An Exhibition And A Little Bit More

By Richard Kent, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: March 4, 2010

NEW YORK (BASN) — About 11,000 tennis fans stood in unison in early March when Venus Williams made her appearance on to the court in the second singles match at the Billie Jean King Cup.

The event, played annually in New York draws on the players who won the four Majors in the proceeding season. Venus’ sister, Serena was absent due to injury and was replaced by former French Open champion Ana Ivanovic.

Venus defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova in the first match and faced Belgian favorite Kim Clijsters, U.S. Open winner in the final. The match was scintillating and ended close to midnight with Williams defeating Clijsters 6-4, 3-6, 7-5.

Williams was serving at midseason form, at one point reaching 117 mph.

Clijsters dominated her in the second set with strong ground strokes, but Williams came back with a dominate serve and volley game in the third set to take the match.

The win in March marked three wins in three countries on three different surfaces for the elder Williams’ sister. After losing in the quarter-finals at the Australian Open she won the titles in Dubai and Acapulco.

Clijsters noted after the match that “Venus is focused and disciplined.” That is not good for the rest of the tennis world. Sure the match between Williams and Clijsters was only an exhibition but both players gave more than 100%.

For the New York fans in attendance, it seemed more like a September U.S. Open final outdoors than a March exhibition match at Madison Square Garden.

Look for Williams and Clijsters to each win at least one major this year as the tennis season next convenes in earnest at the French Open in Paris in May.