Serena beat Ana Ivanovic 6-4, 6-4 in the quarter finals of Dubai today, setting up a semi final match with her sister Venus Williams. This is what she had to say about the all-Williams match-up:
“We are both the best players on the tour right now.”
I wish Serena was right – that would mean that she and Venus would be meeting in the finals of these big tournaments. I love Serena and I love Venus – they’re both spectacular athletes and can beat anyone, anyday. And obviously Serena is correct when she says that she, herself, is the best player on tour right now – her No. 1 ranking more than confirms this. But her sister just isn’t consistent enough and hasn’t played enough to merit Serena’s praise. She went out to Carla Suarez Navarro in the second round of the Australian Open, for goodness sakes!
No Serena, Elena Dementieva is the other “best” player on tour “right now.” She’s won two titles this year (Auckland, defeating Vesnina in the final, and Sydney, defeating Safina), was the runner up last week in Paris (Serena withdrew from their semifinal match with a knee injury), helped her team win their Fed Cup tie a couple weeks ago (even though they’d have been fine without her), and lost to Serena in the Australian Open semis. In my mind, all of this makes her consistently better than anyone else in 2009 but Serena Williams. Yes, she lost to Venus in straights today, but she’s also played a hell of a lot more tennis than Venus has this year.
Serena could counter that Venus is the only player who can really threaten her when she plays her best tennis: Venus can out-power Serena, out-move Serena and out-tough Serena and I don’t think any other player can do all three things at the same time against either Williams. I’m sure Serena would also say that Venus is the only player on tour who she worries about losing to. (And the great thing about Serena, is that you know she really does worry about it!)
Okay, then, I’ll meet you half way Serena – you and Venus aren’t the two best players on tour right now, but you are the two best players on tour, period. You agree with me, right?
Let’s see if Serena proves me wrong tomorrow! Serena vs. Venus will be on at 7pm Dubai time on Friday (that’s 10am EST.) Click here for live streaming.