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Denise4925
Jan 11th, 2006, 07:15 PM
Serena enters main stage underdone, but be wary
Comment by Leo Schlink
12jan06

SERENA Williams has not lost a match at the Australian Open since 2001.

What she has lost in those five years is mobility because of severe knee and ankle problems, while at the same time, just as clearly, gaining weight.
The Women's Tennis Association media guide lists Williams' weight as 61kg.

The same publication also credits Kim Clijsters with four majors. The Belgian has only one singles slam to her name.

It simply goes to show everybody make mistakes.

Williams, 24, is the subject of fierce scrutiny because of her conditioning.

She has returned to Melbourne Park to defend the Australian Open title in less than ideal circumstances. A spate of ankle and knee complaints has left her shy of matchplay and below peak fitness.

On that score alone, Williams is in the best of company. Tennis has always had a glut of players with questionable athleticism.

The issue with Williams is extremely sensitive. Not just because of colour, or status.

It is because female players are attacked more often, and more ferociously, for perceived poor body shape more often than their male counterparts.

Over time, the men have largely escaped the scorn.

Remember burly Americans Fritz Buehning and Eric Korita? The lunch buffet was hardly safe.

Recall Marcelo Rios's paunch? It was always the subject of locker-room ridicule even when the moody Chilean was world No. 1.

Yugoslav Slobodan Zivojinovic was hardly svelte and still reached the Australian Open and Wimbledon semi-finals.

And what about reigning Tennis Masters Cup champion David Nalbandian? The Argentine probably doesn't have the best skinfold numbers.

But remember also the "Linebacker Lindsay" gibes current world No. 1 Lindsay Davenport had to endure?

South African talent Mariaan de Swardt was forever categorised on the basis of physique, while others such as Rosie Casals' achievements were usually obscured by comments about her weight.

The Williams story remains one of the most irresistible, inspiring and compelling in international sport.

A girl from the Californian badlands who grew into a beacon for minority groups by overcoming racism to reach the top of one of the most conservative sports in the world, Williams has achieved on a monumental scale.

Along the way there has been a string of challenges, none greater than that presented by the murder of her sister Yetunde in the Los Angeles slum the family had once fled. Now she is being gauged by a different measure.

The American will shrug off the issue publicly. Beneath the surface, she will be hurt. And justifiably.

Commentary on women's tennis reached its nadir at Wimbledon in 1992 when Dutchman Richard Krajicek said 80 per cent of women playing at the tournament were "fat, lazy pigs".

Not even his 1996 victory at the All England Club erased the remarks from memory.

Williams will not shy from confrontation. And she has shown in the past she is at her most dangerous when under attack.

Given her injuries and lack of matchplay, it will take a miracle for her to win the Open for a third time.

But beware. Williams has a lifetime habit of winning.



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pcrtennis
Jan 11th, 2006, 07:38 PM
And what about reigning Tennis Masters Cup champion David Nalbandian? The Argentine probably doesn't have the best skinfold numbers.


What? Nalbandian is known for his fitness...this is a weird article...

Bitter Blue Bong
Jan 11th, 2006, 07:48 PM
What? Nalbandian is known for his fitness...this is a weird article...

Actually I've heard commentators criticizing Nalbandian for being a little chubby, but he never looked big to me.

LeRoy.
Jan 11th, 2006, 07:50 PM
Serena is at her dangerous best when people under-estimate her and she is soooo being under-estimated right now. I am not saying i'd bet on her to win the AO but i know she can do it :)

Tennisaddict
Jan 11th, 2006, 08:35 PM
I love that last sentence in the article.

Knizzle
Jan 11th, 2006, 08:43 PM
What? Nalbandian is known for his fitness...this is a weird article...

He's been known for having bad cardio fitness.

santhuruu
Jan 11th, 2006, 09:45 PM
Serena enters main stage underdone, but be wary
Comment by Leo Schlink
12jan06



But beware. Williams has a lifetime habit of winning.





http://www.heraldsun.news.com.au/printpage/0,5481,17796257,00.html

That is soooo true ;) :bounce: :worship: :D

Sir Stefwhit
Jan 11th, 2006, 10:20 PM
No one on tour has a way of prooving the naysayers wrong like Serena, she's made a career of it. Although Serena's not tops on the list of most likely winners, strangers things have happened.

Bounty Hunter
Jan 11th, 2006, 10:39 PM
The issue with Williams is extremely sensitive. Not just because of colour, or status.

It is because female players are attacked more often, and more ferociously, for perceived poor body shape more often than their male counterparts.

So true.



Williams will not shy from confrontation. And she has shown in the past she is at her most dangerous when under attack.


Yep, my girl will win the 2006 AO :worship:

Denise4925
Jan 11th, 2006, 11:28 PM
I like this article. It is about women being constantly under attack for their looks, instead of their ability. The girl has not even stepped onto the court for a match and they are already talking about how her weight is effecting her fitness.

sioul
Jan 12th, 2006, 12:06 AM
the more the media makes fun of her, the more it will in reality work against them. serena has been known to pull of crazy wins when she is upset or angry or trying to prove a point. :cool:

SAEKeithSerena
Jan 12th, 2006, 12:41 AM
"but beware...williams has a lifetime habit of winning"

i like that:)

Dana Marcy
Jan 12th, 2006, 10:15 PM
And she has shown in the past she is at her most dangerous when under attack.

That is Serena in a nutshell. :worship: