December 31, 2009

Behind the scenes of the G2 commercial (video)

Serena featured in NEW G2 commercial (video)


The G2 campaign celebrates sports performance by using one of the most memorable sports quotes of all time from Muhammad Ali. Float like a butterfly. Sting like a bee. The commercial features Dwyane Wade, Derek Jeter, Serena Williams, Landon Donovan, Abby Wambach and Chellsie Memmel floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee as theyre fueled by Gatorades low-calorie, electrolyte beverage, G2.

10 Most Memorable Moments of the Decade


Tennis.com's Top 10 Memorable Moments of the Decade (as it relates to Serena):

3. Serena Williams wins four straight majors from 2002-03 to complete the "Serena Slam"

In addition to the three women—Maureen Connolly, Margaret Court and Steffi Graff—to have completed the calendar year Grand Slam, only two other women, Martina Navratilova and Serena Williams, have held all four of tennis’ major titles simultaneously. Serena joined that elite group with a dominant run from 2002 into 2003, during which time she won the French Open, Wimbledon, the U.S. Open and the Australian Open consecutively in a feat that was dubbed the “Serena Slam.”

What made Serena’s accomplishment even more remarkable was the fact that she defeated her sister, Venus, in each of the four finals. Venus entered the 2002 season as the two-time defending champion at both Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, and she held a 4-1 lead over Serena in Grand Slam titles. But in winning four straight majors, Serena established herself as the superior Williams sister—and the world’s best player. And Serena’s victories over her big sister were convincing, with three of the four coming in straight sets.

Serena dropped just five sets during her run of 28 Grand Slam match victories. She lost two sets at Roland Garros in 2002, and then shut out the competition at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open: 28 sets won, none lost. Her toughest test came at the 2003 Australian Open, where she narrowly avoided a first-round upset to Emilie Loit and saved two match points against Kim Clijsters in the semis. In closing out her sister in three sets in the final, Serena completed the most dominant run tennis had seen since Graf held all four major titles from 1993-94. --Ed McGrogan

5. Jennifer Capriati defeats Serena Williams in 2004 U.S. Open quarterfinals with help of bad call

“No, no, no, no, no,” cried Serena Williams. “That was my point! What are you talking about? What’s going on? Excuse me? That ball was so in. What the heck is this?”

What it was was the worst line call of the decade, and the impetus for a major innovation in professional tennis: instant replay. But while the incident helped transform the game, Williams was its unfortunate victim. Facing Jennifer Capriati in the 2004 U.S. Open quarterfinals, Williams was serving at deuce in the opening game of the third set when she ended a rally with a punishing backhand. The ball landed several inches inside the sideline for a winner, and the linesperson signaled that the ball was in. But chair umpire Mariana Alves overruled, calling the ball wide and making it Capriati’s advantage. Williams, stupefied, approached the chair and started arguing. All she got was a request to “calm down.” Capriati went on to win the game and the match.

Alves’ ruling was so egregious, however, that U.S. Open officials called Williams to apologize. And it was no coincidence that in 2006 the U.S. Open became the first Slam to implement the Hawk-Eye instant replay and the challenge system. Players now have recourse other than arguing with the chair umpire over line calls. Now if only foot faults were up for review... --Sarah Unke

10. Serena Williams' 2009 U.S. Open tirade

No “most memorable moments” list would be complete without the Serena Williams tirade of 2009. Her momentary loss of reason and composure during her U.S. Open semifinal left everyone, including John McEnroe (in the CBS commentary booth at the time), in a state of is-this-really-happening amazement. To recap, Williams was facing Kim Clijsters for a spot in the final. Down a set and serving at 5-6, 15-30, she was called for a foot fault on a second serve. What came out of Williams’ mouth next would be a nominee for filthy quote of the decade, if such a category existed: “You better be f---ing right! You don’t f---ing know me! I swear to God, I’m going to take this ball and shove it down your f---ing throat!” After the lineswoman told the chair umpire and tournament director Brian Earley what Williams had said to her, the defending champ was assessed a point penalty. Game, set and match, Clijsters. The next day, Williams would be fined $10,000 by the USTA, and eventually the ITF would slap her with a record $82,500 fine and two-year probation. (Williams called the ITF’s decision unfair and sexist.) What a way for the AP’s Female Athlete of the Year to close out the decade. --Sarah Thurmond

10 Best Women's Matches from the Noughties



Tom Tebbutt (theglobeandmail.com) has compiled a list of his picks for the ten best women’s matches of the 2000-2009 decade. (Serena is featured in HALF of them).

3. Serena Williams def. Venus Williams 7-6(6), 7-6(7) – US Open quarter-final 2008.

The sisters have met 23 times (13-10 for Serena), and this night match was the finest example of the two playing at the top of their games and with a no-holds-barred attitude on both sides of the net. Venus had an astounding eight set points in the first set, and two more in the second, but Serena’s slightly superior competitive grit prevailed on the way to her third US Open title.

5. Justine Henin def. Serena Williams 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 – French Open semi-final 2003.

The match will be forever remembered for the signal Henin made indicating that she was not prepared to receive serve when Williams served at 4-2, 30-love in the final set. When it was a fault, Henin did not allow Williams a first serve and that upset Williams, who was later in tears at her post-match press conference. A victory in the final over Clijsters gave Henin her first Grand Slam title, and ended a string of four consecutive Grand Slam finals featuring Williams and her sister Venus.

8. Jennifer Capriati def. Serena Williams 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 – US Open quarter-final 2004.

The match is now infamous for the bad line call that Williams received in the opening game of the final set, when umpire Marianna Alves of Portugal over-ruled and called a Williams shot wide that video replays clearly showed was good. The match is often cited as expediting the process toward instigating the Hawk-Eye electronic line-calling system. It could also be remembered as the last Grand Slam match won by Capriati, 28 at the time, before a chronic shoulder ailment halted her career.

9. Serena Williams def. Maria Sharapova 2-6, 7-5, 8-6 – Australian Open semi-final 2005.

Williams saved three match points, one with a shot that landed perilously close to the line, to overcome an in-form Sharapova. Williams would go on to defeat Lindsay Davenport in the final – winning her first Grand Slam title since having major knee surgery in August, 2003. She also saved two match points against Kim Clijsters in the 2003 semi-finals, making her the only woman in the open era (1968 to present) to win two Grand Slam titles after saving a match point.

10. Serena Williams def. Elena Dementieva 2-6, 7-5, 8-6 – Wimbledon semi-final 2009.

Williams made it three Grand Slam titles won after saving a match point when she defeated sister Venus in the final after fending off a match point against Dementieva serving at 4-5, 30-40 in the final set of the semi-finals. Her backhand volley tipped the net and then went into the open court for a winner against Dementieva, who had played inspired tennis. The 7-6(3), 6-2 victory over Venus in the final gave Serena her 11th career Grand Slam title.

HAPPY NEW YEAR


Wishing you a Happy, Safe and Prosperous New Year!

2009 Sony Ericsson Championship Final (Doha)


The TENNIS Channel is airing the Sony Ericsson Championship Final (Venus vs. Serena) today at 3:00pm EST.

December 29, 2009

2009 Wimbledon Final (Venus vs. Serena)

TENNIS Channel is currently scheduled to re-air the 2009 Wimbledon Final (Venus vs. Serena) tonight at 7pm and 10pm EST.

December 23, 2009

MERRY CHRISTMAS


Wishing you and yours a very safe and Merry Christmas,
God bless you.

December 22, 2009

2009 Fast Facts



Serena Williams

  • Went 50-12 in singles, an .806 winning percentage that was the highest for any woman who played at least 20 matches in 2009.
  • Tied for the tour lead in singles titles (3).
  • Led the tour with 381 aces, 75 more than anyone else.
  • Led in percentages of first-service points won and service games won.

Serena: SI.com's Female Athlete of the Decade



AP names SERENA Female Athlete of the Year

Playing her best at the most important events, Serena Williams re-established herself as the top player in women's tennis in 2009 and was a landslide choice as Female Athlete of the Year by members of The Associated Press.

Williams received 66 of 158 votes cast by editors at U.S. newspapers that are members of the AP. No other candidate got more than 18 votes in the tally, which was announced Tuesday.
Clearly, Williams' most infamous on-court episode -- a tirade directed at a line judge after a foot-fault call near the end of her U.S. Open semifinal loss in September -- didn't hurt her standing in the eyes of the voters.

"People realize that I'm a great player, and one moment doesn't define a person's career," Williams told the AP. "And I was right, for the most part: It wasn't right the way I reacted -- I never said it was -- but I was right about the call." She also noted that the outburst, which resulted in a record fine and two-year probationary period at Grand Slam tournaments, "got a lot more people excited about tennis."

The 28-year-old American tends to do that, thanks to her powerful, athletic play and her outgoing personality. "We can attribute the strength and the growth of women's tennis a great deal to her," WTA chairman and CEO Stacey Allaster said in a telephone interview. "She is a superstar." Williams, who is based in Florida, also won the AP award in 2002, a seven-year gap that is the longest between AP Female Athlete of the Year honors since golf's Patty Berg won in 1943 and 1955. "I'm just happy and blessed to even be playing seven years later. All this is a bonus, really," Williams said. "In 2002, I just was really dominant, and I think in 2009, I just brought that back. I kind of became that player again."

Runner-up in the AP voting was Zenyatta, who capped a 14-0 career by becoming the first female horse to win the Breeders' Cup Classic. Tennis' Kim Clijsters finished third with 16 votes.

Serena named 2009 ITF World Champion

Serena Williams becomes the Women’s Singles World Champion for the first time since 2002 after producing her best performances at the biggest events. The American captured two Grand Slam titles, at the Australian Open and Wimbledon, to improve her collection to 11 majors. She went on to win the season-ending Sony Ericsson Championships, sealing the No. 1 ranking in the last event of the year.

Serena and Venus Williams are named Women’s Doubles World Champions for the first time, with Serena becoming the first player since Martina Hingis in 1999 to receive singles and doubles honours. The Williams Sisters dominated the Grand Slam doubles events to edge out the year-end No. 1-ranked team of Cara Black and Liezel Huber as Women’s Doubles World Champions. The Williams sisters recorded two victories over Black and Huber in winning three Grand Slam titles, at the Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open, to take their career total to ten Grand Slam triumphs. Serena joins Lindsay Davenport and Martina Hingis as the only players to become singles and doubles world champions in the same year.

ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said: “This has been another memorable year for tennis, with some outstanding performances by our World Champions. Roger Federer has truly earned his place in the history books, while the Williams sisters remain the strongest competitors on the women’s tour.”

The ITF World Champions will receive their awards at the Annual ITF World Champions Dinner on Tuesday, June 1, 2010 in Paris, during Roland Garros.


