WIMBLEDON, England -- Five things we learned from women's final Saturday at Wimbledon:
Venus Williams owns Wimbledon
She might not have won a tournament all year. She might have lost to the likes of Domininka Cibulkova and Petra Kvitova recently. She might be 28 years old. No matter. When Venus Williams comes to Wimbledon she transforms into the best player in the world. She won her fifth title without dropping a set, culminating with a poised, business-like defeat of her sister Serena on Saturday. The grass rewards her movement and her pace. Add in an unshakable mental game, and she's virtually unbeatable on this surface.
The Williams-Williams matches are getting less awkward
Classic tennis matches need some tension and that's always going to be hard to come by when the two opponents are sisters, roommates and doubles partners. Though the atmosphere this afternoon was hardly electric, fans never quite sure whom to applaud, the level of play was often quite high. The match featured big hitting and big serving, and some wonderful defense and court coverage. And -- a counter to the conspiracy theorists who still float the shabby suggestion that the matches are fixed -- Serena even showed some ruthlessness in the first set, nearly nailing Venus from point blank range. John McEnroe went so far as to call the match a "borderline classic."
Serena isn't immune to nerves
After sprinting to an early lead, winning eight of the first nine points, Serena Williams looked like she could run away with the match. She cooled off, tightened and never really recovered. She made several mental errors -- not least calling in during the middle of a point, causing her to lose a crucial game -- and played tentatively in the second set. The Williams sisters make the best of an inherently awkward situation, but there's an abundance of emotion (how could there not be?) and Venus dealt with it much better on the court.
And they can volley ...
As I write this, Venus and Serena are about to appear on the same side of the net, competing in the doubles final. If they win it will mark their third Wimbledon doubles title together. They'll play together in Beijing. And remember this: the 2012 Olympic tennis competition will be held at Wimbledon. Venus will be 32 years old and she'll still be a contender for a medal.
Build that roof
Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer cooperated, winning their first six matches to set the sport's most anticipated match in recent memory -- perhaps since the McEnroe-Borg Wimbledon finals in the early 80s. The question now: will the weather cooperate? The London forecast for tomorrow is dismal, and the good folks at the All-England Club are already making preparations for Monday play. The good news: rain won't delay the finals next year as the $400 million roof over Centre Court will be complete. The bad news: the project might come a year too late to prevent upsetting what should be a banner day for the sport.