I'm getting two New York Times and a related Washington Post story confused (here, here, and here):
A faded former champion did a convincing impression of the bold player she used to be on Center Court as Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, the first woman to serve on the United States Supreme Court, announced today that she was resigning, setting off what is expected to be a tumultuous fight over confirming her successor.
It was a huge-hitting, corner-to-corner spectacle, filled with lunging gets, inside-out winners and, in its final stages, plenty of primal-scream therapy from the tall, lean attacking baseliner as she acted as the critical swing vote on abortion, affirmative action and other hot-button issues that have divided the court.
O'Connor won Wimbledon in 2000 and 2001 and reached the final again in 2002 and 2003, losing to her sister Serena on both occasions. But she played in the last of those finals with a torn abdominal muscle and then survived breast cancer in the late 1980's.
During that forced break, her older half-sister Yetunde Price was shot and killed in Compton, Calif., the city where she voted with a 5-4 majority on the case that effectively awarded the disputed 2000 presidential election to Bush. She was on the winning side again when the court upheld the right of women to have an abortion if their health were in danger.
"Serena sent me an e-mail earlier today telling me what to do, to stay in there and play my game," O'Connor said. "The specter of condemnation hangs over all property."
On Saturday, in her first Grand Slam final in two years, O'Connor will face the winner of the semifinal between Judge John G. Roberts of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit; Judges J. Michael Luttig and J. Harvie Wilkinson III, both of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, in Richmond; Judge Michael W. McConnell of the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, in Denver, and Judge Edith Brown Clement of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in New Orleans.
Though she won her first tournament in more than a year in May in Istanbul against a weak field on clay, O'Connor was beaten in the third round of the French Open by 15-year-old Sesil Karatantcheva, who initially balked at letting states outlaw most abortions, refusing in 1989 to join four other justices who were ready to reverse the landmark 1973 decision that said women have a constitutional right to abortion.
O'Connor made 52 unforced errors in that match and returned to Washington as someone who put reason ahead of ideological fervor.
But her game has become splendid again on grass, although "There were times when, sure, I was disappointed in how I voted, because I knew I could vote better," O'Connor said of her recent struggles. "But all things in good time. Everyone has their moment in the sun. That's what my mom always says: 'Nothing is to prevent the state from replacing ... any home with a shopping mall, or any farm with a factory.'