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View Full Version : Serena Speaks - Wants The Grand Slams


GogoGirl
May 13th, 2003, 10:42 PM
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,5205-679589,00.html




"I LOVE IT" "BRING IT ON"



May 14, 2003

Williams firmly focused on more grand-slam glory
By Neil Harman, Tennis Correspondent in Rome



SERENA WILLIAMS says that she is getting antsy. The French Open and Wimbledon are sweeping inexorably into view, two of the four championships she owns, tennis gems that sparkle as vividly as the encrusted jewel holding her pigtail in place. There are few better cities than this for the shopaholic with millions in the bank but Serena is focused on the six weeks that can further endorse her position among the true greats of sport.
The Italian Championships have a certain allure (the Via Condotti makes Oxford Street look decidedly shabby) but, in truth, they are a stepping stone to the grottoes filled with bounty in Paris and London that she has raided with rapacious vigour in the past year. The 21-year-old, the younger of the Williams brood that has changed the character of women’s tennis, takes a moment, leans back on her left hand and ponders the greatness of her achievements.

“You know, I was practising the other day and hit a bad shot and it suddenly crossed my mind what I have done, so I said to myself: ‘Serena, you have won four grand-slams in a row, you shouldn’t be so angry.’ It is quite an amazing feat, an historic thing, especially being so young. I’m No 1 in the world, I have these titles. I couldn’t be happier with what I am. It’s pretty cool.

“I had always wanted to win Wimbledon since I started to hit tennis balls and the atmosphere there is so amazing, but it all started at the French Open. For me that was huge. Everyone said neither Venus nor I could win on clay, we weren’t that good on it. It had also been three years since I had won the US Open and I was beginning to wonder.”

Since that May afternoon at Roland Garros, all the doubts have flown away, like tree pollen on a sudden breeze. Serena stands in colossal command of women’s tennis and if she paused to look at the magnificent statues surrounding the Pallacorda court here — built as monuments to the might of man — she might wonder if someone will one day sculpt a physique that reflects her dominance of the women’s game.

Only once in 24 matches this year has she lost — to Justine Henin-Hardenne, of Belgium, in Charleston last month — otherwise 2003 has been a spotless vindication of the poise that underpinned her breathtaking successes last year. There were patchy periods in her 6-4, 6-3 victory over Klara Koukalova, of the Czech Republic, in the first round of the Tennis Italia Masters yesterday (at one stage she lost nine points in a row) but there never seemed a shred of doubt that she would pull through.

It is what makes Williams so special. Of the recent standard-bearers, Martina Navratilova intimidated opponents on grass because so few felt that they could beat her on it, Steffi Graf was an irresistible power on clay, Billie Jean King wore her opponents down through sheer force of will.

Williams has a bit of each, plus a physique that thunders authority. “I am able to fight a little bit harder, work a little bit harder in any conditions and that’s what makes the difference,” she said. “My confidence is high as well. If there is one thing that counts against me it is that I am such a perfectionist in everything I do. Everything has to be absolutely right and it can’t always be that way. I feel like I’m really, really ready for the next six weeks. I’m ready now. I just have to make sure I don’t get overly anxious to get the jobs done I want to do, because then I would lose the focus I need to have.”

There was a perception that she had shed a couple of pounds since the spring. “Oh, really, you think so, great,” she said, the child in her still beating strong. “To be honest I haven’t stepped on scales for at least six years but I have been watching what I eat. I don’t take meat any more, I’m not ready for that ‘mad cow’ disease.”

When Richard, her father, flew into print recently, insisting that his two champion daughters — we should not forget that Serena has beaten Venus in the past four grand-slam championship finals — can win anything for as long as they please, one wonders if Serena blanches or simply finds it fun when the old man lets off steam.

“Everybody is playing better, you had better believe that,” she said. “Venus and I have raised the bar. Without us, the sport would not have been as competitive as it is now. There are some girls I played when I first came on to the tour who have improved incredibly. They are all much faster. We cannot rest.

“Actually, Venus loves the sport a lot more than I do. She was telling me the other day that she will probably play into the thirties and I thought ‘Oh, wow’. I’d be pretty surprised if she did, but she really enjoys the work that goes into it. More than I do, I think.”

And, inevitably, as she heads to Roland Garros and Wimbledon, the two grand-slam events that do not offer equal prize-money, the opinions of their champion are fascinating to hear and will be received with great interest — and perhaps a touch of anxiety — by Tim Phillips, the Wimbledon chairman, and Christian Bimes, the president of the French federation. “You would never hear me say that a woman tennis player doesn’t deserve exactly what a man gets,” their leading lady said. “I definitely feel very strongly about it. It has to happen.”

Dava
May 13th, 2003, 10:43 PM
Serena could do it again? But Kim and Justine are playing very well. Who knows?

Infiniti2001
May 13th, 2003, 10:48 PM
“Actually, Venus loves the sport a lot more than I do. She was telling me the other day that she will probably play into the thirties and I thought ‘Oh, wow’. I’d be pretty surprised if she did, but she really enjoys the work that goes into it. More than I do, I think.”


I almost fell off my chair when I read this--- I guess I just don't see it happening waaaaaaaaaa :eek:

Mad-About-Venus
May 13th, 2003, 10:49 PM
:bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:

Venus will be playing for another 8 years

:bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:

I guess this is bad news for many, but not for me... :bounce: :bounce:

SJW
May 13th, 2003, 11:07 PM
thats my girl :hearts:

Venus?! 30s?!?! :eek: get real!!!!!

leslie
May 13th, 2003, 11:14 PM
I almost fell off my chair when I read this--- I guess I just don't see it happening waaaaaaaaaa :eek:

I almost fell off my chair too. Venus was probably kidding with Serena she probably died laughing after she said that.

tennisfan1972
May 13th, 2003, 11:28 PM
Venus said she wants about 12 slams before she retires. hmmmmmmm thats about 1 a year. actually i never believed teh business about Serena and Venus retiring from the tour young to go study and take french etc. I always felt that that was richards way or calming the fears of those who didnt want Venus and Serena to win everything. So if he made them think they were just on tour for a short while , they might be quiet and let his girls win in peace without the hatred etc. But i see he now doesnt give a damn. not that he ever did, but it would eb senseless for serena and venus to both not take advantage of the history they can both make. They can actually be the all time greatest with their games. i why else would they stagger their play so much if not to make it through the long haul. i mean do u really need to rest so much just to play once a month.. just my opinion.

CJ07
May 13th, 2003, 11:41 PM
:bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:

Venus will be playing for another 8 years

:bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:

I guess this is bad news for many, but not for me... :bounce: :bounce:
I hear that!

Alright!!

Cybelle Darkholme
May 13th, 2003, 11:59 PM
I dont think anything should be taken for granted. Didn't kim and justine exit early last year? who was expecting that? DIdn't venus exit early the year before that? Who was expecting that?

So saying that justine kim or even serena are going to win is not a sure bet.

Cariaoke
May 14th, 2003, 12:11 AM
:hearts: :hearts:

Venus playing into her 30's... they forgot this part after that quote: [after which, she let's out a thunderous laugh]

o0O0o
May 14th, 2003, 12:17 AM
Ahh that's 8 more years of satisfyingly spirit-crushing losses! Keep playing Venus!

Mad-About-Venus
May 14th, 2003, 12:26 AM
Ahh that's 8 more years of satisfyingly spirit-crushing losses! Keep playing Venus!


I can live with that. Competition brings crushing losses every now and then. But at least she is not announcing she will run out of the tour with her tail in between her legs like your little Martina did.

Oh, what was that? her little ankle was hurting ?? yeah right, the big ass beatings she was taking from both Venus and Serena were hurting really bad. Ankle, my ass.

Freewoman33
May 14th, 2003, 12:38 AM
Some should just keep their traps shut.

TeeRexx
May 14th, 2003, 12:46 AM
ROTFLMAO@ Mad-About Venus!! :)

A perfectly timed post. :)

1jackson2001
May 14th, 2003, 02:14 AM
Ahh that's 8 more years of satisfyingly spirit-crushing losses! Keep playing Venus!

Spirit-crushing losses and fantasticly amazing major wins! :cool:

Both are bound to happen if she continues to play...

servenrichie
May 14th, 2003, 07:20 AM
Perfect posts Mad-About-Venus and 1jackson2001!

Venus will put in the hardwork she needs to get back to winning slams, while the other little one, who had ran away with her tails between her legs wil continue screwing her mind out with every Tom, Dick and Harry she meets!

0000s thanks for giving me the inspiration to this post!

azinna
May 14th, 2003, 10:55 AM
Serena really needs to focus. She's 24-1, yes, but she can't be sitting back and wondering aloud at the wonders she pulled last year. And all this talk about trying to ease up on the perfectionism? But that (a la Steffi and Pete) is the one way to ensure long-term domination.

I want to see improvements, Rena. And single-mindedness. And if you get the chance at all, talk to your sis. Get the old V back (or the new and improved). We miss her something awful.

Infiniti2001
May 14th, 2003, 01:03 PM
Perfect posts Mad-About-Venus and 1jackson2001!

Venus will put in the hardwork she needs to get back to winning slams, while the other little one, who had ran away with her tails between her legs wil continue screwing her mind out with every Tom, Dick and Harry she meets!

0000s thanks for giving me the inspiration to this post!

Priceless :kiss: :bounce: :wavey:

jenny161185
May 14th, 2003, 01:08 PM
Into her thirties? that may be a slight exageration? I wonder how long Serena plans to play for :confused:

PhoenixStorm
May 14th, 2003, 03:13 PM
I can live with that. Competition brings crushing losses every now and then. But at least she is not announcing she will run out of the tour with her tail in between her legs like your little Martina did.

Oh, what was that? her little ankle was hurting ?? yeah right, the big ass beatings she was taking from both Venus and Serena were hurting really bad. Ankle, my ass.


Dont forget that Jen was dishing out beat downs as well. Four match points! HA! And Jelena and daniela and myskina got their licks in as well. Poor Martina could barely get by a qualifier. so sad. I'm sure there were a few other girls eager to smack her around the court. No wonder she retired.

Brian Stewart
May 15th, 2003, 05:34 AM
Interesting comments by Venus. I wouldn't be surprised either way. With the recent talk about Kim retiring, and Richard's periodic claims that he wants his daughters to walk away soon, it brings a sense of deja vu for us older fans.

About 30 years ago, there were a couple of talented teens on the tour. Their names were Chris and Martina. They saw no way that they'd be playing on tour after turning 30, like Billie Jean, Margaret, etc. Funny how it works out. They move up the ranks. They start to win the big events. The next thing they know, they're playing for a place in history.

It's hard to envision when they're young. All those records seem so far away. They just focus on the here and now. Then, as the years roll along, they start creeping up on these hallowed marks. As they get close, it becomes a motivating factor. That's what keeps the champions going. And for all of the mularkey we hear about "going out on top", I much prefer the Jimmy Connors approach. Keep going until you're sure you've gotten every last great performance, every last good run, out of your body. Then there's no waking up 10 years later and wondering "what if"; no regrets.