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2014 WIMBLEDON DAY 3: Tsonga And Querrey Will Have To Wait Until The Morning Light For Match Outcome After Twilight Shuts Them Down

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga during 2nd Round match with American Sam Querry at 2014 Wimbledon Championships.

A Frenchman and an American serving one another into oblivion as the sun sets over the All England Club; it all sounds a little too familiar, doesn’t it? Yet here we are again, trading John Isner and Nicolas Mahut for Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Sam Querrey. The duo will resume their second-round showdown on Thursday after play was suspended with proceedings all square at 9.21pm and the score teetering at 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-7(4), 6-3, 9-9. Some matches are destined to go the distance.

The umpire announced the suspension of play at 8-8, but both the players and the crowd refused to budge. New balls were called for, and Tsonga attempted to finish the job before the ball disappeared in the twilight. He came close, bringing up break point, but Querrey stood firm, forcing a forehand error before serving his way out of trouble. The Frenchman also negotiated a dicey service game, which seemed enough to convince both player the time was right to call it a night.

source: wimbledon.org

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2014 WIMBLEDON DAY 3: Team Williams Set Sights On Sixth Wimbledon Doubles Title

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

American Wimbledon Champion sisters Venus and Serena Williams in first round doubles play at 2014 Wimbledon Championships.

The Williams’ last Slam doubles victory was on the SW19 lawns two years ago, and they had lost their only previous doubles outing this year in the United Arab Emirates. With a ranking of 88, they are seeded No.8 here in a nod to their record at the All England Club.

It should not be overlooked that the two women now have a combined age of 66, in contrast to 26-year-old Savchuk and 23-year-old Kalashnikova. The years may not always favour the sisters now – both arrived on court in long-sleeved tops, with Venus additionally in capris, none of which extra warmth was required by the opposition – but the trade is that all that experience does no harm at all. Moreover, time seems to make no impression on their competitive hunger, with both sisters determined to wring the very most from their careers.

Venus held her opening serve, the first game of the match, so quickly to love that the clock had yet to register even one minute. Amid some fabulous volleying exchanges they broke Kalashnikova’s serve for 4-2. But the Russian-Ukrainian pair were up for the fight and not only leveled but powered on, increasing their service accuracy. At five-all Serena attempted a backhand down the line which fell way short of requirements, and moments later a Kalashnikova volley yielded the crucial break.

But at the start of the second the sisters combined brilliantly to break for 3-1.
With Serena pounding the ball from the baseline and Venus doling out the punishment at the net, the set went by in a flash. Yet at the start of the third confusion reigned as the two literally bumped into each other at the net, while Savchuk and Kalashnikova capitalised to go 3-0 up. Serena expressed her frustration with a mighty smash at the Russian to hold serve, which drew a particularly withering look from Savchuk. But Serena was accelerating into super-aggressive mode and the sisters levelled. Indeed, at 3-3 her impetus was such as she chased a backhand wide that she ended up in the lap of a startled spectator at courtside. Cue laughter from Serena, Venus and their mother Oracene who was in the stands.

It did not alter the focus of “Team Williams”, as umpire Julie Kjendlie labelled the Americans. They broke again for 5-4, and the result was sealed on the first match point as Serena punched away the winning volley.

source:  wimbledon.org

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2012 US OPEN: Tennis Is Indeed A Game, But Serena Williams Is Not Playing!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Serena Williams, USA after defeating American Coco Vandeweghe on Day 2 of the 2012 US Open.

Fourteen-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams continued the fine form that signified a stellar summer by defeating compatriot Coco Vandeweghe in a rematch of their Stanford final. The younger Williams sister advanced to the second round 6-1, 6-1 in less than an hour on a day in which Venus also won.

In the first set, Serena cruised to a 6-1 score in 24 minutes, benefitting from five double faults off her opponent’s otherwise big-serving game. Additionally, the top-ranked American struck nine winners, while converting all three of her break point chances.

After the match, the No. 4 seed discussed the windy conditions and reflected on her performance. "I mean, the match was so weird, the conditions were so tough, I couldn't really play my game. She couldn't really play her game. It's not the best opportunity to grade yourself."

With the win tonight, Serena’s record in first round Grand Slam matches improved to 48-1, having lost at the Roland Garros in the opening round earlier this year.

Early in the second set, Serena, last year’s runner-up to Samantha Stosur, consolidated on the tremendous play in the first to break Vandeweghe’s serve for a 2-1 lead. She wasted little time afterwards, wrapping up the match on her second match point after reeling off four more games.

