Serena to play at 'Nova
By Larry Eichel
Inquirer Staff Writer
Serena Williams was home in the Florida heat yesterday, preparing for her title defense at Wimbledon the week after next. She was working out, with an emphasis on the glutes, hitting balls and reading three newly arrived scripts.
The world's top-ranked female tennis player, you see, views herself as an aspiring actress, as well as a model, fashion designer and makeup artist.
Her future, she hopes, includes a challenging and desirable screen role, meaning one that doesn't have her cast as a tennis star or "where I'm laid out on the ground, strung out on something...
"I believe I'm a good actress, and I have a lot of skill," said Williams, 21. "I want to challenge myself, and playing a tennis role isn't challenging at all."
One item that's definitely on her calendar - prospective film career notwithstanding - is a trip to the Philadelphia area for some competitive tennis.
In a conference call with reporters, she announced that she would play at the Advanta Championships, which return to the Pavilion at Villanova this fall after a two-year hiatus.
The event had a successful 10-year run through 2000. But it disappeared when the WTA Tour moved its season-ending championship, which always came the week after the Advanta, from New York to Munich, Germany. With that, the Advanta's slot moved, too, from Philadelphia to Nice, France.
Now the finale has come back to the United States, to Los Angeles, and Philadelphia is back in business for at least the next three years.
This will be the first time Williams has competed in the Philadelphia area; she came to the tournament in 1997 to watch sister Venus play.
The Advanta Championships are to run from Oct. 27 through Nov. 2. Tickets for the tournament go on sale this morning. They may be purchased online at www.advantachampionships.com
or by calling 866-836-6475.