Wozniacki King, Venus a Battered Queen at Australian Open; Tennis-X Notes
by Staff | January 19th, 2011, 10:16 am

Two Australian Open favorites took to the court Wednesday in Melbourne with two polar opposite results. World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki brutalized American Vania King 6-1, 6-0 in second-round play, but No. 4 seed Venus Williams looked shaky in a 6-7(6), 6-0, 6-4 comeback win over unheralded Czech Sandra Zahlavova.
Appearing in an “illusion” dress of her own design that Tennis-X message board posters deigned “heinous,” the elder Williams sister fought through a groin pull near the end of the first set with a scowl on her face and a limp to her walk to win in warrior style.

“I wasn’t very happy, to say the least,” Venus said. “With an injury like that you just don’t know what to expect. So I was just really trying to get tough…I think this is probably the most acute injury that I’ve ever had. But I just wanted to stay on the court and try to survive and see if I could feel better another day.”

Venus had never in her career retired from a Grand Slam match, and said she wasn’t about to start in 2011.

“I think this being a major definitely has a lot to do with me staying on the court,” Venus said. “I really haven’t retired from a match in any tournament in quite a long time. I think that’s a testament to how I feel when I step on the court. I’m there to stay…Had it not been a major, would have definitely been harder to continue.”

The injured Williams will be tested in the next round by No. 30 seed and rising German star Andrea Petkovic.

Wozniacki lost only one game to an opponent who stretched her to three sets last year, and said she is confident despite her winless pre-Aussie Open preparation.

“I was actually very confident. I was feeling very good,” Wozniacki said. “Exhibitions, I just wanted to try a few things out, see how things were working. I lost to [Dominika] Cibulkova [at a WTA event], but that’s what happens sometimes. I lost last year in Sydney first round as well. Coming in from Hong Kong, play Sydney, it’s a bit difficult. I felt I’ve been practicing really well, really hard. I’ve been feeling confident and comfortable on the court. I had some good practices after Sydney and feeling good here.”

Wozniacki will face Cibulkova again, the No. 29 seed who defeated Italian Alberta Brianti on Wednesday in three sets, in the next round.

In other Top 10-seeded action, No. 6 Francesca Schiavone survived Canadian Rebecca Marino 9-7 in the third, No. 8 Victoria Azarenka beat Czech Andrea Hlavackova, and No. 9 Li Na topped Russian Evgeniya Rodina, both in straights. No. 11 Justine Henin and No. 14 Maria Sharapova were also straight-set winners.

On the upset tip Russian qualifier Vesna Manasieva outlasted No. 15 Marion Bartoli 6-0 in the third, German Julia “Gorgeous” Goerges ousted No. 20 Kaia Kanepi in three, Latvian Anastasija Sevastova surprised No. 21 Yanina Wickmayer, and Romanian Monica Niculescu defeated No. 32 Tsvetana Pironkova.

Sharapova next plays Georges, who wears her line of clothes.

“Yeah, she wears my collection,” Sharapova said. “I played her last year in Strasbourg on clay. She’s playing really well. I mean, she won her first tournament I believe last year. Yeah, she has a big first serve and she’s a big hitter. You know, work on a few things tomorrow to get ready for that.”

Former No. 1 Svetlana Kuznetsova put down qualifier and former junior world No. 1 Arantxa Rus in straights, while Australia lost another hope when wildcard Jelena Dokic lost in straights to Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova.

“Everything the last couple days happened quickly and I was trying to play a little bit differently that what I did in the first two tournaments,” said Dokic, possibly in dire need of a coach and some direction. “I felt like when it was 4-all or 5-all or 6-5, I kind of felt like I wasn’t sure what to do. I think that’s just match play.”

Henin will line-up Kuznetsova in the next round.

“It’s a tough third round, Kuznetsova, even she has been a little more in trouble in the last maybe year or two years,” Henin said. “I think she remains a great player, and physically she has a lot of qualities: big forehand, great serve.”

