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DUNEMAN
Jun 26th, 2004, 02:57 PM
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Tennis-Wimbledon-Williams no longer invincible - Navratilova


LONDON, June 26 (Reuters) - The Williams sisters Serena and Venus may have lost their aura of invincibility in women's tennis for good, according to nine-times former Wimbledon champion Martina Navratilova.

Venus, Wimbledon champion in 2000 and 2001 and runner-up to Serena in 2002 and 2003, was beaten by Croatian Karolina Sprem in the second round at this year's Wimbledon and lost in the French Open quarter-finals with Serena earlier this month.

Venus has not won a grand slam since her 2001 U.S. Open win and Navratilova said: "It seems the Williams sisters have lost the aura of invincibility they once had.

"Neither of them has it right now, but I think Venus in particular hasn't had it for a while.

"She's lost confidence in herself and the rest of the players realise when that happens that they have a chance."

Writing in The Guardian newspaper on Saturday, 47-year-old Navratilova added: "Winning and losing is a habit. The winning habit that Venus had is gone and with it, naturally, the aura of invincibility.

"I think that disappeared when she began to lose regularly to Serena, as she did in the last two Wimbledon finals and as she has in three other grand slam finals in the last two years."

"That's what got to her first because she knew that she had everyone else covered but she could never beat her sister.

"I don't know how introspective Venus is or how much she thinks about things but I would say that devastated her more than she let on and perhaps more than even she knows.

"The Williams sisters used to be able to back it up and now they can't and no matter how much swagger you've got, if you don't back it up with your game, then it's all just a bunch of smoke and people don't fall for that for very long," she said.

Navratilova matched Venus's performance at Wimbledon this year by reaching the second round of the singles. She believes the two sisters need to forget their dress designing and other outside distractions if they want to re-establish their dominance.

OUTSIDE HOBBIES

"The good news for Venus is that the downward spiral may not be permanent, though you can only retrieve the aura of invincibility by winning," Navratilova said.

"Tennis has to be the only thing in your life. You can have a hobby that you do last thing at night if you like but you can't be scheduling your tennis around your hobbies.

"You can have outside interests but tennis has to be firmly number one. It has to be the most important thing and I don't get the feeling that it was for either Venus or Serena.

"It's almost as though the winning came so easily that they almost got distracted and sooner or later that is going to catch up with you. I think it's already caught up with Venus and it may have caught up with Serena as well. I hope not."



06/26/04 08:07 ET :tape: :tape: :tape: :tape: :tape: :tape: :tape: :tape: :tape: :tape: :fiery:

Ballbuster
Jun 26th, 2004, 03:01 PM
Damn

This woman is in everybody's life. Who made her the patron saint of Tennis? She needs to get gone - on the real.

Ryan
Jun 26th, 2004, 03:02 PM
:confused: But she's right.

Kabezya
Jun 26th, 2004, 03:03 PM
I cannot fathom why any Williams fan would care or even care to repeat this by posting this - especially when it's been put up in some form or another already. Why, why, why? :smash:

GoSandrine
Jun 26th, 2004, 03:04 PM
Martina needs to understand that being Number One is not the end all and be all of life. It was for her but that's not to say it should be for everyone. If Venus and Serena have other interests that's their perogative. There's no reason to crticiize them because of it.

Ballbuster
Jun 26th, 2004, 03:05 PM
I cannot fathom why any Williams fan would care or even care to repeat this by posting this - especially when it's been put up in some form or another already. Why, why, why? :smash:


Me either. Some of these williams posters makes noise to rail against their faves. I don't get it. It seems quite tawdry.

SJW
Jun 26th, 2004, 03:06 PM
:o

i'm sorry, i usually don't get into the Martina singles play stuff as i have mixed views on it, but it's just a shame that they've been so classy about her attempt at a singles run, while she can't reciprocate the same manners.

