Serena Williams of the United States of America during the warm-up before the Ladies’ Singles second round match against Caroline Garcia of France on day four of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 27, 2013 in London
*Five-time champion Serena Williams avoided the kind of early upset that has sent many top players tumbling out of Wimbledon, beating Caroline Garcia 6-3, 6-2 on Thursday to reach the third round.
A day after Roger Federer headed the list of big names to go out in the second round, the top-ranked Williams never looked in danger against the 100th-ranked French qualifier, reports ESPN.
Williams broke twice in each set to set up a match with Japanese veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm, who at 42 became the oldest woman to reach the third round at Wimbledon in the Open era.
Michelle Larcher de Brito stunned third-seeded Maria Sharapova 6-3, 6-4 to advance to the third round at Wimbledon.
Williams claims that she personally apologized to Sharapova for her the day before the games began this past Monday. During a recent Rolling Stones profile, Serena made obscure comments that were interpreted as a stab toward Maria. In the same profile William stated that a 16-year-old rape victim from Steubenville “shouldn’t have put herself in that position.” She made an apology to the victim and her family last week.
“One of the first things I did was reach out to the family. Not only that, I made it a point to reach out to Maria, as well, because she was inadvertently brought into the situation by assumptions made by the reporter,” Williams said Sunday during her pre-Wimbledon news conference. “I personally talked to Maria at the player party, incidentally. I said, ‘Look, I want to personally apologize to you if you are offended by being brought into my situation. I want to take this moment to just pour myself, be open, say I’m very sorry for this whole situation.’ ”
The situation Williams referred to is her recent talk with Rolling Stone where she stated that a “top-five player who is now in love…begins every interview with ‘I’m so happy. I’m so lucky’ — it’s so boring. She’s still not going to be invited to the cool parties. And, hey, if she wants to be with the guy with a black heart, go for it.”
The reporter from Stone, Stephen Rodrick, added, “An educated guess is she’s talking about Sharapova, who is now dating Grigor Dimitrov, one of Serena’s rumored exes.”
After Sharapova learned of Serena’s veiled comments she addressed it in her press conference Saturday.
“At the end of the day, we have a tremendous amount of respect for what we do on the court. I just think she should be talking about her accomplishments, her achievements, rather than everything else that’s just getting attention and controversy,” Sharapova said.
“If she wants to talk about something personal, maybe she should talk about her relationship and her boyfriend that was married and is getting a divorce and has kids. Talk about other things, but not draw attention to other things. She has so much in her life, many positives, and I think that’s what it should be about.”
William’s coach, Patrick Mouratoglu, is Serena’s alleged boyfriend in question. Serena or Patrick has not confirmed a relationship outside of work.
“I definitely was told of the comments,” Williams said Sunday. “I definitely like to keep my personal life personal. I think it would be inappropriate for me to comment on it. But, yeah, I’ve always, in the past — you guys have known — I’ve kept my personal and professional life very private. I’m going to continue to do that.”
They used to be friends: Serena Williams & Maria Sharapova
*It seems the rivalry has just took a turn for worse. Tennis star Serena Williams has been called out by archrival Maria Sharapova for speaking too much about things unrelated to what takes place on the court.
With all of the media hype going on before the start of Wimbledon, Maria took the opportunity to take a couple jabs at Serena as a retaliation to comments that Williams made during an interview with Rolling Stone Magazine last week.
“Obviously I have a tremendous amount of respect for Serena and what she’s achieved on the court,” Sharapova said. “If she wants to talk about something personal, maybe she should talk about her relationship and her boyfriend that was married and is getting a divorce and has kids. Talk about other things, but not draw attention to other things. She has so much in her life, many positives, and I think that’s what it should be about.”
Sharapova’s statements look to paint Serena a home wrecker among other things. The connection she referenced in her comments was the one Williams is said to have with Patrick Mouratoglou, who was recently divorced. The coach came out to defend himself.
“I don’t think anything about it (about what Sharapova said),” he told The Guardian newspaper. “My role is to think about tennis and to help Serena be the best she can be and do what she wants to achieve. I’m just here for tennis.”
Here is what was said in Rolling Stone Magazine:
“There are people who live, breathe and dress tennis. I mean, seriously, give it a rest.” Serena exits the car and the conversation moves on to a top-five player who is now in love. “She begins every interview with ‘I’m so happy. I’m so lucky’ – it’s so boring,” says Serena in a loud voice. “She’s still not going to be invited to the cool parties. And, hey, if she wants to be with the guy with a black heart, go for it.” (An educated guess is she’s talking about Sharapova, who is now dating Grigor Dimitrov, one of Serena’s rumored exes.)
Serena has a unflattering history with using harsh words and has even been labeled jealous at one point. Even rising black tennis star Sloane Stevens says that Williams has been very nasty to her on Twitter.
