Thursday, July 17, 2008
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.