The Pressure Got To Williams

082015 BelindaRogers Cup, Toronto

Women’s Semifinal: [CR1] Serena Williams (USA) vs. [CR20] Belinda Bencic (SUI)

The pressure has gotten to Williams. In a match strewn with errors and poor serving from Williams, she compounded the problem by failing to convert on numerous break chances. As Williams grew frustrated and distracted, the teenager, Bencic, stayed calm and focused on the match. She never looked discouraged even after losing the first set. When she failed to serve out the second set, she still believed. Why? Williams’ inability to break despite numerous chances and her poor first serve percentage convinced Bencic that she could turn the match around. That is exactly what she did. Williams had break chances to serve for the second set/match and did not convert on any. She was subsequently broken to lose the set.

The third set was a complete mental meltdown from Williams. Bencic held a 5-0 lead in the third before Williams tried to make one of her patented comeback, but this time, she could not. Despite breaking to get back on serve at 4-5, Williams failed to hold her serve and lost the match. Too many errors and not enough focus. Numerous times during the match, Williams came close to tears. That was probably from frustration at her inability to control the negative impact that the pressure was having on her game. This is not as bad as it seems, I think it will refocus Williams and energize her going into the US Open. Now she knows that there will be no room for errors or lack of focus if she wants to win the US Open and get the Grand Slam. Bencic moved into the final with the 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 defeat of the number one ranked player and exacted revenge for her loss from last year.

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