|Topic Review (Newest First)|
|May 7th, 2010 10:46 AM|
Re: The big 125 anniversary list for women's tennis
I didn't realize it was 125 years! Here's to 125 years more!
- JD dtlsport.com
|Nov 4th, 2008 06:19 AM|
Re: The big 125 anniversary list for women's tennis
That was an awesome read!
Though I would have thought that Gabriela Sabatini would have deserved a paragraph.
|Sep 17th, 2008 08:59 PM|
Re: The big 125 anniversary list for women's tennis
Originally Posted by new-york View Post
|Jun 4th, 2007 02:11 AM|
Re: The big 125 anniversary list for women's tennis
Originally Posted by Brian Stewart View Post
|Jan 9th, 2007 04:43 PM|
Re: The big 125 anniversary list for women's tennis
Originally Posted by Brian Stewart View Post
|Oct 21st, 2006 03:36 PM|
|Dec 8th, 2005 10:13 PM|
|Sam L||That was fantastic! Well done!|
|Dec 8th, 2005 09:35 PM|
Originally Posted by Brian Stewart
Lesley Turner won all three titles at the Italian Championships in 1967, including the mixed with her husband, Bill Bowrey.
In 1964, Maria Bueno joined Lenglen and Wills as the third woman to win both Wimbledon and the US Championship three times.
|Nov 10th, 2004 09:58 AM|
And that will do it. Again, it's not as detailed as I would have liked and, with more time, I could have found a few more interesting tidbits-- in time for the 150th anniversary. As it is, it provides a nice little stroll through the history of women's tennis. I tried to pick interesting items for the "did you know" segments; ones which would often have even us historians saying "I didn't know that".
Should you find any factual errors, speak up and I'll correct them. I tried to be as accurate as possible, but in something of this scope, with the rush of the last few days, there are bound to be a couple of mistakes (or at least typos). Otherwise, I hope you enjoyed this little tribute.
|Jul 27th, 2004 08:07 AM|
121. Ambidextrous players
If you've ever played tennis on public courts, you've heard the phrase "s/he has no backhand". But there were some players who literally had no backhand, as they hit forehands on each side, shifting the racquet from one hand to the other. These players included Beverly Baker-Fleitz, Lita Liem, and Eugenia Kulikovskaya.
122. Charitable works
In addition to the individual players cited above for their contributions, virtually every player is involved with helping others in some manner. A complete list would be longer than this thread, but here are just a few examples:
Monica Seles, Chris Evert, and Mary Joe Fernandez with the American Heart Association. Justine Henin-Hardenne with the Make-a-Wish Foundation and CHILDFOCUS. Martina Hingis with the World Health Organization. Leslie Allen with Win4Life. Amelie Mauresmo with the Little Dreams Foundation and the Curie Institute for Cancer Research. Venus and Serena Williams with the OWL Foundation. Anna Kournikova with the St Jude Children's Hospital. Maggie Maleeva with gorichka.net. Iroda Tulyaganova with the Mehirijon Project and the Mehirijon Orphanage.
123. Countries with GS title winners
Many countries have been represented by players winning singles, doubles, or mixed titles. These include: Argentina, Australia, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Croatia, Czechoslovakia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, United States, Uruguay, Yugoslavia, Zimbabwe
124. Countries with top-30 players
Countries that have placed players in the top 30 in the open era include: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Croatia, Czechoslovakia, Czech Republic, France, Georgia, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, United States, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Yugoslavia
125. Countries which have had WTA tournaments
One of the keys to success in any business is to expand into new markets. From its humble beginnings as a handful of tournaments in the U.S., the WTA Tour has expanded over the decades, to include tour stops in the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Colombia, Croatia, Czechoslovakia, Czech Republic, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Russia, San Marino, Scotland, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Spain, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United States, USSR, Uzbekistan, Wales, West Germany, Yugoslavia
|Jul 27th, 2004 08:05 AM|
116. All in the family
There have been many family combinations to participate in women's tennis over the decades. These include:
Sisters: Pam & Tracy Austin; Elke & Kim Clijsters; Cathy Lee & Cindy Lou Crosby; Chris, Claire, & Jeanne Evert; Anna Maria & Anna Lucia (twins) & Cecilia & Elisa (twins) Fernandez; Andrea & Susy Jaeger; Barbara & Kathy Jordan; May & ? Langrishe; Marcie & Peanut Louie; Katerina, Magdalena, & Manuela Maleeva; Alisa & Kathy May; Anne & Elizabeth Minter; Jana & Martina Nejedly; Beth Norton & Sue Ming; Patty, Terri, & ? O'Reilly; Dally & Natacha Randriantefy; Elna & Monica Reinach; Lucia & Maria Romanov; Junko & Kazuko Sawamatsu; Jill & Joy Schwikert; Adriana & Antonella Serra-Zanetti; Laurie & Robin Tenney; Lillian & Maud Watson; Serena & Venus Williams.
