All Articles Tagged "tennis"
It looks like everything Sloane Stephens and Serena Williams are BFFs again – or at least they can stop giving each other the stank eye.
According to Sports Illustrated, Stephens, who is a rising star in the tennis world, tweeted out on Tuesday that she and Williams had “straighten[ed] out the controversy” around comments she made in ESPN The Magazine in which she denounced media reports that two had a close friendship. In fact, Stephens said that after pulling an upset over Williams in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open, the two hadn’t spoken and Williams had even stopped following her on Blackberry messenger and on Twitter. From the ESPN article: “She’s not said one word to me, not spoken to me, not said hi, not looked my way, not been in the same room with me since I played her in Australia,” Stephens says emphatically. “And that should tell everyone something, how she went from saying all these nice things about me to unfollowing me on Twitter.”
When asked about the Stephens comments, Williams took a different, more oblivious stance, telling reporters, “I don’t really know. I don’t have many thoughts….I’m a big Sloane Stephens fan and always have been. I’ve always said that I think she can be the best in the world. I’ll always continue to think that and always be rooting for her.”
To be honest with you, outside of hearing about the Williams sisters domination in the sport, I have no interest in tennis. With that said, this sort of situation that transpired between Stephens and Williams is not exclusive to the tennis world. And I don’t want to make this a gender thing but it has been my personal experience that women tend to have these sort of weird beefs, which seem to materialize out of what a person hasn’t said or done. I used to think that it was because women were crazy. But now I think it is a matter of good old fashioned competition.
And I’m not talking about the competition most think of when they think of women. You know, the kind which usually spawns out of mutual interest in the same men or the same outfit; I’m talking about women trying to out-do each other in the workplace; in schools and even in the club.
Like a few weeks ago, I was dancing with a bunch of friends at a club and I must have been really getting my two-step on that night because this young woman came out of nowhere and started dropping it all hot in front of me. At first I thought she was just being a hype white girl, trying to do that whole ‘look-at-me-dance-with-black-people-’ thing that they do. But the expression on her face as she dipped it low – and struggled to bring it back up again – told me that she was really serious. She was subtly trying to challenge me to a dance-off. I turned my back on Ms. Save the Last Dance.
Part of me was flattered as maybe those Zumba classes has given me better hip to foot coordination. And truthfully, there is nothing wrong with competition. It’s good for business, particularly for customers as it helps keep the prices low. And men are regularly praised for their competitive spirits. And in my younger years – and if I really knew how to dance – I would have probably playfully given Ciara’s illegitimate sister a run for her money and likely not sweated the outcome.
But we also have to recognize when our natural competitive spirit is becoming unhealthy. And that’s the other part, which had me annoyed by the situation. Like why did this stranger approach and challenge the only black girls dancing, in a sea of non-black girls dancing? I wasn’t even the best dancer in the place. There were a group of white girls on the other side of the room, getting it in way better than any of us black girls were at the time. So why did she have to try to take my shine from me?
I definitely sense some underlying competitiveness in this Stephens and Williams situation, which might have more to do with off-the court than on. Part of this is fueled by the media’s constant comparison of the two, particularly christening Stephens as the next Williams. I mean, just because they are the only two black high-profiled tennis players outside of Venus (who folks rarely talk about these days) in a sport dominated by non-black women, doesn’t mean they have to be compared to each other. I mean is it inconceivable to compare Stephens to Maria Sharapova or a Victoria Azarenka? Or better yet, let her be great on her own?
Yikes, Sloane Stephens and Serena Williams have beef.
After the rising tennis star totally upset her ‘mentor’ in the Australian Open quarterfinals, it turns out Serena hasn’t spoken to the young athlete.
“She’s not said one word to me, not spoken to me, not said hi, not looked my way, not been in the same room with me since I played her in Australia,” Stephens said in an interview with ESPN the Magazine that was conducted prior to the U.S. Fed Cup win over Sweden last month, when both were on the team. “And that should tell everyone something, how she went from saying all these nice things about me to unfollowing me on Twitter.”
Read more at EurWeb.com.
