Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Have we already seen the most entertaining match of the Australian Open?

I expected two things from the Gisela Dulko-Serena Williams second round Australian Open match: I expected Dulko to take it to Williams, and I expected three sets. I was right on the first count. This was a match filled with a kind of silly tension. Williams could not always get her feet in the right place, and Dulko was pretty typically Dulko, constantly following brilliant shot-making with goofy unforced errors. Dulko's serve went back and forth from wonderful to fair. Her second serve was sometimes excellent; other times, it was so puffy that Williams destroyed it.

In the ninth game of the second set, we were treated to twelve deuces. During that game, Dulko held six set points. Both players were punch-drunk, just shaking their heads and grinning when their "sure things" slipped by. To add to the drama, Williams had to have treatment for an ankle injury. In the next game, there were six deuces, and Dulko was broken. 

Williams wound up converting only four of eighteen break points, but she was able to close the match at 6-3, 7-5. All credit to Serena, who never gives up, but Dulko pretty much beat herself. Still, the match was highly entertaining and exciting.

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