Puma back in Serena endorsement derby

Updated: July 24, 2003, 4:20 PM ET
By Darren Rovell | ESPN.com

As the race to land Serena Williams to a new shoe and apparel deal draws to a close, it appears that a contract with Nike is no longer a foregone conclusion.

Nike, the world's largest athletic shoe company, was the favorite to ink the world's No. 1 women's tennis player when her deal with Puma expired in the spring, but Puma remains very much in the race, which could be wrapped up before the U.S. Open, which starts Aug. 25.

"I'm closing up things with Puma," Williams told ESPN.com. ...

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