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Saw Rick macci there too. Was listening to The Goat podcast with chanda and zina and he was a guest, said he thought venus could have been the goat if she'd played to her strengths and attacked the net much more
To this day, I will still argue anyone down that Queenus is the superior between the two sisters, though she doesn't have the numbers to back it up. Something, I have ALWAYS wanted someone to ask Queenus, Macci or anyone who was around them in the 90s...what effect did Richard flaunting that, "Serena would be the superior between the two" have on Venus.
 

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I saw King Richard today and I thought it was amazing. A balanced look at the early life of the girls. Super fans like us know a lot of the things shown, SPOILER KIND OF THINGS but not really-- like Serena signing herself up at the 10 and under's junior tournament (but context was that the family was used to her going off to entertain herself while they watched Venus), Richard getting beat up by gang members and then gang members protecting them on those ratty courts and the bidding war of the agents and apparel companies before Venus turned pro.

I also saw a HuffPost Black Voices article that went into some detail about how Richard is not to be admired on any level and certainly doesn't deserve a whole biopic. I wondered if the writer watched the same movie because it's certainly not a Richard biopic. The early life of the sisters is told from his viewpoint mostly but it's really about Venus's journey to the pros with Serena looming and how their parents got them there. Without taking the focus of the movie away from the family, I thought it showed Richard's flaws (controlling, mistrustful and insecure and also touches on the other children) but didn't focus on that because that's not the story they were telling. 🤷‍♀️

If you get a chance to see it, go. Or watch it on HBOMax. I masked up and held my tiny hand sanitizer in my fist while watching in a theater. Only Venus could get me into an actual movie theater during this ongoing panini because people still don't know how to act. The man sitting in the same row, three seats down from me had stretched out into a second seat and had his shoes off. So of course I moved because life is too short :LOL:
 

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Honestly, I think the earliest signs of her illness can be traced back to 2000. Remember she withdrew from the YEC citing tiredness/anemia. Around 2004 or so she was told she had exercise induced asthma. Essentially she's played her entire career with this illness.

I do wonder though, what the hell happened between 2010-2011 to cause such a drastic drop in form. I'm not sure if I would completely blame the illness on it taking her her 4 years to reach her 2010-prior form.
Here's the quick wiki explanation of Sjogrens:
"Sjögren's syndrome (SjS, SS) is a long-term autoimmune disease that affects the body's moisture-producing (lacrimal and salivary) glands,[4] and often seriously affects other organ systems, such as the lungs, kidneys, and nervous system.[8] Primary symptoms are dryness (dry mouth and dry eyes[2]), pain and fatigue.[9] Other symptoms can include dry skin, vaginal dryness, a chronic cough, numbness in the arms and legs, feeling tired, muscle and joint pains, and thyroid problems.[4] Those affected are also at an increased risk (15%) of lymphoma.

So, like I said before, Venus is a marvel for doing as much as she has done while suffering from this disease. Imagine being a world class athlete and having to deal with all this on a daily basis. Instead of rolling over and letting the disease win, she changed her diet, adjusted her workout routine and did everything she could to combat it. And remember there's no cure so some days the Sjogrens wins.

Back to the King Richard film, did any other Veeliever know that her dad's nickname for her is Junior? Like, how sweet AND how fitting that Serena's daughter Olympia is a Junior too :hearts:
 

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Pat Houston has been a mess since day dot. The hologram incident was just the start of this poor effort dealing with her estate. I think the "Higher Love" single has been one of the only posthumous things I felt even got a good public reaction. :/ I feel for Whitney and her legacy, but she's not the first or the last to have tacky estate conservators after passing.

***

I still haven't seen King Richard, waiting to see it in the cinemas! And I will watch the Red Table eventually, but I semi wish Jada was there with her mess and her weirdly young-looking mother lmao. 😂 But the criticisms about it not showing the very worst most disgusting sides of Richard feel misplaced? Like... it's the story of him training his daughters to become tennis pros. Not a deep look into his psyche and darkest moments. What were people expecting lmao? Have they ever seen a biopic? They usually tell one particular story/perspective. This is not like the Margaret Thatcher or Richard Nixon's most corrupt years being sanitised or washed over. It just isn't relevant to this particular story.

