Thursday, 28 January 2016

Serena untouchable

The first women's semi featured top seed Serena Williams against fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska. Aga was in perhaps the best form of her career while Serena was doing whatever she pleased.  Hard to see how the American could lose if she played to anywhere near her capability.
The roof on Rod Laver Arena was closed because of bad weather so this would effectively be an indoor semi final.

Aga served first and received a monstering.  A series of clean winners including a backhand to win the game and break the serve was a sign that Serena needed no time to settle into this match.  Her own service game continued her bright start with overhead and forehand winners to move to 2-0.  Aga was rendered helpless. A forehand crosscourt winner was just one of a barrage of shots from the Williwams arsenal that achieved a second break and a 3-0 lead.  Phenomenal start, but this was Serena so why should we be astonished ?

Serena serve volleyed and 15-0.  A forehand volley put away 30-0.  Aga's forehand winner received huge applause and with a Serena forehand pushed wide it was 30-30. A forehand winner from Serena and game point.  It was 4-0 and seemingly no stopping the top seed.

Forehand return error from Serena and 15 0.  Forehand winner from Serena 15-15. Return winner for 15-30. Forehand winner and two more break points. Radwanska found the net and trailed 5-0.  Winner off the backhand this time for 15-0 Serena.  Forehand volley 30-0.  Service winner 40-0.  Three set points.  Forehand put away for the set 6-0.  Eighteen clean winners outstanding.  Radwanska was a virtual spectator.

Could there be a let down and a chance for Aga to actually enter this match or would the steam train Serena just roll on ?  For the sake of tennis one hoped that set two would be competitive.  

Aga opened the second set with a forehand winner giving her game point.  A Serena netted return and Aga led 1-0.  A missed forehand wide and 0-15 Serena.  An off forehand winner for 15-15.  A backhand netted and 15-30.  An Aga return wide for 30-30 Ace for game point.  Forehand put away and 1-1.

Double fault and 0-15 for Aga.  Backhand wide and 0-30.  Serena backhand netted.  15-30.  Backhand into net from Aga and two break points.  Forehand winner at net by Serena and the break for 2-1.  Ace and 15-0 Williams.  Double fault and 30-15.  Backhand by Aga in net 40-15.  Serena won the game and was in front 3-1.

Netted return and Aga led 15-0.  Another two Serena shots in the net and 40-0.  An overhead winner from Serena and 40-15.  Aga held for 2-3.  Wild error from Serena and 0-15.  0-30 after Serena continued her love affair with the net.  A forehand put away by Serena and 15-30.  Two break points after a netted forehand from Serena. An ace saved one.  The break came with another Serena rendezvous with the net. 3-3.

A backhand winner from Serena and 0-15 Aga.  A great rally won by a Radwanska backhand volley 15-15. A stunning return winner for 15-30.  A return long and 30-30.  Forehand smash after a great volley by Serena and break point.  Saved.  Game point after forced Serena error.  Backhand down the line winner from Serena and deuce again.  Wonderful rally and great winner by Radwanska for game point.  Double fault and another deuce.  Good serve drawing an error.  Game point once more.  Aga led 4-3.
Fine comeback from Aga who was seemingly down and out 0-6 and a break.  She was pressing Serena and forcing her into error.  She could feasibly win the set, but Serena can do anything as we know.

An overhead winner then an ace gave Serena 30-0.  A wild backhand and 30-15.  Ace for two game points. Forehand winner for 4-4.

Serena found the net and Aga led 15-0.  Backhand return winner 15-15.  Forehand return out 30-15.  Return netted 40-15.  Aga forehand long 40-30.  Slashing backhand return winner from Serena and deuce.  Forehand winner and break point for Serena. The break was hers and she had 5-4 and would serve for a spot in another Aus Open final.

Ace for 15-0.  Another one for 30-0.  A third and three match points,  A forehand winner and Serena was through 6-0 6-4.

Hard to imagine Serena losing from here.  The first set was the most complete I've seen for many a time.

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