Tennis Freaks

“1821: Nadal, I’ve noticed, has a problem with his shorts, in that they keep on getting stuck up his jacksie and he has to pull them out before every point. Not sure why he doesn’t just get a size up, he’s probably loaded.”

Serena v Vaidisova as it happened

Australian Open, Melbourne

Women’s fourth-round result:

S Williams (US) bt N Vaidisova (Cze)

6-3 6-4

* denotes server

By Piers Newbery

Second set:

Serena 6-4 Vaidisova
No problem for Serena, who hammers down an ace for 40-0 and converts when Vaidisova nets a backhand. The Czech looks gracious at the net between grumbling and head shaking, while Serena takes the applause. A difficult obstacle overcome with relative ease.

Serena 5-4 Vaidisova
Things are finally hotting up. Serena gets a break-back point that Vaidisova saves but the American gets a second opportunity and Vaidsova double faults. She slumps into her chair, chucks her racket on the floor and begins grumbling in her native tongue. Not fair, is it?

Serena 4-4 Vaidisova
Vaidisova earns her third break point of the match by riflling a backhand return down the line, but misses out when she nets a forehand on the next point That prompts a scream of “Yessss!” from Serena, but Vaidisova gets another opportunity and finally converts with a fierce forehand.

Serena 4-3 Vaidisova
Some fire at last as Serena thumps away a short ball and screams in delight before giving it some fist pump. Vaidisova comes through from deuce but she’s on 17 unforced errors to Serena’s nine at the moment and that’s proving the significant difference. She’s made more mistakes. Not rocket science is it, this coaching lark? I should ring the LTA.

Serena 4-2 Vaidisova
From a spectator’s point of view, these two players’ games don’t match up too well. I think they should be barred from playing each other in future. It’s a bit like watching Chelsea v Liverpool. Serena, who would have to be Chelsea out of those two, smacks ace number eight and holds to 15.

Serena 3-2 Vaidisova
Odd. Vaidisova’s focus disappears completely and she finds herself 0-40 down after a double fault. The lofty Czech thinks she’s won the next point with an ace but Serena successfully challenges it via Hawkeye and wins the replayed point. Easy.

Serena 2-2 Vaidisova
Ace number seven takes Serena to 40-0 and, as usual, Vaidisova tries to go for a winner on the next return, this time without success.

Serena 1-2 Vaidisova
Vaidisova holds to 15. Not too many drops shots going on or probing sliced backhands. Crash, bang, wallop.

Serena 1-1 Vaidisova
Serena plays a poor backhand when off balance to allow Vaidisova back to deuce but the champion serves her way out of trouble.

Serena 0-1 Vaidisova
They’re not hanging about – Vaidisova holds easily enough and it’s not really got going yet as we either get a service winner or an early attempt at a winner off the ground.

First set:

0646: “Has Serena ever looked fitter? In all senses!”
From mark, via text

Serena 6-3 Vaidisova
The defending champion is back to her bullying best as she serves out for the set, before heading off for a ‘comfort break’. Vaidisova served at 70% and forced two break points in that set but still came up short.

Serena 5-3 Vaidisova
Yep, could see that coming. After missing two break points and a couple of other half-chances, Vaidisova pays the price. Serena ups the pressure and the Czech cracks, with three errors handing over the break of serve.

Serena 4-3 Vaidisova
Vaidisova gets to 30-30 with some more fierce hitting but again goes for too much at the key moment and hammers a forehand well long. Serena holds on again and Vaidsova needs to take advantage of her slight superiority at the moment.

Serena 3-3 Vaidisova
Vaidisova hits a beautiful sweeping forehand to seal a love game and she looks in great form.

Serena 3-2 Vaidisova
Brimming with confidence after earlier putting away a lasagne while doing Nabandian v Ferrero, I am now attempting a bowl of cereal during Serena v Vaidisova. Bran Flakes and Cornflakes is my current combination of choice but I’m open to ideas.

Meanwhile…. Vaidisova has the edge at the moment and earns her second break point of the match but puts her return long, and Serena hangs on.

Serena 2-2 Vaidisova
This time it’s Vaidisova who is under pressure on serve as Serena gets to deuce but the Czech comes up with heavy serves and a fine lob to take the game. Vaidisova is proving difficult to type correctly – she needs a nickname.

Serena 2-1 Vaidisova
It’s already pretty brutal stuff from these two big-hitters, Serena smacking an ace and then Vaidisova repsonding with a thumping return. Serena falters with a couple of dodgy forehands to give Vaidisova a break point but the American gets out of trouble with a big serve and goes on to hold.

Serena 1-1 Vaidisova
Vaidisova responds with a love-service game of her own. Just the one ace though.

Serena 1-0 Vaidisova
Serena strolls through her opening service game to love with two aces. She looks mean and moody, despite wearing purple cycling shorts under her dress.

0600: Well done for getting up so early or commiserations on not getting any sleep. Either way, you’re in time for one of the most eagerly anticipated matches of what is turning out to be a great tournament.

Defending champion Serena Williams has looked in great form so far and has a 3-0 record against Nicole Vaidisova, having beaten her three times last year including in the semi-finals of this event.

But 18-year-old Vaidisova is a woman on the up and not likely to be intimidated by the American.

Story from BBC SPORT


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