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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old Jul 26th, 2005, 11:27 AM Thread Starter
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Bank of the West Classic 2005

Venus employs relaxation technique to continue resurgence
Tue Jul 26, 2005 9:30 AM BST



By Matthew Cronin

STANFORD, California, July 25 (Reuters) - After successfully adopting a new relaxation technique to end her four-year grand slam drought at Wimbledon, Venus Williams is determined to continue her resurgence during the U.S. hardcourt season.

Williams outlasted fellow American Lindsay Davenport in the longest women's singles final in Wimbledon history to capture her third All England Club crown earlier this month.

The world number 10 is now aiming for a third title at the Stanford Classic and she begins her campaign against either Eleni Daniilidou of Greece or Indian lucky loser Sania Mirza later this week.

"I needed to slow things down in my mind," the five-times grand slam champion told Reuters on Monday.

"You have to be able to relax. I was putting way too much pressure on myself all the time before Wimbledon. Now I know not to think too far ahead.

"I felt like I was so close so many times to winning another grand slam and just needed to keep giving myself more opportunities. This time, I came good on it.

"I'm now looking forward to following up on my success."

As well as her lean spell at the majors before Wimbledon, Williams had hardly enjoyed much success at regular tour events as she won only one tournament before the grasscourt season.

She had to battle a string of injuries during the 2003-2004 seasons and her plight resulted in a loss of confidence.

Having been overshadowed by her sister Serena, who won six of her seven grand slam trophies over the last four years, Venus was relieved to step back into the spotlight.

Venus believed the turning point came after she was stunned by little-known Bulgarian teenager Sesil Karatantcheva in the third round of the French Open in May.

She said her relaxation technique has taught her to focus only on her short-term goals.

"I couldn't think ahead so much anymore," said the 25-year-old Venus. "I expected too much. At Wimbledon, I expected myself to perform well but I wasn't thinking seven rounds ahead."

"I need to strike a perfect balance. I need to make sure to rest and also get in enough tournaments to prepare for the U.S. Open."

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old Jul 27th, 2005, 12:22 PM Thread Starter
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Sania wins first round, runs into Venus Williams



New Delhi, July 27 (UNI): Sania Mirza seems to have made it a habit of stunning higher ranked players as the Indian edged past Eleni Daniilidou of Greece in three sets to set up a second round clash with reigning Wimbledon champion Venus Williams in the $585,000 Bank of the West Classic WTA Tier II tournament at Stanford, United States.

Sania, who had lost her final qualifying match against Shahar Peer of Israel, entered the main draw as lucky loser after Chanda Rubin pulled out of the tournament citing an ankle injury.

In the see-saw first round match yesterday, Sania beat the Greek 7-6(7/4), 2-6, 6-3 -- according to the information received here today. Sania now faces Venus Williams in the second round and it would require a miracle of sort to upstage the American.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old Jul 27th, 2005, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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Tennis champ cheers on children in treatment

VENUS WILLIAMS VISITS RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE

By Julie Patel - Mercury News

K.J. Estudillo, 12, has spent hours in front of his television set watching tennis star Venus Williams play in matches around the world. This month, he watched her triumphant comeback at Wimbledon from his bed at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital after a bone marrow transplant.

On Tuesday, the boy couldn't believe she was standing just a dozen feet away.

``It was a once-in-a-lifetime thing to see her so up close,'' the boy said beaming from behind a door in the immunity wing at the Ronald McDonald House at Stanford.

Williams, who is in town for the Bank of the West Classic tournament at Stanford this week, visited with some of the children at the Ronald McDonald House, a home-away-from-home for kids and families being treated at local hospitals. Some young tennis players from San Francisco's Hunters Point also stopped by to meet one of tennis's biggest stars.

A global ambassador for the Ronald McDonald House Charities, Williams read passages from the book she co-wrote with her sister, ``Venus & Serena Serving from the Hip: 10 Rules for Living, Loving, and Winning.'' In it, the superstar siblings share tips for teens on how to manage personal and professional goals.

