Saturday, March 31, 2007

Sony Ericsson Open Women's Final Preview

Serena Williams (USA) [13] vsJustine Henin (BEL) [2]

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.


Craig Hickman said...

Maria Sharapova the best fighter on the tour?


I'd rank them as follows:

1) Serena
2) Justine
3) Maria

Although I'm not so sure no one else comes between Justine and Maria.

MadProfessah said...

how you like my prognostication skills baby? :)

Craig Hickman said...

Stupendous, baby, stupendous.

You could make a lot of money betting on tennis matches.

Anonymous said...

I think I'd have to go with Craig's listing of the three fighting women mainly because Serena is the only one that I've never seen throw in or seem to throw in the towel when down in a match. The other player who belongs in that never-say-die category is the retired Sanchez-Vicario.