[CR1] Serena Williams (USA) vs. [CR43] Roberta Vinci (ITA)
Williams is two wins shy of winning the Calendar Grand Slam. Even my friends who do not follow tennis are very aware of that fact. It is big news, not only in the USA but around the world. Spare a thought for Williams and every player that she has competed against since this tournament begun. The pressure is not only on her shoulders, they too are burdened by a certain ambivalence. On the surface each opponent has competed with the desire to defeat Williams; however, in the deeper recesses of their heart, they would also like to see her accomplish this feat. How do they suppress their altruistic feelings and allow their competitive nature to dominate during their encounter? In the heat of battle, they will instinctively fight for the victory without reservation.
It has not been an easy journey for Williams either and it was not expected to be for the simple reason that every match is not just a match to win a Major, that alone is stress provoking; however, every match in addition could potentially be the match that prevents Williams from accomplishing her goal of a Calendar Grand Slam. Williams has to face that cold hard fact every time she steps on court and no match is a guaranteed victory. In spite of her winning record against the previous three opponents and the remaining opponents, statistics becomes irrelevant in the face of the added pressure of the occasion. A variable that even Williams cannot appreciate, since she has never been in this position before. Is she up to the challenge of Vinci, who has nothing to lose and everything to gain? Vinci has the opportunity of getting to her first singles final at a Major and that will be a powerful incentive to suppress any altruistic thoughts that may create a momentary hesitation.