Guy McCrea’s Wimbledon Diary: Day 10
It’s about time Agnieszka Radwanska made a Grand Slam final and it was a pleasure to watch the Pole smother Angelique Kerber in their last four clash. What we got was a typical Radwanska performance – full of variety and her prevailing ability to get the ball back into awkward areas for her opponent. Slightly bizarre that Radwanska couldn’t complete her press conference afterwards because of a dry throat/cough though – she was really struggling to speak. I don’t think any of the journalists here at Wimbledon had seen that happen before.
Kerber said she was ‘maybe one or two steps slower and that made the difference.’ I’m not sure as she did play brilliantly in small patches. The problem is she couldn’t consistently execute her aggressive shots against Radwanska. It’s the second time Kerber has lost a Grand Slam semi-final and while the German sure looked disappointed talking to me afterwards, I also sensed a philosophical air from her. Kerber will continue to be a threat in the coming months – don’t rule out further deep Slam runs from her in the near future.
Radwanska will sure have her work cut out against four-time champion Serena Williams in Saturday’s Wimbledon final. Serena has simply been a serving machine this fortnight. With 24 aces in victory over Victoria Azarenka, the American has now broken her own Wimbledon match aces record set earlier in the tournament against Zheng Jie.
It’s unclear whether Serena’s total is also a WTA all-time record as the WTA’s match stats surprisingly only go back to 2008. There is also doubt over the 24 aces Kaia Kanepi reportedly hit against Lucie Safarova in Tokyo 2008 since the WTA official statistics don’t recognise that mark.
I must admit I chuckled (in a dumbstruck way) when I learned Serena now sits second in the combined total aces table for the tournament, only 13 behind the ATP’s Philipp Kohlschreiber! Serena says she ‘didn’t feel like (she) hit 24 aces’ but her modesty aside, the serve is clearly the rock on which she is making her charge to equal sister Venus’ haul of five Wimbledon crowns.
For me, Azarenka summed up the challenge for the rest of the WTA in facing Serena’s serve: ‘Well, she serves 200 km/h. That already makes it difficult. I don’t see anyone else serving like this on tour.’ This coming from arguably the best returner on the WTA right now! It will be fascinating to see if Radwanska can come up with any answers to Serena’s ultra-aggressive brand of tennis on Saturday.
Guy McCrea commentates on WTA tennis for television and radio. Follow Guy on twitter: @GuyMcCreaTennis