Lets make a long winding thread about the FAB two starting with the beginning of the season down to the last tournament. I think it will be nice to have a thread that we can add onto and look back at, at the end of the year. Kinda like what Gaw2008 started on the Sanex board. <img src="smile.gif" border="0"> (The Williams sisters fan club) Maybe we can get this Williams fan zone up in post as well. Sure were gonna post in other threads but it's is nice when a thread about your favorites is long and winding with all your peers nice words and pep talk inside <img src="smile.gif" border="0">
Fearless Venus and Serena RULE!!! <img src="smile.gif" border="0">
GO Venus trounce the competition flat! And go Serena get em girl!
Dec 18th, 2001, 02:42 PM
Ooo!! At last!! I can't wait for such a thread to happpen again! I missed it so... that 1200+ reply thread!! Lovely!! <img src="graemlins/bounce.gif" border="0" alt="[Bounce]" /> <img src="graemlins/bounce.gif" border="0" alt="[Bounce]" />
Dec 18th, 2001, 02:51 PM
Here's an article to add to our little thread <img src="smile.gif" border="0">
<br />VENUS WILLIAMS-SECOND TO NONE
We learn in grade school that Venus is the second planet in the solar system, right behind Mercury. Tennis has it's own Venus, sharing much in common with her namesake.
Both shine brightly: both have inspired praise for their beauty. At it's brighest, Venus outshines all other planets, yet at other times it is the most difficult planet to see in the morning light. Tennis star Venus has often outshined the others stars of the WTA since 2000, only to hide her light with weeks of inactivity.<br />Planet Venus is often called the earth's "twin"; Venus Williams has kid sister Serena, paired so often in the eyes of the public that many believe they are twins. Both have even shared the #2 spot, for Mecury will always come before Venus, and the WTA computer has yet to rank Venus Williams above #2. The similarities end there <br />however, for while Venus will always be behind Mercury, Venus Williams is second to none.
No one. Not 2000's computer #1 Martina Hingis, who hasn't won a slam since the last millenium. Not 2001's computer #1 Lindsay Davenport, who actually seemed to be embarrassed enough to publicly say the "real" #1 was Venus. Not fellow 2001 star Jennifer Capriati, who lost 3 times to Williams in 2001. The most riveting of the those 3 encounters was at Miami, where after failing to put Venus away after having 8 match points, Jennifer declared, "It's not like she's a goddess or something". Perhaps Jennifer wasn't aware that Venus IS the name of a goddess as well as a planet.
Only Venus has won multiple grand slams since 2000, taking tennis' ultimate prizes 4 times. Twin pairs of Wimbledon plates and US Open cups decorate her mantle. No other female has her winning percentage(above 90%) since then. No female is as feared. Only Venus has won more than 50% of slams and events she has entered since 2000. To public, press, and fellow players, Venus is often considered the #1 of women's tennis. <br />She is indeed second to none.
Yet second to none isn't quite the same as an anointed #1. Intriguing questions remain as 2002 approaches. Can she ever play enough and win enough to attain the #1 computer ranking? Will she collect an Australian or French crown to add to her laurels? Like a bright comet lighting up the sky, all eyes are on Venus as she streaks on towards her goals. <br />Unlike our own solar system, the universe of womne's tennis is often chaotic. Will Venus fall or continue to soar past her rivals to become the undisputed #1 in 2002? We'll have to wait find out. One thing we do know. For now at least, Venus Ebone Williams is second to none.
Dec 18th, 2001, 05:21 PM
So is this like a year long party, Huh, huh??!!Waaay cool!!!
Like WOW!!! <br />I am sooo excited,OMG like-ah, what do we do next?! what do we need! okay,okay--food, ah, ah, music, oh I know, I know---BOOZE!!!, is it BYOB??!!(oh wait a minute, I don't even drink,) OK, OK calm ye self down...
Hey, Dawn Marie, you must be a mind reader(along with all your other good qualities) but I was just thinking last night that we need to: make some NOISE in here!
"LET'S GET THIS PARTY STARTED!"
Like, we don't have to wait til the victories are over, we can begin the celebrations now!
This is a great idea, so let's spread the word and let the festivities begin. All ye Williams fans, pile in, pile in and let's have some fun!!!
Isn't Rollo's writing just beautiful. I am glad you popped it in our official fan thread. <img src="smile.gif" border="0">
Jovon don't worry I will drink whatever you bring up in here. <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0"> I do prefer wine though. <img src="smile.gif" border="0"> Maybe Champagne for when Venus or Serena win the OZ Open. <img src="smile.gif" border="0">
<br />FEARLESS WILLIAMS RULEZ <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0">
Dec 18th, 2001, 07:45 PM
Below is an article that I have posted on my website. It's from 2002, but it's one of my favorites. Commentary is from an NBC reporter during the Sydney Olympics, when Miss V won Gold <img src="smile.gif" border="0"> This was written before the gold medal match, though.
<br />SYDNEY -- Inspiration is a funny thing.
It has no standard form or shape. It can be the lyrics of a song, the smile on a friendly face, some words of encouragement shouted from the stands, or a lingering memory.
When Venus Williams finds herself down and not playing particularly well, she reaches into her bag. Among the extra towels, wristbands, shirts and rackets are a couple of handwritten notes.
"They are reminders," Williams says. "I usually read those if I play especially bad (They) keep your mind in the match focused I read them and (my mind) stops wandering around It's a good thing."
And what was written on the note a television camera caught her glancing at during a recent Olympic match?
"It said 'You are the best,'" Williams says. "They say things like that Or they say things like, 'You're standing too tall.' Sometimes, being tall, I tend to stand up too high."
Whatever the notes say, they have been working their magic lately.
Williams ran her consecutive match win streak into the 30s at the Sydney Games. While that pales in comparison to the 74-match streak run up by legend Martina Navratilova, it still deserves attention.
"You can't expect to play every match perfect and every day to be your best," Williams says. "But as long as you come through, I think it shows some guts and some courage. And a win is a win. That's all that counts in the record."
"Thirty wins is pretty nice, and for it to continue to the gold would be prefect. But all good things come to an end."
Williams says she doesn't expect to ever surpass Navratilova's record.
"I just think the field is much tougher these days as far as competitors," she says. "As far as people who are playing, (people) are much more athletic, training harder. Every match is a tough match."
The streak also has showcased Williams' consistency, a characteristic she values greatly.
"Consistency right now is really important because I'm trying to become No. 1," she says. "Right now is the point in time for me to improve and be consistent at all times, so that way I can prepare myself for the top position."
And where would winning an Olympic gold medal rank for Williams, the 2000 U.S. Open and Wimbledon champion?
"It's (the importance of the Olympic gold) definitely grown on me with every match, because everyone has come here playing their best," she says. "Right now, it seems like the ultimate thing is to win the gold. It's (winning a gold medal) a once-in-a-lifetime thing. I'm going to be 24 the next time (Athens, 2004), and who knows if I'll be here?"
Dec 19th, 2001, 03:25 AM
Here, I've brought some fine wine from Venus for all to share, enjoy <img src="smile.gif" border="0">
wow this is great thanks alot Williams Rulez <img src="smile.gif" border="0">
Dec 19th, 2001, 06:04 PM
Oh yeah...that'll do just nicely,Williams_Rulez,
Jeff, thanks for the article, too, forgot my manners for a minute, I was so excited.
Dawn,I was hoping to see more posters in here, but maybe everyone is on holiday or out shopping, too busy working, finals, whatever, but hopefully we can keep this going. <img src="graemlins/bounce.gif" border="0" alt="[Bounce]" /> <br /> <img src="graemlins/bounce.gif" border="0" alt="[Bounce]" /> <img src="graemlins/bounce.gif" border="0" alt="[Bounce]" /> or maybe everyone is waiting til play begins.
Oh, well, I'm going to stay upbeat, after all I just got my signature going, so like I'm 2 <img src="cool.gif" border="0"> <br />and if I can ever get my picture posting together, I am really going to stank!<br /> <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0">
Dec 19th, 2001, 06:37 PM
Sorry if this doesn't belong here:<br />MS. Women of the Year
<br />Venus & Serena Williams
<br />For serving up a discomforting mix of sinew,<br />grit, coal black, kink, 'tude;and daring to call it woman
<br />The Williams sisters have what the elders used to call that plug-ugly beauty: a fierce gorgeous marked by flared nostril, unflinching glare, and a maddening competence that can’t be reckoned with. If you dare approach them wielding a racket, they will plow through you. The stats pretty much cover it: 30 individual tournament wins between them, including 5 Grand Slams. The sisters play tennis as if they invented it.
<br />They constantly redesign the game, shatter its subtleties. Now, they own it. It never occurred to them to play like “women”. In fact, the word “play” never occurred to them. And their critics— who can’t understand why they wont get cute or kowtow, why they choose to destroy instead of demur—insist that they kiss the green, manicured butt of tennis and say, “Thank you for letting us be here.”
<br />News flash: no one ever let the Williams sisters do anything. They don’t bother asking permission.
<br />The teacup sensibilties of the sport are forever broken. Incensed spectators boo, or simply narrow their nostrils, sniff the air, and withhold their applause. “Being black only helps them,” hisses Martina Hingis. John McEnore, who barreled through his career like a cranky tot avoiding nap time, is hugely insulted by their very essence (“Would it hurt them to say hello to people in the locker room?” <img src="wink.gif" border="0"> , and Martina Navratilova, once the queen of Amazon cool, fails to recognize them as members of the sisterhood, opting instead to pout—“People have been treating them with kid gloves because they are African American.” There is no sadder sound then a race card being slapped on the table over and over by people who are no longer even in the game.
<br />“The reason no one likes them is because they are so ugly!” screams one e-mailer in a sports.com chat room. “They look like men and should not be allowed to compete with the actually feminine players. Don’t put that comment down to racism, as I am colored.”
<br />Never bowing to tennis’s staunch, whispered traditions, Venus and Serena are big and bodacious, flailing with finesse, their nappy hair slinging pearls, later braided into crowns. They are muscled hips twisting to some inherent and mystifying Delta rhythm. They are invincible.<br />---Patricia Smith<br />MS.MS.
[ December 19, 2001: Message edited by: clocker ]</p>
Dec 19th, 2001, 07:41 PM
Good idea! Hopefully I can find some interesting articles to put in here.
Ok guys I was pissed off to until it was explain that this writer is a slam poet and the article was a complament. go to venusandserenafans.com and it is under "what do you think of this" in the williams sister's section. To get a better idea. read NOBLE's comments
Dec 19th, 2001, 09:58 PM
THANKS the wine and food was wonderful.My treat next time.Peace one love.Enjoy your christmas.GOD BLESS.
I hope the WILLAIMS SITER COULD ONE DAY SEE HOW MUCH WE AS FANS LOVE THEM.
SORRY WILLIAMS <br />SORRY ON SPELLING YOUR NAME AND THE WILLIAMS SISTERS,LOVE YOU GUYS.PEACE <img src="graemlins/wavey.gif" border="0" alt="[Wavey]" />
Dec 19th, 2001, 11:11 PM
Hey what's up yall!<br />This thread is a great idea.<br />I think the poster frequency will go up once the season starts.<br />Less than 2 weeks to go!!
Dec 20th, 2001, 03:27 AM
Oh yeah!! Best of luck to Venus and Serena for the new season!! <img src="graemlins/bounce.gif" border="0" alt="[Bounce]" /> <img src="graemlins/bounce.gif" border="0" alt="[Bounce]" />
Dec 20th, 2001, 03:27 PM
There are some great pictures of Serena on the <a href="http://www.sportsgirls.net" target="_blank">www.sportsgirls.net</a> website. The pictures of Venus have not been updated. Go to the site and click on Tennis Stars (or the picture of Anna K.), then scroll down the list until you get to Serena Williams. I tried to post some of the pics. on this site but for some reason they wouldn't post.<br /> <img src="graemlins/sad.gif" border="0" alt="[Sad]" />
<br /> <img src="graemlins/wavey.gif" border="0" alt="[Wavey]" /> Go check them out!!!!! <img src="wink.gif" border="0"> <br />(Beware of the Pop Up Ads!!!!)
[ December 20, 2001: Message edited by: V.S. ]
[ December 20, 2001: Message edited by: V.S. ]</p>
Dec 20th, 2001, 03:46 PM
Hi V.S.!! <img src="graemlins/wavey.gif" border="0" alt="[Wavey]" />
If you wish to look for pictures, why not go to my site? It has lots of pictures <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0"> Its up to date too <img src="smile.gif" border="0"> My site is in my signature, just click on it!!!
Ms. Ross says she will entertain us, for a while! <img src="wink.gif" border="0">
Dec 21st, 2001, 04:44 AM
What song is she singing? Is she going to deut?? Let's invite Destiny's Child along as well <img src="smile.gif" border="0"> !!
Dec 21st, 2001, 07:26 AM
2002: The year Venus and Serena WIN ALL THE GRAND SLAM SINGLES TOURNAMENTS
Dec 21st, 2001, 07:32 AM
You forgot the doubles and the mixed doubles as well Gumbycat...
What about the Tier 1s and 2s? And the number 1 and number 2 spots in the rankings? Venus and Serena should have those as well!! <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0">
Dec 21st, 2001, 10:54 PM
I don't have my site posted on the board, but you can check out my site, as well. There are a few pictures there, but I had to take a lot of them down for the month, because since I get so many visitors every day, my site runs risk of being shut down because of so many downloads. That's Homestead for ya <img src="frown.gif" border="0">
Anyways, here's the site: <a href="http://venusandserena.homestead.com" target="_blank">Venus and Serena Williams...dreams coming true</a>
Dec 21st, 2001, 10:57 PM
All the best in 2002 to Venus and Serena
Dominate the WTA!!
Dec 21st, 2001, 11:57 PM
Hi guys <img src="graemlins/wavey.gif" border="0" alt="[Wavey]" /> What a nice thread <img src="smile.gif" border="0">
<font size =6 color=hotpink> <img src="graemlins/bounce.gif" border="0" alt="[Bounce]" /> GO VENUS, GO SERENA!!! <img src="graemlins/bounce.gif" border="0" alt="[Bounce]" /> </font>
Dec 22nd, 2001, 12:48 AM
Hi Susie, <img src="graemlins/wavey.gif" border="0" alt="[Wavey]" /> welcome to the party!
Dec 22nd, 2001, 02:09 AM
Oh Jeff... I used to visit that site <img src="smile.gif" border="0"> Was wondering what happened to it...
<font size =6 color =blue><marquee>Go Venus!! Take the title home <img src="smile.gif" border="0"> !! <img src="graemlins/bounce.gif" border="0" alt="[Bounce]" /> <img src="graemlins/bounce.gif" border="0" alt="[Bounce]" /> </marquee></font>
Williams_Rulez, I'm glad you get "it" <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0">
Did you read my fire-side chat with Vee?<br />It kind of lets you in on just how in need of seeing match play I reallly am.
Dec 22nd, 2001, 06:22 AM
I did <img src="smile.gif" border="0"> Looks like you are just as crazy about them as I am <img src="smile.gif" border="0"> Can't wait for the new season to roll along.
I'm stuck with tapes now, watching how Venus and Serena are trouncing their opponents <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0">
Dec 22nd, 2001, 07:22 AM
Williams-rules, I never saw you on Planet Venus.<br />Also you guys that same pic is getting old. Maybe switch it up with some other ones instead of posting the same one over and over.
Lindsay is one of the girls' main threats. Do you think she will be back for Melbourne?
Dec 22nd, 2001, 07:31 AM
Lindsay is not really a threat to Venus and Serena.. not when she is 0-5 against them this year <img src="smile.gif" border="0">
I never saw you on Venus either?!! Maybe we live on opposite sides of the planet <img src="smile.gif" border="0">
BTW... what picture are you refering to? The picture in Jovon's signature? Well you don't change your signature every other day, so just love his. <img src="smile.gif" border="0">
Dec 22nd, 2001, 01:23 PM
Love this thread!
Lindsay is tough, but as long as the girls are prepared (in Rena's case mentally and physically) they should be able to take care of her. the only time I wasn't sure Venus would be okay, was during Pilot Pen after she had just beat Jen & Justine back to back, but she still won in straight sets!!
anyway, it's been more than 3 months since we've seen Venus play! I can't wait to see some pics from the first tourney!
Dec 22nd, 2001, 01:49 PM
We are all looking forward to see Venus in fine form <img src="smile.gif" border="0"> Yeah!
[ December 22, 2001: Message edited by: Williams_Rulez ]</p>
The Admins have seen to the elimination of large signature photos, which is all to the good,(it was a wee HUGE)so I will mull it over and come up with another signature. I was thinking of coming up with 3 smaller ones anyway, but couldn't decide on the right combo of ones...oh well, we'll see.<br /> <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0">
[ December 22, 2001: Message edited by: Jovon ]</p>
Dec 22nd, 2001, 07:36 PM
Can't wait THE SISTERS WILL RULE 2002 bar none
Dec 22nd, 2001, 09:57 PM
Oh Hi everyone! <br />Finally I got brave enough to come here and post with my poor english <img src="rolleyes.gif" border="0"> ......
I called Destiny's Child <img src="wink.gif" border="0"> <br />http://www.andesdesigns.com/celebs/images/D/destinys-child/Destiny's%20Child%20013.jpg<br />LOL <img src="smile.gif" border="0">
http://www.duhspot.com/users/smiley/s/otn/holiday/santa.gif<br /><font color=red>Merry Xmas to everyone!!! <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0"> http://www.duhspot.com/users/smiley/s/otn/holiday/noel.gif
Dec 22nd, 2001, 10:00 PM
AAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!<br />And of course!!!<br />Good luck for Serena and Venus in 2002!!!<br />They will rule as usual and as always <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0">
Dec 23rd, 2001, 02:18 AM
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, too, BecoolSerenaLover,
Glad to see your girls showed up at the party!
Dec 23rd, 2001, 02:32 AM
Hi Bernado <img src="graemlins/wavey.gif" border="0" alt="[Wavey]" /> (spelt correctly??)
