Serena Williams made a quick venture through the semifinal to make her way into the final of the Western & Southern Open Saturday. The 33-year-old defending champion knocked out Elina Svitolina in straight sets 6-4, 6-3 on center court at the Linder Family Tennis Center.
Though the series may be in favor of the American, the chances of her having a repeat of the Rogers Cup semifinal is likely. She beat the Ukrainian at the Australian Open but not before the 20 year old gave put up a statement in the first set before her exit. This time around, Svitolina has been on that has her moving closer to the top ten; a spot she has never been in. With her fast speed, great response on return and cool attitude on court, she would give the number one ranked player in the world all she has to make an upset a reality.
Svitolina earned a triple break point against Williams, as the American didn’t seem to be warmed up full. She couldn’t hold the break after three changes to sit two games down of the Ukrainian. Williams pulled her serve in and got it to help her break the draw on deuce cutting Svitolina’s lead in half. The 20 year old wasted no time thinking of the comeback focusing more on the drive shot from Williams where she successfully used it to her advantage.
After five decisions, it was Svitolina still holding strong in the set, but it wouldn’t last long as the American climbed back to level for the first time in the match. Williams’s game arrived at the critical moment where she pushed out front with a few breaks on deuce to take the 4-3 lead. Svitolina found a way to hold in the eighth despite the poor service and troubles from Williams on the other end to make it even at four.
Williams took the lead again as Svitolina’s first serve began to dwindle showing her struggles. It would end with her handing point after point to Williams where the set point went into the net killing any chance for a comeback for the Ukrainian.
Williams opened the second set with her in clear view of victory, as the game of Svitolina was its most vulnerable. The American jumped out to a 3-0 lead before a hiccup occurred in Game Four. She had troubles keeping the shots inside the court that helped rack up numerous unforced errors. After giving her opponent two games, Williams went back to improving her shot to gain back the offense with the homestretch in view.
She took the next two with the opportunity of playing for the match as Svitolina’s serve continued to slide serving her eighth double fault. She did bring the heat that contributed to her staying alive in the set. It would last no longer than required for the number one player as Williams put Svitolina out of commission to move into the finals. The match took just 1 hour and 27 minutes to complete as Williams had the match under considerable control. She served just 54 percent on serve but made up for the low service landing 30 of 38. Svitolina’s downfall was her inability to take on such a strong player. The heat of playing on William’s level became too much for her to handle leading to her defeat.
Though she will not give up, Svitolina would be back at it in New Haven having gained 350 points and would be inside the top 20 of the WTA before the tournaments start on Monday.