July 31, 2008

Serena speaks with SEVENTEEN Magazine

Serena is interviewed for Seventeen Magazine during the Nike Women's Summit.

July 29, 2008

Serena and Zappos CEO take Twitter questions

Zappos.com is an electronic commerce company specializing in footwear and is currently based in Henderson, Nevada. The company warehouse is located in Shepherdsville, Kentucky, along with an outlet store. In addition, Zappos has two outlets stores in Las Vegas, Nevada and Henderson, Nevada.

The name, Zappos, is derived from the
Spanish word zapatos, meaning shoes. Zappos has expanded from shoes to handbags and purses, and has launched a second line of high-end shoes called Zappos Couture. Recently, Zappos has started to sell eyewear, apparel, and watches.

July 28, 2008

Serena at "Big Mac" Party

Serena attends McDonald's Big Mac 40th Birthday Party at
Project Beach House in Malibu, CA

July 25, 2008

NEW Serena Chat Box

Good morning all. I have added a NEW feature (a chat box) to the blog. It is located on the Sidebar under the Serena Slideshow. It is a unique way of commenting / chatting (on the blog with others) about all things Serena. All comments are published and available for viewing as soon as you press "Go." Have a safe, enjoyable and productive weekend.

July 24, 2008

Serena talks tennis, Olympics on Vegas stop

Photo by Samantha Clemens / Review-Journal

Serena Williams smiles as she takes a tour of Zappos.com on Wednesday. While many of the top players who made women's tennis an "in" sport just a few years ago have dropped out of public consciousness, the Williams sisters continue to be a driving force. They played each other in the Wimbledon singles final this month, with older sister Venus beating Serena, and teamed to win the doubles championship hours later.

Serena toured a locally based shoe and clothing company Wednesday and received occasional outbreaks of applause from Zappos.com employees. Her walk-through provided a hint to the sisters' staying power: They have been and continue to be about more than just practicing and playing tennis, avoiding the burnout that prematurely ended so many other promising careers.

"We have different interests, whether it's fashion or whether it's starting our own companies or things like that," Serena said. "I think for the most part it was able to sustain us and (help us) have a longer career." Tennis, of course, led to other ventures. As fun and interesting as stepping outside the sport can be, Serena won't wander off too far.

She is preparing for next month's Olympic Games in Beijing and will head into full-time training this weekend. Serena said her injured left knee won't be a problem, though she withdrew Tuesday from the East West Bank Classic in Carson, Calif. "It was really just fatigue," she said. "I've been playing so much tennis for the past four or five months, and I haven't really had any time off. So it was just saying, 'Serena, take a break. Take a couple of days off and just relax.' "

The eight-time major champion said she is especially excited about competing in the Olympics. The sisters won the gold medal in doubles at the 2000 Games in Sydney, Australia. "Of all the tournaments I've won, my gold medal is my absolute favorite, the only one where I'll be, 'Look what I have,' " Serena said. "So I just love that I have an opportunity to play again."

On July 5, the Williams sisters won the Wimbledon doubles title, improving to 7-0 in Grand Slam finals. The victory came just 31/2 hours after Venus defeated Serena 7-5, 6-4 for the singles championship. Sure, it was her sister she lost to. And, sure, they went on to win the doubles title. But ... "It doesn't make anything easier," Serena said.

Her resume is among the best in women's tennis history. She has won two Wimbledon and two U.S. Open singles titles to go with three Australian Opens and one French Open. Serena won three majors in 2002 to claim the No. 1 ranking, and she has finished in the top 10 six other times. She is currently ranked fifth.

While former rivals such as Martina Hingis fade into retirement and others such as Lindsay Davenport try to recapture their old form, Serena remains a championship-caliber player with no plan to step aside.

"I don't see an end right now," said Serena, who turns 27 in September. "I'm having so much fun this year. I've been playing a lot, and I've been enjoying it."

July 22, 2008

Serena withdraws from East West Bank Classic; decides to rest up for Olympics and US Open

Serena Williams has withdrawn from the East West Bank Classic ($600,000 hardcourt tournament) because of her sore left knee. "It's a huge disappointment for me to be unable to play the East West Bank Classic in my hometown of LA," said Williams, who said Monday she hoped to play despite the injury.

"I've been getting intensive therapy and doing everything in my power to get my knee in shape for this week, waiting until the last possible moment to see if I could play," she added. "Unfortunately after hitting this morning, I knew that wasn't going to be ready for this week."

