Thursday, 26 January 2017

Serena books an all Williams final

The second semi final was between second seed and six time champ Serena Williams from the USA and unseeded Croatian Mirjana Lucic-Baroni.  Serena had torn British hopes apart as she left the pieces of Johanna Konta scattered across Rod Laver Arena after their quarter final.  Mirjana did a similar thing to Karolina Pliskova although it took three sets to break her Czech heart.

Lucic-Baroni served first and hit an off forehand winner for 30-15.  She held for 1-0.  Serena was 15-15 after a Mirjana return forced an error.  A backhand Croatian pass took it to 30-30 but Serena's serving fixed things for 1-1.
Serena broke serve at her first opportunity, a forehand smash winner having set up the break point, and led 2-1.

A double fault from Serena and it was 30-30 on her serve.  Not a concern and she consolidated the break for 3-1.
A double fault from Mirjana and 30-15.  A forehand pushed wide and 30-30.  A wild Serena return gave Mirjana game point but she failed to use it.  Serena, however, did convert a break point when given the chance and she led 4-1.

5-1 swiftly, for the cost of a single point and this looked like a much quicker semi.
A winning backhand gave Mirjana 30-15 but she had an argument with the net and 30-30 was the result.  Two good serves gave Mirjana a game and some confidence.  5-2 Serena.

Three set points in an instant.  Set to Serena in 25 minutes 6-2.

A forehand winner to begin set two for Mirjana.  However the story of her match had been her unforced errors and she threw in one for 15-15.  Two aces for two game points.  Then a double fault.  A service hold and 1-0 Mirjana.
Aces assisted Serena to 40-0 and she held for 1-1

A backhand return winner was Serena's reply to Mirjana's service winner.  However, the Croatian serve had too many answers and it was soon 40-15.  A double fault complicated things and deuce eventually arrived.  As did a break point courtesy of the net.  A forehand return winner from Serena was all it required and the second seed led 2-1.

Despite a couple of careless mistakes Serena did enough to increase her advantage to 3-1.  
A deep return caused a Mirjana error and eventually she faced three break points.  On the second one a double fault signalled the finish line approaching.quickly.  Serena in front a set and 4-1.  
Serena reached 30-30 and not happily thanks to her double fault, so she put some venom into the next two points and won them for a 5-1 advantage.

Serving to stay alive in the match, Mirjana was passed on the first point for 0-15, but recovered to be 30-15, forcing Serena into error.  No stopping Serena on the fourth point though and she improved to 30-30.  Match point followed.  Over when Mirjana hit the net a final time.

Serena into the final winning 6-2 6-1 in 50 minutes.  To play her older sister.

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