All Articles Tagged "us open"
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?
When I look at Taylor Townsend I see an athletic 16-year-old who is dominating the game of tennis with a rank as the world’s No. 1 junior girls player, not to mention the reigning junior Australian Open singles champion and the junior Wimbledon doubles champion. But when Taylor’s coaches in her U.S. Tennis Association (USTA)-funded development program look at her, they see a player who would be a great investment, if only she’d lose some weight.
Last week, Taylor participated in the U.S. Open’s junior tournament without the consent of her coaches because according to the Wall Street Journal:
Her coaches declined to pay her travel expenses to attend the Open and told her this summer that they wouldn’t finance any tournament appearances until she makes sufficient progress in one area: slimming down and getting into better shape.
“Our concern is her long-term health, number one, and her long-term development as a player,” said Patrick McEnroe, the general manager of the USTA’s player development program. “We have one goal in mind: For her to be playing in [Arthur Ashe Stadium] in the main draw and competing for major titles when it’s time. That’s how we make every decision, based on that.”
Speaking on her daughter’s treatment for the first time, Taylor’s mother, Sheila, who played tennis at Lincoln University, told WSJ she opted to pay for her daughter’s expenses herself. She noted that Taylor asked the USTA for a wild-card entry slot in either the Open’s main draw or its qualifying tournament, which Taylor had played in last year, and both of her requests were denied. When Taylor was asked to skip out on the Open all together, her mother had had enough.
”It all kind of came as a shock to us because Taylor has consistently done quite well,” she said adding that her daughter “is No. 1, not just in the United States, but in the world.”
As WSJ reports, “After Townsend lost in the first-round of qualifying at a professional event in Vancouver this summer, her coaches asked her to withdraw from the USTA Girls’ National Championships in San Diego and return to the USTA’s training academy in Boca Raton, where she now lives. She was put on double fitness duty and allowed to play just enough tennis to maintain her timing.” In a routine checkup after she moved back home, doctors diagnosed her with low iron, but the issue is reportedly “totally manageable.” As far as her tennis career goes, it’s not so easy. Taylor was asked to represent the U.S. in a junior Federation Cup event in Spain later this month but after that, her future is uncertain.
If anyone would be able to relate to Taylor’s dilemma, you’d think it would be Serena Williams, who is impeccably fit but still large in stature. When ESPN asked Serena how she feels about Taylor being kept out of tournaments she said:
“If that happened, that’s obviously a tragedy, because everyone deserves to play. She’s so sweet and she works so hard. For a female, particularly, in the United States, in particular, and African-American, to have to deal with that is unnecessary. … Women athletes come in all different sizes and shapes and colors and everything. I think you can see that more than anywhere on the tennis tour.”
Hopefully USTA begins to see that. Here’s a look at Taylor in action, what do you think about her being kept out of tournaments over her weight?
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- I Used To Love Her: The Search For The Next Lauryn
We know by now that Venus Williams is a businesswoman as well as an athlete: part owner of the Miami Dolphins (with sister (and recently crowned US Open champ, Serena), operator of Jamba Juice shops across the Mid-Atlantic, interior design and fashion maven with her clothing line EleVen.
The tennis champ gave USA Today a behind-the-scenes look at the preparations for her line’s debut on the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week catwalk. Over the course of three hours, the newspaper watched as Williams assessed hairstyles and make-up, watched the performers prepare for the evening (a dancer and a yoga practitioner are among the people who will be taking to the runway rather than models) and talked about the EleVen customer.
“It’s about being your best…. and doing more than you thought you could,” she says in the clip, available here.
Separately, but juicy, turns out that Williams has had a secret boyfriend, Miami-based Cuban model Elio Alberto Pis, who is 24 years old, eight years younger than Venus. Actually, I guess it’s not so secret since they were seen kissing at the US Open. But back to Fashion Week…
We’ve never really paid too much attention to EleVen, so we’re surprised that it’s making such a big splash during Fashion Week. Are you? Have you ever bought anything from the brand? If so, let us know what it’s like. Maybe we’ll check it out. Here’s a link to the brand’s website so you can see a little more.
Have you ever been in the heat of a situation? Been at work where you have a deadline to meet, where a coworker is getting on your last nerve? Or have you been on the phone with the telephone company, who transfers your query call from country to country,until you just reach the point that you snap and let someone have it?
No needs in lying or attempting to play the sanctified, Mother Teresa role because I know we all have been there. It’s okay, it happens to the best of us. Sometimes all the meditation, happy thoughts and Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo chanting in the world can’t stop the sudden release of raw emotion. Matter of fact, I went off on an employee of a hardware store recently, who tried to ignore me when I kept asking for his assistance. I yelled, “look here, got dammit, ya’ll got me in here waiting like I’m a damn waiter.” It didn’t make sense but it was effective. And it ain’t right to verbally abuse people but sometimes in the heat of the moment, you just have to turn into the mad rapper and tell ‘em why you mad, son.
Which is why I wasn’t too mad at Serena Williams, who recently “went off” at an umpire during her most recent U.S Open tournament. After losing the first set to Sam Stosur, Williams, who said that she was in the zone, yelled out, “come on!” before Stosur hit the ball. This act apparently violated a little known “point hindrance” rule in tennis, where you are not suppose to do anything that might distract the other player on their return. The umpire, who made the call, deducted a point from Williams, which gave Stosur the first game. And that’s when all hell broke loose. In an act of sheer emotion, Williams let the umpire have it with such statements as: “You’re out of control,” “You’re a hater, and you’re just unattractive inside” and “Really, don’t even look at me.” Williams was fined $2000 for her outburst. Also, she lost the game.
Yawn. Besides being one of the most awkward curse-out moments in history (“You are unattractive on the inside” -seriously what was that?) frankly, William’s outburst wasn’t that bad. Before I saw the video of the incident, which has sent shockwaves around the web, I had expected some truly vulgar language unbecoming of a superstar athlete, only to discover that what she said was safe enough to say in front of my grandmother, without being embarrassed. I heard better put-downs from Ned Flanders on The Simpsons. Call me when she really “goes off” McEnroe-style.
Of course, this isn’t the first time Williams went semi-H.A.M on an ump at one of her matches. At the 2009 Open, she was fined $82,500 and put on probation for threatening to shove a ball down the throat of a referee who kept giving her poor calls including a minor foot fault, which some argue should have been called in the first place. And as such, some folks – mainly Fox News and company – see this, as well as the other incidences, of Williams’ apparent sense of entitlement, even going as far as to suggest that her rant had some racial undertones, particularly the hater part.
And then there are others, particularly from the Afro-sphere, who wonder if her outburst has helped to reinforce stereotypes of the angry black woman. For one, tennis has a long history of whiney crybabies throwing temper tantrums. And yes the media tends to overblow things related to black people, especially regarding anger, because who isn’t scared of an angry Black person right?