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in my opinion she's right..isn't she?
Nasdaq-100 Open notebook

STRONG WORDS

The May issue of Tennis magazine is bound to raise some eyebrows -- especially those of Serena Williams. Chris Evert writes a strongly worded open letter to Williams, pleading with her to take tennis more seriously. Here are some excerpts:

``In the short-term, you may be happy with the various things going on in your life, but I wonder whether 20 years from now you might reflect on your career and regret not putting 100 percent of yourself into tennis. Because whether you want to admit it or not, these distractions are tarnishing your legacy.

``Just a couple of years ago, when you were fully committed to the game, you showed the athleticism, shot-making and competitive desire to become the greatest player ever . . . Then you got sidetracked with injuries, pet projects and indifference . . . You've won only one major in the last seven. I find those results hard to fathom. You're simply too good not to be winning two Grand Slam titles a year. You're still 24, well within your prime.

``Perhaps the reason I feel so strongly about this is because I wasn't blessed with the physical gifts you posses. I know that the lifespan of an athlete's greatness is brief and should be exploited. I don't see how acting and designing clothes can compare with the pride of being the best tennis player in the world.

``I offer this only as advice, not criticism, from someone with experience. If you're completely happy with the way your life is, crumple up this letter and throw it away. Just remember you have an opportunity of the rarest kind -- to be the greatest ever. I hope you make the most of it.''

And it's signed, Chris Evert, Publisher.
 

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well... :scared: i think her thoughts on the subject are terrific, although she knows full well serena williams does not have the game to be the best ever by any consideration, though its a nice motivational ploy to say so. its strange she would consider serena's all-power game enough to be even compared to the truly best players. she has no touch, no point construction, and doesnt even know how to hit a lob. :confused: but she COULD go down as the greatest COMPETITOR of all time in womens tennis, and that IS a legacy she is currently tarnishing.

chris' opinion on greatness seems to usually correspond to someone who has the art of the game down, not just results. she thinks roger federer is the greatest thing to hit tennis since wood racquets.

But, my :scared: comes from.....why is this an open letter. If you're chris evert--and by the way, serena has always mentioned chris as a primary influence on her--she could well have written a note to serena, who would have graciously accepted such an act of personal concern. chris has been an infamous notewriter throughout her career. :shrug: so why use the press to deliver this message?

i didnt like when the press wrote some nutty "open letter" to hewitt as it seemed a blatant "group-shame" tactic. and so i can only guess its the same now. i dont particularly like that chris did that because she is classy & i wouldnt want to see HER tarnish her reputation either. Publically calling people 'out' is not classy. BUT...I would guess the "tennis establishment" does kind of want to shame serena into paying attention and chris saw fit enough to agree to deliver the blow.

while chris' intentions might be fairly pure about serena paying attention to her legacy--just as mcenroe recently called borg & convinced him not to sell his wimbledon trophies & racquets (which was a PRIVATE talk that borg made public by EXPLAINING the private talk to the press)-- i would guess the tennis establishment's motives are more money-generated, wanting to bring in one of their big stars, especially as an american star in an otherwise fading american field.
 

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though navratilova agreed & chose to take the same tactic...perhaps to take a little pressure off her pal, chrissie...

http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/sports/columnists/linda_robertson/14219484.htm

IN MY OPINION
Navratilova agrees with Evert's Serena letter
By LINDA ROBERTSON
[email protected]

PETER ANDREW BOSCH / MIAMI HERALD STAFF
OUTSPOKEN: Martina Navratilova hits a shot during her quarterfinal doubles match on Wednesday.Martina Navratilova will turn 50 in the fall but hasn't lost her love of playing or winning, which she and her doubles partner did Wednesday at the NASDAQ-100 Open. In fact, Navratilova insists, in her uniquely insistent way, that she is serving better now than she was when she was a 47-year-old whipper-snapper. Up to 108 mph from 95.

Here she is, getting fitter, as Serena Williams -- at 24, nearly half Navratilova's age -- gets thicker.

Here she is, competing in Key Biscayne while Williams frolics on South Beach with Paris Hilton. At this rate, Williams will end up just like Paris Hilton, coasting on the vapors of fame. Someday the patrons behind the velvet rope will see Williams sidling through the club's front door at 2 a.m. and murmur, ``Didn't she used to be somebody? A tennis star? Yeah, that's what she was.''

