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Serena Williams, Jelena Jankovic get into it again (Video)

Jelena Jankovic Serena WilliamsSerena Williams and Jelena Jankovic got into it again Thursday during their quarterfinal match at the Dubai Championship over Jankovic supposedly serving before Williams was ready to receive.

Williams won the match 6-2, 6-2, and the issue came up when Jankovic was serving down 2-5 in the second set. Jankovic had an exchange with chair umpire Kader Nouni after saving a double-match point to make it 30-40. Williams seemed to hold Jankovic up before the serve, and Jankovic won the next point to make it deuce.

Williams did the same thing to Jankovic again before the next point. After Williams delayed her, Jankovic decided to take her time in response. She walked around the baseline before settling in to serve again. It was all pretty silly, but it was Jankovic’s way of showing she wouldn’t be controlled by Williams’ pace.

The two then exchanged words.

Beyond the Baseline believes Jankovic said, “You can take more time, it’s yours.”

“Do you want to do this again, Jelena?” Williams responded.

By “do this again,” Serena was likely referencing similar past incidents between them.

[Related: Jelena Jankovic at center of sperm bank controversy]

Jankovic then exchanged words with Nouni again.

Serena went on to win the game and match, and she and Jelena talked at the net after shaking hands. Things seemed to be fine between the two. Jankovic even indicated that her issue was not with Serena, but with the chair umpire, who complained that she played too slowly and too quickly.

This sort of incident is nothing new for Jankovic and Serena. Last year at the Family Circle Cup the same thing happened. You can see the video below:

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Sloane Stephens denies celebrating when Serena Williams lost at Australian Open

Sloane Stephens smilingA new layer of drama was added to the rocky relationship between Sloane Stephens and Serena Williams when it looked like the youngster was happy to see the veteran tennis star lose at the Australian Open over the weekend.

7 Sports in Australia was filming Stephens’ reaction to watching Williams lose her fourth-round match to Ana Ivanovic on Sunday afternoon in Melbourne. Stephens was working out in a gym at the time and Channel 7 says they had a right to film the shot, which showed Stephens smiling and appearing to celebrate Serena’s defeat.

However, Channel 7 says she was mimicking the elaborate celebration from Ivanovic’s entourage rather than cheering Serena’s loss. Stephens, for her part, lost in the fourth-round of the tournament as well, and expressed displeasure with Channel 7 for showing her reaction.

“Yeah, it’s a little much,” Stephens said of 7 Sports. ”Then for them to put it on TV was a little extra.”

Stephens also explained that she was imitating Ivanovic’s crew, not celebrating Serena’s defeat.

“At the end of the match, Ivanovic’s coaches pretty much gave each other headbutts and kisses and I thought that was the funniest thing ever,” Stephens said after her defeat to Victoria Azarenka via the Sydney Morning Herald. “Andrew [hitting partner Andrew Fitzpatrick] and I were like, ‘Oh my God, we, we’re going to do the same thing.

“Then, of course, in posts and everything … I’m cheering against Serena, which had nothing to do with it. So that was it. We were just having some fun.”

So was Stephens just laughing about the reaction from Ivanovic’s crew, or was she celebrating that Serena lost? That’s up to you to decide. And if you are unfamiliar with the tension between Sloane and Serena and don’t understand why Stephens theoretically would be happy to watch Serena lose, read this.

I know that Sloane likes to smile a lot by nature, but I’m not sure if I completely buy her excuse. I think she was probably happy to see Serena lose, and for good reason.

Serena Williams’ boyfriend/coach says Serena had back injury

Serena WilliamsWhen Serena Williams loses a match, the media usually turns it into a conversation about what went wrong with Serena rather than what the triumphant opponent did right. That’s probably because Serena is by far the best female player in the world and expected to win every event she enters. But Serena was upset by Ana Ivanovic in the fourth round of the Australian Open, and her boyfriend/coach Patrick Mouratouglou revealed to the media that Serena was limited by a back injury.

Serena seemed like she didn’t want anyone finding out about the back injury, and she playfully called out Mouratouglou for “snitching” about her bad back. She admitted she took painkillers and contemplated not playing in the match, but she tried to go through it and said she felt good about the way she played.

“I almost pulled out. I probably should have,” Serena said when asked about her back. “I don’t want to blame anything. I feel like Ana deserves all the credit. I feel like she played unbelievable today. It’s not like I gave her the match; I tried to fight with the best I could today. I almost didn’t play, but I did and at least I feel good that I tried the best I could on this day.”

Williams was complimentary of Ivanovic and wanted to emphasize that her opponent played well and that nothing should detract from that. She made every attempt to deflect the focus from her back to Ivanovic’s good play.

