March 27, 2010

Monica Seles: Serena will be the Greatest !

Monica Seles: Why I Believe Serena Williams Will Be The Greatest
by: Ian Stafford (DailyMail)

Monica Seles believes Serena Williams can become the greatest women's tennis player of all time by beating Margaret Court's incredible record of 24 Grand Slam titles. While Williams, at 28, is only halfway to that total, Seles, the former world No 1 and winner of nine Grand Slam titles herself, insists that the achievement is still not beyond her.

'If Serena can stay fit she'll beat all the records,' said Seles after Williams became Sportswoman of the Year at the Laureus World Sports Awards. 'I appreciate she's got a bit to go yet, but really think she'll do it because she has the potential to be the greatest player of all time. Serena now possesses every attribute required to be the best, and to stay the best. 'She has a great serve, a sweet return, fantastic movement and all this is combined with awesome power. As if this is not enough, no player comes close to being as mentally strong as her.'

To beat the Grand Slam record of Australian legend Court, Williams would have to increase her annual tally of titles considerably. Since the 'Serena Slam' of 2002-2003, during which she won an incredible five titles, injuries and erratic form have restricted her Grand Slam wins to six in seven years. But Seles is adamant that -despite the evidence of her abusive outburst against a line judge at last year's US Open, for which she received a suspended three-year ban from the tournament - Williams has matured professionally and personally.

'We all know that Serena has had some difficult moments, especially the passing of her older sister, as well as some injury and motivational problems,' said Seles. 'But she has proved how tough she is to bounce back in such style when everyone seemed to have written her off. 'Now I believe she's matured as a woman and has a balanced life. 'She used to be criticised before for not committing every single minute of the day to tennis, but believe her other interests have kept her mentally fresh and her love for the game intact.'

Williams won two Slams last year, including her third Wimbledon title, and started 2010 by winning the Australian Open in emphatic style. Seles believes that not even the return from retirement of the two Belgians, Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters, will stop the American from dominating the women's game. 'I reckon Serena's playing her best tennis ever right now,' said Seles. 'She seems to have moved up a gear. She's moved on.

"You can't really make comparisons with previous eras, but it's hard to see any of the greats living with Serena when she's playing as well as she did in the Australian Open."

The SERENA Factor in Miami (by Harvey Fialkov)

Serena Williams has been a force to be reckoned with at Key Biscayne. What happens now?

The road to the Sony Ericsson Open women's championship got a lot easier when Serena Williams withdrew with a knee ailment last weekend. Williams is 52-6 in Miami. She has won five of the last eight Sonys and made the finals six of the past seven times she has been entered at Key Biscayne. After winning three of the last five majors, including January's Australian Open for her 12th Grand Slam title, Williams was a clear-cut favorite to surpass Steffi Graf's record of five titles in Miami and tie Andre Agassi's all-time mark of six.

So, with five former No. 1s still in the draw, including Serena's big sister Venus, the women's bracket seems tough to predict. What does it mean to the field — also missing injured Russians Maria Sharapova, a two-time finalist here, and third-ranked Dinara Safina — to have Serena Williams out?

Chinese duo on rise: Li Na and Jie Zheng became the first Chinese women to reach the semifinals of the same Grand Slam at the same time at the Australian Open. Although they have five singles titles between them and Jie has two major doubles titles, no one from their country has won a premier event like the Sony Ericsson Open.

Serena factor: The two top-20 women are a combined 1-8 vs. Serena. Li reached a career-high No. 10 after the Aussie, where she was knocked out by Serena. And Jie was the first Chinese woman to reach a major semi at the 2008 Wimbledon, where she was also booted out by Serena. On Serena's way to the final at Key Biscayne last year she took out three straight Chinese women, including Peng Shuai, Jie and Na in the quarters.

Belgium basher is back: Justine Henin, a seven-time Grand Slam champion with 41 titles, returned this year after walking away at the top in May 2008, citing fatigue. She returned with a vengeance in January, reaching the finals of Brisbane and the Australian Open before losing her first match at Indian Wells. Henin and her sweet one-handed backhand mean trouble for somebody.

Serena factor: Was it a coincidence that Henin quit one tournament after the much stronger Serena wiped her out 6-2, 6-0 in the Miami quarters? It was Serena who deprived Henin of a title here when she fought off a bagel set and two match points down to beat her in the 2007 final. And guess who dispatched the diminutive slugger in this year's Aussie final?

Venus may be rising: There's no hotter player on the tour than Venus, who before skipping Indian Wells as usual won three straight events. Venus is 14-1 with titles in Dubai, Acapulco and an exhibition victory over Kim Clijsters in New York. She's rested and eager to win her fourth Miami title, but first since 2001.

