Richard Williams-Venus Must Move Up To The Ball!
WIMBLEDON, England (AP) -- Venus Williams faced 23 break points, double-faulted 14 times, trailed 3-5 in the third set and drew criticism from her dad Monday at Wimbledon.
Even so, she won. The three-time champion rallied past Akiko Morigami 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 in a third-round match suspended Saturday.
Williams will next face 2004 champion Maria Sharapova, one of only two players to win Saturday in a rain-abbreviated schedule. Williams trailed 1-4 in the second set when her match was halted.
Williams, seeded 23rd, struggled with her serve in windy weather and double-faulted for the final time to fall behind 3-5 in the last set.
"I was coming down too quickly on the second serve," Williams said. "So I made the correction."
Morigami then lost serve at love, and Williams hit four big serves to hold for 5-all.
With Williams serving for the match at 6-5, rain began to fall and umbrellas popped out in the stands, but play continued. Williams erased two break points -- making Morigami 4-for-23 on break points -- and closed out the victory on the first match point with a service winner.
The crowd rose to applaud Williams, including her friend, professional golfer Hank Kuehne. The court was then covered for another delay.
In the second set, Williams double-faulted four times serving at 2-5 but still managed to hold, then double-faulted four more times in her next service game. Morigami needed 10 set points to even the match, finally forcing a third set when Williams hit a forehand wide.
Venus saw the match as a positive.
"When it was time, I did what it took. I definitely would like to do what it takes earlier," she said. "But I think on the other hand, that kind of competition is invaluable in this kind of tournament. So either way it's good for me."
"Ask her why she's behind the baseline 13 feet," Richard Williams said.
Said Venus: "At times I was too far behind the line, but usually when I was really just on defense. Especially here, if you're too far, the ball doesn't come up. I will look forward to moving forward in the next matches."
"If Venus moves up to the ball and takes it off the bounce instead of waiting behind the baseline, she'll be the only one here, including Sharapova," said Williams' father and coach, Richard. "She's not going to beat anyone if she's not moving into the ball."
Last edited by Wolverines08; Jul 2nd, 2007 at 05:08 PM.