Posts tagged: Williams

Serena Williams to be next Steffi Graff

Patrick Mouratoglou who has been coaching the World no. 2 Serena Williams for quite some time wants the American star to leave Steffi Graff behind and become the leading Grand Slam winner of all time in the female category of professional tennis.

Serena inched a step closer to Graff by winning the American open title on the home soil last month. She had not had a great year before that tournament, but, she was rejuvenated playing at Flushing Meadows and by winning her 18th slam, she was able to draw level with the Czech legend Martina Navratilova.

Serena is still quite a bit away from Graff though. She needs 4 more slams to get to her and 5 more to overtake her. She is not getting any younger now. At 33, she might have passed the best phase of her career. This year, there have already been signs that her body is playing a few tricks. She hasn’t looked the fittest on the court of late.

So, breaking Graff’s record or even equalizing it is not going to be a cake walk for Serena from here onwards. Motivation would also be a big factor. Having already played the game for almost 20 years and having won so much, does she have the hunger to keep going until she gets past Graff? According to Mouratoglou, she absolutely has.

Speaking in an interview, the Frenchman said, “There’s no lack of motivation as far as Serena is concerned. She is very keen to rewrite the history books.”

“To be alright in terms of health and fitness is vital for her, but, she is being taken care of by a fantastic medical group. So, I am that much concerned about it.”

“She will have to get to 23 step by step. She just needs to think about the 19th right now, then the 20th and so on.”

SWEDISH OPEN WIN

Serena Williams has won the Swedish Open by getting better of the local girl Johanna Larsson in the final match on Sunday. Serena won the match in the straight sets by 6-4, 6-1.

Serena was struggling a lot at the start against Larsson. She got trailed a couple of times in the first set, but, she settled into her groove as the match went on and then, took his opponent apart.

Talking to the reporters after winning the title, Serena said, “In the beginning, I played a lot of bad shots and put myself under a bit of pressure. But, thankfully, I managed to bounce back.”

“I didn’t want to be making the same mistakes that I had made at Wimbledon. I want to go all the way in the tournament here in Sweden.”

Serena was not off to a great start in the opening set. Her serve was broken a couple of times in the first 7 games and she was trailing by 3-4 when the 7th game got over.

But, after that, she lifted the standard of her game and with the help of two successive breakthroughs (in the 8th and the 10th game), she won the next 3 games in a row to seal the set.

In the second set, Serena was in her zone. She absolutely demolished the Swedish youngster. With a flurry of winners, she bagged 6 out of the first 7 games and finished off the set in no time to win the title.

This was the third time that Larsson was making appearance in a WTA final. On all the three occasions, she has lost.

In the post match interview, Larsson said, “I am gutted to have ended up on the losing side in another final. I didn’t manage to be consistent throughout the match.”

WILLIAMS FALLS

Serena Williams has been defeated by Sabine Lisicki of Germany in the 4th round of the Wimbledon Championships. Lisicki won the match by 6-2, 1-6, 6-4.

This was a huge upset. Serena was the defending champion and nobody had expected her to be knocked out this early. But, she got completely outsmarted by Lisicki.

In the post match interview, Serena said, “I think I committed mistakes during crucial moments. I could have done much better. I am absolutely gutted at the moment.”

Serena was on a winning streak of 34 matches before coming into this match. She was considered as top favourite, but, she looked clumsy and her performance was ordinary for most parts of the match.

On the other hand, Lisicki was at her best. She made a few mistakes in the second set, but, barring that, she was fantastic. The confidence with which she took on a champion player like Serena was incredible.

In the post match interview, Lisicki said, “I knew that it would be a big challenge, but, I was positive. I just went out there and tried to do the basics right. It came off well.”

In the first set, Lisicki was at the top of her game. She held her entire serves and sneaked a couple of breakthroughs (in the 5th and the 7th game) to grab the opener by 6-2.

In the second set, Serena went absolutely ballistic. The first couple of games went with the serve and the scores were levelled at 1-1 when the second game got over. After that, Lisicki couldn’t win even a single game in the set. Her serve was broken thrice consecutively and she lost the set by 1-6.

Serena carried on the momentum in the decider as well and with a breakthrough in the 2nd game, she was off to a lead of 3-0.

Lisicki pulled things back with a serve hold in the 4th game and a breakthrough in the 5th game, but, she lost her serve again in the 6th game and got trailed by 2-4.

However, the German player kept her cool and played brilliant tennis at that crucial juncture. With two consecutive breakthroughs, she won the next 4 games in a row and sealed the set by 6-4 to win the match.