You came at last!! <img src="graemlins/kiss.gif" border="0" alt="[Kiss]" /> Enjoy the party!! Our celebrations will increase next year as Venus and Serena win more more more!! <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0">
There is nothing like seeing Venus coming from 3/5 down to roll off all those games and win the slam semi-final. <img src="smile.gif" border="0"> Also I just found my final two days ago when she won her 2000 US Open!! It was in my Abba box.. lol I couldn't find it for the past 7 months! YEAH BABY!
I popped them all in and sat right by the fireplace all warm and cozy! <img src="smile.gif" border="0">
Serena and Venus are ruling the tennis world! And you know this!
P.S. JOVON is correct on the "IT" thingy aswell <img src="wink.gif" border="0"> <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0">
Dec 23rd, 2001, 10:03 PM
Good luck to Venus and Serena!
Dec 23rd, 2001, 11:14 PM
Davenport Isn't Looking Out for No. 1<br />Dec 23, 2001
<br />Lindsay Davenport is the No. 1 female tennis player in the world, which makes her laugh.
"I don't feel No. 1," Davenport says. "Venus [Williams] is the best. I think you have to say that the way she won Wimbledon and the U.S. Open makes her No. 1."
There are many good things about Lindsay Davenport. Honesty is one of them.
The WTA ranking system is out of whack. Davenport says this too. She won seven tournaments this year, more than anybody else. She had a 62-9 record. Respectable numbers, outstanding even. But Davenport didn't make it to a Grand Slam final.
"I know the WTA wants people to believe all the tournaments matter," Davenport says, "but for the players and the fans, it's all about the Grand Slams. Would I trade my year of being No. 1 for winning Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, like Venus did? Oh yeah, of course I would."
Over the course of an hour, Davenport talks about Martina Hingis: "It's going to be hard for Martina to win Slams anymore." And Jennifer Capriati: "I think I hurt her feelings when I say Venus should be No. 1 but, come on. Venus played, like, 12 tournaments. Jennifer and I played 17, and we're still just barely ahead of her in the rankings."
Davenport is sitting in the living room of the Laguna Beach home she shares with Jon Leach, an investment banker, brother of touring doubles specialist Rick Leach and son of longtime USC tennis coach Bob Leach.
Her relationship with Leach is going on two years now, and it is important to Davenport. They have a bold Rottweiler, Zoltan, and a house that is home. The living room faces the Pacific Ocean and there are 5,000 square feet. But the rooms are filled with family photos and tennis rackets, not fancy furniture or ostentatious art. When Davenport's 4-year-old niece comes to visit, she has her own room, decorated with scenes from the beach and a portrait of the dog.
It is the home of a regular person, which is something else good about Davenport. She is, of all the top female tennis players, the one you would want as a friend. She readily shares her thoughts, her emotions.
Sometimes, when she is playing badly, she grumbles to herself, screws her face into a scowl, slumps her shoulders and generally looks like a petulant teenager whose phone privileges have just been revoked.
Now, past mid-December, Davenport is getting restless. She had to pull out of her final match of 2001, the championship match of the WTA Tour Championships in Munich against Serena Williams.
Her left knee couldn't take one more moment of play. The knee is hyperextended and bone is rubbing on bone. She very much wanted to play Serena and was feeling a little guilty about her No. 1 ranking.
"I mean, come on, I didn't win a Slam. It wasn't the greatest year," she says. "So I would have liked to have won that match. My ranking would have seemed a little more legitimate."
But the knee said no and Davenport wishes the length of the season could be reduced.
"Honestly, I don't think anybody pays attention to tennis after the U.S. Open," Davenport says. "Not with the men and not with us. I don't think anybody in the U.S. even knows we're playing after the Open. At least when the Tour Championships were at Madison Square Garden, we got a little attention.
"But with the season going from January to November, when do you sit down and heal?"
Davenport was playing Hingis when Hingis tore ligaments in her ankle in October.
"The way she screamed, I've just never actually been on the court when somebody got hurt like that," she says. "Martina played so many tournaments trying to be No. 1, and I think her body couldn't take it.
"Actually, I kind of admire that about Venus and Serena. They don't feel any responsibility to play except when they want to and when they are totally healthy. If I'm entered in an event, I always feel like I have to play, even if I don't feel physically ready for it."
Davenport, 25, will be starting her 10th year as a touring pro. She wants to have a baby by the time she is 30. By her calculations, this gives her two, maybe three more years of professional tennis.
"I don't want to get married until I'm done with tennis," she says. "But I also found out last spring, when I had to miss the clay-court season with my injuries, how much I missed playing. I want to win more Slams [she has won once each at Wimbledon, the U.S. Open and the Australian Open]. Being No. 1 is nice, but it's more Slams that I want."
Her elevation to No. 1 now came as a shock to Davenport. She went to Europe for the fall season and surprised herself by winning consecutive tournaments in Filderstadt, Germany, and Zurich. Her plan had been to take a week off. "But I was playing well," Davenport says, "so I told my coach [Robert Van't Hof] that maybe I'd just go ahead and enter Linz [Austria]. When I got to Linz somebody said, 'So you're playing here so you can get to No. 1?' I was like, 'Huh?' I hadn't even paid attention."
It was because Capriati didn't win a tournament after the French Open and because Venus Williams shut down her season after the Sept. 11 tragedies that Davenport was able to reach No. 1.
"If Venus played even close to a full schedule, I don't see right now how anybody else could be No. 1," Davenport says. "Over the last couple of years, her game has improved so much. Everything is better. It's pretty amazing. I've never seen anyone improve so much."
Hingis, who lost her No. 1 ranking in the fall after 209 weeks over the last 41/2years, also failed to win a Grand Slam title in 2001.
"And it's going to be hard for Martina to do it again," Davenport says. "It's hard for her to beat all of us during the Slams."
By "all," Davenport means the big, strong Americans--the Williams sisters, Capriati, Davenport, Monica Seles. As to whether anybody can stop Venus, except Venus, Davenport just smiles.
"We'll see," she says. "But I wouldn't want to predict."
Diane Pucin can be reached at email@example.com.
'Would I trade my year of being No. 1 for winning Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, like Venus [Williams] did? Oh yeah, of course I would.'
Dec 23rd, 2001, 11:22 PM
Courting A Cause
By Andrea Leand<br />12/22/2001
It started with a poem. Serena Williams, upon hearing of the death of a good friend’s mother from ovarian cancer, composed the verse expressing sympathy. Her compassion did not end with a heartfelt condolence note to Puma honcho Linda Long, rather with the formation two years ago of the Players That Care Foundation.
Through this charity organization, the 20-year-old spearheaded a fancy weekend of fun in Las Vegas to help raise funds to combat the disease. A string of high-profile players, Michael Chang, Lisa Raymond and Rick Leach included, joined the tennis and golf outing to support the cause. <br />This was not an ordinary charity event, though. How many tournament directors would have longed to see Serena Williams grace their tournaments? With long blond hair cascading over her glitzy strapless top and decked in a snug black skirt and knee-high boots, a beaming Serena kicked off the festivities by arriving for the welcome party via the Venetian Hotel’s Italian-style gondola that winds through the posh palace. Fans lined up to catch the nostalgic scene of the star drifting down the indoor river serenaded by festively dressed singers. When Williams took to the microphone, she did not talk tennis. She talked about the disease. No one asked about rankings, or Venus or next year’s goals. Instead, they listened intently to Serena’s reasons for lending support.
“I’m so happy to be here, to try and help with this disease,” she said. “It’s great to have the opportunity to give back and do something for others. It’s nice winning titles, but it is a great feeling to help in this way.”
Such sentiment may be a bit too much for many to bear after surviving a tennis season where many tournaments found themselves without marquee names. After a year of begging and bullying stars to show at scheduled stops, here were a handful of prime names polished—and on time—for every meeting, cocktail party and event. They mingled, competed and even did the unthinkable—reached into their own pockets to pony up for a few auction items—all the time with relaxed smiles.
Chang emerged the ambassador extraordinaire after he took to the podium and recited an impressively long list of statistics surrounding ovarian cancer. “Twenty-three-thousand die each year from ovarian cancer,” he told those in attendance. Can you imagine, a male tennis star researching and then trumpeting a cause for a fellow female player? Many of those fans may never have seen Chang win the French Open, but they will not forget his poise and compassion for the issue.
Getting gushy, right? What’s wrong with this picture? There must be some catch, something in it for the players, some reward. After all, tennis stars are supposed to be spoiled multimillionaires who only think of themselves. Not this weekend. Participating for such a cause brought the best out in everyone—not to mention raising nearly $75,000 for the Players That Care Foundation. Players were not bickering or worrying about match times, guarantees or coaching squabbles. The pressure was off and giving back became the reward, the ultimate satisfaction. In fact, the cause struck a chord—a direction the tours might consider.
The tours now realize that money does not always talk these days with stars already financially secure for life. What better way to attract their attention, give them a worthwhile way to lend their name, than to bring back charitable venues? As the WTA searches for a tour charity to replace Special Olympics, why not find a universal cause wherein each star picks some individual charity? For example, the tour could pick cancer as its umbrella cause and encourage each top ten star to choose a subsequent charity to support. After all, who has not been affected by cancer in some way? Corina Moriariu’s battle with lymphoma revealed that everyone—even young women in tremendous physical condition—are not exempt from cancer’s grip. Unlike Special Olympics, which is primarily a U.S.-based charity, groups devoted to raising money for cancer research are positioned across the globe and coincide with the sport’s international compass. Serena Williams has already committed to helping ovarian cancer, but there are so many other aspects of the disease that could be helped through charitable events, such as breast, pediatric, Hodgkin’s, lymphoma, lung, colon, thyroid and prostate cancer.
“Becoming involved in a charity really helps players realize there is more to life than just tennis,” said Chang who has formed his own family foundation to help children. “Sometimes players get so caught up in wins and losses and traveling on tour, but helping in a charity really broadens perspective. It also makes players see that they have a platform and can contribute as much off court as on.”
It’s a win-win situation. Andre Agassi has proven this with his initiative in Las Vegas. His efforts to build a school for underprivileged kids will serve others long after his career is finished. His charitable work will broaden his legacy as a great tennis player—and humanitarian. Developing such a crusade could help create better relations between players and the tours. Players are given an incentive to attend tournaments when a charitable component is attached to the main event. It’s been awhile since competitors made regular visits to schools, hospitals or other such venues. Such efforts would not only help to promote individual events as well as a specific cause and those affected, but would give players emotional satisfaction, too, a sense that they were using their celebrity status to benefit others.
Where might fans find Nicolas Lapentti before year’s end? Try Paradise Island in the Bahamas where native Mark Knowles is hosting his own charity event. Home to many star athletes, such as Michael Jordan and Jim Courier, both the Atlantis Hotel and the Ocean Club on Paradise Island have become hot spots for all ages. Only a short jaunt from the United States, Paradise Island offers a piece of paradise close to home.
Families thrive at the Atlantis, where children delight in its height-defying waterslides and beautifully landscaped pools. Adults enjoy a slew of activities, too, including parasailing, jet skiing and snorkeling at the exquisite oceanside retreat. The Atlantis offers a wide range of restaurants and activities to compliment its first-class accommodations. When guests have enough sun, there are shows and shops in each of its different venues to keep them busy. One highlight is the indoor shark aquarium, where patrons can come nearly nose-to-nose with an eye-catching menagerie of sea life.
While Lindsay Davenport and Zina Garrison prefer the Atlantis, other stars opt for the more exclusive Ocean Club. The more sedate, elite facility allows guests to bask in complete privacy and luxury. The resort’s restaurant, Dune (Jean Georges chef), is five star, the tennis courts are well-groomed and champagne and strawberries are served every afternoon. The newly built golf course attracts many as well.
Such conditions make any charity event even more enjoyable. For Lapentti and others, it’s a great way to contribute to a charity and have some fun. Similar to Williams’ event in Las Vegas, it’s a win-win situation again. The charity, venue and participants give to the cause and receive personal satisfaction and welcome exposure.
“Sure, we look for career longevity for players,” said Octagon manager Phil de Picciotto. “Participating in such causes is a great way to get players involved in the sport in a different way. And we need to think of ways to keep players involved.”
Too bad the WTA does not have someone like Puma’s Linda Long to facilitate such a program. Long now manages Puma’s professional tennis division, particularly Serena, but has served the sport in many capacities over the years and possesses the experience, expertise and ingenuity for producing terrific end results. Yes, there are professionals out there whom the players respect. At a time when the tour’s relationship with its stars has deteriorated, it was a relief to see players responding well to Long in Las Vegas. When Long called for a private meeting prior to the press conference so players, including Serena, could gain some insight into the disease, all appeared neat and on time.
That is not to say that there are not some WTA staffers who command respect. WTA director Brenda Perry aptly assisted Long throughout the event. Her well-balanced perspective and quiet intelligence—not to mention diplomacy—created an inviting environment. Why not let Perry head a WTA charitable division, which coordinates player/charity efforts?
Incentive and will are there. Long proved it can be done. Who would have imagined two years ago that Serena Williams and Michael Chang would be trumpeting support for ovarian cancer? Long tapped into the need and desire of all parties to do something different, fun, rewarding and productive. There is more to be done. The WTA wants answers and suggestions. The obvious is staring them in the face.
Dec 24th, 2001, 01:25 AM
What a great act of Serena <img src="smile.gif" border="0"> <br />I'm very proud of her!
Dec 24th, 2001, 02:55 AM
You know that interview by Lindsay is such a class act. I really think she is such an honest person. I'm glad she acknowledged Venus and all, and I hope Venus doesn't disappoint next year, she must take the number 1 ranking!! <img src="graemlins/bounce.gif" border="0" alt="[Bounce]" /> <img src="graemlins/bounce.gif" border="0" alt="[Bounce]" />
Dec 24th, 2001, 02:57 AM
We are just 2 more posts from 500 in this forum!! Hurray!! <img src="graemlins/bounce.gif" border="0" alt="[Bounce]" /> <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0">
Dec 24th, 2001, 03:08 AM
Go Venus.. make that 499 <img src="smile.gif" border="0">
Dec 24th, 2001, 03:10 AM
And now 500!! <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0">
Go Venus and family!!
Also great interview by Lindsay!! Classy indeed! <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0">
Dec 24th, 2001, 03:18 AM
Slap @ Dawn... I wanted the 500th post <img src="rolleyes.gif" border="0"> <img src="wink.gif" border="0">
Dec 24th, 2001, 04:35 AM
Helping to increase the numbers <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0"> <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0"> <br />Go Serena!!!!
Dec 24th, 2001, 04:54 AM
I'll reply to every post there is here <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0"> <br />Hi Bernardo! Go Venus!! <img src="tongue.gif" border="0">
We should really try for *quality posts* instead of posts like mine... <img src="redface.gif" border="0">
Dec 24th, 2001, 06:15 AM
I like your post! <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0"> sorry about the 500 thingy but sweetie u took too long.. LMAO I gave u two minutes <img src="wink.gif" border="0"> <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0">
Dec 24th, 2001, 07:14 AM
2 minutes?? lol... I was busy complaining about a certain poster, got distracted for a moment, and you took it!
Well never mind you, I'm still a happy poster <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0"> <img src="wink.gif" border="0">
Dec 24th, 2001, 01:44 PM
I posted this for Dawn. I'll see you folks on my board or the WTA board <img src="smile.gif" border="0"> <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0">
Dec 24th, 2001, 04:09 PM
<img src="graemlins/wavey.gif" border="0" alt="[Wavey]" /> Gumbycat! Post here more often... ok? <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0">
Dec 26th, 2001, 05:13 AM
Dec 26th, 2001, 06:59 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------<br /> something funny is going on a the washington post you can't vote for Venus. I would think more than one person voted for her but you can vote for the other women for the best of 2001
I can't vote for Venus either... this is ridiculous, Venus deserves more than this <img src="graemlins/firey.gif" border="0" alt="[Fiery]" />
Dec 27th, 2001, 03:38 AM
I tried to vote for Venus too and couldn't!!!!!! <img src="graemlins/sad.gif" border="0" alt="[Sad]" /> <img src="graemlins/sad.gif" border="0" alt="[Sad]" /> It's a conspiracy! <img src="mad.gif" border="0">
Dec 27th, 2001, 03:43 AM
It is rigged... <img src="eek.gif" border="0"> <img src="mad.gif" border="0">
Dec 27th, 2001, 04:18 AM
Oh my God!!<br />Serena will play Antwerp!!!!<br />And Venus Paris!!!!!!!!!!!!
[ December 27, 2001: Message edited by: Williams_Rulez ]</p>
Dec 27th, 2001, 04:10 PM
I tried to vote, too, it said something, like error occured <img src="confused.gif" border="0"> so I voted for someone else to see if it worked , and it did. <img src="graemlins/firey.gif" border="0" alt="[Fiery]" />
Dec 27th, 2001, 04:13 PM
Grrr... What a cheap way of rigging the poll <img src="mad.gif" border="0">
Dec 27th, 2001, 10:32 PM
Well now it seems that Venus is playing Dubai. I hope she doesn't overdue it. I wonder if this means she's nixing Indian Wells?
Dec 28th, 2001, 01:24 AM
What makes you think Venus will play those events?<br />Also do you think Venus looks a little like Naomi Campbell?
Dec 28th, 2001, 01:41 AM
Wooooooooohoooooooooooooooo i'm getting pumped up for some cheering come January woooooooooohoooooooooooooooo <img src="graemlins/bounce.gif" border="0" alt="[Bounce]" />
This is our year i tell ya! I can sense it *getting vibes* <img src="smile.gif" border="0">
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO GIRLS!!! LETS PARTY FOR THE WHOLE YEAR YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY <img src="graemlins/bounce.gif" border="0" alt="[Bounce]" />
Dec 28th, 2001, 04:44 AM
I can sense it too Susie!! This s the year of Venus and Serena!! <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0"> <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0"> <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0"> !!
