Why the WTA Tour is more interesting Than the ATP Tour

Jason Swerve

Professional
Most guys watch the WTA when the players are within 10-15 years of their own age because the personalities and looks of the players are interesting to them and make the sporting contest entertaining. Once you get to your mid-forties and older, most of the players are now your kid’s generation and they become perceived as just young kids who it is harder to find interesting as personalities. So, older fans then complain that all the players are the same when the only thing that has happened is that they got old while the players stayed young.

It is like going to a bar where college kids hang out while you are in your late forties or fifties - not as interesting as twenty years ago. Now, you just feel old when you look at the kids and if you hear their conversations, they don’t sound very interesting or wise.
Eh, the WTA is definitely horrible at marketing these personalities whatever the case. Novotna and Vicario have more personality than any of the tour now except for Osaka, and Osaka keeps her actual personality under a stage face. They're all online celebrities at the most. Respectable, but it doesn't suffice.

Regardless, you're not getting Grade-A commentary like this nowadays:

Q: What happened today?
Kournikova: I played a match.

Q: How did you feel out there?
Hingis: Do you have something different to ask than 'How did you feel out there'? You have your own eyes
 

Aussie Darcy

Bionic Poster
Eh, the WTA is definitely horrible at marketing these personalities whatever the case. Novotna and Vicario have more personality than any of the tour now except for Osaka, and Osaka keeps her actual personality under a stage face. They're all online celebrities at the most. Respectable, but it doesn't suffice.

Regardless, you're not getting Grade-A commentary like this nowadays:

Q: What happened today?
Kournikova: I played a match.

Q: How did you feel out there?
Hingis: Do you have something different to ask than 'How did you feel out there'? You have your own eyes
You don’t think Ash Barty the Aussie larrikin has personality? My god. Being a b!tch to reporters like Kournikova and Hingis did in your above post is not personality. The way the women conduct themselves from Barty to Halep to Kvitova is fantastic. Also Muguruza is known for some very shady comments herself so just do some research before you post such nonsense thanks.
 

Jason Swerve

Professional
You don’t think Ash Barty the Aussie larrikin has personality? My god. Being a b!tch to reporters like Kournikova and Hingis did in your above post is not personality. The way the women conduct themselves from Barty to Halep to Kvitova is fantastic. Also Muguruza is known for some very shady comments herself so just do some research before you post such nonsense thanks.
There goes the brief cordialness between us, Ms. Darcy?

Tennis needs good heel figures. You can call it a 'b!tch' or whatsoever you claim, but these two were massively more popular and marketable than Osaka and her Greek dinners. Kournikova alone earned more per year in sponsorships than Osaka has earned to date in her entire career. They had to be doing something right. The key is in the results. No one likes an online warrior who can't handle themselves on the court. But if you can, your mouth is better for it.

Barty missed a year and did nothing. Now that she's back- no. She lacks personality. Please tell me how Barty has more personality than a HIngis who at 19 was documented to be taking two separate rivals of hers to actual drill sessions so they could get practice before an upcoming season. Venus and Serena is personality. Sharapova is personality. Seles is personality. Muguruza hasn't been relevant for a long while (it hurts to say it), and you're a riot to compare her aura with the same Kournikova who at 16 was having to tell reporters in press conferences, "I'm single. I'm single. I'm single. I said I'm single," in repeat, verbatim fashion after she'd won. Muguruza's just another past champion, but she's nowhere near a brand-shaping force, and it's senseless to even pretend to entertain such a notion.

This is less about isolated 'very shady comments' in any event. There was subtext behind both of these. For Hingis', it followed the French crowd's massively booing her for the second time in '99 as a result of her Mauresmo comments, which she'd since twice apologized to Mauresmo for by then. For Kournikova, she was in a sour mood from hating the whole age-limiting system that was pretty uniquely screwing only her over as a guinea pig, and that's what that press conference became solely about.

Before I even remark anything else, Halep and Kvitova are holdovers from an older era, and they're old themselves. Nothing sells like youth.
 

Aussie Darcy

Bionic Poster
There goes the brief cordialness between us, Ms. Darcy?

Tennis needs good heel figures. You can call it a 'b!tch' or whatsoever you claim, but these two were massively more popular and marketable than Osaka and her Greek dinners. Kournikova alone earned more per year in sponsorships than Osaka has earned to date in her entire career. They had to be doing something right. The key is in the results. No one likes an online warrior who can't handle themselves on the court. But if you can, your mouth is better for it.

Barty missed a year and did nothing. Now that she's back- no. She lacks personality. Please tell me how Barty has more personality than a HIngis who at 19 was documented to be taking two separate rivals of hers to actual drill sessions so they could get practice before an upcoming season. Venus and Serena is personality. Sharapova is personality. Seles is personality. Muguruza hasn't been relevant for a long while (it hurts to say it), and you're a riot to compare her aura with the same Kournikova who at 16 was having to tell reporters in press conferences, "I'm single. I'm single. I'm single. I said I'm single," in repeat, verbatim fashion after she'd won. Muguruza's just another past champion, but she's nowhere near a brand-shaping force, and it's senseless to even pretend to entertain such a notion.

This is less about isolated 'very shady comments' in any event. There was subtext behind both of these. For Hingis', it followed the French crowd's massively booing her for the second time in '99 as a result of her Mauresmo comments, which she'd since twice apologized to Mauresmo for by then. For Kournikova, she was in a sour mood from hating the whole age-limiting system that was pretty uniquely screwing only her over as a guinea pig, and that's what that press conference became solely about.

Before I even remark anything else, Halep and Kvitova are holdovers from an older era, and they're old themselves. Nothing sells like youth.
The key is in the results? Kournikova didn’t win a single title. I’m not talking slam titles, I’m talking any tour level title. She didn’t even make a single slam final. She was known cause she was deemed to be sexy, not cause she dominated the sport. Couldn’t even win a single title, embarrassing frankly don’t you think? And then you have the audacity to say Osaka isn’t shaping up on court. She won the last 2 slams mate, do your research. Osaka has 4 slams, Kournikova had none. She was marketable cause she was deemed to be attractive and grown men were sexualising her while she was underage. That’s why she was marketable, that’s why she earned so much.

Barty’s won three titles this year (3 more then Kournikova did in her whole career) and just beat the RG champ. She is always funny in her interviews and is the face of many products here in Australia. Not saying she’s as big as the supermodel in the late 90s or Sharapova in the 2000’s but she doesn’t rely on her looks to get her sponsors, she plays the game and she does it well. If you’d rather watch the pretty woman who barely did anything at the slams having made just 1 slam SF instead of the amazing player who’s won 4 of the last 6 hard court slams then go for it.
 

merwy

G.O.A.T.
Sorry but the only reason I see the WTA tour more interesting than the ATP is that I am more physically attracted to some of the competitors there. I am a straight alpha male who's been married for a couple decades now.
I have never seen someone call themselves an alpha male before. First time for everything I guess.
 
Nice try, but no. Even when MaSha was playing, I only ever watched WTA sporadically. And usually only SF matches onwards. The ATP tour does everything better with far more exciting matches.
Which are those exciting matches? Like Medvedev caving in to Djokovic at the AO final? Or Nadal winning for the nth time at the RG last year?
 
Eh, the WTA is definitely horrible at marketing these personalities whatever the case. Novotna and Vicario have more personality than any of the tour now except for Osaka, and Osaka keeps her actual personality under a stage face. They're all online celebrities at the most. Respectable, but it doesn't suffice.

Regardless, you're not getting Grade-A commentary like this nowadays:

Q: What happened today?
Kournikova: I played a match.

Q: How did you feel out there?
Hingis: Do you have something different to ask than 'How did you feel out there'? You have your own eyes
The problem today is with the prevailing tyranny of niceness, nobody would dare to be spunky to the cameras and microphones even if that happened to be their true nature. It's just not worth the hassle of receiving a million twitter troll posts saying vile things that they apparently think are justified just because you dared open your mouth. It's not a coincidence that the sullen Medvedev is from Russia where he doesn't have to worry about watching his words all the time...about tennis. As for what he says about Putin, would be a different matter altogether.
 
Some might see it as a negative, but I like that there a chance for ANYONE even a qualifier to win a title. The variety of players and gamestyles is what keeps me tuned into the WTA more than the ATP.
I think having matches like Barty-Swiatek/Kvitova-Kerber in the early rounds of a Masters can only be a positive. You used to be able to say that about ATP when Gasquet, Berdych, Tsonga, Ferrer, Wawrinka were all playing well. There was amazing depth in the second rung even if only Wawrinka out of all of them could challenge the Big Three/Four. With the arrival of the next gen, that depth has hollowed out because they don't yet have the consistency of these players. Some of them might never, sadly. A lot of funkiness making its way into ATP technique again and too much focus on spin generation. Not one of the next gen has the sweet timing of a Berdych; they make him look like Federer in comparison.
 

Jason Swerve

Professional
The key is in the results? Kournikova didn’t win a single title. I’m not talking slam titles, I’m talking any tour level title. She didn’t even make a single slam final. She was known cause she was deemed to be sexy, not cause she dominated the sport. Couldn’t even win a single title, embarrassing frankly don’t you think? And then you have the audacity to say Osaka isn’t shaping up on court. She won the last 2 slams mate, do your research. Osaka has 4 slams, Kournikova had none. She was marketable cause she was deemed to be attractive and grown men were sexualising her while she was underage. That’s why she was marketable, that’s why she earned so much.

Barty’s won three titles this year (3 more then Kournikova did in her whole career) and just beat the RG champ. She is always funny in her interviews and is the face of many products here in Australia. Not saying she’s as big as the supermodel in the late 90s or Sharapova in the 2000’s but she doesn’t rely on her looks to get her sponsors, she plays the game and she does it well. If you’d rather watch the pretty woman who barely did anything at the slams having made just 1 slam SF instead of the amazing player who’s won 4 of the last 6 hard court slams then go for it.
You'll recall that quote of Kournikova is from '97, near the apex of her tennis fame. She only lost that Wimbledon semi because she played- Hingis. So you can see where the media puffery began. Like she said, no one would've cared as much as they did about her if she wasn't playing Top 10 or 20 tennis. Winning a title doesn't make you popular either, or else none of these new ATP journeyers would be talked about. It's how you play/react to your matches that makes you popular.

Repeatedly losing tournaments made Kournikova more popular because she worked hard enough to stay in the Top 15 while losing them. The narrative spark was in her always having this hard-working attitude that was consistently shot down by reality. People loved to see her personal struggles and the dismissive attitude on camera that reflected how she really felt. She'd train so much after trying to brush aside disparaging interviews about her private life, that she'd reinjure herself and not be able to pull through a subsequent warm-up match. That level of haplessness is more appealing to me than some woman who ran back to tennis because the career as a cricket star wasn't working out.

