It’s no surprise to avid tennis fans that Serena Williams is dominating at the U.S. Open. With her intense demeanor and occasional bear-like roars, Serena is the women’s game’s Darth Vader, seemingly capable of choking her rivals merely by thinking about doing it.
With fellow past champions like Maria Sharapova and Kim Clijsters vanquished early or missing in action completely this year--and with sister Venus having withdrawn after the first round due to illness--there is only Caroline Wozniacki, the #1 seed, remaining to reasonably challenge a healthy Serena. Yet the 21-year-old Wozniacki still has yet to breathe the rarefied air of Grand Slam victory in her career, while Serena’s angling for her 14th such title. Youth is a great thing in tennis, but so is a crushing forehand, a potent backhand and a killer serve at any age. So far, Serena’s accuracy and consistency look good. Scary good.
She polished off #4-seeded Victoria Azarenka in Round 3, 6-1, 7-6, and it was even easier than the numbers imply. (You can bet that Azarenka wasn’t expecting her early round, low-seeded foe to be the greatest lady tennis player in the world.) In fact, until Serena’s second set with Azarenka, none of her opponents to that point had even won more than one game per set. On Labor Day, she dispatched #16-seeded Ana Ivanovic, 6-3, 6-4, in another fairly routine rout. Now it's on to the quarterfinals.
Serena turns 30 on Sept. 26, and doubtless she’s aware of it. What better way to celebrate that milestone birthday than with another Grand Slam title.
She’s probably gonna do it, and if she does, then hats off--and sincere congrats--to Serena Williams. But I don’t have to root for her.
(C’mon: No one ever roots for Darth Vader.)