Saturday, July 4, 2009

Serena wins 3rd Wimbledon championship

The sight of Serena Williams in her white trenchcoat and white headband, smiling and holding the Venus Rosewater dish, has "classic Wimbledon" written all over it. It could have been any decade--no one could mistake her for anyone but the Wimbledon champion. Serving masterfully and continually raising the level of her game when she needed to, the 2nd seed defeated the defending champion today in straight sets on Centre Court.

After her grueling semifinal thriller against Elena Dementieva, some wondered whether Serena would have enough energy--at least, mental energy--left to defeat her sister. Others thought "If she can win a brilliant Dementieva, she can beat anybody." Both were valid viewpoints, and--lucky for Serena--the second one turned out to be correct.

From her very first game, Serena sent a message by hitting an ace and holding at love. For the most part, matters proceeded in typical grass court fashion, with big serving by both players, and short rallies. Serving at 3-4, Serena went down 15-40, and it was easy to think "Here comes Venus!" Only Serena held. The set went to a tiebreak, and at that point, Serena elevated her game, as she has done so many times before. At 6-3, after hitting a netcord ball that dribbled over to Venus's side, Venus rushed to get it, took a good smack at it, and suddenly, a winning lob popped off of her sister's racquet, giving Serena the set.

In the second set, serving at 2-3, Venus double-faulted at break point. Serena then held easily, and the next thing we new, the defending champion was serving at 2-5, 0-30, In a moment, her sister had a championship point. Venus saved that match point, then she and Serena engaged in a tense 18-shot rally, which ended with a second match point for Serena when Venus lost her footing as she made a return.

Serena then hit a ball into the net, permitting Venus to save a second match point. Venus then had a game point, but her sister saved it, and then quickly went on to gain a third match point, which Venus also saved. At this point, the tension was very high (at least for this viewer). Could Venus do it again? She could not. Serena, on her fourth match point, became the 2009 Wimbledon champion.

This makes three Wimbledon titles for Serena. Her sister holds five, and was trying for three in a row.

Venus's service stats in the final are impressive, with 70 and 56 first and second serve win percentages. Serena, however, tallied an astounding 94/71 set of percentages, and committed only twelve unforced errors. Venus is a great grass court champion, but today, it was Serena who performed perhaps even beyond what she was expecting.

Serena Williams has now won eleven majors. She has been injured multiple times, struggles chronically with her knee, and has been written off more than once as close to finished. But she is the phoenix of women's tennis, and one can only wonder how many more important trophies she will hold.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful recap of today's match...and a great summary of the amazing career of Serena Williams. She just will. not. be. written. off.

I hope when she retires she teaches courses in mental toughness and never giving up. It would revolutionize women's tennis as much as fitness and nutrition training.

Diane said...

Thanks, Anon.

Serena is one of a kind.

Miss L said...

If the Williams are 100% fit, no one has the ability to take either of them on. Interesting now given how Safina fared in the last two Slams how Serena has come out and bagged the rankings system. But as she said, if winning Slams means she is Number 2, she is happy to stay 2.