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Venus gains style points in win

By Matthew Cronin, CORRESPONDENT

STANFORD -- Venus Williams has always been a show stopper at the Bank of the West Classic. Ten years ago, when she made her pro debut at the tournament, she broke all the rules by choosing not to sit down on changeovers.
On Wednesday night, the now four-time Grand Slam champion had the near-capacity crowd gabbing about her powerful inside the baseline play and eye-popping new white dress. But while the fun-loving four-time Grand Slam champion can smile and laugh with the best of them, Venus is still all business in between the white lines.

Losing is simply not acceptable.

"Obviously I go for it all," said Williams after she wiped out Lindsay Lee-Waters 6-1, 6-1 in the second round. "When I show up for a match, I expect to win. For me it's not about good appearances. It's about winning each and every time on court."
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But that doesn't mean that two-time Bank of the West champion Venus doesn't display her unique fashion sense. As her Hollywood-loving sister, Serena, did at Wimbledon, Venus trotted out a dress at Stanford that would be just as appropriate at a jazzy Oakland Museum fund-raiser.

"Hers is a pleated cut, mine I call a handkerchief cut," Venus said. "Hers is a great design, but I like mine, too."

Lee-Waters could have used a handkerchief to wipe away the buckets of sweat that poured off her as she was chasing down Williams' blasts. Williams owned their baseline rallies and served with authority and precision. Lee-Waters attempted to challenge her from the baseline, but was often a step too late.

"Venus is great, but I never relaxed and played my game," Lee-Waters said. "I let her dictate to me. I served poorly and played too many balls down the middle, but she's such a good player it's hard to play your game. It was a little overwhelming."

After she was stunned in the second round of Wimbledon by hard-hitting Croatian teenager Karolina Sprem, Williams went back to her Florida home and began intense off-court training. She did wind sprints, middle distance running and long jogs.

The training paid off as she moved so quickly that one could have mistaken her for an Olympic hopeful in Sacramento hoping to qualify in the 100-meter dash.

While Williams has won two titles this year, she's been shut out at the Grand Slams. For the first time since 1998, she hasn't reached a Grand Slam semifinal. She was stunned by Lisa Raymond in the third round of the Australian Open, by eventual champion Anastasia Myskina in the quarterfinals of the French Open and by the ambitious Sprem at Wimbledon.

But she blames much of lack of success there on a series of injuries, most recently two ankle sprains. Williams says she's healthy now and has a new perspective.

"The problem with me is sometimes I'm too hard on myself. I need to give it up and say I played a decent match. Maybe I'm a perfectionist and sometimes that holds me back because I'm always thinking of the things I've done wrong, rather than what I do well. But tonight was good."

Williams will meet fifth seed Anna Smashnova-Pistolesi in the quarterfinals. The Israeli player battled past Spain's Arantxa Parra-Santonja 3-6, 7-5, 6-2. Eighth seed Maria Vento-Kabchi of Venezuela reached her second consecutive Bank of the West quarterfinal with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Germany's Anca Barna. France's Marion Bartoli nearly squandered a 6-1, 5-0 lead against Russia's Elena Likhovtseva but held on for a 6-1, 6-4 win.

Mashona Washington, 28, reached her first WTA Tier II quarterfinal by taking out former Stanford standout Marissa Irvin 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.

*It was a matter of mentality before and losing focus during matches,* said Washington. *I had to learn that everyone hits great shots and makes mistakes, but you have to move on to the next point.*

Few players are willing to toil as long in the minor leagues as Washington has. She's won only $452,335 in 10 years on tour but believed somewhere inside that she had the talent to make an impact.

*I always knew I had the ability and the strokes and that I was fit enough,* Washington said. *I've always been the first player to get on the practice court and the last one to leave. But I didn't believe in myself enough. This year, I said the hell with it, I'm just going to get out there, give it my all and if I lose, I lose.*>
 

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After she was stunned in the second round of Wimbledon by hard-hitting Croatian teenager Karolina Sprem, Williams went back to her Florida home and began intense off-court training. She did wind sprints, middle distance running and long jogs.

The training paid off as she moved so quickly that one could have mistaken her for an Olympic hopeful in Sacramento hoping to qualify in the 100-meter dash.
:yeah: Keep up the hard work Venus!!
 

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Go mashona! I knew you had the abiliity! Get those asshole brothers out of your head and play your game!
 
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Notice how Cool Canuck didn't come in here or the other threads with her quote in them and thrash Lee-Waters for her excuse as to why she lost? :rolleyes:
 

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VeNuS FoReVeR said:
Notice how Cool Canuck didn't come in here or the other threads with her quote in them and thrash Lee-Waters for her excuse as to why she lost? :rolleyes:
are u serious this is exceptable...

"Venus is great, but I never relaxed and played my game," Lee-Waters said. "I let her dictate to me. I served poorly and played too many balls down the middle, but she's such a good player it's hard to play your game. It was a little overwhelming."
as long as it is not said by anyone named Williams....:lol:

Now really do any Venus fans give a rat's ass that Lindsey said this? :scratch:

I think NOT! :wavey:
 

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:lol:

;)
 
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