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http://www.tennisweek.com/news/fullstory.sps?inewsid=6626893

Night Shift: Venus Returns To NYC By Richard Pagliaro

Venus Williams has always been willing to work the night shift in New York. In the city that spawned the not ready for prime-time players, the Williams sisters made tennis a Saturday night spectacle.

The sisters combined to appear in five of six US Open finals between Venus' 1997 debut at the Flushing Meadows major and Serena's victory over Venus in the 2002 final. Their annual appearance on the final Saturday in New York — and the muscle they flex in moving television ratings higher — is widely regarded as a primary reason why the USTA made history in moving the US Open women's final to prime time on Saturday night in 2004 marking the first time a major final was scheduled for the evening hours.

Next month two of the nation's brightest stars will be back in New York shining indoors.

Venus and Serena have combined to claim three consecutive Grand Slam titles and the sisters will join former World No. 1 Serbians Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic in playing the inaugural BNP Paribas Showdown For The Billie Jean King Cup on Monday, March 2nd at Madison Square Garden. HBO will provide live coverage of the $1.2 million, single-elimination exhibition event starting at 7:30 p.m. Eastern time with John McEnroe, Mary Carrillo and Billie Jean King providing commentary.

It marks Venus' second appearance in Madison Square Garden: she played the WTA's season-ending Chase Championships at MSG in 1999, losing to Martina Hingis in the semifinals.

"I only had one opportunity to play in Madison Square Garden in '99 and there is an unbelievable amount of tennis tradition there," Venus said in a conference call with the media to promote the event today. "I also understand the men played their season-ending (tournament) at Madison Square Garden. It was kind of the pinnacle of the season — everyone was aiming for it so I feel honored to be playing there at the Billie Jean King Cup... I love playing in New York. I love playing in the Gardens. And like I said, I only had one chance to do it and I ran the even when I did play in the garden, it was my opportunity to have a big win at Madison Square Garden, I’m looking forward to it."

In this exhibition format, each woman will compete in a one set, no ad scoring semifinal with the winners advancing to a best of three-set final, which will feature regular scoring with tie breakers, for the Billie Jean King Cup. Depending on the draw, which will be announced at a later date, there exists a potential rematch of both the 2008 US Open (Serena Williams vs. Jelena Jankovic) and Wimbledon finals (Williams vs Williams).

Venus and Serena squared off in the US Open quarterfinals last September with Serena squeezing out 7-6(6), 7-6(7) victory en route to winning her ninth career title. The sisters have split their 18 career clashes and unless they face off in Dubai next week, their next meeting could come in MSG. Venus made no secret about her opponent of preference at MSG.

"Of course I'm hoping for an all-Williams final," Venus said."I think that would be most exciting for us and the fans too. Each one of us would be hoping to get to the final. I love playing with Serena (both) against her and in doubles. I don't have a preference (of playing Serena in the semis or final), but obviously I do want to win so I would like the Cup to say 'Venus Williams.' I don't know if that's greedy or not, but I can't help it."

The sisters are the reigning Wimbledon and Australian Open doubles champions as well as two-time Olympic gold medalists in doubles. Serena said yesterday winning the French Open in June is a primary goal — a feat that would put her halfway to a single season Grand Slam — and Venus said sweeping the doubles Grand Slam this season is a mission she'd like to accomplish.

"My first goal in this season is to be healthy and as long as that happens I really do play good tennis and I'm happy; of course I'd love to (win the doubles Grand Slam)," Venus said. "I love the challenge and if it wasn't challenging we wouldn't do it. (Playing doubles) definitely helps our singles game, (it helps) helps our volleys, our approaches and everything. We're definitely gonna try to play the majors and maybe qualify for the year-end championships. So that's the goal and hopefully we can do it."

Asked if she's concerned that Alex Rodriguez's admission of steroid use will taint public perception in prompting some to believe performancing enhancing drugs are widespread in several sports, Williams said there is no prescription to aid players coping with pressure points in tennis.

"I think with tennis (it) is a completely different sport. I think you can be not as strong and still be the winner," Williams said. "You have to hold your nerves and I don’t know if there’s a drug for that. So, you know it’s a little bit different. I think tennis has a pretty good record and we continually test and as far as I know our sport has a very good integrity."

Neither Williams sister will play Indian Wells; Venus said she plans to play Dubai, Miami, Charleston and Madrid prior to the French Open and Wimbledon.
Both Williams sisters appeared in past editions of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and Venus suggested her desire to emulate Serena inspired her to trade her tennis dress in for a bikini.

"I wanted to be like (Serena). So that’s why I did it," Venus said. "I love tennis more than anything though I’d give up the photos and make up and everything anyway for a match win. If Serena did it (I would do it again)."
 

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Neither Williams sister will play Indian Wells; Venus said she plans to play Dubai, Miami, Charleston and Madrid prior to the French Open and Wimbledon.
Venus honey, did you forget about your Mexican trip? :tape:
 

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Dubai Love
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http://www.tennisweek.com/news/fullstory.sps?inewsid=6626893

"Of course I'm hoping for an all-Williams final," Venus said."I think that would be most exciting for us and the fans too. Each one of us would be hoping to get to the final. I love playing with Serena (both) against her and in doubles. I don't have a preference (of playing Serena in the semis or final), but obviously I do want to win so I would like the Cup to say 'Venus Williams.' I don't know if that's greedy or not, but I can't help it."

The sisters are the reigning Wimbledon and Australian Open doubles champions as well as two-time Olympic gold medalists in doubles. Serena said yesterday winning the French Open in June is a primary goal — a feat that would put her halfway to a single season Grand Slam — and Venus said sweeping the doubles Grand Slam this season is a mission she'd like to accomplish.

"My first goal in this season is to be healthy and as long as that happens I really do play good tennis and I'm happy; of course I'd love to (win the doubles Grand Slam)," Venus said. "I love the challenge and if it wasn't challenging we wouldn't do it. (Playing doubles) definitely helps our singles game, (it helps) helps our volleys, our approaches and everything. We're definitely gonna try to play the majors and maybe qualify for the year-end championships. So that's the goal and hopefully we can do it."

Neither Williams sister will play Indian Wells; Venus said she plans to play Dubai, Miami, Charleston and Madrid prior to the French Open and Wimbledon.
Both Williams sisters appeared in past editions of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and Venus suggested her desire to emulate Serena inspired her to trade her tennis dress in for a bikini.

"I wanted to be like (Serena). So that’s why I did it," Venus said. "I love tennis more than anything though I’d give up the photos and make up and everything anyway for a match win. If Serena did it (I would do it again)."
I agree if at Billie Jean King Cup, it's a WS final, I will be soo happy to watch it live:inlove:
Their doubles goals, I hope they do win all 4 slams and make YEC and win that too:bounce:
Venus forgot Fed Cup and Acapulco in her schedule:silly:
 

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I agree if at Billie Jean King Cup, it's a WS final, I will be soo happy to watch it live:inlove:
Their doubles goals, I hope they do win all 4 slams and make YEC and win that too:bounce:
Venus forgot Fed Cup and Acapulco in her schedule:silly:
has she committed to FedCup??

Acapulco gurl...
or...
she quit??
 

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I miss the YEC at Madison Square Garden..

Venus is right-- There really is a great tennis tradition there. The YEC just had such an amazing feel there.
 
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