Concrete Elbow by Steve Tignor - Williams vs. Williams, Part 17
Home       About Steve Tignor       Contact        RSS        Follow on Twitter Categories       Archive
Williams vs. Williams, Part 17 09/02/2008 - 2:47 PM

VwIf you heard Serena Williams in her post-match interview last night, you know she’s not exactly looking forward to having to play her older sister Venus in the quarterfinals on Wednesday night. “It,” as Serena told Michael Barkann of USA, “sucks.” This pretty much sums up how most of the tennis world, inside and outside of the Williams family, has viewed the sisters’ 16 match-ups over the last decade.

Serena may not be happy about it, and I don’t blame her—Venus is a tough opponent—but are we still that bothered, from a psychological standpoint, about having to watch them play? Or have 10 years of hearing Mary Carillo say that she feels like she’s intruding on a family fight made us feel that way? While it may not be fun for Venus and Serena, it seems to be a fascinating spectacle for casual tennis fans. The all-Williams quarterfinal is guaranteed to garner higher ratings than any match at the Open, outside of the two finals. And I would argue that while the Williamses love each other and want the best for each other, they also want to beat each other as much if not more, than anyone else. Playing a family member must be hard, but it must be that much harder to lose to one. “Sibling rivalry” is not a common term for nothing. Serena’s personality seems to have been developed in the first place as a way to get out of her big sister’s shadow, to one-up her. When she lost to Venus at Wimbledon this year, Serena didn’t seem particularly overjoyed for Venus. She looked annoyed at herself for losing a match she thought she should have won.

Yes, there are drawbacks to a Williams vs. Williams match. First and foremost is the scream factor; I typically opt for the mute button. There is also, for obvious reasons, not a lot of stylistic contrast, though there’s more than you might think at first, considering that Serena’s specialty is attacking and Venus’ is running balls down—they just happen to do these things with similar techniques. I’ve always thought a bigger reason for their matches being scratchy from a quality standpoint is that, speedy players that they are, each sister tracks down balls that their other opponents don’t. This means fewer winners, and, eventually, more errors.

But this doesn’t mean it can’t be as compelling as any other match. What will Serena do differently? How will she counter the body serve Venus used at Wimbledon? Will Venus’ flat, counterpunching shots have the same effect they had on grass? Who can make the mental leap required to temporarily ignore the identity of their opponent and go for the throat? And if one does, will the other have the will to respond, rather than saying it just wasn’t her day. Despite how evenly matched these two are, only five of their 17 matches have gone to three sets. You get the feeling neither has wanted to prolong the agony.

SwThat last question may be the only variable factor in play when they walk onto Ashe Stadium. Venus and Serena are 8-8 against each other lifetime; Venus leads 2-1 at the Open. They’re 1-1 this year, with Serena winning a third-set tiebreaker in Bangalore and Venus winning in straights at Wimbledon. They were each injured this summer; each recovered just in time to win the doubles at the Olympics; and each appears healthy now. Each has had a relatively strong 2008 season thus far: Venus is 24-8; Serena is 36-6 and ranked No. 3 in the world (though rankings haven’t been a major concern of the sisters for many years). Judging from their current form and motivation—neither has lost at set so far at the Open and each can see a title just ahead—the 17th edition of Williams vs. Williams has the potential to offer some high-quality tennis.

Who is going to win? It’s a toss-up based on their recent records. But as I said, Serena looked confused and eventually annoyed that she let the Wimbledon final get away from her after being ahead early. I still think she has the edge in the confidence battle between the two. Her four wins over Venus in four straight Slam finals in 2002-03 remain the defining moments of their co-careers. I don’t think Serena’s going to have any problem going all-out on Wednesday. Family affair or not, if there’s one person she doesn’t want to keep losing to, it’s her sister. The attention-loving younger daughter has no interest in becoming the Venus—the dignified second fiddle—of this rivalry. That really would suck.

Serena: 7-5, 6-4


 
93
Comments
 

Posted by JS 09/02/2008 at 03:11 PM

good points, Steve, esp. about their speed enabling them to track down balls that their opponents usually don't which contributes to often less-than-stellar play.

I rarely watch women's tennis anymore but this may be worth checking out.

Posted by Destiny 09/02/2008 at 03:20 PM

Venus will win this in straight sets.

Posted by eddy 09/02/2008 at 04:03 PM

psh, imo serena wins. how many sets, i couldn't say. for me it's odd picking serena because after i saw how henin took her out in consecutive quarters at slam i decided serena would never win another slam. now henin is gone, but i can't change my mind now, can i? nah, it makes it more exciting this way. but who's going to beat serena, if not venus...well i'll be rooting for venus anyway.

