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Gumbycat
Jun 7th, 2002, 07:32 PM
This monopoly is at 'Go'

Williamses leaving nothing to chance

By Bud Collins, Globe Columnist, 6/7/2002

ARIS - So, how's this for a bedtime story? Daddy tucks in his little girls with
the ''Tale of the Monopolistic Sisters.'' It's not Grimm - but far from grim.

Once upon the proverbial
time, it goes, two young
maidens, finding magic
wands in a vacant lot in
rundown Compton, Calif.,
discover that waving them
at anybody in their way
makes those folks
disappear. Eventually they
wind up conquering the
world of the yellow fuzzy
ball, and are declared a
monopoly. Only the
Supreme Court can bust
them up, but that will take
a while.

Daddy, of course, was Richard Williams. His daughter, Venus, says, ''When you're
little and your daddy tells you something, you love him and you believe him. And
here we are, Serena and me on top of the world. A small world. But it's real nice.
We were raised to do the best we could.''

Their best yesterday was Serena dethroning the champion and momentary No. 1,
Jennifer Capriati, 3-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-2, and Venus toying with a gallant outsider,
Argentine Clarisa Fernandez, 6-1, 6-4.

For a decade or so, before they were even pros, Daddy Williams, thought by many
(underrating him) to be somewhat squirrely, has been telling that story of the
''Monopolistic Sisters'' to anybody who would listen, and at first it did sound like a
fairy tale.

Presently and surely we knew that the Sisters Sledgehammer were extraordinary
wavers of the wands, Venus with four major titles and Serena one. However,
during a gray, cool afternoon, 15,716 observers packing Stade Roland Garros,
and millions of TV couchies, experienced the preposterous tale ringing true. And
better than Jack and the Beanstalk because both Venus and Serena have climbed
to the top of their realm - at Nos. 1-2, respectively - and will play tomorrow for
the French Open championship, one of the two majors thus far out of their reach.
Williams can't lose.

Theirs was a daily double payoff such as their game, called tennis, has never before
experienced in its 126 years of tournaments: Sisters not only advancing to a major
final but in doing so elevating themselves past all others in the hard, softwaring eyes
of Medusa, the computer governing the female professionals. Yes, they had
monopolistically collided in the US Open final last September. But at the time
Venus, the victor, was No. 4 and Serena No. 10.

Serena's was the tougher proposition yesterday, a battle that kept everybody in the
joint tense for 21/4 hours before Little Sister ripped a match-point backhand that
the gritty Capriati couldn't apprehend. For a long time it appeared that Serena, who
now has beaten Capriati five straight, including the recent Italian Open final, was
going to give it away.

She was strewing mistakes as though rose petals at a wedding, and squandering
break points like a carefree spendthrift - but never held back. ''Seventy-six errors?
That's scary. I make too many of them even when I win,'' Serena grinned after
outdoing Capriati by 16 in bungles. ''I must ameliorate that.''

Shouldn't we all?

Serving for the second set twice, and miserably, at 5-2 and 5-4, she found herself
at 5-6, four points from elimination.

''You know, I never think about losing. I just play the points without looking ahead
in a match,'' Serena explained. ''But at 5-6 I knew I had to do some serving, so as
to hurry into the tiebreaker.''

Which she did, winning serve at love (on three Capriati goofs), blasting through the
breaker, 7-2 - a run of 11 of the last 13 points, drawing even.

''Well, Serena played better at the end,'' sighed a deflated Capriati. ''There was so
much tension, you couldn't relax at all. Every point seemed to mean so much. More
so even than last year [her 1-6, 6-4, 12-10 title victory over Kim Clijsters in which
she was two points from defeat]. I got into a baseline rhythm with Kim, but you
can't do that with Serena. It's uneven against her.''

They kept escaping each other in the 41-minute third set, a stretch of long,
intriguing exchanges. Capriati ducked two break points to 1-1 and another pair to
2-2, and Serena a couple to 3-2. But Serena was breaking Capriati down, and
seized the last four games. Serena had her wayward forehand tamed by then, and
put down Capriati's last frantic bid by holding through four deuces and a breaker to
5-2.

Two roaring Serenating backhands ended the Capriati reign at 6:37 in the evening,
leaving the court for Venus to complete the double against the charming
20-year-old lefthander from Cordoba.

Fernandez, No. 87, had wiped out Clijsters on her unlikely way to the semis.
Unsponsored, she was pleased that a clothing manufacturer gave her new duds for
the occasion and that she won $170,425, more than twice her career earnings. But
after 19 minutes with Venus, the first set and Fernandez were finished.

''My dad knows our ability,'' Serena concurred with Venus. ''He gave us dreams to
dream, of being the best. We didn't talk about it together, but we believed him.''
She laughed, ''Not that I dreamed of being No. 2. No. 1's the place. Venus has got
it, and I'm glad for her. But I've got my eye on it.''

Venus, leading the rivalry, 5-2, but loser the last time at Key Biscayne, Fla., smiled,
''I want Serena to be No. 1. But not for a while.''

They've played each other a million times. There are no secrets. ''The family wins,''
Venus said. ''My toughest opponent is Venus, and her toughest opponent is me,''
Serena said.

Not a bad bedtime story.

This story ran on page E9 of the Boston Globe on 6/7/2002.
© Copyright 2002 Globe Newspaper Company.