So excuse Navratilova and Chris Evert for expressing alarm about Williams' dwindling dedication to the game. They just cannot suppress their indignant feelings.

''Serena should be in her physical prime, but she is wasting time you cannot ever get back,'' Navratilova said. ``She had the opportunity to be the greatest in history. Instead, she'll be a supernova who burst on the scene, and then she was gone.''

Evert, Navratilova's good friend and former rival, has equally blunt words for Williams in a open letter that will appear in the May issue of Tennis magazine.

''I don't see how acting and designing clothes can compare with the pride of being the best tennis player in the world,'' Evert writes. ``If you're completely happy with the way your life is, crumple up this letter and throw it away. Just remember you have an opportunity of the rarest kind -- to be the greatest ever.''

Williams didn't ask for their advice. She could tell Evert and Navratilova to mind their business. She has done quite well minding her own, winning $16 million and seven Grand Slam singles titles.

If she wants to be a fashion designer and actress, who are Evert and Navratilova to say she should be on a tennis court for hours on end as she has since she was a kindergartner?

Serena and sister Venus, 25, did not choose to take up tennis as little girls. It was their father, Richard, who decided one day when he saw a tournament winner on TV presented with one of those door-sized checks that his daughters would become pros.

He carried out his plan for his self-styled ''Cinderellas of the ghetto'' with a genius that was wholly underestimated.

But don't forget that Richard always said his daughters would be through with tennis by 24 and managing their own companies. He considered players who lingered too long on the court or retired to the TV booth to be one-dimensional ``fools.''

Richard's prophecy appears to be coming true. Serena hasn't won a Slam since the 2005 Australian Open and withdrew here because she was out of shape. Venus, who withdrew with an elbow injury, demonstrated how potent she can be when she won Wimbledon last year, but for most of the past three seasons she has acted spacey and indifferent, except when talking about V Starr Interiors Inc.

We want our athletes to be renaissance men and women rather than robots with heads as empty as the balls they bounce and hit. But when they start losing, we cluck-cluck about the distractions siphoning their potential.

Athletes cannot be dabblers, which is what Serena and Venus have become. Navratilova and Evert saw it coming and are saying out loud what many in tennis are thinking. Now they wonder whether the sisters are going through an Andre Agassi-like detour from the top 10, or a slow fade.

''Serena has a gift, and she's not utilizing it,'' Navratilova said. ``What you really regret are the things you didn't do. Will she get it together, or will she fall so low she'll need wild-card invitations? She may find by then that her head will be there but her body won't. It's a sad situation.''

Navratilova often comes out sounding bossy, but that's because she is incapable of being dispassionate about anything, whether it's human rights symbolized by her Rainbow credit card or the oversized racket heads killing the serve-and-volley style. She and Evert can't help feeling disappointed and betrayed after paving the way for future generations of female athletes.

They were champions of opportunity in the Title IX era. What's ironic is how the Williams sisters are exercising their right of opportunity to pursue other careers.

Navratilova and Evert believe they are passing on the hard-won wisdom of middle age before the Williams sisters get caught in the should-haves of hindsight. But what if Serena and Venus don't want it? What if they've had enough of winning?

Navratilova still hungers for victory at age 49. Yet she can't transplant that desire. So she keeps going while, to her head-shaking bafflement, the sisters who would have broken her records drift away from the game.
 

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None of this is new for either Evert or Navratilova. Both tennis greats virtually lambasted Steffi Graf (after she started beating both on a regular basis, mind you) for not assuming the active WTA throne they both at one time or another slipped from, but had devoted so much time promoting. I said this in GM, though, I doubt very seriously that Chris didn't communicate the subject of her latest editorial with TeamWilliams prior to publication. Given the much less than time-sensitive amount time TENNIS magazine takes to turns over anything editorially, I wouldn't even be surprised if Serena had a shot at editing the piece herself. I think it's all much ado about nothing, really. Serena and Venus have always done what they and the family thinks best, and Richard certainly has been vocal about their plans and aspirations. They never were in line to become the next Chris or Martina, and made that obvious from the start. The thing I disagree with you on, daze, is that Serena Williams does in fact have the potential to be one of the greatest ever- it's all largely untapped, but you can see it with her hands, and her quickness. The mental game of tennis is untouched, so far. That, I think, is what eats at the core of Chris Evert.
 

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yeah, it occurred to me this might be a subject taken up by GM, so i finally checked that god-forsaken section, and sure enough, not only was it covered but we had the 'joan rivers open letter to chris evert' and the 'sally struthers open letter to serena williams' etc. :lol: so i see this topic has been exhausted already, though its always fun to hear all the contradictory gut-reactions from people in GM.

anyway, we will agree to disagree on that. i've heard serena talk and she is not bright, though she is vivacious. she always likes to say she doesnt ever think about an opponents game before playing, she just goes out and whacks the ball. and when pressed for an analysis of an opponents game, or what happened on court technically, she is always :shrug: and says, 'thats the way it went' often almost missing the point of the question itself. i even remember a journalist doubling back, with 'but what specifically about her backhand makes it so tough?" and serena said, "i dont know...its a backhand." :lol: classic.

so i think the reason the mental part of the game is untapped with serena has more to do with an athletic but not analytical player. Chris was saying 'hey, i wasnt so athletically gifted as you are' but serena could just as easily say to chris, "i would love to be a great champion, but i never had YOUR gifts of focus, discipline, and strategic insight. i had will-power and dogged determination and an incredibly fast and athletic skill set with fair/good instincts."

goolagong was a more athletic player who says she 'didnt think too much on court' very much but she did always have a game plan and could discuss minute details of other players games, AND her instincts were exceptional for tennis...she had a powerful zen flow that i dont see in serena, but which is as big a gift for a tennis player as having a big serve. chris used zen-power a lot...its there that she really pulls away from a tracy austin, for instance.
 

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daze11 said:
yeah, it occurred to me this might be a subject taken up by GM, so i finally checked that god-forsaken section, and sure enough, not only was it covered but we had the 'joan rivers open letter to chris evert' and the 'sally struthers open letter to serena williams' etc. :lol: so i see this topic has been exhausted already, though its always fun to hear all the contradictory gut-reactions from people in GM.

anyway, we will agree to disagree on that. i've heard serena talk and she is not bright, though she is vivacious. she always likes to say she doesnt ever think about an opponents style of play before playing, she just goes out and whacks the ball. and when pressed for an analysis of an opponents game, or what happened on court technically, she is always :shrug: and says, 'thats the way it went' often almost missing the point of the question itself. i even remember a journalist doubling back, with 'but what specifically about her backhand makes it so tough?" and serena said, "i dont know...its a backhand." :lol: classic.

so i think the reason the mental part of the game is untapped with serena has more to do with an athletic but not analytical player. Chris was saying 'hey, i wasnt so athletically gifted as you are' but serena could just as easily say to chris, "i would love to be a great champion, but i never had YOUR gifts of focus, discipline, and strategic insight. i had will-power and dogged determination and an incredibly fast and athletic skill set with fair/good instincts."
Just looking at Chris' signed, stand-alone editorial and the actual quotes from Martina (and ignoring the rest of that astoundingly crappily conceived and constructed article - take a couple of quotes out of context and bash the speakers for sayng something they didn't say), it seems pretty clear to me that the bottom line is that both women are just inviting Serena to reflect on where she goes from here. They're saying (with the weight of more experience between them than any tennis players who have spent their entire careers in the pro tennis era) that (a) Serena in their opinion has much untapped tennis potential still to unleash, (b) IF Serena wants to maximise her career in tennis, the time is now. It'll be too late a couple of years down the line and (c) her decision now WILL affect how history perceives her as a tennis player. All that seems so damned obvious when you think about it that it's hard to understand what the furore is about.

Sure, there may be a slant in there based on their own concerns (US tennis, women's tennis, whatever....) but it's hard to imagine that these two women, both of whom have had to make tough choices at various points in their careers and personal lives, wouldn't concede that the decision ultimately lies with Serena alone. Chris' letter pretty much says so towards the end.

With regard to the form of an open letter (I found Joan Rivers' one quite funny, actually - I'm waiting for the Martina version now!), I can only think that this uncharacteristically public statement from Chris is in response to letters from readers/subscribers and, maybe, more insider knowledge about Serena's situation than many are privy to. Maybe your Chrissie-connections could shed some light on this, Daze...... I must admit, I'm used to Martina sharing her views but it was a surprise to read Chris' letter.
 

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Andy T said:
With regard to the form of an open letter (I found Joan Rivers' one quite funny, actually - I'm waiting for the Martina version now!), I can only think that this uncharacteristically public statement from Chris is in response to letters from readers/subscribers and, maybe, more insider knowledge about Serena's situation than many are privy to. Maybe your Chrissie-connections could shed some light on this, Daze...... I must admit, I'm used to Martina sharing her views but it was a surprise to read Chris' letter.
i liked both the sally struthers & joan rivers letters!! :lol: ...certainly more than many of the responses to chris' letter! ;)

but yeah, i'm gonna fish for some details ...i was just deciding on how to word it so that i didnt position myself as questioning the decision, which is not my place. but of course i failed, and in a non-inflammatory tone, put it that Martina came to the US to be free of the tennis establishment telling her how to live her llfe & her tennis life, so....?? but if i have something i can report to y'all, i certainly will. :)
 

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by the way, when hingis took off with her winnings from tennis, she had a better story, with the 'injury', but i do feel she was basically left alone amid very minor criticism to find her way back to her passion for tennis without getting any kind of open letter.
 

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daze11 said:
by the way, when hingis took off with her winnings from tennis, she had a better story, with the 'injury', but i do feel she was basically left alone amid very minor criticism to find her way back to her passion for tennis without getting any kind of open letter.
The major differences being Hingis was not American, didn't come up in America outside of the USTA establishment (while using it for her benefit), and lastly, didn't have Richard Williams rubbing the collective establishments' faces in shit the whole while, very publicly. Ivan Lendl (who was about as establishment as they came in the old Czechoslovakia) even went public to shut-up nay-sayers worrying whether Hingis would pull a Capriati burn-out by informing them that he knew Melanie and the family personally, and had no doubt that the same would never happen to Martina. It would be very interesting to hear Navratilova or Novotna or Mandlikova or, especially, Sukova's take on comparative differences in the Hingis/Williams experience. I think we here in America tend to stay within the USTA box, but I'd love to hear what people across the ponds really think about Serena.
 

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Players like BJK, Chris and Martina fought their hearts out, often against all odds, to make tennis the most popular and most lucrative of all sports for women. I think it frustrates these legendary players that many of the current top players don't share their passion for the game to the same degree but are mostly interested in tennis for the celebrity status and the money that goes with it.
 

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Chrissie-fan said:
Players like BJK, Chris and Martina fought their hearts out, often against all odds, to make tennis the most popular and most lucrative of all sports for women. I think it frustrates these legendary players that many of the current top players don't share their passion for the game to the same degree but are mostly interested in tennis for the celebrity status and the money that goes with it.
F A C T. no question about that. :worship:

part of it is just timing...serena could have gotten this open letter 3 years ago and maybe it would make a lick of sense, but why now? when she's already so far gone into other things? there is unquestionably something odd about it all. but i think the ego struggle between williams/establishment that jeff is alluding to is very palpable.
 

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OK, y'all, heres the scoop...

on timing: it is just because chris is thinking it...the sentiment has been building for a while, but it is now that she was moved to do it.

on motives: not part of some tennis establishment hijinx as it may have seemed, she really believes what she's saying about serena's potential to be the best ever. (though maintains, that is NOT the main point of the letter.)

on who wrote it: its chrissie, alright. she knows she put herself on the line and she meant it with passion and force.

period.

so there you have it. i still dont like the idea of an open letter myself, but the world doesnt revolve around my preferences, and there are all sorts of ways to communicate whats on your mind. chris has that column as a forum if she chooses to use it for any purpose, and she took that opportunity with what she's been thinking about serena.

as for martina, she heard about it and decided to 'second that notion' of her own volition. there was no conscious 'tag team' effort going on and they both DO feel strongly about it.

:)
 

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Wouldn't it be fun if, at some point during her tenure as editor of TENNIS, Chris would have guest writers come in and share their op-eds for the magazine? I'd always like to hear more from Billie Jean King. Billie has always had her grasp firmly around the big picture, and tennis is merely the vehicle that got her to that position, and in many ways, keeps her in the bully-pulpit. What ramifications has Serena's career so far had on not just women as athletes, but women's roles in society. Serena (and family) have made it abundantly clear from the start that they were there to use and exploit the system for their benefit, achieve everything there was to achieve and become the best in the world, and branch out and use this success in other (non-tennis) ventures that can be productively sustained for the rest of their life. Sounds like good business acumen to me... and she's a woman. Of course, it'd be nice if she paid more attention and gave more back to tennis, and left a legacy anywhere close to what Chris or Billie Jean have woven, but kids, we must remember that she and her family loudly announced when they burst onto the scene that this was not their main goal, nor their intention.
 

