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Wrap-up of the past four days in women's tennis

Serena Williams holding 2009 Australian Open tropheyHi everyone,

Women’s Tennis Blog is back from our four-day break. While we were inhaling the fresh mountain air, the tennis world wasn’t sleeping, and here’s what we’ve missed to report while relaxing in the Bosnian snow.

Serena Williams reached a landmark 10th Grand Slam singles title crushing Dinara Safina 6-0 6-3 in the Australian Open final. I watched the match and Dinara really "was just a ballboy on the court". Don’t forget that Serena’s achievement is even better than reaching her fourth Australian Open title, as she won women’s doubleswith her sister Venus too. And even more, Serena has climbed back to the No.1 spot in the rankings.

Sania Mirza and Mahesh Bhupathi win 2009 Australian Open mixed doublesSania Mirza has become India's third – and first female – Grand Slam tennis champion by winning the mixed doubles title at the Australian Open paired with Mahesh Bhupathi.

In her latest diary entry Ana Ivanovic is defending the Australian Open – its location, facilities and its position in the tennis calendar. As for modeling, more photos for Ana's sponsor Rolex are out. If it hadn’t been published on her official website, I probably wouldn’t have recognized her.

Ana Ivanovic in Rolex ad

Also, there are rumors that Dave Rineberg might become Ana's new coach.

You’ve probably heard about Jelena’s World, the documentary movie about Jelena Jankovic. Now you can watch it on YouTube.

Dinara Safina has a new official website, with everything you need including a section where fans can e-mail her.

Dinara Safina has new official websiteAnd last but not least, Maria Sharapova, who has slipped to No.17 in the rankings, might be continuing to skip tournaments. Supposedly, she’ll miss Paris and Dubai. Remember, she has been expected to make a comeback at the GDF Suez Open? Unfortunately, I wouldn’t be surprised if the rumors proved to be true. However, if she really pulls out of those events, than her claims that she simply hasn’t trained enough seem unreliable.

If I’ve missed something in this overview, feel free to mention it in the comments below.

Glad to be back,

Marija

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9 thoughts on “Wrap-up of the past four days in women's tennis

  1. Bróna

    Welcome back Marija. I hope that you enjoyed your vacation! Its such a pity about Sharapova, I hope she comes back soon.

  2. Marija

    Thank you, Bróna. The vacation was wonderful.

    About Sharapova, it's official now, she has withdrawn. That injury is affecting her career too hard.

  3. Zuleika

    Dear Marija,

    I hope you had a wonderful holiday experience, but with regards to the AO Open final, I totally agree. Basically, Safina's serve was her enemy, a catalyst being the extremely high ball toss and her head falling back in such an angle and hence resulting in absent first serves and hence the opportunities for her signature solid and monstrous fore/back hand base line winners which had been the ultimate enhancement of her game. Her return of serve was adequate, but not sufficient to set up the opportunities to execute those winners. Hence, today her ability and capacity to execute her trademark shots were not impaired for she only made one unforced error during the process. She was too far back behind the baseline and despite maximum court coverage she could not take advantage of the Serena's numerous half-volleys and short balls. Before she could recuperate, Serena had taken advantage of the lost opportunities of signature winners and comprehensive amount of second serves that were either clean winners or double faults at crucial game points. Poor Dinara could not recover and shockingly it was all over, as justified by the lacklustre crowd reaction.

    As for Serena, though she was explosive and hence conducted the pace and controlled the speed of return with her excellent movement and optimal weapons- serve, forehand but most importantly her return of serve for which she had practised for the majority of her practise session earlier today. She capitalised on Dinara's faltered second serve and executed her shots. Congratulations though, her normal grand slam quality tennis, notice- normal and not spectacular handed her the memorial trophy on a silver platter.

    Dina attempts to address recovery: "Now I just have to go back, take a little time and get everything back in the place. I mean, I had three weeks in a row four weeks with a Grand Slam. Of course, by playing every day matches from Hopman Cup, it's tough to practice, you know. Once you play match, everything goes a little bit, you know, the technique just goes back. Now I want to go back and I'll have few days and just put everything together and I'll get ready for Dubai."

    She is precisely right, after having spectated all of her prior matches to the AO, one can be certain that her service motion and effectuality did regress because at the beginning of the year, though it was not a feminine equivalent of Roddick's serve, it was still one of her core game assets. She admitted it later on: "my serve was letting me down, so… After I hold it for two times, but just during the match I was not giving her any trouble with my serve. Normally my serve is my weapon. So playing without all my weapons, it's tough against her."

    Don't worry, she ensures it will never recur: "Well, I hope it's not the last one, you know. I still have time. And just, you know, I'll go on the court now and practice. Those mistakes that I've been doing, just will try to work as hard as I can that they will never happen again. After every lose, I try to take what was good and what was wrong, and to work on my weaknesses, to get them better, that my opponents will not have that easy next time.

    But did admit the extent to which her game faltered due to Serena's dominance: "You know, she played exactly the way she had to play and she was much more aggressive and she just was taking time out of me, so I didn't have that much time to put back myself onto the court. She didn't even let me to come into the match. "

    In essence, Dinara's game was marred by absent first serves and lost opportunities to set up her signature winners, not the unforced errors nor motivation or mentality. To Serena's credit, she wasted no time in capitalising on that and hence dictated the pace and winners- she did not allow any possibility of 'chasing down the balls'. Poor Dinara; however her journey justifies the fact that the dawn of Dinara Dominance has just begun!

  4. Marija

    Rich, thank you.

    Hecto, no problem. ;) I'm glad I made you happy.

    Zuleika, what can I say, I should've hired you to report for me while I was absent. :)

    The Insider, sorry, it wasn't on purpose. I read the story at Down the Line first, and I thought it was fair to link to them.

  5. Zuleika

    Dear Marija,

    Thanks for the compliment; I simply felt the final was an anti-climax after Dinara's scintillating form and attempted to provide evidence to deconstruct that incongruous performance.

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