The problem today is with the prevailing tyranny of niceness, nobody would dare to be spunky to the cameras and microphones even if that happened to be their true nature. It's just not worth the hassle of receiving a million twitter troll posts saying vile things that they apparently think are justified just because you dared open your mouth. It's not a coincidence that the sullen Medvedev is from Russia where he doesn't have to worry about watching his words all the time...about tennis. As for what he says about Putin, would be a different matter altogether.
The solution of course being to step away from the social media, but that's too hard for these kids today. To an extent, I admire the Russians for their historically greater spunk compared to the rest of the tour. But even still, this was the period where there wasn't a boom. It's not like I'm against any one nationality, but we had a balance, and that meant a balance of different playing styles. Kournikova's about the only Russian who knew how to 'mix it up'.

Came here for boorish Martinka 97 GOAT trollery. Even though TLDR, leaving satisfied.
How's that 40-15 rehab treating you?
 

NADALalot

Hall of Fame
If women are more interesting, then women should play best-of-5-sets at slams so the fans get to see them more.... Give the people what they want!
Its amazing that even the Final is only best-of-3-sets!
 

Aussie Darcy

Bionic Poster
You'll recall that quote of Kournikova is from '97, near the apex of her tennis fame. She only lost that Wimbledon semi because she played- Hingis. So you can see where the media puffery began. Like she said, no one would've cared as much as they did about her if she wasn't playing Top 10 or 20 tennis. Winning a title doesn't make you popular either, or else none of these new ATP journeyers would be talked about. It's how you play/react to your matches that makes you popular.

Repeatedly losing tournaments made Kournikova more popular because she worked hard enough to stay in the Top 15 while losing them. The narrative spark was in her always having this hard-working attitude that was consistently shot down by reality. People loved to see her personal struggles and the dismissive attitude on camera that reflected how she really felt. She'd train so much after trying to brush aside disparaging interviews about her private life, that she'd reinjure herself and not be able to pull through a subsequent warm-up match. That level of haplessness is more appealing to me than some woman who ran back to tennis because the career as a cricket star wasn't working out.
If you really think that people were into Kournikova because she kept losing matches and trying and not because she was beautiful. the most searched woman on google and was on the cover of every magazine and everyone constantly talked about her looks..... then sure.

Think anyone can tell why she was famous and well watched.
 

NADALalot

Hall of Fame
If you really think that people were into Kournikova because she kept losing matches and trying and not because she was beautiful. the most searched woman on google and was on the cover of every magazine and everyone constantly talked about her looks..... then sure.

Think anyone can tell why she was famous and well watched.
I remember searching all tennis players on Yahoo back in 1997-98 when Hingis-Kournikova were at their peak popularity.....and the player who had by far the most fansites was Hingis with several pages of search results with very detailed fansites including one called "Hingis TV".
Kournikova only had one page of fansites.
And Agassi had the most of the men (but only a handful).
Hingis has something about her which attracts obsession.

 
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If you really think that people were into Kournikova because she kept losing matches and trying and not because she was beautiful. the most searched woman on google and was on the cover of every magazine and everyone constantly talked about her looks..... then sure.

Think anyone can tell why she was famous and well watched.
No, this is a revisionist view while Jason's is too one sided in head over heels admiration (as is the case with his take on '97 Hingis).

Kournikova didn't catwalk her way into the Nick Bollettieri Academy. As a then ten year old, she impressed with her tennis talent and was scouted by him.

At age 14, she had already debuted for Russia's Fed Cup team.

In 97, she reached the Wimby semis as a 16 year old, beating Chanda Rubin, Anke Huber, Helena Sukova and Iva Majoli en route. I wonder how you minions who crow over Cori Gauff again and again over a single factoid of making the Wimbledon main draw at the age of 15 conveniently omit to mention this feat of Kournikova. And Kournikova only lost to eventual title winner Hingis there. I would have fancied her chances against Novotna.

In 98, she had made the Lipton (Miami) final which was easily the most prestigious event outside the slams and the YEC then. She lost in three sets to Venus. En route to the finals, she beat Lucic, Seles, Martinez, Davenport and ASV. The only set she dropped in that run to the finals was against ASV. She beat Davenport in straight sets!

But from 99, a variety of injury problems began to bother her and by 2000, her problems with her serve became simply enormous and insurmountable.

At this point, she found she got plenty of attention for her looks and decided to make the most of it.

I see no harm done. Unlike Genie Bouchard, she had taken her tennis talent as far as her body would let her by the time she stopped caring.

And meanwhile, she kept winning in doubles. She won three slams in doubles as well as two YECs and four Masters. Her partnership with Hingis was statistically as successful as Hingis-Mirza but Kournikova achieved all this at the peak of WTA when there was a surfeit of talent in both singles and doubles.

Kournikova is one of the great doubles players and should be acknowledged as such. I think it says more about who's paying attention to what when the looks excuse is trotted out at the mention of Kournikova.
 

Gizo

Hall of Fame
Generally I really enjoyed the early round matches at Madrid, like I did a month ago at Miami, so another big women's tennis tournament is delivering as far as I'm concerned, though we'll see how the latter rounds play out. This is a big change from the days when it was only really worth tuning in from the quarter-finals or semi-finals onwards. Despite the clear challenges presented by COVID, I think that all in all it's a good product on the court.

We all have our different preferences, but I personally prefer the current set-up with a lot of depth in the WTA top 100, a large number of players to look out for and plenty of entertaining early round matches at tournaments, than the days when it was comparatively far easier for a small pool of elite players to win early round matches in under an hour and continually reach quarter-finals or semi-finals (though I understand why many people preferred the latter as that developed rivalries and tennis is a star driven sport after all).

