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http://www.canada.com/vancouver/theprovince/story.asp?id=20B531D6-9897-4F3D-B813-31F922C5680D



Tennis world expects


Scripps Howard


Wednesday, May 21, 2003
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Annika Sorenstam's bid to beat the men in golf this week in Texas has prompted some in tennis to speculate how Serena Williams would fare against the opposite sex.

"It's a fascinating subject," ESPN commentator Cliff Drysdale said.

Sorenstam will be the first woman since 1945 to play a PGA Tour event. No woman has played in an ATP Tour tournament.

Thirty years ago, Billie Jean King defeated Bobby Riggs before 30,472 at the Houston Astrodome in what was billed as tennis' "Battle of the Sexes". But King was 27 and at the top of her game. Riggs, though a former major champion (he won Wimbledon in 1939), was 55 and a bit slow.

An attempt by Williams to face men would give us a better idea of how close or far apart the men's and women's games really are.

Since last spring, the 21-year-old top-ranked Williams has won 11 tournament titles and the past four Grand Slam championships. Other women have been as dominant in different eras, but few if any possessed Williams' athleticism and power.

"I don't think she can compete against qualifiers (on the men's tour)," Drysdale said. "But I'm not as sure as I used to be. She serves nearly as hard as the guys."

And sometimes harder.

Many of Williams' serves at last year's U.S. Open were faster than those of men's runner-up Andre Agassi. But Drysdale said because the overall difference in the speed of play is enormous, Williams would be at a great disadvantage.

"There's no comparison (between the men and women)," Drysdale said. "Having said that, to be fair to her you'd have to give her a few tournaments. She might learn how to handle the power, but I doubt it."

Nonetheless, Drysdale would like to see Williams try and hopes she gets the chance.

He says Williams has nothing to lose and added that the sport could use the boost.

"It would be great," Drysdale said. "This is a subject that's not going away. I'm going to be tuned in to every swing of Sorenstam's club."
 

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I would like to see Serena play against some of the men, but in exhibitions only, I would NOT like to see a woman play on the men's tour. It's hard to tell sometimes the difference in the speed of the men's and women's game depending on who is playing. I think Serena could take several games off of Lleyton Hewitt.
 

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Why don't he pick up a racket and actually challenge Serena or Venus....golf is not tennis!!!!!!! the skills it takes to win a damn tennis match is not the same for a golf tournament. He is an ass!!!!! Keep watching every stroke maybe one will hit his dumb ass and he would swell a brain. I thought he was retired anyway? what is he still doing making quotes to the press? Didn't we all agree this guy have the I.Q of an ESPN commentator trapped in a booth on a day when none of the williamses are around.
 

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Cant beleive Drysdale says Serena would 'have nothing to lsoe' by competing against men... I disagree...

I think if Serena had a rematch against Braasch - ranked 300 and something who whipped her years ago and got the same result, it would Undermine womens tennis credibility imo..
 

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you know I really would like to see it happening

I think Serena would have to start low, like someone ranked in the 1000's and build her way up though

Like an Exo Tournament

Serena play the world #1000, then 500, then 100, then Someone in the top 20

She'd probably win the first two, then lose the second two but she wouldn't get embarrased

But the other thing is that her errors would kill her
And she wouldn't be able to blow her opponents off the court, so she'd have to be playing well

still interesting though

Oh and just for conversations sake

3-6 7-5 7-5 for the first one
2-6 7-5 6-3 for the second
1-6 4-6 for the third
2-6 3-6 for the last one, but it would depend on the person
 

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what year was it, and what was the score?
of course he would've whipped her, Serena sucked then

even in the UsOpen 1999 final she had like 56 unforced errors!
 

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Does this Drysdale character by any chance dislike Serena and want to see here beaten badly for a change? Because in my view that's what would happen if a woman played any top male competitively (top 100 at least). However if they want to do an exhibition or whatever, that's their call.

Didn't Serena recently say something like she wasn't going to play men again because she was a lady and only wanted to play ladies anyway?
 

