Blog Entry

A Tale of Two Champions: Wimbledon W Semis

Posted on: July 2, 2009 2:30 pm
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SO, I was sitting here awaiting the first semi-final between Serena Williams and Elena Dementieva and thinking about the Australian Open semi, and I have to admit that I was not optimistic about Dementieva's chances.  Then, they began the match, and it turned out to be one of the best matches in years.  YEARS!  Both women showed tenacity, heart, skill, and will.  Nothing was left to give on either side.  In the end, it came down to nerves, and Serena was clearly more in control, but only by the slightest margin.
After seeing that match, I thought:  "Wow!  Venus and Dinara's match will be close to this good.  I mean, Venus will be ready for a fight, and Dinara will feed the need to assert herself.  After all, very few people in the media (Brad Gilbert among the most vocal) felt that Safina was not truly the number 1 player.  Sure, she had the points, but she choked.  She had the skill, but she'd leave them in the locker room.  She had the desire, but she lacked the heart.  OK, that should change.  Right?
HEADLINE ON WIMBLEDON SITE:  "Venus destroys Safina in 51 minutes"Go to http://www.wimbledon.org/en_GB
/news/match_reports/2009-07-02/2009
07021246535434796.html for the full story
Okay, so I was wrong.  It was a sad display by Safina.  The score says it all:  6-1, 6-0.
Lessons?
  1. You need a lot more than statistics and a ranking to play at a major;
  2. Safina is her won worst enemy.  Psychologically, she cannot hang with the big girls;
  3. Damn, Venus is good!
Look, I really like Dinara Safina.  She wants to do well, and she does not want to disappoint anyone.  However, her scream a few months ago:  "Why am I such a chicken?" explains a lot.  If she can't believe in herself, she will not overcome the hurdle of the Big Game.  Of course, Venus played inspired tennis.  She played like the champion that she is.  I expect no less.  However, I'd like her to have an opponent worthy of being across the net from her.... especially if that opponent holds the #1 ranking.
What do you think?
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