Sunday, February 11, 2007

Red Alert – Serena is Back and How!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Maria Sharapova always likes her on-court showdowns with Serena Williams. Both are extremely competitive players and have records to vouch for that. Prior to the 2007 Australian Open Women’s Singles Final, they played against each other on four occasions. All of these matches –except the 2004 Wimbledon Final – were well fought and got the best out of these two great sportswomen. This time though Serena wanted the script modified. Serena had enough of tough matches in her path to the finals. She was just a couple of points from defeat against Nadia Petrova in the 3rd round and Shahar Peer in the Round of 8. Her match against Peer can arguably be called the Women’s Singles match of the tournament. So by the time Serena faced Sharapova in the finals, she had enough match practice but still had abundant fuel in her tank.

Sharapova too after overcoming a spirited challenge from Camille Pin in the first round (Sharapova won the third set 9-7!), was able to assert herself against her opponents on the way to her first Australian Open final. While her win against Kim Clijsters in the semi-finals might have been expected, even the most ardent Masha fans would not have thought that she would have won that match in straight sets. But on 27th January, Sharapova would have given anything to not see Serena on the other side of the court. Serena asserted herself at the start of the match with a strong service game and broke Maria’s serve in the next game without much fuss. From then on it was an uphill task for Maria. Serena was holding her serve pretty comfortably, while Maria was struggling with hers. Down 0-5 in the first set, Maria was able to hold her serve and saved herself the embarrassment of losing the set 0-6. Things exactly didn’t brighten up for Maria in the second set with Williams refusing to take her foot off the pedal. For Sharapova the agony was over in just 63 minutes and for Serena the party has just began!

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