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Serena Gets Closer

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Post by banbrotam Mon 09 Sep 2013, 14:20

Thought that someone who's just one 17 slams to get within one of Evert /  Nat, deserves their own article

Not liked by loads on these boards, for simply been too intense and too bothered about winning (my my, what a crime) it seems to mask the remarkable Tennis player that she is. Even in the QF, the thought of not delivering two bagel's was starting to stress her out in an hilarious manner, totally perplexing to us mere mortals

And that's half the problem, she's a genius and like all of them (Roger included) they often do things that defy logic, i.e. we wouldn't do that

For me her 'half retirement' of the mid to late noughties, has helped her and I see her been good for another three years.

Two slams a year, the Graf record - which arguably only became thus, because of the terrible stabbing of Seles, will be broken

Discuss, but let's do so politely. She deserves our respect, but you are free to not to like her of course!!

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Post by The Special Juan Mon 09 Sep 2013, 14:41

I've mentioned it before but I'll state again that I like her as a player but not as a person. Her fighting spirit and desire to not just win but destroy opponents is frightening but when it boils over and she threatens to kill line judges it's just not acceptable. I can't decide whether I find her "false" or not in her interviews so I won't say much about that side of her personality. What was good is how she handled Sugarpova being catty about Serena's relationship with her coach. That was just uncalled for and just backs up why a lot of people think the women's game is farcical.

Another characteristic I don't like about Serena is one which she shares with Murray. These two simply cannot accept when they are being thoroughly outplayed by an inspired opponent and end up going ballistic at themselves for no real reason. There's just no need for that and it really irks me.

Serena as a player is remarkable though. My opinion is that she is the greatest women's singles player of all time whereas Martina N. is the greatest ever female tennis player. I'm pretty certain Serena will end up with 20+ majors in singles but Martina has two things whch Serena will never have: longevity and a shed load of doubles and mixed titles. I know Serena has about 12 with Venus but Martina has 31 in doubles and overall won Wimbledon 20 times. That's remarkable.
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Post by banbrotam Mon 09 Sep 2013, 15:01

Don't disagree with you SJ

I actualy like some aspects of the "going ballistic at themselves" as it shows just how much it matters and a certain flawed human side to them. But I was one of them who never had an issue with Mac's 'venting' - creative people are often the most tortured

I think Serena, a bit like Mac, Lendl and the likes of Nick Faldo is misunderstood - because her on court personality doesn't necessarily reflect her true personality

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Post by Guest Mon 09 Sep 2013, 15:10

Aye, threatening to shove a ball down a womans throat for "daring" to call a foot fault on her was disgusting. Followed up 2 years later, with outright slagging off the umpire for doing her job properly, because she was too loud and disrespectful.
Good player but she comes off as a "win at any cost" mentality, which includes being rude and threatening to everyone around her when shes not allowed her own way. Remember people dont like or respect Roger necessarily for his slams, but for how he (usually) acts

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Post by banbrotam Mon 09 Sep 2013, 15:15

falzy21 wrote:Aye, threatening to shove a ball down a womans throat for "daring" to call a foot fault on her was disgusting. Followed up 2 years later, with outright slagging off the umpire for doing her job properly, because she was too loud and disrespectful.
Good player but she comes off as a "win at any cost" mentality, which includes being rude and threatening to everyone around her when shes not allowed her own way. Remember people dont like or respect Roger necessarily for his slams, but for how he (usually) acts

Don't you think that it's a bit harsh to remember a couple of half dozen of incidents in a 15+ year career?

I never had a problem with Roger on the court and defended his outbursts (whilst reminding his worshipers that he's not perfect Wink ) but disliked his sulky attitude to his occassional defeats at the back end of the noughties

Not seen too much of that from Serena, which tells me her weakness is that she's very impulsive and needs to count to ten

I also think that no matter how hard society tries, we subconciously dislike aggressive women

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Post by Guest Mon 09 Sep 2013, 15:29

Aggressive women is one thing, but take a look back at that incident for yourself... it really stains her reputation. She hasnt done it in a while but then things have been going her way too. She not only threatened her once, but advanced on her a second time when she was at the umpires chair, thats not an "aggressive" women, if ANYONE did that including Nadal it would change my feelings towards them.

