Hey - there was a thread for Venus - so why not one for Serena! She is one of the game's best fighters, hands down. Serena knows how to use her drive and competitiveness to squeeze out a victory like nobody else. She's had so many great matches in her career, so it's hard to choose just five. But here's my list:
5)Serena d. Capriati 2002 YEC Semifinals 2-6, 6-4, 6-4
This match is the best one in the rivalry between these two if you ask me. Capriati has never played so agressively against Serena, and yet she still couldn't beat her. Serena was down 3-1 in the third set and was a point from going down 4-1. But she steeled her nerves and fought her way back into it. The points were so intense!
4)Serena d. Mauresmo 2004 Wimbledon Semifinals: 6-7, 7-5, 6-4
Wow. Mauresmo was up a set and 3-1, and she was playing the tennis of her life. Serena had no reason to win that match, but she dug deep and pulled it out. Fantastic points in the third set too!
3)Serena d. Mauresmo 2004 YEC Semifinals: 4-6, 7-6, 6-4
This match was better than the match at Wimbledon IMO. Serena REALLY had no business winning this one. She was sort of ho-humming her way through. Then when she starting attacking the net, things turned around. She saved 12 break points in the third set - hitting winners on 10 of them. This was arguably the highest quality match of 2004.
2)Serena d. Maria 2005 Aussie Open Semifinals: 2-6, 7-5, 8-6
Unbelievable. So many people had crowned Maria the new "It Girl" of tennis after her Wimbledon victory, and many were starting to believe that she had Serena's number. For a set and a half, it appeared that way. Serena was down 4-5 in the second set and 3-5 in the third. Keep in mind, she saved three match points in the third set - two of them with forehand winners - and only needed one match point to close it out. To me, this was a big statement victory.
1) Serena d. Kim 2003 Aussie Open semifinals: 4-6, 6-3, 7-5
Does it get any better than this??? She was down 5-1 in the third set, and encountered two match points, and still fought her way to a victory. Of course, the big storyline here was her "Serena Slam," and many thought that Kim was going to be the one to stop her. Amazing stuff. This was a signature match for Serena.
Give me your thoughts and your top five lists too!