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Old Nov 17th, 2012, 03:08 AM   #1
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Peak Serena?

All these threads here about "peak Serena". Pray tell, when was that?

The popular notion around here that Serena Williams peak season was her 2002 season is simply fallacious, if only because at the end of 2002 she only had a total of 4 of her 15 Grand Slam titles so far, while winning 3 Slams in 2002 alone. And therefore, we are left to believe that in her non-peak form Serena won 12 Grand Slam titles. LOL!

Moreover, the labeling of peak Serena is misnomer. The following record begs the question-what is the effect of injuries on peak Serena (when ever that was)?:

1998- Wimbledon [Injury retired match vs. Virgina Rauno Pascual, right knee tendonitis].

1999 -withdrew from Wimbledon w/flu and from Tour Championships w/back injury. [German Open 3-6 2-3 ret vs. Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario (ESP) knee injury].

2000- Montréal (ret. vs. Hingis w/left foot injury). Amelia Island (ret. vs. Suárez in 2r w/left knee injury); withdrew from European clay season w/knee injury (from Amelia Island) and from Tour Championships w/left foot injury.

2002- Reaching SF at Sydney (ret. vs. Shaughnessy w/right ankle injury then withdrew from Australian Open).

2003 - Underwent left knee surgery on August 1 to repair a partial tear, withdrawing from all events after Wimbledon (incl. US Open, Tour Championships).

*[Had professional Psychological attention to deal with the 2003 murder of her oldest sister, finally came to terms with that tragedy by the time to the 2007 Australian Open, at which time she dedicated her win then to her late sister in her winners speech].

2004 - Returned to Tour after eight-month lay-off due to knee rehabilitation and had fourth straight Top 10 finish. San Diego (withdrew w/left knee inflammation). Charleston (withdrew prior to 3r w/left knee inflammation). Withdrew from Australian Open w/left knee rehabilitation.

2005 - After impressive run to sixth Grand Slam singles title, injury-plagued season resulted in first non-Top 10 finish since 1998. Paris [Indoors] (withdrew before QF w/GI illness), Dubai (ret. in SF vs. Jankovic w/right shoulder strain). Amelia Island (ret. in QF vs. Farina Elia w/left ankle sprain). Toronto (withdrew before 3r w/left knee pain). Withdrew from Roland Garros w/left ankle injury; did not qualify for Tour Championships for first time since 1998.

2006 - Nearly finished outside Top 100 for first time after injury-plagued season; fell 3r at Australian Open (l. to Hantuchova) then withdrew from all events until summer w/left knee injury (incl. Roland Garros, Wimbledon); on April 10, ranked outside Top 100 for first time since November 16, 1997; on July 10, fell to No.140 (down from No.11 at start of 2006); ended six-month layoff with three summer events, reaching SF at Cincinnati (l. to Zvonareva), SF at Los Angeles (l. to Jankovic; returned to Top 100 afterwards, having spent 18 weeks outside) and 4r at US Open (as WC, l. to No.1 Mauresmo in 3s); played only four events all year, lowest in Top 100 (next-lowest was V.Williams with six).

2007 - Charleston (ret. 2r w/right groin strain), Zürich (ret. 1r w/right adductor strain) and Tour Championships (ret. in first RR match w/left knee injury then withdrew from tournament). Missed all pre-US Open summer hardcourt events w/left thumb sprain (suffered at Wimbledon).

2008 - Rome (withdrew prior to match vs. Cornet w/back injury). Tour Championships (went 1-1 in RR stage then withdrew from event w/abdominal injury). Withdrew from Paris [Indoors], Antwerp and Dubai w/recovery from gum surgery, Los Angeles w/left knee injury and Moscow w/left ankle injury.

2009 - Paris [Indoors] (as top seed, withdrew prior to match vs. No.3 seed Dementieva w/right knee injury). Madrid (as No.2 seed, ret. vs. Schiavone w/right knee injury in 1r). Withdrew from Charleston w/left leg injury, and from Tokyo w/left knee and toe injury.

2010- Missed three months early in season w/left knee injury (withdrawing from Paris [Indoors], Dubai, Miami, Marbella and Charleston) and all post-Wimbledon events w/right foot injury (withdrawing from Istanbul, Cincinnati, Montréal, US Open, Tokyo, Beijing, Linz and WTA Championships).

2011 - Sensational summer results after year-long injury and illness lay-off (finishing No.12); missed first half of year w/right foot injury and PE (withdrew from Australian Open, Indian Wells, Miami, Charleston, Madrid, Rome and Roland Garros) but returned in June, going 4-2 during grass court season (reaching 2r at Eastbourne and 4r at Wimbledon) then compiling 18-1 record during summer hardcourt season, winning 38th and 39th WTA titles at Stanford (d. Bartoli in final) and Toronto (d. Stosur in final), reaching 2r at Cincinnati (withdrew prior to match vs. Stosur w/right toe injury aggravation) then reaching 17th Grand Slam final at US Open (l. to Stosur; now 13-4 in Grand Slam finals); withdrew from Tokyo and Beijing w/medical reasons.

