Saturday, May 9, 2009

That 'later post' on Serena I was talking about

So last time around here at TTA?, I said I would mention something about Serena's statement last week about being the true number one, not Dinara Safina, then turning around and losing her first-round match in Rome. I know it's kind of old news, but after getting my thoughts together, here it is:

I think Serena is the best in the world and I don't mind her saying so, as I said before (as in the post right under this one), since once you stop believing you're the best then you're only hurting yourself. And she does have the stats to back up her claim, especially when measured against her peers.

But here's my thing: A lot falls on Serena to make sure there are no questions about who deserves to be on top. When was the last time she was on one of those three- or four-tournaments-won-in-a-row streak? When was the last time she played a tournament and just completely dominated from start to finish? These are all things she should be able to accomplish. It all brings to mind that controversial open letter Chris Evert wrote in Tennis magazine a few years ago about how both Serena and Venus should concentrate on dominating and save all their off-court pursuits until after they retired.

I agree with some of what Evert said back then, but you can't argue against the fact that they both have beaten the burnout phase that hit some of their old peers, such as Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin. But just a little more effort and focus would erase any doubts about who the "real number one" is.

(Photo: Getty Images)


TopSpin said...

My only issue with Serena and the whole "real number one" thing is, like you appear to suggest, I wish she would play (and win) just a few more of the tier 1's.

Take last year for example - if she'd won say, the SEC or one of the season ending tier 1's like Moscow for example, there'd be no question about who the number one ranked player is.

van said...

Hey TopSpin. Yep, that's my point. There's no reason she can't pull that off: Sure, the depth in the game is pretty solid right now, but no reason she can't rise to the top.

freakyfrites said...

She keeps having these injury issues, though. She'll win a big tournament, usually with a strapped leg and then the next tournament she'll go out hobbling. Do you think it's an issue of conditioning, not playing enough or playing too much?

van said...

Hey FF, I think it's probably a combination of the first two. I mean, I'm not in her camp or anything, but do you see her going through crazy Federer training rituals? I can't imagine it!