She said this week that an MRI showed inflammation in her knee, which she attributed to a busy competition schedule. The American, who finished runner-up to elder sister Venus at Wimbledon earlier this month, said she would now focus on getting fit for the Beijing Olympics in August, which are followed by the final Grand Slam of the season, the US Open. "I'm working hard to be ready for the Olympics and US Open," said Williams, who had a first-round bye here and will be replaced in the draw by lucky loser Melanie South of Britain.

July 21, 2008

Serena plans to play through left knee injury

By Beth Harris, AP Sports Writer

CARSON, Calif. — Serena Williams plans to keep playing through a left knee injury despite advice from a doctor and her father that she rest with less than three weeks before the Beijing Olympics. She figures her injured knee "will be old news" by the time the Olympic tennis competition begins Aug. 10.

Williams withdrew from Saturday's semifinals of the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford after injuring her knee. She said that an MRI exam afterward revealed an inflamed joint. "I've been playing a lot of tennis, that's basically what it is, a lot of use," she said Monday. "I haven't had enough time to train the way I normally do off-court because I'm playing a lot."

Williams, ranked fifth in the world and seeded second for this week's East West Bank Classic, received a first-round bye and is scheduled to play her opening match Wednesday against Czech Petra Kvitova. "I'm taking it day-by-day and I'll see how I go," she said. "I'm doing rehab for it three times a day, just to make sure that I'm ready."

Serena said a doctor and her father, Richard, recommended that she skip this week's tournament near her hometown of Compton. "He's always passive and I'm more aggressive," she said about her father. "I've been doing really well all year and I've been playing a lot. What I want to do is play tennis and play tournaments for this year and several years. I just feel like that's all I want to do."

Williams has played nine tournaments this year and won three consecutive titles. She has a 33-5 match record, including a loss to Venus in the Wimbledon final. That's in sharp contrast to her previous lower level of activity outside the Grand Slam tournaments. "I just didn't want to play as many tournaments because I felt like I just didn't need to. I think it worked for me," she said. "I've always just played what I wanted to play, regardless."

That includes the Olympics, although her ailing left knee caused her to miss the 2004 Athens Games. She and Venus teamed to win the gold medal in doubles at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, and Serena called it "my favorite trophy." "When I first had an opportunity to compete, I was excited and I really wanted to do it, but I didn't understand it until I was there and until I actually won," she said. "Then it kind of all set in, what a great feat it was."

Williams expressed her opinion on the widespread violent anti-government rioting across Chinese-ruled Tibet last spring. "I'm not supporting that in any way," she said. "However, I've noticed that no matter what city the Olympics is in, there's always a controversy. "But at the same time, I'm just there to open awareness and people can see that they can open their doors by playing sport."

Williams said she's not concerned about playing outdoors in Beijing's gray-tinted air, where she's competed twice before in a WTA tournament. "I also play in New York and L.A. and let's face it, we're no saints here," she said.

Serena and the Indian Wells situation

Effective next year, the WTA Tour will institute a policy that designates four tournaments, outside the Grand Slam events, as mandatory for the tour’s top players (or players could do sponsor and media duties /publicity anywhere in the tournament's "publicity circumference," which is gauged at 125 miles). The goal is to stop an irritating tradition of players developing phantom injuries and pulling out of tournaments at the last minute.

For the Williams sisters, an extenuating, nonnegotiable circumstance is a vow they made in 2001 to boycott Indian Wells, Calif. Indian Wells is home to the Pacific Life Open, one of the WTA’s four “must play” tournaments. In 2001, Venus pulled out of a semifinal match against her sister with a leg injury. During the final, Serena was booed on the court (throughout the match), and Venus and her father were heckled and jeered as they watched in the stands. Richard (Williams) said that racial slurs were also directed towards his family. Scott said that he had watched a tape of the match, conducted interviews and held discussions with the sisters and their family.

“Having watched it myself, it was one of the harshest environments I’ve seen a player have to be in,” Scott said. “It was a unique situation and one that obviously runs deep for Serena and for Venus.” They vowed to never again set foot inside Indian Wells again. For seven years, they have not.

Under the new rule, a player who skips a mandatory tournament would receive no rankings points and could face a fine and a suspension for two subsequent tournaments. Had the rule been in force this year, the Williams sisters might not have been able to play at the Sony Ericsson Open, one of their favorites.

and Serena's response.........................

