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Karsten Braasch vs Williams Sisters One 'battle of the sexes' sports event that has curiously not gotten much attention was the impromptu beatdown that an obscure male German professional tennis player named Karsten Braasch handed to both Serena and Venus Williams during the 1998 Australian Open. At that event, the Williams sisters confidently walked into the Australian ATP office and boldly announced that either one of them could beat a top-200 male player. The 30-year-old Braasch, who had been ranked 38th in the world at his peak in 1994 but had dropped to 203rd by 1998, accepted the sisters' crazy challenge. On January 26, 1998, with no advance publicity, the three of them went to a distant practice court to play a couple of sets. There were no officials and no TV cameras present--and only a smattering of spectators who happened to wander near the court by chance. Serena, then 16, was blasted 6-1 by Braasch. Venus, a year older than her sister, fared only slightly better, losing 6-2. Braasch gleefully rubbed in his dominance by smoking cigarettes and drinking beers during the changeovers. Serena, who would win the women's title at the U.S. Open later that year, was humbled by the shellacking. "It was extremely hard," she told reporters who descended upon the challenge match. "I didn't know it would be that hard. I hit shots that would have been winners on the WTA Tour, and he got to them easily." When Braasch was asked if either of the Williams sisters could beat a top male player, he opined, "Against anyone in the top 500, no chance--because I was playing like [number] 600 today."
Tags: tennis  Karsten  Braasch  Williams  sisters   
Added: 12th September 2012
Views: 37791
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Posted By: Lava1964
Posted by: Lava1964 on 2012-09-12 
...And we're supposed to believe that 29-year-old Billie Jean King (who was the number-one in feamle tennis player in the world at the time) beating 55-year-old Bobby Riggs in 1973 actually meant something?
Posted by: BigBoy Bob on 2012-09-12 
Love means nothing to tennis players.
Posted by: Steve on 2012-09-13 
Hahaha! Good one BigBoy Bob!
Posted by: Classico on 2012-09-30 
One good thing that came out of this experience was that some higher ranked WTA players started to hire lower ranked ATP players as practice partners. In the past, they usually relied on their male coaches. Now they got stimulated to take up weight training, more conditioning, and practicing with these male players in order to become even better players.
Posted by: Lava1964 on 2013-09-08 
During a recent visit with David Letterman, Serena Williams candidly admitted that if she were to play Andy Murray (presently the third-ranked player on the ATP tour) she 'would lose 6-0, 6-0 in five minutes.'

I'm thinking her loss to Karsten Braasch is still in the back of her mind nearly 16 years later.
Posted by: Lava1964 on 2018-05-04 
This was nothing new. Bill Tilden, the top male player of the 1920s, once blew away Suzanne Lenglen, the top female player, 6-0 in a practice set. Tilden disliked Lenglen so he deliberately looked bad in practice so that Lenglen might think she could beat him. She took the bait, issued a challenge, and was summarily crushed. When Tilden suggested they play another set, Lenglen quickly declined. 'You hit too hard,' she explained.
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