Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Sports Extra

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Sports Extra

Article excerpt

Byline: Bob Pulley, The Times-Union

AT A LOSS FOR . . .

VENUS: EXCUSE ME?

Former tennis phenom Venus Williams, only 13-5 this season in singles, knows what's to blame for her struggles -- and it's almost never the woman who beat her.

Here are some post-loss quotes from her matches this year:

-- Australian Open (7-5, 7-6 to Alicia Molik in round of 16) -- "I feel like that was one I definitely should have won. I just was off of my rhythm. . . . Normally if I'm playing 5 percent better, I'd win."

-- Antwerp Diamond Games (4-6, 7-5, 6-4 to Amelie Mauresmo in final) -- "I felt 100 percent at the start of the match but my stomach muscles started to hurt again after a while . . ."*

-- Dubai Women's Open (7-5, 7-6 to Silvia Farina Elia in round of 32) -- "She really doesn't have the weapons to hurt me. The blister was really a factor. I just couldn't serve well . . ."

-- Nasdaq-100 (6-4, 6-3 to Maria Sharapova in semifinal) -- ''The first problem for me was just I was so tired. I don't know why. I'm usually not tired.''

-- Bausch & Lomb Championships (1-6 6-3 6-4 to Lindsay Davenport in quarterfinal) -- "I had some easy shots, I just didn't make them. That's not like me."

-- Family Circle Cup (7-5, 6-4 to Tatiana Golovin in third round) -- "It was windy out there and I just had a quick turnaround from the last match and my feet never moved."

* Williams also said Mauresmo "deserves her win, she played so well."

2CENTS

C'mon NFL, fess up.

You somehow forgot college football bowl games exist.

The evidence: Jaguars at home Jan. 1, the day the Gator Bowl usually is played; Bucs at home Jan. 1, the Outback Bowl's usual day; Cowboys at home Jan. 1, the Cotton Bowl's usual day. The NFL's schedule should always consider bowls -- they're a big part of its farm system.

Even with New Year's Day bowls moving to Jan. 2, the games are too close for fans of both. And the Gator has only a 14-hour turnaround.

At least the Cowboys and Cotton Bowl teams play in different stadiums, and Tampa Bay's is a 1 p.m. game.

Switching the Jaguars' and Titans' home dates, with the Titans in Jacksonville on Nov. …

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