Saturday, September 08, 2007
The US Open 2007 is in its final leg with the women's final & men's semis and final remaining. The match between Justine Henin & Venus Williams in the semi final yesterday was a match for the ages. Even though the scoreline read 7-6,6-4 favoring Henin, it was one of the most diffucult matches ever played by Henin & it was certainly THE match of the tournament on both the men's as well as the women's side.
Henin's achievement is even more creditable as she became only the second woman to beat both the Williams sisters in a grand slam. This feat was achieved by Martina Hingis in the Australian Open in 2001. However, Justine has a chance to make it even better by winning the Final in which she has to be the overwhelming favorite tonight. She would become the first player to beat both the sisters and also win the title, a feat Hingis could not achieve as she lost steam in the final losing to Jennifer Capriati in 2001 in Australia.
Now, coming to the match yesterday, it was an instant classic right from the outset as Henin broke serve in the opening game of the match. Both players held serve from then on and as Henin served for the set, she lost her serve for the first time. In between all this, we saw some superlative tennis by both players with winners pouring like a cascade on all corners of the Arthur Ashe stadium court. It was tennis as its very best at one gut-wrenching & spellbinding. It was Henin who held her nerve in the tie-break to take the fist set. The second set too followed the same pattern as Henin broke Venus in the very first game. Venus, suffering from fatigue looked to be in discomfort as she called the trainer but that did not deter her from breaking Henin back when she was serving for the match at 5-3. However, Venus once again lost steam in her next service game as Henin clinched the match at 7-6, 6-4. One of the most memorable matches in US Open history for sure.
Venus' was gracious in admitting that she lost to the better player on that day, a stark contrast to her spoilt & ungracious sister, Serena. Serena even had the guts to call Henin's victory in the quarterfinal against her, "lucky". Well, let me tell you that there was nothing lucky about Henin's performance in both these matches. She played some astonishing tennis and should be able to hoist the US Open trophy on Saturday night unless she has an emotional let-down after beating both the Williams sisters in the same tournament.
This could be a historic US Open what with Federer just two wins shy of winning his 4th straight US Open title and his 12th Grand Slam title. We'll know in a couple of days time and I will be back then to post my thoughts on the remaining matches. So long.