Professional Sports

SPORTS DIGEST: Serena could face Venus in Wimbledon finals

We could be watching a Serena Williams versus Venus Williams Wimbledon final July 9.

The sisters from Compton both advanced to the Wimbledon semifinals July 5.

Venus advanced by defeating Yaroslava Shvedova in straight sets, 7-6 (5), 6-2, while Serena had an easier time against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 6-4, 6-4.

Venus will face Angelique Kerber of Germany in her semifinal match July 7 while Serena will face Elena Vesnina of Russia in the other semifinal.

If the Williams’ sisters both win, they will face each other in a grand slam championship match for the first time since Serena defeated Venus in the 2009 Wimbledon championship, 7-6 and 6-2.

The sisters, who were born 15 months apart and are still extremely close, dislike playing each other. Serena holds the career edge over Venus, 16-11, and Serena has more grand slam titles, 21-7.

For the last five years, Venus has been playing with Sjogren’s Syndrome, an autoimmune disease that causes chronic fatigue and muscle soreness, but she is still the ninth-ranked player on the women’s tennis tour.

Venus hasn’t made it to a semifinal at a grand slam tournament since the U.S. Open in 2010, which she lost.

She hasn’t made it to a grand slam final since 2009, when she lost to Serena at Wimbledon and hasn’t won a grand slam title since 2008, when she defeated Serena at Wimbledon.

Serena, the number-one ranked woman player in the world, is one grand slam title away from catching Steffi Graf for second on the all-time list at 22. Margaret Court holds the record with 24.

She won the first three grand slam tournaments last year before getting defeated at the U.S. Open last September. She was the runner-up at both the Australian and French opens earlier this year.

The Williams’s sisters also remain alive for the women’s doubles title at Wimbledon. The sisters have won 13 grand slam doubles titles in their career, five at Wimbledon.

Not bad for a couple of girls who learned to play tennis on the courts at Compton parks.

Kevin Durant’s decision to sign with the Golden State Warriors doesn’t necessarily guarantee the Warriors a title next season. It depends how well Durant meshes with his new teammates, who include all stars Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. (Courtesy photo)
Kevin Durant’s decision to sign with the Golden State Warriors doesn’t necessarily guarantee the Warriors a title next season. It depends how well Durant meshes with his new teammates, who include all stars Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.
(Courtesy photo)

A SUPER TEAM?: Does the addition on Kevin Durant to the Golden State Warriors make the Warriors a super team?

Only time will tell, but history hasn’t always been kind to NBA teams that figured that three or four stars were better than two or three.

The Warriors fell one win short of a second straight NBA title this year with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green in the lineup. Adding Durant to the mix gives the Warriors the third-leading scorer in the league this year after Curry and the Houston Rockets’ James Harden.

But since the NBA only uses one ball at a time it is hard to see both either Curry or Durant leading the league next year.

And having four superstars in your starting lineup isn’t always a good thing. Think back to the 2004 Lakers.

That team had Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, Gary Payton and Karl Malone in the starting lineup. Four hall of famers.

The Lakers lost to the Detroit Pistons, 4-1, that year after Malone hurt his knee in game four of the finals, but the Lakers offense never really meshed that year and O’Neal, Payton and Malone — along with head coach Phil Jackson — were gone before the next season started.

Everyone thought the Celtics would have a dynasty when Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen joined Paul Pierce before the 2008-09 NBA season.

The Celtics won the title that season, but lost in seven games to the Lakers the next year and never made it back to the finals again.

Even the Miami Heat’s trio of stars — LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh — only won two titles, although they made the finals four seasons in a row, so nothing is guaranteed for the Warriors next year.

Curry, Thompson and Green will have to figure out how to integrate Durant into their high-flying offense.

It should be fun to watch, but the Warriors can’t start counting championship rings yet.

