Saturday, July 11, 2015


What an absolutely classic match this was today! Grit, beauty, brawn, emotion, smarts, this women's final at Wimbledon has it all!

We have world number 1 Serena Williams, age 33, USA, defending against world number 20 Garbine Muguruza, age 21, of Spain, presenting here in her first Grand Slam.

Serena as we know by now, won the match in two straight sets, 6-4, 6-4. Total time one hour, twenty-three minutes. She will continue to the US Open to hopefully complete her calendar year Grand Slam. Wow! To be even writing this is a privilege. See where practice, practice, practice can take you?

In place of my usual play by play of the match, this time I will give a general overview, targeting a specific weakness that plagues us all, the "choke" in tennis that manifests in all forms of performance, not just sports.


Serena Williams double faults multiple times to open up her game on the All England Lawn Tennis Club at Wimbledon. We must be all thinking, this is going to be a long day at the office for Serena. How could this be?

Both women battle out the points, and Garbine is not to be swayed by the champion Serena Williams, fighting for her 21st Grand Slam title, just one behind Steffi Graff holding a record 22 Grand Slam titles.

Let's take a good look at Garbine.  She is beautiful.  Her nails are cut short, painted in a glossy champagne color, perfect for a Grand Slam final. NARS has a great color palette for nails, edgy yet classic, such is Garbine Muguruza.  She is tall, standing firm at 6 feet tall, publicized weight at 161 pounds. That is all that muscle weight, as she is formed beautifully, every muscle and ligament in place!

Compare these stats to Serena's powerful build, 5 feet 9 inches tall, a publicized weight of 150 pounds. It appears Serena has lost a few pounds from prior matches, but her power remains phenomenal, her muscle weight all there. Somehow Serena appears stronger than the two, perhaps that is because Garbine has more elongated limbs, but do not be fooled by looks alone!

Garbine puts up a great fight with Serena, even leading in the first set at 4-2. There must be a "choke" here on Serena's part, there is so much on the line here for her, and Garbine is certainly taking the advantage. Such solid tennis.

Wow, and we see Serena, one point at a time, climb back first 2-3, then Garbine leads at 4-2, and the two battle hard for Serena catch up and win 4 straight games to take the first set at 6-4.


Who is doing the climbing now? Serena is on a roll, and at 5-1, I am thinking that, okay, a score of 6-4, 6-1 is not all that bad,  In fact, it is good against such a champion as Serena, It shows fight.  

Well, well ,well, there was certainly much more fight in Garbine,  and the "choke" in Serena's playing became so obvious. How does that happen to a player? 

Each point holds huge importance, we all know that, so how does a player lose four straight games in a row at championship point?  Imagine the nerves of steel of Garbine, and Serena holding on, just barely, to claim her prize. or, will she?

Put yourself in Serena's Nike shoes, and try not to think of winning, yes, winning her very own 21st grand slam title!  That is what starts the "choke." Trying hard not to think of something that you indeed think of it. Hence, distraction, the eye is off the ball, the min dis racing, the pulse is racing, the absurd kicks in. Why not just leave the court and call it a day? But of course no one in their right mind does that. of course not. So, then, the alternative is to find a way.

How does Serena dig herself out of the choking hole?

She sticks with her game plan. Serve BIG. Yes, she has multiple double faults, terrible double faults, loses some games, hits out, has great rallies, but ultimately, she relies on her serve. And it comes across for her when she needs it most. How?

Serena's serve gave her the confidence that she can win.  Her serve is her best friend.  Yes, she can afford to lose a few games with her large lead, banking early games is a huge help when you are in a jam, and her serve, her best friend, is there for her. 

The serve returned her confidence in herself. 

Serena does not close the championship on an ace, she is not even up to serve, instead Garbine hits the ball long.  Serena is stunned, perhaps in shock it is out, and for a few seconds the crowd is silent too.  Would there be a line call perhaps? Why so quiet? But then, the stadium comes alive, Serena realizes the match is hers, and the two shake hands like best buddies.

Congratulations, Serena!  And Garbine, at the age of 21, we will certainly see you again!

Photo courtesy of Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters
For more on today's championship match and the "Serena Slam," please click here for all the details!

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