No one wants to play Williams sisters: Wozniacki

Last Updated: Saturday, June 18, 2011 - 21:12

London: World number one Caroline Wozniacki admits all the top stars on the women`s tour are desperate to avoid playing the Williams sisters at Wimbledon.

For the first time in a year both Serena and Venus Williams are competing together in a Grand Slam as the American siblings aim to continue their dominance on the grass courts of the All England Club.

Serena, 29, has been sidelined since winning Wimbledon 12 months ago after stepping on broken glass during a party and then suffering a potentially life-threatening blood clot.

The four-time Wimbledon champion finally returned to action at Eastbourne this week and won one match before losing to Vera Zvonareva.

Venus, 31, also played at Eastbourne in her first appearance on the Tour since being forced to quit her Australian Open third match against Andrea Petkovic in January due to a hip injury which kept her out for the next five months.

Despite their lengthy injury absences, the Williams sisters have such a formidable record at Wimbledon -- where they have won nine titles -- that top seed Wozniacki concedes no-one wants to face them over the next two weeks.

"Obviously no one wants to play them. They have the experience and play really well, especially on grass," Wozniacki said.
"It`s good that they got a higher seed than their rankings because no one wants to play them in the early rounds.

"We have to see how they do but grass is a little bit of a different surface. Here it`s important to serve and return well.

"We all know that the game of the girls is perfectly suited for the grass.

"I read somewhere that in the last 11 years a Williams has won here nine times. It just says something about what great champions they are, but also how well they`re playing on grass."

Although the Williams sisters have a reputation for being rather aloof from their peers on the circuit, Wozniacki, who could play seventh seed Serena in the Wimbledon semi-finals, insists she has always enjoyed their company and even flew to California to see how Serena was doing after her surgery.

"Serena and Venus are great girls. I have a good relationship with them. It`s always good to have a good laugh in the locker room," Wozniacki said.

"Of course you don`t wish anyone to be injured or hurt, so obviously you want them back and healthy, which is the most important thing.

"I went to visit her when I was in L.A. just to see how she was doing. I don`t wish for anyone to be in that situation because it`s scary."

Former Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova could also face Serena in the semi-finals, with Venus potentially lying in wait in the final, and the Russian concedes that the sisters will be title favourites.
"They`ve been champions here for many years. They`re obviously the ones to beat on grass," Sharapova said.

"They`ve been out for a while so it`s definitely great to have them back.

"It`s the matchups that the people look forward to. They expect to see great tennis."

Many pundits feel it will be a damning indictment of the standard of the rest of the women`s game if one of the sisters wins yet another Wimbledon title after being out for so long.

But Sharapova believes the sisters have to prove themselves over the whole year.

"It will depend on the results. It`s not just about playing one tournament. We have a lot of tournaments during the year," she added.

Bureau Report



First Published: Saturday, June 18, 2011 - 21:12

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