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Mess from Serena in that first set, most awful footwork in the entire tournament by far, completely forgot how to play tennis. Finally remembered how to in the final set.

But when even Putintseva can smile and be friendly with Serena at the net, Serena is now Miss Congeniality by far on the tour.
 

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I almost had it with her. I had heart palpitations :hysteric:

Wow Serena's haters must feel even worse than 2015 RG. They prayed and hoped hard to no avail.

 

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Loved watching that fight from Serena. Winning through bad patches is a near necessity nowadays for a slam. She came through that in Graf-like fashion, with grit, intelligence, pressuring play, and a short memory. Excellent prep.

To Note: her 2nd serve is mega-strong on this surface. Couple that with biting-punishing spin on her groundies, rediscovered angles, and improved decisive net play and she will win.
...
 

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The COMEBACK QUEEN strikes again!!! This was a much bigger test for Serena than the Mladenovic match. Her nerves really played a role in this one. She made a lot of unforced errors, serve wasn’t clicking, movement was off, and for a while, she looked like she didn’t wanna be out there anymore. But Putintseva’s missed opportunities and Serena’s fighting spirit put her right back in the match. The more chances you give Serena to burn you, eventually she will, and that’s exactly what happened!!! 3rd set was much cleaner, and steadier. She overcame her nerves and got through like the champ she is!! 5 down!!!!! 2 more to go!! for #22.
 

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Putintseva played really well, hopefully she builds on this.

Kudos to Serena, played a really smart match starting in the second set. Putin was hanging out in the back of the court to try to neutralize her power so she started playing more drop shots and going to her plan B which doesn't come naturally to her. Great turnaround minus the small set back after leading 4-1 in the second.

Also, with this win Serena is for the first time this year leading the Race to Singapore.
 

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Putin Saviour had Rena on the ropes but couldn't close the deal...

meh
 

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LORD JEHOVAH.

I don't think I have EVER seen Serena so nervous as she was at the start of the second set. Those tight backhands and moonballs! That 5-7 0-1* game was pivotal.

Bertens will clearly be a huge test...
 

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A real shit fest but Serena made it through in the end. Surprisingly nice handshake at the end - even Putin likes Serena!
 

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At least it was a match
Had it been CSN it would have been over in 50 mins
 
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