|Serena Williams (USA)  vs||Justine Henin (BEL) |
The current No. 1 player in the world, Belgium's Justine Henin, easily dispatched Anna Chakvetadze on Thursday 6-2, 6-3 and (presumably) watched hopefully as Serena Williams battled to a 7-6(4), 6-1 over Israel's Shahar Peer in the evening semifinal.
Amazingly, the 5-time Grand Slam champion has only played the 8-time Grand Slam champion once since their controversial 2003 French Open semifinal almost four years ago. Serena leads their head-to-head rivalry 5 to 3 and has only ever lost to Justine on clay. In addition, Justine says she has never played well in the month of March because it is the anniversary of her mother's death; this is her first final in Miami, while it is Serena's 5th appearance (Champion 2002, 2003 and 2004; 1999 Finalist versus Venus). The tournament takes place a few hours drive from the house the two Williams sistesr own and share in Palm Beach Gardens. Venus has won the tournament three times also, 1998, 1999 and 2000.
Justine is one of the most intense fighters on the WTA tour; I would put her right behind Maria Sharapova and just ahead of Serena (by a hair), so she will not go down in a final without a monumental struggle. Despite that, I still believe that if Serena is playing her best, no one on the WTA Tour can beat her.
Mad Professah's pick: Williams in 3 sets.