Serena Stumbles; Bianca Leaps

Serena Williams, the 23-slam champion, started the US Open finals against Bianca Andreescu, the ultra-confident 19-year-old Canadian, by hitting an ace out wide. She then proceeded to get broken by Andreescu when she served her second double fault of the game.

Andreescu has matched Serena’s power and pace and added a little more spin. Her forehand has continually hurt Serena particularly when Andreescu goes out wide to Serena’s forehand side. On a number of Andreescu’s cross-court forehands, the 37-year-old American with a packed Arthur Ashe Stadium of supporters including her friend, Meghan Markle, has not even given chase or gotten a racquet on the ball.

Chrissie Evert commentating for ESPN on the match, loves to talk about how well Serena is or isn’t getting out of the corners. In this match, Serena is often not getting into the corner, her forehand corner, against Andreescu’s power and angle. Nothing seemed to be going right for Serena as Andreescu captured the first set 6-3 and quickly went up a break in the second.

Serena’s vaunted serve is way off as she misses again and again on first serves. At one point early in the second set, Serena missed nine first serves in a row. At 2-0 Andreescu hit a long ground stroke that Serena felt was out and she challenged it only to see it called in on the Challenge. Serena did get the break two points later on a ball she hit that hit the net and trickled over on Andreescu’s side.

The Canadian quickly broke back for 3-1 and Serena super-fan, Spike Lee, looked sick in the stands. Serena continued to unravel in the set’s fifth game hitting one forehand return of serve 20 feet long at 30-love Andreescu. With Andreescu going up 4-1, Serena mis-tracked a backhand on a high ball by Andreescu and then proceeded to stand flat-footed as the 19-year-old pffted it back into the open court.

Maybe, looking back, Serena will rue her flawed serving or the fact that she wore a purple dress instead of the black cat-suit she was 3-0 with in this tournament. Two years ago, Evert pointed out, Andreescu just worried about making enough money on tour so she could afford to have her parents travel with her.

Today she beat Williams in similar fashion to her idol and fellow Romanian, Simona Halep, did in winning Wimbledon this year only ceding four games to Williams. Serena went down swinging, but she shot her box a telling glare right before returning serve at 1-5. Her sister, Venus, looked back at her in seeming disbelief. But as much as Serena tried to hit harder and harder, her shots were mostly long or returned with better accuracy by the fleet-footed Andreescu.

Serena with all her slam doubles titles has never been called a “complete player,” but her vanquisher today, Andreescu, the super-confident and super-competitive Canadian, is. She almost matched Serena today in the power department while clearly out-doing her in the serving, moving and touch departments. In fact, in chasing down Williams’ blasts in all the corners of the court, Andreescu might be dubbed the first women’s gymnast-tennis player; an uncanny combination of Nadia Comaneci and Halep with a little Mike Tyson throw in.

Just as it seemed a fait accompli that Andreescu would match Halep in defeating Williams in a slam finals by only dropping four games, Williams rallied with a raucous AA crowd behind her every point of the way, to break Andreescu at love to get back on serve at 4-5. Although, she double-faulted twice, Serena pulled even when Andreescu suddenly continued her nerves-filled tennis by mishitting two backhand returns.

When Serena couldn’t find her best tennis, she cried out to her box, but Andreescu never showed much or any frustration when her play went south. Andreescu steadied herself after Serena won four games straight by hitting a second serve in the corner of the box (after she had to catch her own toss twice) that Serena tattooed into the net with her forehand. While Serena’s backhand is mostly mint, her forehand shows that it can go astray at times.

And then it was over at 5-6 Serena could not get a racquet on two of Andreescu’s returns, one to her backhand side (which was not even in the corner of the court, more to the left quadrant of the court) and at 30-40 on a Serena second serve, to Serena’s forehand side that Serena feebly waved at. Andreescu wins her first slam in straight sets, but my guess is she will surely not be a one-slam wonder. Starting the year ranked No. 152, the athletically zoftig brunette just had too much game for the women’s GOAT, who fell short once again and now is 0-4 in slam finals since returning from giving birth to her first child two years ago and amazingly has not captured a single set in those four finals.

In all four slams finals matches where there’s been a 15-year age-gap between the two finalists (male or female), they younger play has won. An underdog coming into this match, Andreescu shows that youth can prevail and that she might become the next player for the ages! Serena has to be crushed by this resounding defeat and one wonders how she can rebound again and resurrect her slam title hopes.

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  • Hartt · September 8, 2019 at 1:40 pm

    I don’t have a problem with what Serena said about this match, because she did give Bianca appropriate praise. But her comment about the Kerber match is unacceptable.

    “Williams later gave Andreescu her due, saying, “I felt like Bianca plays well under pressure. She goes out and she plays hard. She does what she does best, and that’s move up to the ball, that’s hit winners, that’s play with a ton of intensity.”

    But Williams was also self-critical, bemoaning her inept serving and declaring, “this was the worst match I’ve played all tournament.” (Tennis Canada site)

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 8, 2019 at 1:41 pm

    Saturday’s women’s championship at the #USOpen – Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu surprising Serena Williams 6-3, 7-5 – earned a 2.7 overnight rating for the three-hour telecast, ESPN’s best ever for the event and up 13% from a 2.4 year ago, the previous high.

    Imagine the numbers if Svitolina made the final, or Wang. Less than half. $erena i$ $$$$$.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 8, 2019 at 1:43 pm

    Coco needs a reality show.

  • catherine · September 8, 2019 at 2:04 pm

    I don’t think Angie will care about Serena’s comment. As I said before she has her name on the wall which is what she most wanted. No one can take that away.

    Of course, if Serena had been so bad how come she reached the final ?

    I hope no press person will be so ill-mannered as to ask Angie about this in China.

  • Dan Markowitz · September 8, 2019 at 2:16 pm

    Why shouldn’t a reporter ask Kerber about Serena’s comment about her? That’s part of a reporter’s job; asking players questions that may elicit an interesting response. Do you think Kerber would be offended by the question? If anything, I’d think Kerber would want to be asked about her Wimbledon victory especially now when she’s dropped so far the totem pole.

    Remember what Hunter S. Thompson, one of my favorite sportswriters said:

    I have learned, in my life and work as a sportswriter, that big-time Sports and big-time Politics are not so far apart in America. They are both a means to the same end, which is victory… And why not? Victory is good for you, and don’t let anybody tell you different.

  • jg · September 8, 2019 at 2:21 pm

    I’m assuming Bianca spent a fair amount of time hitting with Felix, Dennis and the other younger Canadians growing up, her forehand has more spin contrasted with the flat strokes most of the women hit, I play with someone whose nephew hit with Mugarutha at one of the slams and her coach told him to flatten out his shots, it was making her uncomfortable with the heavy spin. Serena was aware of this from the few games she lost in Toronto before retiring and I think her slow start was partly attributed to her being psyched out from the start. I am just surprised so many picked Serena to win, or they thought that was the correct thing to say, Bianca has not lost in some time. It’s possible she can win all 4 majors in a year, Coco better revamp that forehand, maybe take some notes, practice in a chair for a few months.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 8, 2019 at 2:48 pm

    Yes, jg if you picked against Serena there could be some overtones interpreted so most people just go with safe pick and pick Serena. But Andreescu was under the radar for some reason despite her big success all year. Serena is overrated and over hyped. People just assume she will break the record of 24. Andreescu has to be one of the best gamble picks, she was 14-1 at the start of the tournament and she was not a top favorite though she should have been. I picked her before it started and regret not making that bet. She was also the underdog yesterday but should have been the favorite. Based on Toronto.

  • catherine · September 8, 2019 at 2:51 pm

    Dan, once again I had my tongue in my cheek slightly. It’s my English sense of humour I’m afraid.

    There’s no reason a reporter shouldn’t ask Angie about Serena’s comment although I can’t see much point – she might not even have heard it anyway and the match was last year so not terribly relevant to her current situation.

    I think Angie would be diplomatic if she was asked. She’d probably just say she won the final and Serena is entitled to her opinion.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 8, 2019 at 2:52 pm

    Kerber will care about Serena’s put down, the second biggest figure in the sport just totally discredited her career highlight triumph as not counting, as meaning nothing. Kerber surely will have something to say about Serena’s insult and so she should. I hope she let’s loose too. How on earth Serena could belittle a major title victory as not counting is one of the most absurd, irrational things a top sportsman or sportswoman has ever babbled.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 8, 2019 at 3:00 pm

    Andreescu also has hit with 13-14 year old Canadian prospect named Cadence Brace who played the Chinese girl I helped at Orange Bowl, and lost 64 64 but is a helluva good player. Very important for young juniors to get a chance to hit with pros, to feel their shots and see up close how they operate and handle themselves, how they warm up, train, their practice habits. Canada has a lot of teens coming up in the pipeline.

  • Hartt · September 8, 2019 at 3:10 pm

    Scoop, a guy on Reddit claimed he made his first tennis bet ever, betting $100 before the start of the tourney that Bianca would win and won $2000.

  • catherine · September 8, 2019 at 3:10 pm

    Scoop – Angie and Serena are supposed to be good friends but I wonder about that. I agree, it was a snide, gratuitously dismissive comment and all about Serena, not a thought for Kerber. As bad as if she’d said she threw the match. And not true either. Angie was better on the day. The whole tournament was a huge achievement for her.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 8, 2019 at 3:17 pm

    Catherine, no defense for Serena to try to discredit Kerber like that, no respect at all. Imagine the uproar if whoever loses to Gauff in her first major final tries to say it doesn’t count. Serena continues to hit new lows, just in different forms of expression. The media will give Serena another free pass. And continue the worship. One guy Alex Bancila, who has written for this site, made a good point on Twitter, it almost seems ESPN pays bonuses for their commentators when they praise/worship Serena.

    ESPN🎾announcers’ Serena Williams a**💋ing bonuses revealed:

    “Serena” – $100
    “It’s Serena and the rest” – $250
    “Classy & gracious” – $500
    “The Big 4: Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, and Serena” – $1,000
    “Greatest🎾player ever” – $2,000

    “Greatest female🎾player ever” – $1,000 fine.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 8, 2019 at 3:18 pm

    Hartt, that guy is a smart man and smarter than most tennis experts. Wish I had easier access to tennis betting, I would made that bet too. But didn’t feel like driving 20 minutes to the Meadowlands Racetrack to make the bet at 14-1.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 8, 2019 at 3:30 pm

    Tursunov was in the row in front of the Sabalenka Mertens box today for the doubles final, not in the box, and he shook Sabalenka’s hand when she went over to celebrate with her team, she shot him a look up at him as she left the box area. Very curious and interesting situation there. Was he fired and re-hired or was he just there to make some kind of statement to her? Why was he not in the actual box?

  • catherine · September 8, 2019 at 4:03 pm

    It’s possible there was some kind of Halep/Cahill situation with Tursunov. He didn’t want to work with her any more, maybe her attitude etc, but hasn’t cut all ties. He wasn’t in the box because he’s not officially with her now. Sabalenka is in China this week so I’ll have a look out for any other coach around her.

  • Andrew Miller · September 8, 2019 at 4:08 pm

    Scoreboard says Andreescu won. Serena acknowledged that. This isn’t a big deal. Move on…

  • Andrew Miller · September 8, 2019 at 4:12 pm

    Kerber has enough to worry about with her game in worse shape and her slam window tighter. Kerber game isn’t so high octane to put her in finals contention all the time. She’s a three time slam champ. If she wants another she could always try for it…or she could get involved in a war of words and lose early at tournaments to come. That’s a choice too.

  • Hartt · September 8, 2019 at 4:18 pm

    Scoop, yes the attention Bianca will get now will be off the charts. There was a lot of excitement in Canada after she won IW, and then of course for the Rogers Cup. But I’ve never seen anything like what the USO title is causing. When she gets back to Canada it will get even bigger.

    The Toronto Star has a front page photo of her with the trophy and a huge headline, “Queen B!” There are also 3 separate articles. When the mass media like the Star pay attention, it does make a difference for the profile of tennis in Canada.

    As far as sponsorships, after IW her agent said her time was becoming “more and more precious.” He said they had to find the “right balance between the right number of partnerships to help her be secure without overexposing her.” I hope they keep that approach.

  • Andrew Miller · September 8, 2019 at 4:24 pm

    Scoreboard says Serena has 23 slams. Martina N., who also has plenty of opinions on players, wasn’t happy losing finals either. At one point she also considered herself the best women’s player in history, even as Graf racked up more slams than Navratilova, by quite a margin.
    Move on…

  • Jeff · September 8, 2019 at 5:08 pm

    I doubt Kerber and Serena are friends. What could they possibly have in common outside of tennis? Kerber, to my knowledge, is friends with Woz so that could be it.

