*OK, here’s the bottom line as far as Venus and Serena Williams and the Rio Olympics are concerned. It just wasn’t meant to be for the Williams sisters at the 2016 competitions.
First Venus was defeated in her solo match on Saturday, then she and Serena were bounced in their doubles match on Sunday and today Serena was sent packing in her bout with Elina Svitolina.
Yep folks were talking about a real head-scratcher of a performance by Serena. It was a scene described as spraying errors and piling up double-faults at an uncharacteristic rate as Williams lost 6-4, 6-3 to Svitolina of Ukraine in the women’s singles Round of 16 in a swift 72 minutes.
Her performance was only slightly longer than her post-match news conference, which she decided not to attend, opting instead for a statement delivered through a Team USA spokesperson, reports USA Today.
“Obviously I’m disappointed,” said Williams, who is also out of the doubles draw after she and her sister, Venus, lost in the first round. “The better player won. It was a great opportunity that didn’t work out the way I wanted it to. At least I was able to make Rio, which was one of my goals. It was awesome, but it’s over now.”
As strange as it is for her fans, it must doubly frustrating and strange for Serena who won the singles and doubles gold in London four years ago. This time she will walk away from the Olympics a Goose egg.
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In the case of Williams and Svitolina, what a difference a day make. Well, actually and technically it should be what a difference 2 months make. That’s when Williams dominated Svitolina, the world’s 20th-ranked player, at the French Open. Williams won 6-1, 6-1 on June 1 to advance to the quarterfinals before eventually falling to Garbine Muguruza in the Finals.
Williams rebounded to win her 22nd career Grand Slam at Wimbledon, tying Steffi Graf for most all-time in the Open Era. But she clearly didn’t carry the same form to the Olympics, as she never looked comfortable on these slow hard courts even in two earlier singles victories.
As far as being victorious over the vaunted Serena Williams, Svitolina said she never allowed herself to think about actually beating the world’s number one tennis player until match point.
“It was just an unreal feeling, just a relief for me because I didn’t expect even in that moment that I could win,” she said. “And I think it helped me a lot — you don’t expect mistakes from her and just fight and stay focused. Being in the moment, that’s definitely what helped me today, and just relax and go for my shots because I was doing some winners and especially on the second set when it was really, really tight.”