-- Article courtesy of Global Village Tennis News

December 19, 2009

2000s: Top Female Tennis Player - Serena

The best by a healthy margin. This decade she won 10 major singles titles -- including, like Federer each of the four -- and four straight at one point. And she played as well in 2009 as she did in 1999, the year she first broke through. Bonus points for her excellence in doubles, her success at the Olympics and her unrivaled competitive fire. The critics -- the "Hatorade drinkers," as she might put it -- will point to her selective scheduling, mysterious absences and penchant for drama. But maybe that helped inform her success.

by: Jon Wertheim (Sports Illustrated.com)

Serena earns high honors from SI.com


Smash Hits airs tonight on Tennis Channel



The TENNIS Channel is airing WTT Smash Hits @ 7:00pm EST. Tune in for the Elton John / Billie Jean King charity event featuring SERENA WILLIAMS, Anna Kournikova, Tommy Haas, Former Top 15 player Jan-Michael Gambill, Andy Roddick, Lindsay Davenport, Liezel Huber, 2009 NCAA singles champion Devin Britton and local favorite Chanda Rubin.

Serena's DECADE of DOMINANCE

MIAMI – Serena Williams considered skipping the 2000 Australian Open to attend design classes, then decided to play. She showed up for her first match of the year wearing red shoes, which made it easier to see her eight foot faults. She committed 55 unforced errors before outlasting a wild-card opponent ranked 261st in three sets. Quietly, the Serena Decade had begun. There were plenty of distractions, bold fashion statements, swing-from-the-heels groundstrokes and close calls to come. Through it all, Williams kept on the way she started — winning. The decade will end with Williams No. 1 in the rankings and high on the list of tennis' greatest champions. She has won 11 major titles, the most of any active woman, and inspired the term "Serena Slam" when she swept four majors in a row in 2002-03.

With unprecedented power and underrated agility, she has transformed the way the women's game is played. Her flair for theatrics and compelling back story brought new fans to the sport, which helped the WTA Tour achieve new levels of popularity. The U.S. Open final became a prime-time attraction, and Williams became a magazine cover celebrity. She also might be The Associated Press' Athlete of the Decade.

"Serena has redefined women in sports," says Arlen Kantarian, former U.S. Tennis Association CEO for professional tennis. "This is an athlete who has that very, very unique combination of grit and glamour, power and grace, like no other athlete I've come across in the last decade — or two, for that matter." Williams began and ends the '00s at the top of her sport. She was a precocious 18-year-old and the reigning champion of the U.S. Open — her first major title — when she took the court in those red shoes in Melbourne in January 2000. This year she won the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the year-end tour championships.

Her earnings in 2009 totaled $6.5 million, which shattered the tour record. Prize money has more than doubled since Williams joined the tour in 1998, and her career earnings of $28.5 million are a record for a female athlete. "When you think about what she has done for tennis, it's kind of the same thing as when you think about Michael Jordan in basketball," Miami Dolphins running back Ronnie Brown says. In the same way Jordan inspired kids to pick up a basketball, Williams' impact on tennis participation may be evident for years. Young fans love her high-wire rallies and fearless strokes. They love her knack for coming from behind and saving her best for the clutch. And they love the way Serena and her older sister Venus broke down barriers.

"I don't know how many women of color have picked up rackets because of Serena, but more African-American girls are playing tennis at the highest level of juniors than I can ever remember," says Patrick McEnroe, who supervises player development for the USTA. "Clearly you're seeing a lot more interest in tennis from that community." To become the best player in women's tennis, Williams had to become the best in her family.


She and Venus learned the game as inner-city grade-schoolers on the crumbling courts of Compton, Calif., where their father declared they would become champions. Venus was first to No. 1, became dominant at Wimbledon and has won seven major titles. Then Serena overtook her sister as their awkward but compelling rivalry played out on stages around the world. Serena has won six of their eight sibling showdowns in Grand Slam finals, most recently at Wimbledon this year.

What does Venus think about Serena as a candidate for Athlete of the Decade? "She has won so many championships with hardwork and perseverance," Venus says. "I think she's at the top of the list, although that may be a biased opinion." Serena says she's shocked even to be considered. "I've never been so presumptuous to think of myself as the best athlete or anything like that," she says. "I'd vote for me. But I'll probably be the only one." Not so. Serena has support even from athletes in other sports.

"I hope she wins," Boston Celtics star Kevin Garnett says. "She has revolutionized women's tennis. ... She's definitely a diva, in her own way. But she does it in a very, very classy, quaint way. I'm all for her." Other supporters include Kim Clijsters, who upset Williams en route to this year's U.S. Open title. "Absolutely I think Serena deserves the consideration," Clijsters says. "Serena's very compelling to watch. She's an amazing athlete and one of the best competitors the sport has ever seen in the professional era."

In the final game of her Open loss to Clijsters in September, Williams threw a tantrum that drew condemnation and a major fine — but also stirred fond memories of John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors, whose stormy personalities were big attractions. Seven-time Grand Slam champion Justine Henin appreciates Williams' appeal even though they've feuded in the past. "She's had a huge impact over the world because she is really charismatic," Henin says. "Strong personalities — that's what we need. And that's what she has. I think it's good for the game, and we need more of that."

Williams has often left tennis fans wanting more, wavering in her devotion to the game and skipping tournaments for weeks at a stretch. "It's hard to call her an underachiever, but in my mind she could have been better," Martina Navratilova says. Williams has sometimes acknowledged a preference to focus on her clothing line, acting, shopping or talking on the phone. While that attitude can annoy serious tennis fans, many love her multifaceted personality. It takes more than winning Wimbledon to become identifiable by only a single name, like Pele, Magic or Elvis. Serena has done that."From Johannesburg to Sydney to Paris to Los Angeles to New York to London to Japan," Kantarian says, "the impact she has made on sport has been extraordinary."

