By Ed Holden, Guest Blogger
Here we go with the ladies final. It’s Serena versus Venus. After much chat from Sue Barker and John McEnroe about “they’re not sisters right now, just opponents” and so on, the magnificent Williams are on court and ready to go.
1405 – The designer tracksuits have come off and we’re underway. Venus uses every inch of her 6’1 body to power the serves downwards.
1410 – Serena serves out to love with apparent ease. The screaming is almost non-existent at this point. By the end of her tough battle with Dementieva, Serena was screaming like a wild cat with each ferocious ground stroke. It’s nice to see some reserve. Perhaps the screaming from Sharapova and “scream-queen” Azarenka has not gone down well with the sisters – they seem to be holding back.
1422 – Venus is getting a look at Serena’s serve – but a couple of great first serves saves the younger sister. The presenters of The One Show appear in the crowd. SURELY there are better celebs here than that. BBC propoting it’s own shows? We think so.
1425 – What a shot from Venus! Still, we’re picking Serena in three sets. Feels like she’s got a bit more fight in her somehow.
1428 – Jason Goodall delivers some snazzy analysis with the help of hawk-eye. Funny that the Williams Sisters’ service percentages are of so much interest to us right now. For most brits this type of info is completely uninteresting for the 50 non-Wimbledon weeks in the year.
1433 – Tracy Austin’s commentary is already becoming irritating – she seems to think that repeating what’s happened in slow drawn-out sentences counts as expert commentary. She’s talking about Venus’ serve now: “powering down those big bombs” – sounds like an action film trailer.
1439 – Two break points to Venus. Serena powers through though the slow-mo shots the BBC seems to love this year aren’t too flattering.
1449 – Still with serve. But the intensity is on the up! Venus hits a wild backhand with a screech…
1454 – McEnroe jokes about the Murray loss yesterday. Looking at shots of Henman hill “Are those the same people who were there yesterday?” Have they still not given up? It’s great that he can make jibes at the British tennis-frenzy and get away with it.
1458 – Tie break! And it’s like the set itself! No points against the serve!
Serena breaks through to 3-1.
Crushing forehand from Serena for 4-2 lead.
Loose forehand from Venus now 5-2.
Massive rally! Serena is looking so powerful with deadly cross-court shots. Four set points.
1502 – Serena goes to Hawk-eye for the win! It’s Half an inch out so Venus survives.
1504 – What a lob! Serena just scooped the ball over her 6’1 Sister magnificently for the set.
1508 – Tracy Austin still struggling. She forgot the word “Liability” earlier, which isn’t too challenging a word really is it? Now she’s rattling off cliches to avoid further gaffs. “Venus needs to stick to her A-Game here.” Duh!! I mean seriously, besides the horrible cliche, she’s hardly going to go for the “B-Game” at this point is she?!
1513 – the commentators are discussing the suggestion of a five-set ladies final. McEnroe makes a good point. “I’ve seen a lot of movies where the 2-hour ones are better than the 3-hour ones.” A little abstract perhaps. But he makes sense at least.
1516 – Serena looking aggressive on Venus’ serve.
1524 – Serena making her sister do all the running now. Though Venus still clings to her service games.
Break point Serena.
And it’s the break as Venus hands her a double fault.
1530 – A magnificent collision of score and time [sorry].
1532 – The commanding tones of Andrew Castle: “The defending champion, serving to stay in the match.”
1534 – 0-30! “What’s happened!?” says Mac. Is it all over for Venus?
30-40 Match point Serena.
Missed it. Deuce.
Best rally of the game!! Stunning wide shots from Serena. Match point again.
Venus breathes. Takes her time.
Serena blows it!! She had an open forehand in midcourt and dollied it far too gently,
Third Championship point Serena!
Venus saves again.
Fourth Championship point.
SERENA WINS IT!
Big smiles as the Sisters embrace. Suddenly the game faces are off and their friends again. Venus looks pensive – not exactly upset. Serena is 6-2 up in the sisters’ head-to-head championship finals.
1542 – The Duke Of Kent comes out to meet the ball boys and girls – he must be baking in that suit!
1545 – All smiles as Venus goes up for her Sue Barker interview. “She played the best tennis today so congratulations.”
“I love what I do so see you next year everyone thanks!” Aww isn’t she sweet.
1547 – Serena steps up to the mic: “I can’t believe it I’m just so happy.” Her panther-like on-court demeanour is so different to the chatty interviewee.
It’s weird that they’ll both be out playing later on in the doubles final.
Press shots with the trophies. There’s an interesting shot of Venus letting the loss sink in as Serena poses for more photos.
“Only one final this decade has not had a Williams Sister in it.” An interesting point from Tracy Austin, finally, as the sisters walk off.