March 31, 2008

Sony Ericsson Open: Day 7 (Tuesday)


Quarter-Final
Serena (USA) [8] vs. Justine Henin (BEL) [1]
Head-To-Head (6-6)
2nd match of the day on Stadium Court
(Not Before 1:00pm)

Serena cans Kanepi: Advances to Quarter-Final

Serena has defeated Kaia Kanepi 6-3, 6-3. The match (which was televised) was a little "up and down" but all that matters is the WIN! Serena has now advanced to the quarter-finals where she will once again dance with a familiar foe, #1 Justine Henin. Serena will need to bring her "A" game for sure. This one should be interesting. It is rumored that this match will be played on Wednesday.

March 30, 2008

Sony Ericsson Open: Day 6 (Monday)


4th Round
Serena (USA) [8] vs. Kaia Kanepi (EST)
Head-To-Head (0-0)
4th match of the day on Stadium Court

Serena survives scare; Advances to 4th Round

Talk about coming back from the brink of defeat, Serena showed her championship mettle to overcome Flavia Pennetta 6-7, 6-3, 6-2. I could only watch the "point tracker" online and it was the must uncomfortable feeling. Serena was leading like 5-2 or 5-3 in the 1st Set. I started cooking dinner and the next thing I knew, a 1st set tie-break was in progress. I was shocked beyond belief. I guess Serena went "walk-about." To make matters worse, Pennetta was leading 3-0 in the 2nd Set. I was like "Serena, we can't lose you in the 3rd Round, get it together." Serena then strung together 6 straight games to claim the 2nd set.
Both Serena and Flavia traded breaks numerous times throughout this 3 set battle (4 breaks for Flavia and 8 breaks for Serena) but Serena pulled through. Serena hit 11 ACES and 5 double faults. Flavia hit 2 ACES and 5 double faults. The match lasted 2 hours and 26 minutes! Things were looking quite bleak but as history shows, you can never count out SERENA WILLIAMS. She's a FIGHTER and if you want the "W(in)", you have to pretty much take it TO her and FROM her. To further solidify my strong dislike for the way things are handled at THE TENNIS CHANNEL, when Nadal's match ended on Stadium Court, Serena's match was still in progress. Instead of switching to her match, they (TTC) opted to Show Andy Roddick's match.....FROM YESTERDAY! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr !!!

March 29, 2008

Sony Ericsson Open: Day 5 (Sunday)

3rd Round
Serena (USA) [8] vs. Flavia Pennetta (ITA)[27]
Head-To-Head (0-0)
4th match of the day on the Grandstand

March 28, 2008

Serena WINS Miami opener

Serena Williams began her title defense at the $3.45 million Sony Ericsson Open with a dominating performance. The eighth-seed needed just 54 minutes to claim a 6-1, 6-2 win over unseeded Romanian Edina Gallovits in second round action Friday.

One of 32 players to receive a first-round bye, Williams improved to 42-5 all-time here, including a win over world No. 1 Justine Henin in last year’s championship match. The 26-year-old also claimed three consecutive titles here from 2002-04 and was a runner-up to older sister Venus Williams in 1999.

The former world No. 1 and eight-time Grand Slam champion never faced a break against Gallovits and won 23-of-25 (92 percent) first-serve points. Her third-round foe will be No. 27 Flavia Pennetta, a 6-4, 6-2 winner against Anastasia Rodionova.

Sony Ericsson Open: Day 3


2nd Round
Serena (USA) [8] vs. Edina Gallovits (ROU)
Head-To-Head (0-0)
2nd match of the day on Stadium Court

March 26, 2008

Key Biscayne has Serena's full attention

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. — A conversation with Serena Williams can cover a wide range of topics, from screenplays (she wants to write one) to electric cars (she wants to buy one) to her love life.

"Right now," she said, laughing, "I'm dating my tennis racket."

Yes, amid her many interests, Williams still finds time for tennis. She's seeking her fifth Key Biscayne title at the Sony Ericsson Open, which began Wednesday with matches involving unseeded players.

Williams is seeded eighth but perhaps the woman to beat, given her 23-1 record in the event since 2002. While she sometimes seems more excited about acting and fashion design than tennis, Key Biscayne usually earns her undivided attention. Maybe it's because she lives 90 minutes up Interstate 95 in Palm Beach Gardens and always has lots of friends and family at her matches.

