Roger Federer and Serena Williams show their greatness in winning Madrid
By Matt Cronin
The two greatest players of their generations, Roger Federer and Serena Williams, once again showed that why they have been able to combine for 29 Grand Slams singles title: when in good head spaces, they are resilient and able to adapt to any condition.
On Sunday, Federer took an impressive 3-6 7-5 7-5 victory over Czech Tomas Berdych, his 74th crown overall and 20th Masters titles. Serena took her seventh victory in eight tries over world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka , this one a 6-1 6-3 destruction, a clear sign that if she stays healthy that now No. 6 Williams seem destined to retake No. 1 sometime during the grasscourt season, or maybe even sooner.
Federer also grabbed the the No. 2 ranking from Rafael Nadal, who was one of the slippery blue surface’s most strident critics.
“Look, it’s been a tough tournament and tough to move but you just go on with it and try to make the best out of it,” said 30-year-old. “There was some good tennis and there was some bad tennis as well, you see that in all the tournaments, but I thought the level of play under the circumstances was very good.”
The court was super fast and did not play at all like clay, well maybe bad and dry clay, so it was a great opportunity for Federer, who is lethal in quick exchanges. He served accurately, went for his returns (even showing off a fine backhand down the line) crowded the Czech when he could and withstood his big groundless. The contest was very close and Berdych, who has showed a lot of maturation over the past three years, displayed a good amount of fight and ability, but he was lacking the confidence that Federer usually shows on the bog points.
The final statistics show the quality of the contest, with Federer hitting 44 winners to Berdych 42 and the Czech making 27 unforced errors to Federer’s 30.
“It was just about a few points and I think Roger’s experience won through today,” Berdych said “One thing I am sad that I was not able to beat him but the other one is that losing to him is something special. He just showed what a great champion he is that playing in the conditions that were here he was able to win the title.”
Serena simply lit up Azarenka, a power player who only managed six winners in the match, less than hlaf of Serena’s 14-ace total. She started slow and finished slow, didn