March 31, 2009

Sony Ericsson Open - Quarterfinal (Wednesday)

[1] Serena Williams (USA) vs Na Li (CHN)
Head-to-Head 1-1
Stadium Court / Not before 1:00pm

March 30, 2009

Serena defeats Zheng; Advances to Quarterfinal

Serena Williams has defeated Jie Zheng, 7-5, 5-7, 6-3, in 4th Round action at the Sony Ericsson Open. A win is a win but my goodness, Serena gave me a fourth round scare. Twice she lost five games in a row. And as if she needed to (yet again) show what champions are made, after falling behind 0-2, 15-40 serving in the third set, she rallied to take the lead and then swept the final eight points.

Talk about winning ugly, Serena won despite being broken six times and committing 43 unforced errors. No one FIGHTS like Serena Williams! She is the ULTIMATE CLUTCH / PRESSURE PLAYER! Serena's got much game! She advances to the quarterfinals. Congratulations on your hard-fought victory.

Serena spends 70th week at #1

(As of March 30, 2009)

Women's Singles Rankings: # 1 (9432 points)
WTA Points Race: # 1 (2750)
WTA Money Leaders: # 1 ($1,666,697)

* This is Serena's 70th (non-consecutive) week at #1 *

Sony Ericsson Open - 4th Round (Monday)

4th Round
[1] Serena Williams (USA) vs [17] Jie Zheng (CHN)
Serena leads Head-to-Head 3-0
Stadium Court / Not before 4:30pm

March 29, 2009

Serena sweats but advances to 4th Round

The impression that you may get from this image is that Serena is trying to calm down or gain her composure. Well that is exactly what she HAD to do in the highly contested first set of her 3rd round match. Shuai Peng was leading 3-1 in the 1st set before Serena could get a handle on the situation. One problem was the unusually high number of double faults, 6 to be exact, coupled with a string of errors. Serena was great with her break point conversion (86%). Serena found her groove in the second set and when it was all said and done, Serena struck back and won in straight sets, 7-5, 6-2. Serena advances to the 4th Round where she will meet her 2nd Chinese opponent, 17th seeded Jie Zheng.

March 28, 2009

Sony Ericsson Open: 3rd Round (Sunday)

3rd Round
[1] Serena Williams (USA) vs [32] Shuai Peng (CHN)
Serena leads Head-to-Head 1-0
Stadium Court / Not before 7:00pm
Fox Sports Channel (FSC) 4pm - 8pm (Delayed)

Serena wins opener at Key Biscayne

Serena has taken the first step (in the right direction) towards grabbing the Miami title for a record 6th time. Earlier today, Serena defeated fellow American, Alexa Glatch, 6-2, 6-3. For the match, Serena served at 64% and scored one ace. Serena is even rocking a rather eye-catching orange two piece ensemble. She won 67% of her first serves and 60% of her second serves. Serena's 3rd round opponent will be Shuai Peng, whom she defeated at this year's Australian Open. I'm excited for Serena. She appears to be very committed to tennis and her fitness. With that being said, who'd be foolish enough to bet against her?

March 27, 2009

Sony Ericsson Open: 2nd Round (Saturday)

2nd Round
[1] Serena Williams (USA) vs [WC] Alexa Glatch (USA)
Head-to-Head 0-0
2nd Match of the day on Stadium Court
Not Before 1:00pm on Fox Sports Net (FSN)
Fox Sports Channel (FSC) at 12am (Sunday) / (Delayed)

Serena wins WTA Player of the Year Award

Miami, FL (Sports Network) - Serena Williams has been voted the 2008 WTA Tour Player of the Year. This is the second time Williams has been chosen by her peers as winner. She also captured the award in 2002 and last year reclaimed the throne as the No. 1 ranked player in the world. "Winning the Player of the Year award for the second time in my career is a great personal achievement," she said. "Last year was a very special year on the Tour for me, winning an Olympic Gold medal with Venus, the U.S. Open title and becoming the World No. 1 player again. I feel great about my game and hope to win many more Player of the Year titles in the years to come." Serena has won every major title during her career. Last year she won the U.S. Open crown, reached the title match at Wimbledon, won the Wimbledon Doubles crown (w/ Venus) and won three other championships.

