| The sisters joked about their not being at the US Open, saying they were, for once, giving the others a chance
New York: Serena and Venus Williams were too hurt to play at the US Open, but not too injured to appear on television shows here on Wednesday and declare the Grand Slam event diminished by their absence.
In promoting American broadcast coverage of the year’s last Grand Slam event, the reigning champion Serena, ranked world No. 2 and her fifth-ranked sister addressed their absence in serious and comical fashion.
Appearing on a US Open highlights show, Venus agreed with the notion that the value of this year’s Open title is diminished by their absence. “A lot of people may look at it that way. I think unfortunately it might be the case because it is true,” Venus said. “At the same time, these players have worked hard all year and deserve their chance.”
But on ‘Late Show with David Lettermen’, the sisters jokingly listed their ‘Top 10 real reasons for not playing in the Open’.
“For once we thought we would give the other players a chance,” said Venus, who also cracked, “What, the US Open is this week'”
While the punch lines were probably the product of comedy writers, some had the sting of truth when uttered by the women who have played in six of the past eight Slam finals and overwhelmed their opponents.
Venus also touched on US troops in Iraq and their search for deposed leader Saddam Hussein when she joked that, “We can’t give you any details, but we’re very close to catching Saddam.”
Serena also poked fun at the inability of rivals to challenge her or Venus, saying, “We’re spending our time in the lab developing a third, even more powerful, Williams sister.”
Serena also said “you can only hit a little ball over the net so many times without getting bored silly” and she “can’t concentr ate on her game with Mars so close to Earth”.
The absence of the Williams sisters at the US Open has been anything but a laughing matter for players, who admit life is easier without them in the draw