The eternal wrangling between aloof,know-it-all computers and the noble human species that created them has found its latest hearing in the case of Serena Williams,the alleged No 2 womens tennis player in the world.
After Williams willfully arranged on Saturday that she will hold three of the four Grand Slam titles all the way through the summer to Flushing Meadow,she signed on to the commonly held belief that computers cannot seem to rank tennis players with any lucidity. I think if you hold three Grand Slam titles, Williams said,maybe you should be No 1,but not on the WTA Tour obviously,so …
After the room of listeners finished laughing,she dipped into her reservoir of wryness and said: You know,my motivation is maybe just to win another Grand Slam and stay No 2,I guess.
While Serena remains No 2 even after her win over Venus in the Wimbledon final on a blustery,sunny Saturday afternoon on Centre Court,the woman Venus clobbered in a go-to-the-loo-and-miss-it semi-final,Dinara Safina,remains No 1 based on the 12-month ranking system.
Even though Serena actually routed Safina 6-3 6-2 in a US Open semi-final last September,and 6-0 6-3 in an Australian Open final in January,before Venus added garnish with the 6-1 6-0 pasting of No 1 in the 51-minute Wimbledon semi-final the worst loss ever for a No 1 player,according to tour records the computer studied all that and harrumphed,possibly because it spends so much of its life indoors.
Its a result of tournament by tournament,day to day that you play, Safina said Friday evening in self-defence,a defence echoed by Venus on when she quibbled with a British reporter and said she respects Dinara Safina immensely.
Continued Safina: I won Rome. I won Madrid. Ive been in the final,French Open.
Rolling with a guffawing audience by Saturday afternoon,Serena said,I think Dinara did a great job to get to No 1; she won Rome and Madrid, but then could not resist busting into a scoffing laugh.
To the computer,Rome and Madrid matter. Safinas titles there raked her 800 and 1,000 points,respectively,while Serenas first-match exits got her one point and five points. In fact,given the computers 12-month brain,Safinas lead will widen after Wimbledon,because she improved from the third round to the semi-finals here while Serena improved from finalist to champion.
I would go crazy just thinking about it if she tended to think about it,Serena said. I think anyone really could. Thats just shocking. But whatever. It is what it is. Id rather definitely be No 2 and hold three Grand Slams in the past year than be No 1 and not have any.