The entire media center–including us!–was writing Venus Williams’ obituary. Down 4-5 in the second set against 47th-ranked Vera Dushevina, three points away from a stunning upset, Venus managed to turn it around and avoid her first-ever exit during the Open’s first week. But not without more twists: up 4-0 in the third, she let Dushevina come back enough to make it interesting; the final score was 6-7 (5-7), 7-5, 6-3.
Venus had 10 double faults–and 7 foot faults–but her vaunted power gave her the winners to pull through. In a worrisome sign, though, she required a trainer to administer to her knee only three games into the match, leaving her condition for the rest of the tournament uncertain.
Speaking to reporters after the match, Venus said her victory was hard but simple: “Each good shot or not so good shot I put behind me and focused on the next one.” She was vague about her knee, saying, “I never get into details of any injuries I’m going through” and promising only that she’s “going to do my best to get as close as 100 percent as I can for my next match.” She also left open the possibility she might pull out of the doubles tournament. She praised her opponent and the crowd, calling their support when she was down 4-5 “one of those great New York moments.”
Andy Roddick had fewer problems against Bjorn Phau, advancing to the second round, 6-1, 6-4, 6-2. Given the tremendous speed of his first serve, his consistency is pretty unbelievable. He had a cut on his right ear, though! And a baby was crying in the stands at 12:30am, which was weird.