Day 11,Venus and Serena Set For Final Showdown as Federer Waits For Rafa!

It was 2008 when Venus Williams last Won a Grand Slam Singles Title, She beat Serena Williams at Wimbledon. The Last time Venus was in a Final was at the same venue a year later, She lost to Serena this time round. This is her First Grand Slam Final since. On Saturday Morning we will see these two Legendary  Icons go hammer and tong with each other once again. 14 Years on from her only appearance in the Final here, (where She lost to….yes that’s right, her Sister) she gave Coco Vandeweghe a schooling in how to take your opportunities and once at the front, staying there. Both players  came out and traded a break a piece in the first two games. Coco in particular came out swinging and going for her shots, looking to be the aggressor. There were no more breaks in the First Set.Vandeweghe played an exceptional Tie-Break, taking it 7-3. She blitzed several Forehand Winners here leaving Williams with no chance, such was the ferocity of the ground strokes. Venus knuckled down and upped her intensity. She started Serving big and cutting down on her error count. Vandeweghe on the other hand was running out of ‘Nos’, regularly over pressing and unable to convert any of her break point opportunities. A break in the First game of the Third for Williams was enough. Vandeweghe had her chances to break back, but 1/13 on break points just isn’t going to cut the mustard at this stage of the Tournament. Venus was 5/9 and  clinical when the chances arose. She served well for the final two sets,winning her  many free points, if it didn’t a Coco error wasn’t far away! It wouldn’t of taken much for Vandeweghe to have Won this Match, but the minor details here made the difference. That little bit of experience cost her Today and Venus just had the bit between her teeth and she wasn’t going to be denied. It was a great reaction after Match point to see Venus overcome with joy, its been far too long. Venus 6/7(3) 6/2 6/3. Serena followed up by keeping her side of the bargain. Lucic-Baroni was well beat in all honesty. From the moment Williams broke in the Third game there was to be no looking back. Serving well and peppering the Croats backhand  were high on her agenda. Mentally, physically and probably emotionally this was a Match too far for for Lucic-Baroni. She didn’t play to the level she had done in seeing off Radwanska and Pliskova here, having said that she wasn’t really allowed to, Serena 6/2 6/1. This was Williams in the zone and that made it almost an impossible task today for her. Serena is still to drop a set down under and you feel that there is still plenty more left in tank. She’s playing well, but well within herself at the moment.  “For us both to be in the final is the biggest dream come true for us… She’s my toughest opponent. No one’s ever beaten me as much as Venus has.” Expect a trip down memory lane on Saturday morning, full of emotion, respect and nostalgia.

Roger Federer saw off a Stan Wawrinka comeback in  the late night session . Federer came out of the blocks quickly again here. Serve and volleying mixed with his usual aggressive return of serve. He broke Stan at the end of the first set to clinch it. The lead was extended  in the second as Federer broke midway through and Served it out for a two set lead. The Fed-Ex ghosting into the net and dispatching the volley, a great site in World Tennis.. Stan needed to wake up and he did in fairness (he  had called for the Trainer in the Second). He dictated sets 3 and 4 by being the aggressor himself, ripping his trademark backhand for winner after winner. It looked for all the World that Stan had cracked the code and would be challenging for his Second Australian Open Title come Sunday. Federer even had an Off Court Medical Timeout at the beginning of the decider (leg) himself. Unheard of! Stan had treatment on his knee earlier. Both had said afterwards that these were injuries they have been carrying for a few rounds now. Wawrinka had his chances to break at the start of the decider, with Federer Serving his way out of it, particularly with a nasty kick serve out wide. It was to prove key as Federer broke Stan’s Serve the very next game, Wawrinka throwing in a double at the most inopportune moment. There was to be no comeback either, Federer Served it out for a 7/5 6/3 1/6 4/6 6/3 Victory as Wawrinka went long with a backhand, Federer reaching out to the sky in ecstasy. It will now boil down to whether Grigor Dimitrov can ruin the party, it would appear its a select over 30’s  invitation  in Australia for Finals weekend.  Tennis Fans all over the World are loving it and rightly so!

 

Andy Del Potro

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