Serena vs Shahar Peer: My take
Serena started out the match trying to hit winners past Peer they same way she did past her slow-footed opponents of the previous two rounds. But Peer's defense proved equal to the challenge. Then, around 4-4 (maybe a little earlier) Serena started looking tentative. Suddenly she was just batting some balls back, letting the rallies get longer. I started getting worried.
But then I realized something. Serena wasn't trying for nearly as many winners, but now she was starting to get them past Peer. That continued through the tie-breaker, and then I realized what i was seeing. Serena was figuring out how to play an opponent who could, effectively, run faster than Serena could hit. Serena began varying pace, hitting a lot more offspeed stuff, letting the rallies be longer.
She got better and better at getting Peer out of position. And, without a glaring change in the level of play for either player, a 7-6 set was followed by a 6-1 set.
NOTE: Serena was sluggish. I do think she may have been looking past Peer. But it certainly helped Serena to play a super-fast opponent before playing Henin.
Proud to be an American
Not blind. Not uninformed. We are party to atrocities. But the response of the world after 9/11 is worth noting. Even our most dire enemies offered aid. We should all be so lucky.