WILLIAMS BEATS AZARENKA

Serena Williams has defeated Victoria Azarenka of Belarus in the final of Internazionali BNL d’Italia. Serena won the match in the straight sets by 6-1, 6-3.

Serena was the top favourite to win this tournament as she was the top seeded player and the American veteran lived up to the expectations. She overpowered her Belarusian opponent in the final in just 1 hour and 33 minutes and won the 51st WTA title of her career.

Serena has been in fantastic form off late. This was her 24th consecutive victory.

Against Azarenka, this was Serena’s 12th win in 14 matches.

In the post match interview, Serena said, “This was my best performance in the tournament. I felt quite comfortable out there on the court and capitalized on the chances that I got.”

Serena was off to a great start in the first set. She got a couple of breakthroughs in the first three games and got ahead by 3-0.

The American veteran dropped her serve in the 4th game, but, that didn’t make much of a difference. She broke her opponent’s serve in the 5th and the 7th game again and won the next three games successively to seal the set by 6-1.

In the second set, there were no breakthroughs in the first 5 games and Serena was ahead by 3-2 when the 5th game got finished.

Azarenka’s serve was broken in the 6th game which increased Serena’s lead to 4-2. However, Serena lost her advantage soon as she was broken back in the very next game.

Azarenka had the opportunity to equalize the scores by holding her serve in the 8th game, but, she couldn’t do that. She dropped her serve for the second time in the set and got trailed by 3-5.

Serena wrapped up the match by serving out the next game comfortably and won the title.

WILLIAMS WINS

Serena Williams has defeated Ayumi Morita of Japan in the third round of the ongoing Sony Open. Serena won the match in the straight sets by 6-3, 6-3. It took the world no. 1 American superstar just 75 minutes to defeat Morita.

Serena used a bicycle to reach Crandon Park from her hotel for this match. This was because there was huge traffic jam in Miami and it was impossible for Serena to reach the court on time if she had opted to use a car. So, she decided to use a bicycle.

After the match, Serena said, “The traffic jam was really big and I didn’t have too much time. So, I asked the hotel staff for a golf cart, but, they didn’t have that. They offered me a motorbike, but, I don’t generally use motorbike. So, I didn’t take that option. Then, they offered me a bicycle. That sounded like a good idea.”

“It was really wonderful. Reaching the court by using a bicycle and then, winning the match convincingly. I will never forget this experience.”

When asked about her opponent, Serena said, “I have faced her a few times and she is a very tough competitor. She never gives up and has got fantastic concentration skills.”

Morita broke Serena’s serve in the 2nd game of the first set and took a lead of 2-0. The Japanese player served out the 3rd game and enhanced her lead to 3-0. Serena was really in a spot of bother at that stage.

After playing poorly in the first three games, Serena gathered her focus back and took Morita apart thereafter. She got breakthroughs in the 5th, 7th and 9th game and won the first set by 6-3.

In the second set, Serena broke Morita’s serve only once i.e.in the 6th game. That serve break gave her a lead of 4-2. Thereafter, she just won her remaining service games and won the second set by the same margin of 6-3.

WILLIAMS OUT OF CHINA

The Williams sisters, Serena and Venus Williams, will not be able to participate in the China Open. The director of the tournament, Charles Hsiung, gave this information to the reporters on Friday. Serena is suffering from flu; while, Venus has got a bit of problem in her lower back. The tennis fans of USA would have been hugely disappointed with this news.

Serena has been in sensational form in the last few months. She has won 6 WTA titles this year out of which 2 were the Grand Slam titles. She has won the US Open recently after defeating the world no. 1 Victoria Azarenka in the final. Before that, she had won the Wimbledon Championship and then, the gold medal in the singles competition of London Olympics.

On the other hand, Venus William hasn’t been in the greatest of forms of late. She was knocked out from the second round of the recently played US Open. She was defeated by Angelique Kerber of Germany. Her performance in the singles competition of London Olympics was also pretty dismal.

When asked why she decided to withdraw her name from the China Open, Venus replied, “I have played in China before and it’s a wonderful place to play tennis. I was pretty excited to participate in China Open this year, but, unfortunately, I discovered an injury in my lower back and I need a bit of time to get fit.”

When Serena was asked the same question, she said, “I would have loved to participate in this great tournament. But, I have got flu and I am not in a condition to play at the moment.”

In the China Open this year, Victoria Azarenka has been given the top seed, while, Maria Sharapova and Agnieszka Radwanska has been given the 2nd and the 3rd seed respectively.