Queen of the Queens…

The 2012 Grand slam campaign came to an end at the US Open today, and everybody agrees to give a shout out to the best player in the world:  Miss SERENA WILLIAMS.  I mean, nobody on the tour, could have achieved what she achieved this year: Wimbledon winner ( single and doubles), Olympic gold medalist at the London Olympics ( single and doubles), and….US Open winner!  This year, she became only the second woman in the history of tennis to complete a Career golden slam ( after Steffi Graf did so in 1988), and the first player ever to become an Olympic Gold medalist in singles and doubles!

Before those outstanding achievements, she went on dominating the clay season, reeling off 2 titles (Charleston and Madrid), before unexpectedly falling in the first round of a major, at the French Open, to country woman, Virginie Razzano.  It was her first ever loss in the first round of a Grand slam.

After this loss, it seemed like she was on a mission. With a new coach on her side, Patrick Moratouglou, well known on the tour for running a famous tennis academy; Serena worked her way back to the top as if her life was at stake. She reeled off victories,  one after the other, and never seems quite to get enough.

On a stellar form, Serena looked unbeatable. It was reminiscent of the 2002 season during which she over dominated the game. After Wimbledon and the Olympics won, Serena showed once again, at the US Open, why she is considered by most, to be the best player in the world .

On her way to the final, Serena dropped just 19 games! She ridiculously breezed past her opponents, even dropping a  second-career double bagel  at a Grand slam to Andrea Hlavackova in the 4th round. What more can be said? Clear favourite, of course!

In the final, Victoria Azarenka awaited. « Vika » is the other force to be reckoned with on the tour this season. Having clinched her maiden grand slam title at the Australian Open this year, claiming the bronze medal at the London Olympics, and being the World number 1, Azarenka had a lot to prove in this final match: that she could actually win a second grand slam, but most importantly, defeat her nemesis she has a terrible record against: 1 victory to 9 defeats.

The first set was routinely won by Williams, who blasted winners and aces without showing any signs of hesitation nor fatigue. In 30 minutes, Serena scored a 6/2 on the board.  The second set started out, with Vika breaking Serena for a 2/0 lead, which was a surprise for many. From then, the 23-year-old went on dominating the rallies, served way better, taking advantage of an error-strewn  Williams, who seemed to have lost her confidence: 2/6 Azarenka.

At one set apiece, Vika once again, pressured Williams by breaking for a 2/1 lead. Then Azarenka went for a 3/2 lead, Serena leveled it up at 3/3.  In the 4th game, Williams unexpectedly handed her serve love to Azarenka, who didn’t wait to distance herself from the 14th time Grand slam champion, 5/3.  But Williams is known for her mindblowing comebacks in matches, trailing 4/5 in the decider, on the brink of defeat, she forced her way to even it up to 5 all.

The crowd was going nuts, the intensity was skyrocketing on the Arthur Ashe Stadium court. Williams served, once again, her way ahead for a 6/5 lead, giving Azarenka the tough task to hold serve to avoid defeat.  It could not have been tighter, when Azarenka hit a backhand wide at 40 all adv.Serena to give the match and the title to Serena Williams after a 2-hour battle: 6/2  2/6  7/5.

Williams dropped to the court, hands on her head, realizing what she had done! A 4th US Open! Joining Margaret Court, Steffi Graf and Martina Navratilova.

A nerve wracking decider won that gave Williams her 15th major title and 45th in career. She became the third woman ( after Steffi Graf and and her sister, Venus), to have won Wimbledon, the Olympic Gold medal, and the US Open in a season.

Williams could not have played better this season, and she proved once again, that she is a legend and she is not done yet…. Scary? Probably for her peers on the tour, Incredible? Certainly. She’s a couple weeks shy of her 31st birthday, but still  many titles have to come her way…

And she has no intention to retire, she seems fitter, fired up and  more focused than ever.

One of the TV commentators  after the final ended, said:  » The Queen of the Queens »… she undoubtedly is.

 

 

 

 

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