December 28, 2008

Serena's Signature Statement

In the December issue of h magazine, Serena mentions her next fashion project. “I’m really excited to feature my new collection, Signature Statement, on the Home Shopping Network.” There are also plans for bags, jewelry, bedding and coach wear. You can trust that Serena is going to keep it interesting and eye-catching.

TENNIS Magazine: Year In Review

SERENA appears in various sections of the January/February 2009 issue of TENNIS Magazine - Aces & Faults: 2008 In Review. (Player of the Year, Rafael Nadal, is on the cover).

P. 2 - Advertisement for BNP Paribas Showdown for the Billie Jean King Cup

P. 16 - Five Things You Don't Know About Serena Williams

P. 19 - Tennis 10: What's Going On Around The Game - Grand Central Publishing wins the rights to publish Serena Williams' memoir, tentatively titled QUEEN OF THE COURT, for a reported $1.3 million

P. 34 - 35 - Best Women's Match: US Open Quarterfinal - Serena def. Venus 7-6 (6), 7-6 (7)

P. 37 - Five women to hold the #1 ranking in 2008 - A WTA record

P. 39 - The Year In Off-Court Fashion

P. 59 - "Yeah, I Hit Like A Girl" advertisement for 2009 Family Circle Cup

December 24, 2008

HAPPY HOLIDAYS

Wishing each of you a very Merry (and safe) Christmas.
Happy Holidays!

Serena / Maria: Event of the Decade

Gene Sapakoff of The Post and Courier compiled a "not to be ridiculous" awards list, The 2008 Palmetto State sports awards. Serena and Maria Sharapova's match at this year's Family Circle Cup (in Charleston, SC) is listed as the "Event of the Decade."

Event of the Decade: And the single greatest sporting event in Charleston history, Serena Williams' 7-5, 4-6, 6-1 victory over Maria Sharapova in a Family Circle Cup quarterfinal for the ages.

December 21, 2008

December 20, 2008

Buy tickets for Sydney / Enter contest to meet Serena


Buy tickets to the Medibank International Sydney for your chance to win a finals package and meet Serena Williams at the official players’ party. Click here for more information.

Serena at Common listening party



"Serena Williams made an under-the-radar appearance at Louis Bar-Lounge Wednesday night, where Pepsi Proper presented a listening party for her (boy)friend(?) Common's new album Universal Mind Control. Williams dodged the red carpet and let Common revel in the spotlight. Later in the night, Williams, donning a thistight strapless dress, admired Common from the sidelines as he took to the microphone to perform for the crowd, shouting out his native Chi-town and his ''special friend'' in the crowd."



-- Article courtesy of miamiherald.com

December 14, 2008

Rock-N-Racquets Recap (Knoxville, TN)


Rock-n-Racquets made it's final (3 city) stop in Knoxville, TN on Sunday afternoon at the Thompson-Boling Arena. Serena and Andy Roddick defeated Caroline Wozniacki and John Isner in mixed doubles. Serena also won her singles match, defeating Caroline Wozniacki 6-4. Roddick destroyed Isner in their singles match 6-2. The three-day Rock-n-Racquets events raised $300,000 to $350,000 for at-risk youth. Since 2001, the Andy Roddick Foundation has raised more than $13 million.

Photos courtesy of Saul Young (http://www.knoxnews.com/)

A few of my pics from Rock-N-Racquets (Part 4)




A few of my pics from Rock-N-Racquets (Part 3)



A few of my pics from Rock-N-Racquets (Part 2)



A few of my pics from Rock-N-Racquets (Part 1)


Serena signing my TENNIS Magazine

Rock-N-Racquets Recap (Columbia, SC)


WOW! Rock-N-Racquets was in Columbia, South Carolina on Saturday and it was an awesome event. Andy and Serena defeated John and Caroline in Mixed Doubles (6-4). Serena also defeated Caroline in singles, 6-3. During the autograph session I was able to get Serena to autograph my TENNIS Magazine (with her on the cover with the caption "Serena Williams #1 again"). Serena looked GOOD and her movement was great. She was hustling from every angle of the court. In one rally she tried to track down a short ball and ran into and over the net. She was not hurt and continued striking the ball cleanly and effectively and her serve was ok. During the mix doubles, Serena was handling Isner's big serves. Earlier in the day, Andy and Serena held a tennis clinic for the Boys and Girls Club of the Midlands.