“I’m not going to Indian Wells,” Serena said. “That’s just the bottom line. I honestly don’t think they would want me to go. I wouldn’t have anything positive to say. It would be kind of shooting themselves in the foot. I would be more than happy to go and tell them how I really feel. Some things you have to stand up for. There’s been a lot of people in the past that are my race that have stood up for a lot more than not playing Indian Wells. That’s the least I can do.”

July 20, 2008

Serena speaks on knee issue, next week's tournament and the Olympics

Serena Williams' busy summer schedule caught up with her, making her the latest U.S. Olympian dealing with a knee injury as the Beijing Games approach. But Williams had felt healthy most of this year, playing a busy schedule since winning in Miami in the beginning of April. She played 26 matches in a three-month span that went through her loss in the Wimbledon final to big sister, Venus.

Wimbledon finalist Williams took a medical timeout to receive treatment when she was down 5-2 in the first set, but it made no difference as she was unable to put her weight on her left leg and finally gave up. A disappointed Williams said: "I expected to win this tournament and have a strong start (to the hard court season). "My goal was to win here and I think I would have done it otherwise.

Williams said she first started feeling pain in her morning practice. "It was hurting in practice and I really didn't practice too long because it was hurting. After I got off it was really swollen. I thought that I have to play really fast," she said. "I've been playing a lot of tennis so I think that's what it is. When you have inflammation in a joint it's hard to move. I actually thought it felt better once I got it wrapped but Wozniak kept moving me and I was hoping she wouldn't." Williams said the pain was not in the same area of the left knee where she had surgery in August 2003.

Instead of taking a week off after reaching the Wimbledon final on July 5 which she lost to Venus, Williams decided to return to the states and play four matches in the World Team Tennis league for the Washington Kastles before arriving at Stanford for her debut in this tournament.

Williams wouldn't blame her decision to play team tennis on her latest setback. She believes the switch of surface from softer grass to hard courts may have affected her, but would not say the extra week of Team Tennis was a bad decision. "You know that risk going into it. I can't blame that. I've been playing a lot of tennis for me since Miami (in March)."

Williams was unsure whether she would be able to compete in next week's Los Angles Classic, but said that being fit for the Beijing Olympic Games was her top priority.

July 19, 2008

The sun will shine again.....

Serena retires during Semi-final w/ knee injury

By JOSH DUBOW, AP Sports Writer

STANFORD, Calif. - Top-seeded Serena Williams injured her left knee and pulled out of the Bank of the West Classic on Saturday, becoming the third singles player on the U.S. Olympic women's tennis team with a knee injury.

She retired while trailing during the second set of her semifinal match against qualifier Aleksandra Wozniak. Williams' sister Venus and Lindsay Davenport, the other U.S. Olympic singles players, have already pulled out of next week's East West Bank Classic in Carson, Calif., with right knee injuries.

Serena Williams struggled from the start against the 85th-ranked Wozniak and first called for the trainer when trailing 5-2 in the first set. She got the knee heavily taped by the trainer and came out to finish the set, but appeared to struggle to plant on her injured leg.

Wozniak held serve to win the set and won 11 straight points to take a 3-1 lead early in the second. Williams appeared to injure the knee further while stretching for a backhand in the fifth game of the set and retired. She walked off the court and embraced her father, Richard.

Williams underwent surgery on her left knee in 2003 and missed 10 tournaments in 2006 with another injury to the knee. The extent of this injury was not immediately known.

July 18, 2008

Bank of the West Classic: Semi-Final (Saturday)

Serena (USA)[1] vs. Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN)[Q]
Head-To-Head 0-0
Taube Family Tennis Center
Stanford University 12:00pm
Match will air (LIVE) on ESPN2 at 3:00pm EST

Serena's match on The Tennis Channel (UPDATE)!

It was just announced on the Tennis Channel that Serena's quarter-final match against Patty Schnyder will air immediately after the 2008 Indianapolis Tennis Championships quarter-final match between Tursunov and Capdeville. They are now in the 3rd set of that match.

Serena stops Patty; Advances to Semis

Serena has defeated Patty Schnyder 6-3, 6-1 in the quarter-final round at the Bank of the West Classic. The match lasted less than an hour. Serena now advances to the Semi-finals. With this win, Serena extends her Head-To-Head advantage to 8-3. For those of you on the east coast, the Tennis Channel will air this match (tonight) at 11:00pm (per the programming guide) w/ the 1st Quarter-final match at 9:00pm. You may want to double-check, I know I will because I do not want to take the chance of missing Serena in action!