By: STEVEN WINE - AP Sports Writer

December 15, 2009

Serena on Tyra Banks Show - Dec. 16th (Repeat)

This is one super-packed, celebrity-filled power hour! First up, Tyra sits down with tennis phenom Serena Williams, fresh from competing in the U.S. Open! Next up, NFL great and former Giants star Michael Strahan stops by to discuss his new sitcom, “Brothers.” Finally, Tyra chats with Nelly Furtado, who is releasing her first all-Spanish album, “Mi Plan.” Check your local listings for time and station.

(This show originally aired on Sept. 24, 2009).

December 14, 2009

Serena and Andy Roddick: Olympic Mixed Doubles



Andy Roddick and Serena Williams to partner in Mixed Doubles at London 2012 Olympic Games.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) last week confirmed that mixed doubles would be held at the All England Club in Wimbledon, the first time it will have been included in the Games since Paris in 1924.

Roddick, who has lost three Wimbledon singles finals to Roger Federer, approached Serena Williams, the world number one and a three-time winner of Wimbledon, as soon as the news broke. "It's confirmed," Roddick said on Twitter. "serenajwilliams and andyroddick teaming up for mixed doubles at 2012 games."

Both players have already indicated that they consider winning their respective singles titles at the London Olympics as their main priorities over the coming years.

Bob Bryan, who next season is poised with his brother Mike to overtake Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde's world record of 61 titles, hopes to partner Venus, he revealed, also on Twitter. He said: "It's not confirmed yet. "But if Bob and VenusWilliams play in 2012, we'll smoke Andy Roddick and Serena Williams."

December 13, 2009

Williams Sisters commit to Rogers Cup

MONTREAL -- Serena and Venus Williams have never been in Montreal at the same time. In fact, Venus Williams has never set foot in the city. The 2010 edition of the Rogers Cup tennis event could change all that. Tennis Canada announced Wednesday that the sisters - in fact, the top 10 players in the WTA Tour rankings - have confirmed their participation in next summer's tournament, which takes place from Aug. 14-22 and will offer $2-million in prize money.

Serena is currently ranked No. 1, while Venus is No. 7. After years of no-shows and last-minute cancellations on the women's side, the WTA Tour's new schedule offers more of an off-season and fewer commitments from the top players. It seems to be having an effect. Last year's event in Toronto boasted the top 25 players in the world.

"The restructuring worked in 2009. We have to believe it'll be the same in 2010," said Montreal tournament director Eugene Lapierre. The top women are mandated to play four of the five events in the "Premier 5" category, which includes the Rogers Cup. This year, they were asked to commit by Dec. 1. All 10 chose Montreal. In contrast, only seven of 10 chose a similar event in Cincinnati held the week prior.

A perfect tournament also would include the Belgian comeback kids, Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin. Clijsters was a huge hit in Toronto last summer, in only her second tournament back after retirement. Henin, who returns to the WTA Tour next month in Australia, hasn't played in Montreal since 2002.

9 of Top 10 confirmed for Sydney International


SYDNEY (AFP) — Nine of the women's top 10 will compete at January's Sydney International in the lead-up to the Australian Open Grand Slam, according to organizers. World No. 1 Serena Williams heads the line-up, which also includes Dinara Safina, French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, Caroline Wozniacki and Elena Dementieva.

Victoria Azarenka, Jelena Jankovic, Vera Zvonareva and Agnieszka Radwanska also join a field boosted by Australia's No. 13 Samantha Stosur and Italy's Flavia Pennetta and Francesca Schiavone. The only top-10 player missing will be world No. 6 Venus Williams, who will warm up for the first Grand Slam of the year with an exhibition match in Thailand.

"We are delighted with our confirmed player line-ups, in particular our women's field, which is certainly the strongest in the event's history," tournament director Craig Watson said. "To have nine of the top 10 women in the world playing in Sydney is incredible and tennis fans would be hard-pressed to find a more impressive line-up, outside the Grand Slams, anywhere in the world."

How She Fared in 2009

Check out the Bleacher Report for the article "How She Fared in 2009: Serena Williams' Tally Stands at 11" (Article written by: Claudia celestial girl - Correspondent)

Rock-n-Racquets (Athens, Georgia)

On Saturday, Williams joined former Georgia four-time All-American John Isner, Sam Querrey and Melanie Oudin, for a series of exhibition matches and a youth clinic at the coliseum. A portion of the proceeds from the exhibition went to Georgia's general scholarship fund. Former Georgia shortstop and American League Rookie of the Year finalist Gordon Beckham was the chair judge for the mixed doubles exhibition

"I've been doing a lot of charity," Williams said. "I've started a mission to raise money for women because I do think women are treated differently. So that's what I've really been throwing myself into." Williams' 2009 U.S. Open ended with a loss to Kim Clijsters in a semifinals match that was marked by a Williams' profanity-laced tirade. Since then, Williams has set a personal goal of raising $92,000 for women's charities.

"It's important for me to be able to do that for myself and make myself feel better," Williams said. "I really like charity. I'm involved with so many and that's what I enjoy." Williams retained her sense of humor and laughed at a couple of on-court jokes by Beckham about her temper and foot-faults while Beckham chaired the mixed doubles match.

Despite the U.S. Open finish, Williams comes off one of her best seasons. She won 2009 singles titles at the Australian Open and Wimbledon. Williams' charity work has cut into her training this fall, so preparation for the 2010 season will begin soon because the Australian Open starts on Jan. 18.

