MONTREAL – Serena Williams isn't exactly known for her friendships with fellow WTA Tour competitors. She mercifully doesn't bother pretending it's so, unlike some. Besides, she already has a built-in BFF in sister Venus.
But in recent years, the 32-year-old American has struck up a friendly alliance with former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, first cemented when Wozniacki was one of the few players to take the time to visit Williams when she was in Los Angeles recovering from the hematoma and pulmonary embolism that threatened her livelihood, if not her life.
This spring, after Wozniacki's engagement to golf superstar Rory McIlroy ended rather, um, abruptly and Williams's own purported romantic relationship with coach Patrick Mouratoglou of France also crashed and burned, the two spent some quality girlfriend time together in Miami to get their mind off things.
The two open the action at the Rogers Cup in Montreal Friday, in the quarter-finals.
Williams is 6-1 in her career against Wozniacki, with the most competitive effort to this point being their first-ever meeting in 2009 in Sydney, Australia (won in a third-set tiebreak by Williams). They met in the Olympic quarter-finals in London two years ago, then not until last fall in Beijing, and not since.
But there is one place they will never compete: in a marathon.
Wozniacki has announced she will run in the New York City marathon in November to benefit a children's charity, Team for Kids. Asked after her victory over Safarova if she might ever do the same, Williams thought the very notion was pretty hilarious.
It'd be a whole lot of fun to see her shadowing Wozniacki for the first 5K, though. Too bad the sisters' reality show didn't last long; that would make a pretty good episode.