Wimbledon: Sisters ready to forget French flop
The injuries and intrigue, passion for fashion, disdain for the tennis grind and insistence on go-for-broke strokes ó all in the context of a friendly sibling rivalry ó make even Mom reluctant to predict what the Williams sisters might do next.
They’d love to win Wimbledon, and Venus and Serena Williams will be among the favorites when the tournament begins Monday. But both have been erratic this year, raising anew questions about their devotion to a sport they once dominated.
“They have a lot of things going on with their life,” said their mother and coach, Oracene Price. “Sometimes you never know what’s going on in their head, especially girls.”
The sisters are coming off a rare double defeat at the French Open, where they were eliminated in the third round. It was only the second time they lost on the same day at a Grand Slam event, which should stoke their desire for a strong showing at Wimbledon.
“We always learn and get more determined after a loss,” Venus said.
Venus and Serena are in opposite halves of the draw, which means they could meet in the final, and grass often puts extra spring in their step. They’ve combined to win six of the past eight Wimbledon titles.
On the surface, it’s easy to explain the sisters’ success at Wimbledon: Lawn tennis suits their big serves, slam-bang groundstrokes and willingness to charge the net.
“Wimbledon, I think, has been around for hundreds of years,” Serena said. “It doesn’t get better than that.”
On the men’s side, Roger Federer remains No. 1 for the 229th week in a row, extending his record. He’ll play the first Centre Court match to begin his bid for a sixth consecutive Wimbledon title. In the past 100 years, only Federer and Bjorn Borg (1976-80) have won five in a row.
But for the first time in several years, Federer appears vulnerable even on his favorite surface. Against Rafael Nadal in the French Open final, Federer endured his most lopsided Grand Slam loss.
In addition, Federer faces the toughest draw. Possible opponents for him in the opening week include big-serving Robin Soderling and Fernando Gonzalez, 2007 quarterfinalist Tomas Berdych, 2002 champion Lleyton Hewitt and No. 5-seeded David Ferrer, who won his first grass-court title Saturday in the Netherlands.