DUNEMAN
Jun 26th, 2004, 03:07 PM
:confused: But she's right. :wavey: That is not the point, she has already expressed her veiws at least a million times about the sisters. Has she no other response for the press other than the negative?
And dint she have the worst press when she was playing, she should know better. Maybe like mighty mouth Mac, she wants in on some of the action. :rolleyes:

BlinX
Jun 26th, 2004, 03:12 PM
:confused: But she's right.

ya :scratch:

Ryan
Jun 26th, 2004, 03:24 PM
:wavey: That is not the point, she has already expressed her veiws at least a million times about the sisters. Has she no other response for the press other than the negative?
And dint she have the worst press when she was playing, she should know better. Maybe like mighty mouth Mac, she wants in on some of the action. :rolleyes:

...more than likely she was asked questions about them, hence why the quotes are tiny blurbs and not a whole rant. Come talk to me about her "views" when she books a half hour time slot on ESPN to talk about the Williams sisters.

DUNEMAN
Jun 26th, 2004, 03:31 PM
...more than likely she was asked questions about them, hence why the quotes are tiny blurbs and not a whole rant. Come talk to me about her "views" when she books a half hour time slot on ESPN to talk about the Williams sisters. :wavey: Normaly I would agree, these reporters are always looking to start ESSSSSSH. But Martina has a working knowledge on bad press, since she had so much of it. She should know better than to bash them at every instance. :tape:

Rtael
Jun 26th, 2004, 03:41 PM
Martina needs to understand that being Number One is not the end all and be all of life. It was for her but that's not to say it should be for everyone. If Venus and Serena have other interests that's their perogative. There's no reason to crticiize them because of it.

It's prerogative. :p

Zummi
Jun 26th, 2004, 03:53 PM
This is the last part of what Martina said, which, for some odd reason, did not make it into the article:

Tennis, whether it's the men's or the women's game, needs superstars and that's what the Williams sisters are. Their role is even more important because women's tennis has so many of its major stars missing through injury, most notably Justine Henin-Hardenne and Kim Clijsters.

We need all of those players, particularly if we ever get to the stage where we are having the Williams sisters and the Belgians fit at the same time in a joint rivalry. That would create a contrast that's been missing when the Belgians have played each other in finals, or the Williams have played each other in finals, which lacked an emotional punch because two are from the same country and two are from the same family. Watching Venus against Kim or Serena against Justine in major finals would be wonderful for the sport because we can side with one or the other.

We need all those players to be fit and healthy and playing well and I hope Venus can get back to where she was. She has been a great asset to the game and she could be again if that is what she wants. Only Venus can decide that.

Jericho
Jun 26th, 2004, 03:55 PM
Martina, you don't get it do you? When Venus and Serena retire from tennis, they'll already have something to replace it. They won't have to come back to attempt to play tennis again, like other players might do.

SelesFan70
Jun 26th, 2004, 04:09 PM
I said it once if not 400 times...Martina is an ego maniac. She's knows it all, does it all, has seen it all and believes she the greatest of all :o , so we should all kiss her ass... :rolleyes:

DA FOREHAND
Jun 26th, 2004, 04:13 PM
F.M.N!

I hope both Williams sisters totally snub her when the go to the Olympics.

Hello from Costa Rica....M.G.:wavey:

SelesFan70
Jun 26th, 2004, 04:15 PM
F.M.N!

I hope both Williams sisters totally snub her when the go to the Olympics.

Hello from Costa Rica....M.G.:wavey:

I wanna see pics of you hitting balls in Costa Rica! :hearts:

Philbo
Jun 26th, 2004, 04:18 PM
I just dont understand how these comments are of a personal insult etc to Venus..

If Venus is happy without her invincible aura, with not winning slams - but having osmething to fall back on, then she can just keep going the way she is - not even making semi finals of slams anymore! SOme of her fans seem satisfied with how Venus is going...She is a public figure in tennis, and when Martina is being paid to comment on something she is gonne give an honest opinion - but i just dont see how these comments are an insult to Venus - Martina is only stating a plain truth that many a player has stated during interviews and that results show.

alwayshingis
Jun 26th, 2004, 04:21 PM
Martina, you don't get it do you? When Venus and Serena retire from tennis, they'll already have something to replace it. They won't have to come back to attempt to play tennis again, like other players might do.

