Women’s Semi Final

Jun 4, 2010

There aren’t many who would have pipped the kind of semi-final and final in either the men’s or women’s game, but in my eyes the women’s tournament is ultimately more engaging in the surprise-factor sense.

For starters; the semi-final of Jelena Jankovic vs. Samantha Stosur lasted a mere 60 minutes, with Stosur beating the Serb in a rather convincing fashion 6-1 6-2. When it comes to the semi-finals, and there is a fourth seed playing someone attempting to get into a grand slam final for the first time in their career, that’s not necessarily how you see the match playing out. Jankovic was steam rollered throughout the whole of the first set, only managing to grab hold of the game in some sense at the beginning of the second.

Unfortunately the 2-0 lead she had over Stosur was obliterated by both poor play from Jankovic and a steady hand from Stosur. Serve became a key issue in the game for both players; Stosur’s simply wasn’t working for her, until suddenly she seemed to feel the pressure of Jankovic breathing down her neck in the second set and managed to kick her serve into gear. With the experience of closing out tense matches, Stosur dominated the end of the match and there was little inkling of a sudden resurgence from Jankovic. One hour later and it was all over; Stosur was through. This all comes after another stunning performance by Stosur in the quarters when she sent Serena Williams flying from the tournament. Williams was lethargic, her game stilted, and was simply not on form. Sometimes, even poor play from the Williams sisters can get them through, but Stosur was not one of those kinds of competitors. Now, Stosur is the first Australian woman to play in a Grand Slam final in 30 years.

Another reason why the final stretch of this women’s tournament has been so interesting is the story and events of the other set of quarter and semi finals. Stosur may be the first Australian woman in 30 years to reach a Grand Slam final, but Francesca Schiavone is the first Italian woman ever to reach a Grand Slam final. Elena Dementieva quit during her semi-final clash with Schiavone, giving the 29 year old Italian a clear run to her first Grand Slam final. Suffering with a calf injury, Dementieva called it a day as Schiavone took the first set witha tie break 7-6 (7-3), and adulation for Schiavone met bitter disappointment for Dementieva; the injury ended her bid to reach a Grand Slam final since her 2004 US Open final appearance. She held back tears as Schiavone won the tie-break, and took the decision to stop it there.

Caroline Wozniacki, who despite suffering an ankle injury so close to the start of the tournament, had been surprising everyone by making it through the first few rounds unscathed. Confidence appeared to be growing behind her game, but the 19 year old just struggled to get a game plan against the Schiavone in their quarter final encounter. Still, Wozniacki has a lot to be proud of, as the competition’s youngest quarter-finalist (her second one at that). Schiavone broke serve six times and looking back, it seemed quite clear that even without an injury Schiavone would have been dangerous to Dementieva in the semi-finals.

So, it is a Stosur/Schiavone final. Not something many of us expected; until Clijsters dropped out many were hoping for a Clijsters/Henin final. Then, when Henin picked up form at the tournament, fingers were crossed for a Henin/anyone final. But I doubt anyone will be complaining about the nature of tomorrow’s women’s final. A truly unusual outcome of the tournament, but it will be an entertaining one nonetheless. The Parisian crowds barely turned up at Roland Garros for the recent matches, but I would suggest tuning in wherever you are, and either exercise some shrewd analytical skills and predict who will win, or just sit and watch a good old fashioned thriller final.

- SophieG

Written by: SophieG

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