Venus Williams to Make an Appearance on Katie Couric Talk Show


(July 10, 2013) On the nationally syndicated daytime talk show “Katie,”  hosted by Katie Couric airing July 11, an emotional Venus Williams discusses career stress. Other guests Robin Roberts, Sportscaster Hannah Storm and Whoopi Goldberg share their passion for powerful women in sports. The show will air at 3 p.m. ET. (Check local listings for times in other areas)

Venus Williams who did not play Wimbledon due to a back injury has been suffering from the autoimmune disease Sjogren’s Syndrome. She was diagnosed with it back in the summer of 2011.



Venus Williams Powers into Australian Open Second Round, Seeds Advance

Venus Williams Tennis Panroama 4102010

By Jaclyn Stacey


(January 14, 2013) MELBOURNE PARK, Australia – Venus Williams kicked off her Australian Open 2013 campaign in emphatic fashion, disposing of Kazakh Galina Voskoboeva 6-1, 6-0 in one hour on Hisense Arena at Melbourne Park on Monday.


This is the comeback Australian Open for Williams after being sidelined from the 2012 event while dealing with the diagnosis of Sjögren’s syndrome. She finished 2012 ranked no. 24 after starting the year outside of the top 100.


Voskoboeva won the opening service game of the match, sending down an ace on game point to lead the encounter 1-0. It would go on to be the only game she would win in a match that saw Williams completely dominate her opponent with her aggressive style of play.


Williams took advantage of a break point opportunity in the third game of the first set by coming into the net and producing a tight forehand volley which Voskoboeva could not reach.


Williams then won the next two games before experiencing some resistance while serving at 4-1 with Voskoboeva producing two confident forehand winners to force the game to go to deuce. She produced two opportunities to break but Williams saved both by utilizing her trademark powerful serve. She then sealed the game with an ace to lead 5-1.


Voskoboeva appeared to struggle with serving in the midday sun as Williams confidently broke Voskoboeva in the next game, sending a return forehand winner down the line to claim the first set 6-1.


With her opponent clearly frustrated and with younger sister Serena supporting from the sidelines, Williams had little trouble in the second set, steamrolling to a 6-1 6-0 victory.


“I mean, the stats looked good for me.  I haven’t seen them all yet, but I got a high first-serve percentage and more winners than errors, so that always makes a good match. I don’t think my opponent quite got the hang of — you know, it’s hard to play the first match in a major, first thing of the year, and that can be a lot of pressure. I did my best to just close it out.”


When asked to judge her performance today, Williams said “just continue to have depth on the balls. For me, I’m a net player; I like to get to the net. But the courts are a lot slower, so you have to be selective on how you get to the net, especially.  You know, the stronger players you play with, the more experience. And continuing to serve well always makes the match easier. So those are some of the big-picture things.”


Williams will play the winner of the match between France’s Alize Cornet and Marina Erakovic in the second round on Wednesday.


In other day one women’s action, second seed Maria Sharapova denied her opponent a single game, bageling both sets to win 6-0, 6-0 against countrywoman Olga Puchkova and will play Misaki Doi in the second round before a potential third round clash with Venus Williams.


Australia’s main female hope Samantha Stosur battled her way to a two set victory against Kai-Chen Chang of Taipei in one hour and 42 minutes on Rod Laver Arena. With a 0-1 record against Chang and an opening round loss at Australian Open 2012, Stosur had a lot to prove in front of the home crowd. The first set ended in a tie-breaker after a tight first set in which the two swapped breaks on several occasions. Stosur prevailed in the tie break and claimed the first set 7-6(7-3). She closed out the match with a much easier second set 7-6(7-3) 6-3. She will next play the winner of the all Chinese match between Yuxuan Zhang and Jie Zheng.


2011 runner-up Li Na had a convincing win over Sesil Karantantcheva 6-1 6-3 in the first match on Margaret Court Arena today. She will play Olivia Govortsova on Wednesday and will go into the match with a 2-0 winning record over her opponent.


Fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska defeated Australian open 2013 Wildcard play-off winner 7-5 6-0 and will play the winner of Arantxa Rus and Irina-Camelia Begu in the second round.


For updated women’s singles results, please visit AustralianOpen.com

Jaclyn Stacey is a Melbourne based freelance journalist covering the Australian Open tournament as media for Tennis Panorama News.  Follow her Australian Open updates on @TennisNewsTPN. Follow her personal twitter @JackattackAU.


Venus Williams Withdraws from the Australian Open

Venus Williams announced on both her twitter account and website that she has withdrawn from the Australian Open.


The following statement was posted on her website:


Posted on Jan 09, 2012

I regret to announce that I am withdrawing from the 2012 Australian Open.  After several months of training and treatment, I am making steady progress to top competitive form. My diet and fitness regimen have allowed me to make great strides in terms of my health and I am very close to being ready to return to WTA competition. I have every intention to return to the circuit in February.”


Williams has been suffering from Sjogren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disorder. Williams has not competed since pulling out of the US Open on August 31. She is currently ranked No. 100 on the WTA tour.



Venus Withdraws, Bartoli, Radwanska, Cibulkova, Almagro, and Bryan Brothers Upset on Day 3 of the U.S. Open

Venus Williams hits a backhand in her straight sets victory over Vesna Dolonts of Russia on day 1 in Arthur Ashe Stadium at the U.S. Open Tennis Championships Stadium at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York City on August 29, 2011. UPI/John Angelillo

FLUSHING MEADOWS, New York – On day three of the US Open Venus Williams withdraws, as Marion Bartoli, Agnieszka Radwanska, Dominika Cibulkova, Nicolas Almagro and the Bryan Brothers were knocked out early on Wednesday.

Venus Williams is out of the US open with Sjögren’s Syndrome

Venus Williams was scheduled to play Germany’s Sabine Lisicki third on Arthur Ashe Stadium court but pulled out of the tournament. In a statement Williams said, “I’m really disappointed to have to withdraw from this year’s U.S. Open.  I have been recently diagnosed with Sjögren’s Syndrome, an autoimmune disease which is an ongoing medical condition that affects my energy level and causes fatigue and joint pain.

“I enjoyed playing my first match here and wish I could continue but right now I am unable to. I am thankful I finally have a diagnosis and am now focused on getting better and returning to the court soon.”

“I was really looking forward to the match”, said Lisicki. “I love those big matches and playing against Venus.  We had two amazing matches the last two meetings.  I was really looking forward to it.

“But that’s tennis. Sometimes you get injured or sick. I don’t know what her problem was, so, yeah, unfortunate.”

“I think she’s a tough girl and I think she’ll come back.

“You know, it would be unfortunate if she couldn’t.  Serena and Venus both are amazing players and it’s nice to have them in the women’s sport.  I hope she comes back.  It makes it more challenging.”

Liscki receives a walkover and will advance to the third round of the tournament.

On the men’s side, Sweden’s Robin Soderling also withdrew.

American teen Christina McHale tops eighth seed

New Jersey teen Christina McHale has defeated two top ten players in two weeks. Two weeks ago McHale defeated No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki in Cincinnati, on Wednesday she stopped the eighth seed France’s Marion Bartoli 7-6(2), 6-2.

“I’m so excited to have beaten a player like Marion, especially have it happen here at the US Open,” said McHale.

McHale compared her win over Woznacki to the Bartoli victory, “ I think they’re different wins. I had never really, at the Grand Slams, made it past the second round.  Yeah, that was a good win for me, too, but I think to have it happen here at the Grand Slam is exciting for me.”

McHale, from nearby Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey since February has been training at the USTA Training Center East, located at the home of the US Open – the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

“It’s so nice to be able to be home,” said McHale. With all the traveling that I do, it always feels amazing to come home and be able to train at home.  I get to spend more time here.  It’s huge for me.

“It’s so different seeing it when no one is here, nothing is set up.  Now it feels completely different.

“I’m getting to stay at my house while I’m here.  I’m sleeping in my own bed and all that.”

“I think there’s a lot of American players…young American players…right now that are all kind of pushing each other. So I think it’s exciting.”

McHale wasn’t the only young American to cause an upset on Wednesday. Twenty-one-year-old Irina Falconi ousted 14th-seeded Dominika Cibulkova of the Slovakia 2-6, 6-3, 7-5 to advance to the third round of the US Open. Falconi’s two wins in this year’s US Open represent her only wins at Grand Slam tournaments.

On why she carries and American flag in her bag – “I’ve heard so much about media talking about American tennis, and I really wanted to portray that there’s a huge wave of American players. I strongly believe in all that is USA, and I wanted to represent it and show the world that it’s coming. It’s coming. No need to wait any longer.”

Sharapova cruises  through evening session

Maria Sharapova had a much easier second round match on Wednesday as she rolled past Anastasiya Yakimova 6-1, 6-1.


“I think I improved my intensity a lot,” said Sharapova. “I was moving a lot better, just hitting a lot freer.

“Overall I did many things much better than the previous round. I really had to.

Roddick tested by fellow American Russell

Andy Roddick advanced to the second round of the US open with a tough 6-2, 6-4, 4-6,  7-5 win over fellow American Micheal Russell.

“I’m pleased I won said Roddick. ” The first two sets were all right.  I kind of got myself into a hole.  Was lucky I got out of the fourth set.  I started serving better in the fourth set.  But beyond that, you know, it wasn’t pretty.

“I thought Mike was playing pretty well.  You know, definitely had a strategy.  Was trying to take the ball early, work lines, not let me get set.  It’s a good play if you can execute it, and he did it for a while.

“I got through it.

“Well, every wins helps.  You know, I’m certainly not fooling myself by thinking that was worthy of a championship performance by any means.  But, you know, I don’t know if I would expect that.

“I started hitting two days before Cincinnati and I’m trying.  I’m trying to get my form there, I promise you.  You know, a lot of people when they’re coming back do it on the side courts.  I just have an audience.  I’m working.

“If I get my feet into this thing, it’s only going to get better the more I play.”

Russell spoke about playing in Arthur Ashe Stadium: “It’s awesome.  I played in all four stadiums, but I never played a night match here.  Obviously with the crowd it’s electrifying, it’s loud, and they get into it.

“Obviously Andy is kind of the poster boy for American tennis the last 10 years.  I mean, Mardy is playing great, but he doesn’t have the popularity figure as Andy.  You know, we’ve practiced together a thousand times in the last 10 years.  Obviously we’re good friends.

“So it means a lot.  I’m happy with the way I competed, the way that I played from the ground.  I thought I gave myself a real chance to obviously at least go five.  I felt he would kind of maybe panic a little bit if we went to a fifth.”

Del Potro returns to Flushing Meadows

For the first time since he won the US Open title in 2009, Juan Martin Del Potro set foot on courts of Flushing Meadows. He was unable to defend his title last year due to a wrist injury for most of the year. He has risen from 485 to within the top 20.

Del Potro had little trouble with Italy’s Filippo Volandri disposing him 6-3, 6-1, 6-1.

“I feel really glad.  Was a short match, you know, against Volandri, but I served well.  I was improving my game during the match.

“And so be playing here after win here, it’s special.  It’s my favorite tournament, so I’m really happy to take the opportunity to play here again.

“Has been a really sad year, 2010, for me, and I always say.

“This year to be playing the US Open, it’s amazing, it’s great, and I’m feeling really glad to see the crowd again, to see the Argentinian fans come to see me specially play here in the US Open.

“I’m really exciting to keep improving my game, to keep winning here.  Hopefully be ready for my next match and win again.”

The Bryan Brothers are out

Defending men’s doubles champions Mike and Bob Bryan were upset in the first round by Ivo Karlovic of Croatia and Frank Moser of Germany, 6-4, 2-6, 6-2.

The last time the Bryan brothers lost in the first round of a major was a decade ago at the Australian Open.

Advancing Seeds


(2) Vera Zvonareva (RUS) d. Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) 75 36 63
(3) Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. Anastasiya Yakimova(BLR) 61 61
(9) Samantha Stosur (AUS) d. Coco Vandeweghe (USA) 63 64
(13) Peng Shuai (CHN) d. Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) 62 64
(19) Julia Goerges (GER) d. Laura Pous-Tio (ESP) 63 61
(22) Sabine Lisicki (GER) d. Venus Williams (USA) w/o (Sjogren’s syndrome)
(24) Nadia Petrova (RUS) d. Polona Hercog (SLO) 62 64
(25) Maria Kirilenko (RUS) d. Vera Dushevina (RUS) 61 62
(26) Flavia Pennetta (ITA) d. (Q) Romina Oprandi (ITA) 60 63
(27) Lucie Safarova (CZE) d. (WC) Madison Keys (USA) 36 75 64
(30) Anabel Medina Garrigues (ESP) d. (Q) Laura Robson (GBR) 62 63

[4] A Murray (GBR) d S Devvarman (IND) 76(5) 62 63
[12] G Simon (FRA) d R Mello (BRA) 36 63 64 36 64
[18] J Del Potro (ARG) d F Volandri (ITA) 63 61 61
[21] A Roddick (USA) d M Russell (USA) 62 64 46 75
[25] F Lopez (ESP) d T Ito (JPN) 62 64 64
[28] J Isner (USA) d M Baghdatis (CYP) 76(2) 76(1) 26 64

Doubles – First Round
[2] M Mirnyi (BLR)/ D Nestor (CAN) d S Giraldo (COL) / P Riba (ESP) 63 62
[8] E Butorac (USA) / J Rojer (AHO) d G Dimitrov (BUL) / D Tursunov (RUS) 67(3) 62 60
[9] J Melzer (AUT) / P Petzschner (GER) d S Gonzalez (MEX) / J Murray (GBR) 63 60

[13] M Granollers (ESP) / M Lopez (ESP) d G Garcia-Lopez (ESP) / A Montanes (ESP) 30 ret.
M Kohlmann (GER) / A Waske (GER) d [16] S Lipsky (USA) / R Ram (USA) 57 76(6) 76(5)

Seeds Upset

Christina McHale (USA) d. (8) Marion Bartoli (FRA) 76(2) 62
Irina Falconi (USA) d. (14) Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) 26 63 75
Alla Kudryavtseva (RUS) d. (20) Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) 61 30 ret.
J Benneteau (FRA) d [10] N Almagro (ESP) 62 64 63
I Karlovic (CRO) / F Moser (GER) d [1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) 64 26 62
D Bracciali (ITA) / P Starace (ITA) d [11] F Cermak (CZE) / F Polasek (SVK) 64 64