Mother/Daughter: Shirley & Kate Brasher; Katerina & Katerina Jr. Bohmova; May Sutton & Dorothy Bundy; Gladys & Julie Heldman; Julia & Katerina, Magdalena, Manuela Maleeva; Junko & Naoko Sawamatsu; Charlotte Cooper & Gwen Sterry; Vera & Helena Sukova; Val Ziegenfuss & Allison Bradshaw.
Siblings: Rita & Andre Agassi; Ruta & Vitas Gerulaitis; Dana & Brad Gilbert; Jasly & Lleyton Hewitt; Thea & Goran Ivanisevic; Luke, Murphy, Rachel & Rebecca Jensen; Dinara Safina & Marat Safin; Stella & Pete Sampras; Emilio, Arantxa, & Javier Sanchez; Michaela, Malavai, Mashishka, & Mashona Washington.
117. Strange occurences
At Amelia Island, Liliah Osterloh and Anne Kremer were having unexpected difficulties with their serves. Double faults were piling up. They thought there was something wrong with the lines, and asked umpire Ted Watts to check them. He decreed that there was nothing wrong, and to play on. Afterwards, a check of the lines revealed that the service boxes were 3 feet too short.
At this year's Wimbledon, Watts was involved in another strange match. With Sprem serving at 1-2 in the 2nd set tiebreak, her first serve missed wide. Venus poked it back and Sprem swatted it into the opposite court. Watts called 2-all. Then, on the second serve, which Watts allowed from the same side, despite thinking it was 2-2, Venus grabbed the point. Only instead of a 3-1 lead, she was credited with a 3-2 lead. The score was never corrected as Venus lost the tiebreak and the match.
Gabriela Sabatini once served 7 double faults in one game-- and held.
In an early round Wimbledon match in 1957, Miss Amorin served 17 straight double faults.
And in a truly bizarre incident, in 1928 the mother of German player Cecille "Cilly" Aussem sent a letter to the German Tennis Federation alleging that Cilly's only two losses to German players came because her conqueror, Frau Von Reznicek was cheating by hypnotizing Cilly. When she learned of this, Von Reznicek confronted Mother Aussem and demanded a retraction. Mrs. Aussem refused, so Von Reznicek punched her. They wound up in court, with Aussem claiming assault and Von Reznicek claiming defamation of character.
118. Humorous occurences
During a match at Amelia Island one year, Amanda Coetzer hit a serve that stuck in the net, prompting the usual mirth from the audience. The ballboy dashed across and grabbed the ball out. But on his way across the court, his foot caught in the net. He stumbled, and wound up doing a complete somersault before landing on his feet and continuing to his position. This drew a round of applause.
At Wimbledon in the mid-90's, Steffi Graf was embroiled in a particularly difficult match when a fan yelled out "Steffi, will you marry me?". After a moment's pause, Steffi answered "How much money do you have?", to the amusement of all present.
During a tense struggle with Nathalie Tauziat, Venus Williams was thinking about the match so intently that when she sat down on the changeover, she missed the chair.
