Aug 21st, 2002, 11:10 PM

Serena Williams USA (1) vs WC-Corina Morariu USA
Rita Grande ITA vs Dinara Safina RUS
Iroda Tulyaganova UZB vs Adriana Serra-Zanetti ITA
Maja Matevzic SLO vs Nathalie Dechy FRA (26)

Daja Bedanova CZE (20) vs Alina Jidkova RUS
WC-Ally Baker USA vs Elena Likhovtseva RUS
Qualifier vs Meilen Tu USA
Marta Marrero ESP vs Anastasia Myskina RUS (15)

Daniela Hantuchova SVK (11) vs Nicole Pratt AUS
Mariana Diaz-Oliva ARG vs Virginie Razzano FRA
Katarina Srebotnik SLO vs Laura Granville USA
WC-Ashley Harkleroad USA vs Iva Majoli CRO (24)

Tamarine Tanasugarn THA (27) vs Barbara Rittner GER
WC-Bea Bielek USA vs Qualifier
Cara Black ZIM vs Qualifier
Samantha Reeves USA vs Justine Henin BEL (8)

Lindsay Davenport USA (4) vs Eva Dyrberg DEN
Petra Mandula HUN vs Miriam Oremans NED
Rossana Neffa-De Los Rios PAR vs Ludmila Cervanova SVK
Qualifier vs Arantxa Sanchez Vicario ESP (25)

Anne Kremer LUX (19) vs Qualifier
Janette Husarova SVK vs Qualifier
Tathiana Garbin ITA vs Els Callens BEL
Qualifier vs Silvia Farina Elia ITA (13)

Elena Dementieva RUS (12) vs Saori Obata JPN
Francesca Schiavone ITA vs Qualifier
Sarah Taylor USA vs Qualifier
Lilia Osterloh USA vs Tatiana Panova RUS (22)

Alexandra Stevenson USA (31) vs Stephanie Foretz FRA
Anna Kournikova RUS vs Angelique Widjaja INA
Clarisa Fernandez ARG vs Elena Bovina RUS
Greta Arn GER vs Jelena Dokic YUG (5)

Kim Clijsters BEL (7) vs Conchita Martinez Granados ESP
Gala Leon Garcia ESP vs WC-Mashona Washington USA
Emmanuelle Gagliardi SUI vs Vera Zvonareva RUS
Henrieta Nagyova SVK vs Eleni Daniilidou GRE (28)

Patty Schnyder SUI (23) vs Nadia Petrova RUS
Adriana Gersi CZE vs Martina Sucha SVK
Cristina Torrens-Valero ESP vs Angelika Roesch GER
Qualifier vs Amelie Mauresmo FRA (10)

Magdalena Maleeva BUL (16) vs Kveta Hrdlickova CZE
Shinobu Asagoe JPN vs Emilie Loit FRA
Amy Frazier USA vs Virginia Ruano Pascual ESP
Qualifier vs Ai Sugiyama JPN (18)

Meghann Shaughnessy USA (30) vs Wynne Prakusya INA
Marlene Weingartner GER vs Conchita Martinez ESP
Tina Pisnik SLO vs Sandra Cacic USA
Qualifier vs Jennifer Capriati USA (3)

Monica Seles USA (6) vs Zsofia Gubacsi HUN
Silvija Talaja CRO vs Barbara Schwartz AUT
Qualifier vs Magui Serna ESP
Mary Pierce FRA vs Paola Suarez ARG (32)

Anna Smashnova ISR (17) vs Marie-Gaianeh Mikaelian SUI
Tatiana Poutchek BLR vs Amanda Coetzer RSA
Angeles Montolio ESP vs Qualifier
Marissa Irvin USA vs WC-Martina Hingis SUI (9)

Chanda Rubin USA (14) vs Jill Craybas USA
Anca Barna GER vs WC-Alexandra Podkolzina USA
Myriam Casanova SUI vs Jelena Kostanic CRO
Jennifer Hopkins USA vs Lisa Raymond USA (21)

Barbara Schett AUT (29) vs Asa Svensson SWE
Qualifier vs Martina Muller GER
Alicia Molik AUS vs Patricia Wartusch AUT
Qualifier vs Venus Williams USA (2)



TV Schedule

Event Net. Time
Monday, August 26
U.S. Open Highlights CBS 12:37 AM - 1:07 AM
Men's / Women's Opening Rounds USA 11 AM - 5 PM
Men's / Women's Opening Rounds USA 7 PM - 11 PM
Tuesday, August 27
U.S. Open Highlights CBS 12:37 AM - 1:07 AM
Match of the Day (repeat) USA 2 AM - 4 AM
Men's / Women's Opening Rounds USA 11 AM - 5 PM
Men's / Women's Opening Rounds USA 7 PM - 11 PM
Wednesday, August 28
U.S. Open Highlights CBS 12:37 AM - 1:07 AM
Match of the Day (repeat) USA 2 AM - 4 AM
Men's Opening Rounds/Women's 2nd Rounds USA 11 AM - 5 PM
Men's Opening Rounds/Women's 2nd Rounds USA 7 PM - 11 PM
Thursday, August 29
U.S. Open Highlights CBS 12:37 AM - 1:07 AM
Match of the Day (repeat) USA 2 AM - 4 AM
Men's / Women's 2nd Rounds USA 11 AM - 5 PM
Men's / Women's 2nd Rounds USA 7 PM - 11 PM
Friday, August 30
U.S. Open Highlights CBS 12:37 AM - 1:07 AM
Men's 2nd Rounds / Women's 3rd Rounds USA 11 AM - 5 PM
Men's 2nd Rounds / Women's 3rd Rounds USA 5 PM - 11 PM
Saturday, August 31
Men's / Women's 3rd Rounds CBS 11 AM - 6 PM
Men's / Women's 3rd Rounds USA 7 PM - 11 PM
Sunday, September 1
Men's 3rd Rounds / Women's 4th Rounds CBS 11 AM - 6 PM
Men's 3rd Rounds / Women's 4th Rounds USA 7 PM - 11 PM
Monday, September 2
U.S. Open Highlights CBS 12:37 AM - 1:07 AM
Men's / Women's 4th Rounds CBS 11 AM - 6 PM
Men's / Women's 4th Rounds USA 7 PM - 11 PM
Tuesday, September 3
U.S. Open Highlights CBS 12:37 AM - 1:07 AM
Match of the Day (repeat) USA 2 AM - 4 AM
Men's 4th Rounds / Women's Quarterfinals USA 11 AM - 6 PM
Men's 4th Rounds / Women's Quarterfinals USA 7 PM - 11 PM
Wednesday, September 4
U.S. Open Highlights CBS 12:37 AM - 1:07 AM
Match of the Day (repeat) USA 2 AM - 4 AM
Men's / Women's Quarterfinals USA 11 AM - 5 PM
Men's / Women's Quarterfinals USA 7 PM - 11 PM
Thursday, September 5
U.S. Open Highlights CBS 12:37 AM - 1:07 AM
Match of the Day (repeat) USA 2 AM - 4 AM
Mixed Doubles Final / Men's Quarferfinals USA 11 AM - 4 PM
Men's Quarterfinals / Women's Doubles Semis USA 7 PM - 11 PM
Friday, September 6
U.S. Open Highlights CBS 12:37 AM - 1:07 AM
Men's Doubles Final / Women's Semi-Finals CBS 11 AM - 6 PM
Saturday, September 7
Men's Semi-Finals CBS 11 AM - 5 PM
Women's Final CBS 8:30 PM - 11 PM
Sunday, September 8
Women's Doubles Final USA 1 PM - 2:30 PM
Men's Final CBS 4 PM - 7 PM



Aug 22nd, 2002, 04:56 PM
Another sister shootout possible in U.S. Open final
The Miami Herald
Special to The Herald

NEW YORK - Nobody keeps records of these things, but the Williams sisters assuredly are the first siblings to be the top two seeded players at a U.S. Open.

Serena, hoping to become the first woman to win three Grand Slam titles in the same year since Martina Hingis in 1997, is seeded first. Big sister Venus, the two-time defending champion, is second. That means they are in opposing brackets and could meet in the women's final Sept. 7.

So this question was posed Wednesday to Patrick McEnroe, the U.S. Davis Cup captain: How difficult is it for siblings to play one another in major tournaments?

A studio host and analyst for CBS at the U.S. Open, McEnroe thought about it for a half-second: How the heck should he know? He was never in the same league as his brother, John, the world's top-ranked player from 1981-1984 and winner of four U.S. Open titles.

''It's just this simple: I wasn't nearly as good as John,'' Patrick said. ``We played in one tournament final, but mostly we'd play in the first or second round.

``So it is much different for the Williams sisters. I think they are becoming used to playing one another. They are clearly the top two players in the world, and they know if they lose to each other, they are still the best.''

Both Serena and Venus, from Palm Beach Gardens, drew qualifiers Wednesday when the U.S. Open pairings were announced. The tournament begins Monday and ends with the men's final Sept. 8.

Top-seeded Lleyton Hewitt of Australia, who took apart Pete Sampras in last year's final, will play Nicolas Coutelot of France in the first round. Marat Safin of Russia, a former U.S. Open champion, is seeded second and will play Nicolas Kiefer of Germany. Boca Raton's Andy Roddick, seeded 11th, faces a qualifier in the first round and could meet hard-serving American Taylor Dent in the second.

The Williams sisters have played each other seven times -- with Venus holding a 4-3 edge, including last year's straight-sets victory at the U.S. Open. That was the first time sisters had met in a Grand Slam final.

'Rivalries are always good for tennis, and the Williams' situation is unique,'' Billie Jean King said Wednesday after pairings were announced. ``This is probably never going to happen again. We should enjoy this because it is going to go fast.''

Third-seeded Jennifer Capriati of Wesley Chapel, who in January defended her Australian Open title, also drew a qualifier in the first round.

Ashley Harkleroad of Miami, a 17-year-old wild-card entry who Sunday won the women's singles title at the $100,000 GHI Bronx Classic, drew No. 24 seed Iva Majoli of Croatia. The 25-year-old Croatian is 9-9 at the U.S. Open, and last year came within two points of upsetting then-world No. 1-ranked Martina Hingis in a third-set tiebreaker before falling in the third round.

''That's a pretty good draw for me,'' said Harkleroad, who, in her U.S. Open debut last year lost in straight sets to fellow American Meilen Tu. ``I'm pretty happy.''

Wild-card qualifier Alex Bogomolov Jr. of Miami, who has risen from No. 680 to 230 in the ATP rankings, will play Ramon Delgado of Paraguay.


Sisterly Sequel: Williams Sisters Could Collide In U.S. Open Final Again

By Richard Pagliaro

The names of past champions were etched on the shiny, silver U.S. Open championship cup that contained the 32 seeds for the 2002 tournament during today's draw. A little more than two weeks from today, one of the names printed prominently on the outside of the cup could be clutching the trophy as the 2002 champion.

The U.S. Open starts on August 26th as top-seeded Serena Williams and second-seeded Venus Williams will begin the tournament on opposite ends of the draw and could collide in their third consecutive Grand Slam final of the season. The U.S. Open trophy has become a Williams' sisters heirloom as the sisters have combined to win three straight U.S. Open crowns with Serena winning in 1999 and Venus claiming the championship in each of the past two years.

Venus and Serena are the strong favorites to return to the final this year and could stage another Saturday night showdown for the singles title.

Two-time defending champion Venus opens against a qualifier and would not meet a seeded player until a possible third-round match against Austrian Barbara Schett. Sixth-seeded Monica Seles, who plays Zsofia Gubacsi in the first round, and ninth-seeded Swiss Martina Hingis, who opens against American Marissa Irvin, are the highest seeds in Venus' quarter, but it's unlikely either of the former champions will stop Venus' run to the semifinals given their recent injury problems.

Third-seeded Jennifer Capriati succumbed to Venus in the 2001 U.S. Open semifinals and could create a semifinal rematch this year. The three-time Grand Slam champion drew a qualifier for her first-round match and enjoys a relatively routine path to the quarterfinals where she could play either seventh-seeded Kim Clijsters or 10th-seeded Amelie Mauresmo.

A chronic shoulder injury has slowed Clijsters this season leaving her vulnerable to an upset. Former Australian Open finalist Mauresmo has beaten Capriati in two consecutive matches including the Wimbledon quarterfinals and the final of Montreal last week. Though Mauresmo clearly has the game to conquer Capriati, questions remain about the French woman's fragile psyche under pressure. Capriati beat Mauresmo 6-3, 6-4 in the 2001 quarterfinals.

Seeking her third straight Grand Slam title, Serena Williams opens against Corina Morariu in the first round and could play rising Russian Dinara Safina or Italy's Rita Grande in the second round. Tendonitis in her knee knocked Serena out of the Montreal tournament last week and she has spent this week receiving treatment in preparation for a U.S. Open run.

Eighth-seeded Belgian Justine Henin and 11th-seeded Slovak Daniela Hantuchova are the top players in Serena's quarter of the draw. Williams defeated Hantuchova in the Wimbledon quarterfinals and while Henin has beaten Williams on red clay this year hard court is not her best surface and the thin Belgian could get overpowered should she meet Serena in the quarterfinals.

Fourth-seeded Lindsay Davenport, who plays Eva Dryberg in the first round, could play Serena in the semis with fifth-seeded Jelena Dokic standing as the only other top 10 player in Davenport's quarter of the draw.

Aug 23rd, 2002, 09:59 PM
Foes take aim at Williams sisters

By Andrea Leand, Special for USA TODAY

With the top two rankings in firm grasp and their recent domination of the sport near complete, Venus and Serena Williams join many in expecting another all-in-the-family final at the U.S. Open, which begins Monday.

Their success at the French Open and Wimbledon not to mention a string of other events have many wondering who will step up and offer any opposition to the sister stars. The returns of Lindsay Davenport and Martina Hingis from injury layoffs add more depth to the field but hardly faze the Williamses. Some top players even doubt how much they can do against them.

"Serena and Venus have raised their tennis to a different level this year," says fifth-ranked Jelena Dokic, who lost to Venus in the final of the Acura Classic in San Diego two weeks ago. "I have beaten Venus before, but it's very tough to do that now. You just have to hope they have a bad day, because if they are playing their best there is no way to beat them. They are that good."

The results substantiate such sentiment. Venus has won six titles and reached three other finals in 12 tournaments this year. Out with an ankle injury to start the year, Serena rebounded with five victories in nine events including the French Open and Wimbledon. That took her from No. 9 to the first No. 1 ranking of her career.

It is not just their match records Venus is 51-6 and Serena 38-4 but their ease in winning that has stunned competitors.

"Before, you'd feel that if you played well and stayed in there you had a chance," No. 6 Kim Clijsters says of facing the Williamses. "But they have really improved this year. They are more consistent and focused. They play the big points better and know how to raise their game in the later rounds. They have much better attitudes and don't give you as many chances any more."

Over the decades, the emergence of champions inevitably raised the game's standards and forced the competition to improve or bow out.

In the '70s, Chris Evert personified grace, consistency and mental toughness. When a better-conditioned Martina Navratilova dominated the tour in the early '80s, Evert altered her training with a weightlifting routine and vitamin regimen to improve her athleticism and physical strength.

"The handwriting was on the wall; I could not compete with Martina's athleticism," Evert says. "I realized that if I wanted to compete with her I had to work on other aspects of my game.

"I began working on becoming a better athlete. Once I did, I was able to raise my level, get some wins over Martina and win a couple more French Open titles. I also could look back at my career knowing I did everything possible to play my best tennis."

Jennifer Capriati's leap to No. 1 and her Australian Open triumph in January spurred the Williamses to take their careers more seriously and improve their games. They rarely mentioned extracurricular activities or attending school as they focused solely on capturing Grand Slam titles and the No. 1 ranking.

Realizing they no longer could rely on natural ability and instinct, they began practicing and playing tournaments more often. Working with full-time trainer Kerri Brooks in the last year strengthened their injury-prone frames and improved their fitness and diet: No more bacon for Venus or calorie-laden cream sauces for Serena.

By spring, there was noticeable improvement in Serena's serve, movement and shot selection, and in Venus' forehand, consistency and court tactics.

"Either you have to improve or retire," Venus says. "I try to keep evolving. The first thing that separated me from the others was my height and reach. Not only am I tall, but I was blessed with speed. Now, I also tend to stay a lot calmer out (on court). I am much more consistent and don't miss the important shots. I feel like I'm cruising."

Such confidence leaves many wondering who can challenge the sisters.

Davenport trounced the sisters in the past but might lack the fine-tuning so early in her comeback to execute her plan. Davenport hurt a knee last November and didn't return to tennis until July. She has played four WTA events, reaching the semifinals twice and one final at Manhattan Beach, Calif.

Hingis attempted to outlast the sluggers by improving stamina and speed with a more rigorous training routine, which instead produced chronic injuries. Since returning to the tour this month after having foot surgery in May, Hingis has changed her tactics but concedes her best might not be good enough to beat the sisters. She played the Canadian Open last week, losing in the quarterfinals to Dokic, and is tuning up this week at the Pilot Pen in New Haven, Conn.

"Obviously, Hingis is never going to overpower the Williamses, but she and the others must realize that no player can play their best tennis every single match, including the Williamses," Evert says. "Eventually they will have a bad day and there will be opportunities to beat them. But these players must keep working on their games. Why haven't Capriati, Dokic or Hingis improved their serves? They simply cannot give up and let the Williamses steamroll them.

"When Martina (Navratilova) beat me 13 times in a row, I did not believe I was going to beat her that 14th match," Evert says. "But when she looked at me, I wanted her to see that I was still confident and wasn't going to roll over. I saw that she was not playing well in that match, so I stayed with her and eventually won (Key Biscayne in 1985). I went on to beat her the next three times. That's all it takes, one win to create a crack. And if Hingis and the others continue to improve, they will find the cracks with the Williamses, too."

Chanda Rubin's quarterfinal upset of Serena at the J.P. Morgan Chase event in Los Angeles last week ended the Wimbledon champion's 21-match winning streak and revealed some vulnerability for the first time in months.

Capriati, seeded No. 3 at the Open, has not won since January at the Australian Open, and she's reached just one final in seven months last week at the Canadian Open. But despite four losses to Serena this year, Capriati refuses to concede anything to her rivals.

"I don't think (the Williamses) are that far from me," she says. "I still think I am right there with them and have come very close to beating them this year. It was a lot of tough three-setters. They are doing well and having their time, but I still think I can beat them.

"I just got caught up thinking I was the only one out there with a chance to beat them," says Capriati, who has hired a new trainer to travel with her. "But now I'm getting back to concentrating on my tennis and just having fun again out there."

Such a combination of belief and brawn seems essential to uprooting the sibling pair. It might take a communal effort; chipping away at the two top seeds in every round might wear them down. A letdown is also possible.

"I can only play so much," Venus says. "I can only take so much mentally. I'm only going to play a few events in the fall. But the U.S. Open is the last Grand Slam event of the year. And there is a huge difference in getting to the final and winning it. I've done it before and I know how to do it again.

"With doubles, the days are long and the commute hard, but I definitely am going to do my best to win and go out this year with a bang."

Aug 23rd, 2002, 10:50 PM
Serena, Venus face difficult paths to final

By Matthew Cronin

Susan Mullane
Camerawork USA, Inc.
Serena Williams' bad knee better be healed by the time she takes the court at Ashe Stadium next week, because the reigning Roland Garros and Wimbledon champion has a tricky draw in her attempt to capture her third straight Grand Slam crown.

Serena gets the unenviable task of facing cancer survivor Corina Morariu in the first round and will be hard pressed to bring out her usual fire against tennis' newest heroine. In her two months back on tour, Morariu looks to be playing at 65 percent of her one-time top-25 form and couldn't have asked for a more foreboding first round opponent.

Should Serena triumph here, she may have the pleasure of facing Russian phenom Dinara Safina or the tricky Rita Grande of Italy. In all likelihood, the younger Williams will take on the athletic yet emotionally fragile 26th seed Nathalie Dechy of France in the third round, and then very likely have to face off against rising Russian Anastasia Myskina, the 15th seed, in the fourth round.

Should the seeds spout as they should, Serena couldn't have asked for a tougher quarterfinal, as she will likely face No. 11 Daniela Hantuchova - who played her tough at Wimbledon or No. 8 seed Justine Henin of Belgium, who beat her in May.
Perhaps the most chaotic quarter of the women's draw is the bottom portion of the top half, which will determine either Serena's, Daniela's or Justine's opponent. There's no strong favorite here, as No. 4 Lindsay Davenport has only been back on tour for six weeks and No. 5 Jelena Dokic is struggling with physical exhaustion. Because Davenport owns Dokic, you have to give the Californian the edge here, but it wouldn't be stunning to see either Elena Bovina or Anna Kournikova thrash their way to the semis.

Two-time defending champion Venus Williams shouldn't be pushed until the third round, when she'll likely come against her '00 Roland Garros conqueror, No. 29 Barbara Schett of Austria. But Venus is playing a level above Schett right now and should be able to bash Babs.

Venus should face a stern test in the fourth round, when she'll probably face red hot American and No. 14 Chanda Rubin, who won Manhattan Beach two week ago and took down Serena, Dokic and Davenport in the process.

Still, you have to give Venus the edge over Rubin at the Slams, as Venus has shown time and time again over the past two and half years that she has what it takes to elbow her way to the final.

Venus' quarterfinal foe is almost anyone's guess, as the two highest seeds there, No. 6 Monica Seles and No. 9 Martina Hingis, are both major physical question marks. Because Seles hasn't played since late July, she's ripe to be upset, which could come at the hands of Austria's Barbara Schwartz in the second round, or by former two-time Slam champ Mary Pierce or No. 32 Paola Suarez of Argentina in the third round.


Susan Mullane
Camerawork USA, Inc.
Hingis' level over the past two weeks should be good enough to earn herself another highly dramatic (although perhaps not that competitive) match against Venus in N.Y.

It's Venus' semifinal which (appropriately) should her most severe test, when by all rights she'll take on No. 7 Kim Clijsters Belgium for the third time this summer. In their last contest, at La Costa, the athletic Clijsters nearly knocked her off in three sets and finally appears to believe that she belongs on the same court as the daunting Venus.

But Clijsters is no lock for the semis, as she'll likely have to push past the hard-hitting No. 28 Eleni Daniilidou in the third round; Montreal champ Amelie Mauresmo of France in the fourth round; and third seed Jennifer Capriati of the U.S. in the quarters. Capriati, who has a lot to prove at this year's Open, hasn't won a title since she took her second straight Aussie Open crown last January and has been struggling on hard courts this summer.

Aug 24th, 2002, 03:43 AM
Don't expect Serena to take three
By Pam Shriver
Special to ESPN.com

For the first draw since last year's U.S. Open, we have all the top players entered. Everybody's back from injury or illness, and that's a good thing.

Pam's Picks

Going into Wimbledon, people felt it would be a Williams vs. Williams final. But that same thing happening in the U.S. Open is highly questionable.

Serena has an injury; she pulled out of the tournament in Canada last week and before that lost to Chanda Rubin in the quarterfinals at L.A. Suddenly, Serena is coming into this major the opposite from the French Open -- injured and not as confident.

So, based on Serena's last couple of weeks, I give the nod to her sister Venus, the defending champ. It's really hard to win three Grand Slams in a row.

Lindsay Davenport could be a contender -- a little higher than where she was in her first three tournaments back -- going to the place where she won her first major.

Going in, we knew this draw was going to be interesting with Martina Hingis being seeded ninth for the first time in a long time. And Monica Seles is the lucky one to get her. It could be a Seles-Hingis matchup in the round of 16. They are in Venus' quarter of the draw.

At least by name and reputation, Hingis is not even playing like she did a year ago.

Chanda Rubin is also in that portion of the draw. Rubin won in Los Angeles by beating Serena Williams, Jelena Dokic and Lindsay Davenport -- in a row.

Jennifer Capriati, Kim Clijsters and Amelie Mauresmo are the three best players in the top quarter of the bottom half of the draw.

Of the three, Mauresmo is the most interesting. She's in good form after winning the title in Canada last week.

Clijsters has been injured a bit this year and she didn't have a good French Open or Wimbledon. But she's one of those players who, if she does hit her stride or gains confidence, could get past Capriati, who isn't playing well.

Capriati is in something of a slump. She hasn't won a tournament since the Australian Open. She needs to get back on the winning side of things. She has never won the U.S. Open, and hopefully for her sake she'll get fired up for it.

Serena has an interesting first round. She faces Corina Morariu, who is coming back from leukemia. And if Serena gets past her, she could play Marat Safin's little sister, Dinara Safina, in the second round.

Justine Henin could be Serena's quarterfinal opponent. Henin could play Daniela Hantuchova in the round of 16. Hantuchova is seeded 11. She's someone you need to respect in the draw and know who she is.

The bottom quarter on Serena's side of the draw is led by Davenport and Jelena Dokic. Davenport has had a successful return from knee surgery, and the Open will determine if she can raise her level. She was disappointed that she didn't win in L.A. She has a chance to win her second U.S. Open.

While Dokic has had her best 12 months ever, she could have been more competitive in a couple of matches. She really didn't play well against Rubin. Dokic also has a hamstring problem, which caused her to withdraw from the Pilot Pen. The other interesting player is Anna Kournikova, who could play Alexandra Stevenson in the second round. This time, Kournikova has won some matches coming in. She has had a better summer than spring.

Aug 24th, 2002, 04:32 PM
Sisterly Sequel: Williams Sisters Could Collide In U.S. Open Final Again

By Richard Pagliaro

The names of past champions were etched on the shiny, silver U.S. Open championship cup that contained the 32 seeds for the 2002 tournament during today's draw. A little more than two weeks from today, one of the names printed prominently on the outside of the cup could be clutching the trophy as the 2002 champion.

The U.S. Open starts on August 26th as top-seeded Serena Williams and second-seeded Venus Williams will begin the tournament on opposite ends of the draw and could collide in their third consecutive Grand Slam final of the season. The U.S. Open trophy has become a Williams' sisters heirloom as the sisters have combined to win three straight U.S. Open crowns with Serena winning in 1999 and Venus claiming the championship in each of the past two years.

Venus and Serena are the strong favorites to return to the final this year and could stage another Saturday night showdown for the singles title.

Two-time defending champion Venus opens against a qualifier and would not meet a seeded player until a possible third-round match against Austrian Barbara Schett. Sixth-seeded Monica Seles, who plays Zsofia Gubacsi in the first round, and ninth-seeded Swiss Martina Hingis, who opens against American Marissa Irvin, are the highest seeds in Venus' quarter, but it's unlikely either of the former champions will stop Venus' run to the semifinals given their recent injury problems.

Third-seeded Jennifer Capriati succumbed to Venus in the 2001 U.S. Open semifinals and could create a semifinal rematch this year. The three-time Grand Slam champion drew a qualifier for her first-round match and enjoys a relatively routine path to the quarterfinals where she could play either seventh-seeded Kim Clijsters or 10th-seeded Amelie Mauresmo.

A chronic shoulder injury has slowed Clijsters this season leaving her vulnerable to an upset. Former Australian Open finalist Mauresmo has beaten Capriati in two consecutive matches including the Wimbledon quarterfinals and the final of Montreal last week. Though Mauresmo clearly has the game to conquer Capriati, questions remain about the French woman's fragile psyche under pressure. Capriati beat Mauresmo 6-3, 6-4 in the 2001 quarterfinals.

Seeking her third straight Grand Slam title, Serena Williams opens against Corina Morariu in the first round and could play rising Russian Dinara Safina or Italy's Rita Grande in the second round. Tendonitis in her knee knocked Serena out of the Montreal tournament last week and she has spent this week receiving treatment in preparation for a U.S. Open run.

Eighth-seeded Belgian Justine Henin and 11th-seeded Slovak Daniela Hantuchova are the top players in Serena's quarter of the draw. Williams defeated Hantuchova in the Wimbledon quarterfinals and while Henin has beaten Williams on red clay this year hard court is not her best surface and the thin Belgian could get overpowered should she meet Serena in the quarterfinals.

Fourth-seeded Lindsay Davenport, who plays Eva Dryberg in the first round, could play Serena in the semis with fifth-seeded Jelena Dokic standing as the only other top 10 player in Davenport's quarter of the draw.

Aug 24th, 2002, 04:34 PM
Coach to the stars sizes up U.S. Open
AP Sports Writer
August 22, 2002

NEW YORK (AP) -- Andre Agassi was his greatest student and Anna Kournikova his biggest disappointment.

Serena Williams worked on her timing under his tutelage the past week while rehabbing her sore left knee. Pete Sampras used to practice on his courts and got a long, stern letter from him recently on what it will take to win a Grand Slam title again.

The world's most famous tennis coach, 71-year-old Nick Bollettieri has befriended and, at times, feuded with many of the biggest names in the game. He's discovered and developed some and occasionally put them up in his house. He's seen them leave his academy in a huff and return with remorse. He's broken off with more than a few stars and made up with most, egos clashing and reconciling.

He runs his tennis academy in Florida like a boot camp for jocks, working 10 hours a day and overseeing a battery of coaches who drill and drive kids to their limit. He's a motivator and teacher, producing champions year after year.

Admire him or not, Bollettieri knows tennis and what it takes to win. With the U.S. Open starting Monday, no one is better at sizing up the field than this peripatetic man with the dark, leathery tan and wraparound shades.

As usual, he has multiple rooting interests on both sides of the main draw and the juniors.

There are Serena and Venus Williams, who have often come to his academy with their father to practice, and No. 11 Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia, who was with Bollettieri for three years until last year. He has a sentimental favorite in former protege Monica Seles, and a junior hopeful in Maria Sharapova, a 15-year-old Russian.

In the men's draw, Bollettieri has long worked with Tommy Haas of Germany, seeded No. 3, and he has a potential star in Wimbledon juniors champ Todd Reid of Australia. And though it's been nine years since he worked with Agassi, who came to the academy at 14, Bollettieri retains a warm affection for him and a respect for the man he's become.

Bollettieri has something to say about everyone and everything in the game. Herewith are his thoughts on the state of some of the top players:

-- Defending champion and No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt: ``Every stallion's got to be rested. The last couple of weeks he's had to be massaged on the court. If you have to bet, you bet on Hewitt. He's the best in the world today, but he's been working his butt off.''

-- Andre Agassi: ``If Andre plays Hewitt (they could meet in the semifinals), Hewitt comes out ahead. Andre's stronger, Hewitt's faster. Andre creates shots, Hewitt puts those shots away. Andre moves the ball around better than Hewitt, Hewitt hits more outright winners. In the serve category, Hewitt is ahead. Everything stacks up for Hewitt, and the telling toll is that Andre is 11 years older. But the New York crowd likes Andre. That could make a big difference.''

-- Pete Sampras: ``I told Pete that he should go back to being an aggressive player. Come in, baby, come in. Don't worry about your tongue wagging. Let your shoulders droop and play your game, which is coming forward. The biggest differences in Pete Sampras today are that he's a split second slower and he's making a lot of mistakes off the running forehand. He's got to pick up his confidence, let the other players know he's still king. Right now, he's playing scared.''

-- Serena and Venus Williams: ``To beat both of them and not have one in the final is difficult to believe. Serena's left knee is not up to par, but she'll be ready. They're both way above everybody else right now.''

-- Jennifer Capriati: ``She's struggling a bit and I don't think she can win the U.S. Open. I think her serve will break down.''

-- Martina Hingis: ``For her to win it, she would have to attack about 50 percent more and play very close to the baseline. I don't think Venus and Serena will ever allow her to be No. 1 or 2 again.''

-- Monica Seles: ``I'd love to see her do it, but it would be difficult for her to get through two weeks of pounding and go all the way.''

-- Daniela Hantuchova: ``Watch out for her. She's not too far off of winning a big one. She moves beautifully.''

-- Anna Kournikova: ``Her mom had too much to do with her career and never let a coach really develop the game that Anna should have gone to. Her strokes are too long and too flat from the baseline and she never developed the serve. Did her modeling get in the way? I don't think so. The problems with her techniques started a long time ago. She came to me at 9 1/2 and she was here about five or six years. We put a lot of effort into her. It disappoints me tremendously because I think Anna Kournikova is a tremendous girl.''

Aug 24th, 2002, 11:31 PM
Take this title, Venus!:kiss:

Aug 25th, 2002, 05:20 PM
The best -- and then some
Serena and Venus Williams stand atop the women's game -- with few challengers in sight
The Miami Herald

Wanted: A woman who can beat a Williams sister -- or, at least, take a set off one of tennis' nearly invincible siblings. Must possess power and speed. Must be willing to smash balls from corner to corner and face 110 mph serves. Must not be intimidated. Height a plus. Send resume to Women's Tennis Association.

Is there anyone in the world qualified to answer that ad?

Maybe not.

On the eve of the U.S. Open, there is No. 1 Serena Williams and her older sister, No. 2 Venus Williams. And then there is everyone else, wondering how (or if) they can close the gap. It's probably a good thing the three eldest Williams sisters -- Yetunde, 29, Isha, 28, and Lyndrea, 24 -- didn't take up the game. Otherwise, nobody else would get past the quarterfinals.

The Williams sisters have faced each other in the finals of three of the past four Grand Slam tournaments.

Venus won last year's U.S. Open. Serena, who took the French Open and Wimbledon, is favored in this year's Open, which begins Monday, despite tendinitis that flared up in her left knee and a quarterfinal loss to Chanda Rubin earlier this month at Manhattan Beach, Calif. It isn't just that the Williamses are winning, it's how. They have been virtually unchallenged by anyone but each other in recent months. Serena didn't lose a set on the way to the Wimbledon final. Venus lost one.

Amelie Mauresmo, no wisp of a woman, was feeling powerful after knocking off Jennifer Capriati fairly easily in the Wimbledon quarterfinals. She predicted she would give Serena a game. She was pummeled 6-2, 6-1 in 52 minutes, a quarter of the time it takes Serena to braid her hair. Mauresmo said afterward the Williams' domination was ``a little sad for women's tennis.''

Justine Henin, the then-sixth-ranked Belgian, shrugged her shoulders after losing 6-3, 6-2 to Venus in a Wimbledon semifinal. ''What could I do?'' she asked, looking doomed.

No one has a good answer.

''I'm not sure there is a recipe for beating them because I am of the belief that the Williams sisters are a notch above everyone else,'' said Mary Joe Fern?ndez, a retired tennis player and TV commentator. ``When they're at their best, nobody out there can beat them. They have everything. They have speed, power, mental toughness. There are a few players who can challenge them, but none have the whole package. The only way to beat them is if they are having an off day.''

The players with the best chance, Fern?ndez said, are Capriati and Lindsay Davenport, though neither is fully equipped for the challenge. Davenport is coming off a nine-month layoff after knee surgery. Capriati is ranked No. 3, but her game of late is nowhere near the Williamses. She lost in the quarterfinals at Carlsbad, Calif., and Manhattan Beach, and looked out of shape in her loss to Mauresmo at Montreal on Aug. 19.

''Davenport has the power and serve but doesn't move around the court as well, so she has trouble on defense,'' Fern?ndez said. ``Capriati has enough power and speed, but her serve's not there.''

Daniela Hantuchova, the 11th-ranked Slovakian, might be able to beat a Williams sister ''in a couple of years,'' Fern?ndez said.

Former player Pam Shriver believes the Williams sisters are beatable, though she feels they have distanced themselves from the rest of the pack. She said Capriati, Davenport, Mauresmo, Henin and Kim Clijsters have enough power and speed to give the Williamses trouble. A healthy Martina Hingis, though short and more of a finesse player, is also a capable opponent. What they lack, Shriver said, is a killer instinct.

''When Mauresmo said the Williams sisters were bad for tennis, that bothered me,'' Shriver said. 'I want to hear the players ranked three through 12 say, `The Williams sisters have rolled out a challenge, and we have to figure out a way to close the gap.' I want to hear upbeat [talk]. Instead, I hear defeatist talk.