And Venus is FAR ahead of Henin and the likes, even without her Sjogrens battle. One of them is arguably the most influential and long-lasting tennis icon of the past 30 years, who became the blueprint for the GOAT, revolutionised on-court fashion and business, and single-handedly changed the way modern womens tennis is played. The other was a great player who had a few good years in a tough era, before retiring under very suspicious circumstances, a week before Roland Garros where she was the 3-time defending champion. People can whine about weeks at #1 or other meaningless numbers, but history will show who had a greater impact as both a player and person. 💅💅💅
 

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Tell them! It isn't even meaningless numbers. The Henin camp cherry-picks. I believe all they have is weeks at #1. Venus has more singles and doubles titles and more finals, no? All items counted by the HOF. And if we get into things outside of the HOF criteria the H2H is tragic for them. That case has been closed for a long time.

Is that tragic thing JubJub still in GM? It was a CRAZED Henin fan that always tried to pull off questionable arguments.
 

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I know Vee is having her moment with King Richard, her new collection, and her vacation in Jamaica... but not posting anything about Peng Shuai (when even Serena did), but instead finding time to personally congratulate A. Zverev on his YEC win in her Instagram story.....

I am not normally one to force celebrities to speak out when they don't want to, but seriously, the [alleged] wife beater?
 

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To this day, I will still argue anyone down that Queenus is the superior between the two sisters, though she doesn't have the numbers to back it up. Something, I have ALWAYS wanted someone to ask Queenus, Macci or anyone who was around them in the 90s...what effect did Richard flaunting that, "Serena would be the superior between the two" have on Venus.
It's an interesting debate for sure, and since we love both, I welcome the commentary.

I personally don't think Venus would w/o Srogrens would have better numbers than Serena, but the numbers wouldn't be so skewed at the slams like they are. I think Venus would legit not lose to a non-Serena player maybe save for a bad day.

What sticks out to me in why Serena is the more technically sound player or student of the game dates back to when they were kids. I remember several times Serena mentioning Venus would just wipe everybody off the court with her easy power and she didn't quite have that yet, so she had to drop shot, moon ball, lob, etc. She had a junk ball game as a kid until she would get the Williamses power.

Overall, Serena's ability to adapt her game given her age, changing body, other physical limitations is why I feel like she has kept winning well beyond her 30s. Granted, she never dealt with anything like Srogren's but Venus's game in my opinion is much more dependent on her physical attributes, that were going to naturally decline with age. Now, when Venus's game is working, yeah, nobody not even Serena is touching her. But her game is/was always riskier to Serena's and prone to go off. We don't really know Venus to have a Plan B.

They're both extreme athletes but I like to say that Venus is an athlete that plays superb tennis, while Serena is a superbly athletic tennis player.
 

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It's an interesting debate for sure, and since we love both, I welcome the commentary.

I personally don't think Venus would w/o Srogrens would have better numbers than Serena, but the numbers wouldn't be so skewed at the slams like they are. I think Venus would legit not lose to a non-Serena player maybe save for a bad day.

What sticks out to me in why Serena is the more technically sound player or student of the game dates back to when they were kids. I remember several times Serena mentioning Venus would just wipe everybody off the court with her easy power and she didn't quite have that yet, so she had to drop shot, moon ball, lob, etc. She had a junk ball game as a kid until she would get the Williamses power.

Overall, Serena's ability to adapt her game given her age, changing body, other physical limitations is why I feel like she has kept winning well beyond her 30s. Granted, she never dealt with anything like Srogren's but Venus's game in my opinion is much more dependent on her physical attributes, that were going to naturally decline with age. Now, when Venus's game is working, yeah, nobody not even Serena is touching her. But her game is/was always riskier to Serena's and prone to go off. We don't really know Venus to have a Plan B.

They're both extreme athletes but I like to say that Venus is an athlete that plays superb tennis, while Serena is a superbly athletic tennis player.
Ok this entire passage really articulates my feelings on their differences as well. You've outlined it so well.

I do want to give Venus credit for tweaking her game when needed. I think over the years that has gotten lost a bit. Yes she is stubborn but she did try to correct her weaknesses and compensate for her injuries.
 