March 26, 2009

Serena welcomes Kim's return

LONDON (Reuters) - Former world number one Kim Clijsters's return to the WTA Tour later this year will be great for women's tennis, according to Serena Williams. The 25-year-old Belgian retired from the sport two years ago to get married and have a baby but has opted to make her comeback at the Cincinnati Open in August.

"It will be great for the game to have such a great sportswoman back," world number one Williams told Reuters. "She is so nice, it will be good to have her around. She was so fit and she is young so I don't think she will have problems."

Clijsters, the 2005 U.S. Open champion, walked away from tennis while ranked fourth in the world after being plagued by a number of injuries during the latter stages of her career. During her absence the WTA has addressed some of the issues that pushed her into early retirement, including shortening the season and reducing the number of tournaments that top players have to compete in. The changes should help Clijsters to combine her tennis commitments with those of being a mother to 13-month-old Jada.

Serena attends Miami Player Party

Serena arrives on the red carpet of the Sony Ericsson Open players party at the Fountainbleu Hotel in club LIV in Miami, Florida.

Serena on practicing...

Serena Williams said she often let her talent carry her. She admits she was not much for practicing, but all of that has changed in the past two years. And Venus said watching her sister work harder in practice has made her even more competitive.

"I definitely started practicing a little more the past few years," Serena Williams said. "I think that's a level of maturity, realizing that this is my job and I can be even better at it if I practice a little more."

Serena's "Signature Statement" (Video)

March 25, 2009

Serena speaks to media in Key Biscayne (Photo)

What does SERENA say about Indian Wells?

"I don't play Indian Wells, I haven't played it for forever and I will never play it again. After that bad experience there is no need for me to go back, I've been there and I left in glory."

March 24, 2009

Serena set to serve fashion on HSN

Serena's collection of accessories and clothing called Signature Statement will debut on HSN on April 30th. “I always want to make a statement, both on and off the court,” Williams said. “One of my dreams has always been to share gorgeous gifts of fashion and luxury with the world. Off the court, my passion is fashion. Signature Statement is my own line of accessories and fashion, complete from jewelry to dresses.”The collection will retail from $29.95 to $100 and includes a fashion-forward range of jewelry, handbags and knits. Williams described the accessories as “feminine, classic, statement pieces.”

Williams joins the ranks of Iman and Paula Abdul, who have developed accessories lines with the $3 billion HSN, which, like its competitor, QVC, is focused on supplying viewers with fresh talent and bold-faced names. “The world has always known Serena to be number one on the tennis court, and now they’ll rediscover her as a fashion icon because she brings the same dedication and expertise to her collection as she does to the court,” said Joy Mangano, HSN president of Ingenious Designs, a wholly owned subsidiary that operates the firm’s celebrity division.

Williams and HSN said they would be open to continuing the partnership in years to come. “HSN is all about building brands for the long term, and that is certainly how we view Serena and her new Signature Statement collection,” said Mindy Grossman, HSN’s chief executive officer. “Her passion for fashion design is boundless and we look forward to her expanding the line with new offerings each visit.”

March 23, 2009

Sony Ericsson Open TV Schedule

March 28 / Saturday / 1pm - 5pm (LIVE)
March 29 / Sunday / 1pm - 5pm (LIVE)
March 30 / Monday / 1pm - 5pm (LIVE)
March 31 / Tuesday / 1pm - 5pm (LIVE)
April 1 / Wednesday / 1pm - 5pm (LIVE)
7pm - 10pm (LIVE)
April 2 / Thursday / 1pm - 5pm (LIVE)
9pm - 11pm (LIVE)
April 3 / Friday / 1pm - 3pm (LIVE)
7pm - 9pm (LIVE)


April 4 / Saturday / 12:30pm - 3pm (LIVE)
April 5 / Sunday / 1pm – 3pm (LIVE)

Serena: (Current) WTA #1

(As of March 23, 2009)

Women's Singles Rankings: # 1 (9432 points)
WTA Points Race: # 1 (2750)
WTA Money Leaders: # 1 ($1,666,697)

March 21, 2009

Miami - The Sony Ericsson Open (Draw info)

Who will Serena face in her quest to become the Ultimate Queen of Miami ? The Women's Draw for the 2009 Sony Ericsson Open will be revealed on Monday, March 23rd at 2:00pm EST. Serena is the current two-time defending Champion (and has tied Steffi Graff's record of winning the tournament 5 times). Williams collected the Miami title in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007 and 2008.

Are the Indian Wells organizers hiding Serena?