Serena factor: Big sis has always hated beating baby sis. Although Venus won the 1999 title here in the first all-sister WTA Tour final, she was knocked out of the 2002 and 2009 semifinals by Serena – to whom she has lost four straight times.

Serb rebounds: Jelena Jankovic, who finished 2008 at No. 1 despite not winning a major, dropped to No. 8 after 2009 without getting past the fourth round of any major. She's crediting Nick Bollettieri protégé coach Chip Brooks and a less-muscular frame for her resurgence at Indian Wells, where she won the most prestigious title of her career Sunday and first in seven months despite entering the tournament with a 5-4 record

Serena factor: Sure, Jankovic is a respectable 3-4 against Serena, but lost the last two meetings in big tournaments in 2008. In her only Grand Slam final appearance at the U.S. Open, Jankovic fell 6-4, 7-5. Five months earlier, Serena needed eight match points to finish Jankovic in the Miami final. "It's like a heavyweight champion, and I'm a feather champion, you know? I cannot match up against her,'' Jankovic said after the match.

Serena hits Miami Beach

Serena spent some time at Miami beach in Florida where she took a dip in the water and took a spin on a jet ski.

March 24, 2010

Venus and Serena: 2009 Doubles Team of the Year

Venus and Serena Williams won the 2009 WTA Doubles Team of the Year Award for their collective achievements in 2009, highlighted by winning four titles which included three Grand Slams (the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open) and the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford. The pair ended the year with a 24-2 win-loss record.

Serena wins 2009 WTA Player of the Year Award

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. (AP) -- World No. 1 Serena Williams won the 2009 WTA Tour Player of the Year award (for the third time in her career: 2002, 2008) and also took the Doubles Team of the year honors with sister Venus at a ceremony held at the Sony Ericsson Open on Wednesday.

Serena Williams, wearing high heels despite a knee injury, was all smiles when picking up her award. She won the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the Sony Ericsson Championship in 2009, was a semifinalist at the U.S. Open, and a quarterfinalist at the French Open. Additionally, she was a semifinalist at five more Tour events and recorded 14 wins over Top 10 opponents during the season. Williams finished 2009 as the top ranked singles player in the world, marking the fifth time in her career she reached #1 in the rankings.

The Williams sisters won the 2009 Australian Open, Wimbledon, and U.S. Open doubles titles as well as the doubles crown at Stanford. ''It's exciting because I don't think we've won the Doubles Team of the Year award before,'' Serena Williams told The Associated Press. ''I won the daily double today and that was cool.''

Sony Ericsson Open Kick-Off Party

Serena attends the Sony Ericsson Open Kick-Off Party at LIV Nightclub at Fontainebleu Miami.

March 20, 2010

Knee injury forces Serena out of Miami

World number one and Australian Open winner Serena Williams withdrew from the Sony Ericsson on Friday as she continues to nurse a sore knee, becoming the fifth high profile player to pull out of the event in the last week. "Obviously, we are disappointed when any of the top players pull out,'' tournament director Adam Barrett said. "When you are talking about one of the most prolific players in the game, a player like Serena, it is extremely disappointing, especially for the fans who won't get to see her.

"We want the best players versus the best players, but we still have a great field with many of the top players in the world. Only difference is this year, we know Serena won't win it. But if a player isn't at 100 percent and can't play their best, it's better for them to sit out. We're here for the long haul. I'd rather see Serena have a long career than have her play in Miami two weeks and jeopardize her health.''

Maria Sharapova and world number two Dinara Safina pulled out on Wednesday, along with 2008 champion Nikolay Davydenko. Tournament organizers also announced the withdrawal of Juan Martin del Potro, a semifinalist in last year's tournament. Williams won the Key Biscayne event five times and was coming off her fifth Australian Open victory in January. Sister Venus Williams will take Serena's spot in Thursday's match that starts at 7 p.m., as she looks for her fourth Sony Ericsson Open title. The seven-time Grand Slam champion last won in Miami in 2001.

March 11, 2010

Serena: Fitness Mag's Champ of Health & Fitness

Fitness Magazine lists First Lady Michelle Obama, Serena Williams and sports broadcaster Rich Eisen as "Champions of Health and Fitness." In their first annual Champions of Health & Fitness awards, Fitness Magazine salutes the role models, innovators, and activists who are helping Americans shape up, live healthy, and reach for the best. The list consists of people who are committed to bringing opportunities for healthy living, exercise, and better nutrition to more communities. To find out more, go to

March 10, 2010

Serena Wins Record 3rd Laureus Sports Award

ABU DHABI - Serena Williams became the first woman in history to win three Laureus World Sports Awards after she was proclaimed 2010 Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year at the Awards Ceremony in Abu Dhabi. Serena has previously won two Laureus Awards - the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Award in 2003 and the Laureus World Comeback of the Year Award in 2007. She was also nominated for the Laureus Sportswoman Award in 2001, 2002 and 2004 and the Laureus Newcomer Award in 2000.

