SYDNEY INTERNATIONAL; Serena Williams Stuns Davenport
… (Serena) Williams, only 16 and ranked No. 96, trailed 1-6, 2-5 and faced two match points at 15-40 when she grabbed control with a combination of wily play and youthful athleticism.
Limping on her bandaged right knee after taking an injury timeout at 1-3 in the second set, Williams fashioned a 1-6, 7-5, 7-5 victory by cutting down on the errors that cost her the first set. She suddenly ripped winners down the lines and into the corners from both sides, and watched Davenport dig herself deeper into trouble with double-faults and mistakes.
Australian Open Tennis : Serena overcomes Clijsters and blisters.
“… Serena Williams ultimately fought off two match points and a 1-5 deficit in the third set to keep her now customary date with older sibling, Venus.
…though the top seeded American struggled with her consistency and sought treatment for three blisters on her right foot while trailing 1-2 in the final set, she eventually reminded Clijsters and everybody else, why she is one of the world’s most remarkable athletes.
The crowd in Rod Laver Arena did not like Serena’s decision to take an injury timeout, considering it an attempt to break Clijster’s rhythm. But they would have reacted differently if they had seen the upclose television picture of the burst blister on the ball of her foot.
Final score 6-2, 3-6, 7-5.
Australian Open Tennis : Serena Williams battles to Aussie Title.
Serena Williams staged a remarkable recovery to beat Lindsay Davenport and win her second Australian Open title.
The 2003 champion claimed her seventh Grand Slam title, and her first since Wimbledon in 2003, 2-6 6-3 6-0.
Williams had looked close to quitting with a rib injury when she left the court for treatment after five games.
About that injury itself, here’s a bit from an award winning Medical blog
In the women’s final, Serena Williams (a regular “time out turnaround event” [TOTE] user) was playing against Lindsay Davenport, and losing badly during the first set. Unforced errors, two breaks of serve, and general malaise plagued Serena’s game.
Suddenly, Serena began wincing and stretching on every point, reaching for her chest wall and scowling. Then she called an injury time out. The trainer attended to Serena’s rib cage as Davenport cooled her heels, and her game.
When Serena came back out to play, the TOTE reared its magical head. Serena — showing absolutely no further discomfiture — steamrolled Davenport for the next two sets and walked away with the title. It was a classic TOTE phenomenon.
Serena would later say that she was suffering from “rib dysfunction” and that the trainer “popped it back in,” thus the miraculous recovery. She said:
“I reached for a backhand and I think it tweaked my back out, one of my ribs out”
“I finally decided, ‘OK, why don’t you call for the trainer and see if she can put it back in place?’ She did, and everything worked out”
Problem is that there is no such thing as rib dysfunction and ribs can neither pop out nor in. Evolutionarily, the ribs developed as a solid, unmoving apparatus designed to be a source of order, design, and stability, guarding the delicate Samba dance that goes on beneath their bony framework. If ribs were poppable, there would be dead tennis players littering the grand slam courts — and no one would ever watch!
Injured Serena seals amazing win
Serena Williams, seeded seventh, won the first set easily against Hantuchova, seeded 10th. But Hantuchova broke Williams’s serve early in the second set, and Williams started to feel tightening in her calf.
With the second set at 5-5, between points, Serena Williams suddenly stopped, jolted by pain, like someone who had stepped on a tack.
She looked down at her bulging left calf. She screamed and banged at it three times with her racket, trying to loosen the knot. A trainer arrived and massaged the leg. Williams lay on her side, her face strained in anguish. Her screams echoed through Center Court. Family and friends watched nervously. Richard Williams, her father, stood. Venus uttered, “C’mon, c’mon.”
Serena, pushed by time limits, finally rose and put weight on her left leg. It buckled, and she winced. She tried again. Same result. Tears filled her eyes.
“I’ve never dealt with such pain,” she said later of an injury described as a spasm-induced strain. “I can’t believe I won, really.”
Ten minutes of hushed murmurs in the crowd turned into cheers of encouragement as Williams stood gingerly at the baseline, awaiting Hantuchova’s next serve. It came, and Williams did not budge. The next one was within reach. Williams stiffly returned it into the net, giving Hantuchova a 6-5 lead.
Between games, her lower leg was wrapped in a bandage. Williams served, without her usual power. But a couple of Hantuchova’s returns flew long, and others found the middle of the court, where Williams could reach and return them, flat-footed. Improbably, Williams clinched the game by muscling a 110-mile-an-hour ace, sending the set to a tie breaker.
Hantuchova won the first four points in the race to seven. In the stands, Venus Williams looked to the darkening sky and muttered, “Come on, rain.”
Serena Williams, taking her time on each point, won the next two as a little drizzle turned into a shower. Richard Williams stood and pointed to the sky.
The match was suspended, and some boos, rarely heard here, rained from the stands. The match resumed about two hours later, in the early evening. Williams wore cropped pants and appeared to have both legs wrapped in bandages underneath.
After Hantuchova won three consecutive points to capture the second set, the players held serve. One set all. 2-2. Hantuchova appeared to have the upper hand. Williams asked for a loo break. They had been on court 20 minutes. The umpire refused. Williams broke Hantuchova that next game. Experience at Centre Court is a huge plus. At the changeover, the umpire offered Williams the loo break. No, thanks – she says and proceeds to wrap up the match.
Serena Williams won. But did she really ?