Some extracts of Serena Williams interview by Sneaker Freaker

Serena Williams Nike outfit

Welcome to Melbourne Serena. You’ve won the Australian Open so many times, you must enjoy it here.
I don’t know if it’s politically correct for me to say this, but it’s by far my favourite Grand Slam.

I bet you say that to all the boys.
No, I do… I say it to all the boys but not just about the Grand Slams!

I was listening to you talk before about your new Nike dress for this tournament and I realized you must live in summer all year long. Is that weird?
I know, it’s my job! I have an endless summer. Traveling the world constantly when it’s summer time is what I do. It’s cool, but it’s super hot here. (laughs)

I know you are an enthusiastic advocate for Black History Month, but it’s something that probably doesn’t mean a lot to anyone outside the USA.
I am. Well it’s in February, so it’s a great month, and it’s something I totally support. Nike now raise awareness for Black History Month internationally, which is cool because they could have just left this as strictly a United States thing. I think every Nike athlete in the United States will be playing in a Black History Month shoe, which is really cool as well. But in general it’s just about raising awareness – and that includes other minorities as well. It’s not just about black people. When you have athletes doing so well and becoming an inspiration and a role model for so many people, it’s an incredible positive.

Some athletes don’t like the idea of being a role model. Do you feel like a role model for women and other black American athletes?
Yeah I do. I love it, it’s important for kids to know that you can be successful and you can be strong, especially when you’re a female. You can still be sexy as well, you can be powerful, but you can still be smart.

With your background in fashion, did you have a role in the evolution of this year’s BHM pieces?
I can’t say I did. Nike came up with this great concept of the stripes on the side, where the colours represent different countries and stories. They represent Kenya, Mississippi, the state’s colours, and the other is Brazil. So it’s cool, it’s a mixture of a lot of different cultures and different aspects, and like I said, it’s international, so that’s why we brought Brazil and Kenya into the mix.

You famously grew up in Compton. Why has tennis been so utterly inaccessible for black American athletes? Aside from your sister, there’s Arthur Ashe of course, plus James Blake, Zina Garrison, Malavai Washington…
I know, but tennis is not an accessible sport in general. It’s always been a rich person’s sport, at least until it was taken to eastern Europe. No-one in eastern Europe is really that rich, but kids were able to get time on a tennis court which kinda knocked it off being an elitist sport. I think that had a lot to do with it. Tennis is expensive. You need to buy rackets, you need to get them strung every week, it takes a lot of money and dedication. But if you have a basketball, you can just hang out with your friends on the street and get good.

Read the complete interview on Sneaker Freaker

More on Nike Tennis x Serena Williams – Black History Month Pack

Nike Tennis x Serena Williams – Black History Month Pack

NIKE celebrates the 36th anniversary of Black History Month with a collection created exclusively for Nike Tennis star Serena Williams.

Nike Tennis x Serena Williams – Black History Month Pack

NIKE designers selected signature apparel and footwear silhouettes from Nike’s Design heritage and developed a unique pattern reflective of the vibrant colors and spirit of their distinct cultures. This year’s NIKE Black History Month 2012 Collection will feature this pattern throughout a collection of NIKE products that will be worn by various NIKE athletes during the month of February.

This NIKE Black History Month 2012 pattern will first come to life at the kick-start of the tennis season in Melbourne, Australia with former number one Serena Williams.

Nike Tennis x Serena Williams – Black History Month Pack

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To pay tribute to Nike’s 40th anniversary of tennis in 2012, designers asked five-time singles champ and fashionista Serena Williams to look back and select her most favorite dresses for modern interpretations. Her gorgeous Nike Rally Statement dress is directly inspired by one of her memorable all-white dresses. specifically a 2004 gladiator style.

Serena Williams Nike outfit

Serena Williams Nike outfit

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Day 8:

Upset of the day: Elena Makarova defeats Serena Williams
Seriously, who saw that coming? Makarova stunned 5-time Australian Open champion Serena Williams 6-2 6-3.

Match of the day: Novak Djokovic (1) vs Lleyton Hewitt

Day 8 results:
Elena Makarova def Serena Williams (12)
Maria Sharapova (4) def Sabine Lisicki (14) 3-6 6-2 6-3
Sara Errani def Jie Zheng 6-2 6-1
Petra Kvitova (2) def Ana Ivanovic (21) 6-2 7-6
Novak Djokovic (1) vs Lleyton Hewitt
David Ferrer (5) def Richard Gasquet (17) 6-4 6-4 6-1
Andy Murray (4) vs Mikhail Kukushkin
Kei Nishikori (24) def Jo-Wifried Tsonga (6) 2-6 6-2 6-1 3-6 6-3

Day 7:

Match of the day: Kim Clijsters defeats Li Na
In a rematch of last year’s final, Kim Clijsters saved four match points before beating Li Na 4-6 7-6 6-4.

Stat of the day – 1: 50
The number of Jankovic‘s unforced errors in her 0-6 5-7 loss to Wozniacki. I feel really sorry for the spectators who had to endure this.

Stat of the day – 2: 31
Roger Federer is in the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam tournament for the 31st consecutive time. Last player to beat him before the QFs was Gustavo Kuerten at Roland Garros in 2004.

Day 7 results:
Caroline Wozniacki (1) def Jelena Jankovic (13) 6-0 7-5
Kim Clijsters (11) def Na Li (5) 4-6 7-6 6-4
Victoria Azarenka (3) def Iveta Benesova 6-2 6-2
Agnieszka Radwanska (8) def Julia Goerges (22) 6-1 6-1
Juan Martin Del Potro (11) def Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4 6-2 6-1
Roger Federer (3) def Bernard Tomic 6-4 6-2 6-2
Tomas Berdych (7) vs Nicolas Almagro (10) 4-6 7-6(5) 7-6(3) 7-6(2)
Rafael Nadal (2) def Feliciano Lopez (18) 6-4 6-4 6-2

Day 6:

Match of the day: Lleyton Hewitt defeats Milos Raonic
Love him or hate him, you’ve got to admit Hewitt always plays with the heart on his sleeve. And today he gave a big lesson of will and determination to big server Raonic.

Upset of the day: Mikhail Kukushkin defeats Gael Monfils
One day he beats Nadal and one day he loses to Kukushkin, ranked 92. Gael Monfils, King of inconsistency and missed opportunities.

The tournament really begins tomorrow with the fourth round matches:

Women’s singles:
Caroline Wozniacki (1) vs Jelena Jankovic (13)
Kim Clijsters (11) vs Na Li (5)
Victoria Azarenka (3) vs Iveta Benesova
Julia Goerges (22) vs Agnieszka Radwanska (8)
Ekaterina Makarova vs Serena Williams (12)
Sabine Lisicki (14) vs Maria Sharapova (4)
Sara Errani vs Jie Zheng
Ana Ivanovic (21) vs Petra Kvitova (2)

Men’s singles:
Novak Djokovic (1) vs Lleyton Hewitt
Richard Gasquet (17) vs David Ferrer (5)
Andy Murray (4) vs Mikhail Kukushkin
Kei Nishikori (24) vs Jo-Wifried Tsonga (6)
Philipp Kohlschreiber vs Juan Martin Del Potro (11)
Bernard Tomic vs Roger Federer (3)
Tomas Berdych (7) vs Nicolas Almagro (10)
Feliciano Lopez (18) vs Rafael Nadal (2)

Day 5:

Match of the day: Bernard Tomic defeats Alexandr Dogolopolov 4-6 7-6(0) 7-6(6) 2-6 6-3
It was all about Tomic at Melbourne Park today… again. Next opponent for the 19 years old Aussie: his idol, Roger Federer.

Stat of the day: 0
It’s the first time since 1973 that no U.S. men have reached round of 16 at the Australian Open.

Video of the day: Bernard Tomic: realising the potential

Day 4:
Petra Kvitova and David Ferrer fought hard to qualify for the third round: 2011 Wimbledon champion Kvitova defeated Carla Suarez Navarro 6-2 2-6 6-4. Davic Cup champion Ferrer needed 5 sets to overcome Ryan Sweeting 6-7(4) 6-2 3-6 6-2 6-3.
No problem for the other favorites: Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray.

Match of the day: Lleyton Hewitt defeats Andy Roddick
The match looked good on paper, but Roddick retired while trailing 3-6 6-3 6-4 with a right hamstring injury. The last time he retired was at the 2001 French Open, against Hewitt.

Seeds upsets:
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (15, lost to Vania King), Dominika Cibulkova (17, to Greta Arn), Roberta Vinci (23, to Jie Zheng), Kaia Kanepi (25, to Ekaterina Makarova), Nadia Petrova (29, lost to Sara Errani), Gilles Simon (12, to Julien Benneteau), Andy Roddick (15, to Lleyton Hewitt), Viktor Troicki (19, to Mikhail Kukushkin), Marcel Granollers (26, to Frederico Gil), Alex Bogomolov (32, to Michael Llodra)

Stat of the day: 500
Serena Williams notched her 500th career win today. Five-time Australian Open champion Serena Williams defeated Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 6-0, 6-4 at Rod Laver Arena.