In a charity exhibition, the chair umpire mangled Elise Burgin's name, making it sound like "virgin". Her friend, Pam Shriver, loudly repeated "VIRGIN??" with more than a hint of disbelief, as an embarassed Burgin tried to hide at the back of the court.
After a match at Miami one year, young Monica Seles was interviewed courtside by Fred Stolle. Then the mascot, someone in a giant tennis ball costume, crashed the interview, bumping into Stolle and a startled Seles.
119. Fashion follies
Long before Janet Jackson made the term "wardrobe malfunction" part of the lexicon, tennis was providing plenty of fashion mishaps.
Peek-a-boob: In 1979, Linda Siegel borrowed a halter dress from BettyAnn Stuart. However, due to their differences, it didn't quite fit. With the straps being loose, Linda's breasts came out, much to her embarassment, and the delight of photographers and male spectators. It was about 20 years before halter dresses returned to tennis. At a recent Australian Open, Venus Williams wore a top that featured her own innovation-- an "overbra", with a slit designed to show just a bit of cleavage. Obviously, she didn't testplay the design. The lower part kept pulling downward, and Venus had to keep pulling it back up throughout the match to avoid flashing the crowd. She thought she was successful. But a rapid photo lens caught one brief instant with her nipple exposed.
What goes up...: A few players have been undone by the combination of broken waistband elastic on their tennis panties, and the law of gravity. These have included Margaret Court, Betty Nuthall, and, appropriately enough, Shirley Bloomer.
The bottom line: The aforementioned BettyAnn Stuart had a warning for prurient Wimbledon photographers one year, when she wore tennis panties with the words "watch it" stitched across the back. A decade later, Barbara Potter showed up at Roland Garros with panties bearing the phrase "smart ass". These were both topped by a player at Wimbledon in the early 70's who had forgotten her tennis panties. She felt it would be too embarassing to wear just her regular underwear, so she opted to wear nothing at all beneath her skirt. (???)
Becoming unraveled: At Wimbledon in 1983, Martina Navratilova was charging the net (what else is new?) when her wrap skirt began to unwrap. Martina managed to hold the wayward skirt in place while finishing the point. At the US Open a couple of years ago, Selima Sfar was down set point against Barbara Schett, when her skirt started to unravel. She had to chose between playing the ball, or grabbing the skirt. She chose the latter, surrendering the set in the process. Hard to fault her decision to protect her modesty... until the changeover. Sfar walked to her chair and changed skirts-- right there on court. (?!?) And she wasn't wearing shorts beneath it, like so many of her colleagues.
Panty patrol: Nowhere have tennis panties been given as much scrutiny over the years as they have at Wimbledon. One would almost think they have a committee devoted to them. Only at Wimbledon could they decry non-plain panties for drawing attention to the bottom whilst remaining oblivious to the fact that their protestations were drawing even more attention to it. What started with Gussy's lace in 1949, through Bueno's colors in the 1960's, continued into the 1990's.
For example, in 1990 Monica Seles came into Wimbledon on a lengthy winning streak. She had done so while wearing a pair of bright pink tennis panties. But the All-England Club made her change to white ones. She lost in the quarters. (Coincidence? ) In 1994, Lori McNeil was defeating Steffi Graf in a rain-interrupted match. During the rain delay, the AEC insisted that McNeil change from the turquoise tennis panties she had been wearing to white ones, lest western civilization collapse (or words to that effect). Talk about sticking your nose into someone's business. That same year, Katrina Adams was wearing one of FancyPants' new multi-colored patterned panties, which got frequent exposure on a wind day. She was summoned to the interview room, and asked a series of questions about them. Only at Wimbledon.
Miscellany: In 1985, Anne White played a match at Wimbledon wearing a white bodystocking. Amazingly, at a venue where they often complained about attire being too skimpy, here was a controversy about an outfit that covered from neck to wrists to ankles. Not long after, Barbara Potter was having back problems, and instructed by her doctor to keep a dry shirt on when possible. This necessitated several shirt changes per match. With a finite number of bathroom breaks (which might actually be needed), and the number of changes required, Potter decided it was too much of a hassle to dash off court every time. So she had the ballgirls hold up towels to form a changing area. Of course, that didn't deter the photographers.
