Today a question was asked and answered. Would Serena Williams be able to win another tournament in her comeback. The answer was an emphatic yes.
Today in the finals of the Rogers Cup in Toronto, Canada, 2 of the best servers in women’s tennis went toe to toe and the steadier and for me personally, the better of the 2 servers prevailed. Serena Williams showed once again, as Judy Murray pointed out on twitter, Serena is all class.
The match started out like any other with a few tentative moments by both players in holding serve, although Stosur had an easier time of it. She started the match serving at a high of 76% first serve and was looking quite comfortable. Serena on the other hand seemed a bit out of sorts but she maintained her composure and did what she needed to do. There would be no breaks of serve in the first 8 games played, but at 4-4, with Stosur serving, something changed. I will definitely have to watch the repeat on Tennis Channel later tonight. Suffice it to say that Stosur was 2 games point away from holding for a 5-4 lead in the first set. She would fault on her first serve and Serena punished her second serve. 40-30. Stosur would then miss her first serve again. Serena stepped inside the baseline for the second serve and a short rally ensued which Stosur lost. Deuce. It was telling that before Stosur served that second serve, Serena stepped away from the line and turned her back and mumbled to herself. One can only surmise that she was remembering and repeating what coach Venus had told her to do in her match against Stosur.
Serena would go on to break the Stosur serve for a 5-4 lead. She would serve out the set comfortably. In the second set it was all Serena. There was nothing that Stosur could do and the look of bewilderment that usually accompanies Stosur when she is playing maintained its hold over her until 5-1 in the second set when she held serve. She would get her one and only break point in the match on Serena’s serve when Serena served for the match, but even that faint spark of hope went away when Williams served an ace that left Stosur hanging.
The joy and celebration on Williams’ face was great to see. She played tennis that was out of this world during her semifinal and final and she looked absolutely happy and relaxed during her on-court interview. She says she will be playing Cincinatti where she is slated to meet Stosur in the 2nd round. Word is that Stosur is currently suffering from wrist tendonitis so there is a possibility that she may either rest her wrist for the Open or she may decide to play and who knows maybe get a win and build more confidence going into the Open.
It is really good to see Williams back and playing top level tennis once again. She has been missed and it was really good to watch a women’s match where the conversation in the booth was more about the quality of the serving display, rather than who was throwing in the most double faults.
As with all the Majors this year, the women’s storyline is much more enticing than the men. As it is we may have another 3 Grand Slam in a season winner on the men’s side, while on the women’s side there are so many contenders as well as the return of a great champion.
I am looking forward to Cincinatti and coverage of that tournament will be on Tennis Channel tomorrow (Monday). I would think that coverage on ESPN2 may not be before the quarter-finals. Hopefully, they will take the opportunity to share matches with Tennis Channel
Today I learned via twitter that recently retired pro Patty Schynder has not only been left hanging by her husband but apparently she has filed for bankruptcy and has lost everything, including her cat. I am not sure how much of this story is true as it has not been picked up by the English media and the article that I saw posted on twitter was in German. However, if this is indeed true, I hope for Patty’s sake that there are many tournaments as well as clubs who would be lining up to offer her employment in order that she can see better days.
This incident with Patty has me thinking about a recent article that someone posted in relation to the players on both Tours needing a Union. I am in agreement with this. I would go even further and say that both Tours should seriously think about starting some type of pension plan that could allow retired players to have a small nest egg upon their retirement from the sport.
Tennis is an exceptionally tough sport and the men and women who play it day in and day out are not only working their bodies to the bone, but their bank accounts as well. Unless you are a top pro, travelling first class and being given large appearance fees by tournament directors, you are basically living hand to mouth. I really think that the Tours should look into having something to aid players who for one reason or another have fallen on hard times.