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Discussion Starter #1
I was recently watching my tape of the U.S. Open (for the 1000th time) when it became very clear that the media was trying very hard to downplay Venus and Serena. The only person they dissed greater was Martina Hingis. Before the Venus/Jennifer match, all one could hear was Jennifer this, Jennifer that. When Jen went up 4-1 in that first set, man it really escalated then. Only when Venus turned the tide and it became obvious that Jen was through did the comments and praises equal out.<br />Now Serena is in Munich, barely a mention of her or her matches. Is it me?
 

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I would have to disagree that coverage of the Sisters during the USO was small. When you consider that they were after all on the cover of Time magazine, and that the whole world was made aware of the history the Sister were making by meeting in the final. To me, the problem of coverage during the USO was more so that CBS gave the MEN too much coverage. USA, on the other hand, did an adequate job.

Currently, with the Sanex Championships, I agree that Serena is not really receiving a lot of coverage. In my opinion, only Lindsay and Jenn are on anyone's radar screen.

Is this a bad thing? Is this a malicious act on the part of the media? I don't think so. It's a precarious task trying to cover the Williams Sisters as the are magnets for controversy (for whatever reason). So the media is a bit like the Sisters in that they are damned if they do or don't do. Right now, the biggest story about them is that Venus is under investigation. As a fan of Venus, I don't want that story to get much air time. As far as Serena goes--well, let's just say that right now, she's no Venus. When this is put in perspective, Serena shouldn't be in the spot light even if she is a rarity at events.

Given how private V&S can be, I understand the desire to see the Sisters play and lots of stories about them. I feel it all of the time, but honestly, given the depth of talent out there now and the risk of controversy, I know that the Sisters can't always steal the show.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Triple Break of course they got respect after reaching the finals my point was what kind of coverage did they get prior. Serena is the most exciting player in Munich yet no attention. Yes she may not be Venus (who is?) but who else is more exciting?
 

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I, for one, find lots of players more exciting than Serena (except when she's playing Davenport, since those two always have exciting matches against each other). Clijsters, Hénin, Dementieva and even Rubin are more exciting to me.

Indeed, I thought the error-filled final that Serena and Venus played at the USO was boring beyond belief. The Hénin-Capriati and Clijsters-Capriati matches at Wimbledon and Roland Garros respectively were both more exciting.

Finally, one more reason that Serena isn't getting much attention at Munich is because everybody is (rightly) focussing on who will end the year at #1.

As for the USO coverage, I agree with TBP that they were giving the men entirely too much coverage. Frankly, they ought to bar John McEnroe from covering women's tennis. It shocked me that he, as a former tennis player, didn't understand that the rankings are calculated on a rolling 52-week basis. And when he was talking about all the "easy" matches the top women were having (on the first weekend of the tournament), I wanted somebody to ask him about players like Youzhny who went out in straight sets.
 

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As far as coverage compared to Capriati, its not personal. The American media have always made idiots of themselves over her, and always will. When she broke back into the top 20 in late 99 after being out of it for about 6 years (a few of which she was playing), she was probably one of the half dozen biggest media stars on tour. She was probably as much of a star BEFORE the Australian Open as Monica, which is simply absurd. Don't ask me to explain it, that's just how it is. Maybe if Monica had been born in Florida........
 

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Serena hasn't been even a top five player all year. They'll start talking about her IF she plays and beats Jenn.
 

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The only people the media try to downplay LESS is Anna Kournikova. Are you serious? The Williams sisters are possibly the biggest phenomenon in tennis over the past decade, and the media have accordingly treated them as such. Even non-tennis fans had heard of Venus, Serena and Anna K - before they were even in the top 50. Compare that to up'n'comers now: Lina K, Elena B, Daja Bedanova, Nadia Petrova. Tennis fans know to watch them but V, S and Anna K had infinitely more coverage at the same stage of their careers. Iroda Tulyaganova's just broken the top 20 - no-one's heard of her. Hell, Clijsters and Henin have been top 5 this year (unlike Serena) and they're hardly household names. Jelena Dokic is the only new player who receives half as much attention as V&S did.

The reason no-one's focusing on Serena at Munich? Because Jennifer and Lindsay fighting over #1 is more interesting. Serena can't get to #1 this week, and ultimately, she's the world #10 who's had - by her standards - a pretty bad year (i.e. the 2nd year in a row her year end ranking has fallen).

As for the media downplaying Venus - what a joke. Who else would get headlines having not played since September?
 

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I think its a little from both sides of the coin. I think the media tends to cover you for two reasons, first: if you are surrounded in countroversey and second: if you are posting great results and causing great upsets (to some extent). Was it just me or did anyone else notice that during the USO when Serena handed Hingis her worse defeat in her USO history the commentators never ever called it an upset. And then again Hingis did not receive that much coverage at the open, except for why she shouldn't be number one.

BUT, if Michael Jordan were facing his brother in the NBA finals or Tiger Woods facing his brother in the Masters final round, the MEDIA would have went ape-sh*it and you would not have been able to turn on the tv without hearing about it or pick up the paper. I also think that if Venus and Serena were more "media-friendly" they would get even more coverage.

Also, as a side note when the media covers tennis, they tend to get really too personal with their coverage, yet not so much with other sports. Whereas with other sports the players still can keep some privacy and they aren't always looking for some quote of one player bashing another player.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I know that different magazines run articles on the sisters because they transcend tennis. But answer me this, they showed on espn2, a match between tauziat/Vicario instead of Serena/Elia. Come on now, what is up with that? In the end Serena will get her coverage, because she will demand it. When you win the whole dam thing it is hard to ignore you.
 

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TSequoia, I don't know anything about ESPN2 (am British) but I've heard that its tennis coverage isn't great anyway. I actually would have preferred to see Tauziat against ASV (even though ASV's game drives me nuts), and they had good reasons to show it: 1) could have been (and was) Tauziat's last singles match, i.e. last chance to see her play; 2) most people would have probably expected it to be less one-sided than Serena against Silvia, and a 6-0 6-2 demolition isn't v exciting to watch. They weren't necessarily saying that Nathalie or ASV were better, just that circumstances meant that theirs was the better match to show on TV. Did they show Serena's last two matches? Those would have been great choices. They should be showing the final, anyway <img src="smile.gif" border="0">
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Sartrista7 great post! Reasonable, logical and to the point. Yes they have shown her last two matches against Henin and Testud. The Henin match was awesomely exciting. She blew out Testud today 6-3/6-0. It should be a great match tomorrow, Serena versus Lindsay usually is very exciting. Both are playing excellent tennis. But when Serena plays well and Lindsay plays well....Serena inevitably wins. But I am biased. Anyway,no matter who wins or loses I wish for great tennis!!!
 
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