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Discussion Starter #1
To me, the Williams sisters are the most the intimidating doubles team in the history of womens' tennis. I emailed Bud Collins on his website a couple of times for his description and he mentioned about them "banging their way through." I thought about Bud's comment. This is the tandem that reminds of the Williams sisters.

 

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They aren't what you would call traditionally great dubs players, but both of their first serves, combined with Rena's AMAZING and I repeat AMAZING second serve and awesome returns more than compensate for what they might lack in terms of traditional dubs skills. I would argue that they could take any great team historically, although their volleys are technically pretty hideous.
 

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They aren't what you would call traditionally great dubs players, but both of their first serves, combined with Rena's AMAZING and I repeat AMAZING second serve and awesome returns more than compensate for what they might lack in terms of traditional dubs skills. I would argue that they could take any great team historically, although their volleys are technically pretty hideous.
I am really not sure about this one. I think they are two of the greatest singles players of all time, and a great doubles team. But they have won their titles during the poorest era in womens doubles that I can think of. For instance name one great womens team since Ruano Pascal and Suarez. I dont think they would have beaten Navratilova and Shriver very often if at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The Williams sisters are better volleyers on the stretch than you when you hit it at them. What I like about their game is their strokes have better control and are accurate. Then the serve.

Their strategy is unorthodox, they throw off so many teams with one staying front and the other back. One fast surfaces, they cover so well as well as their power and their awkwardness works for them (sort of like Elgin Baylor's twitch).

To me, it all depended on their mood. When they want to dominate, they will dominate not matter the opponent or the era. I think Martina/Pam would have definitely the tactical game but it so hard to tell where the Williams sisters are going to hit when you serve to them. They put constant pressure on the server to come up with great serves. Martina could but Pam, I'm not sure.
 

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The combo of Venus' wingspan and volleys and Serena's serve/returb makes them the top doubles team of this era for sure.

A "dream" match would pit them vs Casals/King, Navratilova/Shriver, or Brough/dupont.

Or against the greatest team ever in terms of being equally balanced: Fernandez/Zvereva. That's a match I'd love to see. There's no weaker side to "pick on", something that makes the Williamses themselves so hard to beat. With a team like Fernandez/Zvereva there is no obvious person or place on the court to attack. Probably why Raymond/Stubbs had a win over Williams/Williams.

Of course it's difficult to compare eras like this as Casals/King played with different racquets. By the way they play, thumping every return, being nearly unbreakable on their serve, you'd have to give them the edge against almost any team. But give them wooden racquets and the edge goes back to the net players Casals/King. :shrug:


I am really not sure about this one. I think they are two of the greatest singles players of all time, and a great doubles team. But they have won their titles during the poorest era in womens doubles that I can think of. For instance name one great womens team since Ruano Pascal and Suarez. I dont think they would have beaten Navratilova and Shriver very often if at all.
How is this era so much weaker exactly? We currently have a team in Black/Huber who are making their mark in history, after another dominant team before them in Raymond/Stosur. Individually, Raymond, Black, and Ruano-Pascual are 3 of the great doubles players in history, and they're still going strong.
 

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I don't think that it is particularly weaker, it just seems so mainly because not all players do doubles like they did in the 80's
Maybe not all the top singles players play doubles anymore like they used to, but that doesn't exactly make the doubles tour any weaker. The likes of Sharapova, Jankovic, Ivanovic etc. are all useless doubles players anyway. It's not like the doubles game is worse off without them.

I still think the top of the doubles game is still strong. The top doubles players, especially the ones who only concentrate on doubles (Raymond, Black, Huber, Stubbs etc.) are all very accomplished/talented doubles players. I'd rather have them play doubles than the top singles players. When doubles is actually shown on tv (twice a year :rolleyes:) we still get some nice matches (the Black/Huber - Hantuchova/Sugiyama from the AO is one of the best ever doubles matches IMO).


I'll admit this isn't the strongest era when compared to the previous 20 or so years, but I think the current greats who are still active, especially Black/Huber who are racking up loads of wins, need to be appreciated a little more instead of people putting down their success to "a weak field" or "no top singles players participating".
 

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Maybe not all the top singles players play doubles anymore like they used to, but that doesn't exactly make the doubles tour any weaker. The likes of Sharapova, Jankovic, Ivanovic etc. are all useless doubles players anyway. It's not like the doubles game is worse off without them.

I still think the top of the doubles game is still strong. The top doubles players, especially the ones who only concentrate on doubles (Raymond, Black, Huber, Stubbs etc.) are all very accomplished/talented doubles players. I'd rather have them play doubles than the top singles players. When doubles is actually shown on tv (twice a year :rolleyes:) we still get some nice matches (the Black/Huber - Hantuchova/Sugiyama from the AO is one of the best ever doubles matches IMO).


I'll admit this isn't the strongest era when compared to the previous 20 or so years, but I think the current greats who are still active, especially Black/Huber who are racking up loads of wins, need to be appreciated a little more instead of people putting down their success to "a weak field" or "no top singles players participating".
Interesting debate, I do feel though that the doubles game is not as strong as it was. I dont know how you know that Jankovic etc are useless doubles players. They hardly ever play- and you know that when Jankovic did play the mixed with Jamie Murray she was the one who held it together in the final.
The surest sign that the doubles game is struggling is the lack of public interest except when the Williams are playing. I agree that Huber and Black are great. But I remember the great teams of the past and I am dubious as to the quality now. Maybe not at the very top but in general. I respect your opinion though
 

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I think that lack of public interest is not necessarily indicative of the strength of the field, but rather more indicative of few top singles players (read stars) playing doubles.
 

