Undisputedly, Serena Williams adores the spotlight and Wimbledon is the Oscars of the tennis stage. In the finals at the All England Club, defending champion Williams overpowered Vera Zvonareva, the 21st seed, 6-3,6-2 to win her fourth Wimbledon trophy and her thirteenth major overall surpassing the great Billie Jean King.
Zvonareva was making her debut in the finals at a major and Williams did not rely on first timer jitters to knock out her opponent. In 2004, an intrepid teenage newcomer seeded 13th, Maria Sharapova stunned world number one Williams to take the Wimbledon title. From the very first game, Serena demonstrated that she had learned her lesson. With a backhand down the line winner, Williams held at love to open the match. Showing no nervousness, Zvonareva carried her first game easily. Despite throwing in two double faults and being pushed to deuce the next couple of games, Serena guarded serve to stay ahead 3-2. When Zvonareva’s forehand up the line landed out of play, Williams had her first break point. However, Zvonareva forced the miscues from Serena to level the set at 3 a piece. After Serena had no trouble guarding serve, Zvonareva double faulted on game point for deuce. With a nice lob, Serena obtained another mistake from Zvonareva for her second break point of the game. With an incredible running forehand up the line winner, Serena broke for 5-3. Then, on her third set point, Serena caused Zvonareva to flub another forehand to pocket the set.
Under pressure, Zvonareva’s troubles multiplied in the second set. By dumping a backhand crosscourt into the net, Serena earned a break point the first game. When Zvonareva’s forehand missed its destination, Serena took the initial game. Subsequently, with a backhand volley winner, Serena consolidated for a 2-0 edge. From that point on, Serena never removed her foot from the accelerator. With another smoking running forehand, Serena provoked a forehand miscue from Zvonareva for double break point in the fifth game. Although Zvonareva saved those two, she sent another forehand into the net giving Serena a third chance. This time Williams did not have to strike the ball, by double faulting, Zvonareva gifted her a 4-1 lead. The remainder of the match, Serena surrendered just one point on her serve and with a love game to capture the championship.
After the match, Zvonareva had nothing but praise for her rival “you’re a great player and a great champion … you’ve shown great determination throughout the week”. The Russian conceded “I’m a little disappointed . . . [but] Serena did not allow me to show my best”. Zvonareva could not manufacture one break point. Williams connected on 66% of her first serves and won 94% of those points. In addition, Serena did not loose a set on as she claimed the title.
Since the pain is still fresh, Zvonareva said it’s hard to see the positives. But the Russian admitted that when she reflects in a couple of hours, she will have a better perspective. After all, “I’ve been dreaming of playing Wimbledon since I was a kid”. Considering the hardship that Zvonareva has gone through the last year with her ankle injury, “I was doubting that I was going to ever play”. Zvonareva expressed her gratitude to the people who have stuck by her and aided her to arrive at this moment including her surgeon who was present. Indeed, for Zvonareva, there’s a ton to be proud of.
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