Spare a thought for Oracene Price, the mother of Venus and Serena Williams.
Friday was a busy – and stressful – day for Price, who has watched plenty of tennis in her lifetime. Both Venus and Serena won dramatic three setters, Venus booking herself a spot in the fourth round, Serena the third.
“It’s all too much,” Venus said in a news conference, shaking her head. “It’s easier to play than to watch. Watching, it’s horrible, I think.”
It’s not horrible to win, however. Venus did so with an epic 7-5, 4-6, 10-8 victory over 19-year-old Russian Daria Kasatkina while Serena survived under the roof of Centre Court just moments later, a come-from-behind winner 6-7(2), 6-2, 6-4 over compatriot Christina McHale.
Their mother Oracene was there for both wins, making the 200-meter dash between No.1 and Centre Courts. After the match she could be found in the competitors’ area, plunked on the couch with a tired smile on her face.
It looked dicey for both Williams sisters at times on Friday, Venus having a match point in the 14th game of the third set when rain began pouring over No.1 Court, which lacks a roof. Venus’ mouth fell agape at the sight of the drops.
“Yeah, there was honestly such a roar in the crowd. I thought, ‘Did someone faint? Are there rats in the stadium?’ ” Venus said, laughing. (Then she noted that – once – there were rats in a stadium during her match.)
“All of a sudden the rain came. I thought, ‘Really?!’” Venus added.
Williams came back over an hour later only to watch Kasatkina save that match point. Venus, now 36, would win four games later on a forehand into the net from her teenage opponent. Williams is into the second week at Wimbledon for the 14th time in 19 career appearances at the All England Club.
There is no such satisfaction for world No. 1 Novak Djokovic on the men’s side, the Serbian – who has won 30 Grand Slam matches in a row – down two sets to love (7-6(6), 6-1) – to American Sam Querrey. Their match on No. 1 Court was interrupted by rain, as well, and then suspended for the night. They will resume again on Saturday.
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SOURCE: USA Today, Nick McCarvel