Archive for category Serena Williams

Serena and Maria — Part 22

Serena Williams has faced Maria Sharapova 21 times.  Serena has won all but two of those head to head encounters including the 2012 Olympics Gold Medal match.

The only times Maria has beaten Serena was 2004 in the Wimbledon final and the year end championships the same year.

I will be rooting for Serena to make it 20 – 2 instead of 19 – 3 on Monday.

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The HBO Documentary: Being Serena

I must honestly say that this documentary “mini series” really impressed me.  After seeing Part 2 titled “Strength” I had a new appreciation and admiration for Serena.  She obviously did not want to have a C-section due to her history of blood clots and the impact on her comeback to tennis.

Of course, the most important thing was the health of the mother and the baby, the absolutely precious Alexis Olympia.  But the C-section added risk to Serena’s health due to her blood clot history.  Thank goodness she knows her body better than anyone else and she insisted on a scan when she knew there was something wrong.

Seeing her struggle during her first match back (an exhibition match against Jelena Ostapenko, the 2017 French Open champion) was painful but I knew it was just the start of the journey.  If anyone could make it back it was Serena.  Seeing her struggle playing doubles with Venus during the Fed Cup was painful as well.  Seeing her playing the quarter finals against Venus in Indian Wells and losing was painful.  Seeing her lose in the first round of the Miami Open was painful too.  But thank goodness she knows her body better than anyone and insisted on a cat-scan with dye when she “knew” she had blood clots – and she did.

I am very glad that this documentary was done and I was very glad I watched it.  Even to the point that they completed the documentary only the day before the final episode aired.

Watch it – it’s worth it.

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Indian Wells & The Miami Open Are Over

Indian Wells marked the return of Serena and a third round match between Venus and Serena.  Something needs to be done about protected rankings for women out for maternity leave so this kind of crazy seeding and crazy draws don’t happen like this.

Which brings us to Miami – Serena meets the winner from Indian Wells in the first round at Miami?  Absurd.  It was disappointing that Venus only made it to the Quarterfinals but she did beat some big names getting there.

But let’s talk about the winners.  John Isner (New York Empire, WTT) finally got his first Masters 1000 title and Sloane Stephens (former Washington Kastle, WTT now with the Philadelphia Freedom, WTT)  took the Women’s Singles title.  Throw in the Washington Kastles’ own Bob and Mike Bryan taking their 115th career title in Miami and another WTT former player, Coco Vandeweghe paired with Australian Ashleigh Barty to win the Women’s Doubles title.

It was nice to see the USA represented as the winners in every event in Miami this year.  It was the first time in eight years that an American man had won the Men’s Singles title.

Now waiting for WTT to start…

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Serena Stands Alone at 23 Majors in the Open Era

What an amazing Australian Open Women’s Final!!!  I have made no bones about the fact that my absolute favorite tennis player of all time is Serena Williams followed by Venus at an extremely second.  After all, Venus was instrumental in the Washington Kastles winning the 2012 WTT Championship in Charleston, SC and I was fortunate enough to meet Venus after the championship match and get a fantastic photo with Venus (that I will cherish forever).

It was truly bittersweet to watch the sister battle, yet again, in the final.  I had cheered for both of them in every single match up until the final and cheering for Serena  final was heart wrenching since I love Venus, the way Venus competes, her consistent eloquence and her massive contributions to women’s tennis including equal prize money and being such a fantastic role model to young women.

It was particularly sweet to sit and watch Venus play Coco at the AO – a repeat meeting of the final event at the WTT 2012 Championship match in Charleston, SC.  The Kastles were tied 15-15 going into the final match – Venus vs. Coco, winner take all.  It went to an event tiebreak and Venus lost the first two points in the tiebreak to Coco.  The rep from NBC Sports told the Sacramento players to put on their jackets for the award ceremony.  I tapped him on the shoulder and said “never count a Williams’ sister out”.  Venus reeled off 5 straight points to win the championship and take the Kastles to 32-0.

Serena is my all time tennis favorite and I am so happy for her.  Sisters rule!!!

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The Eurythmics Were Right – “Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves”

Well, Serena won her second Wimbledon 2016 Championship today just a couple of hours after her Singles title alongside her sister Venus.

Venus and Serena won the Womens Doubles Championship in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4 over Timea Babos and Yaroslava Shvedova in an hour and 27 minutes.  The big key to the Williams sisters winning this title was break opportunities.  Venus and Serena had 4 break points against their opponents and converted 75%  of them – 3 out of 4.  Babos and Shvedova had 8 break points against the Williams sisters and only converted 13% of them – one.

This keeps the Williams sisters record in Grand Slam Doubles Finals intact – they are 14-0 when they reach the final.

Again, congratulations to our former Kastles super stars and my two favorite players of all time.

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Serena’s “Catch-22” Is Now a “Caught-22” Equaling Steffi Graf

I am truly elated that Serena finally got her 22nd grand slam singles title to equal Steffi Graf.  She had to deal with the disappointment last fall of not getting the calendar year grand slam (and #22), losing in the Australian Open final to Angelique Kerber (and not getting #22) and then losing to Garbine Muguruza at the French Open Final and not getting #22 for the third time.

I could tell from the beginning of the first game that Serena was on a mission and would not be denied her 22nd grand slam title.

Serena won the first set 7-5 by breaking Kerber in the 12th game of the set when Kerber was serving at 5-6.

Kerber had only one break chance against Serena in the entire match and it came in the second set at 3-3.  Kerber took a point at 30-30 to go up 30-40.  Serena promptly saved the break point and slammed the door shut with an ace at 117 MPH followed by another ace at 124 MPH and then won the game on a backhand forced error by Kerber.

Serena won the set in fine fashion with 13 aces with only 3 double faults, 39 winners to Kerber’s 12 and only 21 unforced errors to 39 winners.

Congratulations to Serena – the Greatest Of All Time.

Serena - History Rewritten!!!

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Venus and Serena Prevail in Women’s Double Semifinal – Will Play Double’s Final Saturday

Serena will have a busy day tomorrow starting with the Women’s Final against Angelique Kerber.  After that is completed, the Men’s Doubles Final will be held and then Venus and Serena will take to Center Court for the Women’s Doubles Final.

They won their Semifinal match against Julia Goerges and Karolina Pliskova in straight sets 7-6 (3), 6-4 after falling behind 1-3.  They started the match serving and were broken by Goerges/Pliskova in the first game.  They then had 8 deuces in the second game but still lost the game to go down 0-2.  They finally broke back in game 6 to level the set at 3-3 but could not consolidate the break and were broken again.  They then broke back again to even the set and then held serve.  The set went to a tiebreak and Venus and Serena won the tiebreak 7-3.

In the second set Goerges and Pliskova broke the sisters in the fourth game to go up 1-3 and consolidated the break to go up 1-4.  The sisters held serve in the next game so the score was 2-4.  They broke Goerges/Pliskova in game 7 to get back on serve and consolidated the break.  Venus and Serena broke Goerges/Pliskova in game 9 to go up a break and then served out the set to win the match 7-6 (3), 6-4.

They will face Timea Babos and Yaroslava Shvedova in the Women’s Double Final on Saturday.

 

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Not a Terrible July 7 – It Could Have Been Better

Well the day started out with the Women’s Semifinal Match between Serena Williams and Elena Vesnina, continued with Venus Williams Semifinal Match with Angelique Kerber and completed with Serena and Venus on the court again in the Women’s Doubles Semifinal Match against Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina,

Serena only needed 48 minutes to triumph over Vesnina 6-2, 6-0.  Serena’s first serve percentage was 77 and she won all but one point when her first serve was in.  She had 11 aces no double faults.  She lost a total of 3 points on serve, broke Vesnina’s serve  5 times and had 28 winners to 7 unforced errors.

Unfortunately Venus fell to Kerber 6-4, 6-4 in the other Women’s Semifinal Match.  Serena will have a re-match with Kerber in the final.

In one minute shy of 2 hours, Venus and Serena won their Women’s Doubles Quarterfinal Match 7-6 (1), 4-6, 6-2.  They will play their Women’s Double Semifinal Match on Friday.

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And a Really Nice July 5 for Venus and Serena

Well even though July 4 was a pretty good “Independence Day” for Venus and Serena, the day after proved to be even better.

The day started with Venus Williams playing Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan in one of the Ladies Quarterfinal matches.  Venus won in two sets in an hour and 42 minutes by a score of 7-6 (5) and 6-2.  She will face Angelique Kerber in the Semifinals on Thursday.

While Venus was finishing off Shvedova, Serena took the court versus Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and won in straight sets 6-4, 6-4 in an hour and 12 minutes.  Serena broke Pavlyuchenkova twice of two opportunities and served 11 aces en route to the victory.  She will face Elena Vesnina in the Semifinals on Thursday.

And if that wasn’t enough, the sisters took the court in Women’s Doubles facing Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka, the number 6 seeds and the team that lost to Venus and Serena in the Wimbledon Women’s Doubles final in 2012.  They also took out Venus and Serena in Women’s doubles in the Semifinals at the 2013 U. S. Open en route to winning the title.  Venus and Serena got their revenge by winning the third round match 6-4, 6-3 in an hour and 27 minutes.

Not a bad day at all – and the Bryan Brothers won their Third Round Men’s Doubles match against Zimonjic/Stepanek 7-5, 6-7 (10), 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 in three hours and 7 minutes.

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A Pretty Good July 4 for the Williams Sisters

Today has solidified my belief that we are still witnessing two of the greatest tennis players of all time, male or female, playing Wimbledon this year.  What makes it even more remarkable is that not only is Serena going for major number 22 to tie Steffi Graf but she is doing it at the age of 34 (almost 35).  And on top of that, older “sis” Venus is into the quarterfinals at the age of 36.

When I first became aware of the Williams Sisters 26 years ago I knew they would be great tennis players and a pair of players that the United States could be truly proud of.  They have both one Olympic gold medals in singles, three Olympic gold medals in doubles (together) and were integral parts of the 1999 Fed Cup Championship team.  Seeing Richard Williams talk about Venus at the age of 10 and talking about Serena and how great she would also be made me sit up and take note and made we want to follow these two remarkable young African American tennis players.

It’s no secret that I adore both Venus and Serena and was truly ecstatic when they were both members of the Washington Kastles.  But to see them play at such a high level at their ages makes me truly happy to be witnessing this.

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