You'd think that the Williams Sisters WERE playing at Indian Wells based on the amount of attention they are receiving during this tournament. I have a question. Is it true that Indian Wells has removed Serena's Championship plaques / banners? Whether she is participating or not, a title is a title. How low can Indian Wells go? You just don't erase history or is Indian Wells simply trying to cover it up?

And what's up with this back-handed comment by the tournament DIRECTOR?

"Venus and Serena know they are welcome here and the fans would love to see them," said tournament director Steve Simon. "We would be delighted if they decide to play in future years - if not, then they will deal with the repercussions."

The Williams Sisters are getting more publicity (at Indian Wells) than the women that are actually playing the event. See ya next year. (In the media, not the Main Draw).

March 19, 2009

Williams Sisters featured in "Ain't I A Woman"

'Ain't I a woman'
Performance honors Civil Rights leaders and many talented women of color
By Claire Cox, Special to The Eagle

A play dedicated to a former slave who talked her way to racial equality more than 150 years ago will recognize women of color who have cracked the stained-glass ceiling to reach fame and fortune.The Women of Color Giving Circle, Youth Alive! and the Pittsfield Cultural Council will present "Ain't I a Woman?," a new community musical, at 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 29, at Barrington Stage Company, as part of the Berkshire Festival of Women in the Arts and Women's History Month.

The 25-member cast of "Ain't I a Woman?" will fill the roles of heroines of the Civil Rights Movement, including singers, dancers, writers and pioneers in medicine, aeronautics and business. They will appear in a classroom setting created to educate young people about the civil rights movement.

The central character is Sojourner Truth, born in slavery in 1797 as Isabella Baumfree. After marrying and bearing 13 children, she walked to freedom in 1826. A religious conversion led her to adopt the name that is now on a postage stamp, on a bust in the National Capitol and on a statue in Florence, Mass.

While Harriet Tubman led 300 slaves to freedom on the underground railroad, Sojourner Truth was arguing for civil rights in speeches wherever she could be heard. The title of "Ain't I a Woman?" came from a speech she gave in which she declared: "Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud puddles, or gives me any best place, and ain't I a woman?"

The volunteer actors were gathered from Pittsfield, Great Barrington, Stockbridge and Boston. Among the characters they will portray are Marian Anderson, the contralto who sang at the Lincoln Memorial after being shunned by the Daughters of the American Revolution; Ella Fitzgerald, "the first lady of scat"; Elizabeth Bessie Coleman, the first African-American woman airplane pilot; Madame C.J. Walker, a millionaire businesswoman; the tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams and Althea Gibson; Dancer Katherine Dunham; activist Elizabeth Freeman, Rosa Parks and women known and unknown in other fields of endeavor.

Elaine Gunn, a member of a prominent Great Barrington African-American family and a supporter of the Women of Giving Circle, will narrate the 90-minute one-act play, accompanied by songs and other music associated with some of the characters.

"Many young people don't know that American history is about all of us," Edgerton said. "We are all interconnected by history — black, Native-American, white, and so on. Young people don't appreciate what we have."

What: 'Ain't I a Woman'
A play celebrating women of color and their accomplishments

When: Sunday, March 29

Where: Barrington Stage Company, 30 Union St., Pittsfield

Admission: $12 for adults and $7 for students and seniors

Tickets: Barrington Stage box office,
or (413) 236-8888

Information: (413) 841-8770

March 16, 2009

Serena talks to SELF

Serena visited the office of SELF Magazine the day after she won the PNB Paribas Showdown for the Billie Jean King Cup. Serena discusses weight/body image and believing in yourself. (Thanks for the link Angel).

Video courtesy of Lucy's Blog @

March 12, 2009

Indian Wells Controversy (Awesome Summary)

Much has been said about the Williams Sisters' 2001 Indian Wells Controversy but not quite like this. Check out Craig Hickman's FINAL WORD on the subject. It's an awesome piece on what happened and what should (and should not) have happened. Hats off to Mr. Hickman, I agree with you 100% and I could not have said it better.

March 11, 2009

Bruce Jenkins on Williams Sisters / Indian Wells

"...It's remarkable to think that after all these years, the women's tour is still defined by the Williams sisters and their remarkable longevity. They are the shining lights of the game, providing nearly all of the tour's most memorable moments of the last couple of years. Indian Wells hasn't been the same without them, and never more so than this week."

