Down the line: False modesty aside, Serena a class above
Serena Williams wrapped up her bulldozing season on Sunday with her 11th title of the year, 78th win, a record prize money in 2013, and a hardly believable statement: “Honestly, did I really win?”
Williams said she was tired and that she couldn’t believe she won but considering she’s lost only four times this year, I’m not sure how she’s still pretending to be surprised when she wins.
Granted Li Na started strong to take a one set lead but the second the Chinese failed to convert any of her break point chances in the opening game of the second set, it was all over.
False modesty or not, what Williams has done this season has been nothing short of mind-blowing and to put 2013 into perspective, the 11 titles the 32-year-old has won this year amount to 20 per cent of the total number of titles she’s won in her entire career. That’s a lot to ask of a mere 10 months in a career that started 18 years ago.
Victoria Azarenka, Sabine Lisicki and Sloane Stephens are the only three women to beat Williams this year and considering how historic this year has been for the American, we’d better remember those three names because they will likely be answers to a trivia question in the near future.
The question is, can anyone other than Serena stop Serena next season?
THUMBS UP - Juan Martin del Potro
The Argentine has now beaten Roger Federer in their last three meetings, two of which have come in the Swiss’ hometown, Basel.
Del Potro has won 14 of his last 15 matches and it’s great to see him make three straight finals and respond to his loss to Djokovic in Shanghai with a title run in Switzerland. Now it’s time he keeps up this form through the World Tour Finals in London.
THUMBS DOWN - Roger Federer
He was doing so well before he blinked early in the decider to hand del Potro the break and it was game over after that. For someone who is still trying to qualify to London, a lapse in concentration like that is not acceptable.
Federer now has a must-win match against either Mikhail Youzhny or Kevin Anderson in the second round in Paris to secure his place in London.
Federer, Stanislas Wawrinka, Richard Gasquet and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will be battling it out in Paris to book their tickets to London. Rafael Nadal is the top seed and has defending champion David Ferrer in his half of the draw, while Novak Djokovic is seeded second.