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GogoGirl
Jul 5th, 2002, 05:54 PM
I didn't start crying about the fact that both of my faves had made the finals until I was driving to a friends for a cookout. In the car - tears streamed down my face. Part of the reason I cried was because my girls had won their matches w/the heart of true champions - although soooooooo many folks were praying against them. God don't listen to negative and hateful prayers - but the devil tunes in!

They have had to endure so much adversity since they've been on the tour. They have handled themselves magnificently in the process too. They are bright - well-mannered - intelligent ladies way more than they are tennis players. They make their parents and other family members proud - let alone all of their fans. They are true champions that have been blessed w/big hearts that houses enormous compassion and diplomacy.

I will not let anyone steal my thunder - whilst I am enjoying this latest and greatest triumph. I will not even let anything anyone says about them get me down - for many of these recycled arguments and debates are getting a little tiresome. They stink to high heaven - and at the end of the day - they change nothing - to include some folk's original opinions.

The bottom line in my heart for me yesterday - today and tomorrow is that they are healthy, strong, loving and thankful to their parents and their God. Nothing else really matters in the longest run. And contrary to some folks belief - they are loved by many the whole world round.



"WAY TO GO WIMBY QUEENS - CAUSE IT IS TIME FOR YOUR STRAWBERRIES AND CREAM" "ENJOY YOUR RULE ON THE THRONE IN 2002"

"U 2 ARE IN CHARGE" "AND AFTER 7/6/02 - U 2 DESERVE A BREAK TODAY" "ENJOY THE MOTHERLAND AFRICA - AND LET ALL OF ITS BEAUTY - SPENDOR AND WONDERMENT FILL A PART OF YOUR HEARTS THAT WILL ALWAYS REMAIN'

"CONGRATULATIONS VENUS & SERENA & MOM & POP"




www.nydailynews.com

Just Case of History Repeating



WIMBLEDON

It isn't their fault that nobody can beat them, that nobody can even stay with them for more than a set anymore.

Opponents are overwhelmed, fatigued by their dominance. Journalists are disappointed by their head-to-head matches, forever fretting about conspiracy. Too bad. The Williams sisters will play each other tomorrow in the Wimbledon final, the way they played at the French Open final last month, the way they played at the U.S. Open final last September.

"To me, I think it's a little sad for women's tennis," Amelie Mauresmo moaned yesterday, with great political incorrectness, after falling like a rock to Serena. "First, I think people are going to get bored about it. It was already the final at the French Open. I can't count how many people since yesterday told me, 'We don't want a Williams final.'"

Maybe she's right. Maybe the discomfort level will never go away while these two women try desperately, against human nature, to infuse their rivalry with the sort of heat once emanating from Evert-Navratilova.

Or maybe, Mauresmo just isn't talking to the right people. Venus and Serena may make for a lousy championship matchup, but they are also making magnificent history in the sport. If you can look beyond the discomfort factor, beyond the inevitably awkward matchup, then this was the greatest Fourth of July sports tale of them all.

"It's getting easier," their mother, Oracene, was saying, walking from Centre Court yesterday after her successful holiday doubleheader. "I stay in bed now and don't have to go to practice."

They are odds-on to meet in every Grand Slam final, until further notice — or until they take their next three-month vacation before another Australian Open. Yet the accomplishment is extraordinary, and mustn't be diminished by its repetition.

We should always be amazed. They are sisters, ranked No.1 and No.2 in the world. They are African-American sisters, from an inner city. Their careers have been paced perfectly. They have no professional coach. They never look up at the player's box for instruction or inspiration.

"That's why I appreciate my parents," said Serena, who is now No.1 in the world regardless of the title match. "They've really done not one, but two. No matter what people say about my dad and my mom, hey, they've made some champions."

They are "totally independent," said Oracene, who is estranged from Richard Williams, and who now accompanies her daughters to these big events. The father remains connected by daily phone calls, chiming in with occasional coaching tips.

Years ago, Richard talked about this day, yet another one of his wild predictions come true. He said his younger daughter, Serena, would somehow surpass Venus in the rankings. He said they would face each other in a Wimbledon final.

True, and true. Remarkable. Crazy.

And here is the thing: If their matches against each other have been less than stirring, then their matches against other players have become arguably worse.