Posted by SwissMaestro 09/02/2008 at 04:14 PM

God, how I miss Justine Henin...

Posted by Rsquared 09/02/2008 at 04:17 PM

Interesting and pretty persuasive take from Steve. One major objection though: Venus is nobody's counterpuncher. True, she has excellent defensive skills on account of her lightning speed. She is a better defensive player than Serena only because she can track down a few more balls with her combination of speed and reach. But with her powerful, aggressive ground game and increasing penchant for rushing the net, she can hardly be dubbed a counterpuncher (i.e., Jelena Jankovic or Justine Henin during periods of her much too short career). Venus remains an aggressive power player (like her sister) with a counterpuncher's defensive skill when she needs it.

On the more important question of who will win Wednesday night's match, I'm gonna duck it. I know that's lame. But I really have no idea. The psychological dynamic, as Steve pointed out, is probably the decisive factor. But even on that dimension I don't think it's an easy call. Sure, Serena appears to crave attention more and handle losses less well than Venus. Plus she has a score to settle from Wimbledon. But Venus seems slightly more confident than her younger sister these days and certainly doesn't seem resigned to taking a backseat in this "classic" and "unique" sibling rivalry. At the very least, I hope for a terrific match, whoever wins or loses.

Posted by Kevin 09/02/2008 at 04:27 PM

I think its great when the Williams sisters play each other. The only thing that bums me about this meeting is that its not the finals.

I'd guess every woman on the tour likes it when they play each other too. Because it means at least one of them will be taken out of the tournament.

Granted, not all of their meetings have lived up to the hype, but they are the best. And its great to watch the best play each other.

Posted by Master Ace 09/02/2008 at 04:46 PM

If Serena plays patient tomorrow and do not get frustrated, I believe that she will defeat Venus as Venus is more prone to errors than Serena. Neither lady is a counterpuncher and Venus is the better defender due to her long wingspan.

Prediction:
Serena 6-4,7-6(5)

Posted by 09/02/2008 at 05:18 PM

Serena has to stay focused. She tends to lose it. She needs to be patient. She can be an emotional basket case out there. Anyone else notice that? Serena is so emotional on and off the court. At WImby she had that first set and in the second had so many opportunities. If Serena doesn't get rattled, and plays with few errors, she wins. She is the better hard-courter. Her serve is more consistent

Love Vee, but Serena has a score to settle. At the very least, we should have an engaging match.

Venus is a better defender but Serena is a better offender, no pun intended. She plays offense so well, hits great angles and has a little more variety, and defends good. Not great, but good enough...

My head is spinning, it's so hard to call it. Vee is so good at the net too. She will use that. Serena will have to be ready, so will Vee, It'll be good. Wish it was the final!

So I said all that to say that I'm picking Serena, based on nothing more than killer instinct and desire!!

Posted by avid sports fan 09/02/2008 at 05:21 PM

Their current match statistics, even though they have both lost a handful of games 14 Serena, 15 Venus, indicate as Master Ace rightly pointed out that Serena is less prone to errors and has a better winners to errors ratio than Venus. But Venus is patient and tends not to "get frustrated or better still show her frustration" on court.

I would go with Serena to win based on this but then again Venus has points to defend so that may spur her on to win as well.

Posted by Elisse ramey 09/02/2008 at 05:22 PM

I agree with your prediction Steve. Nice article, by the way. While my favorite of the two is Serena. I love that she's the underdog, and I have compassion for her cause she seems to catch a lot of flack...anyway, I think this is anyone's guess who will win. Vee said that she is at her best. Serena has said that she is not at her best and that she wants to do better and that she knows she can.

It's so hard to call, so I'm just gonna go with your prediction, Steve. Serena has a score to settle, she's slamless, she can potentially become numero uno. I smell the "game face" attitude, so to speak. She'll win it.

However it goes down, let's hope for a great classic and unique match

Posted by beckles 09/02/2008 at 06:03 PM

amazing how soon people forget. serena claimed she was not at her best at wimbledon and also asserted that venus played great. yet it was serena with more aces more winners and less unforced errors than venus. venus still won however. i will take venus if she is uninjured.

Posted by Ruth 09/02/2008 at 06:12 PM

Like Rsquared, I'm going to be lame and duck making any prediction about the match. But I will be, as always, rooting for Venus -- my favorite Williams and favorite WTA player. Of course, if the match were on grass, I'd be tempted to lean toward Venus's winning, but Serena looks solid, and, as Steve said, she seems ready to push the even head to head score more to her favor.