Matbe she just doesn't understand why anyone would play professional tennis if they didn't love it.

Kart
Jun 26th, 2004, 04:30 PM
Navratilova matched Venus's performance at Wimbledon this year by reaching the second round of the singles. She believes the two sisters need to forget their dress designing and other outside distractions if they want to re-establish their dominance.

OUTSIDE HOBBIES

"The good news for Venus is that the downward spiral may not be permanent, though you can only retrieve the aura of invincibility by winning," Navratilova said.

"Tennis has to be the only thing in your life. You can have a hobby that you do last thing at night if you like but you can't be scheduling your tennis around your hobbies.

"You can have outside interests but tennis has to be firmly number one. It has to be the most important thing and I don't get the feeling that it was for either Venus or Serena.

"It's almost as though the winning came so easily that they almost got distracted and sooner or later that is going to catch up with you. I think it's already caught up with Venus and it may have caught up with Serena as well. I hope not."

:(

I know Martina of all people would know about being the best and staying on top but I wish she would drop the 'tennis isn't their priority' line for a change.

Venus has turned up to all the major tournaments and played quite a lot recently except when she was injured after Tokyo. She's playing on in the face of some results which she hasn't been used to for some time. She deserves a bit more credit for that because it looks to me like she's definitely focused on her tennis right now.

DUNEMAN
Jun 26th, 2004, 05:00 PM
Tennis-Wimbledon-Life beyond baseline is vital- Richard Williams

LONDON, June 26 (Reuters) - Richard Williams is delighted that his tennis playing daughters have developed interests beyond the baseline.

Serena has taken some steps along the path to a part-time acting career, while Venus is studying interior design and both sisters also have a keen interest in fashion design.

Nine-times Wimbledon champion Martina Navratilova said in a newspaper column on Saturday that the sisters need to forget their outside distractions if they want to re-establish their dominance of women's tennis.

"Tennis is not everything and it never will be," Williams said at Wimbledon on Saturday. "They are doing a lot of things right now and I think they are doing the right thing.

"If that means they don't play the type of tennis they once played, that is quite OK with the family."

Williams, their mentor and trainer as well as their father, said he had always told them that tennis should never be their all-consuming obssession.

"Venus and Serena were taught there is life beyond the baseline," he said. "They need to do other things than just play tennis."

"Serena is now thinking about trying to develop a film herself. I think that she should."

"It is very difficult for me to understand sometimes how a parent could raise a child just to be a tennis player," he added. "If you want to be well-rounded, you cannot just think of tennis, tennis, tennis."

Much as he admired champions like Navratilova, who returned to grand slam singles this year at the age of 47, Williams said he hoped his daughters would never be tempted down the comeback trail.

"I hope they never return," he said. "When Venus and Serena put their rackets down, I hope it is for good. I hope they don't do like the boxers do. They are too bright to continue this forever."

Venus Williams, Wimbledon champion in 2000 and 2001, was knocked out of this year's tournament in the second round and then flew straight home to resume her studies.

"I don't think any parent could ask for anything other than that," Williams said.

Serena, who has won the Wimbledon title for the last two years by beating her sister in the final, is still on course to retain her title -- when the rain finally lets up.

