Truth be told, no scare is a big scare for Serena Williams, even though the initial double-break 3-0 lead that Sloane Stephens earned in their blockbuster fourth-round Indian Wells clash did look encouraging to the younger American. But you know, sometimes I think that Serena allows these slumps on purpose, to give her opponents a confidence boost and then enjoy watching them dissipate in despair.
Anyways, at 3-3 in the first set, just as I was considering whether Serena maybe purposely gave Sloane three straight games in the opening of the set, I ditched my conspiracy theory when Serena wasted a set point at 5-4 and in the tiebreak that soon followed Sloane was in full command until winning it 7-3.
With her first serve improved and Sloane’s number of errors up, Serena straightforwardly took the second set, firmly holding to the break she earned in the first game of the set and then sealing Sloane’s fate by another break in the seventh game.
Sporting the pink version of her sexy Nike Spring Slam Tunic launched at the Australian Open, the world No.1 Serena pretty much copied and pasted the second set to the decider, winning the match 6-7(3) 6-2 6-2 on Stadium 1.
And by the way, after all the drama between the two players, I can tell you that today the net handshake was very friendly! 🙂 (photo: © Neal Trousdale)