Sunday, 26 July 2009

Consistency, Quality and other Slovenian Strawmen

I've been propping up Dinara's cause with what looks like insolent bias over the months, but must admit her decision to play Slovenia this week really grates my cheese. Thank goodness it wasn't a clay court event.

This piece at Tennis Talk Anyone mentions a lot of what I find questionable.

(Photo: HRVOJE POLAN/AFP/Getty Images)

I can only assume she did it as some kind of a confidence booster.

It really does make the job of deflecting those daggers Serena and the rest of the 'real number one' posse seem intent on sending her way, rather difficult.

Especially when you hear of
Zeljko's own attempts.

"If she [Serena] thinks she can only play 4 tournaments a year & will be #1 in the world she is wrong and has problems with mathematics."

-- @dinaupdates via Twitter

Serena's flunking all the high school maths papers in the world wouldn't change the fact that she, along with anyone with an opinion on tennis, is right to draw attention to the apparent paradox
Dinara's ranking presents.

But the bigger problem with
Zeljko's line of defence, if that indeed is what it is, is that it's a bit like saying, "Yeeeaaah she'll only ever be a 'consistent' breed of player (and what a disease that is), what of it?".

What of it?

Well it's not very motivating for one thing. Embracing her fate as the '
Consistentina' of the tour (to Nikolay's 'Constantine'), also undermines Dinara's credibility as a top ten player, let alone a world #1.

It's true that everyone already knows that
Dinara is not (and probably won't ever be) the player that either of the Williamses are.

But that's neither here nor there. I'm not going to bore you again with what I think the debate is about.

There is of course some merit to
Zeljko's assertion that Serena doesn't play enough events outside of the Slams. Trouble is, with this futile little Slovenian venture of her's, there's probably now rather more to the observation that Dinara plays too many of them.

Not to mention how difficult she's found it to ensure that it's her mentally bolstered self, and not that self-confessed chicken, that takes to court when she does make those Slam finals. A more worrying situation when you consider that not all of them were opposite Serena.

I don't have a problem with those that question
Dinara's ranking, provided they're prepared to acknowledge (preferably in the same breath) that this debate wouldn't even be a debate, if Serena played and won more at the Premier level.

I just don't know which I hate more: that people will now '
strawman' the discussion about her ranking by ridiculing her Slovenian win over a field of tier three players; or that she gave them reason to ridicule by supplying them with that Slovenian strawman.

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