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Saturday, July 4, 2009

No excuses as Venus eclipsed

Photo Titled Venus reflects
Venus Williams became ladies' singles runner-up after her loss to her sister Serena in the final.
To the victor, the spoils. To the vanquished, a sparsely populated interview room. Barely half an hour after netting a forehand and slipping to a 7-6 (7-3), 6-2 defeat, Venus was forced to relive the ordeal in a trial by press in a half-empty interview room. At least the opponent she was heaping praise on was her own sister.

“She played so well, really lifted her game, and I had an error here and there,” said the elder sibling. “I also think I played well too, but she just seemed to play a little bit better.

“She played great, especially in the tiebreak. I don't think I did too many things wrong, but I would play a good shot and she'd hit a winner off of it or put me in a position where she could hit another winner. She just played a lot of great shots today.”

The five-time Wimbledon champion refused to blame her ailing left knee, which has been heavily strapped throughout the tournament, saying on six occasions “I have no complaints”. She also stubbornly refused to accept that her service, usually one of the greatest weapons in the women’s game, was below par, particularly her second serve.

“I don't agree on that, because she had a hard time stepping in on my second. It has a lot of side spin on it and bounces [at an angle]. It's more difficult to step into,” she said, describing how her service works when it is firing on all cylinders. On Saturday, however, she won only 56% of points on it compared with 77% in her semi-final rout of Dinara Safina.

“I think towards the end I was too far behind the baseline,” she continued, dissecting her performance. “I did realise that, but at that point it was a little deep into the match. I definitely would have liked to have moved forward. A lot of times when I had the short balls, they were really low, and it's hard to come in on those and actually hit an effective shot.”

The long and the short of it, however, was that Venus was not the one lifting the trophy that bears her name – the Venus Rosewater Dish – and seeing her sister all smiles was no consolation. “There's no easy [way] to losing, especially when it's so close to the crown. Either way, it’s not easy. ”

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