June 22nd, 2011
10:40 AM ET

Can the Williams sisters triumph after a troubled year?

Serena (left) and Venus (right) have won the Wimbledon ladies' singles title nine times between them.
Serena (left) and Venus (right) have won the Wimbledon ladies' singles title nine times between them.
The questions about Serena Williams’ continuing desire to play tennis after her near-death experience earlier this year were clearly answered with her performance and subsequent emotional outburst in Tuesday’s first round match with Aravane Rezai.

I can’t remember ever seeing Serena cry, but she was blubbing away both into her towel and afterwards in her post-match press conference with former CNN presenter Phil Jones, remember him?

Even when Serena loses she doesn’t shed a tear (in public at least) and though I’m not one for too much emotion, it was really heartwarming to see.

Despite her trophy cabinet and bank balance being full-to-bursting, she obviously missed and loves the game, and the game loves and needs her.

Together with Venus, the sisters have added some much needed spice to the women's draw and quite a bit of intrigue. Can one of them possibly win the title after so much time off?

Many of the experts seem to think so. In fact I haven’t heard a ‘who’s going to win’ conversation on television without the mention of either Serena of Venus.

Four-time major champion Jim Courier told me on Monday that he’s going for Serena, even though she was out for 11 months before returning at Eastbourne.

I happen (not that I think I’m an expert!) to think Venus will win for a 6th time.

She’s had hip problems since the Australian Open in January but looks sharp and is serving well.

If she or Serena does win, some will say it’s a reflection of the poor state of the women’s tour. But I would argue it’s because of the quality and athleticism of the Williams sisters.

If anyone can come back from months out to win, it’s them.

Neither has played week in, week out, during the course of their successful careers and - having together lifted the Venus Rosewater dish nine times in the last 11 years - they both know what they have to do.

After all, comebacks are quite common in women’s tennis.

Monica Seles reached the U.S. Open final in 1995 and won the Australian Open in 1996 after returning to the game from that horrific stabbing incident in 1993, while you will all remember Kim Clijsters’ triumphant return in New York a couple of years ago.

And it’s not like Serena and Venus have just picked up a racquet. They have obviously been practicing hard and hitting the weight-room, judging by Serena’s arm muscles!

Now, both just need matches and I’m confident they will get better and better with each one.

Since they are on opposite sides of the Wimbledon draw, we might just get another all-Williams final. Would you bet against it?

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Filed under:  Tennis
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Demetrius

    Great article. Would I bet against it? Not with my money. In fact, I think it will be an all Williams final with Venus the victor.

    June 22, 2011 at 11:39 am | Reply
  2. Marvin Tyrone Anderson

    The Williams ladies are the best in the game. Even when they are loosing! So why wont the tennis world acknowledge this. And express it to the world!.. It's time!... And the sisters is only getting better with all those injuries. Boy i do not want to be matching up with them in any tennis tournaments.

    June 22, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Reply
  3. Kobena

    Wonderful article Candy! I am with you, and I also see Venus winning a final between the sisters. In any event, there will be a sister in the final.

    June 22, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Reply
  4. Mildred

    Congratulations Venus. Great come back. I send all the prayers up for you and Serena. Play the Game to win! We are so proud of you!

    June 22, 2011 at 6:32 pm | Reply
  5. Sachiko

    Williams sisters are clearly favorites in that they have overwhelming success at AELTC before, aside from that ladies side is still pretty even, very hard to predict the winner. Both Serena and Venus aren't top form yet, look still struggling to find their rhythm, but the way they survived tough early rounds may put them a big confidence and strength to contend Wimbledon title.
    Today's tennis, men or women, seems to have a tend that experience tops talent, I can't imagine any of top 10 players would beat either of Williams except Maria Sharapova, only active woman singles player who has Wimbledon title other than Williams.

    June 22, 2011 at 6:47 pm | Reply
  6. kanu

    i love to see the two sister's pictures expecially SERENA whom i love so much that i wana see her physically.
    can i have a picture of her to past in my room. i will beso greatful if i have one.
    A.S. KANU

    June 22, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Reply
  7. kanu

    i tell u williams will win that final

    June 22, 2011 at 7:33 pm | Reply
  8. kanu

    go go williams the wimbledon tropher go and win

    June 22, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Reply
  9. Don Heath

    Interesting article. I haven't got a clue as to who will win but it sounds like either of the Williams sisters could be a good bet, possibly a favorite.

    June 22, 2011 at 11:58 pm | Reply
  10. A.Tool

    I doubt the sisters will both make the final but Serena will win.

    June 23, 2011 at 1:00 am | Reply
  11. Wimpleton Fan

    It's great to have them both providing excitement.

    June 23, 2011 at 1:03 am | Reply
  12. Elsie

    I think Serena will win. She is one of the best female tennis players of this century, possessing all the qualities for an outstanding tennis player, strong, speedy, swift and perseverant.

    June 23, 2011 at 2:40 am | Reply
  13. Abu

    They should be playing in the men's section!

    June 23, 2011 at 7:00 am | Reply
  14. Al

    Hi its great to have Venus and Serena back, especially after the year thay have had. They could easily win it, which does highlight that the women's game is wide open.
    Quite honestly, i think the current women's game is living in the shadow of the men's game, so i really don't mind who wins

    June 23, 2011 at 8:10 am | Reply
  15. chidun


    June 23, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Reply
  16. alehandro

    If Venus or Serena win Wimbledon it will be as much to do with the paucity of talent in the women's game as their own skills. At their best Serena (and to a much lesser extent, Venus), are the greatest the women's game has ever seen, perhaps alongside Steffi Graf who would have given each of them a run for their money in her prime. Navratilova was a serve volleyer who would have been repeatedly passed by the Williams' power. Likewise Billie Jean. Evert and Seles would have been out baselined. Hingis out thought and out willed. But the key point is that both Williams would have had to be at their best to beat those women. Conversely, they don't have to be at their best to beat the current crop of players, and to say otherwise is disingenuous. Aside from the Williams sisters there is parity in the women's game precisely because it is so mediocre with several players stalled at base camp without the capacity to summit. Save for the Williams, anyone can beat anyone else, which is a negative in a sport that has always thrived on the stage-managed drama of a seeding system that's supposed to result in the best meeting the best barring the compensatory drama of an occassional upset that produces a David & Goliath final where you can at least root for the underdog.
    So, while a Wiliams' win at Wimbledon would be a fairytale for the sisters, especially for Serena after such a long and traumatic lay-off, it might not be the best advert for the ladies game. Not their fault, but surely a point that would have to be conceded in the event of another Williams triumph.

    June 23, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Reply
  17. Chris Edeh

    It's so nice to have the Wlliams sisters back especially Serena. I hope and pray that Serina wins

    June 23, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Reply
  18. valentina stanca

    Sure the two Wiliams will win the way the draws are manipulated and this 2 sisters allways have to play with the oldest, least competitive , last ranking players, and the best players are put together to eliminate each oters , to make place for this two sisters to win.
    I wish to live so long to finally see tournaments without these 2 sisters...and to enjoy again to watch tennis...

    June 23, 2011 at 7:49 pm | Reply
  19. Yetty

    I love this. Yes its going to be williams affairs. Love u girls

    June 24, 2011 at 8:35 am | Reply
  20. Ranjan

    Those sisters are not good enough to win anything these days, they're too old and unfit.

    June 24, 2011 at 11:45 am | Reply
  21. Roland

    I'm so proud of the Williams sisters. I can't resist watching them play.

    June 24, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Reply
  22. polycarp

    Good louk to the williams sister,well come back to your tennis family, your win at this time will do a lot good to your fans, i think you con do it,go for the title you have all it takes.

    June 25, 2011 at 12:03 am | Reply
  23. Dr.Cajetan Coelho

    Venus and Serena look good for the top prize. Wishing the two Williams' sisters success at Wimbledon.

    June 25, 2011 at 10:14 am | Reply
  24. godfrey


    June 25, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Reply
  25. daniel


    June 26, 2011 at 6:45 am | Reply
  26. Wenson Gallaza

    I love the williams sisters!They're great tennis players the world ever have!

    June 26, 2011 at 9:01 am | Reply
  27. EricAdney

    I am sure you are right Candy.Sharapova looks sharpbut who knows.

    June 26, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Reply
  28. Ric_30309

    @Valentina are you kidding? Did you actually see Kamiko Date-Krumm play? She was fantastic. She made her opponent have to win by playing and not by default. The rest of the women Venus has played have all been younger than she. I wish all the players well but Venus has been the one with the eagle eye this tournament. Having said that Bartoli is really hungry and Sharapova like the Williams sisters is always dangerous in the draw. People haven't learned yet though if you want Serena especially to loose keep your mouth shut because if you get her back up Serena gets that lion look in her eye and everybody becomes prey as Sharapova found out to her detriment when she body slammed Serena in that memorable meeting at the Australian Open a few years ago. Serena just mauled her on court.

    June 26, 2011 at 7:01 pm | Reply
  29. Las

    Love to see them both sent home ........early....

    June 27, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Reply
  30. Reggie

    Yes, next year may be, if they start to get tennis seriously again, and commit to training and participating

    June 27, 2011 at 11:14 pm | Reply
  31. Abu

    The Williams sisters will be back ......Older and Slower. They are not getting any younger. Top notch tennis championships are now the domain of players in their early and mid twenties. If you are in late twenties and in the thirties, life is a struggle.

    June 29, 2011 at 7:36 am | Reply
  32. follykinky

    i believe the williams can do it again. the trophy is theirs. all they need to do is just to believe in themselves and practice very hard.

    June 29, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Reply
  33. Wesszr

    Glad they're out of the tournament.
    Especially Venus, the way she dresses, a disgrace to Wimbledon.

    July 1, 2011 at 11:58 am | Reply

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