Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Serena's 18th in a row over Maria

Having not lost to Sharapova since 2004 Serena was not in the mood to break that run in today's quarter final and her form coming in suggested nothing would change.

Serena served first and was a little loose at 15-40, unforced errors setting up break points for Maria. The break came and Maria led 1-0. Maria survived a double fault to lead 2-0.  Early on Maria was the better shot maker, but an ace and another big serve gave her game point.  It was saved.  Not the next game point though and Maria led 2-1.

An awesome forehand return from Serena and 15-15.  Double fault and 30-30.  Another one and break point.  A wide backhand from Maria and games back on serve 2-2.  An ace for 30-0 Serena.  Another ace for 40-15.  Williams led after holding serve 3-2.

Double fault 15-15.  Despite that, Serena's errors gifted the game to Sharapova and games were 3-3.  A forehand winner from Maria and 0-15 for Serena.  A great backhand return from Maria and 30-30.  Answered with a huge ace at 202 km/h. Another service winner down the middle and 4-3 to Serena.

Maria in strife at 0-30.  Double fault and three break points.  Serena netted a return but still two left.  A better serve and another missed return.  An ace and deuce.  Maria had game point with a great recovery.  A winner and 4-4.

Serena's disappointment manifested itself into a huge winner for 15-0.  Sharapova replied with a huge backhand winner down the line.  Double fault and 15-30.  Big serve and 30-30.  Great combination for 40-30.  Sharapova played a terrific point running Serena all over the court and it was deuce.  Double fault and break point.  Ace fixed that. Poor backhand and another chance for Maria.  Well saved by a serve forehand combo.  Ace for game point.  Deuce again with Serena finding the net. A forehand hit behind Maria won the point and an ace down the middle won the game for 5-4 Serena.

Wonderful backhand from Serena for 0-15.  A stunning backhand return winner and 0-30.  30-30 with netted returns.  Maria won a close rally for game point.  A lucky net cord for Serena and deuce.  Awesome forehand return forced the Maria error and set point.  Second serve was great and netted return brought it back to deuce.  A delightful forehand return and another set point.  The net again and Serena would not be pleased with that poor shot.  A third set point was available thanks to a Maria mistake.  Yet again a good second serve and the net found once more.  Serena forced a Maria error and the fourth set point. This time she made sure moving to the net and putting away a forehand.

Serena Williams was a set to the good 6-4, but not as convincing as she could be.

Serena quickly to 40-0 and she led 1-0 in the second set. Serena defended well and Maria made the error 0-15.  A fabulous forehand from Maria and 15-15.  One just as good from Serena and 15-30.  30-30 and Maria competing well in the rallies.  Game point with another forehand winner.  Serena making it difficult and deuce.  A netted Maria backhand and break point.  Serena again hit a winner behind Maria to break the Russian serve and lead 2-0.

A huge service winner signified the mood of Serena and another big delivery gave her 30-0.  Three game points after a desperate but worthless charge to the net by Maria. And an ace opened a big gap of 3-0 for Serena, although only one break ahead.

A slashing Serena forehand winner crosscourt and Maria was 15-30 down. Double fault and two break points.  A long forehand from Maria and Serena was completely in charge 4-0 with two breaks.  The serve forehand combo working again, followed by an ace and 30-0 for Serena.  A double fault was unnecessary as was the unforced error. 30-30. An angry forehand winner was the response to the error.  Maria was still trying hard and forced another Serena mistake.  Deuce was changed to game point with a serve forehand success.  An ace confirmed a 5-0 advantage for the top seed.

A long backhand cost Maria the first point 0-15. A good serve and 15-15.  A netted forehand from Maria and 15-30.  30-30 with a decent serve again.  A forehand winner and game point for Maria. An ace for her first game in the set.  5-1 Serena.

An ace for 15-15.  A serve set up the winner and 30-15.  30-30 and Maria was hoping for a break.  A terrific forehand winner from Maria gave her break point and it was saved.  She was given another chance with a wayward Serena shot. Again Maria hit long.  Serena steadied and forced an error from the Russian racquet setting up match point.  It was converted.

Serena Williams defeated Maria Sharapova 6-4 6-1 (18th time in succession) and advanced to another semi final, this one against Aga Radwanska.

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