Serena Williams took down the reigning Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova Tuesday in straight sets (6-3, 7-5), and although it’s an impressive feat, it won’t help her secure her a fifth Wimbledon title.
Unless Serena can ace her opponent on every point (which actually seems plausible considering how strong Serena’s service game has been), don’t expect her to win at the All England Club this year.
Ever since Serena started to venture outside of tennis into the worlds of fashion and entertainment, she has started to slowly check-out mentally. Now the distraction is as apparent as ever, and I don’t mean her unusual fashion choices (well, I do actually—who in their right mind wears a trench coat to play tennis?).
If you look at Serena’s statistics, you’ll see the fluctuation I’m talking about; she is rather inconsistent. Take her serve for example. Although she had 13 aces against Kvitova, she only made 59 percent of her first serves in.
Her mental focus is physically noticeable on her ground strokes. If she is really focused on the point, she’ll take the ball on the rise hitting a clean winner. If she isn’t as alert, she’ll let the ball come to her and that split second difference sends the ball straight into the net.
Because of the quick turnaround from Wimbledon to the 2012 Summer Olympics, the officials at the All England Club have replaced the old grass with a new hybrid that has been a big factors in the surprising upsets from this year’s tournament.
One of the reasons Rosol and Lisicki were able to pull off those upsets is because they are both hard hitters. Every ball that Nadal and Sharapova hit, their opponents simply hit back harder.
This new grass seems to favor hard-hitting players, and although Serena might have been one of the biggest hitters a few years ago, she has taken some pace off of her strokes today.
Still, we can’t underestimate Serena’s powerful winners because when she hits it right, we see the grass helping her.
However, if Serena tries to control her strokes more, she might not get those winners she is so accustomed too. She could crack mentally, and we all know what happens when Serena has a mental breakdown.
Serena is a great tennis player, her 13 titles are proof of that, but she won’t be adding another to her collection at Wimbledon 2012. We all saw her lose in the first round of the 2012 French Open, clearly she is not at the level she needs to be at to win grand slam tournaments.
My advice for Serena: focus more on tennis, calm down mentally and stop wearing white trench coats on the court.