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I agree with what has been said. Serena's technique (notably on the serve) is more sound than Vee's, because at her peak Venus was so powerful and athletic that she didn't need the cleanest technique. Or didn't have to 'rely' on it is maybe a better way to put it. You tend to care less about serve placement if your serve is so fast your opponents can't get a racquet on it. Your defensive slice is probably not as fine-tuned if you are so fast and agile you have the ability to hit a winner on the run anyway.

But it's also why I believe Venus at her very best is the better player. She will always be faster, hit harder (and flatter), have better reach. As @williams_fan92 mentioned, it's more high risk. She will find the winner sooner in the rally (she's really lost that IMO in their more recent matches).
 

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Ok this entire passage really articulates my feelings on their differences as well. You've outlined it so well.

I do want to give Venus credit for tweaking her game when needed. I think over the years that has gotten lost a bit. Yes she is stubborn but she did try to correct her weaknesses and compensate for her injuries.
Yes absolutely! I feel like I may have been a bit harsh with not giving Venus her credit for modifying her game when all I was trying to do was mention their relative changes in their game. Serena's is more visible to the eye but yeah Vee has definitely made some adjustments.

I agree with what has been said. Serena's technique (notably on the serve) is more sound than Vee's, because at her peak Venus was so powerful and athletic that she didn't need the cleanest technique. Or didn't have to 'rely' on it is maybe a better way to put it. You tend to care less about serve placement if your serve is so fast your opponents can't get a racquet on it. Your defensive slice is probably not as fine-tuned if you are so fast and agile you have the ability to hit a winner on the run anyway.

But it's also why I believe Venus at her very best is the better player. She will always be faster, hit harder (and flatter), have better reach. As @williams_fan92 mentioned, it's more high risk. She will find the winner sooner in the rally (she's really lost that IMO in their more recent matches).
Yeah, I think we're saying the same thing. A 100% on Venus is unstoppable. Rare, but unstoppable.

I think if there was a match against each other that is like a microism of their careers, it's the 08 US Open.

Venus should have won that match like 6-2, 6-3. Was absolutely pummeling Serena until it mattered.
 

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Also, I definitely think the numbers would look different if not for Sjogrens, but for me it's the Wimbledon 2003 SF ab injury that really took her out at her peak. :( Serena even mentioned it in her speech. Vee had made the final of 7 out of the previous 9 consecutive grand slams (who is doing it like that today?). It would take her two full years to reach a GS final again, and she never served, hit overheads, or moved quite as well as she did from 1998-2003.

I think the time off to recover lost her that peak match momentum too (she had always been #1 or #2 until then and was just so used to winning). And Yetunde was murdered just weeks later which added some mental scarring to recover from. Of course she could still put an insanely high level together here and there, but not (almost) every match, every week like she was from '99-'03 with only the occasional loss.
 

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It's an excellent theory on their differences.

My idea is that Venus is the natural and Serena is the nurtured. Both great athletes but Venus is the more instinctive, natural talent while Serena's game was built from the ground up. She's the perfect example of hard work beating talent, though she's definitely talented. That's why when Serena injures herself or has to come back from being away, it's easier for her muscle memory to go back to what it knows, what it's been trained to do, while Venus, who could just "do" something, takes more time to relearn or honestly, actually learn proper technique. They didn't spend as much time forcing her into proficiency because she was naturally powerful and quick. The Sjogren's exacerbates her ability to let her body do the driving and like I said in an earlier post, it's a really awful disease that's she's had for longer than anyone knows.

Their early hitting coach, Dave Rineburg, talks about how gifted they both are, but said that he could tell Venus to do something and she could just do it or if she didn't, she'd ask him to show her and then she could do it. Serena, being smaller, needed a little more growth and practice. I also think that Venus being the one out in front early on, also gave Oracene time to hone Serena's game while Venus was .

Two examples of my theory come in the 2003 abdominal tear for Venus where after that injury, which is really serious, her groundstrokes changed just a bit because she needed to adjust and it took her some time to get there. While Serena, coming back from knee surgery in 2004, won Miami and really stormed through the tour until Wimbledon and the Maria match. I'm convinced that Serena overplayed on that rebuilt knee and it just gave out on her in that final. I know that Maria also surprised her with her game, but back then Serena was even more amazing at adjusting and we know power doesn't bother her.

I do think that if Venus weren't suffering from Sjogren's she'd have more titles. Whether or not she'd have as many or more than Serena who can say. It's a moot point because she is suffering from Sjogrens and doesn't have as many titles as Serena. They're both competitive, but I think Serena might be a little more driven than Venus, like a lot of younger siblings trying to break out of someone else's shadow. Nonetheless, both have HOF careers and will go down as all-time greats for many, many reasons.
 

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Also, I definitely think the numbers would look different if not for Sjogrens, but for me it's the Wimbledon 2003 SF ab injury that really took her out at her peak. :( Serena even mentioned it in her speech. Vee had made the final of 7 out of the previous 9 consecutive grand slams (who is doing it like that today?). It would take her two full years to reach a GS final again, and she never served, hit overheads, or moved quite as well as she did from 1998-2003.

I think the time off to recover lost her that peak match momentum too (she had always been #1 or #2 until then and was just so used to winning). And Yetunde was murdered just weeks later which added some mental scarring to recover from. Of course she could still put an insanely high level together here and there, but not (almost) every match, every week like she was from '99-'03 with only the occasional loss.
YES to all of this!! While I was typing my long ass reply and answering the door, you were putting together this fabulous post :hearts:
 

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Smithsonian magazine posted some vintage pictures of Venus and Serena and they're really nice. I love the one picture where Serena is looking at the camera with a smile and Venus is smiling but not really looking at the camera. I think it's like the essence of their personalities summed up in one photo :)

 

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It's an excellent theory on their differences.

My idea is that Venus is the natural and Serena is the nurtured. Both great athletes but Venus is the more instinctive, natural talent while Serena's game was built from the ground up. She's the perfect example of hard work beating talent, though she's definitely talented. That's why when Serena injures herself or has to come back from being away, it's easier for her muscle memory to go back to what it knows, what it's been trained to do, while Venus, who could just "do" something, takes more time to relearn or honestly, actually learn proper technique. They didn't spend as much time forcing her into proficiency because she was naturally powerful and quick. The Sjogren's exacerbates her ability to let her body do the driving and like I said in an earlier post, it's a really awful disease that's she's had for longer than anyone knows.

Their early hitting coach, Dave Rineburg, talks about how gifted they both are, but said that he could tell Venus to do something and she could just do it or if she didn't, she'd ask him to show her and then she could do it. Serena, being smaller, needed a little more growth and practice. I also think that Venus being the one out in front early on, also gave Oracene time to hone Serena's game while Venus was .

Two examples of my theory come in the 2003 abdominal tear for Venus where after that injury, which is really serious, her groundstrokes changed just a bit because she needed to adjust and it took her some time to get there. While Serena, coming back from knee surgery in 2004, won Miami and really stormed through the tour until Wimbledon and the Maria match. I'm convinced that Serena overplayed on that rebuilt knee and it just gave out on her in that final. I know that Maria also surprised her with her game, but back then Serena was even more amazing at adjusting and we know power doesn't bother her.

I do think that if Venus weren't suffering from Sjogren's she'd have more titles. Whether or not she'd have as many or more than Serena who can say. It's a moot point because she is suffering from Sjogrens and doesn't have as many titles as Serena. They're both competitive, but I think Serena might be a little more driven than Venus, like a lot of younger siblings trying to break out of someone else's shadow. Nonetheless, both have HOF careers and will go down as all-time greats for many, many reasons.
Great points about Serena being able to come back from her injuries / loss of form quicker due to the technique. And what you mention about Serena being a bit more driven (which is a classic younger sibling trope) is also a big factor that can't be ignored, even as a hardcore Venus fan. That definitely tipped the results a bit in her favour too. Amazing Smithsonian photos btw! This one is my fav:



***

South Africa update:
Venus is in Team A (alongside Swiatek, Hingis, and South African rising star Khololwam Montsi). I am hearing that the event will be broadcast on Tennis Channel, and is to raise money and awareness against gender-based violence. Her matches are set to be:
Saturday 18th December:
- Venus vs Halep (last match)

Sunday 19th December:
- Venus vs Joan Stephens (first match)
- Venus & Hingis vs Stephens & Kurger (last match).
 
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