NEW YORK – Sister Serena is back. Bold, blasting and bell-ringing – a woman with a cause to turn the world upside down as her property once again.
Serena warming up
But how far back is she on arriving in the fourth round of the US Open, aiming at her fourth title, the first since 2008.
Having chased away two earlier hapless foes on the loss of three games, she was past scrimmaging. It was all changed yesterday, a warm breezy afternoon with about 15,000 witnesses in Ashe Stadium. It was time for the real, bygone Sister Serena to go to work devastatingly in a blood raspberry frock. continue reading »
September 03 2011 | US Open | 3 Comments »
NEW YORK – Ever wonder how Billy the Kid would have done with a tennis racket instead of a shotgun? The Kid, known as a withdrawal artist to the bankers of Lincoln County, New Mexico, showed his quick, greedy hands to advantage in practicing his craft in the neighborhood of the Tombstone’s infamous OK Corral. continue reading »
Folding the flag
August 29 2011 | US Open | 1 Comment »
LONDON – Was the name Halep or Help? A little of both, it seems, as another Serena drama continues on a grassy stage called Wimbledon. It’s entitled “I Ain’t Leaving!”
Towels commemorating the 125th Wimbledon
Anyway, she was getting a strong dose of Halep and needed Help. A girl of 19 from Romania – Simona Halep – was pushing Serena around, winning their first set. “I didn’t even have a break point,” Serena said. “She has so much power on her serve.” And a No. 57 ranking. continue reading »
June 24 2011 | Wimbledon | No Comments »
LONDON – The queen is back in her palace. Not Elizabeth II, the Buckingham tenant. No, it’s Serena IV whose palace is called Centre Court at the end of a grassy rainbow.
Bud at his desk on Centre Court watching the return of Queen Serena
This was not supposed to be her year to captivate Wimbledon and add a V to her nameplate. The last time she stood on Centre, one year ago, she was performing happy heavy lifting, raising the women’s plate above her head, having crushed Vera Zvonareva, 6-3, 6-2. That was championship IV. continue reading »
June 22 2011 | Wimbledon | No Comments »
LONDON – Why does Sister Serena remind me of the Statue of Liberty? Well, both of them are famous Americans, recognizeable heroines just about everywhere.
Serena's fingernails covered with rhinestones
They stand out in their occupations, symbols of the fact that anything is possible in the USA. Lady Liberty is a one-woman welcoming committee in New York. Sister Serena travels the world as the best female tennis player in creation. continue reading »
July 03 2010 | Wimbledon | 1 Comment »
PARIS – Dangerous territory, the old brick yard, Roland Garros, if you’re somebody wearing a number – 1 – on your back. It could be a headache such as the old mixed doubles player, Hester Prynne, suffered wearing her Scarlet letter. continue reading »
Bud asking Sam Stosur a question in the press conference
June 03 2010 | French Open | No Comments »
Shrine of Remembrance seen from the Battle of Lone Pine (6-9 Aug 1915) tree propagated from seeds brought from Gallipoli
Crazier and crazier it got. If this was a prevue of major title bouts in another endless New Year in tennis, get ready for high wackiness – beauty, bizarre and bumbling. But that may keep it as exciting and exasperating as the female end of the Australian Open Saturday night.
It was Sister Serena’s ball game, as it figured to be – her fifth term as champ, receiving the trophy from the only woman to exceed that number, Aussie Margaret Court, a winner 11 times between 1960 and 1973. continue reading »
January 30 2010 | Australian Open | 2 Comments »
PARIS – It was a good day for the heartbreak kids. The year’s first major, the Australian Open was a crusher for both of them: Svetlana Kuznetsova and Roger Federer. He actually wept, on court, after losing the final to Rafa Nadal. I bet she bawled in the dressing room after blowing a true shot at the title by bungling in her semifinal against Serena Williams, who became the champion.
Pont Alexandre lll
Up against Serena again, in the quarters, Koozy seemed to be staging a mournful reprise. She had served to beat Serena in Melbourne, leading, 7-5, 5-3, I remember unkindly thinking that she wouldn’t make it – and she didn’t, 5-7, 7-5, 6-1.
continue reading »
June 03 2009 | French Open | 3 Comments »
Many thank-you’s to all of you who wrote about my U.S. Open columns. It’s not easy to find a chef who can deal with crow. But my roommate, Anita, came through with a dish that would have made Julia Child proud. It was good to see Roger in such ripping form again, but we can’t underestimate the favor Murray did for him in removing Nadal. That was the final everybody wanted to see: Roger and Rafa at the Meadow. Maybe next year? Meanwhile, my original pick, Djokovic, is just going to get better. And so is Murray, along with Sam Querrey.
It was good also to see Serena back in form. She’d been having a dreary, sub-standard year like Roger, flops in the first three majors. Her quarter-final victory over Venus (which should have been the final if the USTA had been alert in seeding) was a competitive masterpiece, saving a total of 10 set points over two sets. The surprise was that Jelly Jankovic nearly took Serena to a third set. It’s amazing that Jelly has been No. 1 (for a week) this year with a nothing serve. I offered to fix it for her, but she just smiled. But she does need help.
September 16 2008 | US Open | No Comments »