Agnieszka Radwanska began working towards her first Grand Slam final when she told her father his services were no longer needed. Her first coaching selection was Borna Vikic who had coached Jelena Dokic. That association didn't last long though and she went on to hire Tomasz Wiktorowski, the Polish Fed Cup coach. The rest as they say is history.
I'll say upfront that watching Aga play is akin to watching paint dry for me. Like Martina Hingis before her. an analogy many don't like but that I feel is the only player of the modern era to employ a similar style, is based on "gotcha" tennis. Is she a Caroline Wozniacki style pusher? Yes and no. At her worst she's dull as grass growing. What she's done is add some offense to her game. It's not Big Babe "in your face" smash mouth tennis but it's effective. Her touch is delicate although she can hit with some power. From what I saw of her match against Angelique Kerber, sorry I fell asleep, she quietly turned the tables on her. When Kerber came to she was out of the match.
Aga is sharp enough to not want the be added to the list of "Slamless Wonders" and I'm sure she'll fight as hard as she can in the Final on Saturday.
The thing is she'll be playing the best woman of her generation.
Serena Williams started Wimbledon off on shaky ground. Her devastating first round loss in Paris, while not on everyone's lips, was in everyone's mind. Serena left the Glamazon shit at home in London. She had that glorious hair but she came on court to play tennis. Little or no makeup - she had heavy liner on today - and no candelabra hanging from her ears. In other words she came to play. And play she did.
She hit a bit of a wall in the second set. Serena and her sister Venus Williams, who looked much better playing doubles, had to play two matches yesterday, something that could have hurt her if her match against Victoria Azarenka went three sets. Serena saw to it that it didn't.
As you all know I'm not a big fan of Victoria. People are talking about how her id seems to be in better check these days, but she does play one of the better games among the new jacks coming up. Like most of them though she is most comfortable with hit hard and harder tennis and when faced with an opponent who can throw some variety at her she has trouble. She has won a Slam though, and came into London with the #2 seeding.
It's no secret that Victoria and Aga had a big falling out and some were hoping that they would be the last ones standing anticipating a bitch fest of epic proportions.
But that was not to be.
Who do I think will win? The last time Serena met Aga was in 2008. Serena won 4 & 0.
Aga has changed her game a lot since then. So has Serena. Is it a toss up? I would say no but then I'd have to pick a winner wouldn't I? And I don't do that.
It would be wrong of me not to mention the men's semifinals wouldn't it? For some there is one matchup that is highly anticipated. For me the undercard is the one I'm looking forward to. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs Andy Murray in London, in a semi final, is a tennis lovers dream match. Tsonga, coachless, has gotten himself to the 2012 Wimbledon semifinals. He's going to have the crowd against him, and no one to consult but himself. There's no need to go into the Murray situation except to say right now he's British. Will he go back to being a Scotsman? Will Ivan Lendl keep him calm enough to play his best tennis? If both men show up that should be a hell of a match.
Finally I want to praise ESPN. The USA network, when it covered tennis, was the gold standard in my opinion. ESPN has taken it's place. It was sheer genius to have Centre Court coverage on ESPN, and all court coverage on ESPN2. The commentators, except for John McEnroe and in some instances Chris Evert, were informed and focused on the match not on inside jokes and giggling at people's names. I would suggest that JMac and Chrissie look at some tape and use briefing sheets next year. There's no excuse for JMac not knowing Venus had Sjogren's or Chris Evert admitting she'd never seen one of the women players, who's been burning up the courts before. A baseball announcer would be run out of town for less.
And no, I'm not mentioning Hanna. She's a disaster of epic proportions.
I think Mike Tirico, who uses notes and is a keen observer, along with Darren Cahill are the standouts. As for the women we have Pam Shriver and Mary Joe Fernandez. There's no hashtag for shit Pammy or Mary Joe says so that means their job is adequate. Chris has one though. Make of it what you will.