Sport Serena Williams reacts during her defeat by Ana Ivanovic at the Australia Open on Sunday

Williams admitted that she has thought about ending her absence from the March tournament having purposely avoided it after alleged heckling and racial abuse

SW19 Diary: Pironkova finds there is room at the top

So she can pack her bags at last. Perhaps only one person was more surprised than Venus Williams, her quarter-final victim, to see her still here yesterday. And that, charmingly, was Tsvetana Pironkova herself.

Chris McGrath: Wayward Venus spirals out of control against world No 82

All these anonymous women are suddenly in danger of making a name for themselves. As though goaded by constant charges of mediocrity and stagnation, the incognitos yesterday broke cover so boldly that three of tomorrow's semi-finalists have between them mustered one previous appearance in the last four of a Grand Slam. And those who conclude that the fourth, Serena Williams, can now help herself to her 13th such tournament, from a silver platter, do no justice to their collective courage and craft. Serena need only ask her own sister.

Venus Williams knocked out of Wimbledon

Venus Williams' bid for a sixth Wimbledon title came to a crashing halt in the quarter-finals today as Tsvetana Pironkova registered a major upset on Court One.

Serena forced into top gear to tame Sharapova

Those ingrates to whom the miracle of the Williams sisters has lost its freshness will have been especially vexed that Maria Sharapova, one of the only females in the species competent to interrupt their duopoly here, should be flung into the path of Serena as early as the fourth round. By the same token, the seeding committee will be the toast of those privileged yesterday to witness what would have made a pretty good final.

Venus sends out warning with power-packed romp to victory

Venus Williams powered into Wimbledon's fourth round yesterday, quickly recovering from an early break of serve and never especially troubled in beating the 20-year-old Russian Alisa Kleybanova 6-4 6-2.

Wimbledon: Order of play

Queen of clay is determined to prove she's not green on grass

Belgian star Justine Henin seeks to add her first Wimbledon title to a long list of Grand Slam triumphs

Venus Williams: 'The rule was I could play in a tournament when I beat dad'

Longevity of Williams sisters is down to the caution shown by their father early on

Editor-At-Large: Let's find Fergie a job to do and save her from herself

Laughing at the bizarre antics of Sarah Ferguson is easy. It's the modern equivalent of bear-baiting or cockfighting... a guilty pleasure that's too seductive to pass up. This woman can't hold on to a tenner, let alone 10,000, and will readily go to the opening of a door providing someone else is paying (and someone sending her a designer frock to wear) but, for a woman who left secretarial college at 18, she certainly delivers memorable quotes. My favourites include: "I'm a complete aristocrat ... I love it", "The Queen is my friend", and (to Saga magazine earlier this year) "Andrew is the most wonderful man in the world". When she tried and failed to sort out antisocial behaviour on a council estate in Manchester, she told a reporter: "Maybe I ought to let Britain settle down a bit... it's so difficult to be supportive and help." Finally, the real icing on the cake: "I haven't got a pot to piss in."

DJ Taylor: Election defeat finds the Left as tight-lipped as Lord Charles

It took a letter to The Independent to give the first reaffirmation of Labour's core values, while the passing of the ventriloquist Ray Alan also prompts reflection

Memorable tennis fashion faux pas

Venus Williams has been causing a stir at the French Open with her risque fashion styles this week.

Venus's risqué dress fashions a stir beyond the baseline

World No 2's lace outfit and skin-coloured underwear turn heads as American breezes into third round
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