Serena Williams limped to victory against Lindsay Davenport. Coming back the next day to do the same against human backboard Arantxa Sanchez Vicario proved too much.
“I wasn’t tired, I was ailed,” Williams said early today after a 6-2, 6-1 drubbing by Sanchez Vicario in the semifinals of the Sydney International, the main tuneup for next week’s Australian Open.
“My knee, my calf, my whole right leg hurt so bad I couldn’t move,” the 16-year-old said, attributing the soreness to seven matches in eight days.
Williams, playing only her third pro tournament, had hoped to reach the final against her older sister, Venus, 17.
“I’m pretty disappointed,” Serena said, “but I know there will be a lot of other chances for us to do it.”
Serena knocked off three much higher ranked players and after this tournament is likely to leap 40 spots in the rankings from her current No. 96.
Venus, No. 21 coming into the tournament, will play Ai Sugiyama today.