Serena Williams returns at Indian Williams: Yes, she won

 

Serena 2012 Aussie

INDIAN WELLS BNP Paribas Open, March 12: Serena Williams talked quite a bit on Thursday when she discussed why she has decided to come back to Indian Wells again. It has been a long, long time for Ms. Williams, almost 14 years ago, when she last play at 2001 Indian Wells and she won the tournament, beating Kim Clijsters in three sets.

In 2001, it was a tough week over the last four days and she was so upset that some of the crowds screamed at Serena, her sister Venus, and her father, Richard. Tennis-wise, during the hot sun, it was very unusual.

But ever though Serena wanted to get out of there, she still kept banging away. Clijsters wasn’t thrilled when some of the fans were yelling so loudly. Kim melted, Serena grabbed the trophy, and even though she was extremely upset, she smiled for a second. Winning matters a great deal, even though there weren’t enough fans cheering for her.

“I don’t remember,” Williams said. “I don’t really watch that match actually. Not a fun match to watch. But I don’t remember being ‑‑ having any emotions besides happiness. I remember sitting down and praying. I think I was losing actually in the first set and I said, ‘I don’t want to win this match. I just want to get through this moment.’ I don’t know what happened. I just won after that. It was really just a moment of just praying and just trying to get through the match. Not win the match, get through the match and got off the court pretty much.”

But this time, it’s 2015. In 2001, Serena had only won a single Slam then. Now she has grabbed 18 majors and when she actually retired she could be called the greatest ever. She has been spectacular. On Friday night, the new fans will stand up and cheer. Give her a bow.

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So many coaches have moved on to new places. In Britain, Andy Murray will now work with Jonas Bjorkman, the former No. 4 who retired in 2008. The former No. 1 Amelie Mauresmo is the main coach for Murray. While many of the top players now work with two coaches, but having two of the former top players at the same time? Extremely rare.

“[He’s] an exceptional tennis player who made the most out of his game who is an very nice person,” Murray said. “I know him very well from when he played. When I came on the tour when I was young, he was very good to me. He’s got a good resume as a player and a lot of the Swedes turn out to be pretty good coaches. I think they have a good mindset, a lot of them are very calm individuals but extremely hard workers – which I know he was as a player.”

But who is going to make the call, Bjorkman or Mauresmo? Are they the same person? Would they sit back, or move forward? Should he mix it up or just crush it down the line? Should he be allowed to become angry, or should he calm down?

No one knows the answer – yet.

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The top seed would love to win Roland Garros some day. Novak Djokovic has tried winning it all on a number of occasions, but failed, against Rafael Nadal (six losses in Paris!). He has won the Australian Open five times, two Wimbledon and one US Open. But he was never been able to raise the trophy.

Djokovic is thinking more of winning the Indian Wells title again, but Paris is ringing in his ear.

“Generally, I know the highest priority is the French Open,” Djokovic said. ”It’s still too early to talk about it. The difference to those goals and approach is I won’t put too much pressure on myself. I don’t want to take away too much energy thinking about if I will make it or not.  The French Open of course is the Grand Slam I’ve never won, but I’ve had a lot of good tournaments there. I played a couple times the finals there, got a step closer, and I use the losses as a way to grow mentally, physically and emotionally as a player in general so I can understand what I need to do better.”

Here were the most surprising wins on Thursday:

Christina McHale d Petra Cetkovska 6-4 7-5 as the American has been hurt and really needed a win.  Lucie Hradecka d Jana Cepelova 6-3 6-1, as the Czech is serving huge this year. Polona Hercog, who was the top seed at the qualies, blasted Vera Zvonareva 6-1 6-1. Where is the former No.2 going?

The Canadian Vasek Pospisil d Mikhail Kukushkin 6-4 4-2 while Kukushkin retired. Not surprised that he was exhausted about playing in the Davis Cup last weekend. Perhaps the same here? Albert Ramos d Viktor Troicki of Serbia 6-4 6-4. Juan Monaco is finally playing well again, beats Teymuraz Gabashvili 6-2 3-6 6-3. The best match was Ryan Harrison over Mardy Fish 6-4 4-6 7-6 (3). Good for both of them. But more tomorrow…

 

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