Venus Williams arrived on Ashe Stadium court Wednesdaylooking as if she had just walked out of the Islanders' training room. Her left leg was heavily wrapped and at first she appeared to labor in the warm-up for her match against Bethanie Mattek-Sands.
Then she got down to business and the leg didn't seem to be an issue. It went along for the ride.
Not that she liked having to play all strapped up. "It was a pretty big tape. I don't like tape. I prefer not to have it," she said.
Williams beat Mattek-Sands, 6-4, 6-2, then used her best footwork of the day to deftly sidestep most questions about her knee tendinitis, which has been an ongoing problem. "I don't talk about my injuries very much," she said. "I think everyone knows that now. I don't dwell on them. I just do my best."
She did say that her treatment after a difficult, three-set opening win over Vera Dushevina involved "pretty much ice every hour, a lot of different treatments."
She called an injury timeout in that match to have some tape applied, and couldn't remember the last time she did so.
"If it wasn't a major, I probably would have just kept playing. You probably wouldn't have even known," she said. "I rarely retire or rarely take an injury timeout. I just keep going."
As of last night she intended to play doubles with sister Serena in their opening match today. "My mentality for the doubles for me is a major title," Williams said. "So it's not a decision I take lightly."
Serena Williams won her second-round match last night against Melinda Czink, 6-1, 6-1. Her next opponent is Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, the woman she accused of cheating at the French Open this year. Williams returned a ball to Martinez Sanchez that she said hit her opponent's arm, then her racket and came back over the net. Martinez Sanchez denied it.