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Post by shivfan Mon 09 Sep 2013, 16:39

I'm not bothered by concerns about the personalities of players....Azarenka is not the most pleasant of people, and Sharapova is distinctly unlikeable. All the top men have very single-minded, selfish streaks, that they barely keep in rein for public relations purposes, and they all hint at other reasons when they lose, i.e. injuries, etc.

Serena is not alone...you need that single-minded approach to get to the top.

I celebrate Serena's 17th, and I hope she gets to Graf's 22 soon....
clap 
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Post by Henman Bill Mon 09 Sep 2013, 17:53

Serena could have won even more if she has really been more fully committed throughout her career. She had 5 years in the middle of her career, in supposedly peak age, when she won only the Australian Open a couple of times.

Apart from her sister (and Hingis perhaps and maybe Henin), her game might have benefited from a great rival in the second half of her career.

vs Sis W14-L10
vs Hingis 7-6
vs Henin 8-6

For at least the last few years of her career she has been operating in a weak era and probably never found her true peak much of the time as a result.

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Post by banbrotam Mon 09 Sep 2013, 19:26

shivfan wrote:I'm not bothered by concerns about the personalities of players....Azarenka is not the most pleasant of people, and Sharapova is distinctly unlikeable.  All the top men have very single-minded, selfish streaks, that they barely keep in rein for public relations purposes, and they all hint at other reasons when they lose, i.e. injuries, etc.

Serena is not alone...you need that single-minded approach to get to the top.

I celebrate Serena's 17th, and I hope she gets to Graf's 22 soon....
clap 

I'm actually warming more and more to Azarenka. She's a rounded person who seems to like to have fun off court and actually reminds me a little of the young Serena. I hardly noticed her squealing, which of course everyone has a problem with.

If it wasn't for her, it would be entirely feasible to say that in reality we would have to wait until Sloan Stephens and Laura Robson are truly ready, a frightening thought

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Post by socal1976 Mon 09 Sep 2013, 20:11

I will say Serena is the best women's player ever. I would rate her above Graf at #2 and Martina at #3. Amazingly, she was nowhere as nearly dedicated as either of these two incredible players. For long stretches she hardly seemed to care about tennis or the tour. In my mind despite 17 slams, as crazy as this sounds Serena is a bit of an underachiever. In terms of dominance in an individual sport I can't frankly think of another athlete in a major sport so clearly better than her opposition, who frankly when she loses for the most part she loses to herself and her own mistakes. I can't think of a player who everyone knew was the best player from the time they were 16 till what now age 31 or 32? She has been the best player on the women's tour, regardless of ranking I mean she let henin and clijsters win a few, but she has really been the best in her sport for a decade and half. I remember when Venus was like 18 and she won her first slam and got to number 1 and she kept telling everyone how her 15 year old sister was better than her and beat her all the time.

Now that being said I can not stand her, I like Venus, Serena I can not stand. Yes she is great competitor but she has a terrible attitude. And unlike people like Connors and Mac, who were rogues and rascals but you felt they were always genuine. Serena strikes me as both hostile and phony. When she tries to be nice and gracious in her interviews it is so unlike her it comes off as bizarre. And of course the linesman incident was repulsive as well, that is actually a crime to threaten someone with violence.

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Post by Henman Bill Mon 09 Sep 2013, 20:57

Yes, not to mention deliberately avoiding a drugs test, never giving her opponents any credit for a win, and the US Open incident was ugly for the aftermath, the prolonged delay to the eventual half apology.

I would actually rate her somewhere in the top 10 of all time. I think it's easy to get carry away and think that the current G is the GOAT, but in reality there have been many great players in history such as Navratilova, Graf, Margaret Court (24 grand slams and 64 including doubles, calendar year grand slam), Chris Evert, Billie Jean King, Suzanne Lenglen, Helen Wills and Serena is somewhere in that kind of category.

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Post by lydian Mon 09 Sep 2013, 20:58

Roger = 17 slams
Serena = 17 slams

Who will end up the best between them?
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Post by Henman Bill Mon 09 Sep 2013, 21:00

Azarenka I really hate, it was annoying to see her stopping Laura Robson and Murray win a gold medal in the doubles. But mainly just because of her stupid shrieking. Aside from being annoying on the court, she is damaging the credibility and image of the whole WTA, and, in my opinion, making it worse for her fellow competitors by doing so.

