Saturday, July 1, 2017

"Serena Williams Is Not the Best Tennis Player"

This is not to take anything away from Williams, whose athleticism stuns me into a near-faint. But even McEnroe’s detractors have had to grudgingly acknowledge that if Williams were playing with the men, at best, her superb athleticism and mental strength might occasionally earn her a win. That’s a pretty strange definition of “best tennis player in the world.”... Tennis, after all, is a court, a moderate amount of equipment, and some highly detailed rules for determining who wins. The best tennis player is the person who can most regularly defeat the other players under those rules. Unless some sort of terrible plague wipes out hundreds of top men’s tennis players, that person will never be Serena Williams.
McEnroe got into hot water for suggesting maybe Serena was not the best tennis player... From the NYPost story: McEnroe said he would place Williams “like 700 in the world” if she played on the men’s tour. “Best female player ever — no question. If she had to just play the circuit — the men’s circuit — that would be an entirely different story,”

6 comments:

AllenS said...

A sport that I've never followed.

William said...

Maybe if she competed in a sport where the greater muscle mass of men was neutralized and she could take advantage of her cat like reflexes. I bet she'd be a real kller on the NASCAR circuit.

AJ Lynch said...

I wacthed the video of the day after he said he it. He was on some morning show with senile Charlie Rose and Nora O'Donnell. Nora had a frown on her face as if McEnroe was some disgusting bigot and she asked him if he'd like to apologize for what he said about Williams. He quickly said No! So I say good for him!

ricpic said...

The hostility to McEnroe clearly relates to The Agenda. If you look at Williams it's obvious that her upper body strength (relative to other women) is off the charts. Which probably accounts for her total dominance of womens' tennis. But McEnroe is almost certainly right about what her ranking would be in mens' tennis. The reason is not only a matter of strength, it's a matter of speed. If you've ever watched mens' matches followed by womens' matches followed by mens' matches it's almost like looking at a film being speeded up slowed down speeded up. It's all about the difference in reflex speed. The women may be in top shape but they can neither serve nor volley with the same power (thus less speed) nor react quickly enough to return volley (at mens' speed) effectively. I'd imagine Williams would be reduced to hitting a lot of defensive lobs against men if for no other reason than to get a breather.

Steg said...

Here's the fun little anecdote from Karsten Braasch regarding this in 1998:

https://www.theguardian.com/observer/osm/story/0,,543962,00.html

bagoh20 said...

There is no substitute for the grip strength acquired through the years of intense practice that men engage in during their formative years.