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Discussion Starter #1
IMHO, for the first time, you can make a defensible case that Venus and Serena Williams are the two best women's tennis players in the world. Not a compelling case, but a defensible one. If I don't count injured players.

Under the VSR (Volcana's Subjective Ranking) System

#1 Venus Williams - She's won the last four tournaments she entered.

#2 Serena Williams - Toronto, USOpen, Munich. Still hasn't lost in Sydney. The cae would be a lot more compelling if she'd beaten Lindsay in Munich, instead of winning with a walkover.

#3Martina Hingis - Still hasn't lost in Sydney. An opportunity to end her losing streak to top ten players will surely come in to play. Technically. since Lindsay's out, Sandrine IS a top ten player.

#4 Jennifer Capriati - Yes, I'm slamming her for losing to Stevenson. I certainly believe Martina could beat her right now. Course, I didn't pick her to win OZ last year. She won two GS titles and was ranked #1.

If Martina lose to Sandrine, it will be hard NOT to drop her out of the VSS top ten. She's beatne her 15 times in a row, after all.

#5 Justine Henin - Lostly gamely to Venus, Gold Coast final

#6 Amelie Mauresmo - Lostly gamely to Serena, Sydney QF

#7 Monica Seles - Had to move her up for beating Kim. But Schiavone?

#8 Kim Clijsters - Seles, Schiavone

#9 Lindsay Davenport - This will be about her ranking if she doesn't come back til Eastbourne.

#10 Jelena Dokic - Let's see how much she wins now that her Chief Tormentor is on the shelf.

Now, to be honest, whoever wins this tournament is likely to be my #2 going into OZ. Hopefully that'll be Serena. Of course, Jenn lost in the 2nd round at Sydney last year. That worked out for her.

BUt at this point in the season, I think if Serena plays anyone but Venus, Serena has to be favored. (It'll be different on clay.)
 

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interesting list. generally I agree but have a few comments/questions.

I think that venus is clearly the best. and think that capriati, hingis and serena are pretty close overall. of course, they all have different strengths and weaknesses and are at very different points in their careers, but its so hard to tell with these three exactly what you are going to get. in general, hingis is more consistent than serena and capriati, but of course coming off the injury there's a big unknown about how she'll play.

I don't think that Mauresmo should be in the same grouping as Seles, Henin and Clijsters. she's so darn inconsistent and has lately been in a slump. and her performance in big time matches just doesn't hold up. Whereas Clijsters, Henin and even Seles seem to be on a roll.

Its just too bad that Lindsay is hurt. she is such a quality player. I would put her up at #2 if she wasn't hurt.
Ruth in Philly PA USA
 

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I would defenetley agree on 1 &2.

1) Venus- She won goldcoast, and the 01 uso and wimby, she is without a doubt THE BEST right now.

2) Serena- Ever since Toronto, which she won, she has beaten Capriati, Seles, Justine, Testud, Davenport, demolished Hingis, got to the finals of USO and won the title in Munich. She is into the Semi's of Sydney where she'll most likley play, Stevenson or Meghan, which she most likley will beat, then probably win the title.

3) this spot is debatable i guess between hingis or davenport, but given Capriati's recent losses to Testud (twice), kournikova and Stevenson i think she is defenetley not worthy of this spot.
 

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For me, it sounds pretty obvious, without Davenport, on paper Williams sisters are two biggest favourites for AO. Though the fact, that RA is, relatively speaking, their worst surface, should not be underestimated. They are beating many opponents on intimidation factor. Hingis and Capriati, and in lesser extent Seles, however, won't be intimidated, and it is the surface they are very comfortable.
 

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I think that the best players in the world at the moment are Venus and Serena followed by Hingis and Monica in the next strata. Capriati is not the player that she was last year, and Hingis is still in the top four with Lindsay gone. Monica with her improved fitness is the best big-hitter outside the sisters with Davenport gone. I think that these players will dominate the early part of the year, and I think that the Belgian girls will have a shout too.:wavey:
 

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I disagree that RA is the sisters worst surface. Clay is their worst surface. Venus only has three clay titles; Serena has none and rarely plays on clay unless it is RO. In the past 4 years, the sisters have only made it as far as the quarterfinals @ the FO once. The sisters are most vulnerable on this surface and the potential for causing an upset is greater here than anywhere else.

The sisters actually have a pretty good record on RA. They won the Oz doubles title last year in addition to Venus Olympic Gold medal and the sisters Olympic doubles title. Venus has consistently made the quarters and last year the semifinals in the three years she has played. Serena finally made the quarterfinals last year and her record is slightly more inconsistent than her sister's. But this year, the sisters seem determined to change their fortunes. Venus just won the Gold Coast and Serena is in the semifinals @ the Adidas.