If you ask me, I’m surprised it’s taken this long for the phenomenal Williams sisters to get a documentary. Their story is the stuff of legend. They overcame obstacles like a dangerous environments, lack of access and racial discrimination to go on to become the greatest female tennis players the game has ever seen.
Despite their public success, the Williams sisters have managed to keep certain details about their personal lives and secrets to their immense success on the low. Now, in a 100 minute documentary, directed by Maiken Baird and Michelle Major and edited by the two will share the complexity of their lives. According to Tennis Now, the documentary will shed light on their remarkably inspiring story:
“Venus and Serena takes an unfiltered look into the remarkable lives of the greatest sister-act professional tennis has ever seen. In a sport where they were not welcomed, the indomitable Williams sisters faced the opposition with grace and courage not only breaking new ground for female and African-American athletes everywhere, but dominating the women’s game for over a decade. The film tells the inspiring story of how these two women, against all odds, but with the help of visionary parents, made it to the top.”
And while the film is going to uplift you, it’s also going to expose some of their personal hardships and even controversies associated with their lives and careers, like the affair, divorce and second marriage of their father Richard. The film will also include interviews with everyone from Bill Clinton to Chris Rock to Anna Wintour speaking about the sisterly duo.
The documentary, which has already been screened at several film festivals, has been well received. Magnolia Pictures will release the film on iTunes On Demand April 4 and it will hit theaters on May 10.
Check out a short preview of the film on the next page.
Just yesterday, Madame Noire was putting 19-year-old up-and-coming tennis star Sloane Stephens in the spotlight. Well, she up and won.
Serena Williams, a 15-time Grand Slam winner and one of the best players the game has ever seen, lauded Stephens earlier this week, saying “she can be the greatest player.” Williams then got bounced from the Australian Open by Stephens in a shocking 6-3, 5-7, 4-6 loss. Not only did she lose the match, she totaled one of her rackets in a most sublime fashion.
As a tennis fan, I respect Williams’ passion and immense talent. And her arms. Dang. That racket didn’t stand a chance. Serena Williams is fantastic.
Williams was a bit hobbled by an issue with her back. But mostly, it was Stephens’ play that brought her to victory. And match announcers were quick to declare that the future of U.S. women’s tennis had arrived. At this point, Stephens is slated to become the 17th-seeded player in the world, and could edge higher if she continues to advance in the tournament. Next up for Stephens is the number one player in the world, Victoria Azarenka.
Besides her tennis prowess, Stephens is quick to talk up her Twitter feed (her Twitter followers more than doubled to 35,000 after the win), and has a great personality. If she keeps up her winning ways, brands will be knocking down her door to sign endorsement deals soon enough.
Stephens is already a spokesperson for Under Armour, American Express, Johnson & Johnson, Head Raquets, and Usana Health Sciences. No doubt, she will return home to other offers and additional media attention. She said in post-match comments that she’s going to use some of the $526,793 she’s already won for this tournament on Jimmy Choos. So that might be the first offer waiting for her when she gets off the plane.
Since the news of Lance Armstrong admitting to using performance-enhancing drugs shocked the world, the sports scandal has been the topic of conversation for many including celebrities and other pro-athletes including Serena Williams. “I think a lot of people now look and are like, ‘OK, if somebody (is) that great, what about everyone else in every other sport?’” commented Williams after third-round wins at the Australian Open.
Armstrong openly admitted to doping and lying during seven straight Tour de France titles this past Thursday in his interview with Oprah Winfrey. “As an athlete, as someone that works really, really hard since I was 4 or 3, I think it’s a sad day for all athletes in general. Overall, it’s even more disappointing for the people that were adversely affected through everything. You can only just hope for the best for them” Williams said.
You can read the rest over on Essence.
What do you think about Lance Armstrong admitting to doping? Is there anything particularly surprising about it?
Any tennis fans out there? The first big Grand Slam of the season is underway: The Australian Open started on Monday, Aussie time , with the players taking the court while the rest of us were watching the Golden Globes.
Venus Williams has made it to round two, crushing her first round opponent Galina Voskoboeva of Kazakhstan 6-1, 6-0. And what was she wearing to administer this spanking? Why, a design from her own line EleVen. That’s it above. Thoughts?
