 10th, 2004, 10:23 PM
Hmmm...it always confuses me why people post on this board if they really want or expect people to correspond with them when they're so rude. I suppose it doesn't really matter, though. :)

Pamela Shriver
May 10th, 2004, 10:31 PM
Hmmm...it always confuses me why people post on this board if they really want or expect people to correspond with them when they're so rude. I suppose it doesn't really matter, though. :)
I can never understand the people on this board who don't like me. Whats all that about!?

maximus82
May 10th, 2004, 10:35 PM
Hmm...it is an interesting question to ponder though. Hingis ended up losing her edge in anticipation and quickness (which was essential to her ability to dominate the tour) towards the end of her career. And that definitely influenced her decision to retire early (although the Williams's arrival most likely did too).

Venus and Serena, however, don't need to depend as much on raw foot speed to win matches, so I don't think the loss of a step or two would suddenly make them all that much more vulnerable. What I am curious about is whether all these injuries are going to end up ending players' (both the sisters and the other top players) careers much earlier on. Having to get surgery every year and go through re-hab has to take a big toll on a person...I'm just glad that Justine has been able to avoid the surgery room (even if she falls ill pretty often).

bandabou
May 10th, 2004, 10:49 PM
Hmmm...it always confuses me why people post on this board if they really want or expect people to correspond with them when they're so rude. I suppose it doesn't really matter, though. :)

No one was rude here...just pointing out that you can´t come out of nowhere and say Serena or Venus tank matches.

bandabou
May 10th, 2004, 10:51 PM
Hmm...it is an interesting question to ponder though. Hingis ended up losing her edge in anticipation and quickness (which was essential to her ability to dominate the tour) towards the end of her career. And that definitely influenced her decision to retire early (although the Williams's arrival most likely did too).

Venus and Serena, however, don't need to depend as much on raw foot speed to win matches, so I don't think the loss of a step or two would suddenly make them all that much more vulnerable. What I am curious about is whether all these injuries are going to end up ending players' (both the sisters and the other top players) careers much earlier on. Having to get surgery every year and go through re-hab has to take a big toll on a person...I'm just glad that Justine has been able to avoid the surgery room (even if she falls ill pretty often).

Well said....as long as Serena has that serve and Venus has that backhand, should be just fine.

maximus82
May 10th, 2004, 10:53 PM
bandabou - just out of curiousity, did anybody ever sort out what was up with Venus in her AO semi against Hingis? I didn't see the match, but that result has always struck me as shocking. Was she hurt or sick or something?

LindsayRocks89
May 10th, 2004, 10:54 PM
I really don't think so, Serena might have seemed a step slower at Miami, which i did think, but it was her first tournament, back, and just like with Venus it will come back in time.

bandabou
May 10th, 2004, 10:58 PM
bandabou - just out of curiousity, did anybody ever sort out what was up with Venus in her AO semi against Hingis? I didn't see the match, but that result has always struck me as shocking. Was she hurt or sick or something?

Nah, that result was seen coming....Venus BARELY BARELY beat Amanda C, she had to rally twice or something, so it was kinda expected that if she didn´t pick her level that she was toast against Martina..specially considering how well Martina played against Serena in the qrtrs.

LindsayRocks89
May 10th, 2004, 11:05 PM
[QUOTE=bandabou]Nah, that result was seen coming....Venus BARELY BARELY beat Amanda C, she had to rally twice or something, so it was kinda expected that if she didn´t pick her level that she was toast against Martina..specially considering how well Martina played against Serena in the qrtrs.[/QUOT

weren't over half Martina's points won from Venus's errors?

bandabou
May 10th, 2004, 11:09 PM
[QUOTE=bandabou]Nah, that result was seen coming....Venus BARELY BARELY beat Amanda C, she had to rally twice or something, so it was kinda expected that if she didn´t pick her level that she was toast against Martina..specially considering how well Martina played against Serena in the qrtrs.[/QUOT

weren't over half Martina's points won from Venus's errors?