I rarely watch her matches and generally don't bother to follow WTA tournaments until I hear she's been knocked out which often means not following them at all.

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Post by Henman Bill Mon 09 Sep 2013, 21:00

lydian wrote:Roger = 17 slams
Serena = 17 slams

Who will end up the best between them?
There's only one way to decide. A face off at Madison Square Gardens!

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Post by lydian Mon 09 Sep 2013, 21:19

Seriously, who will be judged to have the best career? Before people automatically shout Roger remember that Serena has only ever lost 4 slam singles finals, also has 15 slam doubles titles, 4 OGs and is the oldest ever women's #1 ranked player winning slam titles 14 years apart (Navratilova, Graf and Evert all had 12 yr max span).
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Post by Henman Bill Mon 09 Sep 2013, 22:03

Rather random facts there: I think Roger comes out higher for me so far. 17 slams on the men's side means more due to strength in depth, and Roger certainly had tough competition in the second half of his career.

Roger compared to the other men for me you have to say you have to go back to about the 1960s to find someone who is on a par with him - half a century- for Serena you only have to go back to the 1990s.

In favour of Serena I will concede that Roger does not have a winning head to head against his major rivals. Then again, maybe that's Serena's good luck not to have a legend of the game turn up 5 years younger and hungrier than her.

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Post by yloponom68 Mon 09 Sep 2013, 22:46

For sure at this point, Serena is IN the discussion as one of the greatest women's players of all time. However, I concur with her statement that it's about numbers - specifically Majors, during a career.

Amazing that this lady is still winning Majors, 14 years after her first singles Major.

Graf won from 1987 through 1999 - French Open (1987 bt Navratilova) to French Open (1999 bt Hingis) - that's a spread of 12 years.

Navratilova from 1975 (French Open Mixed Doubles w/Ivan Molina) to 2006 (US Open Mixed Doubles w/Bob Bryan) - that is 31 years!

For Graf to be as enduring a Major title winner, she'd need to win in 2018; for Serena, that would be 2029.

It's the "body of work" across a career to be considered - so whilst Serena is one Major short of Martina and Chris' 18 Singles Majors - Serena's 32 Major titles, remains a far cry from Martina's 59 Major titles.

It's interesting how quickly the memory fades, Serena's ruthless match winning - scores giving up so few games through rounds of Major Singles event - has nothing on Martina's "games lost" during her hey day in Major singles events.

At 32 years of age, her game is as strong as ever, however it was very interesting to see her behavior and mental "state," as Azarenka was allowed back into that 2nd set. She did nothing, other than keep it in play, as Serena wilted from the pressure. To be sure, Serena, a true champion, let that set be consigned to history, and set to the task of the 3rd set. Very deserving of her 17th Major Singles title, but still a ways to go, before she holds the mantle of Greatest Ever.

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Post by banbrotam Mon 09 Sep 2013, 23:10

I'm surprised how many of the posters I respect, have decended into it been all about the personality

And that's either of the Top 2!!

For me moaning about Aza's shreiking is a bit like moaning about Fergie always looking at hsi watch in injury time

Does such displays of (and I'm not sure of this) gamesmanship, really have to affect our thinking so much

Aza's won me over, simply because she's had the courage to stand up to Serena, lose, improve, lose again and still come back fighting

I do think we are now a fussy society - any flaw in a character is now way too over-analysed

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Post by banbrotam Mon 09 Sep 2013, 23:14

socal1976 wrote:Now that being said I can not stand her, I like Venus, Serena I can not stand. Yes she is great competitor but she has a terrible attitude. And unlike people like Connors and Mac, who were rogues and rascals but you felt they were always genuine. Serena strikes me as both hostile and phony. When she tries to be nice and gracious in her interviews it is so unlike her it comes off as bizarre. And of course the linesman incident was repulsive as well, that is actually a crime to threaten someone with violence.
So she can't win then. It could just be that the linesman incident and other ones are out of character. I've read little that alude to some kind of spoilt brat away from Tennis and lots that suggests she has quite a good rounded life and is OK

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Post by YvonneT Tue 10 Sep 2013, 08:53

banbrotam wrote:I do think we are now a fussy society - any flaw in a character is now way too over-analysed
I agree to an extent and have said before that people are very demanding of professional athletes, analysing for example not just their behaviour during competition but in interviews e.g. complaining that a losing player does not stop for autographs, does not give enough credit to their opponent etc.

However Serena's worst behaviour is far more than those kind of things - threatening officials is not something to be easily brushed off.

I like her tennis, she's clearly the best of her era and I don't want to see her lose because of mental meltdown like at the French last year. I was rooting for her on Sunday, but in general there's other players I'd like to win.

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Post by Guest Tue 10 Sep 2013, 12:10

Well Ban if you feel what she did is acceptable to ignore because shes successful... fair enough

I dont think its fussy to express concern over some of the stuff shes done, it IS a crime after all.


Stats suggest that amassing a lot of slams is easier on the womens side, which would suggest that Rogers achievement is a little more difficult to do, that being said a 1 vs 1 right now might be hard to call!

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Post by Henman Bill Tue 10 Sep 2013, 12:53

Serena has some personality flaws but I am OK to ignore them in the search for greatness.

But what about the fact that she deliberatey ignored a drugs test and has joked about doing the same, I don't think we should ignore that. No-one here likes to talk about that, but no-one here will defend it either.

And shrieking is not a character flaw - it's gamesmanship. I remember well the FO final I was at and Sharapova did not grunt once in the warm up, I have also heard a lot of them don't grunt in practice.

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Post by Born Slippy Tue 10 Sep 2013, 13:34

I don't believe that she ever deliberately ignored a drugs test. When was that? There was the famous panic room incident but, obviously, on her version of events that was a misunderstanding.

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Post by lydian Tue 10 Sep 2013, 13:39

I don't believe she'd do drugs, her performances since being 15-16 have been stellar...being the lowest ranked female player to beat 2 x top10 players in a tournament when she was ranked 304 at 16yo. I don't see any stand out performances that would raise eyebrows - she's always been good, just patchy. I don't always like her win at all costs attitude but that's the way she was brought up around the ghettos and gangs of LA, etc, we don't know the type of influence that has on someone.
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Post by Andy11 Tue 10 Sep 2013, 13:51

Her domination shows that modern tennis fails on its own terms, since no white player can achieve her physique (nor would any one want to), and therefore is at a hopeless disadvantage in modern tennis, where power triumphs over guile.

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Post by mthierry Tue 10 Sep 2013, 15:04

Andy11 wrote:Her domination shows that modern tennis fails on its own terms, since no white player can achieve her physique (nor would any one want to), and therefore is at a hopeless disadvantage in modern tennis, where power triumphs over guile.
Really? You've never seen a white woman with her physique?

In any case, I think players like Sharapova and Stosur are just as powerful. They just lack the combination of strengths and court craft and mentality of Serena. Her clean ball striking and belief isn't just a function of her physique.

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Post by Henman Bill Tue 10 Sep 2013, 23:26

Not sure about that Andy, Stosur is pretty powreful.

By the way, when I said "deliberatey ignored a drugs test" I was referring to the panic room incident.

If it was a misunderstanding you would think they could have a system to get a message to a player and arrange for a sample to be taken within a few hours. Or just wait there until the police arrived and then take the sample. Very strange incident and doesn't do her any favours at all for me. As for as I know, no sample was collected.

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Post by banbrotam Thu 12 Sep 2013, 10:46

Andy11 wrote:Her domination shows that modern tennis fails on its own terms, since no white player can achieve her physique (nor would any one want to), and therefore is at a hopeless disadvantage in modern tennis, where power triumphs over guile.

What an ignorant racist comment. The old, blacks only achieve at sports because they have unfair advantages argument picard 

She's merely the Navratilova of her time, without Chrissie or a young Steffi to check her progress

No player achieves what Serena has done without having a good all-round game, i.e. some guile

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Post by Henman Bill Thu 12 Sep 2013, 22:43

Whatever her failings may or may not be, you can't dismiss her as power only. I think as much guile and touch as other top ranked professional players plus extra power might sum it up. It's more a case of power plus guile rather than lack of guile.

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