Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Venus and Serena: show for all ages

MELBOURNE, Australia — The sibling rivalry, at least on the tennis tour, started at the Australian Open for the Williams sisters.

It was 1998, and older sister Venus beat younger sister Serena 7-6 (7-4), 6-1 in a second-round match. Though it would be tempting to label their Australian Open final Saturday (3 a.m., ESPN) as a full-circle moment and to speculate that it might be their last meeting at this late a stage of a Grand Slam tournament, it seems best to resist the temptation.

The Williamses have taught us a lot about the limits of conventional tennis wisdom through the years. And so, even with Serena at 35 and Venus 36, it is wise to avoid fencing them in again after they have run roughshod over so many other preconceptions.

Thursday, Venus, seeded 13th, had to scrap to win 6-7 (3-7), 6-2, 6-3 against powerful unseeded American CoCo Vandeweghe, and Serena, seeded second, cruised past unseeded Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 6-2, 6-1.

Serena goes for her 23rd major singles title, which would break her tie with Steffi Graf for the most in the Open era (from 1968). This is Venus' first major singles final since she lost to Serena at Wimbledon 2009.

"When I'm playing on the court with (Serena), I think I'm playing the best competitor in the game," Venus said. "I don't think I'm chump change either, you know. I can compete against any odds."

Federer stuns himself: Having not played a competitive tournament since Wimbledon last year because of knee surgery, 17th-seeded Roger Federer, 35, completed an improbable run to the final with a 7-5, 6-3, 1-6, 4-6, 6-3 win over No. 4 Stan Wawrinka. He faces the winner of the Rafael Nadal-Grigor Dimitrov semifinal. "I never ever in my wildest dreams thought I was coming this far," said Federer, a 17-time major champion who Sunday goes for his first major title since Wimbledon 2012.

Venus and Serena: show for all ages 01/26/17 [Last modified: Thursday, January 26, 2017 10:35pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs safety Chris Conte became a father during Sunday's loss at Arizona


    Chris Conte attempts to tackle Arizona Cardinals running back Adrian Peterson Sunday in Glendale, Ariz. [AP photo]
  2. Time to break out the Bucs fan's emergency kit?


    A fan in a throwback jersey waits for the start of a game between the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016. LOREN ELLIOTT | Times
  3. Lightning approaches decision time for Mikhail Sergachev

    Lightning Strikes

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Mikhail Sergachev had dinner with his host family from juniors Monday.

    The Lightning has to decide, as early as this weekend whether Mikhail Sergachev will stick in the NHL or return to juniors for another season. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times]
  4. Quarterbacks, head coach targeting Vernon Hargreaves; 'I'm not producing,' he says


    Eli Manning gathered his receivers together during the Giants' Week 4 game against the Bucs and informed them of the weakest link of the secondary he planned to target that afternoon.

    Quarterbacks this season have a 128.7 rating when targeting Vernon Hargreaves. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. J.T. Brown won't raise fist, but plans to do more in community


    Lightning wing J.T. Brown will no longer be raising his first as a silent protest during the national anthem.

    J.T. Brown plans to do more in the community to create awareness and understanding for key issues of police brutality and racial inequality.