"I love having people come out," she says. "It's pressure on me to keep winning."

The tournament is only her third this year. She lost in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open to Jelena Jankovic, then won in Bangalore, India in early March, beating sister Venus in the semifinals and Patty Schnyder in the final. Williams says she has since been practising more than usual, and she shrugs off persistent talk she's insufficiently devoted to her career.


"Tennis is No. 1 in my life," she says. "I really enjoy the game. I love nothing more than walking on the court. To me that's just the best feeling." Plus, she says: "It's a great job. It pays well."


Slowed by injuries in 2006, Williams mounted a career comeback last year. She won the Australian Open for her eighth major title, the most among active women. She also won Key Biscayne, making it seven titles at the event for the Williams sisters since 1998. "We've got seven of the last 10?" three-time champion Venus said. "That's nice. It's exciting. We love this tournament."

Both sisters returned to the top 10 in 2007. Serena's ranking rose to seventh from 95th at the start of last year. The sisters first cracked the top 10 in the late 1990s, and they're now the lone American women in the top 30. Only one American younger than 26 - Ashley Harkleroad - is in the top 100, and Serena blames the U.S. woes on a lack of tournaments.

"There are only a handful in the United States," she says. "When I was younger there were so many - Chicago, Houston, D.C., everywhere. I got to see a lot of tennis. That's how my dad got us into tennis. "If you have every tournament in Europe or Asia, you're going to get more European or Asian players, as opposed to American players. I think that's the root of the problem."

At 26, nearly nine years removed from her first Grand Slam title, Williams sees the benefits of being older and wiser when it comes to her sport. "The older you get, the more appreciation you have for the game," she says. "When you're younger, maybe you don't have to work as hard. When you get older, you have to do a lot more to keep your body right and your game tight."

She says she's "really healthy" at the moment, and plenty of challenges await in 2008. It has been nearly five years since Williams won a non-Australian major title, and she's eager to play in the Beijing Olympics, even though she's concerned about the pollution in Beijing. "I'm an environmentalist," she says. "I try to recycle, and I don't have a Prius, but I'm going to get an electric car soon."

She's also excited about a new TV commercial she did with Rafael Nadal, and she still wants to pursue work in Hollywood - in front of the camera, and behind the scenes as well. "I've gotten into writing a lot. I think I want to write a couple of screenplays," she says. "I write a lot of love stories and funny stories."
How about an autobiography? "Not anytime soon," she said, laughing. "I don't know who would write an autobiography at 26." Williams still has a few tennis chapters to go.

March 25, 2008

Serena and Rafa take tennis to the water

Two of the world's leading tennis players, Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal, took to a custom-made court to try their luck on a more challenging surface in the first ever game of tennis on water. The event took place Monday, March 24, 2008, atop Miami's new Gansevoort South Hotel overlooking South Beach on its first day of business.

The water-covered court was constructed in the 110-foot swimming pool set in the Gansevoort's exclusive 22,000-square-foot rooftop retreat. A specialist underwater team took five days to construct two invisible platforms at either end of the pool using a combination of bespoke acrylic sheets and supporting acrylic tubes.

Sony Ericssonhosted the revolutionary event to celebrate the start of this year's Sony Ericsson Open March 26 to April 6. The Sony Ericsson Open is the World's fifth largest tournament. It is the only 12-day tennis event on both the ATP and Sony Ericsson WTA Tour calendars. The Sony Ericsson Open features all of the world's top-ranked men and women players.

Defending Sony Ericsson Open Champion, Serena Williams, commented: 'It was a once in a lifetime chance to play tennis on water and it was great to be involved in a true world first. Playing against Rafa was a new challenge, but I think the surface helped to level the playing field - particularly as he volunteered to play at the deep end!'

Rafael Nadal commented: ‘I love playing on all surfaces, but this was different and playing against Serena made it even more special. Playing a game on water was a first for me, and I also liked the setting here in Miami overlooking the ocean since I love the sea."

Serena faces tough draw in Miami

Based on the draw for the Sony Ericsson Open which was revealed on Monday, defending champion Serena Williams could clash with No. 1 Justine Henin in the Sony Ericsson Open quarterfinals and with sister Venus in the semifinals.

Main-draw play begins Wednesday at the world's largest tennis tournament outside of the four Grand Slams.