Source: http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/p...s_2257889_9044

Perhaps, peak Serena should refers to a particular match or matches rather than a particular season or seasons.

Furthermore, peak Anybody vs. peak Serena is an oxymoron. Peak Serena is obviously Serena at her very best. As such, peak Serena is virtually unbeatable, and therefore, incomparable. Serena Williams at her best is actually the best female tennis performer in the history of the sport-the best female tennis player ever. And, for those who disagree having ever seen Serena Williams at her best, e.g., the 2012 Olympics, you can keep on not believing your lying eyes for the masturbation of your mind.

Finally, peak or no peak, Serena Williams has at some point in her career put in a peak performance (where her Opponent wins no more than five games in the match) against the very best of her competitors as follows:

1. 1999 Grand Slam Cup.........Vs. ASV........................6-3, 6-1.
2. 2001 Indian Wells...........vs. Lindsay Davenport..........6-1, 6-2.
3. 2001 Indian Wells...........vs. Kim Clijsters..............6-0, 6-2.
4. 2001 US Open................vs. Martina Hingis.............6-3, 6-2
2002 Miami..................vs. Martina Hingis.............6-4, 6-0.
5. 2002 Miami..................vs. Venus Williams.............6-2, 6-2.
6. 2002 French Open............vs. Mary Pierce................6-1, 6-1.
7. 2003 French Open............vs. Amelie Mauresmo............6-1, 6-2.
8. 2004 Miami..................vs. Elena Dementieva...........6-1, 6-1.
9. 2004 Wimbledon..............vs. Jennifer Capriati..........6-1, 6-1.
10.2007 Australian Open........vs. Maria Sharapova............6-1, 6-2
2007 Miami..................vs. Maria Sharapova............6-1, 6-1
2011 Stanford...............vs. Maria Sharapova............6-1, 6-3
2012 Madrid.................vs. Maria Sharapova............6-1, 6-3
2012 Olympics...............vs. Maria Sharapova............6-0, 6-1.
11.2008 Miami..................vs. Justine Henin..............6-2, 6-0.
12.2009 Australian Open........vs. Dinara Safina..............6-0, 6-3.
13.2012 Charleston.............vs. Samantha Stosur............6-1, 6-1.
14.2012 Madrid.................vs. Victoria Azarenka..........6-1, 6-3
2012 Olympics...............vs. Victoria Azarenka..........6-1, 6-2.
15.2012 Olympics...............vs. Caroline Wozniaki..........6-0, 6-3
16.2012 US Open................vs. Anna Ivanovic..............6-1, 6-3.

This record is of some of the occasions when Serena went all buck-wild on her top opponents.
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Old Nov 17th, 2012, 03:33 AM   #2
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Re: Peak Serena?

Right on Laj


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Old Nov 17th, 2012, 05:16 AM   #3
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Re: Peak Serena?

Maria should just pull her skirt down everytime she plays Serena. What an embarassing matchup that is. Or the crowd should start chanting as they come out "whos your daddy, whos your daddy".
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Old Nov 17th, 2012, 10:35 AM   #4
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Re: Peak Serena?

Her double bagel of Rodionova must be mentioned. Even in 2002 she never dished out a double bagel .

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Old Nov 17th, 2012, 10:36 AM   #5
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Re: Peak Serena?

Quote:
Originally Posted by laj View Post
All these threads here about "peak Serena". Pray tell, when was that?

The popular notion around here that Serena Williams peak season was her 2002 season is simply fallacious, if only because at the end of 2002 she only had a total of 4 of her 15 Grand Slam titles so far
In which other season did Serena win three Slams and go undefeated in Grand Slams? I seem to have missed it, despite hanging on her every match for the past 10 years.

Of course 2002 was her peak and any Serena fan who claims otherwise is doing her exploits and game throughout that entire year a disservice. That's the form that she largely managed to replicate the next year and carried Serena to winning 5/6 slams and 4 in a row. No form Serena has produced since has come close to eclipsing those achievements. Even in 2012 with a less potent field.

You seem to be claiming that the "Serena Slam" wasn't her playing peak simply because she has won many more slams since then. Aside from the fact her slam hit rate in both 2002 and 2003 is higher than anything else since - 2002 (along with arguably 2003) is the only year when Serena's game has looked equally as deadly at the French Open as all the other slams. That was a pure form of domination which we haven't seen since, from anyone.
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Old Nov 17th, 2012, 02:06 PM   #6
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Re: Peak Serena?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olórin View Post
In which other season did Serena win three Slams and go undefeated in Grand Slams? I seem to have missed it, despite hanging on her every match for the past 10 years.

