Friday, 8 July 2016

Serena sizzles - Angie next

Serena Williams barely had finished her warm up and she was back in the locker room having destroyed Elena Vesnina's Wimbledon singles hopes.  The execution was so swift that many of the spectators who had stepped out for a drink missed the 6-2 6-0 thrashing before they took their seats again.
Vesnina was an innocent victim of a Serena special - quite possibly the top seeds best sustained performance of the year.

In 48 minutes, Williams the younger reached her third Grand Slam final out of three in 2016, and appears ready to win her first of those final appearances.
Losing only 3 points on serve while belting 11 aces, Serena never faced a break point and hit 28 winners.  Of the 74 points decided in the match, Elena won just 21.
For good measure, Venus joined Serena later to eliminate Elena and her doubles partner Ekaterina Makarova in a quarter final of the Ladies Doubles.

An all Williams final would have been the fairy tale outcome, but Angie Kerber's win over Venus denied us that pleasure.  The German fourth seed with probably the most lethal forehand in ladies tennis, and certainly from a left hander, employed it to great effect in blunting the attack of Venus Williams, and ensuring for the second time this year that Serena would face Angie in the final of a Grand Slam event.

The first five games highlighted the returning skills of both players with serve being broken on each occasion.  Kerber held serve only twice for the set, including in the tenth game which was enough to take the lead 6-4.  While each hit several winners it was the ability of Angie to limit the errors of her racquet better than Venus which made the difference.

Set two presented the same scoreline but it was achieved somewhat differently.  Only one break of serve occurred - in the opening game where Venus led 30-0 but lost the next four points, forced into error on most of those.  
For the rest of the set Venus attacked as well as she could, hitting 14 winners, but could not penetrate the Kerber defence.  As well as returning the Williams serve effectively, Angie served accurately, hitting the mark 80% of the time with her first delivery, and winning all but one point on those occasions. 6-4 6-4 signalled the end of a wonderful Wimbledon campaign from the elder Williams sibling.

The task of defeating a second successive Williams sister will be vastly more difficult, but Angie Kerber has the capacity to fight a memorable final against Serena and her chances of victory shouldn't be discounted.

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