August 28, 2010
Speaking during CBS' broadcast of the New Haven final, Mary Carillo said that Serena Williams' foot injury was caused by a beer bottle falling on her foot at a bar in Munich. Some patrons became rowdy during a World Cup match happening at the time, said Carillo.
August 23, 2010
World No.1 Serena Williams will make a comeback at next month's Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo. Williams, who has withdrawn from the US Open to recover from foot surgery, is among eight of the world's top 10 players coming to the tournament in Tokyo, which opens on September 26. The three-time US Open champion cut her foot in July shortly after winning Wimbledon, and her appearance in Tokyo would be her first since then. It would be also her first time at the Toray Pan Pacific Open.
Wimbledon runner-up Vera Zvonareva, French Open champion Francesca Schiavone, Caroline Wozniacki, Jelena Jankovic and Samantha Stosur also have entered the tournament. Two-time champion Maria Sharapova is also coming back to defend her title.
Serena Williams withdrew from the U.S. Open Friday, saying her foot injury has not recovered enough yet. And her announcement let every last bit of air out of the women's side of the tournament. "Not being able to be part of this year's U.S. Open is one of the most devastating moments of my career,'' Williams said in a statement issued by her agent. It's devastating for nearly everyone: Williams, the tournament, the networks, and most of the fans, even the ones who don't like the most divisive player on tour.
The Open will go on anyway, starting Aug. 30, and the men will have Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal to focus on. Andy Rodick and the American men will draw attention for a few days. And something interesting will surely happen in the women's draw, too.
Last year's biggest thrill -- before Williams' tirade at a linejudge -- came from American Melanie Oudin, who came out of nowhere to reach the quarterfinals. Maria Sharapova suddenly is a favorite, and she offers plenty of marketability. Maybe this gives Venus Williams one more chance to win a major. Maybe Sam Stosur finally wins one, and moves near the top of the game.
But there is no way to spin this well. Williams is the measuring stick for women's tennis, and she needs to be there either to win or to be the counter-act of whoever does. If Sharapova wins, it will be remembered as the Open that Serena didn't play. Only Kim Clijsters, who beat Williams at the Open last year and went on to win the tournament, will be able to win without fans attaching an asterisk.
Williams is the drama, the attention, the style, the debate in women's tennis. Also, by far the best. That's not actually fair to the other players. It's the same knock Federer faced for his French Open title last year, when Nadal, with hurt knees, lost early. Sure, Federer won, but ...
Actually, I don't look at it that way. Tennis is a mental and physical challenge, and if you're not up to it physically, for whatever reason, then that means you weren't prepared to win. It just doesn't come across that way. This will be a major test for tennis. Without Tiger Woods in the running at majors, golf's popularity is nosediving. Tennis has been on a mild upswing in a terrible economy while other sports are faltering, but that will be tested now without the Serena Williams show.
This year alone, Williams won the Australian Open, then had questionable injuries keeping her out of minor tournaments she doesn't like to play anyway. At the French Open, she explained her feelings on the U.S. Fed Cup team by saying she didn't feel a responsibility to her country, but only to her dogs. At Wimbledon, she was outrageously pushed to an outer court on the day the Queen came to visit. She had earned her spot on Centre Court, but a snooty club overly attached to a tennis tradition that includes racism, made a big mistake. Williams made the most of it by signing autographs for kids who usually wouldn't see her. Then, she dominated the tournament.
Even her current injury has been a mystery. All her agent would say is that she hurt the top of her foot on glass in a restaurant in Germany. No details, no explanation of what the injury actually was. Williams apparently had surgery. Since then, she went into a tirade on her Twitter account when officials at the men's tournament in Los Angeles wouldn't give free tickets to her friends. It was an insult to her, as she has done so much for the game. But then she childishly tweeted that people shouldn't go to the event.
However it adds up in your head, favorably or unfavorably, Williams is The Show. And going into the Open, we were about to get a lot more drama looking back at her threatening tantrum at the linejudge last year.
"We regret that Serena Williams is unable to play the U.S. Open and wish her a speedy recovery,'' said Jim Curley, U.S. Open Tournament Director. "She will be missed, but the tournament is about the competition and the players on the court. This year's U.S. Open will be a memorable event, as it has been every year.''
I'm not sure that was the right thing to say. We'll miss her, but our event is still intact, our event will still be good, our event will still be memorable? Who is that statement about, anyway? Williams avoided suspension for her tantrum at last year's Open because tennis' governing bodies couldn't face life without her. That means, without her marketability and ticket-selling abilities. Now, they will face it anyway.
Surely, the drama won't end here. She had made herself available to play the Fed Cup finals in November. Will she be back? Last year, some team members, thinking she was faking a different injury, criticized her for choosing not to play. And what about the accident in the restaurant? It has potentially cost her millions of dollars. Is she going to sue someone? Or was it her fault? Do we really know what happened?
From here, Williams will still be The Show. But she'll miss tennis at the Open, and tennis will definitely miss her. Everybody loses.
August 22, 2010
As of Monday, August 23rd, Serena ties Justine Henin for total weeks at #1 (117 weeks). Serena defeated Justine Henin in this year's Australian Open final. Serena and Justine are tied at #6 on the All Time List of WTA Number Ones. As of August 30th, Serena will break the tie and become the sole occupant of the #6 position (and the active player with most weeks at #1). Serena also leads the Head-To-Head matchup against Justine, 8-6.
