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This and that


Each week I'll talk about the world of sports…

• Richard Williams knows what he is talking about. Prior to Wimbledon, he predicted his daughter Venus would win the women's singles title. Venus was playing in just her eighth tournament of the year and was the 23rd seed. She was actually bumped up from her No. 31 world ranking. Richard Williams was right on the money as Venus won her fourth Wimbledon crown. Along the way she beat three of the top six seeds (Maria Sharapova at No. 2, Svetlana Kuznetsova at No. 5 and Ana Ivanovic at No. 6). Venus knocked off No. 18 Marion Bartoli in the final. Remember that Bartoli upset top-seed Justine Henin. Congratulations to Venus on a great tournament.

• On the men's side, Roger Federer had quite a battle with Rafael Nadal before make history with his fifth straight Wimbledon Men's singles crown. It was five tough sets but Federer finds a way to win on grass, winning his 54th straight match on that surface. Give Nadal a lot of credit and those who say he can only play on clay, look at him making two straight Wimbledon finals. Nadal also suffered a knee injury but fought on. This is turning into a great rivalry; let's see if Nadal can make a run at the U.S. Open.

• For those who questioned Roger Clemens earlier in his return this season, just look at his last two outings. When the Yankees needed a big performance against the Twins, he showed his Hall of Fame ability as he rose to get his 350th win. Then he followed up with a solid performance against the Angels which ended in a no-decision for the Rocket. The Yankees fell in 13 innings Saturday against Mike Scioscia's club. The Yankees have not taken advantage of the times the Red Sox faltered.

• That was just one of the wacky games on 7-7-07! The Tigers beat the Red Sox in extra innings, but the wildest game was in Houston. The Mets finally beat the Astros in 17 innings. Did you see the amazing catch by Carlos Beltran? It was something special, baby!

• I love what Seattle did recently. There was excitement over the signing of Kevin Durant and Jeff Green, and I wouldn't put much stock in Durant's first summer league game. My friends, Mr. Durant can flat-out play and Seattle fans should be ecstatic. The addition of P.J. Carlesimo as head coach is important because he is ready for this challenge. He will do a superb job. Carlesimo and new GM Sam Presti have a lot going for them after working so well in San Antonio. They were vital in the Spurs' success and they learned a lot that will be utilized in Seattle.

• It was sad to hear about the passing of former Providence All-America Jimmy Walker. He was truly one of the great perimeter players in college basketball. He was something special, going behind the back or between the legs with the basketball. Walker was ahead of his time, and his passing was premature at age 63.

• Kobyashi ate 63 hot dogs on July 4th but it was not enough. Joey Chestnut became world champion at the Nathan's contest in Coney Island, leaving with the big prize! That's a lot of calories, my friends! I feel bad for the third place finisher, who ate 49 hot dogs and nobody even talked about him!

Dick Vitale coached the Pistons and the University of Detroit before broadcasting ESPN's first college basketball game in December 1979. Send him a question for possible use on ESPNEWS.

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