    I think what me and Scoop and Catherine are trying to say is that Serena always makes it about herself. It is like everything should always go her way and if her serve isn’t working or she gets a violation she unravels mentally and the whole world is against her. Then you throw in her mother act as if she is the only woman ever to have a child – I don’t for the life of me understand what rights she is fighting for for mothers. Someone needs to explain that to me. Are mothers being persecuted in the U.S. or something?

    Of course, Patrick is a big part of the problem. He is the consummate yes man and has become the face of women’s tennis and Serena. His interviews and that stupid smirk are ridiculous. I’m not sure if he is still secretly in love with her or what but I haven’t heard him say one insightful thing about tennis on the tactical level. The other celebrity loonies in that box are a problem as well. It’s just become way too much and a drag on the tournaments she deems herself worthy enough to play in

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 8, 2019 at 5:23 pm

    Odd how he sat one row in front of the box and then casually, unemotionally extended his hand to shake her hand when she came over to the box to celebrate. Then he kept looking down at her and she shot up that final look/glare or whatever it was. Lots of silent drama there.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 8, 2019 at 5:32 pm

    Mouratoglou is a likable chap, he says some good things, but there is that lingering question about his true capacities as a coach and if he’s paying Serena to image and brand himself as her “coach.” He’s already poached some already developed top juniors to his academy which makes him and the academy look good. And the results of Tsitsipas and his other pre-Serena players is less than stellar. Tsitsipas is coached by his father, not Patrick according to the ATP site. Serena is good for the sport, has been great for the sport, controversial and great are a lucrative, entertaining combination. That said, is she still able to take PEDs via therapeutic use exemption? Will the media ever dig on that?

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 8, 2019 at 5:34 pm

    Medvedev looks good here, despite losing the close first set, I still think he can pull this upset for his first major, like Delpo and Cilic and Murray and Stan. He still looks capable and his spirit is good.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 8, 2019 at 6:01 pm

    Nadal up a set and break 75 52. The heavyset female vocalist is singing. The women’s final will have upstaged the men again this year.

  • Jeff · September 8, 2019 at 7:49 pm

    Thanks for the information on the beautiful women sitting in Bianca’s box. Certainly gives us more reason to hope she is in more big matches if she keeps bringing them around.

    Speaking of which, who is the blonde woman next to Xisca in Nadal’s box? I feel like I should know her. Certainly I would like to!

  • Hartt · September 8, 2019 at 7:51 pm

    The blonde woman next to Maria is Rafa’s sister.

  • jg · September 8, 2019 at 7:53 pm

    Not too fast scoop!

  • Jeff · September 8, 2019 at 7:54 pm

    Ahh right, Hartt I forgot. Thanks.

    Meanwhile, Nick Kyrgios tweeting during this match that he is looking for a doubles partner in China. He misses the fact that no one is paying attention to him today.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 8, 2019 at 8:25 pm

    Safin called this, in the third set at 3-2 he perceived that Nadal was still “showing fear and respect of Medvedev” and it was not over. He spotted what the McEnroes did not.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 8, 2019 at 8:47 pm

    Not over yet despite Rafa break 3-2 from 0-40 down. Medvedev has that Safin facial expression the entire match. so Focused like a machine………… But he choked with that forehand long at 40-love and choked that game, then choked that lob at 30-0 love and then lost that game for the second break. Rafa better under extreme pressure. Med cracked in the winning position in both of those break games on his serve.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 8, 2019 at 9:11 pm

    Nadal is the greatest competitor in the history of sport.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 8, 2019 at 9:11 pm

    Med might be the best player to never win a major.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 8, 2019 at 9:12 pm

    Nadal parents even hugging.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 8, 2019 at 9:15 pm

    All-Time Career On-Court Earnings, Top Five (UPDATED):

    1. Novak Djokovic, $135,259,120

    2. Roger Federer, $126,840,700

    3. Rafael Nadal,

    4. Serena Williams, $92,543,816

    5. Andy Murray, $61,263,652

  • Jeff · September 8, 2019 at 10:01 pm

    Epic tournament. What guts by Tommy Paul to capture the New Haven challenger and continue his rise!

