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Discussion Starter #1
Is it just me, or does anyone feel that todays top players dont really have any 'vision' for their career?

Sure they know they want to win Wimbledon, but what about beyond that??

I dont know if its just my imagination, but yesteryears players of BJK, Navratilova, Chris Evert, even Graf all seemed to be playing to earn their place in history. I cant recall any quotes as such where any of the above players ouright spoke about building a legacy- but from reading autobiographies and viewing many different documentaries, I got the vibe that these players at least devoted some thought to where they would stand or how their career would compare against the other champions when evaluating their career.

I guess things like listening to Martina talk about wanting 9 wimbledons so badly (to be remembered for that) and reading BJK's autobiography where at numerous times she says stuff that give away the fact that she was concisous of how many wimbledon titles she had to her tally, and just observing Graf's committment and dedication to winning, and seeing how Chris Evert re-dedicated herself to the game once Martina had clearly overtaken her, all give me the impression that building a legacy was important to these players...

I see Venus and Serena as BOTH being in a position to build a legacy with their tennis, but it almost seems as if they simply arent interested in doing that.

Serena has shown fantastic commitment and dedication since hurting her ankle in Oz 2002, and deserves all her success, but she still gives me the impression that approaching 30, Serena is hoping the Hollywood and modelling (fashion?) offers start coming her way - tennis is a step in the path to acting success - am I exxagerating how important this is to her??

Venus seems more interested in her interior design etc, and I wouldnt be surprised if she doesnt play beyond 27/28...

Thats not a critcism of the Williams - whatever makes them happy..Maybe its a symptom of being pushed into the sport at such a young age and never really deciding that being a tennis player is what they want to be - that was decided for them....

But I find it interesting that Venus and Serena seem so blase about possibly being remembered as the best of all time.

I can envisage Serena becoming addicted to winning and dominating and maybe when some all-time records are achievable she will become more worried about her place in history...

This isnt having a go at Venus or Serena, Im only pciking them out for scutiny because to build a legacy, you need to be capable of dominating, or winning a lot, and these 2 really are a level above the rest imo.

i think Hingis did think about this stuff, and WANTED to go on to build a legacy but in the end it wasnt up to her and she couldnt handle being a top 5-15 player.
 

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steffi never played for a place in history otherwise she had not retired at the point she did without trying to get 24 slams.
Nav totally didn't understand that!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
"steffi never played for a place in history otherwise she had not retired at the point she did without trying to get 24 slams"

Its not as simple as that irma - Im not saying Steffi played with the mentality of 'I want to be remembered the best ever", but I think Steffi decided to committ herself to tennis 100% until she could no longer give it 100% - thats when she retired.

But while she was playing, she didnt really have much else going on in her life, it was tennis tennis tennis.

I also read quotes after her retirement, where Graf basically said "I was comfortable with what I had won and had achieved all i wanted to" - no she wanst a 'record hunter', but she did ponder where she would stand and be rememebred in tennis history.
 

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I think Serena does want to be remembered, and is playing right now for the records. I mean, at the OZ Open she wanted to complete the Slam so badly.

Venus doesn't seem to care about those things these days. If she wins, great. If she doesn't, there are other things to do.

The rest of the tour doesn't seem to be in a position to think about legacy.

Still, I don't think that wanting to leave a legacy is related with being pushed to tennis, because all tennis players started at really young ages, and it was their parents who decided that.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
"Still, I don't think that wanting to leave a legacy is related with being pushed to tennis, because all tennis players started at really young ages, and it was their parents who decided that"

That is true, but most players have family memebr who played, and froma young age they got given a racquet and got into the game - Venus and Serena were CONCEIVED to become tennis players - most dont start THAT early...

I think Serena does care more about her place in history, and it was evident in how bad she wanted the Serenaslam - I just hope that mentality continues for Serena cuz Hollywood will always be there to 'conquer', you only have 10-15 years to 'conquer' tennis.
 

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steffi played tennis to achieve the best in herself. that's what she was talking about. she wanted to play the perfect match.

a depressed(that was really the tone of the interview) steffi said once "my opponents could be easily replaced by ballmachines. I would not care"

and I think "the steffi had only tennis in her life and nothing else" is one of myths of the ninties.
she had so many dreams and goals and tried to fullfill them. that's why it was so sad when steffi tried to become a fashiondesigner she was bashed for it so much. yeah it was a flop and it was a bad time with the taxproblems but still only the effort she made should have gotten more credit!

I think serena really playes for records anyway. she says she is only great when she won 13 or 14 slams.
that means she thought about it.
 

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They are a bit young to set targets - you need to be in reach of one to go for it? Then there is the problem of what target. Number of weeks at number one - look at the figures for Graf - even Martina H - pretty unreachable. Tournament wins? Navratilova is still pushing some of her totals upward. Grand Slam single wins? Graf and Court miles ahead. Serena picked the "unbeaten" goal but even Navratilova and Graf couldn't manage that. Golden Slam - Steffi did it. The only sensible goal is to try and win as much as you can and keep at it as long as you enjoy it or your bankmanager needs you to. If your career high is a win against Monica or one slam so be it - if you do get to Slam 17 perhaps then you should start worrying about records.
 

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Well, Steffi I think never admitted at least publically that she wanted to set records, always claiming to not be thinking about it until her career was done. That is similar b.s. as we hear today. But tennis was always pretty much her only focus, at least from an outsider, for most of her career. I think she wanted a lot of records, you cannot get her kind of results over the years on plain talent and luck, she had to have wanted it bad, just as bad as Martina, Chris, BJK, etc. Steffi got what she wanted, she set many records.

Well, Czechfan, you have listed some all-time greats. First, as cocky as people accuse the Williamses as being, particularly Serena, what is Serena going to come out and do, claim her goal is to win 30 Slams and be No. 1 for 6 years? She would get crucified. While she does have other interests, she really does not play any less than Graf did each year, and remember, Graf claimed for years she would never play until she was 30. Well, she did. I think it is harder to say goodbye than some people think, when the time comes. So, I think you are underestimating Serena's drive perhaps, I think she is being somewhat subtle, but I think she is acutely aware that a place in history belongs to her, if she wants it. I think she does want it, but will she want it in two years. She will not reach the Martina/Chris/Steffi level with amazing results for just a few years, no matter how good those results are.

Another thing that has come to my mind, right now you can become pretty rich from tennis without winning all that many tournaments, etc. In fact, if you are good looking and popular, you can become very wealthy without really being that great a player or getting tremendous results. By very rich and wealthy, I mean, you do not have to work at all after you retire and live the life of luxury. I think a good number of girls today have that, and have never been "great" players as that term describes the women you have listed. I think with Martina, Chris, even Steffi, if you wanted to become filthy rich, never work again rich, you had to win a lot, and you had to win a lot of big tournaments. Huge endorsements in their day (well, up until some of Graf's contemporaries came on the scene) required great results. Chris was certainly good looking, but she had to win lots of tournaments to get those deals. Thus, I think the drive you saw from older players may have been at least somewhat money driven, and it is a lot easier to make the big money now, so maybe there is less of a desire to consistently win big.
 
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