Williamses' meeting tripped up Serena's fall, leg injury retire her chances of meeting advancing Venus


June 30, 1998|By Bill Glauber | Bill Glauber,SUN FOREIGN STAFF

WIMBLEDON, England -- Maybe in the future, Serena Williams will complete a Wimbledon match in which she's losing and hurting. Maybe she'll remember to shake her opponent's hand and acknowledge a crowd that had gathered under threatening skies to see her perform.

But Williams is 16 and still learning the finer details of professional tennis etiquette.

In yesterday's women's third round at Wimbledon, Williams injured her left calf muscle early in a match against Virginia Ruano Pascual and retired after falling behind 5-7, 1-4.

So, the Williams sisters won't be meeting in the round of 16, even though Venus Williams did her part by defeating Chanda Rubin, 6-3, 6-4.

"We were going to be pretty excited about facing each other again," Serena Williams said. "It was going to give something exciting for England for once. So, it's OK. There are plenty of times in the future."

Still, it's rare for any player to take Wimbledon for granted.

Serena Williams took a nasty slide in the third game of the first set, got up, and appeared to move fluidly. Later, she had a wrap placed on the calf.

Was the pain intense?

"I don't think it was that intense," she said. "Just maybe a little tight."

Serena Williams said she didn't want to aggravate the injury, adding, "I know that I'm young right now and I'll always have next year and the year after."

And why didn't she shake hands with Ruano Pascual?

"I forgot," Serena Williams said. "I never really had to quit during a match. I didn't even realize. Wow. When I think about it, I didn't [shake hands]."

Venus Williams, who will now face Ruano Pascual, remained upbeat despite her sister's loss. She can now concentrate on trying to win Wimbledon, without having to defeat her younger sister.

"I'm at the point where I can do this now," Venus Williams said.

Yet she is in a rugged half of the draw. If she gets to the quarterfinals, Venus Williams could face No. 3 seed and two-time finalist Jana Novotna, who won her third-round match over Corina Morariu, 6-3, 6-1.

Another old reliable also advanced past the third round, as No. 5 seed and two-time finalist Arantxa Sanchez Vicario defeated Sylvia Plischke, 7-5, 6-2.

While the top half of the women's draw was headed for the round of 16, the bottom half was advancing to the quarterfinals.

No. 6 seeded Monica Seles defeated No. 14 Sandrine Testud, 6-3, 6-2. Seles, who was ousted by Testud in last year's third round, will now meet Natasha Zvereva. Zvereva, on a roll since defeating Steffi Graf in the third round, defeated Miriam Oremans, 6-4, 6-2.

No. 16 Nathalie Tauziat defeated British hope Samantha Smith, 6-3, 6-1. Tauziat should get a tougher match in the quarterfinals, where she'll meet No. 2 Lindsay Davenport.

Davenport continued her quiet journey through the draw by beating Magui Serna, 6-1, 6-0.

Pub Date: 6/30/98

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