Aravane Rezai served for the match in the second set of her semifinal against Serena Williams, but failed to do the job. I was out at the time and did not see this part of the match, but my understanding is that Rezai lost her nerve. I did see the third set, however, and have to ask myself again: Why don't players like Rezai and Agnieszka Radwanska drop everything and just learn to develop a second serve? The lack of a decent second serve made the match less competitive for Rezai. Any good opponent would have had an advantage, but this was Serena Williams, and she hammered away at Rezai's weaker serves.
Having said that, I should add that Rezai--who has always been a hard hitter--has added quite a bit of control to her game and is moving much better. Her backhand is impressive, and some of the rallies were exciting. Second serve notwithstanding, there is nowhere to go but up for the Frenchwoman. This time, though, she was taken out 3-6, 7-5, 6-4.
Elena Dementieva had an easier time of it in her match against Victoria Azarenka. Dementieva won the first set 6-3, and--as time went on--it became obvious that Azarenka was cramping. Dementieva won the second set 6-1.
In doubles, top seeds Cara Black and Liezel Huber will play Tathiana Garbin and Nadia Petrova in the final. Garbin and Petrova upset 4th seeds Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Vania King.
I saw the whole of the Rezai and Williams match. Rezai had not lost her serve the whole match until she tried to serve it out in the second set. Then everything fell apart. It did seem like nerves to me She entered the third set looking negative until getting into Williams play and then showed some positive emotions but not enough to carry her through. The winners in the first set were great though.
I hope this will be a learning experience for Rezai; often, with a player coming into her own, it is.
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