Yesterday, again, Serena and Venus were relentless against overmatched opponents, Mauresmo and Justine Henin. Venus' court coverage was superb. She dug out low backhands and charged the net, demonstrating phenomenal flexibility during her 6-3, 6-2 win over Henin. She served in the 120s, when needed.

Then Serena came out and pounded Mauresmo, 6-2, 6-1, with rocket forehands from acute angles.

The sisters can both smoke rivals. Beyond that, they are as different as their physiques. Serena remains more emotional. She calls herself "the baby." She seems to be much more excited about this ninth meeting between the sisters.

Venus seems more bored by the same old fuss. "I've been posed this question so many times," Venus said, when asked what it would take for the two sisters to bring out the best in each other. "I just don't know."

Serena was bubbly, pleased with herself, with her new No.1 ranking. She has had an eventful Wimbledon, not all of it good. Yesterday, the Wimbledon Magistrate Court ordered Albrecht Stromeyer, 34, a stalker from Frankfurt, Germany, to stay away from Serena and trouble for a year, after his arrest near the grounds on Wednesday.

Serena took this, too, in bounding stride. She believes Venus vs. Serena is a perfect finish to any tournament.

"I think it's definitely good for the sport," Serena said. "We get a lot of minority kids into tennis, just get new faces. It's going to be a great impact for the sport."

If their match tomorrow lacks fire again, we should remember what Serena said. There are more important things in sport than a classic final.

GogoGirl
Jul 5th, 2002, 06:11 PM
http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/186/sports/The_sisters_will_state_their_case_in_family_court+ .shtml



The sisters will state their case in family court


By Bud Collins, Globe Columnist, 7/5/2002

ONDON - Dr. Sigmund Freud, who dealt in couches well before they became the haunts of TV potato-heads, would have loved this nuttiest of all Wimbledons, his kind of tennis tournament.



Unfortunately, the good doctor is not around, having died in London in 1939, the year Bobby Riggs won, but leaving his celebrated couch behind and well preserved in his last earthly home.

Too bad Dr. Freud missed out on Riggs's later misogynistic rantings against the female tennis tour, a dementia that was cured in 1973 by Billie Jean King at the Astrodome. Her victory in the renowned ''Battle of the Sexes'' was a triumph of her volleying shock therapy over his vocal schlock therapy, whereafter Bobby settled down to became a lovable codger.

Surely Dr. Freud would have relished examining and analyzing Medusa, the Women's Tennis Association's computer, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Your everyday sports fanatic would say that Medusa is, to put it kindly, delusional.

Especially after hearing Medusa's printout pronouncement yesterday that Serena Williams is now No. 1 in the universe, replacing Venus Williams, a declaration that reduced Serena to ecstatic tears. (''I've dreamed about No. 1 for years.'')

Moreover, even if Venus retains her title by beating up on Little Sister in tomorrow's final, Serena will continue as No. 1.

Say what?

A champion who comes in as No. 1 and repeats, yet goes home No. 2?

How cuckoo is that?

Medusa and her WTA handlers tried to explain it with slide rules, calculators, software, yardsticks, and abacuses, but I still don't get it. Put Medusa on the couch, doctor. Please. Immediately.

Dr. Freud undoubtedly would be charmed by the Venus-Serena sibling rivalry, and the ids, egos, and backhanded crosscourts and crosscurrents involved. He might reiterate his famous plaint: ''What does woman want?''

That's easy, doc. Venus wants to win, and she wants Serena to win. Serena wants to win, and she wants Venus to win.

Nice sentiment, but very difficult wish fulfillment when they are antagonists in the same match.

''I don't like to lose but I'm happy when Serena beats me,'' says Venus, discussing their third straight major intramural final.

''I don't like to lose, but I'm happy when Venus beats me,'' says Serena, discussing their third straight major intramural final.

So far, nobody on the sidelines has been happy because each sister might as well be playing against a brick wall, and the matches have come up clinkers. Eight times, with Venus ahead, 5-3.

The customers yearn for them to perform as brilliantly against each other as they did yesterday in demolishing semifinal pigeons: Venus over Justine Henin, 6-3, 6-2, in a rematch of the 2001 finale; Serena over Amelie Mauresmo, 6-2, 6-1. But it doesn't happen. Despite destructive flashes, the Sisters Sledgehammer are fragile in their approach to one another.

