July 23, 2010

Serena playing dangerous game w/ foot "injury"

Quick quiz: How did Serena Williams hurt her foot?

A) She stepped on broken glass in a restaurant.
B) She didn't. It's an act so she doesn't have to play mandatory tournaments that don't interest her.
C) She got a little carried away in the celebration after winning Wimbledon.
D) Some other reason, not related to anything we've heard.
E) Don't know.

I'm going with E, although I've believed all the other options at some point in the past 10 days, since Williams withdrew from the World TeamTennis season and three tournaments leading up to the U.S. Open. Williams' fans don't like it when there is suspicion about her, usually blaming racial motives or jealousy or something. But the reason for the suspicion this time is Williams herself.

This will be another divisive moment for her. Pick a side. There's your truth. Williams inflames the debate.

If you have believed her in the past, then you will see any doubts about this injury as just more hating. If you haven't believed, then this will be further proof of her insincerity. "She didn't step on glass," said Williams' agent and spokesperson, Jill Smoller. "So I don't know where that came from. Her foot was cut. There was a deep laceration. She had surgery Thursday in Los Angeles ... to repair a deep laceration on top of her foot."

Surgery to repair a cut? Does that mean stitches? A torn tendon? What?

"I'm not going to go into that," she said.

See? This is an act of faith. According to her agent, Williams did hurt the foot with broken glass in a restaurant in Germany, where she had gone with a few friends after winning Wimbledon. She just didn't step on the glass. Let's see then. Top of the foot, not bottom. Broken glass, but not stepped on. Restaurant. Surgery for some unknown reason.

Hmm. Maybe a waiter broke a glass and the shards fell onto her foot? Didn't anyone see this happen to the world's most famous female athlete? We're still left guessing. Smoller said it was "a freak accident" and that she could only go so far with the details, pointing out that Williams and her sister Venus don't talk about injuries. They don't want them to come off as excuses.

Fine, but that doesn't apply here. This isn't about making excuses for a loss. Williams is out. There must be a reason. And more importantly, fans who have paid for tickets to see her play deserve answers from her. More answers from the Williams camp: When will she be able to play? As soon as she's ready. When does the doctor think that will be? She's a quick healer.

Williams is reportedly "questionable" for the U.S. Open, whatever that means. Imagine if Drew Brees had pulled out of the Super Bowl citing an injury regarding glass and foot surgery for an undisclosed reason. But actually, this brings up question No. 2 in the quiz: Is Williams "questionable" for the U.S. Open?

A) Yes
B) No.
C) Don't know.

I'm going to go with C. In this fog, it's questionable whether she's questionable. This part of the story is not Williams' fault. When word of Williams' injury first came out, you had to be skeptical. Her record is terrible on following through on her word to play tournaments that aren't majors. The tour must know what she's up to, which led me to believe it was going along with the charade.

The Associated Press quoted a Women's Tennis Association spokesperson by name saying that Williams is questionable for the Open. I asked another WTA spokesperson about it, which led to a ping-pong match of e-mails.

"The word 'questionable' was used by AP, not the WTA. The WTA confirmed she is entered to play in the U.S. Open." But the AP actually quotes a WTA official saying she's questionable. "Answered in the first response to your questions ..." The AP says that the WTA says something, but the WTA says the AP is the one who said it. Was the WTA misquoted? "We have answered your question from the initial email you sent ..."

If Williams wants to play only in majors, the tour should just let her. That way she doesn't have to throw matches, as she was doing last year, or fake injuries to get out of lesser events. In November, she gave her word to play the Fed Cup finals. Then, a few days later, during the tour championships, she said she was too tired. She won the tour championships, revived in time for the Australian Open, said her knees hurt, and skipped everything until a French Open warm-up tournament. Then came Wimbledon. Now, she got hurt, played anyway in an exhibition in Belgium, came back to the U.S., wore high heels for photographers in a red-carpet like event, and now is skipping everything until the U.S. Open. She has had her photo taken while shopping near Hollywood with crutches and one of those boots you wear after foot surgery. How hard is it to put on a boot for 10 minutes where you know paparazzi will be?

