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As expected, Serena's BH from the QF went missing. It was back to her usual mode since her comeback: hitting her BH while reaching (because she's not getting on the ball fast enough) or taking a wild rip with questionable footwork (because she isn't sharp enough).

I sensed fatigue in the match, mostly with her serving. She served much bigger against Osaka but the speed was down her and so was the consistency. She was mostly selectively cranking it up when she got in a tight hole.

Win or lose the final, I do not expect her to be in Cincinnati. She has enough matches where she can practice and build for New York. Don't think her body could handle another run next week without a first round bye.
 

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I don't think Bouzkova will do well on long term, she knows how to play because of Bolletieri but in fact she lacks some weapons. Her forehand is really weak and she didn't learn yet how to defend better. She is also thin as a player. It's only a matter of time until she gets exposed. She is pretty wild and unknown opponent.

Halep is so unlucky that she got injured.

Btw Serena with a very strange interview.
 

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This match highlights why Bouzkova has done nothing on tour aside this week when she ran into 3 tanking Slam champions Sloane, Osta & Halep who all played terrible. 4th Slam champion Serena was bad in the 1st set and that's all Bouzkova got when 18 of her 27 points were Serena's unforced errors. I mean, those are typical pusher stats.

She's very likeable and all that but her game just isn't big enough for me. I see only 2 things - occasional cheap points on the first serve and the rest basically is pushing and scrambling for opponent errors. She will play some attacking points but not often enough. Serena was way off today and the most she could do is to benefit from 18 UEs in 7 games of the 1st set. That's exactly how she won the previous 3 matches without doing much.
 

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Marie really gave her a handful for the first set and a bit. Just so scrappy and able to recover well to big shots, forcing Serena to overplay or mistime. Serena found her rhythm midway through the 2nd and did not look back.
 
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Serena! Naomi. Coco. Simona. Iga. Ashleigh.
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So glad Serena was able to grind that one out. I had my doubts about Serena beating Osaka, and was petrified to wake from my nap to see Rena down a set and being outplayed by Marie.

Folks in live commentary thread were salivating for the upset. Silly rabbits. You gotta win two sets to win the match.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Bouzie's relentless intensity hamstrung Serena early on, but somewhere in those first few games of the 2nd Serena found her indomitable place and never looked back, just got better and better. Tomorrow should be...interesting. :)


Officially a Bouzie stan, she is totes adorbs. :inlove:
 

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The first set:

A virtual repeat of this year's Wimbledon final, with a highly mobile player determined to track down every ball and return with winning precision against a stronger, more explosive player who was rushing her shots, trying to end the points too quickly and missing more often than not; once again, patience and precision wins out over impatience and too much force. Of note: Bouzkova's "keep-the-ball-in-play' style is more reminiscent of Wozniacki/Radwanska than say Halep.

The second set:

After the adrenaline burn-off and all the sprinting around the court, weariness set in on Marie and the feet moved a tad slower; conversely Serena's feet moved a tad better giving her more time to get in position to set up her racquet for a clean strike on the ball: Serena gets the range and works it to her advantage.

The third set:

The first three games indicated it might be a long grind ahead with all service held. But in the fourth game Bouzkova's modest serve began to look downright anemic and was challenged with lightning returns and fine ball redirection from Williams; Serena gets the break and consolidates with a hold for the 4-1 lead. In her desire to ace her way to victory Serena almost got into trouble. But a cross court forehand winner gave her the game set match. Fine effort from Bouzkova.

Yes, patience is a virtue
 

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A win is a win.

Got into some trouble and stayed focused and solved it. That’s enough.

Try to win it tmr, Serena! I also agree win or lose, I think it’s best she skipped Cincinnati. She looks exhausted after all her matches this week. She needs to stay fresh for US OPEN.

Bouzkova did try to hold and forced her to serve it out with just one break instead of folding, so she has done all she could. But Serena is not choking today.
 
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Bouzie's relentless intensity hamstrung Serena in the first set, but somewhere in those first few games of the 2nd Serena found her indomitable place and never looked back, just got better and better. Tomorrow should be...interesting. :)
I still say it was when Serena tagged her very hard at the net...

everything seemed to change after that.

:tears:
 
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