It's not all that surprising to see the Williams sisters posting similar scores in their semifinal matches, but to see Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal doing that is kind of creepy. Federer beat Marat Safin (6-3,7-6(3),6-4) and Nadal eliminated Rainer Schuettler, 6-1,7-6(3),6-4. Nadal played a pretty sloppy second set, although he started and finished strong. Fed looked great against Safin, who had a nice run here. You could almost tell from the beginning, though, that Safin didn't quite believe. He also said, in not as many words, that he didn't believe. Here's hoping that Safin starts tapping that talent of his for the long term -- or at least what's left of his career.
More props to Schuettler, who managed somehow to make Nadal work a little in that second set. Dude's 32, by the way, and played an almost 5 1/2 hour match in the quarters. Go have yourself one or four of those German beers, man. You deserve it.
So, it's Fed vs. Nadal once again. We'll dish on that tomorrow, but first, it's Williams versus Williams. I can remember when these two were meeting in Slam finals all the time, and all you heard was "They're making the game boring, blah, blah, blah." About five years of boring women's finals later, they're back, and no one's complainin'. In all fairness, they contributed to a bunch of those crappy matches. There's been a lot of talk from the Williams camp about increased maturity over the years. If that's true, and they continue to play well, this should be a real battle. I have to give the edge to Venus, because her game's a bit more versatile than Serena's. Venus doesn't seem to mind closing in to the net to end a point, and with that huge serve, cleaning up at net shouldn't be too hard. Serena's will to win, and her more precise serve, though, is going to keep her close. In their doubles match today, Serena popped up a lot of volleys, and that doesn't show a high level of comfort at the net. That's going to be a problem for her in singles, and she'll be a net target when the sisters team up in the doubles final. Anyway, Venus in three. But that doubles final against Lisa Raymond and Samantha Stosur might not go their way. It's hard for me to believe Venus and Serena'll be able to overpower two doubles specialists. But anything can happen, right?
Will be posting during and/or after the final. Happy strawberries and cream to ya!