Serena Williams Triumphs over Sister Venus to Win Record 23rd Major Title at Australian Open

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Serena Williams lifts her trophy after defeating her sister Venus Williams in their women’s singles final match at the Australian Open in Melbourne on Jan. 28, 2017. (Mark R. Cristino / EPA)

article via chicagotribune.com

Serena Williams held up a Grand Slam winner’s trophy for the 23rd time, celebrating her unrivalled place in history, and received a congratulatory letter and a pair of custom-made shoes from Michael Jordan, the name most synonymous with No. 23.

Venus Williams got to watch from close range again, and shed tears more of joy than regret after being beaten in a major final for the seventh time by her record-breaking younger sister.

Serena won the all-Williams final, the ninth in Grand Slam history and the second in Australia, 6-4, 6-4 on Saturday.  With her record seventh Australian Open title, Serena moved ahead of Steffi Graf for the most major titles in the Open era.

When Serena sat on the court, holding both arms up to celebrate on Saturday, Venus walked over to her sister’s side of the net for a hug.  “This was a tough one,” Serena said. “I really would like to take this moment to congratulate Venus, she’s an amazing person — she’s my inspiration.  There’s no way I would be at 23 without her — there’s no way I would be at one without her. Thank you Venus for inspiring me to be the best player I can be and inspiring me to work hard.”

Asked if it felt awkward to be on the receiving end of so many losses to her sister, the 36-year-old Venus didn’t flinch.  “No, because I guess I’ve been here before,” she said. “I really enjoy seeing the name Williams on the trophy. This is a beautiful thing.”

Venus won the last of her seven majors in 2008 at Wimbledon. She didn’t make the second week of a major for a few years as she came to terms with an energy-sapping illness after being diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome in 2011. And she only made it back to the semifinals last year at Wimbledon.

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Venus and Serena Williams to Open Center in Compton for Victims of Violence

Venus And Serena To Open Center For Victims Of Violence In Compton

Venus and Serena Williams (photo via madamenoire.com)

article by Veronica Wells via madamenoire.com

Venus Williams and Serena Williams may travel the world playing the game they love, but they never forget about their home, Compton, California. The two are giving back to their hometown through the launch of the Yetunde Price Resource Center.

Named after their eldest sister, who was killed as a result of gun violence, the center will connect residents who have been affected by violence to service providers. The center will develop custom plans and function as a liaison between the residents of Compton and the agencies that are there to help them.

Mayor Aja Brown said of the center’s opening:

This is an incredible investment and commitment by Serena and Venus Williams, and I commend them for their desire to help children and families in Compton thrive. The resource center will serve as vital support to existing nonprofits and organizations that provide critical services to our community.  I understand first-hand the power of partnership, and I am confident that the resource center will play a major role in breaking down silos in our community by facilitating key partnerships to increase asset leveraging and expanding the impact of services. The resource center will be able to map all of the resources in and around the Compton community while providing customized assistance that will be a vital asset to improving our ability to service our youth, adults and families.”

In addition to the resource center, Gatorade will refurbish two tennis courts and dedicate them to the Williams sisters. The courts will be unveiled during the Healthy Compton Community Festival on Saturday, November 12.

To read original article, go to: http://madamenoire.com/724191/venus-and-serena-to-open-center-for-victims-of-violence-in-compton/

Simone Biles, Allyson Felix and Serena Williams are Among Olympians Who Slay in Nike “Unlimited” Campaign

Olympic Gold Medalist Simone Biles in “Unlimited” Nike campaign (screenshot via youtube.com)

“Recovering from setbacks, losses and injury, rising from obscurity and destroying obstacles to claim victory, they command the spotlight and inspire Nike to innovate to match their strength and their dreams,” Nike says of the women it highlights in the video. Women like Gabby Douglas, Serena Williams, Scout Bassett, Elena Delle Donne, Allyson Felix, and, of course, Simone Biles, who closes out the video with the kind of stupendous gymnastics move we’ve gotten used to seeing after witnessing her earn five Olympic medals in Rio.

