Nikolay Davydenko made this comment after beating Fernando Verdasco in the Round of 16 on Monday:
Q. Have you allowed yourself to dream that it (an AO title) might be this time?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Dream? No, no. No, I never dream. Maybe in the night, but not in the day.
Contrast this to what Justine Henin, seven time Major champion and 2010 Australian Open finalist, had to say after routing Zheng Jie in the semis on Thursday: “It’s a very special occasion, but the dream continues.” (Via SportsIllustrated.com)
And with Serena beating Li Na 7-6, 7-6 in the other semifinal, tennis fans have a dream-come-true final. I did a double take (and double checked at the WTA’s website) when I learned that these two have never met in a Major final. Reporters asked Justine about this after her match:
Q. Are you surprised it’s taken you so long to play Serena in a Grand Slam final?
JUSTINE HENIN: We’ve never played in a Grand Slam final in the past. It’s my first Grand Slam since I’m back, and we’re already there. So it’s more than a dream. I mean, I’m so happy to play against her because if I want to win another Grand Slam, I’ll have to beat the best player of the world. And that’s just the biggest challenge I could get.
I have to be honest, I didn’t really expect that. But now that’s a reality that is coming. I will try to be at my best.
More than a dream. . . she’s already had quite a few. And not just when she’s sleeping, Kolya. Now tennis fans are dreaming that Serena vs. Justine becomes the Federer vs. Nadal of the WTA tour. Though these comments from Serena gave me a fright:
Q. Justine said in her retirement it was important for her to get away from tennis, take a break, get a balance. How important do you think it is for tennis players to have a balanced life and do something different?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It’s important because once you get to that point where you hit one forehand too many, it can be detrimental. And I think I’m there. But that’s why I always do design and fashion, because right when I’m there, you know, I take my little break. I make sure I have my schedule where I do have breaks and where I don’t play certain tournaments.
Q. Do you feel you have hit one forehand too many?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, uhm, at times. But then if I don’t hit it, I get crazy. I need to be on the tennis court or else I’m not going to be happy.
Q. Have you given yourself a timeline then?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, God, no. Yeah, I say till someone takes me out back and shoots me
Oh, dear. Serena is one weary World No. 1 right now. But she fights on – after her singles victory on Thursday, she and Venus beat Stubbs/Raymond in their doubles semifinal. The Sisters will meet the No. 1 seeded team of Huber/Black in the final, which is the first match scheduled for Rod Laver Arena on Friday. Let’s hope Serena finds some time to rest before she faces Justine on Saturday. And dream.
Speaking of dreams: “Masterful Murray keeps dream alive” was the headline on the London Times’ tennis page minutes after Andy Murray beat Marin Cilic in Thursday evening’s semifinal. Muzza becomes the first British man to reach the Australian Open final since John Lloyd in 1977 – and the first to reach two Grand Slam finals in the Open era.
Sweet dreams are made of this: