RIO OLYMPICS, Brazil
Serena Williams def. Daria Gavrilova 6-4, 6-2 in the first round yesterday and then went back on court later to play doubles with her sister. They crashed out in the first round of doubles to Lucie Safarova and Barbora Strycova, 3-6, 4-6. This was the first time the sisters had lost a doubles match in their Olympic career. While this may seem like a stunner and a major upset, Venus was seriously impaired. The Czech team still deserves credit for their focused play though. I hope that Venus will take the time now to rest her body.
Serena can now concentrate fully on the singles. As fit as she is, pulling double duty in these major events has got to be draining. Her next opponent, Alize Cornet, has defeated her three consecutive times. If Serena wants to get to the final, she will have to find a way to shake the pesky French player. Her form against Gavrilova was not impressive and I will be curious to see how she rises to the challenge presented by Cornet. Serena struggles with short balls, not because she lacks the speed to get to the ball but because she cannot seem to get under the ball to execute her shots. It may be nerves; however, I am more inclined to believe that she just does not feel comfortable in the mid court or at net. She will have to change that today because Cornet will pull her forward on a regular basis. Can she do what she has not been able to do since 2013?
|PLAYERS (within the top 100)||SPOTS MOVED||NEW RANK|
|Ricardas Berankis (LTU)||DOWN 18||89|
|Evgeny Donskoy (RUS)||DOWN 15||84|
|Paul-Henri Mathieu (FRA)||DOWN 15||69|
|Yoshihito Nishioka (JPN)||UP 12||85|
|Vania King (USA)||UP 16||90|
|Varvara Lepchenko (USA)||DOWN 11||56|
ATP Tour: the top ten members remained the same. Milos Raonic and Kei Nishikori traded places.
WTA Tour: there were no changes in the members or the positions of the top ten players from last week.