"I've really been so busy lately that I haven't been able to do as much," Williams said. "I've really got to start training and getting myself together for Australia. I feel alright. I'm getting things done, and I'm pushing and getting things right."

Serena has been quite busy as of late (during the OFF season). She played a tennis exhibition in Barbados, took part in WTT Smash Hits and promoted her Signature Statement Collection on the Home Shopping Network, just to name a few. Serena's Rock-n-Racquet results: Melanie Oudin and Sam Querrey beat John Isner and Serena 7-6(5) and Melanie Oudin beat Serena 7-5.

-Most of article courtesy of ROGER CLARKSON (Online Athens)

- Images courtesy of Kelly Lambert/Staff

December 10, 2009

WTT Smash Hits Recap (Baton Rouge, LA)

On Tuesday night, Serena participated in the WTT Smash Hits event as a member of Team Elton (John) whose roster also included former world No. 1 in doubles Anna Kournikova, Tommy Haas, and former top 15 player Jan-Michael Gambill, a WTT favorite with the Boston Lobsters.

Team Billie Jean (King) consisted of Andy Roddick, Lindsay Davenport, Liezel Huber, 2009 NCAA singles champion Devin Britton and local favorite Chanda Rubin. When it was all said and done, Team Elton defeated Team Billie Jean 16 - 13. Here are the results:

Mixed Doubles: Tommy Haas/Serena Williams def. Andy Roddick/Chanda Rubin 5-4

Women’s Doubles: Lindsay Davenport/Liezel Huber def. Anna Kournikova/Serena Williams 5-1

Men’s Doubles: Tommy Haas / Jan-Michael Gambill def. Andy Roddick/Devin Britton 5-2

Men’s Singles: Tommy Haas def. Andy Roddick 5-2

Serena reaches "boiling point"


Check out Serena's article at globalgrind.com titled,
"To Be Honest, I Believe I Reached My Boiling Point"

Article includes:

* ITF Fine (amount) clarification *
* Her feelings on the US Open incident *
* Past (match-related) wrongs *
* The "double-standard" *
* Her 92K Mission *

Rock-n-Racquets (December 12, 2009)



Athens, GA plays host to the sports world’s elite superstars featuring world #1 and winner of eleven (11) Grand Slams, Serena Williams, in Rock-n-Racquets - an annual tennis exhibition like no other. Joining Williams will be 2009 U.S. Open Quarterfinalist and tennis’ newest sensation, Melanie Oudin and top Americans John Isner, University of Georgia alum, and Sam Querrey, winner of the prestigious U.S. Open Series. The format is as follows:

Men’s and Women’s Singles – showcasing America’s best, John Isner will take on Sam Querrey and Serena Williams will take on Melanie Oudin.

Mixed Doubles - Isner and Williams will team up against Querrey and Oudin to compete in a mixed doubles match.

The evening will be complemented by musical performances and an atmosphere of high-energy and fun unlike any tennis event seen before, emceed by Wayne Bryan, father of the #1 Doubles Team, the Bryan Brothers. (The Rock-n-Racquets event benefits the University General Scholarship Fund).

Aside from the matches, players spend time with Sponsors and their guests during the pre-event hospitality reception. Fans get a chance to meet the players and other event participants during the autograph session. Prior to the start of the day's main event, the players conduct a clinic with local youth groups.

TICKET INFORMATION:
Price: $10-$65
Tickets available through the UGA Ticket Office,
Mon-Fri. 8:00AM - 4:30PM
Online at www.georgiadogs.com
Or call 877-542-1231

Serena returns to HSN on Friday


Catch Serena on HSN, Friday Dec. 11th

12:00am - 2:00am
10:00am - 12:00pm
3:00pm - 4:00pm
9:00pm - 11:00pm

December 8, 2009

WTT Smash Hits Streaming LIVE tonight!

BATON ROUGE, LA, USA - For the first time ever, World TeamTennis will be putting on a live stream of its annual WTT Smash Hits charity tennis event on December 8, which benefits the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

Watch live as some of the biggest names in tennis team up with Sir Elton John and Billie Jean King for a great cause. Among the marquee names taking the court are a variety of Sony Ericsson WTA Tour stars of past and present - Serena Williams, Liezel Huber, Anna Kournikova, Lindsay Davenport and Chanda Rubin - as well as ATP World Tour players Andy Roddick, Tommy Haas and Devin Britton. The all-star line-up cannot be missed.

This will be the 17th annual edition of the charity competition, and will take place on the campus of LSU in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Watch it live at 7pm on Tuesday, December 8, at www.WTT.com/livestream.

The charity event raises funds for the Elton John AIDS Foundation and Baton Rouge area AIDS charities. The line-up of players will form two teams coached by Elton and Billie Jean, and play the World TeamTennis format. For more information, visit www.WTT.com/SmashHits.

- Article courtesy of The Official Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Website

December 6, 2009

Serena and Team Elton: WTT Smash Hits (12/8)

Sir Elton John and Billie Jean King take their coaching roles seriously for their annual charity tennis event, WTT Smash Hits, set for Dec. 8th at 7 p.m. at the Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge. Elton John tabbed Serena Williams to head up his squad while Andy Roddick takes the lead for Team Billie Jean. Joining Williams on Team Elton is former world No. 1 in doubles Anna Kournikova, Tommy Haas, and former top 15 player Jan-Michael Gambill, a WTT favorite with the Boston Lobsters. Along with Roddick, King rounded out her roster with Lindsay Davenport, Liezel Huber, 2009 NCAA singles champion Devin Britton and local favorite Chanda Rubin of Lafayette, La.