I don't think anyone is intimidated by the sisters @ all. The sisters matches against top ranked players are always close, win or lose and last year, Venus lost to lower ranked players like Schett, Maleeva, Shaughnessy and Henin. The game has changed a great deal and no top player is going to be guaranteed victory in each match they enter. Young players are stronger and more ambitious than ever and a win for them over a top ranked player guarantees press coverage, bonus ranking points and even greater confidence in their own play.

Having said that, I think Venus is definantly the top player @ the moment. Lindsay would have been no. 2 if she had not been injured. With her singles and doubles wins so far, I would rank Hingis no.2 and Serena as no. 3 with her wins over Kournikova and Mauresmo. Henin is no. 4 with her final appearance @ the Gold Coast and her quarterfinal appearance @ the Adidas. Capriati rounds out the top 5 with her win @ the Hong Kong exho.
 

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Venus is the best player in the world, but she still has to prove that she can win touraments in January, February, April, May, June, October, and November. She's so far ahead of the field on Grass or US Hardcourts though, that she can be the best without winning there.

Serena might be the second best player in the world, but she excels on the same surfaces Venus does, and not to as large an extent. Serena needs to come up big on Clay or Rebound Ace before she can stake a claim to being 2nd best. For now I'll take Lindsay, who at least has RA credentials.
 

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Kim Clijsters

I don't agree with you on Kim
It's really unfair to lower her 'rating' based on results in a non-rating event .. i mean the Hopman cup is more something you play for fun and for the honour of it .. no one will try to peek towards it, but a great occasion to gain some competitionrythm .. i still see her as an outsider for the AO ..
when's the last time that a lower ranked player (excluding Serena) won from Kim in a tournament that actually mathers?
 

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apoet,
that's why I said "relatively"..

It is not clear, on which surface they are better, on clay or on RA.
Neither surface rewards their pace as much as faster surfaces. But clay does reward their stamina more than RA. Their problem on clay is that slowness of surface works like an equalizer. At their best they still are better than anyone, but should they have one off day, they could be beaten by much wider pool of players than on other surfaces. And at FO, they don't seem to have enough focus to play 7 matches at their best even against much worse players. Still, Venus has a decent clay record. From the other side, RA, with its perfect and high bounce and moderate pace rewards what is not their strongest side, namely accuracy, technique and tactical skills. It is still much faster than clay, so they don't have any problems against 3rd Tier players. But, at the same time, there are several players who , on this surface, have the game to match them. That's why they were beaten 3(!) times back-to-back on RA, and never on any other surface.
 

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ys said:
apoet,
that's why I said "relatively"..

It is not clear, on which surface they are better, on clay or on RA.
Neither surface rewards their pace as much as faster surfaces. But clay does reward their stamina more than RA. Their problem on clay is that slowness of surface works like an equalizer. At their best they still are better than anyone, but should they have one off day, they could be beaten by much wider pool of players than on other surfaces. And at FO, they don't seem to have enough focus to play 7 matches at their best even against much worse players. Still, Venus has a decent clay record. From the other side, RA, with its perfect and high bounce and moderate pace rewards what is not their strongest side, namely accuracy, technique and tactical skills. It is still much faster than clay, so they don't have any problems against 3rd Tier players. But, at the same time, there are several players who , on this surface, have the game to match them. That's why they were beaten 3(!) times back-to-back on RA, and never on any other surface.
I'll agree with most of your assessment here. Many people seem to think that the Williams sisters simply intimidate their opponents with sheer power. Power alone doesn't win matches. If that were the case, then players like Mary Pierce and Alex Stevenson would be top contenders. During the last two years, the sisters baseline techniques and tactical skills have improved greatly. They have even incorporated net play in their arsenal. The sisters themselves realized early on that trying to overpower their opponents wouldn't work and they would have to learn tactical skills.

I think the Williams sisters are finally willing to concede that they need much more match practice on this surface that is why they are playing warmups this year. It will be interesting to see who wins if Martina-Serena make it to the final @ the Adidas. The only player, who I believe, can beat the Williams sisters on this surface is Martina Hingis, who has made it to five finals. Yet a lot of Hingis' performance is going to depend on her level of confidence coming back from a bad injury and subpar season.
 

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Another thing, I do think that the sisters intimidate their opposition, but I also think that their power is just one part of that intimidation factor. Equally important is the mental part - their mental toughness, confidence, even a sort of an arrogance. Very few players are capable of dealing with that combination mentally. Hingis is probably the only one against whom it does not really work.
 

