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Known for their flashy outfits, their powerful ground strokes, and their will to win, the Williams sisters have been missed on the WTA Tour.   LOVE 'em or hate 'em, today's  tennis talk on the women's tour is as dull as Johnny Mac's wooden racquet from the late 70s.  It's not until Venus and Serena are absent from the game do we start to appreciate their technical prowess and intimidating presence on the court.  Yes, we have the occasional Sharapova or Ivanovic to steal the spotlight, but their Grand Slam results as of late have not sparked any interest to the game that once brought them to the top.

Serena, 29, has yet to play her first professional tour match since winning Wimbledon last year.  She has been sidelined by a nagging foot injury that she suffered after stepping on a piece of glass in a German restaurant, plaguing her from the latter half of 2010 and early 2011.  To add to her woes, she recently suffered from a pulmonary embolism and blood clots in her lungs calling it "the scariest moment" of her life.  She has since been found on HSN promoting her clothing line, tweeting her love for Green Day and possibly her new interest in a... rap career? Yes rap.  That's the life of your typical tennis star folks. 

Despite her off-court talents of fashion designing and selling products from jewelry to salad spinners, Serena's ultimate talent lies within the tennis court.  Don't believe me?  She has 13 grand slams singles titles to prove it.
Venus, who will be turning 31 this June, is already considered to be a granny in tennis years.  The last time she was seen on a tennis court was at the Australian Open wearing an apple-pie/paintball inspired outfit, where she suffered a serious hip injury. She has yet to fully recover from this ailment.  In the meantime, she has become a YouTube sensation and by making herself known to the world as an avid karaoke-goer, showing off her inner Tina Turner. Who knew she was capable of having musical chops?

As a result of their lengthy absences, no American player (man or woman) will be ranked inside the Top 10 for the first time in rankings history.  But, if you were to ask me, the average bloke on the street would most likely say "Venus & Serena" if asked, "Who are the top two female tennis players in the world?"  In fact, they might not be able to name any more female players.  That's how much of an impact the two siblings have made on the sport of tennis. 

We may have to wait a little bit longer for their return.  They have already withdrawn from French Open warm-up tournaments and both are doubtful for Wimbledon.  The good news is that they have made clear intentions of playing at least up to the 2012 Olympics in London.  With all this uncertainty, one thing is for certain: the game needs them back. ASAP. And once they are, it's back to being "Advantage: Williams."