November 6, 2008

Venus SLAMS Serena!

Venus defeated Serena 5-7, 6-1, 6-0 to reach the semifinals of the WTA Tour's season-ending Sony Ericsson Championships. I believe this was the WORST match that I have ever seen Serena play. After only playing one match since the US Open, today's match is what I would have expected in the first round. Rust, rust and more rust. To top it all off, she left her serve at yesterday's match. Serena survived the first set by the skin of her teeth and could have won the first set 6-3. Now, having said that, Serena can still advance to the semifinals if she wins her next match against Elena Dementieva.

Serena started to unravel early in the second set. "I just couldn't keep a ball in play," she said. "Everything was off." Serena dropped to 1-1 in Round Robin play. The sisters are 9-9 in career matchups. Serena defeated Venus in the U.S. Open quarterfinals en route to the title this year, and Venus won their title match at Wimbledon. Serena also defeated Venus in a three-setter earlier this year during Serena's title run at the Bangalore Open.

Venus stayed composed throughout the match, using her powerful serve to frustrate Serena, but refrained from celebrating after winning."It wasn't the happiest match," Venus said. "The best part is that she still has an opportunity to qualify." Both sisters played their trademark power tennis in the first set before the rallies turned shorter in the second, with Serena growing increasingly frustrated by her errors. Venus is match tough and played three tournaments after the US Open while Serena only played one match after the US Open, prior to winning yesterday against Safina. In my honest opinion, when fit and focused, Serena is unstoppable. If she does not take too many "extended" breaks she can rule the roost in 2009.

"I didn't even look like a top-eight player today. Maybe top 600, in the juniors," said Serena, who has won nine majors and is making her fifth appearance at the season-ending championships. She won the event in 2001.
Serena has put herself in a must-win situation in tomorrow's Round Robin play. She has a track record of turning things around and I trust that she can do it again. One more thing, VENUS is playing some phenomenal tennis and is currently playing like the Champion she is.

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