Saturday, 19 January 2013

Serena's first of 2 Saturdays?

As the number of days left until the Women's Final grow shorter, so too do the odds of Serena Williams winning her sixth Aus Open.  On one leg she won eight games to complete a 6-0 6-0 first round win.  Having replaced that leg she lost a pretty irresponsible two games in the second round, and Ayumi Morita would have to be the poor third round opponent to suffer the American's corrective measure.

At half fitness Serena is formidable opposition; fully fit she is possibly the most imposing athlete amongst others of the same sport in the entire world of sport.

Of course with all of that said the overwhelming favourite would enjoy a sluggish start.  Each of the two held serve with Serena making all the good shots and doing all the silly ones.  Meanwhile Morita did basically nothing but hit the ball in play.  Then Serena to keep us entertained and a little bit bemused decided to suffer the indignity of dealing with break points - the first since high school I think - and several deuces before taking the lead again 2-1.

Surely the real Serena would appear.  After all she needed to stay in the tournament to make sure amends were made for what Sharapova did to her big sister.  Yes it is true - there is a contract out on Maria and Serena is to do the job if necessary with a racquet of choice.

Ayumi had the best ticket in the house to a sample of some of the Serena magic for the next twenty minutes or so.  She saw the rifled backhands (well some she heard more than saw as they whistled past), the unreachable and if reachable then unplayable serves, the sharp volleys and generally brutal assault on the tennis balls, which were the innocent victims in all of this carnage.

From a fragile service at 1-1, the set was parcelled up 6-1 with no let up in sight given Serena's propensity to kick while down.

Ayumi Morita, in the tradition of Japanese players, treated Set 2 as a new match and rallied strongly at the beginning with Serena, winning most of the battles of patience and will to ultimately hold the opening serve, then place pressure on Serena's.  A double fault sealed the break for Morita, the first time this tournament that the S Williams serve had been fractured.

Ayumi easily held to take a 3-0 lead and Serena completed an official period of inadequacy.
When Serena takes anger pills it is to increase her anger, and she must have popped one at the change of ends.  The arena could feel the aggression manifest itself in every action the number three seed undertook in the next two games, including the breaking of the Japanese serve for the first of three successive times.  This would have been more if Serena had her way but once the match is over no more on-court brutality is allowed.

Still there will be another player to take to the cleaners on Monday in the fourth round.  For now Serena could be content that she had demoralised the innocent Ayumi Morita 6-1 6-3 and in the process had thrown in a service recorded at 207 kmh, fortunately missing Ayumi or a stretcher would have been required.

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