“Yeah it’s OK,” Williams said of her back. “It wasn’t the best, but I thought she played really well.

“Maybe I wasn’t the best physically, but that had nothing to do with it. I think Ana just played a really good match. She did what it takes to win. I’m not going to make excuses.”

Serena was down on herself for missing so many shots and making so many errors, but she had a positive outlook despite the loss.

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Serena Williams takes you behind the scenes of her bra shoot (Video)

Serena Williams is immensely successful off the tennis courts as a product endorser, and she recently added an underwear company to her portfolio.

Williams is now endorsing Berlei bras, which she says she has been wearing for 10 years ever since her mother introduced her to them. In an interview with “Today Tonight” in Australia, Williams said she didn’t always feel comfortable in her body — which is nothing new — and that it took her a while to accept her body image.

According to Forbes, Williams cut back her endorsements in recent years but still earned $12 million for the year.

Among the companies she endorses are Nike, Wilson, Gatorade and OPI. She also has equity deals with HSN, Sleep Sheets, Mission and the Miami Dolphins, according to Forbes. And now you can add Berlei to that group.

Serena Williams bra

Maria Sharapova: Beef with Serena Williams is behind us

Maria SharapovaMaria Sharapova says the issues between her and Serena Williams are behind them.

Sharapova spoke with The Wall Street Journal in August about her candy line, and the subject of her beef with Serena came up. Sharapova was reluctant to speak about the topic and kept her response brief.

“We haven’t spoken too much about it,” she told The Wall Street Journal. “But we did [put it behind us]. We left a lot of what had happened in London.”

In case you forgot, Sharapova and Serena went at it before Wimbledon. Serena started it by taking subtle shots at Sharapova in a Rolling Stone article. Sharapova fired back by telling Serena to stick to her business and by calling out Williams’ relationship with her coach. Both players lost early in the tournament, while Marion Bartoli won it.

Though Maria says the beef is behind them, we think there is still friction between the two. Unfortunately they have not played each other since then. Sharapova has been out with a shoulder injury, though we could take a guess at how the match would go; Williams is 14-2 against Sharapova and has won every match they’ve played since 2005.

Racquet clap to Beyond the Baseline

Serena Williams smashes racquet during doubles loss with Venus (Video)

Serena-Williams-racquet-smashSerena Williams and her sister Venus Williams lost their doubles match to Liezel Huber and Chan Hao-Ching at the first round of the China Open on Monday. As SI.com’s Beyond the Baseline pointed out, this is not something that happens very often. It was just the second first-round loss in doubles play for Serena and Venus in 29 tournaments.

The way they lost was even more frustrating, and Serena’s racquet paid the price for it. The Williams sisters lost a 4-1 lead in the second set and failed to convert on two match points in the tiebreak. Then, Serena double-faulted on match point for Huber and Chan. She proceeded to demolish her racquet in anger.

As we witnessed at the Australian Open earlier this year, Serena can smash the hell out of a racquet better than any tennis player in the world. She didn’t abuse her wand quite as much as Marcos Baghdatis abused his at last year’s Australian Open, but it was impressive nonetheless. Classic Serena.

Victoria Azarenka calls Serena Williams best ever, says she is closing the gap

Victoria Azarenka Serena WilliamsPrior to losing to Venus Williams at the Toray Pan Pacific Open this week, Victoria Azarenka was speaking confidently about her game.

In an interview with AFP before the tournament began, Azarenka called Serena Williams the best player ever, though she clarified that she can only judge players from her era when making such a declaration. She also said that despite losing to Serena in the finals of the US Open, she is closing the gap on the American superstar.

“Serena is playing the best tennis of her life and so am I,” Azarenka told AFP.

“It’s been really noticeable the gap from last year we have in the matches has minimised. I’ve beaten her twice this year. No one else has done that.

“It’s just exciting to be in the era of somebody and competing with somebody who is considered the best ever and being their toughest opponent.”

Azarenka probably is Serena’s best competition right now, though Sloane Stephens beat Williams too and will surpass her eventually. And we all know where Maria Sharapova falls in this discussion.

Serena has only lost four times this year, with two of the losses coming to Azarenka. One win came in Qatar early in the year, and the other was in Cincinnati before the US Open. Both wins were in the finals, so that is definitely a strong sign as Azarenka says.

Azarenka is 3-13 against Williams all time and 0-8 against her in grand slams. But she might be right that she is closing the gap; she went 2-3 against her this year after going 1-10 previously. The big difference is she needs to finally beat Serena in a grand slam. Now, if she could only figure out how to beat Venus …