Well, I'm going with the idea that she does, in fact, have an injury of some sort that required surgery for whatever reason. Just a hunch. Other players give details when they're out. You know, Williams was going to get at least $150,000 to play in Istanbul, and could have won $350,000 in Montreal and $350,000 more in Cincinnati. She's also out $400,000 from a tour bonus pool. That's more than $1 million, at least. Is she suing that restaurant?

"At this point," Smoller said, "there are no plans."

Last quiz question: If Williams plays in the U.S. Open, what does that say?

A) She is courageous and made a quick recovery.
B) Her injuries have suspiciously great timing.
C) Both will have to serve as the full truth.

Article by Greg Couch - Tennis FanHouse

July 21, 2010

Serena in VOGUE Magazine - She's Got Game

Serena appears in the August 2010 issue of Vogue. Check out her interview with Marina Rust, "She's Got Game." (Photograph by Derek Kettela).

Foot surgery could keep Serena from U.S. Open

Serena Williams is questionable for the U.S. Open because of her recent foot injury, according to the WTA Tour.

Williams cut her right foot on broken glass at a restaurant shortly after winning Wimbledon. The tour said last week she needed surgery and would miss three tournaments leading up to the Open.

On Monday, tour spokesman Andrew Walker said Williams is questionable for the final Grand Slam of the year. Williams' return to the Open has been widely anticipated because of her tumultuous semifinal loss there last year, when she threw a tirade at a line judge at the end of a match against Kim Clijsters and was fined a record $82,500.

Because of the injury, Williams is missing the entire World Team Tennis season with the Washington Kastles. Her team said she cut the bottom of her foot and needed stitches. "Hey guys I'm doing better," Williams tweeted Monday. "Thanks for all the love." On Sunday night she tweeted: "can't wait to get out of bed & back on the courts & do what i do best!"

Ranked No. 1, Williams won her fourth Wimbledon crown and 13th major title July 3. The injury occurred shortly thereafter in Europe and at first was not believed to be serious. After hurting her foot, Williams played in an exhibition in Brussels on July 8 against Clijsters before a world-record tennis crowd of 35,681.

Williams attended a WTT match the next night in Glen Falls, N.Y., and did not play but briefly discussed her injury with reporters. When asked how she was able to play against Clijsters, Williams said, "Those Belgian doctors and waffles."

Clijsters said she knew before the exhibition that Williams was hurt pretty seriously. "I saw her before we started but she didn't go into how it happened," Clijsters said. "I told her how much I admired her for coming out there. A lot of players in her situation wouldn't have done it." Williams subsequently withdrew from upcoming tournaments in Istanbul, Cincinnati and Montreal. The last of those, at Montreal, begins Aug. 16, and the U.S. Open starts Aug. 30.

"You want the best players to be out there, especially at the U.S. Open," Clijsters said. "It would be sad not to have Serena there." After winning the Australian Open at the end of January, Williams was sidelined through April because of an injured left knee.

* AP Sports Writers Steven Win and Melissa Murphy in New York contributed to this report.

July 18, 2010

Serena sidelined due to foot surgery

(CNN) -- Wimbledon champion Serena Williams is facing a spell on the sidelines after cutting her foot on some broken glass in a restaurant.

The 28-year-old world number one, who has not played since beating Vera Zvonareva in the Wimbledon final to secure her 13th grand slam title, has already undergone an operation following the incident last week. The surgery means Williams will miss the hardcourt events in Instanbul and Cincinnati -- as well as the Rogers Cup in Montreal which begins on August 16, just two weeks before the U.S. Open starts at Flushing Meadow.

"I'm so upset I won't be able to play in the upcoming events because of this foot surgery," Williams told the official WTA Tour website. "Thank you for all of your support. I can't wait to get back on the courts," she continued.

Williams underlined her position at the top of the world rankings with her 6-3 6-2 success over Zvonareva earlier this month, although this injury must put her participation in the final grand slam of the season in some doubt. The American has played in just six tournaments this season, with three of those appearances coming in the majors at the Australian and French Opens as well as Wimbledon.

Serena attends Burberry Garden Tea Party

Serena attended the Burberry Beauty Garden Tea Party in Beverly Hills. Burberry is currently Serena's favorite design house. She has been sporting their fashions quite frequently, including at the Wimbledon Championships 2010 Winners Ball.

