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News and notes from the U.S. Open

No rest for the weary

September
4

It’s not yet noon, temperatures are approaching 90 degrees, and the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center is half-empty.

So what does Serena Williams do the morning after her inspired straight-set win against her sister?

Sleep in? Go on a mad shopping spree in Manhattan? Break down word-for-word the Sarah Palin speech last night at the Republican National Convention?

No, if you’re Serena Williams, you’re out practicing with hitting partner Bajin Aleksander under the watchful eye of father Richard. The semifinals are tomorrow after all, and last night’s victor wants to avoid the inevitable letdown against sixth-seeded Dinara Safina.

I don’t see it happening. Serena’s performance “last night was defined by a number of things:”:http://www.lohud.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080904/SPORTS01/809040507/-1/SPORTS her tenacity in fending off 10 Venus set points, her dominant serve. But I was most struck by her ability to run down so many balls she had no business returning. That stuff doesn’t happen magically. Williams has appeared fitter this week than she has in previous trips to the Open, which is one reason why she’s the clear favorite to be hoisting a trophy Saturday night.

But as her appearance on the practice court today proves, she’s not leaving anything to chance.

This entry was posted on Thursday, September 4th, 2008 at 11:39 am by Sam Weinman. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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About this blog
This is the time of year the tennis world descends upon New York. Jane McManus, Harold Gutmann and Josh Thomson will be sending dispatches from the courts and corridors of Arthur Ashe Stadium. Come back for advice on tickets, parking and whether to go for the hot dog or the lobster roll.
About the authors
Harold GutmannHarold Gutmann Harold Gutmann joined The Journal News in 2002 after graduating from Duke University. He currently focuses on high school sports — he has covered state championship games in 10 different sports. READ MORE
Jane McManusJane McManus Jane McManus has covered sports at The Journal News for eight years, writing about everything from the Final Four and the U.S. Open to rock climbing. READ MORE
Josh ThomsonJosh Thomson Josh, who is 26 and a native of Carmel, graduated from Boston University in 2002 and began working for The Journal News the following March. READ MORE
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