nodot nodot
Pro Tennis Showcase
January 21, 2011

Subscribe to Match Reports

Pro Tennis Showcase Archive

Player Profile Index (Men)
Player Profile Index (Women)

Contact Tennis Server

Tennis Server

Do You Want To Be A Better Tennis Player?

Then Sign Up For A Free Subscription to the Tennis Server INTERACTIVE
E-mail Newsletter!

Tom Veneziano You will join 13,000 other subscribers in receiving news of updates to the Tennis Server along with monthly tennis tips from tennis pro Tom Veneziano.
Best of all, it is free!

Tennis Features Icon TENNIS FEATURES:

TENNIS ANYONE? - USPTA Pro John Mills' quick player tip.
TENNIS WARRIOR - Tom Veneziano's Tennis Warrior archive.
TURBO TENNIS - Ron Waite turbocharges your tennis game with tennis tips, strategic considerations, training and practice regimens, and mental mindsets and exercises.
WILD CARDS - Each month a guest column by a new writer.
BETWEEN THE LINES - Ray Bowers takes an analytical and sometimes controversial look at the ATP/WTA professional tour.
PRO TENNIS SHOWCASE - Tennis match reports and photography from around the world.
TENNIS SET - Jani Macari Pallis, Ph.D. looks at tennis science, engineering and technology.
MORTAL TENNIS - Greg Moran's tennis archive on how regular humans can play better tennis.
HARDSCRABBLE SCRAMBLE - USPTA pro Mike Whittington's player tip archive.

Tennis Community Icon TENNIS COMMUNITY:

Tennis Book, DVD, and Video Index
Tennis Server Match Reports
Editor's Letter
Become a Tennis Server Sponsor

Explore The Tennis Net Icon EXPLORE THE TENNIS NET:

Tennis News and Live Tennis Scores
Tennis Links on the Web
Pro Tennis Showcase Banner
Green Dot
Tennis Warehouse Logo
Green Dot

Australian Open 2011, Melbourne, Australia
January 21, 2011
Editorial by Jane Voigt.


Jane Voigt Photo
Jane Voigt

January 21, 2011 -- It was a day for records. Roger Federer broke Stefan Edberg's 57-match record at the Australian Open. And Venus Williams retired for the first time at a major.
No one jumped for joy as she reached for a ball and winced in pain, after seven points. She hobbled to the sideline, awaiting the trainer and the decision she had to face. She couldn't move, that was obvious. Her right hip was injured in the previous round. She wasn't ready today -- her body wasn't ready. Venus had never been in this situation, not once in her 17 years on the WTA Tour. This was Venus's 251st match at a major.
Andrea Petkovic, Venus's opponent, felt the sadness that hung in the air.
Normally Petkovic is an up-beat gal. She's funny, in fact. When she wins a match she performs a silly dance on court and fans laugh and she waves, all in good fun. But she made sure the world knew this wasn't a moment for levity as she stopped to talk with Lindsey Davenport.
"It's a pity," Petkovic said. "I feel very sorry for Venus. I hope she gets better because she's such a great champion. It's players like her that pull the people out to Grand Slams."
The Australian Open is the only major Venus hasn't conquered. Whether she would've gone on to the final is questionable. This was her first tournament of the year. She was flying under the radar, as they say. Not many picked her to win. Had she poked her head into next week, all bets would've been off. She likes to win, wants to win, and drives herself hard to win. She's always been that way.
"It's super disappointing," Venus said in her press conference. "This is not how I envisioned my Australian Open being. I've never had to retire from a Grand Slam, especially after working so hard to pull out the match like the other day. [I was] just hoping for some magic I could recover. But I have peace of mind I gave more than my best to be out there."
Richard Williams, Venus's father, told his wife Oracene that their daughter Venus was a champion the same day the four-year-old hit her first tennis balls in Compton, California. How he knew Venus would be a champion wasn't completely clear, as her father spoke with Fran Healy on Comcast Sport Network's broadcast of The Game 365.
Richard knew he had a daughter that would fulfill his dreams of revolutionizing the game of tennis. Call it faith.
He raised her, and Serena, in the ghetto to teach them toughness. "Only champions come out of a ghetto," Richard told Healy. "They're [Venus and Serena] rough and tough, mentally sound."
Papa Williams thought better neighborhoods raised less responsible kids, less hungry. Those kids got everything. When Venus arrived home after a tournament, she had to wash dishes and mow the lawn.
Richard taught Venus his brand of tennis. "Venus was taught to hit the person off the court. Hit the ball on the rise. Don't hit moon balls." Richard readily admits he learned the sport from books. But it was Venus who sparked the dream and ignited a legendary career.
"I'm Venus Williams and you're not. If you can come out here and beat me, then go ahead," Richard said, characterizing the attitude Venus took with her to matches.
Venus's close-knit family and their focus on education broadened the elder sister's view of the world. There was life outside of tennis. Her father wasn't considered her coach, per se. Richard took a dim view of coaches. "They're mean," he said.
You cannot write about Venus without writing about Serena. They can't be separated and shouldn't be. They have revolutionized the game of tennis for women; Richard's dream is a reality. Venus and Serena are the preeminent players of this generation. They hit hard, they take short balls to the bank, and they are as swift as cheetahs.
Well over a month ago, we knew Serena Williams wouldn't defend her title in Melbourne Park. We were prepared. She hadn't played in New York either. She was out of the spotlight. If you hear any tennis pundit's chatter about possible 2011 champs, their predictions include a caveat. Just listen to the tough time Caroline Wozniacki is getting from the press. For example, she's only number one because she plays lots of tournaments and Serena's injured. Wait... whoever wins the title a week from Sunday will be compared, and unfavorably, because Serena isn't in the draw.
Losing is a tough thing for any tour player. Someone has to, though. Venus wrote in the preface of her latest book, Come To Win, "For me, losing is still emotional. When I lose, the pain is so intense, and the emotions roll through me." But Venus has learned.
In 1999, she lost to Martina Hingis in the semifinals of the U. S. Open. The loss taught her a valuable lesson. Don't stand on the baseline, scared. Go forward. In 2000, Venus arrived at Wimbledon clear she would take the title.
"That was my title and no one else's," she wrote in Come To Win.
It was Venus's first Wimbledon title. She has won five to date.
"I'm still pretty good, even when I'm injured," Williams said. "At the Open, I came pretty close to winning just on a hope and a prayer, and little to no preparation. I'm going to focus on getting healthy and coming back. I love tennis. I've got a lot of great tennis in. I love my job, so no end in sight."
Her conviction to return to tennis is the best part of today's unfortunate retirement record.

