Serena Williams, like Roger Federer, reached her fourth Aussie Open final while also making her third consecutive major final when she outhit and outplayed the hottest lady baller on the WTA Tour, Elena Dementieva in the semifinals. She ousted her Russian foe 6-3, 6-4 and will face her third consecutive Russian, Dinara Safina, who dismissed Vera Zvonareva 6-3, 7-6 (3), in the ladies' final on Saturday night.
Their serves made the difference in this match with ReRe hitting 10 aces, particularly in key moments, and Elena reliving her serving nightmares by throwing down 8 double faults. The 9-time Grand Slammer talked about the importance of serving well in this match during her post-match presser:
Q. What did you do better today? You lost to her not so long ago. What parts of your game do you feel you stepped up today?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I definitely served better. It's so important to serve well against her. She's a really good returner. I moved better and I was definitely more consistent and I kept my cool. So that was, I think, some important things I was able to do.
She was also asked about the possibility of hitting double-digits career Grand Slams:
Q. If you won the tournament, you'd be in a select group that have won 10 Grand Slam singles titles. What would that mean to you to get to double figures?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It would be cool. Maybe I'll get the special 10 plus bonus mail.
Q. Meal or mail?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Mail. Like I'm sure that people have 10 plus Grand Slams get special letters (smiling). I'll be part of a really elite club.
Q. Who would you most like to receive a letter from if you reach that club? Who would you like to write you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, uhm, hmm. I don't know. I'm not a part of the club, so I don't really know exactly all the members. So hopefully I'll be a part of the club.
The Russian was gracious in defeat saying after the match,
I think Serena played really well today. Uhm, I think I was maybe not aggressive enough and maybe I was playing not deep enough, which allowed her to be very aggressive and dictate the game. But I think she was very powerful today.No kidding. Great win for ReRe especially against Elena who was playing lights out as of late (though she may have overplayed and been Russian toast mentally by the semifinal stage.) It always comes down to who really believes and who wants it the most and more often than not, it's ReRe. She has a great chance of getting entry into that double-digit Slam club when she faces Dinara in the final.
Check back from my preview of the ladies' final tomorrow!
(images via WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)