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Marcell
Jul 3rd, 2007, 12:03 AM
Serena shows strength to win
By Oliver Brown
Last Updated: 11:47pm BST 02/07/2007

The power of positive spin



Inside the notebook that Serena Williams took on to Centre Court were inscribed the words: "My good thoughts are powerful, any negative thoughts are weak. You are No 1, you are the best. You will win Wimbledon."
Every tenet of that philosophy came to her aid last night, as the two-time champion rallied from acute cramp to defeat Daniela Hantuchova in a contest of fragmented, ferocious drama.

Williams is an avowed film enthusiast, and the script she followed here showed her eye for extraordinary plot twists. In the climax to the second set the seventh seed's cause had appeared hopeless, as the onset of spasms in her left calf reduced her to shrieks of agony. Rain provided her rescue halfway through the tie-break, and after a 115-minute delay - during which she received all the massage and ice she needed - she reappeared refreshed and almost frighteningly refocused.

Never has Williams been so physically vulnerable in the theatre of battle. Never has she been so emotionally exposed. Her powers of recovery, though, were something to behold - the 'Serena bubble', it is called, when Williams works herself without warning into a frenzy of defiant hitting. A more composed character than Hantuchova might have exploited her opponent's fragile state, but the momentum switch proved decisive as the American powered to an improbable 6-2, 6-7, 6-2 victory.

"I decided I was going to die trying," Williams said. "I just had to go back on court, no matter what. It would have been weird if I hadn't tried." She disclosed, too, that her doctor had been worried about lasting damage to her career if she carried on, though by the time she prevailed her face reflected little of her earlier agonies.

The first signal that Williams was in trouble had come before her collapse, when she called for the trainer at 5-5 in the second set, asking for salt to be brought to treat her cramp. Her concern was soon made manifest - up 30-15 on Hantuchova's serve, she did nothing more than pace the baseline before she pulled up abruptly on her left leg, tapped the calf with her racket and collapsed to the ground.

Her face creased in pain, she was aided immediately by her trainer, who began to apply a deep massage. But with every kneading of the cramping muscle, Williams betrayed a greater discomfort, letting out loud cries as the spasms returned. Each member of Team Williams looked on anxiously from the players' box, mother Oracene shaking her head as her daughter's Wimbledon dream appeared to be heading for a tearful end.

The umpire's call of a medical time-out drew some ironic laughter from the crowd, who could perceive Williams' predicament all too plainly. Did she let the pain consume her and quit, even with a one-set lead? Or did she risk a recurrence by playing on, even on one leg? Then there was the factor of rain to consider as the skies darkened above.

Williams, weeping, chose to fight on. The calf was taped up, but as play resumed her prospects looked wretched. Hantuchova fired down an ace. Williams pitched a return resignedly into the net. The next game, however, triggered a remarkable turn. From somewhere within her tangle of emotions, the American drew the resolve to hold serve. Even given the inequities of the women's game, this gave a whole new meaning to being able to win on one leg.

Still, Williams' total lack of mobility was hardly a help in the ensuing tie-break, and as the rain intervened for a crucial reprieve at 5.33pm she trailed 4-2. The two-hour interruption was critical - for two hours her team could concoct every means of restoring some strength to her afflicted muscle, and when she finally re-emerged she sported leggings to ward off the cold.

At first, Williams could hardly move. Wincing at every error, she showed uncharacteristic flashes of temper, hurling her racket when she missed an easy put-away late in the third game. But such frustration was more than matched by her motivation - with each scream of "come on", sister Venus seemed an unsettled onlooker, almost trying to shield herself from the ferocity of Serena's performance.

It was this intensity that unnerved Hantuchova, and by the time Williams hit her final winner the 10th seed looked spent and utterly bemused. It had been a maelstrom of a match, which left its mark on both players.

Williams would not thank anyone for reminding her, but she faces a quarter-final against world No 1, whose 6-2, 6-2 procession against Patty Schnyder yesterday was a study in contrasts. It is a confrontation Williams would do well to win, but frankly, after this extraordinary episode, you would not put anything past her.

The power of positive spin

Extracts from the double Wimbledon champion's inspirational notebook:
My good thoughts are powerful

My only negative thoughts are weak!

Decide what you want to be, have, do and think the thoughts of it.

Hang on to the thought of what you want. Make it absolutely clear.

Positive thoughts

You will look at balls

You will move up

You R #1 (No1)

You are the best

You will add spin

TURN FAST

You will have long follow-throughs

You will win WIMBLEDON

supergrunt
Jul 3rd, 2007, 12:53 AM
OMG SERENA'S TENNIS ADVICE!!!! :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: Turn fast, long follow-through, think positive. Thank you Serena.

40-0
Jul 3rd, 2007, 02:35 AM
Yes im adding this to my own notebook!

RVD
Jul 3rd, 2007, 03:16 AM
HEEEEEYYY!! Did I miss something?

How did this journalist get her notebook info?!!!!! :scratch:
Something fishy is going on here. :mad:

dreamgoddess099
Jul 3rd, 2007, 03:33 AM
[B]You will win WIMBLEDON

Ha, she must have written this before the match started. I'd be surprised if she can walk let alone beat anybody in two days when the adrenaline is gone and the soreness in those calves really sets in. I've had a severe cramp in my calf like that and that shit was sore for the next two weeks. I really don't see Serena winning this title. In her condition it would take a miracle for her to win this tournament. I think she's about out of miracles.

woosey
Jul 3rd, 2007, 03:40 AM
and people act like tennis doesn't need her. tennis is booorrriiinggg without her.

RVD
Jul 3rd, 2007, 03:40 AM
Ha, she must have written this before the match started. I'd be surprised if she can walk let alone beat anybody in two days when the adrenaline is gone and the soreness in those calves really sets in. I've had a severe cramp in my calf like that and that shit was sore for the next two weeks. I really don't see Serena winning this title. In her condition it would take a miracle for her to win this tournament. I think she's about out of miracles.I didn't want to be the one to bring it up, but you are right. And with Serena as well-muscled as she is, she'll be playing in pure unrefined agony IF she's able to play at all. :sad:

It's gonna be a Tylenol night for Serena. *sad*
However, if she keeps the calf wrapped, warm, and elevated, she should be a good 30% - 40%. :wavey:

harloo
Jul 3rd, 2007, 03:49 AM
Regardless of what happens in the qtrs one has to admire her self belief against all odds. She's truly remarkable in that sense and I know win or lose on Wednesday she'll give her best. The title could of been hers if the injury didn't flair up but it wasn't meant to be this year. Love you Serena, keep believing in yourself!!:)

-VSR-
Jul 3rd, 2007, 04:57 AM
Don't stop believing... hold onto that feeling. :lol:

Sally Struthers
Jul 3rd, 2007, 05:16 AM
Sounds like she's been reading "The Secret" :lol:

PamShriverRockz
Jul 3rd, 2007, 05:21 AM
"I decided I was going to die trying," Williams said.

:worship:
That is why I love Serena.