Venus Beats Zahlavova at 2011 Australian Open-But BARELY

Ok I confess; I’m not really fond of puns and simplistic wordplay, but I kinda had to do it in this case. Yes, Venus won the match but it looked like that wasn’t going to happen. So that’s one “barely.” But Venus also chose this match to reintroduce the world to her famous bare-ass. Or more accurately her ass-colored shorts. And that’s barely no. 2. Pun secured. Venus, PLEASE stop wearing those!

Anyway my digital is too hard to get working, so we’re back to using an extremely expensive camera to take pictures of a very cheap television. But take a look at Venus. Are we seeing Dejection? Fatigue? Lack of will?

Well it was the start of the second set and nobody, and I mean NOBODY, knew what was about to happen. She not only won the set 6-0 she won the whole damn match! This was the second match at the 2011 Australian Open for Venus and it was weird. She won the first match and you didn’t really think you had anything to worry about until later in the tournament until she went up against somebody deeper in the draw. So to see how rocky she looked in the game it became worrisome pretty early.

The commentators, of course, couldn’t wait to talk AT LENGTH about how Venus hadn’t played enough on the circuit lately. So coming to a major like this was a gutsy, no, risky move (I was  paraphrasing too positively so had to find a word more in harmony with the way they were talking). But this is the strategy both William sisters have been following for a while now. Play a lot of tennis and not have much of a life and take the chance on getting hurt or mostly play majors and hope for the best.

Well I think it’s wishful thinking for them to still think it’s ten years earlier. So I think I happy medium would be best. Because it looks like NOT playing for too long  a stretch makes the returns too stressful on the body. Look, I’ve been “predicting” for a while now that their time has kind of come and gone. When their parents split up AND they lost their sister it just  derailed them.  No doubt about it-look at the record. I think it’s going to be hard for either one of them to have a winning streak. As single players I think they’re probably headed for a more Sharapova-like big win every once in a while. But those big champion runs of the early 2000’s? I don’t know…But they ARE the only 2 people I o be actual “tennis champions” the women’s game.

And NOW their bodies are starting to be a factor. Their “thing” in this sport is that they were flat out the best athletes in the field. Then came the Eastern Europeans. Those folks live in desperate conditions so, yeah, they’re fit! At the same time, like all athletes, the sisters were getting some injuries.  But I was a little surprised when the commentators said Venus looked like she had some extra weight. And they’re right! That girl has been thin, thin thin. But take a look; is this the outfit or a belly?

Don’t get me wrong, she’s obviously STILL thin and fit, and we’re used to seeing a heavier Serena (and God knows I LOVE that). But Venus, was famous even outside of tennis fans, for her look of wiry, rippling muscles. To me she just looked tired and her body language was just “old.” Even at the end of the match after she had won she sat in her chair like she had just given birth.

Anyway at the end of the first set Venus pulled a stomach muscle. Ironically I did the same 12 hours later, doing something very UNathletic, so I can imagine what she felt. My muscle unkinked after I stretched it out-but the ache lingered. Oddly enough, Venus generally looked lack luster in that first set and then the muscle pull confirmed she was pretty much going to either lose or quit. A men’s match was happening at the same time where that guy WAS giving up. So it looked like a done deal for Venus too. But Venus surprised the hell out of everybody. I’m sure most surprised was Zahlavova who was probably first surprised to discover she might win, and then surprised to discover she was NOT going to win. So Venus plays again in a few hours and I’m curious to see how it will go, but I guess everybody who follows the game is just as curious.

UPDATE
Well that was quick. One point and Petrovic won by default. Venus retired after about 8 or 9 minutes.