Sharapova cruises 6-0, 6-0.
I don't know what it is, but when I watch Sharapova, she just doesn't seem *that* good. She's a fighter, no doubt, but her tennis is so ugly, it just always amazes me that she can win so easily. I just can't believe her brand of tennis can win majors, but...
Is the heat rule in effect?
No heat rule today, I don't think. They're saying it's not as hot today as it was last week. Won't know for sure until a match goes into a 3rd set...
I will punish you, r2.
and a Graf fan and a Sabatini fan.
They just don't make female tennis stars like they used to!!
I never understood what Evert saw in Connors. That man is just a graceless ape.
R9 Don't be mean. He loves her. I give him credit for marrying for love rather than marrying the typical trophy wife tennis players usually marry.
My hairy hole is really sweaty
Up for the glitch.
Lleyton Hewitt's shorts showcase his legendary package.
R13, I wish the shorts weren't so dark and baggy - it compromises the view, as it were...
My other wish is that he beat Tipsarevic, but it doesn't look like that's on the cards :-(
r14 - They do cling in the front. I don't think he's wearing supportive underwear. His gear is from the clothing line he's launching.
Only the second set and Hewitt's had 5 correct challenges. I think his pants are distracting the linespeople.
He's a longshot to win the match, but he's won a lot of longshots over the years.
Did Hewitt win?
In a time when most female tennis players are total headcases, sometimes being a fighter is all it takes to win.
Amazing that Hewitt is still playing...but he always was a bulldog.
The way that Hewitt exited the court didn't look like he was saying goodbye to anything.
Unlike, for example, when Andy Roddick left Wimbledon last year and looked like he might be saying goodbye to the crowd for good (then announced his sudden retirement 2 months later).
I thought Sharapova has already been on Twitter for years. There are a few accounts under her name, but there is one that has been posting photos like she just snapped them with her cellphone. I always thought that one was really her. But the news is that she just joined Twitter yesterday.
This thread is useless without pictures.
I hope the DelPo v. Mannarino match makes the ESPN broadcast tonight.
Adrian Mannarino has been on my radar as a likely gay player for at least a year now.
Did you see the match already, R22? Is it worth watching?
No r23, it hasn't happened it. It's scheduled for 4th match on Hisense today.
I don't know that it will be worth watching for the competitiveness - DelPo should dispatch Mannarino relatively easily. But I do like both players so I'll check it out.
Also, after I posted I remembered that in the U.S. we aren't restricted to watching what ESPN2 broadcasts. Sometimes I forget that the ESPN3 website carries live coverage of multiple courts, and the Del Potro match will be available there even if ESPN2 is focused on some other pairing.
Realistically, what are Federer's chances of winning this?
R24, they will be showing the Del Potro match later on.
Hewitt is hung like a bull, thick uncut meat
Last interesting female tennis player was Capriati
"This thread is useless without pictures."
Here you go, R21. Mirka's usual treat of choice during the fourth set stretch (very stretched in her case).
Del Potro is playing right now, and I must say I like the way his new shorts stick to and sexily reveal his crotch area, where it seems he sweats quite a lot. Wish there were pics available to post.
Whom is Chris Evert screwing these days? She's like the Taylor Swift of women's tennis.
17-year-old American Madison Keys lost only three games today in an upset over Paszek. She looks like the real deal. Not like some of those other phony baloneys who got hyped after winning a couple lucky matches against some Russian chokers and an injured Sharapova.
As annoying as the hype for Melanie Oudin was at the USO a couple of years ago, I do feel a bit sorry for her - she just lost the plot so completely after that.
And she just got rolled by an 18 year old Brit in the first round.
What is Stosur's problem? A total meltdown on court if I ever saw one. It's not just because she's playing at home, it's got to be something else.
What are some good matches tonight?
Stosur's problem, simply, is that she's a choke artist. She'll get a big win every once in a while, but it's rare. (Her record against the top players is atrocious.)
I don't know if she ever has consulted with someone to improve her mental game, but a lot of players have been able to shake that over the years. Lendl and Navratilova come to mind. But time is running out for Sam.
The best matches today are probably the evening matches, which will be early morning US. Federer vs. former No. 3 Davydenko, and Kvitova vs. Brit teen Robson.
Andy Murray has a surprisingly nice ass for a tall, lean guy.
who has the best hairy hole on tour?
Serena looks unstoppable. Go on babygirl. You go get that Grand Slam this year!!
[R14] Tipsarevic is a known homophobe. That instantly makes him unsexy.
Samantha Stosur-Armstrong's choke was the most embarassing thing I've seen since Jana Novotna's career.
I hope Venus slaughters that blond Russian bitch tomorrow. 6-0 6-0 would be a perfect way to kick the bitch's ass out of the tournament. Go, Queen Vee! All the way to the final!!!
I love both Sharapova and Williams and I think the match tonight will be difficult to watch for me. Too bad it is on at 3am and I will already know the results once I finally get around to watching it.
Really excited about a Vee vs Ree final next Saturday. House of Williams RULES!!!!
I don't like either but prefer Sharapova.
I like Venus (not so much Serena), but can't stand Sharapova. So it would be nice to see Venus win tonight. I don't think that will happen.
Venus is a classy sweetheart.
Serena is an ugly, classless, ghetto thug.
Is the Sharapova match on ESPN or ESPN2?
The only time I really want Direct TV (my friend has it) is during the tennis season. You can watch any match your heart desires!
If you're in the U.S. you can watch the matches online on espn.
ESPN 2 - 3:00 am - Sharapova vs. Venus
I'm setting my alarm clock!
Oh, I'll be posting the results when it's over.
So, if you don't want to know, don't come back to this thread until you've watched your recording.
You've been warned, so no need to shriek..... thanks for spoiling it, asshole!
Paddy McEnroe has been looking really drunk-faced in the booth. Is he a functioning alkie?
Sam Stosur chokes because she's in the closet. Come out already, Sam! It's not like anybody thinks you're straight.
Sharapova is going to have that bony ass handed to her for her arrogance in her win tonight.
I hope Li Na or Kerber or Radwanska kicks her to the curb.
Eat it, r57!
It would never be wise to let up your intensity against Venus and Mary Jo said that exact same thing.
Sharapova in a walk... 6-1, 6-3
Was Sharapova supposed to feel sorry for her and ease up?
I don't think so.
Maria almost thumped her 6-1 6-1. That would have been VW's worst ass whipping as a pro, but Venus was able to rally slightly.
Therefore, Martina Hingis is still the one on the record books for giving Venus her worst defeat ... 6-1, 6-2.