Hovering over children sitting on steps in front of her, the 6-foot-1 Williams told them that when she is going through a hard time, she lets herself feel bad.

``Some days it's OK to feel sorry for yourself,'' she said. ``It's one day, not the rest of your life.''

When asked who her toughest opponent has been, she said, ``Definitely S. Williams.'' She talked about how her younger sister, Serena Williams, beating her in Grand Slam tournaments in recent years and how she worked to regain ground recently.

She said to get away, she likes to read and watch the ``Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,'' the ``Golden Girls'' and ``Full House.'' She laughed when one child asked if she could be his coach.

Honey Meir-Levi, the executive director of the local Ronald McDonald House, said events like the book reading can help cheer families up a little.

``It was a great opportunity, but it was 10 times better than I thought it would be,'' she said. ``She's delightful and it was so inspirational.''

The mood has been really somber at the Ronald McDonald House recently, Meir-Levi said, because three of the children have died in the past two weeks.

``Maybe this will get things back on an optimistic or upward cycle,'' she said.

Listening from afar

K.J. has aplastic anemia, a disease where bone marrow stops making enough blood cells. Since his immune system is still weak and he can easily get infections, he had to listen to Williams from a door cracked open nearby.

He said the best part was when she walked past him and waved.

K.J., who plays basketball, football and performs hip hop at Golden State Warriors games with his dance troupe, said after hearing from Williams, there is one more activity he wants to add when he is feeling better: tennis classes.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old Jul 28th, 2005, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
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Venus stops long enough to win Stanford opener


July 27, 2005
CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

STANFORD, Calif. -- Venus Williams has taken 11 flights since her thrilling Wimbledon title 3½ weeks ago, making media appearances all over the country and launching a new reality show with sister Serena.

So it's no wonder she barely had time to prepare for her latest event. She crammed in a couple practice sessions early in the week and called that good enough.

Williams still had a fairly easy time in her first tournament match since leaving the All England Club, defeating Sania Mirza 6-3, 6-2 on Wednesday night to advance to the quarterfinals of the Bank of the West Classic.

"Where did my vacation go?" Williams said, chuckling. "It's been really tough. I definitely would have liked to have a break. ... I'm always ready, ready for whatever comes at me. I feel like I've seen it all at this point."

Williams didn't show the same dominant form that helped her win Wimbledon earlier this month for her first major championship in four years, but she rode her powerful serve for easy points against the 18-year-old Mirza.

Williams hit three straight aces in her first service game of the second set: at 109 mph, 115 and 106, then pounded a 116-mph first serve to finish it. She hit two more aces in her next service game -- both clocked at 108 -- and a 121-mph first serve to end that game.

"My serve definitely picked up," said Williams, who did participate in Fed Cup in Moscow after Wimbledon. "I played a lot better than I expected, but I also didn't feel I played that well."

Williams, who improved to 30-8 this year, will play Friday against seventh-seeded Jelena Jankovic, a 6-0, 6-3 winner over Amy Frazier earlier Wednesday.

The second-seeded Williams won this event in 2000 and 2002, and lost to top-seeded Lindsay Davenport in last year's final. Williams beat Davenport in the historic Wimbledon final 4-6, 7-6 (4), 9-7 that lasted 2 hours, 45 minutes -- and everyone here is anticipating a rematch in Sunday's final.

Williams also found time to get a new hairdo. She added braids after wanting to try them for two years.

Davenport plays her first match Thursday against Anna-Lena Groenefeld of Germany.

The feisty Mirza, from India, was a lucky loser entry into the draw after Chanda Rubin withdrew because of inflammation in her left ankle. Mirza won her first-round match and had a large contingent from the Bay Area's Indian community cheering for her among the sellout crowd of 4,353.

"Thankfully, there are Indians everywhere I go," she said. "I came back inside and people said, 'Oh, it looked like you were the local girl.'"


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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old Jul 28th, 2005, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
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Venus Williams advances to Stanford quarterswww.chinaview.cn 2005-07-28 15:58:00




WASHINGTON, July 28 (Xinhuanet) -- Wimbledon champion Venus Williams breezed past India's Sania Mirza 6-3, 6-2 on Wednesday to advance to the quarterfinals at the Stanford women's singles tournament.

Venus, who declined to show her dominant form that helped her win Wimbledon earlier this month, rode her powerful serve for easy points against the 18-year-old Mirza on Wednesday.

She hit three straight aces in her first service game of the second set, and then gave two more in her next service game.

"My serve definitely picked up," said Williams, who participated in Fed Cup in Moscow after Wimbledon. "I played a lot better than I expected, but I also didn't feel I played that well."

Venus, who won this event in 2000 and 2002 but lost to top-seeded Lindsay Davenport in last year's final, will play Friday against seventh-seeded Jelena Jankovic of Serbia-Montenegro, a 6-0, 6-3 winner over Amy Frazier earlier Wednesday.

Defending champion Davenport plays her first match Thursday against Anna-Lena Groenefeld of Germany. Earlier the day, third seed Patty Schnyder advanced to the quarterfinals, rallying in the second set to beat 30th-ranked French woman Marion Bartoli 6-4, 7-5. Sixth-seeded Nathalie Dechy of France downed America's Lisa Raymond 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, and 7-Jelena Jankovic from Sebia and Montenegro beat Amy Frazier of United States 6-0, 6-3.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old Jul 29th, 2005, 03:17 AM
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Itll be close. But she can win. .

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old Jul 29th, 2005, 04:45 AM
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old Jul 30th, 2005, 11:09 AM Thread Starter
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TennisSat, Jul 30, 2005 Williams, Clijsters win at Bank of the West

Associated pressSTANFORD, Calif. -- With her younger sister urging her on from the box seats, Venus Williams overpowered Jelena Jankovic 6-3, 6-3 Friday night to reach the semifinals of the Bank of the West Classic.

``She came out and gave it everything she had,`` Williams said. ``I just stood my ground. She`s one of those players who likes to rally all day while I prefer the short points.``

Serena, who had to withdraw from the tournament because of an ankle injury, sat in the front row with their father Richard. Venus received advice from her father and encouraging words from Serena.

The match was delayed nearly 20 minutes after the first game of the first set when paramedics treated an elderly woman in the stands. She fainted and was taken to a local hospital for precautionary measures.

The second-seeded and 10th-ranked Williams, who reached her fifth semifinal in 10 years at the event, meets third-seeded Patty Schnyder, who beat Iveta Benesova 6-2, 6-1.

Jankovic was impressed with Williams in their first ever meeting.

``Some of her points were amazing,`` said the 20-year-old player from Belgrade. ``She reached everything. Sometimes I was really shocked. I thought I could do something but I couldn`t do anything. It was like I wasn`t there on the court.``

Williams delivered an efficient victory and was able to power up at important points.

``I rarely guess where the ball is going to be hit,`` Williams said. ``I just watch it and get there. I still have to buckle down mentally because sometimes I float away.``

Williams has reached the finals of this event five times, winning it twice. She lost last year`s final to Lindsay Davenport, who dropped out of her first match Thursday with a bad back.

Fourth-seeded Kim Clijsters beat Daniela Hantuchova 6-3, 6-1 and will meet Anna-Lena Groenefeld, who rallied to defeat Nathalie Dechy 2-6, 6-2, 6-3, in the other semifinal.

``I`m not very familiar with her but I`ve seen her play a couple of matches,`` Clijsters said. ``She hits the ball clean and she seems to be moving better.``

Clijsters played patiently and nearly mistake free to beat the 24th-ranked Hantuchova for the sixth time in six career meetings.

``Once I broke her I put a lot more pressure on her,`` Clijsters said. ``I stayed focus even when I was down and it helped to win the long games.``

Clijsters remained unbeaten in 16 matches played on American soil this season as she continues her return to prominence following left wrist surgery that sidelined her since last June and forced her to miss the Australian Open in January.

She`s won 36 of 41 matches, and improved to 13-2 at Stanford, where she is a two-time champion.

``The last two matches I feel like I`m moving better,`` she said. ``Nothing is bothering me right now and I can move freely.``

Hantuchova played Clijsters tough in a first set that lasted over an hour, winning several big points to extend the 14th-ranked Belgium.

Groenefeld unleashed an ace clocked at 117 mph and used a backhand to complete her upset of the sixth-seeded Dechy.

The 20-year-old German has won five of six matches and advanced to her third semifinal of the season.

``I haven`t thought a lot about it,`` Groenefeld said of her matchup with Clijsters. ``It will be another great experience for me. I`ll give it my best shot.``

Groenefeld reached the quarterfinals after top-ranked Lindsay Davenport retired with a back injury on Thursday.

Dechy dominated the first set, moving Groenefeld around the court almost at will. When Groenefeld broke Dechy`s serve for the first time in the second set, she played steadily afterward.

``I was controlling the game, and then she improved her level of serve,`` Dechy said. ``I looked at her play and when I reacted, I was a little short.``

Schnyder won her seventh straight match and 40th overall. Only Maria Sharapova has won more matches this year.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old Jul 30th, 2005, 11:12 AM Thread Starter
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Venus, Clijsters win through to Stanford semis
Sat Jul 30, 2005 7:34 AM BST

STANFORD, California, July 29 (Reuters) - Wimbledon champion Venus Williams out-slugged Jelena Jankovic to move into the semi-finals of the Stanford Classic on Friday.

Williams will face third seed Patty Schnyder, who trounced Iveta Benesova 6-2, 6-1.

Former Stanford champion Kim Clijsters was also impressive, beating Daniela Hantuchova 6-3, 6-1. She'll face German 20-year-old Anna-Lena Groenefeld in the semi-finals, who upset sixth seed Nathalie Dechy 2-6, 6-2, 6-3.

Williams was her normal vigorous self, chasing down deep groundstrokes to the corners and powering them back for winners.

The second seed served efficiently, volleyed cleanly and impressed the seventh seeded Jankovic with the extent her power.

"Sometimes when she hit the ball I thought my arm would fall off," Jankovic said. "We are so differently physically. I have to get much stronger to keep up with her. She's really tall, but she runs like she's only five-feet tall. She's a great athlete."

Although Williams was pushed by the fleet Serbian in some extraordinary end-to-end rallies, the outcome was never in real danger.

"She likes to rally all day and I prefer short points," Williams said. "When I had a chance, I tried to move forward, but when I had to, I played long points. It's good for the crowd to see a newcomer coming back in rallies. It's exciting."

Clijsters, who recorded her sixth win over Hantuchova in six meetings, frequently attacked the Slovakian's second serve and outplayed her from the baseline.

"I saw the difference in her attitude in the second set," said the Belgian, who is 13-2 at Stanford. "Daniela let a few go at the end and maybe it shows she didn't what to do anymore."

Schnyder has been on fire on U.S. hard courts, winning the tournament in Cincinnati last week and easily brushing aside her opponents here. After winning her 40th match of the year, the 26-year-old Swiss said she was playing her best tennis ever.

"I've never been on a run like this before," she said. "I've never been this consistent. I don't lose in the first round anymore and am only losing to the great players. I've improved everything, but especially my mental game. I'm not afraid of being in hard hitting rallies anymore."

The most promising women's player that Germany has seen in some time, the 39th-ranked Groenefeld overpowered the veteran Dechy, who was impressed by her opponent's huge serve.

"I was controlling the game, and then she improved her level of serve," Dechy said. "I looked at her play and when I reacted, I was a little short."

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