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2015 AUSTRALIAN OPEN: Serena Williams Wins Sixth Australian Open Title Beating Maria Sharapova For The Umpteenth Time

Saturday, January 31, 2015

 World No. 1 Serena Williams, USA, during the trophy presentation of her sixth Australian Open title.

Wow, wow, and just wow.  World No. 1 Serena Williams has nothing left to prove, yet she continues to prove over and over again that she is indeed the undisputed queen of the courts.

The 33-year-old Williams entered the Rod Laver Arena along with her championship-match-opponent, Russian Maria Sharapova, appearing as confident as she has been throughout this tournament ~ all in the midst of suffering with a cold.

Serena is self possessed at this time of her career in a way that she has not been in earlier years. She is a truly incredible athlete to watch as she continues to mature in the sport that she has virtually owned for such a long time now.

In winning her 19th Grand Slam singles title, she defeated Sharapova 6-3, 7-6(5) for the 16th consecutive time.

The legendary tennis star is incredible to watch as she simply will not bow down to age, new talent, or even illness. The lady is simply poetry in motion.

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Posted by Shelia

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2015 AUSTRALIAN OPEN SEMIFINALS: Madison Keys Has Next, But It's Not That Time Yet ~ Serena Williams Into The Final

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Serena Williams and Madison Keys embrace at the end of their semifinal match which Serena won 7(7)-6, 6-2.

Win, lose or draw tonight, Madison Keys has loudly announced to the world that "she got game." It has been a thing a beauty to watch this 19-year-old young woman fearlessly come into her own before our very eyes.  Bravo Madison!!

Now, the reality for most of us was that, no matter how incredible a run Madison has "had," that brick wall otherwise known as World No. 1 Serena Williams, would not be moved. To the tune of 7(7)-6, 6-2, Serena brought Madison's exciting run to a screeching halt.

It was more than evident that Serena is still suffering from what she says is more than likely a virus that has been floating among the players; she was definitely slower than usual, and her serve was not the flawless weapon of destruction that it is typically known to be. But the true grit of the woman that has mesmerized us for so many years now was definitely employed.

Serena has gained a much more serene resolve in the face of these court tests. Where she once would automatically become outwardly frustrated, she very visibly now stills herself and moves forward to the next opportunity to win.

So with a tight first set that ended in a tie-break, to a lot of match points going out the window in the first game of the second set, the Queen has prevailed and positioned herself for a sixth - count 'em - sixth trophy down under.

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Posted by Shelia

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AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2015 QUARTERFINALS: World No. 1 Serena Williams Does No Less Than Expected ~ Smacks Down Cibulkova

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Serena Williams celebrates victory after the quarterfinal round of the 2015  Australian Open to reach the semifinals.  

World No. 1 Serena Williams hit the ground running at the 2015 Australian Open Quarterfinal, and did not let up until her work was done. Worthy opponent Dominika Cibulkova got in some of the bright and brilliant shot making that she is known for, but at no time was she ever a threat for the World No. 1.

Dominika Cibulkova
The five-time Australian Open Title holder will meet unseeded American Madison Keys, who has played an incredible tournament, and who had to defeat the elder Williams, Venus, to meet Serena. While Keys has shown what she is made of throughout the entirety of the tournament, nothing makes me believe that she will get by Serena.

While there was great hope from of lot of fans, including myself, that there would be an all-Williams semifinal, seeing Madison Keys ascend to this level is just as rewarding.

In her post match interview Serena barely had a voice, she stated, "I have to keep my answers short because I keep coughing. I've been sick the past few days, and it's just getting worse and worse, but hopefully it will get better."

"I heard there's a virus going around with a lot of the players, and I think I caught it."

If we've learned anything about Serena, we know she'll be ready.

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Posted by Shelia

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AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2015 QUARTERFINALS: 19-Year-Old Madison Keys Plows A More Than Solid Field To Reach the Semifinals

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

American Madison Keys successful plays her way into the 2015 Australian Open semifinals where none other than Serena Williams awaits her. 

Well, it wasn't the match that I expected, nor was it the outcome I hoped for ~ but it is indeed a good sign.

It is incredible to have watched American Madison Keys grow up and elevate herself and her game to its present position. This 19-year-old young woman came into the 2015 Australian Open Tournament with nothing to lose, and has lost nothing.

Casey Dellacqua, Petra Kvitova, and Madison Brengle all had their Australian Open hopes dashed as Keys continued to mount an offense and defense that would bring her to this point. 

Playing this quarterfinal match against her idol, tennis legend Venus Williams, appears to be the icing on the cake at this tournament for her.

“The moment is definitely sweeter being able to play Venus,” said Keys, who got into the sport after admiring a Williams tennis dress at the age of four. “It’s amazing – you just have to embrace the moment – I did, and I get to enjoy another moment in the next round.”

