30 Days of Tennis Challenge – Day 10: Favorite retired women’s player
August 5, 2011 10 Comments
Old man says living is killing a lion every day. It depends, but I could see that happening, yes. But if we are talking about shooting down a daily trivia instead of the king of the jungle, this day was, in the end, a pussycat.
I’m not a long time WTA fan – thought it might have already surpassed ATP nowadays. The reasons are many. First, I’m not a long time ATP fan either. Second, it’s hard to get it on TV. Third, I only learned about the existence of live streams about a year ago or so. Fourth, since our best women’s tennis representative played in the sainted days of the 50s/60s, the exposure for the girls is almost non-existent in times without internet or even Twitter.
After justifying – and I’m not sure why – here it is my favorite retired women:
It couldn’t be different, or could it? I have this theory Elena Dementieva and Marat Safin would have made the best Hopman Cup team of all time, by far.
Talking about further-ness, before Kim Clijsters showed up in my life, I had no doubt about my faves. They were Dinara Safina and Lena. I guess the reasons are all well-known to all of us. She is a dame, and a damsel. She’s gorgeous, had an outstanding posture, was never known for controversies (at least I’ve never heard of them). And she also played some effing good tennis – peaking at number 3 in 2009, winning sixteen career titles – Olympic gold included, but not Slams – though she hit the post twice in 2004.
Her retirement, at the Doha Year End Championships last year, got me by total surprise. I was all “Whaat, I left for ten minutes to cut my hair and Elena Dementieva retires from pro tennis?”. But all the tributes that were paid to her, all the videos (like this one) say for themselves. If she was loved even among her colleagues, who am I to dislike her?
Before finishing, I will make an amend to include Martina Navratilova in this post. Never watched her playing, but do I need to? She won 167 singles titles, countless doubles’, and also completed the career Slam in mixed doubles. For God’s sakes, she won the US Open with one of the Bryans in 2006, and she was almost 50, no?
But I don’t like Martina for her titles – though they, yes, helped me, which is pretty ironic, since I usually dislike the dominant ones – or her lopsided head-to-heads (check out these ones v. Shriver, v. Garrison and v. Evert, which is not lopsided, but must be the GOAT).
What I do like in Navratilova is her personality. She just goes out and speaks it. And, as long as you’re not talking bananas – and as far as I’ve already read from her quotes, it’s not the case – there we have something I admire.