Serena Williams Provides Normalcy to Wild Wimbledon

Jeremy Fuchs@@jaf78Correspondent IIIJune 28, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 27:  Serena Williams of the United States of America plays a forehand the Ladies' Singles second round match against Caroline Garcia of France on day four of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 27, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images

In one of the most wild Wimbledon tournaments in recent years, the best women's player in the world is providing some normalcy.

Serena Williams cruised through to the third round, beating Caroline Garcia 6-3, 6-2, using a 123 MPH serve to win with ease.

She avoided an alarming trend at Wimbledon, with plenty of stars getting upset, or leaving due to injury.

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal lost on the men's side in stunning fashion, while Steve Darcis and Marin Cilic withdrew due to injury. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and John Isner started their matches, but could not finish due to injury.

On the women's side, Maria Sharapova and Caroline Wozniacki lost their matches while fighting through injuries. In addition, Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic both lost.

Williams, who is in the midst of an historic run, was not fazed. The best women's player is on a 33-match winning streak. She is a remarkable 76-3 since 2012 and is 26-1 at Wimbledon since 2009. 

Maybe, then, it's not so surprising that Williams has avoided the upset bug. As the favorite to win entering the tournament, there is really nothing standing in her way of winning Wimbledon for the second time in a row, and the third time in four years. Her serve is electric, and at times unhittable.

Of course, perhaps this upset bug is an epidemic and Williams has just managed to hold on a bit longer than most. She will face Kimiko Date-Krumm, a 42-year-old who has not advanced this far at Wimbledon since 1996.

Williams, for her part, will be ready for Date-Krumm, telling ESPN:

"I have so much respect for her. I think she's so inspiring to be playing such high-level tennis at her age. And she's a real danger on the grass court, I know that. I definitely will have to be ready."

But even if the upset bug is more than a fluke, it's hard to imagine Williams falling prey. Her serve has been dynamic, she doesn't make too many unforced errors and she is simply playing better than anyone else on the circuit. 

It's been a weird tournament. Federer and Nadal looked oddly human. Federer has now been upset at two major tournaments in a row. Injuries have hit at an alarming rate, and the grass surface has been a bit more inhospitable than usual. If Williams does somehow get upset, then we can chalk it up to the distinct oddness of the 2013 edition of Wimbledon. 

It's always nice to see upsets, but after too many, the tournament begins to lose a bit of its luster. Without any star power, fans may start to dwindle away. There's a major difference between a Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer match and a Dustin Brown and Jurgen Melzer match.

Williams is a savior for this tournament. She's the best player in women's tennis, and may be playing the best tennis of any player. Without her, this tournament would be quite a bore. 

Look for Williams to continue to cruise through this tournament, as she's done at pretty much every tournament the past two years. 

 

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