Matches of interest (slim pickings) on Thursday include (3) Kim Clijsters vs. Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro, (13) Nadia Petrova vs. Aussie Alicia Molik, (7) Jelena Jankovic vs. Shuai Peng, (26) Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez vs. Alize Cornet, and Anna Chakvetadze vs. (25) Petra Kvitova.
Venus Williams
has never retired in a Grand Slam match…Justine Henin has won 16 of 18 matches against Svetlana KuznetsovaAndy Roddick has reached nine straight Australian Open third rounds…Rafael Nadal has not lost a game yet…Robin Haase led Rafael Nadal 2-1 in sets at Wimbledon last year. He’s into his first career Grand Slam third round…Janko Tipsarevic won a total of five points in that fifth set against Fernando VerdascoVenus Williams is the only American woman left in the draw. 12 began…Rafael Nadal’s last two matches in Australia have ended in knee injuries…Qualifier Ryan Sweeting has not lost a set in four matches in Melbourne…Gilles Muller has more career match wins (5) at Melbourne than Robin Soderling (3)…Roger Federer is a perfect 166-0 when leading 2-0 in sets…Venus Williams’s last two events were Grand Slams…Fernando Verdasco saved three match points against Janko TipsarevicBernard Tomic has never beaten a lefty…Gilles Simon and Roger Federer have gone the distance in all three of their matches…American Lauren Davis says she was scared to try Australian food in her first trip to Melbourne, sticking with American food…From tennis writer Charlie Bricker on the continuing drama of “The” Donald Young: “Has it really been seven years since IMG galvanized the full force of its public relations machinery in an effort to turn Donald Young into the next great American star? Where did the time go? More to the point, where has Young gone, except to the depths of the minor leagues and, now, back to another flirtation with the top 100. He’s 21 now and, after his Australian Open drew to a fast conclusion on Day 2, we’re still not sure how far he’s going to go, though if you had to put money on it, you wouldn’t bet top 50, despite Jim Courier’s claim that he is ‘without a doubt a top-50 player.'”…From Australia’s Post-Chronicle on the country’s woes in producing tour players: “Struggling former tennis superpower Australia is unlikely to claw itself out of its “black hole” unless administrators throw more money into grass-roots development rather than elite programs, according to former Fed Cup captain John Alexander. The country that produced grand slam titans Rod Laver and Ken Rosewall, now boasts only a single seed in both singles draws at the Australian Open, with women’s world number six Sam Stosur shouldering the burden of a nation’s hopes. Alexander, a former top 10 player in the mid-1970s, pins the country’s decline on the loss of thousands of backyard courts to development — and blames administrators for failing to provide new infrastructure. ‘It’s a numbers game…The loss of courts is commensurate with the decrease in the number of participants and which is also commensurate with the drop in the number of top players on the tour,’ Alexander told Reuters in an interview.”…Andy Murray on his brother Jamie’s bird hunting at the Australian Open: “He hit a baby sparrow when he was practicing his serve. I think he killed it. My mum told me about it when I woke up this morning. It was a pretty traumatic start to the day…”…Fox Business Network and the Tennis Channel will continue a joint promotional initiative through 2011, involving the four leading pro tennis events, according to MediaDailyNews. On weekdays during each Slam, the Tennis Channel will provide a one-minute recap of the previous day’s action, the “Court Report,” airing during FBN’s “Imus in the Morning” program. Each evening FBN will offer a “Fox Business Network Update” on that day’s movement in the stock market, as well as the latest business news, before the Tennis Channel begins its nightly coverage of the particular event…American Melanie Oudin debuted her new Wilson shoes in Melbourne. No word on whether they said “Believe” on them or not, as we couldn’t get a good look before she was ushered out of the tournament in the first round…U.S. women went 2-10 in the first round of the Australian Open, with only Venus left by the third round. The pool is not deep.

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18 Comments for Wozniacki King, Venus a Battered Queen at Australian Open; Tennis-X Notes

leo vixen Says:

Venus needs to retire. I am sick of her screaming, her injuries, and her cheap, trashy looking outfits. Is she a “hooker wanna be” wearing those outfits? She hasn’t won a Slam in ages and she isn’t getting any younger, so just bow out and relish your glory days. Move on sista.

queen Says:

Agree. She looked pathetic during that match and the outfit indeed looked hookerish and cheap.

dari Says:

If she could dress decently and tone down the screaming I would have NO problem with her. I’m not really one to tell someone to quit what they love. She has some great tennis still left in her.
She needs a fashion intervention, though, BAD.
What a waste of time “designing” those outfits!
She could work on decreasing injuries instead :)

steve-o Says:

I don’t know about Clijsters vs. Suarez Navarro necessarily being a dud. Unlike Safina, Suarez Navarro moves very well and her groundstrokes are more consistent, she moves the ball around well. She has the game to at least give Clijsters a match.

After all, she couldn’t do any worse than Safina did.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Venus is one of the only reliable players on the ATP, and she showed immense guts yesterday considering the obvious pain. It is true that her career has seemed anti-climactic compared to the immense potential she showed initially, but how many other women in the last decade have won 7 Slams? This slam should have been a golden opportunity for her, but with a groin injury I can’t foresee her carrying on much further.

jane Says:

I’ve never been a huge Venus fan but I prefer her to Serena personally. However, I have to agree on dari’s suggestion of a fashion “intervention”, lol. Just. stop. designing. now.

As for playing tennis, I agree with T.V.; she has some left in her, I suspect, but she (and her sister!) needs to be careful about the injuries.

Kimberly Says:

I thought Venus performance was admirable. You saw her face when she walked out of the locker room and it was kind of inspiring. She definitely was not playing her a game but she battled through.

I swore to myself I would not watch this tournament or go on this wen site tonight as I was seriously hurting this morning from lack of sleep but here I am doing both.

