Venus Williams just lost in the second-round of the U.S. Open the Zheng Jie in a third-set tiebreaker. Let’s process:
It’s no secret that I’m a huge Venus Williams fan. And can I just say that this one hurt? Well, it did. It’s true. To see her fight back over and over again, from the brink of defeat so, so many times, and then to lose it because of THAT VOLLEY. You know the one I’m talking about. The volley that would have given her match point, but instead put her down match point. The volley miss that was SO BAD it brought the seven-time major champion to her knees. The one where the ENTIRE COURT was open, and she botched it into the net.
Yeah, that sucked.
2. That being said, I had forgotten how much fun it was to watch Zheng Jie play tennis. She is such a great mover and competitor, and always surprises me with how she can hang in there from the baseline.
I went to her results page to try and figure out what has happened to her this year, and I don’t see any major time off, just a whole lot of first-round matches. In fact, as much as we talk about Venus’ rust, Zheng hadn’t won a match since the French Open coming into the U.S. Open. Still, she loves the fast courts and has made two Grand Slam semifinals, so she certainly knows how to play the big matches.
There’s really no reason why she should be ranked No. 56 in the world–she’s way better than that.
Plus, she’s fun:
The problem that I’ve seen with her throughout the past two years is that she just can’t string it all together. She wants it so, so badly that she starts to push, which leads to spraying forehands, botching volleys, and service yips.
And, as her coach confirmed tonight, she’s insanely stubborn, and not good at going to a “Plan B” when her tactics aren’t working.
She’s always been this way, and she used to still manage to have a lot of success. But these days, her “A-game” isn’t around for as long, so she’s going to have to be more open to adjustments if she wants to hang around.
4. It seems like she does want to hang around for longer:
“If I didn’t think I had anything left in the tank I wouldn’t be here. I still think I do and that’s why I’m still here.” – Venus #usopen
— Beyond The Baseline (@SI_BTBaseline) August 29, 2013
Venus spoke about plans to play in the fall in Asia as well as Europe, wanting to play back-to-back events, but vague beyond that. #USOpen
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) August 29, 2013
Good to hear this from #Venus: I’m a fighter. Just like today, I didn’t play my best, but I tried as hard as I could. Tried not to get down
— Erin Bruehl (@ErinBruehl) August 29, 2013
5. I don’t care what anyone says. She looks absolutely, positively FABULOUS. I love everything about this ensemble, and I think the hair is the best.