Sunday, September 8, 2013


Here at the US Open today, we have women's world number 1 tennis player, Serena Williams of the United States, defending her title against Victoria (Vika) Azarenka of Belarus, world number 2. These challenges have been a whirlwind, so much to learn from each other, so sad to say good bye till next year.  What will this final match bring?  Serena has power, guts, she has the shots.  Vika has the power too, the shots, the ability to turn straw into gold.

Plus, these two players are the same as last year!  

What a gorgeous day in New York City!  Blue skies, full stadium, such lovers of tennis!  So, here we go, the marines march in to our national anthem, and unfurl our flag, such wonder and beauty. 

Aww, the flower bouquets are cute! We have Mary Carillo and John McEnroe commentating.  Serena looks so focused.  Azarenka looks ready.  

Each service game final score is from the perspective of the server.  Here we go~

SET 1~

Okay, Vika wins the coin toss and starts the serve.  0-30 already. Shots hit long. 0-40. She is with the wind. gusty out there. ACE! 15-40. Vika hesitates, point goes to Serena. 0-1, Vika.

Serena serves. Vika nets. 15-0.  Vika nets. 30-0.  Serena hits wide. 30-15.  30-30 now.  40-30. Wind is behind her.  Down the line winner. 2-0, Serena.

Vika serves now. 15-0. 15-15.  Serena shanks wide, 30-15. You need good footwork to control the ball in these windy conditions.  40-15 now.  If Serena wins it will be her fifth major at the US Open, 17 titles in all. Game, Vika at 1-2 now.

Serena serves.  Some struggling but Vika gets the point. 15-0.  SO windy on court.  30-15.  Serena hits long, 30-30. 30-40, game Vika.  2-2 now.

Vika serves, 0-15.  Fabulous bakhand down the line shot by Vika.  15-15 now.  30-15.  40-15. Game, Vika, 3-2 now.

Serena serves.  Let ball. Vika hits wide now.  15-0.  15-15.  Vika's shots are better working with the wind, it seems Serena has not adjusted to the fact the wind is here to stay. 30-15.  Lots of backhand to backhand, but Vika hits wide.  40-15.  Game Serena, 3-3. 

Vika serves.  0-15.  Serena nets. 15-15. Serena nets. 30-15. Serena nets. 40-15. Spin and wind messes up addressing the ball for Serena here. Whoa, what touch Vika!  Both players at net and Vika gets Serena's ball and lobs the ball over Serena to land in!  Game Vika, 4-3 now.

 Serena serves now, into the wind. Approaches net but loses her balance and hits out. 0-15. ACE! 15-15.  ACE! 30-15.  Now Serena gets to net and puts away. 40-15 now.  Vika hits long. A match of wind and spin.  Game Serena, 4-4 now,

Vika serves.  With the wind, 0-15. Tremendous play by Vika, her down the line shots are spot on. 15-15. ACE! 30-15.  Vika hits to far corner again, she has these shots down. 40-15.  Serena nets. Game Vika, 5-4.

Serena serves now. With the wind. 0-15. 15-15, big battle of strength between the two players.  Vika hits long.  30-15.  Serena not making many of her first serves so far in this match.  She shanks the ball.  30-30.  Vika is the much steadier player at this point. Vika nets. 40-30.  Fault.  Double fault now.  Deuce.  Foot fault.  Uh-oh. Serena hits down the line, AD Serena.  Fault.  Let service. Vika drop shots in front of her, Serena cannot get, backwards spin.  DEUCE.  Serena hits to corner, AD Serena.  Vika challenges, wins the point, deuce.  Serena puts ball away at net to the open court, AD Serena.  Let ball, ACE!  Game Serena, 5-5.

Vika serves. 0-15. Serena shanks out. 15-15 now.   Let ball, fault.  Nice serve, Serena nets. 30-15. 40-15.  Serena hits a  winner to the baseline.  40-30.  Vika nets, DEUCE!  Too good with Serena's forehand, fabulous powerful topspin. Break point. Game Serena!  5-6.