Check it out below:

EDITORIAL: Serena Williams Wins 7th Wimbledon Title, 22nd Grand Slam and Makes Us All Feel Like Champions

Serena Williams ended her yearlong pursuit of Steffi Graf’s mark for Open-era Grand Slam wins by defeating Angelique Kerber in straight sets in the Wimbledon final Saturday. (Credit: Andy Rain/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images)

by Lori Lakin Hutcherson, GBN Editor-in-Chief (@lakinhutcherson)

I don’t know about anyone else, but I really needed this today.  I specifically set my alarm this morning to wake me at 6AM (PST) to watch Serena Williams compete for her seventh – yes, take that in – seventh Wimbledon title, and to tie Steffi Graf for the most Grand Slams won in the Open Era.

I’ll admit, regardless of the week of continued brutality and violence by police against black citizens and the gut-wrenching retaliation in Dallas because of such violence, as a lifelong fan, I most likely would have been up and watching Serena anyway.  But because of its timing, this victory – this continued rising, this perseverance – was that much more coveted, and that much sweeter.

Although Williams did not mention or comment on what’s been happening in America as she accepted her trophy, don’t think she’s remained silent in the media about it.  On her Twitter (which we here at GBN happily follow), she spoke directly to the recent atrocities and let us know they were on her mind days before this most crucial, career-defining match:

This tweet leads me to speculate that Serena was that much more focused, that much more centered and that much more desirous of the outcome that occurred – because she knew in her heart she wasn’t just winning her 22nd Grand Slam and making history for herself, but for all of us.

So thank you, Serena – for playing your best tennis today and being so damned undeniable.  You have been and are a shining light and the G.O.A.T. and a champion for the ages.  You are loved and supported in all of your endeavors.  You are #blackexcellence.  (And P.S. having Beyoncé and Jay Z in your box was on point, too! #Freedom #Formation)

Now, to the tennis facts, courtesy of Naila-Jean Meyers via the New York Times: Continue reading

Tennis Greats Venus and Serena Williams Both Advance to Wimbledon Semifinals

Venus Williams

Venus Williams after beating Yaroslava Shvedova to advance at Wimbledon (July 5, 2016)

article via eurweb.com

Venus Williams was all smiles, and even giggled a little as she defied expectations and earned a spot in the Wimbledon semifinals in London today, beating unseeded 28-year-old Yaroslava Shvedova 7-6 (5), 6-2.

Immediately after her match on Court No. 1, her sister Serena Williams ran through Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in straight-sets 6-4, 6-4 to book her 10th Wimbledon semifinal.

As the announcers have mentioned at every turn, Venus is the eldest player in the tournament at age 36. Advancing to the Wimbledon semis at this age and with her health history is an accomplishment she also acknowledges as special.

“You can’t always have this big moment. If you’re Serena Williams, then I guess that happens a lot, but as Venus Williams this is an awesome day,” Venus said in her post-match interview.

Venus’s next opponent will be No. 4 Angelique Kerber, also a straight-sets winner today over No. 5 Simona Halep 7-5, 7-6 (2).

Serena Williams

Serena Williams (photo via eurweb.com)

Before Venus could take her victory walk off the court, mom Oracene and the family were hustling over to Centre Court to catch the beginning of Serena’s match.  It stayed fairly even through the first eight games, with no break points earned. Then Williams broke Pavlyuchenkova at 4-4 in the 2nd, and served out the match with ease.

“It’s good, I’m excited to get through. It felt really good,” she said after the match. Asked when she learned during warmups that Venus had won, Serena said: “I knew Venus was up, and then they showed the [final] score, and I was like: yay!”

On possibly facing Venus in the finals, Serena says they’re not even discussing that scenario. “We’re actually playing doubles today, and regardless, we’re just happy to play in the semi-finals. Obviously I want her to win so bad. I desperately want her to win if I’m not there [in the final].”

Serena moves one step closer to step closer to tying Steffi Graf’s open era record of 22 grand slam titles. Her next opponent will be Russia’s Elena Vesnin.

