Hmmm... and I thought Serena was an arrogant bitch.
S. Williams 'sorry' for 6-0, 6-0 victory
By HOWARD FENDRICH, AP Tennis Writer
May 30, 2003
AP - May 30, 3:54 pm EDT
PARIS (AP) -- Serena Williams figured an apology was in order.
She had just overpowered Barbara Schett 6-0, 6-0 Friday at the French Open in what amounted to a 40-minute practice session.
So when they met at the net after the third-round match, Williams patted Schett on the back and offered these kind words: ``I'm sorry.''
It was a dose of compassion, something not seen much amid all the showboating in sports today.
``That was strange,'' Schett said. ``I've never heard that from an opponent.''
No. 4 Justine Henin-Hardenne and No. 5 Amelie Mauresmo, the only players to beat Williams this year, also had straight-set wins. But Williams' victory stood out.
``It wasn't as easy as it looked,'' the defending champion insisted.
Williams compiled a 23-2 edge in winners, drawing a collective ``Ooooh!'' from fans by stepping up to drive one forehand to a corner. She dropped a total of six points in the second set and generally looked far better than sister Venus did in winning a three-set ordeal Thursday against 110th-ranked Evie Dominikovic.
Don't forget, Schett used to be in the top 10 and she upset Venus at Roland Garros in 2001.
But she hasn't been past the quarterfinals at a major. Serena Williams is trying to become the first player with five straight major titles since Steffi Graf in 1988-89.
Conditioning is a strength for Serena Williams, who next plays No. 16 Ai Sugiyama and announced: ``I came in here really, really fit.''
Of all her wonderful shots against Schett, the most impressive display came on the first set's final point.
Williams raced to retrieve a drop shot that she scooped over the net while sliding into the doubles alley. Reversing direction, she hit a lunging backhand that carried her across the other sideline as the ball plopped in.
Williams' superior court coverage lets her turn an opponent's potential point-ender into just another stroke during an exchange. Schett's only backhand winner came on match point, and she raised her arms in mock triumph while the crowd roared support.
It was just the fourth 6-0, 6-0 on the women's tour this year, and the second of Williams' career. She beat Larisa Neiland by that score in 1998.
Schett's succinct scouting report: ``She runs well, she serves well, she hits hard."