Serena Williams (Wikimedia Commons)
In the third round of the Rogers Cup in Toronto yesterday it was clear that Serena Williams, the 13-time Grand Slam champion, is back and playing tennis at a very high level.
On Thursday, Williams made some spectacular shots, including one where she recorded a winner down the line while doing the splits, in defeating China’s Jie Zheng 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, in what was the best women’s match of the week. Both players had an incredible amount of power in their shot making.
It is a little ironic the best match so far came from two players ranked in the 80′s in the world. Williams is ranked 80th and Zheng is 82nd. One could make the argument that a Williams-Zheng match is more entertaining today than a match between the top two players in the world, Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark versus Kim Clijsters of Belgium.
Upsets continued on Thursday. Vera Zvonareva, the 2010 Wimbledon and U.S. Open finalist and the third seed, lost 6-4, 7-6 to thirteenth seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland.
In the upset of the day, Wimbledon finalist, Maria Sharapova of Russia, the fifth seed, lost to Kazakhstan’s Galina Voskoboeva, currently ranked 135th in the world, 6-3, 7-6. Voskoboeva won the match despite smashing her tennis racquet on the Toronto hardcourt after not being able to win the match during a game where she had three match points. Sharapova was unable to capitalize on Voskoboeva’s emotional outburst. She struggled with her serve throughout the match, having five double faults compared to zero aces.