Wimbledon 2017: With big little sister absent, Venus Wiliams is doing it for herself

first_imgVenus Williams last graced Centre Court in a Wimbledon singles final in 2009, since when she’s got used to playing the supporting role for sister Serena in four triumphant All England Club campaigns.So the 37-year-old, carrying the hopes of the Williams clan while her younger sibling takes time out to have a baby, should be forgiven a moment of self-doubt after a clinical victory over Britain’s Johanna Konta on Thursday gave her a shot at another title.”Serena’s always in my corner and usually it’s her in these finals and I’m trying my best to represent Williams as best I can,” Venus told the BBC after her 6-4 6-2 win.”I missed (Serena) so much before this match and … I just wish she was here and I wish she could do this for me. I was like, no, this time you do it for yourself. So here we are.”The SW19 major has been kind to both sisters, who have turned its manicured lawns into something of a personal fiefdom since the turn of the century.Seven of Serena’s record 23 grand slam victories have come here. So have five of Venus’s seven – the first as long ago as 2000 and the last in 2008.On Saturday the older Williams will seek to become the oldest major winner in the women’s game since it turned professional, eclipsing her sister’s record.Standing in her way will be Spain’s Garbine Muguruza, who lost her previous Wimbledon final in 2015, to Serena.”One more win would be amazing. It won’t be a given, but I’m going to give it my all,” Venus said.advertisement”We both play really well on grass. The last time she played Serena so I’ll have to ask Serena for some pointers.”In the meantime, she carries the best wishes of Serena’s fiance Alexis Ohanian.”So happy to see a Williams in the finals of #Wimbledon – congrats, sis,” he wrote on Twitter.last_img read more

Tanaka Tagged, Cubs Stop Yanks

first_imgCHICAGO — Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka had his unbeaten regular-season winning streak ended at 42 starts, allowing a career-high four runs in six innings, as the Chicago Cubs beat New York Yankees 6-1 on May 20.The Cubs honored the retiring Derek Jeter before the game, then handed Tanaka his first loss in nine major league starts.It was a surprising turn, considering Chicago came in with the majors’ worst record and the right-hander from Japan had been sensational.Tanaka (6-1) had been 34-0 in Japan and North America the last two seasons. He did drop Game 6 of the Japan Series last year before earning the save in Game 7. But postseason aside, he hadn’t lost since the Seibu Lions beat the Rakuten Golden Eagles on Aug. 19, 2012. And yes, he was definitely proud of that streak.“I think I was able to get the streak going because I had support from my teammates,” Tanaka said through an interpreter. “I’m a little bit disappointed because I think a lot of the fans were looking for me to keep on winning. Next time out, I’ll try to get a win again and get it going again.”Luis Valbuena had three hits with two doubles and scored two runs for Chicago. John Baker had two hits, scored a run and drove in one.Mike Olt drove in three. Jason Hammel (5-2) pitched solid ball into the sixth and Hector Rondon retired Jeter on a grounder with the bases loaded in the ninth, preserving the win on a hot and rainy night with thunder and lightning.Tanaka had his worst outing, allowing eight hits to match a career high. He struck out seven and walked one but didn’t really have his usual command.Manager Joe Girardi noticed some splitters up in the zone. Tanaka said there were issues with all his pitches, and Chicago’s Starlin Castro thought there was a dip in velocity from last month’s meeting in New York, when he threw eight scoreless innings.Some Cubs players thought familiarity this time around helped, although Girardi dismissed that idea.“If he has his good splitter tonight I think he gives a much better performance,” he said. “Since it’s the first time that he saw a team twice and they scored four runs, people are probably going to make a big deal out of it, but I think he’s given up four runs before in a start. So I wouldn’t make too much of it.”Coming off his first major-league shutout against the Mets last week, Tanaka gave up RBI singles to Emilio Bonifacio in the third and to Olt in the fourth to make it 2-0. The Cubs added to their lead with two in the sixth on back-to-back sacrifice flies by Olt and Baker after Mark Teixeira singled in a run in the top half for New York.That was enough for Hammel, who allowed one run and four hits in 5 2-3 innings while striking out six and walking one.(ANDREW SELIGMAN, AP Sports Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more