This has nothing to do with intensity in the way she played. It's her arrogance throughout the match and her primal scream at the end in a gloat. When you throttle someone like that, you show a little respect.
When Sharapova has been beaten that badly, I don't recall anyone gloating.
Pam Shriver is a dumbshit.
She didn't gloat, and Sharapova was very gracious to Venus in her post interview.
You're just mad that the Russian whitey throttled Venus.
Exactly so, R60. People talk about how barbaric American football is, but any player on the field pulling the same kind of shit Sharapova just did, would get a major penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Not surprising reaction. Maria and Venus absolutely hate one another.
In a way it's a tribute to Venus that beating her is still shriek-worthy to Maria.
Anyway, I doubt Venus will go to bed worrying about it.
[quote]Therefore, Martina Hingis is still the one on the record books for giving Venus her worst defeat ... 6-1, 6-2.
No, Martina beat Venus 6-1, 6-1 on the same court in the semifinals of 2001.
Wrong again, R62.
The match was what it was. Sharapova played really well. Venus made too many errors.
The drama was unnecessary. Fortunately there's a reason Sharapova only has 4 GS titles. As usual, one can hope, that her smugness will come back to hurt her when someone stronger plays her.
Cry me a river, r68. I enjoy it!
Sharapova was ON...
She nailed everything and her 2nd serve was strong. I don't think she had 1 double fault.
I never realized the 2nd serve of Venus was so weak. Mary Jo said her 1st serve comes in at about 120, but her 2nd only at 80.
#1 seed Azarenka was taken to a 3rd set by 23 yr old Hampton, but won it....
Williams is up next against that Japanese gal, Marita (ESPN 2).
Williams 6 0
Morita 1 3
Go Morita! Wax on. Wax off.
The formatting on that was bad. Williams won the first set 6-0. Morita is ahead in the second 2-3 now.
R68 she ONLY has 4 grand slams? Most players would kill to have 4 major titles. There are only 3 male players at the moment with 4 or more grand slams.
R68, I have to agree with R74. I'm no fan of Sharapova, but I'm not a hater either. That she has 4 Slams is a big accomplishment. Moreover, she has won each of the four, or a career slam as it is called. Most players would kill for her career.
What the fuck is Mary Jo wearing? It's the middle of summer in Australia and she's wearing a huge scarf.
I had 4 by the time I was 21. Maria sucks!
Epic match with Novak and Wawrinka! Kind of Novak to reward the viewers by tearing off his shirt at the end
I've always wanted to spend a summer in Tasmania. All of my trips to Tasmania have been in the Fall or Spring. I was saddened to read about the fires on the island this summer, but I have noticed the remains of past fires from prior travels.
If I had life to live over again, I'd move to Australia and Hobart would be one of my home destinations. All of Australia is beautiful, Port Douglas would be another home destination.
Who's the idiot who says Sharapova ONLY has 4 Slams? That's first ballot Hall of Fame territory. I'm not even a fan, but come on. Don't comment if you don't know what the hell you're talking about.
And that Djoker/Stan match was epic. I fear that Berdych is gonna finish off Djoker in the quarters though...
The Djockovic/Wawrinka match was the best I've seen so far followed by the Federer/Tomic match. Excellent, captivating tennis.
I do not see any connection between Novak/Stan and Fed/Tomic. I'll remember the Jocker match for year, already forgitten the other match.
I have developed a somewhat irrational aversion to Djoko, especially his no-longer-spontaneous shirt tearing. Just seems ridiculous for a #1 player beating #15 in a 4th round match. Of course he does it now because it's part of his 'brand,' but he should save it for epic wins over top 5 players.
I put the Kuzy-Woz match on for background noise and it was surprisingly entertaining. Nice job by Kuzy. I always liked her.
Not only am I sick of those constant ads for Melbourne, I find them super creepy with the people spying on the other people through those big frames.
The Sloane Stephens match on right now. These 2 are great big hitters, minus the errors of Serena. Not much variety, but great tennis
Now, Gilles Simon is not as much of a shower as MaliVai Washington was in his day (it honestly sometimes looked like he had a raging boner on court during the busier parts of matches), but it's always nice to see his semi-hardon . And he's very cool about the fact that the (French, at least) gays love him.
But he's getting creamed by Murray at the moment...
If possible, Murray is looking even more unattractive than usual this tournament. And that acid green in his shirt is doing him no favors.
Djoker sure got the cake side of the draw. There's nobody between him and the final, unless Berdych has one of his rare "on" days against a higher ranked player.
The Ferrer-Almagro match is bizarre. Almagro looked like he had it done after 12 losses to Ferrer. . . then there's 8 breaks of serve in a row. Never seen that in a men's match before.
R88, I was only half-watching, but I swear the commentators called the match as Ferrer's when Almagro was at least a set up and said he'd given up.' So I watched for a bit and didn't see this at all - he was pumping his fist at winning a tricky point - and it all started to feel a bit suspicious.
How awful. I just saw Serena smash and massively dent a racket in anger and/or frustration. She then threw it.
Serena out! Yes!
Whoah - I just tuned in to watch Sloane Stephens take out Serena. Was Serena hurt, or is SS the real deal?
I also like the playing style of the young American girl who beat her, Sloan Stephens.
R92, Serena had an abrupt spasm or some other condition that was hurting her earlier in the match. She left the court with a trainer, and that seemed to affect her for a few games. She seemed to recover somewhat but eventually Stephens, seeded 29, overcame her.
In the press conference, after her loss, a reporter asks Serena, "What are your emotions?" She replies something like, "I'm here at a press conference."
Serena's all class again, smashing the racquet and having a tantie.
Thrilled for Sloane. She's a terrific girl.
Now if only Li Na can beat Sharapova. The only reason I was able to stomach the thought of Serena in another Slam final was because she would once again be beating the pants off of Sharapova.
Cuntpova had have done a little jig after hearing that Serena got knocked out.
Sloan showed spunk and moxie!
Sloane's fine, though she's a god-botherer type so meh.
r98 - Apparently it had the opposite effect. Li Na just spanked her.
ha ha! Raging cunt Maria just got her ass kicked by Li Na
Good for Li Na! I like her personality and her play. I hope she wins the title.
Poor David Ferrer -- Nole used his beautiful head of hair to mop up the court.
I love how Pammie essentially called Vika a straight out cheater right after the match last night.
Say it like you see it, Pammie!
I think I got screwed over on the Djoker/Ferrer match. The DVR didn't record it, and now it looks like they might have changed it up and broadcast it on ESPN instead of ESPN2. Tricky! I must have missed the announcement. Anyway, looks like they are doing the same thing with the second semifinal tonight.