Tennis has had an assortment of interesting personalities over the years. From the tempestuous, such as "Hurricane" Helen Kelesi or Irina Spirlea, to the kooky. Patty Fendick once had a post-match press conference which consisted of her entering the room, wondering aloud why a kamikaze would wear a helmet, then leaving. Angelica Gavaldon allegedly would kneel in a bathtub and pray with her coach. Gigi Fernandez mooned Mary Pierce in 2 consecutive matches. Maureen Drake has designed some of the most... unique tennis outfits ever created. And in a situation we hope remains unique, former tour player Regina Marsikova was jailed for manslaughter after driving while intoxicated.
|Jul 27th, 2004 08:03 AM|
111. Justine Henin-Hardenne
GS titles won: A-S-2004; F-S-2003; U-S-2003
Tennacious player who makes up for her lack of size with hard work and lots of fight. Successfully transformed herself from a player who would lose tight matches, to one who would consistently win them. Became the 2nd Belgian to win a GS singles title (after Nelly Adamson, who says she was a Belgian citizen when she won Roland Garros) and 2nd Belgian to reach #1. Was 1st Belgian to be year-end #1.
Did you know-- in 1997, she was the youngest to ever win the Belgian National Championships.
112. Open era GS Champions
Chris O'Neil (A-S-1978); Barbara Jordan (A-S-1979); Mary Pierce (A-S-1995; F- S-2000; D-2000); Kerry Harris (A-D-1972); Helen Gourlay (A- D- 1972, 76, 77J, 77D; W-D-1977); Peggy Michel (A- D- 1974, 75; W-D-1974); Mona Guerrant (A-D-1977); Diane Fromholtz (A-D-1977); Betsy Nagelsen (A- D- 1978, 80); Renata Tomanova (A-D-1978; F-M-1978); Judy Chaloner (A-D-1979); Diane Evers (A-D-1979); Patty Fendick (A-D-1991); Mary Joe Fernandez (A-D-1991; F-D-1996); Mirjana Lucic (A-D-1998); Lisa Raymond (A-D-2000; F-M-2003; W- D-2001; M-1999; U- D-2001; M- 1996, 2002); Rennae Stubbs (A- D-2000; M-2000; W- D- 2001, 04; U- D-2001; M-2001); Zina Garrison (A-M-1987; W- M- 1988, 90); Jo Durie (A-M-1991; W-M-1987); Nicole Provis (A-M-1992; U-M-1992); Larisa Neiland (A- M- 1994, 96; F- D-1989; M-1995; W- D-1991, M-1992); Manon Bollegraf (A-M-1997; U- M- 1991, 97); Mariaan de Swardt (A-M-1999; F-M-2000); Corina Morariu (A-M-2001; W-D-1999); Daniela Hantuchova (A-M-2002; W-M-2001); Elena Bovina (A-M-2004); Sue Barker (F-S-1976); Mima Jausovec (F- S-1977; D-1978); Virginia Ruzici (F- S-1978; D-1978); Iva Majoli (F-S-1997); Anastasia Myskina (F-S-2004); Olga Morozova (F-D-1974); Fiorella Bonicelli (F- D-1976; M-1975); Regina Marsikova (F-D-1977); Pam Teeguarden (F-D-1977; U-M-1974); Ros Fairbank (F- D- 1981, 83); Tanya Harford (F-D-1981); Candy Reynolds (F-D-1983); Andrea Temesvari (F-D-1986); Kim Clijsters (F-D-2003; W-D-2003); Ai Sugiyama (F-D-2003;W-D-2003; U- D-2000; M-1999); Ilana Kloss (F-M-1976; U-D-1976); Mary Carillo (F-M-1977); Lori McNeil (F-M-1988); Evgenia Maniokova (F-M-1993); Kristie Boogert (F-M-1994); Patricia Tarabini (F-M-1996); Rika Hiraki (F-M-1997); Katarina Srebotnik (F-M-1998, U-M-2003); Cara Black (F-M-2002; W- D-2004; M-2004); Tatiana Golovin (F-M-2004); Conchita Martinez (W-S-1994); Maria Sharapova (W-S-2004); Ann Kiyomura (W-D-1975); Joanne Russell (W-D-1977); Liz Smylie (W- D-1985; M-1991; U- M- 1983, 90); Claudia Kohde-Kilsch (W-D-1987; U-D-1985); Gabriela Sabatini (W-D-1988; U-S-1990); Greer Stevens (W-M-1977; U-M-1979); Tracy Austin (W-M-1980; U- S- 1979, 81); Kim Po (W-M-2000); Elena Likhovtseva (W-M-2002); Svetlana Kuznetsova (U-S-2004); Linky Boshoff (U-D-1976); Robin White (U- D-1988; M-1984); Julie Halard-Decugis (U-D-2000); Mary Ann Eisel (U-M-1968); Patty Hogan (U-M-1969); Rafaella Reggi (U-M-1986); Elna Reinach (U-M-1994); Meredith McGrath (U-M-1995); Vera Zvonareva (U-M-2004)