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Is Drysdale an idiot? OK, yeah, dumb question. But seriously, tennis is a far more physical sport than golf. Annika's driving distance being slightly below the men's average is a lot smaller issue than Serena's serve being slightly below average for the men. Serena would have to compete against the men, body vs body, Annika needs only compete with a scoreboard.
 

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you guys are being unfair to Cliff. it was the Sisters themselves who had the temerity to challenge a man. Kaarsten Brach beat them back to back -- after drinking several shandies.

yes the circus atmosphere of them challenging a man AGAIN will attract a lot of media attention. but don't blame Cliff for what they themselves came up with first!
 

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Good point disposablehero. I also think Serena might get badly injured trying to keep up which would hardly be good for women's tennis - more like a disaster.
 

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He's nuts! Ronnie took me to an exhibition several months ago. It was Martina (Navratilova) v. Tracy, and McEnroe v. Courier, then a mixed doubles. We had court-side seats. It was exciting! Anyway, I had never seen men play before in person. Courier I think could beat Serena easily, quite easily, and not try that hard. I think he was making it close for McEnroe, and then when it was his time to win, he'd blast something with like no effort, and it was far more foul than anything Serena could ever do in her wildest dreams. It was a real lesson about the difference between men and women. There is no comparison! I don't think Serena would get the double-bagel, but it would not be close either.

On another note, Martina totally killed Tracy. Martina won 6-1, 6-2, and believe me, it was pity games from Martina that gave Tracy anything. Tracy did a couple of nice passing shots (one was brilliant), but that was it. Someone even screamed out during the match, "Tracy, take it up a notch." Tracy screamed back, "This is up a notch!"

Tracy did say at the start that she had committed to this exhibition before Martina started her doubles come-back, so she joked to Martina that she had tricked her!

Old prejudices die hard. This woman sat behind me (in the cheaper seats) and commented throughout the match that "it's not fair, she's playing a man" when Tracy got killed by Martina. I almost turned around to tell her off, but I didn't.

Also, all those gay rumors about Courier (which I sort of believed). Not true to me. He set zero off on my "gaydar."
 

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hey, that golf chick who's playing in Texas tomorrow is quite a hottie MILF

Ra!

plus i think she has a chance of making the cut, although she probably won't but either way i don't think she'll embarrass herself and they'll be plenty of male pros who'll finish behind her

but if Serena was to take on an active male pro, i think she would be embarrassed so i think she's made the right decision to decline any such invitation

- Car Key Boi
 

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Golf is not tennis and the Williams would get killed, whether Cliff Drysdale likes it or not.
Although Patty beating that ATP player last year was quite remarkable :eek:
 

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Celeste - I wish you had turned around and told that woman off!!! But thanks for the first hand account.
 

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Hey, I hate to make waves. The woman behind me kind of looked older, like maybe she was a past player, I was sort of scared! She had a "WTA Legends" coat on, so I sort of wondered, though she looked like no one I ever saw playing. It just confirmed to me that Martina really did get the shaft on stuff, Ronnie and I just sort of laughed at her (sort of in front of her). I don't think this woman knows the kind of fun Ronnie and I had at her expense.

Though I have issues with Martina and Conchita, Martina looked great. I saw her do a doubles match in 2001 and she looked quite good. She looked ripped and ready to kill at this thing though, greater muscles, a far better body (which is saying something). Personally, I think it took her a couple of years to get back in the swing, and now she's here. I hope she doesn't quit soon, she's playing too good!

I know we disagree on Conchita, but Martina is a great player, I loved seeing her!
 

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6-1; 6-0 as far as i remember

and he spanked them back to back.

and he's an old geezer with a gut
 

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yeah Patty beat that guy 7-6 7-5 i believe

and also, when she was 11 (yes 11!) Venus challenged John MacEnroe

she really thought she'd win too
 

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6-1 6-0 for both of them?

ouch

what was his ranking?

anyway, that was back in the day and Hingis was s till beating up on them so I'm not 100% suprised
 
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