WIMBLEDON 2015 – My highlights: Day Ten
Two completely different matches, 4 completely different players. First match on Centre Court was played between Garbine Muguruza and Agnieszka Radwanska. Interesting match up, head to head is 2-2.
Radwanska struggled at the beginning of this year and fell out of the Top 10 for the first time since 2011. Somehow at Wimbledon she made a comeback. Muguruza reached her first major semi-final at Wimbledon.
Muguruza started the match perfectly, she broke Radwanska's serve in the first game and looked very focused and aggressive. Radwanska struggled with her serving, most of her 1st serves were just too slow, Muguruza was on top of them so quickly that the only thing Radwanska could do was watch the ball fly past her faster than the speed of her serve. Radwanska was no match for Muguruza's power and quick movement, at least not in the first set. Muguruza won it 6:2 and looked very much in control. Radwanska was finally able to break Muguruza's monster serve in the 2nd set to level 3:3. She held her serve for a 4:3 lead. Muguruza got visibly nervous and after missing a few first serves was broken again. Radwanska served for the set and won 6:3. In the first game of the decider Radwanska broke again. Muguruza seemed to have lost her 1st serve completely in her last few service games. But Muguruza was not about to give up, she broke Radwanska straight back to level 1 all in the 3rd set. Once the score was back on serve, Muguruza never looked back. She cruised to 5:3 lead. Serving for the match with new balls is always an advantage. She survived 2 break points and a Hawkeye challenge, that was probably Radwanska's biggest mistake because it gave Muguruza a match point, and after a perfectly executed swinging volley Muguruza was on the ground celebrating her maiden major final. A truly fantastic performance.
Up second on Centre Court were Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova. Their 20th meeting. Head to head 17-2 in Serena's favour. With head to head like this it's just unfair to call it a rivalry. Serena won the last 16 consecutive matches between the two, losing only 3 sets. Every meeting between them sparks a debate – Can Maria finally get a win over Serena? Can she? Last time they met on grass was during the Olympics in 2012. Serena demolished Maria 6:0 6:1 in the Gold Medal match. Serena's dominance over Maria is unquestionable, she is simply in the words of Justine Henin “a better tennis player”. I can only imagine how difficult it must be to step out on court to face someone who you haven't managed to beat for 11 years. Don't write Sharapova off just yet. She is a fighter, she was ready to face the challenge. The biggest downside to Sharapova's game is her serve, she has struggled with her serve during the whole tournament – 38 double faults so far. Her ball toss is so high that she struggles to control her serves, and she can't rely on her second serve either.
Maria won the coin toss and chose to serve. In the opening game alone she double faulted 3 times giving Serena an early break. Maria looked very nervous, wasn't happy with her ball toss, her first serve totally abandoned her. Not the start she wanted. Serena responded with strong and consistent serving and within minutes she led 2-0. The moment Serena steps on court to play Maria her best game is always on, her serve is on , and with the early lead she made a statement. Sharapova was constantly under pressure – had to defend break points to get on the board. Next game was much quicker, Serena served aces, the fasted at 120mph and earned herself a 3:1 lead. Serena sealed the second break running to the net and firing yet another winner. With Serena's serve ON and Maria's not working at all, Serena needed just 33 minutes for a 6:2 lead. The beginning of the second set looked a bit brighter for Sharapova, up until the 5th game, when in a crucial moment she double faulted to give Serena a break for 3:2 lead. From then on all Serena needed to do was hold her serve and this is exactly what she did. Maria defended a few break points and managed to hold her serve as well but the one break Serena had was all she need to serve for the match at 5:4. She fired 3 aces and a serve winner out wide to seal her 17th consecutive win over Sharapova. A very bad day at the office for the Russian player.
Serena and Garbine Muguruza will meet in the final on Saturday.