Re: MADRID 2013 Mission: Snatch That #500!!!
Before the season started, I, like others in the media, predicted that Serena would sweep all 4 slams this year. And if not for a fluke injury, she'd still be right on track for doing just that. I also said that the French Open would be the major she'd MOST likely win, just knowing what I do about Serena. She's at her most dangerous when she has a discernible goal and proper motivation. Losing to Razzano was shocking and humiliating and then you had, to her, the added insult of seeing Maria win the French. That was all the fuel Serena needed to zero in on this year's clay season as a top priority.
And if she does complete the quest at RG, what's to stop her at getting the others on her favorite surfaces? It's not a Maria problem, it's a WTA problem. It's incredibly boring and very bad for women's tennis, but I'm not seeing any of the top 10 players capable of standing up to her right now. It probably will have to be a random lower ranked player to knock her off, like a Razzano, Cibulkova, or Garrigues because Serena's focus and ability to elevate her game when she sees Maria or Vika or Petra and other highly ranked girls seems to be too much for them to handle.
I remain very encouraged by Maria's year so far, but when you think of the fact that Maria has played Serena 6 times in the past year after facing her just 9 times in the previous 8, it gets a little depressing having to see these results so often. But that's not Serena's fault. Only Maria can do something about that. I've been wrong many times in my predictions concerning sports over the years. And, as we saw in Melbourne, unexpected things and strange twists can happen. I can only hope I'm wrong and that the rest of this year isn't some big coronation for Serena.