Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Venus stumbles while Serena marches on

They might share the same last name, but their fate at the 2010 Australian Open had nothing in common after their respective battle on the court, one after another. Besides both being a 3-setters, each sister approached the net after their match with the exact opposite reason; while Serena fought her way back from a 0-4 2nd set deficit, Venus failed to close out her match in the 2nd set and went on to lose a jig-sawed 3rd set, eventually losing to one of the streakiest player on the WTA tour - my personally favorite Chinese - Li Na (and it's Li Na, don't call her Na Li like some of those commentators on ESPN who wouldn't even take the time to learn how to pronounce the name of a top 15, soon top 10 player in the world)

Sad to see Venus go, but glad Li Na got through. She along with Zheng Jie, both from China, occupies 2 out of the 4 spots in the women's semifinal. I have a feeling that's as far as they'll go, but hey, it's tennis, you never know until the final point, so never rule out an all Chinese singles final come Saturday.

A little on Venus' game and Serena's gut(not the on that's hanging onto your waist)...Venus needs a plan B, she just can't change up her shots or move her feet and her footwork differently. So when she's down, all she knows is how to hit her way out, and sometimes, especially when you're older, that just doesn't come as easily. Plus, as grand as it sounds on paper, or on air, her "I live in the moment" philosophy is getting a little annoying. Although it could easily be interpreted as her being confident in her abilities , it also comes across as slightly arrogant and overly prideful in a game that is not always top-notch.

But on the other hand, Serena, although her game is also not always on top gear, she has the most mind-blowing will power I've witnessed. It's something special to see in front of your own eyes, that extra power and hunger which she can call upon time and again. For Serena, it's almost not about her game, but it's more about when she can execute it, and for today, bringing it out while down 2-6 0-4 wasn't too bad of a time.

Who knows, after all these, maybe Justine Henin will just blow everyone out of her way and win a grand slam after two tournaments. This way she'll beat Kim Clijster's record of winning a slam 3-tournaments into a come back, since Henin always tops Clijster anyway, right? Life.

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