Thursday, 26 January 2017

Venus in a final again !

The first Women's Singles Semi Final between 13th seed Venus Williams and unseeded Coco Vandeweghe was certainly not the predicted matchup before the tournament, after the draw was published, and even as the tournament progressed.  However, the two Americans proved to be the best performed in the top half of the draw and deserved their places in the final four.

Venus defeated Anastasia Pavlychenkova in the quarter final and Coco had dominant victories over Garbine Muguruza in the quarter final and Angie Kerber in the round before that. Those two players currently hold three of the four grand slam titles between them and Coco made them look second rate. 

Coco and Venus have played each other just the once - in Rome last year on the clay where Venus was successful in straight sets.

Coco won the toss and chose to receive.  Forehand winner from Coco set up break point.  Saved as was a second.  Third chance with a double fault.  Saved with a shot out of court by Coco.  Fourth chance taken as net found by Venus.
Venus broke back after a thrilling game with many long exchanges and lots of winners by both players.
2-1 Williams after a love game including two winners, the backhand down the line for 30-0 especially tasty.

Both held next serves, Venus to love and with more purpose, but Coco looked as though she could let loose at any time.
Venus hit the shot of the match to this point - a running forehand crosscourt with vicious angle but Coco held serve, as did Venus in the following game to lead 4-3.

Coco served one of her best games to level at 5-5.
Venus quickly was 30-0 with a Coco return long.  Two netted shots from Venus and it was poised delicately at 30-30.
Big serve and game point.  Ace for the game after two lets and Coco needed to hold for a tiebreak.

An ace and three Coco winners ensured the tiebreak.  

3-2 with all points against serve.  The first three with clean winners.  
Four set points after a Coco winner.  One saved on a Venus serve.  Not the next as a Venus return went long.  Set one to Coco 7-6 (3).

Set two started with comfortable service games from both but Coco was down 0-15 in the third and a stunning return from Venus forced the error for 0-30.  A wild forehand from Coco found the net and three break points.  A repeat  and a break for 2-1 Venus.

Venus saved two break points, the first with a forehand winner, the second with an ace, and she held for 3-1.  A double fault gave Venus two break points in the next Coco service game and a second double completed a second break.  Venus now a strong 4-1.

Venus shook off a concerted effort from Coco to retrieve one of the breaks and saved a few break points in doing so.  She was stoic and took a 5-1 grip on the set.
Coco zipped through her next game and asked Venus to serve for the set at 5-2.

Two aces a perfect start but a Coco forehand a great stopper.  30-30 with Venus pushing one wide.  Break point with a Venus misjudgement.  Saved and then a set point, both thanks to long Coco shots.  Deuce with a Coco winner.  Ace and another set point.  Ace and a set each.

Coco faced two break points in the opening game of the decider and failed to save the second.  Venus had the upper hand 1-0
Then it was the turn of Venus to face danger, serving two double faults in succession and needing to deal with two more break points.  She did, as she had done for all of the match, bar just the one.  2-0 and looking solid.  Well for the moment at least.

Coco served much better, to love in fact, and only trailed 1-2.  Anything was still possible.   A Williams volley completed a well set up point for 30-15 and she proceeded to hold for 3-1.  Coco came back from 0-30 to hold and trail 2-3.

Venus had 40-15 but a Coco hit a winner to halt the progress.  She couldn't stop the ace though and Venus led 4-2.  Rushing the net Venus put away a volley for 0-15 on Coco's next serve.  A double fault made it difficult.  A backhand winner and service winner plus an ace brought her back to game point.  A second ace won the game and it was 3-4.  

A double fault didn't stop the Williams run as she still used the net to shorten points where she could.  Coco made it 30-30 with an outright winner but an ace created game point.  A netted return took Venus to 5-3.

A double fault from Coco and 15-30.  Coco Into the net and two match points.  An ace and one saved.  Venus netted a backhand and deuce.  One more match point.  Saved again thanks to that net.  Double fault and fourth match point.  Done !

Venus Williams in the final after a three set battle 6-7 (3) 6-2 6-3.

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