US Open: Serena Williams’ last hurrah at home grand slam headlines fascinating two weeks of tennis
Serena Williams, left, plays Roger Federer at the Australian Open. Photo: Steve Bardens / Associated Press
When it comes to her last two tournament outings, the New York Times has found little joy in the Williams-Federer clash at the Australian Open. Even so, the most surprising aspect of the women’s semi-finals was that the Williams-Federer match was more interesting for whom it mattered.
The most surprising part of the semi-finals wasn’t who won, but how. Williams, who was the defending champion, beat her rival in three games, six points on the trot. The most surprising part of the semis was that the Federer-Williams match was more interesting for whom it mattered.
Williams did it by dominating the first set. But on her way to a final seven-shot victory, she made a series of tactical mistakes, and gave the game away twice. On top of that, she suffered a serious head injury that could require days in the hospital.
“I’ve never seen someone so hurt in a tennis match,” a witness to the final told the Times on Monday.
Federer, who won all six matches on the Grand Slam last year, led the five-player semifinal on Monday, 7-6 (3), 1-0, having won their first two matches of the tournament. But Williams, who had been down a set and five points against Sam Stosur at the French Open, came back with a vengeance.
The next few points seemed to go Williams’ way. But when Sam Stosur served to go up 3-1 in the third set, Williams suddenly went silent. Williams, who is two hours ahead of her next tournament here, the Wimbledon final, could see the signs that Federer was getting ready to come back. And she lost her concentration.
“She just let him play his game,” said a sports therapist, who has seen Williams play on TV