-- Taken from Bruce Jenkins' Three Dot Blog article, "Venus and Serena Will Be Missed."

March 10, 2009

Serena: WTA #1

(As of March 9, 2009)

Women's Singles Rankings: # 1 (9432 points)
WTA Points Race: # 1 (2750)
WTA Money Leaders: # 1 ($1,666,697)

2001 Indian Wells Final: Video 2

Throughout the majority of this match, Serena was booed and jeered. All (the 19 year old) Serena wanted to do was play but there was serious audience interruption and blatant disrespect. Even though Serena won the match and the title, every missed shot, every error and every mistake from her racquet was applauded and the very end of this video speaks volumes. Can you blame Team Williams for not returning?

2001 Indian Wells Final: Video 1

Serena is a 2-time Indian Wells Champion (1999, 2001). In this clip, her sister,Venus, and her father, Richard, make their way to their courtside seats prior to the start of Serena's 2001 Indian Wells final against Kim Clijsters. It is a shame what this family was subject to. Listen closely, would you return?

Williams Sisters continue Indian Wells boycott

Serena and Venus Williams have informed the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour they will comply with appearance and publicity requirements that will allow them to not play the premier-status Indian Wells tournament (March 11-22) without being suspended. A WTA source said the sisters will do "promotional activities in the tournament market," which extends from Indian Wells and Palm Springs, Calif., to Los Angeles.

The Williamses have refused to play Indian Wells since 2001, when they claim that they and their father, Richard Williams, were subjected to racial taunts and comments from a stadium court audience which turned angry when it was announced about five minutes before the semifinal that Venus was injured and would not be able to play her sister.

With the passage of the WTA's new Roadmap, which streamlines the schedule of tournaments, Indian Wells became one of four premier events that all top 10 players would be required to play. Initially, the tour announced that any top 10 player who declined to play a premier tournament without a legitimate medical excuse would be suspended for the next two premier events. That resulted in more acrimony as Richard Williams threatened to sue the WTA if his daughters were suspended from playing their home town premier event at Key Biscayne, Fl. -- the Sony Ericsson Open.

Tour CEO Larry Scott spent months trying to negotiate a compromise that would return the sisters to Indian Wells, but the Williamses would not relent. The WTA has since put into place stipulations that any player declining to play an event for personal reasons could avoid suspension by doing a series of personal appearances promoting the tournament they were avoiding. "The exact date for the performance of those activities, and the specific activities will be determined by the tour shortly," a WTA spokesman said.

-- Article courtesy of Bob Larson's Tennis News

Serena shares cover of ESSENCE Magazine

Tennis pro Serena Williams, model Iman and actress Taraji P. Henson share their beauty, fitness and style secrets to looking great at any age in the April 2009 issue of ESSENCE magazine.

- Photos courtesy of

March 8, 2009

Serena in NYC

Mackie Shilstone speaks on Serena

During the Serena vs. Venus match at the BNP Paribas Showdown for the Billie Jean King cup, Serena's conditioning coach, Mackie Shilstone, said the following:

"I joined Serena's team a year ago after the '08 Australian Open. She's an extremely talented athlete, one of the best I've ever seen."

On what he plans to add to her game:

"I think the thing I may do is giver her a little more consistency. She already has all the talent in the world. If I can allow her talent to be magnified to let Serena Williams be Serena Williams I think I've done my job."

In the beginning of their partnership, Mackie asked Serena for a DVD so that he could view her best game:

"Serena said she didn't have one. I asked, You don't do DVDS? She said no, I've never played at my best."

Serena's Team (Part 1): Meet Mackie Shilstone

Mackie Shilstone is Serena's Conditioning Coach and one of America's most influential sports performance managers, whose expertise has played a pivotal role in the success and longevity of scores of million-dollar world-class athletes. Over 1000 professional athletes have turned to Mackie to give them the body, the drive, the stamina, and the performance they need to win. Mackie has also transformed the lives of hundreds of everyday people struggling with health and weight problems, poor nutrition, and lack of motivation. To Mackie, there are no barriers between professional athletes and the average person, only different target goals and differing training times to reach those goals.

