Serena Sets Sights On Cincinnati Return [Serena Quotes in Article] - TennisForum.com

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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old Jun 14th, 2006, 11:35 PM Thread Starter
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Serena Sets Sights On Cincinnati Return [Serena Quotes in Article]

Serena Sets Sights On Cincinnati Return

Photo By Susan Mullane By Tennis Week
06/15/2006

Serena Williams is planning to return to tournament tennis in Cincinnati next month. The seven-time Grand Slam champion, who has not played a match since the Australian Open in January, said today she has accepted a wild card into the Western & Southern Financial Group Women's Open the week of July 17.


"I have decided to return to competitive tennis at Cincinnati’s Western & Southern Financial Group Women’s Open, the week of July 17," said Williams. "Lately I have been working very hard on making my knee stronger, and that work is progressing well. Barring any setbacks, it is my hope that I will be able to rejoin the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour at Cincinnati."

Given the tenuous state of Serena actually keeping her commitment to compete in tournaments she enters this season, tournament officials, who are well aware of the skepticism that can surround Serena's announcements to enter events, are cautiously optimistic about the prospect of the former World No. 1 joining the Cincinnati field.

"We’re delighted she’s indicated a desire to play here. We’re tempering that excitement with the knowledge that sometimes an injury can linger," tournament director Bruce Flory said. "Of course we hope that doesn’t happen, and we’ll keep in touch with her agent about her health as the tournament gets closer. We are thrilled about the possibility of her playing here for our fans."

Though Williams, who attributes her absence to her continued recovery from "a chronic knee injury", has pulled out of several tournaments this year, the two-time U.S. Open champion is said to be intent on playing the U.S. Open in August. Williams has often characterized the Open as her favorite major; she has played Flushing Meadows in seven of the last eight years, missing only the 2003 U.S. Open while recovering from surgery on her left knee on August 1, 2003.

Assuming she retains her fitness and focus, a return to tournament tennis in Cincinnati makes sense as it would provide Williams much-needed match play and the opportunity to gauge her health and the state of her game prior to playing Flushing Meadows.

"What I can tell you based on what I am being told by my doctors is that I should be in a position to be playing again by the end of this summer," Williams said in a statement she released in announcing her withdrawal from Wimbledon.

The 2005 Australian Open champion has played three matches this year after producing a 21-7 record in 2005. Since she beat Lindsay Davenport to win the 2005 Australian Open, Serena has posted a 16-8 record over the past 16 months; her inactivity has prompted her ranking to plummet to No. 104. Twelve Americans are now ranked higher than the woman who dominated tennis in winning five of the six Grand Slam tournaments she entered from 2002 to 2003. Displaying flashes of the fighting spirit that carried her to the 2005 Australian Open title, Williams saved four match points, but ultimately couldn't save herself from a lack of preparation and match play as Daniela Hantuchova knocked the defending champion out of the Australian Open with a 6-1, 7-6(5) third-round victory in 91 minutes in January.

That match marked Williams' last appearance on court and WTA Tour CEO Larry Scott suggested physical concerns are not the only issues Williams is currently confronting. "She's going through some issues, physical and otherwise, and pursuing other interests that she has," Scott said. "But I'm confident that tennis means a lot to her and that we're going to see her at the top of her game. It's not a matter of 'if,' but 'when.' "

Should she actually compete in Cincinnati as scheduled, Williams will face top-10 caliber competition. Some of the women expected to play the Western & Southern Financial Group Women’s Open include defending champion Patty Schnyder, 2004 French Open champ Anastasia Myskina, former top 10 player and 2005 Cincinnati semifinalist Daniela Hantuchova, Tatiana Golovin, 2004 Cincinnati finalist Vera Zvonareva, 2005 finalist Akiko Morigami, 2005 Cincinnati quarterfinalist Jelena Jankovic, and 2004 semifinalist Amy Frazier as well as Marion Bartoli, Sania Mirza, and Laura Granville.

