Serena has decided that her main interest in life is not tennis and that she will «evolve» outside of the sport. But as she shouted the final ‘hurrah’ at the Open, she continued to amaze, amaze and put on a performance she probably didn’t even know she could do.
Crowds or tennis masses mingled at Ashe Stadium to watch Serena’s performance. No one would sum up what the outcome would be on this muggy and muggy night in Ashe of the possible decider to end Serena’s bachelorette career.
«It’s not over until the fat lady sings» is a popular catchphrase that really means wait and see what develops. Serena brought the best game of hers that she could muster against Danika Kovinic of Montenegro in 80th place.
He has 12 years on tour and is 10 years younger than Serena; but when you’re the icon she’s trying to keep up with and perform well, she can be too challenging. Serena’s straight sets win over Danika gave her great confidence that the magic is still there.
Venus came through with her first round match, not to the same result. She was up against Belgian Alison Van Uytvanck, another 12-year-old WTA player, who had raised her game to become a threat to the iconic Venus Williams. Probably a bit scary for both of them, not knowing how things would turn out.
This was Venus and Alison’s first meeting, a high-pressure match in which Van Uytvanck sliced and spun her shots keeping her strategy working to produce a 6-1 victory in the first set. Venus didn’t let her go easy and fought back to bring out the best in her to move the games to a playoff.
It was a tough, tight decider that had Venus moving her opponent all over the court, but there was no letting up. Alison had me hit that last ball which presented a tough compromise to win any points. In the end, the Belgian won the tiebreaker by just a few points, ending Venus’ singles streak at the Open.
Venus gave Uytvanck praise when he admitted: «I think this is some of the best tennis he’s ever played.» However, it must have been a wonder if Williams’ older sister was overwhelmed.
She confessed to saying that «I was still finding my space. This is my first specialty in over a year… I had a little bad luck in the tiebreaker…» Venus is dealing with whatever competitor she has in the draw, but says it was «really unlucky».
I couldn’t do anything with those shots.» Well, Serena gets another chance in singles and Venus will see what she can do with her sister in doubles in a few days. Venus admitted with a laugh that when they play doubles, «I just want to keep my side off the court and being a good sister.