Andy T
Jun 26th, 2004, 10:42 PM
What Martina said is true: either they commit and win or they don't and take their chances against players who do. It's not anti-Williams or anti anyone, just a simple fact of tennis life stated by some one who knows and proven by every woman who's dominated the sport for more than a year or two since the 1960s. If they don't decide to recommit to tennis, that's fine, but they aren't going to win that much if they treat it as a hobby.

harloo
Jun 26th, 2004, 10:53 PM
So I guess it's ok to say the truth, as long it doesn't concern Navratilova.:awww:
:tape: :tape: :tape: :tape:

Stamp Paid
Jun 26th, 2004, 11:21 PM
She is on point here! For Venus, the aura is gone. Sad.

arcus
Jun 26th, 2004, 11:31 PM
Richard williams

"It is very difficult for me to understand sometimes how a parent could raise a child just to be a tennis player," he added. "If you want to be well-rounded, you cannot just think of tennis, tennis, tennis."



Balance is great, I"m all for that. But this seem a far cry from the father that feted himself with the notion that he raised 2 girls, from infancy, with the single minded belief that they were born to dominate tennis. He inculcated them with the belief that they were unbeatable.

He said it often enough, he said it till peoples ears bled.

A few years ago RW would never have been cought dead saying that said that it was ok that the girls were not totally focused on winning.

Change of tune...... well I guess that's PR...........maybe he's cashed the cheques already.

before williams fans eat me, listen for a minute....

The williams have a ton of talent. I mean a ton. God given opportunity. Thats why were talking about them. They should want to solidify their place in tennis history. They should want dominate the history books of the sport that gave them so much. A sport thats put them in the spotlight. They should have that desire. At lest till thier playing career s are over.

Martina N is right to say that they will not live up to their potential if they dont focus. It's a no-brainer. They have stunning althletic ability. It'd be a crime not to exploit it.
MN's statements should be a force to goad particularly venus to recapture her intensity and do what she was meant to do.

CC
Jun 26th, 2004, 11:43 PM
She has a lot to say ...

DUNEMAN
Jun 26th, 2004, 11:43 PM
before williams fans eat me, listen for a minute....

Martina N is right to say that they will not live up to their potential if they dont focus. It's a no-brainer. They have stunning althletic ability. It'd be a crime not to exploit it.
MN's statements should be a force to goad particularly venus to recapture her intensity and do what she was meant to do.
:wavey: Once again that is not the point. Martina has said this same thing at least a million times, why continue? does she think we may be hard of hearing. she made the point the first time she said it. What bothers me is that she continues to beat this horse to death, and that tells me there may be some sinister motivation. :wavey: By the way I am on a lo-carb fan diet :lick:

harloo
Jun 27th, 2004, 12:23 AM
A few years ago RW would never have been cought dead saying that said that it was ok that the girls were not totally focused on winning.

Change of tune...... well I guess that's PR...........maybe he's cashed the cheques already.


Or maybe he doesn't think tennis is the end all be all especially after the death of Yetunde.

Richard has really changed and I don't know if it's a good thing for the sisters, but with the trials and tribulations of life it's interesting that Richard has found a new perspective about tennis.

RIP Yetunde:sad:

BigTennisFan
Jun 27th, 2004, 01:08 AM
Poor Martina, she's even sadder than I imagined. :sad:

faste5683
Jun 27th, 2004, 01:13 AM
Or maybe he doesn't think tennis is the end all be all especially after the death of Yetunde.

Richard has really changed and I don't know if it's a good thing for the sisters, but with the trials and tribulations of life it's interesting that Richard has found a new perspective about tennis.

RIP Yetunde:sad:

Exactly!

I think Richard is still in a grieving process - the winning and losing of tennis matches, especially when both girls have already reached the pinnacle of their profession, has lost some of its luster. It appears to me that Richard is dealing with the problems of mortality, loss, and the spritual and emotional issues which accompany the death of a loved one.

His impressive way of dealing with the tie-break fiasco - showing compassion instead of anger -displays a great deal of maturity and inner strength. After watching his reaction on ESPN, my attitude towards him changed 180 degrees.

:wavey:

volta
Jun 27th, 2004, 01:45 AM
Exactly!

I think Richard is still in a grieving process - the winning and losing of tennis matches, especially when both girls have already reached the pinnacle of their profession, has lost some of its luster. It appears to me that Richard is dealing with the problems of mortality, loss, and the spritual and emotional issues which accompany the death of a loved one.

