btw, this is what he had to say about the final:
Honored to be gazing at a classic
By Bud Collins, Globe Staff | July 3, 2005
LONDON -- Any visitor to Florence has to see Botticelli's glorious 15th-century painting, ''The Birth of Venus," at the Uffizi Gallery.
If Sandro Botticelli had been among the screaming 13,802 onlookers squeezed into the madhouse that Centre Court became yesterday, he would have been inspired to run for his brushes, oils, and canvas to create ''The Rebirth of Venus."
How he would have loved the lithe and long-limbed Venus of our day -- the one whose birth certificate identifies her as Venus Ebone Starr Williams. The ''I just keep fighting" Venus, who spent the afternoon coming back, and even reprieved herself from tennis doom -- match point.
Botticelli's ''Venus" is a classic, and so is this creation of Oracene Price and Richard Williams. Botticelli's rises from a seashell. The American Venus rose from a patch of scuffed-up grass in Southwest London to breathe again as a great champion.
Four years had passed since her last major triumph, the US Open, which came soon after her second Wimbledon. But frequently it looked as though this Wimbledon title was beyond her because the magnificent opposition -- Lindsay Davenport -- was as iron-willed, as big a hitter. Together they assembled an epic that lasted 2 hours 45 minutes (the house record for a women's final), and had so many twists and turns that it might have been modeled on the street plan of downtown Boston.
When it was over, 4-6, 7-6 (7-4), 9-7, they hugged at the net like a couple of prizefighters, knowing they had given everything, sensing their championship battle was one for the ages.
Venus practically lifted off into orbit, giddily excited and pleased with a title no one outside the Williams family thought feasible. Up and down she leaped, almost unable to stop. Ding-dong the title drought was broken.
The two ladies in white were red-hot blasters. Witnesses, driven to joy and frenzy by the conflict, would treasure what they'd seen. During a chill, glum afternoon their go-for-broke shotmaking illuminated the gray sky.
How deep was the adrenaline flow? A few fathoms at least. How could they run and gun so superbly for so long? It was punch and counterpunch over and over. Digging each other's drives out of the scarred turf, they sent balls back with interest, loaded with mustard and angling out of reach -- unless they returned again. This was a pageant of anything-you-can-do-I-can-do-better, anything-you-can-hit-I-can-hit-harder, any-weakness-you-can-find-I'll-probe-for-one-weaker.
Carrying the planetary No. 1 rating and the 1999 title, Davenport came so close to winning that she had a fingernail on the championship platter, could feel and taste the prize. Not for 70 years had any woman found a way past a match point to seize the title. Williams did it, joining the illustrious eight-time champ, Helen Wills Moody, who wriggled out of one to beat archrival Helen Jacobs in 1935, a Californian showdown. Little sister Serena had done it a couple of times in winning majors (the Australian of 2003 and this year) but not in a final.
A half-hour before closing time, Venus was on the verge of being bounced, double faulting to 4-5, 30-40. ''I told myself to get the first serve in, keep my head down, stay down, and keep fighting," she said. Then she crashed a backhand winner.
Davenport sighed, ''The point went by so fast. A good serve. First serve, and one shot. I think a winner. It wasn't like I had an easy shot or an opportunity to build a point. It was wham-bam. It was over.
''I had opportunities, but I don't feel like hanging my head."
She shouldn't. It wasn't like her blowing a healthy lead in the Australian Open final to Serena. ''Venus just took it away from me every time I got up," Davenport said. ''But I played great. Just didn't get the 1 or 2 points that I needed to win.
''I'm disappointed, but it was fun to play, exhilarating. I felt like, 'God, this is a good match.' "
A superlative match, in which Williams's edge was her superior speed, keeping so many points from dying on her side.
And yet it looked dramatically over early, in two sets, little over an hour. A knockdown victim, there was Williams on her back, in the dust, tumbling while vainly pursuing a backhand drive. That shot broke her, and Davenport was to serve for the match at 6-5.
Down and out? ''I was sometimes out and sometimes in, all along," said Williams. However, she got up, pumped up, and flashed through 7 straight points to 3-0 in the tiebreaker -- six of them winners -- foghorning ''Ma-uhhh!" with every stroke.
''I didn't want to be finished in an hour," she said with a grin.
Removing two champions, the defender Maria Sharapova and Davenport, a rare accomplishment, Venus closed the gap in the longest current rivalry to 14-13, Davenport. She said she never lost faith in herself and ''my destiny -- to win big titles. I wasn't supposed to win this, but . . ."
She hoped somebody made money on her at the 12-1 starting price.
With this, her fifth major, and least expected, Venus supplanted Sharapova as the longest shot ever to go all the way at the Big W. Ranked No. 16, she was seeded 14th; Sharapova was seeded 13th last year.
''I'd like to win without a heart attack," she said. ''This was cardiac arrest. But, if that's what it takes . . ."
She had what it takes, all right, climbing out of that dreaded crevasse -- match point -- and making the summit. Pity that Botticelli wasn't around to paint ''The Rebirth of Venus," but she worked up a powerful, unforgettable self-portrait.
that's grade A hate fooor suure