With a 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 victory over Venus, Madison is headed to the semifinal round of the 2015 Australian Open ~ what a moment!

Moment killer:  Venus' baby sis' awaits her ~ God bless you.

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Posted by Shelia

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Australian Open 2015: Madison Keys Upsets Petra Kvitova To Advance To Fourth Round

Sunday, January 25, 2015

 American Madison Keys celebrates third round victory over Petra Kvitova at the 2015 Australian Open.

(REUTERS) - American teenager Madison Keys has toppled fourth seed Petra Kvitova 6-4, 7-5 in an impressive display of clean hitting to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open.

The 19-year-old captured the decisive break at 5-5 in the second set and served out the match nervelessly under the lights of Rod Laver Arena, stunning the two-time Wimbledon champion.

Keys' win made it four American women in the last 16 at Melbourne Park, the most since five made it to the fourth round of the 2003 Australian Open.

She will play compatriot Madison Brengle for a place in the quarter-finals.

"I think my hands are still shaking," said Keys, who is coached by former number one Lindsay Davenport.

"I'm excited to play Maddie in the next round."

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Posted by Shelia

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AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2015: Peerless and fearless: Serena and Venus Williams Chase a New Landmark

The amazing sister act are still inspiring each other as they head for another improbable grand slam semi-final meeting at the Australian Open

Venus Williams ackowledges the fans after defeating Camila Giorgi of Italy in their third round match at the Australian Open.

(The Guardian) - Sisters, friends, survivors: all the strengths and virtues that Serena and Venus Williams have shown in adversity over the years arrived for them on day six of the 2015 Australian Open. However, after good wins from a set down against Elina Svitolina and Camila Giorgi respectively, there are a couple of formidable challenges immediately ahead for them if they are to collide in the semi-finals, which last happened in a slam at Wimbledon 15 years ago.

The day after Roger Federer left an unfillable space in the men’s draw following defeat to Andreas Seppi in the third round, there were some anxious moments on Saturday as Serena, the women’s favourite, had to fight from a set down to beat the tough young Ukrainian 4-6, 6-2, 6-0 on another hot, still day on Rod Laver Arena. A final withering forehand left Svitolina flailing at air to bring 96 minutes of struggle to an end. The scoreline told the story of a slow start, recovery and finishing flourish; a familiar pattern for Williams.

“She played really well, one to watch,” Williams said. “She made me work very hard. She kept hitting winners in the first set and there wasn’t much I could do. Then I heard so many people say: ‘Serena, Serena,’ and I thought you guys are really here for me. I looked up at the screen and saw Venus was 1-4 down and I thought: ‘Come on, we can do this.’ We really inspire each other.”

What an enigma the younger Williams sister is. Last year she failed to make even the quarters of three majors then won the US Open to take her career slams to 18 – one ahead of Federer, but, more pertinently, four behind Steffi Graf, who heads the women’s list in the Open era.

On Monday she plays the talented Spaniard Garbiñe Muguruza, who put her out of the French Open last year and here beat the Swiss Timea Bacsinszky 6-3, 4-6, 6-0. “She’s had a really good win and I have nothing to lose,” Williams said. “I’ll do my best.”If that seemed false modesty on a grand scale, Serena has suffered enough shock defeats in recent years to be wary, although the tennis she produced in the third set resembled her awesome best.

Venus’s 4-6, 7-6, 6-1 win over the promising Giorgi continued her run of decent form and she seems to be in good health, which is always her priority since the auto-immune disease Sjögren’s syndrome struck her three years ago. Her next opponent provides tougher opposition than Muguruza: the sixth seed, Agnieszka Radwanska, who impressed while beating Varvara Lepchenko 6-0, 7-5 in an hour and a half, although the Uzbeki-American put up stern resistance in the second set, which lasted nearly an hour.

If Serena and Venus, who is seeded 18th, do meet in the semi-finals, they will resume the game’s greatest friendly rivalry. Since they first played each other on the tour in 1998, in the second round of the Australian Open (Venus won in two sets), they have met 25 times. Serena leads 14-11 overall and 6-2 in slams. This is the 29th time the sisters have made the fourth round of the same slam.

Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova hold the all-time record for Open era slam matches with 14. It is unlikely, given their ages and career patterns, that the Williams sisters will get close to that number but the girls who hit their way out of a ghetto with their tennis rackets have reignited interest in one of the game’s remarkable stories. Venus, at 34 a year older than Serena, said later: “The years go by so fast. It’s definitely been a lot of work and a lot of learning and a lot of perseverance. It will continue to be that for me. Just have to come to terms with it.