Dr. Freud would call that the homecookin' complex: You can't throw a cream pie in the face of someone you love who shares your dining room for a lifetime.

Listen to the battered losers, who had distinguished themselves throughout the tournament - until yesterday - but might as well have entered the Indy 500 with Edsels. Two semifinals haven't been so one-sided since 1958: champ Althea Gibson over Ann Haydon, 6-2, 6-0, and Angela Mortimer over Suzy Kormoczy, 6-1, 6-0.

''She was too strong, too good,'' says Henin of Venus. ''She wouldn't let me play.''

Mauresmo, who had sensationally iced Jennifer Capriati 24 hours before, says of Serena, ''It's not the same person as yesterday. I couldn't do nothing. I tried to do a few things, but just couldn't do nothing. You know, there's just nothing to do about it. But no regrets. That's just the way it is.''

Are we in for a series of unsuspenseful all-Williams major championship meetings, such as Venus winning the last US Open, 6-2, 6-4, or Serena winning the recent French Open, 7-5, 6-3, with everybody else lagging way behind?

''I think people could be bored by it,'' says Mauresmo.

Or will Williams vs. Williams turn into a captivating, long-running feud like that fought by Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova over 16 years and 80 encounters between 1973 and 1988?

''It was easier for us,'' says Evert. ''We weren't sisters.''

If you asked Dr. Freud about it, he would reply, ''I can sense mass hysteria enveloping the ladies' tour, and nights of increasingly troubling dreams. Yes, anxiety dreams in which your towering adversary smashes cannonballs at you and your racket suddenly turns into a celery stalk.''

Might Medusa's brain, sputtering and whirring in all its computations, soon tell us that Venus and Serena are in a deadly dead-heat at co-No. 1?

Will the answers be clearer or further muddled tomorrow on Centre Court (a.k.a. Williams Park)?

Dr. Freud's likely prescription for players' mental health: ''Stay as far out of Venus and Serena's way as possible. Lie on a couch with the rest of us potato-heads and watch them at a safe distance.''

This story ran on page C1 of the Boston Globe on 7/5/2002.
© Copyright 2002 Globe Newspaper Company.

GogoGirl
Jul 5th, 2002, 06:24 PM
www.cleveland.com


Sisters doing it for selves

07/05/02

Selena Roberts
New York Times

Wimbledon, England

- In one fleeting moment of vulnerability, on a rare break point against her yesterday, Serena Williams noticed Amelie Mauresmo sneaking up to the net, crouched as if running for a foxhole.

Instead of curling a shot around Mauresmo or lobbing the ball over her head, Williams aimed at her semifinal opponent as if she was the target in a dunk tank. She unleashed a forehand that produced a flinch by Mauresmo as the ball nearly pockmarked the throat of her racket.

This was the reward for Mauresmo's risks. On one merciless shot after another, Williams would not ease up for a moment during a dominating 6-2, 6-1 semifinal victory on Wimbledon's Centre Court.

Nothing could sidetrack her, not a break point in the second set, not the pressure to hold up her end of an all-Williams final, not the chance to take over the No. 1 ranking, not even the arrest of her accused stalker outside the grounds.

"I don't pay attention to anything," said Williams, who was unaware of the arrest made by Wimbledon police on Wednesday until an hour before she played yesterday.

Nothing could prevent the inevitable. In the span of two hours on the court, Venus Williams completed the quick dismissal of Justine Henin, 6-3, 6-2, before Serena crumpled the plans of Mauresmo.

Tomorrow, Venus and Serena will meet in the third Williams family final in the last four majors.

The big sister will take the court as the No. 2 player in the world after the little sister took No. 1 from her yesterday. It is a flip-flop for history.

"I'm still waiting for the catch," said Serena, who will be No. 1 no matter how the final ends. "There's always a catch. I'm very happy right now. I've worked really hard. I deserve it. I do."

Only a year ago, players and tour officials were heard grumbling about Serena's lack of dedication, upset about how she withdrew from events at the last minute, irritated over her mysterious injuries.

Now, players and officials are bored with the dominance of the Williams sisters. With the novelty worn off, some wonder if their matchups are in the best interest of tennis.

