Connect with us

Sports

Venus Williams Ousted from French Open by Sloane Stephens

Published

on

USA's Venus Williams serves the ball to compatriot Sloane Stephens during their first round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium, Monday, May 25, 2015 in Paris. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

USA’s Venus Williams serves the ball to compatriot Sloane Stephens during their first round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium, Monday, May 25, 2015 in Paris. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

HOWARD FENDRICH, AP Tennis Writer

PARIS (AP) — A loss by Venus Williams in the first round at a Grand Slam is no longer the rarity it once was.

And, as it happens, the woman who beat Williams at the French Open on Tuesday, Sloane Stephens, is making a concerted effort, at her coach’s behest, to focus less on who is on the other side of the net.

Still, it was hard not to see the 22-year-old Stephens’ 7-6 (5), 6-1 dismissal of seven-time major champion Williams, who at 34 was the oldest woman in the field, as a statement about the directions their respective careers are heading.

For the 15th-seeded Williams, it was her second opening defeat in three years at Roland Garros.

It also was the fifth time in the last 13 Grand Slam tournaments she’s entered that she exited in the first round. Before that stretch, it happened once in 37 majors.

Williams didn’t show up for a news conference, meaning she could face a fine. Instead, she issued a five-sentence statement that read in part: “When you arrive at any tournament, you hope you will have a chance to work your way into the event, but I didn’t have that opportunity — she just played better than me today.”

That is true.

The 40th-ranked Stephens, who has reached the French Open’s fourth round the last three years, was consistently strong from the baseline, making only 14 unforced errors to Williams’ 30.

“I want her to play with a sense of joy … and play everything as well as she can, relentlessly, and not be concerned with the result. Let the result take care of itself. And she did a good job of that today,” said Stephens’ coach, Nick Saviano.

“I have noticed that missing. … For any athlete, in any sport, at any high level, they must have that passion and the joy to perform,” Saviano explained. “Otherwise, it becomes onerous. It becomes too much of a job, so to speak.”

The biggest victory of Stephens’ career came at the 2013 Australian Open, when she defeated Williams’ younger sister Serena en route to the semifinals.

This was the first time Stephens had faced Venus Williams, other than beating her in an exhibition as a teen.

“But,” Stephens said, “I don’t think that really counts.”

Now Stephens joins Lindsay Davenport as the only Americans to have beaten each Williams at a Grand Slam tournament.

Two other seeded women lost Monday: No. 14 Agnieszka Radwanska, who was the runner-up at Wimbledon in 2012, and No. 22 Barbora Strycova. Two seeded men exited, too, including No. 11 Feliciano Lopez, who now has 10 first-round exits in 15 appearances in Paris.

Winners included No. 3 Andy Murray, who played with his wedding ring tied to his shoe and improved to 11-0 since getting married, and defending women’s champion Maria Sharapova.

She was jeered off Court Philippe Chatrier for skipping the customary post-match interview, citing a cold. Sharapova coughed repeatedly while getting past Kaia Kanepi 6-2, 6-4, and when asked later about not talking to the fans, she said their reaction was “absolutely normal … but I’ve got to do what I have to do.”

Stephens was reserved during her on-court interview, referring to Williams as “someone we all looked up to for so long,” but hardly celebrating as if this meant a lot to her.

“I think she’s pleased. But she wants to perform well every day. She doesn’t want to make a big deal out of one match,” Saviano said. “And she shouldn’t.”

Stephens — whose late father, John Stephens, was the 1988 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year with the New England Patriots, and whose mother, Sybil Smith, was Boston University’s first All-American in women’s swimming — was composed throughout the match, finding the spots for her deep groundstrokes.

OK, truth be told, she did lose her composure once.

Holding a break point in the second set’s second game, Stephens was preparing to receive a serve when the ball hit by Williams startled a pigeon, which flapped its wings and took off. Stephens, in turn, was startled and released quite a shriek. Instead of an ace, the point was replayed, and Williams flubbed a shot to get broken.

“It was a very dramatic moment, I would say,” Stephens said with a smile. “First of all, I didn’t know what it was. I thought it was way closer to me than it actually was. So that was … why I screamed so loud.”

___

Follow AP Tennis Writer Howard Fendrich on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Bay Area

Planning Commission to Hold Public Hearing on Oakland A’s Real Estate Project

The Planning Commission will consider whether the Final EIR was completed in compliance with state law, represents the independent analysis of the city, and provides adequate information to decision-makers and the public on the potential adverse environmental effects of the proposed project, as well as ways in which those effects might be mitigated or avoided.

Published

on

By Post Staff

The Oakland Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) on the Oakland A’s Stadium and Real Estate Development. It will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 19, at 3 p.m., according to a city media release.

“During the hearing, the Planning Commission will consider whether the Final EIR was completed in compliance with state law, represents the independent analysis of the city, and provides adequate information to decision-makers and the public on the potential adverse environmental effects of the proposed project, as well as ways in which those effects might be mitigated or avoided” according to the media release.

The 3,500-page report was released the week before Christmas 2021, leaving little time for community advocates to read and critique the report.

After the commission makes a recommendation, the Oakland City Council will consider certification of the Final EIR, likely in February. A “yes” vote by the council does not mean the project is approved but is a major first step toward approval.

Community advocates are asking the commission to postpone the meeting, so that the community has time to read and analyze the 3,500-page report in time to provide public comment. You can contact the commission at drarmstrong@oaklandca.gov or cpayne@oaklandca.gov.

The following are Planning Commission members:

• Clark Manus, Chair

• Jonathan Fearn, Vice-Chair

• Sahar Shiraz

• Tom Limon

• Vince Sugrue

• Jennifer Renk

• Leopold A Ray-Lynch

To read the Final EIR, go to:  https://bit.ly/32KZ3pT

 

Continue Reading

Black History

Oakland Natives’ We Ball Sports and HBCU’s League Pass to Deliver Negro League Apparel

With the mission of bridging HBCU baseball with its historic Negro Baseball League roots, We Ball Sports, headquartered in Atlanta, will design integrated apparel, and distribute via HBCU League Pass news, sports, shopping, and entertainment network based in Roanoke, Texas.

Published

on

Nehemiah Mitchell and Derrion Herring, co-founders of We Ball Sports.
Nehemiah Mitchell and Derrion Herring, co-founders of We Ball Sports.

By Carla Thomas

E-commerce company We Ball Sports, specializing in high-quality football gear and apparel, announced a new retail partnership with Urban Edge Networks, owner of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) League Pass.

With the mission of bridging HBCU baseball with its historic Negro Baseball League roots, We Ball Sports, headquartered in Atlanta, will design integrated apparel, and distribute via HBCU League Pass news, sports, shopping, and entertainment network based in Roanoke, Texas.

Just in time for baseball season, Nehemiah Mitchell, a co-founder of We Ball Sports, says the new partnership is the perfect blend of technology and fashion that invokes awareness and pride in African American culture.

“This is a significant partnership for us that has grown from the community we’ve built and the trust we’ve earned from athletes nationwide,” said Mitchell. “HBCU League Pass enables us to bring both of our communities together to further our reach and foster relationships between young athletes and the HBCU community.”

According to Mitchell, a native of Oakland, Weballsports.com, is the most visited, privately-owned e-commerce football equipment business globally, achieving 500,000 visitors by the end of July 2021. “This year we expect $1.5 million in sales by the end of December and 2022 should yield up to $5 million in sales,” said Mitchell.

“Nehemiah Mitchell, Brendan Royal, and Darreon Herring have their fingers on the pulse of Gen-Z and cultural trends,” said Hardy Pelt, chief financial officer at Urban Edge Networks which owns HBCU League Pass. “Their amazing growth over the past couple of years and genuine relationship with the youth sports community made them an easy selection and the perfect partner to support HBCU baseball.”

Urban Edge Networks, the owners of HBCU League Pass and entertainment network company in Las Vegas, vow to continue promoting the legacy of African Americans’ contributions to the sport of baseball through collaboration with the Negro League Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri, and with various HBCU baseball teams.

We Ball Sports co-founders Royal, DaHerring, and Mitchell, all former D1 football players under 30, are thrilled to partner with HBCU League Pass.

They hope to accelerate the brand’s growth by branching out into other sports and providing additional apparel and equipment in their catalog. The company also plans to partner with NFL athletes while increasing their philanthropic activities in the community.

“We plan to generate even more interest and investment into HBCU sports from professional athletes and entertainers similar to NBA point guard Stephen Curry’s agreement to fund Howard University’s golf program for six years,” said Mitchell. “Also, Deon Sanders and Percy ‘Master P’ Miller, both retired professional athletes, are also encouraging nationally ranked high school players to attend HBCUs and join their athletic programs.”

For more information visit: http://www.weballsports.com and http://www.hbculeaguepass.com.

Continue Reading

Bay Area

IN MEMORIAM: John Madden, Oakland Raiders Super Bowl Winning Coach, Dies at 85

“We all know him as the Hall of Fame coach of the Oakland Raiders and broadcaster who worked for every major network, but more than anything, he was a devoted husband, father and grandfather,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said.

Published

on

John Madden.
John Madden.

By Bay City News

John Madden, who won a Super Bowl with the Oakland Raiders and went on to be a television commentator and namesake of a popular football video game series, has died at the age of 85, the National Football League announced on Dec. 28, 2021.

No other information about a cause of death was immediately released.

Madden, who grew up in Daly City, led the Oakland Raiders to a Super Bowl victory in 1977, then went on to highly successful careers in TV and video games, and was recently the subject of a documentary titled “All Madden.”

“We all know him as the Hall of Fame coach of the Oakland Raiders and broadcaster who worked for every major network, but more than anything, he was a devoted husband, father and grandfather,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said.

Madden’s death prompted widespread reactions on social media from those who knew or admired him.

The Raiders, who have since moved to Las Vegas, wrote “A brilliant coach. A loyal and trusted friend. A Raider.”

Gov. Gavin Newsom wrote, “Tonight we mourn John Madden — he redefined the role of a sports broadcaster — his voice as recognizable as anyone who ever did the job. He hoisted a Super Bowl trophy with CA’s own Oakland Raiders. Our thoughts are with his family as we mourn this incredible man.”

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf wrote, “I join all in mourning + honoring SuperBowl-winning coach John Madden. He was a great personality who truly loved #Oakland. When his grandson played at O’Dowd, John was as enthusiastic about the Dragons as any NFL team. We will miss him!”

San Mateo County Board of Supervisors president David Canepa wrote, “RIP John Madden. A 1954 graduate of Jefferson High School in Daly City and Super Bowl winning coach for the Oakland Raiders. He did so much for Daly City!”

Continue Reading

CHECK OUT THE LATEST ISSUE OF THE OAKLAND POST

ADVERTISEMENT

WORK FROM HOME

Home-based business with potential monthly income of $10K+ per month. A proven training system and website provided to maximize business effectiveness. Perfect job to earn side and primary income. Contact Lynne for more details: Lynne4npusa@gmail.com 800-334-0540

Facebook

Trending