What really pleased me tonight was the quality of play in both matches. Let's start with the first semifinal. Serena and Lena came out a little nervy in the first few games, but by 4-all in their shoulders opened up and they really started hitting the ball and moving well. In the end the match was decided at the service line. Lena doublefaulted at key points in the match, and Serena was Serena, blasting serves and playing very contained tennis. It was a really mature match from Serena. This is her third straight Grand Slam final (and this woman's not #1 yet?).
It's a tough loss for Lena. She came in with a three match win streak against Serena (including the absolute spanking in Sydney just two week ago), undefeated for the year, and the in form player of the tournament. She had a really great chance to pick up her first major here. But high pressure situations reveal a player's strengths and flaws, and Lena's serve just sputtered a bit when she needed it most, allowing Serena to get offensive from the first strike and run Lena ragged.
All that being said, this was a great showcase for Serena. It wasn't impressive in a "holy crap she killed that ball" kind of way, but it was scary composed. And you get the feeling that she still has at least 2 more gears she could kick it in if needed. She's looking really good to make this odd year a Serena year.
And then there's Baby Sister, who finally stepped up her game and played a dominating match. All credit to Bepa, she somehow stayed in the match, aided by 41 UFEs off Dina's racquet. But those errors were more indicative of Dina's aggressiveness than Bepa's play. Dina was absolutely crushing the ball with purpose, moving poor Bepa around the court at will. Her shots were deep, heavy, and just punishing. Bepa couldn't handle the pace and left balls shorter and shorter, and Dina kept cracking. It was impressive.
BTW -- I'm just throwing this out there. Dina's having an awfully Ana 2007-08 run, no? Wins Berlin, loses the RG final, loses a bunch of weight in the off-season, and now into the AO final. Hopefully for her it ends better than Ana's AO.
So the winner will be the new #1. Could it be that order is slowly being restored in the WTA? I don't know what I'm going to do with myself if that's the case.