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tennischick
Sep 12th, 2002, 02:09 PM
THE ******************** NEWSLETTER: THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 12

Behind the scenes with Serena :)

* On the cat suit and being a sex symbol
* On acting
* Whether Venus is burnt out
* On winning the Grand Slam
* On motherhood

By Matthew Cronin
********************

FROM THE U.S. OPEN -- The day after her third straight-set victory over her sister, Venus, in a Grand Slam final at the U.S. Open, Serena Williams kicked back at Parker Meridian Hotel at 10 a.m., working on just on five hours of sleep. But just being bleary-eyed wasn't going to keep the Hollywood-loving 20-year-old from discussing her acting ambitions.

"Do you remember the movie, ĎClash of the Titans,í asked Serena. "I really think they should remake the movie and I would like to play the princess.Ē

During most of the U.S. Open, Serena took the court in a skin tight, black cat suit that was as revealing as any piece of clothing ever seen on tour. She was chided by some for her choice of outfits, but was unfazed, knowing that her celebrity had grown to the point where sheís on every Hollywood starís A-list and has become so popular with her sprinterís physique, catwalk smile and flowery personality that she sees herself as a sex symbol. "I kind of get that feeling, especially lately,Ē Serena said. "Itís exciting. A lot of people want to meet me, a lot of people think Iím fun. Itís definitely a cool feeling.Ē

Serena also said that she's more than comfortable in the spotlight. "Itís not that I really enjoy it, itís that I donít mind it," she said. "I think Venus minds it more than me but I definitely do enjoy it. I donít think Venus would mind stuff but maybe sheís been in the public eye a little longer than I have and itís just different. Sheís gone through some different things and maybe tougher times and kind of paved the way for me. Now she just has a different outlook."

With so much tabloid focus being paid to the model-esque bodies of Anna Kournikova and Daniela Hantuchova, itís a healthy trend that the buff Serena is showing that you donít have to tend toward waifishness to attract attention. "I used to be self-conscious with my arms ... ĎTheyíre too strong, too muscular, too cut,í Ē Serena said. "I think they were bigger in í99. You have to be happy with who you are and if Iím successful with who I am, thatís fine. Theyíre not as cut as they used to be. Everybody would say: ĎYou have the greatest arms. Theyíre so nice. I would give anything to have them.í So I decided to show them off. I like my arms.Ē

WHETHER VENUS IS BURNT OUT
Serena showed a previously unseen side, switching roles with her caretaker when defending her older sister against comments that Venus is burnt out. "Had she played anyone else besides me, she would have won,Ē Serena said. "I donít think sheís worn out at all of defending or chasing me. It presents a challenge: I have a challenge to try to stay ahead and she has a challenge to catch up and pass me.Ē

For the first time, Serena admitted that all those years of practicing against Venus has paid off strategically.

"Itís easier, for sure,Ē she said. "At least I know Venusís game a little better and I feel more relaxed. When I played Lindsay (Davenport) in the semifinals, I felt a little tight. I donít think I played very well. But against Venus, I was way more relaxed because either way I felt like we could both walk home winners. And I just really wanted to get to that point because I know Lindsay and (Amelie) Mauresmo want to stop us, and they did a good job this year.Ē

Serena is not the same player who went on a giggling spree when she won her first Open in í99 or broke down sobbing after she was beaten up by Davenport in í00 or Venus in í01. "Iím a better player and I have more fun than I used to. Iím not as stressed out,Ē Serena said. "When I won in í99, I wanted it so bad and when I got it, I didnít know how to keep up the level and how to stay there. Now Iím mentally stronger. I realize you just canít win one Slam and drop off."

That newfound mental strength aided her in the final, when she didn't have as much to play for as Venus who hadn't won a Slam all year.

"Once I got to be No. 1, I was thinking ĎWow, whatís going to keep me motivated,í Ēshe said. ďBut yesterday when I played Venus I realized I had a chance of losing No. 1, so that got me motivated. Plus, I really enjoy the battle, the winning. Iím very competitive. I used to cry when I lost. Not anymore. Now itís just another day for me. I used to be so upset and down about it but now itís something Iíve just gotten better at it. What keeps me motivated is that I donít like to lose. Iíd rather work a little harder and have better results than just stay the same level and not have any changes.Ē

ON WINNING THE GRAND SLAM
Serena is so sure of herself now that sheís aiming to what would have appeared impossible for her two years ago when she was struggling to stay with the elite -- win a calendar year Grand Slam in í03. "I have that focus,Ē Serena said. "As long as Iím physically ready and as long as Iím able to win the matches, I donít think Iíd have any problems mentally. Itís something Iíd work towards Iím ready for anything that comes my way. Iím nowhere near my peak. I can rally a lot better, my strokes can be better. I hardly come to the net so thereís so much more I can do, itís scary."

