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Serena backs #1 World junior Taylor Townsend after USTA benches her for being overweight!

NEW YORK (AP) - Serena Williams says she's alarmed by the U.S. Tennis Association's decision to hold a top junior player out of competition over concerns about her fitness.

Sixteen-year-old Taylor Townsend is the world's top-ranked girl. The Wall Street Journal first reported last week that the USTA withheld funding her tournament appearances while she focused on getting in better shape.

"If that happened, that's obviously a tragedy, because everyone deserves to play,'' Williams said Monday, a day after winning the U.S. Open.

"She's so sweet and she works so hard,'' she added. "For a female, particularly, in the United States, in particular, and African-American, to have to deal with that is unnecessary. ... Women athletes come in all different sizes and shapes and colors and everything. I think you can see that more than anywhere on the tennis tour.''

Townsend played at the Open, winning the junior doubles title and reaching the quarterfinals in singles.

"She's still No. 1,'' Williams said. "That's saying something.''

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Yeah, this is a fascinating and embarrassing (for the USTA) story.  Both Serena and Lindsay Davenport have come to her side on this issue.  I just looked at the draw and, though she was the number 1 seed, she lost in the quarterfinals to the eventual runner-up.  She did better in doubles where she finished second.

I mean, look at the video I put up. I don't see how her weight really affects her play. She really whomps the ball confidently!


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