Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Virginie Razzano shocks Serena Williams in astonishing Roland Garros opener

Serena Williams
Virginie Razzano produced the upset of all upsets to defeat Serena Williams in one of the most remarkable matches I have seen. Razzano completed a 4-6 7-6 6-3 victory in 3 hours and 3 minutes and with so many talking points I could write an essay... after some high quality tennis from both, Serena led 5-1 in the second set tiebreak.  She could have gone 6-1 up (with match points) but she judged a ball from Razzano to go out and stopped play incorrectly.  From there, it was a total meltdown from the American as Razzano went on a sensational winning streak to nail the tiebreak and race into a 5-0 third set lead.

I was so surprised with Serena's mindset during the third set because she totally crumbled and lost all the bare foundations of her game.  Her mood was totally calm on the outside and I think it would have been better for her to let it all out and move on from the mistakes she made in the second set tiebreak.  Razzano raised her level in the third set and took the game to Serena who was just pushing the ball back into court.  

At 5-0, Serena found a way back into the match as Razzano started to struggle with what looked like cramp.  She lost two points to hindrance for shouting out during the point.  It looked like Serena might do the unthinkable as at 5-2, the two players fought out a 12-deuce, marathon game, which I spent most off on the edge of my seat.  Serena produced some incredible winners on match points, but was unable to make the necessary returns as she made some shocking errors of Razzano's serve.  Likewise, Razzano played some great points at deuce but just couldn't find the right ingredients on the match point.... but eventually and unbelievably, she wrapped up the win on her 8th match point to the jubilations of the French crowd.

It was an amazing victory for Razzano who has been through a terrible time having lost her fiancee last year.  She deserves this win, which is by far the best win of her career.  I will be very interested to see Serena's reactions in her post-match conference and what happened in this one.  It is the first time in her career that she has lost in the first round of a Grand Slam.  I have also lost my tip for the title in round one!!! I never normally go for Serena and paid the price this time! Oh well :-P

Some highlights from the incredible match

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