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I think that lack of public interest is not necessarily indicative of the strength of the field, but rather more indicative of few top singles players (read stars) playing doubles.
No I am sure you have a point there. Probably the doubles game is strong it is just when I see a lot of the matches it looks like two singles players playing doubles, and that is not doubles to me!!!!
 

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Interesting debate, I do feel though that the doubles game is not as strong as it was. I dont know how you know that Jankovic etc are useless doubles players. They hardly ever play- and you know that when Jankovic did play the mixed with Jamie Murray she was the one who held it together in the final.
The surest sign that the doubles game is struggling is the lack of public interest except when the Williams are playing. I agree that Huber and Black are great. But I remember the great teams of the past and I am dubious as to the quality now. Maybe not at the very top but in general. I respect your opinion though
While that Mixed Doubles win was very impressive from Jankovic, mixed is not the same as women's doubles. Look at those player's women's doubles records and you'll understand why they do not play anymore. :lol: Someone like Kuznetsova, who did reach the top 10 in doubles, still plays at most of the big tournaments.



I think that lack of public interest is not necessarily indicative of the strength of the field, but rather more indicative of few top singles players (read stars) playing doubles.
I agree. Sharapova this year in Indian Wells was one of the only early round doubles matches put on the main stadium when you had the best teams in the world playing on the outside courts. It's a shame but that's the way it is unfortunately.
 

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While that Mixed Doubles win was very impressive from Jankovic, mixed is not the same as women's doubles. Look at those player's women's doubles records and you'll understand why they do not play anymore. :lol: Someone like Kuznetsova, who did reach the top 10 in doubles, still plays at most of the big tournaments.

I understand some of the logic but I have to say that if they did play doubles more they would be successful. The whole point is it is not doubles as it used to be. It is now two singles players predominantly blasting ground strokes, in that case Sharapova, Jankovic and Ivanovic would be fine!!!
And I am sorry to say that while it is regretable that top teams are put on outside courts, that is because their personalities and games do not interest the public. Maria Sharapova for whatever reasons does- and you give the customer what they want. Especially in the US with the price of tickets!!!!!
 

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I think that lack of public interest is not necessarily indicative of the strength of the field, but rather more indicative of few top singles players (read stars) playing doubles.
To be fair, the Sisters did have to face off and defeat Hingis, Davenport, Seles and Kournikova to win their doubles GS Slams. They played in the same era as Davenport/Zvereva, Hingis/Novotna, Hingis/Kournikova, Davenport/Morariu, Hingis/Seles so the top players did play.
 

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To be fair, the Sisters did have to face off and defeat Hingis, Davenport, Seles and Kournikova to win their doubles GS Slams. They played in the same era as Davenport/Zvereva, Hingis/Novotna, Hingis/Kournikova, Davenport/Morariu, Hingis/Seles so the top players did play.
I dont for one minute question the greatness as a team of the Williams- its the opposition I dont think measure up
 

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Erm... why is this topic in BFTP? I mean they are both still active and there must be a million threads in other forums about how brilliant one or the other is... and when they retire no doubt BFTP will be full of posts about them... but why now???
 

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Erm... why is this topic in BFTP? I mean they are both still active and there must be a million threads in other forums about how brilliant one or the other is... and when they retire no doubt BFTP will be full of posts about them... but why now???
You are right GeeTee, lets banish this topic from BFTP;););)
 

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I dont for one minute question the greatness as a team of the Williams- its the opposition I dont think measure up
That's a contradiction - how great can they truly be, if the opposition doesn't match up?

My previous post was also to point out the strength of their competition. They had to play in the same era as Martina Hingis, arguably the greatest doubles player of all-time in terms of sheer talent.
 

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That's a contradiction - how great can they truly be, if the opposition doesn't match up?

My previous post was also to point out the strength of their competition. They had to play in the same era as Martina Hingis, arguably the greatest doubles player of all-time in terms of sheer talent.
But how often did they actually play Hingis in doubles? I dont ever recall them playing her. And you are right, Hingis is a genius on the tennis court and could play brilliant doubles.
I am not going into semantics and deep analysis. My opinion, based on many years as a player and analyser is that the doubles game is weaker now. It is my opinion that's all.
 

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But how often did they actually play Hingis in doubles? I dont ever recall them playing her. And you are right, Hingis is a genius on the tennis court and could play brilliant doubles.
I am not going into semantics and deep analysis. My opinion, based on many years as a player and analyser is that the doubles game is weaker now. It is my opinion that's all.
They defeated Hingis/Kournikova in the 1999 RG doubles final. They also defeated Hingis/Seles in the 2001 Australian Open semifinals on their way to the title (defeating Morariu/Davenport in the final). I agree, that doubles really did decline from 2002-onwards and is not nearly as strong as it was in the past. But the late 90s and early 00s isn't when the decline began.
 
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