Kimberly Says:

Back to Venus for a sec, the dress was so awful there are no words.

On a positive note sharapova won but I don’t love her form watching her.

scineram Says:

“Roger Federer is a perfect 166-0 when leading 2-0 in sets”

Wtf is with this myth????

horseandtennisstar Says:

i have always been a williams fan. i thought venus displayed tremendous courage to come back out and still find a way to stay in the match, let alone win it. i felt that she proved what a true champion would do.

i wonder what type of person would be so ignorant to make remarks about retiring because of that performance or what she was wearing.

i can’t wait to see what those people making despairing remarks will be wearing when they win their first grand slam of their seven.

however i doubt we will ever know.

truthsquad Says:

I’ve never understood the Venus bashing. She has matured into a graceful spokeswoman for the sport and has been willing to take a stand on equal pay for women (at Wimbledon no less) and racism (one of the few to protest publicly when a Middle Eastern tournament refused to let an Israeli player in the draw). In addition the fact that she gutted out a win when she was not feeling well today is the sort of quality that most fans admire in Male tennis players and female tennis players (without the Williams surname). The bottom line is she is still a top 5 player, the holder of 5 Wimbledon and 2 US Open titles, and she can play as long as she wants to. (And for the record, referring to her as “sistah” is just blatantly racist and offensive. There really should be no room on this site for that kind of response or attitude.

truthsquad Says:

I’ve never understood the Venus bashing. She has matured into a graceful elder states woman for the sport and has been willing to take a stand on a number of controversial issues such as equal pay for women (at Wimbledon no less) and racism (one of the few to protest publicly when a Middle Eastern tournament refused to let an Israeli player in the draw).

In addition, the fact that she gutted out a win when she was not feeling well today is the sort of quality that most fans admire in all tennis players (without the Williams surname apparently).

The bottom line is she is still a top 5 player, the holder of 5 Wimbledon and 2 US Open titles, and she has earned the right to play as long as she wants to. (And referring to her as”hookerish” and as “sistah” is just blatantly racist and offensive. There should be no room on this site for that kind of ignorance or prejudice.

margot Says:

hmm, sexism, agism AND racism in one comment. Must be something of a tennisx record….

guy Says:

the williams sisters are trash, always have been always will be. you won’t find wta players with less class. and that’s saying something.

meanwhile, federer never lost from 2 sets to love up? in GS maybe. but not in career.

2003 AUS v. SUI WG SF
Melbourne, Australia
hewitt def federer
5-7, 2-6, 7-6(4), 7-5, 6-1

2005 Tennis Masters Cup
Shanghai, China Carpet
Nalbandian, David def federer
6-7(4), 6-7(11), 6-2, 6-1, 7-6(3)

guy Says:

@ truthsquad

look up the word ‘grace’.
and the word ‘racism’ while you’re at it.
don’t attempt to police anything on this site until you’ve got a grip on these basic terms.

also, the williams sisters have enjoyed gearing up like cheap whores at various stages. exhibitionists that they are.
if you don’t want to be compared to a hooker, don’t dress like one.
quite simple.
people have every right to point out the obvious.

grendel Says:

all this is rather missing the point, which is tennis. I’m personally pissed that Serena is not fit to play. Last year, she beat Henin in the final – but the fact is, Henin was not ready. This year, Clijsters is certainly ready and looking very formidable. Could she vanquish Serena? I very much doubt it – but she might, and she’s the only woman (imo)who has the least chance of doing so (since Henin yet again is coming back from an injury).

Whatever you think of the Williamses, they are tennis phenomena. Venus is perhaps a bit past it – she will know that better than anyone, so you’ve got to hand it to her -it was an act of courage to enter the tourney. She’s got little to gain and much to lose.

leo vixen Says:

@truthsquad, you are clearly the ignorant one here because how can you claim racism without knowing whether I am BLACK myself or not? Duh? How f’ing stupid can u be? And fyi, sista is a term many women use to refer to each other regardless of race. This has nothing to do with race. Fact: Venus is older and is constantly suffering from injuries and is playing only in the majors. Yes, she deserves admiration for “hanging in there” but sometimes that borders on stupidity or too much pride which in the end will result in further debilitating injuries. Fact: you cannot play tennis forever. I cannot tell someone when to retire but I am entitled to my opinion just like everyone else is.

truthsquad Says:

Sorry if I pushed a few buttons here but words have meaning, and as this is a tennis sight, I believe it is possible to make our points without using derogatory and denigrating terms against women. @leo vixen you offended me personally. I was not attempting to police you. You are free to speak your mind…and I am free to respond. And racism, and sexism, and yes ageism are all offensive to me, regardless of your race or your targets. You can make your point without being nasty, negative, or dropping the “f” bomb. I am not trying to silence you, but if you put it up, then it’s fair game for me or anyone else to let you know what we think about it…and I can do it without insulting your intelligence or using profanity. That’s MY opinion! ;-)

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