Serena and Venus Williams have advanced to the semifinals of the doubles tournament at the French Open. The siblings defeated Maria Kirilenko and Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2, 6-3. The Williamses won the doubles title in Paris in 1999.
May 31, 2010
Serena Williams looked shaky Monday at the French Open only after her match, when she tried to speak French to the crowd. "I get so nervous," she told the interviewer with a giggle in English when she was done. Otherwise, the top-ranked Williams advanced smoothly to the quarterfinals, beating Shahar Peer 6-2, 6-2.
Williams complained of dizziness from a cold following a seesaw three-set win in her previous match, but the only wobble against the No. 18-seeded Peer came at the start. Williams lost the first seven points, then swept nine in a row. From 2-all, Williams won five consecutive games to take charge of the match. Williams hit six aces, broke six times and won in just over an hour.
"This year my game is better, I hope I am going to win. I live here, I love Paris, it's a wonderful city," the 2002 champion told a stunned crowd as she responded to a courtside interview in French. She returned to her native language: "I'm very happy (Henin) is playing again. I would love to play her here, she's a great champion, I hope to do good." Serena is bidding for her 13th Grand Slam championship, and her second this year. Her lone French Open title came in 2002.
May 30, 2010
Anastasia: "I'm disappointed, because I had a few chances early in the third set. It doesn't mean I still wouldn't lose," Pavlyuchenkova said. "I should take positives from this match though. She's No.1 in the world and I played three sets with her. It was a good experience. She's Serena - she's a fighter, she's really confident. After she beat me, she has to win. I really hope she wins the tournament."
May 29, 2010
Serena Williams looked ill, and not only because she had lost five games in a row in her 3rd round match at the French Open. A trainer paid Williams a visit during a changeover, checked her temperature and gave her pills. Then came a third-set surge, and Williams beat 18-year-old Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova on Saturday, 6-1, 1-6, 6-2.
The top-ranked Williams appeared in danger when she fell behind 5-love in the second set and summoned the trainer (for dizziness). Soon Williams' court movement improved, her strokes steadied and she advanced to the fourth round. "Doesn't matter the score, especially against her," Pavlyuchenkova said. "She's a good fighter. She's really confident and she is Serena." The seesaw win assured Williams of retaining the No. 1 ranking after the tournament.
Serena's aggressive returns had Pavlyuchenkova's serve under constant pressure early, but the talented young Russian -- a three-time Grand Slam champion in juniors -- suddenly reversed the momentum in the second set. Williams began to look sluggish during points, took her time between them and occasionally grimaced, while Pavlyuchenkova's booming groundstrokes had her on the defensive.
But in the third set, Williams erased three break points to take the lead for good at 2-1. She again became forceful with her returns, and whacked the last one at Pavlyuchenkova's feet for the win. "In the third, she just started the set with a new power," Pavlyuchenkova said. Pavlyuchenkova, seeded 29th, fell to 8-1 this year in three-set matches. Williams is 100-44 in three-setters. "After she beat me she has to win the tournament," Pavlyuchenkova said. "I really hope so." She will next face Israel's Shahar Peer, who matched her best result at the French Open by defeating Marion Bartoli of France 7-6 (7), 6-2 to reach the fourth round.
May 28, 2010
Serena Williams charged into the third round of the French Open with a 6-1 6-1 pummelling of Germany's Julia Goerges on Friday. She played almost mistake-free tennis, with only four unforced errors to 20 for Goerges. Serena feasted on Goerges' weak second serves, taking them two steps inside the baseline, and held every service game. Serena won 69% of her 1st serves and 72% of her second serves. She converted 5 of 8 break point opportunities and won 6 of 8 approaches at net.
Serena won 15 of 19 points on Goerges' weak second serves. Williams won nine consecutive games to take control. The 12-time Grand Slam champion is bidding for her first French Open title since 2002. The 2002 champion, whose match was cancelled by rain on Thursday, was simply too strong for the world number 77 on a sunsoaked Court Suzanne Lenglen. Serena, wearing a sky blue dress to match the much improved Paris weather, concluded a 55-minute stroll in the park when Goerges sprayed a backhand wide.
