Saturday, July 07, 2012

2012 Wimbledon: Serena Wins 14th Major; 5th Wimbledon

As I predicted, Serena Williams defeated #3 seed Agnieska Radwanska 6-1 5-7 6-2 in a surprisingly tense Wimbledon ladies singles final to win her 14th major championship and 5th Wimbledon title. Her sister Venus Wiliams also has 5 singles titles, so the two have won 10 of the last 13 Wimbledon titles between them, with 2004 (Maria Sharapova d. Serena), 2006 (Amelie Mauresmo d. Justine Henin) and 2011 (Petra Kvitova d. Sharapova) being the years the title was not claimed by Venus or Serena. Serena and Venus will play for their 5th Wimbledon doubles title later today.

During the match Serena hit 17 aces, bringing her tournament total to an astonishing 102 aces, more than both of the men's finalists Roger Federer (59) and Andy Murray (74). It is widely being discussed as the most important and dominant shot in tennis, both men's and women's. To emphasize the point, in the 3rd set at 1-2, Serena served a "perfect game," 4 consecutive aces, to hold serve. After that Serena's play returned to her high standard.

Radwanska impressed observers with her tenacity, coming back from a 2-4 deficit to claw back to even in the middle set, despite the fact Serena had points on her serve to a 5-3 lead. Her service percentage plummeted as the weather got windy and wet. Radwanska took advantage of her opportunities, breaking Serena twice in consecutive service games on a mere two break points. In the 3rd set Serena had multiple opportunities to break, finally doing so in the 5th and 7th games and served out the win pretty easily, using her big serve to force a backhand crosscourt winner on championship point.

With Serena's 14th major title, she moves closer to the 18 singles held by Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova but is still behind Steffi Graf's 22 and Margaret Court's 24. She's moved 2 ahead of Billie Jean King.

What do you think, should this win move Serena higher up the official list of all-time tennis greats?

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