Thursday, July 17, 2008

Serena Rallies at Stanford

Sony Ericsson WTA Tour - Top seed Serena Williams played the feature night match and picked up right where she left off during her run to the final of Wimbledon, beating qualifier Michelle Larcher de Brito, 46 63 62. The 15-year-old Larcher de Brito came out on fire, hitting her big groundstrokes to perfection in building a 64 20 lead; the more experienced Williams was far from finished in her career debut at the Bank of the West Classic, however, rallying to win in three sets under the lights.

"I never underestimate anyone, especially when they play me, because they'll always bring out their best game," Williams said. "In a way it was surprising, but you've just got to deal with it. I had a plan and I started playing better, and it's encouraging for me to bounce back after losing the first set."

"I started off really well; I slowed down a little bit, but overall I was playing well the whole match," Larcher de Brito said. "Obviously she played such a great game. She's Serena Williams. I didn't have anything to lose and I gave it my all.

"I was getting close to an upset, but now I have a lot of things to work on, and a lot of years ahead of me."

Although Serena Williams is playing the Bank of the West Classic for the first time, the Williams brand has done very well at the Tier II stop in the past. Venus made the final in six of seven trips to Stanford, winning the title twice, in 2000 (beating Lindsay Davenport in the final) and 2002 (beating Kim Clijsters).

"I've never been able to make it here," Williams added. "I'm happy that I'm here. There's a nice atmosphere and it feels good to play in Stanford."


I've heard noise about this young Portugese player, but to see she was up a set and a break against Serena means I need to start paying attention, no? A qualifier?

Anybody with the goods on the young lady, please post them.


Karen said...

Craig, imagine a dark haired Sharapova, only this one screams a lot louder and fist pumps on her winners and on her opponents errors. Bolliterri to the max. From the comments over at during the match, Serena was not hitting her shots well - she had poor footwork, poor movement, and was just making a ton of unforced errors. I understand that de Brito kept Serena pinned to the baseline during the first set and did not allow Serena to play her game, which is understandable since Serena was playing like someone said a Tier 125 player. In the second and third set Serena showed why she is Serena by showing her class. I have to say that I am not very impressed with de Brito. I have read elsewhere about her unsportsmanlike conduct on court and she is very inconsistent (as are most Bolliterri clones), but I guess what she lacks in finesse and a good game, she makes up with the fist pumps and the screams. Give me Asia Muhammed any day. Now that is one to watch. Beautiful game and a beautiful young lady as well.

Craig Hickman said...

Thanks, Karen.

I also like Asia Muhammed. She plays all-court tennis and has a good attitude.

Karen said...

Hey Craig, we have been having thunderstorms here in the Cayman Islands and as a result we have been having intermittent internet access etc. Hopefully, we will not be hit by another Hurricane Ivan. Asia Muhammad is nice. We will be seeing tennis this weekend on tv, so hopefully the rain will not be too much of a distraction.

rabbit said...

Hope the big bad storms blow away, Karen!

I've never seen Asia Muhammed play. But she seems like she could be a great player from what I've read of her. This article seems a realistic assessment of her current position. I'm hopeful.

Craig Hickman said...

rabbit, she's very good. Not sure how much mental mettle she has, but the tools are there.