Also after each game won, the "jumbo-tron" showed Grand Slam winning highlights of Serena's stellar career as well as her appearances on the TV Shows "My Wife and Kids," "All of Us" and "The Simpsons." Her awesome run to the '08 US Open Title was also highlighted. Mayor Bob Coble presented each player with the Key To The City. Andy had fun with our Carolina Gamecock mascot, "Cocky." At one point he did a wrestling move, pinned Cocky to the court and John Isner counted Cocky out. During the men's singles match Andy ejected the female chair umpire and she was replaced by Justin Gimelstob (who looked really tall). The matches were played in this order: Mixed Doubles, Women's Singles, and Men's Singles.



Andy did his infamous impersonation of quite a few of the ATP and WTA players (including: Rafael Nadal, Pete Sampras, Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic, Andre Agassi, and John McEnroe). Wayne Bryan (the father of the former #1 Doubles Champions, the Bryan Brothers) was the very entertaining emcee. Serena's hitting partner, Sacha, was also in attendance. In closing, Andy told the crowd that he can always depend on the Williams Sisters and that they do more off the court than we will ever know. Andy also let one of the very young ball girls play his match point against John Isner, which she won. All in all, I had a wonderful time and Serena looks quite fit and ready to win another Australian Open. This was my FIRST time seeing Serena play (live) and I was NOT disappointed.

Images courtesy of Rich Glickstein (rglickstein@thestate.com) and Erik Campos (ecampos@thestate.com)

December 13, 2008

More Rock-N-Racquets Pics (Louisville, KY)


Williams Sisters join Charity Drive

Recentlythe Williams Sisters took part in the annual Luczo Dragon charity drive. Every year, Luczo Dragon - an IndyCar Series racing team - gets together with a dozen athletes to deliver resources and awareness to charitable organizations across the world. The program was started by team owners Steve Luczo and Jay Penske to raise money, increase exposure for the sport of racing and encourage a philanthropic spirit that will inspire others.

Venus and Serena Williams gave to UNESCO and the Serena Williams Foundation, respectively. In November 2006, Venus was named the first Promoter of Gender Equality in the partnership between UNESCO and the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, which aims to promote women's leadership and gender equality in all spheres of society around the world; she has shown strong and consistent support for the initiative ever since, and her donation to UNESCO in the Luczo Dragon charity drive is no exception. The Serena Williams Foundation is focused on education, and helping children who cannot afford to go to school or college to do so.

-- article courtesy of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour website

Rock-N-Racquets: Louisville, KY Recap



Last night Rock-N-Racquets made a successful stop in Louisville, KY (at the Freedom Hall). The tennis was fun, as it should be, and Andy Roddick attempted to serve (to clinch the doubles victory with Serena in 36 minutes, 6-4) while holding a potted poinsettia. That was the first match of the evening. In the singles matches Carolina Wozniacki defeated Williams 8-4 and Roddick beat Isner 8-4.

Rock-n-Racquets supports Andy Roddick's foundation for at-risk children. The show includes tennis, live and recorded music. The four-player tour goes to Columbia, South Carolina tonight and Knoxville, Tenn., tomorrow afternoon. Prior to taking the court, the players signed autographs.


Photos courtesy of Matt Stone, The Courier-Journal

December 10, 2008

Serena fit for Sydney despite hamstring injury

MEDIBANK International organizers remain ultra-confident Serena Williams will be fit to play in Sydney despite the world No.2 withdrawing from the Hopman Cup with a hamstring injury. The start date of the Medibank International is January 11 (two days after the Hopman Cup final) although as top seed, Williams' first match will be a couple of days later.

Tournament director Craig Watson has been in contact with Williams' agent in the past 24 hours and says he is "100 per cent" confident the American will be available. Williams sustained the injury at the year-ending WTA Championships. "I've got no concerns about her coming to Sydney and playing," Watson said. "She is 100 per cent certain ... just the one event before the Australian Open will probably do her nicely. I suspect her camp are being a little cautious to give it as much time as they can." Watson is also in the process of securing Venus Williams to the tournament to pair with younger sister Serena in doubles. -- by By Nikki Tugwell (FOXSports.com)

My "Serena's Biggest Fan" TV interview

Today I was interviewed by "Mandy" from WIS TV News in reference to being Serena's biggest fan. (Serena will be here in Columbia, South Carolina on Saturday for ROCK-N-RACQUETS). The interview went rather smoothly but I must admit that I was a little nervous. I had never been filmed for TV before. During the interview I spoke about being a huge fan, having a blog dedicated to Serena, my "Serena Video Libray" and a few other items as it relates to memorabilia. The news piece will air tonight on WIS TV (Time Warner Cable Channel 3) or (regular) TV channel 10 at 6pm or 7pm EST. Thanks Mandy for your time and reassuring me that "it will be ok." Thanks also to Mr. Henry (WIS News 10 Sports Director, Sports Anchor) for reading the email and contacting me.

