Going by the looks of it, at this juncture there seems to be no rival who looks to threaten Serena Williams's chance of defending her US Open title and grab her 12th slam in the process.
Thanks to all the upsets, it appears as though it's just a matter of time (hours even) before Serena gets back to where and how she started the year: as a winner following it up with the crown of the World No. 1, more than convincingly!
But yet, just one player stands in her way who is looking forward to make an assertion of her own that she is still well capable of playing the game in spite of a prolonged hiatus and strongly emphasise the saying once a player, always a player in the process.
Serena Williams vs Kim Clijsters is a match to look forward to; a renewal of a one-sided rivalry but interesting to follow in spite of the same, a match between two players who have disposed off their previous opponents, in a nothing less than clinical manner. It was all in a day's work for them.
But the situation is different now, the stage has been set and winning is not just a mere word; for the both of them, it's a route to the final glory and the heartfelt accolades to follow in the wake of a final victory...
And answering the who, why, when and how questions is all this Creature vs Creature about; Rajat, in his article talks about the Serena perspective, while this feature concentrates on the happening comeback star "Kim Possible."
Kim Clijsters: When she decided to hang her professional boots in 2007, her fans were left bereft though there was always an off-chance that Kim might give a second shot to the sport.
Starting with Cincinnati and Toronto, she supplemented her words of making a comeback when she delivered a more than decent performance at both the Masters events.
But even then, performing and winning at the masters is always different than doing the same equation at the slams; it's a monumental platform where one can't be sure as to when and where one's footing might take a slip.
Kim's performance, however, has not even come remotely to miss a footing and take a plunge; on the contrary she is bouncing from each and every match, gaining and garnering confidence, contributing to her share of upset causing, finally showing up as one quarter of the semifinal lineup quartet...
Will Win If: More than hit trick shots and confuse the opponent, Kim relies more on forcing her opponent to commit errors and this will play a pivotal role in her match against Serena who in her aggressiveness is known to dish out her share of unforced errors.
To Kim's advantage will be her superior athleticism and speed which she has still managed to retain in spite of all these years' absence—watching her play, it's like she never left the courts. It's absolutely ship shape.
Maintaining the same level of intense athleticism, throughout the course of the match will and should help Clijsters to overcome the Serena block which only gets stronger and stronger as the tournament enters its last throes.
Will Lose If: Serena's combination of tactics could be Clijsters's downfall. If Clijsters fails to read and return Serena's powerful serve and is unable to fend off the momentum that Serena gets once she is in her rhythm, then Clijsters will have to kiss her chances of making it to the finals good-bye.
In addition to, if Clijsters's isn't able to maintain a level a level of mental fortitude, then Serena stands at a much better advantage to clinch the match, with utmost ease.
Intangibles: Relying on Clijster's triumph over Venus Williams won't be of any consequence here, as in spite of all Venus's efforts that day, physically the Belgian was a better player than the American.
Thus, while this victory constitutes a great deal of importance while taking into consideration Clijsters's road back to professional tennis, it is nothing more than pyrrhic when her stand-off against Serena will be evaluated.
My Call: Heart demands Kim Clijsters while logic and reasoning argue about Serena in a tightly contested straight setter.
But, one thing is for sure...whoever wins this match, will be a winner but the other definitely won't be a loser!
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