Queen Serena does it again. For the fifth time in this tournament, Serena Williams has dismissed a seeded player. She ousted No. 27 Mara Santangelo in the first round, No. 5 Nadia Petrova in the third, No. 11 Jelena Jankovic in the fourth, No. 16 Shahar Peer in the quarterfinals, and just a few minutes ago, she sent Venus-wannabe and No. 10 Nicole Vaidisova packing 7-6(5), 6-4 in a semifinal that had enough drama for an Academy Award nomination.
And, oh, how she did it.
Serena wasted 5 match points, was out of challenges on one of them, a shot Nicole missed wide but was called good, choked in the tiebreak, choked when serving for the match the first time at 5-2 in the second set, and recovered from all of that to hit a volley winner on her sixth match point to close out a formidable opponent in straight sets in her first Slam semifinal in two years.
The 17-year-old Czech has a big game, but needs to get control of her nerves. For most of the match, she was dictating play from inside the baseline, but she couldn't hold onto her leads.
Serena gets credit for hanging tough when down as only Serena can. When your opponent knows you will not go away, that puts even more pressure on you to hold your own when the match gets tight. Serena is the Queen of Fight, and no one on the WTA tour comes anywhere near her.
In the final, Serena will face Maria Sharapova, who just dismissed Aussie Kim in her final Australian Open 6-4, 6-2.
It will be war.