August 21, 2010
Williams, the top-ranked women’s player in the world and a three-time champion at the Open, called the withdrawal “one of the most devastating moments of my career.” It will be the first time in the 35-year history of the computerized rankings that the No. 1 player will miss the Open, according to the Women’s Tennis Association.
Williams, 28, sliced her right foot on a piece of broken glass at a restaurant in Munich last month, a few days after winning her fourth Wimbledon singles title. She had surgery in mid-July and has not played since. At last year’s Open, Williams lost to the eventual champion Kim Clijsters in the semifinals, a match remembered mostly for her climatic tirade against a line judge who called a foot fault.
“It is with much frustration and deep sadness that I am having to pull out of the U.S. Open,” Williams said in a statement released by her publicist. “My doctors have advised against my playing so that my foot can heal.”
Andy Roddick, the 2003 Open men’s champion, was surprised that Williams, the winner of 13 Grand Slam singles titles, withdrew more than a week before the tournament. “The U.S. Open is probably her favorite event, so if she’s this far out and is not going to play, it’s got to be something pretty serious,” Roddick said at a men’s tournament in Mason, Ohio.
The absence of Williams, a fan favorite on and off the court in New York who is frequently scheduled to play in prime time, will open the tournament to a broader group of contenders. “We regret that Serena Williams is unable to play the U.S. Open and wish her a speedy recovery,” the tournament director, Jim Curley, said in a statement.
The lasting image from last year may be Williams’s verbal assault of a line judge near the end of her taut match with Clijsters. Serving late in the match, Williams was called for a foot fault. Angered, she turned and stepped toward the female judge, held up a ball and, with profanity, said she would shove it down her throat. The episode cost Williams a code violation on what would have been match point, so the match ended without another ball put in play. Clijsters won, 6-4, 7-5, then beat Caroline Wozniacki in the final.
In late November, Williams was fined a record $82,500 by the Grand Slam committee and warned that she would be suspended from the tournament if she had other major offenses at a Grand Slam event in 2010 or 2011. She eventually apologized for her “inappropriate outburst” on her Web site and Twitter page. There were no online pronouncements from Williams until late Friday.
“I’m devastated to not be participating” in the Open, she wrote. “Grand slams are my life. My soul. ... I will miss it more than u can ever imagine.”
Featuring Serena Williams, Roger Federer, Maria Sharapova, Rafa Nadal, Victoria Azarenka, John McEnroe, and more, this is an event you won't want to miss. And to make sure you don't, we'll be LIVE-STREAMING all the action right to your computer.
August 15, 2010
Both Serena Williams (foot) and Venus Williams (knee) are currently sidelined with injury, but both expect to be fit for the US Open, and both have now committed to represent the U.S. in the Fed Cup final, hosting Italy on Nov. 6-7, 2010, in San Diego, Calif.
Also on the team will be the players that got them to the final in 2010: Melanie Oudin, Bethanie Mattek-Sands and doubles specialist Liezel Huber. It remains to be seen where Oudin, Mattek-Sands and Huber will fit in, making some tough choices for U.S. captain Mary Joe Fernandez, since the Williams sisters excel in singles and are undefeated in Fed Cup doubles as a team. Oudin, Mattek-Sands and Huber have led the U.S. squad to their second consecutive final, while the Palm Beach Gardens, Florida-based Williams sisters are making their first Fed Cup appearance since 2007.
"As captain, you always want to have your best players. I am very excited that Venus and Serena have made themselves available for the Fed Cup Final in San Diego," said Fernandez, who last year in her rookie season as captain led the U.S. to the Fed Cup final for the first time since 2003. "Teaming Venus and Serena with Melanie, who continues to play an integral role in all of our Fed Cup matches, Bethanie, who has come through in decisive matches, and Liezel, who has been crucial in our doubles, we have one of the strongest line-ups in years. I strongly believe that this team can win the Fed Cup title on our home soil."
Serena Williams is 4-0 career in singles and 3-0 in doubles in Fed Cup matches. Venus has a career 14-2 record in singles and 3-2 in doubles, with the two doubles losses coming with Lisa Raymond and Corina Morariu. Tennis Channel will present live daily coverage of the U.S. vs. Italy Fed Cup final. This will mark the first time the Fed Cup final has been played in the United States since 2000, when the U.S. won their record 17th Fed Cup title. The match-up between the U.S. and Italy will mark the second consecutive Fed Cup final between the two nations. The U.S. lost to Italy on a red clay court in Reggio Calabria, Italy last year, 4-0, without the Williams sisters.
In the 1999 Fed Cup semifinal, Venus and Serena Williams competed in their first-ever Fed Cup matches, facing Italy in Ancona on red clay. Both Venus and Serena won their singles matches, as well as the doubles match together, to give the U.S. a 4-1 victory over the Italians.
August 4, 2010
The Hopman Cup will run from 1/1 - 1/8 of next year. Unlike other national team tennis tournament events, the Hopman Cup is unique in that it combines male and female players. The field for next year's tournament is packed with some of the world's best. Right now, there are five Grand Slam champions confirmed to play.
Nations are split into two groups where they will play a men's singles match, a women's singles match and then a mixed doubles match in a round-robin format. The respective group winners advance to a tournament final against each other. The tournament is played on hard court and allows players to prepare for the upcoming Australian Open.