After a surprisingly tight first set that saw only one break by each player, No. 1 Serena Williams and No. 16 Maria Sharapova decided their first set in a tiebreak, which Serena won 11-9.
Sharapova had double set point at 6-4, but hit a forehand up the line into the top of the net on the first (which was on her serve) and then hit a forced forehand error on the second.
Serena had her first set point at 6-7 in the tiebreak, but Sharapova saved it with a strong second serve out wide which Serena was unable to return.
Sharapova’s third set point came at 7-8 in the tiebreak, but Serena hit a strong serve up the “T” that Sharapova was unable to get back over the net.
Serena had her firstsecond set point at 8-9 in the tiebreak, but again Sharapova saved it with a strong second serve out wide which Serena was unable to return.
But Sharapova’s second serve abandoned her on the very next point, hitting a wildly long second serve at 9-9 to give Serena a set point on her own serve for the first time.
Serena capitalized, hitting an ace up the middle that was punctuated with a scream and a fist pump.
The short length of the points thus far in this match is helping Sharapova immensely, as her footwork and court coverage is the category in which she trails Serena most distantly. Sharapova has also been very effective against Serena’s second serve, winning 9 of 13 points.