His impressive way of dealing with the tie-break fiasco - showing compassion instead of anger -displays a great deal of maturity and inner strength. After watching his reaction on ESPN, my attitude towards him changed 180 degrees.

:wavey:
yeah he showed some class out there. yes i think that you got him right he´s not into Tennis cuz he has to deal with a death of a daughter and 1 way or another that scratches the Sisters.

Philbo
Jun 27th, 2004, 05:55 AM
Cool Canuck - Whether Martina should still play a few singles tournaments is NOT a clear case of fact or not fact - it boils down to a personal opinion - Capriati's bitchy comments stem from her own opinion, as does my opinion of her - But Martina's comments in this column are NOT an opinion, they are stating a simple fact - that if tennis isnt your sole, 100% focus, you cant maintain an 'invincible' aura...

Fishnick
Jun 27th, 2004, 08:29 AM
The Article seems right to me. Navratilova is mainly talking about the "Aura of invincibility" that Venus and Serena no longer have. It's not disparaging in anyway just a statement of fact. She points out ways they could regain it if they so choose. The Whole thing is saying "If this is what they want to achieve, then this is what they need to do". It is no different then the 100's of threads on this board offering "suggestions" to players, except this one comes with a wealth of experience behind it.

Andy T
Jun 27th, 2004, 08:39 AM
:wavey: Once again that is not the point. Martina has said this same thing at least a million times, why continue? does she think we may be hard of hearing. she made the point the first time she said it. What bothers me is that she continues to beat this horse to death, and that tells me there may be some sinister motivation. :wavey: By the way I am on a lo-carb fan diet :lick:
Tennis needs the Williams sisters more than they need tennis, Duneman, and I think that Martina, who has been WTA President on several occasions, is doing her bit to encourage them to re-commit to the sport because she cares about the sport. Her motivation is more about that than any personal judgement - I'm sure she'd be saying the same about Hénin and Clijsters if the situations were reversed.

This thread reminds me of young adults not wanting to listen to their parents advice because they think they know best (I'm talking about posters not the Williams sisters). Martina seems to have become the parent that everyone's rebelling against but a close reading shows that Martina acknowledges that ultimately it is Venus' choice. Apart from that, the article is littered with implicit compliments and positive remarks about the sisters' talents and potential.

"The good news for Venus is that the downward spiral may not be permanent, though you can only retrieve the aura of invincibility by winning," Navratilova said.

"It's almost as though the winning came so easily that they almost got distracted and sooner or later that is going to catch up with you. I think it's already caught up with Venus and it may have caught up with Serena as well. I hope not."

"Tennis, whether it's the men's or the women's game, needs superstars and that's what the Williams sisters are. Their role is even more important because women's tennis has so many of its major stars missing through injury, most notably Justine Henin-Hardenne and Kim Clijsters."

"We need all those players to be fit and healthy and playing well and I hope Venus can get back to where she was. She has been a great asset to the game and she could be again if that is what she wants. Only Venus can decide that."

GoSandrine
Jun 27th, 2004, 09:38 AM
I understand Martina's passion for the women's game and I'm sure she meant no ill feelings towards Venus and Serena but I found her statement,

"You can have outside interests but tennis has to be firmly number one. It has to be the most important thing and I don't get the feeling that it was for either Venus or Serena."

to be a little over the top. Although I may be taking this out of context in response to a question so I take back my earlier criticism.

:o :angel: :worship:

Andy T
Jun 27th, 2004, 11:19 AM
It could easily be misinterpreted out of context, I think, GoSandrine, especially the "was" (when?) but the whole article sounds more like a plea from MN to the Williams sisters than a criticism to me.

