Tanasugarn earned six break points, and the first five vanished thanks to, in order, a 107 mph service winner, a 102 mph service winner, a 115 mph service winner, a 94 mph service winner and a 122 mph ace.
“I’m really blessed to be able to have a serve to get me out of those issues,” Venus said.
On break point No. 6, Tanasugarn managed to put her return in play but then slapped a forehand into the net.
That’s when she turned her back to the court and motioned toward the players’ guest box with her hand, raising one finger at a time to count out those missed opportunities: 1-2-3-4-5-6.
“She served very well during the break points,” Tanasugarn said. “So what can I do?”
A few moments later, she did come up with a possible solution. A tad envious of her statuesque opponent — the 6-foot-1 Williams has 8 inches on her — Tanasugarn said, “Next life, I want to be tall as her. Please.”
Neither Williams has dropped a set during the tournament, and their seedings — Serena is No. 6, Venus No. 7 — certainly seem to have been miscalculated. It’s the first time at any Grand Slam in the 40-year Open era that none of the four top-seeded women reached the quarterfinals, making the path even smoother for the siblings.
Hard to believe, but there hasn’t been a Williams vs. Williams final at a tournament since 2003 at the All England Club.
And what if they do meet again for the title, in what would be their seventh matchup in a Grand Slam final? What would breakfast be like Saturday morning at the place they’re sharing here?
“I’m going to sabotage her and eat all the breakfast,” Serena said. “I’ll eat all the Wheaties so she doesn’t have any chance.”
After 16 consecutive years of always showing up at Wimbledon, winning five titles along the way, Venus Williams pulled out of the grass-court Grand Slam tournament Tuesday, citing a lower back injury.
Take a look back at the past battles between Venus and Serena Williams.
June 23-July 6
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The best images from the Grand Slam tournament at the All-England Club.
French Open 2012: Top 10 Shots
June 10, 2012: John McEnroe, Ted Robinson, and Mary Carillo look back at the Top Ten best moments from the 2012 French Open.