August 10, 2014
It takes something very special to outshine a rampant Roger Federer in full flow. But Venus Williams managed just that by defeating her sister Serena for the first time in five years in Montreal.
‘Big sister taught little sister a lesson,’ tweeted Serena without complaint, even though she had won the first-set tie-break 7-2. After that it was one-way traffic as Venus rolled back the years to take the decisive sets 6-2, 6-3. The head-to-head count is 14-11 in favour of world number one Serena – not that the statistics will come as much consolation to the younger Williams sister.
And Venus, who had been written off by many, will savour this surprising win like no other in recent times. Now she faces Agnieszka Radwanska, who beat Ekatarina Makarova with two emphatic tie-breaks. The tennis world will watch that final with special interest to see if Venus can continue her remarkable run and seal glory in Canada.
Meanwhile Federer is bracing himself for a storm in the Toronto Masters final later tonight after beating a jaded Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 6-4. Now he comes up against Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who downed Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 6-3 with an awesome display of big serving. Every time there was the slightest suggestion of trouble from the Bulgarian, another booming ace solved the problem.
Federer admitted: ‘Tsonga can overpower guys, serve up a storm and then play really aggressive with his forehand and also be solid in his backhand.’ But Roger won’t be short of motivation. If he beats Tsonga, Federer will become the first player in history to win 300 times at Masters 1000 level.
The crunch against Lopez came as early as the fourth game, when his opponent desperately tried to cling onto his serve. Federer maintained a persistent stranglehold and used his seventh break point to gain the upper hand. He never looked back, to the delight of the Toronto tennis-lovers.
Earlier Tsonga had already provided plenty of entertainment with an explosive brand of tennis which has the fans licking their lips at the prospect of a scintillating men’s final.
Want to see the legends and young pretenders battle it out at Wimbledon next summer? Reserve your tickets here.