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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old Aug 27th, 2005, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
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Women bring glitz, glamour to the U.S. Open

Women bring glitz, glamour to the U.S. OpenBy NANCY ARMOUR, AP National Writer
August 27, 2005

NEW YORK (AP) -- Maria Sharapova was all over the city the past few days, unveiling her new perfume, showing off the diamond-encrusted watch she designed, doing TV shows and modeling her latest tennis dress.

Serena Williams, meanwhile, made a TV appearance, too, and gave a sneak peek of her new lip gloss, which won't even be available until next spring.

All that, and the U.S. Open hasn't yet started.

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``I get one question about fashion basically,'' Federer said Saturday. ``That's how it goes with us. But I think that's how it should be, to be honest.''

Make no mistake, though, the women have the groundstrokes to go with their glitz.

While Federer is the odds-on favorite on the men's side -- he's 64-3 this year and has won 22 straight finals -- the women's tournament is wide open. Sharapova. Williams. Her big sister, Venus, winner of Wimbledon last month. Lindsay Davenport. Kim Clijsters. Amelie Mauresmo. Justine Henin-Hardenne. Defending champion Svetlana Kuznetsova. Any of them could win it, and there's a handful of others who could make things interesting.

``That makes it tougher, but that's what it's all about,'' said Sharapova, who will play one of the featured night matches when the tournament begins Monday. ``That's why we're here, for the competition. That's why I'm here. I love it when it gets tough. Fourth round, quarterfinal, you're playing against a tough opponent.

``The winner of the whole thing has to beat a lot of top players,'' she added. ``If you're not willing to do that, then there's no reason to be here.''

Sharapova will lose her No. 1 ranking to Davenport on Monday after only a week at the top spot. Davenport had been No. 1 since last October, and she'll reclaim it after beating Mauresmo at the Pilot Pen championship in New Haven, Conn., on Saturday afternoon.

But Sharapova will still be the top seed at the Open because the draw was done Wednesday.

``Not many people can say that they're No. 1 in the world,'' said Sharapova, only the 15th woman to hold the top ranking. ``If I can have it for an hour, for a week, just the fact that you're No. 1 is an amazing feeling.''

And unlike last summer, the 18-year-old said her brief stop at No. 1 won't put any added pressure on her.

Sharapova was a surprise winner at Wimbledon in 2004, going from the 13th seed to champion. She says now that it took her ``a few months'' to get over the experience, and she was still on a high when she came to New York. She promptly lost in the third round.

Since then, though, she's won six titles in the last 12 months. She's 43-7 this year, and has reached the semifinals or better in eight of her last 11 WTA Tour events.

``To be No. 1 in the world, it's more for myself and just to know you've achieved it,'' she said. ``I think it was a little bit different last time.''

Sharapova hasn't played in almost three weeks after pulling out of a tournament in Los Angeles with a strained muscle in her chest. She spent an extra week there doing physical therapy and strengthening exercises, and has been seeing a physical therapist twice a day.

Besides, she went into the Australian Open with an even worse back injury and still made it to the semifinals.

``I got to the semifinals thinking that I couldn't even walk, so thinking about that, this is a piece of cake,'' she said. ``I don't expect myself to go out there and play my best tennis from the first round because obviously I haven't had that much match play. But physically I feel stronger.''

Serena Williams said she's feeling better than she has in months, too. The two-time Open winner missed the French with a left ankle injury, and hasn't done much since. She went to Wimbledon out of shape and lost in the third round.

She's only played once since, losing her second match at the Canadian Open.

``I definitely feel like this is as good as I've felt in a while. I'm hitting better than I have in two years,'' said Williams, who was toting her tiny dog, Jackie, her good luck charm when she won the Open in 1999.

``I'm moving much better,'' she added. ``I'm obviously not moving as I normally do, but I'm almost there. Hopefully I'll pick up steam later on in the second week.''

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old Aug 27th, 2005, 11:18 PM
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Serena didn't lose any matches!! She pulled out!!
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old Aug 27th, 2005, 11:32 PM
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Quote:
``I get one question about fashion basically,'' Federer said Saturday. ``That's how it goes with us. But I think that's how it should be, to be honest.''
I hope he means athletes overall should not be asked about fashion, and not just men. It would be such a turn-off if he was a conservative (personality matters to moi).

Quote:
``That's why we're here, for the competition. That's why I'm here. I love it when it gets tough. Fourth round, quarterfinal, you're playing against a tough opponent.
Didn't love it when she lost to venus at Wimbledon. Lol. Where was the fight?

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Hopefully I'll pick up steam later on in the second week.''
:S I'd prefer to see Venus there.

ALL IMO
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old Aug 27th, 2005, 11:46 PM
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strong words from Serena. If she's hitting better than she has in 2 years...watch out. But it all remains to be seen when the matches start.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old Aug 28th, 2005, 08:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Venus+Serena#1fan
strong words from Serena. If she's hitting better than she has in 2 years...watch out. But it all remains to be seen when the matches start.
Yes. Serena always talks strong; I think she wants to put the field on notice. But remember at Wimbledon, when asked who her stiffest competition would be she answered, "whoever is standing on the other side of the net in the final." didn't exactly happen like that, but you got to love her confidence.
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