Serena’s Mojo Is Back


ASB Classic, Auckland

Championship Match: [10] Serena Williams (USA) vs. [82] Jessica Pegula (USA)

It was a nervous start for the twenty-three-time major champion; somewhat to be expected since despite her record, she has been struggling to find her mojo. Add to that the pressure of playing a younger fellow American and it’s understandable that Williams got off to a slow start. With chances to hold her first service game easily, the tension showed, and Pegula broke to start the match.

Could Serena Find Her Mojo Today?

Williams’ fans have been here before, but perhaps their tension mounted as well in view of her recent history; yet, today she was determined to get the proverbial monkey off her back. Williams broke back in the sixth game to even the match 3-3. How did her opponent respond? As Williams began to find her stride, Pegula’s tension rose. The younger American would drop two consecutive games to give her opponent the lead. Once Williams got the second break, her entire demeanor changed, she became more focused, and the pace of her shots intensified.

Pegula Fought Hard

How would Pegula respond after dropping the first set? She was no stranger to fighting back from a deficit, but this was a different opponent. This opponent was on a mission to start her 2020 season with a victory and she kept applying the pressure to Pegula. It was not long before Williams secured the break in set two and unlike set one, she gave Pegula no opportunity to get back in the set.

Impressive Serving Stats

Despite a low total number in aces, Williams had an impressive serving day; she had no double faults, served 65% first serve and won 61% of her second serve. The only statistic that Williams struggled on was her break point conversion. It could have been nerves or perhaps her opponent simply played better with her back against the wall. Pegula saved twelve of the break point opportunities against her serve.

Williams Breathes A Sigh Of Relief

The relief was evident when Williams won the last point to win the match 6-3, 6-4. It had been a long three years since her last singles title, or any title for that matter. She is back in the winner’s circle and she will take this renewed confidence into the 2020 Australian Open. This could be the year that she wins number twenty-four because she is fitter and now remembers what it feels like to hoist that trophy at the end of a tournament. So, look out field, Williams has got her mojo back!

FUN FACT: This was Williams 98th singles final and her 73rd singles title.

SOURCE OF IMAGES: (Getty Images AsiaPac: Serena Williams)

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