With the win, Serena improved her record at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center to 59-9, having won three titles in her career, including her first back in 1999.

Coming into the match Tuesday night on Arthur Ashe, Serena took titles at Wimbledon and the Olympics by winning a gold medal over Maria Sharapova at the All England Club. In doing so, Serena became the first tennis player to win the career “Golden Slam,” or claiming all four majors and a gold medal, in both singles and doubles. With the series of title wins, Serena notched a 19-match winning streak, which was eventually snapped in Cincinnati by surprise 2011 US Open semifinalist Angelique Kerber.

With five titles to her credit this year, Serena also leads the number owned by active players at 44 total.

Source:  usopen.org
Photo by: Getty Images

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2012 U.S. OPEN: Li Na And Rain Prove Too Much For Britain's Heather Watson

Monday, August 27, 2012

Heather Watson of Great Britain against Na Li of China on day one of the 2012 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

Two months after becoming the first British woman for 10 years to reach the third round at Wimbledon, Heather Watson lasted just 81 minutes on the first day of the US Open here yesterday.

The 20-year-old from Guernsey, who was overpowered 6-2, 6-3 by China's Li Na, held on until mid-afternoon thanks only to a lengthy rain delay.

If Watson took advantage of a favourable draw at the All England Club – her first two opponents were both ranked outside the world's top 50 –fortune was not on her side here. Li, the world No 8, has been the outstanding player on the north American hard-court circuit this summer, reaching the final at Montreal and then winning at Cincinnati to secure her first title since last year's French Open.

She had too much firepower for Watson, who never looked like threatening the 30-year-old Chinese in the way she had troubled Maria Sharapova last year, when the Briton went within six points of causing one of the shocks of the tournament. Striking the ball beautifully from the back of the court, Li cracked 28 winners to Watson's 10 and broke serve five times.

At least it will not be the end of the tournament for Watson, who is playing doubles here with New Zealand's Marina Erakovic. They have won two doubles titles together this summer, in Stanford and Dallas.

"I'm happy with how I played," Watson said afterwards. "I even feel I played better today than I did last year against Maria. I don't think it was Maria's best match last year, but today Li Na was on another level. She was hitting winners off balls I wouldn't think you could hit winners off, hitting lots of lines. She had a really high first-serve percentage and she just played better tennis. She played like a Grand Slam champion."

source: The Independent
photos by: Getty Images

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2012 OLYMPICS: (PHOTOS) Silver Medalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga And The All French Silver And Bronze Men's Doubles

Sunday, August 12, 2012

France's (R )Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and (L) Michael Llodra awarded Silver Medals during 2012 Olympics Medal Ceremony for Men's Doubles

(L-R) Richard Gasquet, Julien Benneteau, Bronze Medalists, and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Michael Llodra, Silver Medalists.
(L-R) Silver medalists Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Michael Llodra of France, gold medalist Mike Bryan and Bob Bryan of the United States and bronze medalist Julien Benneteau and Richard Gasquet of France pose on the podium during the medal ceremony after the Men's Doubles Tennis final match on Day 8 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on August 4, 2012 in London, England.

Photos: Getty Images

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PERSPECTIVES FROM SAM'S PASSING SHOTS: Paint Serena Red, White, Blue... and Gold

Sunday, August 5, 2012

I don't know about you, but I have totally enjoyed the Olympic tennis tournament. I thought that having the Olympic tournament played at the All-England Club would add a touch of history to an already historic event and it completely lived up to everything I imagined it would be. The crowd was not the usual Wimbledon crowd. There was a bit more chatter between points, that at times gave it more of Flushing Meadows feel. It was with this backdrop that Serena Williams turned in one of the most remarkable performances of her career, and joined Steffi Graf as the only women to win all four grand slam events, and an Olympic gold medal.

 Throughout her career Wimbledon has been known as big sister, Venus', house. Let the record reflect that in the summer of 2012, little sister was holding the key. By winning Wimbledon last month and coming back to the same location to claim gold for the United States, Williams has firmly restored herself at the top player in the women's game again. Some may want to call this a comeback, I prefer to call it a rebirth.

 There's nothing like almost losing something to make you value, and treasure it even more. For Serena Williams it was an injury followed by illness that threatened both life and career. Faced with a simular situation, most of us would evaluate and take inventory of both success and failure. Then there are those glasses that we leave half empty, or would that be half full. No doubt Williams took inventory of her remarkable career and had time to reflect on some of those half full glasses.