``What those sisters have done isn't boring. I'm fascinated when the bar is raised in a sport. All these players have enough talent to get better, and they should want to get better. Chrissy [Evert] wasn't the same type of athlete as Martina [Navratilova], but she found a way to close the gap. She wasn't intimidated. The gap can be closed. Chrissy did it, and these women can, too.''

Navratilova agrees. Yes, the Williams sisters are better than everyone else, but the rest of women's tennis doesn't have to sit by and watch. And, she said, other players certainly shouldn't criticize the siblings for their success.

''If they had been boys, they would be No. 1 and 2 in the men's rankings because they're just the best and biggest athletes,'' Navratilova told The London Times during Wimbledon. ``People always look for the negative. They said [Bjorn] Borg was unemotional, that [John] McEnroe was a brat, that Evert was a metronome, that I won too easily, that [Steffi] Graf just had a big forehand.

``Now the Williams sisters are criticized for being too strong. All they've done is move the game on. People should admire the virtues and the excellence.

``They have the combination of strength and speed, and that's what the others have to match.''

In the meantime, it's Williams and Williams.

Get used to it.

Aug 25th, 2002, 05:24 PM
When: Monday through Sept. 8
The Miami Herald

When: Monday through Sept. 8

Where: Flushing Meadows, New York.

Surface: Hard court.

Purse: $16 million. (Men's and women's singles winners each get $900,000.)


Top 10 seeds: 1. Lleyton Hewitt (Australia); 2. Marat Safin (Russia); 3. Tommy Haas (Germany); 4. Yevgeny Kafelnikov (Russia); 5. Tim Henman (Great Britain); 6. Andre Agassi (USA); 7. Juan Carlos Ferrero (Spain); 8. Albert Costa (Spain); 9. Carlos Moya (Spain); 10. Sebastien Grosjean (France).

2001 champion: Lleyton Hewitt (d. Pete Sampras 7-6 [7-4], 6-1, 6-1).

2001 doubles champions: Wayne Black-Kevin Ullyett (d. Donald Johnson-Jared Palmer 7-6 [11-9], 2-6, 6-3).

Past five champions: Hewitt (2001); Safin (2000); Agassi (1999); Patrick Rafter (1998, 1997).

Five favorites

Lleyton Hewitt: The defending champion and reigning Wimbledon winner has looked inconsistent of late -- beating Agassi in straight sets in the Cincinnati quarterfinals, losing in straight sets to 33rd-ranked Greg Rusedski at Indianapolis.

Marat Safin: The Russian has reached the semifinals of three of the past four Grand Slams. He hasn't had a good summer, pulling out of Indianapolis with an upper respiratory infection.

Tommy Haas: He has had trouble refocusing after a June 8 motorcycle accident nearly killed his parents in Sarasota. His father has severe leg injuries and brain damage. Haas had shoulder trouble early this summer, but when he's on, his one-handed backhand is lethal.

Andre Agassi: Still around at 32, and the young guns are scared of him. Agassi is among the fittest and wisest players. Despite a loss to James Blake at Washington, a seventh Grand Slam title is possible.

Andy Roddick: He's only 19, but he's hanging around the top 10, something no American teenager has done since Sampras 11 years ago. Roddick's sophomore season hasn't been as spectacular as his first, when he took Hewitt to five sets in the U.S. Open quarterfinals.

Sentimental favorite

Pete Sampras: He has slipped to No. 17. Nobody figures he will win, but New Yorkers will be rooting for him.

Keep an eye on . . .

Blake, Greg Rusedski, Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Tim Henman.

The pick

Agassi or Hewitt. It's a wide-open draw. Hewitt is vulnerable. Safin and Henman are hurting. Haas is distracted. Rusedski is hot. Blake is gaining confidence. Agassi is Agassi.


Top 10 seeds: 1. Serena Williams (USA); 2. Venus Williams (USA); 3. Jennifer Capriati (USA); 4. Lindsay Davenport (USA); 5. Jelena Dokic (Yugoslavia); 6. Monica Seles (USA); 7. Kim Clijsters (Belgium); 8. Justine Henin (Belgium); 9. Martina Hingis (Switzerland); 10. Amelie Mauresmo (France).

2001 champion: Venus Williams (d. Serena Williams 6-2, 6-4).

2001 doubles champions: Lisa Raymond-Rennae Stubbs (d. Kimberly Po-Messerli-Nathalie Tauziat 6-2, 5-7, 7-5).

Past five champions: Venus Williams (2001, 2000); Serena Williams (1999); Davenport (1998); Hingis (1997).

Five favorites

Serena Williams: The younger Williams has learned how to beat her sister, and other than a flare-up of tendinitis in her left knee, there is no reason to think she can't do it again. Serena lost to Venus in last year's Open final but beat her in the French Open and Wimbledon finals this year.

Venus Williams: She has dropped to No. 2, but she still has an excellent chance to win a third consecutive Open title. Her long limbs and reach are unmatched, and extra practice has elevated her game.

Jennifer Capriati: If anybody can match the Williams' power and mental toughness, it's Capriati on a good day. But the 26-year-old has slipped this summer and needs to regain her fitness and moxie.

Amelie Mauresmo: The Frenchwoman has the physique and power to hang with the Williams sisters, but she was hammered by Serena in 54 minutes in the Wimbledon semifinals.

Kim Clijsters: The sixth-ranked Belgian has the height and power game to go far. The question is whether she has the confidence.

Sentimental favorite

Lindsay Davenport. She is playing her first Slam of the year after spending nine months rehabilitation a surgically repaired knee. She could give the Williams sisters fits.

Keep an eye on . . .

Justine Henin, Martina Hingis, Jelena Dokic, Daniela Hantchukova, Chanda Rubin.

The pick

Venus Williams. Tired of losing to her little sister, she wins this one.

Aug 25th, 2002, 05:25 PM
Women's Open preview
Staff Writer


Serena Williams. She's beaten her sister to win the last two majors, so perhaps she has Venus' number.

Second favorite

Venus Williams. Of course, having lost those two majors to Serena, it might be time for some sibling revenge.

Dark horse

Amelie Mauresmo. She's got the muscle, if not always the head, to bang with anyone, including the Williams sisters.


Daniela Hantuchova. Called the next Anna Kournikova because of her looks, she's done something Anna hasn't: won a tournament.

Catch her when you can

Anna Kournikova. With her propensity for quick departures, best to catch this model who happens to play tennis no later than Round 1.

- Steve Adamek

Aug 25th, 2002, 05:27 PM
Family Circus: Williams sisters' 'Showtime' rivalry gives U.S. Open a jolt of energy
Staff Writer

NEW YORK -When Venus and Serena Williams showed up at her Tennis Center in Long Beach, Calif., a decade ago, Billie Jean King first noticed what would make the sisters special someday.

They had an edge, "an attitude, which I liked" said King, the women's tennis -and sports -icon. "I like it when kids think they can do something. Even if they don't feel it and if they're acting as if [they can] ... you still have to act as if you like to be there."

Right then and there, King knew the Williams sisters would be comfortable in what she calls "Showtime." In no other tennis venue does such an atmosphere prevail as the U.S. Open, played in the shadow of a New York skyline forever altered three days after Venus beat Serena for the 2001 women's championship Sept. 8.

They return to that atmosphere this week at the U.S. Tennis Center as "the biggest thing in the sport, by far," according to four-time Open champion John McEnroe.

Yet the Williams sisters have become more than that. Their celebrity so transcends their sport that the likelihood of at least one of them reaching the final -if not both for the fourth time in the last five major championships -is why CBS will show that match in prime time a second straight year.

They now comfortably bask in what King calls "the Hollywood, the fame and fortune," as the sisters compose one of the most unique sports rivalries of all time as well as the most prominent individual rivalry of any sport today.

Tiger Woods, clearly, has no rival in golf as Jack Nicklaus once had Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Lee Trevino, and Tom Watson at various stages of his career. Certainly boxing has no Ali-Frazier today, and the other individual sports don't have the universal appeal to command such attention with their rivalries, not even women's golf with Annika Sorenstam and Karrie Webb.

Tennis has prospered with such head-to-head matchups as Borg-McEnroe, Evert-Navratilova, and in what seemed like a blink of an eye ago, Agassi-Sampras. Team sports also thrive on rivalries such as Yankees-Red Sox and Dodgers-Giants.

With Venus and Serena, though, there's one difference: blood. They're sisters first, rivals second, and they've made no secret of their love for each other. Thus, when they've stood at opposite sides of the same net, the level of competition has been rather tepid, although Serena beating Venus in this year's Wimbledon final was considered a significant step forward.

Still, they are an inseparable pair who have transformed themselves from great athletes into great players, according to television commentator and former player Mary Carillo, who defines their cachet this way:

"Venus and Serena are bigger than life. They've become mythic."

Meanwhile, name the winner of this year's Australian Open men's title. Or the French Open winner. Or, as Carillo put it, if someone said "Lleyton and David" played for this year's Wimbledon men's championship, who would they mean? Lleyton Hewitt beat David Nalbandian. Albert Costa beat Juan Carlos Ferrero to win the French and Thomas Johansson beat Marat Safin in Australia.

Hewitt, like Serena, is now the No. 1 player in the world, yet unlike his vivacious counterpart, the defending Open and reigning Wimbledon champion has balked at some of the trappings of his ranking. Earlier this month, he chose to ignore media appearances, for which he was fined. With that and without a true rival, he and his peers find themselves playing the role of the junior varsity compared with not only Venus and Serena, but also to highly visible Williams' opponents such as Jennifer Capriati, Lindsay Davenport, and Martina Hingis.

"The women have done a better job of making personalities out there," two-time Open champion Tracy Austin said. "People feel like they know Venus, feel like they know Serena, feel like they know Lindsay, Hingis, Capriati with her big comeback. People out there know them. Lleyton Hewitt is No. 1 in the world and he really doesn't want to do anything. He only does what he absolutely has to."

Serena, meanwhile, wants to act someday, while Venus already designs clothes. No longer do they play in the shadow of their father Richard, whose often manic insistence that they would be the top two players in the world one day rubbed people the wrong way -but proved prophetic. More and more, he watches from afar now as the two grow into independent young women, Venus at 22 and Serena still a month shy of 21.

"I think they're realizing that what they do makes a difference," Austin said. "I think they have matured. It's tough to mature in front of the whole world -you do make mistakes - but I think they've done better at it."

"They are not quite as connected at the hip as they used to be," King said. "I think they are both growing up. They are becoming women and going their own way, and I think that's helped Serena actually psychologically be able to stand trying to beat Venus now. I think before it was a lot harder. I think now it's changed. I think when they go to play now, they can play against each other."

That, of course, is the true measure of a rivalry, head-to-head competition, which Venus leads, 5-4. Her last victory, however, came at last year's Open, after which Serena beat her in the semifinals this year in Miami, then in the championship matches of the last two majors, the French Open and Wimbledon.

Only at Wimbledon, though, did the tennis match the hype -they played their first-ever tiebreaker in the opening set -and McEnroe said the more often they play, the more they'll realize what such matches can do for tennis.

"They've become more aware of their opportunity for their sport," he said. "There is this incredible opportunity to take it to another level, which is something the sport really could use.

"I think it's inevitable that it will get better because they play so much against each other," said Patrick McEnroe, John's brother and a CBS television commentator.

And it seems inevitable that they will meet for many more major championships with Capriati's star seemingly settled just below the Williams' galaxy, Davenport and Hingis coming back from injuries, and a new crop of youngsters such as Jelena Dokic and Daniela Hantuchova still in search of seasoning.

Austin, Carillo, and John McEnroe would like to see one or more of their peers join the fray because, as McEnroe said, "[It] would be good to have a couple rivalries instead of one that's been awkward, when two sisters play."

Yet, awkward as their relationship has flavored their rivalry at times, these two sisters "are pretty dug in there right now," Carillo said. "They are a level above everybody else."

A level not only beyond their sport but, because they're sisters, beyond the conventional boundaries of rivalries.

Sister, Sister

Serena and Venus Williams, ranked 1 and 2 in the world, have faced each other nine times. Venus leads, 5-4


Australian Open

Venus, 7-6, 6-1


Venus, 6-4, 6-2


Key Biscayne

Venus, 6-1, 4-6, 6-4

Grand Slam Cup

Serena, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3



Venus, 6-2, 7-6


U.S. Open

Venus, 6-2, 6-4



Serena, 6-2, 6-2

French Open

Serena, 7-5, 6-3


Serena, 7-6, 6-3

Seedings in parentheses, statistics through Thursday


Age: 20.

Country: United States.

2002 match record: 38-4.

2002 singles titles: 5.

Career singles titles: 16.

Major titles: U.S. Open ('99), Wimbledon ('02), French Open ('02).

Topspin: Aiming to become first player to win three consecutive Grand Slam tournaments since Steffi Graf in '96. ... Can't play older sister Venus until final; lost to Venus in '01 Open final - first major title decided between siblings since Wimbledon in 1884 - and beat her in finals of French Open, Wimbledon.


Age: 22.

Country: United States.

2002 match record: 51-6.

2002 singles titles: 6.

Career singles titles: 27.

Major titles: U.S. Open ('00, '01), Wimbledon ('00, '01).

Topspin: Trying to become first woman with three straight Open titles since Chris Evert won four in a row 1975-78. ... 0-3 vs. Serena, 50-3 against everyone else in '02. ... Match wins, titles lead WTA Tour. ... 30-3 career record in Open, with two losses to Martina Hingis, potential QF opponent.


Age: 26.

Country: United States.

2002 match record: 41-11.

2002 singles titles: 1.

Career singles titles: 13.

Major titles: Australian Open ('01, '02), French Open ('01).

Topspin: Can't be overlooked because of pure power. ... Has lost last two matches in straight sets to Amelie Mauresmo, potential QF opponent.


Age: 26.

Country: United States.

2002 match record: 10-3.

2002 singles titles: 0.

Career singles titles: 37.

Major titles: U.S. Open ('98), Wimbledon ('99), Australian Open ('00).

Topspin: Was sidelined from November to July with right knee injury. ... In first three tournaments back, all on hardcourts, went to one final and two semifinals.


Age: 19.

Country: Yugoslavia.

2002 match record: 45-17.

2002 singles titles: 2.

Career singles titles: 5.

Major titles: None.

Topspin: Quit during semifinal against Capriati in Montreal this month with leg injury, then pulled out of New Haven tournament.


Age: 28.

Country: United States.

2002 match record: 40-11.

2002 singles titles: 2.

Career singles titles: 53.

Major titles: U.S. Open ('91, '92), French Open ('90-'92), Australian Open ('91-'93, '96).

Topspin: Hasn't been to a major final since '98 French Open. ... 20-5 on hardcourts this year.


Age: 19.

Country: Belgium.

2002 match record: 28-13.

2002 singles titles: 1.

Career singles titles: 7.

Major titles: None.

Topspin: Streak of QF at four straight majors ended in Paris. ... Has struggled with right shoulder pain this year.


Age: 20.

Country: Belgium.

2002 match record: 40-15.

2002 singles titles: 1.

Career singles titles: 5.

Major titles: None.

Topspin: Ranking jumped from 48th to seventh last year, when she reached Wimbledon final. ... One-handed backhand is best in women's game. ... At 5-5, 126 pounds, doesn't generate a lot of power.

Aug 25th, 2002, 05:32 PM
Father knows, shows us best
News Haven Register
By Dave Solomon

NEW HAVEN At first, we thought him an old man running his mouth off.

We were incredulous to his words and not the message; we were mesmerized by his style and missed the substance.
Richard Williams made us laugh instead of making us think and we couldn't have been more wrong.

As we've watched his baby tennis prodigies Venus and Serena grow up to beat everyone in sight, he's become nothing short of a prophet. As we've watched Venus and Serena conduct themselves with charm and grace and dignity wherever they go, we've come to admire the eccentric brilliance of Richard Williams.

By the time Venus Williams was shaking hands with Lindsay Davenport at the conclusion of Saturday's Pilot Pen Tennis final, Richard Williams was gone from his box seat, heading for the van and out of town.

His bombast intact, Williams stopped long enough to leave us laughing. And thinking. And appreciating the gift he has given tennis.

The Daughters Williams make him look like a genius with their hard work, mental toughness and excellence on the tennis court, but it is Richard Williams who has orchestrated one of the most astonishing sports stories of any generation.

Without a tennis background, he not only has given the sport the two greatest women's players in the world, but he has given the sport soul.

"I'm one of those guys who's proud to be from the ghetto," Williams said. "I love the ghetto. I have a ghetto mind, a ghetto heart. If you look back at the ghetto for Please see Willliams, Page C13

the last 50 years, it's where champions come from. Larry Bird didn't come from Beverly Hills. Magic Johnson didn't come from there. Sure, Michael Jordan was out of North Carolina, but he wasn't in the best of North Carolina. Muhammad Ali. Mike Tyson. Chris Evert was a champion, and she didn't come from no more than a ghetto, like I did.

"Everyone keeps looking for a champion from a good place. But the good places, where they have all the best training, those parents don't want their kids to be tennis players. They want their kids to be doctors, attorneys, senators, statesmen, governors, presidents. They have the right idea. I wish I had the right idea."

I have no doubt the remarkably thoughtful, poised and well-spoken Venus and Serena Williams could have grown up to be worthy representatives in any of the professions he mentions. I use the word remarkable not because of where they come from, but because of how they carry themselves as compared with the majority of superstars from all sports.

"It's a great human interest story," said Butch Buchholz, tournament chairman of the Pilot Pen.

"They're people who have come from the roughest part of L.A. He (Richard Williams) was a parks director there and ended up having the No. 1 and 2 players in the world. Unbelievable. And the other thing is, they're nice people, too. Besides being great tennis players, they're really nice people. The parents have to be congratulated."

That's the best work of Richard Williams, by far. Not only did he build champions in the most unconventional ways, he and his wife Oracene produced two wonderful role models.

And naturally, Richard Williams has a theory for that.

Has there ever been a question asked that Williams didn't have a theory about, oddball or otherwise?

In short, yes, there's an underlying explanation that Richard Williams is more than happy to share.

"They had no other choice (but to be good people)," Williams said. "See, I was born in '42 ... I'm 60 years old. So when I was born, that's the way I was raised. I was raised that no matter whether you're white, black ... everyone in my neighborhood raised everyone. You couldn't walk down the street and not have a white person say, 'I'm going to kick your ass and tell your mom (if you were doing something wrong).' The black people would do the same thing. So you had no other choice but to be respectable to everyone.