    Just kidding! This US Open final had everything. Not sure any other player in the world would have beaten Medvedev. Stunning superhuman tennis. Is this sport the greatest of them all or what? Tell everyone you know you watched this match because tennis just gets better and better.

    I think Medvedev showed us that the kids are all right.

  • Andrew Miller · September 8, 2019 at 11:19 pm

    Nadal: “I’m sure you will have many more chances here”

    Nadal possibly thinking: “19 slams, baby! Did you see that video? I’m amazing!”

  • Andrew Miller · September 8, 2019 at 11:24 pm

    Big players not in the final: “Man, must be nice to have the US Open again. If only (my hip…Dimitrov…Wawrinka) had worked for me, I may have been in this final.”

    Big players on second thought: “Fist bump, Rafa. Our shutout of the next generation continies to be absolute. If we have more and they have none, all is well.”

  • catherine · September 9, 2019 at 1:09 am

    I agree – it’s been a great tournament on both sides and an intriguing year to look forward to.

    I’m catching up here so just to go back a bit – I doubt Kerber wants to get into a war of words – it’s not her thing – she’ll just ignore Serena’s comments, if she even heard them. Her tennis life’s at the crossroads; she’s in Zhengzhou with a WC trying to get her ranking up, but still minus a coach ? She plays Riske first match so could be a quick trip. Alison’s beaten her before. Angie needs matches. Then in 2020 my guess is she’ll want to go to the Olympics and then possibly close the door.

    Zhengzhou used to be the WTA New Haven tournament if you can believe that.

  • catherine · September 9, 2019 at 1:24 am

    Hartt – I think, and hope, Bianca will be able to cope with the attention – if only because she’s had a few setbacks in her short career and knows how uncertain life can be in sport. She won’t win every event she enters and I suspect she’ll care less about that than the media will. Her agents sound fairly sensible. And she’s not got Bouchard’s distracting glamour – what she has got is a rather better game.

  • catherine · September 9, 2019 at 1:41 am

    Jeff – no, I don’t think Kerber and Serena are particular friends. Never seen any evidence of it. Woz and Angie, yes, partly the Polish connection.

    When you’re winning you have lots of friends. True in life generally. Reading between the lines, I suspect Angie found that out in 2017. Maybe she was hurt. And maybe she’s finding it out again. The glamour falls away.

    Don’t know, but I feel men are better at this kind of thing than women.

  • catherine · September 9, 2019 at 2:17 am

    Sorry – but I think this piece hits heights of pretension seldom reached in tennis writing – or even sports in general.

    ‘Caress of fate’ – blue pencil please.

    It’s not just fans who seemed a little crazed.

  • catherine · September 9, 2019 at 2:30 am

    I had a look around. There are more articles about Serena than there are about Bianca. She didn’t win the US Open and she hasn’t even retired yet.

  • Jeff · September 9, 2019 at 2:45 am

    Yes, lots of silly Serena articles. All praising her. It’s all fluff and for her crazed feminist lunatic fan base.

    Meanwhile, Tommy Paul now at a career-high 92 in the world. He is on the rise.

    John Isner the top U.S. player at No. 20. Soon the U.S. could have no man in the top 20.

    Laver Cup nominee Jack Sock slips to No. 208. Speaking of Laver Cup, the world team has Anderson, Isner and Raonic – all who are injured. If those 3 don’t play, the team becomes even more pathetic. I suspect DeMinaur and Fritz may get invites. Probably not Felix since Kyrgios hates his guts and Nick gets what he wants.

  • jackson · September 9, 2019 at 3:19 am

    Scoop – why wouldn’t Rafa’s parents be hugging after that incredible win by Rafa? Are you so behind on your gossip that you don’t know that they reconciled about a year after their divorce and have been together ever since.

    And you also mentioned “Player wit and humor is extinct now in press conferences.” Guess you’ve never been to a Rafa presser. He and Ubaldo almost have a song and dance act going. The whole press contingent laughs heartily at how Rafa pokes and teases him.

  • catherine · September 9, 2019 at 3:31 am

    Jeff – I’d agree that there are plenty of crazed fans out there (and journalists too apparently) but I don’t agree they are solely ‘feminist’. I have friends who would call themselves generally feminists but they don’t support Serena. They don’t really support anyone in sport from a feminist point of view. So there are obviously other things going on. Not sure what precisely.

