The Beginning of the End for Venus?

At 37 years old, seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams is pushing herself to unprecedented physical limits. For a regular person, you would think that it is time to throw in the towel by now.  This year alone, she has made it to the finals of two Grand Slams (Australian Open and Wimbledon) and to the semifinals of the U.S. Open. It was announced this week that she has qualified for the WTA Finals in Singapore on October 22-29.   Despite having a good season by the average player’s standards, Venus has championship pedigree and is not satisfied with anything less than winning. However, with the rising talent in the WTA and the impending return of her sister Serena, Venus has missed her window of opportunity to win another Grand Slam.

We witnessed the beginning of the end for Venus at her 2017 U.S. Open semifinals match against Sloane Stephens.  That match should have given Venus the wake up call she needed to realize that it’s time for her to give it up. But instead, Venus is still trying her hardest to get back to the top. It’s clear that Venus is trying to make a come back with the work that she has put in this year alone. Even so, she only made her way to #5 in the WTA ranking, as 23-year old Garbiñe Muguruza makes it to #1.

Venus will be making her first WTA Finals since 2009. The fact that it has taken her over a decade to come back should say a lot and prove even more that her time has passed. It’s time to give it up and pass the torch to the next generation! At this point, will she every make it to the top? Only time will tell.

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What are They Swinging? A Guide of Racquets Used by the Top ATP/WTA Tour Pros

When you go out to play at your local club, you want to feel like the pros.  The best way to feel like a pro is to use the racquet they use.  In celebration of the U.S. Open, we would like to give you an inside scoop on the racquets some of the top-ranked ATP and WTA Tour men and women use and some pros and cons about each racquet.

Andy Murray – Head Graphene XT Radical Pro– $199.95

andy murray racquet

Pros

  • Light
  • Fast swinging racquet that delivers easy access to power
  • Firm and lively from the baseline
  • Great on serve and volleys

Cons

  • Made for advanced players
  • Swingbed is erratic – not great for control
  • Small sweet spot
  • Uncomfortable to hit with from the baseline

Rafael Nadal –Babolat PLAY Pure Aero– $219

rafa nadal racquet

Pros

  • Good blend of power and spin
  • Large sweet spot
  • Good on serve

Cons

  • Lacks a little feel on returns and volleys
  • Slightly lacking on control

Roger Federer – Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph– $249

roger federer racquet

Pros

  • Solid and stable
  • Gives good control and access to spin
  • Good pocketing

Cons

  • A little stiff
  • Leather grip seems thin

Stan Wawrinka – Yonex VCORE Duel G 97– $209

Stan Wawrinka

Pros

  • Great feel
  • Good volleys
  • Great control
  • Very powerful

Cons

  • Too powerful sometimes
  • Not enough spin
  • Not maneuverable enough

Novak Djokovic – Head Graphene Touch Speed Pro– $219.95

TENNIS-FRA-OPEN-MEN

Pros

  • Good control
  • Good spin
  • Comfortable
  • Great for groundstrokes and returns

Cons

  • Too muted of a feel
  • Underpowered

Karolina Pliskova – Babolat Pure Drive 2015– $199

karolina plistova racquet

Pros

  • Good power, spin, and control
  • Stable feel
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Too light
  • Little too stiff
  • Raised sweet spot turns some off

Simona Halep – Wilson Burn 100 Countervail– $199

simona halep racquet

Pros

  • Good transfer of power
  • Has great feel
  • Good spin and maneuverability

Cons

  • Not great for spin on serves
  • Very stiff, can hurt wrists
  • Not comfortable

Angelique Kerber – Yonex VCORE SV 100– $209

ANGELIQUE KERBER (GER) TENNIS -  - Brisbane International - Queensland Tennis Centre - Brisbane - Queensland - Australia - 2016Pros

  • Good power
  • Easy access to spin
  • Generous sweet spot
  • Forgiving from the baseline

Cons

  • Lacks control
  • Firm
  • Not particularly comfortable

Garbine Muguruza – Babolat Pure Drive– $219

garbine muguruza racquet

Pros

  • Good control and power on the serve
  • Great power and spin
  • Muted sweetspot

Cons

  • Not great feel and control
  • Not great on slices

Elina Svitolina – Wilson Burn 100 Countervail Orange LE– $199

elina svitolina racquet

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Grants power and depth
  • Good transfer of power
  • Good spin

Cons

  • Not great access to spin on serves
  • Too stiff