"That same training was taught to my kids. That's why they have so much respect for every race, no matter who it is or what they're saying. And I think if we could ever get back to that in America, where a whole neighborhood is raising a child, we would produce better teachers, better attorneys, better everything."

And where does Williams think his daughters will be in the tennis rankings five years from now?

"They'll be gone," he promised. "They'll be gone from tennis. We're going to give it back to the good neighborhoods."

With that, Richard Williams was gone, leaving his audience laughing, maybe gasping. Certainly thinking.

Aug 25th, 2002, 05:41 PM
Breaking down the women's draw
By Jon Wertheim, Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated senior writer Jon Wertheim peers into his crystal ball to reveal the fate of the top 16 men's and women's seeds for the U.S. Open. Scroll down to see the first-round matches you shouldn't miss, some darkhorse candidates to advance to Week 2, and his championship predictions.

WOMEN'S REPORT | Men's Report

1. Serena Williams: The knee is a minor cause for concern, but she considers herself the favorite -- and who are we to argue? Cushy draw doesn't hurt either, but the gut says that the tide will turn and Venus gets back on the board.

2. Venus Williams: The lone drama of the women's draw: Can she turn the tables on li'l sis? Might get a few good workouts -- Barbara Schett, Chanda Rubin, Jennifer Capriati -- along the way, but it will be shocking if there isn't another all-Williams finale.

3. Jennifer Capriati: Don't look now but the Capster hasn't won an event since Australia. If she isn't on her game, she's likely to lose to Amelie Mauresmo, for the third time in eight weeks, in the quarters.

4. Lindsay Davenport: Nice to have the 1998 champ back in the mix, but she still has too much ring rust (court rust?) to seriously threaten Williams Nation. Still, she's a fair bet to reach the semis.

5. Jelena Dokic: A Norm Peterson regular in the second week, but is she too deferential to the sisters?

6. Monica Seles: Sentimental fave deserves our admiration. But even without a bum foot, her best days have passed.

7. Kim Clijsters: If she's around past the quarters, it will be only as a Lleyton supporter. Another bad loss -- of which there have been puzzlingly many this year -- and it might be time for shoulder surgery. Eleni Daniilidou could give her fits in Round 3.

8. Justine Henin: Where is her confidence after a surprising loss to Anastasia Myskina in New Haven, City of Elms?

9. Martina Hingis: See: Davenport. Her return is welcome, but a freshly carved ankle deprives her of the mobility required to make a deep run.

10. Amelie Mauresmo: Has to be encouraged by her play in Montreal -- this on the heels of a Wimbledon semifinal appearance. Assuming her tte is intact, she might be the best bet to break up the Palm Beach Gardens dynasty.

11. Daniela Hantuchova: The tour's Flavor of the Summer has slipped a bit since Wimbledon. Her draw, however, should enable her to make nice run.

12. Elena Dementieva: Blonde, titleless Russian has been struggling badly of late. May live up her seeding, but she's a long way off from her semifinal form of 2000.

13. Silvia Farina Elia: All credit for being a top-15 player at age 30. But she's an upset waiting to happen.

14. Chanda Rubin: Though she cooled of after winning L.A., look for her to make some noise. Fairly cushy draw ensures she'll live up to her seeding.

15. Anastasia Myskina: Still wants for consistent results, but fun-to-watch Russian could inflict some damage, much as she did in New Haven.

16. Magdalena Maleeva: Hasn't been beyond Round 3 since 1994.


17. Anna Smashnova: Game has dovetailed a bit, but we love the footspeed and grit. After tough first-rounder against Swiss Miss Marie-Gaianeh Mikaelian, she's in the clear for a few rounds.

18. Ai Sugiyama: Aye, aye. Former top-15 player has found her groove again.

23. Patty Schnyder: Talent is there, but is the heart?

28. Eleni Daniilidou: Big game and a nifty backhand. A player to watch.

29. Barbara Schett: Her glory days have passed, but she's still capable of some good tennis.

30. Meghann Shaughnessy: After cracking the top 10 last year, Arizonan's career is on the downswing. Still, she ought to win a few rounds and could give the right seed some trouble.


Anna Kournikova: Seriously. If the Anna from the California swing shows up, the yuks will stop.

Laura Granville: Granny has a solid game and doesn't choke.

Barbara Rittner: Fed Cup heroine back on American soil.

Elena Bovina: Her big game could give Dokic a workout in Round 2.


Corina Morariu vs. Serena Williams: Morariu won't win. But she already has.

Hingis vs. Marissa Irvin: If Hingis isn't on her game, feisty Californian could score an upset.

Rita Grande vs. Dinara Safina: Might Safina outlast her brother in the draw?

Hantuchova vs. Nicole Pratt: Feisty veteran will be a good challenge for teenage comer.

No. 24 Iva Majoli vs. Ashley Harkleroad: Just because.


Semifinals: Serena Williams vs. Dokic; Mauresmo vs. Venus Williams
Final: Serena Williams vs. Venus Williams
Champion: Venus Williams

Aug 25th, 2002, 05:44 PM
Cruising along an Open road
News Haven Register
By Sean O'Rourke, Register Staff

NEW HAVEN Venus Williams had just won her third straight WTA Tour tournament title when the question was asked about a potential matchup with sister Serena in the final of the upcoming U.S. Open.

"Believe it or not, I think I have to take my game up another level or two to beat Serena," said Venus, the two-time defending Open champ.

Serena has beaten her older sister of 13 months in the last two Grand Slams this year the French Open and Wimbledon this year. The championships vaulted Serena past Venus to No. 1 in the world. But Venus' tournament victory at the Pilot Pen Saturday and a title at the U.S. Open would vault her back to No. 1.

And don't forget that Serena pulled out of Montreal last week with a hamstring injury and may be slowed in the Open.

The sisters will be in opposite brackets at the Open, but both know they can't be penciled into the final. Venus will have to get past potential tough matches against No. 6 seed Monica Seles in the quarterfinals and No. 3 Jennifer Capriati in the semifinals. Serena will likely meet No. 4 Lindsay Davenport in the semifinals to get to the final.

"Even though we have been able to play well (at the French Open and Wimbledon), it's not like opponents gave us matches or that we played badly and still got there easily," Venus said. "We have to work hard every match to make it happen. So, basically, we take it one match at a time, and if we both get to the final, that's great. If one of us gets to the final, then that's great, too.

"But as long as we are there, as long as we are healthy, that's all we want."

The Open will mark the Grand Slam return of former champions Davenport and Martina Hingis.

Davenport missed the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon with a knee injury while Hingis, the No. 9 seed at the Open, was out of the French and Wimbledon with an ankle injury.

Davenport has reached the finals of her last two tournaments, in Los Angeles and New Haven, losing to Serena in the former and Venus in the latter. Davenport believes that Venus will have to self-destruct not to get to the Open finals.

"It's going to be tough," Davenport said. "Obviously, she has to contribute to her own downfall. A player has to play extremely well against her, and she'll have to help that player out."

Davenport likes her progress, especially at the Pilot Pen this week, but she isn't sure how that will translate in the next two weeks.

"I don't want to say I'm playing well, but I'm playing very good again," Davenport said. "We'll just have to see how it goes. It's a long two weeks and who knows what's going to happen or how the draw is going to work out?"

Hingis lost in the Pilot Pen quarterfinals to Anastasia Myskina, a match she led 7-6 (2), 4-1 before losing 11 straight games to be eliminated. Much of Hingis' problem was that she's not in top match shape yet. How long she can last at the exhausting Open seems to be a major question mark.

"That is a question," Hingis said. "But I'm looking forward to it. You always have a day to regroup at the Open, so that's going to be good."

Other players that could surprise at the Open include Myskina, a Pilot Pen semifinalist, Amelie Mauresmo, who won in Montreal a week ago and went to the quarters at the Pilot Pen before losing to Davenport, and Pilot Pen semifinalist Daniela Hantuchova.

"There are a lot of very good players and you have to take advantage of the opportunities you get," said Mauresmo, the Open's 10th seed. "A Grand Slam is very long and you have to keep it up day in and day out."

On the men's side, top-seeded Lleyton Hewitt caught a break when seeded players Thomas Johansson and Guillermo Canas withdrew because of injuries.

Hewitt had been seeded to play his second-round match against Greg Rusedski, who beat the 21-year-old Australian in Indianapolis earlier this month. With the withdrawal of Johansson and Canas, the previously unseeded Rusedski moved up to No. 33 and avoided a potential second-round matchup with Hewitt.

Hewitt may still face a tough third-round match against No. 25 James Blake of Fairfield, who won his first career title last week in Washington and extended Hewitt to five sets when they met in last year's U.S. Open.

Following Hewitt in the seedings are 2000 champion Marat Safin, Tommy Haas, Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Tim Henman.

Two-time champion Andre Agassi is seeded sixth and four-time winner Pete Sampras is No. 17, his lowest seeding at the U.S. Open since he won his first title in 1990.

Agassi, 32, has been inconsistent in warm-up events. After winning in Los Angeles last month, he lost to Hewitt in the quarterfinals at Cincinnati and was beaten by Blake in the semifinals at Washington last week.

Material from wire reports was included in this story.

Aug 26th, 2002, 05:34 PM
Women's Look Forward: August 26
Women's Look Forward: The U. S. Open
BOB Larson's Tennis News

On the men's side, the U. S. Open is so wide-open as to be effectively beyond prediction. On the women's side, it's a completely different matter. There are three candidates to win: Serena Williams, Venus Williams, and None of the Above. And even though None of The Above represents sixty-three sixty-fourths of the draw, it's clearly at a disadvantage. We hate making predictions -- but on this court, the Sisters clearly have to be favored over all comers. The final has a good chance of being boringly predictable.

Still, as with the men, let's look at the candidates and try to guess who has the best of those slight chances.

1. Serena Williams
Why she might win it: She's been the best player in the world this year, and has arguably been the best on hardcourts since 1999. She's won two straight Slams.

Why she might not: The changes in her game that allowed her to win Roland Garros and Wimbledon may possibly have been at the expense of her hardcourt skills; she played only one warmup (Los Angeles), where she lost early. That also implies she's rusty. Plus she has the bad knee that took her out of the Canadian Open.

2. Venus Williams
Why she might win it: She's won it for the past two years, and has a 13-match winning streak on hardcourts.
Why she might not: Serena. Also the possibility of injury. And the pressure is on her -- the pressure of threepeating, and the pressure of not having won a Slam in a while. Plus she's in the worst quarter of the draw.

3. Jennifer Capriati
Why she might win it: She's won three Slams.
Why she might not: Hasn't won a title since the Australian Open. Lots of bad losses. Hasn't solved the Williams Sisters, and no sign of a plan to do so.

4. Lindsay Davenport
Why she might win it: Has won it before; loves this tournament. Hardcourts are her best surface. She has the power to hang with the Williams Sisters.
Why she might not: Hasn't won a Slam in two and a half years. Still recovering from her long injury. She had a meltdown against Venus at New Haven.

5. Jelena Dokic
Why she might win it: Well -- she's #4 in the world and beat Jennifer Capriati recently.

Why she might not: Most over-ranked player in the Top Ten; probably should be seeded for Round of Sixteen, not quarterfinal. Comes in injured. Apart from Wimbledon 1999, has not done well at Slams. Plays the standard power baseline game, but not nearly as well as the Williams Sisters or Davenport. There is nothing that sets her apart.

6. Monica Seles
Why she might win it: She has more Slams than any other player in the field, including two U. S. Opens.
Why she might not: Apart from her general problems (fitness; hasn't won a Slam in six years), she comes in injured and having played no warmups. Plus she's in the horrid Venus/Hingis/Rubin quarter.

7. Kim Clijsters
Why she might win it: Has the game, and likes hardcourts.
Why she might not: Has been injured for much of the year, and is in bad form. Did not do well in warmups. She didn't perform well in her one previous Slam final.

8. Justine Henin
Why she might win it: She's the highest-ranked player with something other than bash in her game.
Why she might not: Unfortunately for Henin, bash is worth a lot on hardcourts, and spins and slices have relatively little value. This is her worst surface; she just doesn't have a kill shot. She lost first round at New Haven. She has been injured. She also has problems with nerves.

9. Martina Hingis
Why she might win it: She has won it before. She's the one player with a real chance to give the Williams Sisters a different look; if she really plays her best, she has a better chance against them than most of the players ranked above her.

Why she might not: She's definitely developing a problem putting away matches, especially against the bashers. It's only her third tournament back. American hardcourt is probably her worst surface; she has more bash than Henin, but not enough, and as with Henin, the surface doesn't reward her variety.

10. Amelie Mauresmo
Why she might win it: Playing her best hardcourt tennis ever.
Why she might not: Doesn't like hardcourts, even now. She's tinkering with her game. Her style isn't really built for the surface. Has never won a major.

11. Daniela Hantuchova
Why she might win it: When she has everything working, she has more variety than any players above her except Hingis and Henin, and she has far more power than either.
Why she might not: Not much experience at this level. Pieces frequently fall off her game. Probably not ready to win a Slam.

14. Chanda Rubin
Why she might win it: Having the best season of her career. Beat Serena Williams at Los Angeles. If she's going to do it, this is probably the time.
Why she might not: While Rubin has been immensely impressive this summer, and seems to have made genuine improvements in her game, her career numbers just don't spell a Slam winner. Not with two Williamses in the draw.

Best Early Round Matches

For the men, the existence of 32 seeds really didn't cost anything in terms of first round matches; there are literally dozens of very good matches in the first two rounds. The women aren't quite as richly endowed; they still don't have quite the depth of the men, and they also have a slightly better ranking system, so the seeds are more likely to deserve seeding. (Based on divisor scores, only one woman who really should have been seeded failed to be seeded: Clarisa Fernandez.) But we still see quite a few matches with interesting features:

First Round

(1) Serena Williams vs. Morariu. Yes, it will be a blowout (assuming Serena is healthy). But it's still Morariu's first Slam in a year and a half.

Grande vs. Safina. Skilled veteran having a tough year goes against a youngster with clear talent but some rough edges still.

C. Fernandez vs. Bovina. Fernandez is the top unseeded player, though this is not her surface (she lost in New Haven qualifying). Bovina is much bigger and stronger but hasn't really learned to use that. One or the other could do damage here.

Nagyova vs. (28) Daniilidou. A player who started the year in the Top 25 versus a player looking to earn her way there.

(23) Schnyder vs. Petrova. Petrova is just back from injury, so she probably can't hurt Schnyder. But if by some chance she actually is in her start-of-2002 form, she might well have an upset up her sleeve.

Pierce vs. (32) Suarez. Power versus steadiness. Suarez beat Pierce at the Australian Open two years ago. This surface is probably better for Pierce -- but Suarez has been having the better year overall.

(17) Smashnova vs. Mikaelian. A steady but not powerful veteran against a youngster with great potential.

Lucic (Q) vs. (1) V. Williams. Another sure blowout, but it's a triumph for Lucic to get even this far. Has she finally gotten over her hump?

Second Round

Tulyaganova vs. (26) Dechy. Tulyaganova serves very well, hits hard, and can't seem to figure out what she is doing. Dechy is steadier. It could be close.

Granville vs. (24) Majoli. Granville is on her way up. Majoli is very inconsistent. The surface favors Granville.

(12) Dementieva vs. Schiavone. Both players had their first big Slam successes at the U. S. Open. Both have been having trouble this year. Both have something to prove.

(31) Stevenson vs. Kournikova (or Widjaja). Time for someone to make a comeback.

C. Fernandez vs. (5) Dokic. Dokic is hurting. Fernandez should have been seeded. Could there be an upset in the works?

Zvonareva vs. (28) Daniilidou. Two very promising youngsters.

(30) Shaughnessy vs. Martinez. Two players having tough years. Shaughnessy practiced a lot on clay as she grew up, but she still has a hardcourt game. How will she adapt to Martinez's mix?

Serna vs. Pierce or (32) Suarez. Wherever Magui Serna goes, strangeness follows. Can she pull off another of her upsets?

(17) Smashnova vs. Coetzer. Coetzer, the top unseeded player, won the last meeting between these two non-powerhouses. Can she do it again?

M. Casanova vs. (21) Raymond. Another contest between a skilled young player and a canny veteran. Raymond has been having a tough time lately, too.

The Rankings

It's been a while. Since Wimbledon, in fact. The U. S. Open will mark the first time in two months that every ranking is in play.

Sort of, anyway. Serena Williams could lose the #1 ranking over the next two weeks -- but she'll have to work at it. With sister Venus having won New Haven, Serena's lead in the rankings is about 250 points. Venus has the U. S. Open title to defend; Serena, finalist points. That means that if Venus can defend her title, she might be able to pass Serena -- if Serena loses before the semifinal.

The situation is about the same further down. Venus has more than an 1100 point lead over Jennifer Capriati, but a lot of that is U. S. Open points. If, somehow, Venus loses early, Capriati might be able to get to #2 by reaching the final.

But Capriati has semifinalist points of her own. That puts her hundreds of points ahead of Jelena Dokic and Monica Seles, but they could possibly pass her; both have Round of Sixteen points to defend.

The other player who looks to be in trouble is Martina Hingis, with semifinalist points to defend and drawn to face Monica Seles in the Round of Sixteen and Venus Williams in quarterfinal. (It may be lucky for the WTA that Hingis isn't American; we know people who, in her situation, would be suing them over the injury rules.)

Although the order of players has changed a lot this year, the Top Ten has been almost constant for all of 2002. The current Top Ten -- Serena, Venus, Capriati, Dokic, Seles, Clijsters, Henin, Hingis, Mauresmo, Davenport -- has been the Top Ten list for the entire year, except for a short time when Sandrine Testud was #10. And that seems unlikely to change. Daniela Hantuchova, the #11 player, is 300 points behind Davenport (about 100 safe points), and Davenport has the better draw. Elena Dementieva, at #13 the next active player (Testud is still #12) is 800 points behind Davenport! That means that Hantuchova is the only player with a realistic chance to break into the Top Ten -- and even she has a long, long ways to go.

The lower-ranked player with the most on the line is Daja Bedanova, last year's surprise quarterfinalist (the other seven quarterfinalists were all "usual suspects": Hingis, Davenport, Serena, Clijsters, Venus, Mauresmo, Capriati). Bedanova faces a real possibility of falling out of the Top Thirty.

Aug 26th, 2002, 05:37 PM
Ascension of Williamses leaves opponents gasping
Palm Beach Post
By Karen Crouse, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- The people who say that women's tennis is boring right now, who are they kidding? These undoubtedly are the same people who would yawn if overnight geometric figures turned up grooved into the grass at Wimbledon.

The fact that two sisters, Venus and Serena Williams of Palm Beach Gardens, have contested three of the past four Grand Slam finals is as uncanny a phenomenon as crop circles.

Imagine if Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods were blood brothers instead of merely chilly rivals. Would that make their duels on the PGA Tour less interesting?

Like Mickelson, Venus, the two-time defending U.S. Open champion, comes into the final Grand Slam event of 2002 having failed all year to win a major title, though not for any lack of trying.

Mickelson might have won the Masters and the U.S. Open if not for Woods. Venus likely would have taken the French Open and Wimbledon titles if not for Serena. The difference is that Mickelson can deposit his enmity for Woods into his motivational bank and watch it compound daily.

Venus lives with Serena, she loves her dearly. When your best friend also is your worst nightmare, what do you do? If you're Venus, when asked about your prospects for defending your title, you talk elliptically.

"I really just want to play well," Venus said Sunday. "I know I've tried my hardest. So I suppose it's enough for me." She managed a weak smile. "But I would like to cross the finish line every now and then, too."

Venus, 22, won her fourth singles titles in as many years at the WTA Tour stop in New Haven, Conn., last week. She has won seven titles and lost only six matches all year. Alas, three of those bitter pills have been administered by Serena, 20, who prevailed in the semifinals at Key Biscayne in March and in the finals at the French Open and Wimbledon.

Serena, who opens against Boca Raton's Corina Morariu tonight, has a match record this year of 38-4. The only thing to stop her has been tendinitis in her knees, which forced her to withdraw from a tournament two weeks ago in Montreal.

Venus may be the two-time defending U.S. Open champion, but it was Serena who was chosen to ring the bell to open trading on Wall Street the other day, Serena who is No. 1 in the world, Serena who recently graced the cover of a national magazine.

Serena! Serena! Serena! What's a sister to do?

If you're Venus, you smile and try to frame an awkward situation in the best possible light. "It's not exactly easy to make Grand Slam finals," she said. "It's just a lot of work that goes into getting the last two spots, that's for sure. But when we both have gotten there, it's been, you know, really sweet success for both of us, that's for sure."

Another certainty is this: The ascension to No. 1 and No. 2 of the Williamses marks the arrival of a new era in women's tennis.

The sister act has shifted the sport into the next gear, so much so that some people are left breathing in their exhaust. They've sped the game up so much, it can be difficult to see the Williamses' execution for their power. Either one can put a point away with a drop shot or a slice as easily as a blistering ground stroke.

"In general, I do enjoy playing the power game," Venus said. "That's what I was brought up on back in the '80s when power was really coming into fashion. So that's really my base. But I like to be able to play all shots. As a professional tennis player, I expect to be able to play any shot out there on the court."

The Williamses have become true professionals, deepening their dedication to the game. They've cut back on their schooling and added strength classes with a full-time trainer. They've raised the stakes for winning and in doing so have dared people either to match them -- as Jennifer Capriati has by hiring a full-time trainer -- or fold.

The next two weeks should give people a good indication of who remains in this high-stakes game.

Aug 26th, 2002, 05:44 PM

Aug 27th, 2002, 04:14 AM
Arthur Ashe - 11:00 AM Start
1. Men's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Nicolas Kiefer (GER) vs. Marat Safin (RUS)[2]
followed by:
2. Women's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Mirjana Lucic (CRO) vs. Venus Williams (USA)[2] :bounce: :bounce:
3. Men's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Lleyton Hewitt (AUS)[1] vs. Nicolas Coutelot (FRA)

Arthur Ashe - 7:00 PM Start
1. Women's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Bethanie Mattek (USA) vs. Jennifer Capriati (USA)[3]
followed by:
2. Men's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Martin Verkerk (NED) vs. Andy Roddick (USA)[11]

Armstrong - 11:00 AM Start
1. Men's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Mark Philippoussis (AUS) vs. Sjeng Schalken (NED)[24]
followed by:
2. Women's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Marissa Irvin (USA) vs. Martina Hingis (SUI)[9]
3. Women's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Monica Seles (USA)[6] vs. Zsofia Gubacsi (HUN)
4. Men's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Julien Boutter (FRA) vs. Gustavo Kuerten (BRA)
5. Men's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Taylor Dent (USA) vs. Raemon Sluiter (NED)

Grandstand - 11:00 AM Start
1. Women's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Kim Clijsters (BEL)[7] vs. Conchita Martinez Granados (ESP)
followed by:
2. Men's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Jan-Michael Gambill (USA) vs. Julian Knowle (AUT)
3. Women's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Chanda Rubin (USA)[14] vs. Jill Craybas (USA)
4. Men's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Alex Corretja (ESP)[18] vs. Irakli Labadze (GEO)
5. Men's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Juan Carlos Ferrero (ESP)[7] vs. Wayne Arthurs (AUS)

Court 10 - 11:00 AM Start
1. Women's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Mi-Ra Jeon (KOR) vs. Ai Sugiyama (JPN)[18]
followed by:
2. Men's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Agustin Calleri (ARG) vs. Fernando Meligeni (BRA)
3. Women's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Barbara Schett (AUT)[29] vs. Asa Svensson (SWE)
4. Women's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Shinobu Asagoe (JPN) vs. Emilie Loit (FRA)
5. Men's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Nicolas Lapentti (ECU)[27] vs. Nicolas Massu (CHI)

Court 11 - 11:00 AM Start
1. Men's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Carlos Moya (ESP)[9] vs. Adrian Voinea (ROM)
followed by:
2. Women's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Iveta Benesova (CZE) vs. Amelie Mauresmo (FRA)[10]
3. Men's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Hyung-Taik Lee (KOR) vs. Mardy Fish (USA)
4. Women's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Mary Pierce (FRA) vs. Paola Suarez (ARG)[32]
5. Women's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Meghann Shaughnessy (USA)[30] vs. Wynne Prakusya (INA)

Court 4 - 4:00 PM Start
1. Men's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Thomas Enqvist (SWE)[29] vs. Matias Boeker (USA)
followed by:
2. Men's Doubles - 1st Rnd.
Devin Bowen (USA)
Brandon Coupe (USA)
vs. Rajeev Ram (USA)
Jonathan Stokke (USA)

Court 6 - 11:00 AM Start
1. Women's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Henrieta Nagyova (SVK) vs. Eleni Daniilidou (GRE)[28]
followed by:
2. Men's Doubles - 1st Rnd.
Prakash Amritraj (USA)
Stephen Amritraj (USA)
vs. Frantisek Cermak (CZE)
Ota Fukarek (CZE)

3. Men's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Jarkko Nieminen (FIN)[34] vs. Fernando Vicente (ESP)
4. Men's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Fabrice Santoro (FRA) vs. Ivan Ljubicic (CRO)

Court 7 - 11:00 AM Start
1. Women's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Gala Leon Garcia (ESP) vs. Mashona Washington (USA)
followed by:
2. Women's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Jennifer Hopkins (USA) vs. Lisa Raymond (USA)[21]
3. Men's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Jerome Golmard (FRA) vs. Vincent Spadea (USA)
4. Men's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Jurgen Melzer (AUT) vs. Jack Brasington (USA)
5. Women's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Tina Pisnik (SLO) vs. Sandra Cacic (USA)

Court 8 - 11:00 AM Start
1. Women's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Amy Frazier (USA) vs. Virginia Ruano Pascual (ESP)
followed by:
2. Men's Doubles - 1st Rnd.
Arnaud Clement (FRA)
Sebastien Grosjean (FRA)
vs. Alex Kim (USA)
Kevin Kim (USA)

3. Men's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Rainer Schuettler (GER)[23] vs. Jean-Rene Lisnard (FRA)
4. Women's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Magdalena Maleeva (BUL)[16] vs. Kveta Hrdlickova (CZE)
5. Men's Doubles - 1st Rnd.
Paul Haarhuis (NED)[9]
Yevgeny Kafelnikov (RUS)[9]
vs. Jeff Coetzee (RSA)
Chris Haggard (RSA)

Court 9 - 11:00 AM Start
1. Women's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Emmanuelle Gagliardi (SUI) vs. Vera Zvonareva (RUS)
followed by:
2. Men's Doubles - 1st Rnd.
Paul Rosner (RSA)
Glenn Weiner (USA)
vs. Wayne Ferreira (RSA)
Rick Leach (USA)

3. Men's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Alexander Waske (GER) vs. Guillermo Coria (ARG)
4. Women's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Marlene Weingartner (GER) vs. Conchita Martinez (ESP)

Court 13 - 11:00 AM Start
1. Men's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Tommy Robredo (ESP)[31] vs. Mariano Zabaleta (ARG)
followed by:
2. Men's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Xavier Malisse (BEL)[19] vs. Albert Montanes (ESP)
3. Women's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Anca Barna (GER) vs. Alexandra Podkolzina
4. Women's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Patty Schnyder (SUI)[23] vs. Nadia Petrova (RUS)
5. Men's Doubles - 1st Rnd.
Tomas Cibulec (CZE)
Leos Friedl (CZE)
vs. Justin Gimelstob (USA)
Jeff Tarango (USA)

Court 14 - 11:00 AM Start
1. Women's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Cristina Torrens Valero (ESP) vs. Angelika Roesch (GER)
followed by:
2. Women's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Alicia Molik (AUS) vs. Patricia Wartusch (AUT)
3. Men's Doubles - 1st Rnd.
Ashley Fisher (AUS)
Mark Merklein (BAH)
vs. Jiri Novak (CZE)[11]
Radek Stepanek (CZE)[11]

4. Men's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Gaston Etlis (ARG) vs. Bjorn Rehnquist (SWE)

Court 15 - 11:00 AM Start
1. Women's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Anna Smashnova (ISR)[17] vs. Marie-Gaianeh Mikaelian (SUI)
followed by:
2. Men's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Alberto Martin (ESP) vs. Michel Kratochvil (SUI)
3. Women's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Maret Ani (EST) vs. Martina Muller (GER)
4. Women's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Yoon Jeong Cho (KOR) vs. Magui Serna (ESP)

Court 17 - 11:00 AM Start
1. Women's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Myriam Casanova (SUI) vs. Jelena Kostanic (CRO)
followed by:
2. Men's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Igor Kunitcin (RUS) vs. Noam Okun (ISR)
3. Women's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Silvija Talaja (CRO) vs. Barbara Schwartz (AUT)
4. Women's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Adriana Gersi (CZE) vs. Martina Sucha (SVK)

Court 18 - 11:00 AM Start
1. Women's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Tatiana Poutchek (BLR) vs. Amanda Coetzer (RSA)
followed by:
2. Women's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Angeles Montolio (ESP) vs. Antonella Serra Zanetti (ITA)
3. Men's Doubles - 1st Rnd.
Dominik Hrbaty (SVK)
Andre Sa (BRA)
vs. Levar Harper-Griffith (USA)
Eric Taino (USA)

4. Men's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Ivo Heuberger (SUI) vs. Slimane Saoudi (FRA)

Aug 27th, 2002, 04:23 AM
Past Champions

2001 Venus Williams (USA) def. Serena Williams (USA) 6-2 6-4 :bounce: :kiss:
2000 Venus Williams (USA) def. Lindsay Davenport (USA) 6-4 7-5 :bounce: :kiss:
1999 Serena Williams (USA) def. Martina Hingis (SUI) 6-3 7-6(4)
1998 Lindsay Davenport (USA) def. Martina Hingis (SUI) 6-3 7-5
1997 Martina Hingis (SUI) def. Venus Williams (USA) 6-0 6-4
1996 Steffi Graf (GER) def. Monica Seles (USA) 7-5 6-4
1995 Steffi Graf (GER) def. Monica Seles (USA) 7-6(6) 0-6 6-3
1994 Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario (ESP) def. Steffi Graf (GER) 1-6 7-6(3) 6-4
1993 Steffi Graf (GER) def. Helena Sukova (CZE) 6-3 6-3
1992 Monica Seles (USA) def. Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario (ESP) 6-3 6-3
1991 Monica Seles (USA) def. Martina Navratilova (USA) 7-6 6-1
1990 Gabriela Sabatini (ARG) def. Steffi Graf (GER) 6-2 7-6
1989 Steffi Graf (GER) def. Martina Navratilova (USA) 3-6 7-5 6-1
1988 Steffi Graf (GER) def. Gabriela Sabatini (ARG) 6-3 3-6 6-1
1987 Martina Navratilova (USA) def. Steffi Graf (GER) 7-6 6-1
1986 Martina Navratilova (USA) def. Helena Sukova (CZE) 6-3 6-2
1985 Hana Mandlikova (AUS) def. Martina Navratilova (USA) 7-6 1-6 7-6
1984 Martina Navratilova (USA) def. Chris Evert (USA) 4-6 6-4 6-4
1983 Martina Navratilova (USA) def. Chris Evert (USA) 6-1 6-3
1982 Chris Evert (USA) def. Hana Mandlikova (AUS) 6-3 6-1
1981 Tracy Austin (USA) def. Martina Navratilova (USA) 1-6 7-6 7-6
1980 Chris Evert (USA) def. Hana Mandlikova (AUS) 5-7 6-1 6-1
1979 Tracy Austin (USA) def. Chris Evert (USA) 6-4 6-3
1978 Chris Evert (USA) def. Pam Shriver (USA) 7-5 6-4
1977 Chris Evert (USA) def. Wendy Turnbull (AUS) 7-6 6-2
1976 Chris Evert (USA) def. Evonne Goolagong Cawley (AUS) 6-3 6-0
1975 Chris Evert (USA) def. Evonne Goolagong Cawley (AUS) 5-7 6-4 6-2
1974 Billie Jean King (USA) def. Evonne Goolagong Cawley (AUS) 3-6 6-3 7-5
1973 Margaret Court (AUS) def. Evonne Goolagong Cawley (AUS) 7-6 5-7 6-2
1972 Billie Jean King (USA) def. Kerry Reid (AUS) 6-3 7-5
1971 Billie Jean King (USA) def. Rosie Casals (USA) 6-4 7-6
1970 Margaret Court (AUS) def. Rosie Casals (USA) 6-2 2-6 6-1
1969 Margaret Court (AUS) def. Nancy Richey (USA) 6-2 6-2
1968 Virginia Wade (GBR) def. Billie Jean King (USA) 6-4 6-2

Aug 28th, 2002, 12:22 AM

Venus wins l0ve and l0ve 6/0 6/0
One down six to go.....:bounce: :kiss: :bounce: :kiss:

Aug 28th, 2002, 02:44 AM
Venus Williams


6-0, 6-0

An interview with:

MODERATOR: Questions for Venus.

Q. What was it like waiting for like six hours to play your match today?
VENUS WILLIAMS: It was a long wait, but I'm used to waiting actually, so...
I'm glad I wasn't the third match. At least I was the second.

Q. What did do you? Did you finish a book or something?
VENUS WILLIAMS: A couple of novels, yeah (laughter).
No, I just read the paper. It's hard to find a quiet place, a comfortable place to sit. I ended up sitting in the training room because they had a nice
seat there.

Q. Not so much work once you got out there. At least you didn't make it look like work. How did it feel?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think that she's actually a good player, and if given the opportunity, she will get herself into the match. I wasn't especially keen on
giving her those opportunities today.
It was nice to have that score. I've never had it - once, maybe in qualifications a long time ago.

Q. But never certainly at this level?

Q. Last night a lot was made about Serena's outfit. Is all that talk kind of frivolous?
VENUS WILLIAMS: What was made of it?

Q. People asking her what she wore, what she thought of it.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I thought it was cute.

Q. Are you glad that people ask questions about what the women are wearing, or is that kind of frivolous conversation?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, no, not at all. Definitely I think we have some of the most colorful and different outfits, that's for sure. We like to wear them.

Q. Another frivolous question. Would you ever go down that road?

Q. Wearing what she wore.
VENUS WILLIAMS: I would, but it's already been done. I'm not like one to do it second.

Q. Have you ever tried it on?
VENUS WILLIAMS: You know, I've never tried her clothes on. I guess she hasn't tried mine on either. Maybe if she takes the Puma logo off, I'd try it on

Q. Tonight AltheaGibson is going to be honored. Can you talk about your first knowing about her, hearing about her? What were your impressions?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm not really sure, to be honest. I've never actually met her.

Q. Have you ever seen any videotape of her playing?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. I mean, just briefly.

Q. Anything striking, what were your impressions when you saw it?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I only saw a couple of plays. But she seemed very, very smooth and elegant as a player. But I never had the opportunity to actually watch
an extended amount of her matches or her play.

Q. Probably going to be a headline story if you're not in the finals. Is there any pressure knowing that's the perception?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, not at all, because I realize I have the potential to be in the final. But it doesn't mean anything; I still have to play. I realize
I can get there, I can be there, I've done it, but I still have to, I guess, perform and do everything it takes to be there.

Q. I guess there were a lot of kids watching, but 40 of them were from the Southeast Tennis Learning Center in DC. What do you think of the facility? What
have your experiences been there?
VENUS WILLIAMS: It's very nice. I've been there twice. It's very nice. I like it. I didn't actually notice them in the crowd - believe it or not.

Q. You might be surprised to find out they were very high up.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Really (smiling)?

Q. Some of the kids said it was a long wait and a short match, but looking up to you let them see what they can be. Did you have an experience like that
with any players when you were a kid?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Not really. Not really, no.

Q. No one you identified with in that way?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I had favorite players, sure. I think my most inspiration was definitely my parents and my sisters.

Q. Did you and Serena ever get to go over to matches at UCLA, Manhattan Beach when you were young?
VENUS WILLIAMS: We went to all those, that's for sure. I guess we sat high up. I don't remember where I sat, but I just remember being there.

