Wimbledon 2012: Breaking Down How Serena Williams Will Win 5th Title
Serena Williams will be shooting for her fifth Wimbledon title on Friday when she takes on No. 3 Agnieszka Radwanska.
This will be Radwanska's first Grand Slam final, but all eyes will be on the 30-year-old Williams, who has battled back from several injuries to get into a position in which she can win her first Grand Slam since 2010.
Williams is already considered to be one of the best female tennis players of all time, but another win at the All England Club would further cement her legacy. Radwanska isn't going to be a pushover as she has the second-most match wins on tour this year, but Serena has the tools and experience necessary to carry herself to another title.
Here are the main things that Williams must and will do against Radwanska in pursuit of her fifth Wimbledon title and 14th Grand Slam win overall.
Win First-Serve Points
Even at the age of 30, Williams is still the best and most explosive server in the women's game. Williams is inevitably going to miss to some first serves, but when she gets them in, she normally makes them count.
Williams won over 90 percent of her first serves in the first set of her semifinal victory over Victoria Azarenka. That clip isn't sustainable, but Serena must continue to dominate her first-serve points at any rate.
Radwanska is a crafty player who likes to use angles and enjoys changing the pace of her shots, but when Serena is getting her first serve in, there aren't many players that can compete with her. Serena has a huge advantage over Radwanska when it comes to serving, and it would behoove Williams to exploit that.
She shouldn't compromise her power to get more first serves in, but when she does get them in, she has to put Radwanska on her heels.
What is Serena's biggest key to a fifth Wimbledon title?
Sometimes power players have the most difficulty with court generals who run down balls and stay in points at all costs.
That describes Radwanska perfectly, and she should be a challenge for Serena.
With that said, if Serena utilizes her power game effectively, then Radwanska will have a very tough time being competitive. Radwanska relies on her opponents' making unforced errors or failing to get returns deep, so Serena has to make sure that she is constantly pounding the ball in Radwanska's direction.
Every once in a while Serena tries to get cute with a lob or drop shot, and while it is nice to have those tools just in case, Williams needs to stick with what works when she faces Radwanska. That means that Serena should be attacking Radwanska's average serve, particularly her second serves. Also, Williams' strokes should be going baseline to baseline with power.
If Serena is able to accomplish that, then Radwanska won't stand a chance.
Use Experience to Her Advantage
Wimbledon as a whole is a pressure-packed environment, but the final is a completely different animal. Radwanska had never even made it to a semifinal in a Grand Slam tournament before this one, so she is certainly in rarefied are at this point.
Sometimes inexperience can be a positive since expectations are low, but I tend to say that Serena has the advantage. She has been there and done that at Wimbledon many times, and she isn't going to get flustered by the atmosphere in the least.
Even if others aren't putting pressure on Radwanska to win, I'm sure she's putting tons of pressure on herself.
Williams won't let any of that get to her because she has already accomplished an incredible amount in the sport. If she were to lose to Radwanska it would be disappointing, but it wouldn't change anything regarding her career.
For Radwanska, on the other hand, this could be a career-defining moment for her, and I expect the stage to be too big for her to function.
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