113. Memorable matches
There have been many memorable matches over the years, far too many to do complete justice to in my rush to complete this thread. So I'll touch on a few which haven't been mentioned yet. There was the legendary clash between Lenglen and Wills at Cannes. The 1950 US 2r match between Gibson and Brough, where Althea showed she could play with the top players. The 1953 US final, which saw Connolly become the first woman to win a calendar Grand Slam in singles. The 1970 Wimbledon final, between Court and King, in a battle of wounded warriors. The 1990 VS final between Seles and Sabatini, which was a 5 set thriller. The 1995 Wimbledon final between Graf and Sanchez-Vicario, marked by that thrilling penultimate game. The 2001 RG final between Capriati and Clijsters. And the most recent, that 2003 US Open semi between Capriati and Henin-Hardenne.
114. Notable achievements
Many players have been involved in, or have connections to, interesting achievements. Ann Koger became the first woman to officiate an NCAA men's basketball game. Camille Benjamin's grandparents helped build the Panama Canal. Leslie Allen was the first girl in Ohio to play on a boys' high school team. Carol Watson is the owner of Shapes, a fitness studio.
115. Arthur "Bud" Collins
Over the decades, it has been the habit of most tennis writers to give the women's game short shrift. One of the rare writers to give the women some exposure was Bud Collins. And while I would hesitate to classify any tennis writers as "experts" on the women's game, Bud has probably seen more women's tennis than any other writer in the history of the game. A walking encyclopedia, Bud has probably seen every top woman player of the past 50 years, and could likely recall matches, and humorous stories, for all of them. While Bud is still on NBC's tennis crew, he is badly under-utilized. He would certainly be better in their booth than a baseball announcer. I've have been critical of Bud's writing at times, because I have seen what he is capable of. When he's on his game, he's one of the best sports writers around. Witty and self-effacing, Bud is renowned for his wild pants (the matching half for Lindsey Nelson's jackets?).
|Jul 27th, 2004 08:01 AM|
106. Venus Williams
GS titles won: A- D- 2001, 03; M-1998; F- D-1999; M-1998; W- S- 2000, 01; D- 2000, 02; U- S- 2000, 01; D-1999
The elder sister of the most famous modern sister tandem, Venus paved the way for little sister Serena. As the first African-American tennis phenom, Venus was a trailblazer in many senses. Venus was the first player to blend the size of a big woman with the speed of a small one.
With an all-court game, Venus was very intimidating. Her power would overwhelm opponents, both from the ground, and with her first-on-tour 125+ MPH serves. Her height and reach made it tough to pass her at the net. And her speed frustrated opponents attempting to hit winners. However, when not confident, Venus could have mechanical breakdowns on her second serve and forehand.
Did you know-- Venus went 63-0 in junior competition before her father withdrew her to spare her the pressures of the junior circuit.