Q. When Althea was playing and doing well, the hope was that she would pave the way for more minority kids to play tennis. It didn't exactly work out that
way. Do you think times are different now? Are things different now where you guys would have more of an impact?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know.

Q. Can you see that at all yet?
VENUS WILLIAMS: It's not something I really dwell on every day, believe it or not. I mean, I don't think, you know, the next Czechoslovakian player is vying
to make sure that other Czechs are in the game. It's the same for me. Even though I'm AfricanAmerican, I'm living my life every day, basically as a person.

Q. With the fame you accrue every day, is it tough to lead a normal life?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Sure, it's tough.

Q. But you try?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I'm definitely patient. I try to treat everyone as if they were the first person, you know, to ever ask for an autograph or picture
or want to talk about tennis all day. You know, I don't go at the peak hours. If I go, I try to go in the morning.

Q. If you vary your schedule, you can go?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, yeah, I do, uh-huh.

Q. Do you have a book that you're keeping in the dressing room for the next time you have to wait?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I just have my study books, but I don't really bring them because they're kind of exhausting. They'll drain you. I don't have my funny books
and my nonsense books. I wouldn't mind going to the bookstore.

Aug 28th, 2002, 02:49 AM
Women's Singles - 1st Rnd.

Choose a set score for detailed statistics. 1 2 3

Mirjana Lucic (CRO) 0 0
Venus Williams (USA) 6 6

Elapsed Time by Set: 25 25

View detailed serve statistics

Match Summary
Lucic(CRO) Williams(USA)

1st Serve % 20 of 48 = 42 % 22 of 36 = 61 %

Aces 0 2

Double Faults 6 2

Unforced Errors 30 9

Winning % on 1st Serve 8 of 20 = 40 % 18 of 22 = 82 %

Winning % on 2nd Serve 10 of 28 = 36 % 7 of 14 = 50 %

Winners (Including Service) 7 11

Break Point Conversions 0 of 0 = 0 % 6 of 12 = 50 %

Net Approaches 2 of 3 = 67 % 3 of 3 = 100 %

Total Points Won 29 55

Fastest Serve 112 MPH 122 MPH

Average 1st Serve Speed 102 MPH 100 MPH

Average 2nd Serve Speed 91 MPH 82 MPH

Aug 29th, 2002, 01:12 AM
The Queen will play Thursday night

Arthur Ashe - 7:00 PM Start
1. Women's Singles - 2nd Rnd.
Alicia Molik (AUS) vs. Venus Williams (USA)[2]
followed by:
2. Men's Singles - 2nd Rnd.
Carlos Moya (ESP)[9] vs. Jan-Michael Gambill (USA)

:bounce: :kiss: :bounce: :kiss: :bounce: Go Venus!!!!!!!!!

Aug 29th, 2002, 03:01 AM
Chat with Venus this Friday!

Defending US Open champion Venus Williams will be in the Sanex Live Chat room from Flushing Meadows, New York this Friday.

Click here for more details.

The American second seed, chasing her third consecutive US Open title and fifth Grand Slam singles title overall, recorded a 6-0, 6-0 first round victory on Tuesday over Croatian Mirjana Lucic.

An exact time for this Sanex Live Chat will be confirmed closer to the date, however it will likely take place between 12pm and 3pm (EST) on Friday. Watch this space for news on Venus's chat and all upcoming Sanex Live Chats!


Aug 30th, 2002, 03:03 AM
Vee def. Molik 6/1 6/2!!


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

Aug 30th, 2002, 04:51 PM
08/30/2002 - Updated 04:47 AM ET

Williams sisters marching along

By Greg Boeck, USA TODAY

NEW YORK All eyes are on cat-suited Serena Williams, the world's No. 1-ranked female player and tennis' No. 1 fashion plate, as the wet and wild U.S. Open splashes into the Labor Day weekend.

Serena Williams has been dressed for success at the U.S. Open.
By Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY

Maybe they should be directed instead to the practice courts.

That's where Serena is having her most difficult time of this championship against older sister Venus.

On their way to a possible fourth all-Williams Grand Slam tournament final in the last 12 months combined, they have won 48 of 57 games at this event Venus has given Serena her sternest tests far from center court.

"Right now, I'm a little farther down than she is," said Serena, who has beaten her sister in the final of the last two majors, the French Open and Wimbledon. "She's practicing very well. I feel almost as if I shouldn't be practicing with her. I'm trying to get on her level. Venus is doing everything."

Wearing colorful but more traditional tennis attire, Venus, who relinquished her No. 1 ranking and Wimbledon title to Serena last month, easily dispatched her second opponent Thursday, defeating Alicia Molik of Australia 6-1, 6-2. She trounced Mirjana Lucic of Croatia 6-0, 6-0 to open the tournament she has won twice. "I feel good. I feel confident," Venus said.

She smiled when told Serena's take on practices with her. "She's played very well in Grand Slams. I've played fairly well. The rest of the year I have to play better. We give each other a hard time in practice."

That's where her toughest matchup has come here as well. "My practices are a lot more intense and emotional," she said. "My matches are just steady."

Serena advanced Wednesday with another victory in her clinging Lycra cat suit. It turned heads at center court again. "It's really comfortable," she said. "It's one of my favorites."

Venus liked it, too. "I thought it was cute."

Would she ever wear one like that? "I would, but it's already been done. I'm not one to do it second."

Nor is she into finishing second.

Aug 30th, 2002, 04:53 PM
Venus continues smooth progress

Williams has not been tested so far

Latest US Open results
Defending champion Venus Williams continued to justify her pre-tournament favouritism by advancing to the US Open third round with a 6-1 6-2 win over Australia's Alicia Molik.

The second seed needed only 54 minutes to book a third-round date with Germany's Martina Muller, conqueror of Austria's Barbara Schett.

"I was a little bit distracted because of the atmosphere," Venus said.

"But otherwise that was okay. I like to, right off the bat, show her what I can do."

Aug 31st, 2002, 01:40 AM
Armstrong - 11:00 AM Start
1. Men's Singles - 3rd Rnd.
Marcelo Rios (CHI)[22] vs. Jiri Novak (CZE)[14]
followed by:
2. Women's Singles - 3rd Rnd.
Martina Muller (GER) vs. Venus Williams (USA)[2] :bounce: :bounce:
3. Women's Singles - 3rd Rnd.
Chanda Rubin (USA)[14] vs. Lisa Raymond (USA)[21]
4. Men's Singles - 3rd Rnd.
Xavier Malisse (BEL)[19] vs. Roger Federer (SUI)[13]
5. Men's Singles - 3rd Rnd.
Jan-Michael Gambill (USA) vs. Gaston Gaudio (ARG)[21]

Aug 31st, 2002, 07:14 PM
Venus wins 6/1 6/2:kiss: :bounce: :kiss: :bounce: :kiss: :bounce:

Women's Singles - 3rd Rnd.

Choose a set score for detailed statistics. 1 2 3

Martina Muller (GER) 1 2
Venus Williams (USA) 6 6

Elapsed Time by Set: 19 22

View detailed serve statistics

Match Summary
Muller(GER) Williams(USA)

1st Serve % 33 of 43 = 77 % 26 of 39 = 67 %

Aces 0 3

Double Faults 0 2

Unforced Errors 18 13

Winning % on 1st Serve 17 of 33 = 52 % 21 of 26 = 81 %

Winning % on 2nd Serve 5 of 10 = 50 % 10 of 13 = 77 %

Winners (Including Service) 5 15

Break Point Conversions 0 of 0 = 0 % 4 of 7 = 57 %

Net Approaches 4 of 7 = 57 % 7 of 7 = 100 %

Total Points Won 30 52

Fastest Serve 98 MPH 116 MPH

Average 1st Serve Speed 87 MPH 102 MPH

Average 2nd Serve Speed 76 MPH 86 MPH

Aug 31st, 2002, 08:06 PM
Venus Toasts Muller
by Jamie Gross
Saturday, August 31, 2002

A line extended well outside Louis Armstrong Stadium, as fans awaited entrance into the Venus Williams vs. Martina Muller match. Inside the stadium, hordes of people scurried in between games to find seats, with some finding refuge on the stairs dodging the persistent ushers. Yet for all her patience, Venus delivered another rapid win, taking just 41 minutes to cruise past Muller, 6-1, 6-2.

To Muller's credit, the 19-year-old put up a consistent battle, relentlessly rushing down Williams' winners even late into the first set and down, 5-1. Muller was able to garner some well-earned points, charging the net on Venus's low hit shots.

What is there left to say about Venus's game? She is one of the few players able to turn an opponent's would-be winner into her own point. Her third-round match was just another example of her dominating game that will no doubt continue to cause lengthy lines. Williams awaits the winner of the Chanda Rubin-Lisa Raymond match.

Aug 31st, 2002, 09:49 PM
Venus Williams

MODERATOR: Questions for Venus.

Q. Serena has said she watches the boards to see her own stats. Do you ever watch to see?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I didn't know there are stats up there.

Q. Happy with that performance, the way you played?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. It seemed to go a little quickly, but I guess that's a nice thing.

Q. In a way, would you like more of a test because at some point you're going to get one? Would it be nice to feel as if you played a bit more?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think I did well. I think she's a very good player. The whole time she was looking for a way to get into the match. I wasn't able to give her that chance today, so that was nice.
I would hate something to get totally out of proportion whereas I'm struggling instead of just going through the way I did today.

Q. Potentially you could play Chanda Rubin in the next round. Could you talk about your recent matches with her, her development since she's come back.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, she's doing really good. She just took off running once she came back on the tour. That's really nice. I think she's playing some good matches. I guess I look forward to playing her if she wins.

Q. You two played in the French Open. She played a pretty smart match against you, even though you beat her.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I had I guess a good strategy going in because I wasn't playing as well as I wanted to, so I had to really play some well-placed shots. So I think here I'm playing a lot better, so I won't have to struggle as much.

Q. You know what it's like to win this title. Is everything going to plan? Are you feeling as if you're moving up nicely in the buildup to a final next week hopefully?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. Still a long time away, the final, but it's getting closer. That's a good thing.

Q. Your sister appears to be getting most of the attention at the moment, more for what she's wearing on the court than how she's playing. Are you happy with that? She seems to enjoy it.
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. I'm not reading the papers exactly. I do watch the tennis. But I think she's doing good.

Q. In the next round there are more seeded players playing against each other. How much changes between the third round and the fourth round when the competition gets a little bit tougher?
VENUS WILLIAMS: What I expect is definitely to get better with each round, so that's what I would like to do. I know that the competition normally gets better with each round, so I have to be more and more on my toes. It's something I expect as the tournament progresses.

(Note: this is a partial transcript)

. FastScripts by ASAP Sports...

Sep 3rd, 2002, 06:46 PM
Go Venus......
The Queen wins in 3sets.:bounce: :kiss: :bounce: :kiss: :bounce:

Sep 3rd, 2002, 11:05 PM
MODERATOR: Questions for Venus.

Q. How do you feel about pulling this through?
VENUS WILLIAMS: It's real nice to be in the quarterfinals.

Q. Were you as calm as you looked on the breakpoints?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. I mean, at that point I had rushed so many shots, missed so many, I was just happy to be able to get through those points.
You know, today wasn't my best day, so it was nice to win on a day where I was off.

Q. What was going through your head in that third set, 11th game, serving down 15-40? What were you thinking about to turn it around?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. Just playing the point. It was nice that I got a few first serves in, I think maybe four in a row, finally.
You know, I just shouldn't have -- I should have just closed it out, really stayed tough while I had the lead instead of, you know, letting it get that far. But it wasn't all my fault. I think she played really good.

Q. Reason for changing the racquet?
VENUS WILLIAMS: It was about to break.

Q. Can you talk about the last two games? The last eight to ten points, you really stepped it up.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I was trying. I was trying to hit some forceful shots, give myself a chance. I definitely didn't want to go to the tiebreak. Of course, if I had to, no other choice to play it. But it was nice to hold serve and not have to be down a break. I tried to tell myself, "It's better than being down a break trying to close out the match off her serve."

Q. How difficult has the bad weather made it for you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Not difficult at all. I would have loved to have played yesterday. I don't know why they canceled my match. That's how it happens.

Q. Is there any concern now that as it gets deeper into the tournament, you have a bunch of matches together, it will have an effect?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, not at all.

Q. Serena says you've been outplaying her in practice pretty handily. Do you feel that way? Do you feel you're playing as well on the court today as you've been playing against her?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't think I had a very good practice this morning. Maybe that transferred over to the match. But it's always important to at least feel good in practice, if you can.

Q. Were you surprised at all the way she was able to hang in there with you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, no, not at all. I know she was going to play well. All she had to do was come out and beat me. I was making so many unforced errors. Sometimes on those slow serves, I just couldn't -- they were so slow (laughter).

Q. Why was she so effective on your second serve?
VENUS WILLIAMS: She's playing real good.

Q. There are matches where you served really well your second serve, other matches where you're taking a lot of pace off of it, you're unsure. What's going on there?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. To me all I care is that it goes in, whether it's hard or slow. Normally I'm not going for a really big second serve. Sometimes I do.

Q. So what? Percentage-wise, you're playing more for percentage or what?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Depends on how I feel, how I'm feeling that point, how I hit it.

Q. You said before that it feels good to win a match where you weren't playing at your best. Is it almost better to go into a quarterfinal with that kind of a match behind you rather than these straight-set wins?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I wouldn't say necessarily you have to go out there and have very tough matches to play your best.
Surely, maybe it can make you work a little harder, be a lot more serious about the later rounds.

Q. Were you frustrated during the match at all because of so many unforced errors on your part? What were you thinking in terms of your own patience or frustration, what was going through your head?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I was thinking a little bit, this is how I used to play in '98, back in the day. I don't like to go backwards to those times. Those were tough times for me. I like to live pretty much in the present, or play like I'm playing now and not digress.

Q. Did you see any of the tape of the Spirlea match they were replaying?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I didn't see it. I saw one point.

(Note: this is a partial transcript)

Sep 3rd, 2002, 11:07 PM
Tuesday, September 3
Venus to play Seles in quarterfinals
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Here's how Venus Williams responded to a rare challenge at the U.S. Open: She dug in, pulled out a three-set victory, then went right out and practiced.

No room for imperfection for the two-time defending champion.

She had all kinds of problems against Chanda Rubin before emerging with a 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 victory Tuesday to reach the quarterfinals for the 18th time in her last 20 Grand Slam tournaments and move closer to another all-Williams final.

"Today just wasn't my best day,'' said Williams, who lost seven more games in that match than in her previous three combined. "I had a lot of short balls that I just missed. It was definitely strange missing those shots, but I tried to stay calm.''

She'll play Monica Seles for a semifinal berth. Still grunting on each shot and still hitting with two hands off both wings, Seles beat Martina Hingis 6-4, 6-2 to end Hingis' streak of six straight semifinal appearances at the year's final major. Hingis had ankle surgery in May and made it into the field here as a wild-card entry.

On the other half of the draw, 1998 champion Lindsay Davenport moved into the semifinals by eliminating unseeded Elena Bovina 3-6, 6-0, 6-2. Davenport, playing just her fifth tournament since right knee surgery performed by the same doctor who rebuilt Rubin's left knee, capitalized on Bovina's 36 unforced errors.

Against Rubin, Williams bailed herself out with the help of 41 winners and seven aces, snapping one at 121 mph. But she also made 41 errors, had six double faults, had her serve broken five times, and allowed her 25-set winning streak at the Open to end.

Watching from the stands while snapping pictures through a 2-foot lens, Williams' father, Richard, wasn't pleased.

"It looks like all her techniques are breaking down,'' he said.

When the match ended, Venus Williams walked off court and swung her racket in a forehand motion while looking at her father, as though to say, "I know, I know. We have some work to do.'' Sure enough, 20 minutes later, she was on an adjacent practice court, hitting while getting instructions from Richard.

They might have been going over what went wrong when she was broken three straight times in the second set.

Or what led to the trouble at 5-5 in the last set, with Williams facing two break points. But the 14th-seeded Rubin, who's had two operations on her left knee since January 2001 and appeared to be gasping for air after longer rallies, finally succumbed to Williams' constant pressure.

Rubin sent a forehand wide on the first break point, then put another forehand into the net to close a 17-stroke rally. She threw her head back, sighed, and staggered along the baseline.

"I had rushed so many shots, missed so many,'' Williams said. "I was just happy to be able to get through those points.''

Up to that part of the match, Rubin's attacking style kept Williams off-balance, though it didn't produce all that many winners: 15.

"I gave myself a chance in the match. As a competitor, you want to go out in every match and do that,'' Rubin said. "But it's disappointing not to win it when the chances were there. You look up -- you're right there for the match.''

Williams is always there, particularly when it comes to U.S. hard-court tournaments, where her record is 18-0 in 2002, and has lost just two such matches in the past three years. She's 58-6 overall this year, with three of the losses to younger sister Serena, who's seeded No. 1 at the Open and was to play No. 11 Daniela Hantuchova later Tuesday for the right to meet Davenport.

Rubin has made quick progress since returning to the tour in May after her second surgery, including victories over Serena Williams and Davenport en route to winning a hard-court tournament in Los Angeles last month.

Of Rubin's seven main draw losses in 2002, five came against players who have been ranked No. 1: the Williams sisters, Davenport, and Seles.

Hingis also used to be at the top, but the last of her five Grand Slam titles came at the 1999 Australian Open. Since then, she's lost in five major finals, while the Williams sisters have combined to win seven of the past 12.

Now Hingis is coming back from ligament damage that one of her doctors said might end her career, and she didn't do much to push Seles off her game Tuesday.

Seles figures to get a different test against Venus Williams, who has won seven of their eight meetings, including in the French Open quarterfinals.

It's been 10 years since Seles won her second straight U.S. Open title, and she talked Tuesday about how the game has changed.

"The girls started to get bigger, stronger, faster,'' the 28-year-old Seles said. "You see the girls now are 6 feet tall, have a 100 mph serve -- that's the lowest.''

Hmmm, sounds a lot like her next opponent.