Yep....but that is always when Venus plays Martina..

Steffica Greles
May 10th, 2004, 11:12 PM
Pamela: Frankly, I think you're f*cking hilarious:) :kiss: :lol: :bounce:

And how fitting that you, Pamela Shriver, should post in a thread about court coverage?!?! Pam never lost a step because to do that, she'd had to have lost a leg!!

:wavey:

maximus82
May 10th, 2004, 11:13 PM
That was how it was when most people played Chucky :-) She was the Queen of not making UE herself and forcing players to hit the shots they liked the least. Hehe, the problem, of course, was that eventually a breed of players came about that were able to execute every shot well enough that her game plan became much less effective (and this is coming from a Hingis fan...I'll admit that she'd be hard pressed, even with her 1997 form, to consistently beat today's top 4).

bandabou
May 10th, 2004, 11:19 PM
That was how it was when most people played Chucky :-) She was the Queen of not making UE herself and forcing players to hit the shots they liked the least. Hehe, the problem, of course, was that eventually a breed of players came about that were able to execute every shot well enough that her game plan became much less effective (and this is coming from a Hingis fan...I'll admit that she'd be hard pressed, even with her 1997 form, to consistently beat today's top 4).

Yep....I think against Serena she doesn´t stand any chance. Venus?! Hmm...maybe, because Venus is less agressive than Serena and I think Martina could trouble her in rallies.

Justine?! Hmmm.....difficult match-up for Justine, because for all her touchness fame, Martina had waaaayyy more touch than her.

Kim?! Unless she would really start being agressive, Martina would just outrally her.

Steffica Greles
May 10th, 2004, 11:20 PM
Bandabou: It could have been you saying people "talk crap". Bit rude in my book, but if it's not in yours, fair play ;)

Also, you really are making it sound as if Venus was at the mercy of Hingis in Australia 2001. I'm sorry, but much as I loved to watch Hingis play, and much as I miss her, Martina was Venus' toast when Venus was at her best. There was simply nothing that Hingis could hit that Venus couldn't reach.

Venus LOST that match, and she lost it not because she was making "a few errors", she lost it because mentally she just wasn't there.

maximus82
May 10th, 2004, 11:26 PM
Yep....I think against Serena she doesn´t stand any chance. Venus?! Hmm...maybe, because Venus is less agressive than Serena and I think Martina could trouble her in rallies.

Justine?! Hmmm.....difficult match-up for Justine, because for all her touchness fame, Martina had waaaayyy more touch than her.

Kim?! Unless she would really start being agressive, Martina would just outrally her.
Hmmm...this is odd, given that I'm not a fan of either Williams sister particularly, but I would say that I'd still favor Venus over Martina. Venus has the edge in service and return (because of Martina's comparitively slow serves) and I think that edge early in the point gives her the match.

Serena we agree on.

Henin...honestly, I might be biased, but I think Henin wins pretty handily. Henin is very quick around the court and doesn't have any 'weak' shot that 'tina could pick on. Henin has a much better service and much harder groundies. Granted that Hingis has better touch and volleys, but I don't see those coming into play (just as they wouldn't with 'rena).

Kim...yeah, in retrospect, I think you are probably right. Kim plays a little too passively and Martina probably would find a way to get control of rallies.

bandabou
May 10th, 2004, 11:28 PM
Bandabou: It could have been you saying people "talk crap". Bit rude in my book, but if it's not in yours, fair play ;)

Also, you really are making it sound as if Venus was at the mercy of Hingis in Australia 2001. I'm sorry, but much as I loved to watch Hingis play, and much as I miss her, Martina was Venus' toast when Venus was at her best. There was simply nothing that Hingis could hit that Venus couldn't reach.

Venus LOST that match, and she lost it not because she was making "a few errors", she lost it because mentally she just wasn't there.