I do think over the years that the WTA have traditionally done a noticeably worse job than of ATP of marketing and promoting players, especially ones that haven't been the big name stars - I seem to recall Bethanie Mattek-Sands saying as much on several occasions in the past. Plus on a side note the WTA website has often been quite poor (and far worse than the ATP website). Also from a financial perspective it was perfectly clear why this happened especially hot on the heels of the economic crisis, sponsors in Europe wanting to pull out, and lure of the lucrative Chinese market in-particular etc. But purely from a tennis perspective the European indoor swing being decimated was a huge shame. It was IMO typically the best and highest quality portion of the season (a reasonably fast indoor court has always been the very best surface environment for women's tennis IMO). The US Open would finish, but the season wouldn't feel like it was over, far from it with actually the best still to come. In an ideal scenario, the WTA could hold strong Asian and European indoor swings concurrently, with players able to choose whichever one they preferred or even mix and match if they wanted to clock up a lot of flight time, but of course that's all easier said than done, especially given the economic reality plus the effects of COVID to consider. I think that the ATP have generally maintained a much better balance between protecting established tournaments with a long history while also creating new ones, than the WTA have done.
 
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Hitman

G.O.A.T.
The WTA has been more interesting than the ATP for many years--the high number of majors winners (including many who won more than one) surpasses the ATP, where in the past decade, the men's side has been dominated by three men against the successive worst generation in the sport's history. These so-called "contenders"--long overhyped--have only succeeded in showing up, rolling over and getting a paycheck for their efforts. If not for Thiem getting lucky in 2020 because Djokovic was the recipient of a wrongheaded disqualification, this "Next Generation" would be at 100% capacity on the Can't Win a Major boat.

The WTA has players who know that--surprise, surprise--its their job to take out the competition no matter who it is, and win majors. Yes, sooo shocking.

Here's the list of majors winners (not named Serena) since 2010:

Schiavone: FO - 2010
Clijsters: USO 2010 & AO 2011
Li Na: FO 2011 & AO 2014
Kvitova: Wimbledon 2011 & 2014
Stosur: USO 2011
Sharapova: FO 2012 & FO 2014
Azarenka: AO 2012 & 2013
Bartoli: Wimbledon 2013
Pennetta: USO 2015
Kerber: AO 2016, USO 2016 & Wimbledon 2018
Muguruza: FO 2016 & Wimbledon 2017
Ostapenko: FO 2017
Stephens: USO 2017
Wozniacki: AO 2018
Halep: FO 2018
Osaka: USO 2018, 2020 & AO 2019 and 2021
Barty: FO 2019
Halep: FO 2018 & Wimbledon 2019
Andreescu: 2019 USO
Kenin: AO 2020

The ATP pales in comparison to this depth and strength of the field.
Throw a peak Graf, and peak Serena in that decade and tell me exactly how many slam champions will you see.

The last decade and a bit have seen not one, not two but three GOAT contenders in the ATP, who also are GOAT of clay, hard and grass in the mens game, that is unprecedented.

The comparison is not the same.
 

Bender

G.O.A.T.
Yes, but even before this. I have followed WTA for a very long time. I saw the whole Graf era, saw Martina, saw peak Seles, peak Sanchez Vicario, the rise of Hingis, the debut of the Williams sisters, the trials and tribulations of Capriati, the power of Davenport, the influx of the Russians, the impactful Belgians....the last few years is the first time I simply lost interest in the WTA. It wasn't a conscious decision that I made one day to just stop watching, I was steadily just losing interest in the product, the players don't appeal to me, I follow Halep a little and keep my eye on Serena in each slam, but that is it. I know when I do begin to one day start watching again, it will happen without me noticing it at first. It's kind of sad for me that I simply don't care about a product that I cared and followed for so many years, but would rather follow other sports or interests in my spare time now.
I’ve seen matches you posters wouldn’t believe. Attacking players on fire off the shoulder of Henman Hill. I watched Steffi glitter in the dark near the Fred Perry Statue. All those moments will be lost in time, like…knee pain on clay. Time to pine.
 

Hitman

G.O.A.T.
I’ve seen matches you posters wouldn’t believe. Attacking players on fire off the shoulder of Henman Hill. I watched Steffi glitter in the dark near the Fred Perry Statue. All those moments will be lost in time, like…knee pain on clay. Time to pine.
It's called having a larger point of reference that doesn't involve You Tube highlights. You've either lived it or you haven't. ;)
 

Jason Swerve

Professional
No, this is a revisionist view while Jason's is too one sided in head over heels admiration (as is the case with his take on '97 Hingis).

Kournikova didn't catwalk her way into the Nick Bollettieri Academy. As a then ten year old, she impressed with her tennis talent and was scouted by him.

At age 14, she had already debuted for Russia's Fed Cup team.

In 97, she reached the Wimby semis as a 16 year old, beating Chanda Rubin, Anke Huber, Helena Sukova and Iva Majoli en route. I wonder how you minions who crow over Cori Gauff again and again over a single factoid of making the Wimbledon main draw at the age of 15 conveniently omit to mention this feat of Kournikova. And Kournikova only lost to eventual title winner Hingis there. I would have fancied her chances against Novotna.

In 98, she had made the Lipton (Miami) final which was easily the most prestigious event outside the slams and the YEC then. She lost in three sets to Venus. En route to the finals, she beat Lucic, Seles, Martinez, Davenport and ASV. The only set she dropped in that run to the finals was against ASV. She beat Davenport in straight sets!

But from 99, a variety of injury problems began to bother her and by 2000, her problems with her serve became simply enormous and insurmountable.

At this point, she found she got plenty of attention for her looks and decided to make the most of it.

