#SAPStatOfTheDay: 31st time at Grand Slam @SerenaWilliams has comeback to win after dropping 1st set! @SAPSports pic.twitter.com/lUsywASu3Q— WTA (@WTA) May 30, 2015
I'm borrowing one of WTA Backspin's special words because "Sernativity" is the only word that fits in this context. The conundrum is this: If you play Serena Williams and you get behind, she'll destroy you. And if you play Serena and you get ahead (unless you're having a Muguruza Moment), she'll destroy you. Ask anyone on the tour, only maybe not Vika Azarenka, at least not today.
Azarenka and Williams competed against each other at the French Open today, with a very on-target and aggressive Azarenka taking the first set, 6-4. The second set was close, and serving at 4-5 while facing a break point, Azarenka had to deal with more than she should have. She hit a ball in, it was called out, only late. Williams hit it, but claimed that the call interfered with her return. The point was replayed, to the discontent of Azarenka. Williams then proceeded to win the set.
After leaving the court and, so it seemed, re-focusing herself, Azarenka returned and immediately went up 2-0 in the third set. But you know how these things go: Williams put the clamps on, broke back, and the next thing you knew, she had won the set 6-2. It was a good enough match, and it surprised me a bit. When I wrote yesterday that I thought this match would be less dramatic than past Williams-Azarenka matches, I was guessing that Serena would take this one in straight sets.
So we've gotten throught the Williams vs. Azarenka drama, but next we have the Williams vs. Stephens drama. Or not. Maybe there will be no drama, just a quiet round of 16 match. Maybe.
The top seed moves on, but sadly, Francesa Schiavone does not. Schiavone lost today to Andreea Mitu, who beat her 7-5, 6-4. Mitu has made quite a pest of herself at this tournament, and now faces Alison Van Uytvanck, who efficiently took Kiki Mladenovic out of competition today. Van Uytvanck played well and was remarkably calm, but she was also lucky to get a sluggish, out-of-sorts Mladenovic.
Sara Errani defeated Andrea Petkovic today, and Julia Goerges defeated Irina Falconi. Stephens advanced by beating Tsvetana Pironkova, and Timea Bacsinszky defeated Madison Keys.
French Open officials continually schedule the matches I most want to see at a time when I just can't be awake. This has happened over and over, and will happen again tomorrow when Elina Svitolina and Alize Cornet face off. I may actually have to find a way to get up and watch it, but I'm not counting on it.
Lucie Safarova of the tricky lefty serve gets the defending champion, Maria Sharapova, and Ana Ivanovic plays Ekaterina Makarova. Of interest is the fourth match, in which Flavia Pennetta takes on Garbine Muguruza. If Muguruza has one of her letdowns and starts double-faulting and everything that goes with that, Pennetta will be glad to move on to the quarterfinals. It's not at all an unrealistic scenario. But if Muguruza prevails, it puts her closer to really spoiling the good times of some other players. Muguruza hasn't figured out the head part of her game yet, but the potential is there for danger, should she snap her mentality into place.
Third seeds Timea Babos and Kiki Mladenovic were upset today by the unseeded (but obviously dangerous) team of Daniela Hantuchova and Samantha Stosur. Also, the "older dream team" of Kimiko Date-Krumm and Francesca Schiavone were defeated by Michaela Krajicek and Barbora Strycova.