Dec 28th, 2001, 02:20 PM
GOLD COAST Dec 28, AAP - Tennis powerhouse Venus Williams slipped into the sunburnt Gold Coast today to prepare for the elusive Australian Open crown.<br />The reigning Wimbledon and US Open champion was clad in all black for her arrival on the tourist strip which has been in the grip of a heatwave.<br />Williams is top seed in the Thalgo Australian Women's Hardcourts set to kick off at the Royal Pines Resort on Sunday.<br />The 21-year-old has won a singles title for every year since her birth in Florida in 1980, including an Olympic gold medal.<br />However, the Australian Open continues to elude her.
Williams arrived at Coolangatta International Airport without fan fare but with an entourage of five, choosing to avoid waiting media in favour of shaking off jet lag. Tournament director Liz Smylie, who convinced Williams to herald her New Year at the tournament, is banking on the American sensation to bring the fans under the sails at the Pines.
"She is very excited to be here but very tired and just wants to go back to the hotel," Smylie told reporters. Williams was chauffeur driven from the tarmac through a security gate and whisked away to her room at the resort. Championship organisers predicted the popularity of Williams would cause a rush on tickets.
"Once people actually see Venus arrive here and practice it will be well on its way to a sell out," Smylie said. "Venus only plays where she wants to play. She obviously thinks the conditions here are perfectly suited for her to do well at the Australian Open."
Williams and the number two seed, defending champion Justine Henin, will have a bye in the first round and are not expected to play until early next week.<br />Qualifying for the tournament started today.
<br />Let's Do It Venus!!!!!!!!!
Dec 28th, 2001, 04:26 PM
Alllllllllright, the CHAMP has arrived.....its time to RUUUUUUMMMMMMMBBBBBBUUUULLLE!!!!!!!
[ December 29, 2001: Message edited by: Jovon ]</p>
Dec 28th, 2001, 04:55 PM
Yeah Venus! Let's go!!
Dec 28th, 2001, 06:39 PM
Hopefully, one of the 5 people in her entourage is a personal trainer to keep Queen V healthy for 2002!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
<br />I pray that you stay injury free! <img src="graemlins/angel.gif" border="0" alt="[Angel]" />
Dec 28th, 2001, 06:54 PM
I am so thrilled! <img src="smile.gif" border="0"> Everytime Venus arrives I get giddy. I am also glad Venus went straight to the hotel and chilled out. I mean nothing can beat a little one on one meditation and clamness around you. Oh and sleep of course <img src="smile.gif" border="0"> <img src="wink.gif" border="0">
Hey! If anyone has pics of Venus's hairstyle please post them pronto!
Venus destroy the competition <img src="smile.gif" border="0">
VENUS TO REIGN SUPREME <br />By Andy Schooler, Sportinglife.com
Another fascinating year lies in store on the WTA Tour.
With so many players capable of winning Grand Slams, the forthcoming season could even eclipse 2001 which has to go down as a classic year for the the women's game.
Comeback queen Jennifer Capriati proved to be the story of the first half of the season, stunning everyone as she won the Australian and French Opens and moved past the halfway mark in her bid for the Grand Slam.
It was not to be, and instead Venus Williams stole the show in the latter part of the season, winning the remaining two Slams and stamping her authority back on the game.
Sideshows included Miss Consistency Lindsay Davenport ending the year as world No1, adding to Martina Hingis' woes in the process.
There was also the emergence of two young stars from Belgium.
Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin both reached Grand Slam finals, ended the season firmly established in the top ten and lifted the Fed Cup.
But who will be the stars this time around? And who will be the players racing up the rankings, making the headlines along the way?
For me, Venus Williams simply has to be the player they all have to beat.
The American comes into the season having won the last two Slams and this should be the year Williams finally asserts her control on the women's circuit.
Since her emergence, Williams has been tipped as the next big thing.
She has won four Grand Slams singles titles already but has yet to dominate the game as many predicted.
This is partly due to her lack of tournament play - something she has vowed to improve this year.
There is no-one who can touch Venus on her best form which she managed to show last summer as she won 24 out of 25 matches in winning Wimbledon and the US Open.
She outscores all her opponents on athleticism - even sister Serena.
Her serve is probably only bettered by the younger Williams sibling, and her reach ensures she gets back more balls than other players.
The 21-year-old has a better head-to-head record against all her fellow top 20 players bar Lindsay Davenport and Martina Hingis - but she dominates both those players over the past two seasons.
It all adds up to a fine year for Williams.
The only doubt concerns her early-season form.
She has not played since the US Open and has yet to win at the Australian Open.
Come spring, clay is her least favourite surface, so a good start Down Under will be vital if she is to finally emerge as the world No1 this time next year.
But such a long lay-off should not be a worry. Father and coach Richard will see to that.
There were similar concerns over Serena before the WTA Tour Championships in November, but she came out all guns blazing and lifted the title.
Venus is the player I expect to dominate this season.
Doubtless sister Serena, Davenport and Jennifer Capriati will have something to say about that.
The 'power' generation will, I'm sure, fill the semi-final line-up at one of the Grand Slams at least - draw permitting.
That leaves out one notable player, world number five Kim Clijsters.
I believe she will meet her match week in, week out against those already mentioned.
But come spring, Clijsters could have a field day on the European clay.
Unlike the men's game, the women's circuit is not full of claycourt specialists capable of toppling the established order.
And the Belgian, still only 19, can make the most of that.
She came desperately close in 2001, losing to Capriati 12-10 in the deciding set of a Roland Garros classic.
As she showed in the recent Fed Cup when she blitzed past all of her opponents, Clijsters loves a high bouncing ball.
She defies her slender frame with the power of her groundstrokes, such a key element on the red dirt.
With less to drag around the court than some of her bulkier rivals, Clijsters is also well equipped for the strength-sapping rallies claycourt tennis always produces.
Clijsters has yet to beat the best players in the world on a regular basis, but expect that breakthrough to begin on clay.
In 2001, it was Clijsters' compatriot Justine Henin who chewed up the ranking list and spat it out.
Henin stormed up from 48th at the start of the season to seventh come the end as she burst on to the scene - a remarkable rise.
It is unlikely anyone will make such an impact on the top 10 this season, but if anyone is to do so, my pick would be Nadia Petrova.
The Russian may have taken slightly longer to move up the ranking list - she is currently 39th - but at the age of 19, Petrova is hardly over the hill.
A teenager possessing a booming forehand, Petrova prefers the claycourts.
She is a former winner of the junior title at Roland Garros, a venue where she reached the last 16 in 2001.
It was also on a claycourt that Petrova produced some of her best displays of the season - in Madrid at the Fed Cup finals.
With her serve finally in good working order, Petrova helped her country into the final, producing an against-the-odds win over France and Sandrine Testud.
But it is not just on clay that Petrova has performed. She was a fourth-round loser at Wimbledon.
Petrova has risen consistently over the past three years - climbing 47 places in 1999, 33 in 2000 and 21 in 2001.
Although she is unlikely to be able to compete just yet with the likes of Clijsters (who she was hammered by in Madrid), Petrova certainly looks capable of cracking the top 20 this season.
Hi LucasARG.... glad that you are back!! <img src="graemlins/wavey.gif" border="0" alt="[Wavey]" />
Yeah Venus is at Australia!! Pictures anyone?? <img src="graemlins/drool.gif" border="0" alt="[Drool]" /> <img src="graemlins/drool.gif" border="0" alt="[Drool]" />
Dec 30th, 2001, 05:15 PM
December 30, 2001
Venus hopes for tennis, not shopping, spree
By Kim Trengove
GOLD COAST - Venus Williams has two goals for 2002. The first is to win as many titles as she can, the second is to cut down on her massive credit card bill.
"I was so disappointed with myself last September when I got my credit card bill. After that, I was a new person," Williams said at her first Thalgo Australian Women's Hardcourts press conference today. "I did really good up until about three days ago. I had a relapse. I was just out of control between the month of July and the month of September. I spiralled. I just questioned what I bought, I couldn't hardly remember it."
Williams is top seed at the Gold Coast event and says she elected to play here for the first time because she likes new experiences. "I really haven't played Sydney in about two years now. It's a really great tournament but it's a little two much before the Australian Open. I thought here would be much nicer, plus it's a place I've never been. It's nice to spice it up with a new destination. Serena actually wanted to play too, but I called it first. Maybe she'll be here next year."
<br />The dual US Open and Wimbledon champion has not hit a ball since defending her US Open crown last September and said a nagging wrist injury that had prevented her competing in the year-end WTA Championships was under control.
"It's tough sometimes because you start to get nervous about hitting the ball regularly and you can't really go all out because you're nervous about re-injuring yourself and making it worse. Once I got past that, hopefully I can move on and just start practising."
She has been practising regularly but also went back to school in the interim to continue a degree in fashion design. Williams said she felt good in practice, but did not like to "overwork" herself. "I haven't really been overworking myself. I like to think all these years of practice before I turned pro, hopefully that will keep lasting until I retire. Pretty much I feel like I know how to play tennis so I never have to overwork myself."
Williams has a bye into the second round at the Thalgo Australian Women's Hardcourts and will play either Swiss Patty Schnyder or a qualifier in her opening match at the Royal Pines Resort. Clearly, she expects to reach the final without too much of a hitch and hopes for a Wimbledon final rematch against No.2 seed Justine Henin.
The Belgian's career took off after winning this event last year and after her first round bye, Henin will play either Germany's Bianka Lamade or Slovakian Daniela Hantuchova. An early exit from the tournament would mean Williams could check out several amusement parks on the Gold Coast. "I love popcorn and at the amusement parks you can lots of great popcorn," she said. "It's just a matter of how much energy I have."
Her ultimate goal is to win her first Australian Open crown and Williams said she believed playing the Thalgo Australian Women's Hardcourts was ample preparation. "I think I'll play well here," she said. "I'll have a week off next week and hopefully I'll be peaking for the Australian (Open). I've had some disappointing losses at the Australian. That's the past. I'll try and move on.
Dec 30th, 2001, 05:19 PM
100!<br />GO VENUS!
Dec 31st, 2001, 04:01 AM
Go Venus and Serena! <img src="graemlins/bounce.gif" border="0" alt="[Bounce]" /> <img src="graemlins/hearts.gif" border="0" alt="[Hearts]" /> <img src="graemlins/kiss.gif" border="0" alt="[Kiss]" />
Dec 31st, 2001, 04:15 AM
I think I've read 2 articles that mentioned Venus'<br />shopping habits, but I wouldn't get too down on myself if I was Venus. Heck, the bad part about having huge credit card debt is not being able to pay the sucker! <img src="wink.gif" border="0"> and that aint Vee's problem!
So, 40 mill reebok "athlete of the year," wear you some rocks if ya wanna, or whatever suits ya fancy! Shop til ya drop, or click til ya sick, whatever <img src="graemlins/kiss.gif" border="0" alt="[Kiss]" /> and in between time keep on kicking dem booties. <img src="graemlins/kiss.gif" border="0" alt="[Kiss]" />
[ December 30, 2001: Message edited by: Jovon ]</p>
Dec 31st, 2001, 04:51 AM
Venus should take me along for one of her shopping sprees! <img src="graemlins/hearts.gif" border="0" alt="[Hearts]" /> <img src="graemlins/kiss.gif" border="0" alt="[Kiss]" /> <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0"> <img src="graemlins/drool.gif" border="0" alt="[Drool]" /> <img src="graemlins/drool.gif" border="0" alt="[Drool]" />
Dec 31st, 2001, 03:05 PM
Venus has grand plan<br />By PAUL MALONE
WIMBLEDON champion Venus Williams says she is primed to win her first Australian Open title and boldly entertains the idea of a Grand Slam in the year ahead.<br />Williams has not reached an Australian Open final in three attempts. But she says she is ready to make Melbourne Park her own after scaling back college and sponsorship demands recently to bolster her chances.
Last year she took a 6-1 6-1 towelling from Martina Hingis in a Melbourne Park semi-final.
"I was all over the place last time. I went too hard because I didn't have time to practise and injured myself. I was just out of shape," Williams said yesterday.
She starts her Open campaign in the Australian Women's Hardcourt championships at Royal Pines resort on the Gold Coast today after a first-round bye.
"This year has been different. I did everything before it was time to start practising a couple of weeks ago and at least have given myself a running chance," Williams said.
"I've paid my dues. I've learned my lessons. It's my turn this time.
"The times I have thought that, I can win it."
Where even dominant players like Steffi Graf, Monica Seles, Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras were always careful to talk down their chances of a calendar-year sweep of the four majors, the Wimbledon and US Open champion is frank about her Grand Slam ambitions next year.
"I'd like to win three or four this year. Four is greedy, huh? But it could happen," she said.
Williams practised twice yesterday with a taped right wrist, the same injury that caused her to withdraw from the WTA Championships.
She has not played since she beat younger sister Serena in their historic US Open final almost three months ago.
"I couldn't wait to leave home. After being unemployed for so long, I need to get back on the job," she said. "The wrist is doing a lot better. Once I got over being worried about getting it worse, I was all right."
Ranked No, 3 in the world despite winning the Wimbledon-US Open double the past two years, Williams backed changes to the Women's Tennis Association rankings to better reward performances at the four majors and the next tier of tour events.
Lindsay Davenport acknowledges Williams was the best player this year and that she had taken the year-end No.1 ranking, despite failing to make a grand slam final, because she played five tournaments more than Williams.
"The changes are good. I think it's 740 points for the winner (instead of 520). Whatever system it is, you have to play the system and I have't done that," she said.
"It's not their fault I'm not No.1."
Williams intends to play more tournaments in the first half of the new year.
"I don't put a lot of pressure on myself to be No.1. It's a pressure to win titles," she said.
"But at some point, I would have to, I hope, reach the top."
The Williams sisters like to play at the same tournaments sparingly and Venus said she had pulled rank over her younger sister, who had wanted to play at the Gold Coast.
"Maybe she'll be here next year," she said.
"For me, Sydney's a little too much before the Australian Open. I will have a week off next week and hope I will be peaking."
AUSTRALIAN wildcards crashed out of the women's hardcourt title yesterday.
Christina Wheeler, 19, fell 6-4 6-4 to seventh-ranked Daja Bedanova from the Czech Republic, while Samantha Stosur lost 6-2 6-0 in 46 minutes to Russian Anastasia Myskina.
World No.11 and tournament third seed Sandrine Testud was the only major name to tumble on the opening day, going down to Tina Pisnik, 19, 6-4 7-5 at the Royal Pines resort.
<br />Go Venus!!! Stay focused!!! Keep those wrists healthy!!!!!!
VENUS IS THE GREATEST! <img src="smile.gif" border="0">
Jan 1st, 2002, 03:12 PM
Young star laughs all way to the bank By PAUL MALONE 31dec01 <br />THE fun, apparently, in life on Planet Venus is to absorb the hurtful opinions, jealousies, rumour-mongering and highbrow agendas thrust on her.
And laugh at it all, which, as anyone who has heard the world's dominant female player speak for more than two consecutive minutes will know, is the soundtrack of her life on a perpetual loop.
"I have never really been one to worry about what someone else thinks of me," Venus Williams said between practice sessions yesterday for the Australian Women's Hardcourt championships at Royal Pines resort.
"It (fame) is hard these days. You can't control the opinions of others and if you try you'll have a heart attack. I just laugh at it. It's kind of funny to see what the next rumour is.
"No one ever says these things to me. Wherever I go, I have never met a person who was a hater. Maybe I will one day."
Having polarised debate in women's tennis ever since father Richard's ancient prophecy that they would be No. 1 and No. 2 in the world, Venus and sister Serena can only wonder what the total fallout of the all-Williams US Open final will be.
"We don't want to stop it there. We have talked about it a little bit," said Venus, who says her younger sister is her only friend on tour.
"The best part was the tennis for that two weeks was on another level because all sorts of celebrities were out there (at the US Open).
"There is a lot of competition for us, but Serena and I have a saying: if you can't do it for yourself, do it for me."
Over the years, the unspoken addition to the motto is that they don't necessarily do it for anyone else: like black Americans looking to the Williams sisters to make cultural statements on their behalf, thrusting the banner of race into their hands.
When American journalists were trying to prime her to lead the charge against Lleyton Hewitt over comments regarded as racially sensitive at the US Open, Venus Williams looked back at them and said she didn't have an opinion.
So, when she was asked at her first Gold Coast press conference about the most recent of her father's inflammatory claims about racism in tennis -- that Hewitt's comments were not surprising because Aborigines were "treated like dogs" in Australia -- she said she was not aware of the comment.
"I can only speak for myself," the Wimbledon-US Open double winner said later. "I feel increasingly people really try to put me in a bad position to say bad things about other people just because of the colour of my skin.
"I don't like it because I see people as people and for me to be asked to comment on things that aren't real, or supposed, or not even reality and I refuse to be put in that situation."
Williams notes that black athletes have "kind of taken over" sports in which they have applied themselves.
Martina Navratilova's nine Wimbledon titles and Steffi Graf's 22 majors make Williams' head spin and the fashion-design student says she does not know what her career span will be.
"Other parts of my life are priorities, rather than tennis. Tennis is just my job," said the 21-year-old with a $72 million clothing contract and $19 million in career prizemoney.
"After a few years, it might be time to wrap it up. Martina Navratilova and Steffi, maybe they had more of a dedication to the game. Their achievements are pretty monumental. I can't play those type of events, day in day out. It would fry me."
Asked if she would stick around long enough to increase her four majors to 10 or 12, she said: "I think I have enough time to do better than that."
Looking back at interviews which the sisters conducted five or six years ago, Venus Williams is struck by how they would "laugh all the time and talk all kinds of foolish talk".
"It must have been annoying. I've grown up a lot since them. I'm not as annoying, but I still laugh almost
Jan 2nd, 2002, 03:16 AM
Its almost time for Ms. Vee to step out on the court for her first match in 2002!!
