Whether it was Serena Williams in a U.S. Open match in the afternoon or Venus Williams at night, the sisters’ U.S. Open early round matches were swift, methodical and decisive.
“I told you, I like quick matches, they’re the best,” said Serena after defeating Russia’s Elena Vesnina 6-1, 6-1 in the second round.
Venus, who beat Paraquay’s Rossanna De Los Rios 6-0, 6-3, said, “I just had a lot more power than she did. I’m pretty satisfied so far the way it’s gone.”
Should the sisters get by fourth round opponents Monday, they’ll clash in a highly anticipated quarterfinal showdown Wednesday. No. 4 Serena plays France’s Severine Bremond, a wild card and No. 7 Venus faces No. 9 Agnieszka Radwanska, of Poland. Venus wasn’t shy about predicting the winner of this year’s women’s title.
“I wish everyone else the best of luck, but I’m really down with me winning this tournament,” Venus said.
The sisters’ father, Richard, who worked with them separately for 1 ½ hours before each match, usually stays away when they play each other. Richard says his former wife, Oracene, also has made significant contributions to the sisters’ resurgence.
Richard has traveled and trained them extensively this year and both are playing with greater desire and determination.
“If I listen and do what he says, I’m better off,” Venus said. “It’s my own fault when I lose.”
Serena also gives kudos to her father for their success on the court, as well as in life. In Amtrak’s magazine, Arrive, Serena said, “There’s this impression that he’s been calling all the shots in our careers,’’ Serena said. “That couldn’t be more wrong.
“Many, many years ago, he decided to let us take control of our own destinies. There was a lot of tennis in our lives but it wasn’t the most important thing in our lives. I really enjoyed my childhood and my dad is the kindest, sweetest man I’ll ever know. He gave me the same kind of life I’d want my kids to have, when that time comes.”
Neither Serena nor Venus expects to hang up their rackets anytime soon. They’re in sync even when they tackle the question of retirement.
“I don’t see an end right now,” Serena said.
“We’re playing too well to think about the end,” Venus said.
“That doesn’t cross our minds,” Serena added.
“We keep getting better,” Venus noted.
Richard says he hopes his daughters will allow him to go back to traveling with them to four or five events per year.
“That would help me a lot,” he said. “I’m hoping they’ll ask their mother to go to the French Open with them. I really don’t like going there. This year is a lot more than I’ve ever done. And I really would like being at home.”
On his daughters retirement plans, Richard said, “I heard Venus say at the Olympics that she plans to play in the next Olympics, and I know whatever Venus does, Serena automatically is in. So it looks like they’ll be around for another four years.”