Posted by 09/02/2008 at 06:18 PM

i'll go 4 venus.

Posted by adicecream 09/02/2008 at 06:42 PM

I'll predict Venus just because that's what I want to happen.

Posted by Alejandro 09/02/2008 at 07:45 PM

SERENA IS GONNA KICK SOME ASS IN STRAIGHT SETS BITCHES!

Posted by 09/02/2008 at 07:56 PM

only way venus can lose this match is if her emotions get control of her...serena seems less to care abt venus when they playn each other thats y she loses to serena by creatn all these errors..serena wants to win..venus wants to win too but just dont want to c her baby sis cry...pfft ...i hope venus come out with a game face tomorrow cause we all know serena means business!

Posted by anomaka 09/02/2008 at 08:01 PM

Open that can of whupass Serenaaaaa!!!

Posted by Tristan 09/02/2008 at 08:12 PM

Venus will win in straight sets if she plays like she been playin...with confidence!!!

Posted by Ren (D day of the Rebirth of the SS) 09/02/2008 at 08:18 PM

I want Serena to win this time!

Posted by ncot 09/02/2008 at 08:41 PM

head says serena, heart says venus. ;)

Posted by Jeff in Rochester 09/02/2008 at 09:46 PM

Williams vs Williams.............who cares?

It could be any brothers or sisters ..........doesn't matter.

Who's turn is it this time...........coin flip or will father make the call?

Posted by janet Williams 09/02/2008 at 09:50 PM

venus will win, love you serena, but vee will kick butt.

Posted by ROUAL PIERRE 09/02/2008 at 10:33 PM

TO THE WILLIAMS REGARDLESS TO RESULT ,BOTH OF YOU'LL SHOULD BE PROUD OF EACH OTHER .I LOVE TO LOOK AT YOU'LL PLAY ,WILLIAMS VS WILLIAMS OR WILLIAMS VS WHO SO EVER.
I WHICH THE WORLD CAN SEE WILLIAMS VS WILLIAMS IN ALL FINALS IN THE WORLD.
LOVE YOU ALL
ROUAL PIERRE
GRENADA W.I.

Posted by Ady, ROMANIA 09/02/2008 at 10:36 PM

Well, folks, i have a hunch that SERENA will emerge towards victory, she really needs to prove herself this time, although VENIS is strong both phissically and moralyg

Posted by Jarred 09/02/2008 at 11:07 PM

For years Venus has taken the back seat to Serena. And just because Serena is boohooing over a loss to Venus, while Venus has always remaind very stoic and graceful, Venus is looking to continue on her amaing track!

Venus' movement will win her the match!

Posted by trainspoted@hotmail.com 09/03/2008 at 12:08 AM

The scream factor? Muting television? Comment on Mary Carilo? Nice writing other than those very lame, do-good-to noone points. Stick to the tennis.

Posted by giovanni1971 09/03/2008 at 01:48 AM

i think serena is the best of the two she will win

Posted by Oyama 09/03/2008 at 03:50 AM

Don’t you just miss Justine Henin and Maria Sharapova. Women tennis is missing that excitement and rivalry the men is having right now. We have been robbed of great players like Hingis, Cjisters and Kournikova.

I'm happy for the Williams sisters i hope they put up a great match as we have not seen any this year in the WTA Tour.

Posted by bibian mukasa 09/03/2008 at 04:26 AM

Pleased for Venus and Serena, but this time around I would like Safina to win the tournament. She is such a lovely girl and has been working pretty hard. Good luck to the three of them, unfortuantely they are all in the same draw!!!

Posted by Casual Observer 09/03/2008 at 04:38 AM

A match to don't watch. Even one Williams is boring, two are just too much.

Posted by Naa 09/03/2008 at 04:41 AM

I will go with Serena to win. There's something about Jankovic that gets to both sisters, but Serena handles it better. Venus has always had all sorts of problems with jankovic. She was able to defeat jankovic in the US Open last year but it was pretty hardwork.

Serena however is more likely to win against jankovic than venus. That's why i'm routing for her this time around.

Go Serena!!!!

Posted by chandleryarbey 09/03/2008 at 04:51 AM

I love the Williams sisters. They are the very best thing that ever happened to the WTA. I know a lot of people miss Justine because she truly was another great addition to tennis; however, when Serena dedicates herself to tennis Justine or no one will beat her. Should Justine not have retired, Serena was determined to beat her regardless. Sharapova had no answer for Serena 2007 AO and if Justine would have been there, Serena would have beat her as well. When lil sis is determined to win, big sis or no one will defeat her. She is the Michael Jordan of Tennis when she is 100% dedicated. Venus is great as well and glides on the court but Serena takes it to an entirely different mental level. She is a lot like Nadal....they win not only based on athleticism but on heart as well. My prediction is Serena over Venus in 2 sets but pretty close 1st set.

