Here is another great article...I didnt want to start another thread.
Williamses Smash Their Way to Final
By SELENA ROBERTS
The New York Times
here was only one way for Venus Williams to soothe the disbelief that washed over her angular face when her sister Serena took Wimbledon away from her, only one way to cope with a crowd that was oddly ambivalent during her most desperate moment yesterday.
She had to fight through this. If Venus wanted to secure a place in tonight's United States Open final, if she wanted to end the improbable drama of her semifinal as she served for the match, she had to erase three break points in the 10th game of the third set against Amélie Mauresmo.
So, she detached herself from every emotion — nerves, fear, disappointment — and mechanically unloaded serves that crashed like Pacific waves in front of a defenseless Mauresmo. As an encore to a 114-mile-an-hour ace to bring the game to deuce, Venus uncoiled another serve at 122 m.p.h. that left Mauresmo using her racket as a shield.
Finally, Venus had match point. Once Mauresmo pulled a cross-court return wide, Venus closed her eyes and took a deep breath. When she opened them, she was on her way to the United States Open final after winning, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4. About two hours later, Serena Williams fulfilled her family duty by crawling out of her own patch of trouble against Lindsay Davenport to win, 6-3, 7-5, advancing to meet her older sister in a major final for the fourth time in five Grand Slam events.
"Most amazing thing in sports almost," Davenport said. "They don't have teammates to help them along."
They barely have crowd support. There was a decent rationalization for the fans to be in Davenport's corner more than Serena's yesterday. After all, Davenport was the underdog American, on the mend from knee surgery, with an Open title in her past.
But Mauresmo? She was the 10th-seeded Frenchwoman many of those sitting inside the cavernous Arthur Ashe Stadium hardly knew, yet many fans cheered for her when the match was at risk of slipping away from Venus. Some even shouted to distract Venus when she tossed the ball on her serve. Two games earlier, several fans booed when an iffy call went against Mauresmo.
"You know what's wrong," said Oracene Williams, the mother of Serena and Venus. "You can surmise that for yourself."
The subtleties of racism are there whenever the Williams sisters play. They never discuss it, never complain about it, but they understand it can be an implied element every time the issue of whether an all-Williams final is good for tennis.
"To be honest, I don't see why the question could be relevant, why it would be bad for tennis," Venus said. "It's never been asked before."
Were Chrissie and Martina bad for tennis? Were Steffi and Monica bad for tennis? Although Venus and Serena are in the infancy of their rivalry, the issue dogs them wherever they go.
"It's just hard these days," Venus said. "When you win, there's a problem. When you lose, there's a problem. So what do you want me to do?"
Very much on her own, Venus decided to win yesterday. She found a way to fend off the clever slices and wicked topspins, the whip-snapping baseline shots and chipped net approaches that Mauresmo used in an effort to cross her up, and in an effort to break up the Williams sisters' path to the major finals.
"As I say, they're not going to be in the finals forever," Mauresmo said.
Mauresmo is also not a big supporter of the Williams sisters. She has called their matchups boring for fans and suggested some of their matches had been fixed. In an interview with the French reporters yesterday, Mauresmo was asked if she admired the way Venus fought back from love-40 to win the match.
"For sure, she got back from 0-40, but, no, I don't admire her," Mauresmo said. "That means what it means."
Whatever tension existed yesterday surrounding Venus and Serena, it is over for now. Tonight the only players to cheer come from one family. Around 8:30 p.m. the sisters will walk on the court for their second prime-time showdown at the Open.
One year ago, Serena was not equipped to deal with the jazzed-up atmosphere inside Arthur Ashe Stadium or Venus's unflappable demeanor.
So much has changed since then, just in the last six months. When Serena defeated Venus at the French Open, nothing could be more thrilling for the family. At last, the little sister came through. Excited for Serena, Venus jumped around the court during the trophy ceremony, snapping pictures of the little sister she adored.
Wimbledon was very different. That was Venus's court, her grassy turf, but Serena sneaked into her backyard and came away with match point. As the two met at the net, Venus revealed the same look of shock as she did when Serena became the first of the sisters to win a major at the 1999 Open.
"At Wimbledon, I think Venus had it in her head that it really was her event," said Mary Carillo, a former player and now an analyst for CBS. "She could beat her kid sister there. She had every right to think she was the best grass-court player in the world. And Serena changed her mind about all of that in emphatic fashion."
Serena has hugged two majors this year, bringing her total to three. Venus has yet to win a major this year, leaving her with four.
"I'd like to be the one crossing the finish line for a change," Venus said in an interview before the Open. "I don't like being No. 2."
Venus is not the extrovert that Serena is. She is not one to expose every emotion. Maybe it is in the way she lifts her head proudly or the way she strides on the court with pride, but Venus never revealed a hint of any fear she had about losing yesterday, not even when she was down three break points, so close to giving Mauresmo some room to pull off an upset.
"I suppose I just didn't want to let the game go," Venus said. "Things hadn't gone as well as I thought they would go the whole match, and I surely didn't want to have to get to the 5-all."
Venus ended the tension by taking match point. Under tepid applause, she approached the net to shake the hand of her opponent, then waved to all fans, even those who were not with her yesterday. "I don't know," Venus said. "At least I wanted myself to win out there."
VENUS. ANA, TAY TAY. NICOLE. LAURA. KONJUH. MADISON
SERENA. MUGU. VIKA. PETKO. CARO. TIMEA. SVETA. HEATHER. KAIA. TAMIRA. FLAVIA. GEORGI. COCO. LUCIE, SLOANE. PENG. SORANA. ALICIA. JAEDA. CICI. ANETT. DANKA. DONNA. FRANCOISE.
GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN. SHENAY. DINARA. GISELA. SPREM.