Thread: Tennis: 2013 Australian Open
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01-22-2013, 08:45 PM
  #431
kihei
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3-3 in the first and only two points lost on serve between Serena and Sloane combined....but quickly Serena prevails 6-3. She doesn't look quite ready to cede her place to any phenom....

One looping forehand too many and Sloane is broken at the start of the second set...but she shows some spunk and breaks back, 3-2 Stephens...the kid almost gets another break, then Serena, serving down the centre, gets herself out of trouble....Sloane looked very confident in that service game. If she gets Serena to break concentration, not exactly an impossible thing to do, she may be able to steal this set...with Sloane's confidence building by the stroke, Serena looks like she has pulled a muscle or something. Sloane is really coming on and Serena is off her game, 5-3...with the set on her racket, Sloane visibly tightens and she loses serve, 5-4. Serena must feel that as a reprieve from the gods. She's hurting but she's only three game from ending this thing....injury time out for Serena whose back is bothering her....so if you were writing a novel about women tennis players, could you come up with a better name than Sloane Stephens? I don't think so....This is developing into quite a long delay...easy game for Serena who looks like she could use it, 5-5...rookie errors beginning to hurt Sloane who is going for too much too often...but suddenly Stephens stiffens and toughs it out, 6-5. If she stays at this most recent level, she will win the set....and Stephens immediately gets the break and the set, though more thanks to Serena's errors than her own strong play.

Shades of Ferrer/Almagro last night? How bad is Serena's back? I'm sure she wanted to win in two, now it becomes more problematic...Huge, huge hold for Sloane at the start of the third set. She gives Serena no cause for confidence...Serena holds for 1-1. I'm not crazy about Sloane's wristy forehand. Too many moving parts, 2-1, Sloane....Serena is definitely not at 100%, but 19 years old is 19 years old, Williams has to hang in there... and she ekes out a hold on experience alone. It's like the old lion versus the young lion at the moment. Who was that idiot back there a ways who was dissing on women's tennis? This is great fun despite all the unforced errors...Stephens holds for 3-2....Serena needed help from Sloane to win that game and she got it, 3-3...great point from Serena gives her the edge in this game if only briefly...now break point...but the kid saves two break points...and a third...brilliant backhand return of serve gives Serena another break point...and she finally gets the break, 4-3 Serena to serve...weak game from Williams gives the break right back, 4-4...serving first should be a huge advantage here for Stephens if she can only take advantage of it...great play from both women at the moment...and Sloane finally manages the hold for 5-4. Pressure and a bad back. Not ideal....two match points for Stephens, and she only needs one. Great win for Sloane.

I could not have been more wrong before the beginning of the match. I thought Sloane was empty hype. But she was coming back even before Serena's back flared up. Kudos to both players, Serena for almost gutting it out, Sloane for being inexperienced but still persevering. She could have a very bright future indeed.

Match of the tournament so far, easily.


Last edited by kihei: 01-22-2013 at 10:55 PM.
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