The Lakers improved their depth by signing Luol Deng, most recently of the Miami Heat, in the first days of free agency last week. The Lakers also signed former Cleveland Cavaliers center Timofey Mozgov. (Courtesy photo)
The Lakers improved their depth by signing Luol Deng, most recently of the Miami Heat, in the first days of free agency last week. The Lakers also signed former Cleveland Cavaliers center Timofey Mozgov. (Courtesy photo)

MORE FREE AGENCY: The Clippers and the Lakers have had modest success in the first week of free agency. Although the Clippers were eliminated in the early rounds of the Durant sweepstakes, they still managed to retain ace sixth man Jamal Crawford and also retained key reserves Austin Rivers and Wesley Johnson.

They did lose backup center Cole Aldrich to the Minnesota Timberwolves, but the Clippers should remain a top four team in the NBA Western Conference next year as long as their core players — Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan stay healthy.

The Lakers made a big splash in the first hours of free agency by singing Timofey Mozgov, who lost his job as starting center with the Cleveland Cavaliers last year, to a four-year $64 million deal that made many fans shake their heads in wonderment.

Mozgov played only 25 minutes during the NBA finals. But in 2014-15, he averaged more than 10 points and 6.9 rebounds a game for the Cavs, before having off-season knee surgery.

The Lakers hope Mozgov will have a better season after being a year removed from the surgery.

The signing of Luol Deng probably will pay more dividends.

He has averaged more than 15 points and six rebounds a game during his career and will provide good veteran leadership to the young Lakers while also defending the opponents top forward night in and night out.

If rookie Brandon Ingram plays like a number-two overall draft pick, D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson continue to grow and Mozgov and Deng pay off, the Lakers should be able to double their win total next season.

That still will place them short of a playoff berth.

Dodgers rookie shortstop Corey Seager was selected to the National League All Star team this week and will play in San Diego July 12, backing up Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell. (Photo by Nick Koza)
Dodgers rookie shortstop Corey Seager was selected to the National League All Star team this week and will play in San Diego July 12, backing up Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell. (Photo by Nick Koza)

ROOKIE ALL STAR: Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager was selected to play in baseball’s All Star Game July 12 in San Diego.

Seager has been better than advertised during his rookie season.

After hitting .337 with four home runs and 17 runs batted in for the Dodgers last September, Seager is playing like a rookie of the year candidate this season.

As of July 6, he is hitting .304 with 17 homers and 41 RBI this year, leading the Dodgers in all three categories. He currently has an 18-game hitting streak, the best in the National league this season.

He will back up the Chicago Cubs’ Addison Russell on the National League team.

Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen also was selected to the National League All-Star team, the first time he has been chosen to play in the game.

Jansen has 22 saves this year for the Dodgers.

Clayton Kershaw would have been on the all star team, but he was placed on the disabled list with a mild herniated disc in his back last week and will miss the game. If it’s any consolation to Dodgers fans, Zack Greinke also went on the disabled list last week.

The Angels’ Mike Trout was voted onto the American League All Star team and will start in center field. No other Angeles were selected.

Sprinter Allyson Felix qualified for her fourth Olympics last weekend in Eugene, Ore., winning the women’s 400 meters with the fastest time in the world so far this year. Felix has four gold medals and two silver medals in her three previous Olympics. (Courtesy photo)
Sprinter Allyson Felix qualified for her fourth Olympics last weekend in Eugene, Ore., winning the women’s 400 meters with the fastest time in the world so far this year. Felix has four gold medals and two silver medals in her three previous Olympics. (Courtesy photo)

OLYMPIAN AGAIN: Congratulations to Allyson Felix for qualifying for her fourth Olympics last weekend in the U.S. Olympic trials by winning the women’s 400 meters in 49.68 seconds, the fastest time in the world so far this year.

Felix could still qualify in the 200 meters as well.

Felix won the gold medal in the 200 meters in the 2012 Olympics in London, and also won gold in the 4×100 and 4×400 meter relays.

Felix first came to prominence in track at tiny Los Angeles Baptist High School. At 18, she won a silver medal in the 200 meters in 2004. She also won a silver in the 2008 Olympics in the 200 meters and won a gold medal that year in the 4×400 meter relay.

Now 30, she has been fighting through an ankle injury this year. Her showing in the 400 meters indicated she is still a favorite to medal in this year’s Olympics in Rio De Janeiro, which begin Aug. 5.