Serena's Qtr-Final Match on Tennis Channel

Serena's Bank of the West Classic quarter-final match against Patty Schnyder will be televised (tape delay) on the Tennis Channel tonight. The programming guide states that the 1st Quarter-Final will air at 9:00pm EST and the 2nd Quarter-Final at 11:00pm EST. (Serena played the 2nd Quarter-Final match). As noted before, this is Serena's first time playing the Bank of the West Classic. She has an awesome opportunity to collect the title and additional ranking points. Go Serena!

Serena to give tennis lesson for charity

In support of Russell Simmons' Rush Philanthropic Art for Life Auction, Serena Williams will give the highest online bidder a one-hour tennis lesson. Afterwards, Williams will hand over the racquet she used in her loss to older sister Venus at this year's Wimbledon. All bids can be placed via Charitybuzz.com. By Wednesday afternoon at 5:00P.M., there was a bid for $6,700. The auction ends today at 10:08 A.M.

July 17, 2008

Bank of the West Classic: Quarter-Final (Friday)

Serena (USA)[1] vs. Patty Schnyder (SUI)[5]
Serena leads Head-To-Head 7-3
Taube Family Tennis Center
Stanford University 2:00pm (5:00pm EST)

Serena advances at Bank of the West Classic

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) - Off her game and rattled by a teen 11 years younger, the top-seeded Williams rallied from one set down to beat hard-hitting Michelle Larcher de Brito of Portugal 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 on Wednesday night in the second round of the Bank of the West Classic.

Williams, playing her first match since losing the Wimbledon final to big sister Venus, committed eight unforced errors in the initial 12 points. She sprayed her typically reliable groundstrokes long and wide. She hit ball after ball into the bottom of the net and regularly missed first serves. Her father, Richard, briefly left his seat in a corner box after watching his daughter struggle so mightily.

Larcher de Brito slipped and hit a backhand into the net on match point and Williams came around the net to shake hands moments later.

It was the gutsy Larcher de Brito - who grunted loudly on every shot and pumped her fist on both her own winners and Williams' unforced errors alike - was the aggressor until her experienced opponent with eight Grand Slam titles woke up in the second set.

Williams led 4-2 in the opening set before losing it and dropping six straight games to fall behind 2-0 in the second. She then changed rackets and rolled the rest of the way. In the fifth game of the middle set, Williams hollered, "Come on!" to get herself fired up after smacking a backhand winner down the line.

The 26-year-old Williams is playing in her first Bank of the West event after being scheduled to appear three other times only to withdraw. She did play at Stanford in the 1999 Fed Cup final against Russia.

Williams is looking for her fourth tournament title of 2008 and 32nd of her career. She will play in the quarterfinals Friday against the winner of Thursday's second-round match between Russia's Alisa Kleybanova and fifth-seeded Patty Schnyder of Switzerland.

July 15, 2008

Bank of the West Classic: 2nd Rnd (Wednesday)

2nd Round
Serena (USA)[1] vs. Michelle Larcher de Brito (POR)[Q]
Head-To-Head 0-0
Taube Family Tennis Center
Stanford University 7:00pm.

Serena hungry for another Grand Slam Crown / Olympic Medal

By Matthew Cronin

STANFORD, California, July 14 (Reuters) - Serena Williams is adamant she does not plan on ending 2008 without a grand slam title or an Olympic gold medal. The top seed at this week's Stanford Classic, Williams has had what many players on the WTA tour would consider a good season, winning in Bangalore, Miami and Charleston.

However, she has fallen short at the grand slams, losing to Jelena Jankovic in Melbourne, Katarina Srebotnik at Paris and then against older sister Venus at Wimbledon earlier this month."I can't say I'm pleased with my year because I haven't won any grand slams this year," Williams told Reuters on Monday. "That's always been the goal for me." I didn't play well in Australia, the French I shot myself in the foot and at Wimbledon I couldn't get it together in the final."So I have to win something eventually. I feel like I should be able to win for the most part and sometimes I get disgusted because I didn't make the right shots, or made a lot of errors."I don't like to lose. I'm a perfectionist and feel like I should be the best at what I do."

