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<font size=4>By John Parsons in Munich (Filed: 29/10/2001) </font>



LINDSAY DAVENPORT last night condemned Venus Williams for her late withdrawal with a reported wrist injury from the Sanex Championship which begins here today.

Davenport, who has been critical before of the inconsistent appearance record of Williams and her sister Serena, was clearly not impressed by the Wimbledon and US Open champion's explanation 10 days ago that she had suffered a recurrence of a wrist injury during practice.

"Venus kept saying she was coming," Davenport said. "It would have been better if she'd pulled out earlier instead of kind of teasing people that she was coming. What makes it so disappointing is that this tournament is supposed to have an elite field, with the top 16. The same thing happened last year in New York when several players pulled out."

Davenport accepted that the withdrawals by Martina Hingis, now down to third in the world rankings, and ninth-listed Monica Seles were understandable.

"Martina suffered an horrendous accident in Filderstadt," said Davenport, who was on the other side of the net when Hingis fell early in their semi-final.

As for Seles, officials have known from the moment they decided to move the tournament from Madison Square Garden to Germany that she would not be prepared to compete in the country where her dominance of women's tennis was so cruelly halted.

Although it is more than eight years since a crazed fan stabbed Seles in Hamburg she will never forgive the lenient manner in which the German legal system dealt with her attacker.

Serena Williams, who does compete, refused to discuss her sister's absence but said that since the Sept 11 terrorist attacks "we think that any well-known entertainers or athletes could be potential targets in a foreign country".

Amanda Coetzer, Magdalena Maleeva and Arancha Sanchez Vicario are the beneficiaries of the withdrawals.

The WTA Tour have appointed Kevin Wulff as their new chief executive officer. Wulff, a former Nike executive, will succeed Bart McGuire, who leaves on Dec 31. He begins work immediately, however, serving as president.


<br />John Parsons of the Daily Telegraph , LONDON

[ October 30, 2001: Message edited by: TheBoiledEgg ]</p>
 

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<font size=4>Davenport accuses Venus of lying </font><br /><br />Richard Jago in Munich<br />Tuesday October 30, 2001<br />The Guardian

Venus Williams was the target of a verbal attack, unprecedented on the women's tour, when she was accused of lying by her fellow American Lindsay Davenport yesterday.

Davenport's inflammatory remark, lit by the Wimbledon champion's controversial last-moment withdrawal from the season-end Sanex Championships starting here today, and fuelled by post-September 11 tensions, is likely to do immense harm to the already damaged relationship between the Williams sisters and other leading players.

"Venus kept saying she was going to come and she should have," said Davenport, one of three American women players who have overcome their fears of flying in the terrorist crisis. "It would have been better a few weeks earlier to have said I am not going to come, rather than teasing everyone and lying to everyone."

What Davenport reckons is a lie is the wrist-ligament strain Venus cited four days ago as the reason for her withdrawal from the climax of the 2001 tour. Although this injury has indeed created problems over the past two seasons for her, the timing of it will cause widespread suspicion, not for the first time, that she is using it as an excuse.

Her sister Serena's attempt to improve matters may have had the opposite effect. "Venus and I are recognised no matter where we go in the world. It is not too safe a time for elite American athletes, and the fact that we are more recognisable than anyone [makes it worse]," Serena said. Though it is easy to sympathise with this, it also lends weight to Davenport's contention.

Serena felt she had to overcome her fears because she has missed both the last two tour finals through injury, and because the venue here, the 1972 Olympiahalle, is where she achieved one of her greatest triumphs, a victory over Venus in the final of the 1999 Grand Slam Cup.

Davenport's own feelings of vulnerability impassioned her response. "I have been affected very badly," she said. "I cried for two whole days [after September 11]. I have made changes to my schedule and stayed in Europe rather than flying back home and making two journeys. But the terrorists will win if I don't play."

That is the nub. Jennifer Capriati apparently feels much the same and, as an American who is a world No1, prefers not to talk about the dangers of travelling lest it draws attention to her presence abroad.

Monica Seles is another American missing, but that is because she has refused to come to Germany ever since she was stabbed in Hamburg eight years ago. She was the first American player to fly abroad after the tragedy of seven weeks ago.

With attitudes hardening on both sides, the WTA chief executive Bart McGuire, who has stated publicly that he expects a full verification of Venus's injury, may need to do more. The women's tour's highly marketable stars must maintain enough solidarity with one another and with their sport in what are likely to be some difficult months ahead if the tour is not to suffer from a serious slump.
 