YAY!! Venus just won her first match of the year by spanking Patty Schyder 6/0 *cough cough* and 6/4 <img src="smile.gif" border="0">
Good on yah Queen Venus <img src="smile.gif" border="0"> <img src="smile.gif" border="0">
Jan 2nd, 2002, 07:12 AM
I knew you could do it, Venus! <img src="graemlins/bounce.gif" border="0" alt="[Bounce]" /> <img src="graemlins/bounce.gif" border="0" alt="[Bounce]" /> <img src="graemlins/bounce.gif" border="0" alt="[Bounce]" />
Now I can go to bed with a big grin on my face! <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0">
Congratulations to our Queen on her first 2002 win! <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0"> <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0"> <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0">
Jan 2nd, 2002, 07:33 AM
One more thing I gotta say before I close my eyes: I was ROFLOL at Itsallvenus and Dawn Marie while AlexSydney was posting scores. Ya'll were all in it, like cmon with the details now, And what was that about if Vee's skirt was tight??? Yall crazy. <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0">
[ January 02, 2002: Message edited by: Jovon ]</p>
Jan 2nd, 2002, 10:19 AM
lol... an anxious bunch we all are. But Venus sure did well! I think she is on course for an Aussie Open win this year <img src="smile.gif" border="0"> <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0">
Jan 2nd, 2002, 02:43 PM
Hi!! <img src="graemlins/wavey.gif" border="0" alt="[Wavey]" /> Here are some delicious new pictures of the goddess!! <img src="graemlins/drool.gif" border="0" alt="[Drool]" /> <img src="graemlins/hearts.gif" border="0" alt="[Hearts]" />
You are simply wonderful, Williams_Rulez, simply wonderful. <img src="graemlins/wavey.gif" border="0" alt="[Wavey]" /> thanks!
V's outfit looks good. Wonder what the back design looks like. Nothing new and exciting about the hair, needs a lil gel on the edges, but I understand, that's still my girl. <br /> <img src="graemlins/kiss.gif" border="0" alt="[Kiss]" />
Jan 2nd, 2002, 08:36 PM
Venus far from rusty <br />Wednesday, 2 January, 2002 <br />By Kim Trengove
GOLD COAST - She hasn't played a competitive match for four months, but Venus Williams showed why she is the world No.3 at Royal Pines Resort today. It took the superstar American 52 minutes to clean up hapless Patty Schynder 60 64 and move through to the quarterfinals of the Thalgo Australian Women's Hardcourts.
The reigning US Open and Wimbledon champion took the tournament to new heights with her power brand of tennis, unleashing seven aces in the match and landing 73% of her booming first serves. The heat, which has proved so troubling for other competitors today, was of little concern to Williams in her Gold Coast debut.
"It was very exciting when I came out in the first set," she said. "I really couldn't believe some of the shots I was making." Williams will face Japan's Ai Sugiyama in the next round.
Earlier today, No.5 seed Silvia Farina-Elia fought past Korean qualifier Yoon-Jeong Cho 76(5) 46 63 and German qualifier Anca Barna defeated Australia's Nicole Pratt 63 26 61.
Farina-Elia will play her doubles partner Nadia Petrova in the quarterfinals, Barna will meet No.2 seed Justine Henin and Tina Pisnik will take on No.7 seed Daja Bedanova.
unleashing seven aces in the match and landing 73% of her booming first serves THATS A VERY GOOD SIGN!!
Jan 2nd, 2002, 08:37 PM
<img src="graemlins/kiss.gif" border="0" alt="[Kiss]" /> You go Venus!!!!!!!!! <img src="graemlins/kiss.gif" border="0" alt="[Kiss]" />
Jan 3rd, 2002, 01:29 AM
Day Four, January 2-2002 Venus sizzles
GOLD COAST, Jan 2 AAP - Venus Williams was as hot as the searing temperatures on the Gold Coast today as she booked a place in the Australian Women's Hardcourt Championship quarter finals.
The mercury at the Royal Pines Resort arena here rocketed to 40 degrees and forced delays to doubles matches on unsheltered outside courts.<br />But it had little effect on the world No.3, who made light work of Switzerland's Patty Schnyder winning 6-0 6-4. The reigning Wimbledon and US Open champion's match lasted only 52 minutes as fans sweltered in the balmy conditions.
Williams - the tour record-holder for the fastest serve after her 201 kph bullet at Wimbledon last year - held her serve in every game and landed seven aces against Schnyder. "I really couldn't believe the shots I was making," Williams said. "I haven't played since the US Open in September and I surprised myself.
"The first game I hit a few winners and I didn't even expect it and I was on a roll from there. I definitely think it was very hot and that's what I expected. That's what I've been training for since I've been here. It is similar to a Florida summer and the best thing I did today was not practice very long."
Williams sees her form as a warning to her nearest rivals from the US, world No.1 Lindsay Davenport and world No.2 Jennifer Capriati, who are en route to Australia for next week's adidas International in Sydney. "I hope that they don't see me as a push over," Williams said.
The dual Wimbledon champion went through a career-changing mental metamorphosis on the eve of her first All England Club title in 2000.<br />And, as she left court today with her first win in the bag, Williams announced to the crowd that nerves which plagued her before the grand slam breakthrough were no more. "I was just tired of almost getting to the finish line and people just speeding past me," she said. "It is okay to be nervous, it's okay to have fear, that's natural, but if you're going to be a champion you can't let it stop you."
The 21-year-old powerhouse faces Japanese eighth-seed Ai Sugiyama tomorrow. The stifling heat wiped out Australian No.2 Nicole Pratt who was out-lasted 6-3 2-6 6-1 against German qualifier Anca Barna. The world No. 51, who starred in Australia's Fed Cup final round appearance last year, pulled a bag of ice from her esky in a break in play as she battled the soaring temperature.
"It's definitely the hottest conditions I have played in for a long, long time," said Pratt, who now lives in Orlando but grew up in the North Queensland town of Mackay. "I'm not in North Queensland much anymore so it is not advantage."
Barna, who looked set to collapse at the end of the second set, took the heat-induced 10-minute rest break before recovering to steamroll Pratt, whose parents George and Dorothy were in the stands. WTA Tour supervisor Jimmy Moore stepped in to delay a doubles match as officials waited for the temperature to drop below the acceptable 38 degree level. Italian fifth-seed Silvia Farina-Elia survived a three-setter against Korean qualifier Yoon-Jeong Cho to reach the quarter finals. Farina-Elia, who was a finalist last year, triumphed 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 6-3.
Jan 3rd, 2002, 03:22 PM
Venus Williams d Ai Sugiyama 62 64
While the match travelled from a smooth to a dirt track, Thalgo Australian Women's Hardcourts top seed Venus Williams nailed a 62 64 victory over eighth seeded Ai Sugiyama at Royal Pines Resort this afternoon.
Temperatures on centre court were moderately cooler than yesterday's 40 deg heat, and Williams also took the heat off her game, serving nine aces, nine double faults and 34 unforced errors.
She bagged the first set in 22 minutes but took a little longer 32 minutes to close out the match, dropping her serve at 53 before rounding on the hard-hitting Japanese.
"Generally I'm just working on my game, getting a feel for it, " the dual US Open and Wimbledon champion said. "So when I'm out there making mistakes I'm not getting upset about it. Hopefully I'm streamlining for the next match."
Williams was repeatedly pulled up for foot-faulting, a glitch she attributes to a faulty ball toss. "It's an easy adjustment. Normally it happens when you put your toss too far in front and your body too far forward, so your feet come forward. I'll just bring my toss back a little bit."
Williams will next face Nadia Petrova of Russia in the semifinals, who earlier put out No.5 seeded Silvia Farina Elia 76 (4) 75 while No2 seed Justine Henin will meet Czech teenager Daja Bedanova in the other semifinal.
"I think Serena played her four Slams in a row, then I got her, she had some bad luck ," Williams said of Petrova. "When I played her at Wimbledon she played very well but I guess I just like the grass. She's a very good player, she hits the ball well, she's consistent and she's moving better."
Jan 3rd, 2002, 03:54 PM
Thanks for the article, VS. I must admit I got a little nervous that last set, it seems like Ai was mounting a comeback.
But like the champion she is, Vee pulled away!
Go Venus, win the next one too! And the next, and the next, and... <img src="graemlins/bounce.gif" border="0" alt="[Bounce]" /> <img src="graemlins/bounce.gif" border="0" alt="[Bounce]" /> <img src="graemlins/bounce.gif" border="0" alt="[Bounce]" />
Jan 3rd, 2002, 04:19 PM
Venus Williams rolls into quarterfinals at Gold Coast tennis <br />January 3, 2002
GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA (TICKER) -- Top seed Venus Williams stormed into the quarterfinals of the Australian Women's Hardcourt Championships on Thursday with a 6-2, 6-4 triumph over former champion Ai Sugiyama of Japan.
One day after returning to action for the first time since winning her first U.S. Open title, Williams improved to 7-0 lifetime against Sugiyama.
Making her first appearance here, Williams extended her winning streak to 18 matches. She has lost just 10 games in her first two matches after capturing her final three tournaments of 2001, including her fourth career Grand Slam title in New York.
The 21-year-old American will face fifth seed Silvia Farina Elia of Italy in the semifinals.
The eighth seed from Japan, Sugiyama won this event in 1998 and had reached the semifinals in each of her previous three appearances at this Australian Open tune-up.
Extended to three sets in her second-round match by Korean qualifier Yoon Jeong Cho, Farina Elia outlasted doubles partner Nadia Petrova of Russia, 7-6 (7-4), 7-5. The 29-year-old Farina Elia knocked off three seeds last year on her way to the final before losing to Justine Henin.
Henin, the second seed from Belgium, returned to the semifinals by sweeping past German qualifier Anca Barna, 6-2, 6-2. Henin is unbeaten in seven matches at this tournament, dropping just two sets.
Seventh seed Daja Bedanova secured the other semifinal spot when Slovakia's Tina Pisnik retired in the second set with a strained left quadriceps. The Czech teenager won the first set, 6-1, and had a 3-0 lead in the second when Pisnik retired.
First prize at this $170,000 hardcourt event is $27,000.
Jan 3rd, 2002, 04:20 PM
Williams into semis at Gold Coast
January 3, 2002
<br />GOLD COAST, Australia (AP) -- Top-seeded Venus Williams, tuning up for the Australian Open, routed eighth-seeded Ai Sugiyama of Japan 6-2, 6-4 in the quarterfinals Thursday of the Australian hardcourt tennis championships.
Williams' scheduled opponent in Friday's semifinals, Russian Nadia Petrova, might have to pull out of the match after upsetting fifth-seeded Italian Silvia Farina-Elia.
Petrova strained her right shoulder midway through the 7-6 (4), 7-5 win Thursday. She took a dose of pain killers and iced the injury after the match, but will decide after a warmup Friday whether to start against Williams.
Petrova had to be treated courtside after giving away a 3-0 lead to Farina-Elia in the second set, but then fought through the pain to win the match.
``I'm just a fighter and I thought 'No way. I'm not going to give it up' I told myself 'No matter what happens, I am just going to the end.'''
Williams won her 18th straight tour match and had nine aces in her win over Sugiyama, but she also had nine double-faults.
``I don't have to hit the double-faults I was hitting today,'' Williams said. ``By the time I get to Melbourne, I won't be.''
Seventh-seeded Daja Bedanova faces defending champion Belgian Justine Henin in Friday's other semifinal. Henin beat German qualifier Anca Barna 6-2, 6-1.
Bedanova advanced when Tina Pisnik of Slovenia retired with a muscle injury with Bedanova leading 6-1, 3-0.
Henin and Venus move closer to showdown <br />Friday, 4 January, 2002<br /> <br />GOLD COAST, Jan 4 AAP - World No.3 Venus Williams and her Wimbledon final opponent Justine Henin are in the hunt today for a final berth at the Australian women's hardcourt championship.
Both players were given a first round bye at the $340,000 tournament at Royal Pines Resort before cruising to two straight set victories to reach the semi-finals. Top-seeded Williams lines up against unseeded Russian Nadia Petrova in the second match of the day.
World No.7 Henin, who lost in straight sets to Williams at the Wimbledon final last year, is defending the Gold Coast title which marked the start of her rise from world No.50. The Belgian second-seeded is first up on centre court at the five-star resort arena against seventh-seeded Czech Daja Bedanova.
Looks like we are on course for another title. Miss Venus' 22nd!! Love to all! :D
Jan 4th, 2002, 05:20 PM
How interesting.... our forum is the only one with a moderator! Cool!
WTG Susie!! *Hugs* :D
Jan 4th, 2002, 07:09 PM
Venus Williams, Henin to meet in Gold Coast tennis final
January 4, 2002
GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA (TICKER) -- Top seeds Venus Williams of the United States and Justine Henin of Belgium advanced Friday to the final of the Australian Women's Hardcourt Championships.
Tuning up for the Australian Open, Williams had a 7-6 (7-1), 6-5 lead over Nadia Petrova when the 19-year-old Russian retired due to a strained right pectoral muscle.
"It was definitely a tough match today," said Williams, who is playing her first tournament since capturing her first U.S. Open title. "She was hitting some nice balls and made me raise the level of my game. The last time we played at Wimbledon, she was serving a lot harder, so I knew the injury must have been bothering her because she wasn't serving as hard."
Playing in just her second career WTA final, Petrova remains without a tournament title.
"I was feeling a lot better early in the second set compared to the start of the match, but right at the end I was starting to hurt a lot again," she said. "With the Australian Open coming up soon, I didn't want to take any more risks than I had to."
Henin, the defending champion, swept past No. 7 Daja Bedanova of the Czech Republic, 6-2, 6-2, to remain unbeaten in eight matches at this tournament.
"I'm very happy with the way I played today," said Henin, who has dropped just two sets in two trips to Gold Coast. "I was very aggressive from the baseline and maintained my intensity throughout the match."
Saturday's final will be a rematch of the championship match at Wimbledon, where Williams outlasted Henin in three sets. The 21-year-old American also won on hardcourts in New Haven after losing to Henin on clay at the German Open earlier last year.
Henin immediately installed Williams as the favorite, saying, "The pressure will be on her, but I've always played well here. I love the Gold Coast, so I'll be looking to have another good start to the season, like I did last year."
Williams downplayed the notion the pressure will be on her.
"I'm the type of person who enjoys competing and going for the title," said Williams, who has a 19-match winning streak. "It's not about pressure. I enjoy the challenge and look forward to it."
First prize at this $170,000 hardcourt event is $27,000.
Jan 4th, 2002, 11:51 PM
Who da (wo)man?
By Matt Price
Alicia Molik is tops on grass. (Allsport)
IT's hard to argue that Lleyton Hewitt has not been the best male player in the world this year. In between scandals and shouting, he has won 10 more matches than anyone else on the ATP Tour, won his maiden grand slam title and blitzed the world's best at the Masters Cup in Sydney. Rating the world's best woman is a little trickier. Lindsay Davenport is officially the best, having finished the year ranked No1, but she is only one of a handful of highly paid high achievers with a claim to the title.
Lindsay Davenport: The quiet achiever of women's tennis - if you can be a quiet achiever while standing at 189 centimetres - and Davenport was a "surprise" No1 at the end of the season despite winning 62 matches this year. But Davenport has four empty shelves in her trophy cabinet, and she is the first to admit that her failure to win a grand slam title (for the first time since 1997) scuppers any claim that she's the best.
Jennifer Capriati: There is no doubt that 2001 was the best year of Capriati's career. Ranked No14 on January 1, she was popping champagne corks on Melbourne beaches less than a month later after an unlikely Australian Open triumph. She won again at Roland Garros and almost did so at Wimbledon, where she swept into the semi-finals before falling to Justine Henin. Capriati, the No2-ranked player in the world at the end of the season, held the top ranking from October 15 until the final few days of the season, but endured a patchy second half of the year.
Martina Hingis: The Swiss Miss held the top spot for the first nine months of the year, but again finished a season without a major title as her ranking slipped to No4 by season's end; her grand slam drought will have stretched two full years when the Australian Open begins in January. After starting the year well, she was upset by Capriati in the Australian Open final and crashed in the first round of Wimbledon. The tennis wagon is picking up speed and Hingis is having more and more trouble keeping up with it.
Serena Williams: "I'm on a mission to be No1," the younger Williams said while compiling a outstanding record in another year of part-time tennis. She defated Kim Clijsters for the Indian Wells trophy and beat Capriati for the Canadian Open title before brushing Hingis aside to reach the US Open final - which she lost to her sister. She banked another fat cheque after taking out the year-ending WTA Championship to confirm herself as the world No6, and promised "you're going to get tired of me because you're going to see me everywhere next year".
And the winner is . . .
Oh, hang on, the smokeys are worth a mention - the women of whom we saw plenty this year, and of whom we are likely to see plenty more. Clay queen Amelie Mauresmo rattled off 16 consecutive wins in the lead-up to the French Open; Belgian ball-bursters Henin and Clijsters made two grand slam finals between them - Clijsters moving within two points of defeating Capriati in Paris; and Jelena Dokic broke through to win her first two titles and claim a top-10 ranking. And a special nod goes to Australia's own Alicia Molik, who won more matches on grass than anyone else - 21 - in an otherwise inconspicuous personal season.
Right then. The winner is . . .
Venus Williams: The 21-year-old played barely half the year, but what a half it was. She won six titles in six months from March to September, including the two grand slams she first won in 2000. She entered only one tournament on grass - Wimbledon - and won it. Then she defeated her sister in the US Open final, extending the Williams monopoly of Flushing Meadows to three years. A 46-5 record on all surfaces speaks for itself - the best win-loss ratio of anyone at the top end of the tour. And she had plenty of time left over for her favourite pastime: shopping.
Venus rules over Gold Coast
Saturday, 5 January, 2002
By Kim Trengove
GOLD COAST - Venus Williams won her first tournament on Australian soil today, taking the Thalgo Australian Women's Hardcourts with a 75 62 victory over defending champion Justine Henin.
Williams has now won 20 matches in a row and four consecutive titles San Diego, New Haven, the US Open and now the Gold Coast. While Henin did her best against her Wimbledon conqueror, Williams was far too strong despite a four-month absence from the game due to a wrist injury. After a close first set, Williams wrapped up the match in 70 minutes.
