Thursday, July 2, 2009

It's A Family Affair...

by Savannah

From Twitter
@ataraxis00 I guess Venus heard the "they're just jealous of me because I'm young and #1" comments from Dinara. Violent brutal beatdown...

This post could easily be called a tale of two matches.

It took Venus Williams a mere 51 minutes to beat WTA #1 Dinara Safina 6-1 and 6-0 in a match that had to embarrass all those who were touting Ms Safina as a worthy #1. Yes she's played more tournaments. Yes she's reached quarters, semi's and finals in majors. In my opinion all that does is make the argument that the majors need to be weighted much more heavily than they are now. I mean what does it say about your number one when she won one game and I think four points in the second set? I don't think anyone was surprised that Venus came out strongly in the first set but Venus fans know that the second set can be scary at the least. There was no such lapse today by Venus Ebony Starr Williams. Venus ended the match with one unforced error to sixteen for Dinara, one more than Dinara had yesterday.

It would be easy to gloat over Dinara's loss but that is pointless. She didn't get a tummy ache, start a fight with the chair umpire or take a potty break. She stayed on court and didn't duck the handshake at the net. It's now up to the WTA to justify it's ranking system. After this match that will be interesting to watch.

The first semifinal will go down as one of the best ever women's matches and the best match of the entire tournament so far. Serena Williams and Elena Dementieva, both veterans, took Centre Court with Serena the heavy favorite despite their recent head to head in favor of Elena.
Elena stunned Centre Court by taking the first set 7-6(4) serving out of her mind and using her always powerful groundstrokes to good effect. Throughout the match Serena was off balance and unable to totally control play failing to break at crucial parts of the set.
The second set saw Serena eke out a 7-5 win. Again Serena was pushed around the court but she found a way to win.

The third set was the stuff that makes legends. Elena and Serena battled each other to six all and with no tiebreak it was going to come down to who was forced to blink first. Some might think it's a no brainer to say that Serena would win that showdown but the way the match was going it could have gone either way. Steadying herself and finding those reserves only she knows she has Serena broke Elena and then closed out the match.

There are always discussions on fanboards as to who is the best player never to win a Slam. My vote goes to Elena Dementieva. She played today like she played at the beginning of the year. If she had been playing anyone else she'd be in tomorrows final. How ironic is it that two women who have been on the tour for years now showed what women's tennis can be when two equally matched opponents match wits. Todays match exemplified the best tennis has to offer.

Congratulations to both Serena and Elena. It was truly a shame one of you had to lose.

End Notes

@Wimbledon posted the following comment by Venus on Twitter.
Venus: "Are you trying to be down on women's tennis because I don't deal with down. I respect Safina immensely and I think you should too."

The match between Elena Dementieva and Serena Williams goes on record as the longest women's semifinal ever.

@kaplanSBJ Posts the following on Twitter
BNP Paribas re-ups as title sponsor of MSG March tennis exhibition featuring four top WTA players

There have been a series of pictures posted on mainstream tennis photo sites than can be considered nothing more than pornography. The photographer has taken crotch shots of the women after a slip on the grass that leave nothing to the imagination. I see no reason for these shots except for the continued objectification of women athletes. Some fan sites have threads about them if you're curious.


Craig Hickman said...

Savannah, I had the same pictures of Richard, Oracene, and Serena in my original post but then decided to focus on the players alone and switched my Serena picture because I had used one like that earlier in the year. When her face is up with that broad smile, she looks so satisfied.

calle said...

Federer got 4 games in the RG final against Nadal 2008 if I remember correctly, embarrassing for him as no 1 at that time but people didn't start to question the ranking system because of that. Nadal is just a extremely good clay court player and it is Federer's worst surface. Venus is an amazing grass court player and it is Safina's worst surface, she has never gone far in Wimbledon before.