 There is an old saying , " If only youth had wisdom." How many times have we seen professional athletes in the latter stages of their careers wishing for the vitality to go along with wisdom and knowledge that had been gathered along the way. At both Wimbledon and the Olympics, Serena Williams summoned the enthusiam of her youth to go with the wisdom of her 30 years and the result was sheer dominance.

Serena Williams triumph over Maria Sharapova lasted 1 hour and 3 minutes, and maybe it's fitting for the sands in the hour glass are now fewer for Williams. She danced on the court after winning the gold medal at the Olympics, and all the while hearing the sound of a ticking clock. Maybe it's that ticking clock that now motivates Serena or could it be her sense of history, or perhaps it's those half full glasses from years gone by. It promises to be vintage Serena, and when it's done all glasses will be empty !!   New York City... You're Next !!!

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2012 OLYMPICS: "We're Looking Forward To Rio" Says Serena Williams As She And Venus Win Doubles Gold

American sisters Venus and Serena Williams celebrate winning the Gold Medal in Women's Doubles

WIMBLEDON, England (AP) -- Serena Williams relishes her role as copycat little sister. Even if it takes her 12 years.

Now, she has that remarkable Olympic double - just like Venus.

The overpowering American pair teamed to win the women's doubles title at the Olympics on Sunday, with Serena adding to the singles gold she won on Centre Court at Wimbledon a day earlier.

"Crazy," Serena said. "I'm always copying her. I forgot that she did it in Sydney and I do it here. We're the same doubles team, we just split this to singles, so it's cool."

The sisters beat Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-4 under the roof on a rainy afternoon at the All England Club. Venus - with her red, white and blue braids pulled back into a bun - closed out the match on the very grass she has long loved with a backhand volley winner after the Czechs saved a pair of match points.

"We all talk about this, 'We have so many medals,' but to be able to add to that, it's like an unbelievable feeling," Venus said. "You know that in that count, there you are. It feels amazing."

On Saturday, Serena beat Maria Sharapova 6-0, 6-1 for the singles gold. She joined Steffi Graf as the only women to complete the Golden Slam - winning the Olympics and the four majors.

When the Americans in the crowd at Centre Court broke into a chant of "U-S-A! U-S-A!" as the players left the court, the sisters each pumped their fists, turned around to wave, then slapped a high-five. The medal ceremony had to wait for the outdoor bronze-medal match, which was delayed by rain.

With Bob and Mike Bryan capturing gold in men's doubles Saturday, make it three golds for U.S. tennis in two days.

"It's great because America's added three gold medals to our medal count just in the tennis," Venus said. "I feel great to be a part of this U.S. team this year."

Serena became tennis' first double gold medalist at an Olympics since Venus won singles and doubles at the 2000 Sydney Games. The sisters also won the doubles gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

With Sunday's victory, they each have a record four Olympic tennis gold medals, and the sisters didn't drop a set through their five matches at the London Games.

While Serena was thrilled to win on her own Saturday, with Venus rooting her on from the family box, the doubles is what she most cared about coming to the London Games.

Especially considering all the emotional and physical struggles for Venus, who was diagnosed last year with an autoimmune disease that causes fatigue.

"This is all I wanted," said Venus, who had all of about two months to raise her ranking and qualify for the Olympics. "Boy, was that a battle. That was one of the hardest things I've ever done. I really feel proud of what happened here at the Olympics."

But for years Venus has been comfortable on the lawn at Wimbledon, where she has won five of her seven Grand Slam titles.

"Venus has been going through so much and she's so strong and so she's so amazing," Serena said. "And to win this was my goal."

The Williamses also became the first tennis players to win Olympic gold indoors since the 1912 Stockholm Games, a match played in a pavilion on wood courts painted black.

On Sunday, they won the fourth game of the second set at love on Venus' ace, the first of three straight games in which they didn't lose a point.

Serena overcame two break points trailing 1-0 in the second set. She pumped her fist and cheered after a forehand winner down the alley past a poaching Hradecka, who was aggressive at the net all afternoon.

The Czechs held in four of their first five service games, including Hlavackova's first that went to deuce four times.

Venus Williams joins Conchita Martinez of Spain as the only tennis players to win medals at three different Olympics. Martinez's medals all came in doubles - silver in Barcelona in 1992, bronze at the 1996 Atlanta Games and silver in Athens in 2004.

