Reigning queen of tennis wary of playing men
(This is from yahoo.com. Go to sports, then tennis).
By MEL REISNER, AP Sports Writer
February 25, 2003
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Serena Williams isn't going to take on the best men in her sport regardless of how Annika Sorenstam does against the long-hitting stars of the PGA Tour.
``I wish I could play,'' the world's best female tennis player said Tuesday before doing a quick about-face.
``No I don't,'' she went on. ``I mean, with tennis it's like Lennox Lewis against Laila Ali, but for golf maybe it's different.''
Sorenstam announced earlier this month that she will play in the Colonial in May.
The 21-year-old Williams wasn't around when Billy Jean King beat Bobby Riggs in the ``Battle of the Sexes'' on Sept. 20, 1973. But Williams is aware that Riggs was never close to the top in men's tennis.
``Like I said, Lennox Lewis against Laila Ali,'' Williams said. ``She'd have no chance against Lennox Lewis, and I'd have no chance against Andre Agassi. It's just different bodies and different types. I think it would be impossible.''
Williams made her comments during a rain delay at the State Farm Women's Tennis Classic.
Only two singles matches began before the storm set in, and they were suspended until Wednesday. Six other singles matches and five doubles matches were postponed.
Williams won the first of her 19 singles titles last year at Scottsdale. She completed a ``Serena Slam'' in January by beating her sister, Venus, in the Australian Open final after winning the 2002 French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open crowns.
Williams set a goal after withdrawing from last year's Australian Open because of a sore ankle -- to win every Grand Slam event the rest of the way. She never expected to realize it, but wanted to set her sights high to stay focused.
She used similar reasoning to arrive at this year's goal -- to win every match after going 56-5 last season. Williams is 11-0 so far after winning in Australia and Paris.
``I expect for someone to beat me,'' she said. ``I don't think it's possible, personally. But for me to reach that goal last year and win all four Grand Slams in a row is really awesome. Now I realize I can do anything. Who knows what can happen?''
Williams is in her 34th week as the WTA's No. 1 -- far from the 378 weeks that Steffi Graf enjoyed during her career. It's one record Williams, who is already dabbling in clothing design, modeling and entertainment, won't shoot for.
``I don't set long-term goals,'' she said. ``It's impossible for anyone to have a long career nowadays. I mean, it's really hard. I try not to play too much. Plus, the players are tougher than they were back then, your matches are a little longer and the conditions are harder.
``I think those records that have stayed for a while eventually will be broken, but I don't know if I'm going to play 15 years to break them.''
-one of those "bad" Williams fans that everyone keeps talking about
OFFICIAL BLACKSMITH OF THE ROYAL COURT
I don't mind straight people as long as they act gay in public!