Serena Williams is just too good—especially when it counts.
After playing an atrocious opening set which she lost 7-5, the tournament director decided to close the roof. The heat threshold had been met. In turn, Serena was saved by the sun.
During the 18-minute recess required to close the retractable roof, Williams retreated to the locker room with a chance to assess her game plan and get back on track.
In the second set, Williams was still struggling to find her form. Meanwhile, her opponent Svetlana Kuznetsova continued to blast forehand winners.
The game of the match came at 5-4 on Kuznetsova's serve. The ball was on her racquet with a chance to advance to the semi-finals. Would she falter under the pressure? Would Serena rise to the occasion?
Kuznetsova missed an easy forehand volley to give Serena the break back and even the score at 5-5. Then, Williams took the next two games winning the set 7-5 to even the match. Though the score was literally even, everyone could tell that the momentum had turned in Williams' favor.
The third set came and went in a flash with Serena winning easily 6-1 to claim the victory.
Kuznetsova had her chances, but after losing her serve and an opportunity to win at 5-4 in the second she completely unraveled. The loss of confidence and belief was written all over her face.
As Kuz fell apart, Williams rose her level of play and willed herself into the semis. Serena is probably the best pressure point player on the women's tour.
Certainly the roof closing reprieve was a factor in Serena's turn around. But even if the roof had stayed open, Williams would have upped her game because she plays like a champion.
Next up for Serena is Olympic gold medalist Elena Dementieva. Williams will need to be in top form at the start of the match, but I'm sure that won't be a problem. Serena tends to peak at the right time, and the time is now.