Williams has won 41 consecutive second-round matches in major tournaments since losing in that round in her Grand Slam debut in 1998 to her sister Venus. She will next face either fellow American Jill Craybas or Russian 29th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova for a place in the fourth round.
May 26, 2010
May 25, 2010
Venus and Serena Williams won their first-round doubles match at the French Open, dropping only one game. The top-seeded Americans beat Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium and Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand 6-0, 6-1 Tuesday. The Williams sisters are seeking their 12th Grand Slam doubles title together and fourth in a row. They won the French Open doubles championship in 1999.
May 24, 2010
The 2002 Paris champion stooped and clenched her fist as she saw off three break points en route to a 7-2 win in the first set tiebreak after struggling to break her opponent's serve.
"I definitely didn't feel good about it. At least I won. I think I'm still in the tournament, that's what matters," Serena told reporters. World number 76, Voegele, egged on by the crowd on Court Philippe Chatrier, lost her composure in the second set as Serena ended the contest with a routine volley after an hour and 21 minutes. Williams had 10 aces and three service winners late in the tiebreak. The 12-time Grand Slam champion also saved three break points late in the first set Monday.
She will next face German Julia Goerges. "A different day, a better game; a different day, a different game. That's how I think about it," said Serena. A different dress as well. "I always have seven outfits for singles and six for doubles," she said. "I just wear them once, like everything else. I only wear things once."
Serena keeps her Grand Slam streak alive. She has NEVER lost in the 1st round of a Major. She's 42-0!
May 23, 2010
May 21, 2010
Serena is 8-6 lifetime against her bitter rival Henin, but the Belgian star is 2-0 in their meetings at Roland Garros. And Henin is 4-1 when they meet on red clay, the surface, of course, in Paris. The reigning Australian Open and Wimbledon champion Serena captured her lone French Open title in 2002.
Henin hasn't played in Paris since titling here in 2007, as she retired from tennis, while ranked No. 1 at the time, in the spring of 2008, only to return at the beginning of this season. Henin, who lost to Serena in this year's Aussie Open championship bout, captured French Open titles in 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2007. 12th seeded Maria Sharapova and 22nd-seeded Henin are destined to face each other in the third round, with the winner likely to face in-form Stosur in a last-16 clash.
Serena or Henin could tangle with former top-ranked star Jelena Jankovic in the semifinals. Jankovic is seeded fourth at this particular fortnight. Meanwhile, second-seeded Venus Williams, the '02 French runner-up to Serena, could face fifth-seeded 2004 French Open finalist Elena Dementieva in the quarters or sixth-seeded and defending Roland Garros titlist Svetlana Kuznetsova in the semis. The 2009 Wimbledon runner-up Venus, like her younger sister, will open her Parisian stay against a Swiss player, veteran Patty Schnyder, who is 0-10 lifetime against Venus.
Kuznetsova upended former No. 1 Dinara Safina, this year's ninth seed, in last year's all-Russian finale here and was the '07 runner-up to the great Henin. In addition to the No. 1 Serena, No. 2 Venus, No. 4 Jankovic, No. 5 Dementieva, No. 6 Kuznetsova and No. 9 Safina, the other top-10 seeds in Paris are No. 3 U.S. Open runner-up Caroline Wozniacki, No. 7 Samantha Stosur, No. 8 Agnieszka Radwanska and No. 10 Victoria Azarenka. World No. 10 U.S. Open champion Kim Clijsters, a two-time Roland Garros runner-up, will skip this year's French major due to a foot injury. The French Open will get underway on Sunday
May 15, 2010
Venus and Serena Williams captured their 1st clay court doubles title in 11 years (1999 French Open) with a straight sets victory (6-2, 7-5) over Gisela Dulko of Argentina and Flavia Pannetta of Italy at the Mutua Madrilena Madrid Open.
May 14, 2010
May 13, 2010
Serena and Venus Williams are going to be back at the top of the rankings together for the first time in seven years. The WTA Tour says that Venus Williams is assured of moving up to No. 2 on Monday, one spot behind younger sister Serena. It will mark the 46th week overall the siblings have been Nos. 1-2 but they haven't occupied those spots since May 2003.
