US Olympic Teams Advance On July 4th
Published July 04, 2012 12:00
LONDON, England - What better day for Americans to shine than on July 4th? Co-World No.1s Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond looked very sharp as they moved smoothly into the semifinals of Wimbledon on Independence Day.
The No.1-seeded Huber and Raymond trailed early, 4-2, but bounced back and eventually beat No.5 seeds Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina in straight sets, 76(4) 63 - it was a particularly impressive victory given Makarova and Vesnina finished the match with 12 winners to just two unforced errors.
"At 4-2 down there was a rain delay, which helped us a lot," Raymond said. "We went back out there knowing we had to go for it, be aggressive and go down swinging if that's what it meant. We play our best when we're aggressive and take it to our opponents, and that's what we did from 4-2 down."
Huber and Raymond were recently named to the US Olympic team for the upcoming London Games, which will take place right here in just a few weeks.
"We're so excited to be a part of the US team," Raymond declared. "It's an amazing feeling to be a part of something so much bigger than ourselves - there's no greater honor than representing your country. I can't wait!"
And on winning on July 4th? "It feels great to win on the 4th too," Raymond commented. "If I can't be home eating hot dogs and hamburgers with everyone, there's no other place I'd rather be than in the semis of Wimbledon."
Huber and Raymond weren't the only all-American, all-Olympian and multple Grand Slam-winning team to take the courts either - the Williams sisters had double duty, winning both their second round and third round matches.
First up was the conclusion of their second round against No.4 seeds Maria Kirilenko and Nadia Petrova, which was stopped at a set apiece days ago - and though French Open finalists Kirilenko and Petrova got an early 4-1 lead in the third, 12-time Grand Slam champions the Williams sisters never stopped fighting, winning eight of the last 11 games for a 36 63 97 victory.
The only other match on the schedule was another quarterfinal match, pitting No.9-seeded Spaniards Nuria Llagostera Vives and María José Martínez Sánchez against Italians Flavia Pennetta and Francesca Schiavone. They were locked at 2-all in the third set when matches were called for darkness.