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SPORTS
March 8, 2013 | By Diane Pucin
Taylor Townsend has both confidence and charm. The 16-year-old can smile when she talks about some hubbub caused last year at the U.S. Open when it was publicly suggested the teenager might be too chubby. Since the suggestion was made by the United States Tennis Assn., which offers funding and coaching help to top athletes, the criticism carried more, um, weight. But Townsend has gone on her tennis way, which is to hit big ground strokes and use USTA coaches and trainers to keep making her better.
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SPORTS
January 18, 2013 | By Dan Loumena
Maria Sharapova turned a third-round match against Venus Williams at the Australian Open on Friday into a straight-set rout. The 6-1, 6-3 victory for the lanky Russian ended with an ace at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne. “I think when we both looked at the draw, it was a matchup we were both looking forward to,” Sharapova said afterward. “I was a really determined player out there because I knew the tennis that she's capable of producing and playing. She's a tremendous athlete and a great champion.” Sharapova, who won her first two matches of the tournament without dropping a game, will play unseeded Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium in the fourth round.
SPORTS
November 3, 2012 | By Dan Loumena
Their whirlwind tour of Africa is foremost on the minds of superstar sisters Venus and Serena Williams. Tennis, of course, is never far from their thoughts. After spending three days in Nigeria, the siblings arrived in South Africa on Saturday and admitted they're already focusing on the upcoming season. "I'm already thinking of the Australian Open," Serena said of the first major that will be played in January. "I'm constantly thinking of Grand Slams. " The sisters are in Africa on a "Break the Mold" tour, during which they have been speaking to girls about making better lives for themselves.
SPORTS
November 2, 2012 | By Dan Loumena
Venus Williams was dancing on the court during an exhibition victory in Lagos, Nigeria, over younger sister Serena, who wasn't in nearly as good a mood. The Southern Californian siblings are on a two-nation tour promoting women's rights in Africa, where the elder Williams picked up a 6-4, 7-5 victory on Friday in 91-degree heat on the clay courts of the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club. “For me to get a win against Serena, it means 2013 is going to be a great year,” said Venus, who at one point took a moment between games to dance to “Oliver Twist” by Nigerian singer D'banj.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 20, 2012 | By Steven Zeitchik
Roman Polanski is headed back to the Broadway well. The controversial Polish-born director, who last adapted the stage hit “God of Carnage” for the screen, will tackle “Venus in Fur,” David Ives' Tony Award-winning comedy- drama that opened on Broadway last year. Polanski, who lives in Paris, will shoot the movie in French, with his wife Emmanuelle Seigner (“The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,” “Frantic”) taking on the role that Nina Arianda made popular. Polanski and Ives are writing the screenplay--the latter also worked several years ago on the stage adaptation of Polanski's "The Fearless Vampire Killers"--and Lionsgate is producing the film, with the company's Summit International division peddling foreign rights that will help finance the picture.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 12, 2012 | By Steven Zeitchik, Los Angeles Times
TORONTO - The new documentary "Venus and Serena" is the distillation of 450 hours of footage shot by ABC News veterans Maiken Baird and Michelle Major about the private lives of Venus and Serena Williams. Considered some of the world's most fiercely private athletes, the tennis superstars gave the directors unprecedented access to shoot in their homes, hotels and even hospital rooms over the course of a year. Yet the film has become a source of disagreement between the subjects and the filmmakers, with the Williams sisters choosing not to attend the documentary's world premiere Tuesday evening at the Toronto International Film Festival.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 11, 2012 | By Steven Zeitchik
TORONTO -- In an about-face, Venus and Serena Williams have chosen not to attend Tuesday's Toronto world premiere of the documentary "Venus and Serena," which they authorized and participated in for the past 20 months, because they are reportedly unhappy with the finished product. As recently as several days ago, the tennis superstars had planned to come to the Toronto International Film Festival to support the movie made by veteran broadcast journalists Maiken Baird and Michelle Major, according to a person familiar with the Williamses' plans who asked not to be identified because the person had not been authorized to speak on their behalf.
SPORTS
August 31, 2012 | Diane Pucin
Late night tennis arrived Thursday at the U.S. Open and it took away Venus Williams. Angelique Kerber, a semifinalist here last year and the No. 6 seed this year, withstood a barrage of volleys from the 32-year-old Williams and took out the former champion 6-2, 5-7, 7-5. Williams had withdrawn from this tournament a year ago before her second round, announcing she had been diagnosed as suffering from Sjogren's syndrome, an autoimmune disease that...
SPORTS
August 28, 2012 | By Diane Pucin
NEW YORK -- Venus Williams, who announced at the U.S. Open a year ago that she suffered from an autoimmune condition known as Sjogren's Syndrome, a disease that can be strength-sapping, is doing what she promised when she made that announcement. Playing tennis still. Williams, 32, a two-time winner of the U.S. Open, advanced to the second round Tuesday with an authoritative thumping of fellow American Bethanie Mattek-Sands, 6-3, 6-1. Williams started slowly, losing the first two games of the match, but with many in the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd shouting, "Let's go Venus," Williams picked up her powerful pace.
SPORTS
August 28, 2012 | By Diane Pucin
NEW YORK — Bethanie Mattek-Sands didn't have a chance against Venus Williams on Tuesday at the U.S. Open. Williams beat her fellow American, 6-3, 6-1, in 62 minutes. Williams hit 22 clean winners to only six for Mattek-Sands. Williams hit five aces and had one serve reach 124 mph. "She was serving bombs," Mattek-Sands said. "She was attacking my second serve. I can never be surprised when Venus is playing well. " And yet it was a little surprising. A year ago at this tournament Williams withdrew before her second-round match and announced she had Sjogren's syndrome, an energy-sapping autoimmune disease.
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