March 9th, 2008
Serena Williams came into the Bangalore tournament only playing in two previous events this season, the Hyundai Hopman Cup and the Australian Open. The lack of match play was evident as Serena had to fight hard to earn her the title in India. The small Tier II event showcased a healthy amount of top players with both Williams sisters, Jelena Jankovic and Patty Schnyder attending the event.
For Schnyder, it was a much more quiet and less eventful road to the Finals. Not to mention, much less publicized. Serena on the other hand had to face big sister, Venus in the Semi-Finals. It wasn't a pretty match in terms of level of play however it was one of the more hard fought victories in the entire tournament. Serena beat Venus, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(4). Jelena Jankovic surprisingly crashed out in the Quarter-Finals and makes any tennis fan think she may be still suffering from an injured back. Jankovic's over packed schedule in 2007 has definitely caught up with the Serbian in 2008.
The Finals was an okay show of play between the two players who have met many times before. Schynder of course had been victorious the prior 2 times they had played, even winning in a third set tiebreak last year in Rome's Quarter-Finals. But Serena wouldn't be denied today and used her power and will to win the match and the tournament with a 7-5, 6-3 victory over Patty Schynder. Bangalore is Williams' 29th WTA Tour title.
Next week the WTA Tour heads to Indian Wells for the Pacific Life Open. It is the first hardcourt event in the American March Double, the second is Miami. Last year's champion, Daniela Hantuchova will look to defend her title, but with players such as Ana Ivanovic, Maria Sharapova, Svetlana Kuznetsova and more...she'll have a lot to handle. Big names not included in the draw are Justine Henin and of course the Williams Sisters who have not played at Indian Wells since 2001.
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