The placement of seeded players is done by random drawing of lots (lol), and No. 2 Ana Ivanovic caught a break. She won't have to play Henin, the top seed, or the Williams sisters to reach the final, but she might have to face former No. 1 Lindsay Davenport in her quarter of the draw.

Serena Williams, in contrast, would have to tangle with fierce foes well before the final. Williams, who is seeded eighth at Key Biscayne, rallied for a stirring comeback to beat Henin in three sets in last year's Key Biscayne championship. Williams had to pull out a third-set tiebreaker 7-4 to get past her sister in the semifinals earlier this month in Bangalore, India.

Why relentless Serena Williams is an all-time great

www.sportingo.com / Abes Battjes

Like her elder sister Venus, Serena may not be retired, but that doesn't mean she isn't the greatest female player ever. Her Grand Slam record and ranking justify the claim.

Williams holds the power to dominate on clay, hard-court and even indoor carpet. Not only does she possess the versatility, but she can always come back despite how slim her chances seem. When it comes to rating the best woman tennis player ever, the names of Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert immediately come to mind. But perhaps the most extraordinary player is still producing scintillating tennis. Serena Williams may not be retired like most other players defined as “tennis greats” - but she is nothing short of astonishing.

The young Williams turn pro at the tender age of 14, and even though she didn’t claim a singles title until four years later, she still took the tennis world by storm. In 1998, when she was only 17, she claimed four doubles titles, winning in Zurich and Oklahoma City with elder sister Venus, and at the US Open and Wimbledon with Max Mirnyi. Since she turned professional she has captured 29 singles and 10 doubles title. Seven of the doubles titles have come at the most prestigious events, including all four Grand Slams, and even a gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Just two years after turning professional Serena finished the year ranked inside the top 100. In early July of 2002 she finally set herself apart, taking the No.1 ranking and staying there for a total of 57 weeks.
Already in her successful career, she has claimed eight Grand Slam titles, and even though it may not compare to what Navratilova accomplished, the game has changed significantly since Martina's era.

The Australian Open has been witness numerous times to just how great Serena is. For instance, she entered the 2007 tournament ranked at a lowly 81 and huge question marks loomed over her head. On a few occasions she trailed in matches, but found the form that had carried her to her previous seven Grand Slam titles, demolishing Maria Sharapova 6-1, 6-2 in the final. That victory re-established her amongst the top 10 again.

For some players it is hard to compete on all surfaces, but Williams holds the power to dominate on clay, hard-court and even indoor carpet. Not only does she possess the versatility, but she can always come back despite how slim her chances seem.

Williams may hold a total 16 Grand Slam titles, singles and doubles, but one of the most outstanding aspects of her game is that she never relents and always fights. In 2007 she took on Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia in the Wimbledon fourth round. In the second set, while walking along the baseline Serena was struck by a leg cramp and fell to the ground in agony. After having her calf heavily tapped, she found inner strength to pull through. How many players would be able to serve a 110mph ace with no leg movement? Williams did - and after a short rain delay took down Hantuchova 6-2 in the third set.

Achieving so much in her career it’s hard to sum up what makes Serena a great champion. She wins at Grand Slams, dominates in singles and doubles, has topped the rankings, and made history for African-American women. If Williams isn’t one of the greatest women of all time, then what is she?

March 19, 2008

Venus and Serena: A tough (sister) act to follow

The Williams sisters arrived on the tennis scene in the late 90s and since then have developed into marvelous hard-hitting women. Not only do Venus and Serena possess the power to dominate in singles, but when they are on the same side of the net they are even more dangerous.

It may be true that they don’t compete at every tournament together, but when they do, they are one of the best doubles partnerships in tour history. For the most part, they focus on their singles career, both having exceptional success.

Together the two women have captured 65 singles titles, including 14 Grand Slam victories. Serena, the younger sister, has triumphed at all four Grand Slams already in her extraordinary career, winning the Australian Open three times, Wimbledon twice in addiktion to the French and the US Open.

While Venus lags behind in Grand Slam titles, she is nothing short of phenomenal. It’s evident that she’s a dominant force on grass, claiming four Wimbledon titles already. She has also claimed two titles on the US Open Hard courts, and fell in the other Grand Slam finals to her younger sister. Also, in 2000 Venus managed to walk away with the gold medal at the Sydney Olympics.