Serena serves. Leading at 6-5 for the set.  High toss. Fault.  Rally, Serena hits to the corner for a winner.  15-0.  Now Vika nets. 30-0.  Powerful serve, Vika pops out. 40-0. Serena really moving her feet well and working the wind.  Vika misses wide!  Game + set Serena!

SET 2~

Vika serves. 0-15.  Now 0-30.  Serena has won the last 10 points. 15-30.  15-40.  Serena has clearly found her rhythm, and Vika is defending and playing well, but not well enough.  Okay, 30-40.  Fault, rally, Vika hits wide.  Serena gets the first break of service game.  0-1.

Serena serves now.  Will we see some aces in this game?  High toss, Vika unable to return, 15-0.  30-0. ACE!!! Her third in the match. Re-play the point as a bad call from a linesman.  ACE!!!! 40-0.  Serves over the lower part of the net.  Vika fails with a drop shot, goes wide and short.  Game Serena, 2-0 now.

Vika serves now.  15-0.  Let, fault.  Serena nets, 30-0.  Serena hits wide topspin shot, Vika hits long.  30-15. Rally, now 30-30.  Vika drop shots, Serena nets now 40-30! Serena nets, game Vika!  1-2.

Serena serves now. 15-0.  15-15.  Vika going for those corners again, 15-30 now.  Next moves Serena over to one corner, then a winner down the opposite line. 15-40. Now 30-40. Still break point. Not any more, DEUCE.  Vika shanks, AD Serena.  Tough for Vika to convert a win for herself. ACE!!!!! She does not.  Game Serena, 3-1.

Vika serves.  15-0, Serena hits wide.  Corners Serena then to the other corner 30-0. Double fault, 30-15.  Fast, powerful hitting by both players but Serena overpowers at 89 miles per hour, her 21st winner, 30-30 now.  Double fault,  30-40.  Fault.  Frustrating.  Another double fault. Game Serena, 1-4.

Serena serves.  Fault.  Serena hits long, 0-15.  Vika ran forward, probably threw Serena off.  But, Serena gets the next point at 15-15 now.  Serena nets.  15-30.  Serena gets tight and hits long, 15-40.  President Bill Clinton is in the crowd.  Powerful serves.  Vika hits wide, 30-40 now.  Still break point.  Fault.  Rally, challenge, Vika wins!  4-2.

Vika serves now.  15-0.  A small momentum swing now happening in the match. Oh well, Vika hits long, 15-15 now.  Fault. A challenge but ball is out, 30-15 now.  Fault.  Double fault. 30-30.  Serena nets, 40-30.  Vika goes for the lines and holds, 3-4.

Serena serves. Fast serves, faster points, 40-0.  Vika goes to the corners but hits wide.  5-3.

Vika serves.  Very tricky wind the whole match.  Serena returns wide, she hits the ball late for it to go wide.  15-0.  More line shots for Vika but the ball sails out. 15-15.  "Swirly conditions," as John M says. 30-15.  Fault.  Long rally, Vika goes to corners down the line again, fabulous tennis. 40-15. Game Vika. 4-5.

Serena serves.  For the championship.  Serena rallies, approaches the net and puts away. 15-0.   Great playing from Vika.  Double fault. 15-15.  Fault.  Hits long, 15-30 now.  Hits long again, 15-40.  30-40 now, Serena put away to the corner. Now Serena hits long!   She has clearly gone tight in this closing set, we are human after all. Game Vika, 5-5 now.

Vika serves.  0-15.  0-30 now.  Fault.  Serena winner to the far corner from lower part of the net, a high percentage point, 0-40. Now Vika hits long, a challenge by Vika! The ball is in! 15-40!  Serena shanks a return from nerves, 30-40, but Vika cannot hold, game Serena!  5-6.

Serena is serving for the championship at 6 games to 5.  HUGE serve. ACE!!!!!!! Her seventh.  15-0. Azarenka fights back tracks down the ball, 15-15.   Another big serve, a challenge, out.  Rally, Vika going for the corners, Serena knows, but hits wide. 15-30.  30-30 now.  Tried for the ace but it was long.  30-40.  Serena dumps the ball into the net.   Fault. Double fault.  6-6.

