Women’s Final: [CR1] Serena Williams vs. [CR2] Maria Sharapova (RUS)
Their rivalry was born in 2004. Serena was expected to win her third straight Wimbledon trophy when she was ruthlessly derailed by a teenage upstart named Maria Sharapova. Sharapova also prevented her from claiming the WTA Tour Championships’ trophy that same year. Serena does not like losing, but she especially does not like losing a final of a major event. She has made it her mission to never lose another match to Sharapova. Perhaps that is the reason she seems a tad more ferocious whenever Sharapova is across the net from her. She has dominated her since then. Will her dominance continue?
Despite being ill the entire tournament and not playing at her best, Serena survived the challenge of some very talented opponents. Now the only thing preventing her from lifting her 19th major trophy was her nemesis of 2004. Though she has not beaten her since 2004, Sharapova is known for her will to succeed and her determination to fight no matter how desperate things may appear. However, losing the first service game in the first set was not how Sharapova hoped to begin the match. Match point down in the second and Sharapova showed why she is a champion.
The second set was a test of will and a manifestation of superior talent and skill. Both players were playing at their highest level, not willing to concede the set. However, Serena had the advantage with her serve, repeatedly serving aces and erasing break points. It was fitting that the set went to a tie break and Serena tamed her nerves to get the victory in straight sets. Although Serena won the match, 6-3, 7-6(5), Sharapova challenged her to play at a higher level; and she rose to the occasion and continued her dominance of Sharapova. This victory was her 19th major title; will she get to number 20 this year?