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9:59AM

RealClearSports: Disease Puts Venus' Career in Jeopardy

By Art Spander
For RealClearSports.com


NEW YORK — There is always skepticism about the Williams sisters, some of it unjustified, some of it very logical.



The questionable injuries, such as when Venus pulled out four minutes before a scheduled semifinal against Serena at Indian Wells because of tendinitis.

The often expressed belief, especially among other players ...

Read the full story here.

© RealClearSports 2011
9:33AM

SF Examiner: Sun appears to be setting on Giants' season, Venus Williams’ career

By Art Spander
Special to The Examiner


It was here in the Big Apple 60 years ago that Chuck Dressen, manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, declared in a statement that some English teachers defended on the grounds a team is a collective noun, “The Giants is dead.”

The New York Giants weren’t — coming back from a 13½-game August deficit to force a playoff with the Dodgers, which resulted in the “Shot Heard ’Round the World,” by Bobby Thomson.



Read the full story here.

Copyright 2011 SF Newspaper Company
5:24PM

Newsday (N.Y.): Venus, Serena, Wozniacki out at Wimbledon

By Art Spander
Special to Newsday


WIMBLEDON, England — They were talking of what could be. But on the warm Monday when Serena and Venus Williams, within two hours of each other, were ousted from Wimbledon, the issue should be of what was.

They had been the prima donnas, in the positive context of the term, of the All England Lawn Tennis Championships. One or the other won the previous four years — Serena in 2010, 2009, Venus in 2008, 2007 — and nine of the last 11.

The domination came to a halt as the second week of the 145th Wimbledon began, Marion Bartoli of France stopping an erratically hitting Serena, 6-3, 7-6 (6), in one fourth-round match and Tsvetana Pironkova defeating Venus, 6-2, 6-3, in another. That was the same score Pironkova, of Bulgaria, beat Venus last year in a quarterfinal.

Were they upsets? Perhaps, although with the Williamses coming off long absences because of health problems, perhaps not. Were they surprises? Absolutely, as was 24th-seeded Dominika Cibulkova's 1-6, 7-6 (5), 7-5 win over the top seed, Caroline Wozniacki, who despite her place on top of the WTA rankings never has won a Grand Slam event.

A minor surprise on the men's side was the 7-6 (5), 6-4, 6-4 triumph by Mardy Fish overTomas Berdych, one of last year's finalists. Fish, unexpectedly, guaranteed the United States would not go without someone in either men's or women's quarterfinals for the first time since 2006 and only the second time since 1911.

Venus, 31, hadn't played for five months because of a strained hip flexor until coming back two weeks ago. Serena was out nearly a year. She severely cut her right foot stepping on glass a week after winning Wimbledon, then was diagnosed with life-threatening pulmonary thrombosis, and finally developed a hematoma that required surgery.

"Considering my condition," said Serena, "I think I really did well. I never came here thinking I would lose. I was able to hang in there, and I can only get better. And that potentially can be really scary, because I can only go up from here, and I can do so much more."

Venus described her play against the 5-10 Pironkova, who has defeated her three times in a row, as "inexplicable." Venus missed overheads, swinging volleys, "shots I never miss."

But Venus reminded that both Williams sisters "hit the ground running," because they didn't want to miss another Grand Slam tournament.

"At least I wasn't making errors trying to keep the ball in," Venus said. "I made errors that normally would go as winners. So those balls will land pretty soon . . . I got ready for this tournament so fast. You wouldn't believe how quick it happened. With more time I can definitely play better.''

Serena, who will be 30 in September, tried to be philosophical. "Even if today I lost," she said, "I was able to kind of hang in there and play tough . . . I would have been sad being at home and watching it on TV, like I'm going to be soon."

The thought of some in tennis is it would have been sad for women's tennis if, with so little preparation, either Serena or Venus won. Could she appreciate that? "Yeah," Serena said sarcastically, "I'm super happy I lost. Go women's tennis."

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http://www.newsday.com/sports/tennis/venus-serena-wozniacki-out-at-wimbledon-1.2988416
Copyright © 2011 Newsday. All rights reserved.
5:17PM

Yahoo! Sports: End of an era? Williams sisters both lose

By Art Spander
The Sports Xchange


WIMBLEDON, England — For a decade, it had been their tournament. You almost could have renamed it the All Williams Lawn Court Tennis Championships. Now Wimbledon will belong to someone else, maybe just this year, maybe forever.

Either Venus or Serena Williams had been the women's singles winner the last four years—Venus in 2007 and 2008, Serena in 2009 and 2010—and nine of the last 11 years.

Sisters in command. But no longer.

Read the full story here.

Copyright © 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.
10:02AM

SF Examiner: Never count out this Williams sister

By Art Spander
Special to The Examiner


The career began on an autumn evening 17 years ago in a tournament at the old Oakland Arena. Venus Williams doesn’t even want to think about it ending, although for a while Wednesday others did consider the possibility.

This is what happens in women’s tennis when ...

Read the full story here.

Copyright 2011 SF Newspaper Company
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