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Pete - after coming to the realisation that they are in fact two separate people, I think you are going to have remind yourself (once again) that Venus and Serena are not Siamese twins. There is never a point where it's okay to 'lump' the Williams sisters together, even if they share an opinion. How you voice an opinion and when you voice it also matters. Serena has been downright aggressive about the rankings and her right to rule the roost. Venus by comparison made a thoughtful, contextualised statement that I would be hard pressed to call 'condescending' or even particularly personal. She was talking about the rankings a specific point in time when Safina gained the top spot - nevermind that while other players were winning titles, making finals or at least advancing deep into the draw Safina was specifically floundering. Sorry, but it didn't look good at that particular point in time - as Venus specified. ("Right now...") At no point was she ever rude to Safina. And funnily enough, at the particular point in time, few reacted to her comment with great outrage, since many were actually nodding along or shared the same concerns. I disagreed with Venus (and still do because I find it rather easy to understand 'why' Serena isn't at the top of the rankings) but I could not detect any condescension (let alone 'oppression' or 'delusion') on her part, unless you are suggesting that anyone who had reservations about the way Safina rose to the top of the rankings and voiced them was 'condescending'. As Venus noted, she (Safina) in fact did NOT feel like she was the legitimate number 1 and frankly, under the circumstances, which player would. Heck, I suppose even Safina was being condescending to herself when she wasn't exactly thrilled by the way she came by the number 1 ranking. And I guess you'll have to tell yourself off for 'condescending' to Jelena Jankovic and Kim Clijsters. At the moment, Safina's position is still rather similar to theirs. That may change, but for the time being at least she is yet another slamless number 1 with stretches of inconsistency. Two good tournaments for Safina doesn't change the fact that the manner in which came by that ranking was less than ideal. You might, however have an argument regarding Serena. Her petulant comments were directly aimed *at* Safina ('the girl' who 'went out early' 'or whatever' etc.) Unlike Venus, Serena has not been content to comment and confine her musing in the moment. Her complaints have vociferously continued even as *she* is now the one who is woefully underperforming while Safina is finally raising her game. She has declared that she is 'the best in the world.' Again, I've heard no such statement from Venus or any further comment on the matter. So I agree with that part of your post - that there might be some denial going on with Serena as genetics and time are against her. (She is not 'obese' as you seem to be referring, but she is heavy-set.) That said, can we please STOP treating Venus and Serena as if they are a twin-headed monolith?
Commented May 9, 2009 on
New Age Parity
Peter Bodo's TennisWorld
New Age Parity
by Pete Bodo The WTA these days is giving us a terrific snapshot of what tennis looks like when the game is in a state of parity, rather than in the throes of a clear hierarchy, or pecking order.I think of this as the WTA's new-age parity, because it sometimes looks like the women of the W...
While there hasn't been a clearly dominant player this year I think the only real contenders are Serena, Venus, Ana and Sharapova. Jankovic is a much improved player but she doesn't have a slam. That alone ought to rule her out of contention imo. Serena gets the nod from me - securing the no. 1 ranking, Charleston, Miami, appearing in 2 slam finals, and winning at least one of them puts her over the top. I *don't* factor in her Olympic gold medal however because a.) a.) It's in doubles - which isn't a problem IF you're willing to factor in all the doubles results for ALL the players. b.) Newsflash - she didn't win it on her own. It's odd that people only tally the gold medal for Serena as if it were an individual accomplishment. Furthermore, Serena (and her mystery sidekick) won doubles at Wimbledon too. Now, does that get thrown into the mix or overlooked? So keeping doubles out of the equation to make life more simple, Serena on her own individual merit should/will still win it in my opinion. Venus made a late run and salvaged an otherwise lacklustre, disappointing year. As a fan, I'm pleased that she put in some effort in the fall and had something to show for it, but while she's my all-time fav, I'm not going to kid myself - she's NOT the player of 2008. But she deserves does have a case, and deserves to be in the conversation. (I'd take Wimbledon over the USO any day.) Regarding Ana at the AO. Venus usually beats Ana quite handily whatever Ana's form is, but she was visibly limping as the AO. We'll see what happens next year.
Commented Nov 13, 2008 on
Venus as POY?
Venus as POY?
Matt Cronin makes his case. I'm still mulling it all over, but I still give the nod to Serena right now. A Grand Slam + Grand Slam final + Miami is more impressive to me than a Grand Slam + the Championships or a Grand Slam + Grand Slam final + Indian Wells. And what about a Grand Slam final +...
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