2012 OLYMPICS: Venus And Serena Williams and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga Each Power Their Way Through To The Next Rounds
Monday, July 30, 2012
|(L)Venus Williams, USA, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, FRA and (R) Serena Williams, USA all celebrated wins during Sunday and Monday's Olympic Games.|
Four-time Olympian Venus Williams walked off Wimbledon's cozy Court 2 gleefully waving her fist as fans chanted, "U-S-A! U-S-A!"
Twenty minutes later, at the other end of the All England Club, Serena Williams departed Court 1 with a triumphant grin and a shout of "Whooo!"
She waited an extra day because of rain to begin her bid for a record fourth gold medal in Olympic tennis, then defeated recent French Open runner-up Sara Errani of Italy, 6-3, 6-1.
French number one, Jo-Wilfried Tonga, took down the Brazilian contender, Thomaz Bellucci, in a three-set match. He notched up a 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-4 victory against the left-handed Brazilian to power into the second round.
Next in line for the French seed is the winner of the match between Japan’s Tatsuma Ito and Canada’s Milos Raonic.
Serena completed a July sweep of Poland's Radwanska sisters by beating Urszula in the second round, 6-2, 6-3. Federer also reached the third round, beating Julien Benneteau of France, 6-2, 6-2.
Venus Williams, also unseeded, drew a tough first-round foe in Errani, who has won four titles this year and is ranked a career-high No. 9. Williams served well, charged the net aggressively and appeared at ease on the Wimbledon grass, where she has won five of her seven Grand Slam titles.
"I've been working really hard on my serve," she said. "I really haven't had my serve where I wanted it this year. But I definitely worked a lot on it, so that way it would be a real weapon for me, which is what I'm used to."
Despite being diagnosed last year with an autoimmune disease that can cause fatigue, she began 2012 determined to make the Olympic team. She won the gold in singles at the 2000 Games and teamed with Serena to take the gold in doubles in 2000 and 2008.
Because her opening match was delayed a day by rain, Williams will have to play six consecutive days if she reaches Saturday's final.
"I definitely expect everything to be tough on me almost nowadays," Williams said.
Over on Court 1, Serena's serve lacked its usual sizzle, and she was even broken once, but she still eliminated Radwanska with little drama. She defeated Radwanska's sister, Agnieszka, in the Wimbledon final this month.
Serena will next play Vera Zvonareva of Russia, the Wimbledon runner-up in 2010.