Even though some may argue that their doubles career is nothing extraordinary, due to their limited double schedule, in reality it’s one of the greatest collaborations of all time.

Together the two powerful sisters have triumphed on nine different occasions. It may not compare with other great doubles teams, but what sets them apart is the fact that they have been victorious seven out of the nine times on the biggest stages. As a team they have won the Australian Open twice, Wimbledon twice, and both the French and US Open.

In 2000 the sisters teamed up together to storm through the Sydney Olympics draw. They didn’t face much competition during the event either, only losing one set in six matches, in the quarter-finals against Martina Navratilova, and Mariaan De Swardt.

Being able to compete on any surface is a must in the game, and both sisters clearly have that ability.

If they would had competed over the years on a regular basis, there is no telling how many tournaments they would have won by now, or how many Grand Slams they would own. But because they compete at different events most of the time, and have been plagued by injuries, they haven’t had the opportunity.

But already this year they have been able to grace the court as a team again. They made a quarter-final run at the Australian Open earlier in the year, before narrowly falling to Zi Yan, and Jie Zheng.

They may not compete as much as other teams do, but they can never be underestimated as a duo. The statistics may not showcase how remarkable they have been, but nonetheless it would be hard to deny that they aren’t one of the greatest teams of all time.

Serena at ESPN Magazine Party



March 16, 2008

Serena spotted leaving Villa Nightclub


Serena looks super fit and in fighting shape!
To the WTA tour - be afraid, be very afraid (lol)


Venus and Serena ESPN Magazine Cover

(Caption reads):

"For the power of their style and the style of their game... Venus and Serena are perfect 10s."

March 15, 2008

Venus and Serena: ESPN Cover Girls

Venus and Serena Williams are featured on the cover of one of the 10th Anniversary ESPN Magazine Covers. (The actual photoshoot took place October 2007).

video

March 12, 2008

Serena To Play In Westchester

Serena Williams will make her first-ever playing appearance at Sportime Stadium in Mamaroneck, on Thursday, July 10, 2008, match time 7:30pm.

She will be joined by her team, the Washington Kastles, and she will compete in a World TeamTennis (“WTT”) match versus the NY Sportimes. This is the only opportunity for New York based fans to see Ms. Williams in WTT action this summer.


Since turning pro in 1995, Serena Williams has become one of the most exciting names in professional tennis. Ms. Williams has won 29 singles titles, 11 doubles titles, 2 mixed doubles titles, and was a member of the U.S. Fed Cup team (1999, 2003, 2007) and the U.S. Olympic Team (2000). The 5’ 9” beauty plays right handed with a two-handed backhand. She has received countless awards for her accomplishments both on and off the court and is a successful clothing designer setting on-court fashion trends to delight the fans.

The Sportimes have brought top international tennis talent to Westchester since 2003. “July 10th will be an exciting day for New York tennis fans and for our franchise,” said managing partner and team owner, Claude Okin. “Serena is an amazing athlete and we are thrilled to host her at Sportime Stadium. Venus has been here twice, but we have always wanted Serena - this year we got her”, he continued, “we expect to sell the stadium out quickly for her visit.” The Sportimes enjoyed a capacity crowd last season when Serena’s sister, Venus Williams, played.

The Sportimes will round out their roster on April 1 when WTT holds its annual player draft in Miami. Tickets to see Serena Williams and other NY Sportime home matches go on sale May 1, 2008. For more information about the team, visit www.nysportimes.com.

March 11, 2008

Serena causes a "racquet" on "The Game"

SERENA WILLIAMS will guest star on the CW series, "The Game." Even though Williams is playing a tennis pro, the role isn't her. Rather, it is a caricature of a mean and catty tennis player who goes on a date with the show's Malik Wright (HOSEA CHANCHEZ) -- a setup arranged by their publicists. The episode will air on Sunday, March 30th.

THE GAME stars Tia Mowry as Melanie Barnett, a young, intelligent medical student, who is also the girlfriend of an eager rookie football player, Derwin Davis (Pooch Hall). Melanie decides to pass on her chance at attending Johns Hopkins Medical School to be with Derwin after he is recently chosen to play for the San Diego Sabres as the new third-string wide receiver.