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Lindsay has her opinions and personally I could care less what she thinks about Venus. It isn't like Lindsay's remarks mean anything to the Williams camp. They never did and never will. It seems to me that the more she keeps mentioning Venus and Serena the more they kick that ass in major slams. lol

Lindsay girl, wake up your not the QUEEN of the courts that is VENUS's spot. So chill out about peeps you really dont even like and whip Capriati's ass! lmao <img src="smile.gif" border="0">
 

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As a fan of Venus's, my first impulse here is to bash Lindsay unmercifully. Then I read both articles twice, paying attention to Lindsay's quotes.

Article #1

"Venus kept saying she was coming," Davenport said. "It would have been better if she'd pulled out earlier instead of kind of teasing people that she was coming. What makes it so disappointing is that this tournament is supposed to have an elite field, with the top 16. The same thing happened last year in New York when several players pulled out."

"Martina suffered an horrendous accident in Filderstadt," said Davenport, who was on the other side of the net when Hingis fell early in their semi-final.

<br />Article #2

"Venus kept saying she was going to come and she should have," said Davenport, one of three American women players who have overcome their fears of flying in the terrorist crisis. "It would have been better a few weeks earlier to have said I am not going to come, rather than teasing everyone and lying to everyone."

"I have been affected very badly," she said. "I cried for two whole days [after September 11]. I have made changes to my schedule and stayed in Europe rather than flying back home and making two journeys. But the terrorists will win if I don't play."

*****

My feeling is the writer of the 2nd article, Richard Jago, mis-interpreted, perhaps deliberately, something Lindsay said. Lindsay said , "Venus kept saying she was going to come and she should have". That is clearly what Lindsay was referring to when she said Venus was lying. Richard Jago however, in his next sentence writes this, "What Davenport reckons is a lie is the wrist-ligament strain Venus cited four days ago as the reason for her withdrawal from the climax of the 2001 tour. Although this injury has indeed created problems over the past two seasons for her, the timing of it will cause widespread suspicion, not for the first time, that she is using it as an excuse.".

I suppose I can't read minds, but I rather doubt Richard Jago can either.

He supports the validity of the wrist injury by pointing out it's been a recurring problem for two years. He accuses Lindsay of accusing Venus of lying about her wrist injury, something Lindsay does not do in the article. Yet somehow, the whole tone of the article is anti-Venus. I have to face facts. If Venus did, indeed, keep telling people (including Serena, quoted 2 weeks ago as saying both were coming) that she would play, giving no indication of injury, then 'lying' while a harsh term, is accurate. Lindsay did NOT, at least as quoted, question the validity of Venus's injury. Lindsay can be pretty conservative with her words, especially after catching flak for her words about Amelie Mauresmo at OZ '99, and the reference to 'them' and 'their behaviour', referring to the Williams, but a remark widely interpreted as meaning Black people in general (No, I don't think she MEANT Black people in generalm but I certainly remember the flame wars and Black vs WTA articles). Whether she believed Venus really injured or not, Lindsay just isn't going to say that at a news conference. This is the person who said last week that she didn't really want to end the year #1 because she'd be 'barbecued' by the media.

So I won't be doing any Lindsay-bashing today.

And the tour will find Venus's injury is legit. That's the nasty side of chronic conditions. They are pretty much always there, you just manage them from day to day. Venus will just send them two years of medical reports and the wrists and ask how THEY know how her wrist felt. The tour needs a carrot to get Venus to play more. The stick isn't working.
 

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I've not heard of this Richard Lago character before but I do know John Parsons , he's widely regarded as one of the BEST writers.

He is still is the secretary of the LWTA(Lawn Tennis Writers Association).
 

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As a Venus fan, we stand by her through all the highs and the lows. And as I will repeatedly say to anybody that says anything negative about her, it dosn't bother her one bit. She's sitting on a recliner, eating potato chips saying, "If they don't like it, fuck 'em."

GO VENUS! WE LOVE YOU!
 

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So what's new whether this is true or not??? Venus seems to be on the minds of everybody and their mother... Anyway, judging from the past, I doubt she really cares ... <img src="tongue.gif" border="0"> <br />
Everyone is entitled to their opinion <hr></blockquote>

Venus Williams<br />Back to back Wimbeldon and U.S. Open Champ
 

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Well said, Lindsay.
 

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I don't know the last reporter either, but he's just stating something Lindsay never said.

....<br /><br />She's sitting on a recliner, eating potato chips saying, "If they don't like it, fuck 'em."