In its 17-year history, WTT Smash Hits has raised more than $9 million for the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF). The event, presented by the Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation and hosted by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation (BRAF), will benefit EJAF and AIDS charities serving the Greater Baton Rouge area.

The two teams will face off in a modified World Team Tennis match, playing one set each of men’s singles, women’s doubles, men’s doubles and mixed doubles. Sets are first to five games with a 9-point tiebreaker at 4-4. Games are no-ad, scoring is cumulative and service lets are playable. Reserved tickets for the 17th annual WTT Smash Hits are $30, $65, and $100. Tickets are available through the LSU Box Office or by calling 800-960-8587. Click here to order tickets online.

Pro-Celebrity match: Evening begins at 7 p.m. with a special celebrity match featuring Elton John/Serena Williams vs. Andy Roddick/Anna Kournikova. (Note: Pro-Celebrity set does not count toward total scores)

Mixed Doubles: Tommy Haas/Serena Williams (Team Elton) vs. Andy Roddick/Chanda Rubin (Team BillieJean)

Women's Doubles: Serena Williams/Anna Kournikova (Team Elton) vs. Liezel Huber/Lindsay Davenport (Team Billie Jean)

Men's Doubles: Tommy Haas/Jan-Michael Gambill (Team Elton) vs. Andy Roddick/Devin Britton (Team Billie Jean)

Men's Singles: Tommy Haas (Team Elton) vs. Andy Roddick (Team Billie Jean)

December 4, 2009

Vote for Serena as Female Athlete of the Year

The United States Sports Academy is giving you the opportunity to vote for your Favorite Male and Female Athlete of the Year. On the female side of things, Serena is nominated as is Yelena Isinbaeva (Track and Field), Carmelita Jeter (Track and Field), Courtney Kupets (Gymnastics), Linet Masai (Track and Field), Lorena Ochoa (Golf), Courtney Paris (Basketball), Sanya Richards (Track and Field), Jiyai Shin (Golf), Diana Taurasi (Basketball), Lindsey Vonn (Skiing), and Chrissie Wellington (Triathlon).

You will be able to choose your top three (3) male nominees and top three (3) female nominees for the Academy's 2009 Athlete of the Year by clicking on the highlighted nominee's photo.

You may change your vote or reorder your selections before submitting by clicking the nominee's photo. Your ballot appears at the bottom of the page. When you are happy with your selections, click Submit. To vote, click here.

December 1, 2009

Serena handed fine and 2 year (Slam) probation



Serena Williams was fined a record $82,500 for her tirade at a U.S. Open line judge and could be suspended from that tournament if she has another "major offense" at any Grand Slam in the next two years. Grand Slam administrator Bill Babcock's ruling was released Monday, and he said Williams faces a "probationary period" at tennis' four major championships in 2010 and 2011. If she has another "major offense" at a Grand Slam tournament in that time, the fine would increase to $175,000 and she would be barred from the following U.S. Open. "But if she does not have another offense in the next two years, the suspension is lifted," Babcock said in a telephone interview from London.

He said Williams is handing over $82,500 right now to the Grand Slam committee, already far more than the previous highest fine for a Grand Slam offense. In 1995, Jeff Tarango stormed off the court at Wimbledon and accused the chair umpire of showing favoritism to certain players in exchange for their friendship. Tarango was fined a total of $43,756, which was reduced to $28,256 on appeal, and barred from Wimbledon the next year. Williams lashed out at a lineswoman after a foot-fault call at the end of her semifinal loss to eventual champion
Kim Clijsters at the U.S. Open in September. It was a profanity-laced, finger-pointing, racket-brandishing display in which Williams approached the official with what U.S. Open tournament director Jim Curley called at the time "a threatening manner."

"I am thankful that we now have closure on the incident and we can all move forward," Williams said in a statement released Monday by her publicist. "I am back in training in preparation for next season and I continue to be grateful for all of the support from my fans and the tennis community." She earned $350,000 by reaching the U.S. Open singles semifinals, part of her more than $6.5 million in prize money in 2009, a single-season record for women's tennis. Her career prize money tops $28 million.

The American is an 11-time Grand Slam singles champion and ended the 2009 season at No. 1 in the WTA rankings. Williams' outburst drew a $10,000 fine from the U.S. Tennis Association in September -- the maximum on-site penalty a tennis player can face. But because it happened at a Grand Slam tournament, Babcock was charged with investigating whether further punishment was merited. He concluded that Williams violated the "major offense" rule for "aggravated behavior." The Grand Slam committee -- with one representative from each of the sport's four major championships, including USTA president Lucy Garvin -- approved his decision Saturday.

"As a voting member of the Grand Slam committee, the USTA agrees with the additional penalties levied against Serena Williams for her on-court behavior during her semifinal match at the 2009 U.S. Open," the USTA said in a statement released to the AP. "The USTA looks forward to Ms. Williams competing in the 2010 U.S. Open." Babcock said a "major offense" under Grand Slam rules is "any conduct that is determined to be the 'major offense' of 'aggravated behavior' or 'conduct detrimental to the game.'" There is no specific definition of what sort of actions constitute a "major offense."

He said the highest possible fine that Williams could face -- $175,000, if she violates her Grand Slam probation -- was chosen because it is the difference in winnings between reaching the quarterfinals and semifinals at the U.S. Open. The $10,000 Williams already was docked by the USTA will be counted toward that total; that's why she is paying half of $165,000 now. During the Sept. 12 match at Flushing Meadows, the foot fault -- a call rarely, if ever, made at that stage of such a significant match -- resulted in a double-fault for Williams, moving Clijsters one point from victory.