The rankings set up the sisters to be seeded 1-2 for the next Grand Slam tournament, the French Open, which begins May 23. That would mean they only could meet in the final at Roland Garros. The sisters first were at Nos. 1-2 in the rankings in June 2002, when Venus held the top spot, followed by Serena.
All those things were true the last time Serena and Venus Williams held the two top spots in the WTA Tour's ranking. It was the week of May 5, 2003, seven years ago, just a few weeks before everything changed in women's tennis. Henin would win the French Open that year, and not without controversy. In the semifinals, she held up her hand to ask Serena Williams to delay her serve, but wouldn't grant Williams, the defending champion, a let when she faulted. Henin went on to win the U.S. Open and the 2004 Australian Open. Then the Russian Revolution was on, with Anastasia Myskina winning the French Open, Maria Sharapova winning Wimbledon, and Svetlana Kuznetsova winning the U.S. Open. For the first time since 1998, neither Williams sister won a major title.
Next week the sisters will have completed an impressive return to the tennis summit. Venus defeated Francesca Schiavone in Madrid on Wednesday, which guaranteed her return to the No. 2 spot in the rankings, right behind her sister. It will be their 46th week together at the top. We all know the Williams sisters changed the direction of the sport. Powerful groundstrokes are now a must. The return of serve trumps the serve. And one weapon, like the Steffi Graf forehand, is no longer good enough for Grand Slam success. Their strokes have inspired much emulation, yet this is the striking reality: After all these years, no one has quite figured out how to keep the Williams sisters from winning. They're not only still playing, but they're still the best, despite a few dips along the way. To set the standard for more than a decade -- well, I don't see a player out there, from the juniors on up to Justine, who could hope to achieve that in the future.
The Williams sisters are often praised today for their longevity and especially their once controversial approach to the tour (prevent burnout by playing a limited schedule). It's deserving praise, but I'm not sure this method would produce results for anyone else over so long of a period. That's what we're going to learn when the Williams sisters do decide to retire. What works for them doesn't work for others. It can't. They're that good.
by - Tom Perrotta (Senior editor for TENNIS Magazine and TENNIS.com)
May 12, 2010
Top-ranked Serena Williams was knocked out of the Madrid Masters on Wednesday, falling 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 to Nadia Petrova of Russia in the third round.
Petrova, who has won 19 doubles titles, frustrated Williams into making 41 errors by hitting accurately from the baseline. The 16th-seeded Petrova served 10 aces to advance to the quarterfinals. Williams had looked out of form in a marathon match against Vera Dushevina on Tuesday, which lasted 3 hours, 26 minutes. It was the longest match of her career.
Last year, Williams was beaten in the opening round in her first appearance at the Madrid Masters. "I wasn't moving my fastest but all I could do was try and do the best I could. I don't know. I definitely wasn't at my best," said Williams, who criticized the tournament for its scheduling. "This isn't a player-favorite tournament, just to be honest. None of the players are really gung-ho about playing here."
Williams, who had to work hard to beat Vera Dushevina in the last round, looked down and out well before she sent a forehand over the baseline on the Russian's first match point.
May 11, 2010
May 10, 2010
The American world No. 1, who won her 12th grand slam title at January’s Australian Open
Serena won 6 straight points after trailing 0-4 in the 3rd set tiebreak. She squandered one match point with a wild backhand at 6-4 in the third-set tiebreak, but a ninth ace on the next point prompted a bellow of delight from the pink-clad 28-year-old. Serena had 64 winners and 73 errors! Williams avoided the fate of three other grand slam champions, Justine Henin, Maria Sharapova
"Actually, Wozniacki should gain 15 points from her run in Rome (they changed the points from last year). So there would be a 579 point difference.
Also, Venus was only given 5 points during last year's tourney, as she had a bye into the second round for being a semifinalist in Rome. I checked the WTA site.
Hope all that helps. And yeah, I've been following this, too. Wozniacki not making it to the semis would be automatic No. 2 for Venus. If they both play well, Venus needs to go one round more than Wozniacki. Seeing how they're on the same side of the draw (and Wozniacki hasn't even taken a set off Venus in their last four meetings), I see Venus as the No. 2 seed at the French!"