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Much has been written on these pages over the past few days about the comments by Marcelo Rios regarding the current state of women's tennis. Rios, the former No. 1-ranked men's player in the world, put himself in the firing line by saying at last week's Australian Open that women's early-round matches were so uncompetitive and one-sided that they were a "joke."
Much like Pat Cash and Richard Krajicek before him, Rios did not exactly endear himself to the cream of today's women's tennis crop with his observations. Players like Martina Hingis and Venus Williams were quick to knock the petulant Chilean, taking offense to his remarks and springing to the defense of the women's game.

But while some of the top players in the game were spewing anti-Rios rhetoric, perhaps the most popular player in tennis today says people should lighten up and cut her buddy some slack.

"Well, first of all (Rios) is a good friend of mine," said Russian tennis starlet Anna Kournikova, shortly after demolishing Spaniard Cristina Torrens-Valero 6-3, 6-0 in 48 minutes Tuesday afternoon at the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo -- just the type of match Rios was referring to.

"I just think I played really well (Tuesday) and she just probably felt like there wasn't anything she could do after the first set. It was not like she didn't try or anything. When the top players -- like Martina (Hingis), Jennifer (Capriati) or Lindsay (Davenport) -- are playing well, it's tough to beat them in the first couple of rounds. But that doesn't necessarily mean there is no depth."

Kournikova, the glamour queen of tennis whose ranking has plummeted from a high of No. 8 after a lengthy injury layoff, even goes so far as to agree with Rios -- sort of.

"Of course, in Grand Slams sometimes you do have easy matches in the beginning, but that doesn't mean there's no depth. Like right now, No. 100 (99 actually) like me, I could probably beat somebody who is ranked higher."

Kournikova then leaps to Rios' defense again.

"I will also say that people misunderstand him a lot, especially you guys (the press). You know, I don't think that he meant it in a bad way or anything."

But Anna, he said women's tennis today was a joke!

"That's just Marcelo, he's having fun," a smiling Kournikova gushes. "He's relaxed, he's cool. I don't really think he meant it in a bad way."

:bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:
:)

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Anna's response was to be expected. After all, she goes around selling sex more than tennis. How could she understand why the other female players are complaining? Not that I don't disagree with Rios entirely.

Interesting how Anna didn't mention two of the best tennis players: the Williamses. I guess she figured that in a matchup between herself and one of the sisters, Rios theory would hold true, and she'd receive a nice bagel or two. Then she'd have to wholeheartedly agree with him.
 

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anna's entitled to her thoughts just like rios is entitled to his. he is right though. in a backhanded way, he was saying that the top female players are so much better than the rest, hence the same players always make it to the later rounds and the lopsided scores, whereas on the mens tour, no one player is that much better than the next, hence all the upsets and tight matches. which is true.
 

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BHS--

Youre right. Too funny.
 

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NO WINS over Williams.

Interesting how Anna didn't mention two of the best tennis players: the Williamses. I guess she figured that in a matchup between herself and one of the sisters, Rios theory would hold true, and she'd receive a nice bagel or two. Then she'd have to wholeheartedly agree with him.
Bright Red, Anna Kane has got wins over, "Martina, Jennifer and Lindsay" ... lol... ZERO wins vs. Williams*2... ZERO.:)
 

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Anna mentiioned players who were #1s. As simple as that. The word "Top" implies certain number.

Who the heck are Williams sisters? #3 at best, showing up at tournaments once a month.
 

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ys said:
Anna mentiioned players who were #1s. As simple as that. The word "Top" implies certain number.

Who the heck are Williams sisters? #3 at best, showing up at tournaments once a month.
But #3 is good enough to win a lot, don't you think?
 

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Originally posted by Grandslammed

Bright Red, Anna Kane has got wins over, "Martina, Jennifer and Lindsay" ... lol... ZERO wins vs. Williams*2... ZERO.
You said it, GS'd. I guess we know who the REAL #1's are.


btw, I love the color you typed my name in.
 

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brickhousesupporter, thanks for the clarification. I guess if I'm going to quote somebody I should first check their facts. lol :)
 

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Easy guys, Anna is allowed her opinion and is certainly allowed to defend her friend. Although I'm not quite sure why she thought he was joking. Of course, Rios is not the first ATP tour player to slam the women's game and he won't be the last, but this is Anna's opinion of Rios and she is entitled to it even if other female players (Hingis and Capriati) and us disagree with it.

How did the Williams sisters get involved with this argument? Just because Anna didn't mention them doesn't mean that she doesn't think they are talented or a threat. Anna was merely giving examples of top players and that doesn't mean she has to mention every one. She didn't mention Monica Seles (a former no. 1) either. Does that mean that Anna doesn't take Monica seriously as a player? Of course not. Let's not read too much into things here.

Ys, "top" has several definitions to it. The term doesn't necessarily mean just a no 1 player. It could also mean a player in the top ten, a player who has won slams, a player who wins tournaments on a consistent basis. Hingis hasn't won a slam since 99 including the three years since that time she held the no. 1 spot. Was Hingis a top player? Definantly based on her results. Did she deserve to be no. 1? No. Seles hasn't been in a slam final since 98. Is she a top player? Yes, based on her consistency and results. Are the Williams sisters top players? Definantly. Venus has won 4 of the last 7 slams and Serena has won a slam and made a slam finals, plus a chase championship.

I guess my point is that a top player is just not a player who reaches no. 1. That definition has changed over the last four years. When we discuss top players, we need to look at their entire career and not just look at if they have made the no. 1 spot.
 

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Originally posted by apoet29

Anna was merely giving examples of top players and that doesn't mean she has to mention every one
That would be true for most of the other top 10 players, but to overlook Venus? Come on, apoet29. Venus is clearly the one to beat most of the time. How can anyone who knows anything about women's tennis overlook Venus?

That would be like talking about the leading cola makers and overlooking Coke. Or the best wine producing nations and overlooking France.

Sorry, but Anna has further demonstrated how out of touch she is with her "supposed" sport.
 

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...or the best golf players and overlooking Tiger Woods.
 

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OMG i can't believe this:eek:

You're getting upset because Anna didn't mentioned Venus??
Give her a break, if you get upset about THAT then you will probably dislike a lot of players because not every player will mention Venus in her interview!
 

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No one's getting upset, except maybe you, Martina Hingisova. Anna chose to express her opinion of Rios opinion, so I just had to give my opinion, and in my opinion, she's out of touch with tennis.
 

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Bright Red said:
Originally posted by apoet29



That would be true for most of the other top 10 players, but to overlook Venus? Come on, apoet29. Venus is clearly the one to beat most of the time. How can anyone who knows anything about women's tennis overlook Venus?

That would be like talking about the leading cola makers and overlooking Coke. Or the best wine producing nations and overlooking France.

Sorry, but Anna has further demonstrated how out of touch she is with her "supposed" sport.
I think it is really easy to jump on everything that a player says, rip it apart, misinterpret her meaning. Lord knows that enough people do that to Venus and Serena. Perhaps you are right, but I am attempting to give Anna the benefit of the doubt here, especially since she didn't mention Seles whom she is greatly fond of and cites as an inspiration.

BTW, I love your analogy about cola makers and French winemakers. It's great.:wavey:
 

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Why thank you, apoet29. I don't disagree with you at all, and I do realize the fine line I'm walking here.
 
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