:kiss: :kiss: :kiss: :kiss: :kiss:
Jan 5th, 2002, 08:41 AM
Hi guys :wavey:
Got the bubbly waiting for ya all here ;)
CONGRATS TO OUR GODDESS! It's the start to a beauuutiful year :bounce:
Jan 5th, 2002, 10:58 AM
Hiya! Boy do I feel the love in here:)
Good on yah Venus Williams:) You done your fans and family proud!:)
YES her first win of the year! YEAH you go girl!!!:)
Susie pass me that bubbly:)
AHhhhhhhhhhhhhhh that taste yummy:) :bounce: :bounce:
Jan 5th, 2002, 11:01 AM
I am soooo happy for Venus, I can't stop lloking ar the score 7-5 6-2....
AHhhhhhhh What a start VEEEE:wavey:
Jan 5th, 2002, 01:38 PM
Yeah Venus! I am so glad!! :kiss: :kiss:
You lead the tour for most titles right now :) Keep doing your thing Venus and Serena!
Jan 6th, 2002, 01:07 AM
Court is in section. Go Venus
Jan 6th, 2002, 05:04 AM
Any bubbly left??? Think I'll have some this time,...aaaaahhhh, thanks, Susie!
HERE'S A TOAST TO VENUS' 2002 VICTORY TOUR!
Jan 6th, 2002, 05:43 AM
Plenty left Jovon!!! *Passing Jovon a bottle* :)
Let's just say i've stocked up for the whole year ;)
Jan 6th, 2002, 06:13 AM
Oooh... I think we'll use it all up looking at how the girls are doing :)
Jan 6th, 2002, 10:51 PM
Venus rules over Gold Coast
GOLD COAST - Venus Williams won her first tournament on Australian soil today, taking the Thalgo Australian Women's Hardcourts with a 7-5 6-2 victory over defending champion Justine Henin.
Williams has now won 20 matches in a row and four consecutive titles San Diego, New Haven, the US Open and today's 70-minute Gold Coast triumph.
The victory was even more remarkable given Williams' four-month respite from tennis to heal a wrist injury and continue her studies in fashion design. After a week's break, which she will take supporting her sister, Serena, at the adidas International in Sydney, the world No.3 will throw herself into Australian Open 2002, a grand slam title she is desperate to add to her collection of two US Open and two Wimbledon singles crowns.
Judging by her form at the Royal Pines Resort, Williams will be nicely primed to better her record in Melbourne, where she has never gone past the semifinals.
While she made a shaky start, dropping her opening serve, Williams was simply too powerful for the diminutive Belgian, who had embarked on a weight-training program to compensate for her physical limitations after losing to Williams in the Wimbledon final and again at New Haven.
The first set was an even contest, but crunch time came in the tenth game when Henin was pushed to save four set points. Williams easily held for 6-5 and Henin once again fell in a hole with a foot-fault and a netted forehand. This time Williams made good use of her set point, thumping balls back until Henin hit a backhand long.
Henin had three break points in the third game of the second set, but couldn't convert then lost her own serve twice running to fall behind a fatal 5-1. The 1200 capacity crowd lifted in the sticky heat when Henin broke Williams for 5-2, but she was unable to hold and the match ended with a double fault.
Henin, who has been suffering with flu-like symptoms, said it had been a taxing match.
"I had to work very hard in the first set and it was mentally and physically very hard for me," she said. "Because I had to fight a lot to come back at 5-5 I had a little down.
"I'm happy because I feel stronger on court, I feel I can play rallies with Venus. To stay with this level during a match with her is a little bit difficult. They key was the serve. She served very well on the big points. It was difficult for me to keep my serve, especially mentally, because she returned very well. "
And while she feels positive and determined, the world No.7 knows she needs to keep working like a Jack Russell if she is ever going to trouble the power-hitters.
"I will have to work more and more and more if I want to beat this kind of player. Venus is a great champion, I'm still young and I'm learning. It's a good experience for me and I know what I have to work on. I feel that the difference is very little now. She's taller than me, she's stronger than me, but I'm not afraid about this because I feel it's a lot better now that it was last year."
Henin will now head to Sydney and is happy with the preparation the Gold Coast event has offered in the lead-up to the Australian Open. "It gives me a lot of confidence to be in the again in the final and it's a good preparation so I think I will not change it next year.
Now it's Serena's turn to let the tour know SHE'S BACK! :bounce:
I want her to win the Adidas, and beat Jenn and who ever comes out of the bottom on the way. So when the AO begins and she should meet them again she'll have the confidence and they'll have the fear. GO SERENA!:bounce:
Jan 7th, 2002, 07:55 AM
Good luck Serena!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :wavey:
Jan 7th, 2002, 06:44 PM
Do your best Serena! Win it all! :kiss: :bounce:
Jan 7th, 2002, 10:06 PM
Good luck in Sydney Serena!!!
Jan 8th, 2002, 03:50 PM
Lovely gifs... post more!! :kiss: :hearts::bounce: :D
SYDNEY (Reuters) - Fourth seed Serena Williams continued her build up to next week's Australian Open with a 6-4, 7-6 quarter-final victory over France's Amelie Mauresmo at the Sydney International Wednesday.
Despite the straight sets win, the powerful American said she had still not reached her best but was on target to peak at the first grand slam of the year.
``In my first match, I would have given myself two or three out of 10 but tonight was about four or five,'' Williams said.
``I'm definitely getting there. I just need a couple more matches and I'll be ready.''
Williams, 20, is still searching for her second major win after taking the U.S. Open (news - web sites) title in 1999 and believes her win over Mauresmo was a good omen for her chances of ending her drought in Melbourne.
Sixth seed Mauresmo, who won the Sydney title in 2000 and was a finalist at the Australian Open the year before, has a power game which is ideally suited to the hardcourts.
``I knew I was playing a good opponent and I had to play well,'' Williams said.
``She's nearly unbeatable on this court and I either had to show up or go home.''
The pair traded early breaks in the first set before Williams broke again in the 10th game to snatch the early advantage.
Although the 22-year-old Mauresmo need treatment between the sets on her neck and shoulder, she soldiered on to force the set into a tiebreak.
She almost pushed the match into a deciding third set when she held set point only to be thwarted by Williams who produced two booming serves then claimed victory on her first match point.
``When I really need it, I can pull it out,'' Williams said.
Mauresmo said she had been unable to turn her head properly during the second set but expected to be fit for the Australian Open.
``She was better than me tonight ... but I know my game is here,'' Mauresmo said. ``I just need to get some rest and treatment and I will be fine.''
Welcome back Rubylips/Pisces :wavey:
When you registered again, this account might have replaced the one you registered under Pisces but you could ask Poe to change your name back to Pisces for this account if you want to use that, i think he can do that for u :)
Getting closer and closer! Lets finish it babe! Woooohoooooooo :bounce:
Jan 11th, 2002, 07:05 PM
11 January, 2002
Federer Reaches Final - Disappointment for Williams
SYDNEY: Second seed Roger Federer will take on Argentinian qualifier Juan Ignacio Chela in the final of the adidas International after defeating American Andy Roddick 7-6 (3) 6-4 in the semi-final.
"Now that I am in the finals I would really like to win this tournament because I love this city here in Sydney and I am having a great time here," said Federer.
Federer's awesome shot making and return of serve frustrated Roddick, who was not able to copy his comeback in the quarterfinals against Lee when he was one set down. Chela, ranked 67 in the world, showed great form today to defeat Max Mirnyi of Belarus 6-4 6-4.
It is the first time in the open era that a qualifier has been in the final of the adidas International, formerly known as the NSW Open. It is the first match between Chela and Federer. In another first, two Swiss players will play in the men's and women's singles finals for the first time in the open era in any tournament.
Defending champion Martina Hingis is through to the final where she will meet Meghann Shaughnessy. Shaughnessy progressed to the final after fourth seed Serena Williams retired hurt in their semi final with the score at 5-4 to Shaughnessy in the first set.
Williams was running for a drop shot when she twisted her right ankle in the fourth game. "I was running for a ball, I'm out to get every ball, and I fell forward and twisted my ankle," said Williams who attended her post-match media conference by using crutches.
"I felt it straight away. I got stuck in the court because you can't slide on these courts. "I was told not to put too much pressure on my foot and I am not feeling great right now." However Williams was very confident the injury will not be an issue at next week's Australian Open.
She said it was "looking positive but I will just take it one day at a time". She is applying ice to stop it from swelling up. Williams added that she is not concerned about the number of matches she has played this week as she looks to the Australian Open.
"The first two matches were important to get back on track. I don't need a lot of matches - for me one match is good enough," she said.
A couple of hours earlier Hingis had to withdraw from the doubles final with Anna Kournikova, after suffering from heat exhaustion and a pinched thigh muscle, which she experienced during her semi final victory over Kim Clijsters 7-5 4-6 6-2. "I just have to rest as much as I possibly can, have a massage and treatment and go out there and play a good match tomorrow," said Hingis.
Australia's Rennae Stubbs and American Lisa Raymond won the women's doubles title in a walkover. Play starts at 11.30am Saturday with the men's doubles final between Australians Sandon Stolle and Josh Eagle versus Don Johnson and Jared Palmer.
It is the third successive final for Stolle, who won the title last year with Daniel Nestor. The men's doubles will be followed by Chela versus Federer, then Shaughnessy versus Hingis to conclude the tournament.
Jan 11th, 2002, 07:08 PM
Serena is injured again :sad:
Get well soon Serena! An all Williams semis soon!!
Jan 11th, 2002, 07:28 PM
She would get injured, right at the door of the Australian Open!:(
Jan 11th, 2002, 08:23 PM
Hi Susie I did but Poe only stated, did I get the link.I did but it didn"t work for me.I e-mail wta about 6 times,no answer,so I started all over again.I love the WILLIAMS TENNIS ASSOCIATION SO REALLY THAT THE ONLY REASON ,I REREGISTER.EVERYONE here ,so sweet.Love you guys.That why.Peace one love.:) :D :cool: :wavey: :bounce: :kiss:
Jan 11th, 2002, 08:30 PM
Get well Serena we love you.Always something ,right guys.:wavey:
Jan 11th, 2002, 09:39 PM
Williams Sisters in Hingis' Path Again
Friday, 11 January, 2002
by Nyree Epplett
For the second year in a row, Martina Hingis will have to beat both Venus and Serena Williams if she is to reach the final of the 2002 Australian Open for the sixth consecutive year. This follows the release of the women's singles draw at Melbourne Park on Friday.
The third seeded Hingis, who owns a trio of Australian Open singles crowns, is scheduled to meet talented young French player Virginie Razzano, who she beat in the third round here last year. Razzano won the junior Aussie Open singles event in 1999 and broke into the top 100 in 2001, her first full time year on the pro tour.
Hingis, the former world No.1, will most likely run into the No.15 seeded Amanda Coetzer in the fourth round, followed by the sister act - Serena and then Venus - in the quarters and semis respectively.
The scenario, if it comes to fruition, would be the exact same one as was played out a year ago on the Rebound Ace. Back then, the Hingis finesse and courtcraft triumphed over the brutal power games of the Williams'. Serena bowed out in three tough sets, and Venus lay down in two.
Fifth seeded Serena has worked herself into remarkable form this week at the adidas International in Sydney, but will nevertheless be challenged by her first round opponent - former Wimbledon champion Conchita Martinez.
Big sister Venus suffered one of her most humiliating straight set defeats at the hands of the Swiss Miss here last year, but enters this Open with significantly more match practise (she won last week on the Gold Coast). The No.2 seed and reigning Wimbledon and US Open champion, Williams is on a 20-match winning streak, which won't sit too well with the still-to-be-named qualifier she will meet in the first round next week. She'll be hard to stop on the way to her third consecutive Grand Slam title.
Four-time winner Monica Seles, the No.8 seed looms as the main threat to Venus in her quarter, although Seles' first round opponent, former world top tenner Patty Schnyder is no slouch on the hard courts. The Swiss player has reached the fourth round at Melbourne Park on three previous occasions.
Seles will also be forced to keeps her eyes peeled for No.31 seed Francesca Schiavone in the third round, because the feisty Italian beat Seles at the Hopman Cup two weeks ago.
In the top half of the draw stands top seed and defending champion Jennifer Capriati, whose first match will be against Croatian Silvija Talaja. Capriati is expected to return to the scene of her first Grand Slam singles victory as the number one player in the world, following the release of next Monday's rankings.
Capriati's touted quarter final opponent is 1999 finalist and No.7 seed Amelie Mauresmo, a notoriously quick starter in the New Year. The Frenchwoman faces Taipei's Janet Lee in the first round.
It will be the battle of the Belgians come quarter final time if compatriots Kim Clijsters (No.4) and Justine Henin (No.6) both progress unfettered. Clijsters appears to have psyched out the diminutive Henin, posting a win over her in Sydney this week, and in the semi final of 2001 Roland Garros. Both players are ready to step up for their first Grand Slam title.
Clijsters plays Australian wildcard Christina Wheeler first, while pocket rocket Henin will unleash her flamboyance on Russian star Anna Kournikova in what is surely to be a much-anticipated first round clash.
Former champion Mary Pierce (a wildcard) is pitted against Czech player Kveta Hrdlickova, while former French Open champ, the unseeded Iva Majoli will be out to make No.14 seed Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario's life difficult in their first round encounter.
Jan 11th, 2002, 10:19 PM
*Jovon showing tough love to Baby Girl*
:( :( :( :( :( :(
Get well!!! you got work to do, we all feeling the pain, now c'mon, and get back in the game, stiff upper lip, now you go Girl!!!!:(
(....hope it works...):)
Jan 11th, 2002, 10:29 PM
BTW, thanks for the article VS, and here's hoping the Sisters will take care of business at the AO!:bounce:
Jan 11th, 2002, 10:34 PM
Hope Serena's gonna be okay for the Aus, same as I hope our Marti is... Hopefully we'll see a Serena vs. Marti QF again (and for us Hingis fans the same result :))
I'll go now before one of our lot finds I've been wishing Serena well...
Jan 12th, 2002, 01:10 AM
I don't know if it has already been posted or not but Bill Mitchell has updated his page on Serena Williams.
Available here :
Bill Mitchell Women of Tennis (http://www.igs.net/~bmitchell/Tennis/tennis.htm)
Jan 12th, 2002, 02:00 PM
Thanks for the articles and well wishing :)
Go Venus and Serena!! A semi-final showdown is in order!!:kiss: :bounce:
Jan 13th, 2002, 03:04 AM
Go Serena !!! Hope you get well soon :) :sad: :kiss:
Jan 13th, 2002, 08:37 AM
Get well soon!!
Jan 13th, 2002, 10:10 AM
Serena is playing on Monday. I hope she can recover:wavey:
Jan 14th, 2002, 05:53 AM
It's official, Serena is too hurt to play and has to withdraw from the AO. :sad: :sad: :sad: I am so sad for her (and us too) but especially for her because she is unbeatable when she's healthy and focused.
But not to worry, she will recover and conquer soon. In the meantime, let Venus continue to rise!:bounce: :bounce: :bounce:
Jan 14th, 2002, 06:02 AM
:sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: Serena Out
Monday, 14 January, 2002
by Nyree Epplett
Fifth seed Serena Williams became the second injury casualty at the 2002 Australian Open on Monday, withdrawing due to an ankle injury she sustained at the Sydney event last week.
Williams withdrew prior to the start of play and will be replaced by Russian Lina Krasnoroutskaya. Krasnoroutskaya's place in the draw has been taken by a lucky loser, New Zealand's Pavlina Nola.
Williams' announcement that she would not participate in the women's singles event came hot on the heels of defending men's champion Andre Agassi's withdrawal due to an aggravated left wrist injury earlier Monday morning.
Get well soon Serena!!! Shame on the officials for not letting her play on Tuesday!!!
Jan 14th, 2002, 06:26 AM
:sad::sad::sad: I'm sad but i hope Serena is ok! Get well soon Princess :)
<font size=5 color=red>:bounce: GOOD LUCK VEE!!! :bounce:</font>
Lets do this for the Williams! :)
Jan 14th, 2002, 07:12 AM
I can't say I'm really surprised, esp. since the reports from last week's fall, have hardly been encouraging.
But like Jovon (?) said, let Venus continue to rise.
Get well soon Rena!!
Win this Venus!!!
Jan 14th, 2002, 08:26 AM
Serena Voices her Disappointment
Monday, 14 January, 2002
by Nyree Epplett
Fifth seeded Serena Williams has voiced her immense disappointment at having to withdraw from the 2002 Australian Open because of an ankle injury she sustained last week.
The 20-year-old announced her withdrawal from the women's singles event early Monday morning, after delaying the decision for as long as possible to gauge whether the injury, a right ankle sprain sustained during a semi final match in Sydney last Friday night, would heal.
"Yeh, I'm disappointed, especially to come all this way and to have to turn around and start all over again. This is a long trip," said the American of the arduous journey from the U.S to Australia.
"I was keeping the hope alive as always. I went to practise yesterday and I couldn't really move on my toes. It was kinda hard to stop and you have to be able to stop in tennis...I said a lot of prayers.
"This is very tough as a competitor. I set my goals higher this year. To be quite honest, I think I could have done beyond well here."
Because of the injury, the No.5 seed had previously requested that tournament organisers schedule her first match on Tuesday. That didn't happen and the American was due to face former Wimbledon champion Conchita Martinez on Vodafone Arena later today. Martinez will now face the next player outside the tournament's 32 seeds, Lina Krasnoroutskaya of Russia.
Nevertheless, Williams was reluctant to apportion blame in a press conference today. "It would be bogus of me to say that I'm not disappointed (that she didn't get the late start). But things don't always go your way in life. Ideally I would have preferred a Tuesday start, but I'm not here to start a controversy and I don't put the blame on other people at all."
Williams, who bowed out in a gruesome quarter final against Martina Hingis last year, was also due to defend her doubles title here with big sister Venus. She remains unsure whether she will stay in Melbourne to cheer her sibling on from the sidelines. "We'll see. I love supporting Venus," she said.
Williams indicated that she would seek a MRI on the ankle later Monday afternoon.
I know it's late but do you know how goooood it felt to finally see a REAL LIVE MATCH of Vee???, instead of looking at 'puter screen scores!!! It was LOL wonderfullll!
Thanks to all the posters who did live scores for us of course, but it was good to return to action!
What is even more wonderful is that Venus has her 1st win at the AO, and you know what we say 'round here....