The 26-year-old, who has won eight grand slam singles titles, though the last was at the 2007 Australian Open, admitted she had perked up after losing in the Wimbledon final to combine with her sister and claim the doubles crown."It would have sucked if I lost the doubles, too," Serena said. "I had to get over (the singles). Venus played better than I did, but I didn't play my best."Serena, who has been hampered by injuries in recent years, has embarked upon a heavy schedule on the North American hardcourt circuit and is scheduled to play Stanford, Los Angeles and Montreal before heading to Beijing for the Olympics.She will then travel to the U.S. Open in New York.

"I'm feeling good," the fifth ranked Williams said. "I have goals and have almost no points coming off this summer. I can only move ahead."The Williams sisters combined for the Olympic gold medal in doubles at the 2000 Games in Sydney, but Serena missed the 2004 games in Athens due to an injury and she admitted a singles medal at Beijing was a target."The Olympics and U.S. Open are hovering," said Williams, who is scheduled to play her opening match at Stanford on Wednesday."I think I'll be ready for them."

Serena arrives at Stanford!

Little time to rest for weary world-traveler Williams
By Darren Sabedra / MEDIANEWS STAFF

STANFORD — Serena Williams is here — finally. The woman who has withdrawn from the Bank of the West Classic three times dating to 2003 pulled up a chair in a hospitality tent near Stanford University's Taube Family Tennis Stadium on Monday and looked, well, a little groggy.

It's been a busy few weeks for the world's fifth-ranked player. Since losing to older sister Venus in a dramatic Wimbledon final July 5, Serena has barely had time to take a breath, let alone reflect on the loss.

"Team tennis, no sleep and just working — lots of tennis since Wimbledon," Williams said during a 10-minute chat with reporters to promote this week's WTA Tour event. Williams will make her Bank of the West debut Wednesday at 7 p.m., against the winner of today's match between Gisela Dulko and 15-year-old qualifier Michelle Larcher de Brito. "I am happy that I am finally here to compete for once — it's good," said Williams, the tournament's top seed.

Williams' hectic schedule won't end soon. She will play next week's WTA tournament in Carson before heading to Beijing for the Olympics. Then she'll take a week off before shifting her focus to the U.S. Open. Williams, 26, doesn't seem to mind the pace because, for once, she has avoided significant injuries. She is 31-4 this year, with three titles. "My main goal is to stay fit and healthy and play a full season," she said. One of Williams' losses this year came on the sport's biggest stage, against a sister she had beaten five of the previous six times they had played in a major.

"I haven't had time to think about it,'' Williams said of the 7-5, 6-4 loss at Wimbledon. "I went straight from there to another city, and I've been doing things ever since. It actually was the easiest one to get over because I think that's the best way — to keep busy.''

July 14, 2008

Serena and Kastles edge N.B. Breakers (18-16)

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. - Prepared to duel against marquee players in four of their last five home matches of the season entering Sunday, the Newport Beach Breakers put up a brave fight before being edged by World No. 5 and eight-time Grand Slam singles champion Serena Williams and the Washington Kastles, 18-16, at Breakers Stadium at Newport Beach Country Club.

Just over a week removed from Centre Court at
Wimbledon, Williams, the Compton, Calif. native, made her only appearance at Newport Beach Country Club. She won the first set (mixed doubles) and the fourth set (women's singles) but was upended in women's doubles by the Breakers' duo of Michaela Pastikova and Lilia Osterloh. "Any time you put someone out there that puts up a plus-6 (in games), that's big. Serena was too good in the singles. We all know what kind of player she is," said Breakers coach Trevor Kronemann.

The Breakers Stadium crowd received instant gratification as Williams took the court for the opening set, partnering with Kevin Kim in mixed doubles. Williams, arguably the hardest hitting, most physical presence on the WTA Tour, had Breakers' rookie Kaes Van't Hof breathing a sigh of relief as she smoked a swinging volley past him in the third game. The Kastles (4-3) went on to win the set over Van't Hof and Osterloh, 5-2. Williams' 5-0 set victory in women's singles, the fourth set of the night, put the Kastles up 13-12 heading into the decisive set.

July 13, 2008

Nice Serena pic.....

SERENA WILLIAMS - "Having grown up in LA, I always looked forward to the day I would come back. The Peninsula was the first place I lived upon my return. It was a time of discovering my independence, so this hotel is a symbol of my transition into adulthood."

