Monday, August 31, 2009

Is a Williams' Sister Going to Win Again Review?

I started reading Rick Reilly's column about the underreported Williams' Sisters and was genuinely confused, since SportsCenter usually goes nuts when they are playing in the slams. No one really cares about Tennis other than the slams, so it seemed to me that they were simply "reported" not "underreported." It didn't take me very long to get his point, though. It's not that they are underreported, it's that they could dominate the sport without really caring, and the 2009 US Open was no exception. They both took time off. Fashionistas they are! "Celebrity" boyfriends. It doesn't matter. With Venus playing against some Russian "ova," I decided to take a look at Venus' intensity and drive and watch tennis for the first time in years without my Streak for Cash on the line.

7:30pm. What the hell is David Robinson and Doug Flutie doing on Center Court? After I get over how diminutive Flutie really is, I am struck by a montage of feel good pictures of some school called the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy. I'm not sure my kids would get into college if they were learning from Andre Agassi. A disastrous rendition of America the Beautiful by Rob Thomas and an unnamed guitarist followed Andre's Stay in School speech. My wife was getting peeved that I was watching this in the first place, and after an hour it hadn't even started yet. Closer to the matchtime, Pam Shriver interviews the Russian. I can't really understand a word she says, but it really doesn't matter, does it? After a brief interview with Venus, where she uttered one word answers to a couple of inane questions, Mary Carillo chides Shriver that she "cracks the Williams like walnuts." Oh my.

The first game of the first set starts just as everyone expected - Venus overpowers the young Russian (Her name is Dushevina) for the first couple of points. The older folks are starting to get a little sleepy, but then pow - a couple of double faults and a couple of mishits - and the Dush breaks serve! I am interested to see how Williams responds.

I was getting a little bored though waiting for some sort of response, I admit, so I turned the station with the young Russian leading the match. When I returned, I saw the trainer working on Venus' knee. Of course! If I were a heavy favorite and I were losing, I would be accentuating my balky knee myself - either that or leg cramps. I do hear Rob Thomas and Santana in the background, just to rub salt into Rob Thomas' wounds of a music career. Rob probably didn't get good enough seats to hear the background music?

I come back several minutes later to the Dush serving for the set, but I also see Venus moving around even better than before with the miracle knee wrap. I lose interest again for a little while, look up, and see that the first set has been stolen by the young Russian. Venus' knee has got to be hurting now more than ever.

And as the second set begins, we learn that the knee has been bothering Venus for 6 weeks. Why didn't someone tell Reilly? Back and forth the crippled Williams and the Dush go - point/counterpoint. Finally, serving for the set, Williams unleashes three tremendous serves. The young Russian looks rattled heading into set 3.

After Williams smoked the first 4 games, the young Russian appeared to finally get the concept of moving the hobbled Williams around the court and won the next three games. It's too late though and Williams ultimately won in the third set. Despite the announcers treating Williams like her leg was shot, it appeared to me that Williams' knee will be just fine. She alarmingly lacked any fire, though, even when the match was on the line in the second set. A couple of glares at the Dush was all she could muster at the end of the match. Based on this match, my review is that she loses in the second or third round. I hope that goes underreported.

P.S. Roddick must be excited to start his match at 11pm.

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