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Old Jan 23rd, 2003, 05:23 PM   #1
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Venus and Serena: Good and bad for the game

Before I start, let me say I'm a fan of V and S, so let's clear that up before I'm called a racist, or a bad Seles fan, etc;

Venus and Serena are great for the good because they brought tennis to a market it had to be brought to: Young African-Americans, or African-Americans in general. The black players of recent years (Zina, Chanda, Lori), were all talented, but spoke well and acted in a proper way so as to not to be controversial. Venus and Serena's brashness, however much some might hate it, made people stand up and take notice. It looked silly when they were #200 in the world, but critics shut up when they began climbing the ranks. Their beauty made them marketable, and their marketability made them likeable to the ghetto thugs as much as the country club trust fund babies. They're good for the game because they are an inspiring story. Growing up in Compton, playing on courts ridden with weeds, no money, etc. They showed anything was possible with hard work and determination. They are also good for the game because they are making history. Imagine two black sisters from the ghetto, who didn't play junior tournaments, who never practiced for particularly long hours, rise to #1 and #2 in the world with such little effort that they can pursue acting and a degree in interior design.

But that's the problem. They've gotten to the top with such seemingly little effort that it's almost embarassing to the rest of the players. The fact they can take 10 months off from doubles and then pick it up again at Wimbledon and win the title speaks poorly for the other teams. The fact that the only way people can beat them is if they play the match of their life and V and S are way off (and even then it goes three sets), looks bad. Sure Martina, Steffi, Monica, Martina H all had periods of domination. But they couldn't reach 4 consecutive slam finals (and potentially win all 4), they couldn't be invincible on the doubles court w/anyone as a partner (Serena winning a Tier II with #200 Alexandra Stevenson). We've never had the #1 and #2 singles players play together and then be the world's best doubles team. It wouldn't be feasible either. Martina and Chris wouldn't be the world's best doubles team. Neither would Hingis and Seles, Graf and Seles, Vicario and Graf, Capriati and Hingis, Davenport and Hingis. It's almost like "give somebody else a chance to win." Their domination will cool down eventually, but they make the rest of the tour seem like a major undercard.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2003, 05:29 PM   #2
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The rest of the tour has to work its butt off and improve.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2003, 05:37 PM   #3
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its bad b/c its boring. all williams finals were cool like once or twice, but the same thing always happens, serena owns venus, and venus is content being no. 2. its not good for the game if the no. 2 player is just going to let no. 1 stay up there. it is good for the rest b/c other players have to learn how to be able to compete against with them,
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Old Jan 23rd, 2003, 05:43 PM   #4
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let me say this, you being a fan of venus and serena doesn't demolish you from being viewd as racists or bad fan, you need to get that right, along w/ the theory of "blackness" im black, and when i question something, my blackness doesn't enure it, everyone needs to start to understand that more.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2003, 05:49 PM   #5
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Serena "owns" Venus, until she doesn't. And that could be tomorrow. I recall when Venus "owned" Serena. Nothing lasts forever, so why all the hand wringing about it?
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Old Jan 23rd, 2003, 05:50 PM   #6
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Not trying to be funny but in my opinion......I don't know if this is bad or amazing but, you would think the top 10 or at least the top 5 would be more closely matched. I'm remembering how well Mauresmo and Henin played at Wimbledon, and how they lost badly in the semis.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2003, 05:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Hewitt225
its bad b/c its boring. all williams finals were cool like once or twice, but the same thing always happens, serena owns venus, and venus is content being no. 2. its not good for the game if the no. 2 player is just going to let no. 1 stay up there. it is good for the rest b/c other players have to learn how to be able to compete against with them,

I think so called tennis fans who say crap like this are bad for the game. Has anyone noticed that last fall when Sampras and Agassi played in the USO finals no one said that their matches were boring or that their dominance was bad for the sport of tennis or even when Sampras won his 14 grand slam, no one and I mean NO ONE said that his success or dominance was bad for the game, but rather people rallied and praised him for his skills and accomplishments as a tennis player. Not to mention the fact that Agassi and Sampras have played each other what 30, 40 times. I think people like Hewitt225 are reacting like spoiled, brattly little children who get pissy mad when they lose (or their favorite loses). I call it Sour Grapes and wish for nothing but the best and continued success and Grand Slam titles for the Sisters.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2003, 05:56 PM   #8
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No one ever critized Sampras's dominance because he reached 2 slam finals a year at most. He did that consistently, but he didn't win almost every event he played, he had his share of first round exits. He was mainly critized for having a boring personality on the court.

