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Serena And Venus Play Legendary Tennis, Scintillating Competition Doesn’t Go Away In Era Of COVID

By: Thomas Cluck

There might not have been any fans, no handshakes or hugs allowed, ballpeople (wearing our sponsor SOLINCO) t-shirts and line judges wearing masks, and in an unfamiliar WTA tour stop, but in this era of oddity and new experiences, Serena and Venus Williams reminded us that the beauty and grit of the competition between the lines doesn’t change. 

The paint is still the same, the court the same dimensions, the ball the same for everyone. And despite over 20 years of competition between the unlikeliest of stars turned rivals, the Williams sisters put on one of their best shows yet.

On a nondescript “Center Court” at the Top Seed Tennis Club in Lexington, Kentucky, 23-time Grand Slam champion and little sis Serena topped seven-time major winner big sis Venus, taking one of their highest quality meetings yet 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. 

Despite all that has changed in the world in the last six months and both playing their first tour events since January, the Williams sisters showed quality and competition sometimes befitting of a major final, a nice reminder that tennis during the coronavirus pandemic is still tennis. And Venus and Serena were still Venus and Serena.

Serena Williams at the Australian Open tennis tournament at Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia, 20 January 2020. EPA-EFE/DAVE HUNT

Cracking serves, playing hard-hitting, offensive tennis, trading blows and creating scintillating rallies, the Williams sisters showed tennis reminiscent of their late 2000’s era Wimbledon final showdowns, some of the best tennis the Williams sisters ever showed. And despite now being 40 and 38 years old respectively, Venus and Serena showed fitness levels over two and a half hours that still put them right at the top of tennis.

While Serena moved on following one of the best matches in tennis’ re-start, fans were reminded that just as two legends’ matches can be just as gripping, the depth and upset potential of the WTA is just as strong in a COVID tennis world. A day after overcoming sister Venus, Serena’s luck and energy ran out as she fell to another American, unseeded Shelby Rogers, a dangerous, big-hitting customer, currently on the comeback trail following knee surgery a couple years ago, winning 1-6, 6-4, 7-6. It was another gripping match, another reminder that tennis is back, and while it might not be entirely the same, the court is still the same, the ball just as yellow, and the competition just as great.

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