I see no harm done. Unlike Genie Bouchard, she had taken her tennis talent as far as her body would let her by the time she stopped caring.

And meanwhile, she kept winning in doubles. She won three slams in doubles as well as two YECs and four Masters. Her partnership with Hingis was statistically as successful as Hingis-Mirza but Kournikova achieved all this at the peak of WTA when there was a surfeit of talent in both singles and doubles.

Kournikova is one of the great doubles players and should be acknowledged as such. I think it says more about who's paying attention to what when the looks excuse is trotted out at the mention of Kournikova.
Again, you failed to read my post. I was talking about her in specifically 1997.

I remember searching all tennis players on Yahoo back in 1997-98 when Hingis-Kournikova were at their peak popularity.....and the player who had by far the most fansites was Hingis with several pages of search results with very detailed fansites including one called "Hingis TV".
Factual, but people'd only know this if they were around for it.
 
Again, you failed to read my post. I was talking about her in specifically 1997.
No, I just don't subscribe to this approach of mythologizing a player's performance in one year. Regardless, it doesn't matter. Kournikova was on upward trajectory until 99 when her singles career began to stall. And this coincided with her pairing with Hingis to great success in doubles.
 

Jason Swerve

Professional
No, I just don't subscribe to this approach of mythologizing a player's performance in one year. Regardless, it doesn't matter. Kournikova was on upward trajectory until 99 when her singles career began to stall. And this coincided with her pairing with Hingis to great success in doubles.
There's no "mythologizing". I was literally talking about their perception of her up until that moment in 1997. Everything else you're saying has nothing to do with my quote because it historically took place after my quote.
 
Yes, but even before this. I have followed WTA for a very long time. I saw the whole Graf era, saw Martina, saw peak Seles, peak Sanchez Vicario, the rise of Hingis, the debut of the Williams sisters, the trials and tribulations of Capriati, the power of Davenport, the influx of the Russians, the impactful Belgians....the last few years is the first time I simply lost interest in the WTA. It wasn't a conscious decision that I made one day to just stop watching, I was steadily just losing interest in the product, the players don't appeal to me, I follow Halep a little and keep my eye on Serena in each slam, but that is it. I know when I do begin to one day start watching again, it will happen without me noticing it at first. It's kind of sad for me that I simply don't care about a product that I cared and followed for so many years, but would rather follow other sports or interests in my spare time now.
So...I was like you and lost interest post 2012 when Serena kept on winning and the options were Azarenka or Sharapova in essence. But I think the last couple of years has been pretty good. The USO tournament last year had brilliant semis/final. Swiatek's unexpected run at the RG was also exciting. So even if it doesn't compare to the peak of WTA, it's still better than just seeing Med or whoever else turn up to get clobbered by Djokovic or Nadal. OK mostly Djokovic because Nadal is increasingly not the force of old off clay but the end result is watching the same guys win over and over. And I don't even mind the winning but when even Medvedev simply chokes and folds meekly to Djokovic, it gets really boring. I didn't even complete the AO final this year and I haven't done that in a very long time.
 
There's no "mythologizing". I was literally talking about their perception of her up until that moment in 1997. Everything else you're saying has nothing to do with my quote because it historically took place after my quote.
No, there is, you said Swiatek is no match for peak Kournikova. I wonder what this peak Kournikova is seeing as she only made one slam semi even back in her strong singles years and Swiatek has already won a slam. And it's nothing to do with the strength of the era. WTA was in transition in 97-98 and there were plenty of opportunities at the time for the taking. It allowed Novotna to finally win a slam after choking away previous opportunities. But Kournikova couldn't get it done. It's one thing if you find Swiatek lacking in personality but I watched tennis back then too and Kournikova was simply not such a force off the ground. She was a better athlete and had good volleying skills, would readily give that. But that doesn't always win you slams; even back then, it wasn't always enough.
 

Jason Swerve

Professional
No, there is, you said Swiatek is no match for peak Kournikova. I wonder what this peak Kournikova is seeing as she only made one slam semi even back in her strong singles years and Swiatek has already won a slam. And it's nothing to do with the strength of the era. WTA was in transition in 97-98 and there were plenty of opportunities at the time for the taking. It allowed Novotna to finally win a slam after choking away previous opportunities. But Kournikova couldn't get it done. It's one thing if you find Swiatek lacking in personality but I watched tennis back then too and Kournikova was simply not such a force off the ground. She was a better athlete and had good volleying skills, would readily give that. But that doesn't always win you slams; even back then, it wasn't always enough.
You don't have to win slams to be at your peak. And Kournikova's peak wasn't in '97. Which reminds me that you got some of her career outline noticeably wrong.

Anyway, that wasn't the reason I posted her quote. I told Darcy the reason, and it wasn't to compare peaks.
 
You don't have to win slams to be at your peak. And Kournikova's peak wasn't in '97. Which reminds me that you got some of her career outline noticeably wrong.

Anyway, that wasn't the reason I posted her quote. I told Darcy the reason, and it wasn't to compare peaks.
You just said you were talking about one specific year - 97 - of Kournikova. So what is it? And yes, you don't have to win slams to be at your peak but that does mean your peak is lower than someone who has won a slam in competition that isn't noticeably worse than in your peak. Had Kournikova made a slam semi in 2002, it would be another thing altogether. She didn't.
 

Aussie Darcy

Bionic Poster
No, this is a revisionist view while Jason's is too one sided in head over heels admiration (as is the case with his take on '97 Hingis).

