NEW YORK — For stretches of the 27th edition of Williams vs. Williams, Venus gave Serena all she could handle.And when Serena took control down the stretch to emerge with a 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 victory in a well-played U.S. Open quarterfinal, allowing her to continue pursuing the first calendar-year Grand Slam in more than a quarter-century, a smiling Venus wrapped both arms around her little sister for a warm hug at the net and whispered, “So happy for you.”“Obviously we are very, very tough competitors on the court,” Serena said later, “but once the match is over, the second it’s done, you know, we’re sisters, we’re roommates, and we’re all that.”Serena called their unique sibling rivalry “the greatest story in tennis,” and who would argue? A couple of kids taught by their dad on cement courts in Compton, California, making it all the way to the top.With two more match wins, the No. 1-ranked Serena would become the first player since Steffi Graf in 1988 to collect all four Grand Slam titles in a single season.Plus, if she can win what would be her fourth U.S. Open in a row, and seventh overall, she would equal Graf with 22 major championships, the most in the professional era and second-most ever behind Margaret Court’s 24.“That would be huge, not just for me, but for my family, just for what it represents and how hard we have worked and where we come from. So it would be a moment for our family,” said the 23rd-seeded Venus, who is 15 months older.“But at the same time, if it doesn’t happen it’s not going to make or break you. We don’t have anything to prove. She has nothing to prove. She’s really the best ever.”Serena is 16-11 in their all-in-the-family matches, including 9-5 in majors and 3-2 at the U.S. Open. And 14 years to the day after Venus beat Serena in the 2001 final at Flushing Meadows, they met again with so much at stake.Well-known folks such as Donald Trump — who was booed when shown on video screens — Oprah Winfrey and Kim Kardashian dotted the teeming stands in Arthur Ashe Stadium, and the sellout crowd of 23,771 got its money’s worth.“They both played their best,” said Serena’s coach, Patrick Mouratoglou. “If they were feeling uncomfortable with playing each other, they could not play at that level.”The sisters combined for 57 winners (Serena had more, 35) and only 37 unforced errors (Venus had fewer, 15). How close was it? Serena won 76 points, Venus 75.Both pounded serves fast, very fast, each topping 120 mph. Both returned well, oh so well, each managing to put into play at least one serve at more than 115 mph by the other.Venus often attempted to end baseline exchanges quickly. Serena showed tremendous touch by using drop shots, one paired with a backhand passing winner, another with a perfectly curled lob.When a reporter implied he wasn’t sure whether Venus really wanted to beat Serena, the reply was drenched with incredulity.“I tried,” Venus replied. “Were you there?”On Sept. 10, Serena faces unseeded Robert Vinci of Italy, who reached her first Grand Slam semifinal at age 32 by outlasting Kristina Mladenovic 6-3, 5-7, 6-4.In the men’s quarterfinals, No. 1 Novak Djokovic defeated 18th-seeded Feliciano Lopez of Spain 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (2) in a match that ended at after 1 a.m. Sept. 9.Djokovic’s semifinal opponent Sept. 11 will be defending champion Marin Cilic, who edged 19th-seeded Jo Wilfried-Tsonga 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (3), 6-4.The 43rd-ranked Vinci is playing in the 44th major tournament of her singles career, the second-most appearances by a woman before reaching her initial semifinal.Vinci is 0-4 against Serena and joked about wearing a helmet for protection from some of the 33-year-old American’s booming shots.“She’s the favorite. Maybe she’ll feel the pressure. Who knows? It all depends on her. If she serves well, it’s tough to return,” Vinci said. “But I have nothing to lose.”Against Venus, Serena earned a key break to lead 2-0 in the third set thanks to a down-the-line backhand winner that landed in a corner, then she gritted her teeth, held clenched fists near her head and leaned forward, holding the pose.When she got to match point as a shot by Venus sailed long, Serena dropped to a knee behind the baseline and pumped an arm, her back to her sister.Serena then smacked a 107 mph ace, her 12th, to end it.At 35, the oldest woman to enter the tournament, Venus had her own reasons for wanting to beat Serena, of course. She hasn’t reached the semifinals at any Grand Slam tournament since the 2010 U.S. Open, and might have considered this her last, best chance to collect an eighth major singles championship of her own.Mouratoglou was asked whether Venus can do that. “I think so,” he responded, “except if she plays Serena.”(HOWARD FENDRICH, AP Tennis Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shares
raising the low-income threshold for the caregiver benefit from $18,785 to $22,003 so more people qualify for the $400 monthly benefit expanding the Supportive Care Program by removing the 40 hour/month cap on service and the need to be a low-income senior expanding the number of people who would qualify for the Personal Alert Program to help them if they live alone and have a history of falls improving the property tax rebate for eligible seniors to help thousands more who remain in their homes providing additional funding to Caregivers Nova Scotia to provide more support services for caregivers across the province; increasing the amount spouses staying at home can keep of their combined income when their partner goes into long-term care providing funding to the district health authorities to add more supports and services like transportation and yard work to help more seniors stay at home longer raising the home care income threshold to $22,003 so more seniors are eligible. A new provincial program will help hundreds more low-income seniors get the support they need to stay in their homes and communities longer. The province is developing a Seniors Community Wheelchair Loan Program to ensure seniors with mobility issues have better and more affordable access to wheelchairs, Premier Darrell Dexter announced today, June 18. The program is expected to start in September. “We know that many seniors want to live independently for as long as possible,” said Premier Dexter. “Until now, low-income seniors who needed a wheelchair couldn’t get help from the province unless they were living in a long-term care facility. That wasn’t acceptable. “Seniors who want to stay in their homes and communities deserve to be able to live well at home. In many cases, they just need a little extra support to do that. Programs like this one give seniors options to live their lives independently, and with dignity.” The program targets low-income seniors 65 or older. Applicants need to have been assessed by a health-care provider in the district health authority and found to need a wheelchair for basic daily activities and to remain in their homes. The program has a $1.4 million annual budget and is expected to benefit as many as 300 seniors in its first year. A request for proposal will be posted Wednesday, on the tenders website. Ralph Ferguson, a senior from the Pictou area and a commissioner of the Nova Scotia Disabled Persons Commission, applauded the program. “This will be enormously helpful to Nova Scotia seniors living on fixed incomes,” said Mr. Ferguson. “I am pleased that seniors who need it, will now get help to access the often costly wheelchairs they need to live active, healthy lives in our communities.” In 2012, the province invested $22 million in home and community care improvements to ensure seniors, Nova Scotians living with disabilities, and their families, are getting the care and support they need. Part of that investment was a commitment to address mobility issues for low-income seniors. “Government is working hard to make home care more affordable, to provide better support for caregivers, and to strengthen the community solutions available to seniors and their families,” said Premier Dexter. “Our goal is to maximize people’s independence and their ability to participate in all aspects of life.” Some of the improvements for persons with disabilities and seniors brought in last year include: Information about these programs and other services, including nursing, specialized equipment, and long-term care, can be found at www.gov.ns.ca/health/ccs . For more information call 1-800-225-7225.