Of course 2002 was her peak and any Serena fan who claims otherwise is doing her exploits and game throughout that entire year a disservice. That's the form that she largely managed to replicate the next year and carried Serena to winning 5/6 slams and 4 in a row. No form Serena has produced since has come close to eclipsing those achievements. Even in 2012 with a less potent field.

You seem to be claiming that the "Serena Slam" wasn't her playing peak simply because she has won many more slams since then. Aside from the fact her slam hit rate in both 2002 and 2003 is higher than anything else since - 2002 (along with arguably 2003) is the only year when Serena's game has looked equally as deadly at the French Open as all the other slams. That was a pure form of domination which we haven't seen since, from anyone.
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Old Nov 17th, 2012, 05:21 PM   #7
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Re: Peak Serena?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olórin View Post
In which other season did Serena win three Slams and go undefeated in Grand Slams? I seem to have missed it, despite hanging on her every match for the past 10 years.

Of course 2002 was her peak and any Serena fan who claims otherwise is doing her exploits and game throughout that entire year a disservice. That's the form that she largely managed to replicate the next year and carried Serena to winning 5/6 slams and 4 in a row. No form Serena has produced since has come close to eclipsing those achievements. Even in 2012 with a less potent field.

You seem to be claiming that the "Serena Slam" wasn't her playing peak simply because she has won many more slams since then. Aside from the fact her slam hit rate in both 2002 and 2003 is higher than anything else since - 2002 (along with arguably 2003) is the only year when Serena's game has looked equally as deadly at the French Open as all the other slams. That was a pure form of domination which we haven't seen since, from anyone.
Your response is even more irrational(you probably misunderstood my point) than the original notion that Serena Williams peaked in 2002.

First, I am not in any way arguing against the greatness of Serena 2002 season, because from my way of thinking the 2002 season coupled with 2003 Australian Open is the singular feat that puts Serena Williams in Legendary status. Rather, I am arguing against the "peak" concept been put to any particular season of hers. The peak concept implies the reaching of the pinnacle and then a fallen away with diminishing returns resulting from the application of the same factors/game. It is my contention that Serena Williams game came of age in by the time of the beginning of the 1999 tennis season-whereby Serena Williams demonstratively indicates she has the very tools in her tennis toolbox set to be a great champion. It is my contention that the Serena Williams game of 1999-2001 was of no difference to the Serena Williams game of 2002. That is, she was not serving any better, she was not returning any better, she was not moving any better, etc, in 2002. If anyone think otherwise they are clearly suffering from an illusion.

However, it was Serena Williams who in her own words opined in 2001 that in her mind professional tennis is proportionally 20% physical and 80% mental. It is imperative that the Serena fans hold on to that frame of thought because it will go far to help in the understanding of her ability to succeed even against most every odds. In tennis fandom too much attention is given solely to the 20% physicality of her game. (As a side note, this why so many here have not yet realize that barring serious injuries, Angelique Kerber is most likely to be the next great champion on the WTA tour, for in her game she possesses right proportion of the physicality and mentality of a champion).

Secondly, if we are to give consideration to the concept of peak as it relates to Serena Williams, it is imperative that we look at her whole tennis career successes as measured against her enormous talent. That Serena Williams is the most talented female tennis player ever to play the sport is not even up for debate anyone among those who rational and logical minded. As such, success came to her more easily than perhaps she herself had expected. I hereby insist that Serena Williams up to the time of the 2001 Canadian Open relied overly heavy on just her talent to succeed in the sport because success came relatively easy for her. For example, Serena first two main years (Rookie Years) on the WTA tour 1998 – 1999. At the end of the 1999 tennis season Serena competed in a total of 25 tournaments main draw tournaments on the WTA tour. In that experience she won 5 titles, including her first Grand Slam title, and she was 21 – 12 = 64% successful in Win/Loss percentage against the WTA Top 10, including a record for the fastest wins against top 10 ranked players and a record as to the fastest player to top 10 ranking status. Moreover, Serena success against the Tour’s three best players at the time: - #1 Hingis, #2 Davenport, and the GOAT Graf is an indicator of degree of her talent. In the same period Serena was 3 – 3 against #1 Hingis, 4 – 1 against #2 Davenport, and 1 – 1 against Graf. And so, for the first in the history of the rankings you have a situation in which the three best players on tour do not have a winning record against a rookie player who they have all matched up against.

