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Sidenote, but damn. I hope Nadal can somehow turn around his misfortunes against Federer and Djokovic. He is now 5-21 against them in his last 26 matches and 0-16 outside clay.

He is also 9-22 vs Djokovic since 2011 and they are even 7-7 on clay. He hasn't been able to take a set off Djokovic on hard courts since 2013 and has lost 21 consecutive sets against him. Yikes.

The Djokovic Nadal rivalry outside of clay really gives me Serena vs Pova vibes (but only less extreme). They play a relatively similar game, but Novak does everything a bit better and is mentally stronger. Poor Rafa.
 

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Sidenote, but damn. I hope Nadal can somehow turn around his misfortunes against Federer and Djokovic. He is now 5-21 against them in his last 26 matches and 0-16 outside clay.

He is also 9-22 vs Djokovic since 2011 and they are even 7-7 on clay. He hasn't been able to take a set off Djokovic on hard courts since 2013 and has lost 21 consecutive sets against him. Yikes.

The Djokovic Nadal rivalry outside of clay really gives me Serena vs Pova vibes (but only less extreme). They play a relatively similar game, but Novak does everything a bit better and is mentally stronger. Poor Rafa.
Nadal is still set to tie or break Fed’s slam record this year, right? So there’s one silver lining. Djokovic may outshine them both in the end, though.


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So disappointed that I missed it live, but finally got a chance to watch the replay. Finally, finally she crossed the line! I couldn't be more proud. Can't say that I would have felt that way about Serena winning a MM years ago, but it felt like she needed this. The bright spots for the match (and tourney as a whole):

  • Return winners aplenty.
  • Great depth.
  • Sublime angles, showing yet again it's not just about power with her.
  • Clutch serving.
  • Some good net play, including a sweet low volley late in the final. Any way to shorten points will help her, so quality net play will be a must.
  • Drop shots! I've been waiting for her to make better use of that shot. Great against those foes who just camp behind the baseline.
  • Backhand slice. Came in clutch a few times - she doesn't get enough credit for her defensive shots.
  • Movement and footwork improved as the tournament progressed. She looked a little slow to move and react early on, but looked markedly better by the SF and F.
And perhaps most importantly, she played 9 matches in 6 days, and didn't get injured. The past two years were plagued with ailments (pectoral, knee, back), so the fact that she was able to handle that workload is very promising.

Her BP conversion (3/15) could have been better, and she was clearly nervous to start (broken again when serving first), but that's all trivial in retrospect. The important thing is that she got over the finish line - hopefully this will get her back into that champion's mentality.
 

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Sidenote, but damn. I hope Nadal can somehow turn around his misfortunes against Federer and Djokovic.
...
They play a relatively similar game, but Novak does everything a bit better and is mentally stronger. Poor Rafa.
I caught the ATP Cup match between the pair, and it was looking very much like the AO final until Rafa changed things up a bit. What stands out to me in the matchup is that (1) Rafa's shots can't hurt Novak, (2) Nole knows Rafa's patterns, and (3) Rafa can't use his usual attrition-style tennis against Djokovic.

All the usual advantages Rafa tends to have against opponents (lefty FH vs righty BH, fitness, speed, determination, intensity) seem completely negated by Novak's skillset. As the commentators implied during the match, Rafa might have to redline to have a chance (outside of clay).

I'm actually Novak got a chance to shine in front of an audience that was actually rooting for him rather than against him. It clearly meant a lot to the so-called 'unloved champion' (a terrible moniker, FWIW).
 

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From the WTA website, Jessica Pegula's take on Serena:
"I was just telling my coach, every single person asks me, ‘Have you played Serena?’" Pegula laughed. "And I’m like, ‘No, I haven’t.’ Now I can say yes, so my credibility goes up! Way, way up. Everybody will be happy to hear that."

"I think it’s pretty cool to play her in the final," Pegula added. "No matter what, I’m going to have that picture with her and with the trophies."

"I was definitely a huge fan of both the Williams sisters growing up, especially for American tennis, and obviously she’s the greatest player of all time, so there’s a ton of respect there," said Pegula.
Link to the article
 

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Serena was fighting herself for so much of that match. Credit to Pegula though -- she was PEAKING for a few stretches, especially early on. She forced Serena to up her level and fortunately Serena was up for the task.

I loved how Pegula saved those MPs at 5-3* and Serena responded by serving out the match like a boss. The final game might've been the least nervous she looked all match tbh.

The way this match unfolded could be so valuable for Serena in the long run. Can't ask for a better type of win. :love:


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Doubles was frustrating. Serena was alright from the back court, but I was pulling my hair out @ her poor lob attempts. Felt like she had a 0/10 success ratio.

Taylor was the best player on the court by a mile though. She and Asia both served brilliantly. Deserved win for them.

The hug for Taylor & handshake for Asia was so awkward. ? I'm fairly certain I've seen Serena and Asia being friendly in someone's IG comments before.... but I guess Serena doesn't feel hug-level close with her? Lol.. hopefully Asia won't take it personally.

Oh well. Great tournament for Serena/Carolina nonetheless! They clearly had fun and didn't seem bothered by the loss whatsoever.
 

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Olympia is so cute and she looks soooo much like Kween.
I'm glad she won, hopefully it brings the missing piece to the 24th slam puzzle.
 
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