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VERY interesting thread here- thanks to all.

Daze- (and I'm gonna try to tread carefully here- at least MY version of "carefully", anyways. I want that Betsy DVD.) I find it interesting how sometimes we all might be the toughest on those faves we care about the most. I include myself here, as I'm in a "Venus is REALLY pissing me off" mode these days. BUT- ya still worry me, bub. PLEASE tell me I'm not going to turn my computer on one day and find one of my bookmarked favorite sites labeled, "The International Chris Evert is a Who*e Enthusiast's Website."

All THIS Sister fan has to say to Chris is- well done and thank you. And I'll tell you, Chris is such a class act that, I'm always going to give her the benefit of the doubt that if she says/does something= it's gotta be class. I SURE as heck gotta reinforce that I don't think you have to worry about Chris tarnishing her legacy here. (Besides, it's only gonna be about 12 of us tennis nerds on BFTP taking all of this THAT seriously, anyways.) If Paris Hilton can be caught on a skank porno and come out smelling like (her skank version of) a rose- I think Chris slapping Serena on the wrists here ain't exactly gonna hurt Chris' reputation.

Daze- Before I go on (in this PUBLIC forum it's suddenly occurring to me ) (WHAT, DAZE, now ya gonna say I ain't classy?!?! )- I do want to opine that I do think in some of your quotes about Serena (that is, Serena in her prime) that you're being a tinge unfair to her. I agree with Alfa that of course Serena has had the potential to be at LEAST one of the very best. (And you all know by now that I also feel the same way about Venus- which I know puts me in more of a minority here.) Granted, the VERY few great lobs that Serena has hit in her life were by accident, and it has always made me nuts that the sisters have never truly scouted their opponents IMO. However, coming from this OCD Sister fan who has seen Sister matches OVER and OVER again- Serena at her best indeed does have touch and guile- and again, the same goes for Venus. At their best, I love Serena's use of the short court and angles, and I love Venus' volleys- and she actually has an excellent drop shot- which admittedly she appears to have forgotten about since about 2002. I simply propose that the Sisters could not have won as many of their big titles if all they had to rely on is power and athleticism- albeit of course their No. 1 asset is their superior athleticism.

But, HEY, over-all, there ain't too many potential nuclear physicists on the tours- or in sports in general. Still, I truly think you underestimate Serena's smarts- hell, compared to most of the WTA brain trust these days, Serena's Einstein by comparison. And at LEAST she has a genuine sense of humor. I however also acknowledge that on the court these days, the Sisters sure haven't been showin' their brain power.

And, I mean- WHAT- interior design and fashion can't wait until your 30's?!?!? And Serena's acting?!?!? I actually can be generous- I've seen MANY, MANY sports stars do MUCH worse jobs than Serena has done so far. I truly feel that Serena has not embarrassed herself on screen- she does have some charisma. And yes, if ya haven't caught this yet, this does count as me damning with faint praise here. I mean, Serena once opined that she hopes to win an Oscar one day. So did Brooke Shields back in the day. And I like Brooke Shields, too, and I'm not gonna say that she's untalented. BUT- I'd place the odds of Brooke and Serena winning an Oscar at even odds- as in my culture, "even odds" is defined as "snowball's chance in hell."

AND they do fashion. OK, they can look nice. THEN, there are those other outfits, like the cat suit (if I hadn't been gay by the time the cat suit came out.....) And, honestly, better yet, I've seen photos of some of Venus' interior design work- and some of her work looks nice to me. BUT- who gives a f**k if you have the potential to be one of the 1,000 top interior decorators in Florida?!?!?

As Alfa brought up here, one of the few statements that were clear from this nutty Williams family very early on was that Serena had no intention of shooting for the Chris/Martina/Margaret records. Fair enough. Of course, that's her right, we're supposed to live in a free world, right, a balanced life is great, right, talk to John Lloyd and Rita Mae Brown (and Martina's "others") about the benefits of Chris and Martina dedicating their life to tennis. PLUS Serena and Venus HAVE won plenty of singles, doubles and mixed Slams, and HEY, let's remember Serena won the 2005 Australian and Venus won the 2005 Wimbledon, not exactly ancient history, right on Serena, blah, blah, blah, blah.....And seriously, I do believe the sister murder tragedy was/is awful.....and at least SOME of the injuries are legit.....right?!?!?

