October 22, 2014
What on earth has happened to Serena Williams?
She just played one of the worst sets of her life at the WTA Finals in Singapore – and no one saw it coming.
An improved second-set performance still wasn’t nearly enough as Williams crashed 6-0, 6-2 to the feisty Romanian, Simona Halep.
Sure, Serena has had time off with a troublesome knee recently. But she played well enough to overcome Ana Ivanovic 6-4, 6-4 in her first match here.
Suddenly, without warning, the wheels fell off in what can only be described as twenty minutes of sheer embarrassment.
Williams suffered a nightmare first set when she served six double faults, made eighteen unforced errors and won just nine points. A four-letter expletive left her mouth at such volume that television commentators rushed to apologise.
Serena was broken again at the start of the second set and raised her arms in despair, seemingly on the point of tears. Then she began to raise her game and although Halep consolidated, the American was starting to exert pressure.
Holding firm, Halep took her own quality up another notch and broke yet again to lead 4-1. Simona, remember, has had injury problems of her own and needed time out to fix a problem with her left hip, which is still heavily bandaged.
But she simply wasn’t to be denied her first victory over Williams, who had beaten her in each of their previous three meetings. It was Halep’s first win over a top-three player.
The shocking scoreline provided further proof that you can never assume that a world number one is without vulnerability. You can be the best but it certainly doesn’t make you perfect.
Even so, we didn’t see much of Serena’s famous warrior spirit. In fact in the first set we only saw mental chaos and confusion.
Who knows what has happened to Serena? We welcome your comments…