Sunday, September 12, 2010
Sometimes in tennis, the play between two ballers can be a beautiful battle of wills and ethereal shot making where the victor is determined by a few pivotal moments in a match as it was in the second men's semifinal yesterday. And, sometimes, it's a bloodbath.
Kim Clijsters absolutely demolished Vera Zvonareva 6-2, 6-1 last night to win her third US Open crown and third career major. The Belgian lady baller, who seemed to be zoning at times, was in pristine form seeing the ball big and controlling the match from start to finish. She managed to avenge her two losses to Bepa this summer in the 59 minute rout by serving well (77% first serve, 1 ace) and moving fluidly throughout the entire match suffocating the Russian with her defense and forcing her to go for too much on her shots. The 27-year old ended with 17 winners/15 UEs, made 10 of 14 net play and converted on 4 of 5 break point chances.
Kimmie's ground attack, most notably her blistering forehand, was a model of controlled aggression. The second seed consistently hit deep, pinning Bepa behind the baseline, and utilized angled backhand drives to open up the court for her forehand. A pretty simple strategy that was executed to perfection.
Sadly for Bepa it was her second consecutive loss at the final gate of a major. After staying close during the opening moments of the match her frustration began to grow due to her inability to make any impression on Kimmie's game. Her serve, which was a key to her win against top seed Caroline Wozniacki in the semifinals, was a non-factor winning only 48% of the time when she threw down a first ball and 38% on the second deliveries. Once Prince was put to pasture (he never stood a chance against the DecoTurf court) it was all but done.
Hopefully, Bepa will remember it sometimes takes a few opportunities to get used to the enormity of the moment and to land that maiden Slam. And she need look no further for proof than Kimmie, who suffered four tough defeats in finals before finally breaking through. It may not be the beginning but it surely ain't the end.
More images from the Belgian's win below!
[Photo(s): Getty Images]