Sep 3rd, 2002, 11:18 PM
Venus Withstands Rubin's Challenge To Reach U.S. Open Quarterfinals

Photo By Fred Mullane By Richard Pagliaro

The shots were relentless. They came fast; they came slow; they came from every conceivable angle.

Moments after a valiant Venus Williams withstood an inspired match from Chanda Rubin to register a 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 triumph in the fourth round of the U.S. Open today, a firing squad of photographers, including father Richard Williams, shot victory photos of a smiling Venus.

"She didn't have a good first set, but she played better in the second and third sets and I had trouble keeping the ball in play," Williams said. "Definitely, she almost won that match you have to give her credit. I'm happy I pulled through."

The two-time defending U.S. Open champion had cause for celebration. Serving at 5-5 in the final set, Williams faced a deep 15-40 deficit, while Rubin had the momentum and was closing in on a service break which would allow her to serve out the match.

It was then that Williams stepped up and played with confidence and conviction to fight off the break. A deep Williams forehand forced Rubin to hook a forehand pass crosscourt that landed wide of the sideline.

On the 16th stroke of the ensuing rally, Williams saved the second break point when Rubin netted a backhand. The errant shot seem to stir a lack of confidence in Rubin, who flailed a forehand return well wide of the sideline giving Williams break point. The second-seeded Williams stepped into the court and smashed an inside-out forehand winner to hold for 6-5.

Under the most intense pressure of the match, Williams produced her most aggressive play.

"I had no other choice except to go down a break or hold serve," Williams said. "I decided to do the latter."

The 26-year-old Rubin, who was bidding to surpass the Flushing Meadows fourth round for the first time in her career, still had a chance to hold serve and force a tiebreak. But Rubin double-faulted on the first point and played catch-up the rest of the game.

When Williams netted a running forehand, Rubin closed to 30-all, but she could get no closer as Williams blasted a backhand winner down the line that wrong-footed Rubin to reach match point. She sealed the win with a forehand winner to clinch a spot in the quarterfinals against either Martina Hingis or Monica Seles.

Sep 3rd, 2002, 11:32 PM


Venus turns back tough test from Rubin

NEW YORK (AP) Venus Williams moved closer to another sister-sister final, stopping a strong challenge from Chanda Rubin for a 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 win at the U.S. Open on Tuesday. Williams, the two-time defending champion, joined top-seeded Serena Williams in the quarterfinals. Venus, seeded second, lost to her sister in the finals of both the French Open and Wimbledon this year.

Venus Williams had to reach to get past the determined Chanda Rubin.
By Shaun Best, Reuters

That gave them a grip on three of the last four Grand Slam championship matches, starting with last year's U.S. Open.

"Today just wasn't my best day," Williams said. "I had a lot of short balls that I just missed. It was definitely strange missing those shots, but I tried to stay calm."

Next up for Venus is two-time Open winner Monica Seles, who beat Martina Hingis 6-4, 6-2 Tuesday. Seles, seeded sixth, won the tournament in 1991 and 1992. Hingis, seeded ninth, isn't fully recovered from ankle surgery last October.

Fourth-seeded Lindsay Davenport, the 1998 champion, was the first player to reach the semifinals when she beat unseeded Elena Bovina 3-6, 6-0, 6-2. Davenport has reached the semifinals of all five events she's played since having arthroscopic knee surgery last January.

The 14th-seeded Rubin nearly broke the Williams sisters' final-round monopoly with a determined performance in which she gained momentum early in the second set, lost it early in the third, then somehow came back from a 4-1 deficit to throw one final scare into Williams.

One casualty of her inconsistency was her 25-set winning streak at the Open, starting after she lost the first set of her 2000 semifinal to Hingis.

"I wouldn't say, necessarily, you have to go out there and have very tough matches to play your best," Williams said, "Maybe it can make you work a little harder."

It was a gritty performance for Rubin, who underwent her second knee operation in two years and didn't play a tournament after that until May 6 in Berlin.

As well as she played against the more powerful Williams, she missed a great opportunity for a stunning upset with the score 5-5 in the third set and Williams serving. Rubin went up 15-40, giving her two break points. But she missed two forehands, tying the game, and Williams won the next two points to go up 6-5.

"She's going to keep fighting and I feel I'm going to do the same thing," Rubin said. "In the end, it was just a little difference."

The last game was tied 30-30 before Williams won the next point. On match point, Williams hit a hard approach shot to the deep corner that got by Rubin's backhand.

With a look of relief, Williams waved to the crowd, tapped her tennis racket above her head, then made a forehand stroke with her right hand as she looked to her father Richard in the stands, indicating she was dissatisfied with it.

It's still been an outstanding year for Rubin, who lost in the fourth round at Wimbledon to Serena, then beat Serena en route to winning the Los Angeles Open early last month.

"The goal was not to press too much and overplay" against Venus, Rubin said, "but I knew that I had to take some chances and I had to attack when I could."

In the end, though, she couldn't keep Venus from reaching the quarterfinals for the 18th time in her last 20 Grand Slam tournaments.

Sep 5th, 2002, 04:23 AM

THE MODERATOR: First question for Venus, please.

Q. Your serve, Monica said she had a tremendous amount of problems dealing with that. Is there something that you altered from the match against Chanda specifically regarding your serve?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think my first serve percentage is just higher, and I was able to get a lot of good pace on the first serve. Even on the second, I was able to get a lot of kick. So it was bouncing high. I think when she tried to attack it, it wasn't -- the ball didn't bounce exactly where she thought it was going to.

Q. Do have you had a cold?

Q. Maybe?
VENUS WILLIAMS: This is my voice. That's how it is (laughter).

Q. Feel like singing a song?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, any time. Just, you know, after 9:00, I really don't sing.

Q. Did you hear Aretha Franklin is going to be singing for the women's final?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I haven't. I'd like to be there to see it, that's for sure.

Q. Ten years ago somebody tells you that you're going to be up here, routinely crushing a player of Monica Seles' caliber. What would you have thought?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't think I would have exactly -- I should have believed I would be here. But as far as playing as well as I did today against someone like Monica, I'm not sure that I would have thought that.
But it's really satisfying to know that I've been able to work hard to be able to get to this level where I can play this well against a player like her.

Q. When you look forward to playing Mauresmo - you've beaten her four times, the last four times you've met - how do you get yourself psychologically ready for a match like that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm ready already. The past is behind me. All I can do is play better. All the wins I've had and nice times so far hopefully will go into the semifinal match.

Q. What do you see in Mauresmo's game? Do you think she's at that stage that she might penetrate the elite to join the group that's just below you and Serena?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm really not sure what her career will be. I know what mine can be, and that's more or less what I focus on. I suppose she has all the potential in the world to do exactly what she wants.
That's the best part about tennis, is that you make your own destiny. Whether she gets there or not I suppose is up to her. But I'm just focusing on me.

Q. What do you see when you play her?
VENUS WILLIAMS: What do I see? Oh... (Shrugging her shoulders).

Q. What is it like to play against her?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I enjoy it. We've had some great matches. I played her twice this year - I played her once in Paris and was real close. Antwerp, the first set was real close. So hopefully I'll be able to play well and get the match under my belt.
But it's a couple days from now. I have a lot of time to practice and work it out.

Q. What has been the difference in those matches? What does it come down to as far as your winning?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I don't like to lose that often. I don't know. Been able just to play a little bit better. I guess that's it. I don't know.

Q. How upset are you that you haven't won a major yet this year?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Not upset. I've tried and I just wasn't able to really step it up when it really counted. I've been able to do that the last couple years. I know for sure that I can't win every match, but I could try. That's what I do.

Q. When your serve is going so well, like it is tonight, what's the feeling inside? Do you really get a kick out of it? Does it give you special joy?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, when the serve is bad, then that's when I'm not happy, sure. But normally it's not as bad. And I'm getting older; as I get older, it seems to get better. When I was young, I had some bad days...
But I'd like to feel that I am progressing.

Q. Do you feel like your game's exactly where you want it to be at this stage of the tournament?
VENUS WILLIAMS: For sure I think that it's been really important that I've got to this stage, the semifinals. At least I've given myself the opportunity to go ahead and be this far in the tournament. I'd like to be a lot better, for sure. But that's just me as a player, that I always like to be better.

Q. Forgive me for looking ahead, should you and your sister both win on Friday, obviously you'll meet each other in the finals. Do you think it's beneficial to the development of your game to face your sister in so many finals so consistently? Would it be better for you to meet different players? Would that help further your game?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I feel it's best for me to meet Serena in the final.

Q. Why do you feel that way?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Because I want to see her do her best and I would like to see me do my best.

Q. Does it help move your game to the next level, knowing you know each other's games so much?
VENUS WILLIAMS: This isn't -- there's no answer for this question.

Q. But you don't think that facing different players would --?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I face different players every day.

Q. But in finals.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yes, in finals also.

Q. Do you have any particular memories from that first prime time final last year? Anything that stands out when you think back on it: People who were there, Diana Ross, anything like that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't really think back to that match that often.

Q. Why not?
VENUS WILLIAMS: To be honest. I don't know. I just don't.

Q. You and Serena have different games. Do you think it's something that your father developed as you were younger, or is it something that both of you just developed on your young?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Definitely developed on our own. Our dad teaches us, and our mom, too, to play surely aggressively and also, of course, good defense, and also definitely take your opportunities - but two different personalties. We're two different players. I think we think of it differently, too, so it shows up in the game. We can't be the same.

Q. How different is your style of play from Mauresmo's? How would you describe Mauresmo's?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I think she's definitely at a stage in her game where she can only go forward. I remember a couple years ago where I was at that stage also, where I could -- you know, I was getting to quarterfinals and semifinals and all I could do was just keep going and go ahead and try to win those.
I think she's definitely at that stage. Fortunately I'm at the stage where I've done it and I know what it's like and I'd like to do it again. I do enjoy playing her. I think she hits a nice ball, at least for me. I like the way it sits.

Q. The match this afternoon, did you watch it? Are you surprised Jennifer lost?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No. I was just trying to get away from my last match and trying to escape that match and move on. I didn't want to watch any tennis or think about any other player except for me. So I was just relaxing.

Q. Why did that last match so upset you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Because I just -- I let it get away from me. I had leads and opportunities and I don't like to play like this, especially at a Grand Slam, especially in the later rounds, and especially against a good player. I thought it was a little bit unfortunate that I had to get so close to being out of the tournament.

(Note: this is a partial transcript)

FastScripts by ASAP Sports...

Sep 5th, 2002, 04:34 AM

Venus joins Serena in semis

Two-time defending champ trounces Seles; Mauresmo upsets Capriati in 3 sets

NEW YORK, Sept. 4 Leave it to Venus Williams to reduce a U.S. Open quarterfinal against Monica Seles to something akin to a practice session.

Survey results tallied every 60 seconds. Live Votes reflect respondents' views and are not scientifically valid surveys.

HOW ABOUT A handful of aces at more than 110 mph? OK. A slew of forehand winners? Sure. Some sure-handed volleying? Not a problem.
The two-time defending champion simply had too much in every department and beat Seles 6-2, 6-3 Wednesday night to join younger sister Serena in the semifinals, putting each one victory away from a third consecutive all-Williams Grand Slam title match.
Venus, trying to become the first woman to win three straight U.S. Opens since Chris Evert took four in a row from 1975-78, plays 10th-seeded Amelie Mauresmo next. Mauresmo advanced by coming back to beat Jennifer Capriati 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-3.
Venus got off to a great start, breaking serve in the opening game with a backhand drop shot as her father, Richard, took photos from the stands. In the first set alone, Venus had 11 winners to two for Seles and won the point on nine of 10 trips to the net.
I dont think Monica played her best today. I know she was expecting to play better, Venus said. Being so windy out here made it more difficult.
So did having to play Venus, who dropped just one point on her serve in the first set, and a total of seven in the entire match.

The other womens semifinal will have top-seeded Serena - who lost to Venus in the 2001 Open final and beat her for the titles at the French Open and Wimbledon this year - against Lindsay Davenport. They won quarterfinals Tuesday.
Venus opened the night session with an impressive display. She faced just one break point, at 4-3 in the second set, and quickly erased it by drilling an ace at 112 mph.
And this didnt exactly come against a newcomer: Seles has won nine major titles and still is ranked No. 5. Seles even picked up her first victory over Venus at this years Australian Open.
But at 28, Seles no longer has the court coverage to keep up with either Williams, even if her two-fisted strokes still pack some punch.

Sep 5th, 2002, 04:44 AM
Wednesday, September 4
Venus trounces Seles; Capriati ousted
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Venus Williams reduced her U.S. Open quarterfinal against Monica Seles to something akin to an instructional video.

Two-time defending U.S. Open champion Venus Williams advanced a step closer to a third straight all-Williams Grand Slam final.

Want to see aces at more than 110 mph? Check. Some forehand winners? OK. Sure-handed volleying? There you go.

The two-time defending champion simply had too much in every department and beat Seles 6-2, 6-3 Wednesday night to join younger sister Serena in the semifinals, putting each one victory away from a third consecutive all-Williams Grand Slam title match.

Venus, trying to become the first woman to win three straight U.S. Opens since Chris Evert took four in a row from 1975-78, plays 10th-seeded Amelie Mauresmo next. Mauresmo came back to beat Jennifer Capriati 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-3.

Against Seles, Venus set the tone by breaking serve in the opening game with a backhand drop shot as her father, Richard, took photos from the stands. Venus finished with 23 winners to six for Seles and won the point on 17 of 20 trips to the net.

''I don't think Monica played her best today. I know she was expecting to play better,'' Venus said. ''Being so windy out here made it more difficult.''

So did having to play Venus, who dropped just one point on her serve in the first set, and a total of seven in the entire match. Venus faced just one break point, at 4-3 in the second set, and quickly erased it by drilling an ace at 112 mph.

''She just served too well,'' Seles said. ''I couldn't read it at all.''

The other women's semifinal will have top-seeded Serena -- who lost to Venus in the 2001 Open final and beat her for the titles at the French Open and Wimbledon this year -- against Lindsay Davenport. They won quarterfinals Tuesday.

Defending men's champion Lleyton Hewitt reached the final four by beating No. 20 Younes El Aynaoui of Morocco 6-1, 7-6 (6), 4-6, 6-2 Wednesday. Hewitt's biggest blip was a double fault to cede the third set to El Aynaoui, who had a decent excuse if he was a step slow: His fourth-round match finished at 2:14 a.m. Tuesday.

Hewitt's semifinal opponent will be two-time Open champion Andre Agassi or No. 32 Max Mirnyi of Belarus, who met in Wednesday's last match.

Venus opened the night session with an impressive display. It was as though she wanted to show everyone that her three-setter in the fourth round Tuesday against Chanda Rubin was an aberration.

''I was trying to escape that match,'' Venus said. ''I don't like to play like that, especially in the Grand Slams, especially in the later rounds.''

Twenty minutes after her victory over Rubin, Venus was out on a practice court with her father, working on some things. Clearly, the fine-tuning paid off.

''The balls were coming back very fast,'' said Seles, who has won nine major titles and still is ranked No. 5. But she's now 1-8 against Venus and no longer has the court coverage to keep up with either Williams.

''It's really satisfying to know I've been able to work so hard to get to this level, where I can play so well against a player like her,'' Venus said.

Neither Williams reveals an iota of self-doubt on court, a quality that has helped them overtake Capriati to become 1-2 in the rankings.

Sep 5th, 2002, 02:36 PM

Can Amelie chop down Venus?

By Matthew Cronin

Fred Mullane
Camerawork USA, Inc.
FROM THE U.S. OPEN For the second time in two months, tennis faces the Amelie Mauresmo enigma. Which player will come out and face Venus Williams in the U.S. Open semis: the gutsy, mentally tireless high-variety player who outlasted Jennifer Capriati 4-6 7-6 (5) 6-3 in the quarters Wednesday, or the woman who was meekly whaled on by Serena Williams in the Wimbledon semis?

A quarterfinalist here last year, Mauresmo has had a terrific summer and has added numerous twists and turns to her oncourt plots. Most importantly, she finally appears to be a mentally tough player. Will she choke again, like she has done so many times at Roland Garros, or will she stand toe to toe with the great and powerful Venus?

You can never say its never going to happen again, Mauresmo said. But I hope Im getting more mature and maybe I have a little more experience to handle these matches better. But anything can happen and you always have to fight against tension.

Mauresmo has an 0-4 record against Williams, but did push her in two long three-set losses at the 01 Aussie Open and earlier this year at the Open de Gaz in Paris.

I have a good chance and Im going to go out there thinking that, said the 23-year-old Frenchwoman. But Venus is good and its going to be very tough, especially because it was very tough physically for me today. Im going to have to recover very well. But I will take my chances, thats for sure.

In handing Capriati her most crushing U.S. Open defeat, Mauresmo showed tremendous heart and oncourt smarts. Serving for the match at 6-5 in the second set, Capriati sprayed the court with errors while Amelie grit her teeth.

At some point I thought, OK its not my day, Im going home, Mauresmo said. Its not that Im not going to fight or Im out of the match, but when you are down a set and 6-5 and shes serving, you have to hang in there, even if youre thinking, its the last game. Thats what I did and it worked out pretty well.

Heres what Mauresmo showed against Jennifer: heavily topspinned forehands, numerous deadly backhand slices; stretch volleys, a good flat and kick serve combo and the ability to figure out where he foe was the most vulnerable.

I feel great inside, said Mauresmo, who has beaten Capriati three straight times, including in the quarterfinals of Wimbledon. Now I have a different way to win a match, either go to net and be aggressive and dictate, or if it doesn't work and I dont feel well physically, I can hang in there and make my opponent play one more shot.

Venus is an entirely different opponent that Capriati and it showed in her rout against Seles, when she consistently bombed in first serves in the high teens and didnt face a break point until deep in the second set. She wont back off on midcourt balls and will return more aggressively. Venus rarely has to come up with passing shots but will have to do so against the Frenchwoman. Williams will not just hand over control of the net to Mauresmo, so Amelie is going to have to seize it from her. Venus appears to b very confident shell reach her third straight final.