Posted by Jazz 09/03/2008 at 05:17 AM

Venus is going to win, come hell or high water, She's going to be crowed the 2008 US OPEN Champion, watch the space. That little brat of a sister of hers wont stand a chance!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by s.venkatesh 09/03/2008 at 05:28 AM

both are having equally well opportunites.
it is something like tossing a coin.
but if serena wins , she gets first rank(if she wins title), that is why they may fix match.

Posted by olayinka 09/03/2008 at 06:07 AM

venus wins

Posted by Kit Undug 09/03/2008 at 06:13 AM

If their match at Wimbledon is any indication, we'll get a cracking match tonight. My head says Serena, but my heart says, "Go Venus!". Serena has won too many of the important matches (even though they are 8-8 head-to-head), so I think this should be Venus' year.

I am so sick and tired of the people who say that the Williams sisters' matches are fixed. Just rewind back to Serena's reaction in the Wimbledon final earlier this year -- her annoyance and frustration was a sign of anything BUT match-fixing. Both sisters are extremely competitive, and I don't think that at this point in their careers they can afford to even think about giving up a win for the sake of the other's happiness. These are two of the best athletes in women's tennis, and they know how talented they are. They won't settle for less than what they deserve.

I'm also irked by people who say that the Williams sisters are flying high now only because the likes of Justine Henin have retired. While I acknowledge Henin's talent, Venus and Serena were already playing at the highest level even before Henin came along, and they're still here now that she's gone. Henin or no Henin, the Williamses deserve whatever accolades they get.

Posted by roGER 09/03/2008 at 06:57 AM

"it seems to be a fascinating spectacle for casual tennis fans."

No no no!

"it seems to be a fascinating spectacle for casual [American] tennis fans."

There you go.

Posted by Maria Haider 09/03/2008 at 07:02 AM

both of them 'sucks' so no one cares whether anyone wins........if both of them can lose the the match it will be fantastic because final should be won by Jalena Jankovic

Posted by jbradhunter 09/03/2008 at 08:29 AM

I pick Vee for this based on current form and also the smart surprise tactic of body serving she used against serena in the wimby final. Not only was vee effective with that but it says more to me that serena didn't adjust or make any return changes to throw vee off and handle the body serve. If vee can employ another effective game plan and if serena doesn't figure out a mid match solution then older sis should walk away with a victory. Whatever happens thankfully vee and serena are back in full swing and challenging for grand slam titles again.

Posted by nivram 09/03/2008 at 08:59 AM

JJ is such a choker, she didnt even passed the Semifinals. So so you think if they JJ and either of the williams will meet in the finals, the williams will give the title away? I dont think so. JJ is such a drama queen just like Novak, a lot if injuries if they are losing. Go WS!

Posted by Kit Undug 09/03/2008 at 09:03 AM

ditto, nivram! thanks for telling it like it is.

Posted by pc 09/03/2008 at 10:00 AM

God, I'm so happy Justine is gone.

Posted by eliane 09/03/2008 at 11:07 AM

Love and respect them both, but Serena is gonna get win it. Too much determination. I just do not think Vee is as mentally strong as Serena, but we will see. What makes Serena great is not just her power and strength and great serve, but her mental toughness. Thing is Vee says she is "at her best" so she is confident as well, but this is Rena's best surface. Her serve is more consistent all around, not just at Wimby.

I'm going for Serena this time.

Posted by Kaygee 09/03/2008 at 11:55 AM

Whomever wins tonight will be the US Open champion. I don't believe they will beat up on each other just to lose to someone else. JJ is no match for a Williams going for a title - neither is Safina - just the thought of Serena or Venus across the net in a slam final is scary to those girls. I am a Serena fan but I also love Venus - when she is not playing Serena. Serena is emotional but that is what sets her apart and gives us such great energy and dynamics in a match. However, either sister is great for the game and if neither makes it to the finals it will be a dull final - as evidenced in the past. If Serena brings her AO final game face - remember that again Sharapova? - watch out - Venus will be packing tomorrow night.

Posted by LAM Hoang Chuong 09/03/2008 at 12:11 PM

I believe Serene will win because I love her!!!!

Posted by pc 09/03/2008 at 12:17 PM

"both of them 'sucks' so no one cares whether anyone wins........if both of them can lose the the match it will be fantastic because final should be won by Jalena Jankovic"

Stupidest post of the day (so far).