SO- Back to Chris. On the one hand, as Alfa has brought up, I also have seen how in past interviews Chris and BJK among others have said that the likes of Serena would have killed them- and I sez, don't sell yourselves short, goils. If the likes of Loit and Callens can give 'em fits- you'd figure something out. STILL- if Chris says that Serena could be the very best- then that's an argument to be taken seriously. Chris sure ain't gonna put out a statement like that on the record lightly. Chris has always been brutally honest about her fellow players- she sure never said Marita Redondo coulda been No. 1.

I propose that indeed maybe Chris also just gives a sh*t about Serena specifically. Maybe this can be a wake-up call. Maybe especially this being a public call-out will just piss Serena off enough to DO something. Because even with Serena pissing away 2004, almost all of 2005, and 2006 so far- it AIN'T too late. Andre and Jennifer can make their comebacks from the doldrums- then Serena (and Venus) sure as hell can, too. Their choice- ASSUMING, playing devil's advocate here, that they indeed don't have some kind-of permanent/debilitating injury.

Again, as a fellow human being, I support anyone doing whatever they want to do with their lives, as long as no one gets harmed. But as a rabid Sisters fan- I then reserve the right to be FURIOUS spending 18 or so hours of my life watching Venus losing to BonkBonkova, and Serena losing to Hantuchova at this year's Aussie. (And, yes, I like Hantuchova, too- and bully for her that she has the mixed Slam. And I'd be more forgiving if Hantuchova had just zoned in this match- as she did ONCE in her life, taking out Hingis to win a title. BUT- Hantuchova is EXACTLY the kind of nice, stylish-shots but SLIGHT player that Serena up to now would be eating up for breakfast.) (Of course, the way Serena looks these day, perhaps she HAS eaten Hantuchova for breakfast.)
 

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daze11 said:
anyway, we will agree to disagree on that. i've heard serena talk and she is not bright, though she is vivacious. she always likes to say she doesnt ever think about an opponents game before playing, she just goes out and whacks the ball. and when pressed for an analysis of an opponents game, or what happened on court technically, she is always :shrug: and says, 'thats the way it went' often almost missing the point of the question itself. i even remember a journalist doubling back, with 'but what specifically about her backhand makes it so tough?" and serena said, "i dont know...its a backhand." :lol: classic.
In Serena's defence, Miss Evert never sounded terribly bright during her commentating gigs, either. Her "expert analysis" was restricted to pointing out the bloody obvious like "Martina wins a lot of points off her lefty serve", or "Steffi has a powerful forehand", or "Monica hits the ball really hard". Evert even went so far as to admit on the air once that she didn't think much when she played, and that she just went out and hit the ball.

I think that criticising Serena for "just whacking the ball" is a case of seeing what one wants to see. If there are people who still believe that Venus or Serena are mere ball bashers who don't have any strategic skills, it says more about those people than it does about the Williams sisters.
 

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I don't really understand what all the fuss is about. For her own reasons Chris feels she wants to say this publicly to Serena. When all's said and done it's only her opinion which is neither more nor less valid than anyone else's. Serena will take it on board or ignore as she sees fit.

I would have to agree with much of what she has said although many won't. But at least it comes over as being genuine and a well balanced article.
 

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nelslus said:
Of course, the way Serena looks these day, perhaps she HAS eaten Hantuchova for breakfast
Ouch! Come on, she isn't that fat, is she? (I'll admit I haven't seen her since her loss to Craybas at Wimbledon last year, but still...)
 

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samn said:
In Serena's defence, Miss Evert never sounded terribly bright during her commentating gigs, either. Her "expert analysis" was restricted to pointing out the bloody obvious like "Martina wins a lot of points off her lefty serve", or "Steffi has a powerful forehand", or "Monica hits the ball really hard". Evert even went so far as to admit on the air once that she didn't think much when she played, and that she just went out and hit the ball.

