Saturday, January 31, 2015


Really great tennis this 2015!  All the women players are fit, well practiced, serious about tennis. There are no phonies here, the competition will weed out the chaff, either by grit or by luck.

Today's women's final is the culmination of two  weeks of amazing ups and downs in Melbourne Australia, and some surprises and predictable motions.  

We will miss Ana Ivanovic, taken out early on in this grand slam.  Venus Williams has hung in there for the quarterfinals, such determination from a young lady diagnosed with Shroger's Disease. We will certainly see more of American Madison Keyes, got to love her name!

So, here we are, two greats Serena Williams, number 1 in the world and Maria Sharapova, number 2 in the world.  The last time these two champions played toe to toe was in 2007, and the last time Maria beat Serena in a major was 2004, see Rolling Stone article. That was 11 years ago!

Some simple stats~ Serena Williams is 6 years older than Maria Sharapova.  Given the strength that Serena has, those extra years add on not as a physical breakdown in power but as coveted experience with greater time on the court, besides being a physical powerhouse. Advantage Serena.

Serena is an 18 Grand Slam Champion, Maria is 5 time Grand Slam Champion.

Does Maria have a chance?

I love what Chris Evert says, "Of course she has a chance." This is tennis, and sport at its core. 

The Australian Open is a competition, where at the beginning of the match, at the beginning of each point, of each set, there is a 50-50 chance of winning.  This is statistics. 

Next, it is what you do and not do within those moments that determine the win/loss. You could argue that Serena is better prepared from her previous wins against Maria, Maria has only won one set in their last 11 matches. But, statistically speaking, does that mean she will lose this match? The answer is no. And that 'chance' is what makes this match so exciting!

Here is another great New York Times article on the back story of these two rivals. So much goes on in the mind, and Maria has a powerful presence of mind to overcome the 'one sided' view from the Serena camp that Maria does not have a chance. The match begins even before the first ball is struck, or so the Serena camp would like to intimate.

So, based on these musings, what happened?

Game, set, match, championship to Serena Williams, now a 19 Grand Slam winner, outranking tennis greats Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova!

The games for Serena are 6-3, 7-6 (7,5).  

Just looking at these numbers, you know that Maria put up a fight, and kept it up in the second set. Go Maria!  Maria DID have her chance, and did very well considering the odds against her~ a powerful Serena, a confident Serena, a Serena who wants to surpass Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova, and DOES it!

And Maria, not to worry as you have many more years to stay on your game, look how well you played today!

Success is rooted in the preparation, you have many more years to keep on preparing than Serena, this is her moment in the sun.  Of course she will enjoy it!

So, let's see what went on.

Here are the match stats~


Serena Williams
Maria Sharapova
Double faults
44/68 (65 %)
1st serves in
42/72 (58 %)
37/44 (84 %)
1st serve points won
28/42 (67 %)
9/24 (38 %)
2nd serve points won
14/30 (47 %)
203 KMH
Fastest serve
177 KMH
184 KMH
Average 1st serve speed
170 KMH
150 KMH
Average 2nd serve speed
153 KMH
7/10 (70 %)
Net points won
2/3 (67 %)
3/7 (43 %)
Break points won
1/4 (25 %)
30/72 (42 %)
Receiving points won
22/68 (32 %)
Unforced errors
Total points won
Distance Covered (Metres)
Dist. Covered/Pt. (Metres)

Looking at these numbers, you can tell that although Maria fought back, Serena was the aggressor.  Serena's serving was stronger, her net play more active at 7/10, which can definitely psyche out an opponent, Maria only came up to net and won 2/3 times. Not enough.   

And, although Serena caused more enforced errors at 25 to Maria's 15, to offset that imbalance Serena had 38 winners to Maria's 21. AND, 18 ACES from Serena!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Ultimately it was the aces and the winners is what made the difference in the match, contributing to a total of Serena's 76 points won to Maria's 64 points won.  That is where great serving comes in, and Serena delivered.  

Congratulations, Serena Williams for a fabulous tournament and now a 6 time Australian Open Champion!

Serena and Maria!!

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