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  Topic Review (Newest First)
Sep 8th, 2008 12:46 AM
V.S.
Re: 2008 Us Open

Battle of the siblings felt like final for Serena

Thu Sep 4, 2008 7:09am BST
By Mark Lamport-Stokes
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Serena Williams felt as if she had just won a grand slam title after scraping past her sister Venus 7-6 7-6 in the U.S. Open quarter-finals on Wednesday.
The American siblings enthralled a capacity crowd of 23,000 at the Arthur Ashe Stadium with the best match of the women's tournament, a cut-and-thrust encounter which lasted two hours 25 minutes.
"I feel like I should have a trophy now," fourth seed Serena told reporters after setting up a meeting with sixth-seeded Russian Dinara Safina in the last four. "Unfortunately I don't and I got to go to the next round.
"I think we played a great match today. It just boiled down to one point here and there. It could have gone anywhere. I just think we were definitely playing the best (match of the tournament) so far.
"I feel like it was at least a semi or the final," she said about the quality of the match. "But it's not, so I'm hoping to play two more matches."
Serena, who edged ahead of her older sister 9-8 in overall meetings, ranked Wednesday's contest as the second best played between the siblings.
"I still think my Australian Open final against Venus was an incredible match," she said, referring to her 7-6 3-6 6-4 victory in 2003. "That was three tough, tough, tough sets."
U.S. Open champion in 1999 and 2002, Serena was especially pleased with her mental approach on Wednesday after losing to Venus in straight sets at this year's Wimbledon final.
STAYING POSITIVE
"I definitely managed my emotions a lot better," the 26-year-old said. "That was one thing I really wanted to focus on going into this match, was staying positive.
"I felt like I got really negative at Wimbledon, and lost any chance I might have had."
A high-quality battle between the Williams sisters seemed in the offing after their storming runs at this year's Open.
Venus, winner here in 2000 and 2001, lost just 15 games on her way into the last eight and Serena one fewer.
"We have been playing really with well in this tournament," Serena said. "I thought for sure we'd be in three sets.
"I thought, I'm going to go change my dress because I'm really sweaty and put a new one on," said Serena, who did not have to swap her red dress after all as the match turned on some errors from Venus.
"And then I was like: 'Oh, maybe I won't have to do that.'"

http://uk.reuters.com/articlePrint?a...34890620080904
Sep 8th, 2008 12:46 AM
V.S.
Re: 2008 Us Open

Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Updated: September 4, 8:37 AM ET
Serena outplayed Venus during crucial moments

By Greg Garber
ESPN.com

Serena Williams reached the U.S. Open semifinals for the first time since winning the title in 2002.

NEW YORK -- They have been trading shots for more than two decades, going back to their earliest public-court battles in Compton, Calif.


Today, they find themselves in the backstretch of their careers. It's impossible to know how many major titles are left, but it's safe to say that at 28 and 26, respectively, Venus and Serena Williams are feeling a sense of urgency.


They consistently remain the best and biggest hitters in the women's game. After a series of sluggish, emotionally flat contests through the years, the sisters finally have learned to channel their familial feelings and feel free enough to play the swift and emphatic power tennis that made them champions.


It was only a Wednesday night U.S. Open quarterfinal, but Serena-Venus XVII felt like a championship match.


Venus earned an amazing total of 10 set points, any one of which would have forced a third set, yet failed to win even one. Serena was a 7-6 (6), 7-6 (7) winner in a tremendously taut match that consumed 2 hours and 25 minutes.


"At 5-3, 40-love [in the second set], I thought, 'Wow, these should be match points -- and they weren't,'" Venus said. "I felt like I was always in control.


"I'm a very good closer. I've never had a match like that in my life. I guess there's always a first."


Serena now faces Russia's Dinara Safina, the Olympic silver medalist, in Friday's semifinal.


"She made a couple of errors," Serena said about those 10 set points, "and it was really luck for me, because she never makes those errors."


Before the match, Serena said playing Venus gets easier every time they play. Perhaps. But after Venus winged an errant forehand and saw her challenge denied, Serena's victory smile faded as soon as she saw her sister approaching the net. When Venus first focused on Serena, however, her frown turned to a smile.


"I try not to look at her, so I don't feel sorry," Serena said.


Playing on the grass, her best surface, at Wimbledon two months ago, Venus looked invincible, beating her little sister in straight sets. Serena was uncharacteristically tentative, losing 11 of 13 break points.


"I definitely managed my emotions a lot better," Serena said. "I felt like I really got negative at Wimbledon and lost any chance I might have had. When she was up, I got relaxed."


Here on the blue Deco Turf II, the court that best suits Serena's game, Venus' eyes carried a look of concern from the beginning. On grass, where the ball skids low and defense is more difficult, Venus' higher-risk game is rewarded. On hard courts, the ball bounces higher, rallies seem to last longer and her margin for error is less.


Venus consistently served eight miles per hour faster than Serena and took bigger cuts on her ground strokes, recording 36 winners but making 45 unforced errors, a net of minus-nine. Serena was a more economical minus-four. While Venus pressed the attack, coming to the net 32 times (winning 25 points), Serena was nearly as aggressive, winning 16 of 23 points when she came to the net.


On those big points, Serena made the decision to take a little off the ball, building a degree of safety into even her stronger shots. Ultimately, this was the difference in the match.

Venus Williams failed to capitalize on eight break-point opportunities in the second set. Afterward, Venus said she thought she would have prevailed over any other player. For her part, Serena felt like she should have been holding the silver trophy after the high level of tennis played.


When the sisters have met before an event's semifinals, the winner has never gone on to win the title. It's happened four times. Maybe they invest so much psychic energy in the sibling struggle, they don't have much left for the rest of the field.

Serena won the family's first Grand Slam here, back in 1999 at the age of 17. Venus returned the favor, winning the U.S. Open in 2000 and 2001, and Serena came back to win in 2002. Since then they have gone 0-for-5.


With 2006 and 2007 U.S. Open champions Maria Sharapova (injury) and Justine Henin (retirement) out, and No. 1 and No. 3 seeds Ana Ivanovic and Svetlana Kuznetsova (2004 champion) out of the draw, that losing streak may come to an end.


Serena, who has been working hard to get in shape for about a year now, has an additional motivation. Two more victories would vault her back to the No. 1 ranking she hasn't held in more than five years.


"Honestly, I'd really rather win the tournament, with or without the ranking," she said.


"Believe me, I'm going to be No. 1, sooner or later."



Greg Garber is a senior writer for ESPN.com.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/print...457&type=story
Sep 8th, 2008 12:43 AM
V.S.
Re: 2008 Us Open

Serena tops Venus in quarter-final thriller

Thu Sep 4, 2008 12:32pm IST
By Larry Fine
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Serena Williams fought off 10 set points to prevail in the greatest duel yet with sister Venus, a heart-stopping 7-6 7-6 victory that put her in the U.S. Open semi-finals on Wednesday.
Played with uncommon ferocity and passion from both combatants, Serena emerged triumphant in the gruelling two hour 25 minute battle to reach the final four at Flushing Meadows for the first time since her 2002 win.
The eight-times grand slam winner turned away two set points in the first 8-6 tiebreaker and eight more in the second set, including four in the final 9-7 tiebreak, which ended with a Venus forehand drive landing beyond the baseline.
"I can't believe I won," Serena said courtside. "Wow."
With the victory Serena edged to a 9-8 advantage in her head-to-head sibling rivalry with Venus.
"I think we played a great match today," Serena said. "It just boiled down to one point here and there."
Serena put on an amazing display of athleticism, racing from corner to corner to retrieve rocket forehands from Venus, stretching, straining and even sliding into a full split along the baseline trying to run down a blast.
The win sent Serena to the semi-finals against sixth seed Dinara Safina, a 6-2 6-3 winner over Italy's Flavia Pennetta. Friday's other women's semi-final will have second seed Jelena Jankovic against Olympic champion Elena Dementieva.
One of the semi-finalists will supplant Ana Ivanovic as world number one at the end of the tournament.

NEW STATUS
Top seed Rafael Nadal, looking for his first U.S. Open title to underline his new status as world number one, booked a date with Briton Andy Murray in the men's semi-finals.
The Spaniard closed Wednesday's marathon night session with a 3-6 6-1 6-4 6-2 victory over unseeded American Mardy Fish.
Delayed by a series of long matches, Nadal clinched his first trip to a U.S. semi-final at 2:10 a.m. with a boisterous throng of fans still on hand in the city that never sleeps.
"Thanks everyone for being here 'til 2 o'clock," Nadal told the crowd in a courtside interview. "The night atmosphere here is always amazing. But I prefer to finish a little earlier."
Murray gave a roar of relief after ending the 23-match winning streak of Argentine teenager Juan Martin Del Potro 7-6 7-6 4-6 7-5 to reach his first grand slam semi-final.
The biggest buzz of the day came from the clash between the Williams sisters which featured brilliant rallies, raw power and such unbridled effort that the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd gave them a standing ovation after one breathtaking exchange.
U.S. Open champion in 2000 and 2001, Venus failed to capitalise on serving for the first set at 5-4 and again for the second at 5-3.
Venus ripped 36 winners but had 45 unforced errors in her quest for the quick kill. Her greatest lapse came when serving for the second set at 5-3, 40-0. She squandered three set points, making five successive errors that brought the set back on serve.
"I'm a very good closer," said Venus, a seven-times grand slam winner and like Serena a double Open champion. "I never had a match like that in my life. But I guess there's always a first. I guess she played a little better."

THREE ERRORS
Venus led 6-3 in the second tiebreaker but three errors brought it back even. A backhand volley by Serena spoiled another Venus set point at 7-6 before two more errors by Venus ended it 9-7 in Serena's favour.
"She played some great volleys and got a lot of balls back," said Venus, who beat Serena in the Wimbledon final in July for her fifth All England Club title. "It's not what I planned."
Murray plotted his path to the semis through two dominant tiebreakers, winning the first 7-2 and the second 7-1. The Scot overcame shaky moments in an error-filled third set before ending it as Del Potro served to stay alive.
"I'm very relieved," Murray said after the grudge match against the 19-year-old Argentine, with whom he traded on-court insults at the Rome Masters in May.
Del Potro had won his last four tournaments -- on clay at Stuttgart and Kitzbuhel, and on hard courts at Los Angeles and Washington to soar from 65 to 17 in the rankings.
Safina, 22, also registered a personal first, reaching the U.S. Open semi-finals for the first time.
"It's great," said Safina, runner-up at the French Open and Beijing Olympics.
"I'm getting closer to reaching the same thing as my brother (Marat Safin, the 2000 champion), so I hope that one day we can have the same titles."

http://in.reuters.com/articlePrint?a...35308120080904
Sep 8th, 2008 12:41 AM
V.S.
Re: 2008 Us Open

http://www.latimes.com/sports/tennis...0,932537.story
From the Los Angeles Times
TENNIS

Serena Williams upends sister Venus, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (7), at U.S. Open

Serena reaches the semifinals in New York after a stirring victory that roused a standing ovation just before the second-set tiebreaker.
By Chuck Culpepper
Special to the Times

September 4, 2008

NEW YORK -- The old notion of Williams-vs.-Williams tennis matches as tepid affairs of impaired quality seemed to grow thoroughly outdated Wednesday at just before 11 p.m. New York time when a packed crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium suddenly couldn't help itself.

Physically unable to remain seated after a 16-shot rally in the second-set tiebreaker that epitomized the frantic points of a rousing match, New York bolted to its feet for a long ovation of two young women it has known for a decade, but maybe never quite like this.

Even the oddity of Venus Williams converting zero of 10 set points simply piled more intrigue onto a match that ended with Serena Williams baffled at how she won their U.S. Open quarterfinal by a 7-6 (6), 7-6 (7) score, for turnabout from their Wimbledon final of July.

"I mean, I feel like I should have a trophy now," Serena said. "Unfortunately I don't, and I have to go to the next round," which would be a semifinal with the Russian comer Dinara Safina, ranked No. 7 and still torrid since May after her 6-2, 6-3 afternoon win over Flavia Pennetta of Italy.

In fact, Serena's lack of trophy did seem odd after a match with the distinct air of a final. In a fracas Serena ranked second among their 17 meetings behind a three-set, 2003 Australian Open final, Serena prevailed by adopting the role of escape artist.

Venus served for the first set at 5-4 and for the second set at 5-3. Venus led the first-set tiebreaker, 6-4, and the second-set tiebreaker, 6-3. Venus had three set points in the 5-3 game of the second set, one in the 6-5 game and four during the tiebreaker.

Often, she committed errors, but just as often, Serena proved impenetrable in her groundstrokes so as to wait out those errors. Facing those serial second points, Serena had the thought there absolutely would be a third set, so she'd probably have to change her dress. Serving at 40-love in the 5-3 game of the second set, Venus had the inkling those should've been match points.

"I'm a very good closer, so today was, you know, I've never had a match like this in my life," Venus said. "I guess there's always a first."

Still, when she finally hit a second straight forehand error long, challenged the call unsuccessfully and lost the match, she approached her sister with a smile -- "She's the only player whom I care about, like, what happens after, if I win or lose," Venus said -- and Serena approached Venus with just a bit of a frown. They shook hands, and the crowd, having seen a five-deuce game at 6-5 in the second set, plus that tiebreaker, plus late rallies of 13 shots, 16, 19 and 22, roared again.

"Because they're moved," said Isha Price, their sister. "And when you get a situation and in a situation where people are moved by what you do. . . . I think it was magnificent for both of them."

With their parents absent, and with Isha once looking tortured just watching, it began inauspiciously. They couldn't take the court until 90 minutes later than scheduled because No. 6 Andy Murray of Britain played a Hundred Years War of a quarterfinal with No. 17 Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina, Murray winning, 7-6 (2), 7-6 (1), 4-6, 7-5, to access his first semifinal of a Grand Slam event.

Once the Williamses got going, they got going slowly, but by the end of the first set, they had begun banging shots around as if kids in the yard only with 24,000 people looking on. Venus played some celestial stuff through the middle of the second set to arrange the chances she couldn't convert later on. Serena held onto herself and even blocked a stirring backhand volley to save one set point in the tiebreaker.

And while Venus did miss barely wide a fairly open forehand smash that would've closed the set, Serena won two of her mere two set points so her evening could end up just a jot better. "I definitely managed my emotions a lot better" than at Wimbledon, she said, and soon found herself saying also, "Believe me, I'm going to be No. 1 sooner or later."

http://www.latimes.com/sports/tennis...79,print.story

Sep 8th, 2008 12:39 AM
V.S.
Re: 2008 Us Open

Serena beats Venus in all-Williams US Open quarter

By HOWARD FENDRICH
NEW YORK (AP) — Serena Williams barely got the better of older sister Venus Williams in a U.S. Open quarterfinal that was fit for a final, coming back in each set to win 7-6 (6), 7-6 (7) Wednesday night and break a tie in their head-to-head series.
Serena trailed 5-3 in both sets. She faced set points in both, including eight in the second. But she advanced to the semifinals at Flushing Meadows for the first time since 2002, the year she beat Venus in the title match for her second U.S. Open championship.
It was the siblings' 17th meeting as professionals, and Serena leads 9-8. That includes 11 matches at Grand Slam tournaments, where Serena leads 6-5.
She also has the edge in major championships, 8-7, and only she can add to that total this weekend. The fourth-seeded Serena will meet No. 6 Dinara Safina in the semifinals.
"It's really just unfortunate it had to be in the quarters," Serena said.
Venus had all sorts of chances to take control, but in the end, as both women's play reached a very high level, it was Serena who pulled through. In the second tiebreaker, Venus had four set points — and Serena saved them all.
Then, when Serena earned her first match point, nearly 2 1/2 hours into the match, she converted it, when Venus ended an 11-stroke exchange by missing a forehand.
Back when they were ranked Nos. 1 and 2, the siblings only could meet in tournament finals. But because of injuries, inactivity and inconsistency, they dropped in the rankings, and now it's the luck of the draw that determines at which stage they potentially meet.
At Wimbledon in July, for example, the wound up on opposite halves of the field, and Venus beat Serena in the final for her fifth title at the All England Club. At the U.S. Open, they wound up in the same section of the bracket, so the women many consider the two top players at the moment were forced to meet in the round of eight.
The start of the latest all-Williams showdown was delayed by more than an hour because of two lengthy matches that preceded it on the tournament's main court, including a women's doubles match and No. 6 Andy Murray's four-set victory over No. 17 Juan Martin del Potro in the men's quarterfinals.
Venus showed up at the locker room about 20 minutes before they finally headed out, carrying a bunch of rackets in the crook of her left arm. Serena arrived about five minutes later, a red purse slung over her left shoulder.
Neither face betrayed the slightest hint of emotion, and those same expressionless masks were in place at the match's start. Early on, there were the sorts of nerves and erratic play — a combined seven first-set double-faults, for example — that have marked many of the siblings' encounters as they have adjusted to playing one another.
"I try not to look at her, because if I look at her, I might start feeling sorry," Serena told the crowd afterward. "I want the best for her. I love her so much. She's my best friend."
Neither of their parents, who also serve as their coaches, were sitting in the guest boxes at Arthur Ashe Stadium. One of their sisters was there, sitting with her hands clasped in front of her face, eyes shut, during the first-set tiebreaker.
How could she possibly cheer for one sister against another?

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5i...unJYwD92VL9PO0
Sep 8th, 2008 12:39 AM
V.S.
Re: 2008 Us Open

Safina awaits winner of Williams showdown at Open

By HOWARD FENDRICH –
NEW YORK (AP) — Sixth-seeded Dinara Safina overpowered No. 16 Flavia Pennetta 6-2, 6-3 in the U.S. Open quarterfinals Wednesday, earning the right to play one of the Williams sisters next.
Safina, the sister of 2000 U.S. Open men's champion Marat Safin, reached her first semifinal at Flushing Meadows. The Russian has won 37 of her past 41 matches and made it to the finals at six of her previous seven events.
"I'm getting closer to reaching the same thing as my brother," Safina said.
The French Open runner-up and Beijing Olympics silver medalist compiled a 25-13 edge in winners against Pennetta and only was broken once.
"She was playing unbelievable, you know," said Pennetta, from Italy. "She didn't give me a lot of chance."
Now comes a much harder assignment for Safina: trying to beat Venus or Serena Williams.
"It's going to be a big match. You know, they're both playing good," Safina said. "I just want to focus again on myself and to give my 100 percent and see who's going to be stronger."
The siblings, both two-time Open champions, were to face each other in the last women's quarterfinal Wednesday night, their 17th matchup as professionals.
Safina is 1-3 against Serena and never has faced Venus.
She was asked which sister she would rather meet.
"I don't care," Safina said.
Wednesday's schedule also included two men's quarterfinals. No. 6 Andy Murray of Britain reached his first Grand Slam semifinal by beating No. 17 Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina 7-6 (2), 7-6 (1), 4-6, 7-5 in a match that lasted nearly four hours and delayed the start of Williams vs. Williams.
Murray, who ended del Potro's 23-match winning streak, clinched a rise to No. 4 in the rankings, matching the highest spot ever for a British man. Neither he nor del Potro played particularly well — each made far more unforced errors than winners — but Murray's biggest complaint was when his request to have the overhead video boards shut off during points was denied.
No. 1 Rafael Nadal was to take on unseeded American Mardy Fish at night.
The sisters headed into their match 8-8 in all-Williams encounters, 5-5 at Grand Slam tournaments. Seven of those came in Grand Slam finals, including at Wimbledon in July, when Venus beat Serena in straight sets for her fifth championship at the All England Club.
Back when they were ranked Nos. 1 and 2, the siblings only could meet in tournament finals. But because of injuries, inactivity and inconsistency, they dropped in the rankings, and now it's the luck of the draw that determines at which stage they potentially meet.
At the U.S. Open, they wound up in the same section of the bracket, so what many might consider the two top players at the moment were forced to meet in the round of eight.
Serena has won eight major titles, and Venus has won seven — and none of the other quarterfinalists owns a single such prize. Before this tournament, Venus had reached the quarterfinals at 28 majors, and Serena at 23, while the six other women to reach that stage this time had made a combined total of 22 previous Grand Slam quarterfinal appearances.
For Pennetta, this was her first career major quarterfinal — and it showed, right from the start against Safina.
Pennetta came to the U.S. Open with a 21-22 career record in Grand Slam tournaments and a 1-4 mark at Flushing Meadows. She dropped her first service game Wednesday, misjudging an overhead to set up a break point, then flubbing a forehand to end a 15-stroke exchange.
That was part of Safina's run to leads of 3-0 and 4-1. When Pennetta sailed yet another groundstroke long while serving down 5-2, the Russian earned another break and owned the first set.
Safina's one real blip came when she was broken at love to fall behind 2-0 in the second set, as Pennetta smacked a backhand return winner on an 83 mph second serve. But Safina broke right back, then broke again for a 5-2 lead.
At the start of the U.S. Open, Safina was one of six women with a chance to be ranked No. 1 at the end of the tournament.
That included current No. 1 Ana Ivanovic, who was upset in the second round. But by virtue of No. 2 Jelena Jankovic making the semifinals, Ivanovic is assured of dropping from No. 1.
Jankovic will face No. 5 Elena Dementieva in the other women's semifinal. They advanced with victories Tuesday.

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5i...unJYwD92VI7V80
Sep 8th, 2008 12:34 AM
V.S.
Re: 2008 Us Open

Though it comes too soon, Venus vs. Serena won't disappoint


Sabo/News Venus Williams meets sister Serena (below) Wednesday night in quarterfinal that should spice up lackluster women's draw.

Sipkin/News

They smacked practice balls for two hours Tuesday morning on adjacent practice courts. Their father, nursing a stiff neck, tottered gingerly among the two women, dividing his counsel equally, diplomatically. Venus and Serena Williams sneaked glimpses at each other's session, compiling the briefest of scouting reports.
And that was it until Wednesday night, when the women's draw comes to a premature climax in a U.S. Open quarterfinal that should have been the big show on Saturday. This isn't just a sibling rivalry, and it's not just about bragging rights. When both sisters are relatively healthy and focused, as they are here, their battle is likely to determine the champion.
PHOTO GALLERY: THE BEST OF THE U.S. OPEN (VOL. 2)

The smart money is on Venus, who has maintained her form from Wimbledon and won three of the last four meetings. But the father insists neither daughter is playing at her best, still not banging forehands as she once did when the sisters were ranked at the very top of the tour.
"They're not even close to it in my opinion," Richard Williams said Tuesday, after the practice. "Neither one is moving to the ball like they once did. They're not making the shots that force opponents off the court."
They look very good, nonetheless. Serena has dropped only 14 games in four straight-set matches. Venus has lost just 15, in slightly tougher brackets. Either their father is being too much of a perfectionist, or the women's tour has fallen apart even worse than suspected.
Maybe a bit of both.
But that's what makes Venus vs. Serena an event to anticipate. Despite all the familial angst they tote onto the court, we are finally guaranteed two quality opponents in a draw desperately lacking oomph.
Their matches have become less painful, more compelling, as they've grown accustomed to partitioning their private lives from their service aces. Venus' 7-5, 6-4 victory at Wimbledon provided gripping, acrobatic points - even if Serena complains to this day that she didn't play her best.
Venus is the better loser, the less joyful winner on these occasions. She is graced with greater empathy, when it comes to the sister across the net.
"You guys know I hate to lose," Serena said. "It doesn't matter who I'm playing."
Serena has lost eight times to Venus in their careers, winning eight times as well. The numbers can't get much closer than this: Serena owns eight major titles and Venus has seven. This is the 11th time they will meet in a major draw, and they're tied 5-5.

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/mo...vs_serena.html
Sep 8th, 2008 12:33 AM
V.S.
Re: 2008 Us Open

September 3, 2008



Williams sisters trying to gain an edge
Harold Gutmann
The Journal News
NEW YORK - After 10 years of power tennis, Venus and Serena Williams still haven't decided the question of who the better player is. Not in 16 professional matches, which the sisters split 8-8. Not in 10 Grand Slam confrontations, which they split 5-5. And not in two meetings this year, which went one apiece.
The one women's match that has been anticipated since the draw was announced is finally here. Having thoroughly defeated all the opponents in their path, the Williams sisters will meet tonight at Arthur Ashe Stadium in the U.S. Open quarterfinals. And it's not just a possible No. 1 ranking and another major title at stake for the Williams, who also have the same number of hardcourt titles (22). The best tennis player in the family is still undecided.
"I think if I had a sister and she wasn't very good, then it would not really be a big deal because I would beat her," Venus said. "But she's very good, so I have to figure out, OK, how can I win this match?"
Serena won six straight from 2002-03 - including the finals of all four majors - but Venus has won three of the four meetings since, including the most recent encounter here (the fourth round in 2005) and this year's Wimbledon final.
The first matches were awkward for the sisters, and it showed in the quality of the tennis. But the Williams are used to it by now and the play has gotten much better. This encounter should be even more special because both sisters are healthy and playing great.
"We're both playing better and feeling better," Serena said. "We just had a turn in our careers. We're playing the way we should play."
While No. 1 Ana Ivanovic and No. 3 Svetlana Kuznetsova were knocked out early and No. 2 Jelena Jankovic has twice needed a third set, the Williams sisters have been dominant. Combined, they had lost fewer games (29) than any single player in the quarterfinals except No. 5 Elena Dementieva.
And it's not just early-round qualifiers that have been overmatched - Venus routed No. 9 Agnieszka Radwanska 6-1, 6-3, while Serena crushed veteran Ai Sugiyama 6-2, 6-1. Fortunately for them, they don't get paid by the hour - Serena Williams has spent just four hours on court, slightly more than Novak Djokovic did in his win yesterday, while Venus Williams clocked in at 4:36, three hours fewer than Jankovic.
The most unfortunate thing about the meeting is how early in the tournament it will occur. They both know that if they were ranked higher, they wouldn't require good luck in the draw.
"Actually for me, I've been really working on playing more and getting my ranking together," said Serena, who played in just 11 events this year.
"You know, it's just disappointing to be so soon."
http://www.lohud.com/apps/pbcs.dll/a...plate=printart
Sep 8th, 2008 12:31 AM
V.S.
Re: 2008 Us Open

Advertisement

Williams sisters resigned to early showdown

By Douglas Robson, Special for USA TODAY
NEW YORK — As uncanny as two sisters rising from urban blight to become world-beaters is how uncannily convergent the careers of Venus and Serena Williams have become.
Deep into their second decades on tour, the California-raised siblings share nearly identical marks in major titles, head-to-head meetings, prize money, hardcourt titles and U.S. Open crowns.
During the last 10 days at Flushing Meadows, their easy march through the women's draw has been in near-lockstep. Neither has dropped a set, and they are surrendering a tournament-low 3.5 games (Serena) and 3.75 games (Venus) per match.
"They have dominated their matches here," says TV commentator and U.S. Fed Cup captain Mary Joe Fernandez. "This is the best I've seen them both play at the same time through their entire matches leading up to each other."
Something must give when the sisters, who are an even 8-8 in career meetings and own 15 Grand Slam titles between them (Serena leads Venus 8-7), face off Wednesday night in a marquee quarterfinal clash at the U.S. Open.

"It's just disappointing to be so soon," said No. 4 seed Serena, who drew No. 7 seed Venus in her quarter by the luck of the draw.
"Hopefully, it'll get to the point where we meet later in the draw," Venus said.
Close in life as well as age (Venus, 28, is 15 months older than Serena, 26), the sisters are again knocking heads regularly deep in majors following several years in which circustances, including injuries, periodically kept one or the other from playing their best.
"Life happened," Venus said after thumping No. 9 seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland 6-1, 6-3 in the fourth round Monday. "You can't always predict it. The best part is that we're still here, going stronger than ever in my opinion."
"I just feel like we're both playing better and feeling better," Serena said after her equally dismissive 6-2, 6-2 fourth-round win vs. unseeded Severine Bremond of France. "We just had a turn in our careers. We're just playing the way we should play."
If the public hasn't become entirely comfortable with two devoted sisters forced to duke it out at the highest level of sport, Venus and Serena have appeared more accustomed to the situation the more they've played on big stages. Serena already had her game face on Monday night.
"It's my career and her career," she said of facing Venus with a big title on the line. "I know she can definitely bury (her emotions), so I can do the same thing."
This will be their 11th meeting at a major — naturally, they are tied 5-5 — and their fourth at the U.S. Open.
Venus leads 2-1, beating Serena in the final to win the second of two titles in 2001 and again in the fourth round in 2005. Serena won in 2002, knocking off Venus in the final to capture her second New York championship.
Most recently, Venus defeated Serena 7-5, 6-4 in the Wimbledon final in July that many consider one of their highest-quality matches.
Unexpectedly, neither sister has reached the final here since their four-year stranglehold on the title from 1999-2002. Last week Serena said it's been so long since she won she'd forgotten what it felt like to hoist the trophy.
The match will likely hinge on emotional management and execution.
Fernandez says Venus gets the nod in movement while Serena is more technically sound and less liable to break down under pressure. But she points out that Serena appeared more nervous when they met at the All-England Club final in July.
"She was uptight and wanted it so much she didn't play her best," Fernandez says. "Venus was a lot more relaxed and able to deal with the occasion."
Two-time U.S. Open champ Tracy Austin says there won't be any secrets and that it will come down to first-serve percentage, handling nerves, taking control of points and "who plays their game better on that given day."
Serena could have extra motivation because Venus has won a Grand Slam title this year, Austin adds, but she can't discount the possible mental cloud family ties could play, especially since the sisters are fresh off winning a gold medal at the Beijing Olympics in doubles.
"I think it's hard for both of them," says Austin, here commentating for TV. "It's very emotionally charged because you are trying to beat one of the people you love most in the world. It goes against the grain of human nature."
Both Fernandez and Austin say that, based on form so far, the winner should go on to take a third U.S. Open title. But which Williams will emerge is too close to call.
"Usually when two players go on court one clearly has a better skill set," says Austin. "This is 50-50."
An even toss-up — just like most things between tennis' leading sisters.
These sisters are so closeA quick comparison of Serena and Venus Williams shows some startling similarities in statsIMG]http://*********************/_common/_images/ipr/grey.gif[/IMG]SerenaVenus[IMG]http://*********************/_common/_images/ipr/grey.gif[/IMG]U.S. Open titles22[IMG]http://*********************/_common/_images/ipr/grey.gif[/IMG]Wins against sister88[IMG]http://*********************/_common/_images/ipr/grey.gif[/IMG]Career prize money$20,274,84620,288,478[IMG]http://*********************/_common/_images/ipr/grey.gif[/IMG]Career hardcourt titles2222[IMG]http://*********************/_common/_images/ipr/grey.gif[/IMG]Games surrendered at '08 Open1415[IMG]http://*********************/_common/_images/ipr/grey.gif[/IMG]Wins against sister, 200811[IMG]http://*********************/_common/_images/ipr/grey.gif[/IMG]2008 prize money$2,165,612$2,114,697[IMG]http://*********************/_common/_images/ipr/grey.gif[/IMG]Career-high ranking11[IMG]http://*********************/_common/_images/ipr/grey.gif[/IMG]Major titles87[IMG]http://*********************/_common/_images/ipr/grey.gif[/IMG]



Find this article at:
http://www.usatoday.com/sports/tenni...ssisters_N.htm
Sep 8th, 2008 12:30 AM
V.S.
Re: 2008 Us Open

http://www.latimes.com/sports/tennis...,3999026.story
From the Los Angeles Times
TENNIS

Venus and Serena Williams would rather save this for later

The Williams sisters' latest on-court meeting will be Wednesday in the U.S. Open quarterfinals. That's a couple of rounds too early for them.
By Chuck Culpepper
Special to the Times

7:46 PM PDT, September 2, 2008

NEW YORK — Hidden in the 16-match history of Williams vs. Williams, there's an innocuous U.S. Open bout most people probably have forgotten and the rest probably have tried to forget.

It was the fourth-round match between Venus and Serena Williams in 2005, and it's their only Grand Slam meeting since 2000 that occurred before a final. Venus won, 7-6 (5), 6-2, and Serena said, "We were talking in the locker room afterward about just how horrible we played. I said, 'You played terrible.' She said, 'I know.' "

Venus then bowed to Kim Clijsters in the quarterfinals, the tournament churned on and Williams vs. Williams seemed trivial in general.

Yet as they find themselves sighing over another pre-final round with their U.S. Open quarterfinal Wednesday night, nobody suspects this one will end up being trivial. Far from coasting into tennis dotage since 2005, the Williams sisters have crested again in summer 2008. Their U.S. Opens have been so majestic that it's snarky fun to suggest the USTA should present this quarterfinal winner the trophy and stage the rest of the matches as exhibitions.

Serena has lost zero sets and 14 games in four matches so far, only one set thickening to 6-4. Venus has lost zero sets and 15 games in four matches, with 6-3 the hairiest. They're the only women left here who have won Grand Slam titles. They just played the Wimbledon final.

Venus, ranked No. 8, finds her current form the best of her life. Serena, ranked No. 3, could curtail a five-year absence from the No. 1 spot that once seemed her permanent residence.

"Just trying to be really serious about it," Serena said.

More than ever, that's the story at ages 28 (Venus) and 26 (Serena), two elite players trying to solve each other's game. After 15 combined Grand Slam singles titles, the amazing novelty of two people from the same household playing for major world titles has given way somewhat to the vagaries of form, strategy and tactics.

"How has it changed?" Venus said. "I would just say that more than anything I'm focusing on what her game is about and trying to get past that hurdle. I think if I had a sister and she wasn't very good, then it would be just not really a big deal because I would beat her. But she's very good, so I have to figure out, 'OK, how can I win this match?' "

At Wimbledon this year, when Venus Williams won the final, 7-5, 6-4, and demoralized her sister, some of the chat among tennis intellectuals centered on Venus' serves to the body.

That approach has resurfaced here.

"I think that was her tactic, was to serve every ball to the body," Serena said after the final on July 5. "I'm glad she did it, because next time I know what to expect. . . . I mean, I think I got a lot of those in-the-body serves. I knew what she was doing. It was very readable. . . . But I know next time playing her what to expect, and I'll be even more ready for it."

Mixed with that, Venus rushed the net 34 times, winning 25 of the points, in her fourth-round U.S. Open matchup against No. 11-ranked Agnieszka Radwanska, the best player either Williams has beaten so far. It's a method experts including Billie Jean King and Zina Garrison have implored her to use since she turned up in glorious hair beads at 17, even though she usually hasn't required much advice.

It's also a tack she'll adopt during one match and eschew during the next. "Nowadays I throw in a slice and loopers," Venus said after beating Radwanska. "I don't know what's gotten into me. I guess it just comes, and that's good, too. So I like coming in."

In the Wimbledon final, Venus won 15 of 18 points at the net while her sister won nine of 15. In a match of fairly high quality, she also benefited from Serena's inability to convert 11 of her 13 break-point chances.

"Took a couple days" to overcome the defeat, Serena said. "I was over it by later on, but I was just disappointed in the way I played more than anything." That has become her theme ever since, a self-demanding search for improvement over a Wimbledon final appearance.

That's why, in a far, far cry from 2005, this match seems too heavy for a quarterfinal, a case of two champions in champion's form in an insistent search for an edge.
Sep 8th, 2008 12:29 AM
V.S.
Re: 2008 Us Open

Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Can Venus pull ahead of Serena in U.S. Open wins?

By Bonnie D. Ford and Greg Garber
ESPN.com

Editor's note: In advance of the Serena Williams-Venus Williams U.S. Open quarterfinal -- their 17th head-to-head meeting in the past 10 years -- ESPN.com writers Bonnie D. Ford and Greg Garber engaged in point-counterpoint discussion on what many people would consider the virtual final of this Grand Slam.


Bonnie D. Ford: They're 8-and-8 lifetime, Greg, but are the sisters even in terms of their form coming into this match?

Greg Garber: It depends on how you want to quantify that.

In terms of confidence, you have to give it to Venus because the last time they played -- that magnificent final at Wimbledon -- Venus came away with a 7-5, 6-4 victory. Here at the U.S. Open, they've been remarkably similar. The sisters have each won all eight of their sets and Serena has the narrowest of margins, winning 48 games and losing 14. Venus is 48-15.

That Wimbledon victory, though, was achieved on grass. Bonnie, does the fact that this is a hard-court match give Serena the advantage?


Ford: That will pivot on on how well Venus is serving -- and how much she indulges in her new favorite pastime of coming to the net. That might flummox Serena as much as anyone, since she's so accustomed to Venus' "usual" game. Although neither of the sisters has really broken a sweat in New York, Venus has had to go through tougher opposition: Agnieska Radwanska, her fourth-rounder, is a terrific young player who just cracked the top 10. But if you want a gauge of confidence on the surface, just look at Venus' schedule this year. The Beijing Olympics was her first hard-court event since Miami in late March-early April. If she liked it, she'd play on it more. Serena has two hard-court titles this season.

Let's move on to the intangibles. Who wants it more, and does that matter? If hunger counts, and I think it does, Serena has far more at stake. Venus has won twice at Wimbledon since Serena made her sensational run at the '07 Australian. Your thoughts?


Garber: "Hunger," I think, is the operative word in Venus' renaissance. Think about the sibling psychology here. Venus, the eternally good older sister, won the first three matches between them on the pro tour. And, the first three Grand Slam meetings, lastly the 2001 U.S. Open final. And then little sister ran off six straight victories, the last five in consecutive Grand Slam finals. While the world celebrated the Serena Slam, how do you think Venus felt? Can you imagine the psychic damage that was inflicted? Now, five years removed from that fall from grace, Venus has won three of the past four matches, including two in majors. With a title here, Venus would equal little sister's accomplishment of eight major championships. Who's hungry now?


Ford: Fair enough, and I've long since stopped being fooled by Venus' almost languid manner in talking about this stuff. But I think Serena will put more pressure on herself, and I think that's a good thing. You had to be struck by her somber demeanor in her news conference Monday night. She's obviously disappointed that they're meeting this soon in the tournament -- among other things, she's got a shot at No. 1 and needs the rankings points -- and she already had her game face on. Even though Serena has shredded the opposition, she kept repeating that she hasn't played her best yet. I think she'll turn herself inside out to avoid feeling the way she felt in the Wimbledon final. She was crushed, even though Venus was favored there. Venus will have had a successful season no matter what happens Wednesday night.


Hard to believe that neither has won here since 2002. Don't you think the fact that it's the United States Open ups the stakes?


Garber: Of course it does. It's their national championship -- and the last major event of the season. As amazing as it seems, a Venus victory would make her a leading candidate for the women's player of the year award. She would have won only two tournaments, but half of the Grand Slams. With Maria Sharapova, the Australian Open champion, injured, with No. 1-ranked French Open champion Ana Ivanovic a nonfactor in the last two majors and with Olympic gold medalist Elena Dementieva still looking for her first Grand Slam singles title, who else could it be?


For years, the sisters were criticized for being emotionally flat in their matches. This year, they played a lively three-set match in Bangalore before finally letting it fly at Wimbledon. What kind of match do you see on Wednesday night, Bonnie?


Ford: Just to get back to your previous answer for a second, in the vacuum left by Justine Henin's abrupt retirement, it would be nice to see one of the top women really go for the No. 1 ranking and the rest of the goods this season instead of fleeing from the top as if it were the penthouse of a burning building. You make a good case for Venus being the POY if she wins here, but I have a hunch Serena would be more likely to maintain her motivation for the rest of the season. I think she's going to play lights-out. I'm less sure about Venus, but I think the quality of the match will be a B-plus to A-minus.


As you've probably guessed, I'm picking Serena in straight sets. And you?


Garber: Well, inferring from my comments, you probably saw this coming: I think it goes to Venus. In the battle of Olympic doubles gold medalists, I think Venus takes home the silver trophy this time.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/print...484&type=story
Sep 8th, 2008 12:23 AM
V.S.
Re: 2008 Us Open

http://www.latimes.com/sports/printe...,3672560.story
From the Los Angeles Times
TENNIS

Venus, Serena Williams roll at U.S. Open

The Williams sisters head toward a quarterfinal matchup. Top-seeded Rafael Nadal needs four sets to overcome Sam Querrey, a big-hitting Californian.
By Chuck Culpepper
Special to The Times

September 2, 2008

NEW YORK -- A sport that's supposed to be decreasingly American had a heady American Labor Day at the U.S. Open, the host country propped up once more by that long, huge state on its left edge.

Not only did two of California's most familiar daughters sustain their emphatic turn of saying hello again on Monday, but one of its freshest sons said a first hello to an Arthur Ashe Stadium that roared back approval at his arrival.

There went Venus and Serena Williams, gliding above their sport again at ages 28 and 26, their dominance so majestic here that the Williams-Williams Wednesday night quarterfinal they've arranged seems two rounds too soon.

Serena Williams romped through Severine Bremond of France, 6-2, 6-2, just after Venus Williams looked otherworldly against 11th-ranked Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland, 6-1, 6-3.

And here comes Sam Querrey, the 20-year-old Thousand Oaks High graduate, burrowing into the consciousness of his sport with such aplomb that he actually triggered evidence of human frailty in No. 1 Rafael Nadal in a midday match tense, thick and excellent.

"He had to earn it; I didn't just give it to him," Querrey said after Nadal went to 42-1 since May by winning 6-2, 5-7, 7-6 (2), 6-3.

All this time since Williams versus Williams last played a U.S. Open final -- 2002 -- and here the Grand Slam title standings among the eight U.S. Open quarterfinalists stand at Serena Williams eight, Venus Williams seven and Everybody Else zero. There's still the scalding No. 7-ranked Dinara Safina, who sobbed from exhaustion to her coach before her fourth-round match Monday, then beat qualifier Anna-Lena Groenefeld 7-5, 6-0. There's still No. 2 Jelena Jankovic, and the No. 6 Elena Dementieva, the Olympic champion.

It's just that none has proved so impervious to challenge as the two sisters from Compton.

They've each won all eight sets easily. Venus Williams has lost 15 games, Serena Williams 14. Service breaks suffered through four rounds: Venus Williams three, Serena Williams one. Venus Williams has won all 22 sets in Wimbledon and the U.S. Open this year; Serena Williams has won all her sets except two, which she lost to Venus Williams in the Wimbledon final.

It's all pangs and twinges of 2002, that time before, as Venus Williams put it, "Things happen. Life happened. You can't always predict it. The best part is that we're still here, going stronger than ever in my opinion."

Said Serena Williams: "You know, it's just disappointing to be so soon."

By contrast, the chockablock men's draw, down to 12, still has No. 6-ranked Andy Murray of Britain, who looked a threat Monday night as he annihilated No. 10 Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland, 6-1, 6-3, 6-3.

It still has a breakthrough American, the Minnesotan-Floridian Mardy Fish, who anachronistically rushed the net 69 times, winning 54 of those points, as he impressively beat Gael Monfils, 7-5, 6-2, 6-2, to get a spot opposite Nadal.

It still has Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic and Andy Roddick and 19-year-old Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina, winner of four straight tournaments and 23 straight matches after beating Japan's Kei Nishikori, 6-3, 6-4, 6-3.

It doesn't have Querrey anymore, but it certainly won't forget the player ranked No. 55 and pointed upward.

As he tries to overcome a normal, happy childhood to play elite tennis, and looks like he just might, he climbed first from being down 6-2, 4-2 and break point, then from being a break down in the third set, and very nearly from being a break down in the fourth.

He made Nadal play a transcendent tiebreaker in the third.

He gave Nadal a haunted look that briefly reminded people that this is the Grand Slam where Nadal has thrived least. He engaged Nadal in a 16-minute seventh game of the fourth set in which the French and Wimbledon champion repelled seven break points.

The crowd swooned. Querrey's chums from the red-eye flight spelled S-A-M shirtlessly. Nadal extolled Querrey's big future, which features a serve the California delivers from his 6-foot-6 frame and an improving backhand on which Querrey said he "used to kind of bunt it a little bit."

"Not the worst thing in the world going out to the No. 1 guy," Querrey said.

http://www.latimes.com/sports/printe...96,print.story
Sep 8th, 2008 12:21 AM
V.S.
Re: 2008 Us Open

Williams Sisters to Meet in Quarters


By Liz Clarke
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 2, 2008; E03

FLUSHING MEADOWS, N.Y., Sept. 1 -- Venus and Serena Williams insist they don't worry about their respective world rankings.
They know better than any computer-based formula how well they are playing, as do the sport's commentators and fans. Certainly none of their rivals look to the sisters' rankings to gauge the challenge in store as they prepare to face them on court.
Tennis rankings, after all, reward players who compete a lot -- not necessarily those who compete the best.
And given the dramatic shifts in the Williams sisters' careers in recent years -- with both playing limited schedules in stretches because of illness and injury -- neither has been treated particularly kind by the rankings.
It is a tradeoff, for the most part, that the Williams have been willing to make -- putting their health above the imperative to compete 10 months out of the year.
The approach has served them well in recent years. They have 15 major titles between them and remain threats to add to that total at an age when other women have long since retired. (Venus is 28; Serena, 26).
Top-ranked Ana Ivanovic has one major title, while second-ranked Jelena Jankovic has yet to win one of the sport's four majors.
But there are times when the Williams sisters -- and, in turn, the sport -- pay a price for those rankings that don't reflect their on-court ability. That's when they end up in the same quarter of the draw at major tournaments as a result. This year's U.S. Open is a case in point.
Through four rounds of play, neither Venus, ranked No. 8, nor Serena, ranked No. 3, has lost a set. Neither has come close. Serena has yet to lose more than three games in a set; Venus has lost as many as four games only once.
Their victories Monday underscored their dominance -- particularly with 2007 U.S. Open champion Justine Henin's retirement this spring, 2006 U.S. Open champion Maria Sharapova sidelined by injury and the top-seeded Ivanovic bounced in the second round.
Venus breezed into the quarterfinals with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over ninth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanksa of Poland, while Serena booked her passage by dismissing French wild card Séverine Brémond, 6-2, 6-2.
But there was no hiding the disappointment amid what should have been a joyous moment. That's because their next opponent will be their toughest yet: Each other.
"It [stinks]," Serena said during her on-court interview with CBS, drawing chuckles from the crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium. "That's how I feel. Even the semis would have been better than the quarterfinals."
Wednesday's quarterfinal meeting comes less than two months after the sisters clashed in the final at Wimbledon.
Their head-to-head record is 8-8. Serena has eight major titles, including two U.S. Opens (1999, 2002). Venus has seven majors, including two U.S. Opens (2000, 2001).
"As we continue to climb up the rankings -- and I'm going to keep working on my ranking and keep trying to improve it -- hopefully it'll get to the point where we meet later in the draw," Venus said.
Added Serena: "I've been working on playing more and getting my ranking together. It's just disappointing to be so soon."
Also advancing Monday: Dinara Safina, a 7-5, 6-0 victor over Anna-Lena Groenefeld; Flavia Pennetta, who ousted Amélie Mauresmo, 6-3, 6-0; Juan Martín del Potro, who extended his unbeaten streak to 23 matches with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 victory over Japan's Kei Nishikori; and Andy Murray, who dismissed Stanilas Wawrinka, 6-1, 6-3, 6-3.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...102984_pf.html
Sep 8th, 2008 12:19 AM
V.S.
Re: 2008 Us Open

Sisters set up all-Williams quarterfinal at Open

By HOWARD FENDRICH –
NEW YORK (AP) — By now, Venus and Serena Williams know all too well how it feels to set aside sisterhood for a couple of hours and try to beat each other on a tennis court.
They know what it feels like to meet at a Grand Slam tournament, what it feels like to win such a match, what it feels like to lose.
And they much prefer it when there's a major championship at stake. The all-Williams showdown, set up by their easy victories Monday at the U.S. Open, comes earlier this time.
This time, Williams vs. Williams is only a quarterfinal.
"It's so soon," Serena said. "You know, it's just disappointing to be so soon."
Both advanced through the fourth round without a challenge. The No. 7-seeded Venus dismissed No. 9 Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland 6-1, 6-3, before No. 4 Serena dispatched wild-card entrant Severine Bremond of France 6-2, 6-2 at night.
"Even the semis would have been better than the quarterfinals, but at least one of us will make it to the semis," Serena told the crowd during an on-court interview. "I've got probably the toughest match of the tournament coming up next, so I've got to be ready."
Some sisters make plans to go shopping together, say, or to catch a movie. These siblings keep running into each other at their sport's highest levels.
Venus beat Serena for the title at Wimbledon in July — their seventh major title match — and Wednesday will mark the first time they've squared off at consecutive Grand Slam tournaments since 2003.
Both have dealt with injuries and inactivity that stalled their dominance, but clearly they are back at the height of their powers.
"The best part is that we're still here," Venus said, "going stronger than ever, in my opinion."
They've played 16 times as professionals, with each winning eight. That includes 10 meetings at major tournaments, with each winning five.
"I would love to have a winning record," Venus said. "I have a chance."
Because of the luck of the pre-tournament draw, they were placed in the same portion of the bracket in New York — much to the disappointment of them, U.S. Open organizers and TV types. Even other players.
"For sure, it would have been better for the crowd if it was a final," Bremond said. "It would have been a very good final."
That certainly rings true: Serena has lost a total of 14 games through four matches at Flushing Meadows; Venus has dropped 15.
Of the eight women left in the tournament, only two have won a Grand Slam title — Serena leads all active players with eight, and Venus is right behind with seven.
They won every U.S. Open women's singles championship from 1999 to 2002, meeting in the finals the last two years of that span — it was their ascension that prompted the U.S. Open to move the women's final from Saturday afternoon to Saturday night. Since 2002, though, Serena hasn't made it past the quarterfinals here, and Venus has only reached one semifinal.
"I just feel like, you know, we're both playing better and feeling better," Serena said. "We just had a turn in our careers. We're just playing the way we should play."
Also advancing Monday were No. 6 Dinara Safina, who defeated Anna-Lena Groenefeld 7-5, 6-0, and No. 16 Flavia Pennetta, who beat No. 32 Amelie Mauresmo 6-3, 6-0.
In men's action, No. 1 Rafael Nadal held off 55th-ranked Sam Querrey, a 20-year-old Californian who never before had been to the fourth round at a major tournament. Querrey hung in during extended baseline rallies, and even briefly led in the third set, before losing 6-2, 5-7, 7-6 (2), 6-3.
Nadal owns four titles from the French Open and one from Wimbledon, but he's never been as far as the U.S. Open semifinals. He'll try to take care of that gap on his resume when he meets another unseeded American, Mardy Fish, in the quarterfinals.
Also advancing: No. 17 Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina, who ended the run of Kei Nishikori, the first Japanese man to reach the U.S. Open's fourth round in the 40-year Open era. Del Potro won the contest between teenagers 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 for his 23rd consecutive victory.
Del Potro will face No. 6 Andy Murray, who beat 10th-seeded Stanislas Wawrinka 6-1, 6-3, 6-3.
Fish serve-and-volleyed his way past No. 32 Gael Monfils in straight sets. As for facing Nadal?
"I feel like a guy with my style of play is someone that he doesn't want to see," said Fish, who won the point of 45 of 69 trips to the net. "You've got to be able to finish points quickly. He's going to last longer than anybody. He wants to keep the points as long as possible and run the guys down, kind of body-blow after body-blow."
Nadal, who's won 42 of his past 43 matches, had to work hard to wear down the 6-foot-6 Querrey. When Nadal served for a two-set lead, Querrey broke him at love. When Nadal was trying to put the kid away, serving with a 4-2 edge in the fourth set, Querrey compiled seven break points.
"The match was crazy like that, no?" Nadal said.
He saved each of those seven break points, though, and that pretty much was that.
"He had to earn it," Querrey noted proudly. "I didn't just give it to him."
Venus faced what theoretically should have been an opponent to be taken seriously: Not only is Radwanska ranked in the top 10, but she won her only previous match against the elder Williams sister and she upset then-defending champion Maria Sharapova at last year's U.S. Open.
Radwanska needed 27 minutes just to claim a game this time, and never came up with a reply for Venus' constant forays forward. Venus won the point 25 of 34 times at the net, and she put together a remarkable 33-11 advantage in winners.
"She was playing very aggressively, going to the net all the time. There was nothing I could do," Radwanska said. "She was too good."
Bremond offered essentially the same analysis after trying to slow Serena, who finished with a 24-10 edge in winners.
Asked to define her on-court sibling rivalry, Serena called it "classic" and "unique."
No argument there.
What about "difficult," given the prospect of trying to have success at a sister's expense?
"No. Not anymore," Serena replied. "Just another match. Another possibility for me."
http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5i...unJYwD92UBJIG0
Sep 8th, 2008 12:18 AM
V.S.
Re: 2008 Us Open

Williams sisters resigned to early U.S. Open showdown

Tue Sep 2, 2008 8:15am BST
By Claudia Parsons
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Serena Williams voiced the frustration of fans, TV bosses and advertisers on Monday when she said she was not happy to meet her sister Venus so early in the U.S. Open after they booked a quarter-finals clash.
"It sucks," Williams said courtside after her fourth-round win against French wildcard Severine Bremond.
"Even the semi-finals would have been better than the quarters, but at least one of us will make it to the semi-finals," Serena said after disposing of her latest opponent in straight sets.
"It sucks that it can't the final. At least the semis. It's so soon," the fourth seed and younger of the sisters told reporters. "It's just disappointing to be so soon."
The Williams sisters dominated the Open for four years, Serena winning in 1999 and 2002 and Venus in 2000 and 2001. Since then their dominance has waned and five players, including Serena, have a chance to leave Flushing Meadows as world number one.
Still, the Williams sisters are the only ones left in the Open who have won a grand slam, and they have not dropped a set yet in the tournament. Serena has lost just 14 games from her four matches, and seventh-seeded Venus 15.
"It's tough to play her because she is so good," said Venus, who won their last collision at this summer's Wimbledon final for her fifth singles title at the All England Club.
"I think if I had a sister and she wasn't very good, then it would be just not really a big deal because I would beat her," Venus told reporters after her 6-1 6-3 victory over Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland.
"But she's very good, so I have to figure out, okay, how can I win this match?"
"As we continue to climb up the rankings (Serena is third and Venus is eighth), hopefully it'll get to the point where we meet later in the draw," she said.
The sisters are 8-8 in head-to-head matches during their career, and 5-5 against each other on the grand slam stage.
Venus said earlier this week she felt like she was at her best, but Serena said again on Monday she still had room to improve before Wednesday's quarter-final showdown.
"I feel like I can win the tournament if I play my best tennis and I don't feel like I've played my best yet," said Serena. "I feel like I can play better and hit better."
Venus, who won their last Open clash in the fourth round in 2005, said Serena is rounding into form.
"We're usually practising side by side, so she looks pretty consistent, like she's really working on her game," said Venus, who partnered Serena in Beijing to win their second Olympic doubles title.
Serena said she would treat the match like any other. "Obviously you guys know I hate to lose," she said. "It doesn't matter who I'm playing."

http://uk.reuters.com/article/tennis...BrandChannel=0
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