Serena Williams had been in a class of her own throughout Wimbledon
fortnight - and she was once again in the final.
She has just been getting better and better, and was
absolutely unstoppable on Saturday afternoon. There never looked like being any
hint of a surprise.
Full credit to Vera Zvonareva, though: many players crumble
under the pressure when they play in their first Grand Slam finals, but not
She really did herself credit, playing as well as she could
- but was simply out-powered. There was nothing she could do about it.
It's a victory that confirms Serena as one of the great big
occasion players of all time. She has often struggled to finish off matches in
run-of-the-mill tournaments, yet Grand Slam tournaments see her lift her game
not one level, but two.
Apart from anything else, Venus must be getting worried. Serena
has always had the greater successes in the Slams - that's her 13th title now -
but Venus has always enjoyed the better Wimbledon record.
Venus might not have the edge over her younger sister for much
longer, however, because the way Serena is looking she could easily go on to
win two or three more championships at SW19.
It's more or less up to her: if she stays interested in the
game, and keeps on playing like she has this year, you have to wonder who on earth could
stand in her way.
- - - - -
The course of the men's final on Sunday will depend on one
thing: which Tomas Berdych turns up.
His preparation will be crucial - how he's felt in training
the day before the match, how he sleeps, how he feels on the morning of the match - because he's
facing a challenge that will be a completely new experience.
And if he's at all nervous, Rafa Nadal will simply hit
straight through him.
I don't think Berdych will crumble; I feel that he will step up
and show some fighting spirit and demonstrate the tennis which has got him this far. If he does so then he has every chance of making
it a great match, possibly nicking a set or even two off Nadal.
Sadly for Czech tennis fans, I think that will be the limit: unless Nadal's knees play up I cannot see any outcome except
a win for the Spaniard.
Nadal has not dropped a set to Berdych in their last six
And while I know it's a very different Berdych who will be taking to the court on
Sunday, however well he plays I just don't think it will be enough. The
tennis that Nadal produced in the semi-final was simply too good for anybody.