You know, I am not sure what surprises me more, that you, as a fan, would think so little of Venus as to state that in the face of hundreds of dissapointed people she'd be thinking "fuck 'em", or that you seem to be even more her fan because of it? I just don't understand it, Josh. I want to think Venus is home with an injured wrist, and dissapointed that she couldn't make it.
 

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i am a fan of venus' and i am disappointed,but i'd rather her sut out the championships then play injured,but i doubt very much that venus is at home eating potato chips saying fuck'em, if anything,she'll most likely at home preparing for the australian open!<br />GET BETTER VENUS WE MISS YOU! <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0">
 

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I just wonder why Lindsay seems to be so upset that Venus didn't come? She's really taking on a nasty little tone in that second article. Hmmm. I wonder what that's all about. She should be glad Venus isn't playing. She's gonna have her hands and feet full with Serena.

Why is everyone acting as though the entire state of tennis relies on the Williams sisters? Shit, if they play, they play. If they don't, you play anyway and hope you win. I take it that Lindsay doesn't think it's fair that SHE has to show up and Venus doesn't. Well, if Lindsay's scared, she shouldn't go either. What's the big deal? Venus said she was going to play, in hopes that her wrist would get better and it didn't, so she pulled out. That's acceptable to a lot of people. I feel that there's something underlying in Lindsay's comments. She just doesn't seem to think it's fair that she somehow has to risk her life to play and Venus doesn't. News flash Lindsay, you don't either! <img src="tongue.gif" border="0">
 

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i do believe that when venus says she has a wrist injury, she probably does have one

but i really cant vouch that she wont/hasnt used it as an excuse to pull out of a tournament even once

i mean, we all know venus is a little lazy...
 

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BTW, Venus just might be saying "fuck 'em" to the same tired asses who keep bitching and accusing every-single-time she pulls out of a tournament. Hell, I would be saying the same thing. These are the people who you can never please whether you show up or not. Venus has an obligation to herself to take care of any and all ailments so that she is physically able to play at her very best when she enters a tournament. I'm sure she would loved to have been there, but she isn't. This conversation is tired as hell.
 

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Amanda Coetzer, Magdalena Maleeva and Arancha Sanchez Vicario are the beneficiaries of the withdrawals.<hr></blockquote>

Uhmmm, does anyone else think that while Lindsay is talking so much, that she would consider herself lucky that Venus is not playing! This quote should read, Lindsay Davenport is the beneficiary of the withdrawals. <img src="wink.gif" border="0">

But, Lindsay your still cool with me! <img src="graemlins/bounce.gif" border="0" alt="[Bounce]" />

p.s. It is amazing how Venus is on the mind of everyone everyday. Geezzzz, you would think that Venus was number one, instead of number 4! <img src="rolleyes.gif" border="0">
 

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Not sure if Venus is saying "fuck 'em", but maybe something along the lines of "you can't please everybody all the time?" <img src="tongue.gif" border="0">

btw--I agree with Volcana.
 

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Isn't The Guardian a tabloid? The second article reads rather tabloidy (?) to me, and it looks like a Davenport quote was altered to suit the tone of the story. After all, news doesn't sell tabloids, sensationalism does.

A tip-off is the "prophecy of doom" bit at the end, about the tour facing the prospect of "a serious slump". We've been hearing that tune for quite a few years now. Seemingly every time a top player pulls out of an event, we get those "women's tennis in a tailspin" stories, even among "reputable" journalists. If 2 superstars withdraw from a tourney, but 5 play, the 2 get the focus of the attention. The media, particularly in tennis circles, always tries to put the most negative spin on everything regarding women's tennis. They really need to get out more.
 

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If Venus says she is injured, then she is injured, case closed! I want to see how many apologies are rendered when her wrist injury is verified. Starting with the greedy WTA and Lindsay. Lindsay is free to think whatever, but you would think she has learned enough to keep it to herself! She has deep centered resentments of Venus, probably is why Venus dominates her thoughts. Maybe she wants to play an injured Venus, but you know what? She still would not win.

[ October 30, 2001: Message edited by: TSequoia01 ]</p>
 

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On the one hand Serena is defending her sister, and on the other she is saying that her and Venus both think it's dangerous for high profile Americans to go abroad, which implys that is the real reason Venus pulled out.
 

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btw, the Guardian is NOT a tabloid, far from it, it is a broadsheet and the paper of choice for many liberal left-wing Brits (like me!).<br />However, it's Tennis coverage leaves a lot to be desired.
 
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