I believe it was the 2005 OZ semi, Serena vs Maria Sharapova.
I think the announcer was Tracy Austin
, posters agree it was Mary Carillo, I stand corrected, who spent the almost the entire match talking about why Sharapova was better player, yet was eventually reduced to (I paraphrase) ...
"Maria is playing better, but somehow Serena is winning"
On paper, that's an absurdity. 'Winning' is the definition
of 'playing better'. And I among many, ridiculed Austin after that match. But four years later, I find myself concluding Austin was not wrong.
Serena is, in many ways, this generation's Jimmy Connors. The greatest player? No. An obscenely dominant player for a short period time. Yes. A slam winner for quite awhile past the dominant period? Certainly.
But Connors was once quoted saying something I found telling. (again, I paraphrase) "It's not so much I want to win. I hate the expression on the other's guys face when I lose."
Now let's look at Serena vs her greatest rivals
Serena plays Venus -- there's so much history that Serena can NOT know she'll win. It is, in other words, a fair fight, in athletic terms.
Serena vs Jennifer Capriati -- Serena knows she facing someone who's hatred of losing equals her own. Honestly, I don't relate to that. I do my best and lose, I sleep okay. Serena and JCap both seem to carry the kind of baggage that makes losing .... I dunno. A permanent stain on the soul? Jimmy Connors, once Bjorn Borg surpassed him once said "I'll follow that sumbitch to the ends of the Earth"
Serena vs Maria Shararova -- Is Serena 'over' Wimbledon 2004? Yes. In a sense. That sense being Serena is back to believing she's the better player. But seems, almost, to approach playing Maria Sharapova like the Lady of the Manor who caught a scullery maid flirting with her eldest son. An example must be made.
Serena vs Azarenka -- It would be nice if this one went somewhere. But you can't make much out of three career matches. Now, if Serena doesn't drop a set at Roland Garros til she meets Azarenka in the semis, then losing 6-1, 6-2 .....