The current Big Three of women's tennis, if I may call them that way – Serena Williams, Venus Williams and Kim Clijsters – had very much different Wednesday. Serena lost in Eastbourne, Venus won, while Kim faced the fact that she would have to withdraw from Wimbledon because of her injury sustained yesterday in 's-Hertogenbosch.
Serena Williams survived a scrappy first-round encounter with Tsvetana Pironkova, but top seed Vera Zvonareva was a sterner opponent and even though Serena led 6-4 5-4 Zvonareva prolonged the match and won it 3-6 7-6(5) 7-5 after three hours and 12 minutes of play. Positive news for Serena today is her Wimbledon seeding. The defending champion will be seed No.7, which is 19 places higher than her ranking, and will avoid the highest-ranked opponents until at least the quarterfinals.
Venus Williams may have toughed out a three-setter against Andrea Petkovic in the first round of the AEGON International, but in today's match with Ana Ivanovic, the American faced just one break point, which she saved, and defeated Ivanovic 6-3 6-2. Her seeding at Wimbledon will be 23.
Kim Clijsters' news are the worst by far – the injury the Belgian sustained in yesterday's loss to Romina Oprandi at the Unicef Open will prevent her from playing Wimbledon, which starts next week. During the match, Clijsters injured her right ankle, the very same part of body she injured at a wedding in April. The injuries are not related, though, Clijsters says. A few weeks of staying away from tennis should be enough for her to recover. By virtue of her Wimbledon withdrawal, the rest of the seeded players benefited by moving up one spot. (photos: angela n., Edwin Martinez1)