No rest for the weary
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.