Butter Face is going down.

Posted by frances 09/03/2008 at 12:25 PM

Steve, I haven't commented on this site in awhile -- long while; and yet you still have not taken my advice to go to Prediction School. Serena (my girl) is an emotional stew right now with this upcoming match against her beloved big sis. Venus is on and tight as piano wire where her game is concerned. She's unbeatable right now. She takes this in three -- then she takes the tournament.

She's just emotionally steadier right now -- and moving better than my girl Serena.

Posted by frances 09/03/2008 at 12:33 PM

Steve, I haven't commented on this site in awhile -- long while; and yet you still have not taken my advice to go to Prediction School. Serena (my girl) is an emotional stew right now with this upcoming match against her beloved big sis. Venus is on and tight as piano wire where her game is concerned. She's unbeatable right now. She takes this in three -- then she takes the tournament.

She's just emotionally steadier right now -- and moving better than my girl Serena.

Posted by myer 09/03/2008 at 12:43 PM

Go Venus!!!!!

Posted by dana 09/03/2008 at 01:02 PM

serena will get it together emotionally. this isn't wimby and this isn't grass. serena can actually apply pressure to vee's serve which is something no one has been able to do. once she does that she will get the same 15+ break chances that she got at wimby, only this time will be able to convert them.

it will be tough, but serena is the better all around player because she is more consistent. i wouldn't be surprised if it went 3 since they both are playing so well, but i expect serena to overcome vee's "best" and win it. the only thing that would stop her is the mental aspect. can she not get frustrated? can she play through it? that's the question. and i'm gonna say yes. wimby was a big lesson for her, and little sis hates to lose.

Posted by Abigail 09/03/2008 at 01:04 PM

C'mon Serena!!! I don't know who's gonna win, but I sure hope it's Serena!!! I love her.

Posted by Abigail 09/03/2008 at 01:06 PM

Also, Jelena is gonna get taken out by Dementieva. So one of the Williams if they get past Safina will have to take on the other Russian. I'm pretty sure.

Posted by Michelle 09/03/2008 at 01:28 PM

Serena will win in two close sets. Serena has a score to settle and wants to win a slam this year. It will happen at the 2008 US Open!!

Go SERENA!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Michael Stewart 09/03/2008 at 01:28 PM

i hated Justine as well...

Posted by Earl 09/03/2008 at 01:30 PM

Serena will will so she can become #1.

Posted by serena fan 09/03/2008 at 02:00 PM

Serena will win 6-4 and the second will go venus 7-5 and third serena 7-5 serena win

Posted by Thacarter78 09/03/2008 at 02:11 PM

There are so many Williams' sister haters. Respect what they have done. Justine was on a high, but she can't possibly be considered better the either Williams sister. She rose to the top after a string of injuries and personal trauma hit the Williams family.

The Williams' are amazing athletes and tennis players and at their best, there is no one on the tour that can defeat them except each other.

Venus in two close sets. 7-5 7-6(4)

Posted by yeahisaidit 09/03/2008 at 02:26 PM

...not everyone thinks that when the sisters play each other that "it sucks..." that declaration, just like a lot of things concerning the sisters, has become another in a long line of tired, old, and "coded" talking points IMHO...for instance, the Aussie Open final in '03 was a delicious three sets and doesn't get enough recognition for how exciting it was to witness...it was an all out banger...! youtube it and see for yourself...

Posted by Markic 09/03/2008 at 02:43 PM

The problem is... who cares? Nobody's interested in the result, and their matches are boring because they lack a real dynamic of enmity. The sibling rivalry actually reduces the significance of victory or defeat... they might as well play the match at home. The fact that you know they don't hate each others guts doesn't help either - give me Murray vs. del Potro any day!

Posted by mphillip 09/03/2008 at 02:46 PM

Question:

What is the evidence that the appeal of Venus and/or Serena is restricted to U.S. audiences? The ink used in French/British/Australian pubs when they play?? I try to read "local" papers at each Slam, and I don't know, there seems to be a great deal of "local" interest in Venus and Serena. For better or worse, their pictures seemed to be everywhere. And since sport is a commodity and commodification is global and commerce (for better or worse)is international "glue" these days...I don't know about the merely U.S. appeal of the Williams sisters...

Ratings?? Might that be another measure (objective)of their appeal?? Anybody done the research to see if the increased ratings when they play is solely due to U.S. audiences?? Don't know...

From my observation the sisters - not unlike Henin, Sharapova, Monfils (who loves Allen Iverson and is a personification of transnationalism/globalization), Federer, Nadal - have a global appeal.