Haha that Russian blonde bitch lost. The tournament organizers and the WTA deserve it. They repeatedly fix the draw to make it easy for Sharapova to reach the final and once again she crashed and burned in the semis. This makes me so damn happy.
If their gonna cheat they really need to be less obvious about it. I mean Serena and Sloane ending up in the quarterfinals against each other was such an obvious case of making sure that one Black player takes out the other preventing the final from being an all African American final. I wish Sloane had won today and kicked that Li Li's scrawny ass in the final.
Ugly hot Nicolás Almagro was despicable against Ferrer. I don't give a shit about his confidence. He had Ferrer at match point 5 times and still fucked it up!
Quite the game if you can't close the deal, Nicolas!
I can't always understand what she's saying, but Li Na gives the best interviews. Chick has some personality.
I still miss Capriati!
ESPN had an interesting graphic that showed all the American women who had ever knocked Serena out of a grandslam.
It went like this...
Sloane Stephens, of course.
And then Capriati 4 different times (and that's with Jennifer playing on a limited basis).
That's it. That's the list.
If Capriati had been able to keep her personal shit together, S. Williams vs Capriati would been an epic rival for yrs and yrs.
Even better than Martina vs. Chris!
Was rooting for Sharapova. Now I'll go will Li Na over Azarenka because I just loved that story about her new spanish coach.
Li Na said she was ready to quit after 3 wks because she thought he was too hard/crazy. Her husband (and former coach) thought the same thing.
I don't know what that new coach did, but her forehand was amazing against Sharapova and her backhand was pretty damn good, too.
She was nailing everything!
Who is the Aussie lady (not Renee Stubbs) that sometimes does the on-court interview immediately following matches? She is always wearing pants of some type and when she stands there holding the microphone out to the player, she looks like she has a spinal problem. It looks like she is so uncomfortable just standing.
[quote]ESPN had an interesting graphic that showed all the American women who had ever knocked Serena out of a grandslam.
Venus also beat Serena in Grand Slams, so she needs to be in that list with Sloane, that Craybas chick and that racist druggie cunt Jennifer Capriati.
Just because Capriati doesn't like Serena, that doesn't make her a racist.
You are so tired, r109. Try playing another card.... FOR ONCE!
Hell, I fucking hate that classless, ghetto cunt.
And, it's funny how r63 hasn't said one word about the ghetto thug's unsportsmanlike behavior.....her many theatrics and screaming COME ON every 2 seconds at the top of her lungs!
As Sloane Stephens said, "It's so disrespectful."
Davenport is another American who beat Serena at a Slam. I guess ESPN was so distraught after losing their ratings cards Serena and Sharapova they couldn't do two and a half minutes of research.
r103: All the rest of the matches are on ESPN, not ESPN 2. They announced it Wednesday. It screwed up my DVR too. I'm guessing it's because Serena lost and people are not as interested in watching her match. I even called DISH network about it and they didn't have the info updated until today (too late for the live feed at 3:30 a.m. EST). ESPN tennis sucks as usual.
I remember when I was the australian open. Why my title was usurped for and silly game like tennis, I'll never know. Only the scoring is similar.
I really miss the Capriati/Serena rivalry. Their matches were usually full of drama and Jennifer was one of the few players not intimidated by Serena.
Lindsay only beat Serena once at a Slam. She completely blew it at the '05 Aussie Open, up a set and a break,
Serena's hair looked ridiculous.
Serena has been wearing her hair that way in matches for at least 6 months or more. Maybe it's oh so chic in Paris where she lives now.
Mattie Ebden (playing in the mixed final right now) is kind of cute.
Who's still in the ladies doubles?
I know the sisters got knocked out.
Errani & Vinci (who knocked out the Williams' girls) and an Aussie duo Casey Dellaqua and Barty. I think the Aussies were a wild card team....but I might be wrong about that.
Errani and Vinci just won the women's doubles. It was an exciting match in the middle, but the third set was pretty much all Italian.
Are those two girlfriends?
The draws for the grand slams are done in public, R104,in front of the press. Pretty hard to fix the draw under those circumstances.
Where can I watch in the US?
It's on ESPN live right now, r124. Or you can log onto the website at ESPN3.com and find the broadcast there.
This Fed Murray match has gotten crazy. 4th set tiebreak right now.
I'm sick that Murray won. His fugness is hard to bear.
R122, I get te feeling both Errani and Vinci are dykes, but I don't think they're together.
Murray winning is a great thing for tennis. If he can prove that his turnaround at the Olympics and the US Open is not a fluke, that he can win those mind games, the Slams are more exciting.
If Nadal comes back strong, the top 4 will be interesting always. If Nadal is out, Andy winning is needed to keep it interesting.
And as much as I thing Roger playing is a thing of beauty, I kinda like unpredictable nutty Roger where he hits those WTF shots in tight matches. Does anyone overhit so spectacularly the way Roger does? I don't think so. And he's not crying over it anymore, so yeah!
Again setting my alarm for 3:00 am....
Li Na vs. Azarenka
[quote]Hell, I fucking hate that classless, ghetto cunt. And, it's funny how [R63] hasn't said one word about the ghetto thug's unsportsmanlike behavior.....her many theatrics and screaming COME ON every 2 seconds at the top of her lungs!
R110 = racist fag ass queen who probably dresses up as Chris Evert and pines for the good old days when white America's sweetheart ruled tennis. Fuck you, you racist pig. You call Serena a classless ghetto cunt, so what does that make that druggie bitch cunt loser Jennifer Capriati? Your Jenny bitch is but a footnote in the Williams era. That racist ass cunt is so fucking stupid and useless that even when she tried to overdose, she still failed. She should just go ahead and do porn and then kill herself.
So happy smug Fed is out. Now I hope Djoker cleans up over Murray, though I think it's going to be a great match. I've grown to respect Murray's game. He went from an amazing defensive backstop with a great backhand, to an amazing defensive backstop with a lethal offensive forehand.
Serena is a classless, ghetto cunt!
DEAL WITH IT
R133, your precious Jenny is an even more classless dago whore. Deal with it.
R130 I think you are the only one who will be.
Serena ain't exactly celibate, bitch.
And, since lard ass is so damn ugly, she probably has to pay for it.
Can't imagine anyone wanting to fuck that 'roided up mess.
"COME ON! COME ON! I'll pay you a thousand if you stick it in my stanky, fat ass."
Why? It's a good match.
I like seeing different faces in the final.
Fuck you R136. It's your Jenny who shows the classic roid symptoms like a flat chest. Serena is without a doubt one of the greatest players of all time, if not THE greatest. Jenny is a has been, overrated skank ass, typical jealous white bitch cunt who hates successful Black sisters. Fuck you and your jealous white bitches.