"To me, I think it's a little bit sad for women's tennis," said Mauresmo, the ninth-seeded Frenchwoman who had not been in a major semifinal since the 1999 Australian Open. "But maybe it's not the point of view for everybody."

Perhaps fueled by jealousy - or the suspicions that the outcome of Williams sisters' matches are predetermined - players have grown more resentful during the last few months. Venus and Serena simply ignore the talk.

"I think it's good for tennis," Venus said. "I think it's good for Serena and me more than anything."

A Wimbledon final presents another chance for Venus and Serena to add to their amazing story, but also create a bigger legacy for themselves as players. Right now, no one on the tour can touch either one.

Henin was the first to find that out yesterday. For a brief instant, Henin's topspin ground strokes were confounding to Venus, who fell behind a break of serve, 2-0, in the first set. But after getting the measure of the diminutive Belgian, Venus began to apply the pressure with one round-house shot after another.

"The first two games, it took like 15 minutes," Venus said. "By then, I was nice and warmed up."

Before Henin knew it, Venus had run off eight games in a row. If Henin dared come to the net, Venus was there to pass her with one of 21 winners.

"I think she was too strong, too good," Henin said. "She was so aggressive, so powerful, so what could I do?"

Mauresmo was left pondering the same question. A day after she unveiled a flawless net attack to upset Jennifer Capriati, Mauresmo hardly had a chance to unroll the blueprint against Serena.

Mauresmo was overwhelmed. At one point, a fan yelled, "Amelie, you can do it." Mauresmo smiled and shrugged, thankful for the support, but too realistic to believe in miracles.

"It's not the same person on the other side of the net," said Mauresmo, comparing Serena to Capriati. "That's it."

GogoGirl
Jul 5th, 2002, 07:08 PM
www.timesonline.co.uk


July 05, 2002

Little joy derived from sisters' brilliance
by julian muscat



IT IS hard to see how a decade in its infancy will conclude with any other name but Williams etched on the Wimbledon women’s singles trophy. The sisters were so superior in their respective semi-finals that two players thought capable of stretching them were trampled underfoot.

Somewhere out on Centre Court lie fragments of the beautiful games played by Justine Henin and Amélie Mauresmo. They both started in the same promising way, trading blow for blow, before each was battered into merciless submission. It was not a pretty sight.

Nor will it be so when the girls oppose each other in the final tomorrow. They have done so eight times previously and each has been eminently forgettable — not least the French Open final, which Serena won last month.

The confrontational nature of tennis, with its reliance on a hostile mentality, does not allow for sisterly love. Venus and Serena are not just sisters but two sides of the same coin. They practise together, play doubles together and share a house for the Wimbledon fortnight. They think alike and play alike. It is just as well that they don’t look alike; it is hard to know which one to cheer for as it is.

So complete is their state of symbiosis that Serena, who followed Venus on to the court, felt obliged to match the dazzling ground strokes with which her sister had demolished Henin. It seemed an unlikely prospect; Mauresmo is hardly bereft of power. Yet Serena somehow managed to usurp Venus, striking the ball with a ferocity that brought regular gasps of astonishment.

Serena even replicated the pattern of her sister’s match. Just as Venus slowly erupted to life against Henin midway through the first set, so Serena took a few games to sharpen her eye. Mauresmo can create a destructive rhythm but she was never allowed to find her groove. At times she resembled a skittle at the mercy of a master of the alley. It was to prove a chastening experience for a woman of brittle confidence.

While their crushing superiority brooks no argument, the matter of the sisters routinely contesting grand-slam finals is another question. Only an optimist will expect more from tomorrow’s ninth meeting than has been forthcoming to date. Even setting aside the sibling issue, it is too much to ask that both girls reproduce the standard that they showed yesterday.

Both are prone to hit the ball too hard on occasions. This tendency reaches its apex when they meet across the net; in any rally, both are overanxious to strike the first telling blow. Venus plays the more advanced tennis in that she has learnt how to develop a winning position in a rally. Serena tries to end every one by force, which is where Venus’s game was two years ago.

That detail, coupled with her status as the elder by 15 months, entitles Venus to start favourite tomorrow. However, the formbook is a useless tool within the sibling dynamic. The conspiratorial will doubtless ponder which of them will be chosen by their father to collect the garlands, although others might take their cue from more anecdotal evidence.

