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TENNIS / WIMBLEDON

Americans taking Wimbledon by storm

With Andy Roddick, Venus and Serena Williams and Bob and Mike Bryan doing the heavy lifting, U.S. men and women earn seven of 12 spots in singles and doubles finals.

July 04, 2009|Chuck Culpepper

TODAY'S FEATURED MATCHES

World rankings in parentheses.

Venus Williams (3) vs. Serena Williams (2)

(10-10 head to head; Serena leads, 6-5, in Grand Slam matches)

They hail from the tennis non-mecca of Compton, they come from a family without a tennis background, they eschewed traditional tennis routes as juniors, they're among the most unlikely stories in sports history -- and some people find another Williams-Williams final to be boring. It just goes to show that your mother, while maybe erring here and there along the way, was right when she said boredom is a choice.

Venus and Serena Williams vs. Samantha Stosur and Rennae Stubbs, Australia, women's doubles final

To reach this match, Team Williams treated the No. 1-seeded Cara Black and Liezel Huber like some errand, winning, 6-1, 6-2, in a semifinal on Friday. It has begun to grow clear that these sisters are adept at tennis.

Bob and Mike Bryan vs. Daniel Nestor, Canada, and Nenad Zimonjic, Serbia, men's doubles final

With Camarillo's Bryan twins reaching the title match, the Little Country That Can across the Atlantic has hoarded seven of the 12 available places in the finals of the men's and women's singles and doubles. Any more of this, and we're going to have to stop complaining, and then what on earth would we talk about?

ENGLISH BREAKFAST

As the centrifugal force of the loud fortnight, Andy Murray, exits -- alone, through Gate 14, into a black Range Rover -- it might be an appropriate time to remember some details. Murray's favorite Grand Slam would be the U.S. Open, where he won the junior title in 2004 and appeared in his first Grand Slam final against Roger Federer in 2008. His athletic hero: Muhammad Ali. Favorite player as a child: Andre Agassi. Favorite country to visit: United States. Favorite holiday place: Miami. First title: San Jose. It appears we might be able to entice him to attain dual citizenship and start claiming half of all his victories.

BRITMANIA UPDATE

The noise had built and built. Friday came, and the Sun implored Murray, "BEAM US UP, ANDY" with a "Star Trek" motif and Murray's photo superimposed into a shaft of light. ("Murray Faces Final Frontier After 71 Years Of Hurt," went the sub-headline.) Outside the grounds, about 800 people had bought a T-shirt of a shirtless Murray flexing with the words, "MURRAY'S IN MINT CONDITION," designed by business partners Mark West and Dallas Ayres, whose parents named her for the TV show. "We're also selling Michael Jackson T-shirts," West said. And then, by the end of another jarring day at Wimbledon, after Murray's loss to Andy Roddick, up on Murray Mound, formerly Henman Hill, the thick throng had mostly dissipated. Scattered gentle sorts sat at picnic tables. A cleanup worker reached under a table to find three empty champagne bottles and one empty wine bottle, and then he took his rake and swept away a bunch of cups.

STATISTIC OF THE DAY

12-0 -- Roger Federer's record in Grand Slam finals not involving Rafael Nadal.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

Andy Roddick, on his new wife, model Brooklyn Decker: "You know, Brook has been a very calming influence, and is someone that I can kind of confide in and not have to put up, you know, a super brave front in front of. So it's been real good. And, you know, certainly makes the [Friends] Box better-looking."

--

chuck.culpepper@yahoo.com

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