Gigi Fernandez and current U.S. coach Mary Joe Fernandez are the only others to win back-to-back Olympic tennis gold medals after they teamed for doubles titles in 1992 and 1996.

And the sisters insist they're not done yet.

"We're looking forward to Rio," Serena said, "and trying to get some sort of medal there."

Photos by Getty Images

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2012 OLYMPICS: Serena Williams Easily Advances To Round Two As She Defeats Jelena Jankovic

Saturday, July 28, 2012

USA's Serena Williams waves to the crowd after effectively dismissing Serbia's Jelena Jankovic 6-1, 6-3.

With big sister Venus and America's First Lady, Michelle Obama, cheering her on, Serena Williams easily defeated Serbia's Jelena Jankovic 6-3, 6-1, and advanced to round two of the 2012 Olympic Games.

Just weeks after claiming victory in Wimbledon stadium for the 2012 Wimbledon Championships, Serena returns to the same stadium in pursuit of another Gold Medal to add to the impressive array of trophies and titles she has already earned.

Serena represented the USA proudly in a red, white and blue outfit with a red Nike headband adorning her hair.

Jankovic showcased some impressive shots and aces during the match, but none of it was sufficient to counter the powerful strategic game that Serena very effectively produced in a brief 61 minutes.

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2012 OLYMPICS: ITF Launches Olympic Mobile App

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Olympic rings

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) today launched a mobile App for the Olympic Tennis Event taking place at The All England Club, Wimbledon from 28 July until 5 August. The smartphone App forms part of a wider digital strategy that makes the ITF Olympic Tennis website ITFtennis.com/Olympics the number one destination for tennis fans during London 2012.

The mobile App provides fans with live scores, schedules, drawsheets, news, photos, and player and event information, and is available for free download to iPhone and Android users. For other smartphone devices, a mobile friendly version of the website is available equipped with the same features.

The new-look ITF Olympic Tennis website was launched earlier in 2012 alongside a Spanish-language version of the site ITFtennis.com/Olimpiadas. During the Games, the website will offer a comprehensive live scores console with match statistics, the first time live scoring has been available on the ITF Olympic Tennis website.

The ITF Olympic Tennis website will offer in-depth coverage from the All England Club including news, match reports, interviews, photos and blogs. The website aims to build on the success of Beijing 2008 when a record number of visitors followed the action.

Fans can also keep up-to-date with the tennis through the ITF Olympic Tennis social media channels on Facebook and Twitter. These pages provide behind-the-scenes insight as well as giving followers the opportunity to have their say on current and topical issues.

ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said: “We are delighted to launch this mobile App, which will provide fast, informative and easy-to-access information on the Olympic Tennis Event to fans around the world wherever they might be. The other new online features, including live scores for the first time, will make tennis one of the easiest sports to follow at this year’s Games.”

source:  itftennis.com
Photo by Steve Wake

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2012 OLYMPICS: Four-Time Olympian Venus Williams Takes Part In Torch Relay

Andy Murray, GBR and Venus Williams, USA participate in the 2012 Olympic Torch Relay.

Along with Britain's Andy Murray, American Venus Williams holds the Olympic Torch in the All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon Stadium where she and Andy just participated in the Wimbledon Championships. Venus may be about to become the first American tennis star to feature in four Olympics, but she intends to keep playing until the 2016 Rio Games when she will be 36.

The torch relay is on its final leg of a 70-day journey, touring the neighborhoods of host city London before being taken to the Olympic Stadium for the opening ceremony on Friday.

 The torch has visited the Channel Islands, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland and gone past national landmarks like Stonehenge and Mount Snowdon.

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SERENA ON COURT TWO ASSIGNMENT: "I Don't Make It A Big Issue... I Think At Some Point, Maybe I Should"

Saturday, June 25, 2011

WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — Serena Williams wonders why she and her older sister Venus have played once each on Court 2 at Wimbledon this year — instead of Centre Court or Court 1.

After winning her second-round match Thursday on Court 2, four-time Wimbledon champion Serena was asked about being put in that venue, where five-time champion Venus won Monday. Each also has played one match on Centre Court this week.

"They like to put us on Court 2 — me and Venus — for whatever reason," Serena said. "I haven't figured it out yet. Maybe one day we'll figure it out."

Told of Serena's comments, tournament spokesman Johnny Perkins said there was no intentional snub, noting that several factors go into scheduling decisions, including TV broadcasting considerations, where players stand in the draw, and what ticket-buyers want to see.

