Saturday, July 05, 2008

Um, make that five Wimbledons, please, straight up

I don't often give anyone permission to openly bitch-slap someone, but Serena, go right ahead.
Here's a clip of Serena's press conference after losing to big sis Venus in the final today:
Q. Have you talked at all?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I saw her. I mean, we weren't involved in a big conversation.
IDIOT REPORTER. You don't look happy at all.
SERENA WILLIAMS (icily): I don't? I wonder why.
Seriously, Serena, if you want to haul off, it's all good. It's almost like they were trying to bait her. I mean, losing to your own sister means that you still lose. Lay off, dorks.
Anyway, the match was great. It would have been even better if it had gone three sets. But you can't fault Venus for handling her business efficiently. I wasn't sure what to expect, because usually, Serena is the one who shows that fire to win in these sister-sister matchups. So it was nice to see Venus keep her head down and tighten up her game. Judging from Serena's press conference, I would say that Lisa Raymond and Samantha Stosur should watch their heads in the doubles final. I'm thinkin' Serena's out for blood.
Back to the topic of bitch-slaps, I wonder if I can dispense them like shout-outs. I usually think Mary Carillo's a pretty capable commentator, but today, she attempted a new "high". I can only hope she was actually high on drugs. While discussing the Williams sisters' outside interests, she called the idea of their balance of tennis and other things "a phony debate." I thought she was about to drop some knowledge until she said that the Williams sisters "belong on the tennis court." Is that right, Mary? Is that where they "belong"? I just don't get it. If Carillo is God, why would she also do tennis commentary? You'd think going ahead and proclaiming where everyone belongs would be a full-time job.
Carillo's statement reflects a lot of people's opinions, but it's fairly ignorant, if you ask me. As a tennis fan, I am disappointed in the fact that the Williams sisters are not attempting to dominate on tour full-time. I would love to see them really add to the depth of women's tennis, which is lacking right now. If they were out there all year long at their very best, could you imagine the rivalries? Williams v. Williams. Williams v. Sharapova. Williams v. Jankovic. Get the point? As a fan, I do find myself wondering "What if" with the two of them a lot.
As a person, having their hands in other things is a great thing for them. Why? Two words: Jennifer Capriati. Capriati spent most of her early tennis career trying to be what others expected her to be. She did nothing but tennis, and my goodness, she must have had to bottle up a lot of her own desires to please others. There was no fashion school for her. If she had even hinted at it, she would have been railroaded by High Priestess Carillo, told to get back on that court. The last interview I read with Capriati -- from last July with the New York Daily News -- made me realize just how maladjusted she still is with her life. She spoke openly of depression and thoughts of suicide, even now. Capriati's brother said then of his sister, "For any athlete, once you stop doing what you've loved for 20 or 25 years and all of a sudden it's taken away, it can be a tough progression into the next life."
And I feel bad for Capriati, and I feel good that it's highly unlikely that'll ever happen to the Williams sisters. If they're happy with not dominating year-round, if it means they grow up normal, then I guess I'll just have to be disappointed as a tennis fan. Apparently, there's more to life than sports.

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