September 7, 2015
Why Venus Should Let Serena Win
It’s a SistaSista Quarterfinal…
I am pretty tired of this. I think the USTA did this on purpose too. They love the drama.
Venus and Serena have played each other 26 times and Tuesday at the US Open quarterfinals will mark the 14th time these sisters have played each other in a Major.
I don’t know about you, but couldn’t the USTA put them in a different draw bracket so that this didn’t have to play out in the quarterfinals? What about the semis or even the finals?
Not to mention what’s on the line for Serena. She is this close to a calendar grand slam, holding 5 major titles in a row, 22 major titles in her career and tying Steffi Graf for the most major titles. The only thing in her way right now: her older sister. That’s just all sorts of mind game crazy. Sure even if Serena beats Venus she still has to win the Semis and Finals, but any tennis fan knows, Venus will be her biggest challenge.
The Williams sisters have been playing each other since they were kids back in Compton with their father. Their matches just got more intense when they turned pro especially when they both reached the top 10. Now…we have history on the line. This is sibling rivalry at its peak.
Venus being older started out stronger than Serena. She was winning more, beating Serena and all eyes were on her. Venus has always carried herself in a different way while playing too. She is graceful, elegant, hard working and all around – for lack of a better word – nicer.
Then came Serena. A typical little sister. All eyes must be on her. Serena surpassed Venus in her play because she was more athletic, stronger, and meaner. Serena started to dominate not only her opponents but also her big sister Venus. Serena leads the matchup 15-11, but Venus has beaten Serena more than any other player on the tour. Plus, who knows her weaknesses better than her big sister?
Unfortunately, Venus faced a setback that I hate talking about because I do not want to define Venus by her illness, but it has impacted her play. So I will mention it quickly. Venus was diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome in 2011 – an autoimmune disorder that affects secreting glands mostly in the face, such as the salivary and lacrimal glands. It also affects a person’s energy level. Venus has had to adjust her entire regimen including how she eats. She dropped dramatically in the rankings but did not quit and I am in awe of her for that.
Venus worked her way back and she is back. As a fan, I can still see that vintage Venus play here and there but I also see when she falters. She played a beautiful game to reach the quarterfinals and now is there at the age of 35.
Serena has also faced setbacks in her career including a pulmonary embolism, foot, and wrist injuries, but no one ever doubted her return to the top. She is definitely on the top and as already mentioned has a lot at stake. A lot more than Venus right now.
Don’t get me wrong, I would never ever suggest to any high-level athlete that they should let someone else win. Even their sister. But between the two, Serena has more to gain than Venus by winning the US Open.
Serena is defying the critics, the statistics, and the game. She has risen to another level and has made tennis rise to another level. People continue to hate on her (why? you can read more about that in my last blog), yet she continues to win and inspire. If Serena wins the US Open she will join the elite of the elite in tennis by obtaining a calendar grand slam. Something that hasn’t happened since 1988. BTW, that was by Steffi Graf too.
As an older sister myself, I am willing to do anything for my sister. Even if it means losing the spotlight. Venus has even stated that she always wants to Serena to win. Of course, not against her. Unfortunately, the tennis gods are making them play one another again – I think on purpose -knowing Venus is not at her peak now. Venus, I am sure will come out and play the most professional game ever as she always does. But I am also sure she is thinking about what she could take away from her little sister. Honestly, she may even be reminded that Serena has a better chance of winning the whole thing than she does. Additionally, between the two, Venus is such a better loser than Serena and can handle the letdown more. If Venus loses, she will be in the stands watching Serena (possibly next to Drake). I can’t say the same for Serena if she lost.
All in all, I am excited to see yet another Williams sister quarterfinal in the Majors, but I can’t help but see what potentially could happen. Honestly, this is Serena’s moment, her time to win. Venus being the amazing person and big sister she is, must see that too. Venus could potentially win it all – and if she does beat Serena on Tuesday – I hope she does win it all. But the chances greatly favor Serena. Regardless, there will be a Williams in the semifinals, but as always I hope to see the better Williams prevail and take it all and I literally I mean ALL.