You’ll recall that Williams took EleVen to New York Fashion Week back in September, so it stands to reason that she would use this appearance for promotional purposes (as well as tennis dominance). Her sister Serena will be playing Romania’s Edina Gallovits-Hall tonight (it’s already Tuesday in Australia), so we’ll have to wait and see what she wears on the court.
A little over a week ago, everybody but Serena Williams had something to say about Caroline Wozniacki. She’s the Danish tennis player who stuffed her bra and her skirt with towels during a tennis match against Maria Sharapova in what everybody who wasn’t black thought was a hilarious impersonation of Serena Williams.
I, personally, didn’t see what was necessary about her mockery — let alone funny — but according to Serena, no one should be taking the stunt so seriously. In an email to USA Today yesterday, she finally responded to the issue, writing:
“I know Caro and I would call her my friend and I don’t think she (meant) anything racist by it.”
Adding that she didn’t bother to watch the viral video, Serena insisted there’s nothing unique or malicious about what Wozniacki did.
“(Roddick) and (Djokovic) do it all the time and Caro does (it) and now it’s racist.??”
“At the end of the day I spend my time focused on things to become better and not bring me down.”
I actually perceived Wozniacki’s imitation as more sexist than anything, although there was obviously more concern from my end because Serena is a black woman. Still, I didn’t understand why any woman who knows — or maybe she doesn’t — what it’s like to be taunted for your body would choose to perpetuate that type of behavior during a tennis match of all times. At the very least, if the act wasn’t racist, it was still inappropriate.
Perhaps the best line in Serena’s email was when she added, “if people feel this way, [Wozniacki] should take reason and do something different next time.”
Listen to your friend, girl. Listen to your friend.
What do you think about Serena’s reaction to being mocked?
It seems congratulations are in order! Richard Williams, father of tennis greats Venus and Serena, is a father again. The man is 70 years old.
According to Gossip Extra, Richard’s wife Lakeisha gave birth to a little boy just a few weeks ago and that’s why their father wasn’t able to attend the U.S. Open. There had been a rumor floating around that maybe the couple were on the “outs” and that’s why they chose not to be seen but apparently they were just celebrating their new bundle of joy.
Oddly enough, no one in the family has made mention of the little one. Serena is very active on Twitter and is known for “subtweeting” (for all you non-Twitter heads, its the same as a subliminal message – just on Twitter) but none of her tweets would have had anyone guess that she might soon be sharing the load in changing her baby brother’s diapers.
Oh, here’s a kind of creepy fact: at age 33, Lakeisha is only one year older than Venus and two years older than Serena. The sisters do seem to have a good relationship with their dad but I have to wonder how weird that meeting was three years ago when Richard and Lakeisha first started dating (they were married last year).
Have you ever seriously dated a man at least 20 years older than you? If you’ve never done it, would you try it? If you have, would you do it again? What about kids? Would you have children with a much older man?
In life, you just can’t please everyone.
Unfortunately for filmmakers Maiken Baird and Michelle Major, the displeasure comes from the people at the forefront of their new documentary. Venus and Serena Williams have pulled all support of Venus and Serena, a documentary based on their lives, allegedly because of the negative light placed on their father, Richard Williams. The movie premiered on Tuesday at the Toronto Film Festival and the sisters were a no show.
The Williamses granted access to the filmmakers January 2011 after being “wooed” and convinced that it would be a good idea. If there’s one thing most people notice about Venus and Serena is that they’re very private and you only see and know what they want you to see and know. Apparently, they were fine with all of the filming and the direction the documentary had taken until they saw the final version. According to an unidentified source who spoke with the L.A. Times, Venus was particularly upset and had a very long conversation with Baird and Major about changes that needed to be made when it came to the portrayal of their father. They made minor adjustments but it clearly wasn’t enough to their liking so they severed ties.
According to the report, Richard Williams came across in the film as controlling, especially when it came to his daughters’ tennis careers and that included a 78 page outline of how he would guide their success right to the top of standings. It further mentions his indiscretions and children that he had out of wedlock. Perhaps in their minds, the film would only focus on the sisters. Perhaps they forgot that their parents are a very big part of their success, especially their father who has always been considered controlling on some levels.
It is unfortunate that the Williamses decided not to support the documentary because based on all the reviews, it is a very complimentary piece and serves to inspire women to work hard to try to achieve such high levels of success. The filmmakers said they were disappointed but hope that Venus and Serena will one day change their minds and support it.
What do you think? Should Venus and Serena just “get over it” and support the film especially since most people already thought their father was controlling? Or are they right for “putting family first” and not condoning anything that doesn’t promote their family in a completely positive light?
I love how black people are wrong for expressing any kind of emotion at all, ever. You’d think Americans would be thrilled that another American—albeit an African American—brought home a victory when Serena snagged her first singles gold medal, defeating Maria Sharapova in two sets during Sunday’s Olympic tennis match. But somehow her ode to Compton when she busted out an impromptu c-walk in light of her victory put a damper on the mood for some—unsurprisingly someone at Fox—surprisingly someone black, sports columnist Jason Whitlock.
Addressing the criticism Serena received after she did her dance, and seemingly questioning why she didn’t receive more backlash, the columnist wrote in an article today:
“What Serena did was akin to cracking a tasteless, X-rated joke inside a church…
“Serena deserved to be criticized and she should’ve immediately apologized. Wimbledon isn’t the place to break out a dance popularized by California Crip gang members. She knows it. That’s why she got embarrassed when asked by reporters to reveal the name of the dance.
“Crip Walking inside an NBA arena that is routinely filled with the sounds of edited versions of popular gangsta rap songs is different from Crip Walking at Wimbledon. That fact has nothing to do with race. It has to do with tradition and atmosphere. Wimbledon is a sports church, falsely prim, proper and respectful.
“Again, Serena deserved to be called out. What she did was immature and classless. She made a mistake, something we all do.
“It’s my belief it was a premeditated mistake. Serena has never been given her proper respect at Wimbledon….
“I bet in a private moment Friday night or Saturday morning, Serena told her sister Venus, ‘I’m going to kick this b*%& a** and Crip Walk all over this crusty-a** place.’”
Mmmkay Uncle Tom, I mean Jason. Allow me to pull out a chair for you as a proper lady would so you can immediately have a seat and think about the mistake you made with this article.
I love the assumed ghetto-girl commentary he attributes to Serena simply because she expressed 13 seconds of joy over an amazing athletic defeat. Premeditated or not, I don’t see the problem with what she did. I’d like to see what Jason would do had he trained to be a great writer for four years then been presented with an award recognizing a dominant triumph over someone else in the field. After reading this, I suppose he’d mosey on in through the back door and tank da committee for dey graciousness toward a negro. Cut it out.
Similarly, L.A. Times‘ writer Bill Plaschke took to twitter to express his disgust with the act, accusing Serena of being too removed from the crip culture, tweeting:
“C-walking at Wimbledon only shows how long she’s been away from home, separated from violence and death associated with that dance”
“Isn’t there some kind of dance done by multi-millionaires who live in exclusive South Florida neighborhoods? That’s shud be Serena’s dance”
Bill, please join Jason at his table for two.
Serena has had her moments when she’s let her anger get the best of her, and according to some, displayed inproper sportsmanship during a match, but to say she can’t celebrate with a victory dance that no one at Wimbledon knew had gang affiliation at one point (as observed by their questions of what the dance was called and suggestions of “the Serena” or “the Wimbledon”) is absurd. Unsurprisingly, Serena thinks so too. She told US Weekly:
“I don’t care. That’s the least of my worries . . . I’m so excited I was able to do the dance. I’m glad I did it!
“It just happened. I was so excited that it just came out,” she said, laughing at the amount of attention the move received. “I guess I’m good at it!”
Jason Whitlock seems to think black people’s defense of Serena’s dance is delusional hypocrisy akin to turning a blind eye to intraracial digressions while labeling a white person doing the same thing a bigot. I happen to find a black man policing a black woman’s behavior under the same racial microscope as the rest of society deplorable and disappointing. It’s not the deep homie.
Here’s a look at Serena’s “tasteless” 13-second c-walk. What are your thoughts on it?
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