The American tennis star won her second Laureus Sportswoman Award, seven years after her first, following Grand Slam victories in 2009 in Australia and at Wimbledon. Only Roger Federer, with four, has won more Laureus Awards. In 2009, Serena Williams re-established herself at the peak of tennis by regaining the world No 1 ranking for the fifth time in her career. She also broke the record set by Justine Henin for the most prize money earned by a female tennis player in one season with a total of $6,545,586 during the year.

Serena said: “I am just so delighted to win this Award, but very disappointed I cannot be in Abu Dhabi to say thank you in person. It’s my third Laureus Award which is amazing and I would like to say thank you to all the Academy Members who voted for me and to the world’s media who nominated me. Last year had its ups and downs, so to get this support is fantastic.

“As a tennis player you look at the amazing names of the Academy Members - like John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova, Boris Becker and Monica Seles - who have won so many Grand Slams and they know what it takes to do that. There is nothing better in sport than being acknowledged by the people that you looked up to when you were a young player.

“The Laureus Awards have been a constant reflection of my career, winning in 2003 and 2007, and I think I was also nominated four more times. I know only Roger Federer has more Awards, so it would be cool to catch him up. “I’ve had a few injury problems over the years, so it’s been great to get back to the top and be World No 1 again. It’s going to be an interesting year with Justine Henin back, but I’m playing well and it was great to win in Australia, and I still want to win every tournament I play. It’s going to be a very exciting 2010,” added Serena.

In the 2009 Australian Open final, Serena defeated Dinara Safina 6–0, 6–3 in 59 minutes to take her fourth Australian title, tying the record for most victories at the event with Steffi Graf, Monica Seles, Margaret Court and Evonne Cawley. At Wimbledon she beat her sister Venus in the final 7–6, 6–2, to win her third title there. At the end of 2009, Serena had taken her total of career Grand Slam singles victories to 11, putting her seventh on the all-time list. In total, she had won 23 Grand Slam titles - 11 in singles, ten in women's doubles and two in mixed doubles. In addition, she has won two Olympic gold medals in women’s doubles. She has won more career prize money than any other female athlete in history.

A little of the gloss of the year was lost at the US Open after an on-court row with a lineswoman who foot-faulted her in the final set of the semi-final against Kim Clijsters. As a result, she was penalised a point for unsportsmanlike conduct and lost the match, and later fined. However she was back to winning ways in the next Grand Slam, the 2010 Australian Open, just after the close of the Laureus qualifying year, beating Justine Henin in the final. Her victory was her fifth Australian Open, and her 12th career singles Grand Slam title.

Laureus World Sports Academy Member Monica Seles, herself a winner of nine Grand Slam titles, said: “It hasn’t been an easy few years for Serena with injuries being a problem, but she comprehensively proved last year that she was the undisputed No 1 player in the world and deserves this Award. And her victory over Justine Henin in the Australian Open final showed that she is determined to hang on to the No 1 position. It’s going to make for a very exciting 2010 in women’s tennis.”

The 2010 Laureus World Sports Awards, which recognise sporting achievement during the period January 1 - December 31, 2009, are the premier honours on the international sporting calendar. The winners are chosen by the Laureus World Sports Academy, the ultimate sports jury, made up of 46 of the greatest sportsmen and sportswomen of all time. The living legends of sport honouring the great athletes of today.

March 8, 2010

Serena attends Vanity Fair Oscar Party

Serena attends Elton John's Oscar Party

Serena attended the 18th Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Oscar Viewing Party at the Pacific Design Center (on Sunday, March 7, 2010) in Los Angeles, California.

March 5, 2010

Serena attends Tribute To Lee Daniels

Serena Williams attended the Precious Tribute to Lee Daniels at Haven 360 sponsored by Oral B Pulsonic at The Andaz West Hollywood Hotel, Thursday, Mar. 4, 2010 in Los Angeles, CA.

March 4, 2010

Serena on cover of JET Magazine

Serena is on the cover of the March 15th issue of JET Magazine. The article is titled, "True Confessions: Serena Takes Off Her Game Face."

Serena attends "Essence" luncheon

Serena attended the 3rd Annual Essence Black Women in Hollywood luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel on March 4, 2010 in Beverly Hills, California.

Serena attends Pre-Oscar Party

Serena attended the Global Green 7th Annual Pre-Oscar Party at Avalon on March 3, 2010 in Hollywood, California.

March 1, 2010

Serena returns to HSN

Friday, March 5th - 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Friday, March 5th - 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Friday, March 5th - 11:00pm - 12:00am
Saturday, March 6th - 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Saturday, March 6th - 8:00pm - 9:00pm