Nature of Serena's victory a warning to stars

Nature of Serena's victory a warning to stars
By Eurosport

04/04/2004 at 21:40Updated

Venus Williams' form may be continuing it’s nose dive, but for her younger sister Serena, the chances of her return to winning ways at the major championships, means food for thought for those players that ducked out of the Miami tournament in need of res

Some may smirk at the relative ease with which Serena dismantled Elena Dementieva's 60mph serve en route to a third Miami title on Saturday, but who was her opposition?

With only three of the world's top ten, playing the self-proclaimed "fifth Grand Slam", the 22-year-old make light work of the also-rans of the women's tour.

Without Justine Henin-Hardenne, Kim Clijsters, Amelie Mauresmo and Lindsay Davenport - the worlds top four players - the nature of upsets in the men's tournament meant that the women's draw was left in the shade once again.

This week's Miami Masters became unrecognisable as a hard court tournament the minute box office stars such as Roger Federer and Andre Agassi departed.

The fact that the majority of the men's fourth round draw resembled a who's who of clay court specialists, did little to turn spectators away before they even hit the turnstyles.

After all these are showcase tour events, broadcast world-wide, offering its participants big prizes and valuable ranking points to help their cause when it comes to seed allocation at the Grand Slam championships.

While Svetlana Kuznetsova is a top five player in the making and continues to build her fans base as a future Grand Slam contender from Russia, the past four weeks would have been very different if fans had not been subjected to a inferior women's tour.

Ironically, the next tournament in Amelia Island boasts a stronger field than the Miami draw. It's just a pity that there won't be as big a audience and media presence.