No, talking crap was rude. My apologizies... not that Venus was at Martina´s mercy. But the way she played against Amanda compared to the way Martina played against Serena....is exactly the scoreline you got.

bandabou
May 10th, 2004, 11:32 PM
Hmmm...this is odd, given that I'm not a fan of either Williams sister particularly, but I would say that I'd still favor Venus over Martina. Venus has the edge in service and return (because of Martina's comparitively slow serves) and I think that edge early in the point gives her the match.

Serena we agree on.

Henin...honestly, I might be biased, but I think Henin wins pretty handily. Henin is very quick around the court and doesn't have any 'weak' shot that 'tina could pick on. Henin has a much better service and much harder groundies. Granted that Hingis has better touch and volleys, but I don't see those coming into play (just as they wouldn't with 'rena).

Kim...yeah, in retrospect, I think you are probably right. Kim plays a little too passively and Martina probably would find a way to get control of rallies.

I must say that Justine is the most difficult for me to pick who would win between her and Martina´97...Justine likes to throw people out of balance with her change of speeds and spins, but it seems to me that she herself is vulnerable to this too, witness her matches against Momo and some of her matches against myskina....and I think Martina would pick on that.

maximus82
May 10th, 2004, 11:33 PM
No, talking crap was rude. My apologizies... not that Venus was at Martina´s mercy. But the way she played against Amanda compared to the way Martina played against Serena....is exactly the scoreline you got.
Hehe...yeah, I did get to see the Martina-Serena QF, it was totally off the hook. I was shouting and jumping up in my seat while watching it. Had forgotten that Venus barely got by Amanda.

bandabou
May 10th, 2004, 11:44 PM
Great, great match...it was my two favs playing each other, so it was taxing. Only QF to make the list of greatest matches.

harloo
May 11th, 2004, 12:15 AM
Will Venus and Serena lose a step?

Nah, they will continue to do the same ole 2 step. LOL

faboozadoo15
May 11th, 2004, 12:28 AM
i haven't read all the posts in here admittedly.

but if this is about footspeed, i don't think that will be an issue for either williams sister. they're both so fast, but they may be wrong footed more since they're just coming back. their anticipation and footwork skill can't be where they were just yet, and if it is, congrats to them (seriously, it's hard to find your feet again!). their natural speed has always been greater than their ability to anticipate, so if their injuries or whatever lead them to be a little bit slower, they should soon make up for it in better footwork and anticipatory skills. that all has to do with playing the game longer, so it will come.

i'm not too worried about ever seeing "slow" venus or serena...

TSequoia01
May 11th, 2004, 01:09 AM
bandabou - just out of curiousity, did anybody ever sort out what was up with Venus in her AO semi against Hingis? I didn't see the match, but that result has always struck me as shocking. Was she hurt or sick or something?
That was when Venus was in school. She stated she had only 11 days to prepare for the Aussie. She still got to the Semis. :eek: But against Martina could not keep the ball between the lines or get it over the net. :cool:

bandabou
May 11th, 2004, 09:19 AM
i haven't read all the posts in here admittedly.

but if this is about footspeed, i don't think that will be an issue for either williams sister. they're both so fast, but they may be wrong footed more since they're just coming back. their anticipation and footwork skill can't be where they were just yet, and if it is, congrats to them (seriously, it's hard to find your feet again!). their natural speed has always been greater than their ability to anticipate, so if their injuries or whatever lead them to be a little bit slower, they should soon make up for it in better footwork and anticipatory skills. that all has to do with playing the game longer, so it will come.

i'm not too worried about ever seeing "slow" venus or serena...

That goes more for Venus than Serena imo....Serena seems to anticipate better than Venus. But you´re right, there will never be a day that either williams is gonna be Davenport-slow.

faste5683
May 11th, 2004, 10:54 AM
I can never understand the people on this board who don't like me. Whats all that about!?

:haha:

And once again, out of nowhere, comes the super "Thread Buster" herself - Pam Shriver!!!

:wavey: