So many players often say that they prefer that their children do not pursue a career in tennis and Serena Williams is no different. But if her daughter Olympia does take a liking to the sport, Auntie Venus has already volunteered to coach her.
“I would hope she doesn’t play tennis,” said Serena at Wimbledon this week.
“Venus said she would coach her, she just didn’t want to travel. She said that yesterday or the day before, ‘I’ll coach her, but I don’t want to travel’.
“I’m like, ‘Okay, you’re thinking way far in advance’. Olympia is not playing tennis, unless of course she wants to. Then I’m going to help her. But I’m not sure if I’m a great coach. I could be a good mental coach. In terms of a tennis coach, I don’t know if I – clearly I don’t know if I have patience.”
Serena, a 23-time Grand Slam champion and one of the greatest players in tennis history, is worried about unfair comparisons her daughter would be subjected to if she chooses to follow in her mother’s footsteps.
Asked what sports she would like Olympia to play, Serena said: “I don’t know yet. I think it will be interesting to see what she gravitates to. I really don’t know. Ice skating could be fun. She’ll probably be really tall, so… Yeah, I don’t know.
“Tennis is a lot of work. It’s a lot. Plus, I don’t want her to have pressure from what I did, you guys talking about, ‘Are you going to be able to do as good as your mom?’ I don’t want her to have that.”
TO TRUMP OR NOT TO TRUMP
Donald Trump is scheduled to be in the UK this weekend and some American players were asked how they’d feel about having him come and watch their matches at Wimbledon.
Serena and John Isner had opposite reactions.
“He has the right to do whatever he wants to do. If he wants to come to a Wimbledon final, he has that right,” said Serena. “I hope I’ll be there. I don’t know. I still have a lot of matches to win. For me, I can’t even think that far. I’m just thinking one at a time.”
Isner, who faces Milos Raonic in the quarter-finals here on Wednesday, is hoping he makes the semis so he could invite Trump to his match.
“I’d love to have Trump come watch me. That would be awesome. Maybe I’ll tweet at him if I win on Wednesday. I know a lot of people won’t like that, but I don’t care,” said Isner.
Some celebrity visitors have already turned up to take in some tennis, with American pop star Justin Timberlake and his wife, actress Jessica Biel, attending the women’s quarter-finals on Centre Court on Tuesday. R&B singer Drake was also there and when Serena lost her opening set against Camila Giorgi, social media users quickly noted that Drake was there when she lost to Roberta Vinci in the US Open semi-finals in 2015. Lucky for Serena fans, there was no upset by an Italian this time around.
The Australian has not managed to get beyond last-16 of a Grand Slam since making the quarter-finals at the Australian Open in 2015.
On Saturday, Krygios was knocked out by Kei Nishikori in the third round at Wimbledon, after losing 6-1, 7-6, 6-4.
“Nick is part of the next generation and the whole conversation but he will have to step it up,” said Philippoussis.
“He has got all the talent in the world, everyone knows that, but just having talent alone won’t get you there.
“It’s very important to improve other things – to get strong mentally and physically. Those are the two areas he would agree that he needs to improve.
“He needs to get on that pathway where he will be stronger, better and hungrier.”
Philippoussis believes Kyrgios, 23, should see fellow young tennis star Alexander Zverev as a role model.
The German is ranked number three in the world and has eight titles to his name.
“Zverev has the whole package,” added Philippoussis, 41.
“With his mind and work ethic, he’s the one I have my money on.
“Does Nick have the ability and the game? Absolutely. But there are other things.”
Meanwhile, Philippoussis was full of praise for 36-year-old Roger Federer, who is chasing his ninth Wimbledon title.
“It’s incredible that he’s still playing,” said the Australian on the 15th anniversary of his loss to the 20-time major winner in the 2003 Wimbledon final.
“I have so much respect for the guy in that he’s as hungry as ever.
“He wants to keep improving and that’s the sign of a true champion. He is just an incredible inspiration
“When he’s in trouble, he usually has four options. That’s the difference. Some other players may have two options; others just one.”
After making five consecutive Wimbledon finals between 2006 and 2011 — and winning two of them — Rafael Nadal had a tough time getting back there.
He had lost prior to the quarter-finals on each of his last five visits to SW19, as knee woes hindered his chances on the grass, and power-hitters blew him off the court.
But on Monday, Nadal booked himself a spot in the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the first time since 2011, defeating Czech lefty Jiri Vesely 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 to set up a mouth-watering showdown against No. 5 seed Juan Martin del Potro.
“Of course is an important result for me, no? Yes, that’s all. Of course, is important for me to be in these quarter-finals. Is true has been a while since I have been in that position,” said Nadal.
“At the same time I have been in that position a couple of times in my career, no? We are not talking about already that I played a final or I won the tournament. We are talking about I am in quarterfinals. That, of course, is a positive result.
“But when I come here, I come here thinking that I can do a good result, no? If not, probably I will not be here. When I arrive here, my goal is to do the things the right way, to try to give me chances to compete well. Sometimes the things works better, sometimes worst. My feeling last year I was not in this round, but I was playing enough well to be where I am this year. So happy for that.”
Here are some numbers surrounding Nadal’s run to the quarters:
3 – Nadal is bidding to do the Roland Garros-Wimbledon double in the same year for the third time in his career. Bjorn Borg achieved that feat in three consecutive years (1978-1980).
4 – Nadal has now reached 4 consecutive Slam quarter-finals for the first time since he reached 11 straight Slam quarter-finals between US Open 2009 and Roland Garros 2012.
7 – years since Nadal was last in the final-eight at Wimbledon.
16 – Nadal is on a 16-match winning streak – a stretch that included title runs in Rome and Roland Garros, prior to coming to Wimbledon.
18 – Nadal is targeting an 18th Grand Slam title, to close in on all-time men’s leader Roger Federer, who has 20.
35 – Grand Slam quarter-finals Nadal has now reached.
40 – Nadal has won 40% of the return points against his opponents’ second serve so far this tournament – the highest percentage among all quarter-finalists.
78 – Nadal has a 78.3% (65-18) winning record on grass throughout his career.
84 – Nadal has won 84% of his net points (66/79) – the highest percentage among all quarter-finalists.