February 20, 2009

Dubai Semifinal Reflections............

Serena will surely bounce back from this loss, as she always does but it now appears that Venus is truly "rising" and making Serena nervous. Serena's first set was horrible (as evidenced by six of her seven double faults occuring in this set). I'm not going to say "had this" or "had that happened blah, blah, blah" but what I will say is Serena must now commit to "taking" it to Venus. It might even help to create a "visual" of Jelena, Ana, Maria or even Justine while playing Venus. (She enters THE ZONE more often times than not when playing those lady ballers).

I could not help but wonder what happened to the Serena that appeared for the quarterfinal demolition of Ana Ivanovic. Venus is slowly turning the tables on Serena: the loss at Wimbledon (which Serena came out firing on all cylinders and appeared to be heading for victory), the loss at the Sony Ericcson Championships (a blow out) and today, a sloppy start with some erratic patches of play throughout. Don't get it twisted, Serena's physical knee pain was very visible but I think Venus played the crucial points just a little bit better than Serena today.

As a fan (because I'm definitely no one's coach), I want Serena to (above all else) focus on remaining healthy / fit, stay focused until the end of the match, move her feet (quicker and more often), hold her (sensational) serve, remain consistently aggressive (that's when she's at her unbeatable best), consistently take advantage of the break point opportunities and practice that (ill-advised) drop shot. Serena is a great on court thinker / warrior and awesome point constructor. It just seems like her knee (which caused her some discomfort) might have done her in (and was a point of distraction) for the duration of the match. Make no mistake, Venus won this battle but Serena will win the war.

Serena on her serve and the match: "I think my serve has gone somewhere on vacation and I need to go there and catch up with it. I didn't serve well. Venus played well, and served really well, which was the difference."

Serena on resting: "I am looking forward to a break before I play Miami. I really need it and I think it will be good for my knee. I have never played so much tennis in my whole career and I'm a little tired”

1 comment:

Sharing Cherie said...

Vee played better, but seriously, she should have won easier than she did. Serena was largely favoring her left knee. I just want her to get rest and get that knee checked out. I'm glad she made a fight of it despite her ailments.

Yes, Ree does need to take it to Vee and she will.

I still think overall, Rena is the better consistent player, but now the last couple of times (here and Doha) Rena hasn't been able to give her full effort due to physical limitations in my view. The strain in Doha and the knee here...I just don't think it's am absolute barometer to judge them, but Bangalore, Wimbledon and the USO are when they both were healthy and playing well. Those are better comparisons in my opinion.