GogoGirl
Jun 7th, 2002, 08:33 PM
It has taken me this long to gather my thoughts and emotions concerning this wonderful accomplishment, feat, gift and achievement that the Williams Sisters gave to the entire world yesterday. Venus & Serena are nothing more than young ladies that strive for excellence in their chosen sport and field. And they have stated that there is still more for them to study and learn from and about their respective sport.

I cried a creek when Serena was about to break Jen at 5-2. And by the last three points of the entire match - the tears came down like a waterfall - and I cried me a river. By the time Venus match came on - I was over it - because I knew Venus would sail thru to the Big Dance. But - Serena? My God.

For the last three years, I've found myself championing Serena's cause. I have always believed she could do it. Whatever it was. Look at her role model. I believed it when she said she was sick at Wimby last year - and I took up for her like a mother lion defending her cubs. I mean the nerve of some people to question her about it. It is a fact out here - that you had better watch what you eat. Can you not imagine all of the fast food joints and restaurants that don't require that their employees wear gloves? It makes my flesh crawl to think of how nasty some folks are that are in the fast food and regular food industries - that never wash their hands.

I was just talking to somebody the other day about food poisoning and the like. So what was soooooo outrageous about the fact that Serena ate bad fish in England? They are the main ones to have had the Mad Cow Disease syndrome - for God's sakes. And we know they are famous for their fish and chips. Serena didn't hire a lawyer to sue the folks that sold her the bad fish after all - but she did have the right to tell the truth of what was ailing her. So thru all of this, I still believed when others made fun of her or called her names, and stated that she was always thinking she was sick. What??????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I just didn't get that. And the clay thing - please let's not even go there and get me started. Some of you know, I have always said that both Sisters could play on clay - and that - the detractors better watch out and quit picking - because the Sisters love a challenge, and one in the name of the FO had just sprung up for them to challenge. Too late for some folks - because just like lightening - they are sooooo quick and they are there now. I always believed they would reach the finals. And I asked - who was gonna stop Serena? I knew Venus was thru - but I knew Jen would be a tough opponent for Serena. I believed in Serena still - but I knew that on any day - one player could out play the other and then that would be it. The Sisters can't play on Clay my asterisk.


"DREAMS ARE TRULY FOR THE BELIEVERS - VENUS & SERENA" "WORDS STILL FAIL ME TODAY - BECAUSE I AM STILL HUMBLED AND TOUCHED BY U 2 AND ABOUT HOW MUCH PLEASURE YOU BRING ME - IN AND OUT OF THE SPORT OF TENNIS"

"CONGRATULATIONS AND KEEP THE FAITH - VENUS & SERENA" "ENJOY AND PLAY THE FINAL TO THE BEST OF YOUR ABILITIES" "CONGRATULATIONS TO POPS AND MOMS WILLIAMS & FAMILY AND FRIENDS"

"U 2 RULE - ROCK AND ROLL - FABULOUS WILLIAMS SISTERS"







06/06/2002 21:09 - (SA) E-mail story to a friend



Williams' dream comes true

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Paris - For years dismissed as a fantasist and braggart, Richard Williams was proved a visionary and tennis prophet on Thursday when his daughters Venus and Serena set up an all-Williams French Open final.

The sisters also became the number one and two tennis players in the world.

Williams senior was not at Roland Garros to see his wild prediction of world domination finally come true, but Serena clinched it with a 3-6 7-6 6-2 semifinal victory over Jennifer Capriati to ensure she joins her sister at the top of the tennis pile on Monday.

"I'm pretty happy right now," she smiled afterwards. "Our dad is a smart guy ... he knows our abilities and he has worked with us so much over the years - he knows what we are capable of.

"You know, when you're young, you always dream of winning Grand Slams and being number one.

"I gotta say, I never dreamed of being number two, though."

The victory means Serena leapfrogs Capriati into second place - Venus, who made short work of Argentine Clarisa Fernandez 6-1 6-4 in the other semifinal, was already assured number one spot before heading into Thursday's match.

Smashing records

The sibling domination in Paris this year rewrites French history too, ensuring a first-ever all-sister Roland Garros final.

The occasion was not lost on Serena.

Having clawed her way back from a set down to seal the 132-minute win, she dropped her racket, blew kisses to the crowd and shrugged in disbelief as the crowd erupted.

"I definitely want to win a Grand Slam," she said. "I want it so much, but I'm not saying too much because I don't want Venus reading my interview transcript and then going home to think about it."

The pair are no strangers to smashing records.

Last year Venus beat Serena in the final of the US Open - the first all-sister grand slam final since Maud and Lilian Watson played at Wimbledon in 1884.

Whichever daughter triumphs on Saturday, the sisters' father and coach will no doubt enjoy one of his trademark cigars when news reaches him at his Florida home.

When Williamsís senior first started spouting his claims of world domination to then-local Californian newspapers, readers must have laughed.

Nobody will be laughing at him now, though. Already with five Grand Slam titles between them - and another guaranteed - the girls who Richard coached on the gang-ridden courts of Compton, California, have made his dream come true.

WilliamzX2
Jun 7th, 2002, 09:36 PM
GOGO Girl wonderful writing!

auntie janie
Jun 7th, 2002, 09:50 PM
Fantastic, wonderful beautiful post, GogoGirl. You expressed so well the experience of being a true fan, the good kind of fan, of your terrific fave, Serena. Thanks. I hope your essay gets the large audience it deserves. :) :) :)

If not, please come post it at tennisweek.com too! :D

Richie77
Jun 7th, 2002, 09:56 PM
Thanks GogoGirl, for all the articles. :)

Gumbycat
Jun 7th, 2002, 11:56 PM
You Go GogoGirl!