Read more at http://www.eurweb.com/2016/07/venus-serena-williams-advance-wimbledon-semifinals/#xCCkWiwM3jcEDGRU.99

Serena Williams Advances to French Open Final, has Shot at Tying Major Record

Serena Williams (USA) reacts after defeating Kiki Bertens (NED) to advance to the 2016 French Open Final. (Photo: Susan Mullane, USA TODAY Sports)

Serena Williams (USA) reacts after defeating Kiki Bertens (NED) to advance to the 2016 French Open Final. (Photo: Susan Mullane, USA TODAY Sports)

article by Nick McCarvel via usatoday.com

PARIS – Is the world No. 1 – winner of 21 Grand Slam singles title and arguably the best women’s tennis player to ever play the game – the underdog in the French Open final?

In a way, yes.

Serena Williams has dug, scraped and fought her way back into the championship match here on Saturday – far from her best – and is set to take on No. 4 seed Garbiñe Muguruza, a big-hitting Spaniard who has picked up steam this fortnight in her quest for a maiden major trophy.

When the two clash on Court Philippe Chatrier Saturday for the Roland Garros title, it’s the 34-year-old Williams who will have to play catch up.

“If she plays like this, she’s not going to win,” Serena’s coach, Patrick Mouratoglou said Friday after another shaky Williams win. “But I don’t expect her to play that level tomorrow. The mental approach has to change. She has to show it.”

That’s the book on Williams: She rises to the occasion, time after time. She did it last year, winning five three-set matches en route to the French Open crown while suffering from the flu. She has done it this week, triumphing in three sets over Yulia Putintseva on Thursday in the quarterfinals and saving a pair of set points against Kiki Bertens on Friday. She’s a convincing 21-5 in major finals in her career.

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Serena Williams is Sports Illustrated’s 2015 Sportsperson of the Year

Serena William Sports Illustrated Cover

Real life? For Serena Williams, that’s the easy part now. That’s how it works when you zoom—beyond tennis, beyond $74 million in prize money, beyond one of the greatest late-career runs in sports history—into celebrity hyperspace. That’s how it is when each “Come on!” is taken as a war cry by everyone from “Lean in” women to age-defying codgers to body-shamed kids to #BlackLivesMatter protesters to, yes, the voices of racial conciliation. The outside world accommodates. Real life does you favors.

Indeed, in 2015 Williams hit this rare sweet spot, a pinch-me patch where the exotic became the norm. She danced with Donald Trump on New Year’s Eve. She spent a night telling bedtime stories to the children of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. Growing up, Williams had devoured every Harry Potter book, marveled at the business empires of Oprah Winfrey and Martha Stewart. Now J.K. Rowling was tweeting against a critic of Williams’s body, now Oprah was hustling to watch her at the U.S. Open, now Stewart was calling Williams “the most powerful woman I know.” President Barack Obama, the most scrutinized man alive, told her how great it was to watch her.

Even Williams’s most dubious moves paid off. In July, just as her drive for tennis’s first Grand Slam in 27 years hit the bell lap, she appeared in Pixels, a comedic bomb in which she anticipated a Lincoln Bedroom sex sandwich with Stewart and Peter Dinklage. Yet she escaped critical savaging, and, oh, the movie grossed $243 million. Williams’s November decision to chase down a cellphone thief in San Francisco seemed equally foolhardy—until, that is, the guy gave her phone back. Meekly.

Photo: Yu Tsai for Sports Illustrated

No, this year only the game gave Williams trouble. Only the 78-by-36-foot confines of a tennis court, be it blue asphalt or red clay or green grass, produced the kind of pushback that no amount of money or fame can overcome. If the real world felt like one A-list club after another, eagerly waving Williams in, tennis was the world’s most annoying bouncer, forever checking her ID. Tennis made her desperate. Then it made her hurt.

The results, of course, hardly imply that: Williams, 34, won three major titles, went 53–3 and provided at least one new measure of her tyrannical three-year reign at No. 1. For six weeks this summer—and for the first time in the 40-year history of the WTA rankings—Williams amassed twice as many ranking points as the world No. 2; at one point that gap grew larger than the one between No. 2 and No. 1,000. Williams’s 21 career Grand Slam singles titles are just one short of Steffi Graf’s Open-era record. Such numbers are reason enough for Sports Illustrated to name Serena Williams its 2015 Sportsperson of the Year.

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