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All in the Family Jewels

2006-07-23 15:34

  Venus Williams, 20, was beating up on1 her little sister, which is what big sisters do. But Venus is, it should be noted, a sweeter 2 big sister than most. As she administered the thrashing3 in broadly public view at Wimbledon4, she was hardly merciless5. She sat on her chair during changeovers and worried, " Does Serena have enough sports drink?"

  Guess not. Serena, 18, sagged6 in the second-set tie-breaker7 and closed with a double fault. Final score:6-2, 7-6(3), in a fraught8 semifinal match marked by mediocre9 tennis, great theater10 and almost unbearable intensity. " It's really bitter," said Venus in the aftermath. " But someone had to move on." She did and, in the final, beat another big-hitting Californian, defending champ Lindsay Davenport, 6-3, 7-6(3)。 And so now we know. Every important men's golf tournament for a while will be won by a guy named Woods, and every important women's tennis tournament will go to a gal11 named Williams. " The future is now," former player-turned-pundit12 Pam Shriver says. " They could be on top for 10 years."

  What both sisters possess to a degree unapproachable by their colleagues is immense power and glorious13 athleticism. Davenport and Mary Pierce hit the ball hard but can't move like the Williamses. Martina Hingis hits the ball well but, despite a better effort in the gym, can't match punch14 for punch. Only yesterday it looked as if Hingis could be the next Steffi Graf, but she has been knocked out15 of the past four Grand Slam events by S. Williams, Davenport, Pierce and V.Williams. That averages out to an Amazon of 6 ft., 158 lbs.16, with the capacity to hit a serve, as Venus did against Serena, of 121 m.p.h. To any little girls inspired to take up the game by Venus' win: forget it. In the new millennium, big girls only need apply.

  There's another advantage for the Williamses. Tennis is an individual game, and they come as a team. As Hingis lamented17, she often gets softened up18 by one, finished off by the other. Furthermore, each Williams sister derives an inner strength from being a Williams sister. " Family, religion, education and tennis are the four spokes of this family," says Shriver, who has been Venus' mentor for three years. " Sometimes tennis is fourth on the totem pole19, other times tennis moves up—— but I think it's in that order."

  网坛姊妹花

  当姐姐的都这样,20岁的维纳斯·威廉姆斯正狠狠教训着妹妹。但应该指出的是,维纳斯可比大多数姐姐更细心体贴。当她在众目睽睽的温布尔登赛场上操纵着一局大拼杀的时候,也非完全铁石心肠。交换场地的间隙,她坐在椅子上,心里担忧着:"塞雷娜喝足了运动饮料吗?"

  大概没有。18岁的塞雷娜在第二盘的决胜局中士气低沉,终因发球双误败北。这场选手发挥平平、观众热情万丈、搏杀异常激烈、令人担忧的半决赛,最终比分为:6-2,7-6(3)。"的确非常艰苦,"维纳斯赛后说。"但必须有人继续前进。"她就这样做了,在决赛中以6-3,7-6(3)力挫另一名力量型的加利福尼亚选手、卫冕冠军林德塞·达文波特。现在我们知道了。一段时间内,一个名叫伍兹的家伙包揽了每项重要的男子高尔夫锦标赛的冠军,而每项重要的女子网球锦标赛的奖牌都要落入一位姓威廉姆斯的女孩之手。"未来就是现在的情景,"前选手出身的网坛权威帕姆·施赖弗说。"她们可以称霸十年。"

  这对姊妹拥有令其他选手都难以望其项背的巨大力量和对体育运动的极度热爱。达文波特和玛丽·皮尔斯虽然击球凶猛,但移动速度却不敌威廉姆斯姊妹。马蒂娜·辛吉斯击球准确,但尽管在赛场上竭尽全力,仍招架不住拍拍重扣。仅在昨天,辛吉斯还仿佛要成为史蒂夫·格拉芙第二,但却已在过去的四项大满贯赛事中被塞雷娜·威廉姆斯、达文波特、皮尔斯和维纳斯·威廉姆斯逐一淘汰出局。这一切使女子网坛高手需达到这样的标准:平均身高6英尺,体重158磅,发球速度 121英里/小时,如维纳斯对塞雷娜一役中那样。奉劝任何受维纳斯胜利鼓舞而决心投身这项运动的纤弱女孩儿:请另谋高就。在新千年中,只有身强体壮的女孩儿才可去试一试。

  威廉姆斯姊妹还占有另一大优势。网球是一项个人运动,但她俩却结伴而来。辛吉斯痛心地说,她经常被一个搞得筋疲力尽,又被另一个彻底打垮。此外,姊妹俩各自从威廉姆斯家汲取了内在的力量。"家庭、宗教、教育和网球是这个家庭的四大支柱,"已经做了维纳斯三年指导的施赖弗说。"网球按等级排列有时第四,有时会上升,但我想顺序大抵如此。"

  注释:

  1.beat upon[俚]痛打,揍

  2.sweet adj.和蔼的,温柔的,温和的

  3.thrashing n.痛击,重创

  4.Wimbledon 温布尔登[英国英格兰东南部城市](位于伦敦附近,是著名的国际网球比赛地)

  5.merciless adj.不宽容的

  6.sag vi.消沉,委靡,消衰

  7.tie-breaker n.[体]决胜局

  8.fraught adj.[口]忧虑的,忧伤的

  9.mediocre adj.中等的,普通的

  10.theater n.=theatre全场观众

  11.gal n.[口]=girl

  12.player-turned-pundit n.选手出身的权威

  13.glorious adj.值得称道的,极度的

  14.punch n.一拳,一击

  15.knock out(尤指在淘汰赛中)淘汰

  16.lbs. abbr.[拉]librae(=pounds)

  17.lament vt.悲叹,悔恨

  18.soften up削弱(力量)

  19.totem pole等级(制)

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