2009 Australian Open – Can Serena knock off another Russian?
Serena Williams is looking for the hat-trick! After beating Russians Svetlana Kuznetsova and Elena Dementieva, Williams will look to take out the top Russian woman in the world – Dinara Safina. Williams and Safina will meet in the finals after both won in straight sets in the semis. As I mentioned, Williams knocked off Dementieva while Safina beat fellow Russian, Vera Zvonareva.
Safina is going for her first career Grand Slam title in her second finals appearance, while Serena has been here many times before and is attempting to get into double digits with her 10th Grand Slam victory. Williams is 5-1 against Safina, and beat her two out of the three times they met in 2008. Both girls played some of their best tennis in the semis as they each were facing opponents who were playing at the top of their games. Not only will the girls be battling for this title, the winner will become the #1 ranked player in the world. A position that Serena has held before numerous times, but Safina hasn’t. It should be a really interesting match and I will have a full break-down of it later today.
On the men’s side, we know one of the finalists as Roger Federer moved past Andy Roddick in straight sets. Federer is now 7-0 against Roddick in Grand Slams, and is 16-2 against him in his career. After a scare in the fourth round from Tomas Berdych, Federer has really stepped up his game in the last two rounds and hasn’t dropped a set.
For Roddick to have beaten Federer he needed to have a big serving day and use his serve to win a lot of free points. That didn’t happen. Federer actually had more aces (16 to 8) than Roddick and won 83% (70% for Roddick) of the points on his first serve. He also had a ridiculous winner to error ratio of 51 to 15. When Federer plays like this, there is basically only one man who can compete with him and we all know who that is.
Speaking of Nadal, he will take on Fernando Verdasco tonight at 3:30am Eastern time, and I think most of us will be secretly rooting for a Federer-Nadal final on the hard court. This is something we have yet to see in a Grand Slam final.
Also winning yesterday were Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy student Yuki Bhambri and Julen Uriguen. Bhambri, the top seed, knocked off Richard Becker 6-1, 7-5 and will face seventh-seeded Adrien Puget in the semis. Uriguen took down fifth-seeded Julien Obry of France 6-4, 6-0 and will take on the only unseeded player left in the draw, Alexandros-Ferdinandos Georgoudas, in the semifinals. Good luck to both Yuki and Julen!