107. Jennifer Capriati
GS titles won: A-S- 2001, 02; F-S-2001
One of the first power-brokers in the recent history of tennis, alongside Mary Pierce and Monica Seles. Capriati burst on the scene with a splash, reaching the final of her very first tournament, and the semis of her first slam. She quickly reached the top 10, and was expected to enter the top 5 and start winning GS titles in short order. But it didn't happen. Stuck in the lower end of the top 10, Capriati eventually burned out under the pressure. She was caught using drugs and shoplifting. It seemed she would become another cautionary tale of potential gone astray.
Then came her second professional life. Working her way back onto the tour gradually, Capriati slowly moved up the rankings. Playing free of pressure, she got close to the top 10 again. A chance encounter with an autograph seeking fan gave her the impetus she needed to finally reach her potential. As she signed, the fan lamented how she could have been #1, and perhaps the best ever. Capriati was inspired to work harder than she ever had, and got in the best shape of her life. She wound up winning 3 Grand Slam singles titles, and reaching that long forecast #1 ranking.
Did you know-- while Capriati was away from the tour in the mid-90's, she got her high school diploma.
108. Virginia Ruano-Pascual
GS titles won: A-D-2004; F- D- 2001, 02, 04; M-2001; U- D- 2002-04
Spanish veteran who is part of the 21st century's most successful doubles team. She and partner Paola Suarez have already won 7 GS doubles titles together, making them one of the top teams of all time. A wily baseliner, Ruano-Pascual can mix speeds and spins on all of her shots, especially her one-handed backhand, to frustrate opponents.
109. Paola Suarez
GS titles won: A-D-2004; F- D- 2001, 02, 04; U- D- 2002-04
A consistent baseliner, Suarez became the first Argentine to hold a #1 ranking when she became the top doubles player. A late bloomer, she's playing the best tennis of her life in her late 20's, having cracked the top 10 in singles and posted a couple of Quality Finishes at slams.
110. Sister Act
Tennis history was made in the 2001 US Open final. Venus and Serena Williams squared off in the first all-sister Grand Slam singles final since the late 19th century. It also kicked off the "Williams era" of dominance in Grand Slams, which saw the sisters meet in 6 of 8 finals. And in perfect timing for the USTA, this happened to occur in their first night final. It transformed a sporting event into a major entertainment event, and drew 23 million TV viewers in the US alone, easily topping college football on another network.
|Jul 27th, 2004 07:59 AM|
101. Martina Hingis
GS titles won: A- S- 1997-99; D- 1997-99, 2002; F- D- 1998, 2000; W- S-1997; D- 1996, 98; U- S-1997; D-1998
This talented all-court player was a change of pace when she emerged in the mid 1990's. With the brashness of a teenager and the brain of a 40-year-old. Hingis' tactical guile took the tennis world by storm. She was also known for her candor in the interview room, often saying what came to mind and dealing with the consequences later. It was this verbal sparring, first with her elders, then with her contemporaries, that provided the "spice" on the tour in the late 1990's. She was one match away from a calendar singles Grand Slam in 1997. Won a calendar doubles Grand Slam in 1998.
Did you know-- Hingis was named after Martina Navratilova. (Yes, I know it's a lame D-Y-K, but it's the best I could do on short notice.)
102. Lindsay Davenport
GS titles won: A-S-2000; F-D-1996; W- S-1999; D-1999; U- S-1998; D-1997
Tall, power-hitting baseliner known for having the "cleanest" groundstrokes on tour. Also known for having a powerful, consistent serve. When in form, can dictate play against most opponents. Had her breakthrough at the 1996 Olympics, which convinced her she could challenge the top players. On the downside, often criticized for a mopey attitude when things aren't going well.
Did you know-- Davenport won her first GS singles title on her mother's birthday.
103. Anna Kournikova
GS titles won: A- D- 1999, 2002
Sometimes, timing is as important to stardom as talent. Much like Madonna and the emerging MTV music video era was a perfect match, so too was it with Kournikova and the internet. Tennis has always had beautiful women. It's also had very talented women. Sometimes, these two intersect. The arrival of a global internet has made many a beautiful player into a "tennis babe", whether she so desired or not. And the more successful she is, the more photos are taken of her, which provides more fodder for her enshrinement.