December 8, 2008

Serena withdraws from Hopman Cup

PERTH, Australia -- U.S. Open champion Serena Williams has withdrawn from next month's Hopman Cup as she continues to recover from a hamstring injury.

Organizers announced Monday that Williams, No. 2 in the rankings, would not recover in time after she was injured at last month's WTA Championships. The Hopman Cup starts Jan. 3 but Williams still intends to play at the Australian Open starting Jan. 19.

Two-time champion James Blake will now be joined by Meghann Shaughnessy on the U.S. team in the mixed-team tournament. Williams and Blake combined to win the 2003 Hopman Cup.

December 7, 2008

Williams Sisters Stocking Stuffers

HOW TO PLAY TENNIS: Learn How To Play The Williams Sisters' Way (Hardcover 2004)

How To Play Tennis, by Venus and Serena Williams, is the perfect courtside companion for young tennis players of all levels. Detailed photography and text explain everything about the game of tennis from dressing for the court and holding a racket to executing the perfect lob and smash. The Williams sisters offer pro tips, demonstrate the techniques that took them to the top, and inspire young readers become the best tennis players they can be.


VENUS AND SERENA: Serving From The Hip - 10 Rules for Living, Loving and Winning (Paperback 2005)

The powerhouse sisters who stormed the international tennis scene share tips on how they aced their way to the top in Venus and Serena: Serving from the Hip by Venus and Serena Williams, with Hilary Beard. With style and rhythm, they deliver their "10 rules for living, loving, and winning" and back them up with biographical examples. The siblings describe their childhood, their discipline and their mindset and will likely inspire youngsters to pursue dreams of their own.


RAISING TENNIS ACES - The Williams Story (DVD) (2003)

Follow tennis-playing sister act Venus and Serena Wiliams as they rise from humble beginnings to take the courts of Wimbledon by storm in this inspirational story of that tracks their success from the streets of Compton to the cover of Sports Illustrated. Coached by their father, this hardworking duo went pro at the tender age of fourteen and was soon making sports headlines around the world. This is the story of Venus and Serena as told by the people who know them best.

Simply click the image to purchase the item from Amazon.com.

December 6, 2008

What's ahead in 2009 for Top 10 Women?



(Per FoxSports.com as it relates to World #2 Serena Williams): For those who have closely followed the younger Williams' career, 2008 is the season where she deserved the heartiest pats on the back, as she drove herself harder than she ever has in order to snare another major title. After eight months of fits and starts and some extremely tough losses, all her hard work paid off when she won her third U.S. Open title. Williams all but packed it in after that, but with a continued commitment she should win her 10th Slam in '09. If she does, she will all but have sewed up the unofficial title of being the best player of an extremely good generation.

ESPN Magazine: Sisters Resurgence Overlooked


The Things We Forget, Part 6: Venus and Serena Williams
Their resurgence was overlooked.

"The Things We Forget" is a chronicle of 2008 in sports (presented in 11 parts).

Of all the great stories of this year, the resurgence of Venus and Serena Williams was the most overlooked. After their domination at the All England Club—the first time they had met in a Grand Slam final since 2003 and the fifth time Venus had won Wimbledon—they snagged doubles gold together in Beijing. Serena then went to New York and won the U.S. Open without losing a set. (Her toughest opponent was Venus in the quarters.) After being ranked as low as 140 two years ago, Serena was once again the best women's player on the planet. In almost any other year, the Williams sisters might have basked in a long glow. Instead, even for them, 2008 was a flash that was doused too soon. Click here for the complete article.

Venus and Serena: Match of the Year!


MATCH OF THE YEAR: Serena Williams defeats Venus Williams, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (7), U.S. Open quarterfinals. It may seem strange to choose a two-set match for this honor, but the 17th meeting between The Sisters was the most riveting of their long, convoluted series, and better than their Wimbledon final, or any other 2008 Grand Slam final for that matter (though Serena's victory over Jankovic in the Open final had its moments). The match represented a complete turn of the wheel since the early days of their rivalry, when the siblings seemed so conflicted about playing one another that their encounters were flat or worse. This time, both Williamses were in top form, ultra-professional and intense, and went at each other as if their reputations were on the line. We hope to see many more like it.

