2005 Istanbul Cup
Venus a Big Hit on Bosphorus Bridge
ISTANBUL, Turkey - It's not everyday you get to play tennis in two continents, but that's exactly what Venus Williams did on Sunday. The former world No.1 made a grand entrance ahead of this week's inaugural $200,000 Istanbul Cup in Turkey, having a hit on the Bosphorus Bridge, which links Europe with Asia in this centuries-old city. Two lanes of the 1.2-kilometre bridge, spanning the Bosphorus Strait, were closed for an hour early Sunday morning to allow Williams and Turkish tennis pro Ipek Senoglu to trade groundstrokes under clear and sunny skies.
A court was laid out in white ribbon by a team of well-trained ballkids, as dozens of television crews and reporters captured every shot hit by the two women, who are competing in the new Tier III event.
"This is something I've obviously never done before, and I doubt I'll ever do it again, so it's been an amazing experience," said Williams. "I'm glad this has raised so much interest in the event. I'm just looking forward to getting out on a real court and entertaining the crowds this week."
Williams's arrival in Turkey has been greeted with overwhelming enthusiasm from the moment she arrived in Istanbul Saturday afternoon. As top seed in the event, Williams, along with No.2 seed Nicole Vaidisova, receive first round byes.
The Istanbul Cup and the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour event in Strasbourg, are the last tournament's prior to the year's second Grand Slam event, Roland Garros. Williams was runner-up in Paris to sister Serena in 2002.
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