Jan 14th, 2002, 11:34 AM
Also thanks for all the info you guys bring to this site because you really keep us fans in the know concerning the Sisters, and I for one greatly appreciate reading all the articles!:D
Jan 14th, 2002, 01:28 PM
It's really disappointing...:sad: But I guess Serena retiring this tournament will be healthy for her next, which is her desire to play more this year, so KEEP GOING SERENA!!! GET WELL SOON!!!!:hearts:
Now GO Venus!! Win the competition! Do it for the Williams!!
<marquee direction=left><font size=5> :bounce: :bounce: Go Venus!! :bounce: :bounce: </marquee>
<marquee direction=right><font size=5> :angel: :kiss: Get well soon Serena! :kiss: :angel: </marquee>
Jan 14th, 2002, 06:27 PM
Oh Serena, I feel so sad. Get well soon, you MUST. Play your best tennis after you've recovered and storm the world!! Do get well soon Serena... :sad: :sad:
Jan 14th, 2002, 06:28 PM
And yes... GO VENUS!! Take the title home and do Serena proud!!:bounce:
Jan 14th, 2002, 07:01 PM
Venus Walks Into Round Two
Monday, 14 January, 2002
by Sudesh Arudpragasam
While Serena Williams limped out this morning, big sister Venus had few problems walking past fellow American Ansley Cargill 6-2 6-2 in her round one match at the 2002 Australian Open.
The No.2 seed arrived in Melbourne in good form, riding on the crest of a 20-game winning streak and feeling more settled than she has in the past. She arrived in Australia at the beginning of the year, starting off with a tournament win on the Gold Coast against world No.6 Justin Henin, her 14th consecutive win over a top 10 opponent.
"I don't feel I was as prepared as I would like to be last year, but the other years I was well prepared and right now I think that I just have a lot more experience on my side, and I feel confident, so that's two important things going into a championship like this.
"It's good to get here early. You don't feel as rushed, you have a little more time. If I had some bad form, I could have entered another tournament and played it out."
Williams' morning began with the news that sister Serena had succumbed to an ankle injury and would pull out of the first Grand Slam for the year. Although disappointed with her sister's misfortune, she felt little extra pressure as she went into her first round match against a player she had never seen before.
"I really didn't know anything about her. It's rare to come across a player that I have never seen before, or that Serena hasn't played before. I put a face to a name as we walked on court."
Early in the match, Venus was her own worst enemy, sending many balls either long of their mark or cannoning into the net. 36 unforced errors to her opponent's eight were an unwelcome feature of her match. Cargill, a qualifier, fought hard, chasing down as many balls as she could, but in the end she simply could not match Williams for power and experience.
Williams closed out the first set 6-2 in 25 minutes and continued her onslaught in the second to finish the match in under one hour.
"I had a few unforced errors, but I think I got a lot of good shots in. She was very consistent and I got to come in a lot, but I would like to improve on my serve. But I feel as if the rest of the tournament I will play better and better, which seems to be the trend for me," said the reigning Wimbledon and French Open champion who is keen to add the Australian crown to her collection.
Venus is focused with the task at hand. The distractions of Serena's injury and her extended periods away from home are quickly put aside.
"I miss my dog, and I miss my dad and things like that. But this is my job. If I don't do well, someone else will, so I've got to work well."
American tennis star Serena Williams poses for the mediia against a backdrop of the city of Melbourne, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2002 after she announced her new Statement Collection fashion, set to be the ultimate tennis wear for women to wear on court this summer.
Venus Williams likely win Australian Open tennis: Intrade
Venus Williams, seeded second at the women's Australian Open tennis, will win the title ahead of number one seed Jennifer Capriati and third seed Martina Hingis, Intrade market prices suggest.
The Percentage Index (PIX) contract for Williams to win the Grand Slam event in Melbourne was quoted at 55 points on Monday, the PIX for Capriati was at 15, while the PIX contract for Hingis to win the Australian Open was quoted at 13.
Traders on the sports trading exchange are saying Williams has a 55 percent probability of winning the title, while Capriati and Hingis have 15 percent and 13 percent chances. Intrade contracts trade between a price of 0 and 100 and therefore immediately show the probability of a player winning an event.
Williams advanced to the second round by beating fellow American Ansley Cargill in straight sets 6-2, 6-2 on the first day of play on Monday. Her sister Serena Williams withdrew from the event due to an ankle injury. Eurosport televises the championships live.
Manchester United will retain the Premiership title ahead of Arsenal, Liverpool and Leeds, according to Intrade market prices.
The PIX contract for United to win the title was quoted at 47 points on Monday, the PIX for Arsenal to win was at 22, while the PIX contract for Liverpool to win the Premiership was quoted at 11. The PIX contract for Leeds to win was at 10.
United lead the Premiership ahead of Newcastle on goal difference, while Leeds and Arsenal trail in third and fourth place, respectively.
The PIX contract for United will expire at 100 if they win the Premiership title.
Jan 15th, 2002, 01:30 AM
V.S. you always get the most beautiful pictures ,when it comes to our girls.keep it coming.
Jovon you are so true,we do our best here.So do you.The WILLIAMS FAMily , ARE PROUD TO HAVE ALL OF us. Loyal fans .But I think they know it,right guys.:) :D :cool: :kiss: :wavey: ;)
Jan 15th, 2002, 02:01 AM
Thanks Rubylips!!! I search the web a lot when I'm bored at work. I'll try to keep the pictures coming! :wavey: :wavey:
Jan 15th, 2002, 04:32 AM
V.S. I remember the days, when I had a LOT of extra time at work. Now I actually have to do work, at work ;) hehe. Keep those pics & articles coming!! :D
jovon--I know what you mean about seeing Venus last night. It was like a breath of fresh air!!
Meanwhile, her serving was atrocious. Hopefully, she will pick this up in the next match.
Did anybody else notice how Cliff Drysdale kept harping on how many errors she made? One would have thought that Venus was losing the match the way he was going on about it. :mad:
Jan 15th, 2002, 07:34 AM
Hey guys :wavey: Thanks for pics and info, u guys are the best :kiss:
Dunno if you guys read the interview already cos i'm late hehe but thought i'd post it here anyway :)
<font size=3 color=hotblue>DAY 1 Interview</font>
VENUS WILLIAMS defeated ANSLEY CARGILL 6-2 6-2
Q. Bud Collins. Good afternoon, Venus. Nice dress; is it one of your designs?
A. No, it's not.
Q. Next time?
A. Next time.
Q. Your previous years here, did you feel you were as well prepared as you are now?
A. I don't feel I was as prepared as I would like to be last year, but the other years I was well prepared and right now I think that I just have a lot more experience on my side, and I feel confident, so that's two important things going into a championship like this.
Q. Fiona Carmody from Fox Sport. How did you rate your game today?
A. I had a few unforced errors, but I think I got a lot of good shots in as far as hitting quite a few balls, and she was very consistent, and I got to come in a lot, but I would like to improve on my serve. But I feel as if the rest of the tournament I will play better and better, which seems to be the trend for me.
Q. Do you feel an extra pressure now your sister is not playing?
A. No, not at all, no.
Q. Did you go into the game with any emotion about that today?
A. No. Not really. I was disappointed, just as quite a few people are probably sad to hear about Serena's condition, but I was able to move on, and that's a good thing because I worry about her a lot, and if I went on the court worrying that could affect my game.
Q. Bruce Matthews, Herald Sun. What did you know about your opponent before the match?
A. Really, I didn't know anything, so I put a face to a name once we walked onto the court.
Q. Did you have someone scout as to how she played, or did you just play her?
A. No, I don't really do that in general. I have played so many players, either I have played them or Serena has played them, or I just go out and play my game. It is pretty rare nowadays that I play someone I haven't seen before.
Q. Venus, Karen Lyon from the Age. I was just wondering what you thought about the court conditions today. Was it slower than it has been played in previous years and was it to your liking?
A. No, I never really considered it slow or fast, a pretty average court normally. For me it was playing the same as all years, but I am not really pickey, so I guess you should ask another player.
Q. What difference does it make having been here this long in Australia going into the tournament?
A. I feel settled in. Normally when you get here before, like a week before, you feel a little bit rushed, especially if you play a tournament before, you feel - you want to get those matches in, you don't want to lose early because you would like to have some play and some warm-up. But getting here and playing on the Gold Coast was very good, and if I just happen to have some bad form I could hopefully enter another tournament the next week, and I feel like I had an opportunity to look around, more than what I normally do. So I'm going to try to capitalise on that again this week, since I'm not in the Doubles.
Q. A lot of players don't like to spend too long away from home. You will be spending hopefully at least a month away; do you get homesick?
A. Not as much as I used to. I suppose I just miss my dog and I miss my dad and things like that. But this is my job, and if I don't do it well someone else will, so I have got to work well.
Q. Venus, can I ask you a business question?
A. I hope I can answer it.
Q. You used to have a deal with Nortel, did you not?
Q. And it is a Canadian-based company. They have had a lot of trouble and I just wonder if you still have your deal with them?
A. Nortel is a great company, we have had a great relationship, and they have done quite a few things with Serena and I, and we've just had a great time. Things have been really tough for quite a few companies since - since actually the fourth quarter last year, and especially with everything that has happened recently it has taken a downturn, so I hope we can continue the partnership, and things look well so far.
Q. So are they still paying you?
A. Oh, wow, you're loaded, huh?
Q. No, just inquiring.
A. I think that's a strange question.
Q. I thought maybe they were having trouble so you cut back on your fee or something just to help overcome that?
A. No, I just did my business analysis; that's as far as it gets.
Jan 15th, 2002, 08:42 AM
Thanks for the article, Susie. It would seem that some reporters have no shame. It was downright rude and stereotypical to ask Vee about her finances, but hey, some people are just *zzholes.
Kudos to Venus for not taking the bait, and deflectiing this line of questioning with class!
Jan 15th, 2002, 03:47 PM
Great article by V.S.!! I agree with Intrade!! :)
Cool pictures!! I just love Serena! :hearts: :hearts:
No.2 seed Venus Williams won her second round match at the 2002 Australian Open virtually on one leg, downing fellow American Kristina Brandi 6-3 6-4 Wednesday night on Rod Laver Arena. But her hopes have dimmed of securing a third straight Grand Slam to add to the 2001 Wimbledon and US Open titles, due to painful tendinitis which flared in her left knee just 20 minutes before the match.
"I was just really fortunate tonight," said a subdued Venus. "God's blessed me to get through this round."
Wearing a bandage on her left knee, Williams was clearly restricted on serve and in her movement around the court. She landed just 47 per cent of her first serves and, in a bid to shorten points, whacked 36 unforced errors to 31 winners.
Between points, she walked around slowly and gingerly. Throughout the match, Venus admitted, she was "real nervous" about whether she would finish it. "I was hoping I could put a little extra mustard on the ball," she explained of her decision to take to the court. "If I was playing a top player I think the chances (of playing at all) would have been very slim. If my dad was here, he probably would've talked me out of it."
Having beaten Brandi before, Williams felt she was in with a chance. There was another motivation: "Serena wasn't able to play [due to an ankle injury], so I just had to give it my all and hang around a little longer."
It speaks volumes for Venus's game and competitive spirit that, even hobbled, she made it through a Grand Slam match in 58 minutes. "Tonight, every point meant so much to me," she said.
Venus first battled with tendinitis of the left knee as long ago as April 1998. Later that year it forced her withdrawal from the season-ending championship. "Old pains revisit you at the most inopportune times," she dryly remarked.
Venus's third-round opponent, the young Slovak Daniela Hantuchova, will be a stiffer challenge for Venus than was the steady Brandi. The last of 32 seeds here, the tall 18-year-old today blitzed Italy's Tathiana Garbin for the loss of just two games. "I'll take some time tomorrow and hope for the best. You never know," said a hopeful Venus.
:angel: Let's pray for Venus!!!!! :angel:
Jan 16th, 2002, 07:39 PM
VENUS WILLIAMS defeated KRISTINA BRANDI 6-3 6-4
Q. Venus, would we be right in assuming that your knee was giving you considerable pain out there on court?
A. I just - I think I was just really fortunate tonight. God has blessed me to maybe get through this round.
Q. Venus, is it a threat to you continuing in the competition, do you think? I gather it's a tendinitis, isn't it?
A. I mean, I've been there and done that, and I think that I'm pretty experienced at dealing with injuries, so I'll just hope for the best and get some time tomorrow. And you know, I just feel like Serena wasn't able to play so I just had to give it my all maybe, and just hang around a little longer.
Q. From past experience, is it the sort of thing you know that with a day off can be a big help?
A. You never know. I think that with just taping, that normally helps a lot; sometimes it doesn't, in the worst case scenario. But I think that I'll just talk to my Mom and my Dad and see what they think.
Q. Venus, when did this injury flare? When did it really start being a problem?
A. It really was just about 20 minutes before the match. I don't really don't know why, why it happened. I guess I just had problems in the past, and sometimes old pain revisits you at the most inopportune times. I really don't know. I feel that my trainer did a really good job, helped me stay out there.
Q. Was there ever a point where you were worried about whether you would be able to get through the match?
A. Yeah, I was real nervous. Really, every point meant so much to me. I'm not really a big fist pumper any more. I used to be because I used to be, when I was younger, just starting out and making shots and doing things and starting to win. But nowadays I really believe I can do it. So tonight, every point meant so much to me if I could just win those points, and I was quite nervous, at least about my ability just to be able to compete well.
Q. Was there any chance that you wouldn't have played tonight? Did that ever cross your mind?
A. If I was playing - I played Christina before and she's a very good player, but I was hoping, you know, I could put a little extra mustard on the ball. If I was playing maybe a top player I think the chances would have been very slim.
Q. If it wasn't a Grand Slam, would there have been no chance?
A. I don't know. If my Dad was here he probably would have talked me out of it. But he wasn't. And I didn't say anything to my Mom before I went, so it was a sneaky little thing.
Q. Is there any doubt over your next match, or will you certainly play?
A. I'm looking forward to playing, I really am. But I'll just take one day at a time. It seems to be just a really bad tournament for the seeds.
Q. Venus, this isn't the sort of question I normally ask, but the television apparently picked up what was described as a handsome rock on your finger. Is there a story behind that?
A. Well, I was passing a shop in Sydney and it just called my name.
- - -
Jan 16th, 2002, 09:22 PM
Sore Williams in doubt
By KAREN LYON
Thursday 17 January 2002
Women's No. 2 seed Venus Williams is in doubt for the remainder of the Australian Open after tendinitis flared in her left knee during her second-round match yesterday.
Last night, Williams moved around the court in obvious pain, her service action hampered in the match against fellow American Kristina Brandi, which the reigning Wimbledon champion won 6-3, 6-4.
The Williams news capped off another bad day at the Open for the seeds, with Yevgeny Kafelnikov, the No.4 seed, and fifth-seeded Sebastien Grosjean joining the top three men's seeds in falling by the wayside.
An exit by Williams would be a further blow to the women's competition after the pre-tournament withdrawals of Lindsay Davenport, whose injured knee prevented her from playing as the No.1 seed, and Williams' sister Serena, whose ankle injury last week in Sydney meant she could not play this week as the No.5 seed.
After her match, Williams said she would take it "one day at a time", but hoped to play out the tournament.
"I think I am pretty experienced at dealing with injuries, so I'll just hope for the best and get some time (off) tomorrow," she said. "I just feel like Serena wasn't able to play so I just had to give it my all maybe, and just hang around a little longer."
Williams said the tendinitis had flared about 20 minutes before the match and that if she had been drawn to play a seeded player, she would have forfeited. "It was really 20 minutes before the match. I don't really know why, why it happened. I guess I just had problems in the past and sometimes old pain just revisits you at the most inopportune time," she said.
Williams admitted fearing she could not complete the match. "If my Dad was here, he probably would have talked me out of it, but he wasn't and I didn't say anything to my Mom before I went, so it was a sneaky little thing," she said.
Williams is drawn to meet the 32nd seed, Slovak Daniela Hantuchova in the next round.
The tournament now takes the dubious honour of becoming the first grand slam in open history to lose its top five male seeds before the third round.
Kafelnikov lost to Alex Kim, an American qualifier ranked 234th in the world. The Russian said he lacked energy: "I haven't felt that bad in a long time, maybe never. I had no energy in the legs, I had no energy in the arms ... I really cannot explain why."
He was also bewildered as to why so many seeds have been beaten. "To be honest, I have no idea why," he said. "Now, having lost myself in the second round of a grand slam, now I can feel how painful it is. But you know, there is absolutely no reason why Gustavo Kuerten, Lleyton Hewitt, myself and Sebastien Grosjean, who all have lost, all couldn't pass the second round."
Kim, a 23-year-old just seven months into his professional career, played with confidence. "I thought I was going to win. I was hitting the ball well and I thought I had a shot," he said.
Grosjean, a semi-finalist last year, said he had neck soreness during his five-set loss to Spain's Francisco Clavet, 6-4, 3-6, 6-0, 5-7, 6-4.
Jan 16th, 2002, 10:56 PM
http://www.anduin.de/emoticons/nono.gif It aint ovah til it's ovah! I believe! Go Venus!
We all believe in you!! Go Venus!! Show you thing!!
Jan 17th, 2002, 05:39 PM
Yes yes y'all! BELIEVE! :cool:
Jan 17th, 2002, 10:55 PM
All the way Venus, you can do it!:bounce: :bounce:
Jan 18th, 2002, 10:14 AM
I Believed! I Believed! And Venus delivered!:bounce:
Venus played thru her injury and beat Daniela H., OMG, it was an heart thumppin match! (and I have to give her opponent props because she sure played the match of her life).
Great win Venus. Take the whole title!
I'm still believing, I'm still believing.:)
Jan 18th, 2002, 12:32 PM
Yes Jovon me too!!!
Let's all believe! :)
Get well soon dear Serena miss you too much :sad:
Send good vibes to Venus :) I'm sure u are! :kiss:
Jan 18th, 2002, 02:27 PM
Yeah!! Our faith in Venus, the good vibes we're sending have help pull Venus through. Let's continue to believe!! :D :D
Go Venus!! Advance to the quarters!! :bounce: :bounce:
Jan 18th, 2002, 06:01 PM
Williams Survives Three Set Scare
Friday, 18 January, 2002
No.2 seed Venus Williams performed a great escape against a determined Daniela Hantuchova on Friday, moving into the fourth round with a three set victory, 3-6 6-0 6-4.
The reigning Wimbledon and US Open champion, Williams reeled off 39 winners during the one hour, 47 minute epic, and enjoyed a 83% winning percentage on her first serve.
The second seed, who is suffering a recurring bout of left knee tendinitis, will next meet No.13 seed Magdalena Maleeva.
Williams converted seven of 16 break point opportunities.
Hantuchova converted five of nine break point opportunities.
Both players served four double faults in the match.
Williams has now beaten Hantuchova twice.
This is Venus' fourth appearance in Melbourne. She reached the semi final in 2001, losing to Martina Hingis.
Venus won the 2001 Australian Open doubles title with sister Serena.
Venus now holds a 23-match winning streak which extends back to July 2001, where she lost to Meghann Shaughnessy in the quarter finals at Stanford.
This is No.32 seed Hantuchova's second appearance in the main draw at Melbourne. In 2001 she fell to No.8 seed Anna Kournikova in round one.
Hantuchova's highest ranking is No.28 in the world, which she has held since 14 January 2002.
Hantuchova is coached by Nigel Sears.
Jan 18th, 2002, 06:04 PM
VENUS WILLIAMS defeated DANIELA HANTUCHOVA 3-6 6-0 6-4
Q. Venus, you looked like you really enjoyed that at the end after you got through such a tough one?
A. Definitely. It has been a while since I've had such a match, 4-4 in the third, really. Winning those these are definitely some of the sweetest moments in your career.
Q. Was it a scare or a stimulus?
A. I wasn't really afraid. I just kept telling myself that I'm just sitting back there and not doing anything about the situation; chances are I'll be on the flight home too. So I just did my personal best out there today. That's all I could do.
Q. Do you find that brings out the best in you, when somebody pushes you that way?
A. Definitely. She played very well. She kept getting the balls deep. She ran all kinds of ball down. She had a high first service percentage in; she was doing all the right things. So actually it was very good. She is a very good player. She's come a long way since the first time I played her a few months ago.
Q. At the beginning of the match, was that a question of maybe just getting the knee loosened up?
A. Yeah. You always go into a match a little nervous after having a scare. But I found that I could do quite a lot more than I did the other day; so it was exciting for me.
Q. Did it hamper you at all?
A. I felt very good today, very good. I felt like I could move. She hit a few drop shots that I didn't run for at first. But then there was a few towards the end that I did very well on.
Q. Venus, in terms of the injury, I mean, do you think that it is physically tougher on players' bodies now than it ever has been?
A. As far as playing a lot, maybe?
Q. Yes. The schedule, the racquets, the hard courts, everything?
A. I think it's true tennis has changed since its beginnings, and there's a lot more on the players as far as playing tournaments and being - especially the top players, getting into the final four, the Finals. So, if anything, you should take very good care of yourself, and as long as you do that, normally, it's okay.
Q. Venus, probably more importantly, how is the knee now that it has cooled down?
A. I feel well. Just, you know, I took immediate precaution, and just do my best to keep all the swelling out. But I've got a good Mom and I've got a good trainer with me, so they were doing everything they could do to make it possible I was here today.
Q. Did you ice it, or what was the procedure after the match?
A. Yeah. Ice is my best friend now.
Q. Venus, you have been criticised for maybe not playing as much as other players. But maybe there's something in that for you, to protect your body a little bit more, and stay fresh and hungry and not jaded. Do you think there's something to be said for playing a more limited schedule?
A. I think that, really, my schedule really just mirrors my personality. Lots of players are able to play quite a few matches. But if I would just do one thing in my life I would be terribly bored. So I've got to do what makes me happy, and playing the amounts of tournaments that I've played so far has made me happy, and for me that's what's best.
Q. In terms of the match, to come back from 0-40 in that second game of the second set, was that where you think you turned it around or - - -?
A. Oh, really, I was just telling myself to hopefully keep the unforced errors down. But she played very well. Every ball kept coming back. If I put more pace on it came back harder. It was a very challenging match. But definitely, when you come back from being far down, being down 0-40 is not only boosting for yourself, but your opponent starts to think a lot more.
Q. Venus, how do you describe the difference between the first set and the second set? Did you just get a lot better in the second and she sort of started choking up a bit; or how do you explain the difference between the first and second sets?
A. Well, really, I just, since I've been out here a little bit longer and I've been in this kind of situation more than she did, I probably was more prepared to deal with some of the stress and all the things that go into this. But she played very well. Right up to the end I had to fight for every point, that's for sure. But even the first set was a little tough. I had a double break against me, and that's hard to come back, against you, if she serves very well. So I just had to do what it takes and try to dig out of it.
Q. So do you think experience was the difference perhaps?
A. It could have been. It could have been.
Q. Venus, you looked pretty shaky when you were going down 0-4 in the first set, and a little ginger on your foot and stuff, on your leg. Did you ever at any point think, "Boy, this isn't going to loosen up. I'm not going to be able to play better"? Did you think you might sort of stop?
A. No, I didn't feel that I would stop. I just wanted to make sure everything was okay, and I think that - I didn't hit yesterday, and I just had about fifteen, twenty minutes today, so I hadn't really tested it so I didn't know how far I could go. But I went very far.
Q. She's, what, I think 18. She played very well today. I think your experience showed through. But clearly, she's going to be one to watch, and maybe someone you are going to have to get used to playing more often. ?
A. M'mm. Actually, I enjoy playing against her. She puts a challenge to you. She makes you realise the places where you have to work a little bit harder, and it's very nice to get that challenge. Because as long as you are winning easy, things seem like a piece like of cake, and you don't really see your flaws. So as long as there's players out there testing you and pushing you further it helps, not only me, it helps everybody. It helps everyone else on the Tour.
Q. Do you think that she's going to be one of the stars coming through?
A. From the first time I played her I thought she had a really incredible game. And plus, she has the height, and the leverage, and she moves well, and it seems to me like she thinks on the court also. So she has a lot of things working for her.
Q. What do you do with your forehand when it suddenly goes crazy?
A. I don't think my forehand goes crazy.
Q. Well, you had some strange shots?
A. Yeah. I'm not looking at the ball when I do that, you know. You have to see it before you hit it; and if you don't, you hope for the best and expect the worst. A lot of times you just, you know, you want that ball to be where you are going to put it. And you just take your eye off it and it just doesn't work, and I know that. But you just have to keep yourself calm. But, for me, I think a lot of the times my forehand is my best side. I've lost a lot of matches off my backhand, so as long as I'm serving well and moving well and just competing, that's what counts.
Q. What sort of match do you expect from Magdalena, Venus? Is it a similar match to what you had today?
A. Oh, for sure. I think I'll have to hit a lot of balls. I think that she's an older player. She plays more calculated tennis. She moves the ball around well, and she's really a formidable opponent. So I can't expect her to give me anything. I'll just have to go out there and take something for myself.
Q. Venus, have you ever talked to her about having her sister or sisters on the Tour?
A. No, not really, no. She's the last one standing. I guess she has done the best out of all three; correct? No?
Q. No. Do you think the two of you could take the three of them?
A. There's room for one more. I'll pull one of my other sisters in.
- - -
Jan 19th, 2002, 01:06 AM
Venus Williams of the United States reacts after winning her match against Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne Friday, Jan. 18, 2002. Williams won the match 3-6, 6-0, 6-4.
Jan 19th, 2002, 03:33 PM
She was so relieved to have won that match :)
Jan 19th, 2002, 09:15 PM
Go Venus:bounce: beat Maggie:bounce: its your game:bounce: you go girl!:bounce: :bounce: :)
Jan 19th, 2002, 11:22 PM
Go Venus Bring home the title Your the best :bounce: :bounce:
Jan 20th, 2002, 07:12 AM
<font size=5 color=orange>:bounce: GO VEE, GOOD LUCK BABE! :bounce:</font>
Jan 20th, 2002, 07:32 AM
Yeah Baby Go Venus Bring It Home
Jan 20th, 2002, 08:33 AM
Go Venus!! You must beat Maggie!! :bounce: :bounce:
Jan 21st, 2002, 01:15 AM
BRING IT HOME.IF NOT FOR YOU,FOR SERENA& MEE.LOL:kiss: :D :) :cool: :kiss: :wavey:
Jan 21st, 2002, 05:33 PM
Venus is one match away from the semis!! Go Venus!! Repeat that fine performance against Monica!! :bounce: :bounce:
Jan 21st, 2002, 06:52 PM
Monica will put up quite a fight but you can stop her champ! Bring it home Venus!
BRING IT HOME VENUS. TAKE IT TO HER
<marqueer>YOUR A STARR. BRING HOME THE TITLE</marquee>
Jan 22nd, 2002, 04:54 PM
Disappointing injury fo Venus. But I have confidence in both girls. Go Venus and Serena!! Recover and please win win win!!
Jan 22nd, 2002, 08:01 PM
Nurse those injuries ladies!!!!!!!! Come back strong & fighting!!!!!!! :bounce: :bounce: :kiss: :kiss: :angel: :angel:
Jan 22nd, 2002, 08:21 PM
Seles beats Venus Williams, moves into semifinal against Hingis
Jan 22, 2002 8:27 AM (EST)
By JOHN PYE
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - Venus Williams, supreme at Wimbledon and at Flushing Meadows, stumbled at the Australian Open.
Monica Seles snapped Williams' 24-match winning streak and her bid for a third consecutive Grand Slam title with a 6-7 (4), 6-2, 6-3 quarterfinal upset Tuesday and moved into the Australian Open semifinals against Martina Hingis.
Seles lost her previous six matches against Williams, who has won the last two U.S. Opens and the previous two Wimbledon titles.
The second-seeded Williams injured her hamstring in the first set and limped for the rest of the match. She'd gone into the quarterfinal with an injured left knee.
Williams reached the semifinals at Melbourne Park last year, when she had the worst loss of her pro career in a 6-1, 6-1 defeat to Hingis. In her previous trips to Melbourne Park, she'd never gone beyond the quarterfinals.
Seles, seeded eighth, has won four Australian Opens, but the last one was six years ago. Hingis is a three-time Australian Open champion, but has not won since 1999, her last title in a major tournament.
Williams won the first set in a tiebreaker despite her injury.
"I had pain in the hamstring area - I wasn't quite sure what was going on," Williams said. "It hasn't been the best tournament for me health-wise."
Seles won the first eight points and led 2-0 before Williams broke back and held to put the first set back on serve.
Williams injured her hamstring chasing a wide Seles' forehand on the last point of the eighth game and needed a medical timeout and treatment inside the player's tunnel to have the top of her right thigh strapped.
Seles dominated the second set, with her two-fisted forehand and backhand groundstrokes regularly producing winners, and she evened the match at a set apiece in 33 minutes as Williams' error rate increased.
In the third set, Seles broke to lead 3-2 when Williams' wild backhand went long.
At 4-3, Seles gave her younger rival three break points but saved them all for a 5-3 lead, finishing with a backhand winner down the line.
Serving to stay in the match, Williams faced two match points and surrendered on the second when she netted a forehand.
"It was such a tough match, really weird circumstances for both of us," said Seles, who complained of a sore throat and fever going into the match. "We were both fighting a lot of problems within ourselves.
"Venus is such a great champion, I just got lucky there on a couple of points at the end."
The only other time they'd gone head-to-head outside of the United States was at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, when Williams got a three-set win in a semifinal en route to a gold medal.
Williams finished with 49 unforced errors and 10 double faults, almost twice those of Seles, who had 25 unforced errors and five double faults.
"More than anything (Seles) had the gameplan today," Williams said. "Who knows, maybe she'll take the whole Slam home - that would be an exciting story. She deserves it."
Williams said she'd get some medical advice before deciding where to play next. Although she's now targeting the French Open "to end my nightmare there." She's never gone beyond the quarterfinals at Roland Garros.
Hingis has reached the final at Melbourne Park every year since 1997, when she picked up the first of her three consecutive titles. She was runner-up to Lindsay Davenport in 2000 and again to Jennifer Capriati last year.
"Martina is a very tough player, she's playing some of her best tennis. It's going to be a tough battle, we always play tough ones," Seles said.
In her 6-2, 6-3 win Tuesday over Adriana Serra Zanetti, Hingis looked composed and confident even though it was her hardest match so far. She only conceded nine games in her previous four matches.
Serena Williams, the 1999 U.S. Open winner, withdrew before her first-round match here due to an ankle injury she picked up the previous week in Sydney. Serena and Hingis had been drawn to meet in a quarterfinal rematch.
"I had to face Serena in the quarterfinals here at this point (last year), but it's kind of nice having someone you don't know that well," Hingis said of Serra Zanetti. "It's nice to get through it easier than last year."
Her road to the semifinals this year hasn't been taxing. So far, she's had wins over Virginie Razzano (6-2, 6-2), Greta Arn (6-1, 6-2), Barbara Rittner (6-1, 6-0), and Amanda Coetzer (6-1, 6-0).
She leads Seles 12-4 in head-to-head meetings.
Hingis, who held the No. 1 ranking for a record 73 consecutive weeks until injuring her ankle last October and undergoing surgery, says the unscheduled break did her some good. It took her mind off the grind of touring and helped her concentrate on improving her game.
"I think I've reached some stage that I haven't been before," Hingis said.
Thomas Johansson, seeded 16th, became the first of the men to reach the semis with a 6-0, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory over fellow Swede Jonas Bjorkman, who had ousted No. 6 Tim Henman, No. 12 Guillermo Canas and No. 24 Thomas Enqvist.
Johansson had never previously advanced beyond the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam.
"It's very dangerous to look too far," he said. "You can lose in the next round. Of course, a lot of seeds have gone out, but the guys who are left are playing great tennis."
Bjorkman said he didn't enjoy playing under the roof at Rod Laver Arena, which was closed Tuesday because of rain. Matches on outside courts were postponed for the second consecutive day.
In Tuesday's last match, No. 26 Jiri Novak of the Czech Republic beat Stefan Koubek of Austria 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 in 1 hour, 25 minutes to move into a semifinal against Johansson.
It is disappointing that Venus lost, but they will be back soon, kicking butt as usual! Go Venus and Serena! :)
Jan 23rd, 2002, 02:21 PM
Go Venus and Serena!! We love you!! :kiss: :kiss:
Get well soon!!!
Jan 23rd, 2002, 04:49 PM
Gosh, it appears that some non-fans have came here and voted down our thread!! :( :(
Come on, this thread deserves five stars!! Everyone, give it five stars and soon it'll be there again!!
Just look around and you'll see this *rate thread* thing. Just give it five stars and click rate. That'll do :)
Jan 24th, 2002, 04:37 AM
I just voted Williams_Rulez!:wavey: I thought I had already voted for this one, but apparently I had not!:o
Jan 25th, 2002, 01:57 PM
Wonder why people such things...
At least it is 4 stars now :D
Jan 26th, 2002, 06:29 PM
Its at 5 stars now!! :kiss:
Good work everyone!!
Jan 31st, 2002, 12:31 PM
Feb 6th, 2002, 10:21 PM
Williams, Seles in action at Open Gaz de France tennis
February 6, 2002
PARIS (TICKER) -- Top seed Venus Williams returns to action Wednesday when she makes her debut at the $585,000 Open Gaz de France tennis event.
Williams took last week off after losing to Monica Seles in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open. After receiving a first-round bye, she takes on fellow American Meilen Tu, a lucky loser who is 0-3 lifetime against the reigning Wimbledon and U.S. Open champion.
The 21-year-old Williams started the season by winning the Australian Women's Hardcourt event in Gold Coast. It was her fourth straight title dating to last year.
Tu is into the second round due to the misfortunate of others. She gained entry into the main draw when Sandrine Testud withdrew with a neck injury on Monday, then advanced when Henrieta Nagyova retired in the second set of their first-round encounter with a strained right wrist.
Third seed and defending champion Amelie Mauresmo of France takes on Anna Kournikova of Russia at this event for the second straight year. Mauresmo, who earned a bye into the second round, defeated Kournikova, 2-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-1 in the quarterfinals.
A finalist here in 1999, the 22-year-old Frenchwoman started the year with a quarterfinal effort at Sydney and advanced to the quarterfianls at the Australian Open, where she lost to eventual-winner Jennifer Capriati.
Kournikova, still trying to rebound from a foot injury that caused her to miss most of last season, advanced to the second round with a three-sets win over Switzerland's Emmanuelle Gagliardi on Tuesday.
The 20-year-old Russian, who reached the semifinals here two years ago, lost in the early rounds at Sydney and the Australian Open but reached the semifinals at the ASB Bank Classic and last week's Pan Pacific Open.
Fifth seed Monica Seles of the United States faces Barbara Schett of Austria in the second round. Seles, who is 5-0 lifetime vs. Schett, is coming off a runner-up showing at the Pan Pacific Open last week. She lost the final Sunday to Martina Hingis after falling to her the week before in the semifinals of the Australian Open.
In first-round action, eighth seed Silvia Farina Elia of Italy dispatched Spain's Angeles Montolio, 6-2, 6-2, while her countrywoman qualifier Adriana Serra-Zanetti rallied past another Spaniard, Magui Serna, 2-6, 7-5, 6-4.
Also, Nathalie Dechy of France goes against Daja Bedanova of the Czech Republic and Anne Kremer of Luxembourg battles France's Anne-Gaelle Sidot.
The champion takes home $93,000.
Feb 7th, 2002, 01:22 AM
Williams, Seles advance action at Open Gaz de France tennis
February 6, 2002
PARIS (TICKER) -- Top seed Venus Williams returned to action and advanced to the quarterfinals in her debut at the $585,000 Open Gaz de France tennis event on Wednesday.
Williams took last week off after losing to Monica Seles in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open. After receiving a bye, she cruised to a 6-1, 6-3 victory over fellow American Meilen Tu, a lucky loser who fell to 0-4 lifetime against the reigning Wimbledon and U.S. Open champion.
The 21-year-old Williams started the season by winning the Australian Women's Hardcourt event in Gold Coast. It was her fourth straight title dating to last year.
Tu reached the second round due to the misfortunate of others. She gained entry into the main draw when Sandrine Testud withdrew with a neck injury on Monday, then advanced when Henrieta Nagyova retired in the second set of their first-round encounter with a strained right wrist.
The fifth-seeded Seles of the United States also moved into the quarterfinals with a 6-2, 6-3 triumph over Barbara Schett of Austria. Seles, who improved to 6-0 lifetime vs. Schett, is coming off a runner-up showing at the Pan Pacific Open last week.
Seles lost the final Sunday to Martina Hingis after falling to her the week before in the semifinals of the Australian Open.
Third seed and defending champion Amelie Mauresmo of France defeated Anna Kournikova of Russia at this event for the second straight year.
Mauresmo, who earned a bye into the second round, defeated Kournikova, 6-3, 7-5 in another second round match Wednesday. A finalist here in 1999, the 22-year-old Frenchwoman started the year with a quarterfinal effort at Sydney and advanced to the quarterfianls at the Australian Open, where she lost to eventual-winner Jennifer Capriati.
The 20-year-old Kournikova, who reached the semifinals here two years ago, lost in the early rounds at Sydney and the Australian Open but reached the semifinals at the ASB Bank Classic and last week's Pan Pacific Open.
In first-round action, eighth seed Silvia Farina Elia of Italy dispatched Spain's Angeles Montolio, 6-2, 6-2, while her countrywoman qualifier Adriana Serra-Zanetti rallied past another Spaniard, Magui Serna, 2-6, 7-5, 6-4.
Also, Nathalie Dechy of France got past Daja Bedanova, of the Czech Republic, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4. In Wednesday's final first-round match, Anne Kremer of Luxembourg leads France's Anne-Gaelle Sidot, 2-1.
The champion takes home $93,000.
Feb 7th, 2002, 01:14 PM
Glad to see that Venus is all healed up and ready to take on Monica!! Go Venus!! :kiss:
Feb 9th, 2002, 02:45 AM
Venus, Seles through to semis at Gaz de France
PARIS -- Venus Williams and Monica Seles moved into the semifinals of the Gaz de France tournament after winning in straight sets Friday.
Top-seeded Williams beat Italian Silvia Farina-Elia 6-2, 6-1. Williams faces the winner of a quarterfinal match between defending champion Amelie Mauresmo and Francesca Schiavone.
Seles defeated second-seeded Justine Henin 6-4, 6-3. Seles, seeded fifth, faces Yugoslav Jelena Dokic in the semifinals.
No. 7 Dokic struggled early in her quarterfinal against Russia's Elena Dementieva, but went on to win 5-7, 6-1, 6-2.
:) :) :) :D Go Venus!!! :D
Feb 9th, 2002, 02:52 AM
Serena Wiliams Withdraws From Proximus Diamond Games; Older Sister Venus Accepts Wildcard
London, England (February 8, 2002) - World No. 6 and original No. 2 seed Serena Williams of the United States has been forced to withdraw from the forthcoming inaugural Proximus Diamond Games (Feb. 11-17) in Antwerp, Belgium due to an on-going right ankle injury. Williams originally sprained her ankle during the first set of her semifinal match in Sydney against Meghann Shaughnessy (USA) on January 11, forcing her subsequent withdrawal from the Australian Open.
"I'm very disappointed," said Williams. "I was really looking forward to visiting Belgium for the first time but unfortunately the healing process from my injury in Sydney has taken longer than anticipated. As much as I would have liked to play in Antwerp, it is important for me to get back to 100% especially at this early point in the year. I am working hard and plan to be back on the Sanex WTA Tour as soon as possible."
Meanwhile Serena's older sister, World No. 2 Venus, has accepted a last minute wildcard into the Antwerp event. The other top players entered include Belgium's Justine Henin, Amelie Mauresmo, Jelena Dokic and Anna Kournikova. With a solid performance in Antwerp, Venus will put herself in a good position to claim the No. 1 ranking for the first time in her career. Earlier, the Proximus Diamond Games saw the withdrawal of Belgian No. 1 Kim Clijsters, when she withdrew last Friday with a stress fracture to her right arm. The other two remaining Wildcards have been awarded to Belgians, veteran Els Callens and Kim Clijsters' younger sister, Elke.
It is the first time in Belgium's history that the country is staging a Tier II ($585,000) level event on the Sanex WTA Tour. The winner of the tournament will receive a solid gold tennis racquet, encrusted with 1,650 diamonds to the approximate value of 1 million EURO. The first player to win the tournament three times during a five year span gets to keep the unique trophy.
The Sanex WTA Tour is the world's premier professional sport for women. In 2002, more than 1,000 players representing 76 nations will compete for more than $51 million in prize money at 66 events in 33 countries. Sanex WTA Tour events are seen in person by more than four million fans worldwide, with its matches televised to more than 6.1 billion homes annually. The Tour's season concludes with the Sanex Championships at the Olympia Halle in Munich, Germany from October 28 to November 2, 2002.
Feb 9th, 2002, 04:23 AM
Get well Serena and do well Venus:) Venus do your best against Amelie she is no joke that girl.:)
FEARLESS WILLIAMS SISTERS RULE!:)
Feb 9th, 2002, 04:53 AM
:sad: :sad: :sad: :sad:
I miss Serena soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo baaadly :sad:
Feb 9th, 2002, 03:04 PM
Poor Serena :sad:
Well Venus, Serena's injury has given you a spot in Antwerp. Do make sure you win it!!
Feb 9th, 2002, 11:06 PM
Well done Venus well done:)
Your one heck of a tennis champion:)
Feb 9th, 2002, 11:09 PM
Congrats Vee :kiss: Once again did us proud, we love ya :)
Good luck against Jelena :bounce:
Feb 10th, 2002, 03:36 AM
Venus, Dokic reach final in Paris
09 February 2002
World number two Venus Williams outmuscled defending champion Amelie Mauresmo 4-6 7-6 7-5 on Saturday in a hard-fought semifinal at the Paris Open indoor tournament.
Dokic will meet Venus Williams in the final (Reuters)
The American top seed will face Jelena Dokic in the final on Sunday following the Yugoslav's 6-3 3-6 6-4 victory over Monica Seles.
In the first set, third seed Mauresmo broke Williams immediately with some devastating returns and held serve to lead 2-0.
The muscular Frenchwoman, ranked eighth in the world, served well, hitting several aces and giving her opponent no chance to break. She made very few errors and took the set without looking threatened.
Williams had to save two break-points early in the second set but she raised her game and broke first to lead 3-1. Mauresmo drew level, though, winning the next two games without conceding a point.
The champion broke to lead 5-4 and served for the match, but Williams suddenly unleashed her full power, hitting some huge shots from the baseline to draw level and she played flawlessly in the tie-break to take the set.
Williams launched a ruthless attack at the start of the third set and broke outright. But an equally determined Mauresmo responded in kind and neither player could take the upper hand up to 3-3.
The top seed broke the deadlock with a series of killer returns and volleys to break and lead 4-3. She was serving for the match at 5-4 but Mauresmo won three superb points and Williams double-faulted to gift her the game.
The world number two was not to be denied, however, and played two perfect games to win the match in two hours and five minutes.
Earlier, fourth seed Dokic won a battle of the generations by defeating Seles, who is 10 years her senior.
The 18-year-old Yugoslav romped to a 4-1 lead in the first set, overpowering fifth seed Seles with unstoppable serves and groundstrokes. The American raised her game in the latter part of the set but it was not enough to counter her fired-up opponent.
The second set looked to be going the same way when world number nine Dokic broke to lead 2-1, but her opponent immediately hit back. Seles upped the pressure, producing some lightning-speed returns and clinical baseline shots into the corners of the court.
Dokic seemed to wilt under Seles's punishing blows and two double-faults at 4-3 gifted the Yugoslav-born American a break-point. Dokic saved that point and two more but Seles eventually won a superb rally to break and held serve for the set.
In the third set Seles, the world number 10, gave as good as she got in terms of muscle but could not match Dokic's speed.
At 5-4 she produced two searing returns to earn two match points. Seles saved the first with a backhand volley but hit a baseline shot wide on the next point, sending Dokic leaping joyfully around the court.
It was the first time in five meetings with Seles that Dokic had come out on top.
"We've had a few tough matches but I was never really able even to have a chance of winning so I'm very happy," a beaming Dokic told reporters.
Feb 10th, 2002, 12:47 PM
Good luck against Jelena later Venus!! :bounce: :bounce:
No more heart attacks!! :angel:
Feb 10th, 2002, 10:12 PM
By JOCELYN GECKER
Associated Press Writer
February 10, 2002
PARIS (AP) -- Venus Williams claimed her second title of 2002 when Jelena Dokic withdrew from Sunday's final of the Gaz de France tournament with a strained right thigh.
``It's not really like you've won. But I suppose you're the last one standing,'' Williams said.
It was her 23rd career WTA Tour title.
The fourth-seeded Dokic said she was hurt during Saturday's 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 semifinal victory over Monica Seles and aggravated the injury in a doubles match later that day.
``I wasn't able to move this morning,'' Dokic said Sunday. ``It seems to be a lot more serious than we originally thought.''
Dokic, who called the injury a muscle tear, also pulled out of the doubles tournament at Proximus Diamond Games this week in Antwerp. She still hoped to play in the singles competition there.
Williams, who has won both the U.S. Open and Wimbledon each of the last two years, beat Justine Henin at the Gold Coast tournament in January for her first title in 2002. Williams reached the quarterfinals of the Australia Open, where she lost to Seles.
The top-seeded Williams advanced to the Gaz de France final by beating defending champion Amelie Mauresmo 4-6, 7-6 (3), 7-5 in the semifinals Saturday. That was Williams' only test this week; after a first-round bye, she had straight-set victories over fellow American Meilen Tu and Italy's Silvia Farina-Elia.
The tournament's doubles final also was canceled because Elena Dementieva, whose partner was Janette Husarova, withdrew because of bronchitis. That gave the title to Tu and Nathalie Dechy.
With both finals called off Sunday, spectators who didn't cash in their tickets were treated to an exhibition mixed doubles match with Williams and Mansour Bahrami against Mauresmo and retired French star Yannick Noah.
Midway through the match, the players switched teams to make it men vs. women.
``It was strange,'' Williams said, ``but it was fun.''
Feb 10th, 2002, 10:13 PM
Venus Williams wins Paris tennis in walkover
February 10, 2002
PARIS (TICKER) -- Venus Williams claimed her second title of the year Sunday when an injured Jelena Dokic was unable to compete in the final of the $585,000 Open Gaz de France because of a strained right thigh.
Williams, the top seed from the United States, earned $93,000 without playing a point when Sunday's match was canceled.
"I was ready to play Jelena, mentally and physically but it happens and it's something that tournaments and players know," Williams said. "I'm happy to be the winner, despite no final, it's always nice to be the last one standing."
Dokic sustained a right adductor strain in the third set of her semifinal against Monica Seles on Saturday. The ailment became worse in the evening when the fourth seed from Yugoslavia played her doubles semifinals with a thigh wrap.
On Sunday morning, Dokic had a MRI examination and the WTA Tour medical staff and tournament doctor determined the 18-year-old was unfit to play the final.
"It didn't hurt too badly at first, as I was still warm," Dokic said. "I went on to play the doubles (with Magdalena Maleeva) but towards the end of that match, I could hardly walk and it was hurting a lot. I had treatment straight away and this morning, the doctor saw me again and there was no doubt I couldn't play."
Dokic, 18, was playing in only her second event of the year. She will receive more treatment in the hopes she will be ready to play her second-round match at the Proximus Diamond games in Antwerp on Thursday.
Despite her disappointing finish, Dokic will rise to a career-high No. 6 when the rankings are released on Monday.
Williams has won five of her last six tournaments dating to last season. She finished 2001 with three straight titles, including her fourth Grand Slam triumph at the U.S. Open, and started this season with a win at the Australian Women's Hardcourts in Gold Coast. The 21-year-old American notched her 23rd career tournament triumph.
The final was replaced with a mixed doubles exhibition featuring former men's player Yannick Noah and last year's winner Amelie Mauresmo of France against Williams and ATP senior tour's Mansour Bahrami of Iran.
"It's the first time I met Yannick Noah," Williams said. "I saw him on TV but I never talked to him. So today is also special for me, it's a great moment to meet and play with him. Today was a strange day but it was a lot of fun."
The doubles final also was canceled as Russian Elena Dementieva, who was playing with Janette Husarova of Slovakia, withdrew due to bronchitis and pharyingitis with fever. France's Nathalie Dechy and American Meilen Tu were declared the winners.
Feb 12th, 2002, 06:56 AM
I am sooooooo glad Venus got to meet Noah - seeing she always wanted to meet him. What a babe - huh? And we know Venus loves to flirt. Is Noah married - I wonder? I'm glad she and Momo also got to play together. The fun they all had - must have been quite a hoot. I wonder if they got money for the exhibition?
I wouldn't be surprised if the Sisters play mixed doubles again. As long as they are healthy - maybe they should mix it up some - and have some fun. Though I'm sure the Sisters have a girlfriend or two (and mainly in the entertainment arena - I'd venture to guess) they just seem to light up around the fellas. And spring is coming up too.
I say - go for it Venus - even though you claim you are off the market. Now Serena - is just another story all together. It is no telling who she may end up with by the end of the year. I mean - I'm sure she had loads of fun at the NBA All Star weekend and what not. I'll just say! I know Pops Williams is just shaking his head at his girls and their love lives.
I read that Tyra Banks & Chris Webber are engaged.
Feb 13th, 2002, 03:54 PM
Tennis-Venus says Clijsters, Henin could be number one
By Katie Nguyen
BRUSSELS, Feb 13 (Reuters) - World number two Venus Williams praised the talents of Belgium's Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters on Wednesday and predicted they could one day top the women's tennis rankings.
"Justine is really talented. She has a formidable stroke which allows her to use the racket in a way I can't," Williams said, describing the famed Henin backhand in an interview with La Derniere Heure newspaper.
"As for Kim Clijsters, she's very solid. She's not afraid of anything. Both of them have the undeniable potential to become number one in the world," she added.
"It's pretty incredible that a small country like Belgium could produce two such talented players."
The American came to Belgium after winning the Paris Open on Sunday when Yugoslav Jelena Dokic pulled out of the final due to a thigh injury.
She stepped in at the last minute after younger sister Serena withdrew from this week's Antwerp Open with an ankle injury.
Clijsters, Belgium's number one tennis player, was also forced to pull out with a stress fracture to her right arm.
If she continues in her current vein of form, Venus, who takes on Russia's Anna Kournikova in the second round of the $585,000 tournament, could get a chance to claim number one ranking for the first time in her career, edging out fellow American Jennifer Capriati, who is currently top of the rankings.
"To become number one in two weeks' time would be a wonderful thing, but I would also like to boost my trophy count with new Grand Slam titles," she said.
The field in Antwerp had better be braced as the athletic 22-year-old, who has four Grand Slams under her belt, warned she hates losing any match.
"Wherever I go on court I want to win. I know it's not always possible, but I can't bear losing," she said.
But giving up her top ranking in the future to younger stars like Clijsters or Henin is something she said she is resigned to.
"I have to be careful, all the more because they are young and have their futures ahead of them."
"I'm old. I'm getting arthritis. Soon, I'll have to wear glasses," she joked.
Feb 13th, 2002, 06:52 PM
PR: Venus Williams plays Fla. charity April 6
PRESS RELEASE | FEB. 8, 2002
Venus Williams to Compete at Second Annual JPMorgan Chase Tennis
Challenge to Benefit the
(Delray Beach) -The second Annual JPMorgan Chase Tennis Challenge
benefiting the OWL Foundation will be held on Saturday, April 6 at 7:00
p.m. at the Delray Beach Tennis Center, it was announced today by
Oracene Williams, mother of tennis greats Venus and Serena, and founder
of the OWL Foundation. The OWL Foundation's mission is to provide
assistance to youth with special educational needs.
The inaugural event in 2001 featured ATP stars Justin Gimelstob, Andy
Roddick, Luke Jensen, Murphy Jensen, Serena Williams, and Venus
Williams. The exhibition featured singles matches and a special brothers
vs. sisters doubles match.
This year, the JPMorgan Chase Tennis Challenge will feature Venus
competing against a top WTA Tour player in a singles match. Other ATP
and WTA tour players who will participate will be announced later.
Serena will also support the event.
'Thanks to the sponsorship support of JPMorgan Chase, this event
provides at-risk children with much-needed special educational
services,' said Oracene Williams. 'It is my goal for the OWL Foundation
to provide the resources for children to reach their full educational
Feb 13th, 2002, 09:16 PM
Williams overpowers Kournikova to reach quarterfinals
by PAUL AMES
Associated Press Writer
February 13, 2002
ANTWERP, Belgium (AP) -- Venus Williams powered past Anna Kournikova 7-5, 6-0 Wednesday to reach the quarterfinals of the $585,000 WTA Diamond Games tournament.
Williams appeared to take some time to adjust to the fast court, and she had to deal with eight break points.
``Anna played real well,'' Williams said. ``I needed time to find my rhythm on the surface.''
She saved three break points at 5-5 and eventually took the first set when Kournikova double-faulted.
``I'm positive about it. It was a great set and it showed I can hold my own against the No. 2 in the world,'' said Kournikova, who missed most of last season with a broken foot.
In the round of eight, Williams will face the winner of Thursday's match between fifth-seeded Silvia Farina Elia and qualifier Marie-Gaiane Mikaelian.
Elsewhere Wednesday, second-seeded Justine Henin beat fellow Belgian Els Callens 6-1, 6-4. Henin, a Wimbledon finalist last year, needed just 15 minutes to race to a 5-0 lead. She'll next face sixth-seeded Magdalena Maleeva, who beat Meilen Tu 6-4, 6-3.
Danish qualifier Eva Dyrberg defeated seventh-seeded Anne Kremer 7-6 (4), 7-6 (11).