As Melanie tries to adjust to her new lifestyle, she meets Tasha Mack (Wendy Raquel Robinson), single mother and manager of Malik Wright (Hosea Chanzes) who is a charming star quarterback for the San Diego Sabres and Kelly Pitts (Brittany Daniel), the satisfying wife of Jason Pitts (Coby Bell) who is a thrifty star player for the San Diego Sabres. With the help of Tasha and Kelly, Melanie learns how the game is played amongst the women behind the athletes.

March 10, 2008

More pictures of Serena at the HP Pavilion Notebook launch in India

Serena Williams walks at the ramp during the launch of Hewlett-Packard Pavilion notebooks, in New Delhi, India, Monday, March 10, 2008.




Serena helps launch HP Notebooks in India

Hewlett-Packard (HP) on Monday unveiled three new notebooks, priced between $1175 and $1350. The three HP Pavilion notebooks, launched by HP’s worldwide brand ambassador and leading tennis player Serena Williams, have been designed keeping in mind consumers’ personal styles and design preferences.

March 9, 2008

Post Match Interview Outtakes

"It definitely feels good to be the champion here at the Canara Bank Bangalore Open," Williams said. "I'm feeling really good about it. Not only were there a lot of great fans showing so much support here but it always feels good to win. To win for the fans is really cool. I just wanted to keep my unforced errors down today; Patty played well, she forced me to bring my level up."
"She was a great opponent today and made it tough for me to play my game," Schnyder said. "I think the first set could have gone either way, and I had my chances. I was really happy with the way I played today especially my forehand, but she was serving and rallying really well too. I lost to a great champion."

"This was a really big win for me and there are a lot of important tournaments coming up," Williams added. "I missed some tournaments before this and I think my ranking suffered because of it; to win here was very important, and to even be here was really big for me. I'm just hoping to continue to play well."

Serena Claims Bangalore Crown

Former world No. 1 Serena Williams flexed her muscles on the big points to shut out Swiss Patty Schnyder in the final of the Bangalore Open on Sunday.

Serena Williams hadn't played a match since losing in the Australian Open quarterfinals in January. She was recovering from dental surgery. Williams, ranked No. 11 in the world, was inconsistent for the most part but drew from her wealth of experience to edge out fourth seed Schnyder 7-5, 6-3 in 83 minutes for her first title of the season.

The third-seeded Williams, who beat older sister and world No. 7 Venus in the semifinals on Saturday, was stretched by the left-handed Schnyder, who subtly varied her angles to wear down her opponent. But the American, playing her first tournament since the Australian Open quarterfinal in January, was up to the task.
Williams, who skipped tournaments in February to recover from dental surgery, broke her opponent in the sixth game of the opening set, but lost her serve immediately and admonished herself.

But Williams, who ended on the wrong side of the result in both of their meetings last year, broke Schnyder in the 12th game to win the opening set. Schnyder went up 3-1 in the second set against an inconsistent Serena, but the multiple Grand Slam winner came back strongly, winning the next five games to wrap up the match.

CHAMPION AGAIN! Serena wins Bangalore Open

Serena has earned her 29th Career Singles title (40th overall which includes 11 doubles titles) by defeating Patty Schnyder 7-5, 6-3 at the 2008 Bangalore Open. After a brief stay at # 11 (I think it was one week), Serena jumps back into the Top 10. More details to come.

March 8, 2008

Serena Wins Battle of Sisters; Advances to Final

American third seed Serena Williams beat older sister Venus to win a place in the Bangalore Open final against Swiss world number 12 Patty Schnyder.

World number 11 Serena beat Venus, the number seven, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 in a thrilling semi-final lasting two hours 10 minutes after fourth seed Schnyder had dispatched China's
Yan Zi 6-3 6-4. The American sisters, who have won 14 grand slam singles titles between them, were meeting for the first time since the 2005 U.S. Open fourth round. "It was definitely hard fought. I need to get refocused in quick time," third seed Serena said. "It's probably one of our closest matches. Neither one of us was playing our best tennis."

Serena broke second seed Venus in the fifth and ninth games to win the opening set. Venus came back strongly to win the second but Serena took the deciding tiebreak 7-4 after each had wasted a match point earlier in the third set.

"I was really upset I didn't take the opportunity on my first match point and was lucky Venus did not either," Serena said. "I was happy I took it to the tiebreak."

