Is it Friday yet? The men’s semis are an absolutely fabulous mix of old and new, time tested rivalries and new surprises. We have Novak Djokovic vs. Roger Federer for the first time on grass. Knowing how close it’s been between them – not so much at the French this year but in the semis of the other big tournaments – makes this change of surface even more intriguing. I just hope I don’t faint while watching. It’s going to be a tough one for Fed fans, that’s for sure. Deep breaths. . .
I’m really looking forward to Tsonga vs. Murray for a number of reasons. First, I’m a Tsonga fan and am always happy when he does well. Second, Murray continues to grow on me, and I do love the idea of him making the final at his home tournament. Can you imagine if he wins the whole thing? All those failed past attempts will suddenly seem fortuitous – a build up for the ultimate win at the ultimate slam. Yeah, the hype’s gotten to me. And I also like the fact that no matter which guy wins this semi, either will make for an exciting finalist. Lastly, I will be able to enjoy this match without any danger of hyperventilating, kicking a hole in the wall or falling into a deep depression that no one in my workplace will buy as a legitimate excuse to call in sick.
Now for the ladies. We had two two-set semifinals on Thursday, the first a subtle, quiet affair between Agnieszka Radwanska and Angelique Kerber, where I found myself imagining Radwanska as a boa constrictor or a lethal injection – quiet, deadly and mysterious. Even her celebration, a silent bunny hop, was eerily reserved. When I read this quote from her presser, I heard the last line spoken deadpan, in an ominous tone of voice.
Q. You know what it’s like to hold up a trophy from the juniors. What do you think it would be like to hold the real one?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: That would be great, for sure. Yeah, I remember 2005, of course. It’s been like one year and it was seven years ago.
Of course I will try everything in my power to hold the trophy again.
Anyone else curious what “everything in my power” will look like?
I can’t say for sure how this first time Major finalist will perform against the likes of Serena Williams, whose game is fire to Radwanska’s ice. But watching Serena today, hitting a record-setting 24 aces and smacking returns and ground strokes with regal ruthlessness, I realized I’ve finally become a true, heart-in-the-matter Serena fan. When she’s playing well, her game is a thing of beauty. I think it helps that she’s toned down the grunting – it allows me to experience her game without the distracting soundtrack and appreciate the real power behind her shots. Plus, I so admire the fact that she and her sister Venus still play the doubles for real. I’m excited to watch her play in the finals here – hopefully in both the singles and doubles draws.
Loved this quote from Serena:
Q. And as a weapon, how would you describe your serve?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Mean.
Here’s hoping for a mean final.