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Jul 13th, 2008, 12:50 PM
Williamses’ Wimbledon Final Was Also a Classic

By WILLIAM C. RHODEN
Published: July 9, 2008
WIMBLEDON, England

Toby Melville/Reuters
“I’ll help her with anything,” Venus Williams, left, said of her sister Serena. “I just won’t give her tips on how to beat me.”

Headlines and radio broadcasts trumpeted the exhilaration of a Wimbledon classic.

Lost beneath the majesty of Nadal’s victory was the significant women’s singles championship on Saturday between Venus and Serena Williams. In a match that allayed concerns that the sisters would never play tough tennis against each other, Venus won her fifth Wimbledon championship. And a sisterly competition became a rivalry.

When they played for the Wimbledon title in 2003, Venus and Serena were represented by IMG. Serena, 26, has since signed with William Morris; Venus, 28, remains with IMG. There are those outside the family with a vested interest in who wins and who loses.

Venus, who revels in her role as big sister, said Saturday that she reveled more in the role of defending Wimbledon champion.

“For the first time, I really enjoyed it and I didn’t want to let that go,” she said Sunday, referring to the singles title. “I still wanted to be the champion another year, so it probably was one of the toughest finals, competitively, emotionally, for me and my family.”

The sisters were at their best, hitting thunderous shots. Venus said that after one particular exchange she stepped out of the moment for a split second to savor what was unfolding.

“I thought, ‘Wow this is some serious power tennis,’ ” she said. “There were shots of mine that hadn’t been returned all tournament that she was returning. Some of her shots that had been winners, I was returning.”

Although the Williamses shared a house during Wimbledon, they did not talk tennis. Neither asked how the other felt about a point or a previous match. They did not talk about injuries. In her semifinal match against Elena Dementieva, Venus fell and sprained her thumb. She didn’t tell her sister.

“We had to play doubles the next day, so I acted like nothing was wrong,” Venus said, adding, “I didn’t want her to hit to my backhand because I sprained it.”

Would Serena really do that?

“I would expect her to — I mean, I would understand,” Venus said. “You have to maintain your competitiveness. If she’s playing someone I’ll say: ‘Oh, yeah. Serve her out wide, hit to her forehand.’ I’ll give her the scouting report every time.

“I’ll help her with anything. I just won’t give her tips on how to beat me.”

Now posterity is beginning to matter. Serena has a fashion line and aspirations to model and act. Venus also has a clothing line, and last year completed a degree in fashion design from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale.

Just before Wimbledon, Venus released a book in London, a stunning collaboration with the photographer Koto Bolofo. The photos in this coffee table book, taken in New York, Paris and Istanbul and at Wimbledon, combine Venus’s passions — tennis and fashion.

After the women’s final Saturday, Serena was so glum that her mother chided her about having to learn to be a better loser.

Two hours later, Venus and Serena were back on the court, winning the women’s doubles title.

“I think we both see the bigger picture,” Venus said. “We came back for the doubles and blew it out the court. We want to do things after tennis, and our tennis stage is a great platform to set up the next stage for whatever we’re going to do.”

Critics wonder how many more championships Venus or Serena might have won if each had totally focused on tennis. The more important question is: Would they be around if they had?

Look at the players they have outlasted:

¶Martina Hingis, a five-time Grand Slam singles champion, retired because of a foot injury in 2002. Her comeback, which began in late 2005, was cut short after she tested positive for cocaine. She retired again last fall at 27.

¶Kim Clijsters, winner of the 2005 United States Open, retired last year, a month before she turned 24, her body broken down from the strain of powerful play.

¶Justine Henin, the winner of seven majors, was still ranked No. 1 when she retired before this year’s French Open at 25.

But Venus has yet to achieve the consistency of roaring through a Grand Slam season, playing injury-free and dominating in a way critics perhaps felt she and her sister should have.

Wimbledon may be the start.

“I want the opportunity to build on this, to go to Beijing, be in another pressure situation, get through it, be successful,” Venus said, referring to the Olympics next month in China.

“I feel like I haven’t had a chance to be in those situations because of all the injuries. I win a tournament, then three months I’m sick or injured. You don’t get to build on success. That’s what I’m looking for next.”

If the sisters stopped playing tomorrow, they would leave an awesome legacy. Serena has won eight Grand Slam singles titles and Venus has won seven. Together, they have collected seven major doubles championships.

Theirs is one of the most phenomenal sports stories of our generation. Phenomenal but underappreciated because great female athletes are often undervalued, and because we live in a fast-moving world of great moments.

There will always be exceptional moments; we won’t see the likes of the Williams sisters anytime soon.

Misa&andylover
Jul 13th, 2008, 12:51 PM
They always say there are injured :o

Langers
Jul 13th, 2008, 01:01 PM
Yawn.

tennnisfannn
Jul 13th, 2008, 01:14 PM
Wow the media has really gone positive on both the sisters lately, how wonderful.

