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Discussion Starter #1
Posted on Mon, Sep. 01, 2003

This wide-open Open not too hot without Williams Sisters
BY FILIP BONDY
New York Daily News

DEAR VENUS AND SERENA:

I know you have many things on your minds right now, like healing those tendons and designing those dresses and performing in those cameo roles. I know that tennis is not the most important thing in your life, because you've told us that many, many times.

I wish I didn't have to interrupt your well-earned rehab, but there's a real problem out here at the U.S. Open. It's the elephant in the room, the big, wrinkled gray one the networks are trying to ignore. Basically, the women's draw without you has been - how do I put this diplomatically? - abysmal.

A few of us thought it might be refreshing to stage a Grand Slam tournament without the Williams sisters, because you win too often, too easily. Well, we were wrong. Those among us who welcomed the wide-open Open were just plain stupid.

The women's matches have been lifeless, hopeless, uninspired. Forehand. Backhand. Unforced error. Real shotmaking is nearly nonexistent. Nobody builds points. Nobody uses the whole court. No one lifts the sport to another level with power and passion. Only Tracy Austin seems to be enthralled by it all.

You know how we always complained about the Grand Slam finals you two played against each other? How uncomfortable we felt watching you, as if we were intruders? Well, there was more drama and tennis geometry in your Wimbledon meeting than anything that has passed for a women's match here in Flushing Meadows.

I would love to report that Lindsay Davenport, Jennifer Capriati and the two Belgians have carried the day without you, but that would be a lie. It is not entirely their fault. The depth of the field is pathetic. The more the TV announcers hype the Russians, the more they roll over and disappear.

Maybe things will improve in the quarterfinals. But on Monday again, Capriati (who won one match in 35 minutes) crushed Elena Dementieva between the raindrops. If you blinked, you missed another game. For reasons hard to comprehend, the women seem quite satisfied to exit the place once they've played to their ranking. With a few notable exceptions, they accept their slots in life, providing little argument and demonstrating no great aspirations.

It turns out, your presence wasn't the only thing that discouraged the women. They are cowered also by the mere sight of Kim Clijsters, who hasn't lost a set while dropping only 19 games in four matches. Frankly, she isn't even playing that well.

We are still waiting for a breakout moment, for a woman to knock a serve down the middle on a big point and follow it without hesitation, forward to the net.

Meanwhile, the men have produced brilliant, memorable matches with full plot twists and lip snarls. Andy Roddick survived the defiant Croatian Ivan Ljubicic. Younes el-Aynaoui defeated Jiri Novak in a fifth-set tiebreaker, a wonderful tactical battle between players who both really believed they might win.

Late Sunday night, we caught a glimpse of why Roger Federer is the best player of all. He is Liquid Tennis, a fluid wave that covers the entire court. The great thing about the men's draw is that we never know for sure what happens next. Federer must play David Nalbandian, who owns an eerie 4-0 record against the young Wimbledon champ.

Everytime we ask the women here about their ordinary matches, they claim we are imagining things. Clijsters says the matches are one-sided only because she respects her opponents so much, she is well prepared for them. We are not making this up. The tennis has been a lousy argument for that $1 million winner's paycheck.

And in part, the problem is you two, Venus and Serena. The past three or four years, you have spoiled us. We've grown accustomed to the 120-mph serves, the groundstrokes that daub the lines. We revel in the little controversies and resentments that swirl about you - the way Irina Spirlea might bump into you on the changeover, or Justine Henin-Hardenne might disrupt your concentration.

We thought New York could handle your absence, if it were just for one tournament. We were dead wrong. We already are without that mischievous artist, Martina Hingis, and the old masters, Steffi Graf and Monica Seles.

Now, you've forsaken us as well. We've spent more than a week yawning, bored stiff.

Please come back next summer. Bring your parents. We need the headlines. More than that, we need the tennis. - SINCERELY, SPORTS COLUMNIST
 

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This article is a joke...its has to be! Isn't the New York Times a major sponsor of the USopen and New Yorkk daily news printed it...surprise surprise?

Things like this should never be allowed to be published. I wonder if the 'journalist' who wrote this has ever watched a woman's match or any tennis match at that.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Filip Bondy is a regular sports columnist for the NY Daily News. He has written many times about tennis. This has nothing to do with the NY Times.

And he is correct. The men's matches have been so much better than the women's.
 

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I don't care if the Williams' are there or not. I never watched them play even when they were in the draw. All I care about is seeing Justine capture Grand Slam #2. :worship: :yeah:
 

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Lynn said:
Filip Bondy is a regular sports columnist for the NY Daily News. He has written many times about tennis. This has nothing to do with the NY Times.