Serena has spoken this year of her love of “accessorising"; her theme seems to cast her as the golden girl. She has dyed golden hair, gold bands around her wrist and a gold trim to her dress and tracksuit. Perhaps she is accessorising ahead of holding aloft the famous gold plate.

Serena’s victory yesterday elevated her above Venus as the world No 1. It was a seamless change of the baton, one that might almost have been completed over a private ritual in their back garden. Where they once played with toys, they now toy with players. Yet already there are signs that the Williamses do not enchant the Wimbledon crowds.

Their early appearances at Wimbledon hypnotised the galleries. They were roundly applauded then, but their near-suffocating grip prompted those on Centre Court yesterday to root for their opponents. If the galleries are already bored, how will they feel in the years ahead? It will do women’s tennis no favours to have its biggest prizes routinely carved up by two sisters. The two of them — Venus in particular — already talk of attaining perfection, which is another way of saying that you are bored of just winning. Realistically, Venus says, she might not achieve it, while Serena insists: “I haven’t got anywhere close to my potential.” Complacency, it seems, is a greater danger than any opponent.

The Williamses are plainly becoming victims of their own success. Their rate of improvement in the past 12 months is demonstrable. Henin opposed Venus in the final last year, when she took the match into a third set. She is now physically stronger, yet Venus pounded her to prevail 6-3, 6-2. It was the most emphatic verdict yet for Venus, who required a decisive set to win four of their past five encounters.

Serena’s record against Mauresmo has been governed by a similar history; two of their three matches were settled by a third-set tie-break, yet Serena rumbled to a 6-2, 6-1 victory inside an hour. Wimbledon’s grass, with its quicker bounce, serves to accentuate the sisters’ superiority to the point where they appear indestructible.

What is more, their respective world rankings dictate that they cannot feature in the same half of the draw. Any woman with designs on the Wimbledon title will almost certainly have to beat them both to achieve it.

To contemplate beating one is scarcely credible; to beat the two of them faintly ridiculous. Nevertheless, that remains the challenge for the rest.

Althea
Jul 5th, 2002, 08:14 PM
You GoGoGirl

I feel you

"They have had to endure so much adversity since they've been on the tour. They have handled themselves magnificently in the process too. They are bright - well-mannered - intelligent ladies way more than they are tennis players. They make their parents and other family members proud - let alone all of their fans. They are true champions that have been blessed w/big hearts that houses enormous compassion and diplomacy.

I will not let anyone steal my thunder - whilst I am enjoying this latest and greatest triumph."

Ryan
Jul 5th, 2002, 08:43 PM
Touching.

Rocketta
Jul 5th, 2002, 08:52 PM
Great articles GoGoGirl! I totally share your sentiment. :)

Gumbycat
Jul 5th, 2002, 09:36 PM
Venus plays the more advanced tennis in that she has learnt how to develop a winning position in a rally. Serena tries to end every one by force, which is where Venus?s game was two years ago.

Infiniti2002, this is for you!!! :-D

GogoGirl
Jul 6th, 2002, 12:59 AM
www.news24.com




05/07/2002 19:59 - (SA) E-mail story to a friend



Sisters hit back in 'boring' row

London - Venus and Serena Williams went on the atrtack on Friday telling their growing army of critics to pay them more respect.

Justine Henin and Amelie Mauresmo, who were crushed by the sisters in the Wimbledon semi-finals on Thursday, warned that the Americans were becoming so dominant that they were becoming a two-girl super league.

"Maybe the fans are becoming bored, but I haven't spoken to any about it. However, I think that the attention the game gets now is unreal," said Venus, who will attempt to win her third successive Wimbledon singles title when she plays against her sister here on Saturday.

Serena also said that other players on the women's tour should appreciate the publicity that she claims the Williams duo have brought to the tour.

"We make the covers of magazines, you guys (the media) are always writing about us and people are paying attention to women's tennis all of the time."

The sixth-seeded Henin lost 6-3 6-2 in her semi-final against Venus on Thursday while Mauresmo surrendered 6-2 6-1 to Serena as the American girls powered into another Grand Slam final, the third they have contested in the last four majors.

"They were both in the final of the US Open, French Open and now here, so it's good for them, but I think that maybe the crowd would also like to see other players in different finals at the Grand Slams," said Henin, who had lost to Venus in the final here last year.