Andy and Serena: U.S. Open Series Commercial

Serena wins ESPY Award

Serena won the 2010 ESPY Award for Best Female Tennis Player. Other nominees included Kim Clijsters and Venus Williams. The ESPYs recognize the top athletes in the sports world.

July 10, 2010

Foot injury sidelines Serena for WTT

The 13-time Grand Slam singles champ said she cut her foot on some glass in between Wimbledon and her Friday morning flight from Belgium to the states. She made the trip to the Glens Falls Civic Center anyway, taking in the entire 3 1/2-hour World Team Tennis match from the Kastles' bench. "After Wimbledon, I look forward to coming home and coming to cities I never get to come to and seeing fans I never see," said Williams, who received a raucous ovation from the crowd.

Williams was scheduled to face five-time Grand Slam singles champion and Buzz player Martina Hingis in the women's singles match. Hingis said she was disappointed that she would not face Williams, whom Sports Illustrated recently ranked as the best female tennis player of all-time. "But, on the other hand I'm a little bit relieved," Hingis said with a laugh. "I'm sure she would (compete) if she could."

"I didn't even know I was going to play her," Williams said. "It would've been fun. We've had so many wonderful matches." With Wimbledon champion Serena Williams on the sideline watching, the Washington Kastles were still able to rally past the NY Buzz 20-12.
Leander Paes and Rennae Stubbs paced the Kastles winning 2 doubles matches apiece. The Buzz effort was highlight by 5-time Slam winner Martina Hingis who blanked Serena's replacement Angela Haynes 5-0.

Serena took part in a pre-match press conference. She also made an appearance at the sponsor party and she spent 45 minutes after the match signing autographs for kids. It's obviously disappointing," Williams said. "I'm a big supporter of team tennis, so I'm still glad to be here."

Clijsters tops Serena in exhibition in Brussels

A world record tennis crowd watched Kim Clijsters defeat Wimbledon champion Serena Williams 6-3, 6-2 in an exhibition in Brussels. The crowd of 35,681 at King Baudouin Stadium on Thursday surpassed the previous record of 30,472 set in 1973 at the Houston Astrodome in the Battle of the Sexes match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs.

Clijsters was originally scheduled to play Belgian Justine Henin, but Henin withdrew after injuring her elbow at Wimbledon. Top-ranked Williams agreed to replace Henin despite a foot injury. The match was umpired by tennis great Martina Navratilova. French Open champion, Francesca Schiavone, was also in attendance.

July 8, 2010

Serena participates in Best of Belgium exhibition

On Thursday, July 8, 2010, Serena takes on Kim Clijsters at the King Baudouin Stadium in an exhibition match. The 'Best of Belgium' should have been a tennis match between the country's biggest tennis stars Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin, but Henin had to pull out after an injury. Serena Williams will replace her, but Henin will still be there as a spectator. The game is now called 'Best of Belgium versus Best of the World'.

The event will also offer a musical program of Belgian top artists. The contest celebrates the start of the Belgian presidency of the European Union (July 1st to December 31, 2010). The game will also try to break the world record for the highest number of spectators at a tennis match. The current record is 30,472 spectators in a match played by Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs in the Houston Astrodome in 1973.


Serena inducted into California Hall of Fame

Congratulations to Serena Williams on being inducted into the California Hall of Fame.

July 6, 2010

Serena Williams - 4-Time Wimbledon Champion

Serena covers Sports Illustrated!

Serena graces the latest issue of Sports Illustrated. It is not too often that a woman covers S.I. I love the title of the article: Serena Williams: Love Her, Hate Her - She's The Best Ever. I could not have said it better myself. CONGRATULATIONS SERENA!!

Serena featured in Harper's Bazaar

Serena is featured in Harper's Bazaar. Check out the article written by Laura Brown, "Serena's Glam Slam." Topics of discussion: Serena's "new body," her eating and exercise habits, her smile, the breakup with Common and gearing up for the summer.