Venus said her sister always raised her game against her. "She always plays really tough, really challenging," she said. "She hit some serves that I really couldn't return." Serena now leads their head-to-head series 8-7. Both former world number ones, the Williams sisters have combined for 64 WTA championships during their career including 14 grand slam titles. Serena has not won a tour event since capturing the crown in Miami last April.

March 7, 2008

Serena Wins; Sets up Sisters Semi-Final Showdown!

Venus and Serena Williams will clash in the semi-finals of the Bangalore Open in India tomorrow. Second seed Venus beat Vera Zvonareva 6-4 6-3, while third seed Serena crushed unseeded Anastasia Rodionova 6-1 6-4. Serena demolished Rodionova in the opening set, breaking three times. The 26-year-old American was made to work in the second set, before clinching victory after breaking in game seven.

The sisters have split 14 career meetings (7-7). Saturday's showdown marks their fourth meeting at the semifinal stage of a tournament; Serena has won two of the prior three semifinal matches. Serena has won five of the seven finals the sisters have played against each other, including victories in the 2002 French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open finals as well as the 2003 Australian Open and Wimbledon championship matches.

Venus won their last clash at the US Open in 2005. Serena, who has lost her last two matches to her sister, joked: "She is a tough player and the only chance of beating her is when she is injured. I want her leg to be broken. "Venus is nice to me all the time except when she is on court. "I am also very competitive and I always want to win. We will have fun tomorrow."Meanwhile, Venus said: "(It) would have been nice if we'd met in the final. I am happy that one of us will be in the final."

March 5, 2008

Team Williams out in 2nd Round

Venus and Serena Williams lost their 2nd Round Doubles match (at the Bangalore Open in India) to third seeds Shuai Peng and Tiantian Sun of China, 7-5, 2-6, 9-11. It has been a while since the Sisters' last doubles title. That being said, let's now focus on singles.

Serena makes winning start in India

Serena Williams got back to winning on Wednesday. The third-seeded American advanced to the quarterfinals of the $600,000 Bangalore Open with a 7-5, 6-0 win over Tzipora Obziler of Israel. One of the top four seeds to receive a first-round bye, this was Williams first match since her puzzling quarterfinal loss to Jelena Jankovic at the Australian Open in January. The 26-year-old had looked dominant in her first four matches at Melbourne, but in the 6-3, 6-4 loss to Jankovic she appeared tired and uninspired.

Owner of 28 career titles, the former No. 1 returned to her dominant form against the 34-year-old Obziler. After the players combined for four straight service breaks to start the match, Williams shook off the rust and was never broken again. The world No. 11 went on to win the final eight games of the match, which lasted 75 minutes. She’ll next face unseeded Russian Anastasia Rodionova, who pulled off one of two upsets Wednesday with a 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 victory over No. 6
Sybille Bammer.

March 4, 2008

Williams Sisters notch 1st win on Indian soil

Venus and Serena Williams overcame a slow start to advance into the second round of doubles at the WTA Tier II Bangalore Open on Tuesday morning.

The American sisters, awarded a wild card in the doubles, beat Thailand's Tamarine Tanasugarn and Andreea Ehritt-Vanc 7-6 (5), 6-4 in the first round, in an hour and 34 minutes.

The multiple Grand Slam champs fired 10 aces and used their long reach to oust the Thai-Romanian pair. They next take on third seeds Shuai Peng and Tiantian Sun of China, who ousted Russian duo of Vesna Manasieva and Vera Zvonareva 6-3, 6-4 in their first round match on Monday.

Venus and Serena, making their debut in India, looked rusty to start off with as they were two breaks down at 0-3 in the first set. But the elder Williams started stepping into the court and making great crosscourt volleys.

Tansugarn and Ehritt-Vanc targetted Serena, who hasn't had many matches under her belt this season and, according to her father, isn't hundred per cent fit for the tournament. The 26-year-old took her time to get off the mark, but once she was more comfortable with the bounce showed glimpses of her overpowering game.

The Americans won nine points in a row to level the first set 3-3. Even in the tie-break Venus and Serena started with a 0-2 deficit but bounced back in time to take it at 7-5, after Serena looped a backhand just inside the alleys to set up their second set point.

The teams traded breaks in the third and sixth games in the second set. Venus and Serena got the decisive break in the ninth game to serve out the match at 6-4. In singles, Israel's Tzipora Obziler set up a second round clash with Serena when she beat German qualifier Angelika Bachmann 6-2, 6-3.