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rjd1111
Jan 15th, 2007, 02:33 PM
Serena Williams takes first step back towards Grand Slam respectability

By DENNIS PASSA, AP Sports Writer
January 15, 2007

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) -- Serena Williams was back at the Australian Open, answering all the usual questions about her knee (fine), her dress (controversial) and her injured sister Venus (surprisingly sharp in practice).

After playing just four events in 2006 due to a chronic knee injury, Serena Williams nearly dropped out of the top 100 in the year-end rankings for the first time in her career, finishing at 95.

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On Monday, she started her long road back to possibly challenge again for a Grand Slam when she beat 27th-seeded Mara Santangelo 6-2, 6-1 in the first round at Melbourne Park.

"I feel I have nothing to lose," said Williams. "There is only one way I can move and that's up."

It has been mostly down lately for the seven-time Grand Slam singles champion, whose last major win came at the 2005 Australian Open.

Williams returned last year to defend her title at Melbourne Park, but lost in the third round. She then dropped out of her next nine tournaments with left knee problems that began when she had surgery in 2003.

She ended a six-month layoff last year by playing two hardcourt tournaments ahead of the U.S. Open, where she needed a wild card entry and advanced to the fourth round before losing to top-seeded Amelie Mauresmo.

Four months later, she's back in Melbourne hoping to win her third Australian Open.

"My fitness is fine, I can definitely win a third title," she said. "My mom and my dad always taught me to think positive. For me to sit here and say no now, I just can't do that."

But minutes later, she admits this might be a rebuilding year.

"I'm definitely looking at working my way back more than anything," said Williams. "I think about the opportunity that I have. After this, I have absolutely no points coming off for two more Grand Slams, which I'm bound to do well at.

"And also all the tournaments in between. I look at it that way. It looks good."

Williams wore a lime green dress Monday, one of her fashion creations that she was wearing for the first time.

Television commentators questioned whether it might been a distraction for Santangelo because the color of her dress was similar to the ball.

"Yeah, I thought about that the whole time I was designing the dress," Williams joked. "I can't beat these girls; I've got to think of every way to cheat."

But she added, seriously: "I never thought about that, to be honest with you. It wouldn't affect me -- That's the attitude I take."

Williams is in Australia without Venus, who has played only two matches since Wimbledon last year because of a long-term wrist injury.

Gone are the days when Serena and Venus would come into any Grand Slam as favorites, with pundits complaining that women's tennis was boring because the two were short odds to play in the final.

Family loyalties aside, Serena says she's happy Venus isn't in Melbourne.

"No offense, but I was practicing with her in Florida, and she was just killing me," she said. "I'm kind of glad she didn't make it, for my sake. She's playing unbelievable. I got to take my chance now."



Updated on Monda

Highlandman
Jan 15th, 2007, 02:40 PM
Nice interview - thanks.

If she is right with Venus, we can stay very optmistic;)

supergrunt
Jan 15th, 2007, 03:05 PM
I hope Venus comes back soon :D if she is palying as well as Serena says. Good article! Thanks!

Viktymise
Jan 15th, 2007, 03:31 PM
Vee when she gets healthy is still a major threat, she's just been very unlucky since winning Wimbledon 05 with injuries, hopefully she's ddue a healthy spell and she can win some more slams :banana:

vwfan
Jan 15th, 2007, 04:00 PM
That's encouraging to hear and we know that she is exaggerating toooo much, since Venus beat her 2/3 times during the Williams sister exho.

I just hope that Venus has been able to train around the wrist. We know that she keeps in great physical shape!

The Dawntreader
Jan 15th, 2007, 04:03 PM
From what i've heard, Venus always 'kills' Serena in practice:lol:

Some really encouraging new about Venus atm:D

Missing her so much :hug:

TomTennis
Jan 15th, 2007, 04:15 PM
"Yeah, I thought about that the whole time I was designing the dress," Williams joked. "I can't beat these girls; I've got to think of every way to cheat."



:worship: loves it! :lol:

spencercarlos
Jan 15th, 2007, 04:32 PM
Serena Williams takes first step back towards Grand Slam respectability

By DENNIS PASSA, AP Sports Writer
January 15, 2007

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) -- Serena Williams was back at the Australian Open, answering all the usual questions about her knee (fine), her dress (controversial) and her injured sister Venus (surprisingly sharp in practice).