Day 3:
Another match, another monster win for Aussie Bernard Tomic who defeats Sam Querrey 3-6 6-3 7-6(3) 6-3.
In a match between two “could have been” Stanislas Wawrinka takes down Marcos Baghdatis in 4 sets.
The first top ten to fall in the men’s draw is Mardy Fish, but he never looked like a top 10 to me.

Li Na, Kim Clijsters, Victoria Azarenka and Rafael Nadal ease into third round.

Match of the day: John Isner defeats David Nalbandian 4-6 6-3 3-6 7-6 (5) 10-8 victory in 4 hours and 41 minutes.
Almost 5 hours to prevail over a semi-retired veteran, the victory is good, but seriously, Isner?

Seeds upsets:
Francesca Schiavone (10, lost to Romina Oprandi), Shuai Peng (16, lost to Iveta Benesova), Mardy Fish (8, lost to Alejandro Falla)

Video of the day: Behind the scenes of the Aussie Open

Day 2:

2011 US Open champion and local favorite Sam Stosur crashes out of the Australian Open in the first round. Not really surprising given her miserable start to the year. The pressure was just to high for Stosur.
An other Aussie favorite was on Rod Laver Arena today, and he didn’t disappoint: 2005 runner-up Lleyton Hewitt defeated Stebe and set up a clash against Andy Roddick in the second round.

Seeds upsets:
Sam Stosur (6, lost to Sorana Cirstea), Radek Stepanek (20, lost to Nicolas Mahut)

Day 1:

Easy first match for Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer who cruise through to the second round. No problem either for Caroline Wozniacki and Victoria Azarenka who dispatched Anastasia Rodionova and Heather Watson respectively.
After a tight first set, defending champion Kim Clijsters eased to the second round, defeating qualifier Maria Joaoa Koehler 7-5 6-1.
Local wunderkind Ashleigh Barty was sent home by Anna Tatishvili.

Match of the day: Bernard Tomic defeats Fernando Verdasco
Tomic rallied from two sets down to oust 2009 semi-finalist Fernando Verdasco 4-6, 6-7 (7-3), 6-4, 6-2, 7-5 in four hours and 11 minutes.

Seeds upsets:
Flavia Pennetta (19, lost to Bratchikova), Yanina Wickmayer (28, lost to Voskoboeva), Fernando Verdasco (22, lost to Tomic), Juan Monaco (25, lost to Kohlschreiber), Ivan Ljubicic (28, lost to Lukas Lacko), Jurgen Melzer (31, lost to Ivo Karlovic)

Quote of the day: Bernard Tomic

“It was torture, I really don’t know how I won.”

Stat of the day:

Winner of the 2012 Australian Open?

  • Kim Clijsters (29%, 5 Votes)
  • Maria Sharapova (24%, 4 Votes)
  • Petra Kvitova (12%, 2 Votes)
  • Na Li (12%, 2 Votes)
  • Serena Williams (12%, 2 Votes)
  • Victoria Azarenka (6%, 1 Votes)
  • Sam Stosur (6%, 1 Votes)
  • Caroline Wozniacki (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Vera Zvonareva (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Other (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 17

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Winner of the 2012 Australian Open?

  • Novak Djokovic (48%, 12 Votes)
  • Rafael Nadal (24%, 6 Votes)
  • Roger Federer (24%, 6 Votes)
  • Juan Martin Del Potro (4%, 1 Votes)
  • Andy Murray (0%, 0 Votes)
  • David Ferrer (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Tomas Berdych (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Mardy Fish (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Other (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 25

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Grand Slam Tennis 2 will include a host of gameplay features including:

All-New Total Racquet Control: Control every shot with the right analog stick, smashing forehands, backhands, overheads and volleys with precision, accuracy and power. Utilize this innovative control system to take your game to the top! But if you prefer the old school button controls, those are still available!

Become a Champion: Become a true Grand Slam tournament champion by capturing all four major championships in succession. The prestige of some of the most historic events in tennis come alive like never before, including the Australian Open, French Open, U.S. Open and exclusive to EA SPORTS Grand Slam Tennis franchise – Wimbledon.
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