Along with winning majors, Serena Williams has made a habit of hoisting the trophy in Miami, the “5th grand slam”. In 2005 and 2009, Serena stopped sister Venus Williams from playing in the title match by beating her in the semifinals. Whilst Venus is disappointed that her sibling is unable to compete due to injury, she is perhaps relieved not to have to go through Serena to advance to the finals of the Sony Ericsson Open. Today, Venus defeated Marion Bartoli 6-3,6-4 to book her space in the finals for the first time since 2001.
After a love hold, Venus got to triple break point when Bartoli double faulted. Venus converted once Bartoli dumped a backhand crosscourt into the net. Subsequent to erasing break point, with a backhand down the line winner, Venus extended her lead to 3-0. In an atypical game where Venus committed two double faults, Bartoli was back on serve at 2-3. However, after carrying the first point, Bartoli produced three consecutive double faults to hand Venus double break point. Trying attain deuce, Bartoli contributed a fourth double fault to Venus’ cause, allowing the latter to get to 4-2. With an easy game punctuated by a forehand winner, Venus consolidated for 5-2. As Venus served for the set, Bartoli put up a fight. Still, in the long run, Venus took the first set 6-3.
The second set by pushing Venus into errors, Bartoli broke at love for 3-1. However, by doing the same the next game to her opponent, Venus got back on serve. After each woman cancelled break point on her serve, Venus kicked into another gear and secured the break for 5-4. Then, with two aces and a forehand volley winner, Venus arrived at triple match point. Venus finally stamped her ticket into the finals when Bartoli’s return went out of bounds.
Since losing in the quarterfinals at the Australia Open to Na Li, Venus is on a 15-0 winning streak. That includes defending titles back to back in Dubai and Acapulco. In the Sony Ericsson Open final, Venus will contend with either Kim Clijsters or Justine Henin. These two will do battle tonight.
Venus holds a 7-2 record versus Henin. But, at their last meeting, the 2007 U.S. Open, Henin prevailed in straight sets. Despite a 6-5 mark versus Clijsters, Venus has been on the wrong end their last three encounters including the 2009 U.S. Open. Irrespective of the adversary that Venus faces, the finals possess all the ingredients for an excellent match.