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 The woman who has withdrawn from the Bank of the West Classic three times dating to 2003 pulled up a chair in a hospitality tent near Stanford University's Taube Family Tennis Stadium on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.''