However, she doesn't plan on grinding forever, a la Martina Navratilova. "Not at age 30," she said. "If Iím going to have kids. I would like to have kids before Iím 30 or at 30. I donít want be 45 raising a child. I have no patience. Thatís too much."

:) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

Becool
Sep 12th, 2002, 02:16 PM
:) Nice article

barmaid
Sep 12th, 2002, 03:00 PM
I watched Serena on Regis and Kelly last Monday and she wore a white pleasant blouse with a bare midriff..and in her naval was a jewel of some sort and they commented on the "belly button" gem! What was surprising to me was her statuesque presence over these two smaller people (Regis and Kelly) Wow! she's a big girl :rolleyes: She had her trophy with her but the commentary was mostly about her acting..and how she was enjoying that!!:confused:

barmaid:wavey:

Roseie
Sep 12th, 2002, 03:01 PM
I hope Venus stops practicing with Serena. I know Serena would stop if it would help her career. I think Venus should train with her hitting partners, work on her serve & angles, & just concentrate on herself & her career.

mentos
Sep 12th, 2002, 05:02 PM
Thanks for posting this article, tennischick.

I like Serena, her personality, her game, her attitude--all of which I find good for the "sport" of tennis.

Also, Roseie (sp?-- I think), I believe that it's in Venus's best interest to continue to practice against Serena. That way she can become just as honed in on Serena's strategies and serves as little sis has done her. They are assets to each other.

It's almost like saying--I think Venus should stop talking to Serena, IMO.

Venus's game is going to improve...Serena and everyone else will find this out before long.

mentos :wavey:

Roseie
Sep 12th, 2002, 05:18 PM
When Serena practices with Venus, she lets her win. She does not play the same. Venus should try to understand her sister desire to be on top from since they were little, & work from there.

Legends
Sep 12th, 2002, 05:24 PM
Mentos
i think the dynamics are different now.

while Venus more likely played better during practise to help both their games, i don't actually see Serena doing the same in her place.
the way i see Serena's character she would 'hold back' and not let Venus see her true game. she already showed that by practising at the bolliteri institute without Venus, and also comments she made after wimbledon about 'tricking' Venus show it is not just about 'on-court' antics for her.


so i'm with Roseie on this one.
Venus "it's up to you, if want the slams you've got to win them against everyone including your sister- do want you've got to do"

Legends
Sep 12th, 2002, 05:32 PM
don't get me wrong.
i don't think Serena's game is all that much better than Venus
if they both had good days i would not necessarily bet on Serena.


Serena has the results to show that she was/is the best player 2002 but when Venus is more rested, well prepared and mentally alert- like serena always seems to be- i will be watching their match ups with interest

for most of the year Venus has not played that well. either she was mentally willing and physically unable or mentally drained.

the fact that she was able to reach slam finals and win titles is just amazing however, she played too much, way above the pace she likes to keep, and has paid the price.

i personally hope she takes the rest of the year off and comes back physically and mentally ready for AO.

mentos
Sep 12th, 2002, 06:01 PM
Mentos
i think the dynamics are different now.
while Venus more likely played better during practise to help both their games, i don't actually see Serena doing the same in her place. the way i see Serena's character she would 'hold back' and not let Venus see her true game.
she already showed that by practising at the bolliteri institute without Venus, and also comments she made after wimbledon about 'tricking' Venus show it is not just about 'on-court' antics for her.

I know Serena said, after winning Wimbeldon, that she "tricked" Venus but we still don't know what that means...could have ranged from on court strategy to switching Vee's lucky drawers--who knows.
This idea that Serena is the scheming Alexis Colby (sorry to get Dynsaty on ya) of the tennis world only began to creep into posters' minds after she started winning consistently.

Furthermore, I don't have a problem with Serena playing to win, even against her beloved sister. The way I see it, it's in Serena's character to WIN, but the same applies to Venus.

mentos :wavey:

Serena Miz Gully
Sep 12th, 2002, 08:31 PM
Miz Gully can do it all! I know she gonna win a Oscar. :-)

tennischick
Sep 13th, 2002, 02:06 AM
she sure keeps advertising how much she wants to be an actress!!! :eek: and the award for Best Actress goes to... :eek:

the cat
Sep 14th, 2002, 02:34 PM
Serena Williams!

I like Serena and am so impressed with her great tennis! :D But she is bound to get distracted by Hollywood. Isn't she?

Roseie
Sep 14th, 2002, 05:39 PM
Legends, you said it better than I did. Serena herself put it out there about tricking Venus. Maybe she was teasing her, they do that a lot to each other.
One thing Serena should do, is stop talking so much to the media. They are not her friends.

Oasiatic
Sep 14th, 2002, 05:44 PM
That was a good read. Thanks. GO SERENA! :bounce:

Cybelle Darkholme
Sep 14th, 2002, 07:06 PM
World number one women's tennis player, Serena Williams, spent time with renowned entertainment critic and media maven, Cybelle Darkholme, while en route from Miss Williams Hong Kong press conference to Tokyo.

Looking quite smashing in a mid-rift creme colored blouse that exposed her shoulders and skin tight black hip hugger jeans straight from the latest Britney Spears video set, Serena slid into the back seat of the limo with a dazzling smile that said, "I have arrived, let the worshipping commence."

Which, in fact, is just what this reporter did. To be in the prescence of Serena Williams when she's "on" is like being a sun bather basking in the rays on a mediterranean beach. Serena just doesn't glow, she shines as she apologizes for keeping me waiting while she signed autographs in front of her hotel. "Sorry," she says,"but when the fans call I've got to answer."

And answer she does, every question I put to her, in such a refreshingly personal way, that I almost felt like a long lost Williams Sister. "So, Serena, how does it feel to be number one in your own home and in the world as well?"

Serena: Oh, its great. It really is. I mean I deserve it. I put in the work and time and the results are showing. Believe me I'm going to enjoy every second because who knows what could happen?

Cybelle: You mean like Venus coming back for a little taste of revenge?

Serena: [laughs] I'm ready. I'm hoping she does because I'm really ready for the challenge. I feed on it. It keeps me hungry for more and more. Really, without Venus nipping at my heels I probably wouldn't be this focused right now.

Cybelle: Speaking about hungry, the rest of the pack on the WTA looks down ravenous. You and your sister have eight of the last eleven grand slams.

Serena: Wow, well when you put it like that maybe I should throw them a bone; maybe a tier three or two. [laughs] No, I'm kidding, I would never throw a tournament no matter what level.

Cybelle: So no sympathy for those left behind?

Serena: Nope. Listen, this is dog eat dog sport. There's no room for sympathy because as soon as you hold out your hand to give your opponent a game or two they'll bite it off and win the match.

Cybelle: So no giving out a game, even if your winning 6-0, 5-0?

Serena: I'll send them a sympathy card afterwards and nice pat of the back.

Cybelle: Some might call that callous.

Serena: Sure, some might if they weren't hard workers and wanted a hand out. Look, this is competition, if they're not here to compete 100% they should go home and get ready.

Cybelle: Lets talk about this acting bug you've caught.

Serena: Omigod, I just got a call from George Lucas. He wants to put me in the next Star Wars as a Jedi. I was so totally flattered, but I was like, 'George, either I'm the Princess or its just not going to work."

Cybelle: So what did he say?

Serena: He's talking to Natalie Portman about taking on an Ewok role and he's getting back to me.

Cybelle: Sounds promising. Any other projects looming?

Serena: Well, you know Puff Daddy called again. I think that makes fifty calls total. He really really wants me in his next video 'cause I'm working that J-Lo booty factor, but I mean, Puffy? Come on, he's so last century. On the plus side I've already got my wardrobe set 'cause I could just break my catsuit out of retirement.

Cybelle: You retired the catsuit?!

Serena: Yeah, it was time. I had a great run with it, but something like that you can't wear week in and week out. Maybe I'll give it to my maid so she can run faster and jump higher while she's doing the cleaning.

Cybelle: Any fashion fiestas on the horizon?

Serena: Actually, I do have something in mind for the year end championships. Here's a hint, think garter belts and fishnets.

Cybelle: Oooo sounds interesting. I can't wait! Well Serena I just want to thank you for the time you've spent doing this interview.

Serena: My pleasure, See ya.

And with those two words and a wave, Serena Williams and her light slip out of the limo and into the airport terminal admist a throng of screaming fans and hanger ons and papparazzi flashbulbs popping.