Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Dossier: Issue a storm warning for Centre Court
Saturday 04 July 2009
Venus has skated through the tournament so far, not dropping a set. She's looked in total control of her matches, ceding no more than five games in any of them, and winning most of them more easily than even that. As we know, in her semi-final she utterly demolished the world No1, Dinara Safina.
Venus did this by playing to her strengths. Her big serve has been working well, her powerful groundstrokes on both sides have been too much for opponents to handle. She moves well, and has great variety to her play. I expect all this again today. My only concern is Venus has not been pushed, but it's a small concern because she ups her game to fight fire with fire when she needs.
Serena has been stretched, especially in that semi-final against Elena Dementieva, who pushed her back behind the baseline and almost knocked her out with her consistent, massive counter-punches. But Serena's determination to succeed is immense. It's worth repeating what her dad – my good friend Richard Williams – said this week about her on-court attitude. "Serena's as mean as a junkyard dog... tougher than any player out here."
She wants to win. I spoke with her last week after one of her press conferences and she said: "Nick, I really, really want this title."
You could see how much it meant when she came back to beat Dementieva. But just because Serena's so outwardly expressive doesn't mean Venus is any less hungry. Those girls are a pair of storms; Serena the raging hurricane and Venus a twister, silent in the distance but every bit as lethal.
Venus has the advantage in height, serve, movement and versatility but Serena is awesomely powerful and deadly with her groundstrokes. I think the only pressure on this pair is to produce a terrific final for the fans, and I think they will do that. I've never bought into the baloney that they do anything but their best against each other. Both have won on Centre Court. Both are capable of doing so again.
Head-to-head: 20 previous meetings. Won 10 each
Bollettieri's prediction: Either to win... edge to Venus
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