~Cherry*Blossom~
Jul 13th, 2008, 01:23 PM
They always say there are injured :o

Go and watch the doubles final and see the tape on Venus' hand. I initially thought she just had blisters but I guess it was worse.

vettipooh
Jul 13th, 2008, 01:24 PM
They always say there are injured :o


That's the best you got after reading this article? Be gone, then.:rolleyes:

Yawn.

Your constant yawning might indicate a more serious condition.:lol:

LCS
Jul 13th, 2008, 01:25 PM
:yawn:

Pureracket
Jul 13th, 2008, 01:27 PM
LMAO @ posters who can't resist the negative comments. I mean...why would you even come into her thread? Santos, why would you even read an entire article on Venus? You knew how you were going to feel already. LOL!

Bijoux0021
Jul 13th, 2008, 01:46 PM
They always say there are injured :o
At least learn how to differentiate between they are, they're, their and there.

It's they are or they're injured, not "there injured."

LCS
Jul 13th, 2008, 02:03 PM
LMAO @ posters who can't resist the negative comments. I mean...why would you even come into her thread? Santos, why would you even read an entire article on Venus? You knew how you were going to feel already. LOL!

Please, you seriously think I read it? LOOOOOOOL :kiss: I couldn't finish the first paragraph...same old stuff on how Venus becomes a heroine at Wimbledon every year probably...:wavey:

No hating though...I like to see the Williamses play...:)

Pureracket
Jul 13th, 2008, 02:07 PM
Please, you seriously think I read it? LOOOOOOOL :kiss: I couldn't finish the first paragraph...same old stuff on how Venus becomes a heroine at Wimbledon every year probably...:wavey:

No hating though...I like to see the Williamses play...:)Sooo....you mean to tell me that you did the "yawn" without actually reading the article? Whoa! :bolt:

Uranium
Jul 13th, 2008, 02:09 PM
Go and watch the doubles final and see the tape on Venus' hand. I initially thought she just had blisters but I guess it was worse.

exactly, during doubles she had like everything taped:lol:

super_vee
Jul 13th, 2008, 02:11 PM
They always say there are injured :o

Maybe because they are prone to injuries? I was at that match and she did slip forward and kinda used her racket to stop her falling, hence the sprained thumb and seemed to be in a bit of pain. At least they don't talk about their injuries until after the tournament, unlike some other players.

LCS
Jul 13th, 2008, 02:12 PM
Sooo....you mean to tell me that you did the "yawn" without actually reading the article? Whoa! :bolt:

I believe my level of English is enough to answer that question. :worship:

Kart
Jul 13th, 2008, 02:18 PM
Venus' body has been fragile for ages. Is anyone actually surprised that she picked up another injury after playing for two full weeks ? :shrug:

What is more important IMHO is that she kept it to herself during the tourmament and didn't make a big deal of it. Otherwise, had she lost we'd be hearing non-stop about how it was because she was injured etc.

Everyone should be free to be honest about when they're hurt but really, we all know that is often associated with media backlash, sadly.

Misa&andylover
Jul 13th, 2008, 02:18 PM
Go and watch the doubles final and see the tape on Venus' hand. I initially thought she just had blisters but I guess it was worse.

I didn't say she wasn't injured this time :rolleyes: They just always say there are injured. I just think it will become a unlikely story if you say you are injured all time

SV_Fan
Jul 13th, 2008, 02:30 PM
I dnt get it

V-MAC
Jul 13th, 2008, 02:41 PM
I don't get the negative reactions :confused: I mean it is not like Vee lost the final and is using this as an excuse :shrug:

Bijoux0021
Jul 13th, 2008, 02:52 PM
I don't get the negative reactions :confused: I mean it is not like Vee lost the final and is using this as an excuse :shrug:
No matter the situation, the haters can't help themselves.

LCS
Jul 13th, 2008, 02:56 PM
pff what's with the bad reps from a crazy serena/venus fan?? :confused: get a grip!

thiskidhasit
Jul 13th, 2008, 02:57 PM
For those of you who actually PLAY tennis, you'll know that you never step on the court 100% fit if you play enough. Steffi Graf was "injured" every tournament she played, but she still won every time. If the injury is THAT BAD, you don't play or finish the match ... PERIOD. She was fine, she won, moving on.........!

super_vee
Jul 13th, 2008, 03:02 PM
For those of you who actually PLAY tennis, you'll know that you never step on the court 100% fit if you play enough. Steffi Graf was "injured" every tournament she played, but she still won every time. If the injury is THAT BAD, you don't play or finish the match ... PERIOD. She was fine, she won, moving on.........!

I agree, but I think people are misinterpreting the article. It wasn't Venus coming saying 'I won Wimbledon and was injured- I'm great!'. It was more about her relationship with Serena- she was using it to show how competitive she and Serena are.

supergrunt
Jul 13th, 2008, 03:05 PM
They always say there are injured :o

you are injured in the brain :D

Pureracket
Jul 13th, 2008, 10:35 PM
I agree, but I think people are misinterpreting the article. It wasn't Venus coming saying 'I won Wimbledon and was injured- I'm great!'. It was more about her relationship with Serena- she was using it to show how competitive she and Serena are.Exactly. She never said that she was injured.

