Serena bullies her way into QFs
Serena William’s 6-0 6-0 dismantling of Andrea Hlavackova was awe-inspiring—and a little scary. Filip Bondy of the NY Daily News reports:
There are times when Serena Williams is almost too good for her own good, like when she is destroying poor Hlavackova in a match on Monday that badly resembles a country club mismatch. As she approaches perfection in this fashion, as she strikes the ball with such clean, angled fury, Williams becomes in these instances almost unreal, an unsympathetic bully. Tens of thousands of fans, who had nearly run out of American players to support, gathered inside Ashe Stadium on Monday fully intending to cheer on Williams. They were soon driven into eerie silence, perhaps a little guilty about rooting against an overwhelmed Hlavackova. The unseeded Czech clearly did not belong on the same court, and was soon double-bageled for brunch, 6-0, 6-0, in 57 minutes, marking the first fourth-round shutout in a women’s match at any major since 2009.
Hunter Atkins of the New York times talked to the victim:
On the first point of the match, Williams returned a walloping shot at Hlavackova’s ankles that buckled her racket and drew an immediate response of awe from the crowd. Williams slowly walked to the other side of the baseline looking bellicose, with a scowl and her nostrils flared. The tone for the match was set. “The first point of the whole match, I served and she returned like a 100-mile-per-hour forehand,” Hlavackova said. “That was like: ‘O.K., I know who I am playing. You don’t have to prove it to me.’ But she obviously wanted to prove it to me.”
SI.com’s Jon Wertheim gives his mid-tournament grades. Serena doesn’t even get an A—Laura Robson and Kim Clijsters do—while Caroline Wozniacki gets a C. Not sure what she’d have to do to fail.
Peter Bodo at Tennis.com compiles his favorite quotes from week one at Flushing Meadows. Maria Sharapova marvels at the spectacle of a night match at Arthur Ashe:
“When we describe all the different Grand Slams, ‘energy’ is the word I think of when I think of the U.S. Open. Just from the tunnel and the bright lights there, then you walk out, and then the fans are kind of right there in that little tunnel. They’re screaming. They want your autograph before the match. They’re putting their hands out. Then you walk out and it’s this massive stadium. When it’s filled up, when it’s night, you have the lights on, it’s just so special. It’s so unique to be a tennis player in that atmosphere.”