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Thursday, 13 July, 2000, 16:26 GMT 17:26 UK
Has women's tennis become a power game?

Saturday's final at Wimbledon between new singles champion Venus Williams and the deposed title holder Lindsay Davenport lived up to its billing as "the battle of the big hitters" - so has women's tennis just become a power game?

As Davenport and Williams slugged it out on Centre Court, new questions have been raised on how the women's game is played.

Not only the tallest final ever, the match was between two of tennis' most powerful hitters.

Traditionally, the women's game has been one of accuracy and consistency rather than brute force of the men's game.

This approach has been embodied by players like Steffi Graf and Martina Hingis.

However, the days of this kind of player could be numbered as the new breed use sheer strength to force errors out of their opponent.

So what do you think?

Has women's tennis become a power game?

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HAVE YOUR SAY




The players that have the best combination of talent and strength will win - players will not be able to win with mere strength alone

Daniel Matthews, England
Women's tennis has not become a power game, make exceptions in the shape of Venus Williams, but the women's game has more tactical players such as Martina Hingis & Monica Seles.
Anthony, England

Tennis is becoming more and more competitive, and the players are now also working on their strength to improve their play. Strength has been a part of the men's game for a long time, and most say that men's tennis is more entertaining than women's tennis. The players that have the best combination of talent and strength will win, and that usually means as much of both as possible. Players will not be able to win with mere strength alone.
Daniel Matthews, England

A great deal has been said in the last few days about the so called power hitters in women's tennis. Although the big hitters do tend to come out on top, I don't think they will continue to do so, I believe that tennis, like many other sports is looking more and more to technology to find a way to even out the game. Ball composition and restrictions on racket tension could be a couple of ways to do this.
John, Newcastle, England

Be it power, skill or athleticism, one thing is clear: a new era has emerged in tennis and Venus and Serena Williams are presently at the cutting edge of that new dawn. Anyone that intends to make an impact on women's tennis should study them and learn to keep ahead of them in skill, speed, power and athleticism.
Tony Ikeme, UK



Like anything else in the world, women's tennis has to evolve and stay attuned to its environment, be it the size of the athlete or the viewing public's (fans) interests, if it wants to be around for years to come

Mkululi, Canada
Like anything else in the world, women's tennis has to evolve and stay attuned to its environment, be it the size of the athlete or the viewing public's (fans) interests, if it wants to be around for years to come. Rest assured, the introduction of power is not the last evolutionary change in the sport we have seen. Aside from the evolutionary tendencies, if women's tennis has to claim a spot in the world of professional sport, and its fair share of sport-crazed fans, it better deliver on those elements that attract the fan to sports to begin with - the display of athleticism, wit, and entertainment, etc.
Mkululi, Canada

It has become more of a power game, but credit to Venus Williams, she can sprint all over the court, and play both ground strokes and gentle drop shots when needed. She simply outplayed everyone, including her talented sister. (Those who suggested that match was rigged should be ashamed of themselves.)
Helen, UK

Martina Navratilova heralded in to women┐s tennis a level of fitness that had not been seen before. This was continued by Monica Seles. The Williams sisters who are superb athletes and exponents of the game, have simply taken this to another level. I think that they have room in their games for deft touches as well as blistering winners. They are setting the standard and that standard is not simply about brute force; It's about power, skill, grace and athletes. Long may it and the Williams continue!
Stephen Porter, England



I watch womens tennis because of the longer rallies, making a change from the hard serve and volley of the mens game, but I will stop watching it if they end up the same way!

Lee, UK
This is yet another attempt by women to try and become equal to men in unrealistic ways. The only reason they are starting to hit the ball harder is because they assume, one day, singles matches will merge into male vs female ones and have a chance of winning (just like how the Williams sisters feel). This will never happen though because no matter how hard they try, men are physically stronger and will always come out on top. I watch womens tennis because of the longer rallies, making a change from the hard serve and volley of the mens game, but I will stop watching it if they end up the same way!
Lee, UK

I believe that women's tennis has become a power game, but the change in the game has brought out more athleticism from the players. The pace and power of the game is providing a much more entertaining brand of tennis. In the past, we were treated to great tennis by a few athletically gifted players. Now, every player on the tour has to step up her fitness to compete. I think it is great for the women's game.
Rico Smith, USA



This is some of the best tennis ever!

Gillian, Australia
For heavens sakes!! The minute Womens tennis starts being as powerful as the mens the criticism starts!! Stop it! This is some of the best tennis ever!
Gillian, Australia

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See also:

03 Jul 00 |  Sportstalk
Are the women more entertaining?
03 Jul 00 |  Sportstalk
Who is Wimbledon's greatest champion?
25 Jun 00 |  Sportstalk
Does Wimbledon's seeding system work?
03 Jul 00 |  Sportstalk
Short-change for the women
11 Jun 00 |  Sportstalk
Has Wimbledon lost its lustre?
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