Sunday, June 5, 2011

What a great Women’s final it was last night.

Two fine combatants in Li Na and defending champion Francesca Schivone paraded their talents before an adoring Parisian crowd.

There were tremendous rallies, great ground strokes and delightful touches of volleying excellence. We saw one player dominate for a set and a half (Na), then just when it looked as if she may knock Schivone out after going up 4-2 in the second set Li Na let her nerves invite themselves into her psyche.

Here she was on the verge of winning her first grand slam title, but before you knew it, she was spiralling head first into what looked likely to be a fatal meltdown.

However, it seems that Na is made of sterner stuff. Gathering herself, she gave her nerves the flick and went on to win the tiebreaker without losing a point. The match was won 6-4, 7-6 and she had become China’s first ever grand slam winner.

A great effort on her part. At the age of twenty-nine she had the ripeness to calm herself down after her mini-meltdown and forge her way back into the match. Younger players may not have been able to achieve this. There is a lot to be said for experience and the maturity that comes with age.

Even more impressive was her performance after the contest had ended. There were no histrionics, no tears...just a smile and a wave to the crowd, and then she sat quietly in her seat courtside contemplating what she had achieved. The lady has class. The same can be said for Schivone. Neither player went overboard with the emotions unlike others (both male and female) have over the years.

Both ladies can be justifiably proud of their performance- both during the match and in particular during the post match proceedings.

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