VeeReeDavJCap81
Jul 14th, 2008, 01:13 AM
Venus STAYS injured at Wimbledon...lol.. In '02 it was her shoulder, '03 abdomen, '04 still recovering from ankle sprain from clay season, '06 left wrist, '07 headaches and hamstring, '08 thumb.

friendsita
Jul 14th, 2008, 02:17 AM
Nice article

Fabunny
Jul 14th, 2008, 02:36 AM
Venus walked onto Center Court for the Women's final against Serena with her thumb taped. I noticed it right away. I recall thinking that it reminded me of Serena's thumb taping in her quaterfinal match against Justine last year. Thankfully, she won anyway.

mdterp01
Jul 14th, 2008, 04:33 AM
:lol: @ the haters posting in this thread

Tennisstar86
Jul 14th, 2008, 05:56 AM
Of course she was injured... we saw her fall in the wuarterfinals and limp off the court from the tight hamstring... and then in the semis we saw her fall against Dementieava and the announcers actually said it reminded them of the fall Serena had against Hantuchova last year... Venus was flexing her hand for like the rest of the match..... So year... not shocking....

Vlover
Jul 14th, 2008, 01:21 PM
Of course she was injured... we saw her fall in the wuarterfinals and limp off the court from the tight hamstring... and then in the semis we saw her fall against Dementieava and the announcers actually said it reminded them of the fall Serena had against Hantuchova last year... Venus was flexing her hand for like the rest of the match..... So year... not shocking....

You are exactly right. Also in her press conference she down played her injury and said she would be fine. Venus is the last person to discuss or play up any injury she might have. In 03 she played Kim and Serena with a very bad ab injury and I have no doubt if she wasn't injured she would have won in 03 also. Anyway I hope Vee will be fine for USO because if she is healthy I think she will repeat her usual double. I don't really care about the Olympics because she already have both medals already.

Venus is simply awesome! For those who can't take it tough.

Serenita
Jul 14th, 2008, 02:38 PM
No matter the situation, the haters can't help themselves.

WELL SAID!:worship:

slamchamp
Jul 14th, 2008, 02:48 PM
At least learn how to differentiate between they are, they're, their and there.

It's they are or they're injured, not "there injured."well that's because english is not The world's native language, I'm sure u can't even say a word in his/her language:o

Matt01
Jul 14th, 2008, 03:45 PM
No matter the situation, the haters can't help themselves.


Strange, so far I haven't noticed any strong hatred towards Venus, only people who found the article boring and over-sensitive WS fans who were complaining that people dared to voice their opinion about the topic.

Next time, you better carefully read the thread before calling other people haters. :rolleyes:

Pureracket
Jul 14th, 2008, 03:48 PM
Strange, so far I haven't noticed any strong hatred towards Venus, only people who found the article boring and over-sensitive WS fans who were complaining that people dared to voice their opinion about the topic.

Next time, you better carefully read the thread before calling other people haters. :rolleyes:....speaking of Venus haters. You're a JH fan, right? This thread is about winning Wimbledon. Funny you'd even be in here.

Matt01
Jul 14th, 2008, 03:53 PM
....speaking of Venus haters. You're a JH fan, right? This thread is about winning Wimbledon. Funny you'd even be in here.


My favorite tennis player has won 9 Wimbledon titles in Singles, something your beloved Venus can only dream of :wavey:

ladydiana
Jul 14th, 2008, 05:40 PM
I'm glad to see the Venus and Serena are thinking like competitors when they play each other. But I think Serena has had that mindset, and it's now kicking in with Venus.


Venus and Serena are part-time players so they are more prone to injuries because their bodies go through shock and adjustments when they play these big tournaments. I'm glad to see that Venus and Serena are gonna play more tennis and get their bodies use to the rigorous schedule. They won't play as many tournaments like Jelena, but enough so they won't keep getting injured.


I hope Venus and Serena both build on their Wimbledon success. Despite Venus having won this time, Serena is a winner too because it's not easy to make it to a grand slam final. And she hasn't played that much tennis this year either.

Infiniti2001
Jul 14th, 2008, 05:54 PM
My favorite tennis player has won 9 Wimbledon titles in Singles, something your beloved Venus can only dream of :wavey:

That's all you can come up with mattzero1? Pathetic :lol::help:

serenus_2k8
Jul 14th, 2008, 06:04 PM
....speaking of Venus haters. You're a JH fan, right? This thread is about winning Wimbledon. Funny you'd even be in here.

Oh my :haha:

:worship:

Taxi for Matt? :spit:

slamchamp
Jul 14th, 2008, 06:17 PM
No matter the situation, the haters can't help themselves.Well suck it in BIJ, most of other players's fans have to deal with the hate of SOME WS you included btw...anyway I don't see "hurtful" comments here towards Venus

Destiny
Jul 14th, 2008, 06:41 PM
Meh