Saturday, June 8, 2013

French Open 2013: Sharapova vs. Williams: My Dream Finals Match

This will finally come later today at Roland Garros 2013. Whatever the outcome will be, surely, it is a blockbuster finals match; the kind which tennis fans, organizers, media, and  sponsors have been looking forward to for a long time.

I have lost track how many times they've met in the past. What I know is that Serena holds a very big advantage in their head to head match-up ( the papers say it's 13 out of 15). But what I cannot forget was the memorable and historic win of Sharapova over Williams in the 2004 Wimbledon finals. Maria was just 17 years old then, a stunning teener, and it was her first major trophy and the start of her tennis fame. That was also her coronation as the Queen of Tennis.

Serena will be the overwhelming favorite. She's on the roll, with a single season winning streak of 30 matches so far. On the way to the finals, she just demolished anybody who came in her path, making them short and easy more especially on her semis match against 5th seed Italian Errani, a 6-0, 6-1 drubbing in 46 minutes. Only tennis legend Stefi Graf (now known as Mrs. Andrei Agassi) beat her to this record when she beat Natasha Zvereva 6-0,6-0 in 32 minutes in the 1988 French Open final. In all these years, I have always believed that a healthy Serena will always be the person to beat in any major tournament. Add this today a big motivation. Of the 15 majors she has so far collected, she has only 1 French Open in that collection when she won it in 2002. That was a long time ago.

And Maria my idol? She struglled in her earlier matches. She even lost 0-6 in the first set in her quarterfinal match against former champ Jelena Jankovich of Serbia. Against another former champ in Victoria Azarenka in the semis, she has to dig deeper in her arsenal and checked her emotions before winning in 3 sets to set a date in the finals. In a way, they were good tune-up games. She will come into this match as a definite underdog. But I guess she has also many ways to beat the odds. To my mind, she should minimize her double faults. She should dish out those brilliant aces she showered in her match against Azarenka and put in those well placed power forehands and backhands she showed in her previous matches. Deep in the baseline, side to side, control unforced errors. Make Serena run; don't let her control the tempo of the game.Above all, stay focused and maintain that steely resolve. I've got the feeling that the fans will go for her.

The power and strength of Serena. The flair and grace of Maria. Top seed vs. 2nd seed. The defending champion vs the perennial top contender and champion. The top draws of ladies tennis. Everything  a script writer could ask for.

My heart goes to Maria. After all she's my idol. But my mind says it's gonna be Serena. Whichever, this is the dream finals match I have been waiting for.


Unknown said...

I hope your bet wins.. my father would love your blog since he is a tennis fan too.

Dominique Goh said...

Hope that your bet wins too .. I too will choose Williams.

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