Sunday, April 7, 2013

Serena Williams wins third Charleston title

(photo by Daniel Ward)
Today, in Charleston, Jelena Jankovic did what few have done in recent times: She took a set off of Serena Williams. Playing in the Family Circle Cup final, Jankovic got 79% of her first serves in during the first set. Jankovic served so well, she was able to dictate play much of the time. The rallies tended to be long, but it was the Serbian player who picked the right moment to either hit a winner or draw an error.

(photo by Daniel Ward)
Jankovic broke Williams at love in the fifth game. In the seventh game, the crowd was treated to a "JJ moment": Jankovic fell down, and when she got up--after wiping the clay off of her hands and arms--she placed the towel behind her and did a bit of a shimmy as she feigned drying her lower back. After holding serve, Jankovic converted her first break point--a set point--in the ninth game, and won the first set 6-3.

Jankovic did not serve at that level again. She a few good moments, but her big serve left her. She did serve at 40-0 in the first game of the second set, but was broken, anyway. That wasn't a good sign for the 9th seed, who would fail to win a game the entire set. Jankovic did have a break point in the fourth game, but Williams wiped it out quickly.

By this time, the world number 1 was almost unable to miss a shot. And while many games went to deuce, just as they had in the opening set, Williams prevailed, hitting stunning winners down both lines. She double-faulted her first match point, and Jankovic saved the second. But with her third match point, the defending champion was able to finish the third set off at 6-2.

(photo by Daniel Ward)
Williams also won the Family Circle Cup in 2008 and 2012. Jankovic won it in 2007. Six former champions entered the tournament this year, and it was no surprise that two of them made it through to the final.

After the match, Williams told Jankovic, "I smiled on the court for the first time in forever, so thank you for making it fun."

Serena Williams has now won 49 singles matches in her career.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

If memory serves, Kvitova was the last before JJ to take a set from Serena, in Doha.

Diane said...

I think so.

Anonymous said...

Azarenka took two sets from Serena in Doha when she beat her in the final, two rounds after that Kvitova match.

Beth

Diane said...

Of course.