December 31, 2009

10 Best Women's Matches from the Noughties

Tom Tebbutt ( has compiled a list of his picks for the ten best women’s matches of the 2000-2009 decade. (Serena is featured in HALF of them).

3. Serena Williams def. Venus Williams 7-6(6), 7-6(7) – US Open quarter-final 2008.

The sisters have met 23 times (13-10 for Serena), and this night match was the finest example of the two playing at the top of their games and with a no-holds-barred attitude on both sides of the net. Venus had an astounding eight set points in the first set, and two more in the second, but Serena’s slightly superior competitive grit prevailed on the way to her third US Open title.

5. Justine Henin def. Serena Williams 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 – French Open semi-final 2003.

The match will be forever remembered for the signal Henin made indicating that she was not prepared to receive serve when Williams served at 4-2, 30-love in the final set. When it was a fault, Henin did not allow Williams a first serve and that upset Williams, who was later in tears at her post-match press conference. A victory in the final over Clijsters gave Henin her first Grand Slam title, and ended a string of four consecutive Grand Slam finals featuring Williams and her sister Venus.

8. Jennifer Capriati def. Serena Williams 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 – US Open quarter-final 2004.

The match is now infamous for the bad line call that Williams received in the opening game of the final set, when umpire Marianna Alves of Portugal over-ruled and called a Williams shot wide that video replays clearly showed was good. The match is often cited as expediting the process toward instigating the Hawk-Eye electronic line-calling system. It could also be remembered as the last Grand Slam match won by Capriati, 28 at the time, before a chronic shoulder ailment halted her career.

9. Serena Williams def. Maria Sharapova 2-6, 7-5, 8-6 – Australian Open semi-final 2005.

Williams saved three match points, one with a shot that landed perilously close to the line, to overcome an in-form Sharapova. Williams would go on to defeat Lindsay Davenport in the final – winning her first Grand Slam title since having major knee surgery in August, 2003. She also saved two match points against Kim Clijsters in the 2003 semi-finals, making her the only woman in the open era (1968 to present) to win two Grand Slam titles after saving a match point.

10. Serena Williams def. Elena Dementieva 2-6, 7-5, 8-6 – Wimbledon semi-final 2009.

Williams made it three Grand Slam titles won after saving a match point when she defeated sister Venus in the final after fending off a match point against Dementieva serving at 4-5, 30-40 in the final set of the semi-finals. Her backhand volley tipped the net and then went into the open court for a winner against Dementieva, who had played inspired tennis. The 7-6(3), 6-2 victory over Venus in the final gave Serena her 11th career Grand Slam title.

No comments: