February 24, 2008

Serena withdraws from Dubai - A Fan's Concern

Here we go again. Serena has withdrawn from her third straight tournament. I do not know the reason for this withdrawal. I feel really sorry for those fans that continually purchase tickets and she not show up. Please understand that Serena is my FAVORITE but I can be realistic about the situation. At this point, Serena "signing" up for tournaments mean nothing to me. As her track record shows, a let-down beckons right around the corner. I will only believe that she will show up when I actually see her on the actual court during the warm up. I'm so tired of just seeing Serena (consistently) show up for Grand Slams and maybe Miami. Of course her name being attached to a tournament will definitely sell tickets but so many (consecutive) withdrawals is a slap in the face to fans and ticket buyers. She may not be consistent at tennis but she is almost too consistent with appearances at parties and on the red carpet. To Serena I say, get serious, get it together and get committed. Serena is such a talented individual and could do so much more on the tennis courts. Serena can once again set the tennis world on fire! She's Hall-of-Fame qualified but she has the potential (yet still) to be the best, the greatest, BUT time is running out! I'm starting to agree with (certain portions of) the now infamous open letter written by Chris Evert for TENNIS MAGAZINE:

Dear Serena,
I’ve been thinking about your career, and something is troubling me. I appreciate that becoming a well-rounded person is important to you, as you’ve made that desire very clear. Still, a question lingers—do you ever consider your place in history? Is it something you care about? In the short term you may be happy with the various things going on in your life, but I wonder whether 20 years from now you might reflect on your career and regret not putting 100 percent of yourself into tennis. Because whether you want to admit it or not, these distractions are tarnishing your legacy.

Just a couple of years ago, when you were fully committed to the game, you showed the athleticism, shot-making, and competitive desire to become the greatest player ever. Many besides myself shared the same sentiment. You won five of the six Grand Slams you entered over the 2002 and 2003 seasons and looked utterly dominant in the process. Then you got sidetracked with injuries, pet projects, and indifference and have won only one major in the last seven you’ve played. I find those results hard to fathom. You’re simply too good not to be winning two Grand Slam titles a year. You’re still only 24, well within your prime. These are crucial years that you’ll never get back. Why not dedicate yourself entirely for the next five years and see what you can achieve?

Perhaps the reason I feel so strongly about this is because I wasn’t blessed with the physical gifts you possess. I know that the lifespan of an athlete’s greatness is brief and should be exploited. Once you get to No. 1 in the world and start winning major titles, you should see how far you can take it. You’ve become very good at many things, but how many people would trade that to be great at just one thing? I don’t see how acting and designing clothes can compare with the pride of being the best tennis player in the world. Your other accomplishments just can’t measure up to what you can do with a racquet in your hand.
Ironically, I believe that if you fulfill your potential on the tennis court, all your other endeavors will become that much easier to pursue. You could become the most famous athlete in the world. Every magazine will want you on its cover and any door you wish to walk through will be wide open. When I was playing, I always knew there would be time to get married, have children, do TV commentating, and even coach if I wanted. I assure you there will be time for you to chase all your dreams once you’re through with tennis.

I offer this only as advice, not criticism, from someone with experience. If you’re completely happy with the way your life is, then crumple up this letter and throw it away. I wish you nothing but luck and success in all your pursuits. Just remember that you have in front of you an opportunity of the rarest kind—to become the greatest ever at something. I hope you make the most of it.


Anonymous said...

You know, i just think Serena has so many other aspirations. She'll always be a great tennis pro-phenomenal, but i think she wants to set her sights and her focus on other things. Isn't she allowed to grow and explore like everyone else. She doesn't want her life to be defined by just tennis, and then put a period (.), but she wants tennis as a part of her life's definition, and then put a comma(,)ex. tennis champ,.....What do you think peeps?

Oryem said...

i'm a bit conflicted because on the one hand I want see her play and win so I'm disapointed when she withdraws from these things. But on the other hand, it's not my life and she is perfectly entitled to live her life however she wants without feeling the pressure of what other people want from her. I don't have that pressure, why should she?
Also, I think perhaps we are getting a bit ahead of ourselves. It's not like she's withdrawn from EVERY tournament ever, and we don't know whether she is actually not sick. + I dunno about you, but I would be attending red carpet events as an alternative to staying at home when I'm sick!

SerenaSlam said...

My major problem is that she "enters" tournaments and withdraws with such consistency. No, I do not know if she is sick, but she recently stated on her blog that she was better. With the withdrawal in Dubai, she didn't even release a statement as to why (she withdrew). Maybe she didn't want to contradict her previous statement that she "was better." Many purchase tickets because of her and I would be one unhappy camper if my money was "thrown away" on such a consistent basis. Tennis is her JOB. Just as I have a committment to my job, so should she. No, there is nothing wrong with doing other things or having other interests. She doesn't play a full schedule (anyway) which would allow time for other aspirations. Should I miss a day or week from work, I am NOT directly impacting "fans" finances or preparations (or sacrifices) that they have made. I feel that she should ENTER tournaments at the last minute instead of withdrawing at the last minute. Fans have supported her for years, through the good and the bad, they deserve a little more respect than this. If I went to my "job" sporadically or only when I felt like it, I would have no job. Luckily, she can get away with that. It would seem as if she would like to spend her last FEW years of tennis building upon her already impressive Hall of Fame resume' and go out with a BANG!!

Monika said...

The blame needs to be placed on the tournament officials not the athletes. It is the dumb tournament officials who make the schedule, fault for placing tourneys back to back without any recovery time for athletes. If the officials didn't run the tourneys so close together then the athletes would not pull out so much. If an athlete is injured or just plain burned out, she has to pull out and take care of her body.