Williams paused, retrieved a ball to serve again and then stopped. She stepped toward the official, screaming, cursing and shaking the ball at her. Williams was penalized a point. It happened to come on match point, ending the semifinal with Clijsters ahead 6-4, 7-5.

November 29, 2009

Serena will be fined (NOT suspended) for outburst



TIMESONLINE is reporting that Serena will pay (cash) for her outburst at the US Open rather than face suspension from future grand-slam tournaments. I am so happy that a decision has been reached and that she is not being suspended / banned from a Grand Slam event. The grand-slam committee met in London this weekend to discuss the world No 1’s comments to a lineswoman who foot-faulted her at a critical juncture of the semi-final in New York against Kim Clijsters.

Williams was trailing 5-6, 30-15 in the third set to the Belgian when she was called for stepping on the line. Her incendiary reaction — including prodigious use of the f-word — was such that the American received a point penalty, which handed her opponent the match and a place in the final. There has been much speculation in the intervening weeks that the chairmen of the grand-slams might decide to suspend the Australian Open and Wimbledon champion from one of the tournaments that they oversee. Instead, it is believed they have come down on the side of a financial penalty, somewhere in the region of $150,000 which would amount to less than half the prize money she received as a semifinalist at the US Open.

It required two apologies from Williams for the furore to die down after the first was considered not remorseful enough. At the second time of asking, she said: “I want to sincerely apologise first to the lineswoman, the USTA, and mostly tennis fans everywhere for my inappropriate outburst. “I’m a woman of great pride, faith and integrity, and I admit when I’m wrong. “I need to make it clear to all young people that I handled myself inappropriately and it’s not the way to act — win or lose, good call or bad call in any sport, in any manner. “I like to lead by example. We all learn from experiences both good and bad, I will learn and grow from this, and be a better person as a result.”

Barbados has tennis talent to go to the next level

That was the opinion of both the world ranked No. 1 and No. 4 tennis stars Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki, respectively. Both were speaking to the Press yesterday at the Tennis Fantasy Camp, which was part of the Tennis Pon De Rock event at the Garfield Sobers Gymnasium yesterday - a day that none of the selected 40 young local tennis players would ever forget.

Wozniacki said: "The kids are playing good I think there is a lot of talent here and hopefully they can keep going. I love to work with the children. "I also want to talk a little bit with them and get to know them because there is a lot of talent." "I like playing with the kids because I have been on the other side of the club as someone who has looked up to the pro players. So I am happy to get the chance to play with them," she added. Meanwhile, Williams said she was continuing to battle the flu, but noted that she was still able to knock around a few balls with the young rising stars. "I will be able to survive out there . . . . I think we are still going to have a lot of fun," she said before heading onto the courts.


Article by Tracy Moore / Nation News

BBC Interview w/ Owen Bennett-Jones

Serena was recently interviewed by Owen Bennett-Jones for BBC Radio. He asked her how she feels about her family and her sport. Listen to the interview here.

November 28, 2009

Serena defeats Caroline in Barbados Exhibition



Serena and Caroline thrill thousands
By Alan Harris / The Barbados Advocate

Serena Williams is still the undisputed Queen of women’s tennis; well at least in the hearts of Barbadians. The 28-year-old world No. 1 appeared in vintage form at last night’s LIME ‘Tennis pon De Rock’ exhibition at the Wildey Gymnasium, where she opposed world No. 4, 19-year-old Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark. Both players were well received by the large crowd and throughout the match, screams of ‘Let’s go Serena’ and ‘Let’s go Caroline’ could be heard echoing throughout the Gym. Serena, easily the more physically dominant of the two players, took full control from the opening game and never looked back. Though fighting off a slight cold, she was her usual self, serving with a vengeance while punishing anything short from her younger opponent.

Wozniacki, who is no slouch either, desperately scampered for her returns and tried to use her pin-point placement to her advantage. Still she had no reply for Williams. Both players held their first service games at love, but when Serena got going, Wozniacki didn’t have much answer for her power. Breaking her opponent at 3-2, and then again at 5-4, Serena comfortably put away Wozniacki 6-4 in the only set that was played on the night. “They were such a good crowd,” a beaming Serena told the Barbados Advocate after the match. “There was a lot of support for Caroline, and there as a lot of support for me, so it was a good night. This island has been 100 times better than any of my expectations and I really think I have found my second home.”

Serena has arrived in Barbados



Serena Williams is here
By Alan Harris / The Barbados Advocate

International tennis superstar, Serena Williams, has landed! And just in time for our 43rd Independence celebrations! With all the pomp and splendour, the world No. 1 women’s tennis player touched down at the Grantley Adams International Airport yesterday afternoon aboard American Airlines flight AA 1417. Serena was all smiles as she descended the stairs of the aircraft where scores of curious onlookers, travellers and airport staff gathered to get a glimpse of her. She was met on the tarmac by Minister of Sport, Dr. Esther Byer-Suckoo, Sports-Tourism Manager of the Barbados Tourism Authority, Gregory Armstrong, and Tournament Director Kodi Lewis. Here in Barbados to oppose world No. 4 Caroline Wozniacki at today’s LIME ‘Tennis Pon de Rock’ Exhibition, Williams was hurriedly whisked away from the public’s eye to the comfort and seclusion of the Grace Adams Hospitality Suite. There, she then mingled with Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy and chatted with members of her large entourage, including that of sister Lyndrea Price, manager Jill Smoller and friend Kevin Davis.