"Of the final 16 at the French Open last week, four are coming here," said Flory. "Last year there were three Top 25 players in the draw and it looks like this year there will be four in the Top 25, as well as Serena Williams. The field for this event has gotten consistently stronger since the women returned in 2004, and we’re very excited about this field. It looks like it could be the best year yet."

The tournament will bestow its two other wild cards sometime before the draw on Saturday, July 15. In addition, one spot in the draw will be reserved for 77th-ranked Yuliana Fedak of the Ukraine, who gained her main draw spot by winning the ITF event in Dothan, Alabama in April. The winner of the ITF event in College Park, Maryland, played in early July, will also earn a spot in the main draw.

The main draw of the 2006 Western & Southern Financial Group Women’s Open will be held July 17-23 at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio. The qualifying event for the tournament will be held on July 15-16 (with some qualifying matches the morning of Monday, July 17). The ceremony to place the players into the main draw will be open to anyone with a ticket to the qualifying matches on July 15. It will be held at noon in the Foodcourt, and tickets to the qualifying are as low as $5, free for kids 14-and-under.

For tickets or information, please visit www.cincytennis.com, or call (513) 651-0303. Tickets also are available via TicketMaster at (513) 562-4949 or www.ticketmaster.com.
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old Jun 14th, 2006, 11:39 PM
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Thumbs up

Tennis needs her! Quickly take a title when comeback!

Good luck girls : Amelie Mauresmo ~Gisela Dulko ~Venus & Serena Williams~Karolina Sprem~Kim Clijsters~Jennifer Capriati~Ana Ivanovic~Elena Dementieva~Sania Mirza~Daniela Hantuchova
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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old Jun 15th, 2006, 12:24 AM
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'Barring any setbacks'

I didn't like that line Please be there Serena

Ivanovic * Kvitova * Serena
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old Jun 15th, 2006, 12:28 AM
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Good luck!

Serena Williams


*** Svetlana Kuznetsova - Victoria Azarenka - Ana Ivanovic - Shahar Peer ***
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old Jun 15th, 2006, 12:47 AM
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Oh yesssssssssss

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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old Jun 15th, 2006, 01:04 AM
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Payback.....Serena's gonna CRUSH Daniela

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There's only 1.
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old Jun 15th, 2006, 01:07 AM
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Good Luck Serena, can't wait to see you back

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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old Jun 15th, 2006, 02:20 AM
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Oh Serena come back here, win and let this carry you strongly into the US Open.
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old Jun 15th, 2006, 02:36 AM
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serena, win the comeback title!!!
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old Jun 15th, 2006, 02:47 AM
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is there any chance in hell serena can be seeded at the USO?
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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old Jun 15th, 2006, 03:35 AM
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Glad she's comming back some time in the near future. Though I hate to admit it, I miss seeing her around. She really is entertaining. Hopefully she can stay injury free

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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old Jun 15th, 2006, 03:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VeeDaQueen
is there any chance in hell serena can be seeded at the USO?
Not really. Unless she goes on a Davenport/Clijsters like tear through the summer hardcourts.
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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old Jun 15th, 2006, 04:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VeeDaQueen
is there any chance in hell serena can be seeded at the USO?
If 72 of the 103 women ranked ahead of her drop dead between now and then, yes.

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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old Jun 15th, 2006, 05:03 AM
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Good luck to Serena!!! Ive becoem a new fan last 12 months! U dont know what u got til it's gone i guess..LOL!

JENNIFER CAPRIATI-my now & passionate love and idol..GO JENN! I LOVE U!!!
GABRIELA SABATINI-my first & undying love and idol..miss you & love u Gaby!!!

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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old Jun 15th, 2006, 12:08 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VeeDaQueen
is there any chance in hell serena can be seeded at the USO?
Actually, I think Serena will have missed 6 months because of injury. She maybe able to get the injury protected ranking, but I am not sure.
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