Fourhand: Serena's 200th week at No 1, an 'Orange is the New Black' tennis connection, more

by: Jonathan Scott | August 04, 2014

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A fan with an Israeli flag shows his support for Dudi Sela in Atlanta. (AP Photo)

In the latest edition of Fourhand, Serena soars, unrest in the Middle East affects the tennis realm, a youngster makes a scene in Montreal, and an acclaimed Orange Is the New Black performer talks proudly of her tennis connection.

200  Serena Williams reached No. 5 on the list of time spent at No. 1 Monday, and is now just a mere 177 weeks behind Stefanie Graf's record. It's quite the achievement for a player who has rebounded from many injuries and illnesses and continues to dominate overall at age 32. As Grand Slams go, the WTA tour's own story shows that Serena has doubted herself before, when she seemed mired at 13 Slam singles titles, only to add four more to her haul. About her chances of taking yet another, to tie and then even surpass Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova's 18, the ever-diplomatic Graf herself had this: "While I don't have a crystal ball, living in Las Vegas I've come to appreciate odds."

PEACE PLAYERS  The ATP World Tour's inaugural event in Tel Aviv, Israel, has been canceled, this despite local organizers' protestations about safety. It's a reminder that sport can do so much for global moods, hopes, and dreams, and then sometimes it also must reflect the reality on the ground. This, nowhere near the Middle East, was sobering to see merely a week ago: 

NEW ON THE SCENE  Yulia Putintseva, 19 years young and ranked No. 164, gave No. 14 Flavia Pennetta a fight in the Rogers Cup's first round in Montreal Monday night—and she did so with an unwitting homage to Donald Young's trademark fashion choice.

DID YOU KNOW?  The mother of Emmy Award–nominated Orange Is the New Black actress Uzo Aduba was once the West African women's singles champion at the collegiate level. That's merely one note in the rousing anthem that is this Daily Beast piece by Aduba herself.

[Thanks to @Dr_CorbinCWong for the OITNB tip.]

Got a tip or a point to make? Hit me on Twitter at @jonscott9.

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