French Open 2013: Serena Williams too strong for Sharapova

Celebrities At French Open 2013 - Day 14

Before the match commenced, Masha’s fans had just one wish – that their player could take at least one set off Serena! Although Serena was the overwhelming favourite, considering her form, Sharapova might not have lost hope.

Many people are of the opinion that Serena’s astonishing form can be attributed to Patrick Mouratoglou who has assisted her in both spheres of her life – personal and professional.

After her first round exit at the French Open last year, she had teamed up with Patrick. Following this, she claimed the Wimbledon title, double Olympic gold and the US Open.

Serena said, “I’m still a little bit upset about that loss last year.”

“But it’s all about, for me, how you recover. I think I’ve always said a champion isn’t about how much they win, but it’s about how they recover from their downs, whether it’s an injury or whether it’s a loss.”

Her 30th consecutive win against Sara Errani was indeed a thrilling performance. As an obvious consequence, the French Open title has simply added to her winning streak, which is 31 now, and has also made her the oldest woman since 1958 to lift the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen.

Sharapova was looking forward to changing the form of the rivalry that she shared with Serena, which has always been labelled as ‘one-sided’. The last time she defeated Serena was in the 2004 Wimbledon final.

Everybody is aware of the fact that clay is not the favourite surface for both the top seeds, but they have displayed their capabilities and very much deserve to be the top two seeds. Both Williams and Serena had only one French Open title before the match.

Sharapova proved to be a better and more competitive opponent for Serena, as compared to Errani. There were a lot of moments in yesterday’s match when she gave Serena a difficult time. Some brilliant backhand cross court returns and the little improvement that she showed on her serves had helped her to come at least that far with the match.

Sharapova will now be not only known for her grunting but also her increasing number of double faults. Four double faults in yesterday’s match added to a count of 30 double faults in the entire tournament.

After her loss Sharapova said, “She is playing extremely well, she’s a competitor.”

The onset of the first game itself sent a cold shiver down the spines of Masha fans when she was down 0-40 on her serve and Serena had three break points.

Not many would have expected Sharapova to come back in the game, but she did, with a brilliant serve, and held her serve to lead with 1-0. There was a moment in the first set when both the players broke each other’s serves with brilliant forehand returns. The score at this point stood at 4-4 from where Serena elevated the level of her game.

Till this point, the match seemed to be pretty well balanced when Serena, with some brilliant attacking and service returns, broke Masha’s serve. Williams led 5-4 and was soon serving for the set.

The set was clinched in 51 minutes, which is probably a longer duration than the length of a match Serena usually plays. It is a sign which could highlight the fact that Sharapova is a better player than all the opponents Serena has faced en route to the final.

Only if Sharapova could have worked a bit more on her double faults, she could have stood a chance with the second set. Her fourth double fault of the match had her down 15-40 on her serve, but she did find a way to fight back and won the game as she was able to save five break points.

Serena was sending the ball perfectly down the line which made it difficult for Sharapova to even reach the ball. She broke for 2-1!

It was not long enough before Serena was serving for the championship at 5-4.

Williams recalled, “I was just so nervous. I thought, ‘I’m not going to be able to hit groundstrokes.’ No joke. The one groundstroke I did hit went, like, 100 feet out. I thought to myself, ‘Look, Serena, you’ve just got to hit aces. That’s your only choice.”

At present, there is not a single player who can keep up with Serena’s tennis expertise. She is simply perfect with her serves, forehand cross courts and simply the best when she aims for the T spot while serving.

Sharapova has even said that Serena’s serves are “harder than David Ferrer.

Speaking about her age, Williams said, “I really believe age is a number at this point, because I have never felt so fit. I feel great. I look great. If I see someone that’s 31, I’m like, ‘You’re old.’ Then I’m like, ‘I’m 31.’ But I don’t feel it at all.”

On winning 16 Grand Slams, Serena said, “I feel like I definitely want to continue my journey, If it means I stop at 16 or if it means I have more, I definitely want to continue my journey to get a few more.”

Serena is at one of the highest peaks of her career but she says, “I want to go out in my peak. That’s my goal, but have I peaked yet?”

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