(photos by: William Klein)

2010 Wimbledon Final - Video Highlights

July 4, 2010

2010 Wimbledon Champion - Serena Williams

Serena Williams arrives with the winners trophy at the Wimbledon Championships 2010 Winners Ball at the InterContinental Park Lane Hotel on July 4, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

2010 Wimbledon Champions: Rafael and Serena

Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal smile as they take pictures with their winners trophies at the Wimbledon Championships 2010 Winners Ball at the InterContinental Park Lane Hotel on July 4, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Serena Williams: Wimbledon Champion

Wimbledon Champion
(2002, 2003, 2009, 2010)

July 3, 2010

Queen of Aces - Gatorade congratulates Serena

Martina and Mary Jo on Serena

"At the rate she’s going, she certainly may catch me and Chris and Helen Wills Moody and who knows, maybe even Steffi (in reference to total Grand Slam titles),” Navratilova said. “She’s just head and shoulders above everybody else, and those are pretty broad shoulders she’s got.”

Navratilova called Serena's serve the best she has ever seen, which is saying something. U.S. Fed Cup captain Mary Joe Fernandez concurred.

"Impeccable, just impressive, once again, the way she's able to dominate with the best [serve] we've ever seen in tennis," Fernandez said. "It's very hard for someone to compete [against her], time in, time out. "Not so much that it's the biggest. It's the best, it's got the speed when she needs it, and the spin when she needs it. She can slice it, kick it and hit into the body.

Serena, who has won five of the last eight Grand Slams, moved ahead of Billie Jean King into sole possession of sixth place on the all-time list of women’s Grand Slam champions with 13, the most of any active woman player. Williams also has five Australian Opens, three U.S. Opens and one French Open.

2010 Wimbledon Champion - Serena Williams

For the fourth time in her career, Serena has won a Grand Slam without dropping a set, having previously accomplished this feat at Wimbledon in 2002, the U.S. Open in 2002 and the U.S. Open in 2008.

Serena wins 4th Wimbledon title!

Serena Williams has won her fourth Wimbledon title and 13th Grand Slam championship by sweeping Vera Zvonareva in straight sets in a one-sided final that lasted just 67 minutes and showed why Williams is considered one of the greatest players of all time. The top-ranked and defending champion American beat the 12th-seeded Russian 6-3, 6-2 to extend the Williams family dominance at the All England Club.

Williams won 31 of 33 points when her first serve was good. She hit her fastest serve—122 mph—for an ace in the final game. She finished the tournament with a record 89 aces. Williams also won all 14 points when she came to the net, and had 29 winners to only nine for Zvonareva. Williams served nine aces, broke three times and never faced a break point. She finished the tournament without dropping a set.

Williams (who improved her record to 13-3 in Grand Slam finals) added to the Wimbledon titles she won in 2002, 2003 and 2009. This was the first time she defeated someone other than her sister Venus in the final. The Williams sisters have now won nine of the last 11 Wimbledon titles.

This win ensured Williams moved ahead of Billie Jean King, with 13 Grand Slam titles (the most of any active woman player) to go sixth on the all-time list. "This one is very special. Billie Jean, I got you," Williams told her compatriot who was watching on from the Royal Box. Williams graciously congratulated Zvonareva, who played in her first Grand Slam final and was the second-lowest ranked women’s finalist ever at Wimbledon.

“Everyone should give her a big round of applause,” Williams said. "I'd like to congratulate Vera, she has been through so much and she defines what a champion and never giving up means." Williams won what the media termed the "Serena Slam," taking four major titles in a row in a noncalendar year. And she is the only player in this generation to even come close.

July 2, 2010

Countering Serena's Serve

Serena possesses the best serve we have ever witnessed in women's tennis - it is as simple as that. She has only dropped three service games in the tournament thus far, so for opponents it is quite an achievement to get into a tie-break let alone win a set. Coming into the final, Serena has served 80 aces (a record for a woman at Wimbledon) - six more than Andy Murray - 50 more than her nearest statistical rival --sister Venus - and 57 more than Zvonareva. Her fastest serve was hit at an astounding 125mph, which is only one mile an hour slower than Rafael Nadal's fastest serve in his quarter-final encounter with Robin Soderling.

