August 31, 2009
NEW YORK (AFP) - Serena Williams got the defense of her US Open title off to a low-key start with an untroubled 6-4, 6-1 first round win over fellow American Alexa Glatch on Monday. Although never in danger, the 27-year-old second seed blew hot and cold in an error-strewn match that seldom rose above the ordinary. Both players struggled to cope with the gusty conditions. Williams jumped out into a 5-1 lead in the first set before allowing 19-year-old Glatch to close up to 5-4. Her strong serving then came to her rescue as she moved a set ahead.
Glatch, who failed to win a single match in the US hardcourt season prior to Flushing Meadows, held serve to open the second set, but two games later she was broken as Williams stepped up the pace. There was no way back for Glatch as Williams romped away to a comfortable win. Williams has won three of the last four Grand Slam titles and a fourth US Open win here in two weeks time would give her 12 in total, equalling the mark of her childhood idol Billie-Jean King. INTERESTING STATISTIC: Serena has NEVER lost in the 1st Round of a Major - She's a perfect 40-0.
August 30, 2009
August 29, 2009
Arthur Ashe Kids' Day will air on the CBS network Sunday, August 30th, at 12pm EST. This year's lineup includes funnyman Will Ferrell and American Idol winner Jordin Sparks who will sing her new hit "Battlefield." Also performing are Pop Rock music rising stars Honor Society and Usher protégé Justin Bieber. There will be exciting tennis matches and contests with former US Open champions Serena Williams, Andy Roddick and Maria Sharapova plus Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal, Kim Clijsters, James Blake and Novak Djokovic. The popular tennis and music festival, which includes interactive games, musical entertainment and tennis clinics, will be hosted by television personalities Susie Castillo and Quddus.
Check out these statistics dating to the start of the 2008 U.S. Open:
"The Williams sisters just take it to another level when they are playing the Slams," observed Martina Navratilova, who won 18 Grand Slam singles titles. "The Williams sisters look at it as an opportunity," added Navratilova, part of Tennis Channel's announcing team at the U.S. Open. "They don't put that much pressure on themselves when they play the other tournaments. It's sort of like warmups. "Compare that to someone such as Dinara Safina, who is No. 1 in the WTA rankings and seeded No. 1 at the U.S. Open, ahead of No. 2 Serena Williams and No. 3 Venus Williams. Safina is 0-3 in Grand Slam finals over her career; she has, however, won three other titles in 2009.
Ask the younger Williams about the key to defending her championship at Flushing Meadows and she insists that she can't allow any shred of pressure to creep into her thoughts. "I have to be really relaxed. Last year, I was super relaxed, and super calm. I just enjoyed every moment," she said. "That's where I need to be again. "Williams certainly knows what it takes to succeed at major tournaments, but there have been dips in performance at those events, too. For a while, she drew criticism for spending too much time pursuing outside interests and not enough time honing her game. On the other hand, Williams' forays into fashion and acting helped turn her into something of a brand.
She is not merely a sports star; she is a celebrity. That's why she was invited to unveil a wax figure of herself Thursday at Madame Tussauds New York. That's why she was asked to make a guest appearance on Shaquille O'Neal's reality TV show. That's why she has an autobiography coming out next week. That's why she has nearly 1 million followers on Twitter. That said, Williams is at her best - and is as good as it gets - when she has a racket in her hand, particularly at Grand Slam tournaments these days. "I'm happy where I'm at, and I feel like I have several hundred more years to play," said Williams, who turns 28 in September. "Hopefully I'll win more."
August 28, 2009
“It is a shame. They're the people to beat. They rise to the occasion at the big ones, especially Serena,” John McEnroe, three-time U.S. Open champion and part of the tournament announcing team, said. In July, Serena beat Venus at Wimbledon for her 11th Grand Slam singles title — four more than Venus owns. Serena also leads 6-2 in major finals and 11-10 overall in professional matches.
August 26, 2009
Serena and Venus Williams pose for a photo while displaying their Miami Dolphins jerseys after it was announced the tennis stars had become minority owners of the NFL football team, during a news conference in Davie, Fla., Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2009. No. 11 for Venus, No. 89 for Serena. EleVen is Venus' clothing line; 8-9 is the birthdate of their half sister, Yetunde Price, who died in a 2003 shooting. The sisters are the first female African-Americans to hold an ownership stake in an NFL franchise, the Dolphins said. The league has no African-American majority owner.
We are thrilled to have Venus and Serena join the Dolphins as limited partners," said owner, Stephen Ross. "They are among the most admired athletes in the world and have become global ambassadors for the game of tennis. Their addition to our ownership group further reflects our commitment to connect with aggressively and embrace the great diversity that makes South Florida a multicultural gem."
August 25, 2009
Coached by Olympic gold medalists in beach volleyball Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers, and teamed with Rogers, who is the 2005-2008 AVP Best Defensive Player, Shaq, given his height and leaping ability, will be a formidable force. In addition Shaq will visit and train with his friend, Serena Williams, to understand the psyche of female athletes and prepare himself for the final volleyball challenge that will not have a handicap and will be played straight up to the finish.
August 24, 2009
On the eve of the year’s last grand slam tennis event, the 2009 US Open, Bryant Park will be the epicenter of the tennis world when DIRECTV and ESPN roll out the hard courts for the DIRECTV ESPN US Open Experience – a free tennis exhibition and USTA clinic featuring some of the biggest names in the sport that will be open to the public.
The lawn will be transformed into two regulation US Open tennis courts for exhibition matches between USTA pros, including Venus and Serena Williams; former pros – turned TV commentators the Jensen brothers; the World’s current No. 1 Men’s doubles team the Bryan brothers; and James Blake. Between 9am – 10am and 1pm – 4pm, park visitors will have the chance to play against local pros for a chance to take on James Blake and another tennis star.
August 23, 2009
“I probably should have won but I didn’t,” said Williams. “I can’t say I was especially feeling the fire, the burn, but obviously I wanted to do well. “I really hope to have another go at her at the U.S. Open because I learned a lot from today’s match.”
August 21, 2009
CHECK OUT THESE STATS: Serena served at 71% for the match; won 83% of her 1st serves, 100% of her 2nd serves and was 75% on break point conversion!
The reigning Wimbledon, Australian Open and U.S. Open champion Williams will face fourth-seeded Russian Elena Dementieva in Saturday's semifinals.
August 20, 2009
August 19, 2009
Other seeds faltered, but Serena Williams served notice she's serious about the Rogers Cup. Williams made short work of Kazakhstan's Yaroslava Shvedova, 6-3, 6-2 in an evening match tonight in the $2 million tournament the Rexall Centre at York University. Despite the lopsided score, it was an entertaining match as Shvedova put up some fight early in the second set. But as if to put an exclamation point on her ultimate domination, Williams finished a glorious running forehand down the line winner with splits any gymnast would be proud of, pumping her arm when the shot landed to put her up 5-2 in the second set.