Williams sisters making it look easy at Australian Open

The Williams sisters are enjoying their time down under. Neither has dropped a set in their six total matches and are likely to meet in the semifinals.

From ESPN.com:

Serena Williams moved a step closer to successfully defending her Australian Open title and extracted some family revenge Saturday with a 6-0, 6-3 victory over Carla Suarez Navarro.

Last year, Suarez Navarro beat Venus Williams in the second round and made it to the quarterfinals.

The Spaniard didn’t even get close this time, and the Williams sisters remained on course for a semifinal meeting when Venus held off Australia’s Casey Dellacqua 6-1, 7-6 (4), closing with an ace on her third match point.

Although I would have liked to see the sisters in the final, this will suffice. In fact, a perfect final would have Serena squaring off against Justine Henin, the seven-time Grand Slam champion who’s making her return to tennis after retiring in 2008. Henin has a record of 6-7 against Serena, which is far better than most.


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Don’t forget about the 2010 Australian Open

The 2010 Australian Open kicks off tomorrow (Monday in Australia) and the year’s first Grand Slam has plenty to offer. Amidst health concerns, Rafael Nadal will look to defend his title against world No. 1 Roger Federer and a streaking Nikolay Davydenko. On the women’s side, seven-time Grand Slam champion Justine Henin makes her return to professional tennis after retiring in 2008. Also, we get to see how a large crowd treats 2009 champion Serena Williams, who’s notorious temper tantrum still lingers. The action, like the weather, should be intense.

Live coverage of the Australian Open begins Sunday at 7 PM ET on ESPN 2.


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Australian Open Women’s Finals Preview

Serena Williams (2) vs. Dinara Safina (3)

serenaAt 27 years of age, Serena Williams has seen more success than all the players on the WTA Tour combined. She has won nine singles Grand Slams and, after yesterday’s championship victory, eight doubles Grand Slams with her sister Venus. She’s been on the Tour so long that a distinctive pattern has emerged particular to the Australian Open: if it’s an odd-numbered year, Serena will win the tournament. She’s previously claimed the title in Melbourne in 2003, 2005, and 2007. Despite playing doubles and having to endure the sweltering heat, Serena has played well in every match and shown no signs of fatigue.

Her opponent is Dinara Safina, an aggressive Russian with a powerful forehand, an endless supply of energy, and an outspoken dedication to winning. It’s fun to watch her at press conferences as it almost pains her to play the sweetheart. Safina has never won a Grand Slam, though this is supposed to be her breakout year. But that’s a bunch of bunk — just about every player on the WTA Tour is supposedly having their breakout year. There’s such parity that nearly every player ranked in the top 10 will surpass world #1 Jelena Jankovic after this tournament. (Jankovic failed to make it past the fourth round.) Safina is the obvious underdog. She’s lost her last two matches to Serena in straight sets. If she were playing anybody other than Serena, I’d say she had this one in the bag.

Live coverage of the women’s finals will air early tomorrow morning (Saturday) on ESPN2 at 3:30 AM ET. It will then be replayed on Saturday at 9 AM ET and 8 PM ET on the same network.

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