I can't take my eyes of Murray's thighs.
He's playing well, too. Final should be KILLA.
It's a shame about his face. Not to take away from his skill as a player, but a head transplant would make Andy Murray hot.
It was most obvious during that hostile exchange on the court last night when Roger said something to Andy that he didn't like (we couldn't hear it) and Murray looked back at him and made the face of a hissing rat.
Danny V. and Kevin Spacey must want to put a bag over his head when they are fucking him.
R140, I have a sneaking suspicion that Danny V and Kevvy S are both bottoms...
r138 finally gets around to revealing that he/she is the racist.
Yeah, Andy is kinda fugly, but that bod is so hot.
R131/R138, are you the Black Athelete Poster?
Andy's hot girlfriend is a prime example of why fugly straight guys all want to be pro athletes.
R142 = typical racist white fag ass queen
Keep showing your racist self, r146.
It just makes you look like a complete idiot!
You both look like idiots.
So, Richard Williams is now trolling gay websites. Might sensitive, aren't you?
Guys, let's be reasonable and objective here. I think we can all agree:
1. Serena is the greatest female tennis player of all time.
2. Serena is a classless ghetto cunt.
They are not mutually exclusive. Everybody happy now?
Andy and Nole are going to dominate the finals from this point on. I hate Fed and his bangs.Mirka needs a hot dog.
r150 no we don't agree that Serena is a cunt.
You're a racist hormonal mess, that's evident.
[quote]So, Richard Williams is now trolling gay websites. Might sensitive, aren't you?
Better Richard Williams than some Klan queens wearing their Chrissie Evert dress and jerking off.
Anyone know what Federer said to (or about) Murray? I couldn't understand it but there was ... emotion involved.
Anyone else watching the womans final? I hope Li kicks her arse. That Azeranka chick is incredibly obnoxious and a fucking cheat.
I hope Li can turn this back around.
Azarenka is so obnoxious, and having that clown LFMAO and his crew in her box makes her seem even more ridiculous.
The crowd clearly loves Li Na and is hoping Victoria loses. Maybe she'll have another panic attack.
It is almost over. Unfortunately, Azarenka will win. She is obnoxious, her shriek is unbearable, she is a disgrace for the sport.
What the fuck are the LFMAO crew doing there? Obnoxious doesn't even begin to describe her. The ref should tell her to to cut out all that shrieking too.
RedFoo from LMFAO and Azarenka are a couple.
Now he's getting interviewed too. Lame.
Damn that's the second time that Li Na has helped that bitch Azarenka hold on to her fake number 1 ranking. At the WTA Championships last November Vicki needed to beat Li Na to hold on to her ranking and she did. The same thing happened again today. If Li had won Serena would have got to number 1 like she deserves to. The rankings are a joke anyway. Everyone including Azarenka know that Serena is the true number 1.
Serena doesn't play enough year round to have the top ranking, plus she lost early at the Australian (probably went off her regimen too quickly).
Bitch, please. Serena was 58-4 in 2012 and won seven titles including Wimbledon, US Open, Olympic gold and the WTA Championships. Her 2012 record against the other four women in the top 5 was 11-1 with the only loss coming to Angelique Kerber in a minor event. Sharpy and Azy were 0-8 against Serena. The so called number 1 lost to Ree at Wimbledon, US Open, Olympics and the WTA Championship. But yeah you go on pretending that Serena doesn't deserve the top ranking and keep coming up with baseless accusations about drug use.
And still she doesn't have enough points to be No. 1. Like it or not, the system requires a heavy tournament load for 85 percent of the year. Serena hasn't been able to handle that for several years now. She chooses to pick and choose her spots, which is smart for her but not likely to win her the top spot.
Here are the 10 best seasons in the WTA from 1987-2011. Serena's 2012 would rank eighth on this list:
1. 1989: 86-2 (97.73 %) Steffi Graf (GER)
2. 1987: 75-2 (97.40 %) Steffi Graf (GER)
3. 1988: 72-3 (96.00 %) Steffi Graf (GER)
4. 1995: 47-2 (95.92 %) Steffi Graf (GER)
5. 2007: 63-4 (94.03 %) Justine Henin (BEL)
6. 1997: 75-5 (93.75 %) Martina Hingis (SUI)
7. 1990: 72-5 (93.51 %) Steffi Graf (GER)
8. 1992: 70-5 (93.33 %) Monica Seles (USA)
9. 1996: 54-4 (93.10 %) Steffi Graf (GER)
10. 1993: 76-6 (92.68 %) Steffi Graf (GER)
Yeah right, like Steffi Graf in that list with only 49 matches played in 1995 and 58 matches played in 1996 was playing a really heavy tournament load. But hey when it comes to Serena y'all want to claim that she's the ONLY player who played a limited schedule. I don't remember anyone criticizing Steffi when she was playing only 10 or 11 tournies a year but when Serena does it, everyone is an expert who just KNOWS that this is why Serena does not deserve the number one ranking.
I guess haters are gonna keep hating.
Nobody is on here obsessively defending Graf for only playing 10 or 11 tournaments a year. (The difference is, the years Graf played fewer tournaments, no other players rose to the challenge to dethrone her ranking. Unfortunately for Serena, Azarenka has.)
I was shocked to see that list: In the past 26 years, Graf has 10 of the "best seasons," to Serena's three. Serena's 2012 only ranked eighth on the list. Wow.
Gee if maybe one of Serena's top rivals got stabbed or if Ree had no competition whatsoever, she too would have more seasons in the top ten like Steffi Graf. Not to mention that Justine Henin in that list also played 67 matches, only 5 more matches than Serena played last year.
So why wasn't anyone questioning the validity of Graf's ranking or Henin's when they played a schedule like Serena's and were ranked number one? Commentators, especially the American assholes, NEVER stop talking about the Williams sisters and how they don't play enough. Where the fuck were these bitches when players like Steffi or Henin were also playing very few tournaments? I guess it's ok for everyone else to do it but not Serena or Venus. Fucking double standards.
You can't get caught up in the ranking system. The current method rewards quantity over quality, which wasn't the case before the late 90s.
Serena isn't ranked number one, but everyone involved in the sport - including the top players - knows Serena is the best woman out there right now.
And I say this as someone who can't stand her, and roots against her in almost every match (except against Sharapova).
And I'm not sure if the racist comments are intended to be humorous, but they're not.
R165 It seems to me, having only read the last few posts, that noone is hating on Serena but are just trying to explain why she isn't world number 1. It is unfortunate but the system is the way it is and is the same for all players. I don't think anyone is saying Serena isn't a magnificent tennis player just that she maybe hasn't the stamina to sustain the multi tournament season to be all round number one. It's a bit like the tour de france. It needs endurance to win the whole thing. It doesn't take away from the magnificent stage wins some of the other cyclists put in.