Kournikova didn't catwalk her way into the Nick Bollettieri Academy. As a then ten year old, she impressed with her tennis talent and was scouted by him.

At age 14, she had already debuted for Russia's Fed Cup team.

In 97, she reached the Wimby semis as a 16 year old, beating Chanda Rubin, Anke Huber, Helena Sukova and Iva Majoli en route. I wonder how you minions who crow over Cori Gauff again and again over a single factoid of making the Wimbledon main draw at the age of 15 conveniently omit to mention this feat of Kournikova. And Kournikova only lost to eventual title winner Hingis there. I would have fancied her chances against Novotna.

In 98, she had made the Lipton (Miami) final which was easily the most prestigious event outside the slams and the YEC then. She lost in three sets to Venus. En route to the finals, she beat Lucic, Seles, Martinez, Davenport and ASV. The only set she dropped in that run to the finals was against ASV. She beat Davenport in straight sets!

But from 99, a variety of injury problems began to bother her and by 2000, her problems with her serve became simply enormous and insurmountable.

At this point, she found she got plenty of attention for her looks and decided to make the most of it.

I see no harm done. Unlike Genie Bouchard, she had taken her tennis talent as far as her body would let her by the time she stopped caring.

And meanwhile, she kept winning in doubles. She won three slams in doubles as well as two YECs and four Masters. Her partnership with Hingis was statistically as successful as Hingis-Mirza but Kournikova achieved all this at the peak of WTA when there was a surfeit of talent in both singles and doubles.

Kournikova is one of the great doubles players and should be acknowledged as such. I think it says more about who's paying attention to what when the looks excuse is trotted out at the mention of Kournikova.
I never said Kournikova didn't achieve amazing things, she did. But the person I was quoting said results need to speak for themselves because Osaka lost a match even though she won the last 2 slams meanwhile Kournikova didn't win a title and they keep parading her. It's the blatant inconsistency from the poster that irked me.
 
I never said Kournikova didn't achieve amazing things, she did. But the person I was quoting said results need to speak for themselves because Osaka lost a match even though she won the last 2 slams meanwhile Kournikova didn't win a title and they keep parading her. It's the blatant inconsistency from the poster that irked me.
Yes, I called him out on that too. It is clear that he is letting his dislike for the personality or lack of it of Osaka or Swiatek colour his view of their tennis itself.
 

DMP

Professional
Barty v Swiatek
Barty v Kvitova
Barty v Badosa
Sabalenka v Mertens
Muchova v Pavlyuchenkova

All different styles and no idea who was/is going to win those matches.
 

Alba Barragan

Professional
The key is in the results? Kournikova didn’t win a single title. I’m not talking slam titles, I’m talking any tour level title. She didn’t even make a single slam final. She was known cause she was deemed to be sexy, not cause she dominated the sport. Couldn’t even win a single title, embarrassing frankly don’t you think? And then you have the audacity to say Osaka isn’t shaping up on court. She won the last 2 slams mate, do your research. Osaka has 4 slams, Kournikova had none. She was marketable cause she was deemed to be attractive and grown men were sexualising her while she was underage. That’s why she was marketable, that’s why she earned so much.

Barty’s won three titles this year (3 more then Kournikova did in her whole career) and just beat the RG champ. She is always funny in her interviews and is the face of many products here in Australia. Not saying she’s as big as the supermodel in the late 90s or Sharapova in the 2000’s but she doesn’t rely on her looks to get her sponsors, she plays the game and she does it well. If you’d rather watch the pretty woman who barely did anything at the slams having made just 1 slam SF instead of the amazing player who’s won 4 of the last 6 hard court slams then go for it.
Posts like these are one of the reasons why I don't outright quit this forum. Nice to see there's someone willing to see women's tennis with some sense, no bias, agendas, or prejudices. (y)
 

Jason Swerve

Professional
Posts like these are one of the reasons why I don't outright quit this forum.
You first existed 5 minutes ago.

If you really think that people were into Kournikova because she kept losing matches and trying and not because she was beautiful. the most searched woman on google and was on the cover of every magazine and everyone constantly talked about her looks..... then sure.

Think anyone can tell why she was famous and well watched.
She was the most "Google" searched woman, but Hingis had more tennis fans. I'm talking about 'tennis fans' giving 'tennis press conferences'. Whatever the hell you're on about has nothing to do with my quotes. Her popularity outside of tennis is a whole different issue, like Barty's popularity in cricket. It's got no relevance here. I don't see why you and the other one can't get that through your heads. The woman had more 'tennis fans' than these new girls.
 

Jason Swerve

Professional
You just said you were talking about one specific year - 97 - of Kournikova. So what is it? And yes, you don't have to win slams to be at your peak but that does mean your peak is lower than someone who has won a slam in competition that isn't noticeably worse than in your peak. Had Kournikova made a slam semi in 2002, it would be another thing altogether. She didn't.
I'll reply to you in this topic once you've shown me you've grasped my posts. It's very obvious that you don't understand them or never tried. This isn't going to be a BorgTheGOAT, Part II where the guy can't repeat back the points I was making to him.
 
Tennis needs good heel figures. You can call it a 'b!tch' or whatsoever you claim, but these two were massively more popular and marketable than Osaka and her Greek dinners. Kournikova alone earned more per year in sponsorships than Osaka has earned to date in her entire career. They had to be doing something right. The key is in the results. No one likes an online warrior who can't handle themselves on the court. But if you can, your mouth is better for it.
No, Osaka broke the yearly income for women's athlete last year.

