Game, set and match Mrs Williams, 6-3 6-4.
Moments after the conclusion in Auckland, Serena Williams looked up in the air and said “finally” the wait was over.
Even for someone who had won 100 titles in her career prior to Auckland that confidence and the pressure was still there.
It didn’t matter how many titles she’s won before, she is human like the rest of us. What happened in New York a couple of years back must have been difficult to move on from. Serena continued to play (a limited schedule at times) and continued to be at the finale of the major events.
People who haven’t got many nice things to say have said she has failed to win No.24 so far but we should focus on the positive. The comeback after giving birth, the comeback after that US Open final and the fact she is the most consistent player at a major tournament.
Last year Serena didn’t turn up in the Wimbledon and US Open finals being outplayed by Simona Halep and Bianca Andreescu respectively and she finished her season in her press by saying:
“I don’t think Serena showed up”
The winning feeling is a good one to take into any tournament. For Serena to get matches under her belt and a title this early is only a good thing.
Think back to last year where she didn’t play enough tennis and had this knee issue around Roland Garros and once she returned she realised she needed to play more tennis.
The confidence Serena would have gained from winning in Auckland is something you can’t buy. When Serena was 1-3 down in the first set to Pegula she looked nervous but Serena showed up! You just saw it in her post match interview the relief and smile as she muttered the word ‘finally’ following her win.
Melbourne hosts good memories for Serena, it was the destination of her last Grand Slam which she won whilst pregnant in 2017. Serena has won seven times down at Melbourne Park and this year will be making her 19th appearance and one win away from her 350th Grand Slam win.
Like I said, this win will be a catalyst for her. Of course the questions and speculation over No.24 will continue until it is reached but I’ve said before even if she doesn’t numbers don’t define if she is the greatest female player or not.