Shes at a stage in her career here she can only go forward, Venus said. I remember a couple of years ago when I was at that stage also, where I was getting to the quarters and semis and all I could do was try to go ahead and try to win those. Shes at that stage. Fortunately, Im at that stage where Ive done that and I Id like to do it again. I do enjoy playing her. She hits a nice ball. I like the way it sits.

Sep 6th, 2002, 04:27 AM
Sibling Rivalry Still Draws Fans

he women's semifinals of the United States Open are today, and a third consecutive all-Williams Grand Slam singles final is looming. If an unscientific sampling at the Open is an indicator, American tennis fans have not had their fill of the Venus and Serena show.

On the eve of the women's semifinals, 37 ticket holders of both sexes were selected yesterday on the grounds of the National Tennis Center in an attempt to represent a range of age and ethnicity. Twenty-three said they were hoping to see the sisters play each other for the third time in a major final this year. Fourteen said they were ready for a change.

Venus Williams, who is seeded No. 2, will face 10th-seeded Amlie Mauresmo of France today in the first semifinal, followed by No. 1-seeded Serena Williams's match with fourth-seeded Lindsay Davenport.

"I like the sibling rivalry," said Steve Olgin, 42, of West Windsor, N.J. "I thought they had a good match at Wimbledon. It should be based on who's the best, regardless of whether they are sisters or cousins, or black or white."

Julia Greenberg, a 14-year-old from New York, said: "I think it's kind of emotional. Because they're sisters, there is a lot going on with it besides tennis. It adds another level to the game."

Those in the minority had two primary concerns. Despite more favorable reviews in the news media of this year's Wimbledon final, which Serena won by 7-6 (4), 6-3, several fans questioned the authenticity and intensity of matches between the sisters. Others simply said they did not appreciate their power-oriented playing style.

"I just find their tennis really boring; they go out there and slam the heck out of the ball," said Ed Meinert, 23, of Manhattan. "And it doesn't help that when they play somebody else these days, it's usually a landslide. Fundamentally, there's no depth in the women's game.

"All in all, I won't stay up all night to watch it if they play. I think the Boris Becker-John McEnroe exhibition before the final will be more interesting."

Nina Jedrasiak, 70, a recreational player from Yorktown Heights, N.Y., said, "I'd love to see Lindsay Davenport play Amlie Mauresmo."

Several fans said yesterday that Davenport's recent travails she missed the first six months of the season after knee surgery and her outgoing personality had made her their sentimental favorite.

"I'd like to see Venus play Davenport in the final, because I think I've seen Venus and Serena play each other a few times, and I'd like to see Davenport come back," said Emma Eisenberg, 15, of New York.

But hope and logic are not the same, and the vast majority of the fans conceded that they expected to see Venus and Serena playing for the second consecutive year on Saturday night.

So which sister would the fans support? Those interviewed were divided, with 16 people backing Venus, 15 backing Serena and six declaring neutrality or apathy. Some expressed sympathy for Venus because of her recent three-match losing streak against Serena.

"I'd like to see them switching back all the time between No. 1 and No. 2," Emma Eisenberg said.

The majority of fans interviewed based their judgment on personality. While many foreign fans still tend to view the Williams sisters as a two-headed, power-stroking unit (consider the cheers of "Go, Serenus" during this year's French Open final), American fans appear to have little difficulty separating them. "They obviously have their own distinct personalities, but I prefer Serena, because she seems to be thinking more outside the box in tennis," said Steve Blanc, a 42-year-old New Yorker. "There's her fashion, and she's more bubbly."

The fashion issue is divisive, however, even among Serena supporters.

"I hope she wins, but she needs a different designer," said Claire Blust, 59, of Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y., who added that there was no risk of Serena's form-fitting black cat suit flying off the retail racks. "There are probably only two other bodies who could look good in it," she said.

Venus's fans liked her subtler, more circumspect approach. "I think she is a little more polite; a bit better mannered," said Debra O'Connor, 43, of Manhattan. "I think Serena could be knocked down a peg or two. I'm also tired of that screaming during points. It takes a little bit of class out of tennis."

Celeste Evans of Danville, Calif., who declined to give her age, said she watched Venus play her first pro tournament in Oakland at age 14. "Venus is almost regal," she said.

She went to Flushing Meadows yesterday with her son Robert and daughter Fatima, and in a sign of how divided American fans are about the Williamses, even the family was not in agreement.

"I root for Serena," Fatima Evans said. "She's the younger sister; I'm the younger sister."

Sep 7th, 2002, 12:08 AM
ConGrats Venus.....:bounce: :kiss: :bounce: :kiss: :bounce:

Venus Victory

Venus Rising
by usopen.org
Friday, September 6, 2002

In a match characterized by stunning rallies, slick passing shots, and several questionable line calls, reigning US Open champion Venus Williams battled for three sets before defeating 10th-seeded Amelie Mauresmo 6-3, 5-7, 6-4.

Under a late-summer sky and before an expectant audience, Williams came out swinging, blasting three 118+ mph serves consecutively to take the first game. Mauresmo chased her lead, with neither player breaking serve until the eighth game of the set, when Williams, after blowing a triple break point to allow Mauresmo to even the game at deuce, won on a double fault and then served out the set.

Mauresmo roared back in the second set, capitalizing on her net game to put Williams on the defensive. With rocket-like forehands and precisely placed passing shots, Mauresmo held serve and broke Williams, winning three key games in a row. Despite Williams clocking the fastest serve of the match -- 122-mph -- Mauresmo managed to hold on to her momentum, and although Williams broke her serve to tie up at five apiece, Mauresmo won the next two games to take the set.

After a medical time-out between sets that allowed a trainer to attend to a blister on her right hand, Williams shook off the demons of the last set to once again regain the upper hand. Winning the first two games with consistent baseline rallies, she dropped the next two with some hot and cold playing, and although she allowed Mauresmo to inch up the score, she never let go of her lead. At 5-3, Williams hit long to give Mauresmo the game, and although Mauresmo had a triple break point in the tenth that would allow her to tie the set, she couldn't convert. Williams hit a 114-mph ace for deuce, and took the next two points to clinch the match.

Venus will take to Arthur Ashe Stadium court for one final time when she attempts to defend her title tomorrow against either sister Serena or Lindsay Davenport.

Women's Singles - Semis

Choose a set score for detailed statistics. 1 2 3

Amelie Mauresmo (FRA) 3 7 4
Venus Williams (USA) 6 5 6

Elapsed Time by Set: 34 45 39

View detailed serve statistics

Match Summary
Mauresmo(FRA) Williams(USA)

1st Serve % 48 of 83 = 58 % 62 of 101 = 61 %

Aces 3 3

Double Faults 4 10

Unforced Errors 34 43

Winning % on 1st Serve 35 of 48 = 73 % 44 of 62 = 71 %

Winning % on 2nd Serve 15 of 35 = 43 % 15 of 39 = 38 %

Winners (Including Service) 22 26

Break Point Conversions 3 of 12 = 25 % 5 of 11 = 45 %

Net Approaches 25 of 33 = 76 % 21 of 32 = 66 %

Total Points Won 92 92

Fastest Serve 111 MPH 122 MPH

Average 1st Serve Speed 100 MPH 109 MPH

Average 2nd Serve Speed 81 MPH 81 MPH

Sep 7th, 2002, 12:59 AM
Venus advances to final
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Venus Williams shook off a blister and spotty play to guarantee half of a sister vs. sister U.S. Open final with a 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 semifinal win over Amelie Mauresmo on Friday.

Serena Williams beat Lindsay Davenport in the other semfinal, guaranteeing another all-Williams final.

Venus won the last two U.S. Opens, beating Serena in the 2001 final, and is seeded second to Serena, who beat her at the French Open and Wimbledon this year.

Venus' play against Mauresmo, though, didn't justify that billing.

The harder-serving Venus had only three aces, the same as Mauresmo. And she had 10 double faults to four for the 10th-seeded Frenchwoman.

Venus also had more unforced errors, 44-35, and was outplayed at the net. Mauresmo complained in vain about several calls that went against her and replays showed she was right on some of them.

Venus remained calm when she struggled.

"I keep telling myself that it's just a game and go out there and have fun,'' she said. "It was hard to hold the racket at times, but you only get one chance at the final and you try to take it.''

She had her right hand taped twice by WTA trainer Laura Eby.

The first time was before the 12th game of the second set. Venus had her service broken in that game, losing the set.

"In the middle of that second set, I really found my rhythm and really got into the match,'' Mauresmo said.

The second taping came before the fourth game of the third set. Again, Mauresmo broke service to tie the match at 2-2.

The turning point came in the next game when Mauresmo fell behind 0-40. She followed with two aces, then double-faulted to give the game to Venus.

Both players held serve for the next four games, leaving Venus ahead 5-4. Then Mauresmo, who lost to Serena in the Wimbledon semifinals, nearly evened the match.

She had three break points in the final game, but Venus saved them all with two serves of 116 mph and an ace at 114. That's when Venus really reared back and fired in a 122-mph serve to reach match point as Mauresmo barely got her racket on the ball.

Then Venus won the next point and her 20th straight U.S. Open match. She's also 35-3 in her career at the tournament.

Mauresmo held two fingers close together to indicate how tight the match was: "It's just this much and next time I'm sure it's going to go my way.''

And she had plenty of support in the crowd. "Allez Amelie'' ("Go Amelie''), one fan shouted.

"It felt great, actually, to play an American and feel the crowd behind you,'' Mauresmo said.

The Williams sisters have faced each other in three of the last four Grand Slam finals.

Sep 7th, 2002, 01:10 AM
Venus Williams

V. WILLIAMS/A. Mauresmo

THE MODERATOR: First question for Venus, please.

Q. Love-40 in the last game, you load up a 116, a 114, 122 or something like that. Are you just challenged there at that point? Did you feel the need to respond?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I just -- I suppose I just didn't want to let the game go. Things hadn't gone as well as I thought they would go the whole match, and I surely didn't want to have to get to 5-All. So it was nice to have a good service game when I was on the brink of losing it.

Q. The other day you said after the match with Chanda, "It was kind of nice to know you could get through with a win and not have your A game." Do you feel that way about the match today?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Definitely. I just... I just wasn't able to do everything I wanted to. I think also she played very well. She was trying to retrieve balls and really take the game to me. So I definitely played a really good opponent today.

Q. Did you feel good about your game?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I always feel good about my game. I have to. I have to be positive at all times because I'm my best cheerleader.

Q. Would you call that "just another routine Venus finish"?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I have no idea.

Q. Were you shooting for the ace?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah (smiling).

Q. At Love-40, what's going through your mind? Are you trying to relax, stay calm?
VENUS WILLIAMS: At that point I was really relaxed. I was never really nervous throughout the whole match, I just wasn't able to keep my errors down. I wasn't able to do everything I wanted to do in the court. I don't think I had the best practice going out to play the match, so I was a little distracted by that also.

Q. Do you have a blister on your hand?

Q. Did that occur during the match or was it something you had going in?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I think I noticed it before the match. But I guess it kind of reared its head during, so...
Just another challenge.

Q. How much of an impediment was it for you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, once I was able to get it wrapped, it was a lot better. After a while I started realizing that it was holding me back. I've never had , like, to have my hand wrapped or a blister on my hand before, ever. So it helped a lot.

Q. Does it affect your grip when you have tape on your hand?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I felt a lot better because it was protected and it wasn't -- the grip wasn't directly on the skin.

Q. When did it give you the most problem, with your forehand and your serve?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't remember anymore. Probably.

Q. How is it for tomorrow?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think okay. I suppose -- I hope I wouldn't let a blister hold me back from playing my best tennis. But sometimes the little things are the worst.

Q. When you look across the net tomorrow, whether it's Serena or Lindsay, will you see an opponent or will you see something different depending on who it is?
VENUS WILLIAMS: All in all, I'm really just here to try and take the title. After that, I can go home.

Q. At Love-40, is your method , "I'm just going to blast my way out of this"?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know, just...

Q. Three really good serves.
VENUS WILLIAMS: It was a great game. I think four great first serves from me to get to matchpoint. Finally a second. I think she just went for broke and didn't come up with it the last point.

Q. Is that an ability? I mean, Pete is known to be able to raise his serve at crunch time in an incredible way. Do you talk to yourself? Is that something you can practice in any way? Is it adrenaline? Can we learn it?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I have no idea. I just -- I was just very relaxed. They kept going in. I definitely felt that I was gonna go for it.

Q. When you're up in the first, you took the first set, now you break her and are up 3-2 in the second set, do you start to think about the finals at that point?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I lost my serve and I hit two double-faults. That was a point where I think I should have gotten my hand wrapped, but I kept going a few more games. But...

Q. You had played her four times before. Was this the best you played against her?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Was this the best she played against me?

Q. Yes.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Probably not. Probably not. I think it was tough to be in the semifinals and always play your best tennis, especially -- she's done it twice this year, which is a great result. But I feel like I'm a little more experienced and probably able to stay a lot more calmer in these situations, so that was probably tough for her.

Q. If you have to play your sister tomorrow, if you do, are you at the point now where you can put aside the sister stuff and get out there and play her like an opponent? I know it was hard earlier on. You seem to be working toward that point where you just battle.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Where's the problem? There's no problem.

Q. Before it was almost like it was too much love between you guys.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Too much love (laughter)?

Q. You said that you're just here to win the title. Does that mean you wouldn't mind facing Lindsay tomorrow?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I'd rather face Serena.

Q. Because...?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Because I want her to do her personal best.

Q. You talked about feeling calm. I was wondering, what do you think -- why do you think you're able to be calm and really come through with every big -- on every big point you need, you seem to come through with an answer. What do you think it is about you that enables you to do that when other people can't?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, you know, there was a time when I wasn't able to do that, when I was younger. And after a while, I was able to start getting those big points.
You know, the last few years, it's all kind of going my way most of the time. So maybe it's something that I expect it to go my way, but it doesn't always. Sometimes you have to work a little bit harder.
Hopefully, there's a little extra in there in the tank.

Q. You were talking earlier about being nervous. Are you always nervous during matches?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Was I nervous? I said I was nervous during the match?

Q. You're never nervous?

Q. Was there ever a time when you were nervous during a match?
VENUS WILLIAMS: During, yeah, sure, sometimes. It's normal. But I try not to let it hold me back, try to still perform.

Q. If, in fact, two people from the same family reach a Grand Slam for the third straight time, the indications are that would be the case, what kind of commentary do you think it is on that family?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well... They were very good athletes, that family (laughing).
I suppose pretty good competitors. Which family is this (laughter)?

Q. Do you know them?

Q. Do you feel the level of play has been high when you play Serena in the finals of these majors?
VENUS WILLIAMS: It depends on what you consider "high." Lots of people would love to play at the level we play at.

Q. To your standards.
VENUS WILLIAMS: To my standards, every time I've gone out there and done my best. Whether it was my best day, I can't say in every match. But I do go out there and perform to the best of my ability.

Q. After Wimbledon you were talking about how you wanted to firm up some areas of your game throughout the summer. Now you're going into the final. What's the state of your game? Are you pretty pleased with it.
VENUS WILLIAMS: I've been doing okay. It's just been a long season. I'm just holding on, more tournaments in the fall.

Q. Do you feel like you go into the final tomorrow night and the level that you want can come out?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think it's really just all in the mind. It's just all in the mind for me. It's not really about anything physical anymore. Mentally, I just have to be there.

Q. Did you have a specific game plan today, how to play Amelie? Was it unfolding? What was happening?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, really I just wanted to play aggressive, to play my normal game. I don't think I was really always able to do that.

Q. You and Serena have any plans tonight? What are you going to do? Go to dinner in the city?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I haven't even been to dinner these whole two weeks.

Q. Why is that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I just never felt like it.

Q. Room service kid, are you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I order, take-out.

Q. How is she playing, do you think? Have you watched her closely?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Serena, I think she's playing really well. To be honest, it's really easy to play well after you've won two Grand Slam titles and your confidence is at an all-time high. I've been there and I've done that before. You feel pretty much like you can do anything.

Q. At one point Serena said she felt she was playing for the younger sisters of the world. Do you think you're playing for the older sisters of the world?

Q. Can you shake her confidence if her confidence is that high?
VENUS WILLIAMS: (Shrugging her shoulders. ) Not so interested in shaking her confidence. I think any time that I go out there and I'm worried about my opponent's game, I can't even play. I more or less have to focus on myself.

Q. You mentioned how different it is in terms of confidence going in after you won two Grand Slam titles. Looking forward to tomorrow, how different is it for you than say four years ago when you didn't have the credentials yet?
VENUS WILLIAMS: How is it different now?

Q. Yeah, I mean, psychologically. You've been on the big stage, in the finals of quite a few Grand Slams now.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, it's a lot better definitely having these Grand Slams behind my game.
But those were still fun times four years ago. I still look back and I can't remember having bad times.

Q. How important is it for you to regain the No. 1 ranking, which you'll do if you win tomorrow?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, it would be real nice. I've played really good for the last couple years and it seems like I can't get to that No. 1 ever - or just stay there. So it would be nice to definitely be on top.

Q. Do you like your game more or less than you did two or three years ago, and why?
VENUS WILLIAMS: If I play too much, I don't like tennis. I can't play a very busy schedule. I have to play just enough. And I have to play for me. As long as I don't play too much, I like it a lot.

Q. Have you played the right amount this year?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I've played a lot, to be honest, for me. I really gave extra effort to play more and to, you know, fulfill my obligations to the tour. But that's been really difficult for me. Really, everyone has different personalties and different points of how much they can play. I think I'm just at that lower threshold.

(Note: this is a partial transcript)

FastScripts by ASAP Sports...

Sep 7th, 2002, 07:43 PM
Congratulations to Venus on her win over Mauresmo. With that blister and the shadows on the court, it was an ugly win but we'll take it!!
Just to digress for a moment, is anyone else a little incensed by the sad state of affairs when even Amelie noticed that the "American" crowd was rooting for her?? I don't think that tennis should be reduced to nationalism, only the Americans can root for American players, Czech people for the Slovakians, etc., but it does make me sad to read such things.:confused:

Anyway, good luck to Miss Vee tonight against that little sister of hers who seems to dismantle any and everyone in her sights. I just hope Venus can take her and the title. GO VENUS!!!:bounce: