Serena Williams Wins, Venus Doesn’t in Oz
by Staff | January 27th, 2010, 8:47 am
  • 11 Comments

One Williams sister won and one Williams sister fell on Wednesday at the Australian Open, where the elder Venus’ slide against lower-ranked opponents continued.


World No. 1 Serena Williams fought off a 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-2 challenge from No. 7 seed Victoria Azarenka, but the No. 6-seeded Venus was unable to do likewise against China’s Na Li, falling to the No. 16 seed 2-6, 7-6(4), 7-5.

“I’m just happy to still be here,” said Serena after being a set and 4-0 down in the second before reeling off five straight games. “I wasn’t playing my best, especially in the first two sets. I definitely think I played well in the third, I was down the whole match from the first point until the end. So I was surprised. I was definitely shocked to win.”

Venus, by contrast, featured in a match where she and her opponent combined for more than 100 unforced errors. The elder Williams sister had a chance to serve out the match before succumbing to Li.

“In tennis you have to close it out,” Venus said. “It’s not like there’s a clock ticking and then suddenly it’s over. You just have to close it out. I didn’t do that today.”

Li joined Zheng Jie, making for two Chinese players in the semis of a Slam for the first time ever.

“Right now you can see many media from China right here,” Li said. “Also, they show the match and live. So after the match I get 20 text messages from friends because they saw the match. I don’t know how it is in China right now. I was feeling maybe tennis in China right now bigger and bigger.”

Thursday will feature both women’s semifinals in (1) Serena Williams vs. (16) Na Li, and a battle of the unseeded in Justine Henin vs. Jie Zheng.


Also Check Out:
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Wimbledon Doesn’t Like Williams Sisters?; Li Na Longer in the Running
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11 Comments for Serena Williams Wins, Venus Doesn’t in Oz

PJ Says:

I am not a Serena fan, but I can’t help but be impressed by her ability to come back in the face of defeat. Na has the game to play with Serena, but she cannot make anywhere near the amount of errors she made against Venus. Serena won’t be broken that many times.


MMT Says:

Until someone beats Serena, I wouldn’t bet on anyone else to take this title. It’s almost as if she could play on one leg and with one arm and still win, so mentally strong she is.

Amazing.


steve Says:

The gap between Serena and the rest of the women’s tour is enormous.

She was in such a deep hole, and then through sheer bludgeoning power and force of will, blasted her way out.

The amount she has in reserve is huge, just to be able to flip a switch and then serve and hit enough winners to come back from a set and 4-0 down, and still have enough to break her opponent twice in the third set and not be broken herself.

No one can out-Serena Serena. Only a great all-court player like Henin can possibly outplay her.


jane Says:

The gap may be enormous and/or it may be closing a little, I don’t know; Na Li made it very tight tonight: 7-6, 7-6, and for a set and a half last night, Azarenka was blasting her. So maybe Serena’s dominance will wane a little over the next year. She is still, seemingly, tops on hard court, though she lost the USO. But she doesn’t win on clay and Venus has generally been stronger on grass, plus Dementieva had her at the brink in their Wimbledon semi last year. So who knows? I’d like to think that maybe the WTA players will evolve a little if players like Henin and Clijsters play a more varied game.


MMT Says:

“I’d like to think that maybe the WTA players will evolve a little if players like Henin and Clijsters play a more varied game.”

That’s the thing, isn’t it. It seems young players coming into the game today have just one way to play and that’s it. They’ve modeled their games after the Williams sisters (and maybe Sharapova) and they just his as hard as they can all the time. No net approaches, no variation of spin direction, pace, etc. Just hit hard, and if that doesn’t work, hit it harder. Unfortunately for them, they lack the requisite key component that distinguishes Serena from the pack – her resolve.

And then when they lose it’s always one of 3 excuses:

1) I couldn’t get my serve going
2) I didn’t have any confidence today
3) She played better than me on the big points.

If I’m not mistaken, didn’t Henin come to net on all of her match points at the AO this year? Why doesn’t anyone every try anythign different?

This, in particular, is amazing because even the most insignificant player on tour these days seems to have a full time coach that they can’t live without. It’s a joke – what these coaches are doing now is flat out robbery – money for services not rendered.