One thing she didn't mention that she ought to have done, imo, is that the sisters have been going through a bereavement as well as injury problems and, as anyone who has been through a bereavement knows, it usually provokes a moment of stock-taking and can have very profound effects on how you view life, what you decide to do with your time and what your goals are. The fact that Yetunde was so connected to their tennis life may explain why they are doing other things right now. Just a thought.

GoSandrine
Jun 27th, 2004, 12:40 PM
Andy, I can definitely understand about the grieving period and a possible shift in priorities after such a devastating life event. My outlook on life changed after 9/11 and I didn't even lose any loved ones. I can't imagine what Venus and Serena have had to deal with.

I love Martina dearly and I know she doesn't mean any harm but I hope she cuts them some slack before she gets on her soap box again.

DUNEMAN
Jun 27th, 2004, 02:26 PM
:wavey: Andy, I can definitely understand about the grieving period and a possible shift in priorities after such a devastating life event. My outlook on life changed after 9/11 and I didn't even lose any loved ones. I can't imagine what Venus and Serena have had to deal with.

I love Martina dearly and I know she doesn't mean any harm but I hope she cuts them some slack before she gets on her soap box again. :wavey: Andy< I do not completely disagree with your take on the article, my point is that she continually lectures them, Why? it appears at best that she would like some input into their style of play, or at worst, some sort of tennis :tape: envy. Please, Andy I do respect your opinion, convince me that Martinas persistence is purely just maternal concern. GoSandrine, you are right on point and I am sure Martina also realize this yet, she continues the shock treatment. by the way I have been a lifelong Sandrine fan, I also love Sandrine dearly. :wavey:

WF4EVER
Jun 27th, 2004, 02:50 PM
Andy T, I totally agree with you, tennis needs the sisters a lot more than they need tennis.

Why else would everyone and their mama be so concerned about their performance. It's not because they care about them that's for sure, and they love to see them lose, but if they sisters don't do well or don't play, the tournaments lose big time and they care a whole lot more about turning a profit than seeing the best players winning.

Venus has won 4 Grand Slams and lost 5 Finals to her sister (not Lindsay, not Capriati, not Clisters and not Justine). That should tell you who the best players have been.
A lot of people have been knocking Venus for losing five GS Finals in a row, but let's count how many of the other players have been making Finals much less having them to lose. Kim and Justine (who are both also out of competition currently) and surprise finalist and champion Dementieva and Myskina at the French.

Without the Williams the WTA lose big time, becasue they were the best before injury and are they best when they are healthy. It's just a fact.

Venus is continuously criticized, and Serena to a lesser extent because she's not doing well enough to make the WTA some money, not because she has other interests. If anything she should be applauded for not being a one-dimensional tennis player. They should be encouraging the other players to be more diverse so thay they don't burnout like others have.

Venus is being pressure becaused she hasn't won a Slam in 4 years. When was the last time Kim won one, or Davenport, or Mauresmo? Give Venus a break. WTA does not stand for Williams Tennis Association, therefore it's not the sisters responsibility to keep it afloat.

Everybody has bad results and Venus is a player just like everybody else. Sprem wanted to win, too, and she did. So what? Ask the WTA which player they'd rather see show up at tournaments.

Venus has her own life, like anyone else. I don't hear us trying to tell the other players who keep falling short to get re-committed to tennis or else, so why do we want to tell Venus what to do? As for her losing her aura, I have never seen that name on the scoreboard "AURA". I see Venus or whomever, so aura doesn't win matches, players do.

Martian Jeza
Jun 27th, 2004, 02:58 PM
If you are talking about Navratilova, put Navratilova instead of Martina. It's confusing for the Hingis fans.

Ballbuster
Jun 27th, 2004, 03:03 PM
If you are talking about Navratilova, put Navratilova instead of Martina. It's confusing for the Hingis fans.

No its not!

They are birds of a feather

tennischick
Jun 27th, 2004, 03:05 PM
i don't get her evidence that Serena has lost her aura of invincibility. seems to me a case can be made against Venus but i don't get why Granny is lumping them together as one unit.