The big news this weekend was Serena Williams’ triumph at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston South Carolina, a tier I tournament. Williams defeated Russian Vera Zvonareva in three sets 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. This was Williams’ third tournament win this year as she improved her record to 19-1, but this was Serena’s first clay court title in nearly six years.
In the first set, Williams seemed unstoppable having more winners than errors and served at a high percentage. For the most part, Zvonareva kept up, saving multiple break point chances against her serve. But ultimately the service issue caught up with her. A game fraught with double faults provided Serena the break late in the first set whereby she then won it. The second set was a replay of the first in terms of Williams having a myriad of opportunities to break Zvonareva’s serve, but the Russian held on. The inability to take full command of the match began to annoy Serena, this resulted in her making several unforced errors. Thus, Williams went on to relinquish the second set. In the third set, Serena reestablished herself and finally broke the Russian in the latter stages of the set and won the match. Williams has been on a roll, winning the last two tier I tournaments. Inarguably, Serena will be a contender for the major in Paris. In the doubles category, the team of Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia and Ai Sugiyama are on a streak of their own, victorious in Charleston as well as the Sony Ericsson Open.
The women’s circuit will be on a break the upcoming week as Federation Cup Tennis takes center stage over the weekend. In the semifinals, powerhouse Russia battles a depleted USA team consisting of Vania King, Asha Rolle, Madison Brengle and Liezel Huber in Moscow. None of the top US players decided to participate, while the Russians will have three top 20 players on their roster. The other semifinal features Spain against China, with the Spaniards having the misfortune of their top ranked players also sidelined.