Photograph by Sarah A. Friedman

July 12, 2008

Serena is top seed at Bank of the West Classic

It appears Serena Williams really is Stanford-bound this time. After pulling out of three previously scheduled appearances at the Bank of the West Classic, the eight-time Grand Slam champion and recent Wimbledon finalist was the top seed when the tournament draw was announced Friday.

"She's got her hotel reservations made and her credentials lined up," tournament director Adam Barrett said. "We have every indication that she is coming." Williams, who lost to her sister Venus in the Wimbledon final, is ranked fifth in the world and would be one of two top-10 players in the field. The other is reigning Bank of the West champion Anna Chakvetadze, the second seed and world No. 8. Vera Zvonareva is the third seed, and Daniela Hantuchova the fourth. All of the four seeds have first-round byes and will begin play Wednesday or Thursday.

Lindsay Davenport is unseeded and will face eighth seed Francesca Schiavone. Former Stanford star Amber Liu received a wild card and will open against fifth-seeded Patty Schnyder.

July 10, 2008

Glamour Magazine: The 11 Greatest Bodies On Earth

Glamour Magazine places the spotlight on 11 female athletes as they prepare to head to Beijing for the Summer Olympics. Glamour Magazine says the following about Serena: She's won eight Grand Slam titles and an Olympic gold, but Serena Williams believes she hasn't "accomplished all that much" in tennis. "I feel like I'm just getting started," she says. After an injury forced her to pull out of the 2004 Olympics, she publicly vowed not to miss Beijing. But by 2006 her ranking had plummeted due to injuries. Still, Williams never gave up. Now she's ranked fifth and headed to Beijing. "What defines a person's character is not how you are when you're on top. It's how you are when you're on the bottom and working your way back," she says. Besides, she adds, "I love proving people wrong."

Prize money milestone: Williams Sisters in $20 million club

LONDON, UK - The Williams sisters have been breaking records their entire careers, and many of them in unison. One of those came over the weekend at Wimbledon, but it wasn't winning their seventh Grand Slam doubles title or squaring off in a Grand Slam singles final for the seventh time. This time it's the money talking - and both of them have just joined an elite list of all-time greats in the 20 Million Dollar Club.

Venus Williams collected the winner's cheque from The Championships, Serena Williams took home the runner-up cheque and they shared the doubles winners' cheque, and both surpassed $20 million in career prize money earnings because of it. They are the fifth and sixth in Sony Ericsson WTA Tour history to cross the milestone, following Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf, Lindsay Davenport and Martina Hingis. They both actually passed Hingis' total, and are now No.4 and No.5 all-time:

1. Lindsay Davenport ($22,084,868)
2. Steffi Graf ($21,895,277)
3. Martina Navratilova ($21,626,089)
4. Venus Williams ($20,288,478)
5. Serena Williams ($20,247,546)
6. Martina Hingis ($20,130,657)
7. Justine Henin ($19,461,375)
8. Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario ($16,942,640)
9. Monica Seles ($14,891,762)
10. Kim Clijsters ($14,764,296)

Serena's 2nd night of World Team Tennis

It could not have been a more dramatic night for the NY Buzz, who were home hosting Serena Williams and her Washington Kastles Wednesday. In front of a capacity crowd at the CDPHP Court at the Washington Avenue Armory, the Buzz rallied to beat the Kastles by the slimmest of margins, 22-21, concluding with a 7-4 Buzz supertiebreak win. Here are Serena's match results:

Women's Doubles - Serena Williams\Mashona Washington (Kastles) def. Gabriela Navratilova\Yaroslava Shvedova (Buzz) 5-4

Women's Singles - Serena Williams (Kastles) def. Yaroslava Shvedova (Buzz) 5-4

Mixed Doubles - Yaroslava Shvedova\Nathan Healey (Buzz) def. Serena Williams\Justin Gimelstob (Kastles) 5-4

July 9, 2008

Tennis Channel to air Serena's WTT match(es)

The Tennis Channel is scheduled to air World Team Tennis featuring Serena Williams (Washington Kastles) on Thursday, July 10th at 8:00pm EST. On Tuesday night, Serena took part in 3 of the evening's matches and posted the following results:

Mixed Doubles: Kops-Jones/Hadad def. Williams/Gimelstob 5-2

Women's Doubles: Washington/Williams def. Kops-Jones/Pelletier 5-4

Women's Singles: Williams def. Pelletier 5-2

I think it is quite awesome that Serena bounced back so quickly, just days after Wimbledon, to return to the states and play WTT. Serena's next tournament is the Bank of the West Classic which begins on July 14th. Keep it moving Serena!

