January 23, 2008
The 26-year-old American is the winner of eight Grand Slam singles titles as well as an Olympic gold medal. She is currently ranked seventh on the WTA Tour. Officials of Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association, the hosts for the tournament, are sure Serena is going to turn up this year.
“Her office called and said she would like to come back to Bangalore as she missed coming here last year and would like to make up for that,” Tournament Director and KSLTA Secretary Sunder Raju told reporters.
The Bangalore Open champion would take home $95,500 and 300 WTA points. CEO of the WTA Tour, Larry Scott, will visit Bangalore during the event.
January 22, 2008
Q. What are your comments on the singles?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I had time to think about it. I think that I went crazy, maybe, and I made a lot of mistakes. I didn't really play the game I wanted to play, yeah.
Q. You were quite listless in the first set there. Wasn't an injury or a problem with movement?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I was having some issues, but I don't like to make excuses. We won't discuss those.
Q. Any comments on the way she (JELENA) played?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, she played really solid.
Q. Did those issues extend to the doubles? Was there a bit of a problem all through the day?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, definitely all through the day. But it was ‑‑ it's, you know, nothing life threatening, so I'll be ‑‑ it's fine.
Q. How much do you think it restricted you in your singles match?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I wasn't moving the way I wanted to and the way I was in the previous rounds, but I was ‑‑ and I wasn't able to serve the way I wanted to, so I think maybe that could have affected my serve, at least. But I think Jelena played some good tennis and she hung in there.
Q. It seemed like even when you were trying hard in the second set to get things going you just couldn't find your rhythm.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I definitely couldn't find any rhythm out there. I felt like my shots were spraying and everything like that. It just ‑‑ I was just kind of all over the place, and out there for sure.
Q. You were treated for a blister during the match, right?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah.
Q. Was that a factor during the match or not?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, it wasn't a factor.
Q. What about the sun, Serena? We don't see you in a cap too often down here. Was that a problem?
SERENA WILLIAMS: On the one side the sun was ‑‑ it was hard to serve on that side, but there's no ‑‑ that's not a reason to lose at all.
Q. Last year people didn't expect too much of you. When you came here this year everybody expected a lot of you. Did that make a difference? You've been in a lot of pressure situations, but was it a lot different walking in here with those expectations this year than last?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Actually, no, I didn't feel any pressure myself. Only pressure traditionally I feel is the pressure I put on myself. I didn't really put any pressure on me. I felt like I was going to do better than this, but I guess, you know, I was wrong. Can't always be right.
Q. When did it come up for you as an issue, the injury?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, it's not really an issue. I just think I'm not going to sit here and make excuses. I lost because Jelena played better than me and I made too many errors. I think regardless, the match was on my racquet, and I gave it away.
Q. You recently said you're a happy person with a smile on your face. How easy is it to put that smile back on your face after a day like today?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, it's hard, I guess. I mean, me being the person I am, I'm pretty much a perfectionist. If things don't go right then I have problems with that. It's not the end of the world.
That's a tournament I'm going to be in in a couple of weeks. I'm just going to go home and keep working out and staying fit.
Q. It's been like six, seven years since you were in four Slams and failed to pass the quarterfinal. What do you think about the year moving forward? Just talk about your general state of mind.
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, I think there's good things coming forward. You know, just taking it one day at a time and trying and let this go behind me and just go back and keep training.
You know, it's just ‑‑ I definitely see ‑‑ I've come a long way from last year, and I just keep going forward.
Q. Did that injury get you out of a lot of tournaments last year? Can we expect to see you on the tour a bit more this year?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely expect to be on the tour. I look forward to it and to being in a lot of events.
Q. Can you talk about Venus' chances? She's been playing pretty well, and she's never won here. She's in a good side of the draw and looks like she has a good opportunity moving forward too.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely hope the best for her and I want her to go all the way. I think she's the best player, toughest competition for me. Whenever I play her, she's playing so solid. I think she'll do really well.
January 21, 2008
January 20, 2008
JELENA JANKOVIC: Not really. I know that I can lift up my game. Each match is different and special, and you prepare in a different way. So I know that against her I have to come up with a lot better level of tennis, and I have to go for my shots and try to be very accurate, and also serve well, it's very important, it will be the key. So we will see. You know, I've beaten her a few times. I know how I have to play. But I know that I have to play really, really great tennis if I want to win because she's a strong girl. She's stronger than me twice ‑ twice my size. So I have to be ‑‑ it's not so easy (laughter). Sometimes I feel like she's going to blow me off the court. But I have to stay there and play my game and go for the win.
