I always give credit where credit is due, and in this case Maria played a solid and impressive B+ game. She took advantage when the opportunities presented themselves, and maintained a very high level against Vee.
I came in at 3 - 3 in the first set and saw how well Maria was serving. I was particularly
amazed at well she was placing
her serves. Whoever researched Vee's game for her, did quit well. Maria picked on her forehand, wrong-footed her, and kept the balls deep.
Venus, aside from a couple of UFEs (forehands), played a great game as well. She volleyed extremely well. In fact, much more than I'd ever seen her do before. She was moving forward nicely, and kept the pressure on the whole time. Her served was not as strong as I would have liked. In fact, she seemed stronger (serve-wise) in the quarterfinal. However, the second set is what had me thinking Vee was playing a bit tentatively (maybe too careful) at times. Not at all like how she played against Serena. I couldn't believe that she blew triple BPs in the second set. I'm also concerned that she didn't raise her level and start painting the lines more often. That is, up until 4 - 4 in the 2nd set (I believe), where she really started going after Maria, and looked more like the old Vee.
Still, come clay season, Vee is gonna surprise folks. Her net game is on the rise, and looking quite formidable.
Anyway, congratulations to Maria! She definitely earned this win.