Wimbledon Tennis 2012: 3 Keys for Serena Williams in Women's Final

Ian Hanford@Ian_HanfordFeatured ColumnistJuly 6, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 05:  Serena Williams of the USA returns a shot during her Ladies' Singles semi final match against  Victoria Azarenka of Belarus on day ten of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 5, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Gerry Penny/Pool/Getty Images)
Pool/Getty Images

Serena Williams is riding a torrid hot streak into Saturday morning's women's Wimbledon final matchup against Agnieszka Radwanska. Williams will vie for her fifth career Wimbledon title in seven tries, while Radwanska will seek her first Grand Slam title.

Williams is one this generation's greatest female tennis players for a reason. She has incredible power and an unmatched thirst for victory. She hasn't won a Grand Slam since 2010 and, quite frankly, I pity anyone standing in the way of her attempt to slake her championship hunger.

Winning this year won't be easy. Radwanska is riding high off of her semifinal defeat of Angelique Kerber in straight sets, but Williams is a completely different animal when she steps foot on Centre Court. 

Let's take a look at three keys to Williams' fifth career Wimbledon crown.


Serve Like the Semis

We've always known that Williams could serve, but her performance against Victoria Azarenka in the semifinals was downright scary.

She hit a Wimbledon record 24 aces and didn't have a double-fault the entire match. In the first set she won 94 percent of her first-serve points, and 76 percent in the second set. 

The match comes down to this, and it's pretty simple. 

If Williams serves like this, or anywhere close, Radwanska has no shot. I'm not sure anyone would. Williams is playing like her career is on the line, and that's scary for a player with her talent level. 


Power Surge

Williams' raw power is unrivaled on the women's circuit. She uses her forehand, backhand and service game to batter opponents into submission through brute force.

Radwanska just isn't that kind of player. She relies on her quickness and athleticism to cover the entire court. Her groundstrokes aren't built for power, and Williams can take major advantage of that. 

Radwanska is going to have a tough time returning Williams' booming serve. When she does manage to hit one back, Williams must punish one back in her direction.

If she does, Radwanska doesn't have a prayer. 



The crowd will be behind Williams as she fights to reclaim her crown on Centre Court. It won't take much to swing momentum completely in her favor. 

Williams has played like a woman possessed, especially in the last two rounds of this tournament. Her victory over Azarenka seemed too easy, and her victory over Petra Kvitova in the quarterfinals wasn't much tougher. 

She finally looks like the player we saw in the early 2000s, and she's going to be very tough to knock off her perch.

Williams knows what's on the line. Second place doesn't mean much to her at this point in her career. She wants to win her 28th career Grand Slam title, and anything else is a failure at this point.

That factor can't be overlooked. When you give an ultra-talented player undeniable motivation, you create a monster.

Radwanska will see that monster firsthand on Saturday, and there isn't much she can do about it. Barring the performance of her career, Radwanska isn't going to win this match.

Williams is too talented, too strong and too hungry for her right now.