2nd Match of the Day
The Williamses climbed to No. 1 in doubles for the first time after winning the French Open. They were bidding for their 13th major championship. Serena, who will play in the semifinals of singles Thursday, wore a bandage on her right shoulder. Zvonareva is in the semifinals of singles for the first time, and they could meet in the final.
The match turned when Venus double-faulted on break point in the second set, giving the Russians a 4-2 lead. Serena lost serve in the third game of the final set, and the sisters didn’t manage a break in the last two sets. The defeat was only the fifth in 60 matches for the Williamses over the past three years. They fell to 29-2 at Wimbledon.
While Serena has 12 grand slam singles trophies, including three at Wimbledon, contested 15 grand slam finals and 18 semis, her trio of challengers can boast one semi-final showing between them - with Zvonareva taking that honour. Venu and Serena Williams have ruled Wimbledon with a vice-like grip for most of the 21st century, winning eight titles between them since 2000. On Thursday, Kvitova will be out to try and end that domination and hope Serena surrenders more than the measly three games she gave up in their only previous meeting.
Defending champion Serena Williams defeated Maria Sharapova 7-6 (9), 6-4 on Monday to reach the Wimbledon quarterfinals and avenge her loss to the Russian in the 2004 final. Serena served 19 aces. In the previous round she served 20 aces taking her total to 63 for the tournament. Williams, who hit four aces in the opening game, saved three set points in the tiebreaker to stay in command.
“I played really well and I thought I had my chances,” said Sharapova, who hurt her own cause with seven double faults. “If it was not for her really great serving, I certainly had a real good look at winning the match.” In 2004, Sharapova—17 years old at the time—stunned Williams 6-1, 6-4 for her first Grand Slam title.
“That was so long ago that I don’t think it gives me any more added or any less satisfaction,” Williams said after Monday’s match. “We’re both different players. She’s obviously improved. Hopefully I’ve improved since six years ago.” Sharapova came back from 3-1 down in the first set and had Williams on the ropes in the tiebreaker, but failed to convert. Leading 6-4, she hit a forehand into the net before Williams smacked a forehand winner to make it 6-6.
With Sharapova up 8-7, Williams hit a service winner to save another set point. At 9-all, Sharapova double-faulted. Williams then converted her third set point with her 13th ace. Serving for the match in the second set, Williams hit another ace and a service winner. She finished with 31 winners and 17 errors, while Sharapova had 14 winners and 18 errors. ''I had a few looks at her serve, but even when you had a good look and the ball's coming at you in 120s (mph), it's pretty tough to do much with it,'' Sharapova said.
The top-seeded American had at least two aces in each of her eight service games and overpowered the 46th-ranked Slovak 6-0, 7-5 in the day's first match on Centre Court. Williams has won the opening set of each of her first three matches at this year's Championships by the same 6-0 scoreline. Williams won 37 of 43 service points and held at love five times. She won 19 of her first 20 service points, with Cibulkova putting only four returns in play in that stretch.
The first set lasted just 18 minutes, with Williams winning 25 of 31 points, serving six aces and hitting 12 winners. She finished the match with 37 winners. Cibulkova, a semifinalist at the French Open last year, finally got on the scoreboard when she held serve for 1-1 in the second set. From then on, she kept the match competitive by holding serve, although she couldn't cope with Williams' serves.
Cibulkova saved a match point while serving at 4-5 with a crosscourt backhand winner, but Williams broke in the 12th game to close out the match. Williams, chasing her fourth Wimbledon title and 13th Grand Slam crown, will next face the winner of the match between Sharapova and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova
AMAZING STATS: 20 aces, 37 winners, 9 unforced errors, 0 double faults, 77% first serve, won 94% of 1st serves and 60% of 2nd serves. (Impressive!)
Three-times champion Williams began her day at the All England Club began by curtsying to Queen Elizabeth on the players' terrace and a few hours later took to Court 2 and demolised Anna Chakvetadze. Serena reached the third round at Wimbledon by routing Anna Chakvetadze 6-0, 6-1. Williams won the first 11 games, hit nine aces and lost only four of 32 points on her first serve. She hit 27 winners to six for Chakvetadze and closed out the match in 48 minutes. Impressive! Serena is seeking her fourth Wimbledon title and second straight.
The Williams sisters are bidding for a fifth consecutive Grand Slam doubles title and 13th overall. They are tied for No. 1 in the doubles rankings, in addition to Serena being at No. 1 and Venus at No. 2 in the singles rankings. The doubles match was played several hours after Serena won her first-round singles match. Venus advanced in singles on Monday.
Williams won all 27 points on her first serve and hit 15 aces, the last on her final shot. Her winners to unforced errors ratio was 47/15. She also won 9 of 12 net approaches. As the crowd applauded her victory, Williams curtsied, mindful Queen Elizabeth II is expected to visit Wimbledon for the first time since 1977 on Thursday.
"I want it to be more natural," she said. "Right now it feels really forced. Seems like I've never done a curtsy before, which may be true. But I'm looking forward to nailing it." Williams played first on Center Court and remained unbeaten in opening Grand Slam matches. She's 43-0 in the first round at major events. For her return to Wimbledon on a warm, sunny afternoon, the three-time champion wore a cream dress with red trim. "Strawberries and cream," she said.Larcher De Brito, ranked 148th, has three wins over top-20 players but was overwhelmed at the start, needing 33 minutes to win a game. There were some vigorous rallies down the stretch, with Larcher De Brito holding her own as both players scrambled along the baseline. "She definitely packs a punch," Williams said. "It was good for me because most people that do play nowadays hit really hard. It was good to get someone that hit really hard early on."
Williams packed the bigger punch -- she finished with 47 winners to six for Larcher De Brito, many on serves that reached up to 119 mph. "It's not even about the pace, because I could deal with that," Larcher De Brito said. "But she places it so well. When she aims for targets, she really hits that line or just clips that line."
In the final game, Williams hit a service winner and three aces to close out the victory. She said poor serving cost her when she was upset by Stosur in the quarterfinals at the French Open. "I served so terrible my last match at the French," Williams said. "I went home and worked really hard on my serve. I was incredibly disappointed with it. Had a talk with my serve. I said, 'You know, we got to do a little bit better.' "
Williams reached double figures in aces for the eighth time this year, most on the women's tour. She has won 58 of her past 59 matches against players ranked outside the top 100.
Hot-headed Serena was fined following an f-word tirade at a line judge during the US Open last September. But the SW19 star insists her emotional displays represent everything that is great about the sport. She said: "I've always been a perfectionist and had a little temper and that's never going to change. That's exciting. That makes people want to watch, it's cool.
"You can't change who you are. When I demolish a racket I like to see how many cracks there are - if there is one crack it's no good. If I need to destroy the racket I've got to go all the way. Sometimes there are three different cracks - that's a really good one.''
Current world No 1 Serena is vying for her fourth Wimbledon title and a 13th Grand Slam. Yet the real target is to better Tiger Woods' tally of 14 majors before the year is out. She added: "I always wanted to catch up with him but I couldn't remember how many Grand Slams I had so I asked on Twitter. They told me 12. Now I know. "I would love to have five or six Wimbledons but I'll just do the best I can. I won't get too down if it doesn't happen. I had chances to get more but I screwed them up - it's my own fault."
The American kicks off her Wimbledon title defence this week against world No 148 Michelle Larcher de Brito, 17, who defeated Brit hopeful Laura Robson in the run-up to the tournament last year. The draw is again set-up for yet another Williams sisters' Grand Slam final. Serena defeated Venus in the 2009 final and claims their sibling rivalry makes life harder for their opponents. "We really enjoy it," beamed Serena. "We've seen off our rivals because we're good. We are very close.
Article by: Greg Gobere (News of the World UK)
During the past decade, either Venus or Serena has won the title eight times. Only Sharapova (beating Serena in the final in 2004) and Amelie Mauresmo (beating Henin in 2006) have broken the Williamses' death grip on the event. Venus has five titles, including two of the past three, and Serena is a three-time -- and defending -- champion. This year, Serena is seeded No. 1, with Venus No. 2. If they both reach the final, it would be the fifth all-Williams final and the third in a row.
"We're here to work, and we're here to do our best," Serena said on Sunday. "Hopefully, that's taking home a title. What enjoyment we get out of it is just the satisfaction of working hard and seeing the fruitage of that." Or something like that.
The bottom half of the women's draw opens play Monday, so it will be Venus in action first, facing Rossana De Los Rios of Paraguay. Serena will be scheduled to play Tuesday -- against the yowling Michelle Larcher de Brito -- and, with a win (she is 42-0 in first-round matches in the majors), could gain an audience with the Queen of England.
Yes, Queen Elizabeth II will be on hand Thursday for the first time since 1977, her silver jubilee year, and already there is much talk of protocol. Officially, since 2003, players here have not been required to bow or curtsy to royalty, and the 84-year-old monarch has made it clear she will not insist players do so now. The All England Club, however, will ask players ahead of time which they intend to do.
"She hasn't been to this tournament in just forever," Serena said. "I thought, 'Wow, I've just got to make sure I'm here on Thursday.'" And the curtsy? "I've been working on my curtsy," she said. "It's a little extreme, so I'm going to have to tone it down. I have a lot of arm movement. I get really low."
Because she is seeded No. 16, Sharapova could run into Serena in the fourth round. After winning in 2004, Sharapova reached the semifinals the next two years. She hasn't won more than three matches since, but her recent results -- and a soft draw (No. 9 seed Daniela Hantuchova is her toughest potential opponent through three rounds) -- suggest she might keep her fourth-round date with Serena.
"She's a really hard worker, and her attitude on the court is definitely carried off the court of never giving up, always fighting," Serena said. "It's not easy to come back from any type of surgery. She is clearly doing well." The Belgians, too, could meet in the fourth round; the winner of the No. 8 seed Clijsters and No. 17 seed Henin match could produce Venus' opponent in the semifinals. Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam event Henin has yet to win.
"It's cool they're back in the draw," Serena said, "It's fine. I answer this question every week, so look at my other transcripts." Serena will turn 29 in September, while Venus hit 30 last week. It doesn't seem possible -- especially when you see the photos of young Venus winning here a decade ago -- but this is Venus' 50th Grand Slam event.
To put the Williams sisters' dominance another way, consider their 19 combined Grand Slam singles titles. The rest of the field -- including freshly minted French Open champion Francesca Schiavone -- has 16. Now that's a story.
Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School wrestler and football star Derrick Laney was named the Scrappy Moore Male Athlete of the Year at Thursday’s annual Best of Preps awards banquet. More than 1,100 people were in attendance at the Chattanooga Convention Center to honor the area’s top high school athletes. LaQuisha Jackson of Howard School of Academics and Technology was named Female Athlete of the Year, and Soddy-Daisy’s Clifford Kirk was Coach of the Year.
Tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams were the featured speakers, advising all the young athletes to set goals for not only their athletic careers but beyond. “It’s important for young people to have a goal, give themselves something to strive for,” Venus Williams said. “Even beyond their high school or college careers, it’s always good to have something you’re working for and to try to better yourself,” she said.