Top players have always had endorsements. They've done adverts, and the occasional magazine photo shoot. But no one ever exploited the avenues available to star players like Kournikova. As she emerged as a top talent, she embraced the trappings of stardom. Her attitude, whether one agreed or not, is why should she apologize for being beautiful? Thus, you'd be hard-pressed to find a magazine she hasn't appeared in. One could claim she had been "over-exposed". But one could just as easily laud her pragmatism in recognizing that "the ride doesn't last forever", and "you've got to get it while you can".
What has become increasingly lost in the arguments pro and con over her use of the media, is that Kournikova was a very good player. She made a couple of different forays into the top 10. She has defeated almost every player of prominence during her career. She defeated 4 consecutive top 10 players en route to the Miami final in 1998. She had all of the tools and potential to be a potential winner of GS singles titles and #1 in the world. What happened? Untimely injuries, such as the thumb injury that ended her first run to the top 10. Nagging injuries, often exacerbated by Kournikova's propensity to overtrain. Loss of confidence after the injuries. And some technical and tactical problems she developed that were never corrected.
104. The internet
One of the biggest boons for women's tennis has been the creation (and expansion) of the internet. In addition to making pinup girls of many of the players, it has also benefitted fans in a myriad of ways. We've gone from getting the scores in the next day's newspaper (assuming your paper even carried tennis scores) to getting same-day results, to getting results as soon as the match is finished, and in some cases, live point-by-point scoring. Tennis is treated like a real sport. We also got
to form online fan "communities", whether in support of particular players or the sport overall. We can also get match reports, news, and photos from fans who are at tournament sites.
But while the internet has benefitted fans, it has proven to be somewhat of a bane for the tennis media. Not only is deadline pressure stepped up, and articles required to be more timely (leaving precious little time to look up info, and oftimes exposing how little the writers know about the sport), but we have more sources of information available to check the facts. This leaves many an article wanting. It has also exposed one of the "dirty little secrets" of the tennis media; pool writing. Tennis writers, in general, don't like to watch women's matches. However, they are often called upon to write about them. Instead of actually watching the matches, they merely congregate together, glance at some stats, and agree on how they're going to describe the match. Hence, the similarity in most articles, whereas there is greater variety in the descriptions of matches they actually saw. However, with a global community of fans, odds are pretty good someone has seen the match, live or on TV. Many times, their descriptions conflict greatly with the media guesses. Hence, the sham is exposed. Also, many fans have worked in the press rooms, and witnessed this fraud occuring themselves.
105. Serena Williams
GS titles won: A- S-2003; D- 2001, 03; - S-2002; D-1999; W- S- 2002, 03; D- 2000, 02; M-1998; U- S- 1999, 2002; D-1999; M-1998
The first of the Williams sisters to break through and win a GS singles title, Serena has since surpassed Venus in that regard. Labeled by her father as the "meaner" of the 2 sisters on court, she is actually the friendlier of the 2 off it. Could be considered a prototype 21st century player, blending power, speed, and athleticism. Signed a record endorsement deal for female athletes with Nike.
Did you know- Serena lost her first pro match 6-1 6-1.
|Jul 27th, 2004 07:57 AM|
96. Monica Seles
GS titles won: A- S- 1991-93, 96; F- D- 1990-92; U- S- 1991-92
Seles brought a unique style to the tour, hitting with 2 hands on both sides, and with power. She also incorporated angles better than anyone. In addition, she brought a diva-like attitude to the #1 spot for the first time since Lenglen.
As a teen, Seles won 8 GS singles titles. She was bidding for an unprecedented (since the tournament opened to foreigners) 4th straight French title when a madman attacked her, removing her from the game for almost 2˝ years. When she returned, her game skills were as good as ever, even better in some cases, but she didn't have the same single-minded focus as before. And as she was interrupted at her peak, her career numbers aren't what they almost assuredly would have been. Even so, she will be recognized as one of the greatest of all time. And her tribulations have made her one of the most popular sports figures in the world.