To me the individual tournaments show us some genius tennis whilst the world rankings show us who has been consistently good over the year.
A question: if Serena played more tournaments would she be able to sustain her level of tennis for all of those tournaments? I think Serena herself would answer no. She plays what she can and well when she does but we shouldn't take away from Azarenka's endurance.
After all is said and done:
Serena is still the greatest female tennis player of all time.
And at the same time, Serena is still a classless ghetto cunt.
If Serena wins another eight Grand Slam tournaments to tie Steffi Graf, then I'll give her the tiebreaker. Until then, Graf retains her title as the Greatest of All Time.
Maybe Serena can have her rivals stabbed like Steffi did.
So nobody is allowed the obvious observation that Serena has had "chemical assistance" over the years, but you're allowed to lie and claim Graf arranged for the Seles stabbing? You're such a hypocrite.
R172 Why are you so worked up over this? Statistics don't really matter. What is important is if you enjoy the tennis. I can't imagine you are getting much enjoyment by getting so worked up. Of course Graf did not have Seles stabbed. Maybe it is time to step back a little. I am trying go be friendly here but you are coming across as a little bit loopy.
My rankings for all-time greatest of the modern era:
4. S. Williams
9. V. Williams
The men's list is much tougher:
r165 - [quote]Yeah right, like Steffi Graf in that list with only 49 matches played in 1995 and 58 matches played in 1996 was playing a really heavy tournament load.
I remember there were loads of people (me included) who criticised Graf for playing so few tournaments and keeping her number one ranking, and the WTA for coming up with a system that suited their number one player but hardly anyone else. The fact that the rankings at that time were so heavily weighted in favour of quality instead of quality is what eventually led to the current system. To be honest, I think the 4 slams should be worth tons more points than the other events, but that issue's hardly going to be resolved as long as the ITF and WTA are at loggerheads.
As for Serena being the GOAT - please!! I really liked Serena until the on-court threats and her subsequent special treatment (Hingis was forced out for nigh on 2 years for recreational coke use, and Serena was given a tap on the wrist for threatening a line judge??!!), but there is no way her current achievements are anywhere near those of the top 3 listed by r175 or, if we're going further back (it is AT we're talking about, after all), players of the calibre of Lenglen, Wills Moody, or Connolly. We really do need some historical perspective here. At best, on current achievements, she might be in the top 8 or 10, but GOAT? Not even close.
I would rank Martina ahead of Steffi because of all of her doubles titles.
Uh, bitch @ R175, nobody did more for the game than I did. NOBODY.
Suggesting Graf has Seles stabbed outrageous - even for DL.
[quote]Suggesting Graf has Seles stabbed outrageous
Agreed. It was Tonya Harding.
Wouldn't put it past Stabbi's thug father to have arranged for the stabbing
R177, I understand where you're coming from on the doubles titles, but I disagree with you.
To me, doubles is as different from singles as three-on-three, half-court ball is from a full game of basketball.
Also, the doubles debate really only comes up in women's tennis (probably because Billie Jean King pushes it so much). Nobody would elevate McEnroe past Sampras just because of his brilliant doubles career.
I think Navratilova is the best doubles player of all time but falls short of Graf in singles.
I was expecting Victoria to choke but she didn't. Congrats to her!
Did the Bryan Bros. win? I didn't stay awake for the doubles final.
Serena is way more obnoxious than Azarenka
Damn, Graf kicked ASS!
Graf is the greatest of all time, men or women. She has more grand slams than any of the men and is second only to Margaret Court on the women's side.
But Sabatini is still the most beautiful to ever play the game.
Sabatini is still beautiful.
Azarenka is taking a beating by Patrick McEnroe and others for admitting she took a medical timeout during a panic attack while up 6-1, 5-3 against Sloane Stephens in the semis. She claimed she also had a displaced rib.
Several current and former players bashed her on Twitter, saying things about gamesmanship and making fun of panic attacks. They're claiming she has forever tarnished the sport.
I seem to remember Martina Hingis taking a lot of medical and bathroom timeouts, but Azarenka is taking abuse at a level I've never seen before.
What say you all?
I say leave Azarenka alone. She was a head case early on in her career and she still struggles with anxiety. She even had to put a towel over her head last year during change overs so she could block out whatever makes her painicky. She is a very good player and earned her trophy this year and last.
r188 - It's ridiculous how she's being targeted for a TO system that many players abuse. She clarified what she meant in her semifinal presser; she claims she misunderstood the question when asked on court why she took the TO and that she did have a rib injury treated that was interfering with her breathing. Impossible to prove otherwise. Tennis needs to change the system if it's a problem.
Close battle for the first two sets, but then Djokovic ran away with it. I'm no fan of Murray, but it was unfortunate that his blisters seemed to prevent him from competing well in the end.
Djokovic now has as many Slams as Becker and Edberg (6), and can catch McEnroe and Wilander with one more. In this age of Federer and Nadal, we don't often think of Djokovic as an all-time great, but he's entering that phase.
Did Pat McEnroe take his tongue out of Andy Roddick's ass long enough to stick it in Andre Agassi's ass? Is Pat McEnroe the locker room bottom bitch for the American players?
R190, that's not the rule.
If you're injured, you don't get a time out for a recurring injury from a previous match. You get a time out for an injury that occurs DURING the match. You do NOT get accommodation to play injured. If you're well enough to play, you play. If you are injured during the match, of course it's stopped.
But what you don't get extra time to even the playing field so that injured players can keep playing. No one said to Andy Murray, oh you have blisters, or to Serena, you have a bad ankle, we'll give you an extra ten minutes in the match. If every player did that, they'd all get ten extra minutes for something.
The fact that she's had previous anxiety attacks and collapsing on the court from it suggests that she does have a legitimate emotional problem with physical side effects.
But there is no reason to believe that what she said the first time was not accurate. She said it more than once, in SEVERAL interviews that she was afraid she was choking the match, that it would have been one of the big chokes of all time and embarrassing, and for that reason she couldn't breathe.
Only now that she's been called on it has she changed her story.
Did Novak split with his girlfriend? Did not see her at the AO
Again, to be clear on this Azarenka fiasco, if you had an injury from a previous injury, you can have the trainer come out during the changeovers to adjust your tape, or in some cases, for aggravated injuries get a 3 minute break for assistance.
10 minutes to go collect your breathing?