“We talk about all the players we see that aren’t playing any more. We just can’t figure out how we’re still here. When you walk on that court, there is no such thing as age, height, any of that stuff. It’s really an even playing field. It’s a matter of can you get the ball in? Can you win the point or not? It doesn’t matter, any of these variables. That’s what they are: variables.

“I’ve been motivated by Serena since day one, since 1998 or 97 actually. She’s always been someone that anyone can learn from: the way she faces her life, the way she is fearless on the court. I probably take it a lot more to heart because she’s my sister and we’ve had the fortunate relationship, to be able to motivate each other and grow from each other. I don’t think I could have done the things I’ve done without her.”

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Posted by Shelia

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2014 WIMBLEDON DAY 4: Heather Watson and Gael Monfils Sent Packing In Second Round

Friday, June 27, 2014

Frenchman Gael Monfils watches as his opportunity to move into Round 3 of the 2014 Wimbledon Championships slips away. 

Sometimes it is hard to know who bears the greater frustration – Gael Monfils, or those watching a player with such blockbuster talents struggle to translate his game for grass. The No.24 seed launched a late comeback against 20-year-old Wimbledon debutant Jiri Vesely, but ultimately bowed out 7-6(3), 6-3, 6-7(1), 6-7(3), 6-4.

“I’m always frustrated when I play on grass,” said Monfils, who has never reached the second week at Wimbledon. “For me, it’s a court where I cannot feel comfortable, and if I cannot feel comfortable I cannot use my conditioning. My main thing is playing physically, and I can’t on grass. It’s not fun at all, for me. It’s very frustrating.”

Hate to see him go, NOBODY plays tennis like Monfils!

Britain's Heather Watson does not shy away from a battle. She has developed quite the reputation for getting herself out of tight corners, running and running until her opponent quite simply has enough. For a passage of time, that’s exactly what she did against Kerber, a fearsome figure on the other side of the net with two Grand Slam semi-finals to her name.

“I started very poorly,” she admitted. “A lot of unforced errors. Didn't serve very well. The set kind of went just very quickly.”

 “I didn't want to play her today as who she was,” Watson said. “I wanted to play her as just the person that's - I wanted to play the tournament. I didn't care who it was. Just wanted to get on the next round.”

“The second set I kept fighting through,” Watson said. “I found my way. I think from both of us there was some unbelievable tennis. I managed to take that second set and was very pleased with how I was playing. I thought I played very well.”

“With more experience playing these top players, I think, you know, next time I'll learn to take my opportunities.”

Watson lost to Kerber 6-2, 5-7, 6-1.

source:  wimbledon.org

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Posted by Shelia

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2014 WIMBLEDON DAY 4: Serena Williams And Madison Keys Make It Look Easy As They Advance To Round 3

Serena Williams, USA in 2nd Round match against the Republic of South Africa's Chanelle Scheepers at 2014 Wimbledon Championships.

Serena Williams blitzed her way into the third round with a display that combined discipline and bravura in equal measure. She saw off the South African journeywoman Chanelle Scheepers 6-1, 6-1 in 49 minutes.

“I’m always the favorite,” acknowledged Serena afterwards. “It’s been that way for the last three years and maybe years before that. So it can create pressure. But it’s OK – I’d rather it was that way.”

“I’m trying to figure out when this [press conference] is going to end,” she said. “I’m really losing focus up here. The longer these interviews go... Maybe that’s why at Wimbledon they have them long. This is getting... The questions change from tennis to Novak and then Rafa. It’s no longer about the match. Is this the last question?”

American Madison Keys during 2nd Round Match against the Czech Republic's Klara Koukalova at the 2014 Wimbledon Championships.

American Madison Keys, a winner last week in Eastbourne, took her winning streak to seven matches thanks to her 7-5, 6-7(3), 6-2 dismissal of 31st seed Klara Koukalova, the slight Czech who was out-gunned in the power stakes but who kept herself alive in the contest on Court 12 with speed, guile and anticipation.

“Definitely the whole match I wasn't playing my very best today, so there was definitely a lot of balls that came off my racket that were not great,” stated Keys.

“(Going into the third set) it was really (thinking) just stick to my game, calm down, don't rush, just go back to the basics, don't panic. It was really just staying with it and eventually feeling the ball a little bit better.”

source:  wimbledon.org


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Posted by Shelia

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2014 WIMBLEDON DAY 4: Tsonga Not Affected By Overnight Match Delay - Knocks Querrey Out At 14-12

Happy Much? Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga celebrates five-set win over American Sam Querrey at 2014 Wimbledon Championships.

For a fourth day in succession the French stepped out on court at Wimbledon, but only Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will return for a fifth. Having given in to bad light at 9-9 in the final set on Wednesday, the Frenchman finally found a way past Sam Querrey on Thursday to post a 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-7(4), 6-3, 14-12 victory and book his place in the third round.

source: wimbledon.org

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Posted by Shelia

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