Q. Where do you rank Serena's serve in the women's game?
JELENA JANKOVIC: In the ATP Tour, you mean (smiling)? She goes more than 200 kilometers per hour, so she's up there with the guys. I mean, she has one of the best serves in women's tennis, no doubt about that. Her and her sister. I cannot say anything about that. I can only give her compliments. If I start giving her compliments, I can keep going all day, so I have to stop (laughter).
* Venus and Serena play their 3rd Rnd Doubles match (vs. Maret Ani and Meilen Tu) on Monday. It is scheduled to be the 4th match of the day on Show Court 2.
January 19, 2008
January 18, 2008
January 17, 2008
January 16, 2008
January 14, 2008
Two more marquis players have signed on to compete in this year’s historic 35th anniversary celebration at the Family Circle Cup. World No. 7 Serena Williams and World No. 8 Venus Williams have officially entered the 2008 Family Circle Cup.
As former World No. 1 players with 14 Grand Slam titles between them, they join World No. 1 Justine Henin in a strong player field that now boasts three women who have held this prestigious ranking. Serena Williams is an 8-time Grand Slam champion who is making her fifth appearance in Charleston. Venus Williams is a 6-time Grand Slam champion making her fourth appearance at the Cup where she won the title in 2004. The 2008 Family Circle Cup draw will also include defending champion and current World No. 4 Jelena Jankovic as it celebrates its over three decades in women’s professional tennis April 12 - 20th at the Family Circle Tennis Center in Charleston, SC.
“Serena and Venus Williams are true champions who bring excitement to every tournament they enter,” noted Robin Reynolds, Family Circle Cup Tournament Director. “Each sister has had great success at the Cup and they both have such a huge fan base here at this event. Having these two superstars enter our tournament makes our 35th anniversary even more special.”
Throughout her illustrious career, Serena Williams’ accomplishments have made an indelible mark on the world of women’s professional tennis. With 28 singles titles including eight Grand Slam championships, the most among active players, this 26-year-old former World No. 1 has notched over 350 singles wins, $18 million in career earnings, and also won a US Olympic Gold medal with her sister Venus in doubles at the 2000 Olympic Games. Having spent seven years in the Top 10, including 2007 where her dramatic comeback was highlighted by a return to the Top 10 driven by her third Australian Open championship and the Tier I Sony Ericsson Open title in Miami, Serena continues to be a major contender at any event she enters.
“I really enjoy playing in Charleston and can’t wait to return,” commented Serena Williams. “I have so many wonderful memories from that event both on and off the court.” Serena has made four appearances in Charleston and holds a 7-4 record at this event having notched her best result as a finalist at the 2003 Family Circle Cup. She was named the 2004 Family Circle / Prudential Financial “Player Who Makes a Difference” for her outstanding contributions of time and energy to worthy charitable causes.
While competing in Charleston, Serena has participated in many clinics and has made numerous appearances at schools as well as charitable and community organizations. Serena co-starred with her sister in an ABC Family reality TV show "Venus and Serena: For Real" in 2005, part of which was filmed in Charleston.
January 13, 2008
Q. You pushed the bar really high in your dominant stage. Do you feel Justine pushed the bar higher last year?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely think she pushed the bar really high. She played unbelievable. I think she won most of the tournaments that she entered. And that's really something that is very, I mean, encouraging and really pushing the bar really high.
In this same post match interview, they referenced their knowledge of her recent blog entries so I am almost positive that they have read or heard her response to numerous questions about Justine. You've got your answer (to the same question) now please move on!
The defending champion realised that she was taking herself far too seriously, but says that has changed
Taking physical appearances first, she looks like a champion. Fit and conditioned, Williams appears supremely prepared to add to her eight Grand Slam titles.
However, there is a change in the mindset of the woman who, at her peak almost five years ago, dominated women’s tennis during a 57-week stay at the top of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour world rankings – a period that saw her win five out of the six major prizes. No longer is she guarded, habitually economic with the truth, because nobody, other than her family, was ever allowed to get to know the person inside that body. Now she is open and affable and says her ambition is to enjoy herself in 2008, and one way of doing that is to let the public into the once-mysterious world of the Williams sisters.
She says that the defining moment in her metamorphosis came as she was flying home from Europe in October after a tournament in Zurich. Delving into the self-help book Who Moved My Cheese?, a best-seller about overcoming the fear of making changes in life, she realised she needed to take heed of what the author, Spencer Johnson, was saying.
So how does this new affable persona equate with the desire to prove once again that she is the world’s best, something that requires unseating Henin from the top of the rankings and staying fit?