Watch as Maria Sharapova makes her comment about Serena Williams:
Serena Williams of United States of America celebrates match point womens’ singles semi-final match against Sara Errani of Italy during day twelve of the French Open at Roland Garros on June 6, 2013 in Paris, France
*Serena Williams will play Maria Sharapova for the French Open title on Saturday after slaughtering Italian player Sara Errani today 6-0, 6-1.
Sharapova beat 6th-ranked Errani in the final last year to complete a career Grand Slam, but she faces a tougher test this time. She’s 2-13 against Williams, who has been on a mission after more than a decade of disappointment in Paris.The top-ranked Williams, a 15-time Grand Slam champion, won her only Roland Garros title 11 years ago by beating her sister Venus in the final.
It took Williams just 47 minutes to dispatch of Errani. The match was 37 minutes old before Errani won a game, and the crowd responded with a roar as the Italian raised her arms in sarcastic glee.
Williams won 26 of 34 points in the opening set, 28 of 33 points on her serve and had a 40-2 advantage in winners while losing only 16 points.
The result extended her career-best winning streak to 30 consecutive matches.
*In the immortal words of singer Sunshine Anderson, we’ve “heard it all before…” but it’s still worthy of mentioning that women’s tennis powerhouse, Serena Williams, is on another tear.
She’s just a few Grand Slam steps away from reaching “greatest of all time” numbers in the sport, which makes recording her exploits all the more important for the sake of capturing black history in the making.
Matching and now exceeding her 18+ year career best winning streak of 22 matches straight, Williams just claimed her 51st tour title – jubilantly twirling her way to the net to shake hands – to win the Italian Open in Rome and 24th consecutive match win. She convincingly snuffed out the flame of feisty world no. 3 and rival, Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, 6-1, 6-3, to achieve the feat.
This is the fourth consecutive championship (Miami, Charleston, Madrid, Rome) for the 15-time GS power-hitting champion in the short span of only 8 weeks and on arguably her worst surface for three of them, the power-muting red clay. The tournaments are considered tune-ups leading up to Roland Garros, aka the French Open, which is played on the tricky surface.
Roland Garros remains the one tournament that Serena just can’t seem to find any consistency with. She won it back in 2002, but since then she’s struggled mightily, even last year losing in the first round of the tourney for the first time in a grand slam in her entire career. She seemed poised last year to finally conquer her clay demons as she won 2 clay court tournaments (Charleston, Madrid) leading up to the prestigious, but grueling event, but she experienced a now infamous meltdown after losing her enormous lead in the 2nd set tiebreaker and ultimately the 1R match to much lower ranked Virginnie Razzano. Many thought it was the beginning of the end of her illustrious career.The devastation of leaving the tournament not only empty handed, but so embarrassingly early led her to seek out assistance from now coach and boyfriend, Frenchman Patrick Mouratoglou. Since his addition to her team, she not only has a more sound clay court strategy, utilizing more topspin, devastating angles, and tricky drop shots to get the job done, yielding jaw dropping results against her bewildered colleagues, but she’s also now playing what analysts say is the best tennis of her career (won Wimbledon, US Open, Year-end Championship and Olympic Gold). Also, if you’re superstitious, adding Rome to the 2 clay-court titles (Charleston, Madrid) she won last year around this same time is a good omen considering when she won Roland Garros in 02 – the year of the Serena Slam, she had also taken Rome just the week before.
Williams, now 31-years-of-age, confidently, and some would say predictably, took out loaded fields during all four of her recent victories, including the relentless power hitter, Maria Sharapova (2); the all-court phenom Victoria Azarenka (3); the ball-thumping Li Na (6); the tennis-magician Agnieszka Radwanska (4); the hit-a-winner-from-anywhere Petra Kvitova (8); clay-court specialist Sara Errani (5) and more, validating her world no. 1 status and sending an emphatic message that 31 is the new ball crushing, ace-serving, all court moving 20.
Life after 30 is usually spent “out to pasture” for most tennis players, but the phenomenal career of Serena Williams has led may to challenge that notion. The oldest world no. 1 in history shows no signs of slowing and is just 2 Grand Slam titles away from matching those they call “the greats.”
Roland Garros runs May 26 and through June 9 and the ball is in her court.
*Serena Williams just keeps on winning and winning.
The latest win came against Maria Sharapova whom she beat in the Madrid Open on Sunday.
In the process, she retains her number 1 ranking and collects her 50th career title.
The second-ranked Sharapova would have taken the top ranking with a win, but Williams stormed to an early lead as Sharapova struggled with her serve.
Despite Sharapova briefly recovering her poise in the second set, Williams’ form never dipped as she defended her title.
“It feels good,” Williams said of winning her 50th title. “I don’t know how many more I can win. Who knows if I will ever win another title? I just want to live the dream. Hopefully, I can keep it going.
“When you first start out everything is so exciting. Now I expect to win.”
Williams improved her record against Sharapova to 13-2, with her only two losses coming in 2004.
Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal saw off Stanislas Wawrinka 6-2, 6-4 for his fifth title since returning from a knee injury.