Unfortunately, the only way for the women’s game to change, is if someone with a different style of play to Serena comes along and CONSISTENLY beats her – otherwise it will be one pale comparison after another boring us with their one-dimensional mindless capitulations to the toughest player on tour.


jane Says:

“It’s a joke – what these coaches are doing now is flat out robbery – money for services not rendered.”

Yes, I agree MMT. On the other thread (Fed dodges Davy…) we were discussing this as well and I noted that even the academies, wherein the girls are trained heading into juniors, should be at least somewhat culpable for the WTA’s current fleet.

Let’s hope there is a change soon.


Skorocel Says:

MMT said: “Unfortunately, the only way for the women’s game to change, is if someone with a different style of play to Serena comes along and CONSISTENLY beats her – otherwise it will be one pale comparison after another boring us with their one-dimensional mindless capitulations to the toughest player on tour.”

I’ve already mentioned this some 2000 threads ago, but anyway, I’ll do it again: HOW ON EARTH you’re going to beat a player who’s serving 200 km/h bombs, firing blazing groundstrokes past you left and right, and who has a stamina of a bull whilst also a quickness of a cheetah?! Of course by being EVEN MORE powerful, more quicker, and more durable! That’s what the Williamses and a couple of others like Sharapova or Davenport brought into the game – and that’s what the rest of the pack (logically) had to adapt to. It maybe made the women’s tour more competitive, but (unfortunately for us, TV viewers) it also made the pattern of the matches more and more predictable.

You want to see a player who’s capable of doing everything on the court? Well, that’s just not possible in today’s women’s tennis. Well, it is possible, but unfortunately, it wouldn’t bring you any exceptional results. Look, for example, at Hingis. The girl had absolutely everything – whether it was her FH, BH, volleys, lobs, passes, and even her serve (which, even though weak, was still a beautiful stroke). She was an absolute joy to watch, but unfortunately for her, she LACKED POWER. Even though she had a more than competitive rivalry with the Williamses, fact is, many of her wins against these two came when they were still green, so to speak. As soon as they became good (i.e. from 2000 onwards), she suddenly wasn’t able to cope with their power. And the same happened to her against Davenport, Capriati, Pierce, or even Clijsters…

Speaking about Clijsters, btw, I view her as somewhat of an „exception to the rule“, so to speak. When you look at her – she’s indeed a very talented girl, a clean ballstriker, but still, what she does most (and what she does best) is to hit a powerful & precise serve and groundstrokes from the baseline. You would hardly find some scintillating volleys or lobs in her matches – not patricularly because she can’t hit them, but because her opponents simply wouldn’t let her to do that… If the girl on the other side of the net is constantly firing baseline missiles at you and generally, is applying an enormous & constant pressure on you, would your strategy rest on some lobs or volleys? Of course not! You’ll fight fire with fire, as they say…

With Henin, btw, it’s pretty much the same… She’s without question one of the most talented, if not the most talented girl out there, and generally, is a joy to watch (especially that onehanded BH is a thing of beauty!), but still, her game is almost a carbon copy of Clijsters‘. Even though she’s a very tiny girl (which would logically predestine her movement as one of her best assets), her groundstrokes and serve simply HAVE to have an appropriate power to be able to cope with those 180 cm+ Amazons, and, in my opinion, for a girl SO tiny and small, that power is almost suspicious (you know what I mean). After all, if I reckon it correctly, her coach Carlos Rodriguez (who’s himself one helluva cunning guy, just like Justine) once labelled Kim Clijsters as a b.tch (this after Kim’s late father Leo allegedly accused Henin of doping)…

You want to see some variety in the women’s tennis, but frankly, what the women’s tennis is supposed to be about when its best protagonist can hit a serve quicker (!) than some men?! WTF?! Look at Petrova or Kuznetsova – even a complete sports analphabet would tell you they’re taking something! Petrova maybe was a rather big girl already since her debut among the professionals, but within the last 2-3 years, her arms and body grew SO stronger and bigger it’s almost ridiculous! The same with Wickmayer – she’s made a pretty remarkable (but suspicious) progress in the last 12 months, hasn’t she? Well, you don’t need to go any further than to just look closely in her face, and you’ll quickly notice there’s something unusual about her (that is, instead of being 20, she looks as if she was 30).

We’re wondering why there are so many injuries, retirements, walkovers and so on in today’s women’s tennis, but frankly, who would wonder if it’s SO PHYSICAL as it is? Or why do you think Henin and Clijsters had to take some time off? Simply because it was impossible for them to sustain that feverish pace! Sharapova, despite being only 22, already has her right arm so damaged it will most probably force her to retire from the sport… Even the Williamses themselves have literally a history of all kinds of injuries, and only their rather selective choice of tournaments which they’ve participated in during these last 5 or so years is the reason they’re still here… Capriati, after having that dream period between 2001 and 2004, literally disappeared when she had to undergo numerous shoulder surgeries… And the list goes on and on… But frankly, who would wonder? What you see in today’s women’s tennis is what you get, isn’t it?


rahul Says:

TO beat serena, You simply have to be able to read her serves well and serve equally well… tahts about it!

Serenas serve curretnly puts her ahead.. even ahead of venu’s whose service can be painful to watch sometimes especially on second service.

If a dementieva could serve as well… she would beat serena time and again. coz she knows how to counterpunch serena off the court.

Henin if she can improve her serve wil beat serena time and again.. there are a few girls who can dial into serenas number each time..

And even if your surprised to hear it the chinese chick li na could beat sernea pound for pound on groundstrokes as she hits really fucking flat..

again what this stupid bimbette lacks is a powerful service.

Serena is unfairly strong.. petrova and wickmayer were feminine… and it was this mans strengthtaht has forced them to get massive.

naturally they werent built like this nor was sharapova who was so feminine earlier but now working out has super strong shoulders.

serena was manly from the beginning .. even as a child she was like a guy … its unfair to put women against such a bull and then say she is the best!

outright unfair!


been there Says:

rahul,

If it’s so easy, why don’t you join the WTA and beat Serena over and over and over again, since it’s just a matter of:
“TO beat serena, You simply have to be able to read her serves well and serve equally well… tahts about it!”
LOL!!

“Serena is unfairly strong.. petrova and wickmayer were feminine… and it was this mans strengthtaht has forced them to get massive.”

“serena was manly from the beginning .. even as a child she was like a guy … its unfair to put women against such a bull and then say she is the best!”

What a pathetic post. Theirs nothing unfair about it. Serena is beaten left, riht and centre during regular WTA. Just like Federer, she knows how to step it up during slams. That’s about it!

Must be so painful for you that she has 11 grand-slams. Winning over & over & over again. Sweeping through doubles and singles…almost often managing to reach semis & finals.

It’s up to the rest of the WTA to step it up and beat the likes of Serena, Venus, Clijsters & Henin on a regular basis. Fake cries of ‘manly’, ‘muscular’ etc are pathetic excuses. Step it up, train hard & give it a shot.

As for the playing style, also no need to constantly cry that it’s ‘ball bashing’. Each player does what gets then a WIN..be it be WTA or ATP. So if ‘ball bashing’ & serves is what is getting Serena the wins, oh yes, by all means bash that ball even harder! All that matters is a WIN. If all court game is what gets Henin the win, that’s what she’s gonna do. And if counter-punching is what gets Clijsters the win, that’s what she’ll do.

LOL!!


been there Says:

MMT:

“Unfortunately, the only way for the women’s game to change, is if someone with a different style of play to Serena comes along and CONSISTENLY beats her…”

And when will that be? She is already 27 years ol, already on tour for 10+ years. Perhaps that will happen if she plays till 40. …’coz I suppose such training starts when they are under 10!!

It’s not like her compatriots, the like of Dementieva are any younger. Most of WTA is over 20yrs old..so to say most have modelled their games after Serena is a big joke, especially those over 23. Simply ‘coz they were training in their teens just like her.

Seems like Serena, the one with the most grandslams among active players, is responsible for all ills of WTA. LOL. What works for her works for her. It’s up to everyone else to find what works for them. She didn’t force anyone to play like her.


David Says:

been there

I agree totally. That reminds a bit of the Nadal haters too. I’ve heard people say the guy doesn’t play tennis. He’s a moonballer, blah, blah, blah.

What he is is a six-time Slam winner, second best clay-court player of all time and no one can take that away from him. Whatever it takes to win is what matters. Doesn’t matter if you hit 50 aces like Karlovic or lob the ball 50 feet in the air like Andrea Jaeger.

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1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
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6 Milos Raonic6 Na Li
7 Tomas Berdych7 Eugenie Bouchard
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