The 2017 Australian Open Women’s Final will take place on Saturday night inside Rod Laver Arena where Serena Williams will meet her sister Venus Williams in a shootout for the title. Two of the most decorated women athletes go toe-to-toe in a Grand Slam final for the first time since Wimbledon 2009. We look at five reasons as to why the 22-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams will come out on top in this eagerly anticipated final showdown.
The greatest single shot in the tennis – Serena’s serve
Perhaps the most significant of reasons as to why Serena will win her 23rd grand slam on Saturday is her fearsome serve. When other areas to Williams’ game falters in the heat of the moment, she can usually rely on her serve to support her when needed most. It is not only the sheer power of the delivery, but the unpredictability of where she is going to serve in the service box. It is virtually impossible to read during the ball toss. Her serve is so good because of the amount of options she has at her disposal when utilising that famous weapon of hers.
On top of that, the serve of Williams gives her the freedom to express herself on her return games. Sometimes she can fly through her service games in little over a minute, which in turn puts more pressure on her opponent, who will feel like they are permanently serving under pressure as a result of it.
Another reason that suggests Serena will bring home the title is her unbelievable record at Grand Slam finals. In a total of 28 Grand Slam singles finals, Williams has only ever lost six times in her career at that stage in a major. The only players to get the better of Serena Williams in a final are Samantha Stosur, Garbiñe Muguruza, Angelique Kerber,Maria Sharapova and her sister Venus on two occasions. It can be said that these statistics back up the narrative that Williams becomes virtually unbeatable when she reaches the pivotal stages of a Grand Slam after she finds her feet and her form in the early phases.
The form of Serena during the 2017 Australian Open
The younger Williams sister has looked imperious for the best part of the first slam of 2017. She battled through some of the hardest of opponents in the first two rounds. First up she batted away former Grand Slam quarterfinalist Belinda Bencicand then she came through a comfortable winner over 2015 Roland Garros finalist Lucie Safarova. Williams beat Mirjana Lucic-Baroni in a 50 minute masterclass in the semifinal and strolls into the final without dropping a single set of tennis – quite extraordinary.
Serena’s focus on improved footwork
The most notable improvement in 2017 for Serena is her ability to glide around the court at the age of 35. She has already talked about the focus and intention to improve that aspect of her game in order to climb back up the rankings and to hopefully add more Grand Slams to her illustrious tally.
Can Serena finally claim her 23rd grand slam and separate herself from Steffi Graf and the rest of the field. A title win on Saturday would mean she holds the most Grand Slam triumphs in the Open Era and would also move her closer to catching up to Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam wins in tennis history before the Open Era began. Serena’s relentless pursuit of the record continues to drive her to the level she continues to produce in 2017 and the fire still continues to burn bright in her stomach to continue to surpass previous great champions and their respective records.
She will also reclaim the World No.1 ranking if she beats her sister in Saturday’s final, which can be argued is a tool of motivation for her to use to her advantage leading into the first Grand Slam final of the season.
Losing the World No.1 ranking to Kerber would have affected Williams massively and now Williams has an opportunity to regain her place at the top of the rankings in Melbourne.
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