Tale Of The Tape: Venus vs. Serena

July 2, 2009 – 3:27 pm by Matthew Glenesk

williams-sistersAcross the Atlantic Ocean Saturday, there will be a Fourth of July fireworks show perhaps better than anything we’ll see here Stateside.

Americans Venus and Serena Williams will battle it out yet again for the Wimbledon championship, marking the fourth time the sisters have met in the final at the All England Lawn Club. (Big Sister won last year, but Serena captured the silverware in 2002 and 2003.)

Venus, a five-time Wimbledon champion and winner of the last two, has won 34 consecutive sets at the event. Perhaps they should name the trophy after her. Wait a minute. It’s already called the Venus Rosewater Dish? Oh, then nevermind.

Now, the siblings face off for the 21st time in their professional careers. Of course the series is split at an even 10-10. So how does one decipher which Williams’ sister has the advantage come Saturday. It’s simple. It’s time for one of those highly scientific and totally non-chauvinistic Rumors and Rants Tales of the Tape. And without further ado…

Introduction:
Venus: In 1997, Venus became the first unseeded singles finalist in U.S. Open history and also became the first woman since Pam Shriver (1978) to reach the singles final of the U.S. Open on her first attempt.
Serena: At the 1998 Lipton Championships in Key Biscayne, Fla., Serena became the fastest woman in tennis history to record five wins over opponents ranked in the top-10, when she defeated Irina Spirlea in just her 16th career match.

Breakdown: At that 1997 U.S. Open, it was Spirlea who kneed Venus when she bumped into her during a changeover in the semifinals. The Romanian claimed Williams was arrogant and didn’t move. “I’m not going to move. She never tries to turn…She thinks she’s the fucking Venus Williams.” Um, she is the fucking Venus Williams. And she beat you. And a few months later, Little Sister did too. Of course Richard Williams, Venus’s father, blamed Spirlea’s actions on racism, and called Spirlea an “ugly, white turkey.” At least she wasn’t jive. Serena’s achievement is good and all, but Venus bumped that bitch from her only Grand Slam semifinal during her 11 years on tour.
Advantage: Venus.

Better Nipple Shot:
Venus: Here.
Serena: Here.

Breakdown: Venus’s was accidental. Serena’s, blatantly intentional. Plus, there’s more to see with Lil’ Sis.
Advantage: Serena.

Romantically Linked To:serenacommon
Venus: Hank Kuehne.
Serena: Brett Ratner, Udonis Haslem, Jackie Long, Common and LaVar Arrington.

Breakdown: Who the hell is Hank Kuehne? He’s a professional golfer, who won the 1998 U.S. Amateur and whose best PGA finish is a tie for second at the 2003 Shell Houston Open and 2005 John Deere Classic. While a generally undistinguished pro golfer, Kuehne most likely lured Venus with his length off the tee. In 2003, he unseated John Daly for the Tour’s Driving Distance title.
Oh, and he’s white. I’m not sure how the sometimes blatantly racist Pops Williams feels about Venus crossing the color barrier, but Serena one-upped Big Sis by dating a Jew (Ratner, who directed the “Rush Hour” trilogy, which besides the first installment is nothing to be proud of). Then there was the power forward (Haslem) and linebacker (Arrington). Makes sense – or Common Sense, who coincidentally she’s being romantically linked with now. Common, or Lonnie Lynn Jr., was thought to be dating Alicia Keys for a while, but has decided instead of the soft tenderness of the piano, he’d like to go for the thundering, thumping bass Serena lays down.
Advantage: Serena.

Better Looking In a Bathing Suit:
Venus: Here, here and here.
Serena: Here, here and definitely here.

Breakdown: Both sisters have posed for Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue, and to be honest, both look like they could hurt me in a straddling position. (Though that’s not necessarily a bad thing). Looking at Serena scantily clad in a bikini, my penis doesn’t know whether to applaud or cry for help. It’s one of those high risk-high reward type deals.
Advantage: Serena.

Gratuitous Butt Closeup:
Venus: venus-williams_1206392i
Serena: 2297e7cd-5356-d696-a8c0-b8a942738d59-news_fb_btwb_serenawilliams

Breakdown: I kind of dig Venus’s hemorrhoid look. Perhaps she can add a Preparation H endorsement to her cache of ad deals. Plus, I usually take firm and manageable over the absurdly large.
Advantage: I can’t believe I’m saying this, Venus.

Fashion Statement:
Venus: Perhaps more old-fashioned than Little Sis, if you call this old-fashioned, Venus launched her own fashion label with the help of Steve & Barry’s called EleVen. She doesn’t have quite the “assets” Serena does, so Venus goes for practicality rather than the confusingly erotic.
Serena: Who doesn’t remember where they were when Serena showed up in Flushing wearing this black lycra catsuit at the 2002 U.S. Open? Always one to push the fashion envelope, Serena, who runs her own line of designer apparel “Aneres” (Serena backwards), wore denim skirts and boots at the 2004 U.S. Open and a white trench coat at last year’s Wimbledon.

Breakdown: It’s hard to top the catsuit. Serena’s version looked like previous Catwomen Michelle Pfieffer and Halle Berry were stuffed into one suit, but grrr.
Advantage:
Serena.

So there you have it. When you break it down scientifically, it’s really not much of a match. Serena wins in a walkover, 4-2.

Now, does that mean Little Sister will get the better of Venus come Saturday and claim her third Wimbledon title? I highly doubt it. Venus has been like gangbusters through her draw, while Serena had to dodge a match point in her semifinal match just to get to the final. But if it happens, you now know the rationale behind it. The ass plays.

But either way, both plan on picking up silverware when they repeat as Wimbledon doubles champions this weekend also.

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