"I don't think it's anything deliberate, clearly," Perkins said. "It's a hugely complex jigsaw puzzle. Everyone probably looks at it from their own point of view, so she's obviously quite entitled to."

The Williams sisters have combined to win nine of the past 11 Wimbledon singles championships, including Serena's titles in 2009 and 2010.

"I don't really think about it. I don't make it a big issue," Serena said about the scheduling. "I think at some point, maybe I should."

Stacey Allaster, the head of the women's professional tennis tour, said in a statement: "Serena Williams is a four-time Wimbledon singles champion, the defending champion of Wimbledon and a 13-time Grand Slam singles champion. I share her disappointment."

WTA CEO Allaster continued: "Scheduling decisions at Wimbledon are made by the All England Club and only they would be able to explain the rationale behind their decision for the scheduling of Serena's match today."

Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Andy Roddick have had all of their matches scheduled for Centre Court or Court 1 so far this year.

"Yeah," Serena said, "they're never moved across."

The Court 2 she played in Thursday was built before the start of the 2009 tournament and holds about 4,063 spectators — 7,330 fewer than Court 1, and 10,916 fewer than Centre Court. For years before that, the name "Court 2" at the All England Club was assigned to a venue about half the size and a few minutes' walk away.

That old Court 2 was known as the "Graveyard of Champions" because of a series of surprise losses by top players — including Serena against Jill Craybas in the third round in 2005. That particular match actually originally was scheduled for Centre Court but was shifted when others there went long. Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe and Pete Sampras — in his final match at the All England Club — all lost on the old Court 2.

After watching his daughter defeat Simona Halep of Romania 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 at the new Court 2 on Thursday, Richard Williams downplayed the issue of court placement.

"I can't say where she should be," he said. "I don't do the scheduling."

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Wimbledon To Go 3-D For Men's And Women's Finals

Monday, March 7, 2011

Black Tennis Pro's Wimbledon Going 3D

WIMBLEDON, England -- Wimbledon is going 3-D.

The men's semifinals and men's and women's finals at this summer's tournament will be filmed in the new format and aired live by 3-D capable cinemas around the world.

The deal was announced Monday as part of the Wimbledon's multiyear partnership with Sony.

All England Club chief executive Ian Ritchie says "Wimbledon is renowned for its heritage and sense of tradition. At the same time we are always looking for ways to improve the presentation of the championships by successfully blending that tradition with innovation."

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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Prize Money Still Good At Wimbledon, Better If You're Not From The U.S.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Black Tennis Pro's Venus Williams and Rafael Nadal 2008 Wimbledon Champions2008 Wimbledon Champions Rafael Nadal, ESP and Venus Williams, USA

WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — The Wimbledon champions are getting a big increase in prize money this year, at least when it comes to the British pound.

The prize for each of the men's and women's champions went up by 13.3 percent to $1.24 million, organizers said Tuesday, but the pound's weak exchange rate means that translates to a reduction in dollars of 17 percent from last year's $1.49 million.

Buoyed by a new television contract in Asia and the extension of its commercial agreement with IBM, the tournament has also raised the total prize fund for the June 22-July 5 tournament by 6.2 percent to $18.38 million.

But that still compares unfavorably to last year's $23.46 million despite the increase being nearly double the 3.4 percent hike the All England Club managed 12 months ago.

All England Club chairman Tim Phillips said the event was doing what it could to help offset the weakened exchange rates and maintain the prestige among players of the only grass-court Grand Slam.

"Most of the players here don't bank in sterling," Phillips said. "We have to be mindful of the fact that a year ago it was $2 to the pound."

The pound has dropped by more than 25 percent against the dollar since last year's prize money was announced, and has slumped by about 11 percent against the euro. On Tuesday, the exchange rate was $1.45 to 1 pound.

The All England Club also announced a five-year extension of its sponsorship with IBM, which advises on and helps implement new technologies at the event, and said that it had signed a new broadcast deal with Star Sports Asia.

"In this climate, it's a vote of confidence in Wimbledon," All England Club chief executive Ian Ritchie said. "In the current climate, it would be foolish for anyone to be complacent, but we feel the strength of the brand is coming through and commercial opportunities continuing unabated."

This year's tournament will feature the unveiling of a sliding roof over Centre Court.

Ritchie said the tournament was in good financial health despite the global economic crisis, pointing out that the All England Club had received 20 percent more ticket applications than in 2008.

Photo by Getty Images

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