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Serena Recap as the U.S. Open Continues
Two to Slam
By Richard Kent
FLUSHING NY (BASN) It exceeded expectations. Great sporting events rarely do.
The 27th edition of Serena vs. Venus, perhaps on its biggest stage, was a classic. Serena beat her older sister, 6-2, 1-6,6-3, in a match in which both players played at a high level.
For the match, they combined for 57 winners and only 37 unforced errors. many of the winners were rocket forehands by Venus, by Serena. The atmosphere was tremendous. The building was sold out and Serena called the rivalry, “the greatest story in tennis.” She is right. Serena now holds a 16-11 record against her sister, 9-5 in majors and 3-2 at the US Open. The win kept Serena’s Grand Slam hopes alive. She plays Roberta Vinci of Italy Thursday night, a player who she has owned throughout her career.A win would put her into the Saturday final.
She didn’t lose it. Roberta Vinci won it. She did not choke. That term is used to commonly in sports. She was outplayed for the first time in months. Serena Williams lost her bid for a calendar Grand Slam on Saturday at the US Open by losing to Vinci, 32 of Italy, 2-6,6-4,6-4. Vinci was seeded no. 43 in the event and had never beaten Williams. Vinci won with an array of slices which threw Williams’ game off. Vinci did note that, “I saw she was nervous.”
Williams seemed in control in the first set, but Vinci was able to weather her serve in the second and third sets. Vinci took a 5-3 lead in the third set and the crowd really got into the match, trying to exhort Williams to victory. She held, but Vinci won it easily on her serve, with a brilliant drop shot. Williams was noticeably agitated in the press conference, but gave tremendous credit to Vinci.
The win by Vinci set up an all Italian final, pitting Vinci against her good friend, Flavia Pennetta; but the statement about the list (re Graf, Court and Connelly) as Grand Slam winners being “safe” because Serena lost – was deplorable.
Pennetta’s victory in the women’s final was anti-climatic; and a pitiful denouement to an event which parroted condemnation – instead of celebration for the greatest female tennis star of all time.