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Wimbledon Slice, Day 12: Is Venus underachieving?

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FIRST SERVE

Think carefully before you dismiss this question as ridiculous: Can a haul of seven Grand Slam singles titles ever be considered an underachievement?

Answer: If you're Venus Williams, yes.

Saturday's Wimbledon final was the latest triumph for a rampant Serena Williams, who now holds titles in three of the past four majors and gets better, feistier and more determined with each passing year.

But what of her sister? Wimbledon is Venus-land, the stage where she has built much of her legacy and dominated on grass, racking up five singles titles.

Despite cruising through the event with effortless grace, she didn't close the deal in a match where Serena's spirit and drive were the decisive factors.

The result begged the question: How many Slam titles is Venus going to end up with?

She certainly has the ability and the game to come back and add to her tally of Wimbledon victories, but at 29, more than one or two additional SW19 successes are unlikely.

Other Slam wins are possible, of course, but it must be remembered that Venus has reached only one Slam semifinal apart from Wimbledon in the past six and a half years - the 2007 U.S. Open.

Make no mistake: Venus Williams is and has been a magnificent champion. But as her sister's Grand Slam collection heads toward the teens, she may reflect that a total of seven may be a little low for such a dominant and talented player.

DROP SHOT

Sadly, the British public didn't seem to appreciate the brilliance of the Williams sisters. There was a conspicuous number of empty seats for the final. And several snooty newspaper columnists claimed a lack of interest in the contest, giving it scant coverage compared to the men's singles action.

CLEAN WINNER

The women's doubles final was a fine contest between the all-conquering Williams sisters and doubles specialists Rennae Stubbs and Samantha Stosur of Australia. Stubbs produced the shot of the match - and arguably the tournament - with an extraordinary reflex volley between her legs which turned into a winning point. The Williams sisters, meanwhile, took home the trophy.

RAISING THE ROOF

The more the weathermen predict storms and showers, the more the fickle London conditions defy them with more bright sunshine and blue skies. Again, we are assured there is a strong possibility of rain Sunday - meaning the final could be decided under the new Centre Court roof.

GAME OF THE DAY

Centre Court's most competitive and entertaining match proved to be the men's doubles final, won by Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic over Bob and Mike Bryan. Zimonjic was the star of the show, with a spectacular display of serving, volleying and improvisation which clinched the match in four sets.

SUNDAY'S PREDICTIONS

Andy Roddick produced his best Grand Slam performance in years while sinking the hopes of Britain's Andy Murray, but he faces a monumental hurdle if he is to stop Roger Federer from claiming a record 15th Slam title. Federer is brimming with confidence and should rack up a comfortable victory.

Prediction: Federer beats Roddick 7-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

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