Though visibly tired from her long jaunt, Serena was still in high spirits and politely told the press, “I’m excited to be here. It’s been a long time since I have been able to come to such a beautiful place and I’m looking forward to seeing it”. Quick to seize the opportunity and offer their words of welcome to the 23-time Grand Slam Champion, was Ministers Sealy and Suckoo. “ I want to say welcome to Ms. Williams and her entire entourage, it is a pleasure to have them here” a beaming Sealy said. “This of course is a significant weekend as its our independence celebrations and we are glad that you could come and be part of it. We are looking forward to the exhibition and all that is planned”. Using the occasion to highlight Barbados’ thriving sports-tourism product, Sealy added, “We are also looking forward to some of the other activities we have planned within the context of sports-tourism for this weekend. This has been a long time in coming and I think it signals just how serious this Government is about the sports-tourism fusion and how determined we are to take it to another level”.

Adding to Sealy’s sentiments, was an excited Byer-Suckoo. “ On behalf of the Ministry of Sport and the people of Barbados, we are very excited to have you here with us”, she warmly told Serena. “Everybody is excited and you have added an extra-special dimension to our weekend of celebrations. I hope that your visit to Barbados is just as memorable for you as we know it will be for all of Barbados”. Williams, probably the most dominant female tennis player of the decade, has won an incredible 23 Grand slam titles; 11 in singles, ten in women's doubles and two in mixed doubles. Along with her two Olympic gold medals, she also has won more Grand Slam titles than any other active female player and has won more career prize money than any other female athlete in history. Just earlier this month, on the 2nd of November, she regained her #1 ranking in the world for an unprecedented fifth time in her career. She is currently the reigning Australian Open and Wimbledon singles champion, and the reigning Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open Doubles Champion.

Serena will do battle with 19 year-old Wozniacki of Denmark today at the Wildey Gymnasium starting at 5 p.m., and then again tomorrow, at the exclusive Sugar Hill development. Also in action on both nights will be Barbados’ highest ranked senior in Haydn Lewis, along with former US Top 40 player Jeff Tarango. Though all the $200 court-side seats have been sold out, tickets for this historic event can still be purchased at all SuperCentre locations, Cave Shepherd, Lewis Drug Mart, the Barbados Olympic Association and FACETS jewellers.

November 27, 2009

Serena at Barbados Exhibition 11/28 - 11/29



“Tennis pon de rock” will be hosted over a two day period, with the intention that the spectators are offered a chance to see live, some of the best tennis players performing at the highest levels, in a more relaxed atmosphere and to have the opportunity to interact with the players directly. “Tennis pon de rock” highlights will include:

• Featured players: Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki

• A dedicated VIP/Corporate Hospitality venue, set amongst the beautiful Sugar Hill development, providing an all-inclusive relaxed atmosphere where spectators are never more than a few feet from the action and player/spectator interaction is encouraged.

• Serena and Caroline will participate in a variety of on-court activities such as; a doubles match with local players, fun points with selected persons in attendance and the featured highlight, Caroline vs Serena.

• Serena and Caroline will participate in a fantasy camp for children, hosted by the Barbados Tennis Association on Saturday November 28th.

• Serena and Caroline will also attend a meet & greet cocktail function on the final day at Sugar Hill, where they will mingle with guests to officially close this B.I.T.E two day event.

Ticket Contact / Information

Ms Linda Austin (Sugar Hill) at 246-419-9100 (shilladmin@sunbeach.net)

Ms Diana Lewis at 246-238-7708 or you can email her, (tennisponderock@gmail.com)

Could Serena be fined $1 Million for outburst?

Reuters - Serena Williams may cop the largest fine in tennis history when the world champion is penalised for her US Open meltdown. Industry sources last night indicated the International Tennis Federation's grand slam committee was close to consensus on the Williams case, almost 12 weeks after the US Open incident.

Williams was cited for committing a major offence, an infraction which carries possible suspension from January's Australian Open. Williams allegedly threatened to kill a lineswoman in New York, saying: "If I could, I would take this f ... ing ball and shove it down your f ... ing throat". The winner of 11 majors, Williams almost certainly will contest the 2010 Australian Open, where she is the defending champion.

But she is likely to receive a fine which far outstrips the $US100,000 Lleyton Hewitt was docked in 2002 for missing a Cincinnati interview. ITF grand slam administrator Bill Babcock has finished his inquiries, taking evidence and submissions from Williams and the officials involved on the day. His findings will be discussed at the ATP World Tour finals at O2 Arena tomorrow by the four members of the grand slam committee. Geoff Pollard (Australian Open), Jean Gachassin (French), Tim Phillips (Wimbledon) and Lucy Garvin (US), who will consider Babcock's recommendations, can overturn, or vary, his verdict.

One option for officials in the Williams case is to ban her from next season's US Open or strip her of the $US342,825 prizemoney and the 900 rankings points. There is talk of a $1 million fine, and a good behaviour bond. Williams was fined the maximum on-site penalty of $US10,000 in New York for unsportsmanlike behaviour. Her outburst was triggered by a suspect foot fault call in a tense semi-final against Belgian Kim Clijsters. Williams has apologised several times for the incident.

November 22, 2009

Interesting Grand Slam Singles Fact


Venus and Serena Williams are the only women (during the Open Era) to have played each other in four consecutive Grand Slam singles finals.

Serena: Player of the Decade


Check out Dennis Fitzgerald's article,