With a Master's degree in both nutrition and business administration, Mackie is the Executive Director of the Center for Performance Enhancement and Lifestyle Management at the Elmwood Fitness Center, a division of Ochsner Clinic Foundation. This is the only program of its kind in the world, centered on Mackie's unique, cutting-edge expertise. He is a Clinical Instructor of Public Health and Preventative Medicine at Louisiana State Health Sciences Center, Adjunct Instructor in the School of Allied Health at Nicholls State University, Adjunct Professor at the A. B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane University, special advisor to the United States Olympic Committee on Sports Nutrition, and has served on the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.

The astonishing results of Mackie's work with top athletes are constantly reported in magazines and newspapers across the country. Over 2,000 articles, appearing in print media such as the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, People magazine, and Inc., have praised the Mackie Shilstone method. KO Magazine voted him among the top 50 most influential people in the history of boxing. Mackie has also appeared on most of the major news shows in the country, including ESPN, the Today show, HBO, and Good Morning America. On a 48 Hours expose of the diet industry, Mackie was heralded as the weight control guru for top athletes in the country.

Mackie also appears weekly on The WWL Morning Show, the highest rated per capita, per household CBS affiliate in the nation. Examples of his segments, which are always changing, include Fitness Kitchen, which offers healthy recipes to viewers, and Yoga with Mackie and Meg. Mackie's segments are also shown on the Morning Show web site on the Internet, WWLTV.COM, which receives 30,000 hits per month. Mackie's Health Minute is heard by 30,000 regional listeners, twice a day during drive time at 6:15 a.m. and 6:15 p.m. on 50,000-watt WWL-870 AM.

Mackie is currently one of thirty board members chosen nationwide for the National Mental Health Association in Washington, D.C., and is a 2003 Recipient of the United States Sports Academy's Dwight David Eisenhower Fitness Award. Recently, Mackie was named Director of Health and Fitness for the Cardiovascular Health Center of Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute.

--Biography courtesy of


March 7, 2009

Noteworthy: Billie Jean King Cup Commentary

During the Serena vs. Ana match at the BNP Paribas Showdown for the Billie Jean King Cup, the commentators had great things to say about Serena:

BILLIE JEAN KING - "Serena Williams should be the greatest player that ever lived so far."

MARY CARILLO to JOHN MCENROE - "So you're saying Serena Williams can be the greatest player of all time?"

JOHN MCENROE - "I believe it's still within her reach."

Serena vs. Jimmy Fallon: Beer Pong

Serena visited Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on Thursday night. She spoke about the Billie Jean King Cup, who is a better loser (her or Venus), her school in Africa, traveling the globe playing tennis and a few other things. In this clip, Serena and Jimmy do battle in "Beer Pong." Can you guess who won?

March 4, 2009

WTA players help fire victims

Major players on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour have joined forces with the Australian tennis community to raise funds and rebuild the areas recently affected by the bush fires in New South Wales. Players from around the world have sent messages of support and donated signed equipment, clothing and money toward aiding the fire-affected communities.

Australian tennis stars Casey Dellacqua, Samantha Stosur and Rennae Stubbs were joined by Daniela Hantuchova, Ana Ivanovic, Dinara Safina, Ai Sugiyama and Serena Williams in the charity and good will effort. The players donated items that will be auctioned off to raise money for the Tennis Bushfire Relief Appeal. "My prayers go out to everyone involved. It's such a sad and unfortunate event to happen, and the loss of life has been tragic," said 2009 Australian Open champion Williams.

-- Article courtesy of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Website / Newsroom

Serena's Song: You can write it

Grammy-winning rapper Ludacris has teamed with tennis superstar Serena Williams to help kick-off a contest aimed at creating a theme song for her matches. The "Serena's Song" contest is in association with Ludacris' WeMix music site and will be open to any and all musicians who enter. The nationwide songwriting competition invites independent musicians, songwriters, producers, rappers and singers to submit original music inspired by and about Serena Williams. Ms. Williams will select her personal favorite songs as Finalists, and the winner will be chosen by the online communities at and Ms. Williams' redesigned website

The musician with the winning song will be taken into the studio to professionally record what will become Serena's official theme music. The winner will then go to the premiere of the song at the Bank of the West Classic, in Stanford, CA., in late July. The new theme song will be used at tennis matches, public appearances and a variety of other outlets by Williams. Serena explained why she thinks the contest is a natural fit: "Sports and music have such a powerful connection,' Williams said in a statement. "I always see athletes including myself listening to music, while they're getting ready for or decompressing after a match, or a race, or a game, whichever the sport."

Interested musicians may enter the "Serena's Song" contest by going to