Anyway to the topic:
Both good and bad. I did still enjoy Jokovic and Nadal but if you compare their matches to last 10 years, it has less quality. The new crop players are also not good enough for me to lose sleep. For example I love Felix but will not lose sleep for him.

women's got another problem, they have less rivalries. Osaka only met Barty once when they took over the world ranking, Barty and Osaka only meet Andreescu each once. No doubt they are the best at the moment but the lack of meeting between them as when one is rising the other loses early makes WTA somewhat less quality.
 

Jason Swerve

Professional
I never said Kournikova didn't achieve amazing things, she did. But the person I was quoting said results need to speak for themselves because Osaka lost a match even though she won the last 2 slams meanwhile Kournikova didn't win a title and they keep parading her. It's the blatant inconsistency from the poster that irked me.
It's blatant misreading that irks you. I said verbatim: "Repeatedly losing tournaments made Kournikova more popular because she worked hard enough to stay in the Top 15 while losing them. The narrative spark was in her always having this hard-working attitude that was consistently shot down by reality."

If that woman fell out the Top 50-100 or never jumped to the Top 30 right behind Hingis in '97, she wouldn't have had nearly the fans. If you stopped the scowling at every post I made long enough for your hypertension to fade, you'd see that I never once said anything about who 'won slams and titles'. We're talking about 'interesting' here. I know it's very complex and strenuous title, but try a little harder.

No, Osaka broke the yearly income for women's athlete last year.
Do you want to add some qualifiers to this, or should I be the one to do it for you?
 
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Jason Swerve

Professional
I don't get your comment. Could you explain it?
Let me put it for you this way: I know Osaka is currently a better hardcourt player than the Peak Kournikova. That's obvious. Saying she's a better traditional surface player is some bunk that I'll honest to goodness laugh at if you pose it to me, but Osaka has Kournikova claimed on the hardcourts.

So, when it's hardcourt season, her popularity shoots up. Thanks to this new interconnectedness, she can almost for a moment compete with the apex of Kournikova's popularity, who had the disadvantage of a less-connected world. Any other season, Osaka's popularity drops because the fans today know she only shows up to hardcourt Grand Slams. Kournikova, we knew she was trying to make her breakthrough and working her ever-loving ass off to do it, compared to this physically gifted and lazy Osaka. We cared about seeing her find confidence in her wins so she could fulfill her potential. We cared about seeing her confidence shot down when she lost, and as she got more and more injured in her practices. We wanted to debate why this was happening. We wanted to troubleshoot her game and theorize when and how she could improve.

The outside tennis popularity kept her interesting in the eyes of non-fans, but that was only because she was still staple enough to compete at a Top 20 degree for as long as she did. Not everyone wants to see a weak-era, lazy miss with sloppy feet who's squandering her talent by only trying for hardcourt slams, and barely trying even then. Kournikova had the game when it was on, and we wanted to see if we could figure out what mental barriers were leading to her losses and injuries, because she obviously wanted the victories even more than we wanted her to have them. A player who wants to be successful and breaks their neck over it is more appealing to most people than a Twitter thumbing couch potato.

Kournikova lost weight to stay fit (really, too much). Osaka gained weight over the past year. Kournikova had fracture injuries from too much hitting. Osaka had pulls and strains from bad form. If you were there- and if you're 65, you still might not've been there- you'd know there was a fundamental difference in work ethic and in players trying to better themselves that made the tour more interesting in the past. Hingis retooled her whole game to compete, which was the wrong move, but she did it. The Williams retooled their games to play Hingis. Davenport did the same thing with her fitness. And so on. Osaka talks in the interviews about what she's gonna do, but you know she doesn't mean it. Why else is she launching brands and on Dancing with the Stars, or whatever the hell this latest TV show of hers is. Why isn't she out training? Was the young Hingis Prime a Twitter freak? No. She didn't even use a computer. If she ever checked out the latest tennis news, it was from a lesser-known site called the 'newspaper'. So why is this damn-near 25 year old Twittering when she should be taking that valuable time to prep a change for the French? Hell, she should honestly be skipping the French and prepping her form for Wimbledon. If she doesn't show the motivation, people will lose interest unless she can keep winning hardcourt slams, because that boring pattern's all the 'interest' the average viewer sees if they're not on her Twitter or Instagram.
 
Oh Jason, I don't know why you are mad mad at Osaka doing other stuff than tennis. Doesn't mean she's not out there practicing.

Pretty sure she will drop her Netflix documentary this year and also she will host Met Gala this September. I hope you're okay.
 

Devtennis01

Hall of Fame
At times, I have found it more interesting. It's more interesting in the last four of grand slams the past five or six years. But day in day out I find ATP better.
 

Jason Swerve

Professional
Oh Jason, I don't know why you are mad mad at Osaka doing other stuff than tennis. Doesn't mean she's not out there practicing.

Pretty sure she will drop her Netflix documentary this year and also she will host Met Gala this September. I hope you're okay.
I'm not mad at anyone. I'm factually telling you the part of the reason the WTA isn't doing better than it is compared to the ATP. The WTA has more variety, but mainly on the court. The other standards surrounding tennis such as their comments and styles don't generate the same interest as in the past when it wasn't murky and the WTA was lightyears ahead in popularity.

Naomi hasn't been working on her weaknesses. This is apparent. If she used all this time off the court to be working on her weaknesses, she'd be winning more or losing and looking like she's going through a change in the process. Any coach can see she's not putting in the effort compared to Kournikova. Kournikova trained her weaknesses in the wrong way, but she did train them. Same for Hingis. Graf trained hers in the right way. Capriati trained hers in the right way.