One of the most startling and gratifying memories I have of the Australian Open a couple of years ago was the number of kids with "Serena" painted on their faces. They may have all been Americans, but you know, I don't know...

just sayin'...

Posted by tennisphanatic 73 09/03/2008 at 02:51 PM

I love when Serena and Venus meet in the Slams. I hate that it is in the Quarters instead of Semis or Finals this time. They are both phenominal athletes and women. Their matches are possibly lacking some "wow" when they play other. But if you notice they are very respectful players (even with their dominate style of play). So of course, when they play each other that respect is heightened and possibly the desire to dominate diminishes some. I believe that gets in the way of the carnal instinct to crush the other. They are very similar in play, which is great. But they both offer different arsenals & to make it interesting to me. Just like James Blake, Roger Federer & Rafael Nadal are the class acts for the gents. I feel Venus & Serena are two of the classiest ladies in tennis right now - on & off the court.

Posted by nik 09/03/2008 at 03:06 PM

VENUS ALL THE WAY!!!!!!!!!

Posted by pam 09/03/2008 at 03:06 PM

I think the Williams sisters match will be well worth the watch. They have more weapons now, a well-rounded game, not just power. It's too bad they're meeting in the quarters and not the final. Anyway, my money is on Serena.

Posted by pam 09/03/2008 at 03:23 PM

Serena and Venus are two of the best tennis players to come out of women's tennis. As for Henin, she's out of the game, so leave her out of the conversation. Maria Sharapova needs to retool her game. Jelena Jankovic will crumbled, if she makes it to final, which I seriously doubt

Posted by Ed 09/03/2008 at 03:27 PM

A match involving either Williams sister is good reason to try to find a re-run of Gilligan's Island or something more exciting than those two.

Posted by David 09/03/2008 at 04:00 PM

WS are more exciting than any of the players on tour. I'd watch them any day over the others, but I do enjoy a good tennis match.

Go Serena!!

Posted by Armando 09/03/2008 at 04:10 PM

For those who are saying "who cares" I'd like to say that A LOT OF PEOPLE CARE!!!!! One reporter said the networks were praying that the WS would meet in the final, but that the draw obviously impeded that. They are the sole reason the final is played in prime time under the lights. People care, maybe not the hard core tennis fans, but definitely the casual viewer who needs to tune in for a "big match." Just like boxing, no one watches boxing regular except for the purists, but everyone will catch the big fight!!!

Posted by Dwight 09/03/2008 at 04:17 PM

When the sisters come to the battle ground, my heart is always with Venus.
Lov ya Venus (good luck)

Posted by frances 09/03/2008 at 04:24 PM

Notice how slow the game looks when any other two but Venus or Serena are playing...watch a rally between them...and then watch a rally between two other women players. It's like fast motion versus slow motion. In the words of Renae Stubbs "Venus [and Serena my addition) are just dynamic when they move." They are just dynamic! Don't think so...try sitting through a Chakvatadze match.

Posted by Armando 09/03/2008 at 04:40 PM

Frances that is sooo funny. I feel the same way. Hard to sit through for sure.

Posted by vtouch 09/03/2008 at 04:57 PM

Serena over Venus

3 sets match


Posted by vtouch 09/03/2008 at 04:57 PM

Serena over Venus

3 sets match


Posted by 09/03/2008 at 05:04 PM

SERENA WILL WIN IT IN STRAIGHT SETS

Posted by Preshana Price-Cox 09/03/2008 at 05:41 PM

I want Venus to win tonight. I don't have any concrete proof but I believe Venus took a back seat to Serena in the earlier years. I'm happy to see Venus is now concerned about herself. Serena will now have to earn it when she beats Venus. My heart is with Venus all the way.

Posted by Preshana Price-Cox 09/03/2008 at 05:45 PM

I want Venus to win tonight. I don't have any concrete proof but I believe Venus took a back seat to Serena in the earlier years. I'm happy to see Venus is now concerned about herself. Serena will now have to earn it when she beats Venus. My heart is with Venus all the way.

Posted by sunshine 09/03/2008 at 05:47 PM

Go Serena go. I love both of you but I have always rooted 4 Serena when she is head to head with her sister. Go Serena go.

Posted by Monique 09/03/2008 at 06:14 PM

Its Venus's time. She was the better one back in the day. I think she let Serena win back in '02-'03 so they both could have titles. Now they are both grown women that are chasing history. I believe Venus wants it more because she had a taste of victory in Wimbledon and a win in New York would make it all so much better. Go V!!

