I was out of Centre Court the moment Rena and Halep left. It was time for a quick vape and a sit down on the outside courts, a time to reflect. I thought to myself you might as well leave soon, give your ticket up for someone who wants to be on Centre. Plenty will want to watch some live tennis, that just happens to be top draw grand slam finals. So I did. It sounds crazy at nearly £200 a pop but I had seen what I had personally paid my money for. Someone else deserves the chance.
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh where do I start? I’m rubbing my hands up and down my face as I speak. The fact that Rena has made it to this stage again in its own right is a huge achievement, especially considering how much game time she has had this year. Right now my selfish attitude means it seems to count for so little though. Was it deja vu from last year when I was there on the second Saturday? A little yeah but I think that made me learn to deal with the defeat better this time around. Some days it just does not happen and this was one of them. The better player certainly won on the day.
It didn’t get off to a good start with Rena missing and Halep finding her targets from 30-15 on the Williams serve in the first game. We were a double break down just like that. I was concerned but we all know Serena can be a slow starter, so I just wanted to see her get a stranglehold on the match. The signs at the end of the first set and start of the second were more encouraging, she was starting to hold easily and put pressure on the Romanians serve.
It was as good as it got though, with Halep breaking twice more from there to complete a comprehensive 6/2 6/2 victory. There were some fantastic shots from Halep’s racket today but as she said herself ‘there were far too many errors’ from Rena. Some of this was unquestionably down to the Romanian but as I said, sometimes it’s just one of those days. In many ways maybe this was like the Evans v Sousa match last week, where one player wanted it so badly and the other was playing with all the freedom in the world. I know I wanted it badly today.
For 99.9% of the players on tour, three slam finals in a year is an unbelievable achievement. It is for Serena when you put the last two years into perspective, truly remarkable. The fact it feels like a huge disappointment right now continues to show the ridiculously high standards that we as fans and Serena herself set. When put in perspective this hasn’t been a bad fortnight at all. Interestingly, Serena said in her press conference after that maybe she needs to be in other finals too, to get back into that winning feeling and mentality.
On to Toronto. We go again as Rena’s Army.
Andy Del Potro