Novak Djokovic is only one slam behind McEnroe, and more important, only two slams behind Lendl and Agassi. I am surprised that he's tied with people like Becker and Edberg, two of the best tennis player I ever saw in person. And five of Nole's six slam came within the last 24 months. It took Becker a very long time to get his sixth slam (also in Australia).
It's ludicrous to believe that Graf would have won as many singles Grand Slam titles as she did IF Seles had not been stabbed and taken out of the game. Martina had to beat her opponents on the court. She didn't have the benefit of a crazed fan taking out her chief rival for her.
Tennis just isn't competitive anymore.
Would Graf have won fewer Slams if Seles wasn't stabbed? Probably.
Would Navratilova and Evert have won fewer Slams if Austin and Jaeger hasn't suffered career-ending injuries? Probably.
Would Serena have won fewer Slams if Henin and Clijsters didn't decide to retire at the peak of their careers? Probably.
Coulda, shoulda, woulda - you can play that game many different ways. So you can only evaluate the actual results, not the what-ifs.
Oh please. Your comparisons don't hold any water. Were Jaeger and Austin dominating tennis? Hardly. Henin, for all her success, didn't dominate Serena and neither did Clijsters. Graf will ALWAYS have an asterisk next to her Slam haul.
So no one wants to talk about the men's final?
Not a fan of the Djokovic-Murray match up. There were some good points but once Nole won the second set, I knew Murray would fade. Djokovic-Nadal is infinitely more exciting to watch.
The slowing down of all surfaces is making men's tennis very boring to watch. The racket technology and the change from fast grass to medium pace grass even at Wimbledon has made serve & volley players almost extinct. Everyone just plays from the baseline and matches like Djokovic versus Murray or Djokovic versus Nadal last year are just baseline endurance contests. There is no variety in the game any more. The women's game is even worse because most of them also have no serve at all in addition to their boring baseline bashing.
[quote]Oh please. Your comparisons don't hold any water. Were Jaeger and Austin dominating tennis? Hardly. Henin, for all her success, didn't dominate Serena and neither did Clijsters. Graf will ALWAYS have an asterisk next to her Slam haul.
Who said any of these players were dominating the tour? That wasn't R199's point.
By the way, at the time of Seles' stabbing, Graf had won three of their last five matches. And Seles needed to go 10-8 in the 3rd in her French Open win. So if you think Seles' was dominating Graf at the time, you're mistaken.
You might put an asterisk next to Graf's records, but I don't see it there in the record books or websites. So I think you're on your own there.
[quote]So no one wants to talk about the men's final?
r201, r203 summed it up very succinctly. This year's AO men's final was the most boring final since Andre Agassi beat Arnaud Clément. A couple more finals like that, and they'll be speeding up the courts (I hope).
[quote]You might put an asterisk next to Graf's records, but I don't see it there in the record books. So I think you're on your own there.
Well, no he's not, actually. There are tons of us who have an asterisk right by Graf's name, just as any decent tennis historian has to asterisk Court's staggering 24 GS singles wins by pointing out that 11 come from the AO, including 7 in the pre-Open era when very few bothered travelling to Australia for the AO.
What's most annoying about the Graf=GOAT people is that they refuse to factor into her 22 titles the fact that the then number one player was forcibly removed from the sport, and came back three years later a completely different player. No sane person holds Graf responsible for the stabbing; no sane person should dispute that the stabbing impacted on her final GS tally.
[quote]What's most annoying about the Graf=GOAT people is that they refuse to factor into her 22 titles the fact that the then number one player was forcibly removed from the sport, and came back three years later a completely different player. No sane person holds Graf responsible for the stabbing; no sane person should dispute that the stabbing impacted on her final GS tally.
On the contrary, R199 acknowledged that Graf would likely have fewer titles. And I don't disagree. Just as the last three Grand Slams would probably have different results if Nadal hadn't been injured.
The point is, there's no "asterisk" because there's no way to accurately account for any of it. It's possible that Seles would have won another 10 Slams, and it's possible she would have won none of the Slams she missed. How does anyone know, other than speculating?
'Just as the last three Grand Slams would probably have different results if Nadal hadn't been injured.'
Not so sure about that since Jocker won the previous two Australian Open tournaments when Nadal was healthy and playing well.
Complete bullshit, r200.
That asterisk is just your fantasy wish.
And again, if Capriati had stuck around, Serena and Venus would not have had as many grandslam wins.
Now that's a fact.
She was a power player on their level.
[quote]And again, if Capriati had stuck around, Serena and Venus would not have had as many grandslam wins.
ROTFLOL. Venus has won only Wimbledon since 2005. No way in hell that Capriati was going to challenge her or Serena on grass and deny them those wins. The most Capriati could have done is challenge Serena at the Australian Open or US Open but even then Serena would have won a majority of their clashes. And Jen was not a power player when she played Venus or Serena. She was a dogged retriever against them and relied on getting enough balls back to force the true power players to make errors. And Jennifer never beat Venus even when Capriati was number one, so we're now supposed to believe that she was going to deny Venus and Serena their Grand Slam wins. Bullshit!
Like someone previously posted, just playing on a limited basis, Capriati knocked Serena out of four slams.
But, by all means, keep licking Serena's cunt.
You obviously get off on it.
R199 is my hero. Great, reasoned, intelligent debate without resorting to the name-calling and delusions of the Serena superfan.
I believe panic attacks go far beyond "controlling one's breathing." It's an emotional and physical issue. I don't know where it falls in the rulebook, but it's certainly nowhere as contrived as Hingis' well-time potty breaks back in the day. Patrick McEnroe's comments on Twitter were offensive.
Speaking of Twitter, I read a column that referenced Andy Roddick's angry tweets about the tournament. It implied Roddick was frustrated about not being hired to be a commentator for the tournament and was trying to undermine the commentator whose job he thought he should have been given. Anyone know more about this?
I don't know anything specifically about Roddick hoping to get hired for a commentary job, r212.
But he has a history of making light of the work the TV commentators do - both on Twitter and even to their faces sometimes. He has often said how easy their job is and he says all they do is comment that the player who is losing should try a different strategy during the match.
I know he's very friendly with most of those that he insults, so it could all just be joking around with buddies. But I can also see how a broadcaster would hesitate to hire someone who has so publicly belittled the job. But I can also see him being an attractive hire since he has a lot of fans and some people might tune in just to see him or hear what he has to say.
It's news to me that Roddick wants to do on-air work, but not entirely surprising given what an attention hawk he is. Being out of the spotlight must be a tough adjustment for him. And just ranting about things on Twitter must not fill all his needs.
r212, here is some discussion about Roddick and his opinion on TV commentary.
It's definitely time to consider Djokovic an all time great. I think we have three tiers of all time (Open Era) greats (I realize some may debate specific tiers, but these are the best 14 players in the Open Era, IMHO):
1. Federer, Laver, Borg, Nadal, Sampras
2. Connors, McEnroe, Agassi, Llendl, Becker
3. Edberg, Wilander, Rosewall, Newcombe
Djokovic is definitely on Tier 3 and two Slams away from Tier 2 or one French win away from Tier 2. The fact he's done this in the Fed/Nadal era makes it all the more remarkable.
I like your list, R215. Why is Becker one tier higher than Edberg.
Seles was out for three years because she was a head case, not because of what turned out to be a minor wound. I see no reason to asterisk Graf's success.
R216, sheer personal preference. When I was a kid, Becker was the first person I remember wowing me. If I was being fair, Wilander would be on Tier 2 and both Becker and Edberg would be Tier 3. I just feel Becker had more raw talent than either Edberg or Wilander. Obviously, raw talent doesn't equal career greatness. If that was the case, Agassi would probably be number 2 all time behind Fed.
I'd agree with you about Agassi on No. 2 on talent, R218, if the serve didn't count. So many players - Sampras and Becker included - won between two and four free points each service game just based on their big, booming serves. Agassi had to work so much harder to hold serve. He was playing uphill against the big servers.
I agree R219. I often wonder if Agassi played before racket technology gave big servers such an advantage, if he would be in the Borg/Laver conversation. To me, he's the best baseliner I've ever seen. He had every single shot in the book, took it so early, and could create angles that seemed impossible. Once the point started, he was much better than Pete.
R219 here. Agassi is my all-time favorite player. I loved him with his lion's mane and denim shorts, and I loved him bald and wearing all black. I admire the man he grew into, and he married the best women's player and classiest lady in Graf.
They are both so invested in their charities, Agassi's charter school and Graf's Children of Tomorrow (which helps children dealing with trauma from war). They show strength of character that we don't see from someone like Sampras, whose big decision each day is how little he can get away with tipping his caddy.
Roddick is sort of right about commentary this way:
Instead of saying there was something else he could do, they should have said he doesn't have the talent, just a big serve and a couple of shots, and has to work too hard at the grand slams on every point to keep up.
They kept telling him there was something he could have done differently, but it wouldn't have helped.
A stab in the back, in what should have been a safe venue, is not a minor injury. Coupled with the fact that the German court basically let the guy off, I would imagine that would deal a pretty severe psychological injury as well.
People in the U.S. also go without prison time when they have mental health problems. Unfortunately, in the U.S., they also often don't get the psychiatric help they need. It appears the man who stabbed Seles did get that help, but he really should have had prison time.
The cut to Seles' back was one-third inch deep - not deep enough to cause lasting physical problems. Her issues were emotional. However, some of the diva games she played during that time were unacceptable. She was livid at Graf for visiting her in the hospital. She refused numerous calls from Graf and other players, including Navratilova, then told a reporter she was hurt that no players had tried to reach out to her.
She called an SI reporter with a disguised voice (he recognized her accent) and told him to go to an address for a "big story." Once he got there, he saw Seles, her parents and brother each wearing wigs and other disguises as they pretended to be running from the paparazzi. The only person with a camera was the reporter Seles tipped off.
I truly wish Seles had returned shortly after the stabbing and without the diva games.
R218: I had the same experience watching Boris Becker play in person for the first time. At the time, I was a big fan of serve and coming to net immediately & Becker was so good at it. Also, I did not expect him to be so physically imposing after just seeing him on television.
I still rank Becker as the most exciting player to watch on the court.
Based on talent he should have 8 or 9 slams, not just 6.
So I understand why you put Becker in the 2nd tier.
R224 is an example of the kind of rubbish rabid Graf fans come up with whenever the Graf v Seles debate comes up, even if only to speculate what might have been had Seles not been stabbed. Sad.
I learned a long time ago not to judge people solely by their charity work, so I got a good laugh from R221's extremely silly post.
Case in point, I did volunteer work (in addition to my day job) for five years at a child abuse agency run by the sister of a long-time Mafia boss of Philadelphia. Her husband was also high up in the Mafia. As things started to go south for her, we discovered she had taped board meetings without permission, not really major stuff but at odds with the image -- lady doing good works for people in deep trouble. Her heart was in the right place, but when backed into a corner.....
I should mention that I am not a fan of Agassi or Sampras. I would not have posted if R221 had not taken that shot at Sampras, which I guess was supposed to make us like Agassi and Graf more.
Very thoughtful R215- agree with most of it- although I would put Rosewall higher. He was out of the slams at his peak- and when he returned he won more. He and Laver would both have a much larger haul if they had not spent their prime years ineligible for the slams.
Only took a shot at Sampras because he truly is an ass, R227.
Graf and Agassi are both very damaged people. I'm guessing that (and tennis) is what they have in common. Allegedly Graf was in an incestuous relationship with her drunk of a father. Andre's family was nothing to write home about either.
I'm a fan of Andre Agassi's. I was very disappointed in his drug revalation. The problem I had with Andre is he choked too many times at the big moments. Does anyone remember when his game collapsed when Bill Clinton showed up at his match at Wimbledon? He made a lot of his matches harder to win than they had to be with whatever was going on in his head. Which is why I'm astonished by players like Federer, Nadal and Djokovic because they don't exhibit the same mental flaws as past players. They always play up to their ranking and always make it far into tournaments. The thing about Andre's grand slam victories is that his opponents in the finals were low ranked players in most of them. He happened to capitalize on top ranked players either not being in the tournament or being defeated. Andre played better in the Masters and lower tournaments. Some of his records still stand even with Federer, Nadal and Djokovic collecting every trophy. Andre's career is like Jimmy Connors, his predecessor.
R222 Yes, you can teach top players to be better. I think Roddick is wrong in that regard. However, it's almost assured if Federer, Nadal and Djokovic are in a tournament they will atleast get to the quarterfinals. All lower ranked players have tried to overcome these three to break through. Only Andy Murray has had some success with it. There are about 5 men's tennis players who would have grand slam titles if those three never played tennis.
R224 I never heard that before. That is very strange.
[R222] I was half-joking, given how little Roddick seemed to learn. But your answer is ... how do I say this ... missing the point.
Every player can learn new things. No player has every skill down perfectly or instinctively plays every kind of game well. Only an idiot would think otherwise.
The difference, however, between an all-around athlete like Roddick is that Nadal, Federer, Djokovic and Murray have that something extra, whether it's instinct or just having taken to the game so early that they developed that instinct more deeply, that gets them through tough matches.
Agassi, Connors, Becker, McEnroe, Borg all had it, too. Edberg had a more narrow range in that way, like Chang, Courier, Lendl etc. but they weren't just extremely good all-around athletes who tried to master the game.