And he is correct. The men's matches have been so much better than the women's.
Ya, and Venus and Serena always struggle through the first week...making for great woman's tennis!
:rolleyes:
 

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mexicotrip said:
This article is a joke...its has to be! Isn't the New York Times a major sponsor of the USopen and New Yorkk daily news printed it...surprise surprise?

Things like this should never be allowed to be published. I wonder if the 'journalist' who wrote this has ever watched a woman's match or any tennis match at that.

fascist. I guess censorship is all the rage in your country right?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'm not exactly a Williams fan but even I realize that they bring some excitement to a GS. It is boring without them.
 

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mexicotrip said:
This article is a joke...its has to be! Isn't the New York Times a major sponsor of the USopen and New Yorkk daily news printed it...surprise surprise?

Things like this should never be allowed to be published. I wonder if the 'journalist' who wrote this has ever watched a woman's match or any tennis match at that.
Bondy is a regular columnist for the NY Daily news and writes columns for every Grand Slam and as Lynn said, he is correct.

You'd might want to criticize Jim Courier; he said that the commentators miss the Williams sisters and any of them who said they didn't would be a liar.
 

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Lynn said:
I'm not exactly a Williams fan but even I realize that they bring some excitement to a GS. It is boring without them.
Of course they bring some excitement to the game...but so do the other players...they are not the only ones with the ability to 'hit winners" lol
 

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What everyone fails to understand is not all of the world is fans of the Williams sisters. Some of us enjoy watching a Williams free Grand Slam. I know I really enjoyed the French Open, maybe you all didn't but I did. Everybody likes different things, my cup of tea is watching Justine and other talented non-Williams' grind it out. It makes the sport interesting, as you don't automatically know who's going to win. The US media, is going to go out of it's way to show TV viewing of the US Open is down. What we don't know is how accurately it's measured. It could be down in certain households but not in all. I know I haven't missed a day watching this year, but for the 2 years before this one, I couldn't give a shit about it. I'm American, but I must admit I can't stand any of the American players!

Venus and Serena are out, they are both injured. Would you rather them play non-100% and risk more injury? Or would you just enjoy the fact they are getting time off to gear up for more booring domination? There is no use crying over spilled milk people. I like the sisters, I just prefer not to watch them dominate. At least the Belgians are making it interesting this year. We have a legit top 4, any of which can win on any given day.
 

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Oh! Come on now! This isn't like a golf tournament
where if Tiger Wood doesn't show up or loses early
it's becomes as exciting as dish water because the
rest of the players are total bores. The WTA and
even the ATP nowadays have very entertaining,
attractive and very watchable players. It's not that
bad; but if your a Williams supporter it might be duller.
I can understand that- if my favorites weren't in an
event it's boring to watch for me too. I will sympathize
with you on that point.
 

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They bring a lot of colour to the game in more ways than one. That is a true article. Also what he said about others buckling to Kim. One thing I always admired about the sisters, they do not care if they opponent is #1 or 120 when they walk out on the court the walk out like they own the court. No one intimidates them. They are the intimidators. They are not afraid of anyone.
 

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I only really like Serena but I'm glad they're not at the US Open this year.

Because whenever they are, Lindsay always ends up playing them - she loses and I have a heart attack.
 

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Bacardi said:
What everyone fails to understand is not all of the world is fans of the Williams sisters. Some of us enjoy watching a Williams free Grand Slam. I know I really enjoyed the French Open, maybe you all didn't but I did. Everybody likes different things, my cup of tea is watching Justine and other talented non-Williams' grind it out. It makes the sport interesting, as you don't automatically know who's going to win. The US media, is going to go out of it's way to show TV viewing of the US Open is down. What we don't know is how accurately it's measured. It could be down in certain households but not in all. I know I haven't missed a day watching this year, but for the 2 years before this one, I couldn't give a shit about it. I'm American, but I must admit I can't stand any of the American players!

Venus and Serena are out, they are both injured. Would you rather them play non-100% and risk more injury? Or would you just enjoy the fact they are getting time off to gear up for more booring domination? There is no use crying over spilled milk people. I like the sisters, I just prefer not to watch them dominate. At least the Belgians are making it interesting this year. We have a legit top 4, any of which can win on any given day.
Dominate what? This year, Serena has won four titles (including 2 Grand Slams) and Venus has won one. Kim and Justine have won six titles each. BTW, the top 4 was legit last year and all other years, with and without the sisters; it wasn't the sisters' problem last year if they were playing better than the rest as it isn't Kim's and Justine's problem if they are playing better than the rest.

You say that current top 4 can win on any day. Well, Lindsay is in the top four and only has one title to date this year. Why hasn't she been winning?
 
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