Down Under Day 13: WERE HER VOLLEYS FULL OF JEALOUSY AND DISCRIMINATION?
FACT: I absolutely loathe tennis forums.
One of the reasons I started this blog was because I couldn’t stand the stupidity and hatred within tennis fandom. One needed to have some sort of outlet without being dragged into the mud of Federer v Nadal or the Williamses v the Russians.
A couple of week ago, I ventured into a certain *ahem* WTA-focused forum for the first time in yonks and came across this particular line, which was the single most brilliantly hypocritical “sore loser” rant I’ve ever heard:
“Her [Henin’s] volleys are full of jealousy and discrimination.”
That. They sure are.
But all the jealousy and discrimination in the world couldn’t stop Serena Williams on her quest to tie BJK yesterday. Yet as with any great quest, the journey usually turns out to be more entertaining than the mere fact of arrival at your destination.
In our first 3-set slam final since Wimbledon 2006, Justine and Serena put on a display of shot-making and mental fortitude. There were momentum swings, bad line calls, an intensely pro-Henin crowd. There was a period of 5 games at the end of the second set when Serena couldn’t win a single point.
But in the end, there was Serena Williams – powerful, competitive, fierce. There was her serve, without doubt the best in the business, unbreakable under pressure.
In the end, the only thing that separated Serena from Justine was in fact the serve. That’s something that Justine will have to get under control if she ever wants to win Wimbledon.
The disappointment of losing a slam final aside, there is no question that Justine Henin is back in business. In her 12 matches since returning to the tour, she has sparked such energy in all her opponents that you find yourself saying over and over again “this is the best match I’ve seen since [god knows when]”.
At last, something lives up to the hype in women’s tennis.
But as always, my gaze return to Serena, inimitable, trail-blazing, simply in a league of her own. You really are something else, Serena Williams.
Bring on the men’s final.