Posted by Kenny 09/03/2008 at 07:05 PM

I seems that so many of you so called Americans and, others are a bite Jealous. If you had the type of talent that either of these too had and, to have come from the same family, you would think differently. It seems that a lot of Hate is attached to your comments. If anyone says that they are not interested in a Match between the 2 Williams is just hating.( hater-ration) That's right I said it!!

Now, who else in the game of Woman's tennis has brought so much Publicity and, dominance to the game? Anyone care to answer that?

So, don't be jealous that you can't play like them and, keep it in the Family. And, when history is written I assure you they will be there in the Books. Not only as sisters with class, and talent but, also as Great tennis players. Now eat that all you Haters!!!

Oh and, who ever wins this Match ,I assure you will Win the TITLE you care to bet against me? I didn't think so. Even when they are not at their best they are so far above the others in the field.

When they make up their minds to compete there is no one that can beat either of them!!! It does not matter who retired!! NOW!

Eat that!

Posted by mans 09/03/2008 at 07:25 PM

serena will win! believe me! not only in the quaters; semis; ...
SERENAA will win THE TITLE!!!!!

Posted by Samantha Elin 09/03/2008 at 07:27 PM

As a fan of Justine, I have a lot of respect for the attention and talent the Williamses have brought to the game. I support them as long as they're not playing Justine because they are a huge asset to the WTA. I'm picking Serena in 3sets.

Posted by Samantha Elin 09/03/2008 at 07:31 PM

I forgot to add, I've seen and never understood the dislike some Americans seem to have for two players who have give so much to their country, playing in many fed cups, and the Olympic gold medals they have won for America. I could only be so very lucky to have two players from Sweden with such talent, and personality.

Posted by JDH 09/03/2008 at 10:30 PM

We need to have someone check into Venus throwing this match against Serena...she CLEARLY threw away several brak points to let Serena back in the match. Should have been Venus in two sets. It was planned theatrics from the start. Terrible.

Posted by TDK 09/04/2008 at 12:47 AM

It was clear that this match was rigged, Venus threw away every set points that she had and challenged some obviously point that she lost but wouldn't do on the point that she mashed out which could give her the second set. What a shame to the sisters.

Posted by Armando 09/04/2008 at 01:38 AM

Vee didn't throw away anything. Give it a rest! Serena had the same numerous break chances at Wimby and couldn't convert. Here she was able to. Let's not forget that Serena beat Vee earlier this year in a tight 3 setter. Serena is mentally tougher, at least this time. That's the bottom line.

Posted by Armando 09/04/2008 at 01:43 AM

JDH and TDK are the same person, btw.

Good job Serena!!

You all notice that this is the same way Vee won wimby the way that Serena has won here.

It's been tight.

It comes down to converting on the big points (as all matches do) and making less errors.

While Vee had more winners, she also had more errors. Serena played a cleaner game.

This was the case at Wimby. Serena had more winners, served better, but had more errors.

With these two, you honestly just never know in their top form. I give the mental edge to Serena, but she looked shaky in the beginning...nervous and very tight.

This is amazing people! We are able to watch them and I am thankful.

Posted by roGER 09/04/2008 at 11:06 AM

mphilip asked:

Question:

What is the evidence that the appeal of Venus and/or Serena is restricted to U.S. audiences?

The empty seats you see everywhere when they play each other. For instance this year at Wimbledon, there were EMPTY SEATS for their final. In 25 years of watching and attending Wimbledon, I've never seen that before! A possible explanation - that the crowd have long and very unpleasant memories of the all Williams finals of 2002 and 2003. The latter ranks as perhaps the worst of the modern era; there have been exhibition matches with more passion and fewer unforced errors.

"The ink used in French/British/Australian pubs when they play?? I try to read "local" papers at each Slam, and I don't know, there seems to be a great deal of "local" interest in Venus and Serena."

They certainly get written about, as do all the top seeds. But you'd be making a grave mistake if you equated coverage with popularity. Sharapova is a another good example.

"For better or worse, their pictures seemed to be everywhere. And since sport is a commodity and commodification is global and commerce (for better or worse)is international "glue" these days...I don't know about the merely U.S. appeal of the Williams sisters..."

I'm saying that the core fan base for the Williams sisters comes from the United States. I'm sure you can find Williams sister fans in every country in the world - but the majority are in the USA.

"Ratings?? Might that be another measure (objective)of their appeal?? Anybody done the research to see if the increased ratings when they play is solely due to U.S. audiences?? Don't know..."

I know that my friends and colleagues at the business end of selling tennis always say the main factors in 'killing' the popularity of tennis for casual fans were Pete Samprass, modern raquets (and hence the power game) and the Williams sisters! More objectively, television bosses pray the two won't meet in a final, as the audience outside the USA is always lower - for a foriegn audience it's "Game, set and match, Williams" and it just doesn't have the appeal of a non family contest.