"But if they are in the final, that's because they're playing so well. So it's a difficult situation.

"It's hard for the other players but we will continue to fight.

"They are the two best players in the world, and we can see that on the courts but I think they are now pulling away from the others."

Mauresmo, the ninth seed, was equally despondent after only taking three games off Serena.

"They were in the French Open final and now they are in the final again, so it means they are better than everyone else.

"But I think it's sad for women's tennis. I think people are going to become bored of it.

"It was like that at the French Open and I'm not counting how many people have said to me this week that they didn't want a Williams final.

"I don't think I will be watching the final and if you want a prediction then you would have to ask them," added the Frenchwoman hinting again at what many people suspect that the destiny of all-Williams finals at Grand Slams is predetermined by family orders.

Meanwhile, there was no sign of an end to Williams domination on Friday.

Before the rains returned in the afternoon, they had enough time to dispose of Tina Krizan and Katarina Srebotnik, the 10th seeds of Slovenia, 6-2 6-0 to reach the semi-finals of the women's doubles.

But the sisters are becoming sensitive to the criticism.

Former men's champion John McEnroe suggested on Friday morning that if the girls played in the men's tournaments, they would probably be only ranked in the 200s in the world instead of their current top two places in the women's game.

"We are not here to talk about what John McEnroe thinks," said Serena. - Sapa-AFP

GogoGirl
Jul 6th, 2002, 01:00 AM
Wonder if the stands will be full in the a.m. at "Breakfast @ Wimbledon?"





www.news24.com



05/07/2002 19:59 - (SA) E-mail story to a friend



Sisters hit back in 'boring' row

London - Venus and Serena Williams went on the atrtack on Friday telling their growing army of critics to pay them more respect.

Justine Henin and Amelie Mauresmo, who were crushed by the sisters in the Wimbledon semi-finals on Thursday, warned that the Americans were becoming so dominant that they were becoming a two-girl super league.

"Maybe the fans are becoming bored, but I haven't spoken to any about it. However, I think that the attention the game gets now is unreal," said Venus, who will attempt to win her third successive Wimbledon singles title when she plays against her sister here on Saturday.

Serena also said that other players on the women's tour should appreciate the publicity that she claims the Williams duo have brought to the tour.

"We make the covers of magazines, you guys (the media) are always writing about us and people are paying attention to women's tennis all of the time."

The sixth-seeded Henin lost 6-3 6-2 in her semi-final against Venus on Thursday while Mauresmo surrendered 6-2 6-1 to Serena as the American girls powered into another Grand Slam final, the third they have contested in the last four majors.

"They were both in the final of the US Open, French Open and now here, so it's good for them, but I think that maybe the crowd would also like to see other players in different finals at the Grand Slams," said Henin, who had lost to Venus in the final here last year.

"But if they are in the final, that's because they're playing so well. So it's a difficult situation.

"It's hard for the other players but we will continue to fight.

"They are the two best players in the world, and we can see that on the courts but I think they are now pulling away from the others."

Mauresmo, the ninth seed, was equally despondent after only taking three games off Serena.

"They were in the French Open final and now they are in the final again, so it means they are better than everyone else.

"But I think it's sad for women's tennis. I think people are going to become bored of it.

"It was like that at the French Open and I'm not counting how many people have said to me this week that they didn't want a Williams final.

"I don't think I will be watching the final and if you want a prediction then you would have to ask them," added the Frenchwoman hinting again at what many people suspect that the destiny of all-Williams finals at Grand Slams is predetermined by family orders.

Meanwhile, there was no sign of an end to Williams domination on Friday.

Before the rains returned in the afternoon, they had enough time to dispose of Tina Krizan and Katarina Srebotnik, the 10th seeds of Slovenia, 6-2 6-0 to reach the semi-finals of the women's doubles.

But the sisters are becoming sensitive to the criticism.

Former men's champion John McEnroe suggested on Friday morning that if the girls played in the men's tournaments, they would probably be only ranked in the 200s in the world instead of their current top two places in the women's game.

"We are not here to talk about what John McEnroe thinks," said Serena. - Sapa-AFP

Weevee
Jul 6th, 2002, 04:04 AM
Thanks Thanks Thanks Thanks Thanks Thanks!