Sunday, September 09, 2007

On being a loser

"I just think she made a lot of lucky shots and I made a lot of errors."
- Serena Williams at the US Open news conference after her quarter-final defeat.

Lucky shots? Come on, Serena... You don't win the U.S. Open, and six other grand slam titles, with a lot of lucky shots.

If, however, she really thought that way, she probably didn't have to say it. And further, don't say this either: "I really don't feel like talking about it. It's like I don't want to get fined. That's the only reason I came. I can't afford to pay the fines because I keep losing."

Just don't come to the press conference and pay the fine.

In fact, while Henin made just a little fewer unforced errors, she had more double faults than Williams. That, if the total of unforced errors and double faults are compared, Serena had only one more than Justine.

They made the same number of aces - four.

The difference? Number of winners* (this must be the lucky shots Serena referred to). Justine had almost twice the winners that Serena had (30 vs. 17).

But isn't this Tennis about -- making more winners than the opponent?

In each of the matches from the quarter finals into the final, the match winners always had more winners than their opponents did. But not necessarily fewer unforced errors. In the match between Venus Williams and Jelena Jankovic, for example, Venus had 60 winners (vs. 17 of Jelena) and 56 unforced erorrs (vs. 24 of Jelena).

So Serena, please learn to become a better loser. Specially since you keep losing, as you said.

* Winner – (rally) a forcing shot that can not be reached by the opponent and wins the point; (service) a forcing serve that is reached by the opponent, but is not returned properly, and wins the point