Tie breaker.  Vika wins the first point 1-0. Serena serves now,Vika shanks out, 1-1.  Serena serves again, Vika nets, 2-1 Serena.  Vika serves, Serena hits to the angle gets it, now 3-1 Serena.  Vika serves, swinging volleys, Vika gets the point, now 2-3 Vika.  Serena serves, Serena nets 3-3, Serena serves, Vika shanks a shot, 4-3 Serena. Vika serves, rallies, going for the corners but Serena hits out. 4-4 Vika. The crowd cheers Serena on!  Vika fights and moves Serena all around the court, 5-4 Vika!  Serena serves, nets a shot, 4-6 Serena.  ACE! 5-6 Serena.  Vika serves now, fabulous rally, but Vika nets! 6-6!  Vika serving, Serena hits out, 7-6 Vika!  Serena serving, rally, Serena hits out. 8-6 Vika!! 

Vika takes the second set!! Amazing tennis!

SET 3~

Serena serves.  0-30. Now 15-30.  30-30 now.  2 hours and 13 minutes into the match now.  Serena gets to net and puts away to the corner.  40-30.  Vika shanks a return, game Serena 1-0.

Vika serves.  Shanks a return, 0-15.  Vika hits deep, 15-15 now.  What a momentum swing in this match, truly great tennis here.  30-15 now. Serena nets, 40-15 now.  She is upset it seems.  Serena hits a winner to the sides, 40-30. Serena nets, game Vika, 1-1.

Serena serves.  30-15 now, tough for the players to get their footing!  Wind still playing a factor here.  40-15 now. 40-30.  Vika looks loaded for bear, Serena looks troubled. Let serve. Serena goes for the corners, Vika gets to the ball but a bit too late and nets it. Game Serena! 2-1 now.

Vika serves now.  WHO WILL WIN?  Each point is so very close. Serena misses an overhead. Instead of going for it, John M. suggests a simple drop shot would have been to her benefit.  15-0.  Some points, 40-15 now,  Serena battles and gets the point.  40-30, now DEUCE!  Serena hits out, AD Vika.  What a rally, Vika finally nets.  DEUCE.  Now AD Serena.  Now DEUCE! Vika is so tough against Serena at the net, such EFFORT!   AD Serena now.  7.5 minute game so far.  Fault.  Double fault. Game goes to Serena. 1-3.

Serena serves.  ACE! At 124 miles per hour.  15-0.  Vika gets to the net, and Serena lobs in with topspin! 30-0. ACE!  40-0. Eighth ace.  ACE! The nineth for the match.  This game lasted maybe, a minute? THREE (3) aces in this game! Game Serena, 4-1.

Vika serves now.  It is getting dark outside!  15-0, Serena nets.  Rally, and Vika nets. They are both showing signs of fatigue.  15-15.  Great serve, nets, 30-15.  Wind + slice activity.  Vika hits long, must be the wind.  30-30.  Vika hits long again, break point now. 30-40.  Serena is very serious, digging in deep. Fault. Oh my gosh! Vika nets a return!  Game Serena.  1-5.

Serena serving for the championship.  15-0. "Three points away," says John.  Who needs a reminder? Fault. Rally, Serena nets.  15-15.  Wow!  Great lob over Vika's shoulder!  The ball is in! 30-15.  A little luck never hurts!  Vika hits out, 40-15!! Serving for the championship right here.  Great serve and rally, Serena nets.  It is so hard to close. Since 1980, this is the longest recorded women's championship.  40-30.  Fault.  Great serve, Vika hits out!  That's it!  Serena, a five time US Open champion!!!!!

The scores~ 7-5, 6-7, 6-1.  


photo credit GETTY IMAGES

There is a winner and a loser, such is the game of tennis, because after all is said and done, it is a game.  A game that has taken over our hearts, our minds, our entire being.  Such is the life of a tennis player, the vagaries of the fates on a certain day,.and with all that we remain humble an din awe of what this sport can bring out in us.  Victoria Azarenka showed us tonight how to stand on your own, to play your game and adjust accordingly.  With incredible fortitude and strength of character she and Serena Williams brought the best out in each other. Congratulations, ladies, you make us proud.

photo credit REUTERS click here for match highlights!

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