'Great Match Ups' Wimbeldon's Draw Wimbledon final between the Williams sisters and the upcoming men's finals is what the sport needs, ESPN's Howard Bryant tells Linda Wertheimer.
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'Great Match Ups' Wimbeldon's Draw

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'Great Match Ups' Wimbeldon's Draw

'Great Match Ups' Wimbeldon's Draw

'Great Match Ups' Wimbeldon's Draw

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/92255726/92255520" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Wimbledon final between the Williams sisters and the upcoming men's finals is what the sport needs, ESPN's Howard Bryant tells Linda Wertheimer.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, host:

Time now for tennis.

(Soundbite of music)

Venus Williams won her fifth Wimbledon Grand Slam Singles title today, beating her sister Serena in two tight sets. Venus was the defending Wimbledon champ. But going into the match it was not clear she'd be able to close the deal on her younger sister. Today's match marked the seventh time the sisters have faced each other in Grand Slam Finals. And just in case you're counting, Serena is up five to two. The pair take the court together again later today for the Women's Doubles finals at Wimbledon. Our own ace, Howard Bryant, joins us now. Howard, welcome.

HOWARD BRYANT: Linda, how unfair is that that you go out and you play a championship match, and then you have to go take a shower, do some interviews, and then go do it again in the same day?

(Soundbite of laughter)

WERTHEIMER: Well, I couldn't do it once. So I am in awe. There were a lot of Venus nay-sayers, though, going into this match. The sisters are tied in total professional matches played against each other. But in recent years, Venus has had a tough time with the Grand Slam tournaments against baby sister.

BRYANT: Well, and rightfully so. Because it seemed like in their championship matches that Serena was tougher, and that she was stronger. But this match, I know people will say that it was only - it was a straight sets match, and it was the Williams sisters as usual. But if you really watched the match, it was a fantastic, fantastic match for Venus especially, because at one point - the whole thing turned in the fifth game of the first set. She - Serena is essentially in a position to dominate the match. She's got a chance to go up four-one. And Venus was just so tough.

If you really like to watch tough competitors when they - as pitchers say - when they don't have their best stuff, this was exactly what Venus did. Venus went out there, and she was stronger than her sister, and she was tougher in all of the key points. Serena had numerous chances to win this match, and Venus was there for every key point. She was the one who was bigger when it counted.

WERTHEIMER: Let's not forget about the guys. They play tomorrow. Roger Federer...

BRYANT: Federer and Nadal. And once again it's a great match up because this is one of those moment-of-truth matches for both. You've got Roger Federer who's the king of grass. You've got Nadal who is the king of clay. But now they're playing on Federer's turf. If Nadal can win this, then the era of invincibility for Federer is essentially over. But if he doesn't, then once again you have these two performers who are great on their surfaces. And in the Tiger Woods era, people seem to forget just how dominant Roger Federer is. He's the most dominant athlete in the world right now.

WERTHEIMER: Howard Byant is a senior writer for espn.com, ESPN the magazine and ESPN the breath mint. This is NPR News.

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