-- as chosen by Bonne D. Ford (ESPN.com)

Serena's the #1 seed in Sydney

9 time Grand Slam Winner, Serena Williams, will be the Top Seed for next month's Sydney International tournament (January 11th - January 17th). Serena headlines a strong women's field which includes: Dinara Safina (#3), Elena Dementieva (#4), Vera Zvonareva (7), Svetlana Kuznetsova (#8) and Agnieszka Radwanska (#10). Other WTA stars participating in the event are: Carolina Wazniacki, Victoria Azarenka, Alize Cornet, Dominika Cibulkova, Amelie Mauresmo, Daniela Hantuchova, and Ai Sugiyama.

December 3, 2008

Vote for Serena: 2008 Baseline Awards

I'm extremely proud of Serena's accomplishments in 2008. You can vote for Serena in FIVE categories in the 2008 Baseline Awards (brought to you by On The Baseline, the BEST Women's tennis site ever created). Voting is open from December 1-December 29, 2008. The winners will be announced at On the Baseline on January 1, 2009. Simply click on the "Vote For Serena" button and you will be able to vote (for Serena of course) in the following categories:

* Player of the Year *
* Fan Favorite of the Year *
*Best Grand Slam Final of the Year *
Venus defeats Serena at Wimbledon / Serena defeats Jelena Jankovic at US Open
*Best Non-Grand Slam Final of the Year *
Serena Williams d. Jelena Jankovic at Sony Ericsson Open
*Biggest Upset of 2008 *
Katarina Srebotnik (d. fifth seed Serena Williams at Roland Garros)

December 1, 2008

Fast-Serving Williams Sisters

Not only are the Williams Sisters quick on the court but they are top notch servers also. Just how tough are their serves? Even though Venus' serve is the fastest, Serena's serve is the toughest with great placement and disguise. Check out the lists below for the Fastest Servers of 2008 and of all time:

Top 15 Fastest Servers - 2008

1. Williams, Venus (129.0 mph - Wimbledon)
2. Groenefeld, Anna-Lena (128.0 mph - US Open)
3. Williams, Serena (125.0 mph - Miami)
4. Lisicki, Sabine (124.0 mph - Cincinnati)
5. Brémond, Severine (121.8 mph - Australian Open)
6. Bychkova, Ekaterina (121.2 mph - Roland Garros) Petrova, Nadia (121.2 mph - Roland Garros)
8. Stosur, Samantha (121.0 mph - US Open)
9. Fedossova, Youlia (119.3 mph - Roland Garros)
10. Sprem, Karolina (119.0 mph - Amelia Island)
11. Ivanovic, Ana (118.1 mph - Roland Garros) Tulyaganova, Iroda (118.1 mph - Australian Open)
13. Amanmuradova, Akgul (118.0 mph - Amelia Island) Cavaday, Naomi (118.0 mph - Wimbledon) Kleybanova, Alisa (118.0 mph - Wimbledon)


Top 15 Fastest Servers - All-Time

1. Williams, Venus (129.0 mph - 2007 US Open, 2008 Wimbledon)
2. Groenefeld, Anna-Lena (128.0 mph - 2008 Wimbledon)
3. Williams, Serena (127.0 mph - 2006 Cincinnati)
4. Schultz-McCarthy, Brenda (126.0 mph - 2007 Indian Wells, 2007 Cincinnati)
5. Ivanovic, Ana (124.9 mph - 2007 Roland Garros)
6. Lisicki, Sabine (124.0 mph - 2008 Cincinnati)
7. Granville, Laura (123.0 mph - 2003 Memphis) Gullickson, Carly (123.0 mph - 2003 Memphis) Stevenson, Alexandra (123.0 mph - 2003 Memphis) Taylor, Sarah (123.0 mph - 2003 Memphis)
11. Petrova, Nadia (122.4 mph - 2005 Australian Open)
12. Henin, Justine (122.0 mph - 2005 Charleston)
13. Brémond, Severine (121.8 mph - 2008 Australian Open) Molik, Alicia (121.8 mph - 2005 Australian Open) Sánchez Lorenzo, María (121.8 mph - 2004 Acapulco)

Serves recorded on Stadium Court and must be in play to count. Recorded and distributed by Information and Display Systems, Inc.

-- Statistics courtesy of Sony Ericsson WTA website