Earlier Columns from this Event:
January 20, 2011 Australian Open: The Others
January 19, 2011 Australian Open: Back From the Brink
January 18, 2011 Australian Open: The Unluck of The Draw
January 17, 2011 Australian Open: Spanning The Globe
January 16, 2011 Australian Open: Off To The Races

Green DotGreen DotGreen Dot

Player Profile Index (Men) | Pro Tennis Showcase Archive | Player Profile Index (Women)


join our mailing list
* indicates required

All Tennis Server photography is copyrighted by the photographer and/or the Tennis Server, and all rights are reserved. You may not copy these images without permission. While you are welcome to create hyperlinks to Tennis Server web pages, you may not embed these images into other web pages or blogs without permission. To request permission, please use this contact form. Please be sure to clearly indicate exactly which photograph(s) you are requesting permission to use, as terms and conditions will vary depending on the photographer and the photograph.


Web tennisserver.com
nodot nodot
The Tennis Server
Ticket Exchange

Your Source for tickets to professional tennis & golf events.
Australian Open Tickets
Dallas Open Tickets
Delray Beach Open Tickets
ATX Open Tickets
Mexican Open Tickets
BNP Paribas Open Tickets
Miami Open Tickets
Credit One Charleston Open Tickets
US Men's Clay Court Championships Tickets
Wimbledon Tickets
Citi Open Tennis Tournament Tickets
Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic Tickets
National Bank Open Womens Tennis Canada Tickets
Odlum Brown Van Open r Tickets
Tennis In The Land Tickets
US Open Tennis Championship Tickets
Laver Cup Vancouver Tickets


Popular Tennis books:
Winning Ugly: Mental Warfare in Tennis-Lessons from a Master by Brad Gilbert, Steve Jamison
The Best Tennis of Your Life: 50 Mental Strategies for Fearless Performance by Jeff Greenwald
The Inner Game of Tennis by W. Timothy Gallwey
Most Recent Articles:
October 2022 Tennis Anyone: Patterns in Doubles by John Mills.
September 2022 Tennis Anyone: Short Court by John Mills.




"Tennis Server" is a registered trademark and "Tennis Server INTERACTIVE" is a trademark of Tennis Server. All original material and graphics on the Tennis Server are copyrighted 1994 - by Tennis Server and its sponsors and contributors. Please do not reproduce without permission.

The Tennis Server receives a commission on all items sold through links to Amazon.com.


Tennis Server
Cliff Kurtzman
791 Price Street #144
Pismo Beach, CA 93449
Phone: (281) 480-6300
Online Contact Form
How to support Tennis Server as a Sponsor/Advertiser
Tennis Server Privacy Policy