    I can foresee a future where people too lazy to look up the records will believe Serena won Wimbledon in 2018/19 and Kerber and Halep will be erased from history.

  • jackson · September 9, 2019 at 3:34 am

    Oh, and there was talk about Bianca and then Muster using a chair on the tennis court to practice. Rafa did that too in 2005 when the navicular bone in his foot shattered and a congenital defect was discovered that bothers him to this day. The treatment for that problem is what has caused all his knee problems. It’s all laid out in his book.

    It’s amazing that with his continuing injuries he’s still able to play like he did today. What a match that was! I’m surprised both he and Medvedev were still standing at the trophy ceremony.

  • jackson · September 9, 2019 at 3:41 am

    The media is trying so hard to make Rafa getting to 19 slams and chasing Fed a big story and Rafa keeps foiling their efforts. LOL Rafa keeps insisting that that’s not what motivates him and they still keep asking. This was his response (again) from his presser tonight.

    “Nadal:”I’m not thinking about Grand Slams, tennis is more than that, I don’t train just for that. I play to be happy. But the competition [among the 3 of us] attracts fans and I’m honored to be part of it. But I don’t think I’ll be happier if I have more Slams than others” ”

    Rafa has such a terrific attitude towards life and tennis.

  • Andrew Miller · September 9, 2019 at 7:13 am

    Andreescu isn’t Graf yet folks. Give it time. She had an amazing year. Guess what, I was shocked when Safin d. Sampras in 2000 US Open final – mostly because I had no idea who Safin was. I was surprised in 2001 that Hewitt d. Sampras in the US Open final, only because I didn’t think Hewitt could pull that off.

    Give it time. The new wta players have to keep winning to become better known. Serena has 23 slams and her family has been a fixture on the WTA tour for about 22 years. The “media” world was still shocked when Serena Williams won the 1999 US Open, only because it was accepted that Venus would win a slam first.

    Not how it works. Talent wins. Talent almost always wins. Narratives favor past precedent.

    Tracy Austin called this before the tournament. Everyone on this board saw how good the kid was.

    My thing is I can always accept a player overrunning another player because I’ve seen it for decades now. Del Potro comes along and beats Federer in five. I almost believed Medvedev, having won the second pair of sets last night, was on his way to Del Potro fame. But a player always has to close out the match to win, and that’s on them.

    And if they win – you see where they go from there. In the case of Del Potro, the only thing anyone cares about is his inability to win another slam, if they care at all even about that. This is Del Potro we’re talking about here, proven player. Still gets no love.

    Don’t worry about Andreescu. Canada is probably going to put here in their Hall of fame ASAP and they’ll double up the reporting on her. It’ll probably upset the apple cart in Canada, as Raonic, Shapovalov, Felix AA, Pops, possibly IG star Bouchard, either feel they aren’t doing enough or see the spotlight move on as they’ll never get a highlight that says they won X or Y grand slam…like Andreescu.

    Works in many ways. Andreescu isn’t a global sports icon. Who knows if that’ll happen. But I’d think she is an ambitious person. And if she makes good on that ambition, and as other players fade, her agent will get her a Gatorade commercial or Wheaties box appearance and then she’ll be as well known as the Maleeva girls 😉

    Just kidding. But remember Myskina gets no love for her French Open title. A player has to back it up.

  • Hartt · September 9, 2019 at 7:21 am

    Catherine, yes I think Bianca will keep her main focus on tennis despite all the attention she will get. Although she isn’t fazed by it either. She enjoyed doing things like throwing out the first pitch at a Blue Jays game (after she won IW) and said she’d like to do more of it.

    At a recent press conference she was asked about being famous and she said she’d never thought about it, that her goals were all related to winning big title, etc. Then she smiled and said she wouldn’t complain. She will probably handle it just fine.

    I am reading Sharapova’s autobiography now (and it is more interesting than I’d expected). She writes about how easy it is to get distracted by all the external stuff when you win a Slam, and thinks that is one reason some players only win one.

    On the Tennis Podcast there was a fun bit about Catherine Whitaker meeting Coco. Catherine is a huge dog lover, and David Law thought she should meet a little dog who was with a couple. How he did not recognize Bianca’s mother is beyond me, but he didn’t. So Catherine was a bit mortified when the meeting was arranged and she discovered who they were. But she did meet Coco.

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