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Due to the lack of match play i have been forced to watch my tapes from this year. There is one common thing that i noticed in all of them. Whenever there was a match involving the Williams sisters, the commentators were constantly harping on what the opponent needed to do to beat a Williams. There was never a match in which the commentator said that the williams sister needed to do this in order to beat the opponent. Was this due to some subconscious thinking that the williams sisters were the players to beat or did they want them to lose subconsciously. Am I alone in this observation or has anyone ever noticed this.
 

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No you are not alone... Mary Carillo , Pam Shriver and Chris Evert are always going on about it... Many Williams fans mentioned this on the old board and were called paranoid, we all know the score... Everybody and their mother so want to beat Venus and her sister. It's as if they are a threat.. Personally I find it pitiful... Then again-------------

[ November 13, 2001: Message edited by: Infiniti2001 ]</p>
 

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Everyone knows that no matter who is on the other side of the net, Venus or Serena is the one to beat.

Just look at it this way when ever Venus or Serena loses, it's ALWAYS an upset, regardless of the rankings.

The only real upset would be if Serena beats Venus. <img src="wink.gif" border="0">
 

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For the most part, I always thought it was just because Venus and Serena are the best players out there when they are at their best.<br />Heck...they are among the best, even when they haven't played in months.

So I assumed people talk about what you have to do to beat them, because cleary, they are very tough to beat.

Players likely really want to beat Venus and SErena because they know what a huge victory that is, rankings be damned.

If I'm not mistaken, doesn't Justine Henin rank when she beat Venus as her biggest win ever? That was before Wimbledon when she beat Jenn, so I don't know if that changed.<br />But regardles...you get the idea <img src="smile.gif" border="0">

I guess there are some people out there who just want to see Venus and Serena lose. But thats their perogative...they are just setting themselves up for several years of dissapointment <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0">
 

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Over the past several years watching tennis, I have never, NEVER, heard a commentator discuss (harp on) how to beat another player other than the Williams sisters. Mary Carillo is especially guilty of this. It may have started earlier, but my first recollection of Mary's antics were in a match with Serena and Dokic. Mary said, "I hope the girls in the locker room are taking copious notes on this" - referring to Dokic's center of the court play. Why would she "hope" that? Serena still won the match. Capriati and Hingis tried it with Venus ... Venus won the match. Too bad Mary's not still playing, I bet she thinks she could take the Williams sister real easy <img src="rolleyes.gif" border="0"> <img src="rolleyes.gif" border="0"> <img src="rolleyes.gif" border="0">
 

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Mary lost all credibility when she repeated that unsustantiated charge during the USOpen about the Williams fixing matches. Before that, I thought she was slightly objective. I wonder if she'll be around to commentate next year. She should be fired. Serena and Venus should sue the station for defammation of character. Even Johnnie Mac shut up after Mary's blunder.

On the other hand, Mary kept saying that Venus was the one to beat during the US Open.

Yeah, I know I'm always talking about that comment, but remember we missed the chance to anticipate and comment on the greatest tennis event in history because the other board was down.

Anyway, have you also noticed that they are ALWAYS talking about what Martina Hingis has to do to improve her game. If Martina is winning, she is BRILLIANT and they are fawning over her. If she is losing she has as many disappointed coaches as their are commentators.
 

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As far as Venus goes...

If there is a great sports team or player or whatever, commentators, in order to keep things interesting, will refer to what their opponent has to do to have a chance...however great they are, there must be a relative weakness somewhere.

Certainly, most times my Julie played ANY top player they would do that, look for reasons why she posed a threat...if they said "This match is a foregone conclusion, a straight sets certainty, there is nothing the other girl can do"...then half the audience is gonna switch off.

Its a compliment to the Williams sisters, that other players have to have a clear, smart innovative strategy, even to be in with a chance of getting a win...
 

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I think that with any top player the case is that commentators talk about what the other player needs to do to beat them. In Lindsay's matches against Jelena recently the focus was all on what Jelena needed to do.

I found it very irritating as a Steffi Graf fan that during _every_ match the focus was on how an opponent could beat her rather than on the gorgeous strokeplay coming from Steffi.

So, I can understand why you find this annoying but I don't think that _in this case_ it has much to do with dislike of Venus and Serena.

What I dislike about the way that commentators talk about the sisters is more the kind of "venus/serena overpowered their opponent and that's why they won" type statement which you don't get nearly as often about Lindsay/Jen matches despite the fact that they play with just as much power.

Sometimes I just wish I could turn the commentator off without turning the sound off... <img src="wink.gif" border="0">
 

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Well, rmc, I always assumed that it was because V & S are the toughest to beat and lose the least. The British commentators, at least, do it to all established top players - Lindsay, Martina, Steffi have all had it. I mean, there was a thread here a while ago asking how to beat Venus when she makes less the 15 UEs in a match - it's exactly the same thing. In your own comments in the 'has Serena ever been blown off the court' thread, you'll find the answer: apart from Pierce and Fernandez, no-one's ever really dominated Serena in a match. So it's natural to ask questions as to how a particular player could do it. As for 'hoping' that other girls take notes... well, I'm a Venus fan but I also like a) upsets and b) underdogs, and hoping that a player at least acquits herself well against V doesn't mean I'm hating on V.
 

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I would see it as a compliment. The Williams girls are perceived to have it all. Their games are the ones to beat, so naturally, the commentators are going to suggest ways to beat them. I also doubt that the commentators have never suggested ways that the Williams sisters can beat their opponents. Don't they always use the generic ones whenever Venus and Serena play Hingis (overpower her) and Davenport (move her around)?
 

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It's the same in most sports .....

"How do we beat him/her/them ?"

When that person/team is one of the best those kind of things are said by nearly everyone.
 
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