Thursday, July 19, 2012
Behind The Scoreboard
Serena aces Wimbledon
Once again I find myself having to issue a “mea culpa.” Someone asked, “What happened to the Williams sisters at Wimbledon?” In my defense, let me say that I was still keeping track of the aftermath of the NBA playoffs, lamenting with Tiger Woods for missing the cut at Greenbrier, Usain Bolt losing in a pair of Olympic trials in Jamaica and patiently waiting for some politician to utter the words, “I am Joe Candidate and I disapprove of this message.”
Anyway, Serena and Venus again took on the world at The All English Club at Wimbledon and Serena left with her fifth title and a world ranking of four. This was her 14th Grand Slam title. She and big sis (Venus) are now tied with championships at Wimbledon. The two have accounted for 10 of the last 13 titles at the world’s most prestigious tennis event. Serena set a couple of records. No woman over 30 had won a major title in almost two and a half decades. She recorded 103 aces, a ladies record. The second, third and fourth seeds only had 99 aces combined.
Venus had lost to Russian Elena Vesnina on opening day in the first round. She stayed around and supported Serena in all of her matches, even giving little sister some advice during a “rain break.” Later at a press conference when queried by the press about the tips offered, Serena said, “She told me, ‘stay calm, tell yourself that you have the best serve.’” Serena took the advice to heart in the third set and told a celebrating crowd that she always wanted everything that Venus had.
The first-round loss had been Venus’ worst start in a match since 1997. Venus has 43 career titles and her last championship was in Dubai in 2010. The two years older big sister (though looking slimmer and trimmer) of Serena won her last Grand Slam in 2008. The goddess of women’s tennis has had some debilitating health issues the past year or so which have greatly affected her game. Serena said she had to support her sister because Venus was so supportive of her a couple of years ago when she had a life-threatening illness.
Showing they still had a lot of tennis left in them, the sisters closed out their Wimbledon run by winning their fifth doubles title on Saturday. They will be back in action at Wimbledon in a couple of weeks (or should we say fortnight?), when they go for their third gold medal in the Olympics. They defeated the Czech pair of Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hralacka in the doubles game.
Along with tennis, track and field, gymnastics etc., for the first time the Olympics will feature women pugilists. According to a spread in Vogue magazine, the USA will be beautifully represented by a Texan by the name of Marlen Esparza. She hails from Pasadena, Texas, and has been boxing since age 11. Now at 23, she cuts a fantastic figure at 112 lbs. and stands only 5’3.” I don’t know her fighting class and have never been a real proponent of women boxing, but one has to be impressed by a record of 69-2. Marlen has already forged sponsorship deals with a few heavyweights such as Nike, Coke and Cover Girl. The trio was so delighted that they made it possible for the fighter to quit her day job as a dental assistant and train full time.
So, yours truly will probably add the boxing venue to “must watch” events like those mentioned above and beach volleyball.
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