Did you know- after losing a junior match to a grunting Carrie Cunningham, Seles started grunting in her matches.
97. The Sawamatsus
GS titles won: Kazuko-W-D-1975
If there is a "First Family of Japanese tennis", it's the Sawamatsus. Sisters Junko and Kazuko were the most prominent Japanese players of the early 70's. Kazuko made the breakthrough of being the first Japanese player to reach a GS semi in singles. When several Japanese players made a breakthrough in the 90's, it was largely credited to the efforts of Kimiko Date. While Date was the most prominent and successful, cracking the top 5 (indeed, the best Japanese player of all time), many forget it was Junko's daughter Naoko Sawamatsu who lead the breakthroughs, becoming the first Japanese player to reach the top 15.
98. Horror in Hamburg
There was a line. Athletes have always been the targets of verbal assaults from fans. From the mild to the explicit. Some have even exceeded the boundaries of good taste. But there was a line. A line that they wouldn't cross.
That all changed on April 30th, 1993. On a routine changeover during a match in Hamburg, Monica Seles and Maggie Maleeva sat down as they had hundreds of times before. Then the world changed. One lone lunatic, with a knife in his hand and malice in his heart, attacked the world #1, and nothing would ever be the same. Not only did he change the career of the woman he tried to kill, not only did he alter the future of a tour, but he forever changed the world of sports. No athlete could ever feel completely safe again. If one of them could be so brazenly attacked, any of them could. No longer could they be sure a fan's abuse would stop at the verbal. No longer could they be sure that someone wouldn't cross the line. A line that was severed by the knife of a madman on April 30th, 1993.
99. 90's invAsian
The 1990's saw a huge breakthrough for Asian players on the WTA Tour. Naoko Sawamatsu sparked a wave of players from Japan, topped by Kimiko Date. Yayuk Basuki of Indonesia reached the top 20, and was joined in the top 100 by countrywoman Romana Tedjakasuma. Future top 20 player Tamarine Tanasugarn emerged from Thailand. Shi-ting Wang and Janet Lee led a group from Taipei. Fang Li and Li Ling Chen were the forerunners of the modern wave from China. Altogether, these players boosted the overall popularity of the tour in the region.
100. Chanda Rubin
GS titles won: A-D-1996
Throughout her career, Rubin has never received proper respect from the tennis community, both for her on-court abilities, and her off-court contributions. She will here. While her tennis career has been devastated by injuries, she has compiled an impressive resumé in terms of giving to others. When several US junior tournaments were in jeopardy of being lost, it was Rubin, and not her more well-monied colleagues on either tour, who stepped up and provided the financial support necessary to keep them going. (See http://www.jstennis.com) When the NAACP called for a boycott of events in South Carolina over the Confederate flag issue, it was Rubin who was the first to honor it and withdraw from the tournament there. She was later joined by Serena Williams, who learned about the boycott during the Miami event. Not surprisingly, the media credited Williams with "leading" the players' support of the boycott. Rubin's coach, Benny Sims, said Chanda reminds him a lot of his good friend Arthur Ashe.
Indeed, she could be considered the Arthur Ashe of this generation. In addition to the above, Rubin has taken a direct hands-on involvement with the following: Adopt-a-bed Campaign; Guest speaker at "Love Reading" for children of prison inmates; Athletes Against Drugs; Wheelchair Tennis Spokesman; Children's Museum; American Heart Association; Special Olympics; WTA F.I.R.S.T. Serve Spokesperson; Bishop Charity Fund; Women's Sports Foundation; National Women and Girls in Sports Day; United Negro College Fund; American Tennis Association; Chanda Rubin Foundation, in association with the Southern Tennis Patrons Foundation, to promote tennis and education; Grassroots tennis, supported by numerous tennis clinics throughout the year.
Did you know-- Rubin holds the record for longest period of successfully holding seed in main singles draws of WTA tournaments-- a mind-boggling 3 years and 11 months. The second longest such streak is only about 1/5th that.
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