"From my observation the sisters - not unlike Henin, Sharapova, Monfils (who loves Allen Iverson and is a personification of transnationalism/globalization), Federer, Nadal - have a global appeal."

No, according to the marketing people the Williams' appeal is rather limited in South America, Europe, and Asia. It's strong in the USA and Africa.

"One of the most startling and gratifying memories I have of the Australian Open a couple of years ago was the number of kids with "Serena" painted on their faces. They may have all been Americans, but you know, I don't know..."

I doubt very much they were all Americans, I doubt very much they all Australians.

- roGER

PS: Some drone may raise the race issue here - needless to say I disagree strongly. Arthur Ashe was a beloved tennis player with massive international appeal, Tiger Woods has accomplished the same kind of total international love and respect.

That same sentiment is not found throughout the world for the Williams sisters - we can have another long chat about why that might be at a later date.

"just sayin'..."

You may be right - opinion poll data and the methodology of marketing men and women is notoriously unreliable. But then so is personal anecdote - I've never met a tennis fan who liked seeing both sisters play each other.

Posted by Elisse 09/04/2008 at 11:15 AM

Well then you haven't met a lot of tennis fans. Get real. The WS are one of the best stories in sports history, and your fake data. The networks are praying for more classic WS matches whether "tennis fan you know" want to see it or not. They are still a draw for people outside of the sport.

Posted by marryedtotennis 09/04/2008 at 12:16 PM

TDK, of course the match was set up. Serena isn't that good to keep Venus from 10 set points. So boring...I can't even believe people think otherwise....

But I do understand why they have to do that. They have to split the wins in the family. Family is too strong. I understand why they do it, but Venus didn't do her best acting, and you could clearly tell she was not putting the balls away like she normally does.
Serena on the other hand had a splendid "acting" performance.

Posted by Maurice 09/04/2008 at 01:21 PM

Justine Henin was 2-6 lifetime against Venus and one win over Serena. She was a great player-but the last time she played Serena (Miami Nasdaq 100) she was blown off the court 6-1 & 6-0. So I dont think that Justine would have repeated the way the sisters are playing. Serena will get her 9th GS title Saturday

Posted by Armando 09/04/2008 at 07:15 PM

Justine Henin caught Serena coming back into form. Serena crushed her this year. Justine is a great player, but too bad she retired after Serena beat her for us to see where this "rivalry" could go. But I guess she said it best when she said "She lost courage against Serena."

No one is touching Serena's mental game. She's a force and it comes off as cocky to some, confident to others. But, that is what other players seem to need...confidence and strength and belief in your abilities. Serena has it. You can't give killer instinct to players like Henin or even a Venus, who is very forceful. But, sometimes you just have to be meaner and grittier and ready to hustle and grind it out. That's Serena.

Posted by Taylor 09/07/2008 at 08:19 AM

Maurice I believe Justine is 2-7 in favor of Vee and 6-5 in favor of Serena.

Posted by Gary Hancock 09/13/2008 at 11:17 AM

The Williams sisters have come full circle, and now it is just a joy to watch the two most powerful women in the game play to win, PERIOD. I think the emotional caretaking of one another phase of the past is over, and it's just gonna get better. Venus lacks an Aussie Title, and of course the French Title as well. Any body remember that the first big victory for Venus on clay was over Steffi in 1999? And Serena took her first title at another tournament the same day? When Steffi retired, she named Venus as the one she deemed most apt to take her scepter. Venus shall rise to the throne once again. Serena brings out the best in her. Happy days!

Posted by Gary Hancock 09/13/2008 at 11:27 AM

When Henin beat the Williams back-to-back @ the US Open 2007 on her way to the title, both she and her coach basically said she had done all she wanted to do. Just like Steffi, she knew that it was best to go out on a high note; when she started slipping this year, she looked inside and couldn't find the fire. I admire her resolve. She knew. What is it she said? "Today I begin my life as a woman." And she just might the first and ONLY woman to beat both Serena and Venus in a Slam and take the title. But she never beat Venus on grass, and I don't think that really mattered to her. She earned my admiration.


We are no longer accepting comments for this entry.

<<  Tall Ball R-A-F-A  >>




A Little Less Life and Death
Playing Ball: Good Luck to a Partner
Playing Ball: Losing Them All
Keeping Tabs: August 8
Quick-Change Artists
Hard Landing
Part of the Action
This blog has 1484 entries and 99627 comments.
More
More Video
Daily Spin