July 8, 2008

World Team Tennis News Conference Photos

What is World Team Tennis (WTT)?
World TeamTennis was co-founded by Billie Jean King and is entering its 33rd year of play in 2008. The 3-week season, stretching from July 3rd to July 23rd, will have 11 teams vying for the King Trophy.

The format of play is unique from what you see at other professional tennis matches:
* Two men and two women compete on each team.
* The match format consists of five sets
* One set each of men's and women's singles
* One set each of men's and women's doubles
* One set of mixed doubles
* Every game counts as a point in the overall score
* Typical score is 23 - 19
* A team must win the last game of the last set or the match goes into overtime

It's also interesting to note that the coach is the only person that can initiate a challenge. A challenge can be issued at anytime during a point. The challenge can relate to any shot within the rally. To issue a challenge, the coach shall throw a flag on to the court and tell the umpire verbally. Play stops immediately once a challenge is issued. If player stops play to argue a call and the coach does not want to challenge the call, then that player loses the point.

World TeamTennis prides itself on being a fun & exciting tennis experience and features multi-colored courts, no-ad scoring (at deuce the next point wins), the playing of "let" serves, and cheering is encouraged.

Paris to D.C.: Serena's long commute for WTT debut

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Three days after losing to her sister in tennis' showcase event, Serena Williams awoke Tuesday morning at her part-time home in Paris. She flew to London, where she had a layover of a few hours, then hopped a trans-Atlantic flight in which she "slept pretty much the whole way." Upon arrival in the nation's capital, she made a brief appearance at a youth tennis clinic and then held a news conference to promote the final duty of her very long day: her debut with the Washington Kastles of World Team Tennis.

"It's kind of weird, but I'm still going," said Williams, whose body clock was closing in on midnight at the news conference -- with still a couple of hours to go before she was scheduled to take the court. This was not the usual routine for a professional athlete preparing for competition, but the WTT will take what it can get. The Kastles are the newest franchise in the 11-team league, which began its 33rd season this month, and the team's home matches are played in a temporary, 2,200-seat stadium that has been erected in the middle of a downtown parking lot.

"I'm really elated to be here," Williams said. "I always thought there should be a (women's) tennis tournament here. It's such a big city, and I have a lot of fans here." The match against the Boston Lobsters had been long sold out -- it is scheduled to be Williams' only home appearance with the Kastles this season -- and the intimate atmosphere and multicolored hardcourt were literally and figuratively half a world away from the grass of Centre Court at Wimbledon, where she lost to sister Venus in the grand slam final on Saturday.

"I was really disappointed. ... I've been down already," Williams said. "I'm so excited to play. I've never been so ready to play so fast, after such a big tournament. But I'm definitely ready and I'm looking forward to having a lot of fun out there." Williams last played in WTT in 2000 for the Delaware Smash. She was on the St. Louis Aces roster last year but was unable to complete due to injury. Joining the Kastles comes with a family tie; one of her less famous sisters, Isha, lives in Washington.

The WTT schedule is condensed into three July weeks, with each team boasting a marquee player who will play in at least one home match. Serena Williams is scheduled to play in three of the Kastles' road matches. Other notable names in the league include Andy Roddick, Martina Navtratilova, Lindsay Davenport and Anna Kournikova. And, oh yes, Serena's sister, who plays for the Philadelphia Freedoms.

"That's the beauty of WTT. It attracts a lot of marquee players. Venus Williams, who's won five Wimbledons, I believe," said Williams, stumbling through the thought as if she were still coming to grips with the mixed emotions of losing Saturday's final. "Obviously, I was happy for her," Williams said. "I wouldn't want her to lose any other time -- unless she lost against me."

July 7, 2008

Serena rises......

Serena returns to the Top 5 (at #5) after her wonderful Wimbledon run. She is also positioned at #3 in the Sony Year End Race To The Championships. The Sony Ericsson Championships is the most prestigious and important tournament in professional women's tennis. It is the final event in the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour calendar, contested by only the very best players in the world.

The 2008 season will conclude in November with the Sony Ericsson Championships in Doha, Qatar. Players accumulate points in the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour tournaments during the year, and at the end of the season only the top eight singles players participate in the Sony Ericsson Championships.