So far, she has won 87% of the points when her first serve has gone in, a proportion way ahead of any of her rivals, and 10% better than her opponent in the final, Vera Zvonareva. However, the Russian has been returning exceptionally well over the course of the last couple of weeks, having won 98 points in total when having to deal with opponents' first serves compared with Serena's 83.

And she has done even better when she has had the chance to pounce on a second serve, winning 136 points all told, compared to Serena's 127. So that is the challenge that the Russian faces: will she be able to deal with Serena's serve well enough to become competitive? The one thing you simply have to do when up against a big server is take care of business on your own serve and Zvonareva's has been her Achilles heel throughout her career. She still occasionally has trouble controlling her ball toss when she gets really nervous, and that obviously has to be a consideration given the enormity of the occasion.

Serena has so much experience to draw upon at this level whereas it will be Vera's first major final, so nerves are bound to inhibit the Russian to some degree, and the end result will depend on just how well she is able to hold her nerve.

There is plenty of history between these two as they have met six times previously, and Serena has won five of those clashes (the exception was in Cincinnati back in 2006), so that will give the American even more confidence.

There is no question that it is a huge ask for anybody to beat Serena on any surface other than clay at the Grand Slams, and for Vera to spring a surprise she has to hope that her opponent gets out of the wrong side of the bed and serves extremely poorly. She also has to then play the match of her life and hold her nerve when it gets really matters, otherwise it is surely Serena who will eventually prevail given her far superior firepower and experience at the highest level.

Article from www.wimbledon.org

Wimbledon: FINAL (Saturday)

[1] Serena Williams (USA) vs. [21] Vera Zvonareva (RUS)
Serena leads Head-To-Head 5-1
1st Match of the Day
Center Court

July 1, 2010

Serena advances to 3rd straight Wimbledon Final

WIMBLEDON, England -- Everything about Serena Williams' game is big: her forehand, backhand -- and, especially, the searing serve.

But on the rare occasions when her powerful, slashing strokes are matched, she has a fail-safe device that sustains her through periods of vulnerability. It's something she rarely gets credit for, but is an essential part of what makes her the greatest women's champion of her generation.

With Petra Kvitova, a fearless 20-year-old from the Czech Repubic, crowding the baseline and take some outrageous cuts at the ball, Serena fell back and operated in scrambling mode, chipping off-balance backhands and blooping forehands. She survived and advanced to a first-set tiebreaker, when her serve finally came alive.

In the end, Serena prevailed 7-6 (5), 6-2 to advance to Saturday's final, where she will face Vera Zvonareva. In the first semifinal, Zvonareva dropped the first set but rallied to defeat Tsventana Pionkova 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. Serena has beaten Zvonareva five of six times in their head-to-head matches.

"It definitely wasn't easy," Serena said afterward. "I didn't expect to get this far after I played in the beginning of the tournament. I just felt off." However, Serena's serve this fortnight has been historically huge. And though her ace and speed numbers were down on Thursday -- there was talk that her right shoulder (taped in Wednesday's doubles match) was bothering her -- her serve constantly bailed her out. For the record, she had seven aces against Kvitova, and her six-match total (80) has already exceeded the Wimbledon record she set last year.

Ultimately, this match was about experience. Serena has fashioned a grass-court record of 58-7. Kvitova, an unorthodox lefty, is now 5-5. "I will have to stay aggressive no matter what and not to let her dominate," Zvonareva said. "Because when Serena dominates, she's very difficult to play. I will try to fight for every point, and I think try to make it difficult for her on every point."

For Serena, the Wimbledon final is more like an old, favorite sweater. Ten of the past 11 Wimbledon finals have featured at least one Williams sister; four of them have seen Serena and Venus play each other. Serena, seeking her fourth Wimbledon title and 13th Grand Slam singles championship, will be a prohibitive favorite against Zvonareva. She has yet to drop a set here -- and, well, she's Serena Williams.

At the age of 28 -- the same as Roger Federer -- she is still in a major groove; a victory over Zvonareva would give her five Grand Slam singles titles in the past eight, going back to the 2008 U.S. Open. Three other players -- Svetlana Kuznetsova, Kim Clijsters and Francesca Schiavone -- are all next in line, with one.

Article by: Greg Garber (ESPN.com)