Serena and Venus Williams are set to play the AEGON International in Eastbourne, and even though some fans are still finding it hard to believe the sisters will indeed show up, it is highly likely that their comeback is for real. To celebrate the return of the biggest names, the WTA Tour has even made a short video of the Williamses practicing ahead of their first competitive tournament in a long time – Serena hasn’t played since last year’s Wimbledon, which is practically a year, and Venus hasn’t played since January’s Australian Open (while even before that, after Roland Garros 2010 she played only Wimbledon and the US Open).
At the Premier-level grass-court tournament in Eastbourne, Serena will open up against Bulgaria’s world No.33 Tsvetana Pironkova, last year’s Wimbledon semifinalist. In the second round, Serena could face the tournament’s top seed, Vera Zvonareva, whom she defeated to win the Wimbledon crown last year. Venus will face eighth seed Andrea Petkovic in the first round. Tough beginning for the sisters!
While the Williamses are practicing, there are players in real action, at two tournaments going on now. I’m sure you’re wondering how Ana Ivanovic performed in the Birmingham semis against Daniela Hantuchova – well, not so surprisingly, she lost, but did she really have to convert only two of 20 break points? The score was 6-7(2) 6-3 6-2 for Hantuchova, who will play Sabine Lisicki in the final. Lisicki beat Peng Shuai 6-3 6-1 in the semis.
At the other tournament taking place this week, the e-Boks Sony Ericsson Open 2011, Danish world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki reached the final and the 38th-ranked Lucie Safarova will be her last obstacle for the title. Note that the event in Denmark is played on hard court and it’s between the clay and grass part of the season! (photo: © Neal Trousdale)