the legend

joyful rogger fedder

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Venus off to a flyer

Photo Titled Venus Williams

Defending champion Venus Williams stoops low during her opening match against Stefanie Voegele.
Photo Titled Stefanie Voegele
Switzerland's Stefanie Voegele during her first round match against defending champion Venus Williams

Venus Williams opened the defence of her Wimbledon singles crown in impressive fashion with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over the Swiss teenager Stefanie Voegele.

A good work-out with a hot sun on her back would have been exactly what Venus was looking for as she embarked on the pursuit of her sixth Wimbledon victory in the past 10 years, and that was what the sturdy Voegele, aged 19, provided.

The Swiss is already being touted as a worthy successor to Martina Hingis and while such comparisons are clearly premature, Voegele is a newcomer of much promise, possessed of a devastating backhand and brimful of determination. What prevented her from doing better against the reigning champion was a failure to find accuracy and penetration on the first serve, with a weak second serve being heavily punished.

As a six-footer, Williams towered over the 5ft 6in Voegele but had much more difficuly keeping her footing in the early minutes, twice ending up on the turf. But, like any early match rustiness, it passed after a couple of tightly contested service games and the American dictated the destination of the opening set with a string of three games, including two breaks of serve, in which she won 14 points in a row to go 5-1 ahead.

A newcomer such as Voegele, making her debut in Wimbledon's main draw, might have been overawed and destroyed by such a blitz, but the fashion in which she promptly broke the Williams serve indicated that, as her supporters insist, there is more to come from the 97th-ranked girl from Lueggern. After missing a set point at 5-2 by double-faulting, Venus went a set up after 32 minutes in the next game with a devastating backhand down the line.

An early break of serve in the second set seemed to have put Williams on the road to an early afternoon finish, only for Voegele to level things by capturing the Venus serve in a lengthy game on her fifth break point.

But that, as it turned out, was the peak moment of her Centre Court outing. Venus, upping her level of commitment and intensity, clearly decided it was time to show who was the Grand Slam champion out there, sweeping up the next four games to chalk up a win in an hour and 16 minutes.

There were a couple of blips along the way, including an embarrassing attempted smash that bounced before it reach the net as she served for victory, followed by a double-fault - and then an ace. But the cheery wave she offered the Centre Court customers afterwards was the equivalent of saying 'You'll be seeing more of me, folks.'

After the match, Venus described her victory as "pretty straightforward".

"I don't put so much stock into first round matches or any round matches, actually. I mean, you really have to start putting stock in it when you lose, figure out why," she said. "But it's just important to get to the next round and regroup and get better from there. So I just bank on that I know how to play tennis and go from there."

No comments:

Post a Comment