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ys said:
Another thing, I do think that the sisters intimidate their opposition, but I also think that their power is just one part of that intimidation factor. Equally important is the mental part - their mental toughness, confidence, even a sort of an arrogance. Very few players are capable of dealing with that combination mentally. Hingis is probably the only one against whom it does not really work.
Very true. That is solely because Martina's own mental toughness, intimidation factor, confidence and arrogance matches the Williams sisters! :)

To be honest, I think most players have that attitude today. The young Russians, the Belgians, even the lower ranked players are walking around with the attitude that each lady is a force to be reckoned with on the court even when in some cases it is certainly not true! It certainly makes each match that much more dramatic and interesting. Besides, it is good for a player to have self-confidence. If they don't have it in themselves, who will?!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
snailhead - You probably right. Of courser, since Kim just beat Justine, I'll have to re-do the list anyway. The person who really makes it difficult is Monica. I have no idea how much to creidt her romp through the Tier IV's and V's at the end of the year.
 

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I think jelena should be given more credit than she is ......... first off the only breakthrough that Kim made in a grand slam was at the French were she didnt have to play anyone that challenging.

Jelena beat kim easily at the end of the year like 6-4 6-0 or something along those lines and i think jelena gets bad draws in grand slams, usually having to face lindsey, who she got ousted in 2 of the grand slams last year.

if jelena can get a good draw she could make it to the final too!!
 

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I think Jelena is an X-factor. She either plays really, really good or really bad. She was destroying people at the end of last year though, to think she would probably had two more titles if it weren't for Lindsay going on a little win streak of her own; too bad she won't be playing in Australia.
 

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SERENA?????? Best player in the world??????

If she wins AO, I would'nt be surprised if she would be tagged as Best player of All time!!!!!

GET REAL!!!!!!
 

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Jelena is naturally underrated, but I mean, that's their loss.

I've watched pretty much all players this year and based on what I see, here should be the ranks:

1 - Venus Williams - tremendous, controlled power hitting with an air of confidence, should win the Australian.

2 - Serena Williams - hitting within herself, is doing the minimum to win

3 - Monica Seles - fitter than ever. wasn't hitting the ball too weel for 1st half of the Hopman Cup but towards the end was really ON!

4 - Martina Hingis - back from an injury, yet to face anyone who can truly test her

5 - Lindsay Davenport (based on end of last year)

6 - Jelena Dokic (see Davenport)

7 - Kim Clijsters - too erratic, looks like she put on a bit of weight

8 - Justine Henin - Justine should take some time out to go searching for her serve, pretty much loses on that 1 weakness.

9 - Amelie Mauresmo - Impressive in Sydney

10 - Meghann Shaughnessy - Gets better with every match


Capriati is playing horrible but she was doing the same thing last year.
 

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ys said:
From the other side, RA, with its perfect and high bounce and moderate pace rewards what is not their strongest side, namely accuracy, technique and tactical skills.
I'm not even going to go into why that statement has no basis. Just to say it's so not true.


As for the ranks.

Right now I would put Venus at #1.


Followed by Serena. It's actually close between Serena and Martina. I only put Serena first because of her Sanex title and her opponents she's faced so far in the draw.

Martina is playing very well at the moment though. Better than I expected. I'd put her at #3 slightly behind Serena. She is the defending adidas champion and 5 time finalist or winner at the AO.

Lindsay I only put at 4 because of her injury. Normally she would be at 2. But Martina and Serena will make up 2 maybe 3 tournaments if she's not back by the PPO.

I'd put Justine at #5 because of her final and doubles title at GC.

Then Kim at 6 who would move up if she were to beat Martina in the semi's.

Jenn really hasn't shown me anything consistent since....well I don't know when. However since she is the reigning AO and FO champ I'll put her at 7, but she really hasn't shown any convincing wins lately, and she's supposed to be the top seed.

Monica would fall at 8 even though I would give her the adv. in a match against Justine, Kim, or Jenn. But I haven't really seen her play since the Open so I had to place her lower.

Shaughnessy at 9 shouldn't be ranked this high, but I upped her because she is in the semis, and is capable of beating any of the top 10 IMO.

Jelena I would put at 10. She had a pretty good record for her rank at the end of last year, but she hasn't played in Australia so far so it dropped her on my list.

Amelie definitely has the talent and potential but when she'll start cashing in I don't know. I put her at 11 when I think she has the potential to be atleast at 5 or 6.

Anyway that's my list. Jelena and Lindsay aren't in their usual places.
 
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