A Labor of love…
Labor Day weekend marks the end of the summer but also the tennis season with the US Open. The US Open is in full swing almost to the quarterfinals and here’s how we got to another Williams sister quarterfinal in New York…
Both sisters had tough matches against some strong opponents to make it here. Serena coasted through the first round because her opponent retired, but the second and third rounds were not so easy. Both were three sets and me nervous especially the way Bethanie Mattek-Sands was playing, but Serena prevailed. Finally, she just beat the tough and powerful American up-and-comer, Madison Keys, to reach the quarterfinals.
Venus also played some close three setters but has coasted to quarterfinals in the last round in a match that lasted 51 minutes.
Some notable early exits: Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic in the first round. Genie Bouchard was finally playing well after a rough season but suffered a concussion after a freak accident in the locker room after her final match. She was sadly forced to withdraw.
Players to watch: Makarova just lost to the lesser known Mladenovic. Kvitova is still in. Samantha Stosur could also give someone a run for their money.
The greatest challenges for the Williams in my opinion will be Vichka Azarenka and Simona Halep if they can make it to Quarterfinals.
My heart is broken…
The men’s side has had a lot less attention than the women’s, but a lot of great tennis is happening there too. Here’s what’s happened so far.
My favorite player is out. Rafael Nadal lost to the Italian Fabio Fognini in 5 sets after taking the first two sets in the third round. Rafa looked great at first, but Fabio just kept coming up with these amazing shots delivering great tennis but a loss to Rafa.
Of course, Fabio just lost to Feliciano Lopez who now is in the quarterfinals.
Other men in the quarterfinals: French Tsonga just waltzed in and reigning champion Marin Cilic has battled a few 5 setters, but has made it.
Other notables: Roger Federer is looking good, having yet to drop a set. He will play one of the few American men: Jon Isner.
Speaking of American men: Donald Young is the comeback kid. He has been down two sets TWICE and has come back to reach the round of 16. He will have to play Stan the Man.
Andy Murray is still going strong as well as the ever present Novak Djokovic.
When smart people turn on smart people…
Did you notice that college football is back? How can you not? Everyone is sporting their college colors and the freedom of summer Saturdays are over. This Labor Day weekend introduced the 2015 college football season and not much happened that was that surprising except…
Northwestern beat Stanford…whaaa??? What happened Stanford? Stanford was in the top 25 but will likely drop below for that 16-6 loss to the team that’s ready to unionize.
Despite that upset, the usual suspects won: #2 TCU squeaked by Minnesota, #4 Baylor against SMU, #3 Alabama held out against Wisconsin, Florida State, USC and Boise State, etc.
I’ll tell you who came out very strong: #11 Notre Dame versus Texas. Watch out for those Irish this year.
The Blue Devils also came out looking strong against Tulane on Thursday. Thank you for playing on Thursday Duke! It kept my Saturday nice and clear for the beach because my other team Ohio State will play on Monday.
That’s the game of the week. #1 Ohio State plays Virginia Tech – who has been their kryptonite in the past years – on Labor Day. I can’t wait for this Buckeye season!
When not so smart people do not so smart things…
Sunday of Labor Day weekend was quiet on the NFL side. I need to watch tennis anyway. Big news from the NFL though: Tom Brady got his suspension lifted. Patriot fans everywhere are rejoicing. They shouldn’t celebrate too much – that can be appealed and Brady could lose 4 games in the middle of the season. I think 4 games in the beginning would have been better. Watch for this Deflategate drama to continue.
Until then..The NFL season officially opens Thursday: New England with Tom Brady will play the Steelers. Ben ain’t scurred…
Would you let your little sister win if she had so much at stake?
Thank you for reading my Labor Day weekend blog full of sports…
I can be seen out on the town of San Diego with my little sister. Check it…Instagram and Twitter @theprettymaven. You know you want to follow.