Serena Says Her Body Is Sexy
Yo baby - Yo baby - YO! Show u r right - Serena.
May 20, 2002
Williams shows courage to take her revenge
From Neil Harman, Tennis Correspondent in Rome
HER right ankle was strapped, her left ankle was strapped and her right thigh was strapped, but it was going to take more than a few rolls of bandage to keep Serena Williams from the fourteenth title of a career that is peaking at a moment of scintillating opportunity.
For once, boxing did not have bragging rights on the tale of the tape. There was enough of the sticky brown substance holding Williams and Justine Henin, of Belgium, together yesterday to fill an episode of ER.
How the 19-year-old American managed to move so emphatically on a stodgy clay court spoke wonders for her athleticism. “I’m too young to get tired, that might happen in 20 years’ time,” she said.
In personal terms, her 7-6, 6-4 victory in the Italian Open final was retaliation for the German final a week earlier, when Henin won in three sets. In a wider context it pointed Serena towards the French Open, starting a week today, and the grass beyond, as the player to beat — which is just how she likes it. Venus will need all the power restored to her right wrist by next week to restrain her kid sister. The rest of the field had better start working on their physiques too.
It was Serena herself who mentioned the Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis fight in the aftermath of her momentous semi-final success over Jennifer Capriati on Saturday evening, a slugging match the like of which the Foro Italico had not been treated to before. When pinpointing the huge physical difference between the final contestants, one writer mentioned her ‘big shoulders’. “You mean sexy body,” was Serena’s riposte.
Whatever way it is shaped, you cannot ignore the girl. And her game is not purely based on brawn, though there was not much call for deftness on a court deadened by the morning’s persistent rain.
When, at 3-3 and deuce, she came shuddering to a halt behind the baseline after stretching for a backhand, the final looked over for the former US Open champion. She had to lean so heavily on her racket that one feared it would crumple beneath the strain.
Two lineswomen rose to ask how she was, Sandra De Jenken, the umpire, raced across and when a chair was found for Serena to rest her right leg on, more bandages were produced.
There were a couple of times that Williams was restricted, but the fighter in her simply refused to bow to the strapping on her legs. Henin extricated herself from three set points in the tenth game, delaying her opponent for a further three until the Belgian’s auspicious backhand wavered under pressure in the first set tie-break.
Henin, it should be remembered, was also playing with a huge swath of tape on her left thigh, although she looked less troubled by an injury than the crunching depth from the other side of the net. When Serena finally took advantage of a break point — her twelfth — she was immediately broken back but turned the tables again in the next game. One chance was all she would allow Henin.
The squeeze is on. Serena has risen to No 3 in the world, the highest ranking of her career, in behind her sister, who is just a handful of points adrift of Capriati, back at No 1. Henin is up to No 5, a place she occupied briefly after reaching last year’s Wimbledon final, with her compatriot, Kim Clijsters, separating her from Serena. It is fantastically close as the high points of the tennis year approach.
Tim Henman was beaten by Albert Costa on clay for the first time as Great Britain lost to Spain in the World Team Cup in Düsseldorf. Henman began well but lost 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 after Alex Corretja had beaten Martin Lee 6-3, 6-4.