Venus Williams has done it again. On Sunday, March 25, 2012, she won her third round match against Aleksandra Wozniak 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (5) during the Sony Ericsson Open. She beat Kimiko Date-Krumm 6-0, 6-3 in the first round and upset No. 3-ranked Petra Kvitova 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 during round two. Even after beating Wozniak she didn't realize that she had overcome a match point. The New York Times reports that when she was asked about the match point she replied with: "She had match point? Oh. Oh, no. Thank God I'm oblivious to the score a lot of times. Oh, my God, that's not good news." Venus went on to say, "…I kept thinking about how I really need this match and I need these points. I keep thinking about the Olympics - and I need my points…"
Well she will get points out of the Sony Ericsson Open. According to the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) point chart, she will add at least 140 more points to her score. Venus needs these points, and more, if she wants to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games. She needs to be ranked among the top 56 WTA players to qualify for the 2012 Olympics, according to the rules set by the International Tennis Federation (ITF).
According to the WTA rankings as of March 19, 2012, Venus has 500 points which puts her in the 134th in the WTA rankings. The 56th ranked WTA player has 1,115 points. Venus will have to make it to the Sony Ericsson finals in order to push her past the 56th ranked WTA player. But before she thinks about the finals (or the semifinals), Venus has to focus on defeating 15th-ranked, Ana Ivanovic during the next round of the tournament. Whether Venus can fight her way to the finals or not, at a minimum, her performance in the Sony Ericsson Open should move her up to the 106th WTA spot.
There are a lot of tournaments left between now and the June 11, 2012 cutoff date when the "Direct Acceptance" tennis spots into the Olympics will be set. There really aren't too many points separating her and the 56th ranked WTA player. While winning the Sony Ericsson Open would surely take some pressure off of her, just making it to the third or fourth round in a good portion of the upcoming WTA tournaments should provide her with the points she needs to make the team.
Satchel Ford remembers watching the debut year of Venus Williams and seeing T.V. cameras focus on Williams' father and then, too-young-to-play, Serena Williams. It's been amazing to watch the Williams' sisters place their mark on the world. Satchel and her son enjoy slipping away for tennis volleys at a nearby park.
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