And it really does not matter whether Venus owns Serena or Serena owns Venus. They own the rest of the tour. I'm sure Venus would love to be #1 and Serena would love to stay there, but as long as they are winning Grand Slams and staying at 1 and 2, the family wins.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2003, 05:59 PM   #9
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But that's the problem. They've gotten to the top with such seemingly little effort that it's almost embarassing to the rest of the players.
Uhh, where were you when Venus was losing heart breaking matches?? Bottom-line , they've both paid their dues--experience is the key here... Nothing lasts forever, so I am gonna sit back and enjoy this run as much as I can :P

P.s. I don't think it's a bad thing
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Old Jan 23rd, 2003, 06:28 PM   #10
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I disagree on one thing Bradshaw-they work VERY hard-make no mistake there. Serena and Venus may make a lot of their other interests, but they put in 100s of hours into their job. A lot of the greats (Graf, Connolly and Helen Wills come to mind) do the "I don't really practice that much before this slam" tap dance. I'm not buying it for a second.

The other girls need to work harder to catch up or they shouldn't complain. Period.


As for doubles-the sisters have an advantage because they are sisters. It's notoriously hard for singles rivals to team up as doubles partners after facing each other in finals of major events.
This type of pressure broke up Evert-Navratilova and Graf-Sabatini, both teams won slams before the pressure of singles ended the partnerships. Venus and Serena don't face that.

There have been teams who were #1 in doubles while #1 and #2 in singles. Brough-duPont,Bueno-Hard and
Fry/Hart all did it. In every case though they were very close friends-and there were hints of more than friendship in all those cases.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2003, 06:51 PM   #11
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Question I think that Bradshaw makes at least one valid point...

I'm a huge Williams fan but even I am questioning whether the novelty of all Williams finals continue to woo new converts to the sport.

The WTA Tour must be happy that two marketable players are doing so well and sad that the other players seem to wilt under the pressure.

Like many of you have stated before, tennis is cyclical. There will be new champions.

I just wonder when the backlash will begin. For the record, I won't attribute the backlash to racism per se. Steffi faced this type of backlash when she dominated and so did other former number 1s (except Chris Evert).

These questions are rhetorical but thanks for letting me share.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2003, 07:05 PM   #12
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I guess it's all a matter of how you look at it. How can they be bad for the game? Cliff even asked Mary Jo yesterday if they were bad for the game. As far as I can see, they haven't done anything that all other players would/should strive to do: get to the top and win tourneys, especially the slams.

If some people view their "dominance" as bad for the game, I say they should point the finger at the OTHER players. It seems to me that it's the OTHER players who are bad for the game because they haven't been able to knock them down. EVERY player who is matched against them has a chance to "prevent" the two of them from meeting in the finals. Some have even gotten more chances than others.

It's bad enough for "fans" to say they are bad for the game, but when the players voice that, it's EVEN WORSE! Unlike the fans, the players can actually "do something" about it.

Many have said their matches against each other have been boring. Well, basing things on the play of the last year, how many really think a Kim/Justine final would have been very exciting?

The other players WILL eventually get there, but until they do, don't dump on V & S because they are at the top right now. I actually think there is alot of excitement in waiting to see who will start to step up "consistently" to do the trick. I'm sure there was PLENTY of excitement yesterday.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2003, 07:32 PM   #13
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Eshell-

Evert faced a "backlash" too. In EVERY US Open final she played from 1975 to 1982 the crowd was for the other woman. This was true even though Evert was American and Goolagong, Turnbull, and Mandlikova were foreign. Only when Martina came along to become the big bad #1 did Evert regain a lot of popularity.

The sister's will find crowds cheering more for them after they start losing. If I were a fan I'd take the titles and forget the crowds.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2003, 08:30 PM   #14
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Thanks Rollo!

I agree with you. I'm happy now that they are winning titles and hope that they continue to do so.

Parts of me wonder what happens to the sport in the long run but you guys have answered that for me as well.

Discussions like these cause me to love WTAWorld!
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Old Jan 23rd, 2003, 08:41 PM   #15
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It's all good. Whenever the bar gets raised, everyone improves. It may take a while, but even their dominance will be dominated by others. That's the way it is. But the level of tennis is going up. How can that be bad?!
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