Thursday, July 10, 2008
Behind The Scoreboard
Venus, Serena enjoy holiday at Wimbledon
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The annual holiday celebration got off to its usual start at the Vinson hacienda; barbecue and a water gun war were followed by fireworks. It was a blast as usual; however, the water felt a little colder this year. It was a day of family fun.
There was one family in the sports world whose holiday was spent working on foreign soil. The dominant family in the world of tennis was celebrating by running rampant on the grass courts of Wimbledon in England. For a fortnight, Venus and younger sibling Serena had been laying waste to the opposition at the All England Club.
Previous to this year, the sisters had been involved in six Grand Slam finals with the last one being in 2003 when the younger Serena bested big sis in the singles title match. That crown gave Serena a five-to-one edge because little sis had won in 2002 also.
After Serena Williams won twice, the sisters’ fervor for the racquets and courts waned a little and that spawned a hiatus of sorts. They shed their number one rankings, being directed by other pursuits, injuries and family tragedies. They designed a clothing line which showcased their on-court outfits. Although the sisters stayed active in doubles competition, there was speculation that they would never resurge to the pinnacle which they occupied before.
Then in 2007, Venus rekindled her flame and won at Wimbledon, but the finals produced no all-Williams finish. This year brought a different team. Serena entered Wimbledon ranked number six and Venus was listed at number seven. Venus practically waltzed through the early rounds, not dropping a single set throughout. It was apparent during the singles matches that the sisters were once again heading for a collision with each other. It happened on Saturday, July 5. Venus won her fifth singles titles, taking Serena out in straight sets.
I have been watching the Williamses ever since they burst onto the scene over a decade ago, but this is the first time that I have noticed that the loser in their “head-to-heads” has been so visibly upset. Serena was painfully disappointed. One would hardly think that they were sisters.
Anyway they became friends again in a short three and a half hours to beat Lisa Raymond (USA) and Samantha Stosur (Australia) in straight sets for their seventh doubles title.
The holiday was a working one for the Williams sisters, but I think that they can live with it after picking up their check for 2.5 million iron men.
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