After playing just four events in 2006 due to a chronic knee injury, Serena Williams nearly dropped out of the top 100 in the year-end rankings for the first time in her career, finishing at 95.

ADVERTISEMENT


On Monday, she started her long road back to possibly challenge again for a Grand Slam when she beat 27th-seeded Mara Santangelo 6-2, 6-1 in the first round at Melbourne Park.

"I feel I have nothing to lose," said Williams. "There is only one way I can move and that's up."

It has been mostly down lately for the seven-time Grand Slam singles champion, whose last major win came at the 2005 Australian Open.

Williams returned last year to defend her title at Melbourne Park, but lost in the third round. She then dropped out of her next nine tournaments with left knee problems that began when she had surgery in 2003.

She ended a six-month layoff last year by playing two hardcourt tournaments ahead of the U.S. Open, where she needed a wild card entry and advanced to the fourth round before losing to top-seeded Amelie Mauresmo.

Four months later, she's back in Melbourne hoping to win her third Australian Open.

"My fitness is fine, I can definitely win a third title," she said. "My mom and my dad always taught me to think positive. For me to sit here and say no now, I just can't do that."

But minutes later, she admits this might be a rebuilding year.

"I'm definitely looking at working my way back more than anything," said Williams. "I think about the opportunity that I have. After this, I have absolutely no points coming off for two more Grand Slams, which I'm bound to do well at.

"And also all the tournaments in between. I look at it that way. It looks good."

Williams wore a lime green dress Monday, one of her fashion creations that she was wearing for the first time.

Television commentators questioned whether it might been a distraction for Santangelo because the color of her dress was similar to the ball.

"Yeah, I thought about that the whole time I was designing the dress," Williams joked. "I can't beat these girls; I've got to think of every way to cheat."

But she added, seriously: "I never thought about that, to be honest with you. It wouldn't affect me -- That's the attitude I take."

Williams is in Australia without Venus, who has played only two matches since Wimbledon last year because of a long-term wrist injury.

Gone are the days when Serena and Venus would come into any Grand Slam as favorites, with pundits complaining that women's tennis was boring because the two were short odds to play in the final.

Family loyalties aside, Serena says she's happy Venus isn't in Melbourne.

"No offense, but I was practicing with her in Florida, and she was just killing me," she said. "I'm kind of glad she didn't make it, for my sake. She's playing unbelievable. I got to take my chance now."



Updated on Monda
Well, first Venus has not played anything since September last year, and last time i checked apart from her Wimbledon 2005 win, she has not been the player to beat at the latter stages of the grand slams, in fact apart from that and since 2003 Venus has NO semifinals at grand slams.

That being said i think Serena´s comments are just ridiculous, for some reason Venus did not even play the Hopman cup, and people that saw her at the Exhibition events saw her playing with her "one handed" slice, still injured perhaps, so find it really silly to say that she is playing amazing tennis and injured at the same time. :rolleyes:

Viktymise
Jan 15th, 2007, 04:52 PM
Well, first Venus has not played anything since September last year, and last time i checked apart from her Wimbledon 2005 win, she has not been the player to beat at the latter stages of the grand slams, in fact apart from that and since 2003 Venus has NO semifinals at grand slams.

That being said i think Serena´s comments are just ridiculous, for some reason Venus did not even play the Hopman cup, and people that saw her at the Exhibition events saw her playing with her "one handed" slice, still injured perhaps, so find it really silly to say that she is playing amazing tennis and injured at the same time. :rolleyes:

Why is there a need to be negative :shrug:

starin
Jan 15th, 2007, 05:14 PM
yeah why so negative? Venus barely played last year. And from what I'm hearing may have finally had surgery to correct the problem. So hopefully she'll be back with a bang in 07!

davidmario
Jan 15th, 2007, 05:38 PM
Venus killed Ivanovic in Luxembourg just to get injured after that match :sad:

plantman
Jan 15th, 2007, 05:46 PM
"just killing me" and the the rumor of perhaps having surgery lately!

Somethings amiss here, or did a MIRACLE happen!

Haute
Jan 15th, 2007, 05:54 PM
I'm starting to think that Venus did have surgery on the wrist as well, from the cryptic comments that Serena and Oracene have made lately.

rjd1111
Jan 15th, 2007, 06:27 PM
"just killing me" and the the rumor of perhaps having surgery lately!

Somethings amiss here, or did a MIRACLE happen!


I don't know when they were taken but someone posted some pics
around thanksgiving where Venus had a cast on her wrist.

venus_rulez
Jan 15th, 2007, 06:32 PM
Well, first Venus has not played anything since September last year, and last time i checked apart from her Wimbledon 2005 win, she has not been the player to beat at the latter stages of the grand slams, in fact apart from that and since 2003 Venus has NO semifinals at grand slams.

That being said i think Serena´s comments are just ridiculous, for some reason Venus did not even play the Hopman cup, and people that saw her at the Exhibition events saw her playing with her "one handed" slice, still injured perhaps, so find it really silly to say that she is playing amazing tennis and injured at the same time. :rolleyes:


You could have taken 3 seconds to think about wha Serena said and it might have made sense. It's quite possible that Venus' wrist has healed enough (from surgery or rest) where she is able to play and practice like normal, but that it's not yet ready for the demands of the tour, especially to fly all the way to Australia and play (possibly) 7 matches. How hard was that?

MrSerenaWilliams
Jan 15th, 2007, 06:38 PM
I'm starting to think that Venus did have surgery on the wrist as well, from the cryptic comments that Serena and Oracene have made lately.
Fowler let it leak earlier on ESPN, but later refused to repeat it. I think someone told him not to spill, but yeah, she said the Vee had wrist surgery. It's in the ESPN preview.

darrinbaker00
Jan 15th, 2007, 06:45 PM
You could have taken 3 seconds to think about wha Serena said and it might have made sense. It's quite possible that Venus' wrist has healed enough (from surgery or rest) where she is able to play and practice like normal, but that it's not yet ready for the demands of the tour, especially to fly all the way to Australia and play (possibly) 7 matches. How hard was that?
No, my friend, it isn't possible. If Venus' wrist allows her to "play and practice like normal," then she should be ready to "fly all the way to Australia and play (possibly) seven matches." Either she's ready to play or she isn't, and it's quite obvious that she isn't.

darrinbaker00
Jan 15th, 2007, 06:48 PM
I'm starting to think that Venus did have surgery on the wrist as well, from the cryptic comments that Serena and Oracene have made lately.
What I really don't understand, especially after what her daughters went through in court recently, is why Oracene felt the need to do the Al Davis routine. If Venus had surgery on her left wrist, why not just say so?

MrSerenaWilliams
Jan 15th, 2007, 06:55 PM
Well hell Darrrin, she's got NOTHING to defend all year, she might as well wait, and come back when she feels like it :lol:

MrSerenaWilliams
Jan 15th, 2007, 07:01 PM
What I really don't understand, especially after what her daughters went through in court recently, is why Oracene felt the need to do the Al Davis routine. If Venus had surgery on her left wrist, why not just say so?
It's none of the media's business, and I can't really feel Venus cares what the media thinks anyway


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCom0vky0jc
:rocker: TELL IT!

trivfun
Jan 15th, 2007, 07:03 PM
I noticed Venus using the one-hander in her exhibition with Serena. I predicted that in 2007, she would switch to a one-handed backhand.

darrinbaker00
Jan 15th, 2007, 07:07 PM
It's none of the media's business, and I can't really feel Venus cares what the media thinks anyway


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCom0vky0jc
:rocker: TELL IT!
All they did was ask Oracene a simple question, and if she would have answered it, the issue would be closed.

MrSerenaWilliams
Jan 15th, 2007, 07:10 PM
nah, I think she was just doing that to keep the pressure off of her wrist

MrSerenaWilliams
Jan 15th, 2007, 07:12 PM
All they did was ask Oracene a simple question, and if she would have answered it, the issue would be closed.

I think they all decided that they would let Vee answer the question, and since she's not there to be asked. It won't be OFFICIALLY answered until Antwerp/Memphis

tennisbum79
Jan 15th, 2007, 07:53 PM
From what i've heard, Venus always 'kills' Serena in practice:lol:

Some really encouraging new about Venus atm:D

Missing her so much :hug:

That is why it does not mean much about where Venus' game is.
During Serena's domination, Venus was still "killing" Serena in practice.
And we all know how Serena destroyed Venus when it counted.