Playing your best friend is not so easy

Is there a psychological component to tennis?  Absolutely yes! Many of us were glued to our television sets today as we watched [CR1] Serena Williams (USA) struggle mightily to overcome the resistance of [CR13] Caroline Wozniacki (DEN).   In their previous seven encounters, only two of the matches went to a third set; the other five matches had been won routinely, or at least appeared that way based on the score.  Unfortunately, we know how deceptive the score line can be.

Serena led their head-to-head 6:1 prior to today’s encounter; thus, despite the recent improved play of Wozniacki, Serena was expected to win. So was it the added psychological stress of playing her best friend which made this match so difficult for Serena or are we seeing early signs once again of Serena cracking under the stress of public expectation?

Though she won the match 4-6, 7-5, 7-5, you cannot help but wonder if this is a forewarning of a poor performance once again for Serena at another  Major in 2014.  Perhaps I am jumping prematurely to conclusions, maybe this time Serena will overcome the barriers in her mind and win the last Major tournament of 2014.

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