Furthermore, after when Serena was so successful in the 1999 season many on the tour began to adjust to her game, while she was still solely relying on her talent to get by [Michael Vick speaks to this syndrome by which he also in the early part of his football career relied overly heavy on his enormous talent rather than enhancing it by the application of a proper study of game of football as a Quarterback]. Additionally, Serena Williams was at a different place mentally between the 2000 season and up to August of 2001. At one time her mother, Oracene, refers to her in that time as "my problem child". Serena was blowing matches she should have won if only she was mentally stronger then. For example, the 2000 Canadian Open vs. Martina Hingis, the 2001 Australian Open vs Martina Hingis, the 2001 Wimbledon vs. Jennifer Capriati, and the 2001 Los Angeles vs. Monica Seles (blowing 6 match points).

Thirdly, when Serena channels her mental strength at an 80% proportion she is at her very best level of performance. It was Chris Evert who recognized and wrote by the time of the 2000 season that "a fully thinking Serena Williams is unbeatable". After Jennifer Capriati became Serena Williams's big nemesis (losing four straight matches to Capriati), after mediocre successes since the end of the 1999 season, after hearing the chimes of the skeptics that she is just a One-Slam Wonder, after after blowing 6 match points in Los Angeles against Seles, Serena went into the 2001 Canadian Open and interview with Pam Shriver said,"I am tired of losing to girls who I know I am better than. I am tired of seeing girls who can't beat me ranked above me. I want to raise my ranking higher, and I want to help Venus becomes Number 1". With that, all she did was to forcibly brings her game back to the 80% mental strength proportion. And the rest as they say, is history. She went on the win 8 straight matches against Capriati by time of the 2003 Wimbledon; the Serena Slam; 5 of 6 Grand Slam titles in 2002 - 2003. Peak? Yes! But, my question is this: when has it diminished since then? Was it peak Serena who in spite being rusty, won the 2005 Australian Open? Was it peak Serena, who in spite of less than 100% conditioning and very rusty, won the 2007 Australian Open by beating a record number of seeded players and finishes in the Finals in pristine form?

Lastly, Serena in her 15 years on the WTA tour has only played in all four Grand Slams tournaments in single year five times. In those five years she won just 6 of her 15 Grand Slam titles:

2012................2
2009................2
2008................1
2007................1
2001................0.

Again, I summarized by asking the questions:
1. Since the 2002 season what has been the effects of injuries on the Serena Williams tennis career?
2. How has the injury factor affects what is consider her peak?
3. Where is the rise of the Serena Williams game in 2002 over the game she had in the 1999 season?
4. And, where fall off or diminishing of the Serena Williams game since the time of 2002 season?
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Old Nov 18th, 2012, 12:08 AM   #8
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Re: Peak Serena?

Laj:

There is one other point Olórin is missing.


It is to soon to count 2002-2003 as her best season

She hasn't lost the AO and FO 2013 yet. 2002 carried

over into 2003 as 2012 is carrying over into 2013.

The story hasn't finished being written yet.


Not until she loses in Austrailea and/or Paris.

He said she won 5 of 6 slams then. She still has a

chance to do that again. ...Or better

Last edited by rjd1111 : Nov 18th, 2012 at 03:00 AM.
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Old Nov 19th, 2012, 01:35 AM   #9
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Re: Peak Serena?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rjd1111 View Post
Laj:

There is one other point Olórin is missing.


It is to soon to count 2002-2003 as her best season

She hasn't lost the AO and FO 2013 yet. 2002 carried

over into 2003 as 2012 is carrying over into 2013.

The story hasn't finished being written yet.


Not until she loses in Austrailea and/or Paris.

He said she won 5 of 6 slams then. She still has a

chance to do that again. ...Or better
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Old Nov 19th, 2012, 02:23 AM   #10
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Re: Peak Serena?

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Old Nov 19th, 2012, 02:32 AM   #11
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Re: Peak Serena?

Anyone who writes so much on an online tennis forum about one player and isn't PAID for it needs to go outside some more.
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Old Nov 19th, 2012, 05:40 AM   #12
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Re: Peak Serena?

Did you see the Henin 2008 Miami match? Justine hit 30+ errors in 14 games.



Also, SMH at including Ivanovic, Safina and Wozniacki in that list.

Oh damn, there is a second long post? If I were Serena I'd get a restraining order.
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Old Nov 19th, 2012, 08:41 AM   #13
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Re: Peak Serena?

This is such a peak off-season.
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Old Nov 19th, 2012, 08:50 AM   #14
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Re: Peak Serena?

She is our mother. Terror Fabulous.
Thanks for this daily devotional, laj.
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Old Nov 19th, 2012, 03:07 PM   #15
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Re: Peak Serena?

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Anyone who writes so much on an online tennis forum about one player and isn't PAID for it needs to go outside some more.
Sometimes the unenlightened need a good Sermon from

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