July 6, 2008

All-Williams Final draws High TV Rating

NEW YORK (AP)—The Williams sisters’ duel drew the highest preliminary television ratings for a women’s Wimbledon final in three years. Venus Williams’ straight-set victory over younger sister Serena on Saturday earned a 3.4 overnight rating and a 10 share on NBC, the network said Sunday. That’s up 21 percent from the 2.8/8 for last year’s meeting between Venus and Marion Bartoli. It’s the best rating since a 4.0/12 in 2005 for the match between Venus and Lindsay Davenport. (People tune in to see the Sisters)!

You can't win them all, listen to momma

This is what Serena's mom, Oracene Price, had to say after Serena's Wimbledon loss (to Venus)...."Serena thinks everything is supposed to go her way, that’s the bottom line. She thinks that’s the way it’s supposed to go in life. But this is life. She’s going to have to learn how to suck things up. Say, ‘OK, I’m not going to win everything. I just got to be, this is going to make me a better person, this will build character for myself and I have to learn how to lose. I might not be happy about it, but I just have to go on, go on and say, you know what, I didn't get this one, but I'm getting the next one." To further elaborate on Serena's fiercely competitive nature, her sister, Lyndrea, said Serena to this day can't even bear to lose when they play the card game "spoons."

Sandra Harwitt (Espn.com) wrote..."It should be made clear that being a bit of a sore loser does not mean that Serena exhibits unsportsmanlike behavior. The fact that she conceded a game point in the ninth game of the first set to Venus during the final after umpire Carlos Ramos called for them to replay the point, is a testament to her fairness in battle. Certainly, Serena's passion for competition and success supports her future candidacy as one of the all-time greats of the game. She's already won eight Grand Slam titles, at least one at each of the four majors, dating back to her first as a 17-year-old at the 1999 U.S. Open. She's captured 31 career titles to date and is a former world No. 1. And she's only 26, so there's plenty more opportunity ahead."

July 5, 2008

Williams Sisters storm to Wimbledon Doubles Title

LONDON (Reuters) - Venus and Serena Williams returned to Center Court three hours after doing battle in the singles final to secure the Wimbledon doubles title with a 6-2 6-2 thumping of American Lisa Raymond and Australian Samantha Stosur on Saturday.

The American sisters put aside Venus’s straight-sets victory in the day’s showpiece to stand on the same side of the net and launch an array of powerful shots at the 16th seeds. The 11th seeds stormed through the first set by breaking in each of Raymond’s service games, dishing up groundstrokes that their opponents could not touch. An enthralling match featuring some fast and furious rallies at the net drew to an end in just under an hour when Venus lobbed to give the sisters their third doubles title at the All England Club.

Williams Sisters Rule Wimbledon!

Williams Sisters Win Wimbledon Doubles Title

Wow! The Williams Sisters have just won their 3rd Wimbledon Doubles title defeating L. Raymond and S. Stosur 6-2, 6-2. It has truly been a wonderful Williams-Weekend at Wimbledon. Congratulations to Venus and Serena!

Wimbledon: Williams Sisters (photo)

Wimbledon Runner-Up photos

Venus defeats Serena for 5th Wimbledon Title

Serena lost the Wimbledon Final to a fiercely competitive and "on-point" Venus Williams, 7-6, 6-4. Serena's second serve percentage was extremely low compared to Venus whose serve (even the 2nd) was poppin' like popcorn! Serena failed to convert on quite a few breakpoint opportunities and was a little more error-prone in the 2nd set. Serena's ranking will rise from #6 to #5 (which I know she could possibly care less about at this very moment). Venus is truly something else on Center Court / grass at Wimbledon. Congratulations Venus! Serena should be more determined than ever to continue to tighten up her game. The head-to-head is now leveled, 8-8. Grand Slam Titles: Serena (8) and Venus (7). 5 Wimbledon titles....WOW!

Appreciating The Williams Sisters

July 4, 2008

Wimbledon Doubles Final (Saturday)

Venus/Serena (USA)[11] vs L. Raymond (USA)/S. Stosur (AUS)[16]
3rd Match of the Day on Center Court

Wimbledon Final: Venus vs. Serena (Saturday)

Serena Williams (USA)[6] vs. Venus Williams (USA)[7]
Serena leads Head-To-Head 8-7
1st match of the day on Center Court
2pm (9:00am EST)