I think that criticising Serena for "just whacking the ball" is a case of seeing what one wants to see. If there are people who still believe that Venus or Serena are mere ball bashers who don't have any strategic skills, it says more about those people than it does about the Williams sisters.
chris' gift was not commentating. but she was always sharp in post & pre-match interviews and definitely discussed strategy and the strengths & weaknesses of her opponents. that was coming from having PLAYED these people. i dont think she is nearly as good at WATCHING tennis and having the same insights as her own body used to tell her back when she played.

for the most part, i think the tennis industry's choice to have players discuss talent rather than professional commentators & tennis analysts is a gigantic mistake. just because someone's good at something doesnt mean they can talk about it...or have a charismatic presence doing so.

as howard cosell's book was called, "I never played the game." :yeah:
 

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nelslus said:
PLEASE tell me I'm not going to turn my computer on one day and find one of my bookmarked favorite sites labeled, "The International Chris Evert is a Who*e Enthusiast's Website."

Before I go on (in this PUBLIC forum it's suddenly occurring to me ) (WHAT, DAZE, now ya gonna say I ain't classy?!?! )-

I love Venus' volleys- and she actually has an excellent drop shot- which admittedly she appears to have forgotten about since about 2002.

I've seen MANY, MANY sports stars do MUCH worse jobs than Serena has done so far.... I like Brooke Shields, too, and I'm not gonna say that she's untalented. BUT- I'd place the odds of Brooke and Serena winning an Oscar at even odds-"

But as a rabid Sisters fan- I then reserve the right to be FURIOUS spending 18 or so hours of my life watching Venus losing to BonkBonkova, and Serena losing to Hantuchova at this year's Aussie.
i loved so much of your post, i dont know where to begin!! :haha: oh that was fun!

really, i dont think chris' reputation could be tarnished by throwing out a public article, i was just saying that in response to her saying serena was 'tarnishing' her legacy. but if i toed the line and didnt evaluate evert as honestly as anyone else, i wouldnt consider that living by the code. a fan is not just a flag waver. and if we dont love something somebody does, it doesnt mean we drop the baby with the bathwater. but besides, i also said i agreed with all of her points...other than serena.

i think serena is an awesome player. AWESOME. to say i dont think she is a top player of all time should be understandable. and i dont think she's top 10, but if thats an insult, i woke up on another planet this morning!! to suggest someone is in the top 10 of all time is big props! but i think shes top 12. :)

i dont think chris does think she could beat serena. and that is 100% an issue of her lack of belief in her own game against extreme power, and she said to her mind, serena hits as hard as a man. and chris has said she knew even at #1 she could not beat the 1000th ranked MAN. so why would she believe she could beat serena?

as each generation super-sizes & super-speeds ahead, i think its only honest to say you couldnt stay on court with the 'later models' but i dont think you can accurately place one generation against the next because its not just different players but a different world. we get used to a different pace & adapt etc, so...its meaningless for her to compare 1985 to 2005 and say, 'my day feels like slow motion' ...of course it does.

i also think tennis has 'asked for it' by becoming so greedy and making money come so easy...if serena is rich enough to say 'i dont care anymore..i know i made my millions from tennis, but i dont owe you for it' shes as correct as someone who makes it big in the stockmarket. you dont OWE the stockmarket for the fact that its a big greasy pig waiting to be oiled up. tennis went big business, so now it has to play by the rules of big business. people can use it as a means to get rich and gain access. thats what richard williams said (paraphrasing), 'i saw chris evert, she won a tournament and made loads of money for it, and so i brought my girls out to the tennis courts.'

BJK & company created a monster. now they're sayng, 'whats happened, its like we created a monster' ...yeah, its big business and big business is ugly. let these kids live their lives. :shrug: so evert & navratilova's points are all cool by me--they are strong & valid opinions--but i can see sister serena's angle in it too.
 

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daze11 said:
chris' gift was not commentating. but she was always sharp in post & pre-match interviews and definitely discussed strategy and the strengths & weaknesses of her opponents. that was coming from having PLAYED these people. i dont think she is nearly as good at WATCHING tennis and having the same insights as her own body used to tell her back when she played.

for the most part, i think the tennis industry's choice to have players discuss talent rather than professional commentators & tennis analysts is a gigantic mistake. just because someone's good at something doesnt mean they can talk about it...or have a charismatic presence doing so.

as howard cosell's book was called, "I never played the game." :yeah:
So Evert's utter incompetence and and her seeming inability to analyse tennis strategy in any shape or form in the commentary booth is excusable, but Serena is labelled as "not too bright" because she made a comment even though it isn't that much different from the sort of thing Evert could sometimes be heard saying during her days as a shill for NBC/WTA?
 
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