This doesn't just mean training at home or on some random clay courts. It means playing many lower-grade tournaments to get a feel for the larger ones on the surface, even if you know you'll lose them. The 15-year-old Kournikova knew this. And so, she was pissed she wasn't able to play these tournaments because of her age- and she spoke out against and mailed the WTA board, and her role played a part in fueling that controversy towards the new age limit in the game, and that culminated in the WTA pushing back even harder. This is media coverage. Tennis fans care about how players feel about tennis-related developments off the court.

On the flip side, you have Osaka skipping most of them and costing the WTA a lot of revenue by playing so little. Serena was the same way. She'd get a very slight amount of practice in right before a slam came up. Difference is, Serena was still good enough to succeed with that approach, and she won those other tournaments. So the WTA got to showcase her in more matches.

Very early on when Serena had her period of not giving a damn and playing very little too, rest assured that we were equally criticizing her. Aside from the fact that she was winning massively more. No one has a personal grudge against these women. I don't know them from Eve.
 

Alba Barragan

Professional
Let me put it for you this way: I know Osaka is currently a better hardcourt player than the Peak Kournikova. That's obvious. Saying she's a better traditional surface player is some bunk that I'll honest to goodness laugh at if you pose it to me, but Osaka has Kournikova claimed on the hardcourts.

So, when it's hardcourt season, her popularity shoots up. Thanks to this new interconnectedness, she can almost for a moment compete with the apex of Kournikova's popularity, who had the disadvantage of a less-connected world. Any other season, Osaka's popularity drops because the fans today know she only shows up to hardcourt Grand Slams. Kournikova, we knew she was trying to make her breakthrough and working her ever-loving ass off to do it, compared to this physically gifted and lazy Osaka. We cared about seeing her find confidence in her wins so she could fulfill her potential. We cared about seeing her confidence shot down when she lost, and as she got more and more injured in her practices. We wanted to debate why this was happening. We wanted to troubleshoot her game and theorize when and how she could improve.

The outside tennis popularity kept her interesting in the eyes of non-fans, but that was only because she was still staple enough to compete at a Top 20 degree for as long as she did. Not everyone wants to see a weak-era, lazy miss with sloppy feet who's squandering her talent by only trying for hardcourt slams, and barely trying even then. Kournikova had the game when it was on, and we wanted to see if we could figure out what mental barriers were leading to her losses and injuries, because she obviously wanted the victories even more than we wanted her to have them. A player who wants to be successful and breaks their neck over it is more appealing to most people than a Twitter thumbing couch potato.

Kournikova lost weight to stay fit (really, too much). Osaka gained weight over the past year. Kournikova had fracture injuries from too much hitting. Osaka had pulls and strains from bad form. If you were there- and if you're 65, you still might not've been there- you'd know there was a fundamental difference in work ethic and in players trying to better themselves that made the tour more interesting in the past. Hingis retooled her whole game to compete, which was the wrong move, but she did it. The Williams retooled their games to play Hingis. Davenport did the same thing with her fitness. And so on. Osaka talks in the interviews about what she's gonna do, but you know she doesn't mean it. Why else is she launching brands and on Dancing with the Stars, or whatever the hell this latest TV show of hers is. Why isn't she out training? Was the young Hingis Prime a Twitter freak? No. She didn't even use a computer. If she ever checked out the latest tennis news, it was from a lesser-known site called the 'newspaper'. So why is this damn-near 25 year old Twittering when she should be taking that valuable time to prep a change for the French? Hell, she should honestly be skipping the French and prepping her form for Wimbledon. If she doesn't show the motivation, people will lose interest unless she can keep winning hardcourt slams, because that boring pattern's all the 'interest' the average viewer sees if they're not on her Twitter or Instagram.
Nope, I didn't mean for you to explain (once again) your reasoning on why Kournikova is story-wise more compelling than Osaka. I meant for you to explain why that has anything to do with me, first existing only 5 minutes ago. Maybe it's my fault for not being a native in English or something, but I had never heard that phrase, so I don't get it in this context.
 

Aussie Darcy

Bionic Poster
No, Osaka broke the yearly income for women's athlete last year.


women's got another problem, they have less rivalries. Osaka only met Barty once when they took over the world ranking, Barty and Osaka only meet Andreescu each once. No doubt they are the best at the moment but the lack of meeting between them as when one is rising the other loses early makes WTA somewhat less quality.
Incorrect. You only mention 3 players but they aren't the best players right now. If you look at the 2021 race rankings, yes it's Barty and Osaka but it's then Muguruza, Sabalenka, Svitolina, Kvitova.

Those players have all played eachother a bunch, Osaka is the exception and the reason for that is she's the best on hard court but terrible on clay and grass. The others are good on all courts: Barty, Svitolina, Muguruza, Sabalenka, Kvitova so they've played eachother a lot.

Barty has played Svitolina 8 times, twice this year and all in the last 4 years.
Barty has played Kvitova 10 times, three times since the start of last year, and 8 times in the last 2 years.
Barty has played Muguruza 5 times, once this year.
Barty's played Sabalenka 7 times. Twice this year, all in the last 3 years.
Halep's played Sabalenka 5 times. Three times since the start of last year.
Halep's played Muguruza 7 times. Twice last year.
Halep's played Svitolina 8 times.
Muguruza has played Svitolina 11 times.
Muguruza has played Kvitova 6 times. Once this year.
Muguruza has played Sabalenka twice this year alone.


That's why Barty has met Svitolina and Sabalenka twice this year already. Barty's played Kvitova 10 times with 8 of those in the last 2 years.
Barty is great on all surfaces.
Muguruza is also great on all surfaces.
 
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