January 12, 2008
Q. The rankings say that she (Justine) is the world No. 1. Does she feel like the world No. 1 to you or do you feel that your best tennis is the best in the world?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think right now she's absolutely the world No. 1. I mean, she's winning every tournament that she's entering. I mean, she definitely, definitely is No. 1. She definitely has that ranking, for sure.
In my honest opinion I feel as if a lot of the interviewers try to "bait" Serena into saying something negative (about other players) while "praising herself" in the same sentence. She could have "piggy-backed" off of the "my tennis is the best tennis in the world," but she didn't. I am glad that she didn't because you better believe that someone was waiting to swarm in and blow the comment out of proportion just as they did the "Justine you've been warned," which Serena NEVER said. Serena's response to this question reflects maturity, honesty and respect. I'm loving it!
January 11, 2008
January 8, 2008
January 7, 2008
Having won the title despite being under-prepared, however, the former world number one arrived in Australia early this year looking fitter than she has in a long time and told Reuters that she wanted to leave nothing to chance this time.
"Last year was cutting it a bit close," Williams said, having begun her season in style by helping the United States to victory in the Hopman Cup, the eight-nation mixed team event held in Perth.
"It definitely pays to be here early. I'm glad I'm here. I have four matches under my belt and I'm definitely excited about that."
Twelve months ago, Williams arrived at Melbourne Park ranked 81st and looking well short of optimum fitness but still walked away with the title, demolishing Maria Sharapova in the final. But knowing that she can win grand slam titles when she is not fully prepared can be a double-edged sword, Williams said.
"It's definitely been a vice of mine, my biggest vice," said the American, who is now ranked seventh. "I can win without working this hard, it's a blessing and a malediction, so to say. "(This time) I think I've been training a little more. I am more confident. It's all coming together. I took maybe one week off, if that. "Other than that I have been training every day. I feel like as long as I play like this, I'll be solid (at Melbourne Park)."
Williams stressed in Perth that she is enjoying her tennis more these days and the way she laughed and joked her way through mixed doubles matches with her partner Mardy Fish at the Hopman Cup suggests a new attitude.
"I started this last year," she said. "Last year I had no pressure on me and I just enjoyed myself and had fun in every match that I played. I like that feeling. "I put so much pressure on myself because I am a perfectionist, but I realise not everything's going to be perfect in life, there are bumps you have to deal with. "I wasn't dealing with it last year. I had a court case, eight hours of every day and it was very difficult." Williams, her sister Venus and their father, Richard, were accused of reneging on a deal to play an exhibition match.
She added: "It's hard to sit down for eight hours, sometimes even longer, for over a month. The fact that I didn't have to do that (this year) pretty much explains it (her relaxed attitude)." When Williams won the title last year, the only top 10 player missing from Melbourne was Belgian Justine Henin, who captured the French and U.S. Open titles later in 2007.
Henin has beaten Williams in their three most recent meetings and will be the favourite for the title in Melbourne, starting on January 14, but Williams said she had another motivation to win the tournament. Victory at Melbourne Park would take her to nine grand-slam titles, level with Monica Seles, Williams's hero growing up.
"That would be awesome," Williams said. "She was definitely a big factor. I love her and I think she's a great person. She was my favourite player. "I'm feeling really match fit and ready. I am never where I want to be. I am getting there. I can't put a percentage on it right now, but I am getting there."
January 6, 2008
January 5, 2008
During a extremely hot Melbourne afternoon that also saw men’s champion Roger Federer begin his quest to win his fourth Australian Open, Williams commented several times on the speed and hardness of the new Plexicushion court.
The three-time champion, who had just flown in from Perth where, with Mardy Fish, she won the Hopman Cup on Friday night, repeated her comment, adding that she thought the court was “even harder” at times.
Williams looked in ominous form as she smashed forehands, backhands and volleys to two male training partners who gave the impression of soldiers under fire.
On Friday, Serena (and Mardy Fish) won the Hopman Cup for the U.S. defeating the Serbian Team of Novak Djokovic and Jelena Jankovic (7-6, 6-2).
On Saturday, Venus Williams defeated Maria Sharapova (6-4, 6-3) to win the JB Group Classic (in Hong Kong).
Also on Saturday, Lindsay Davenport won her 3rd title in 4 tournaments since returning to the game after giving birth to her 1st child, Jagger. Lindsay beat Aravane Rezai (6-2, 6-2) to win the Auckland Classic in New Zealand.
CONGRATULATIONS LADIES! Awesome start to the season!