Roddick was that all-around athlete with a killer serve that he used to set up that forehand.
But he had to think on every point. He rarely won a point like the others at the top do by just being in that zone, that zen place, because he had to work every point. It's exhausting, and there was only so much you could teach him.
'Agassi, Connors, Becker, McEnroe, Borg all had it, too.'
My memory may be bad, but I do not believe these great players had to face three others players who were on their level of play as Djokovic, Federer, Murray and Nadal do today.
Well, in addition to not having that instinct, feel for the game, or whatever we want to call it, what weapons did Roddick really have once the serve return would come back to him? Unless the ball is short so that he come in and smack the forehand, all he played was that passive, pushing backhand slice. Any player with good movement could easily find the right opportunity to start dictating the rally.
And I wouldn't quite agree that Lendl's range was more limited than, say Becker's. It wasn't flashy but he had no visible weaknesses, plus he was mentally solid as a rock.
R233, Connors, McEnroe and Borg all had to battle each other, which rivaled Fed, Nadal and Djokovic. Plus, the had to deal with Wilander, and Llendl at the tail end of there careers.
Pete and Andre had to play against each other (which is very similar to what Nadal/Fed had to do before Djokovic's emergence in 2011), as well as the lesser talents of Becker and Edberg at the beginning of their careers.
I do agree that the Fed/Nadal/Djokovic trio is the best ever, but the other greats of the game had battles of their own to contend with.
R232, I totally agree with Andre. He SHOULD have ended his career with 12 or 13 Slams. If he had the mental acuity he displayed after 1999 when he was in his actual prime from 1989 through, say 1996? Damn. He would be considered on the GOATs for sure.
I remember McEnroe entering near the end of Borg's career. Conners lasted longer, but his best years were before McEnroe. Lendl was McEnroe's biggest danger.
I also remember the Becker-Edberg era as being slightly before Sampras and Agassi. It's pretty shocking to read "lesser talents' in reference to Edberg and Becker. Did you really think that comment through?
First, Borg and McEnroe had epic battles! Maybe the best ever at Wimby! As did Mac and Connors. I think of Llendl of peaking in the mid to late 80s, after Mac's amazing 1984 season. But my point was just to say all the greats had to battle other greats, to the poster upthread who said Fed/Nadal/Djoker have it harder than their predecessors...
Second, I do feel Becker and Edberg are lesser talents when compared to Agassi and Sampras. All time greats? Without question. But not quite on the same level as Agassi and Pete.
R237: Agree about the epic battles, but they seldom had those same battles earlier in slams, except occasionally in the semi finals (especially Cash-Lendl).
I became interested in tennis because of the Borg-McEnroe battles. I doubt that I would have remained interested if Becker-Edberg did not continue the tradition. My knock against Agassi is his baseline play & being absent from tennis for periods of time. I understand that Lendl (and more important technology) were responsible to the extent that serve and volley is seldom seen in slams today. So I admit my feelings about Agassi are not rational.
R238, I absolutely miss the serve/volley as part of the game. But it isn't Agassi's fault it's gone. Like you said, it's the technology, really. Passing shots are just too easy and can be hit from just about every angle.
But, as a tennis fan, watching Agassi dominate from the baseline was absolutely amazing. I get his personality was off putting to some, but not his talent. To me, he was simply the very best baseliner ever.
I understand it's not Lendl's or Agassi's
fault, but they were, I believe, the first major male players to stay at the baseline.
Cannot remember much about TV, but watching Lendl and Agassi play year after year in person at the U.S. Open mixed in with serve and volley players was not much fun. I could not wait for Becker and Sampras to arrive on court. I did appreciate their play and extraordinary talents, but was never a true fan of Lendl or Agassi...ever.
I guess it's a case of different stokes (pun intended) for different folks. While I like serve/volleying, as a tennis player, being a dominant baseliner requires so much more precision and guts. So seeing Agassi (I always hated Llendl) dominate from there, in a way never done before, was just so fresh and new and exciting for the time. It blew me away. Now? It's become too standard. But then, Agassi was the only one doing it, and certainly the only one doing it so successfully.
I simply prefer players with a more variety to their game, who can play well on any surface, like the current crop at the top. Watching Sampras and Becker on clay was painful at times, that's why I would put Agassi above those two, in terms of sheer versatility and talent.
I always thought Sampras was the boring one. Big serve. Big serve. Big serve, volley. Big serve.
On his return games, he just went for the winner every time because he wasn't as consistently strong from the baseline and didn't have the stamina of his opponents.
I agree, R243. Sampras had the perfect game for the dawning of the Age of the Technology Racket: Huge serve, stinging forehand. Unlike Connors, Mac, Borg, Agassi, Nadal, Fed, etc., he had only average tennis IQ and was only an above average talent once the point started.
But his serve, especially his second serve, was the best ever. And serves win Slams.
Serving and volleying all the time requires more pure tennis skill - good reflexes, good racquet head control, athleticism and a lack of fear. Playing from the baseline is much easier by comparison. Baseliners don't have to be particularly talented - witness the likes of Lleyton Hewitt and Aranxta Sanchez-Vicario - to be successful.
Federer did a little serve and volleying at the AO this year, probably because the courts were speeded up compared to the last few years (according to the ESPN commentators). Speeding up the courts is a welcome development. People are tired of the 5-hour baseline bashers now, just like they were tired of the serve and volleyers a decade ago. I hope the other tournaments speed up too--great advantage for Federer (whom I idolize) in what may be his last year or so on the tour.
I agree R246. They need to speed up Wimby for sure. All four Slams should have 4 different speeds: US: Fast, Wimby: Very Fast, French: Slow, AO: Slow-fast.
That's another reason why Agassi is so good. He won on all four Slams when they were actually vastly different surfaces that needed vastly different skills and strategies to win on. Now? It's basically AO, French and Wimby are Slow-fast, US is fast. No wonder it's the same four guys every Slam.
R247 Federer, Nadal and Djokovic would still be the top players because they possess mental fortitude, consistency and drive on a level other players don't have. Federer won about half of his grand slams before the surfaces were changed. I think restoring the surfaces back to pre-2007 textures and speeds would be a detriment to players who are not as powerful but more consistent like David Ferrer. Tournaments have been going either to clay or hard courts for awhile now because they are easier to maintain. There are fewer grass tournaments and next to zero carpet. For viewers it would be more interesting to have more surfaces.
[quote]There are fewer grass tournaments and next to zero carpet. For viewers it would be more interesting to have more surfaces.
Yes, more carpet. I think the tours should be all carpet, all the time.